Music Releases 06-02-23
But Here We Are is the new album from Foo Fighters, and marks the bands return after a year of staggering losses, personal introspection and bittersweet remembrances. A brutally honest and emotionally raw response to everything Foo Fighters have endured recently, But Here We Are is a testament to the healing powers of music, friendship and family. Courageous, damaged and unflinchingly authentic, the album opens with “Rescued,” the first of 10 songs that run the emotional gamut from rage and sorrow to serenity and acceptance, and myriad points in between.
But Here We Are is in nearly equal measure the 11th Foo Fighters album and the first chapter of the band’s new life. Sonically channeling the naiveté of Foo Fighters’ 1995 debut, informed by decades of maturity and depth, But Here We Are is the sound of brothers finding refuge in the music that brought them together in the first place 28 years ago, a process that was as therapeutic as it was about a continuation of life.
Vinyl: $44.98 Buy
Autographed Color LP
“More than anything, I wanted to make an album that was generous, that was useful,” says Ben Folds. “I want you to finish this record with something you didn’t have when you started.” Indeed, Folds’ masterful new collection, What Matters Most, isn’t so much a statement as it is an offering, an open hand reaching out to all those wounded and bewildered by a world that seems to make less and less sense every day. Recorded in East Nashville with co-producer Joe Pisapia, the album marks Folds’ first new studio release in eight years, and it’s a bold, timely, cinematic work, one that examines the tragic and the absurd in equal measure as it reckons with hope and despair, gratitude and loss, identity and perspective. The songs are bittersweet here, hilarious at times, but often laced with a quiet sense of longing and dread: a text message goes unanswered; an old classmate descends into the dark depths of internet conspiracies; a relationship unravels in the middle of a lake. And yet, taken as a whole, the result is an undeniably joyful record that refuses to succumb to the weight of the world around it, an ecstatic reminder of all the beauty and promise hiding in plain sight for anyone willing (and present enough) to recognize their moments as they arrive.
Vinyl: $25.99 Buy
Rancid - the legendary Bay Area punk rockers are back with their 10th studio album, Tomorrow Never Comes on Epitaph Records. Emerging from the blue-collar swamps of Berkeley, California, Rancid has now been a living, breathing punk rock band for over a quarter century.
Back in 1991, after the demise of their much beloved and still influential first band, Operation Ivy, founding members Tim Armstrong (vocals, guitar) and Matt Freeman (bass, vocals) decided to do the impossible — start an even better band. Thus, Rancid. Signing with Epitaph Records, the band released their first album, “Rancid,” in 1993. Shortly thereafter, Lars Frederiksen (vocals, guitar) joined the band and they went on to release incredible records from “Let’s Go.” (1994) to their classic - platinum selling “…And Out Come The Wolves.” (1995). Drummer Branden Steineckert joined the band in 2003, cementing the line-up that rocks out till this day.
Seeing Rancid live is a life changing experience and steady touring is in the plan for 2023, kicking off in Las Vegas at the legendary Punk Rock Bowling Festival in late May - the band will hit Europe in June and the rest of the world soon after.
Through it all, Rancid has remained fiercely independent, never losing their loyalty to community or each other. Their music confronts political and social issues, while balancing personal tales of love, loss, and heartbreak with attitude. Rancid gives their listeners a community where everyone can belong. By carrying on the traditions and spirit of the original punk rock bands that came before, Rancid has become a legend and inspiration to punk bands that have come after. They are the living embodiment of East Bay punk. And if you don’t know all this by now -- you’re not playing their music loud enough!
Vinyl: $39.98 Buy
Avenged Sevenfold’s new album, Life Is But A Dream is a timeless work of art that blurs genres. Best served as a whole and consumed en masse to truly appreciate its musical breadth and sonic depth, it marks their boldest statement and most revolutionary work to date. Written and recorded over the span of 4 years, it was produced by Joe Barresi and Avenged Sevenfold in Los Angeles and mixed by Andy Wallace in the Poconos, PA. Inspired by Albert Camus’ The Stranger, the album is a journey through an existential crisis; a very personal exploration into the meaning, purpose and value of human existence with the anxiety of death always looming. Immerse into this experience…
Brooklyn bedroom-pop trailblazers Beach Fossils' new album Bunny is a triumphant return for one of the 2010s most influential NYC bands. Bunny is a precise blend of the luscious dream-pop atmospheres they notoriously honed on their earliest projects, the post-punk vigor expressed on Clash The Truth, and the warm sophisticated songwriting of Somersault. Composer Dustin Payseur peppers the album equally with descriptions of the joy of fatherhood and the existential pleasure of smoking cigarettes out of a car window with friends -- Bunny features Beach Fossils' most personal lyrics to-date.
In March 2020, Jack Johnson reached out to Lee “Scratch" Perry to produce a dub remix album based on Jack’s most loved recordings. On August 29, 2021, the project was brought to a halt as Scratch departed this physical world. In 2022, Jack and Subatomic Sound System, Perry’s band of the last decade, connected directly and discovered they had all the pieces to bring Lee “Scratch” Perry’s three creations to completion. The LP also features dubs from Dennis Bovell, Scientist, Mad Professor, Nightmares on Wax, and more.
An indie pop duo whose music has a cool retro vibe buoyed by smooth melodies, a naturalistic sound, and warm harmonies, Purr is a collaboration between songwriters, musicians, and longtime friends Eliza Barry Callahan and Jack Staffen. The two previously worked together as Jack + Eliza, but while that project emphasized spare and stripped-down accompaniment, Purr’s recordings feature a fuller sound with a larger palette of instrumental flavors that often references ‘60s pop. Purr introduced themselves to the world with a 2018 single, “Bad Advice” b/w “Painted Memory,” that showed off their talents as both writers and vocalists, and they further refined their style on their first full-length album, 2020’s Like New and continue that on forthcoming album Who Is Afraid Of Blue?
To make it, the duo teamed up with their close friend, producer Jonathan Rado (Weyes Blood, Father John Misty, The Killers), whom they worked with on ‘Like New.’ They went to his North Hollywood studio, a small building behind his home. This was during Omicron, so they kept recording small, just the three of them in a room for most of the time. Programmed drums on an 808, that kind of thing. While they recorded, they screened movies. Ranging from Barbara Loden’s Wanda, to Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia, to Dr. Strange and The Avengers. It all provided texture to the songs. Like making a score. “It’s a really hermetic record,” says Staffen, “which ended up feeling really special.”
Sonically, Who Is Afraid Of Blue? isn’t beholden by genre. It is an omnivorous record—you can hear glimmers of Aimee Mann, Radiohead, the Cocteau Twins which is fitting because Blue is in some ways a record of their process of falling in love with music all over again.
Who Is Afraid Of Blue? also exists lightly in conversation with a short novel Callahan wrote (forthcoming via Catapult, 2024), an auto-fiction document of a woman losing her hearing. And all of it comes back to those Newman works: Purr makes music that functions like those large-scale paintings so very saturated with color. Blue is a vast record, with lyrics that bend towards abstraction. But make no mistake: in that abstraction there is intense clarity. Blue is blue: a color, a feeling, a signifier, a way of looking at the world.
A collection of unreleased songs from Kenny Rogers' archives that tells the story of the love, life, loss and faith between Kenny and his wife, Wanda, and their two children. The album features the long sought after "Goodbye" written by Lionel Richie, interpretations of Eric Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight" and "I Wish It Would Rain" originally recorded by The Temptations, and "Tell Me That You Love Me" a lost duet between Kenny and Dolly Parton.
Vinyl: $31.98 Buy
Closing Time foreshadows the distinctly lyrical storytelling and original blending of jazz, blues, and folk styles that would come to be associated with Waits. It is on this debut album that Waits performs enduring classics of his career “Ol’ 55” (famously covered by the Eagles), the heartbreaking “Martha” and the gentle acoustic folk of “I Hope That I Don’t Fall In Love With You”. Reissued for the first time as a double LP to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the landmark debut with newly half speed mastering at Abbey Road Studios.
Shadow Kingdom presents Dylan performing revelatory 21st century versions of songs from his storied back catalog – including fan favorites like “Forever Young” and “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue,” and deep catalog gems like “Queen Jane Approximately” and “Wicked Messenger.” Originally reinterpreted for an exclusive streaming film event, which aired in July 2021, Shadow Kingdom will now be available on vinyl, CD, and streaming platforms for the first time. The album's setlist includes 13 original songs handpicked by Dylan for his Shadow Kingdom performance plus the closing instrumental, "Sierra's Theme."
The musical chemistry of Devon Portielje, Conner Molander, and Dylan Phillips is a continued source of wonder, even to the band, and even now - a decorous decade on. Half Moon Run’s collaborative power has remained constant and unsuppressed and their new album Salt sees them revisiting the site of their bond’s first forging, bringing visions to light that’ve been there in waiting since the beginning.
Driven by the singles ‘You Can Let Go’ and ‘Alco’, Salt is a broad and sweeping statement from a band at the height of their compositional powers. The gestation period of the songs here spans the history of the band, in an assemblage of the band’s newest and oldest ideas, in juxtaposition and in alliance, the past and future at once.
In 2015, American supergroup Hollywood Vampires played probably their biggest and one of their most legendary concerts in front of over 100,000 fans. Rock in Rio is not only one of the most famous festivals, but also the origin of the Hollywood Vampires' first live album.
With Alice Cooper as frontman, Hollywood superstar Johnny Depp, Aerosmith legend Joe Perry and producer and songwriter Tommy Henriksen, this band already has a top-class line-up. Still, the list of superstars doesn't end there. Joining them on stage are Duff McKagan (Guns N' Roses), Matt Sorum (Velvet Revolver) and Bruce Witkin (Grammy nominated producer). Special guests include Lzzy Hale (Halestorm), Andreas Kisser (Sepultura) and Zak Starkey (The Who / Oasis). A star line-up that has never been seen before on a single show.
The album was produced by Bob Ezrin (Deep Purple, KISS, Pink Floyd, etc.).
On Last Man Dancing, Jake Shears turns his lifelong love affair with club culture into his most ambitious pop music to date. The album was brought to vivid life by Jake Shears and a close crew of collaborators, including head-turning features from Kylie Minogue, Jane Fonda, Iggy Pop, Amber Martin, and a pre-Renaissance turn from the iconic Big Freedia.
Vinyl: $24.99 Buy
The Revivalists make the kind of rock ‘n’ roll that grabs you and doesn’t let go. On their fifth full-length release, the New Orleans outfit was inspired to create a life-affirming album that in many ways connects to the original seed of inspiration for the band’s name. Pour It Out Into The Night is a celebration of resilience, living for who you are and what you’re about.