I’ll never forget my first encounter with Paramore. It wasn’t at a gig or on the radio. It came in the pages of a magazine: a backstage photo taken around the time of 2007’s Riot! And I have to be honest: My focus wasn’t on the band but on its singer, Hayley Williams. Underneath that flame of orange-red hair, with her head cocked elatedly to the side, she was laughing as if there was no tomorrow. Now that’s rock & roll, I thought, wondering if she (um, the band) sounded as full of youthful excitement as she looked.
New release (River House/Loud & Proud/RED; tour dates) Photo by Cristina Arrigoni
Willie Nile’s latest album may be called American Ride, but he’s been taking us on that journey for more than 30 years now. And although his recording career has had its fits and starts, he’s been on a consistent roll since releasing Streets of New York in 2006. Much of his recent work, starting with the Streets predecessor Beautiful Wreck of the World in 1999, has been earnest and, at times, intense. Now comes Ride, and it’s almost as if Nile is thinking, after all of that admirably hard work, it’s high time to relax, roll down the window, and shoot the breeze behind the wheel.
That said, Nile is an artist who can make shooting the breeze sound like risking it all.
Think nobody writes and plays like the Fab Four anymore? Take that thought and let it be, 'cuz there's plenty of great pop here, there, and ... you know. You should know that 2006 has had more than its share of great releases.
Photos by Ebet Roberts Walk into the home of Alan Parsons, nestled in the hills of Santa Barbara, and you'll see ample evidence of his illustrious career. There are so many gold and platinum records on the wall of the studio annex that they spill from the hallway and fill the kitchen.
In the same way that the Warner Music Group is spearheading DVD-Audio, Sony Music is leading the charge for Super Audio CD - though that's a little difficult to tell from Sony's first batch of surround SACDs, which number exactly two.
Pelican i1030 ($45; pelican.com). Think "pelican" and you may rightly think "watertight." But the i1030 micro-case is dustproof and crushproof, too, so take that, big bird! The polycarbonate case is available in yellow or white.