In The Groove
In April of 2021, 13 months into quarantine, Rick Springfield and his band performed his most iconic album, “Working Class Dog,” from start to finish live at Rick’s home in Malibu in celebration of its 40th Anniversary. The resulting work is a renewed interpretation of a classic. The DVD features behind-the-scenes footage, all the joyful live performances, plus 4 bonus Rick Springfield hits: “Love Somebody,” “Don't Talk to Strangers,” “State of the Heart,” and “Affair of the Heart.”
CD: $29.98 Buy
The most unforgettable songs from Disney’s iconic films reimagined by the greatest living pianist, Lang Lang’s The Disney Book tells the story of a century of magical, joyous entertainment for all. Join him on an uplifting, virtuosic journey to experience beloved songs from Disney films with collaborators from across the globe, including Andrea Bocelli, Sebastián Yatra, and Jon Batiste, performing hits from Snow White, Encanto, Beauty and the Beast, Pinocchio and many more.
Girl Of My Dreams is an up-close look at the moments of heartache, triumph and deeply transformative experiences on FLETCHER's way to self-discovery. The new record expands on the boldly detailed storytelling she’s brought to hits like “Undrunk” and “Bitter.” This time around, FLETCHER reveals her inner world more fully and fearlessly than ever before, embracing the kind of uninhibited honesty that’s freeing for both artist and audience.
Guitarist Julian Lage discovers new possibilities with orchestration on the follow-up to his acclaimed 2021 Blue Note debut, Squintby, expanding his trio with bassist Jorge Roeder and drummer Dave King with the addition of fellow guitarist (and Blue Note labelmate) Bill Frisell. A View With A Room presents 10 compelling new original compositions by Lage that explore a wide range of guitar sounds and textures with these two distinctive masters seamlessly blending their unique 6-string styles.
Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Julian Lennon releases two powerful new original tracks, “Freedom” and “Every Little Moment.” “Freedom” is a soulful, ethereal track intensified by Lennon's distinctive vocals that provokes an emotional and meditative journey. “Every Little Moment,” is a driving rock track, that not only confronts the wars within, but the ongoing battles we face on the outside. Lennon will continue to release singles, leading into a much anticipated studio album with BMG.
The Paranoyds are Southern California DIY rock royalty. Fueled by the fiery energy of their live shows paired with raw lyricism and subtle societal commentary, The Paranoyds are unafraid and unapologetically in perpetual pursuit of a good time. The four-piece is made up of Laila Hashemi (keyboardist-vocals), Lexi Funston (guitars/vocals), Staz Lindes (bass/vocals) and David Ruiz (drums, vocals) who together masterfully blend light-hearted playfulness with sharp sincerity over fuzzy guitar, dreamy vocals and punchy, punky rock-n-roll.
Talk, Talk, Talk, the sophomore album from The Paranoyds gives the band space to expand, evolve and above all, have fun. Over 11 tracks, the band experiments with sounds that span an eclectic array of genres–from jazz, to lo-fi punk-rock, to groovy R&B–that melt together showcasing the innovative range of The Paranoyds.
Charley Crockett will release his latest album The Man From Waco on September 9th via Son of Davy/Thirty Tigers. Crockett wrote or co-wrote all 14 songs on the album, and in many ways The Man From Waco is the purest distillation of his artistry to date. What started as a demo session with producer Bruce Robison at Robison’s studio The Bunker outside Austin, TX turned into the first album Crockett has ever made with his band The Blue Drifters backing him from start to finish. Mostly first takes with only a handful of overdubs, The Man From Waco finds Crockett refining his singular “Gulf & Western” sound which continues to captivate an ever-growing legion of fans.
“I just wanted an honest partnership: do it at your place, live to tape, everybody in the room,” Crockett says of the recording experience, and Robison was happy to accommodate. “The magic is in the performances on that tape. That’s what Bruce wanted to do, that’s what I wanted to do. When we were done, I said ‘these are masters, not demos.’”
There’s a loose narrative thread that ties the album together, but at the center of The Man From Waco is Crockett, who continues to trust his instincts and carve out his own singular space. Eschewing the ever-growing siren song of major labels and GRAMMY-winning producers, Crockett is forging ahead as a mostly DIY artist, calling his own shots and giving himself the space to strive for greatness on his own terms.
“Everybody was telling me: ‘go right, go right, go right,’” says Crockett. “I went left. I had to hold on to what has gotten me this far.”
The Man From Waco will be in a record store near you on September 9th on CD, Vinyl, and an indie record store exclusive edition featuring alternate album artwork.
Perseverance carries us through the most turbulent, traumatic, and trying of times. When all hope seems lost, it shines a light from the inside that’s impossible to extinguish, no matter how hard even the darkest forces try. That light also burns bright at the heart of Gogol Bordello. Since 1999, the band have consistently riled up audiences with an inimitable patchwork of punk, gypsy, dub, folk, Latin swing, and Eastern European magic.
However, the New York-based collective trumpet the spirit of survival louder than ever on their eighth full-length album, SOLIDARITNE. Ukrainian-born band leader Eugene Hutz and Co. linked up with New York underground icon Walter Schreifels [Gorilla Biscuits, Rival Schools, Quicksand] to co-produce the album. Meanwhile, H.R. of Bad Brains guested on “Era of the End of Eras,” blessing the track with a cameo punctuated by a key moment from the Bad Brains anthem “Sailin’ On.” The band also recorded a new version single “Forces of Victory” [feat. Serhiy Zhadan & Kazka]. Dizzying acoustic guitar and violin charge forward at lightspeed before crashing into an uplifting verse kickstarted by fits of electric guitar. The accompanying video juxtaposes footage of the band with real-life scenes of citizens and soldiers in the midst of war in Ukraine shot by a Gogol Bordello crew member.
In the end, Gogol Bordello rally everyone together on SOLIDARITNE.
Can I Take My Hounds to Heaven? is the highly anticipated new album by Tyler Childers and his longtime band The Food Stamps. This unique collection is separated into 3 parts, each with a different sonic perspective, but all part of one album vision. “Hallelujah” is a pared-back version of the music featuring Tyler and his band only, “Jubilee” is full band including strings, horns, bgvs and a touch of sitar, and an exciting new sound in “Joyful Noise.” From Tyler Childers’ vision, it’s a genuine concept album meant to showcase the incredible musicianship of The Food Stamps.
Breaking a decade of omertà, The Mars Volta reawaken from their lengthy hiatus with an eponymous track that radically reshapes their paradigm. Formed by guitarist/composer Omar Rodríguez-López and singer/lyricist Cedric Bixler-Zavala, The Mars Volta rose from the ashes of El Paso punk-rock firebrands At The Drive-In in 2001. On a mission to “honour our roots and honour our dead”, The Mars Volta made music that fused the Latin sounds Rodríguez-López was raised on with the punk and underground noise he and Bixler-Zavala had immersed themselves in for years, and the futuristic visions they were tapping into. The albums that followed were one-of-a-kind masterpieces, their songs of breath-taking complexity also possessing powerful emotional immediacy. After the group fell silent, a legion of devotees (including Kanye West) kept up an insistent drum-beat for their return.
Now – a year after La Realidad De Los Sueños, a luxurious 18-LP box-set compiling their back catalogue, sold out its 5,000 print run in under 24 hours – the duo are back, accompanied this time by founder bassist Eva Gardner, drummer Willy Rodriguez Quiñones and keyboard-player Marcel Rodríguez-López. This song shakes loose some of The Mars Volta’s long-standing shibboleths and the dizzying, abrasive prog stylings of earlier albums absent.
Instead, The Mars Volta pulses with subtle brilliance, Caribbean rhythms underpinning sophisticated, turbulent songcraft. This is The Mars Volta at their most mature, most concise, most focused. Their sound and fury channeled to greatest effect, The Mars Volta finds Rodríguez-López’s subterranean pop melodies driving Bixler-Zavala’s dark sci-fi tales of the occult and malevolent governments. Distilling all the passion, poetry and power at their fingertips, The Mars Volta is the most accessible music the group have ever recorded.
From the first bass note within the driving drum beat you can tell something is different about the new record from Nikki Lane. The backbeat feels like a gutsy strut while the lead guitar feels like a revved up engine shifting gears. Denim & Diamonds comes out firing, spit shining the cowboy boots and tossing on a jean jacket.
Produced by Joshua Homme (Queens of the Stone Age), Denim & Diamonds has the Highway Queen embracing a more rock-oriented sound while still maintaining the heartfelt outlaw country sound she has developed across her previous three releases. Denim & Diamonds still has the fuck-off flare of which Nikki has come to be known. Her stylized, story-telling lyrics are all there as well as her catchy country hooks. The outlaw country sound is now balanced out with a gritty guitar and a machine gun snare that echoes the sound of 70’s rock.
Nikki Lane has made a record that sounds new and old. Familiar and surprising. She embraces where she has come from, (“First High”, “Born Tough”) the lessons learned along the way, (“Good Enough”, “Try Harder”) all while doing things her way, (“Denim & Diamonds”, “Black Widow”).
Vinyl: $31.98 Buy
Double LP on yellow & black marble color vinyl in same packaging as the standard version. Side D is an etching. Full album download included. Ltd Edition. Indie Only.
The never-ending psychedelic web of Kurt Wagner's Lambchop continues to unravel on September 30th with a new album titled The Bible.
The story of The Bible begins with Wagner up in the middle of the night during the first year of the plague, watching his new friend from Minneapolis, Andrew Broder, play a Wurlitzer on Instagram Live. Broder was one in a group of Minneapolis musicians Wagner had met prior to the pandemic through mutual friend Justin Vernon (Bon Iver). After watching the livestream, he called Broder up. “Dude, I’ll get you in a studio,” he says, “you just go in there for like three or four hours and do your thing.” Broder sent him back twelve 20 minute-long pieces. And then Wagner found himself in Minneapolis, in the sweltering summer of 2021, in a decommissioned paint factory turned practice space. Wagner would find an immediate musical spark with Broder & his musical partner Ryan Olson (Gayngs, contributor to Taylor Swift's Evermore). Olson contributes greatly to the album, both with arrangements & production. “Ryan and Andrew, they’re like two sides of my personality,” Wagner says. “And if you put them together as a team, they represent me.” Good thing, because this would be the first time Wagner let somebody else—people who weren’t even from Nashville—produce a Lambchop record.
The music on The Bible is more unpredictable than it’s ever been on a Lambchop record. Jazz careening into country, into disco, into funk, and back to country. All tied together with Wagner’s own voice, born from a perspective on his own life inspired by taking care of his father at the end of his life. The sounds all jumbled together with snatches of observations, words torn from the headlines in Minneapolis—bumper stickers on the freeway, or graffiti from outside that decommissioned paint factory. Through the weeks, musicians (local & non-local) would come & go, putting their own thumbprints on this bible. Perhaps most strikingly, contributions from two different vocal choirs (Bells of the Lakes & Lutheran Bells) & gorgeous string arrangements courtesy of yMusic co-founder C.J. Camerieri (who has also arranged strings for Sufjan Stevens, Antony & the Johnsons & The National).
Even real places become imaginary when they are so far out of reach. Named for an idyllic island near Ibiza off the coast of Spain, Formentera is a place that, for Metric, only existed on a page in a “dream destinations” travel book that lay open on a desk in the new recording studio that guitarist Jimmy Shaw built in 2020, in a rural hamlet north of Toronto. This is the setting where the band’s eighth album took shape. Shaw brought on Synthetica collaborator Liam O’Neil as well as longtime friend Gus van Go (The Stills) to co-engineer and co-produce with him. When the border opened, Metric bassist Joshua Winstead and drummer Joules Scott Key came in from the U.S to record, adding live energy and sonic depth to complete the Metric sound.
The result is a conceptual arc that progresses from tension and turmoil to dance-floor abandon, beginning with the edgy ten-minute album opener “Doomscroller,” and progressing through a color wheel of emotions, from determined perseverance on “What Feels Like Eternity” to self-emancipation in full orchestral bloom on the title track as Haines poses the question, “Why not just let go?” There’s a sense of resolution in the very matter-of-fact, deceptively catchy “False Dichotomy,” and the album ends on a melancholy high with “Paths in the Sky,” a love song to lifelong friendship, a thematic companion track to “All Comes Crashing,” an end-of-days banger and the first single.
“This is what we’re all thinking about,” Haines says. “So let’s address it, let’s have this whole expansive emotional experience that can feel collective instead of all going through it alone.”
Less than eighteen months after the release of their debut album New Long Leg, Dry Cleaning return with their sophomore album entitled Stumpwork. With 25M+ streams behind them and over 75K worldwide album sales alongside late night TV in the US and UK and ubiquity across Best of... lists (Rough Trade Album of the Year / Pitchfork Best New Music / Guardian *****), 2021 established the band as one of the biggest breakthrough indie acts of recent years.
This is reflected in the ambition of their new record. For their follow-up, the London four-piece returned to the iconic Rockfield Studios to work once again with producer John Parish. Furious indie-pop anthems combine across the record with psych and prog influences, demonstrating the wealth of influences the band feed off and their deep musicality. Surrealist lyrics are as ever at the forefront, but the new album gives greater opportunity to explore bugged out guitar jams, and immersive journeys touching on krautrock territory.
Original album, remastered, plus 18 previously unreleased tracks including alternate versions and bonus tracks
Plus new liner notes
Doggerel is a mature yet visceral record of gruesome folk, ballroom pop and brutal rock, haunted by the ghosts of affairs and indulgences, driven wild by cosmic forces and envisioning digital afterlives where no God has provided one. And all the while, right there on the news, another distant storm approaches.
Guitarist Joey Santiago says, "This time around we have grown. We no longer have under two-minute songs. We have little breaks, more conventional arrangements but still our twists in there."
Vocalist/guitarist Black Francis adds, "We're trying to do things that are very big and bold and orchestrated. The punky stuff, I really like playing it but you just cannot artificially create that shit. There's another way to do this, there's other things we can do with this extra special energy that we're encountering."
Definition of doggerel [daw-ger-uhl]: loosely styled and irregular in measure especially for burlesque or comic effect also: marked by triviality or inferiority - Merrian Webster
Infectious Music Pixies - Doggerel (Deluxe)
God Save the Animals is Alex G's fourth full-length for Domino and ninth overall. Giannascoli wrote and demoed these songs by himself, at home; but, for the sake of both new tones and “a routine that was outside of my apartment” during the pandemic, he began visiting multiple studios in greater Philadelphia. God Save the Animals consequently features the work of some half-dozen engineers whom Giannascoli asked to help him produce the “best” recording quality, whatever that meant. The result is an album more dynamic than ever in its sonic palette.
Through the writing of these songs and the making of this music, I found my way back to the world around me – a way to reach nature and the people I love and care about. This record is a sensory exploration that allowed for a connection to a consciousness that I was searching for. Through the resonance of sound and a beaten up old piano I bought in Camden Market while living in a city I had no intention of staying in, I found acceptance and a way of healing.” Beth Orton describes Weather Alive, her most personal album to date, as “a collaboration with time – of someone struggling to make sense. And in that struggle, something beautiful got made.” For Orton, music re-emerged in the past several years as a tethering force, even when her own life felt more tumultuous than ever. After wrestling with mysterious health issues for years, she turned a major corner in 2014 when at long last she received a correct diagnosis and was able to begin managing her condition with medication. However, Orton found this newfound clarity almost as disempowering as the mystery of her inexplicable illness because it waylaid her sense of self, and when strange occurrences persisted, she was only able to process them through long periods of making music at the upright piano installed in a shed in her garden. These sessions in solitude turned into the eight-track Weather Alive, the first album Orton has self-produced in her 30-year career. The piano spoke to Orton, holding an emotional resonance she wasn’t able to explore with guitar. Indeed, the first notes of the album-opening title track usher the listener into an expansive, emotive and dream-like world of sound with little precedence in Orton’s prior work, and through the writing of these songs and the making of this music, Orton found her way back to the world around her. Orton’s close collaborators on Weather Alive include Tom Skinner (Sons of Kemet, The Smile) on drums and Tom Herbert on bass, with additional players adding nuance and color to the music: Shahzad Ismaily on guitar, drums, harmonica, bass and Moog, Sam Beste on vibraphone, Francine Perry on synths, and Alabaster dePlume on saxophone.