You Just Might Like: Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen is a man who needs no introduction: throughout his five-decade long career, he’s released 18 studio albums, won 20 Grammys—and has sold nearly 65 million records in the US alone.Born to Run

Even though the Boss’s discography is an enormous, shape-shifting beast, sometimes its not enough; sometimes you greedily crave more than the Boss can given you. Perhaps you’re looking for a darker take on Darkness on the Edge of Town, or perhaps you’re aching for a modernized Born to Run. Either way, you’re in luck: a lot of kids kicking around in bands today were raised on Bruce’s best stuff.

Here are a few you just might like.

The Gaslight Anthem

The Gaslight Anthem:

The Gaslight Anthem is four dudes from Jersey who not only idolize Bruce, but have actually opened for him. Their ties to Springsteen mostly lie in band leader Brian Fallon’s lyrics, which claw for lost youth and faded lovers—even though they’re probably too young to have earned that right. Musically they’re a tad heavier than Bruce’s biggest anthems, but the two artists’ spirits ride on the same highway. Their 2010 album American Slang is a great place to start.

The Hold Steady:

The Hold StBoys and Girls in Americaeady is a Brooklyn group that hails from the Minneapolis bar band scene. They’re well versed in catchy riffs, epic piano solos and lyrics that hail a unified scene. Lead singer Craig Finn shouts and speaks more than he sings, but his enthusiasm for his words, for his band—and for music in general—allow him to pull his style off with, well, style. The Hold Steady’s 2006 album Boys and Girls in America riffs off of Kerouac’s On the Road and Springsteen’s Born to Run at an equal rate, and is a fantastic jumping off point.

Arcade Fire:Neon Bible

Arcade Fire have recently shifted into dance-friendly territory with Reflektor, but just a few years back they proudly wore Springsteen’s influence on their sleeve. This is especially apparent on anthems like “Keep the Car Running” and “(Antichrist Television Blues),” two standouts from Neon Bible. The Boss himself even joined Arcade Fire onstage for “Keep the Car Running” at a gig in Ottawa in 2007, a performance which you can (and should) catch below.


Andrew Brandt
@andrewtbrandt

Andrew is a communications intern at Murfie. When he’s not blogging here, you can probably find him blogging at a handful of other music sites. And when he’s not blogging at all, you can probably find him curled up with a good beer and a great book.



Radiohead: A Career Defying Expectations


Pablo Honey
Radiohead, an English rock band from Oxfordshire, has made a career out of defying expectations. Over eight studio albums, the band—which consists of Thom Yorke, Johnny and Colin Greenwood, Phil Selway and Ed O’Brien—has constantly re-invented their sound, and managed to rack up 18 Grammy nominations and over 30 million in record sales along the way.

The five men met as boys in 1985, and quickly formed a band called “On A Friday.” Yet they didn’t hit their first break until 1991, when they happened upon a representative from EMI. After requesting that the five-piece change their name, the band signed a six-record deal as the newly named “Radiohead.”

RadioheThe Bendsad released their first record, Pablo Honey, in 1993. Largely influenced by the recent grunge and alternative rock movements, Pablo Honey sold relatively well and spawned the hit “Creep”; it also spawned the band’s first nickname, “Nirvana Lite.” Yorke and company quickly grew tired of being lazily lumped in with their peers, so for their next record, The Bends, they worked with producer Nigel Godrich in an attempt to shift their focus. What resulted was critical success and a cemented status as one of the top Brit-rock bands around.

OK ComputerYet again, Radiohead quickly grew tired of being set side by side with the other Britpop bands of the ‘90s. They responded in 1997 with the illustrious OK Computer, an album chock full of guitars and Thom Yorke’s now-legendary falsetto. Lyrically, OK Computer harks on the pitfalls of consumerism and the isolation experienced in the modern age; instrumentally, it’s all over the map: there are ballads (“Karma Police”), rockers (“Electioneering”), and songs that hit every mark in between (“Paranoid Android”). OK Computer was both a critical and commercial blockbuster, instantly landing the number one spot on the U.K. charts and eventually winding up at the 162nd spot on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

ExpectationKid As to deliver a hit record vastly increased after OK Computer, and again, Radiohead responded by shifting into new sonic territory. In 2000, they unleashed Kid A onto the world. Or should I say, the Internet did; Kid A was one of the first albums to ever leak on file sharing programs, and, with its heavy reliance on electronic samples and digital effects, it was an eerie fit. Even though Radiohead’s trademark guitar-driven sound is nearly absent on Kid A, it’s arguably their best. Heck, forget Radiohead: Kid A—which went on to win a Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album and was subsequently ranked the number one album of the 2000s by both Rolling Stone and Pitchfork Media—is arguably one of the greatest albums of all time.

AmnesiacRumor had it that the Kid A sessions had fostered enough music to span two discs, and, lo and behold, Radiohead released Amnesiac the following year. Amnesiac explores the same digital world as Kid A, (they both feature “Morning Bell”) but their respective perspectives are quite distinct. Amnesiac marked the fifth time the band had worked with Nigel Godrich, and it was nominated for the Mercury Prize in 2001.

Hail to the Thief Radiohead returned to their rock roots in 2003 with the release of Hail to the Thief, their most overtly political statement to date. Hail to the Thief is also the band’s most musically sporadic work, due to the way it was quickly recorded and loosely assembled. It was their fifth straight album to be nominated for the Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album.

In RainbowsAfter Hail to the Thief, Radiohead was no longer under contract with EMI. So for their next album, In Rainbows, the band opted out of signing any new contracts. Instead, they released it themselves in a pay-what-you-want format that many independent bands have adopted for use today. At the time, I thought they broke music. Now, I see that the marketing strategy was tremendously successful, though it doesn’t hurt that In Rainbows is a blend of nearly every version of Radiohead imaginable. In Rainbows is also arguably the band’s most accessible album besides OK Computer, which was, perhaps coincidentally, released exactly ten years earlier.

In 2011The King of Limbs, Radiohead released their most recent album, King of Limbs. Again working with Nigel Godrich, King of Limbs found the band focusing less on typical song structures and more on looping techniques. On one hand, the album is clearly distinct from the rest of their catalogue; on the other, its differences are what makes it wholly a Radiohead record.

As of 2014, Radiohead is on a well-deserved break. In the mean time, us fans are anxiously awaiting their next pitch. I hope it’s another curveball.


Andrew Brandt
@andrewtbrandt

Andrew is a communications intern at Murfie. When he’s not blogging here, you can probably find him blogging at a handful of other music sites. And when he’s not blogging at all, you can probably find him curled up with a good beer and a great book.



Album Preview: “Terms of My Surrender” by John Hiatt

Terms of My SurrenderAlbum
Terms of My Surrender

Artist
John Hiatt

Release Date
Tuesday, July 15th

Label
New West Records

Pre-order Link
Pre-order album

Preview
It’s hard to imagine that an artist who’s been covered by Bob Dylan, Iggy Pop, Emmylou Harris and Bruce Springsteen can remain off the radar, but that’s essentially how John Hiatt has spent his entire career.

Best of John HiattHiatt grew up in Indianapolis, where he learned to play the guitar at age 11 as a way to deal with growing pains. He moved to Nashville in his late teens and ended up landing a songwriting gig with the Tree-Music Publishing Company. In 1973 Three Dog Night recorded a track he wrote, “Sure As I’m Sittin’ Here,” and he subsequently signed a contract with Epic Records.

Things wereBring the Family just beginning to look up for John, yet he was dropped from Epic a few years later when his albums failed to chart. After a brief stint with Geffen Records, he finally caught a break in 1987 with Bring the Family and his biggest hit, “Have a Little Faith in Me.” Hiatt continued to harbor critical success during his stay with A&M Records, but he couldn’t match the level of commercial success he found with Bring the Family.

6146-largeThroughout the 90’s, Hiatt continued to perfect his storytelling technique, becoming a masterful lyricist in the process. He also honed a sound that was distinctly American, falling somewhere in between new-wave, country and rock. In 1995 he received his first Grammy nomination for Walk On, and in 2002 he contributed a handful of track’s to the Disney film Country Bears.

Hiatt is set to release his 22nd album, Terms of My Surrender, next week. The record marks a minor departure from his recent country sound, opting instead for something a little more blues influenced. No matter the genre of music, however, it’s sure to be nothing but another worthy album from a well-traveled cult hero.

A teaser from Terms of My Surrender

Pre-order your copy of  Terms of My Surrender on Murfie! Each CD comes with unlimited streaming (Web, iOS, Android, Sonos) and downloads in mp3, aac, FLAC and ALAC. 

Album Preview: “Last Tangle in Paris – Live 2012” by Ministry

MinistryAlbum
Last Tangle in Paris – Live 2012

Artist
Ministry

Release Date
Tuesday, July 8th

Label
UDR

Purchase Link
Purchase album

Preview
When it comes to American metal bands, few have been as influential or dedicated as Ministry. And while Al Jourgensen began the band as a synthpop outfit in 1981, they quickly traded in their synthesizers for guitars and morphed into something a whole lot heavier.

psalm 69Ministry broke through into the mainstream in 1992 with the release of Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs . The record not only cemented the band’s place at the forefront of the industrial metal scene—but it also snagged them a spot at Lollapalooza that very same summer.

While Ministry dealt with steady lineup changes throughout the ‘90s and the early 2000s, they never stopped releasing records until 2008, when Jourgensen declared that the band was finished.

from beer to eternityYet just four short years later, Ministry rode again. Their latest live record, Last Tangle in Paris – Live 2012 was recorded during their 2012 reunion, and it shows the band playing old and new hits alike. It also happens to be one of the last Ministry performances of late guitarist Mike Scaccia’s career.

After Scaccia’s death, Jourgensen collected the band’s most recent recordings and churned them into 2013’s From Beer to Eternity, their final studio album. Last Tangle in Paris – Live 2012 is another last for the band, as Jourgensen has declared that there won’t be another Ministry live album.

So whether you’re a diehard metal fan or simply someone looking for a spot to dive into a well-established band’s discography, Last Tangle in Paris – Live 2012 is an essential record to add to your collection.

A teaser from Last Tangle in Paris – Live 2012

Buy your copy of Last Tangle in Paris – Live 2012  on Murfie! Each CD comes with unlimited streaming (Web, iOS, Android, Sonos) and downloads in mp3, aac, FLAC and ALAC.