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2008

The full experience of Rodrigo y Gabriela is hardly realized until you witness the duo in a live setting. Well, you can do so now without leaving your living room with the release of Rodrigo y Gabriela Live in Japan. It marks the duo's first ever performance in Japan, recorded this past March, and takes advantage of the captivating energy and mind-blowing musicianship they bring to the stage.

The popular and innovative Verve//Remixed series adds another compilation to its credit this holiday season. The eighth release in their series, Verve//Remixed Christmas is witness to classic holiday songs from legendary acts like Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, and Billie Holiday remixed by contemporary DJ's and producers.

Well, if you hadn't noticed new wave is back and The Killers just jumped to the front of the line with the release of their third album Day & Age. Frontman Brandon Flowers and company have produced a shimmering, dance inspired record full of disco-ball anthems.

As was true with their first album nearly 15 years ago, The Fireman does their best to downplay their Fab Four roots. Electric Arguments is the third album from the duo of UK producer Youth and Sir Paul McCartney. And while for McCartney the collaboration serves as more of an artistic excursion, this time around the transition is not quite as abrupt.

Just a few days before the release of his self-titled, debut solo album Neil Young performed two nights at the Canterbury House in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The highlights of those two evenings (November 9th & 10th) nearly 40 years ago are soon to be uncovered as the third release in the continuing Archives Performance Series. Interestingly, Sugar Mountain – Live At Canterbury House, 1968 will be labeled as the first volume (Volume 00) with volumes 2 & 3 already available.

Twenty years since her eponymous debut, Tracy Chapman continues her brand of confessional songwriting on Our Bright Future, her 8th studio album. Quite frankly, the timing couldn't be much better. It's not easy to find an artist that expands upon one's reflection of the world as effectively or with as much ease as Chapman.

.Best known as the front woman of the indie rock outfit Rilo Kiley, Jenny Lewis has once again strapped on her country-soul boots for her second solo record, Acid Tongue. An all-star cast of musicians accompany Lewis including M. Ward, Elvis Costello, Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes and Johnathan Rice - to name only a few.

For someone that has released at least one album per year since 2000, it would have been quite odd not to dig into a new Ryan Adams record before December's end. Rest assured... Cardinology from Ryan Adams & the Cardinals is here. And oddly, for an artist that spends most of his time writing, Adams has been touring quite a bit this year. In fact, for most fans the first opportunity to hear much of this new material was likely in the live setting.

Lucinda Williams' new album Little Honey is a welcome return to the sound and spirit of releases like Car Wheels On A Gravel Road or Essence. While the new album may not approach the overall greatness of Car Wheels especially, it does have a revitalizing spirit about it, and sounds great in light of her recent "sleep & weep" albums.

Chrissie Hynde sure hasn't changed a whole lot since we first got a glimpse of her staring through stringy black hair, appearing urbanely street-smart in her red leather jacket from the cover of the Pretenders album in 1980. As Break Up The Concrete shows, she still has the wit, emotion, and backbone to write rock songs that seem to easily cut through the clutter. Armed with that talent – and with her remarkable, almost one-of-a-kind voice – the new album is an easy thumbs-up, much more of it's time than the last album (2002's Loose Screw) was.

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