Broken Bells is a band formed in 2010 by James Mercer of The Shins and producer/songwriter Brian Burton (better known as Danger Mouse). The two share songwriting credits and play all of the instruments on their songs, with Mercer as lead vocalist and Burton handling production duties.
They released a self-titled album in 2010 and sophomore effort After the Disco in 2014. No word on whether they will collaborate again.
The Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers is album three in one of the greatest four-album runs in music history.
It starts with 1968’s Beggar’s Banquet, then 1969’s Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers in 1971, and finally Exile On Main St. in 1972. Five years, four stone-cold classic albums featuring some of the most indelible rock music ever recorded.
Sting gets a bad rap for being both too middle-of-the-road and too pretentious. He has earned that criticism to a degree (the man released a lute album, for crying out loud!) but any sensible music fan would be silly to dismiss him.
Even setting aside his groundbreaking work with The Police, you need look no farther than his sophomore release, 1987’s …Nothing Like the Sun, for evidence of his greatness.
First off, Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there, but most especially my own wonderful mother!
And now for today’s randomly selected Song of the Day.
1998’s The Globe Sessions is my favorite Sheryl Crow album. It kicks off with the excellent single ‘My Favorite Mistake,’ features the sublime cowboy funk of ‘There Goes the Neighborhood,’ finds room for a swell Dylan cover in ‘Mississippi’ and delivers one of its finest moments with the ramshackle penultimate track ‘Members Only.’
Not to mention ‘Anything But Down,’ another hit, the slow burn of ‘The Difficult Kind,’ the delicate ‘Riverside’ and the jaunty ‘It Don’t Hurt.’
Ryan Adams has released 16 albums in the past 17 years. He once went three years without releasing an album, but he had already made up for that by releasing three albums in a single year.
Of all those releases, the two I know best — the only two I know well, really — are the first two. 2000’s Heartbreaker and 2001’s Gold are both excellent, wide-ranging works and among my favorite records of that decade. In fact, it just struck me that I somehow missed that Heartbreaker was a 2000 release or else it surely would have made my personal best-of list.
My choice for Counting Crows’ best album is a close contest between their 1993 debut August and Everything After and their fourth release, 2002’s Hard Candy. Forced to choose, I would likely side with Hard Candy.
Today’s random SOTD, ‘Carriage,’ is a big reason why. This is a beautiful and poignant song that plays to Adam Duritz’s strengths as a lyricist and vocalist and gives the band plenty of space to fill a rather sparse song with moments of musical grace.
Of all the Bob Dylan Bootleg Series releases, volume 11 (The Basement Tapes Complete) is definitely the most impressive.
Spanning six discs and 138 tracks, this volume contains all of the unreleased tracks recorded by Dylan and The Band in the basement of a house called Big Pink between May and October of 1967.