Saturday, August 25, 2012

Extended Play: Part Two

Awhile back I expressed my love for the Extended Play album format.  I think the reason this appeals to me is the same reason it has begun to make a comeback, or a mainstream appearance: it is an exercise in band marketing.  An EP is based on the 45 record, basically it is half a record, 30 minutes or less.  This format is a good way to introduce a new band's sound, introduce a new direction for an already established band, or give fans a little something extra with a new single.  Given the digital file format slowly killing the traditional idea of the LP album, the shortened EP may be the future of music publishing.



One Day as a Lion
One Day as a Lion.  
2008, ANTI-
produced by Mario C

Zach de la Rocha - vocals, keyboards
Jon Theodore - drums

This project brings together Zach dela Rocha, of Rage Against the Machine fame, with Jon Theodore, the one time drummer of the Mars Volta, and Mario C, famous for producing a few Beastie Boys albums.  I call it a project instead of an actual band, because, even though they talk about it like it will be a long term career move, this has been the only release since their inception.  The drum and simple keyboard sound matches well with the politically charged hip hop from everyone's favorite rebel rapper.



Gary Clark, Jr.  
Bright Lights EP  
2011, Warner Brothers
produced by Bob Cavallo and Gary Clark, Jr.

This is an example of an EP that showcases a new talent.  Gary Clark, Jr plays the blues, in the style of Stevie Ray Vaughn and Lenny Kravits.  Bright Lights is a four track demo, half electric, half acoustic.  This gives us a little window into Gary Clark, Jr's talent with a promise of a full length album with more rocking blues.



ZZ Top
Texicali
2012, Universal Republic
produced by Rick Rubin

Billy Gibbons - vocals, guitar, piano
Dusty Hill - bass
Frank Beard - drums

From the Texas powerhouse trio ZZ Top, comes a four song release, their first since 2003, produced by the legendary Rick Rubin.  The first track, Gotsta Get Paid is essentially a cover of the hip hop song 25 Lighters by Fat Pat.  The album attempts to bring ZZ Top back to the blues.  It reminds me of their older sound when they recorded versions of Blue Jean Blues and Dust my Broom.  Basically, Rubin has done it again by bringing a legend back to their roots.

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