Best of 2013 Staff Picks

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By Dean S.

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1. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Live at KCRW

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2.Guy Clark My Favorite Picture of You

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3.King Crimson The Road to Red

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4. Bob Dylan Another Self Portrait 

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5. Halie Loren Simply Love

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Black Friday Preview

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Black Friday Preview

By Zoe K.

This is probably the first time in my life that I have been excited about Black Friday. I don’t like crowds or consumerism, so clearly I have my reservations about the biggest shopping day of the year. This year I will not only break my tradition of hiding in my bedroom avoiding the chaos around me, but I will consider going to work early to shop this year’s special Black Friday releases before my shift starts.

Black Friday is an offshoot of the original Record Store Day held in the spring, where music lovers get a chance to buy awesome limited releases from their favorite artists, mostly on vinyl. Black Friday is a slightly different version of RSD; this time it is geared toward celebrating the holiday season by featuring some Christmas LPs and 7”s in addition to the usual offerings.

There are many awesome LPs to check out this year. Bob Dylan is releasing Side Tracks, a 180 gram, 3 LP set of rarities not featured on any studio albums. The Flaming Lips have a new six song EP called Peace Sword containing the title track, which was written for the film adaptation of Ender’s Game, as well as other songs inspired by the film. Another notable release is Family Dog at the Great Highway, which contains recently discovered recordings from an intimate 1970 acoustic show by The Grateful Dead. This album contains a mix of original songs, covers and rare tracks and is going to be available on 2 LPs until the 7,500 copies run out.

If you’re a fan of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, you’ll surely be excited about the 2 LP Live From KCRW album premiering on November 29. This live recording includes tracks from last year’s release, Push The Sky Away, as well as favorites like “The Mercy Seat” and “Jack The Ripper” from their classic albums. British band Foals are releasing a limited 12” record of six tracks recorded using CCTV. Josh Tillman of Father John Misty is releasing The History of Caves on LP, which is his soundtrack to his wife Emma’s 2013 short film of the same name.

Don’t worry, there will also be plenty of fun Christmas releases too. John Denver And The Muppets are doing A Christmas Together, which will be released on a 12” picture disc. It wouldn’t be Christmas without the Vince Guaraldi Trio playing “Linus and Lucy” from the soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas, and now you will be able to own a gold 7” containing the song plus “Oh Good Grief” on the B-Side.

Go ahead and get into the holiday spirit! While you’re at it, don’t forget to join the festivities at all three Silver Platters locations.

Jimmy LaFave “Trail 2” & “Trail 3”


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Jimmy LaFave
“Trail Two” & “Trail Three” 
By Dean S.

A few observations – 1) Bob Dylan has written rather a few great songs; 2) pretty much everyone and their mothers have covered a couple of them; and 3) just because you’ve managed to memorize the lyrics and can carry a tune doesn’t mean you can pull it off.

Few people will argue that Bob Dylan has what would be classified as a “good” voice, but many of us will argue that he is a great singer.  Great songs tell stories, reveal character, and exorcize demons – great singers communicate the underlying pathos.

Jimmy LaFave is a great singer.  And on Trail(s) Two & Three he surveys a variety of the Bard’s songs – some old stand-bys; others a little off the beaten path – as well as a few rock, country, and blues chestnuts.  Jimmy’s originals are liberally dispersed through both sets and offer ample evidence of his quality as a songwriter.

Liner notes are negligible and his website offers even less insight to the provenance of these recordings – a nice mix of solo acoustic and electric group performances, some clearly concert recordings, others likely studio outtakes.  Regardless of the source, LaFave offers distinctive and insightful performances.  He’s an artist.  He don’t look back.