Since 1996

     Your Gateway to Music and More from a Christian Perspective
     Slow down as you approach the gate, and have your change ready....
About Us

Album Reviews
Movie Reviews
Concert Reviews
Book Reviews

Top 10
Contact Us


The Crossing - February 2007 Edition

Hello. Welcome back. When I mentioned in the January edition that it would be a banner year for music in 2007, I wasn’t kidding. But, I also made
that statement based on the idea that there would be, included in all that is to come out this year, a new album from U2. Since I made that statement I have heard conflicting reports on whether or not there will actually be a new U2 album this year. Of course, they did just finish up
their tour for their last album in December in Hawaii, so it stands to reason that the band members would like a break of sorts before they head
into working on another album, but there have also been reports of the band having been in the studio over the last few months as well. Of course, we all know that they recorded two new songs for the recent Best-of compilation, but according to the website, there are reports of
other song titles surfacing as well. Maybe a relatively quick followup to ‘Atomic Bomb’ will happen just as ‘Zooropa’ was to ‘Achtung, Baby”. We’ll
have to wait and see on this for further developments. Either way, it should still be a banner year...a new U2 release would just be the cherry on top.

       ARTISTS of the MONTH:

I remember it relatively well. It was the Summer of 1996 and one of the local Borders stores was having an in-store appearance by three (at the
time) new artists. Canadian Jann Arden was receiving some airplay for her moderate hit ‘Insensitive’ and she was to be the main act of this
trio. I thought I’d go up to the store and check out what was going down. Now, coming on just before Jann Arden was a guy named Billy Mann. And just before him was a then, completely unknown, Patty Griffin serving up a slice of her debut album Living With Ghosts. Now, I’m no talent scout, but I know talent when I hear it, and after Patty Griffin quietly, (read...not so quietly, loud voice, acoustic guitar.) but very assuredly laid
down the smackaroos via five or six cuts from her latest, I knew when and where the real show took place. People were still waiting for Jann to
come on and perform the big hit, while I was looking around and thinking, it ain’t gonna get better than what just happened. Of course, Billy and
Jann eventually came on and they performed fine if unmemorably. For me, the real show had already happened. I waited for the participants to
finish and beelined to the autograph table and got a copy of Patty’s debut signed. It reads, ‘Chris, nice to meet you. Thanks for listening. Peace, Patty Griffin.’ Are you kidding? I thought this was and still think, this was so cool. ‘Cause I had discovered a great new talent. It’s always great
when you discover new to you, that is. Anyhow, eleven years and five albums later, Patty Griffin is about to release her sixth album,
“Children Running Through” on February 6th. I’ll be among the first at the checkout counter.

Out a week later, on February 13th, is Lucinda Williams’ latest entitled “West”. You might describe her as Patty Griffin’s big sister as she has
been recording for a longer period of time and she’s every bit the real deal. I’ve already been reading that this may be her best album yet, which
is saying an awful lot considering she already has ‘Car Wheels on a Gravel Road’ released back in 1998. That album won a Grammy and is still seen as her benchmark album and all of her albums have been compared to it since then. Apparently the new album works really well as a whole with a lot of dynamics in sound, as did ‘Car Wheels...’, so hopefully Lucinda will continue down the path of quality songwriting she is so well known for. You can bet it will be well worth checking out.

Now, if only we can get Lucinda Williams, Patty Griffin and maybe, Gillian Welch to tour together. How great would that be??!! 
There’s always new people to discover. Who will the next new person be? New to you, that is.

Let’s take a look...

Recently released and not mentioned in last edition:

    * Nellie McKay - “Pretty Little Head” (2 CD set.)
    * Matthew Ryan - “A Late Night High Rise”
    * Bo Ramsey - “Stranger Blues”
    * Kimmie Rhodes - “Small Town Girl”
    * Kelly Keaggy - “I’m Alive” (Drummer and singer of Night Ranger.)
    * Jesus Camp - DVD
    * Employee of the Month - DVD


    * Patty Griffin - “Children Running Through”
    * Over The Rhine - “Discount Fireworks: a Collection”
    * Barenaked Ladies - “Barenaked Ladies are Men”
    * Apples In Stereo - “New Magnetic Wonder”
    * Fall Out Boy - “Infinity On High”
    * Sondre Lerche - “Phantom Punch”
    * Loney Dear - “Loney Noir”
    * Peter Bjorn & John - “Writer’s Block”
    * Joe Ely - “Happy Songs from Rattlesnake Gulch”
    * Eleni Mandell - “Miracle of Five”
    * Backyard Tire Fire - “Vagabonds and Hooligans”
    * Goldfrapp - “Ride A White Horse”
    * Bloc Party - “A Weekend in the City”
    * Ruthie Foster - “The Phenomenal”
    * Jann Arden - “Uncover Me” (Covers project.)
    * Belinda Carlisle - “Voila” (The Go-Go’s leader goes french.)
    * Stevie Nicks - “Best of” (New date.)
    * Nickelback - “All The Right Reasons” (CD/DVD.)
    * Flags Of Our Fathers - DVD
    * Hollywoodland - DVD
    * The Science Of Sleep - DVD
    * Trust The Man - DVD
    * Flicka - DVD
    * Running With Scissors - DVD
    * The Grudge 2 - DVD


    * Lucinda Williams - “West”
    * Danny Vaughn - “Traveller”
    * Elisabeth Ames - “Anytime”
    * Audrey Auld Mezera - “Lost Men and Angry Girls”
    * The Young Dubliners - “With All Due Respect: the Irish Sessions”
    * The Departed - DVD
    * Marie Antoinette - DVD
    * Half Nelson - DVD
    * The U.S. vs. John Lennon - DVD
    * 13 Tzameti - DVD
    * Cave of the Yellow Dog - DVD
    * Infamous - DVD
    * The Quiet - DVD
    * Zoom - DVD


    * Jesse Malin - “Glitter In The Gutter” (Guests include Bruce Springsteen, Ryan Adams and Jakob Dylan.)
    * Kaiser Chiefs - “Yours Truly, Angry Mob”
    * Peter Himmelman - “My Green Kite”
    * Tommy Womack - “There, I Said It”
    * Charlie Louvin - “S/T”
    * Jill Cunniff - “City Beach”
    * Eddi Reader - “Peacetime”
    * M. Ward - “To Go Home”
    * The Frames - “The Cost”
    * Dolly Varden - “The Panic Bell”
    * The Silos - “Come On Like The Fast Lane”
    * Southern Culture On The Skids - “Countrypolitan Favorites”
    * Tommy Shaw & Jack Blades - “Influence” (Covers project.)
    * The Magic Numbers - “Those The Brokes”
    * The Rainravens - “Garden Rocket”
    * Dolorean - “You Can’t Win”
    * Erasure - “On the Road to Nashville” (w/DVD.)
    * Kittie - “Funeral For Yesterday”
    * U2 - “Achtung, Baby: Classic Album under Review” (DVD.)
    * Shut Up & Sing - DVD (Dixie Chicks documentary.)
    * Babel - DVD
    * The Prestige - DVD
    * For Your Consideration - DVD
    * Man Of The Year - DVD
    * Keeping Mum - DVD
    * A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints - DVD
    * Flushed Away - DVD


    * The Skids - “The Saints Are Coming: Best of” and “Masquerade, Masquerade: Live”
    * John Denver - “Essential” (2 CD set.)
    * David Bromberg - “Try Me One More Time”
    * Willard Grant Conspiracy - “Let It Roll”
    * Nine Inch Nails: Beside You in Time - DVD
    * The Last King of Scotland - DVD
    * Stranger Than Fiction - DVD
    * A Good Year - DVD
    * Tideland - DVD
    * Conversations With God - DVD
    * The Return - DVD
    * The Heart of the Game - DVD
    * Harsh Times - DVD
    * Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny - DVD


    * Arcade Fire - “Neon Bible”    
    * Son Volt - “The Search”
    * Mary Chapin Carpenter - “The Calling”
    * Lucy Kaplansky - “Over The Hills”
    * Over The Rhine - “Live from Nowhere, Vol. 2”
    * Bright Eyes - “Four Winds” (EP.)
    * Wheat - “Everyday I Said a Prayer...”
    * Wolf & Cub - “Vessels”
    * Sevendust - “Alpha”
    * The Fall - “Reformation Post T.L.C.” 
    * Ry Cooder - “My Name Is Buddy”
    * Air - “Pocket Symphony”
    * Greencards - “Viridian”
    * Gary Allan - “Greatest Hits”
    * Vusi Mahlasela - “Guiding Star”
    * Michael Penn - “Palms and Runes, Tarot and Tea: a Collection”
    * Guns N’ Roses - “Chinese Democracy” (Still penciled in here.)
    * Borat - DVD
    * Fast Food Nation - DVD
    * Requiem - DVD
    * Peter Pan - DVD (Disney.)


    * The Innocence Mission - “We Walked In Song”
    * Rosie Thomas - “These Friends of Mine”
    * Amy Winehouse - “Back to Black”
    * Roddy Hart - “Bookends”
    * Graham Parker - “Don’t Tell Colombus”
    * The View - “Hats Off to the Buskers”
    * Good Charlotte - “Good Morning Revival”
    * Finger Eleven - “Them vs. You vs. Me”
    * Neil Young - “Live at Massey Hall”
    * The Corrs - “Dreams: a Collection”
    * The Queen - DVD
    * Casino Royale - DVD
    * Shortbus - DVD

    * Modest Mouse - “We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank”
    * Joss Stone - “Introducing Joss Stone” (Hasn’t she already been introduced?)
    * The Stooges - “The Weirdness” (Iggy Pop & company’s first album in 33 years.)
    * Ted Leo & The Pharmacists - “Living With the Living”
    * Andrew Bird - “Armchair Apochrypha”
    * Bryan Ferry - “Dylanesque”
    * Megadeth - “United Abominations”
    * Low - “Drums and Guns”
    * Tracey Thorn - “Out of the Woods”
    * Willy Mason - “If the Ocean gets Rough”
    * The Willowz - “Chautauqua”
    * The Zincs - “Black Pompadour”
    * The Ponys - “Turn the Lights Out”
    * The Roches - “Moonswept”
    * The Nativity Story - DVD
    * Bobby - DVD
    * The Holiday - DVD
    * Come Early Morning - DVD
    * Everyone’s Hero - DVD


    * Coldplay - “The Singles: 1999-2006”
    * Jack Ingram - “TBA”
    * Macy Gray - “Big”
    * Grant-Lee Phillips - “Strangelet”
    * Magnum - “Princess Alice and the Broken Arrow”
    * REO Speedwagon - “Everyone Loves a Happy Ending”
    * Happy Feet - DVD
    * Deep Sea 3-D - DVD


    * The Waterboys - “Book Of Lightning” (Import w/DVD; Mike Scott returns with his 12th album.)
    * Fountains Of Wayne - “Traffic and Weather”
     * Kings of Leon - “Because of The Times”
     * Brandi Carlile - “The Story”
    * Jarvis Cocker - “Jarvis”
    * Saxon - “The Inner Sanctum”


     * Bright Eyes - “Cassadaga”
     * Blonde Redhead - “23”
     * Grinderman - “S/T” (Nick Cave band.)
     * Love of Diagrams - “Mosaic”  

     * Nine Inch Nails - “Year Zero”
     * Robert Pollard - “Silverfish Trivia EP”
     * Avril Lavigne - “The Best Damn Thing”
     * Joseph Arthur - “Let’s Just Be”


     * Marillion - “Somewhere Else”
     * Cowboy Junkies - “At The End Of Paths Taken”
     * Golden Smog - “Blood on the Slacks”
     * Mando Diao - “Ode To Ochrasy”
     * The Veils - “Nox Vomica”

     * Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - “Baby 81”
     * Dinosaur Jr. - “Beyond”
     * Linkin Park - “TBA”


     * Travis - “Boy With No Name” (Import.)
     * Dolores O’Riordan - “Are You Listening?” (Leader of The Cranberries.)
     * Keren Ann - “S/T”
     * The Sea and Cake - “Everybody”
     * The Mystery Jets - “Zoo Time”
     * The Brakes - “The Beatific Visions”     


     * Wilco - “Sky Blue Sky”
     * Satellite Party - “Ultra Payloaded” (New Perry Farrell band.)


When I first heard Patty Griffin, this was the song that hooked me. And considering Valentine’s Day is this month, I thought this to be an
appropriate song for those who haven’t cracked the combination yet.

     We were drinking like the Irish but we were drinking Scotch
      Bartender turns on a movie, everybody turned to watch
      And every eye was gleaming when they reached the final scene
      Well at least mine did, here’s looking at you kid

      You know it’s a mad mission under difficult conditions
      Not everybody makes it to the loving cup
      It’s a mad mission but I got the ambition
      Mad, mad mission, sign me up

      I think I’ve seen the look before, yes, it’s kind of non-committal
      It says come hither baby but then he’s hard wood to whittle
      He says it don’t mean a thing but still somehow it does
      He’d like you to join the club that likes to say
      There’s no such thing as love

      It’s a mad mission under difficult conditions
      Not everybody makes it to the loving cup
      It’s a mad mission but I got the ambition
      Mad, mad mission, sign me up

      Sometimes you find yourself flying low at night
      Flying blind and looking for any sign of light
      You’re cold and scared and all alone
      You’d do anything just to make it home

      It’s a mad mission under difficult conditions
      Not everybody makes it to the loving cup
      It’s a mad mission but I got the ambition
      Mad, mad mission, sign me up.
      Patty Griffin, the song “Mad Mission” off of the album Living With Ghosts.

      See you in March! Doesn’t that sound nice?

      Chris Barlow

For more info on February's Artists of the Month, check out:

        Chris Barlow


 Copyright © 1996 - 2007 The Phantom Tollbooth