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The Crossing - June 2006 Edition

Hello again. Welcome back. The onslaught of Rock continues this month and the months ahead... Indeed, it’s a busy time in the world of
music and movies, for that matter. But, what we talk about here is music so we’ll stick to that. We may indeed have a release date for the new Tom Petty finally. Supposedly it will be out on the 25th of July. But, we’ll see. That’s a different month anyway. I’ll let you know if anything changes. I’m sure it’ll be worth the wait. 

And now for something completely different. People come up to me all the time on the street and ask me questions regarding The Crossing. I also get email and standard mail sent to me from around the globe asking me various questions. So, I thought it would be time to open up the Crossing mailbag and see what readers have in mind. Are you ready?

‘My Michelle’ from Los Angeles, California writes: Chris from The Crossing, when you pick an Artist of the Month, do you really think that is the biggest, be all, end all, artist releasing an album that month or is it more just your personal selection?

Chris responds: Good question ‘My Michelle’, The Artist of the Month is and always has been just a personal selection from the month’s crop. I’m all about writing what I know, so I try to write about the artists I’m most familiar with. You can bet the Artist of the Month is among the best of the month’s crop, but there’s always plenty of other artists worthy of your attention. Glad you asked.

‘Jeremy’ from Seattle, Washington writes: Where do you get all your release date info?

Chris responds: Another excellent question. I compile all the data from various sources. Some are major and obvious. Some are from other release date sources. Some are from personal artist websites and some are from music news channels. I try to look high and low and everywhere in between to bring the readers of The Crossing and by extension the Phantom Tollbooth the very best release date coverage, consisting of both major and independent artists. I also try to cover as much as I can (within certain genres), but there is always stuff that’s being missed. All in all, I think I give a solid and expansive overview and possibly a side view of what is coming out through the given months. The actual resources must, by necessity, remain a secret however. Sorry.

‘Silvio’ from Hibbing, Minnesota writes: How do you choose the Lyrics of the Month?

Chris responds: Simple enough. I just try to pick something that is either fitting to the time of year or a lyric that is timeless and worth bringing some attention to it in a small way thru the Lyrics of the Month induction program. That last part is kind of a joke by the way...

‘Kayleigh’ from London, England writes: How do you choose who you cover?

Chris responds: A great, great question. Here’s the deal. I try and keep it to the artists I know and similar bands of the type. I try to stick to the forte! Occasionally a blues or r&b artist will appear and I think that’s great, but I’m not too hip on all that’s going on in those genres so on occasion, I’m sure some worthy artists aren’t covered. It’s all about sticking to what I know really.

‘Janey’ from Boston, Massachusetts writes: Why do you include films in the monthly lists?

Chris responds: As well as being a music maniac, I’m also an avid movie fan. Since movies and music both come out on Tuesdays each month, I thought, ‘why not? I’ll just include all the movies coming out too. I know readers of the Tollbooth are big movie fans too, so I figured I’d just include it all. The main focus of The Crossing will always be music though.

‘Theo and Weird Henry’ from Bloomington, Indiana writes: What is the deal with the Iron Maiden?

Chris responds: This is one of the more controversial subjects in regards to The Crossing and a question that I get asked a lot. I grew up a registered Metalhead and listened to all things hard rock and metal throughout the '80’s. Just ask my brother. He’ll tell ya. The Maiden metal machine is just a band I really dug growing up and, along with Rush and Triumph, I considered to be one of the better bands of the era. Basically it comes down to I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for them and other bands of the type. Nothing really all that controversial about it. Everybody’s got their bands they grew up with. I just choose to continue giving the old warhorses some coverage. Afterall, most of them really are still very, very popular.

Finally, ‘Gloria’ from Dublin, Ireland writes: Explain, in simple terms, your musical tastes’ growth?

Chris responds: I think it all started with the Banana Splits, and a little later led to the Bay City Rollers. Neither one is still releasing material or I’d still be covering them. ;-) Then, I graduated for the time being to The Beatles. Yes, life changed. And I was all of 8 years old! Then I listened to the local Rock station in St. Louis where I grew up and live now. Stations KSHE and the long defunct KWWK informed my life to what was ‘out there’. But, it was clear, I was not to follow trends, I was all about the guitar growing up and even waited, often in vain, for the most guitar oriented songs in the Casey Kasem’s Top 40. The guitar solo in ‘Beat It’. Hey, that’s Eddie
Van Halen! That I could work with. But, that was the 80’s. Hard rock/metal...up until college. Then I started to really discover the bands I was already somewhat familiar with...U2, REM, Springsteen. And far more obscure bands too. The Church, Marillion, Concrete Blonde, King’s X, etc. Things were starting to make sense! Working in record stores opened my eyes a great deal too. No better way to hear a LOT of music than by working in a record store. Lots of singer/songwriters have entered the mix too over the years. It’s a growing, continuously evolving process, one that is best gone through with ears open! Thanks for asking ‘Gloria’!

Okay, let’s seal this mailbag up and get to what we are here for. I hope the above responses answer some of your questions. We may have some more questions we’ll dip into in the future. Until the words of Casey Kasem: ‘Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars’. I bet some of you have never heard those words! Although, obviously the American Idol participants have. ;-)

No Artist of the Month again. There’s WAY too much coming out to choose from again this month. Although, you probably couldn’t go wrong with Allison Moorer, LIVE, Alarm, David Wilcox, Dashboard Confessional and, oh yeah, Keane too among others. Enjoy!

Recently released and not mentioned in last edition:

     * Glen Phillips - “Unlucky 7” (EP.)
     * The Rainmakers - “Tornado” (Remastered reissue w/8 bonus tracks.)
     * Pat Dinizio - “This Is Pat Dinizio” (Frontman for The Smithereens.)
     * Saga - “Trust” (US release.)
     * Rik Emmett & Dave Dunlop - “Strung-Out Troubadours”
     * Chris Whitley - “Reiter In” (covers of Flaming Lips, Willie Dixon, Stooges.)
     * Sarah Harmer - “Songs For Clem”
     * Matthew Herbert - “Scale”
     * Malcolm Holcombe - “Not Forgotten”
     * Less Than Jake - “In With The Out Crowd”
     * Snow Patrol - “Songs for Polar Bears” (Debut reissue.)
     * Crash Romeo - “Minutes To Miles”
     * Phoenix - “It’s Never Been Like That”
     * Walkmen - “Hundred Miles Off”
     * Evermore - “Dreams”
     * Damone - “Out Here All Night”
     * Jeff Martin - “Exile & The Kingdom” (import.)
     * The Legendary Pink Dots - “Your Children Placate You From Premature Graves” (That’s gotta win some album title award.)
     * Solas - “Reunion: Best of Solas”
     * George Thorogood & The Destroyers - “Hard Stuff”
     * Various Artists - “Five Way Street: Buffalo Springfield Tribute”
     * Various Artists - “A Prairie Home Companion” (CD/DVD.)
     * Platoon - DVD (20th anniversary edition.)


     * Cracker - “Greenland”
     * Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint - “River In Reverse”
     * Cheap Trick - “Rockford”
     * The Cure - “Lost In The Labyrinth”
     * The New Cars - “It’s Alive” (Todd Rundgren and founding members Elliot Easton and Greg Hawkes perform the songs of The Cars.)
     * The Bottle Rockets - “Zoysia”
     * The Derailers - “Soldiers of Love”
     * Holly Brook - “Like Blood Like Honey”
     * Wailin Jennys - “Firecracker”
     * Fair - “The Best Worst Case Scenario”
     * Jet Lag Gemini - “Business”
     * Syd Matters - “Syd Matters”
     * The Hush Sound - “Like Vines”
     * Camera Obscura - “Let’s Get Out Of This Country”
     * Greeley Estates - “Far From The Lies”
     * Donavon Frankenreiter - “Move By Yourself”
     * Juana Molina - “Son”
     * AFI - “Decemberunderground”
     * Primal Scream - “Riot City Blues” (import.)
     * The Replacements - “Don’t You Know Who I Think I Was: the Best of” (New title.)
     * Psapp - “The Only Thing I Ever Wanted”
     * Oakley Hall - “Gypsum Strings”
     * Various Artists - “No Depression: What It Sounds Like, Vol.2”
     * Firewall - DVD
     * Glory Road - DVD
     * Freedomland - DVD
     * Underworld: Evolution - DVD
     * The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada - DVD
     * The Syrian Bride - DVD
     * Running Scared - DVD
     * Sarah Silverman - DVD
     * Dazed & Confused - DVD (Criterion collection edition.)
     * Fried Green Tomatoes - DVD (15th anniversary edition.)

     * Live - “Songs From Black Mountain” (7th album for the York, Pennsylvania quartet.)
     * The Alarm - “Under Attack” (US release.)
     * Allison Moorer - “Getting Somewhere” (Produced by Steve Earle; 5th album for the Alabama native.)
     * David Wilcox - “Vista”
     * Sonic Youth - “Rather Ripped”
     * Guster - “Ganging Up On The Sun”
     * Widespread Panic - “Earth to America”
     * The Futureheads - “News and Tributes”
     * Roses Are Red - “What Became Of Me”
     * Dropping Daylight - “Brace Yourself”
     * Kings of Leon - “Day Old Belgian Blues” (6 song live Ep.)
     * Waking Ashland - “Telescopes” (Ep.)
     * David Bazan - “Fewer Moving Parts” (Ep.)
     * The Handsome Family - “Last Days of Wonder”
     * Grant Lee Phillips - “Nineteeneighties”
     * Josua Radin - “We Were Here”
     * The Acacia Strain - “The Dead Walk”
     * Sam Bush - “Laps In Seven”
     * John Cowan - “New Tattoo”
     * Alice Peacock - “Who I Am”
     * Brandi Carlile - “Brandi Carlile”
     * Del McCoury Band - “Promised Land”
     * Keb’Mo’ - “Suitcase”
     * Aaron Neville - “Mojo Soul”
     * Glenn Hughes - “Music for the Divine”
     * Mardo - “New Gun”
     * Crazy Horse - “Loose” (1972 album; first time on CD.)
     * Billy Joel - “12 Garden Nights Live” (2 CD set.)
     * Matthew Sweet - “Girlfriend” (2 CD remastered special edition.)
     * Boston - “Boston” and “Don’t Look Back” (Remastered reissues; new date.)
     * Various Artists - “Deadman Walking Soundtrack” (Deluxe edition reissue w/concert DVD.)
     * Neil Young: Heart of Gold - DVD
     * John Fogerty - “The Long Road Home in Concert” (DVD.)
     * Rush - “Replay x 3” (DVD collection of ‘Exit...Stage Left’, ‘Grace Under Pressure’ & ‘A Show of Hands’ concerts; first time on
        DVD for all; also includes CD of ‘Grace Under Pressure’ show. Rush fans rejoice!)
     * The Pink Panther ‘06 - DVD
     * A Good Woman - DVD
     * 16 Blocks - DVD
     * Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang - DVD
     * Aquamarine - DVD
     * The World’s Fastest Indian - DVD
     * End Of The Spear - DVD
     * The Princess Bride - DVD (Reissue.)


     * Keane - “Under The Iron Sea”
     * Pearl Jam - “Live at Easy Street” (7 song Ep.)
     * Counting Crows - “Live at Heineken Music Hall, Feb. 6th, 2003”
     * Frank Black - “Fastman/Raiderman” (2 CD set.)
     * The Clarks - “Still Live”
     * Kris Delmhorst - “Strange Conversation”
     * Sara Hickman - “Motherlode” (2 CD set.)
     * Nelly Furtado - “Loose”
     * Alesana - “On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax”
     * Old ‘97’s - “Hit By a Train: the Best of”
     * Paula Cole - “Greatest Hits”
     * Marc Cohn - “Very Best of”
     * The Rembrandts - “Greatest Hits”
     * Thin Lizzy - “Definitive Collection”
     * Luna - “Very best of”
     * Queensryche - “Operation: Mindcrime I” (Deluxe edition w/live CD.)
     * Willie Nelson - “Complete Atlantic Sessions” (3 disc boxset.)
     * Gram Parsons - “Complete Reprise Recordings” (3 disc boxset.)
     * Madonna - “I’m Going To Tell You A Secret” (CD/DVD.)
     * Syriana - DVD
     * The Hills Have Eyes ‘06 - DVD


     * Dashboard Confessional - “Dusk and Summer”
     * Richard Thompson - “1,000 Years of Popular Music” (w/DVD; traditional and contemporary covers.)
     * The Casbah Club - “Venustraphobia” (Debut import; Simon Townshend brother of Pete, Bruce Foxton formerly of The Jam 
        and Bruce Watson and Mark Brzezicki both formerly of Big Country; opening for The Who on their European tour
        this summer.)
     * Damien Dempsey - “Shots”
     * Darrell Scott - “The Invisible Man”
     * Ray Wylie Hubbard - “Snake Farm”
     * Chris Thomas King - “Rise”
     * Phil Aiken - “It’s Always The Quiet Ones”
     * The Alarm - “In The Poppyfields” (2 CD reissue.)
     * Sleepthief - “The Dawnseeker”
     * Metal Church - “A Light in the Dark”
     * White Lion - “Anthology 1983-89”
     * B.B. King - “Gold” (2 CD best of.)
     * Whitesnake - “Gold” (2 CD best of.)
     * Lynyrd Skynyrd - “Gold” (2 CD best of.)
     * Various Artists - “The Pilgrim: A Celebration of Kris Kristofferson”
     * Chuck Berry - “Hail! Hail! Rock ‘N Roll! (DVD, new date.) 
     * Pink Floyd - “Pulse” (First time on DVD; Live on the Division Bell tour.)
     * The Libertine - DVD
     * Imagine Me And You - DVD
     * Madea’s Family Reunion - DVD
     * Ultraviolet - DVD
     * Annapolis - DVD
     * Failure To Launch - DVD


     * The Polyphonic Spree - “The Fragile Army”
     * Johnny Cash - “American V: A Hundred Highways”
     * The Matador - DVD 


     * Thom Yorke - “The Eraser” (Frontman for Radiohead.)
     * Soul Asylum - “The Silver Lining”
     * Muse - “Black Holes and Revelations”
     * Freedy Johnston - “Live at McCabe’s Guitar Shop”
     * Ani Difranco - “Reprieve”
     * Shooting Star - “Circles” (Import; Kansas City quintet’s 8th album.)
     * Jesus & Mary Chain - 5 dualdisc reissues.
     * Third Eye Blind - “Greatest Hits” (w/DVD.)
     * Wilson Pickett - “Definitive Collection”
     * Johnny Cash - “Live in Denmark” (DVD.)
     * Derek Trucks Band - “Songlines Live” (DVD.)    


     * Bruce Cockburn - “Life Is Short”
     * Golden Smog - “Another Fine Day”  (The alt-country supergroup returns with their 4th release; as before the band includes 
       Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, Gary Louris, Marc Perlman & Kraig Johnson of The Jayhawks and Dan Murphy of Soul Asylum.)
     * Los Lonely Boys - “Sacred”
     * Helmet - “Monochrome”
     * Steve Earle - “Definitive Collection”
     * Tsotsi - DVD
     * ATL - DVD
     * Pure - DVD
     * She’s The Man - DVD


     * Tom Petty - “Highway Companion” (Could it be?)
     * Sufjan Stevens - “Avalanche: Outtakes and Extras from the Illinois album” (Shouldn’t he be working on that next State?)
     * Buck Owens - “Down on the Corner of Love”
     * Tim O’Reagan - “Tim O’Reagan” (Jayhawks drummer and occasional singer.)
     * Old Crow Medicine Show - “Down Home Girl” (3 song Ep.)
     * The Long Winters - “Putting The Days To Bed”
     * Harvey Danger - “Little By Little...”
     * Alien Ant Farm - “Up in the Attic”
     * Final Destination 3 - DVD
     * Ask The Dust - DVD


     * V for Vendetta - DVD
     * The Shaggy Dog - DVD


     * Gin Blossoms - “Major Lodge Victory” (The Tempe, AZ quintet returns!)
     * Todd Snider - “The Devil You Know”


     * Leigh Nash - “Blue On Blue” (Former frontwoman for Sixpence None The Richer.)
     * Pete Droge - “Under The Waves”
     * The Mars Volta - “TBA”     


     * Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World - DVD

June 6th is the 62nd anniversary of the historic D-Day mission in World War II and with that I thought these lyrics from Fish would be appropriate. For all those who have given their lives and/or fought for freedom. And all the unknown soldiers. You are not forgotten!

        The body lay on fragrant earth under empty skies in an open field,
        A shallow grave, unmarked, unnoticed, in crumbling furrows carved by rusted ploughs,

        They will bury your empty coffin; they will raise for you a stone,
        They will know you fell in glory,
        In the corner of some lonely foreign field,

        Broken cloud, fleeting shadows, silhouettes are scattered cross the sky,
        The hollow laughter fills the heavens,
        And echoes round a still and silent field,

        Where you have climbed Jacob's ladder; where you saw the light of God,
        And from the voices of His angels the Truth was heard, the Truth was heard.

        I have slept in the shadows of moonstruck trees,
       A mossy pillow my rock of dreams,
       The wood smoke lingers among smouldering leaves,
       Like my thoughts are carried away on a stiffening breeze
       To the domes and spires, the glittering towers
       Of palaces of kings and thrones of power,

       I will climb Jacob's ladder; I will see the light of God,
       I will hear from the tongues of angels His Holy words,

       I take the field in honest battle,
       My father's sword is sure in hand,
       My heart my shield, my dreams my armour,
       My banners high my hopes are gathered
       Fortunes home I'll surely carry and the bells will ring in honour of my name

       Should I falter, should I tarry, should I hesitate, should I fall?
       Then bury me in your memories, let our children hear the bugle call,

       Let them climb Jacob's ladder; let them see the light of God,
       Let them hear from the tongues of angels His Holy words,
       Let them take the field.
       Fish, from the song “The Field” off of the album Field of Crows.

Speaking of unknown, check out the amazing work of Edinburgh, Scotland artist Fish at:

Have a great month! See you in July!

Chris Barlow


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