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Meredith Shaw’s musical journey is unique among singer/songwriters today in that she is giving the world a chance to see her artistic and creative development happen in real time.

Shaw’s music has a sophisticated pop vibe and features clever, witty lyrics, mixed with a playful sensuality. Her uncanny ability to compose evocative, yet fun and memorable melodies created a ground-breaking debut CD and caught the attention of the music industry and music lovers far and wide.

Her 2011 debut album, Place Called Happy established the popular radio personality and club performer as a musician and songwriter to be reckoned with – a refreshing face, voice and approach on the North American music scene.

Her current musical adventure is an exciting series of recordings that has entered its second phase with the upcoming release of a new three-song EP entitled Hardest Goodbye.

Phase one saw Shaw work with talented recording artist, songwriter and producer Joel Plaskett as producer for the ‘Trouble’ three-song EP which came out in the spring of 2013.

This second phase, Hardest Goodbye, was produced by John-Angus MacDonald of The Trews.

It features a whole other side of Meredith Shaw — a deeper, more contemplative, rootsier, more grounded artist. The songs still highlight her quick wit, clever turns of phrase and delightful melodies, but they are infused with a true roots sensibility.

“I’m walking along the alt-country road. I am moving forward. I am doing what I am doing and the world around me is changing,” Shaw said.

The title track, Hardest Goodbye is a modern, melodic take on the good old fashioned ‘hurtin’ song’ you’re going to get out of Shaw.

“Hardest Goodbye walks that line between pop and the kind of country music I am interested in doing. The country influences are there,” Shaw explained.

“What I am hoping to do is set the stage for something that might come next for me, because these songs represent where I am musically right now. I am very involved in that more traditional, old-school country community so naturally, I find myself making that kind of music.”

Even If You Don’t Know could confidently be said to be the most country of the trip of tunes.

“It has a bit of a honky tonk vibe to it. It’s probably the most traditional country song on the EP, and it is a blast to perform live,” Shaw said.

Conversely, the song Slide is a smoky, sultry little number that is better suited to the boudoir than the dance floor. It features backing vocals by soul rock group, The Walkervilles, and one of Shaw’s most enticing and expressive vocal performances ever captured on tape.

“After hearing the Walkervilles do their stuff on the track. I went back and told John-Angus I wanted to redo my vocals. I wasn’t singing against all of their voices originally. I was kind of just cooing in the vocal booth. I didn’t have the context. So the vocal that made it onto the EP was done in one take. And that was awesome,” said Shaw.

The goal of Shaw’s current journey is a full album encapsulating each phase of this musical adventure. Rather than recording all of the songs and just sitting on them for months on end, she decided to release an EP representing each creative segment of her journey — a snapshot of her evolutionary process.

“I guess what I am doing is more like a reality show of creating music. As long as I am really solid and happy with every stage, and that it’s good music, that’s what matters,” she said.

Shaw is charting her own musical path. By creating small recording packages that feature their own unique style and sound, she is taking ownership of her journey, and not catering to the schizophrenic whims of popular culture.

And she has been rewarded for not only her talent, but her independent spirit and integrity with a distribution and promotional deal with eOne Music Canada. As well, the song Call It A Night from her first EP, spent much of the summer of 2013 firmly planted in the top 20 on CBC Radio 2s charts, and she also toured extensively, and spent a great deal of time in Nashville.

“Honestly, I don’t totally have all the answers as to what the final product is going to be. But it’s a very interesting journey so far. I think this process, and releasing the material as it’s completed, is really helping to define my voice, both as a writer and as a singer. And I hope people come with me on this ride, because I think we’re going to end up somewhere really good,” she said.

On June 3, Led Zeppelin will issue deluxe editions of the group’s first three studio album, and on their debut album version, it will contain a previously unreleased live show from 1969.

The band have released a snippet of “Good Times, Bad Times” and “Communication Breakdown” from their October 10, 1969 show at the Olympia Theatre in Paris.

This is The Portlandia Activity Book—a compendium of guaranteed enrichment for the Pacific Northwestern part of your psyche. Like a cool high school that prefers a sweat lodge to the traditional classroom, this book will expand your mind through participation, dehydrate you to a state of emotional rawness, then linger in the corners your bare soul.

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Morrissey has released details of his forthcoming 10th solo LP, World Peace Is None Of Your Business, including song titles. In typical Moz fashion, these are some of the best in music – I mean, it’s no “Roar” or “Happy,” right? The album will be out on the resurgent Harvest label though Capitol Music in July.

World Peace Is None Of Your Business tracklist:

1 World Peace Is None Of Your Business (4:21)
2 Neal Cassady Drops Dead (4:02)
3 Istanbul (4:40)
4 I’m Not A Man (7:50)
5 Earth Is The Loneliest Planet (3:38)
6 Staircase At The University (5:30)
7 The Bullfighter Dies (2:05)
8 Kiss Me A Lot (4:03)
9 Smiler With Knife (5:13)
10 Kick The Bride Down The Aisle (5:18)
11 Mountjoy (5:08)
12 Oboe Concerto (4:07)

KISS’s Paul Stanley Overcame Deafness, Deformity And Bullying To Become A Rock Star.

The fewer babies Americans give birth to, the more small dogs they buy.

Why Stephen Colbert Is the Perfect David Letterman Replacement.

If you’ve never seen this, worth a look: Ricky Gervais in 80′s new wave group Seona Dancing.

40 Years of Music Industry Change, In Less Than 40 Seconds.

Stanley Kubrick Answers A Question And Gives His Philosophy Of Life.

25 Things You Didn’t Know About ’2001: A Space Odyssey’

The Greatest Sixties Soul Record Adverts.

Fan Makes Best Catch Of 2014…With His Popcorn Box.

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The Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger (AKA the GOASTT) consists of Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl. Bringing to mind the likes of Tame Impala and the Flaming Lips, who Lennon recently performed with on Letterman, the duo has grown in popularity since we first heard them on “Jardin Du Luxembourg.” This month they release the new album Midnight Sun and today they’re sharing the Rich Ragsdale-directed music video for its song “Animals.”

“It’s a loving spoof of the Source Family, that infamous ’60s cult of polygamous vegetarian hippies. We shot it on 35 millimeter and were inspired by the surrealist aesthetics of Jowdorowsky and Kenneth Anger,” Kemp Muhl tells us. That explanation doesn’t even seem necessary once you see how much the video embraces the playfully strange style of a film like Jowdorowsky’s Holy Mountain (which, incidentally, came to fruition thanks to the support of Lennon’s parents). The whole clip is framed around a massive, cultish sing-along and filled to the brim with surreal special effects, spaceships, and nudity.

Big Wreck will release their highly anticipated new album Ghosts, June 10 on Anthem/Warner Music in Canada. The lead single and title track from their latest full-length “Ghosts” is currently streaming via the band’s website.

Ghosts is Big Wreck’s fourth studio album and the follow-up to 2012’s Albatross, which
received widespread critical acclaim. The album debuted at #5 on Canada’s Top 200 Chart and
hit #25 on the US Billboard HeatSeekers chart. Albatross featured multiple radio hits, including
the lead single “Albatross”, which held the #1 spot at rock radio in Canada for 6 weeks.

Recorded at Revolution Studios and Vespa Studios in Toronto, the new album was once
again produced by Big Wreck’s singer-guitarist Ian Thornley, alongside producers Nick
Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Rush) and Eric Ratz (Monster Truck, Billy Talent). While
Ghosts stays true to the driving intensity, booming drum sound and unbridled guitar virtuosity
that has always made Big Wreck so appealing, it also explores bold new aural territory.

“Now I find that I’m finally getting through a lot of concepts and tricks that I’ve always wanted to try on a record but had previously put on the backburner or even forgotten about,” says
Thornley. “This time, nothing felt forced or rushed, everything just felt right and it’s so great to finally be able to indulge and to have that be okay.”

Atmospherically, Ghosts explores an incredibly wide range of sounds, some that fans might
not expect to hear from the band. “The creative palette is a lot broader on this record, and
sonically there’s a lot more going on that I just haven’t heard before,” notes Ian. “This record
has it all for me. We’ve cut out the things that just didn’t feel right––there’s none of that in
there––every little noise, every little nuance adds something to the ether of each track and it
all sounds exactly like what we wanted.” Having tackled everything from piano interludes to
80’s inspired gated reverb, Ghosts reveals a side of Big Wreck that is unabashedly musical.
“If Albatross sort of re-opened the door for us as Big Wreck, then this new album definitely
kicks it down.”

For a band that planted their roots nearly 20 years ago, Big Wreck has finally arrived at that
place where all of the pieces fit. The walls are down, the chemistry is electric and the output
is their most fearless brand of rock and roll to date.

From Billboard:

Billboard’s new cover star is the Great Red Hope himself, Ed Sheeran, a self-deprecating, unglamorous heartthrob who attracts fans to arenas with just an acoustic guitar, was Taylor Swift’s date on Oscar night and is a talent Pharrell calls “one of the most impressive, underestimated singer-songwriters of our time.” Sheeran just announced he’ll release new single “Sing” this week, and here are a few tidbits from the story:

HE KNEW HE’D SELL OUT HIS GARDEN PARTY. Ed sold out three nights at Madison Square Garden in New York City, a huge accomplishment for a solo singer-songwriter. How many people knew that selling out those shows – almost instantly – was a given? “I’ve got to be honest: I did,” he says. “But no one else did. That’s why I made them hold three [dates]… I know my fan base and I can tell when something is going well. And record sales didn’t mirror ticket sales.”

HIS NEW ALBUM WILL HAVE HIS MOST CONFESSIONAL SONG TO DATE. Ed says he “could have gotten nastier” in the new song, a “100 percent true” story about an ex love. “If you date a songwriter, be prepared to have songs written about you.”

The collaborative album from ambient icon Brian Eno and Underworld member Karl Hyde is due May 6, 2014 through Warp Records, and I can’t wait for it. The first single, ‘Daddy’s Car,’ can be streamed here. This is the second song to be heard from this new collaboration and follows album opener ‘The Satellites.’

‘Someday World’ is an album born from years of experimental beginnings, and polyrhythmic musical textures re-contextualised and brought together in one month-long session in late 2013. In contrast to the midi-horns-driven krautrock of ‘The Satellites,’ ‘Daddy’s Car,’ betrays the duo’s love of Steve Reich and cyclical Afrobeat, maintaining the strong sense of melody and structure through Hyde’s lead vocal.