<em>HuffPost Video Premiere</em>: Manchester Orchestra "The River"

"The River" is the closing chapter of a story the Atlanta alt-rockers Manchester Orchestra filmed with Destroy Rock Music Inc.
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The Huffington Post debuts "The River," Manchester Orchestra's last of eleven videos associated with the band's album Mean Everything To Nothing. "The River" is the closing chapter of a story the Atlanta alt-rockers filmed with Destroy Rock Music Inc. (Jason Bognacki and Clay Lipsky), and each of the previous clips enjoyed premieres on various music sites such as Spin, Paste, and MTV2 Subterranean. Throughout August, Manchester Orchestra will tour with Silversun Pickups, their schedule listed below.

8/03 Baltimore, MD - Rams Head Live
8/04 Richmond, VA - The National
8/06 Columbus, OH - LC Pavilion
8/07 Chicago, IL - Lollapalooza
8/10 Minneapolis, MN - State Theatre
8/12 Winnipeg, MB - Garrick Center
8/13 Saskatoon, SK - Louis' Pub
8/14 Edmonton, AB - Edmonton Events Center
8/15 Calgary, AC - MacEwan Hall
8/17 Victoria, BC - The Royal Theatre
8/18 Vancouver, BC - The Commodore Ballroom
8/19 Vancouver, BC - The Commodore Ballroom
8/21 Eugene, OR - McDonald Theater
8/22 Portland, OR - Hillsboro

Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs - Under The Covers Vol. 2

It's fortunate that someone finally has taken a swing at a batch of seventies songs beyond England Dan & John Ford Coley's "I'd Really Love To See You Tonight" or Firefall's "Just Remember I Love You." Actually, it was a couple of someones, that ever-reliable popster Matthew Sweet and his gal pal, the de-Bangled Susanna Hoffs. What goes on Under The Covers Vol. 2--the pair's follow-up to their Vol. 1 sixties tribute--is make you care again about some of that over-mined decade's finer moments, covering classics such as Derek & The Dominos' "Bell Bottom Blues," Mott The Hoople's "All The Young Dudes," The Grateful Dead's "Sugar Magnolia," Little Feat's "Willin'," Big Star's "Back Of A Car," and Tom Petty's "Here Comes My Girl." Solo Beatles also get their songs revisited, with George Harrison's foreboding "Beware Of Darkness" read with respect and restraint, and John Lennon's angry "Gimme Some Truth" given some real attitude through Matthew's somewhat pissed-off vocal approach. The track is worth the price of the album just to hear Mr. Girlfriend sing, "No short-haired, yellow-bellied son of Tricky Dicky's gonna Mother Hubbard soft-soap me with just a pocketful of hope," after which you wonder why Matthew hasn't attempted a full-on angry album yet (Altered Beast comes the closest). Add in Susanna's always shining vocals--like on the album's poppiest picks, Carly Simon's "You're So Vain" and Bread's "Everything I Own," as well as on Lowell George's subversive lyrics "...if you give me weed, whites and wine"--and collectively, there's a lot of heart beating under these covers.

Matthew and Susanna piloting their own leads or trading vocals is something they've worked out perfectly over the course of two album collaborations. They possess an enviable vocal blend, one that returns the words and melodies of Bob Weir's and Robert Hunter's "Sugar Magnolia" back to The Dead without harm. When the pair launches into Fleetwood Mac's Rumors kick-off, "Second Hand News," you get something eerily Buckingham/Nicks, as if the younger pair could fill those big shoes should there be some further evolution of the band (plus it doesn't hurt to have Lindsey Buckingham joining Matthew on guitars further proving the point.) Actually, their take on Todd Rundgren's "Couldn't I Just Tell You" comes off like one of the best Mac tracks you never heard. And though Susanna grabs the lead on Eric Carmen's/The Rasberries' "Go All The Way," you just know this was a song Matthew's been dying to record since birth. Then again, his vocal, especially his falsettos on their version of Rundgren's "Hello It's Me," makes the case for a fat cover album of that inspired artist's works.

Now, when you look at the track list and see the title "I've Seen All Good People: Your Move/All Good People," you might think the duo blew it by covering Yes' ode to the cosmic chess game of life (stop giggling). But even this track surprisingly works well, their intelligently keeping a layered-on nuance like Lennon's "All we are saying is give peace a chance..." on the "chorus" (or whatever) tag that embellished the song's message. And having Steve Howe add 12-string and electric lead was clever, though his performances lack fire, probably from avoiding competition with Susanna's Jon Anderson-pitched vocals. Some tracks do rock harder than others, with Matthew's retrofit of "All The Young Dudes" impressive enough to earn nods from David Bowie and Ian Hunter should they ever hear it; but one recording that begs for more drum bombast and electrics is "You're So Vain," Greg Leisz's take on Jimmy Ryan's original guitar solo being almost note-perfect though not as passionate. Drummer Ric Menck does end up stepping out in the next track, "Here Comes My Girl," though Matthew's monologues in the verses are no substitutions for Petty's marble-mouthed deliveries. Still, Susanna's slightly off-script vocals in the choruses remind us the pair was not trying to create clones.

Under The Covers Vol. 2 is a very entertaining, non-kitschy overview of the seventies' "hipper" high points, mainly because of the way Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs embrace their material and each other's vocals this time out. Even the sequence is impressive, it featuring some nice tempo ("Bell Bottom Blues" into "All The Young Dudes"), topical ("Gimme Some Truth" into "Maggie May"), and key-conscious choices. Of course, now that the expectations have been raised for Under The Covers Vol. 3, hopefully remakes of their own "Walk Like An Egyptian" (The Bangles) and "Save Time For Me" (check out Matt's YouTube video) will be just as sensational as their covers of Def Leppard's "Rock Of Ages" and Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again." Yes, it's THAT decade. Not to worry, these Monsters of Pop will have it covered.

1. Sugar Magnolia
2. Go All The Way
3. Second Hand News
4. Bell Bottom Blues
5. All The Young Dudes
6. You're So Vain
7. Here Comes My Girl
8. I've Seen All Good People: Your Move/All Good People
9. Hello It's Me
10. Willin'
11. Back Of A Car
12. Couldn't I Just Tell You
13. Gimme Some Truth
14. Maggie May
15. Everything I Won
16. Beware Of Darkness

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