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The Crossing - August 2006 Edition

Everyone staying cool? It’s not difficult when you’re a reader of the Phantom Tollbooth and a fan of Rock ‘N Roll!

        ARTISTS of the MONTH:

Let’s get right down to it. If Bob Dylan was a one-hit wonder and his big song was the one whose lyrics are printed at the bottom of this page, he would already have a major footnote in popular music history. If you didn’t grow up listening to Bob Dylan and buying his albums and going to his shows, then you’re probably in the same boat as most people...Bob Dylan is a man to discover. I’ve been discovering him ever since I first heard him sometime in the '70’s. Bit by bit, song by song, and slowly but surely, al bum by album, you begin to understand the man behind the myth and the myth behind the man. It’s often been said that Bob Dylan is something of an enigma. This is surely true. Who is Bob Dylan? I’m not sure anyone really knows. But to hear him may be the closest way to ever getting to know. Debuting on record in 1962 and after making some 40 odd albums later, Bob Dylan is set to release “Modern Times” on August 29th. With so many songs, we’re talking classic songs here, like ‘The Times They Are A-Changin,’ ‘Like A Rolling Stone,’ ‘Tangled Up In Blue,’ Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright,’ and ‘Not Dark Yet’ to name just a precious few, Bob Dylan is indeed a Man of Discovery.

Hard to follow up Bob Dylan but we’ll try. Tempe, Arizona’s very own Gin Blossoms are set to return with their follow-up to “Congratulations I’m Sorry” a whopping ten years after the fact. The band is comprised of long time members Robin Wilson on vocals, Jesse Valenzuela and Scott Johnson both on guitar, Bill Leen on bass and relative newcomer Scott Kusmirek on drums. The Blossoms, of course, rose to fame and fortune on the coattails of the multi-platinum “New Miserable Experience” back in 1992 and it’s impossible to argue, the significant songwriting contribution of former member, the late Doug Hopkins. On August 8th, the band will give it another shot to overcome living in the shadow of their late friend when they release “Major Lodge Victory.” Although the band members have all been busy with solo projects and side gigs in other bands, most notably Scott Johnson in Roger Clyne’s band, The Peacemakers, “Major Lodge Victory” really only marks their fourth album. One thing fans and followers of the band have enjoyed between albums is discovering their many bsides and rarities over the years that have slowly found release. Some of which are found on the  deluxe 2 CD version of “New Miserable Experience” and others found as bsides of their import and domestic CD singles. It’s good stuff if you can find it. Catch them on down the tour trail this year and cheer them on....

Finally, when Sixpence None The Richer split shortly after the release of their last album "Divine Discontent,” many fans found themselves to be disappointed. But, when the news came over the wire that singer Leigh Nash was pregnant everyone could understand the situation. Following a career path reminiscent of the 10,000 Maniacs, splitting at the top of their game, Sixpence left a gaping hole in their fans hearts. Hopefully the mending can start on August 15th when Leigh Nash releases her debut solo album “Blue On Blue.” The anxiety, when a singer splits from the band she became popular with, is always how will she sound now? What, if any change in musical style, will there be? Will she be as good as she was? Can she match the popularity that Natalie Merchant, for example, has enjoyed since she left the Maniacs? The answers to these questions and more will be answered soon enough. The question I’m most concerned with is in regards to the title of the album: will one shade of blue be different from the other shade of blue? ‘Cause, if not, will it make a difference to have the same color on the same color? Best not to think about it too much. Anyhow, it’s good to have Leigh Nash and her distinctive voice back on record and hopefully on radio! I think we’ll be
hearing a lot of her very soon...

Now it’s new release time. Settle in for a long ride to the bottom of this page...

Recently released and not mentioned in last edition:

     * LeRoy Bell - “Two Sides To Every Story”
     * Landon Pigg - “LP”
     * Toby Lightman - “Bird On A Wire”
     * White Whale - “WWI”
     * Inkwell - “These Stars Are Monsters”
     * John Doe - “For The Best Of Us”
     * Azam Ali - “Elysium For The Brave”
     * Midlake - “The Trials of Van Occupanther”
     * Venus Hum - “Colors In The Wheel”
     * The Supersuckers - “Paid” (EP.)
     * Fireflight - “The Healing Of Harms”
     * Bride - “Fist Full of Bees”
     * Stellar Kart - “We Can’t Stand Sitting Down”
     * Michael Brook - “RockPaperScissors”
     * James Dean Bradfield - “Great Western” (import; singer of Manic Street Preachers.)
     * Roddy Woomble - “My Secret Is My Silence” (import; singer of Idlewild.)
     * XTC - Apple Box” (4 CD boxset.)
     * Somersault - DVD
     * Awesome, I Shot That! - DVD (Beastie Boys documentary.)


     * Michael Sweet - “Him”
     * Nina Gordon - “Breaking Heart Graffiti”
     * Charlie Sexton & Shannon McNally - “Southside Sessions”
     * Ollabelle - “Riverside Battle Songs”
     * Five For Fighting - “Two Lights”
     * G. Love - “Lemonade”
     * Stone Sour - “Come Whatever May”
     * Kelly Joe Phelps - “Tunesmith Retrofit”
     * Iron & Wine - “Such Great Heights” (EP.)
     * Other Desert Cities - “On The Verge Of Collapsing”
     * Audio Adrenaline - “Adios: Greatest Hits”
     * Journey - 5 remastered reissues
     * Poison - 3 remastered reissues
     * The Doodlebops - “Rock & Bop”
     * The Trachtenburg Slideshow Players - “S/T” (DVD.)
     * The Clash - “Rude Boy” (DVD; 1980 tour documentary.)
     * V for Vendetta - DVD
     * The Shaggy Dog - DVD


     * Gin Blossoms - “Major Lodge Victory” 
     * Greg Brown - “Evening Call”
     * Todd Snider - “The Devil You Know”
     * Breaking Benjamin - “Phobia”
     * Comets On Fire - “Avatar”
     * Selah - “Bless The Broken Road”
     * Jim Noir - “Tower of Love”
     * Love Arcade - “S/T”
     * Bernard Fanning - “Tea & Sympathy” (Singer of Powderfinger.)
     * Left Alone - “Dead American Radio”
     * Under The Influence Of Giants - “S/T”
     * Heartless Bastards - “All This Time”
     * The Sadies - “In Concert”
     * Hootie & The Blowfish - “Live in Charleston”
     * Sebadoh - “III”
     * Cinder - “House Full Of No Trust”
     * Sigur Ros - “Saeglspur” (EP.)
     * Porcupine Tree - “Stupid Dream” (2 CD reissue.)
     * The Waterboys - “Fisherman’s Blues” (2 CD set; US release.)
     * Bob Schneider - 4 titles
     * The Cure - A few remastered reissues w/bonus discs.
     * Tears For Fears - “Gold” (2 CD best of.)
     * The Doors - “Best of” (reissue.)
     * Inside Man - DVD
     * Brick - DVD
     * Manderlay - DVD
     * Don’t Come Knocking - DVD
     * The Lost City - DVD


     * Leigh Nash - “Blue On Blue” 
     * Pete Yorn - “Nightcrawler”
     * Pete Droge - “Under The Waves”
     * The Mars Volta - “Amputechture”
     * Andy Fairweather Low - “Sweet Soulful Music”
     * Carrie Rodriguez - “Seven Angels on a Bicycle” 
     * Paul Burch - “East To West”
     * Bonnie Raitt - “Bonnie Raitt & Friends”
     * Guy Clark - “Workbench Songs”
     * Joe Grushecky - “A Good Life”
     * The Damnwells - “Air Stereo”
     * Mike Stern - “Who Let The Cats Out?” 
     * Rory Block - “The Lady And Mr. Johnson”
     * Pauline Scanlon - “Hush”
     * Tommy Shaw & Jack Blades - “Hallucination”
     * Elliott Easton - “Change No Change” (Reissue.)
     * Benjamin Orr - “The Lace” (Reissue.)
     * R.V. - DVD
     * Poseidon ‘06 - DVD
     * Just My Luck - DVD


     * Razorlight - “Razorlight”
     * Kasey Chambers - “Carnival” (Australian native Kacey’s 4th domestic release.)
     * Woven Hand - “Mosaic”
     * Starsailor - “On The Outside”
     * Primal Scream - “Riot Ciy Blues”
     * Lambchop - “Damaged”
     * Gov’t Mule - “High & Mighty”
     * Beth Thornley - “My Glass Eye”
     * The Mountain Goats - “Get Lonely”
     * M. Ward - “Post War”
     * Crooked Still - “Shaken By A Low Sound”
     * The Zutons - “Tired of Hanging Around”
     * Outkast - “Idlewild”
     * Vaeda - “State Of Nature”
     * Eric Bachmann - “To The Races”
     * Gary Hoey - “American Made”
     * Rose Hill Drive - “S/T”
     * Carina Round - “Slow Motion Addict”
     * Hundred Year Storm - “Hello From the Children of Planet Earth”
     * Alexisonfire - “Crisis”
     * Gosling - “Here Is”
     * What Made Milwaukee Famous - “Trying To Never Catch Up”
     * Misery Signals - “Mirrors”
     * The Triffids - “Born Sandy Devotional” (reissue.)
     * Akira Takasaki - “S/T” (Instrumental solo album from the guitarist of Loudness.)
     * Jennifer O’Connor - “Over The Mountain, Across The Valley and Back to the Stars”
     * Sophie B. Hawkins - “Live: The Bad Kitty Board Mix”
     * Tortoise - “A Lazarus Taxon” (3 CD boxset.)
     * REM - “And I Feel Fine: Best of IRS Years 1982-1987” (w/DVD.)
     * Various Artists - “Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys” (2 CD’s/43 songs; Companion to the movie
        “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest”. Artists include Bono, Sting, Richard Thompson, Lou Reed, Nick Cave, 
         Andrea Corr, Lucinda Williams, Rufus Wainwright, etc.)
     * Stryper - “Live in San Juan, Puerto Rico 2004” (DVD.)
     * Silent Hill - DVD
     * Scary Movie 4 - DVD
     * Hoot - DVD
     * L’enfant - DVD
     * Lonesome Jim - DVD


     * Bob Dylan - “Modern Times” (w/DVD.)
     * The Roots - “Game Theory”
     * Catie Curtis - “Long Night Moon”
     * The Long Trailers - “S/T”
     * Red Umbrella - “Wishing For Boardwalk”
     * Old Crow Medicine Show - “Big Iron World”
     * Ray Montague - “Till The Sun Turns Black”
     * Willie Nile - “Arista Columbia Recordings 1980-1991”
     * Terri Clark - “Best of”
     * The Black Crowes - “Lost Crowes” (2 CD set.)
     * Motorhead - “Kiss Of Death”
     * Dream Theater - “Score” (3 CD’s/2 DVD’s sold separately.)
     * Pete Townshend - 9 remastered reissues.
     * Various Country Artists - “Three Wooden Crosses”
     * Various Artists - “Strange Folk”
     * The Sentinel - DVD
     * Friends With Money - DVD
     * Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World - DVD
     * Akeelah & The Bee - DVD
     * Take The Lead - DVD


     * Iron Maiden - “A Matter Of Life And Death”
     * Audioslave - “Revelations”
     * United 93 - DVD


     * Bob Seger - “Face The Promise”
     * The Barenaked Ladies - “Barenaked Ladies Are Me”
     * Everclear - “Welcome To The Drama Club”
     * Los Lobos - “The Town and the City”
     * Ben Kweller - “Ben Kweller”
     * John Mayer - “Continuum”
     * Chris Thile - “How To Grow A Woman From The Ground”
     * Shawn Colvin - “These Four Walls”
     * Diana Krall - “From This Moment On”
     * Madeleine Peyroux - “Half The Perfect World”
     * Richard Buckner - “Meadow”
     * Magnolia Electric Co. - “Fading Trails”
     * Now It’s Overhead - “Dark Light Daybreak”
     * Robert Plant - “Nine Lives” (Post Led Zeppelin boxset; 9 CD’s and 1 DVD.)
     * Star Wars - Episode IV: A New Hope - DVD (2 DVD sets; These contain the very original, unmodified editions first screened in
       theaters in 1977, 1980 and 1983 as well as the special edition versions. Sold separately for the first time.) 
     * Star Wars - Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back - DVD
     * Star Wars - Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi - DVD
     * Lucky Number Slevin - DVD
     * The Wild - DVD 


     * Indigo Girls - “Despite Our Differences”
     * Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy - “Then The Letting Go”
     * Stick It - DVD
     * Hard Candy - DVD
     * The Proposition - DVD (Nick Cave project.)


     * Soloman Burke - “Nashville”
     * Jay Bennett - “The Magnificent Defeat” 
     * Sean Lennon - “Friendly Fire”
     * The Lemonheads - “TBA”
     * UFO - “The Monkey Puzzle”
     * Scissor Sisters - “Ta-Dah”
     * Curious George - DVD
     * The Notorious Bettie Page - DVD


     * Evanescence - “The Open Door”
     * The Killers - “Sam’s Town”
     * Jet - “Shine On”
     * ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead - “TBA”
     * Robyn Hitchcock - “Ole! Tarantula”
     * The Hold Steady - “Boys and Girls of America” 
     * X Men III: The Last Stand - DVD
     * Once In A Lifetime - DVD


     * Robert Pollard - “Normal Happiness”


     * Me First and the Gimme Gimmes - “Love Their Country”
     * American Dreamz - DVD


     * Bright Eyes - “Noise Floor” (Bsides and rarities.)
     * Slither - DVD


“How many roads must a man walk down 
Before you call him a man?
Yes, 'n' how many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, 'n' how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they're forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, 'n' how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, 'n' how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

How many years can a mountain exist
Before it's washed to the sea?
Yes, 'n' how many years can some people exist
Before they're allowed to be free?
Yes, 'n' how many times can a man turn his head,
Pretending he just doesn't see?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer is blowin' in the wind.”

Bob Dylan, the song “Blowin’ In The Wind” off the album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan first released in 1963.

Remember, stay cool! See you when September rolls around...

Chris Barlow

To learn more about this month’s Artists of the Month, please check out the following cool sites:


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