With so many great albums that came out this year it is always a task at hand trying to chose our favorites. This year was no different, we are fortunate to get to see as many shows as we do, as well as open our inboxes to early releases and exclusives. The great thing about our staff is that we each have our own unique bands that we love, thus making our lists an eclectic mix of great music. There were a few newcomers to the list as well as some established bands making great albums this year. A couple late additions from J. Cole and D'angelo that barely missed the cut stood out as well. Without further adieu, Ultra5280 presents the Best Albums of 2014. These are in no particular order. What were your favorites this year?
Jack White was recently in Denver for his sold-out performance at Red Rocks. In between Mr. White had time to attend a Rockies game and film a music video at the Cruise Room. The video itself was shot and recorded in a 24 hour period, which is pretty amazing. Check out the video for "Would You Fight For My Love".
Leave it to Jack White to do something outrageous for Record Store Day....
On April 19th, Record Store Day, Third Man Records will present Jack White recording the World's Fastest Released Record, studio-to-store, in the history of mankind.
You heard correctly. First thing in the morning, Jack White will take the stage in Third Man's blue room and record direct-to-acetate what will serve as the limited edition version of his next single, a live rendition of the title track from his upcoming LP Lazaretto. The masters will be rushed over to United Record Pressing who will immediately begin pressing 45s. The sleeves will be printed from pictures taken at the show. The finished records will be whisked back to Third Man to sell to awaiting fans. All in the same day. All in a matter of mere hours. As long as there are fans in line waiting to buy the single, United will continue to press and deliver them to Third Man to sell. Even if it takes all day.
In addition, Whirlwind Heat will appear at Third Man to play their first live show since 2006 (and likely their last ever), as their TMR classic Do Rabbits Wonder? LP is reissued on a variety of colored vinyl for Record Store Day.
Plus a great selection of local vendors will be on hand to keep everyone well-fed and refreshed... and there will, as always, be some surprises.
Tickets for this whole day - "Ultra Tickets" - are extremely limited and will be available exclusively through The Third Man Records Vault to Platinum Members. Ultra Ticket holders will get to watch Jack White live recording his World's Fastest Record, Whirlwind Heat's afternoon performance, and will receive copies of both The World's Fastest Record 7" and the Whirlwind Heat Record Store Day LP release--all without having to wait in line! Vault Platinum members who are ticket holders need only show up, see Jack White play, hang out for a bit and eat, watch Whirlwind Heat (last show EVER??) and then, as they leave, pick up their bag with both RSD releases. No lines. No stress.
For those who can't score tickets, The World's Fastest Record will be made available for sale from the front of Third Man Records as soon as copies are pressed. Anybody who shows up that day during business hours wanting to purchase a copy will get one. Third Man promises to deliver until all customers are satisfied (one per customer, obviously!). The World's Fastest Record will only be available at Third Man Records on Record Store Day. One time only!
Ultra Tickets for Record Store Day will be available via The Vault Pre-Sale ticket store at 3pm CT today, Thursday, April 3rd. NOT A VAULT MEMBER? SIGN UP HERE: http://thirdmanstore.com/vault/vault-subscriptions/tmr-vault-platinum-subscription
Jack White presents his new album Lazaretto, to be released June 10th on Third Man Records/Columbia. Lazaretto inhabits an exciting place in White's expansive discography as the follow-up to 2012's gold-certified international #1 Blunderbuss, and will be preceded by first single and title track "Lazaretto," to be released later this month. While we await the debut of that first official single, listeners can experience a first taste of new music from the album and watch the video for new instrumental track "High Ball Stepper" below.
The aforementioned Blunderbuss was the first U.S. #1 album of Jack's storied career, also debuting at #1 in the UK, Canada, and, naturally, Switzerland. Blunderbuss was supported by an ambitious world tour featuring two backing bands, the all-male Buzzards and all-female Peacocks, notched up five GRAMMY nominations including Album of the Year, and dominated Best of 2012 lists, including being named MOJO's #1 album of 2012.
In celebration of the new album and their 20th Vault package, Third Man has unveiled their most unique Vault package yet.
One of the cooler things we have had a chance to be part of in 2012 was an Austin City Limits Taping. While covering the Austin City Limits Music Festival down in Austin in October, Mr. Jack White himself dropped by The Moody Theater to kick off the 38th season of the long running live music show. We had a chance to take in the show, which was the highlight of our ACL weekend.
As a bandleader, Jack White has visited the Austin City Limits studio before, ripping it up with the Raconteurs back in 2006. Now Jack White returns to our stage as a solo artist to demonstrate exactly why he’s one of today’s most exciting musicians.
Ever the risk-taker, White hits the stage bathed in blue light and accompanied by not one but two bands. Working without a net, White eschews a set list and draws from nearly every project of his prolific career. So this episode treats you to some White Stripes (“I’m Slowly Turning Into You,” “We’re Going to Be Friends,” “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground”), a little Raconteurs (“Top Yourself”), a pinch of Dead Weather (“Blue Blood Blues”), a blues cover (Blind Willie Johnson’s “John the Revelator”) and White’s contribution (“You Know That I Know”) to The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams, a collection of Williams lyrics set to music by contemporary songwriters.
Of course, much of the show is dedicated to songs from Blunderbuss, White’s much-acclaimed solo debut. Watch him burn through “Freedom at 21” and “Missing Pieces” with his all-male group the Buzzards, then blaze through “Hypocritical Kiss” and “Love Interruption” with his all-female band the Peacocks. The mostly acoustic title tune serves as the transition point, as Buzzards give way to Peacocks before the guitars finish feeding back and “Love Interruption” begins. [Via]
Freedom at 21
Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground
Cannon/John the Revelator
You Know That I Know
Screwdriver/Blue Blood Blues
I’m Slowly Turning Into You
We’re Going to Be Friends
Austin City Limits Music Festival | Zilker Park | October 12-14 | Austin, Texas
The 11th annual Austin City Limits Music Festival took place this past weekend on the beautiful grounds of Zilker Park in Austin, Texas. With a majestic backdrop of the Austin skyline, the festival played host to well over 130 bands and 75,000+ music loving fans each day of the event. Looking at the lineup this year there seemed to be something for everybody, whether it was the blues rocking Gary Clark Jr., or the bass pounding sounds of electronic artist Bassnectar, ACL had it all. Not to mention the abundance of different food and various works of art festival attendees had to choose from.
Day 1 Friday: We arrived on the festival grounds on Friday just in time to see the lovely duo of Tegan and Sara (will be here in Denver opening for The Killers next month). I always make an effort to get myself familiar with the festival grounds in anticipation of the running back and forth of trying to catch artist on different stages. We managed to drop by and say hi to one of our favorite DJ’s A-Trak, he had the Honda stage pretty packed for a late afternoon set playing his usual party anthems. Just across the lawn Weezer put on one of the festival’s best sets, with their all to familiar catalog of sing a long hits, the crowd belted out every word of their set. A band I continue to always be one step behind is Alabama Shakes, i made sure I arrived early enough to catch their set and was glad I did. Brittany Howard commands the stage with such respect exuding her soulful lyrics, a throwback to the glory retro-soul era of music. We also managed to grab a great spot to see one of the nights main attractions and most colorful performers the beautiful Florence Welsh and her band Florence and The Machine. Her elaborate stage setup complimented her performance to exact perfection in all aspects. Our night ended flip-flopping between Avicii and The Black Keys who closed out their respected stages in grand fashion.
Best performance: Avicii: the electronic artist was only one of a few representing the rapid expanding genre of electronic music this weekend, but it is apparent that his headlining slot Friday night was well deserved. Already climbing the ranks of headlining status, the 23 year old Swedish DJ has had the dance floors buzzing with his blazing tracks and remixes all year long.
Wish I had waken up earlier to catch set: First Aid Kit: last time we saw them was when they opened up for Lykke Li in Denver a few months ago. One of the more buzzed early set performances, we wont hesitate to catch them next time in Denver.
Trends spotted: Boxed water, lace tops, TOMS shoes, flags of all shapes and sizes.
Day 2 Saturday: The weather took a turn with scattered showers hitting the festival. One of the more talked about performances would have to be the back to back sets from Colorado's own Big Gigantic and Bassnectar's set on the Honda Stage. A younger demographic packed the stage to listen to the hottest electronic acts in the business today. Combine the hard beats and loud bass with rain pouring, it was a wet and muddy dance party. On the opposite side off the festival a rather calmer crowd got to enjoy a more subdued set from Andrew Bird on The Bud Light Stage. The Shins and Roots played at the same time making for an all out sprint from one end of the park to the other. Both veteran bands seemed to attract huge crowds on their respective stages. The rain gods seemed to show mercy for the night's heavyweight headliners of Jack White and Neil Young and Crazy Horse, both putting on epic sets to close out night two.
Best performance: The Roots: the talented supergroup has come a long way, they manage to add a new component to their ever growing live sets year after year, anchored by Questlove on drums and Black Thought handling emcee duties their live element creates a sound infusing jazz, hip hop and soul unparalled by any other band.
Wish I had waken up earlier to catch set: Oberhofer: takes a penchant for showmanship to a new level, it is always awesome to see musicians come into the crowd and perform (moreso during a packed festival), such was the case for Oberhofer giving the spectator a unique chance to get up close and personal with the band.
Trends spotted: Corporate sponsored ponchos, galoshes and boat shoes, bikinis; I even saw a guy wearing pants made out of beanie babies, Texas Longhorn t-shirts (Red River Rivalry Weekend)
Day 3 Sunday: The final day of the festival turned out to be the nicest in terms of weather. Our day started with the man who has played every festival on earth it seems, Mr. Gary Clark Jr. With his honky tonk blues, it was a perfect marriage for those die-hard Texans who have adopted the genre as the official music for the state. His talented guitar play is becoming legendary every time he plays and is garnering quite the fan base. Sunday gave us a chance to take in some of the homegrown talent based out of Denver including the talented Tennis who played to a huge crowd spilling into the main stage area. Also playing was overnight sensations, The Lumineers. Riding the wave of a hit single and underrated album, they managed to further expand their fan base with a great performance. Other notable performances included Childish Gambino, Iggy and The Stooges, and Crystal Castles. A perfect day to setup for the night's headliners and festival favorites, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, ended the three day festival on a high note. Next year the festival will expand to a two-weekend format giving fans other viable options to check out some of their favorite bands.
Best performance: Gary Clark Jr., He continues to amaze with every performance and is establishing himself as a notable artist on the festival circuit; it wont be long before he is main stage material and giving hometown fans something to cheer about.
Wish I had waken up earlier to catch set: Kimbra: played a rather early set on Sunday. With an infectious smile and great crowd presence it's no wonder she has become a favorite amongst her loyal following.
Trends spotted: Red Hot Chili Peppers t-shirts, those weird toe shoes, festival programs turned into fans.
With Mr. Jack White spending a couple days in the Mile High City, rumors were running rampant as to secret shows he may or may not have been playing. Wednesday all across the Twitter and Facebook universe the talk was about him showing up somewhere at sometime. One particular rumor was that he would be joining his current touring keyboardist Ikey Owens (of The Mars Volta) at Unit E. on Santa Fe. I mean it only made sense right? As it turns out Mr. White didn't show up, but those who did show up were fortunate enough to see one hell of an impromptu jam session featuring Ikey and some very talented Denver musicians. Those who performed the all improv show are listed below.
Keys- Ikey Owens (The Mars Volta)
Vocals, Synth, and Noise- Kyle Gray (Rubedo)
Vocals- Malgosia Stacha (Holophrase)
Trumpet- Wesley Watkins (Air Dubai)
Trumpet- Joshua Trinidad (Go Star)
Sax- Armando Lopez (The Ruckus)
Guitar- Alex Trujillo (Rubedo)
Bass- Enoc Torraca (Panal)
Upright Bass- Zach Antonio (Scatter Gather)
Percussion- Cody Schlueter (Abstract Collective)
Drums- Gregg Ziemba (Rubedo)
Our good friend Chris Brunn was lucky enough to catch Jack White at his impromptu show just off Colfax yesterday and shared these photos and video. Thank you, Chris!