OnlineRock Blog

24 September 2010

The Making of Le Noise: the new album from Neil Young

Neil Young is releasing brand-new solo album, Le Noise, Sept 28th on Reprise Records. The eight-song album is a collaboration between the acclaimed rock icon and musician/songwriter/producer Daniel Lanois, known for his work with U2, Bob Dylan, Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno, Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, The Neville Brothers and many others.

Young and Lanois have crossed paths musically over the course of many years (Lanois’ performances at Young’s Bridge School Benefit Concert and Young’s performance at Farm Aid when Lanois was Willie Nelson’s music director) but this is the first time the two have recorded together.

Recorded in Lanois’ home in the Silverlake area of Los Angeles, Le Noise features Young on acoustic and electric guitars with Lanois adding his trademark sonic textures, creating one of the most sonically arresting albums Young has ever recorded. No band, no overdubs, just “a man on a stool and me doing a nice job on the recording,” as Lanois puts it.

“Neil was so appreciative of the sonics that we presented to him,” Lanois says. “He walked in the door and I put an acoustic guitar into his hands — one that I had been working on to build a new sound. That’s the multi-layered acoustic sound that you hear on the songs ‘Love and War’ and ‘Peaceful Valley Boulevard.’

I wanted him to understand that I’ve spent years dedicated to the sonics in my home and that I wanted to give him something he’d never heard before.

He picked up that instrument, which had everything — an acoustic sound, electronica, bass sounds — and he knew as soon as he played it that we had taken the acoustic guitar to a new level. It’s hard to come up with a new sound at the back end of 50 years of rock and roll, but I think we did it.”

Le Noise will be released in several formats, including standard CD, vinyl, digital download, and as a deluxe CD/DVD. The DVD portion, shot by cinematographer Adam Vollick, will feature eight black and white films of Young performing each song solo on acoustic and electric guitar at Lanois' home.

15 September 2010

OnlineRock Podcast Vol. 56 - September 15th Edition featuring Gentleman Jesse and His Men, Women, The Walkmen, Paleo, Abe Vigoda, Pete Yorn, Owen Pallett, Andrew Cedermark, John Vanderslice, Frankie Rose and The Outs, Les Savy Fav, Three Mile Pilot, Glasser, Breathe Owl Breathe, No Age and Tamaryn

OnlineRock Podcast Vol. 56 Hosted By Andrew McNair Featuring:

1. Gentleman Jesse and His Men: She's a Trap, She's a Trap 7" on Douchemaster Records
2. Women: Eyesore, Public Strain on Flemish Eye/Jagjaguwar
3. The Walkmen: Stranded, Lisbon on Fat Possum
4. Paleo: World's Smallest Violin, A View of the Sky on Partisan Records
5. Abe Vigoda: Throwing Shade, Crush on Post Present Medium
6. Pete Yorn: Precious Stone, Pete Yorn on Vagrant Records
7. Owen Pallett: A Man With No Ankles, A Swedish Love Story EP on Domino Records
8. Andrew Cedermark: Moon Deluxe, Moon Deluxe on Underwater Peoples
9. John Vanderslice: Pony Express, Green Grow the Rushes EP,
10. Frankie Rose and The Outs: Little Brown Haired Girls, Frankie Rose and The Outs on Slumberland
11. Les Savy Fav: Let's Get Out of Here, Root for Ruin on Frenchkiss Records
12. Three Mile Pilot: Still Alive, The Inevitable Past Is the Future Forgotten on Temporary Residence Limited
13. Glasser: Home, Ring on True Panther
14. Breathe Owl Breathe: Swimming, Magic Central on Hometapes
15. No Age: Glitter, Everything In Between on Sub Pop
16. Tamaryn: Sandstone, The Waves on Mexican Summer

Andrew McNair lives in Seattle. Aside from producing the OnlineRock podcast and writing record reviews, he spends his days helping people fix their broken internets at a local internet service provider.

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14 September 2010

Hot New Gear

03 September 2010

iRig and AmpliTube Product Review

I've been anxiously waiting for my iRig to arrive and last week it finally got here. While I was looking forward to using it with IK Multimedia's AmpliTube and my iPad, I also wanted to see if the iRig worked well with other apps. I hope to write more about those in later postings.

I downloaded the free version of AmpliTube before receiving the iRig as I wanted to try it out. After receiving the iRig, I purchased the full version for my iPad. The app cost $19.99 and is worth it however I feel that after spending $39.99 for the iRig, this software should be included for free.

Connecting your guitar or bass to your iPad with the iRig was a no-brainer. Just plug it into the headphone Jack, plug your guitar into the 1/4 inch input and insert your headphones into the 1/8 inch jack. While the actual iRig is pretty basic, the app is where all of the fun takes place. The graphics and layout of the app are easy to use and after launching the app and doing a few minor initial settings, I was rocking away.

The first thing I did after making sure that I could get some basic noise out of the iRig/AmpliTube combo was to use the built-in tuner.I then ran through some of the presets that are included. I would have preferred having names instead of numbers for identifying the presets.

It’s easy to create your own sounds and save them as presets. Just select an amplifier and cabinet then, if you’re in the mood, add an FX pedal or two (up to four if you want). The amplifiers are based on, but are not exact models of common amps such as Marshall and Fender. The cabinet selections are similar. The stomp boxes included Flanger, Phazer, Octave, Noise Filter, Chorus, Distortion, Envelope Filter, Wah, Overdrive, Fuzz And Delay. You also have a choice of two microphones.

Other useful features include an "Ultra-Low" latency setting, an ability to import songs to play along with and a metronome that can come in handy. In addition, IK Multimedia has just released DrummerTracks, full song drum tracks designed for use as play-along tracks for the AmpliTube range of software and mobile apps.

The bottom line is that this is a great device for practicing. I’ve seen some videos where people are using this set-up live or in the studio however I don’t feel that it will work for me yet. I do feel that it’s a great start and look forward to more developments that will move it closer to a full production tool.

We're giving away a free iRig, click here to register.

02 September 2010

OnlineRock Podcast Vol. 55 - September 1st Edition featuring Underworld, Britta Persson, Elf Power, Black Mountain, Of Montreal, Electric Sunset, Blonde Redhead, Dungen, The Thermals, Megafaun, Robert Gomez, The Vaselines and Oval

OnlineRock Podcast Vol. 55 Hosted By Andrew McNair Featuring:

1. Underworld: Scribble, Barking on Cooking Vinyl
2. Britta Persson: Meet a Bear, Current Affair, Medium Rare on Selective Notes/Razzie
3. Elf Power: Stranger in the Window, Elf Power on Orange Twin
4. Black Mountain: The Hair Song, Wilderness Heart on Jagjaguwar
5. Of Montreal: Coquet Coquette, False Priest on Polyvinyl
6. Electric Sunset: Soda, Electric Sunset on K Records
7. Blonde Redhead: Here Sometimes, Penny Sparkle on 4AD
8. Dungen: Marken Låg Stilla, Skit I Allt on Mexican Summer
9. The Thermals: I Don't Believe You Personal Life on Kill Rock Stars
10. Megafaun: Volunteers, Heretofore on Hometapes
11. Robert Gomez: To the Smoke, To the Smoke EP on Nova Posta Vinyl
12. The Vaselines: I Hate the '80s, Sex With an X on Sub Pop
13. Oval: Ah!, O on Thrill Jockey

Andrew McNair lives in Seattle. Aside from producing the OnlineRock podcast and writing record reviews, he spends his days helping people fix their broken internets at a local internet service provider.

Subscribe to the OnlineRock Podcast in Apple's iTunesOnlineRock Podcast  iTunes
Download Now