Music: Graham Wright's Solo Offshoot

Jul 1, 2011, By Sarah Benzuly

What started out as demos turned into a full-fledged solo album. Tokyo Police Club keyboardist Graham Wright has always had songs percolating in his brain—even before TPC was formed—and he finally got his chance. Working again with TPC engineers Jay Sadlow and Dean Marino, Wright snatched whatever free time he had (and cash, as he was self-funding this project) and headed into Chemical Sound (Toronto), Sadlow and Marino’s studio. “I basically started recording songs with Dean and Jay in the beginning of 2009, but I thought I was making demos,” Wright recalls. “I had written a bunch of songs and I wanted to do something with them. We recorded two songs each day, and when I sent [the demos] to my manager, he said, ‘They sound like you’re making proper recordings.’ So from them on, it became more [a full album].” ...

Music: Taking Back Sunday

Jul 1, 2011, By Sarah Benzuly

Released in late June, Taking Back Sunday’s self-titled fifth studio album marks the return of the band’s original lineup from their 2002 debut, Tell All Your Friends. Vocalist Adam Lazzara, guitarist Eddie Reyes and drummer Mark O’Connell reunited with vocalist/guitarist John Nolan and bassist Shaun Cooper, who departed the band in 2003. And from the way Nolan recalls their reunion, it was all O’Connell’s idea. “As things were winding down for Taking Back Sunday and their last album cycle,” Nolan says, “he started talking to Eddie and Adam about this idea [of reuniting the band] and then got in contact with Sean and I. Everyone was pretty skeptical about it at first—of whether or not this was going to work—but everyone was open and we started reconnecting and talking again, and then little by little, it led to us getting back together again.” ...

Music: The '8IN8' Project

Jun 1, 2011, By Matt Gallagher

From April 25-27, the Berklee College of Music and MIDEM, in association with Harvard University’s Berkman Center and Business School, presented the “Rethink Music: Creativity, Commerce and Policy in the 21st Century” conference, which sought new models for creating and distributing music. One discussion panel—Amanda Palmer, Neil Gaiman, Ben Folds and Damian Kulash—challenged the norms of pop music production and distribution in the hours before their scheduled appearance. “All four of us are well known for using the Internet creatively,” Palmer says. “I came up with the idea that we should do some non-traditional collaboration.” ...

Music: Paisley's Deep Country Roots

Jun 1, 2011, By Sarah Benzuly

Brad Paisley’s ninth studio album, This Is Country Music, is an homage to the genre he’s loved since he started performing when he was 13. Taking samples from classic country hits, Paisley also brought together a fine set of musicians—such as reuniting Alabama’s Randy Owen, Jeff Cook and Teddy Gentry, and singing alongside Marty Stuart, Carrie Underwood and Blake Shelton. Making the album a cohesive whole is Paisley’s longtime producer, Frank Rogers. ...

Classic Tracks: The Fireballs "Sugar Shack"

Jun 1, 2011, By Ron Skinner

In August 1958, George Tomsco was facing a dilemma that many high school graduates face: what should he do with the rest of his life? Tomsco was the guitar player in the Raton, N.M. rock 'n' roll band The Fireballs. The band got its name at a high school talent show after performing a flawless rendition of Jerry Lee Lewis’ "Great Balls of Fire." The recent success of his band in his hometown gave him the idea that he could make a career in the music business, but he had no idea how someone from a small town New Mexico could make that dream a reality....

Behind the Scenes: Joe Barresi

Jun 1, 2011, Compiled by Sarah Benzuly

Producer/mixer/engineer Joe Barresi (Tool, Queens of the Stone Age, The Melvins) and On the Mark Media release Joe Barresi: Tracking Rock, a behind-the-scenes HD video that takes you through his process of producing and tracking a song for alt rock band Zico Chain in his private studio, JHOC (Joe’s House of Compression)....

Music: The Lonely Island

Jun 1, 2011, By Matt Gallagher

Anyone who has watched NBC’s Saturday Night Live in recent years has seen “SNL Digital Shorts”—the wickedly satirical, off-the-wall, manic, edgy and often risqué hip-hop/R&B/pop music videos and conceptual pieces that humorously and mercilessly skewer pop culture. These videos are the creation of The Lonely Island, a comedic and musical trio comprising SNL actors and writers Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone. In May 2011, the group released its second album, Turtleneck & Chain (Universal Republic), which includes collaborations with Akon, Justin Timberlake, Snoop Dogg, Rihanna, Michael Bolton, Beck, Nicki Minaj and Santigold. ...

Music: Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks

Jun 1, 2011, By Blair Jackson

The formation of the Tedeschi Trucks Band marks the union of two formidable talents: 40-year-old Susan Tedeschi, one of this country’s finest blues/roots singers and songwriters for the past 15-plus years; and 32-year-old Derek Trucks, who has been writing great tunes and laying down some of the most wickedly soulful slide-guitar licks ever since he was 14—in his own band, as a member of the revitalized Allman Brothers and even touring in Eric Clapton’s group for a spell. The two share so many of the same musical loves and influences—old gospel, rock, blues, jazz, classic soul and R&B—it seems only natural that they would play together in a band. ...

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