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2007: sounds like a good year for music
By Sean Smith
Fort Wayne Reader
The start of each new year brings with it a sense of excitement, and for music fans, 2007 is shaping up to have more than its fair share of new releases and live shows to check out. There’s also a couple new ways to find new music… but more on that in a minute.
For as long as I can remember, the first thing I do at the start of the year is make a list of upcoming releases. The most anticipated seem to be new albums from The Shins, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Lucinda Williams, Clem Snide, R.E.M., Magnetic Fields and Bob Mould. There are several projects that I'm certainly curious to check out. I'm From Barcelona will finally see their debut album released in the States. The Good, the Bad and the Queen is the latest project from Blur/Gorillaz guy Damon Albarn, and it doesn't involve cartoons. Now that Johnny Marr has joined Modest Mouse there might be something worth hearing that involves Isaac Brock.
From the 'Everything Old is New Again' file, comes releases from bands and musicians that have been dormant for quite some time — The B-52s, Bad Brains, Dinosaur Jr., Gang of Four, The Pixies, Portishead, Roxy Music (including Brian Eno), Shellac, and The Stooges. For that last one, Iggy will be joined by Mike Watt on bass. Axl Rose swears that Chinese Democracy will be released this year, so for anyone who actually knows who is in Guns 'N Roses these days: Be excited!
Speaking of excited, Smashing Pumpkins will be releasing a new album this year. Wait, the real excitement comes from the fact that Jimmy Tamborello will be releasing two albums from his two most popular projects. Both Dntel and The Postal Service will have new full length albums out this year. Britt Daniel will also be pulling double duty, releasing a solo album and another with his band, Spoon.
On the local front, this year should see another giant batch of quality releases from area bands. Debut releases are expected sometime soon from Superhunk; Sketch Machine; lo.automatic; Unlikely Alibi; and I, Wombat. The newly re-named Trainhoppers will be releasing their epic double album, and bass player, sometime singer Damian Miller will also be releasing an album. He doesn't consider it a solo album, because he intends to feature each and every musician friend on the album. "I've already got a handful of people committed and there are plenty more that I have lined up to include," Miller says.
Left Lane Cruiser, Definitely Gary, and Vandolah will all be releasing their third albums at some point this year, and Sankofa follows up Still Means Something with The Tortoise Hustle. This year also sees the return of Sunny Taylor with her new album, Lock the Door and Leave.
Looking for new ways to find new music? There are currently two ways to do just that. If you are interested in finding some local tunes, then head on over to fortwaynemusic.com and check out the 'Music Online' section to hear tunes from local bands and musicians. If you wanna find rare and exclusive music from some of your favorite national acts, then stop in at Wooden Nickel and check out the releases exclusive to them and other music stores that are part of the Alliance of Independent Media Stores. Ben Folds' three e.p.s Super D, Speed Graphic, and Sunny 16, Pearl Jam's Live at Easy Street and David Bazan's Fewer Moving Parts are just a few examples of albums you won't find anywhere else in town.
Lastly, there are three concerts coming soon that are all worth checking out. The first two are John Prine and Randy Newman, both set to play the Embassy later this year. The third show… well, it isn't exactly set up yet, but it's best to have a positive outlook. That's what www.bringwilcotofw.com is all about. Some locals have banded together to bring their favorite band to town. Wilco often plays in major cities to the north, east, south and west of us and they often sell out those shows. If those towns can do it, so can we. By heading over to the website and signing the petition to bring Wilco to Ft. Wayne, it lets those at both the Embassy and Wilco's management know that this town is ready, willing, and able to host one of the world's finest rock bands. Even if you don't consider yourself a fan of the band or their music, this could be the turning of the tide and lead to other bands coming to town that normally skip over us. A grass roots movement to bring some quality rock n roll to town; you have to respect that.
Overall, this year looks to be a music lover's dream. Album upon album worth checking out, new and exclusive music available without the roadtrip out of town to aquire it and some very excellent concerts all add up to a very promising future. As the Beatles once sang, “I've got to admit it's getting better.”