Tuesday, December 29, 2009

REWIND 2009

Well, we've come to the end of what turned out to be a relatively quiet 2009.  There was even very little in terms of rehashed reissues.  The only re-issues of note were Blu-Spec CDs for Discovery, Out of The Blue and A New World Record, which (correct me if I'm wrong) were really just very slightly higher quality captures of their current masters.  The only worthwhile compilation this year came from The Move.

Really my only disappointment this year was reading how so many Jeff Lynne and ELO fans didn't bother with Regina Spektor.  Understandably, we'd all like to hear more from Jeff himself.  But I tend to view Jeff Lynne as a record maker more than anything else.  The moment I see Jeff run across the stage and drop to his knees like Springsteen, I'll view him strictly as a performer.

Regina Spektor has won a fan in me.  Nothing in her songs is conventional, yet they make perfect sense.  Jeff Lynne provided a driving cadence to Blue Lips, a playful hand-clapping shimmy to Folding Chair, a dark ambiance to Genius Next Door, an antiquey feel to Wallet and a little spook to The Sword and The Pen.  I thought he hit all of them out of the park.  The other producers on that record fit her songs like a glove, too.

On a personal level, I had a little more (ok, a lot more) time on my hands this year thanks to being a economic casualty.  (Still am, actually.)  I thought I used much of the time wisely by at least 2 dozen bands/singers/acts live this year, Regina Spektor included, although they put her with an awful venue here, The Electric Factory.  These live acts led me to some amazing CDs this year.  If you're interested in some recommendations:

M. Ward (and Monsters of Folk) - He's turning out to be quite a prolific guy and amazing songwriter and yes, record maker.  He released Hold Time early this year with several stand-out tracks, released an album as Monsters of Folk with Mike Mogis (who produced), Conor Oberst and Yim Yames.  And in April, he's releasing an album with actress Zooey Deschanel.



Swell Season- I had the pleasure of meeting Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova following a concert on their current tour.  If you haven't seen the movie Once, do yourself a favor.  They won the Academy Award for Best Original Song from that movie.  Their new CD is only a few months old.



One EskimO- a late-year entry, but a band I can't shut up about right now.  Their music was used in a Toyota commercial and as the foundation for a series of animations that won top awards.  The music was retooled and refined for their debut CD released in September.  The whole CD is amazing with the rather addicting Kandi as the lead single.  (By the way, their album and the complete set of animations is on sale at iTunes for $5.99)



I was also lucky enough to see Rickie Lee Jones, Roseanne Cash, Marianne Faithful, and less-knowns Peter Bjorn and John, DeVotchka, Diane Birch, the list goes on and on.  For me, it was amazing year for new and live music.

So now we look to 2010.  ELO's 40th Anniversary is being celebrated in 2010.  Will this translate into some worthwhile releases?  Time will tell.  In case you missed it, ELO's official website from Sony is gone, and we're still waiting for elo.biz.

But in 2010, we should have a produced by Jeff Lynne album from Joe Walsh and a produced by Jeff Lynne album from, uh, Jeff Lynne.  As I always say, keep your fingers crossed.

I hope it'll be a great year for all of you.  Have a Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

GOOD GOLLY...

This is the produced by Jeff Lynne version from 1991. This is my first time seeing this. Enjoy:

Thursday, December 17, 2009

OH, A GIFT "CARD"...



Genesis Publications is now shipping the Traveling Wilburys in January 2010.  To hold us over, the publisher sent us a greeting card, not a gift card.  Though, frankly, I wasn't quite sure how much a gift card would help for another $300-$600 book.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

THE WILBURYS (BOOKS) ARE COMING...


Those of you who ordered The Traveling Wilburys from Genesis Publications should have gotten this flier in the mail in advance of the actual book arriving on your doorstep.  There's still no indication on when these books will ship.

A few things struck me in particular.  It appears that Jeff may have written (or "written") the forward to the book based on the wording in the flier.  The flier also notes that this book was originally George Harrison's idea, so this book has been a long time coming.

Deluxe Editions are sold out and the Collector's Edition will jump in price from 195GBP to 225GBP beginning of the year.  So, if you're on the fence about this...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

UGH, WHATEVER...

I recognize this is the typical 'you're getting old' argument.  But I mean, they couldn't muster a single Grammy nod for Regina Spektor?  Not one??  There are several other names that should be on the nomination list, too, but aren't.  Not to begrudge any talented artist (and many names on the list are indeed talented,) but didn't the AMAs and the VMAs and the Billboards and the People's Choice, etc etc already honor [insert name here] multiple times over??   The Grammys must be in a bind.  If ratings for the awards ceremony on TV are down, they need to have a nomination list like this one to stay mainstream.

The Grammys, however, should be digging a little deeper into the talent pool to keep their award's prestige above the others.  Now it's just deluded with the others.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

ONE OTHER THING...


Is this welcome board at GeorgeHarrison.com (commemorating 8 years since he's passed) playing Just For Today??

GOOD TIMES, GOOD TIMES....

First off: Happy Holidays, everyone!  Hard to believe it's here already.  While the last few months have been scarce news-wise, here are a few FYI items:

The Traveling Wilburys Deluxe Edition book from Genesis Publications has sold out.  There are still Collector's Editions available and are identical in terms of book content.  It appears that they're trying to get the books delivered before Christmas.  At last check (from me) a week ago, they're still at the printers/binders and they all need to be signed by Jeff.  Genesis says if you don't get the book by Christmas, they will send a gift card for the inconvenience.



Those of you passed on re-buying George Harrison's Cloud Nine on iTunes in order to get the rare Extended Version of Got My Mind Set On You, good news: the individual track is available to buy at CD Universe.com.  Get it soon in case that was an oversight....  Same is true is you're interesting in having the demo for Blow Away, which was a digital download-only bonus track on the 1979 George Harrison album.


Jeff Lynne will be among several producers and musicians who are featured in a new 3-part Beatles radio show, Here, There And Everywhere, coming to radio station near you starting this Friday and supposedly running through the holidays.



Oh, and Sony (or some arm of Sony) released yet another 11 track (original 1979 Greatest Hits) ELO compilation earlier this month.  This is the Good Times Edition.  OK...  Amazon UK, Amazon US

Here's hoping the downtime is over soon.  ELO's 40th Anniversary year starts in January and rumor has it, things will get active again.  In the meantime, enjoy the holidays!

Friday, October 23, 2009

"THE OFFICIAL LIMITED EDITION BOOK"


The pre-orders are up for The Traveling Wilburys book by Genesis Publications.  There is one Collector's Edition for 195 British Pounds (US $318) and one Deluxe Edition for 375 British Pounds (US $612)...

Copies will be signed by Jeff Lynne.

Genesis Publications blurb:
Interwoven with hundreds of unseen photographs, Polaroids, drawings, log book entries and handwritten lyric sheets, The Wilburys tell their tale in their own words, with the occasional help of drummer Jim Keltner and others.
Not sure yet what makes the Collector's edition different from the Deluxe edition other than the obvious.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

BOOTLEG THEATRE


For the record, this is a fake.  But I'm buying one anyway.  It's Jeff Lynne's Armchair Theatre from 1990 presented in a mini-LP CD, made in central bootlegsville.  I'm curious, that's all.

This album's 20th anniversary is next year and we're all still (after 6 years) awaiting the remastered and expanded edition.

HALL OF FAME DVD - FOLLOW-UP



For those of you who passed on the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame DVD box set released in September: Congratulations, your patience has paid off. Time-Life Music is issuing a slimmed down 3DVD set to be released November 3 for a more manageable $40 retail. This particular set will have much, if not all, of the George Harrison induction from 2004:

On DVD1:
*  Olivia And Dhani Harrison Accept for George Harrison 2004 Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, Steve Winwood And Dhani Harrison (2004) Handle With Care
*  Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, Steve Winwood, Dhani Harrison And Prince (2004) While My Guitar Gently Weeps

On DVD3 Bonus Features:
*  Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne Induct George Harrison 2004

press release/story here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

THE BOOK OF WILBURY - UPDATE




The Beatles Examiner is reporting that the long awaited Traveling Wilburys deluxe (and I mean deluxe) book from Genesis Publications could be out in time for the holidays.  As mentioned earlier, these books are not cheap.  Genesis' music books range from 295-900 British Pounds.  That translates into $489-1,495 USD.  Their books are, however, second to none in terms of quality.  Genesis previously wrote that they would pull out all the stops for the Wilburys, so who knows what that means for the book price.

They have/had two Concert For George books, the deluxe is long sold out, as is (two volumes of) Songs by George Harrison.

No indication of what will be included in the Wilburys book.  The announcement is expected any day now.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

LIVE ELO DOWNLOADS



Those of you in the UK will have the opportunity to buy and download a small set of vintage ELO live tracks on Amazon UK's web site beginning 12 October.  BBC Session (19th April 1973) is being released through EMI and includes unique artwork.

The track list is:
From The Sun To The World (BBC in Concert)
Kuiama (BBC in Concert)
In The Hall Of The Mountain King (BBC in Concert)
Roll Over Beethoven (BBC in Concert)

These tracks have been previously available on the now rarely seen Live At The BBC set released in 1999 as well as promo-only radio show LPs and CDs that have landed in collector's hands.  So far, it's just available on Amazon's MP3 page.  We'll have to wait until release day to see if the UK's iTunes will have it, too.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

WHILE WE WAIT...



While things in Otis Wilbury-land appear to be quite dormant since Regina Spektor's far in June, there are new things to explore for two other Wibury brothers.

For starters, George Harrison's website had undergone a complete facelift.  It has some interesting new features including videos, interactive booklets, photos and even lyrics to his songs (sans bonus tracks) including the Traveling Wilburys songs.

And as announced a few weeks ago, Tom Petty will be issuing what appears to be a rather unprecedented line of releases of his live material, including a 4CD box set on November 17.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

KINDA OT: HAPPY BEATLES DAY EVERYONE

I'm starting with Rubber Soul and working my way around the box set randomly. The set is really nice. More as the day goes on...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

HALL OF FAME PERFORMANCES

Time-Life Music is set to release a DVD box set full of performances from Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremonies over the years. Included in that are the two performances featuring Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty, and Dhani Harrison when George Harrison was inducted into the Rock Hall in 2004. Both live tracks - Handle With Care and While My Guitar Gently Weeps (featuring a raging guitar solo by Prince) - will be on the lead-off disc back to back.

The set has 9 DVDs, so as you can imagine, it' s not cheap. But each disc promises at least an hour of behind-the-scenes bonus material and rehearsals. Release date: September 11, 2009.

(Apologies if you're getting multiple posts, I'm still trying to work out some layout issues with Blogger)

Monday, August 3, 2009

WHAT'S THIS SECRET MESSAGES SUPPOSED TO MEAN?



















UPDATE (8/10): This is just a priced-down re-issue of the 2001 remaster.

In the (USA) shops tomorrow is a re-issue of ELO's Secret Messages from Sony/BMG Custom Marketing Group. Order links are at Amazon and CD Universe.

Clearly, this is similar to what they did with Out Of The Blue last year. They take the remastered CD and place it in old original CD packaging, but with the remaster booklet. Since that version of it came out, the 2007 editions (standard and deluxe) have disappeared.

But why Secret Messages? And is this, especially considering the big picture, anything other than a complete waste of energy? Is the 2001 remaster discontinued now? Will there even be a CD tomorrow? The same fiasco happened with Ole ELO last year, too.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

OT: MONSTERS OF FOLK




















Either these guys totally nailed the Jeff Lynne/Wilbury 'sound' on this, or....
Very interesting track.
Free download of Say Please is on their website, just say "please"....

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

FAR UP ON THE CHARTS


As much as I would have loved for this to chart higher, this is great news nonetheless. regina spektor's far debuts on the Billboard 200 album charts at #3... one notch higher than the album that drove regina to Jeff Lynne's producing: Highway Companion by Tom Petty, which debuted at #4 after its release in 2006.

far is the highest chart debut for the week and is behind only The Black Eyed Peas and The Jonas Brothers in total sales for the week, selling 50,000 copies in the US since its release last week.

Michael Jackson's spike in album and download sales actually affected the catalog charts only because his releases are at least 18 months old. Airplay of Michael Jackson music following his death last Thursday jumped a staggering 1735%.

Anyway, good for regina. far went far indeed and in my opinion, should be a contender for bigger things down the road.

By the way, Let It Roll: Songs by George Harrison is at #41 after debuting at #24 last week.

Friday, June 26, 2009

R.I.P. MICHAEL.

Well, regina spektor's Far is now the top selling non-Michael Jackson album on iTunes. Jackson now occuppies 7 of the top 10 spots on iTunes album sales.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

MAYBE I SHOULDN'T ADMIT THIS...

I probably could have been more discreet, but I was busted on the highway today singing the dolphin bark part of Folding Chair by a perplexed-looking passing driver.

ROLLING STONE SEES FAR

Rolling Stone
gives Far 4 stars.
The Russian-born Lower East Side piano punk has the European yelp of Bj√∂rk, the loopiness of Fiona Apple, the too-much-information torridness of Tori Amos and the slanted critical eye of Liz Phair. But none of those girls ever interrupted a song about long-term commitment to uncork a flurry of dolphin noises, as Spektor does on "Folding Chair," one of the stranger — and catchier — moments on her excellent third major-label record.
Los Angeles Times (3 1/2 stars)

And for those you who want the physical version of the CD, but still want the bonus tracks, you can buy them individually from iTunes. This is what I hoped (and should be able to do) with Let It Roll...

Monday, June 22, 2009

REVIEW: FAR





































Whether Regina Spektor is your cup of tea or not, the fact of the matter is Far could be one of the biggest success stories of the year... at least it should be. And a guy whose music we’ve been following for decades is right in the thick of it.

Her songs are sometimes kitschy, sometimes funny and in a few instances on Far, quite thought provoking. And it’s all done outside the parameters of the traditional “verse/chorus/verse/chorus/solo/chorus/end or fade” song structure.

This is one of those CDs where having the lyrics to follow along helps a lot. What struck me the most, though, is how Jeff’s producing rises and fades and rolls through the emotions with her lyrics more than I think I’ve ever heard him do before. I hoped Regina Spektor’s quirky and Jeff Lynne’s trippy/moody would make for a good match. It did.

Blue Lips – after a month, this is still one of the most spectacular recordings I’ve heard in ages. It just absolutely soars.
Folding Chair – I can directly relate the lyrics of this song to someone I know. That just makes this song 10 times more fun to listen to. That, and the dolphin bark.
Genius Next Door –Just like Jeff Lynne productions that run 3 minutes or less, there’s not a wasted second. Such a haunting mood… and from what I’m reading, a heavy fan favorite.
Wallet – Classic example of how specific her lyrics can be. When it dawns on her that she can take the wallet to the local Blockbuster and the music rises in intensity as she sings it?? I mean, that’s great record making.
The Sword and The Pen- When you peel away the advant garde nature of this track, you’ll actually find a very sensibly composed track just like the others. It's a grower.

Outside of the Jeff Lynne tracks,:
The Calculation –Perfect lead-off track. It makes me dance from room to room with the iPod on. Laughing With – outstanding recording
Human of the Year - that dramatic silence after the huge build up?? Stop your heart staggering.
One More Time With Feeling – still dancing with the iPod on.

Of course, some songs hit you better than others, some may come across too quirky or too cute. But overall, I’m totally gushing over it. All of it. Are Regina Spektor’s songs for everyone?? Of course not. But if any of them do grab you, be forewarned that it’ll probably be a while before it lets go.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

REGINA INTERVIEW

Posted to ELO Forever Message Boards:

FAR AND WIDE

Regina Spektor's Far is the Featured Album of the Week at WXPN, which those of you who have heard of Live at the World Cafe already know it's a great kickoff for a new album. WXPN is probably the biggest and best college (member supported) radio station in the country based out of the University of Pennsylvania and they have a huge following. Far will get heavy airplay, especially this week.

And even more exciting, there's an excellent article about Regina Spektor in the New York Times with a few new quotes from Jeff... sent via e-mail. :-)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

MORE HARRISON TO ROLL OUT?

UPDATE (July 2): Lynn Hoskins from Showdown, The Official ELO Mailing List has an official response to these reports and revealed it to the Beatles News Briefs at the Examiner.com...

"At some point, someday, Jeff may get involved. As of now, there is no schedule and there are no plans."

Original Post:

If reports are true, including this one from the NYC-based The Improper, there will some new George Harrison material with Jeff Lynne and Dhani Harrison at the helm again. Contactmusic.com is going a step further saying that Jeff Lynne has basically agreed to do it.

Olivia Harrison has been doing the rounds on behalf of Let It Roll: Songs by George Harrison and has been mentioning that George has a lot of unfinished material, some songs more completed than others.

That would be great news, but you know what? I have a bone to pick with the Harrison camp/record company. On top of the anger so many Harrison fans feel about Let It Roll, whether founded or not, the buyers of the physical CD now to contend with the fact they have to buy Let It Roll again to get it's digital only bonus track. I wish they would learn how to market in the digital age better.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF FAR

I'm actually waiting to write more about this until I get a CD... the stream quality is masking a lot of sounds.

Having said that, she has got to get high marks for this record.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

REVIEW: LET IT ROLL

As an ELO fan who has seen dozens of compilation CDs come and go over the years, I found it rather amusing to watch George Harrison fans completely blow a gasket over Let It Roll: Songs by George Harrison. Nevermind the track list, they wanted 2CDs.

I feel their pain. Really I do. Then again, it didn't take ELO until 2009 to get a career-spanning collection either.

But here we are at last. 19 songs with practically no pause in between the tracks whatsoever. Frankly I don't think there was room for it. All the hits the masses remembered are here: My Sweet Lord, Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth), What Is Life, Got My Mind Set On You and Blow Away, which was a radio staple when I was growing up... at least the radio station playing in my house at the time.

It struck fear into my heart when I read the live tracks were cross-faded with their neighboring tracks, two of them rarities. Turns out, not so bad. When We Was Fab (again not crediting Jeff Lynne as a co-writer) suffered the worst, but it works anyway. The lone Jeff Lynne-produced rarity Cheer Down sounds hugely improved, by the way.

So, what's the problem?? Well, three of his albums were completely shut out of this collection. Two of them are still awaiting the remastered treatment. I thought Crackerbox Palace would make a good way to shake up the track list's steady pop/rock flavor.

But folks, we're in the era of the iPod and/or digital playlist now. I've long thought that while having a good comp CD (or two) for the masses is essential, having the original songs in their original context (ie their original albums) should be a bigger priority. And in this new age of buying music piecemeal, it's easy to make a playlist with your favorite hits and select album tracks. Better comp CDs and remasters would offer unreleased session material, but let's not split hairs for this one. I wasn't expecting it on this. Bonus material on Harrison releases, in general, has been skimpy at best.

In the end, the songs sound great. It's a good CD to have handy in the car. And using this CD as a guideline, I'll build a George Harrison playlist that'll keep me happy for a while.

By the way, there's also chatter that there will be a George Harrison demo as a bonus track for the digital download edition of Let It Roll...

UPDATE: The bonus track is a demo of Isn't It A Pity... immediately following the full 7 minute version.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

PREVIEW

Samples from all 15 tracks from Regina Spektor's Far Special Edition are available to hear on Amazon.

I'm still deciding whether I'm gonna hold off until release day...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

ROLLING STONE ENDORSES

In the June 11, 2009 issue of Rolling Stone magazine, Regina Spektor's Blue Lips is on the weekly Hot List.

Quirky New York piano chick teams up with ELO/Wilbury mastermind Jeff Lynne. Heads up to sensative-type dudes: This is like Spanish fly for your Dave Eggers-loving S.O.

Wow.

(Hat tip: Dave)

Monday, June 8, 2009

FACING REGINA

FTM has a nice layout with pictures and the complete credits for the Jeff Lynne-produced tracks on Regina Spektor's Far. The Sword and The Pen is the fifth track they've worked on together and is included on the Far Special Edition and digital download.

Far is out two weeks from tomorrow... and the Laughing With EP (mentioned below this post) with Folding Chair is released tomorrow.

Friday, June 5, 2009

FAR BACK



Here's a look at Far's back side as we're now less than 3 weeks away from release day.




On Tuesday June 9, there will be a Laughing With EP for sale at indie record shops around the US.

Track list:
  • Laughing With
  • Folding Chair (produced by Jeff Lynne)
  • The Call
  • The Noise (live)
If you like what you hear so far, and you're able to, buy the CD and support the artist!! OK, enough preaching.

Monday, June 1, 2009

FOLDING CHAIR - LYRICS

Come and open up your folding chair next to me
My feet are buried in the sand and there’s a breeze
There’s a shadow, you can’t see my eyes
And the sea is just a wetter version of the skies

Let’s get a silver bullet trailer and have a baby boy
I’ll safety-pin his clothes all cool and you’ll grafitti up his toys
I’ve got a perfect body, though sometimes I forget
I’ve got a perfect body cause my eyelashes catch my sweat
Yes, they do, they do…

Now i’ve been sitting on this abandoned beach for years
Waiting for the salty water to cover up my ears
But every time the tide come in to take me home
I get scared, and I’m sitting here alone
Dreaming of the dolphin song…

Maybe one day you will understand
I don’t want nothing from you but to sweetly hold your hand
Till that day just please don’t be so down
Don’t make frowns, you silly clown

Just come and open up your folding chair next to me
My feet are buried in the sand and there’s a breeze
There’s a shadow, you can’t see my eyes
And the sea is just a wetter version of the skies

There’s a shadow, you can’t see my eyes…
There’s a shadow, you can’t see my eyes…

UNFOLDING FOLDING CHAIR

What is he hitting? Or is that clapping...??

This is going to cause critics to pull their hair out in clumps.

I think it's refreshing to hear him produce this way.

Her dolphin bark is hilarious.

NOW STREAMING - FOLDING CHAIR

Regina Spektor's Far continues to trickle out. Now, the Jeff Lynne-produced Folding Chair is streaming on Regina's MySpace page. Thoughts on that as well as soon I give it a few listens.

Friday, May 29, 2009

LET IT ADVANCE

The bidding war has commenced on the first advance promo of George Harrison's Let It Roll to hit eBay.

The commercial version is out June 16 with seven produced by Jeff Lynne titles...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

GETTING STOKED FOR THIS

From iTunes: (click to read the descriptions)

I'm kinda excited for her.

FAR MORE BONUS TRACKS

Regina Spektor's Far (the digital download) is now pre-orderable on iTunes.  It's showing three addtional studio tracks and one live version.
  • Time Is All Around
  • The Sword & The Pen
  • Riot Gear
  • The Flowers (Live- Begin To Hope Tour)
Could Jeff Lynne have produced one of these three bonus studio tracks.  Time will tell.  

And there are early indications that the Special Edition of Far (with a DVD) will include extra songs, interviews, and videos.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

SINGLES SCENE

Good discussion over at the ELO Forever Boards about the Regina Spektor album, including this from Shilo:

They really should have gone with BLUE LIPS as the first single, IMO. Not only is the chorus much more immediate and memorable than LAUGHING WITH, but it has a far better melody as well.

You know, I think the way they're doing it is smart.  The old "first single" rules are totally changed now.  Not just one song anymore.  Laughing With has very pointed lyrics that will connect, so that was a great "first single" choice.  Now it has a video, too.  But by putting out Blue Lips almost right after, it's suggesting the album is way more flavorful.  Blue Lips seems to be a great choice for that.  Tell me the first 30 seconds (or so) isn't absolutely brilliant.  Then, the way the song just busts open is perfection!

You can now buy the Laughing With video on iTunes.  Blue Lips should have a lavish video,too.  But then again, I would probably crap myself if they made one.  And by the way, they already have a new (lower budget) video of a third album track: Dance Anthem of the 80s...

I think this strategy will work for her. 

Thursday, May 21, 2009

DEAR REGINA FANS...

If there are Regina Spektor fans out there finding this blog to read/find out/hear more about Jeff, may I suggest:

ADD VINYL AND STIR

You have more options when you go to buy Regina Spektor's Far on June 23.
and now also on vinyl which may (or may not) come with a CD enclosed.  They've been doing that a lot lately.

Nothing yet about what will be on the DVD...

Regina's Laughing With & (the produced by Jeff Lynne) Blue Lips can be bought and downloaded on Amazon and iTunes.

And in case you missed it, here she is preforming Blue Lips on Later... With Jools Holland.
(Sorry about the formatting problem...)


Monday, May 18, 2009

THE IPOD'S SMOKING...

I'm starting to go bonkers over Blue Lips.

Why doesn't he produce music more often?

FIRST LIP(S) IMPRESSION

UPDATE: The song is uploaded to her MySpace page now and you can buy a download it starting tomorrow on Amazon.

First, I think it helps to follow along with the lyrics. (Below) I think when it hits me what the song is about, I'll go nuts.

I'm dropping all notions that Far will be a pop record.  This (in the case of Blue Lips) is actually two people with unique and amazing musical ideas.  There are enough Jeff Lynne flavors here to keep us interested, but there's something new and different going on, too.  Shame that there aren't more ELO fans on board with his producing.  His producing is still ripe, especially in a setting like this.

Her voice is amazing.  Her piano playing here is dreamy.  The strings are gorgeous.  And the way the song rises and falls in intensity gets more appealing over time.  This is one of those songs that you'll pick up on something new the more you play it.

I love it.

BLUE LIPS LYRICS

He stumbled into faith and thought,
"God, this is all there is."
The pictures in his mind arose,
And began to breathe.

And all the gods and all the worlds
Began colliding on a
Backdrop of blue.

Blue lips,
Blue veins.

He took a step, but then felt tired.
He said, "I'll rest a little while."
But when he tried to walk again,
He wasn't a child.

And all the people hurried fast,
Real fast,
And no one ever smiled.

Blue lips,
Blue veins.
Blue, the color of our planet from far, far away.

Blue lips,
Blue veins.
Blue, the color of our planet from far, far away.

He stumbled into faith and thought,
"God, this is all there is."
The pictures in his mind arose,
And began to breathe.
And no one saw, and no one heard.
They just followed the lead.
The pictures in his mind awoke,
And began to breed.

They started out beneath the knowledge tree.
Then they chopped it down to make white picket fences,
And, marching along the railroad tracks,
They smile real wide for the camera lense.
They made it past the enemy lines
Just to become enslaved in the assembly lines.

Blue lips,
Blue veins.
Blue,
The color of our planet from far, far away.

Blue lips,
Blue veins.
Blue,
The color of our planet from far, far away.

Blue,
The most human color.
Blue,
The most human color.
Blue,
The most human color.

Blue lips,
Blue veins.
Blue,
The color of our planet from far, far away. 

BLUE LIPS

Taking Blue Lips for a test run.  Will post a few thoughts a bit later today once it sinks in a bit.  Post what you think if you've heard it.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

LAUGHING WITH BLUE LIPS

Anyone buying tickets to Regina Spektor's concert (already sold out) at the Beacon Theatre in New York will be get a free 2-track download featuring Laughing With and the Jeff Lynne-produced Blue Lips on May 18.

There's a short sample of it on Amazon, but you can't buy the full version until Tuesday May 19.  The sample fades out just as you catch a good taste of any Jeff Lynne hallmark.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

AND MORE...

Amazon UK's listing for Regina Spektor's Far adds the track times:

1. The Calculation - 3:13 
2. Eet - 3:54 
3. Blue Lips - 3:34 
4. Folding Chair - 3:35 
5. Machine - 3:51 
6. Laughing With - 3:18 
7. Human of the Year - 4:12 
8. Two Birds - 3:23 
9. Dance Anthem of the 80's - 3:44 
10. Genius Next Door - 5:10   (is that a misprint?)  :-) 
11. Wallet - 2:30 
12. One More Time With Feeling - 4:03 
13. Man of a Thousand Faces - 3:12 

Monday, May 11, 2009

MORE FAR DETAILS

Big Hassle Media has what appears to be Regina Spektor's press release for her new album, Far.  

Jeff Lynne produced:
Blue Lips
Genius Next Door
Folding Chair
The Wallet

He produced a total of five tracks for her, the fifth could conceivably come along with the Special Edition or the digital edition or perhaps some other version of the album down the road.  Stay tuned.

Oh, and we'll aparently be hearing Jeff's voice on the record, too.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

BY THE WAY...

Laughing With was posted roughly 36 hours ago.  It already has almost 30,000 hits.

Friday, May 8, 2009

FAR TRACK LIST

Regina put up the track list for Far on her MySpace page, where you can listen to the first single, Laughing With...

and Laughing With is quickly growing on me.

Anyway, the track list (no producer credits yet):
1. The Calculation
2. Eet
3. Blue Lips
4. Folding Chair
5. Machine
6. Laughing With
7. Human of the Year
8. Two Birds
9. Dance Anthem
10. Genius next door
11. Wallet
12. One more time with feeling
13. Man of a Thousand Faces

LAUGHING WITH...

Looks like there's a tweak to the album artwork...

More importantly, the first single from Regina Spektor's Far is up on MySpace... I can't confirm anything yet, but even though the vocal is bone dry, I'm guessing Laughing With is not one of the Jeff Lynne tracks.  If this track is any indication, though, this CD will be completely unconventional.

Now, I'm psyched...

I find it kinda gripping either way.  Post your thoughts on it...

Monday, May 4, 2009

FAR OUT ARTWORK

Here's a nice way to kick off a Monday morning.  We now have the artwork for Regina Spektor's new album Far with (perhaps) five Jeff Lynne productions on it.  I imagine the track list and producer credits are not too far behind.

Here are some links to the artwork and a few wallpapers.  By the way... love!  it!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

STARTING TO ROLL ALONG...


Amazon is the first show what's likely the artwork for Let It Roll: The Songs of George Harrison.

UPDATE: The track list :
1. Got My Mind Set On You 
2. Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth) 
3. The Ballad Of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll) 
4. My Sweet Lord 
5. While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Live - Concert For Bangladesh Soundtrack) 
6. All Things Must Pass 
7. Any Road 
8. This Is Love 
9. All Those Years Ago 
10. Marwa Blues 
11. What Is Life 
12. Rising Sun 
13. When We Was Fab 
14. Something (Live - Concert For Bangladesh Soundtrack) 
15. Blow Away 
16. Cheer Down 
17. Here Comes The Sun (Live - Concert For Bangladesh Soundtrack) 
18. I Don't Want To Do It 
19. Isn't It A Pity

FTM'S FRONT PAGE

For the record, there's a nice shot of Jeff's interview at the ASCAP I Create Music Expo on Face The Music Online's front page.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

SO FAR...


No track list or producer credits yet, but it appears Regina Spektor's Far will also be released as a Special Edition with a DVD.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

HERE IS (MAYBE) THE NEWS??


There's an interesting post on Reuter's Fan Fare blog ahead of Jeff Lynne's interview and Golden Note Award on Friday in Los Angeles.  It's the first real sign that he's been working on his own material since the lead-up to Zoom in 2001.

Lynne, the bearded Svengali famed for leading the art-rock band Electric Light Orchestra, is also working on a solo album, which he hopes to release later this year. It would be the follow-up to his first solo outing, 1990’s “Armchair Theatre.”
Although we've been down this road before in terms of timeline, it's encouraging.  And, says the report:
He has just finished producing five tracks at his home studio with singer/songwriter Regina Spektor, and plans to work on some songs with Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh.
Hopefully that means five songs that all made the album.  We're all still awaiting Far's finalized track list.  The Joe Walsh material will probably take a while since The Eagles are touring at least through July.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A MUST HEAR...

UPDATE (April 22):  The full 90 version is online through Saturday on BBC6 Music.

If you missed BBC Radio 2's The Record Producers with Roy Wood, you only have a few days to hear it online.  There's a great break-down of 10538 Overture (among other tracks) using the multi-tracks.
Note: The link will be become a dead end on Monday.

This is partly why I was dismayed that the real take 1 of 10538 Overture wasn't issued even as an online bonus mp3.  It's great listening.