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The Crossing - September 2008

Well itís September and that typically means itís time to go over some rock Ďn roll facts. Hereís what we got...

Metallica - The San Francisco bay area quartet has got their ninth studio effort coming out on a special Friday release, in this case thatís gonna be the 12th of this month. I get the sense from hearing the new song, made available thru the internet and the airwaves, that the albumís gonna sound more or less like recent Metallica trying to replicate vintage Metallica. The end result is gonna be exactly what that sounds like. James Hetfield will sound like his more recent vocal self, singing over some brutal riffs, guitar solos and pounding drums. Yet, even the drums on this new song donít sound like they did in the 80ís. Hopefully they will sound better than they did on the last therapy-themed studio album St. Anger in 2003. On that album, the drums sounded like Lars Ulrich was banging on pots and pans. Who ever was at fault on the overall sound of the St. Anger album, one distinct change has ben made in the producerís chair...Bob Rock who 0 produced four albums for Metallica including the multi-platinum seller Ďblackí album way back in 1991 is out of the main chair and Rick Rubin is in his place. Fans across the board know this is an important album for Metallica, an album that could catapult the band back to the top of the rock heap, but with so much recent experimentation in their sound in past efforts, fans are weary of whether or not the band can get back to their previous glory of the 80ís and early 90ís. Or, at least, bring their past along with them to the present to forge a current and formidable sound. As of this writing the jury is out, but fans will know soon enough whether or not Metallica still has what has made them one of the very best heavy bands on the planet.

Gary Louris and Mark Olson - These two guys formed one of the great Americana bands The Jayhawks. They recorded together Blue Earth, Hollywood Town Hall and Tomorrow the Green Grass between 1989 and 1995. They also recorded an almost mythical debut that has never made it to CD. After Tomorrow The Green Grass, Mark Olson left the band to pursue a new life and form a band with his now ex-wife Victoria Williams named The Original Harmony Ridge Creek Dippers, not to be confused with the New Original Harmony Ridge Creek Dippers. ;-) Anyhow, Mark Olson also sporadically released a few solo albums as well, his most recent being The Salvation Blues. Meanwhile Gary Louris charged forth with The Jayhawks and released another three albums namely Sound of Lies, Smile and Rainy Day Music. The most recent in 2003. He also very recently released his first solo album named Vagabonds. Now, for the first time since 1995, Mark Olson has teamed back up  with his songwriting partner Gary Louris to record the forthcoming Ready for the Flood which is out on the 16th of this month. I think it will be a combination of the sounds of their solo albums while nearly replicating the old sound of The Jayhawks. Itís gotta come close being they are the two main voices of the band and the two main guitarists. The band was formed in Minneapolis, but I know Gary Louris has lived in Nashville while Mark Olson has lived out in the California desert. One thing is for sure, fans can welcome back this uniquely American duo on a much anticipated new album.

Also this month, thereís a strong showing by female artists namely Dar Williams, Kasey Chambers, Joan Osborne, Amanda Palmer, a holiday themed album by Mary Chapin Carpenter and a new release by The Pretenders led by the legendary Chrissie Hynde. 

And, donít forget U2 has the re-release in all its glory of Under a Blood Red Sky available on both CD and DVD out on the 30th. Itíll keep fans busy till a brand new album from U2 comes out some time in 2009.        

Recently released and not mentioned in last edition:

* Ahab - S/T (Singer/guitarist Dave Burn and lead guitarist Callum Adamson, son of Stuart.)
* B.B. King - One Kind Favor
* Brothers and Sisters - Fortunately 
* Darell Scott - Modern Hymns
* David Vandervelde - Waiting for the Sunrise
* Oxford Collapse - Bits
* Golden Animals - Free Your Mind and Win a Pony
* Human Highway - Moody Motorcycle
* The Week That Was - S/T
* Ida Maria - Fortress Around My Heart
* The Bug - London Zoo
* Jaguar Love - Take Me to the Sea
* Ra Ra Riot - Rhumb Line
* Piper - Piper/Canít Wait (Billy Squierís first bandís two albums.)
+ Son of Rambow
+ The Little Mermaid: Arielís Beginning


* Brian Wilson - That Lucky Old Sun
* Rodney Crowell - Sex and Gasoline
* Apollo Sunshine - Shall Noise Upon
* The Smithereens - B-Sides the Beatles
* Giant Sand - Provisions
* Sonya Kitchell - This Storm
* Chris Tomlin - Hello Love
* The Residents - Bunny Boy 
* Jefferson Starship - Jeffersonís Tree of Liberty
+ America - Soundstage Presents...
+ Ballet Shoes
+ Outsourced
+ The Promotion
+ Sensation of Sight


* Dar Williams - Promised Land
* Joan Osbourne - Little Wild One
* Catie Curtis - Sweet Life
* Fastball - Little White Lies (tentative.)
* Damien Jurado - Caught in the Trees
* Calexico - Carried to Dust
* Steve Wynn - Crossing Dragon Bridge
* Wovenhand - Ten Stones
* Okkervil River - The Stand Ins
* Young Widows - Old Wounds
* The Bittersweets - Goodnight, San Francisco
* Grayson Capps - Rott ĎN Roll
* Backyard Tire Fire - The Places We Lived
* Brian ĎHeadí Welch - Save Me from Myself
* Gym Class Heroes - The Quilt
* Sound of Animals Fighting - The Ocean and the Sun
* Joan Baez - Day After Tomorrow (covers project.)
+ The Big Lebowski (10th anniversary edition in bowling ball shaped package.)
+ Baby Mama
+ Forbidden Kingdom
+ Snow Angels


* Metallica - Death Magnetic (Special Friday release; produced by Rick Rubin.)


* Gary Louris and Mark Olson - Ready for the Flood
* Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson - Rattliní Bones (wife/husband duo.)
* James - Hey Ma
* Lindsay Buckingham - Gift of Screws
* Amanda Palmer - Who Killed Amanda Palmer? (Singer of Dresden Dolls; produced by Ben Folds.)
* Robin & Linda Williams - Buena Vista
* Daniel Powter - Under the Radar
* The Streets - Everything is Borrowed
* Straylight Run - Un Mas Dos
* Carterís Chord - S/T
* Jem - Down to Earth
* Keller Williams - Live
* Beth Rowley - Little Dreamer
* Marc Broussard - Keep Coming Back
* Raphel Saadiq - The Way I See It
* The Break and Repair Method - Milk the Bee
* Darius Rucker - Learn to Live
* Blessid Union of Souls - Close to the Edge
* Faith Hill - Joy to the World
* Annie Lennox - Collection
* Jeff Scott Soto - Beautiful Mess (download only.)
* TNT - Atlantis (import.) 
* The Cure - Hypnagogic States (EP.)
+ David Gilmour - Live in Gdansk (2 CDís/2 DVDís.)
+ The Love Guru
+ Young@Heart
+ 88 Minutes
+ The Unforeseen
+ Made of Honor
+ Speed Racer
+ Beetlejuice (20th anniversary edition.)
+ Sixteen Candles/Breakfast Club/Weird Science (reissues.)


* The Pretenders - Break Up the Concrete
* Jackson Browne - Time the Conqueror
* Kings of Leon - Only by the Night
* Plain White Tís - Big Bad World
* Mogwai - The Hawk is Howling
* Jenny Lewis - Acid Tongue
* Leona Naess - Thirteens
* Cowboy Mouth - Fearless
* TV on the Radio - Dear Science
* Metal Church - This Present Wasteland
* Buckcherry - Black Butterfly
* Edgar Meyer & Chris Thile - S/T
* Kenny Loggins - How About Now
* Blitzen Trapper - Furr
* Cold War Kids - Loyalty to Loyalty
* Everlast - Love, War and the Ghost of Whitey Ford
* Old Crow Medicine Show - Tennessee Pusher
* Golden Smog - Stay Golden: Best of
* The Replacements - a few reissues
+ Leatherheads
+ Sex and the City


* U2 - Under a Blood Red Sky (25th anniversary edition w/DVD.)
* Mary Chapin Carpenter - Come Darkness, Come Light
* Todd Rundgren - Arena
* Pete Seeger - At 89
* Neal Morse - Lifeline
* Ben Folds - Way to Normal
* Ben Kweller - Changing Horses
* Jennifer Hudson - S/T
* James Taylor - Covers
* Ani Difranco - Red Letter Year 
* Tom Morello - The Fabled City
* Bayside - Shutter
* Jackís Mannequin - The Glass Passenger
* Anberlin - New Surrender
* Mercury Rev - Snowflake Midnight
* Crown Victoria - S/T
* Joshua Radin - Simple Times
* Melissa Etheridge - A New Thought for Christmas
* Santana - Multi-Dimensional Warrior
* Travis - Ode to J. Smith (import.)
* The Laís - S/T (reissue.)
* Creedence Clearwater Revival - Expanded and remastered first six albums
* Megadeth - Set the World Afire (2 CD Anthology.)
+ Dream Theater - Chaos in Motion Ď07-í08 (3 CDís/2 DVDís.)
+ Keane - Curate a Night for War Child
+ Stevie Nicks - Soundstage Presents...
+ Iron Man
+ Forgetting Sarah Marshall
+ Taxi to the Dark Side


* Oasis - Dig Out Your Soul
* Of Montreal - Skeletal Lamping
* Deerhoof - Offend Maggie
* Margot & the Nuclear So and Soís - Not Animal
* Senses Fail - Life is Not a Waiting Room
* Rise Against - Appeal to Reason
* Annuals - Such Fun
* Lambchop - OH
* Tesla - Forever More
* Sarah MacLachlan - Closer: Best of
* Bob Dylan - Tell Tale Signs (3 CD rarities compilation.)
+ The Police - Certifiable (CD/DVD Live in Buenos Aires; Best Buy exclusive.)
+ The Clash - Live at Shea Stadium, 1982
+ The Happening
+ The Visitor
+ Paranoid Park
+ You Donít Mess with the Zohan


* Lucinda Williams - Little Honey
* Queen & Paul Rodgers - The Cosmos Rocks (Brian May, Roger Taylor w/the singer of Bad Company and Free.)
* The Cure - Dream 4.13
* Keane - Perfect Symmetry
* Kaiser Chiefs - Off With Their Heads
* Sixpence None the Richer - Dawn of Grace
* Chris Cornell - Scream
* The Cranes - S/T
* Secret Machines - S/T
* Nikka Costa - Pebble to a Pearl 
* House of Lords - Anthology
* Kenny Chesney - Lucky Old Sun
* Ray Lamontagne - Gossip in the Grain
+ Radiohead - Logical Emotions
+ Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
+ War, Inc.
+ The Pirates Who Donít Do Anything


* AC/DC - Black Ice (Wal-mart exclusive.)
* Marillion - Happiness is the Road (2 CDís; import.)
* Brett Dennen - Hope for the Hopeless
* Lee Ann Womack - Call Me Crazy
* Hospital Ships - Oh, Ramona
+ Incredible Hulk
+ The Strangers
+ Flight of the Red Balloon


* Snow Patrol - A Hundred Million Suns
* Bloc Party - Intimacy
* Lovedrug - Sucker Punch Show
* Deerhunter - Microcastle
* Boz Scaggs - Speak Low


* Dido - Safe Trip Home
* Hinder - Take it to the Limit
* Brad Paisley - Play
* Fall Out Boy - Folie a Deux
* Girlschool - Legacy


* Tracy Chapman - Our Bright Future
* The Postmarks - By the Numbers
* Spindrift - The West
* Taylor Swift - Fearless
* Denison Witmer - Carry the Weight
* Enya - TBA


This song still seems to fit todayís climate...

ďThereíll be food on the table tonight
Thereíll be pay in your pocket tonight

My gut is wrenched out it is crunched up and broken
My life that is lived no more than a token
Whoíll strike the flint upon the stone and tell me why?

If I yell out at night thereís a reply of blue silence
The screen is no comfort I canít speak my sentence
They blew the lights at heavenís gate and I donít know why

But if I work all day on the blue sky mine
(Thereíll be food on the table tonight)
Still I walk up and down on the blue sky mine
(Thereíll be pay in your pocket tonight)

The candy store paupers lie to the shareholders
Theyíre crossing their fingers they pay the truth makers
The balance sheet is breaking up the sky

So Iím caught at the junction still waiting for medicine
The sweat of my brow keeps on feeding the engine
Hope the crumbs in my pocket can keep me for another night

And if the blue sky mining company wonít come to my rescue
If the sugar refining company wonít save me

Whoís gonna save me?

But if I work all day on the blue sky mine
(Thereíll be food on the table tonight)
And if I walk up and down on the blue sky mine
(Theyíll be pay in your pocket tonight)

And some have sailed from a distant shore
And the company takes what the company wants
And nothingís as precious as a hole in the ground

Whoís gonna save me?
I pray that sense and reason brings us in
Whoís gonna save me?
Weíve got nothing to fear

In the end the rain comes down
Washes clean the streets of the blue sky town.Ē

Midnight Oil, the song ďBlue Sky MineĒ from the album Blue Sky Mining released in 1990.

See you in Rocktober...

Chris Barlow


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