- Autumn de Wilde
- Autumn de Wilde
- Mary Ellen Matthews
- Anton Corbijn
- Photo: Frank W. Ockenfels
- Michael Segal
- Friday, April 27, 2012
Billy Bragg Discusses "Mermaid Avenue" Across the BBC; Its "Wealth of Quality Material Is Remarkable," Says Q (Four Stars)
Billy Bragg has been featured across the BBC airwaves to celebrate the release of Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions, on which Bragg and Wilco set Woody Guthrie's words to music. The Sunday Times and Details both dub it a "must-have." BBC Music says that "nobody has picked up on Woody as effectively—or unexpectedly—as this transatlantic get-together." The Mermaid Avenue project "was always an interesting idea," says a four-star Q review. "That it produced such a wealth of quality material is remarkable." Pitchfork too says: "What's remarkable is the wealth of material available to these artists and the number of gems these sessions produced." Drowned in Sound rates this "wonderful reissue" a nine out of ten. "Even for those who already have both of the previous volumes," says DiS, "Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions is a fascinating look at one of America’s greatest writers."
- Saturday, April 21, 2012
Record Store Day Releases from Black Keys, Dr. John, Billy Bragg & Wilco, Sara Watkins, Carolina Chocolate Drops Out Now
Happy Record Store Day! Nonesuch Records has made a series of special releases available today in honor of the fifth annual Record Store Day, a celebration of the unique culture surrounding over 700 independently owned record stores in the USA and hundreds of similar stores internationally. Among the artists releasing albums and singles today are The Black Keys, Dr. John, Billy Bragg & Wilco, Sara Watkins, and Carolina Chocolate Drops. A limited quantity of each Record Store Day title is also available on the Nonesuch Store now.
Wilco—the Chicago rock band formed by guitarist and songwriter Jeff Tweedy in the mid-1990s—released their seventh studio album, Wilco (the album), on Nonesuch Records in 2009. It follows their Grammy-nominated 2007 recording, Sky Blue Sky (which followed their 2005 double Grammy winner A ghost is born). Recordings were underway at the band’s Chicago studio, The Loft, early in the year, with the band emerging from Chicago’s deep freeze with a completed album released on June 30.
The new offering by the Chicago sextet features, among other things, eleven new songs, a duet with Canadian songwriter/vocalist Leslie Feist and a camel named Alfred as its cover star. The new songs find Tweedy juxtaposing heady, heavy themes like disillusionment (“Country Disappeared”), martyrdom (“I’ll Fight”) and homicide (“Bull Black Nova”) with acceptance (“You Never Know”), love (“You and I”), humor (“Wilco (the song)”) and more. Sonically the album draws on many of the best elements of Wilco's wide-ranging previous work, while incorporating Tweedy's objective to "use the studio as another instrument.” The result is a unique, complex endeavor.
In April 2009, Nonesuch released Ashes of American Flags, a new film presenting the band live in concert during their 2008 tour. Culled from concerts in five quintessentially American venues—Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa, Tipitina’s in New Orleans, The Mobile Civic Center, The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville and the 9:30 Club in Washington DC—the film captures the energy, poignancy and musicality of a Wilco concert and tour.
April 21, 2012
On the acclaimed Mermaid Avenue albums, Billy Bragg and Wilco put music to lyrics by folk legend Woody Guthrie for which he had not written music or made recordings. Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions includes the original two volumes (the second re-mastered); a third volume with 17 previously unreleased recordings from those sessions; the 1999 documentary on the sessions, Man in the Sand; and a 48-page booklet with new liner notes by Nora Guthrie, lyrics, archival photographs, and facsimiles of lyric sheets and sketches by Woody Guthrie. "Nobody has picked up on Woody as effectively—or unexpectedly—as this transatlantic get-together," says the BBC. "What's remarkable," says Pitchfork, is "the number of gems these sessions produced."