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The Crossing - April 2007 Edition

Well folks, April has arrived and with it many more new music releases to get your mitts on and wrap your ears around. I told you this was gonna be a banner year. I’ve even heard news that U2 have indeed been in the studio slowly crafting their next magnum opus to foist upon the world. Also, R.E.M. will be trying out some new songs on some dates in Ireland with eyes to having a new album in the Fall. There’s quite a few artists of note releasing new music this month. I’m gonna cover just two for now, but there are others to take note of that I’ll mention a bit later further below.


Fountains Of Wayne - Releasing April 3rd is the much anticipated fourth album from Wayne, New Jersey’s favorite sons. Unusually named after a statuary and garden furniture store from that town, lead vocalist and guitarist Chris Collingwood and bass player/keyboardist Adam Schlesinger along with bandmates Jody Porter and Brian
Young, craft sublime power-pop of the first order complete with tales of living in suburbia, white collar employment, or just hanging out at the laser show. Tales of woe, love, lust and loneliness complete with both odd and humdrum characters are the order of the day. Basically, they’re a fun band mining a musical ballpark shared with artists such as Matthew Sweet, Dada, Better Than Ezra, Stroke 9, the Beach Boys and the Barenaked Ladies among others. The new album is entitled “Traffic and Weather” and is the
follow-up to “Welcome Interstate Managers” back in 2003. Inbetween years, they released a two CD rarities compilation entitled “Out-Of-State Plates”. The band also recently had a hand in the making of the new album by 70’s icons, America. A link to their official website can be found below at the bottom of this page. Read the bio there and it will tell you much more about this crafty band. 

Marillion - Next up is the formidable Marillion based in Aylesbury just outside of London. These guys are one of my very favorite bands and have been for years. They are to release their fourteenth album on April 24th and tenth album since ‘new guy’ vocalist Steve Hogarth came along. Their first four albums were recorded with Scottish singer Fish at the helm. The new disc is entitled “Somewhere Else” and promises to be a return to a restrained and stripped down sound of old. When you’ve got musicians such as Steve Rothery on guitar, Mark Kelly on keyboards, Pete Trewavas on bass and Ian Mosley on drums with Steve Hogarth himself on additional keyboards and percussion, then a chance to showcase this talent in a more stripped down manner can only be very promising indeed. Rothery alone is like having David Gilmour of Pink Floyd in your band, only far more creative in my opinion. Rothery is one of the most underrated guitarists out there playing with melodicism that is rarely heard these days, especially among newer bands. Marillion specializes in songs of the heart and of psychology and they are not afraid to explore these areas in songs that range from under three
minutes long to sixteen minute epics. They have roots in Peter Gabriel-era Genesis and they took their name from the ‘Silmarillion’ by J.R.R. Tolkien, but now they have more in common with Radiohead and Coldplay, while remaining uniquely Marillion in their overall personality. A band akin to Rush in terms of fan devotion. Albums such as “Misplaced Childhood” and “Clutching At Straws” with Fish at the helm are albums that should be experienced for any serious music fan, along with “Seasons End”, “Brave”
and “Afraid Of Sunlight” from the current incarnation of the band. If you want to get really adventurous, try the two CD set “Marbles” released prior to “Somewhere Else”. Marillion, a great way to expand your musical horizons. 

Aside from these two artists, there are long awaited new imports being released from Mike Scott and his band The Waterboys, as well as The Oysterband, fronted by John Jones. I’ll talk more about them when they come out in the U.S. Domestically, much anticipated new albums from Conor O’Berst aka Bright Eyes will be released this month, as well as new material from space-rock pioneers Porcupine Tree, melancholic Canadian quartet Cowboy Junkies and alt-country supergroup Golden Smog.

So, put your dancing shoes on, Spring is officially here!

Recently released and not mentioned in last edition:  

    * Ill Lit - “Tom Cruise”
    * Emily Grogan - “At Sea”
    * Chris Knight - “The Trailer Tapes”
    * Olav Larsen - “Love’s Come To Town”
    * San Saba Country - “It’s Not The Fall That Hurts”
    * Sunrise Avenue - “On the Way to Wonderland”
    * Todd Snider - “Live at Grimey’s Record Store, Nashville”
    * Will Hoge - “Again Somewhere Tomorrow” (Live.)
    * Mostly Autumn - “Heart Full Of Sky” (2 CD set.)
    * Elton John - “Rocket Man: Number Ones” (CD/DVD.)
    * Emerson, Lake & Palmer - “Very Best of” (2 CD set.)
    * The Decemberists - “A Practical Handbook” (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”
    * Idlewild - “Make Another World”
    * Brandi Carlile - “The Story”
    * Jarvis Cocker - “Jarvis”
    * Jonatha Brooke - “Careful What You Wish For”
    * Martin Sexton - “Seeds”
    * Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy - “Strange Form of Life”
    * The Academy Is - “Santi”
    * Ozomatli - “Don’t Mess with the Dragon”
    * David Gray - “Shine: the Best of the Early Years”
    * Alison Krauss - “A Hundred Miles or More: a Collection:
    * Martina McBride - “Waking Up Laughing”
    * Tim McGraw - “Let It Go”
    * Todd Snider - “Peace, Love & Anarchy” (Rarities compilation.)
    * REO Speedwagon - “Find Your Own Way Home” (2 CD/1DVD version available at Wal-mart.)
    * Simply Red - “Stay” 
    * Shooting Star - “Anthology”
    * Robert Plant - a few remastered reissues
    * Saxon - “The Inner Sanctum”
    * Bono - “On The Move” (Book.)
    * Charlotte’s Web - DVD
    * Volver - DVD
    * The Good Shepherd - DVD
    * Death of a President - DVD


     * Bright Eyes - “Cassadaga”
     * Guster - “Satellite” (EP.)
     * Rosebuds - “Night of the Furies”
     * Blonde Redhead - “23”
     * Limbeck - “S/T”
     * From Autumn To Ashes - “Holding A Wolf By The Ears”
     * Grinderman - “S/T” (Nick Cave band.)
     * VNV Nation - “Judgement”
     * Love of Diagrams - “Mosaic”
     * Shearwater - “Palo Santo”
     * Cloud Cult - “The Meaning Of...”
     * Jimmy Hall - “Build Your Own Fire”
     * Scott Miller - “Reconstruction”
     * Gurf Morlix - “Diamonds To Dust”
     * Nathan Key - “Principles”
     * Jenny Owen Youngs - “Batten The Hatches” 
     * Cocorosie - “The Adventures of Ghosthorse...”
     * The Bastard Fairies - “Memento Mori”
     * Eric Andersen - “Blue Rain: Live in Oslo”
     * Natalie Merchant - “Collected Songs: 1985-2005” (Book includes lyrics, photos, guitar tablature and piano notation.)
     * Metallica - “Master of Puppets: Essential Albums Series” (DVD.)
     * Bobby - DVD
     * Arthur & The Invisibles - DVD
     * Jonestown: the Life and Death of Peoples Temple - DVD  

     * Patti Smith - “12”
     * June Tabor - “Apples”
     * Nine Inch Nails - “Year Zero”
     * Robert Pollard - “Silverfish Trivia EP”
     * Avril Lavigne - “The Best Damn Thing”
     * Joseph Arthur - “Let’s Just Be”
     * Steve Gulley - “Sounds Like Home”
     * Pam Tillis - “Rhinestoned”
     * Panda Bear - “Person Pitch”
     * Until June - “S/T”
     * Elk City - “New Believers”
     * Levinhurst - “House On The Sea”
     * Waking Ashland - “The Well”
     * Richard X. Heyman - “Actual Sighs”
     * The Detroit Cobras - “Tied & True”
     * Superdrag - “Changin’ Tires on the Road to Ruin”
     * Michael Penn - “Palms and Runes: Best of”
     * The Last King of Scotland - DVD 
     * Notes On A Scandal - DVD
     * Freedom Writers - DVD
     * The History Boys - DVD
     * Smokin’ Aces - DVD


     * Marillion - “Somewhere Else”
     * The Oysterband - “Meet You There” (Import.)
     * Porcupine Tree - “Fear of a Blank Planet” (Guests Robert Fripp and Alex Lifeson.)
     * Cowboy Junkies - “At The End Of Paths Taken”
     * Golden Smog - “Blood on the Slacks” (Eight song EP.)
     * Maria McKee - “Late December”
     * Radiohead - “Com Lag (2plus2isFive)” (Originally released only in Japan.)
     * Arctic Monkeys - “Favorite Worst Nightmare”
     * The Twilight Sad - “Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters”
     * Mando Diao - “Ode To Ochrasy”
     * The Veils - “Nox Vomica”
     * Two Cow Garage - “III”
     * Bill Callahan - “Woke on a Whaleheart”
     * Fishbone - “Still Stuck in Your Throat”
     * Mavis Staples - “We’ll Never Turn Back”
     * Colin Hay - “Are You Looking At Me?” 
     * Joanna Newsom - “EP” 
     * The Nightwatchman - “One Man Revolution” (Tom Morello, guitarist extraordinaire of Audioslave/Rage Against The Machine goes acoustic.)
     * Saga - “Worlds Apart Revisited” (2 CD/2 DVD set recorded live in Switzerland 2005.)
     * Night Ranger - “Hole In The Sun” (Import.)
     * Leonard Cohen - A few remastered reissues
     * Various Artists - “Tribute to Joni Mitchell”
     * Stryper - “Live in Puerto Rico” (DVD.)
     * The Queen - DVD
     * Deja Vu - DVD
     * Night At the Museum - DVD
     * 10 Items or Less - DVD
     * Code Name: the Cleaner - DVD 


     * Rush - “Snakes & Arrows” (DVD audio disc available 5/22.)
     * Tori Amos - “American Doll Posse”
     * Elizabeth Cook - “Balls”
     * Derek Webb - “The Ringing Bell”
     * Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - “Baby 81”
     * Dinosaur Jr. - “Beyond”
     * Doyle Bramhall II - “Foodland”
     * Feist - “The Reminder”
     * Warren Zevon - “Preludes: Rare and Unreleased Recordings”
     * Elvis Costello - a few remastered reissues.
     * James - “Fresh As A Daisy: the Singles” (Import; 2 CD set.)
     * Ocean Colour Scene - “On The Leyline” (Import.)
     * Dreamgirls - DVD
     * Little Children - DVD
     * The Good German - DVD
     * Happily N’Ever After - DVD
     * Alpha Dog - DVD
     * The Hitcher - DVD


     * Dolores O’Riordan - “Are You Listening?” (Voice of The Cranberries.)
     * Elliott Smith - “New Moon” (2 CD rarities compilation.)
     * Manic Street Preachers - “Send Away The Tigers” (Import.)
     * Travis - “Boy With No Name” (Import.)
     * Pigeon Detectives - “Wait For Me” (Import.)
     * Bjork - “Volta”
     * Keren Ann - “S/T”
     * Mice Parade - “S/T”
     * The Sea and Cake - “Everybody”
     * The Mystery Jets - “Zoo Time”
     * The Brakes - “The Beatific Visions”
     * Megadeth - “United Abominations”     
     * Miss Potter - DVD
     * Because I Said So - DVD
     * Catch And Release - DVD
     * Breaking and Entering - DVD


     * Wilco - “Sky Blue Sky”
     * Rufus Wainwright - “Release The Stars”
     * Joe Strummer - “Future Is Unwritten” (Soundtrack.)
     * Satellite Party - “Ultra Payloaded” (New Perry Farrell band.)
     * Blacktop Mourning - “TBA”
     * Linkin Park - “Minutes To Midnight”
     * The Afghan Whigs - “Unbreakable: A Retrospective”
     * The Scorpions - “Humanity Hour, Vol.1” (Import.) 
     * The Horrors - “Strange House” (Import.)
     * Pan’s Labyrinth - DVD
     * The Fountain - DVD
     * The Painted Veil - DVD
     * The Dead Girl - DVD
     * The Last Sin Eater - DVD
     * Stomp The Yard - DVD


     * Velvet Revolver - “Libertad”
     * Fiction Plane - “Left Side Of The Brain” (Joe Sumner’s band; son of Sting.)
     * Tim Armstrong - “A Poet’s Life” (Singer of Rancid.)
     * Wheat - “Everyday I Said a Prayer...” 
     * The National - “Boxer”
     * Joan Osborne - “Breakfast In Bed”
     * Voxtrot - “S/T”
     * Apocalypto - DVD
     * Venus - DVD
     * Epic Movie - DVD


     * Richard Thompson - “Sweet Warrior”
     * David Surkamp - “Dancing on the Edge of a Teacup” (Import.)


     * Ryan Adams - “Easy Tiger”
     * Chris Cornell - “Carry On” (Former singer of Audioslave/Soundgarden; includes the Casino Royale main title song ‘You Know My Name’ and a cover of Michael
       Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’; produced by Steve Lillywhite of U2/Big Country fame.)
     * Dream Theater - “Systematic Chaos”
     * Cinematic Orchestra - “Ma Fleur”
     * Poison - “Poison’d” (Covers project covering some unlikely people.)


     * Paula Cole - “Courage”
     * U2 - “Popmart: Live in Mexico City” (DVD; new date.)


     * The White Stripes - “Icky Thump”
     * Bon Jovi - “Lost Highway” (The New Jersey band goes Country.)
     * Tomahawk - “Anonymous”
     * Factory Girl - DVD


     * Queensryche - “Mindcrime at the Moore” (2 CD’s/2 DVD’s; the Seattle quintet performs all of Operation: Mindcrime I and II at the Moore Theater.)
     * Queens of the Stone Age - “Era Vulgaris”
     * Nick Lowe - “At My Age” 


     * The Smashing Pumpkins - “Zeitgeist”
     * Buffalo Tom - “TBA”


      A kind of an Impressionistic painting of an Historic Day.

      A ghost of a mist was on the field
      The grey and the green together
      The noise of a distant farm machine
      Out of the first light came
      A tattered necklace of hedge and trees
      On the southern side of the hill
      Betrays where the border runs between
      Where Mary Dunoon’s boy fell

      Easter here again
      A time for the blind to see
      Surely now can all of your hearts be free
      Out of the port of Liverpool
      Bound for the North of Ireland
      The wash of the spray and horsetail waves
      The roll of the sea below
      And Easter here again

      What will you do?
      Make a stone of your heart?
      Will you set things right?
      When you tear them apart?
      Will you sleep at night?
      With the plough and the stars alight?

      What will you do?
      With the wire and the gun?
      That’ll set things right
      When it’s said and done?
      Will you sleep at night?
      Is there so much love to hide?
      Sing ‘never again’
      Marillion, the song ‘Easter’ from the albumSeasons End, released in 1989.

Hope everyone had a blessed Easter!!! How could you not?

See you in May.

Chris Barlow


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