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    • Spiritualized Announce 20th Anniversary “Ladies and Gentlemen…” Show, Plan New Album for 2017
      If you've never seen Spiritualized live before then you're missing out on one of the greatest live bands of the last two decades, especially when Jason Pierce and whoever is in the band at the time is accompanied by a gospel choir and a string section. 
    • 22, A Million
      Bon Iver's (aka Justin Vernon) debut album, For Emma, Forever Ago, was unarguably one of the best records of 2007. It's somewhat surprising to think, then, that in the nine years since, Bon Iver has only released one other studio album (2011's Bon Iver, Bon Iver)—until now. 
    • Listen: Oasis Share Previously Unreleased Demo Version of “Angel Child”
      Oasis are releasing a deluxe reissue of 1997's third album Be Here Now on October 14 (previously the release date was October 7). It includes 14 previously unreleased album demos recorded on Mustique Island, a Caribbean island, in 1996. 
    • Listen: La Sera - “Whole Lotta Love” (Led Zeppelin Cover)
      La Sera (ex-Vivian Girl Katy Goodman and Todd Wisenbaker) released a new album, Music For Listening to Music To, back in March via Polyvinyl. Tomorrow (September 30) they are releasing a new EP, Queens, also via Polyvinyl (it's a digital-only release). 
    • Listen: Jagwar Ma - “Slipping”
      Jagwar Ma are releasing their sophomore album, Every Now & Then, on October 14 via Mom + Pop. Previously the band had shared "OB1" (via its video) and "Give Me a Reason" (which is below). Now the band has shared another song from the album, "Slipping."
    • Virgin Suicide
      Virgin Suicide's moniker was fairly obviously inspired by the 2000-released Sofia Coppola directed film The Virgin Suicides. But somewhat surprisingly, film isn't an overt influence on the songwriting of the  Danish act's sun-drenched pop numbers, according to their frontman Martin Grønne.
    • Listen: Lower Dens Cover Hall & Oates’ “Maneater” For “The Time Is Now” Charity Compilation
      Lower Dens has covered Daryl Hall and John Oates' 1982 classic "Maneater" (from their H2O album). The cover will appear on a new charity album, The Time Is Now, which is due out October 7 via Republic/Mass Appeal and benefits amfAR (The Foundation for AIDS Research). 
    • Listen: Phantogram - “You’re Mine”
      Phantogram (the duo of Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter) are releasing their third album, the appropriately titled Three, next Friday (October 7) via Republic. Previously the band shared a bunch of tracks from the album: "You Don't Get High Anymore," as well as a video for the song, and the songs "Run Run Blood," "Cruel World, […]
    • Stream the New Album by Conor Oberst - “Ruminations”
      Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes is releasing a new solo album, Ruminations, on October 14 via Nonesuch. It is described as a solo acoustic album. No actual songs from the album have been shared since the album wasannounced in early August and the album isn't due out for two more weeks, but now you can stream the whole thing below via NPR First Listen.  […]
    • Listen: Empire of the Sun - “To Her Door” (Featuring Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham)
      Australian dance duo Empire of the Sun are releasing their third album, Two Vines, on October 28 via Astralwerks. They have already shared the album's first two singles, "High and Low" and title track "Two Vines," as well asa video for "High and Low."
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    • Merchandise - A Corpse Wired For Sound September 30, 2016
      Difficult, fragmented, but incredibly beautiful...Rough comparisons have always done a disservice to the scope of vision between Merchandise’s two principle songwriters Carson Cox and David Vassalotti. For a songwriting duo that got together over a love of Ornette Coleman’s ‘Free Jazz’, Faust’s ‘Faust IV’, and Muslimgauze’s ‘Lo-Fi India Abuse’, one imagines […]
    • Danny Brown - Atrocity Exhibition September 30, 2016
      Eccentric, acerbic, and - ultimately - one of the best in the game...Danny Brown casts off the more user-friendly EDM touches that brought his previous effort ‘Old’ some mainstream attention in 2013, and drags his fourth LP ‘Atrocity Exhibition’ into an altogether murkier zone – both sonically and thematically. In the build-up to its release, much has been m […]
    • This Feeling Tenth Birthday Event Series September 30, 2016
      Bringing the party to you...This Feeling rest their hats on really knowing how to throw a party. Launched from humble and hallowed origins in the Parker McMillan basement in 2006 East London, the gang have spent 10 years purveying the finest indie and emerging bands our green and pleasant island has to offer including Arctic Monkeys, Oasis and Kasabian among […]
    • P Money Announces Debut Album 'Live & Direct' September 30, 2016
      Check out new cut 'Panasonic'...P Money has announced new album 'Live & Direct' - it's due on November 25th. The much-respected MC hit Mistajam's 1Xtra show last night (September 29th) determined to go that little bit further than before. Not only did P Money unveil new single 'Panasonic', but he followed this with […]
    • Charlotte OC Drops New Video, Tour Dates September 30, 2016
      Check out 'Darkest Hour' now...Blackburn native and all round talent Charlotte OC has dropped the video for new cut 'Darkest Hour'. The songwriter seems to specialise in conjuring unique atmospheres within pop music, bizarre aural landscapes fused to gorgeous pop melody. New cut 'Darkest Hour' is a sumptuous return, perhaps Char […]
    • Track Of The Day 30/9 - Gabriel Bruce September 30, 2016
      'Come All Sufferers'Gabriel Bruce seems to create entire worlds to immerse yourself in. New album 'Come All Sufferers' was all languid soundscapes and sharply defined melodies, gothic tapestries and early 90s indie songcraft. Out now, it's a difficult record to define yet also impossible to shrug off - all lyrical intrigue and immens […]
    • Listen: MY - 'White Water' September 30, 2016
      Bubbling with a stark and restless energy...Raised in a small rural Swedish village, MY Helmner had a seemingly idyllic upbringing. Surrounded by forests, mountains, fast flowing melt water and the wilderness and felt that stark contrast keenly when moving to the inner-city to pursue her first love songwriting. Bubbling with a stark and restless energy, […]
    • Oasis Post Unreleased 'Angel Child' Demo September 30, 2016
      As 'Be Here Now' re-issue approaches...An unreleased Oasis demo version of 'Angel Child' has made its way online. The Britpop legends are set to re-issue their third studio album 'Be Here Now' on October 14th, part of their ongoing Chasing The Sun series. The original demo versions for the album are referred to as the Mustique D […]
    • Puma Taps The Weeknd September 30, 2016
      Abel Tesfaye joins Riri as a Global Brand ambassador.Almost a year after Alexander Wang’s collaboration with The Weeknd dropped, today it has been announced that Abel Tesfaye is making moves on Riri territory, signing up as a Global Brand ambassador and creative collaborator for Puma. Set to make his debut in November’s Run The Streets campaign – shot in LA […]
    • Premiere: ECHOS - 'Take' September 30, 2016
      New EP drops on October 14th...Portland based electronic duo ECHOS have already caused huge buzz in the American underground. Formed back in 2013, the production pairing have taken their time, moving from bass abstraction through to something rather more direct yet also more soothing. The duo's debut EP drops on October 14th, and it matches some beautif […]
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    • DAVID LEE ROTH HAS A STALKER September 30, 2016
      Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth has posted the following account called, My Stalker, on his blog. Excerpts appear below: “Stalker blog. Part 1. Help! I have a stalker. A very real one. 75 stalker phone calls in the last 4 months. All of them at 5:30-6:00 in the morning. All 917 and 301 area... Read more
    • 9/29: MONSTERS OF ROCK CRUISE WEST IS HERE! September 29, 2016
      Monsters Of Rock Cruise West is here! I’ve had the honor of hosting these great rock cruises ever since they began, and it’s awesome to see how they’ve grown. A couple years ago I said to Larry Morand how cool it would be to do one from the W coast, and sure enough here we... Read more
      SiriusXM announced today the launch of Volume, the first-ever 24/7 talk radio channel dedicated to music — its latest news, raging controversies, and non-stop debates – as the focus of the conversation. This new channel will cover all genres of popular music. Volume will deliver a mixture of live daily shows, artist interviews, weekly specials,... Read more […]
      I am extremely excited to announce that I will be a daily host on a brand new SiriusXM channel called Volume (channel 106) that was announced today! My show “Trunk Nation” will air Monday-Friday LIVE from 2-4PM ET, with replays later in the day (times TBA). As many of you know I have been doing... Read more
    • 9/28: METALLICA LAST NIGHT LIVE IN NYC September 28, 2016
      Had the chance to see Metallica last night in a small private show in NYC at Webster Hall (formerly The Ritz back in the old days). I saw so many great shows at this venue over the decades including GnR in the legendary MTV ’87 show. Always great memories and it hasn’t changed at all... Read more
      In June 2016, legendary guitarist Ritchie Blackmore made many long held dreams come true for his fans as Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow played three concerts in Europe, two in Germany and one in England. The two German shows at Loreley and Bietigheim were caught on camera to produce Memories In Rock-Live In Germany, which will be... Read more
      Had a busy day in NYC yesterday. Spent some time with the guys in Metallica who were in to appear on Howard Stern and various other SiriusXM shows. It was good to see them all. Spent a good amount of time talking UFO with Kirk (he’s a fellow super fan!) and interviewed Lars. You’ll hear... Read more
      Metallica are worried about the future of rock music after they’ve gone, they’ve revealed. The band discussed their concerns in a question-and-answer session with fans on Sirius XM as they continue to promote upcoming album Hardwired… To Self-Destruct. Despite name-checking several rising-star acts, they expressed fears over what will happen to the heavy mus […]
      Former Cinderella guitarist, Jeff LaBar, spoke with Another FN Podcast With Izzy Presley about the band’s decision to stop touring, saying that he understands why Tom doesn’t return his calls and admitting that he is “pretty much done playing music.” Excerpts from interview appear below as transcribed by When asked where he thinks Cinderell […]
      A picture of the classic Dokken lineup has surfaced online. As previously reported, the band will reunite for six shows in Japan in October, and one in the States, which will be in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on September 30th. In a recent interview with Classic Rock, guitarist George Lynch says the reunion is, “…like... Read more
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Artist of the Day: James Jackson Toth

Posted by falconi5 on May 5, 2012


When songwriter James Jackson Toth dropped Wooden Wand & the Vanishing Voice (his pseudonym was the first half of the band’s name) and let that unit simply dissolve into the neo-hippie ether, he created an almost unlimited sense of possibility for himself as a solo artist. That’s not to say that Toth has completely left his post-’60s ethos behind — far from it. He’s still assembling super-limited-edition CD-Rs to give away at impromptu shows and collaborating with many other artists. The hint that Toth was on his way to something else could be heard on 2007’s James and the Quiet, the final Wooden Wand offering. Issued by Ecstatic Peace, it was a deeply introspective album that, while more cohesive than anything Wooden Wand had recorded, was still a meandering cipher of a set. Released in 2008, Waiting in Vain is a 180-degree turn, produced by Steve Fisk and recorded in San Francisco with a band that includes wife Jex Thoth, Otto Hauser, Shayde Sartin, Jason Quever, and Jarvis Taveniere, along with guests including Nels Cline, Carla Bozulich, and Andy Cabic. Each and every tune here has — in comparison to anything he’s done previously — a taut, formal structure, each of them evoking some source of inspiration. For instance, the calling up of the spirit of John Lennon in “Look in on Me” is eerie for all its forlorn need. The production comes right from Lennon’s debut solo album, while the lyrics and melody are pure Toth — ambling, leisurely paced country-rock. The combination works beautifully. The combination of Neil Young and Jason Molina that saturates “Midnight Watchman,” with its blend of hollow-body electric guitars, strummed acoustics, and upright piano, is gentle, forlorn, and sweet, but the only place you know it’s Toth is in the lyrics. And if there is a problem with Waiting in Vain, this is it: too much emulation, too much paying of tributes without enough focus on getting the songs across in his voice, whether they be rockers, ballads, folk tunes, countryish rock songs, or his attempt at psych pop.

 That said, Waiting in Vain is a pleasant listen; there’s plenty to like here, and despite some of its relative laid-back sloppiness, it carries within it the genuine effort of a very good songwriter who is not only trying to communicate but trying to find his way through his heroes into his own sound. Over nearly 50 minutes, however, the listener has to give Toth a generous benefit of the doubt, because it’s simply too long. This is a solid if flawed first try.

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