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The Crossing - July 2005 Edition


July marks the return of Jay Farrar and his band Son Volt. It’s been seven years since the last Son Volt studio album entitled Wide Swing Tremelo. Belleville, Illinois native Jay Farrar has been busy with a solo career releasing two albums, two ep’s (one studio/one live) and a live CD/DVD combo under his own name. Now he’s reassembled his old band with three new members to accompany him. The new album is entitled Okemah and the Melody of Riot. Whatever the title means, it does conjure up some images. Okemah is the name of Woody Guthrie’s hometown in Oklahoma, whereas the ideas of melody and riot combine ideas of something soothing with something dissonant. Sounds like a pretty good description of an alt-country/Americana type sound. I think that’s what we can expect with this
album. Probably less of the (mild) sonic experimentation that was featured on Jay’s two solo albums and probably more of a return to a
straight up rootsy sound. But, that’s just guesswork. We’ll find out on July 12th. Either way, I’m fairly certain we won’t be inundated with the sonic adventurousness similar to the likes of what former bandmate Jeff Tweedy is doing with his band Wilco. No, Jay tends to keep it more down-home. Which I think is what makes him so endearing to those who like the Americana sound. Jay writes with impressions and snapshots and his music and voice is always perfect for a drive down a back country road. I’m glad he’s back under the Son Volt name and we can look forward to more of that sound. It’s basically the second phase of a three part career so far. First, his band, the extremely influential Uncle Tupelo shared with Jeff Tweedy, then his three albums with Son Volt, then his foray into a solo career, now
a return to Son Volt, only with an entirely different band. Keep in mind, the recent release of the Austin City Limits DVD for Son Volt, plus the new Retrospective released last month covering Son Volt from 1995 to 2000. That collection contains ten out of twenty tracks not found on the three Son Volt  albums. Which makes it well worth seeking out for those who want more. The next chapter of Son Volt is forthcoming. May Jay ride on....   

Lots of Music on offer here, in absolutely no order whatsoever...

Recently released and not mentioned in last edition:

  • The Jayhawks - “Live From The Women’s Club - Volume 2” 
  • Sexsmith & Kerr - “Destination Unknown” (Ron Sexsmith and The Rheostatic’s Don Kerr.) 
  • The Vanity Project - “The Vanity Project” (Steven Page of Barenaked Ladies.)
  • Pat McGee Band - “Save Me” 
  • The Tears - “Here Come The Tears” (Suede’s Brett Anderson and Bernard Butler.)
  • Steve Howe - “Spectrum” 
  • Gary Hoey - “Monster Surf” 
  • Haste The Day - “When Everything Falls” 
  • String Cheese Incident - “One Step Closer” w/DVD 
  • George Strait - “Somewhere Down In Texas”
  • World Leader Pretend - “Punches” 
  • Departure - “Dirty Words” (import.)
  • Graham Parker - “Steady Nerves” (reissue.) 
  • Tomas Bodin - “I Am” 
  • Long Wave - “There’s A Fire” 
  • Runrig - “River Sessions” (1982 show.)
  • The Strawbs - “Live At Nearfest” (import.)
  • KGB - “KGB” (1975 debut album; first time on CD.) 
  • Bruce Dickinson - Five remastered solo reissues.
  • Fates Warning - “Awaken The Guardian” (Remastered reissue w/bonus demos/live CD and a 13 track DVD.) 
  • Porcupine Tree - “Up The Downstair” (reissue.)
  • Stutterfly - “And We Are Bled Of Color”
  • Paul Gilbert - “Spaceship One”
  • Lene Marlin - “Lost In A Moment” (import.)
  • David Mead - “Wherever You Are”
  • Paul Weller - “Stanley Road” (2 CD’s; 1 DVD reissue.) 
  • Electric Light Orchestra - “All Over The World: The Very Best Of” (2 CD import.)
  • Fairpoint Convention - “Lasting Spirit: The Collection” (3 CD import.) 
  • Engineers - “Engineers” 
  • Adrian Young & Little Sadie - “Art Of Virtue” 
  • Hayes Carll - “Little Rock”
  • Ellen Foley - “Night Out”
  • Long Beach Shortbus - “Flying Ship Of Fantasy”
  • Matthew West - “History”
  • Sugar Ray - “Best Of Sugar Ray”
  • Buckwheat Zydeco - “Jackpot” 
  • Adam Carroll - “Far Away Blues” 
  • Clutch - “Robot Hive: Exodus” 
  • The Transplants - “Haunted Cities” 
  • CKY - “An Answer Can Be Found” 
  • Leela James - “A Change Is Gonna Come”
  • Anthony Hamilton - “Soulife” 
  • Hot Apple Pie - “Hot Apple Pie” 
  • Lucero - “Nobody’s Darlings” 
  • Maren Morris - “Walk On” 
  • Tom Pacheco - “Rebel Spring” 
  • Tom Russell & The Sore Losers - “Lucky On The Side” 
  • Michelle Shocked - “Threesome” (3 CD set.)  
  • Jimi Hendrix - “Electric Ladyland: Classic Albums” (DVD.) 
  • The Pretenders - “Greatest Hits” (DVD.) 
  • Johnny Cash - “Ridin’ The Rails” (DVD, Documentary from 1974.) 
  • Tom Russell - “Hearts On The Line” (DVD.) 
  • Cursed - DVD 
  • Diary Of A Mad Black Woman - DVD 
  • Gunner Palace - DVD 
  • Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers - “Live at Billy Bob’s Texas” 
  • Sufjan Stevens - “Illinois” 
  • Seven Nations - “Thanks For Waiting” (new date.) 
  • Boo Radley’s - “Find The Way Out” (Import anthology; 2 CD set.) 
  • Steve Walsh - “Shadowman” (Singer/keyboardist of Kansas.)  
  • Alice Cooper - “Dirty Diamonds”    
  • Larissa - “Texture Vision”
  • Thin Lizzy - “Greatest Hits” (DVD.) 
  • Hide And Seek - DVD  
  • Bride And Prejudice - DVD 
  • Prozac Nation - DVD 
  • Twenty Bucks - DVD 
  • Son Volt - “Okemah And The Melody Of Riot” 
  • Keane - “Live Recordings 2004” (import; 6 track EP.)
  • Arcade Fire - “Arcade Fire” (7 track EP.) 
  • Willie Nelson - “Countryman” 
  • Roseanne Cash - “Blue Moons and Broken Hearts Anthology 1979-1995” (2 CD set.) 
  • Ulver - “Blood Inside” 
  • Thirteen Senses - “The Invitation” (import.) 
  • The Tons - “The Tons” 
  • The Knitters - “The Modern Sounds Of The Knitters” 
  • All-American Rejects - “Move Along” 
  • Jeff Klein - “Hustler” 
  • Jamie Brockett - “Remember The Wind And The Rain” 
  • Jamieson Parker - “Sleepwalker” 
  • Brandi Carlise - “Brandi Carlise” 
  • Tony Iommi & Glenn Hughes - “Fused” 
  • Fleetwood Mac - “Boston Blues” (2 CD live set from 1970.) 
  • Carole King - “The Living Room Tour” (live.) 
  • Violent Femmes - “Permanent Record: Very Best Of” 
  • Million Dollar Baby - DVD 
  • A Very Long Engagement - DVD (new date.)
  • Doug Pinnick - “Emotional Animal”  
  • Switchfoot - “Nothing Is Sound” 
  • Marjorie Fair - “Self Help Serenade” (import.)  
  • Damien Dempsey - “Shots” (import.) 
  • Frank Black - “Honeycomb”  
  • 30 Seconds To Mars - “The Battle of One”  
  • Keith Emerson - “Hammer It Out: The Anthology” (2 CD import.) 
  • Carly Simon - “Moonlight Serenade” 
  • Constantine - DVD  * Ice Princess -DVD
  • Bob Mould - “Body Of Song” (Former Husker Du and Sugar frontman.)
  • Chris Whitley - “Soft Dangerous Shores”
  • Fruit Bats - “Spelled In Bones” 
  • Brian Setzer - “Rockabilly Riot Volume 1 - A Tribute To Sun Records”  
  • 311 - “TBA” 
  • The Upside Of Anger - DVD  
  • Vernon, Florida - DVD 
  • Steamboy - DVD 
  • XXX: State of the Union - DVD 
  • Michael Penn - “Mr. Hollywood, Jr.” 
  • Careen - “Crash Couture” (reissue.) 
  • Earth, Wind & Fire - “Illumination” 
  • Various Artists - The Dick Cavett Show: 1969-1975 (3 DVD set includes appearances by Paul Simon, George Harrison, David Bowie, Joni Mitchell, Janis Joplin and Jefferson Airplane, etc.) 
  • Alexander - DVD
  • Downfall - DVD
  • Guess Who? - DVD
  • Nickel Creek - “Why Should The Fire Die?”  
  • Carrie Newcomer - “Regulars And Refugees: More Stories From The Diner”  
  • Ryan Adams - “Jacksonville City Nights” (a honky-tonk, country type album.) 
  • Cursive - “The Difference Between House and Home” 
  • Hootie & The Blowfish - “Looking For Lucky” (We can all rest easy now.) 
  • Because Of Winn-Dixie - DVD
  • Kung Fu Hustle - DVD
  • The BoDeans - “Homebrewed: Live at the Pabst Theater” (2 CD live set from New Year’s Eve 2004.) 
  • Stryper - “Reborn” 
  • The Wedding Date - DVD 
  • The Brown Bunny - DVD
  • Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - “Howl” 
  • A Lot Like Love - DVD
  • Journey - “Generations” (import.) 
  • Our Lady Peace - “Healthy In Paranoid Times” 
  • Sahara - DVD
  • Charlie Sexton - “Cruel And Gentle Things”
  • King’s X - TBA 
  • Sheryl Crow - TBA 
  • Ric Ocasek - “Nexterday”

LYRIC(S) of the MONTH:

Half the trouble's in the asking. I know you're not the kind  to wait around. Taking chances with no intent to make a  killing. Too much living is no way to die. Jay Farrar (Son Volt) from the song “Loose String” off the album Trace.
And I can’t complain, ‘cause I know you’re around. Jay Farrar (Son Volt) from the song “Picking Up The Signal” off the album Straightaways.

Happy 4th of July everyone! Have a great month! Be safe! 

See you in August...

P.S. This edition marks the one year anniversary of The Crossing. Thanks for reading and sharing the ride!

Chris Barlow


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