Sight & Sound

Listen: Bruce Springsteen – “High Hopes”

One of the most memorable things about seeing Bruce Springsteen live this past March was his incredible energy through the near 4-hour show. Springsteen shows no signs of slowing down either as a new album, his eighteenth, is due out January 2014. The new material will be followed by another trek across the globe (including Australia) next February.

The album, titled High Hopes, features the reworked title track originally recorded back in 1995 as part of the Greatest Hits sessions. The song has been re-recorded and will be the lead off single from the album, and the new version can be heard below. The new version of the song came from the suggestion of touring member and Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, who had convinced Springsteen to add the song to their recent set list.

Springsteen recalls the events leading up the song’s reworked Morellosization;

[quote]”I was working on a record of some of our best unreleased material from the past decade when Tom Morello (sitting in for Steve during the Australian leg of our tour) suggested we ought to add “High Hopes” to our live set.  I had cut “High Hopes,” a song by Tim Scott McConnell of the LA based Havalinas, in the 90?s.  We worked it up in our Aussie rehearsals and Tom then proceeded to burn the house down with it.  We re-cut it mid tour at Studios 301 in Sydney along with “Just Like Fire Would,” a song from one of my favorite early Australian punk bands, The Saints (check out “I’m Stranded”).  Tom and his guitar became my muse, pushing the rest of this project to another level.  Thanks for the inspiration Tom.”[/quote]


Album Reviews, Headlines

Review: Arliss Nancy – Wild American Runners

arlissTaking cues from Springsteen, The Hold Steady and a little Gaslight Anthem, Arliss Nancy put the American in American Rock Music. Poetic, blue-collared and soaked with the bourbon-tongued acidity of heartfelt songs written by the downtrodden, Wild American Runners is a terrific and absorbing journey through the mind of songwriter Cory Call.

6 years into their Arliss Nancy careers, Wild American Runners features songs that bounce and soar to an amalgamation to Southern flavored guitar riffs, piano accompaniments, sturdy percussion work and Call’s gruff vocals. “Nathaniel” is a terrific keys-strewn number; mid tempo, aching and beautifully, while “Hold It Together” is a good sampling of the band’s Gaslight Anthem-lean. In “Bloodletter”, the band carve an anthemic dusty highway number that goes in unison to proceeding melancholy grace of the title track. The latter being Call at his most Springsteen.

Much of the album is perfect for long night drives or times where one needs to be in their own mind. There is as much heartfelt in here as there is poise and honesty. While the style isn’t too distinguishable from their influences, the substance here is as profound as the bands and musicians they draw lineage from.

You may wait for the entire album to find that song that defines the ethos and sound of the band in a perfect way, but in the album closer “Vonnegut”, you find just that. It’s a beautiful song, and ends Wild American Runners on a great note. You may not have heard of Arliss Nancy yet but don’t wait too long before you do. This is American rock music at its best.



Listen to “Vonnegut”:


Arliss Nancy’s Wild American Runners is out now on Black Numbers.


CMJ Film Festival 2010 announces lineup

New York’s annual CMJ Music & Film Festival has announced this year’s lineup for the film showcase.

The major films on show include motion pictures starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, Heather Graham, Danny Glover and more, and includes the music documentary The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town, detailing the making of the Bruce Springsteen album Darkness on the Edge of Town.

Here is the full lineup of films on show for the showcase. The CMJ Festival kicks off October 19 and runs on through until October 23rd. A full list of artists performing can be found here.

* LOVE & OTHER DRUGS: Anne Hathaway portrays Maggie, an alluring free spirit who won’t let anyone – or anything – tie her down. But she meets her match in Jamie (Jake Gyllenhaal), whose relentless and nearly infallible charm serve him well with the ladies and in the cutthroat world of pharmaceutical sales. Maggie and Jamie’s evolving relationship takes them both by surprise, as they find themselves under the influence of the ultimate drug: love.

* SON OF MORNING: starring Heather Graham, Danny Glover, Lorraine Bracco, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Jesse Bradford: A stylized satire about the media in the age of the 24-hour news cycle, the film tells the story of a copywriter whose religious experience causes him to become the most famous – and perhaps the most exploited – man in the world. Featuring musical contributions from: Cold War Kids, Airborne Toxic Event, the Bravery, Andrew Bird, Cahn & Yang and more.

* THE PROMISE: DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN: Grammy Award® and Emmy Award®-winning filmmaker, Thom Zimny takes us into the studio with Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band for the recording of their pivotal album, Darkness on the Edge of Town.

* MUSIC: Following his highly acclaimed “Wisdom,” Andrew Zuckerman turns his unique photographic perspective to music. In a film that features 50 influential musicians, composers and producers from across the musical map, Zuckerman looks at the impact these eminent music makers have had on their respective genres, and invites the audience to understand more about their unique perspectives on life. Zuckerman interviews including Iggy Pop, Laurie Anderson, Graham Nash, Ziggy Marley, Henry Rollins and others.

* IMOGEN HEAP: Go behind the scenes and explore the three-year journey of Imogen Heap’s making of the Grammy Award winning album, Ellipse.

* CIRCUS MAXIMUS: tells the disturbingly amusing story of an established screenwriter who has severely neglected a firm deadline with a major Hollywood studio. Threatened with disastrous consequences for his negligence, the protagonist attempts to complete a feature length screenplay over the course of a solitary weekend. CIRCUS MAXIMUS progressively unfolds as all characters within the script come to life in their respective stories.

The Official International Film Festival at CMJ. 6 films shot on 4 continents and in languages as diverse as Mandarin, Mongolian, French, German and Congolese.

* Kinshasa Symphony [Germany] New York Premiere
* E Ji (Mother) [China/Mongolia] US Premiere
* Gainsbourg and His Girls [France] US Premiere
* The Prodigy/ L’ Enfant Prodige [Canada]
* Taipei Exchange [Taiwan]: New York Premiere
* One Day [Taiwan] US premiere 2010

Up-and-coming feature and documentary programming:
* The Rescue
* War Child
* Kinshasa Symphony
* Someday Hero
* Just Jane
* Context
* Perry St
* Passenger Side
* The Other Side
* Los 4 McNifikos
* No Fun City
* Firewall of Sound
* Hard Rock Havana
* Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone
* Inside Out


Video: The Gaslight Anthem – “American Slang”

The Gaslight Anthem have just unveiled the video for “American Slang”. Set to New York’s monotholic backdrop, it embodies the band’s beat generation appeal and working class rock n’ roll attitude.

Its aesthetic is unmistakable and evokes all those wonderfully old Bruce Springsteen videos … a comparison that, I’m sure, the band are no strangers to. Yet in an era where videos tend to either embrace excess to no end and/or seek to push hipster lo-fi to extremes (Ratatat’s “Party With Children“- which I dislike with extreme severity), it’s nice to see a video that keeps the essence of the music and style genuine.

“American Slang”