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Randy Newman's "Austin City Limits" Debut Re-Airs on PBS

on July 10, 2014 - 5:49pm
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Randy Newman's debut performance on Austin City Limits will receive an encore broadcast when the show airs the 2011 episode on PBS this weekend. "With songs that run the gamut from heartbreaking to satirical and a host of unforgettable film scores," says the show, "Randy Newman has used his many talents to create musical masterpieces widely recognized by generations of audiences." The show first aired in November 2011, the same week his latest album, Live in London, was released on Nonesuch Records. Watch a sneak peek from the show here.

 

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Randy Newman's debut performance on Austin City Limits will receive an encore broadcast when ACL, the longest-running live music television series in history, airs the 2011 episode dedicated exclusively to his work on PBS stations across the United States this weekend.

"With songs that run the gamut from heartbreaking to satirical and a host of unforgettable film scores," says the show, "Randy Newman has used his many talents to create musical masterpieces widely recognized by generations of audiences."

Newman's Austin City Limits debut first aired in November 2011, the same week his latest album, Live in London, was released on Nonesuch Records. The set list for this Saturday's show features 17 songs from throughout Newman's career, including favorites like "Short People," "Political Science," and "You Can Leave Your Hat On," each of which he performs on the Live in London CD+DVD as well. To pick up a copy of Live in London, head to the Nonesuch Store, where CD+DVD orders include a free download of the music at checkout.

You can watch his solo Austin City Limits performance of "You’ve Got a Friend in Me," from Toy Story, here:

 

 

Publish date: 
Thursday, July 10, 2014 - 11:00
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Randy Newman: "Austin City Limits" (2011) w

Laurie Anderson's Performance on "Late Show with David Letterman" Makes "The Daily Beast" Cheat Sheet

on July 15, 2010 - 12:20pm
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Laurie Anderson created an unforgettable four minutes of late-night television when she performed "Only an Expert," from her album Homeland, on Late Night with David Letterman last night, adding new references to the BP oil disaster. At the song's end, Letterman exclaims: "Exactly. That's exactly what I was thinking." The performance is featured on The Daily Beast's Video Cheat Sheet. BlogCritics says: "If there's one CD so far this year that's a must buy—Homeland is it."

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Laurie Anderson created an unforgettable four minutes of late-night television when she performed a revised version of "Only an Expert," from her recently released Nonesuch album, Homeland, on Late Night with David Letterman last night on CBS. As she has in this week's live performances of songs from Homeland in Philadelphia and New York, and will tomorrow night at the Birchmere in Alexandria, Virginia, Anderson added references to the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico ("Sometimes, when the oil dill breaks, and the oil spills out into the ocean ...") to the song's sardonic chorus, "Only an expert can deal with the problem."

At the song's end, Letterman, on his way to greet the performers, says emphatically: "Exactly. That's exactly what I was thinking."

The complete performance of "Only an Expert" soon made its way onto Gawker ("What the Hell Just Happened on Letterman?") and is featured today on The Daily Beast's Video Cheat Sheet. You can watch the latter at the end of this Nonesuch Journal post.

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BlogCritics, in its review of Homeland, describes Anderson as "everything an artist should be in times like these." Reviewer Richard Marcus concludes:

In an era of mass-produced entertainment, which appears to discourage independent thought, where the antics of those involved in its creation is more important than whatever is actually produced, the fact that Laurie Anderson's work is being made available at all, let alone for mass consumption, is a gift you don't want to take for granted. There is very little this intelligent, beautiful, accessible, and enjoyable being offered these days and you would be doing yourself a great disservice if you don't at least give it a listen. If there's one CD so far this year that's a must buy—Homeland is it.

Read the complete review at blogcritics.org.

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Anderson is the subject of a feature profile in The Awl by Seth Colter Walls titled "Difficult Listening Hour: An Introduction to Laurie Anderson," after a piece from Anderson's seminal piece United States I-IV. Colter Walls discusses his life-long admiration for Anderson's work and the evolution of her career, through her new album, Homeland, which he calls his "third favorite album of 2010 (behind Erykah Badu and Big Boi)." Read the article at theawl.com.

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In the lead-up to Friday's concert at the Birchmere, Anderson will appear on The Kojo Nnamdi Show on member-supported Washington, DC, radio station WAMU this afternoon at 1 PM ET. Listen online here.

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To pick up a copy of Homeland and the 12" vinyl single of "Only an Expert," head to the Nonesuch Store.

Watch The Daily Beast's Video Cheat Sheet clip of Anderson's Late Show appearance here:

Publish date: 
Thursday, July 15, 2010 - 12:00
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Laurie Anderson: "Late Show with David Letterman" on Daily Beast

The Black Keys' "Brothers" Debuts at No. 3 on Billboard Album Chart with Band's Best One-Week Sales Ever

on May 26, 2010 - 10:05am
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Congratulations to The Black Keys, whose latest Nonesuch release, Brothers, sold over 73,000 copies in its first week out. The album debuted at No. 2 on the Current Albums Chart and No. 3 on the Billboard 200—the highest position on the chart ever for the band and the label. The Black Keys follow up last night's spot on The Late Show with David Letterman with a performance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon tonight on NBC.

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Congratulations to The Black Keys, whose latest Nonesuch release, Brothers, sold over 73,000 copies in its first week out. The album, which debuted at No. 2 on Billboard's Current Albums Chart and No. 3 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart—the highest position on the chart ever for the band and the label—has received praise from USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, and Rolling Stone, which calls the album “their tightest disc yet.” The Black Keys follow up last night's spot on The Late Show with David Letterman with a performance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon tonight on NBC.

To celebrate the album’s release last week, The Black Keys launched an exclusive pop-up store at New York City’s Housing Works Bookstore Cafe and played an intimate performance there on May 19, raising over $28,000 for Housing Works, Inc., which provides housing, health care, job training, and advocacy for New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS. This was just one night before the band opened for a sold-out show with Pearl Jam at Madison Square Garden.

The Black Keys will tour extensively this summer and fall to support Brothers, including two sold out shows at Central Park’s SummerStage on July 27 and 28; headlining shows with The Morning Benders, The Whigs, and Nicole Atkins; dates with Kings of Leon; and a performance with The Flaming Lips in Canandaigua, NY. For more tour information, visit nonesuch.com/on-tour.

To pick up a copy of Brothers on vinyl or CD, head to the Nonesuch Store.

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Canada's Globe and Mail gives the album three-and-a-half stars. "Any fool with half a notion and a stack of vintage LPs can do the retro thing, but it takes a clue to bring something timeless to the table," suggests the Globe and Mail's Brad Wheeler. "The Black Keys have a knack for doing the latter, particularly on the blues-rock duo’s 2008 album Attack & Release and perhaps even more so with the new Brothers." Wheeler concludes: "All told, the musical brothers Dan Auerbach (guitar/vocals) and Patrick Carney (drummer) take us to a sweaty, glorious era that never quite existed before. Dig the trip." Read the review at theglobeandmail.com.

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Access Hollywood says Brothers "may just be the group’s finest work to date. Singer/Guitarist Dan Auerbach sounds the best he ever has, singing all over his range, while drummer Patrick Carney has never sounded so funky, yet in the pocket." Contributor Alex Bandy concludes: "Every song is succinct, and the tracks are able to run the gamut from heart aching blues, to fun rave-up stomps ... all while still keeping that Black Keys sound, which fans of the band have grown to cherish." Read more at accesshollywood.com.

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Glide magazine calls Brothers "exhilarating" and "a blinding success." Reviewer Shawn Donohue writes: "Having been amazingly prolific in recent years (branching out with solo records and working with various MC’s on Blakroc) has opened up the group’s pallet wonderfully. Sounding spacious and complete, Brothers employs the full gamut of instrumentation for the duo to toy with." Read the review at glidemagazine.com.

Publish date: 
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 - 12:00
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The Black Keys: "Brothers" [cover]

Natalie Merchant's "Leave Your Sleep" Featured on PBS's "NewsHour"

on April 27, 2010 - 11:37am
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Natalie Merchant and her new album, Leave Your Sleep, were featured on the PBS NewsHour. The Daily Beast chose the album for its Yes List, saying "Merchant’s voice is both soothing and electric on the album." Pop Matters says "this labor of love (so exhaustively researched, so musically collaborative, so many years in the making) is ... just beautiful and special." The LAist says "Merchant's voice was in top form" at a recent tour stop in LA.

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Natalie Merchant and her recently released Nonesuch debut album, Leave Your Sleep, were the subject of a feature profile on last night's edition of the PBS program NewsHour titled "Classic Poems Turn Lyrical on Natalie Merchant's New Album."

Merchant spoke with NewsHour correspondent Jeffrey Brown as part of the show's ongoing Poetry Series to discuss the new project, in which she set to music the work of poets both well-known and lesser-known, words both serious and humorous but always evocative.

"A poet," Merchant tells Brown, "transports you to a place where you can experience what they saw or what they felt, what they smelled, what they touched."

You can watch the full story online now at pbs.org.

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Leave Your Sleep recently made The Daily Beast's Yes List, its top culture picks for the week. Referencing the project's initial inspiration, Merchant's daughter, the site says that "the humanity clearly comes through—Merchant’s voice is both soothing and electric on the album. Motherhood has not dimmed her talents but amplified them, creating songs that sound like lullabies but are decidedly adult." Read more at thedailybeast.com.

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The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Merchant brought these poems "to musical life by surrounding them with bucolic orchestration. Woodwinds dance with strings, horns swell, and subtle acoustic guitars remind us that all of Leave Your Sleep is growing in fecund, folky, black earth." Reviewer Sam Seiler says her "once-in-a-generation voice works like fertilizer on all these sprouting dreams" and suggests letting "our respective imaginations run away with themselves and enjoy the ride." Read more at jsonline.com.

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Pop Matters calls it "an elaborate and painstaking" project for which the years of effort Merchant put into making it clearly paid off with the finished two-disc album. "The CD packaging is sumptuous," writes reviewer Jennifer Cooke, "including a beautifully hardbound booklet with lyrics, fascinating mini-biographies, and portraits of all the poets, as well as detailed credits for the 100+ musicians who contributed over a recording period of more than a year."

As diverse as the poets are, so too are the styles of music Merchant used to set them to song, including folk, jazz, reggae, and R&B. Yet, Cooke insists, "for all of the eclecticism and the vast numbers of musicians involved, the overall effect is not hodgepodge or disjointed at all—Leave Your Sleep is a cohesive work, and it sounds very much like a Natalie Merchant album."

Whatever preconceptions one might have of such an elaborate project with poetry at its root, "this labor of love (so exhaustively researched, so musically collaborative, so many years in the making) is not elitist or pedantic," Cooke concludes. "It’s just beautiful and special."

Read the complete review at popmatters.com.

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Merchant's US tour brought her to the Aratani/Japan America Theatre in Los Angeles late last week for a sold-out show benefiting the free cultural programs at the Los Angeles Central Library. Performing for a "rapt audience," reports LAist, "Merchant’s voice was in top form that night, singing a number of songs from Leave Your Sleep."

There are just three more events on the current tour in the States this week—sold out sets for the Harvard Book Store in Cambridge and the Folger Shakespeare Library in DC plus the PEN World Voices Festival's PEN Cabaret in New York—before Merchant brings the music of Leave Your Sleep to Europe. For more tour information, visit nonesuch.com/on-tour. To pick up a copy of the album, visit the Nonesuch Store.

Publish date: 
Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - 11:30
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Natalie Merchant: "Leave Your Sleep" [cover]

Merchant Marks Release of "Leave Your Sleep" on NPR's "Morning Edition," ABC's "GMA"; BBC Cites Its "Sheer Ravishing Beauty"

on April 13, 2010 - 11:45am
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Natalie Merchant's Leave Your Sleep is out now. It was featured on NPR's Morning Edition, and Merchant performed songs from it on ABC's Good Morning America. The BBC says that the album's many musical styles are unified by the "sheer ravishing beauty of the arrangements, combined with the tasteful, organic aesthetic." The Irish Times gives it a perfect five stars, saying Merchant "has delivered something special."

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Today is release day for Natalie Merchant's Leave Your Sleep, the most ambitious project of her celebrated, 25-year major-label career. She brilliantly adapts the works of such poets as Edward Lear, Ogden Nash, and Robert Graves into a musically kaleidoscopic, two-disc set of new songs. You can take a closer look inside the album's deluxe package in a new photo gallery at nonesuch.com/media and pick up a copy of the CD, with a free download of the album at no additional cost, in the Nonesuch Store.

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Leave Your Sleep was the subject of a feature on the latest episode of NPR's Morning Edition. Merchant spoke with host Renée Montagne about the project, the poets whose works are featured on it, and one very special source of inspiration behind it: her daughter.

Says Montagne: "The range of emotions covered on Leave Your Sleep fits Merchant's overall goal for the record. While it's overtly about motherhood and childhood, Merchant says she views the two experiences as a good means through which to examine life as a whole."

Listen to the complete segment at npr.org.

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In celebration of the album's release, Merchant performed the first of two consecutive nights at the New York Society for Ethical Culture's Concert Hall last night and was performing live again early this morning on ABC's Good Morning America. She spoke with host Robin Roberts about the project and performed the album tracks "Calico Pie." Both are available now at abcnews.go.com; you can watch the interview online here and watch the performance here. You can also hear "Calico Pie" on Nonesuch Radio.

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In the UK, where the album released yesterday, the BBC suggests the seven years between studio recordings from Merchant were certainly productive ones. On Leave Your Sleep, says BBC reviewer Andrzej Lukowski, "you can feel the time spent on it, with near enough every track soaked in some distinct, lush musical trapping, be it bluegrass, reggae, warm woodwind, sprightly folk, southern-fried blues and, in the case of 'Bleezer's Ice-Cream,' 1950s-style advertising jingle."

Given that vast array of musical styles Merchant incorporated into the album, "What's astonishing is how cohesive it all is," says Lukowski. "Leave Your Sleep never feels over-extended. The sheer ravishing beauty of the arrangements, combined with the tasteful, organic aesthetic (no synths here), prevents things ever jarring, and Merchant's voice flows constant throughout, supple and hard as silken steel."

Read the complete album review at bbc.co.uk.

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The Irish Times gives the album a perfect five stars. Times reviewer Joe Breen echoes Lukowski's sentiment that the time Merchant invested into the project certainly paid off and, indeed, "has delivered something special in both the abridged single album and the double album." Breen concludes that "her marriage of music and texts short-changes neither, while the vibrant and imaginative arrangements underpin Merchant's sensitive and utterly beguiling voice."

Read more at irishtimes.com.

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The Philadelphia Inquirer's Jonathan Takiff says Merchant "travels interesting new paths" on Leave Your Sleep. "Note how Natalie dresses them in a variety of sonic garbs, from the New Orleans jazz of 'Bleezer's Ice-Cream' to the reggae-toned 'Topsyturvey-World,' with stellar backing by the likes of the Wynton Marsalis Quartet; Lunasa; Medeski, Martin & Wood; and the Klezmatics." You'll find that review at philly.com.

Publish date: 
Tuesday, April 13, 2010 - 12:00
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Natalie Merchant: "Leave Your Sleep" [pkg]

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