Saturday, March 24, 2012

Reissues, Dead Can Dance tour and more...

I have a couple of topics on hand for future blog posts, but for now I will talk about some current music news. The first is reissues, which is always interesting. The first is of course, the 40th anniversary of one of David Bowie's most important albums, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. The concept album was originally released in 1972 following the album Hunky Dory. It contains such classics as Ziggy Stardust, Moonage Daydream, Five Years, Lady Stardust and Rock and Roll Suicide. You might want to check out my list of top 25 David Bowie songs for a remainder of how amazing this album is. There was a 30th anniversary released in 2002 with a few remastered songs, but very little changes. This deluxe editon promises to include remasters from the original London-based Trident Studios engineer Ray Staff. It will be released on CD, vinyl and DVD-audio. This is scheduled to come out on June 5. Here's the full tracklisting:
I, for one, am looking forward more to a future reissue of David Bowie's more experimental albums such as Low and Lodger.

In related news, Record Store Day (April 21) is coming soon. Look for David Bowie to release a limited edition vinyl of Starman. Record Store Day was started 5 years ago when over 700 independent record stores decided to come together to help release limited edition albums and singles (mostly on vinyl). Check your local record store to get your hands on some of these albums and singles. Look for exclusive releases from David Bowie, Arcade Fire, Devo, Florence and the Machine, Garbage, Iggy Pop and the Stooges, Joey Ramone, Leonard Cohen, M83, The Clash, Bruce Springsteen, T. Rex, colored vinyl reissued of 3 iconic soundtracks (Empire Records, The Breakfast Club and Pretty In Pink) and tons more. Full list here!

Also being reissued finally is the Isn't Anything reissue from the band My Bloody Valentine. Also scheduled to be reissued from the band is their first 4 EPs (reissued with 3 never before heard songs!), and the seminal album Loveless in a double cd set. This looks to be the first time any of their albums, (aside from Loveless) has been reissued. This is scheduled to be released on May 7.

Here is the My Bloody Valentine "EPs 1988-1991" tracklist:

Disc 1:
1. You Made Me Realise #
2. Slow #
3. Thorn #
4. Cigarette in Your Bed #
5. Drive It All Over Me #
6. Feed Me With Your Kiss $
7. I Believe $
8. Emptiness Inside $
9. I Need No Trust $
10. Soon %
11. Don’t Ask Why %
12. Off Your Face %

Disc 2:
1. To Here Knows When ^
2. Swallow ^
3. Honey Power ^
4. Moon Song ^
5. Instrumental no. 2 !
6. Instrumental no.1 !
7. Glider [full-length version] &
8. Sugar +
9. Angel *
10. Good for You *
11. How Do You Do It *

# from You Made Me Realise EP
$ from Feed Me With Your Kiss EP
% from Glider EP
^ from Tremolo EP
! free 7-inch w/ first 5000 copies of Isn’t Anything
& B-side, “Soon (The Andrew Weatherall Mix)” 12-inch
+ promo-only B-Side on “Only Shallow” (France only)
* previously unreleased

Summer is a busy touring season for most bands. This year, the one and only Dead Can Dance is coming to Los Angeles. I just saw their presale on their website. It's going to be a great show. Dead Can Dance is described as a " ethereal neoclassical duo formed in Melbourne, Australia, in August 1981, by Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry." Australian music historian Ian McFarlane described Dead Can Dance as having an ambient style of world music that "constructed soundscapes of mesmerising grandeur and solemn beauty...with African polyrhythms, Gaelic folk, Gregorian chants, Middle Eastern mantras, and art-rock."

I suppose that is the best way to describe them. Words are truly indescribable when it comes to the music of Dead Can Dance. There is no other band I could possible compare them too, because no one else truly sounds like them or truly takes me to different worlds. They have covered songs from the 1600s and even before. They use old instruments, Lisa Gerrard doesn't truly use words when singing. She sings in a made up language, it sounds so beautiful. Their albums were released on the 4AD label here in the US, (which also includes some of my favorite bands including Bauhaus, This Mortal Coil, Clan of Xymox, Cocteau Twins, and the Pixies, among others) Some of their albums have even charted on the Billboard 200 and the world music charts, yet they were never a household name. Dead Can Dance released the live album, Toward The Within in 1994, recorded live at Santa Monica, California. This truly shows them shine as a live band. Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry's vocals have never sounded so good. They broke up shortly after the release of the 1996 album, Spiritchaser. Lisa Gerrard has had a successful career doing soundtracks for films such as Gladiator, Whale Rider and various solo albums. Brendan Perry has released about 2 solo albums since then. Dead Can Dance reunited in 2005 and went on a world tour. In 2011, Brendan Perry released the solo album, Ark and went on tour with Robin Guthrie (formerly of Cocteau Twins), shortly after this tour, he annouced that Dead Can Dance was reuniting again. If you go on the Dead Can Dance official website, you can download some live tracks they have recorded recently, all free! Now they are currently planning a North American and European tour. I cannot wait to see them! Here are some clips to show you the beauty in their music.

This is Rakim from their live album, Toward The Within. I love all the instruments in this song and the combination of Lisa and Brendan's voice.
This is Host of the Seraphim. This song reminds me of the end of the world, it is very apocalyptic. This video contains clips of the movie, Baraka. This song was also used to great effect on the movie The Mist in it's final scene, which remains one of the best, most depressing final scenes in history.
The Carnival is Over. One of the few videoclips that Dead Can Dance has done. I love all the striking imagery in this.
 Sanvean. This song was only released on the album Toward The Within. It was later recorded for Lisa Gerrard's solo album, The Mirror Pool. Very haunting vocals. A great introduction to the group. Very spiritual. This is a religious experience.
Severance. Brendan Perry shines in this song. This is one of my favorites. I have to be in a certain mood to listen to it. I guess the same can be said of any song from Dead Can Dance. This song was also covered by Bauhaus on their live album, Gotham in 1998.

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