GARGANTUA Ash Grunwald (Shock) While the Living Dead’s Scott Owen and Andy Strachan might provide the “bang and clang” as the hired guns for Australian guitar maestro Ash Grunwald’s latest project, he’s the one everyone in Australia has been making a noise about for well over a decade. And while Grunwald, who has done stints as a radio DJ, is a capable enough vocalist, what he lacks in the wizened old voices of blues greats, he makes up for with a steaming repertoire of guitar licks
ONE TRUE VINE Mavis Staples (Warner) The second collaboration between soul great Mavis Staples and Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, like the first, owes as much to Tweedy’s deft guidance and production skills as it does to Staples’ power-punch vocals. He manages to plug into the emotional centre of a singer bought up on gospel, who became a powerful voice for the US civil rights movement.
You’d think that if your dad turned you into a global headline joke, you’d want to keep your head down and avoid the media for the rest of your life. Or at the very least not listen to any career advice your dad offered your way
It’s not the most original conceit: blending rappers with the Beatles to create a new work. It’s how Brian “Danger Mouse” Burton first made his name in 2004 with his Grey Album,’which mixed a cappella recordings of Jay-Z rapping from his Black Album with reworked songs from the Beatles’ self-titled record known as the White Album
Christchurch musicians dominated the New Zealand Country Music Awards in Gore last night.
CAVEMAN Caveman (Shock) There are moments of melodic and cleverly arranged promise in this New York indie five-piece’s follow-up to 2011’s CoCo Beware (which this reviewer quite liked as a slow-burner but which mostly smouldered beneath the radar) but the band’s tendency to sand the edges off their tracks with synth-washed soundscapes prevents most tracks from blossoming, let alone bear any fruit. The repetition of building each track to a crescendo using that layered synth becomes tedious, detracting from layered mid-album highlights Over My Head and Pricey whose great reverbed guitar lines and thoughtful change-ups are drowned by that familiar cadence
What: Wilco Where: Auckland Town Hall When: Saturday, April 6 Dear Wilco fans, I hope there’s room for me on that bandwagon ’cause I’m getting officially getting on board.
Neil Young and Crazy Horse Wellington, TSB Arena, March 19 Neil Young is a legendary singer and songwriter – there’s no doubt about that.
REVIEW: Rodriguez TSB Bank Arena, Saturday, March 16 Sixto Rodriguez recorded two albums and was promptly forgotten until last year’s Oscar-winning documentary Searching For Sugar Man told a truth-is-stranger-than-fiction version of some of the events leading to a comeback. He was huge in South Africa but the film forgets that he’d already toured Australia and had some following in New Zealand.
British blues-rock guitarist Alvin Lee, who was best known for his performance with rock band Ten Years After at Woodstock in 1969, has died, aged 68, his family said. “With great sadness we have to announce that Alvin unexpectedly passed away early this morning after unforeseen complications following a routine surgical procedure,” the family said in a statement on the singer’s official website