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20050128

Ben Kweller is going to be Conor Oberst's running mate in the next US social revolution. He sings from the heart with the anger of a generation left behind. This is a cool 3 song exclusive with just Ben and his guitar. Rolling Stone Exclusive If you dig, get into his 2 full length albums next and then move onto the Bens with my two other favorite Ben's (other than Ben Kartzman of course), Lee and Folds. - G$

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20050127

Super Furry Animals | Songbook Volume One
Songbook Volume One boasts 21 of the band's most memorable single releases, culled from SFA's six groundbreaking studio albums: Fuzzy Logic, Radiator, Guerrilla, Rings Around The World, Mwng and Phantom Power. It includes the original studio version of “The Man Don't Give A Fuck,” rare b-side “Ice Hockey Hair” (never previously featured on an album), and “Blerwytirhwng” (taken from the band's pre-Creation debut EP titled "Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyndrobwllantysilio-gogogochynygofod (In Space)”). Try saying that three times fast. Single after sparkling single tingles your brain with delight. Whether singing in English or in Welsh, the genius of these pop chameleons shines through. - Linda R.




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20050126

The Mars Volta | The Live EP
I am ecstatic that this amazing piece of sonic art is now available on Rhapsody. 4 live tracks from, in my opinion, the greatest contemporary rock band in the world. Culled from different performances from a 2003 world tour. Don't let the EMO or Post Punk labels fool you. If you had to categorize this band call them Neo-psychedelic as they resurrect the ghosts of Led Zeppelin with the prog leanings of Pink Floyd. Punishing frenetic walls of sound interspersed with sweet melodies and spaced out sound effects. Listen to the very unique style from up and coming shredder Omar Rodriguez Lopez and a vocalist who can sing like God, Cedric Zavala Bixler.
-MY-

TK note: new Volta single "The Widow" is also now available through the magic of Rhapsody.

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Dan Bern
We just signed Messenger Records to license their catalog up on Rhapsody, which means we can finally listen to some amazing Dan Bern albums and EPs. Albums like New American Language, Fleeting Days, as well as EPs like Anthems, The Swastika EP and The World Cup EP.
If you are a novice, here's a "best of" playlist to get you started with this legend.
"At the bottom of the ocean, you might find a pearl...don't let your heart get broken by this world."

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20050125

Citizen Cope | The Clarence Greenwood Recordings
One-man-band Greenwood does a Marshall Mathers here, titling a record after his given name, not his nom de plume. By stripping the sound of his well-produced debut down to the bone, Greenwood dials into a new urgency on cuts "A Bullet and a Target" and "Penitentiary." What hasn't changed is the man's musical gumbo of rap, folk, rock and 1970s soul. Standout tracks are "D'artagnan's Theme" and "My Way Home" - both with hooks that will catch you if you give it a chance. The more you listen, the better it gets. - TK/JM/G$

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20050124

Pat Metheny | One Quiet Night
Discover why Metheny's considered the greatest guitarist of his generation as he sits down alone with his acoustic. Even causal listeners will want to hear the sumptuous cover of Norah Jones' "Don't Know Why," while alt-rockers may think that Johnny Marr is really the one playing on "Song For the Boys." - Nick D.

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20050122

The Redwalls | Universal Blues
If you're one of those people who wonders why more bands don't sound like The Beatles, then The Redwalls are for you. The rock is a little more modern, the revolution is a littlre more colorful, but the harmonies are so early 60's and the blues are Universal. Listen to "You'll Never Know" a few times and you'll be hooked. Thanks to Roo Dimes for the recommendation on The Redwalls. - TK
P.S. I forgot to mention these kids just graduated from high school in Deerfield, IL.

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20050119

The Above Ground Sound of Jake Holmes (1967) is downright amazing. Thanks to my new friend Dean for alerting me to this story of a psychedelic jazz pickin' folkie ahead of his time. Jake wrote "Dazed and Confused" and played it when he opened for The Yardbirds one time, and Jimmy Page sorta picked it up and worked it into his repertoire with Led Zeppelin. You've got to read the story of Jake Holmes, it is fascinating. As Will Shade put it, "How many musicians can claim to have been in a comedy team with Joan Rivers, written a concept album for Frank Sinatra, had one of their songs stolen by Led Zeppelin and hung out with Nelson Mandela?" Listen to The Above Ground Sound as well as A Letter to Katherine December, both revived from the dead on vinyl by itsaboutmusic.com. - TK

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So, I'm totally overwhelmed by the amount of work I'm facing at the moment, so I REALLY shouldn't be taking the time to write this, but I really needed to get it out there as I've finally "gotten" this album. Reid Genauer & The Assembly of Dust's) The Honest Hour. I've heard the album probably 15 times now, it was good from the first listen and each listen it has gotten a little better, but I still hadn't put this as a go to album, well this listen has just changed that. If you are into 70's singer-songwriters with a jazzy influence (I know this eliminates some of you, Cirrito), this album is right up your alley, think Jackson Browne meets Steely Dan. The changes are familiar but there is something about each one that is unique. Genauer's story telling is top notch and the more I listen the hooks get stronger and stronger. Give it a listen (a few times) sometime soon, it'll do you well. - G$

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20050117

Ratatat | Ratatat
Check this Ratatat album I have been digging a lot. Somehow it comes across as a mixture of lo-fi tronica and hip-hop and Brian May on guitar. The last song "Cherry" made it onto my Best of 2004 mix. It's really worth a few listens, and is better than Jon wrote in his review, "What happens when you combine red hot power chords and choppy drum loops? Ratatat's album is a mixture of blustery, squawking guitar that sounds like it was lifted from the worst metal song ever recorded and then placed on top of skewed, chunky beats. The result is oddly entrancing. - TK

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20050116

U2 | How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb
U2 have their feet firmly back on rock 'n' roll terra firma; How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb is, for the most part, a lively affair. Nothings rocks as solidly as "Vertigo," but songs such as "All Because of You," "City of Blinding Lights" and "A Man And A Woman" would sound at home on The Joshua Tree, and that's heavy praise, indeed! - Linda R.

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20050115

Handsome Boy Modeling School | White People
Genre-bending super producers well-known for their diverse sound and eclectic projects, Prince Paul and Dan the Automator are back at it again with this follow-up to 1999's So…How’s Your Girl? The star-studded guest list is all over the place, with a roster that includes De La Soul, Del, Mike Patton, RZA, Mars Volta, and even John Oates! Why does Jack Johnson seem to hook me even when I swear I am not a fan? Bugged-out, but fresh mix of tracks. - Brolin W.

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20050110

The Honeydogs rock. They're one of the best things that came out of Minneapolis in the 90s. They sound like the love child of Adam Duritz and Paul McCartney, they've got some of the best pop changes I've heard in a while. I was a big fan of some of their past albums, but this is their crowning achievement, a pop-opera called 10,000 years, about our society's scary future, released by Michael Penn's label, Tinderbox Records. They are the classic example of a major label destroying a band, more people should know their music. (Their album came out the week that Mercury switched presidents from Ed Ekstine to Danny Goldberg, and Goldberg made sure that none of Ekstines acts had a chance to succeed, a side bar, randomly our friend Adam Haft signed them to Mercury as their A&R guy in '97) ...10,000 Years. Check it out, it is one of the best melodic pop-rock albums I've heard in awhile. - gmoney

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20050108

Loquat | Before the Momentum
San Francisco's Loquat are often compared to Bjork or the Sundays, but on this EP their own dreamy style radiates light through the fog. Kylee Swenson's mercurial voice floats above the band's tasteful pop sensibilities, which seem to pull from Brit pop as much as American indie rock. The Smiths cover is stunning. "Dream Pop" fans (like brother Don Law), this one's for you.

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20050104

The Rolling Stone Top 500 radio station is now in effect. Literally the top 500 songs of all time. Listen to the best of the Beatles, Zeppelin, The Stones, Elton, Michael Jackson, Al Green, Otis Redding, The Police, Elvis Presley, and the list goes on...but stops at 500.

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20050102

FREAK OUT! Frank Zappa has finally arrived, back from the dead, in full force, streaming like there's no tomorrow! Yet there are so many tomorrows, it will take you days to listen to the 52 Frank Zappa albums live in Rhapsody! From classics like Apostrophe/Overnight Sensation, Weasels Ripped My Flesh, The Grand Wazoo, We're Only In It For The Money, to the introductory jammy Hot Rats, and the collegiate classic Sheik Yerbouti.

There is also no shortage of live material, from the classic Live Mothers from the Fillmore East in 1971 to Zappa in New York, as well as "the bests things on there" (according to The 'yellow' Shark), the You Can't Do That On Stage series, including (Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, Volume 4, Volume 5, Volume 6). But if you can only listen to one thing right now, listen to my favorite guitar solo of all time, the "Watermelon in Easter Hay" from Guitar, Disc 2. Get sucked in and Sheik Yerbouti!

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20050101

Future Soundtrack For America
The Future Soundtrack For America came out around the elections of last year, an indie rock mix tape about the way it could/should be donated by a conscious bunch of artists. MoveOn.Org put together this excellent mix of tracks that are occasionally politically themed but more often than not just show the artists at their most powerful. OK Go's Zombies' cover is top-notch, as are the contributions from R.E.M., David Byrne, Sleater-Kinney, Bright Eyes, Ben Kweller and especially Tom Waits. - Jon P.

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