Friday, December 14, 2018

3 Songs: Neil Young - 2018 Releases

Neil Young released three albums this year.  The first was the soundtrack to his film Paradox, featuring his backing band Promise of The Real and directed by his wife Daryl Hannah.  The second was Roxy – Tonight’s The Night Live, the archival release of the inaugural performance at the legendary Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles, recorded in 1973.  The third release was the archival release, Songs For Judy, that features stripped-down solo acoustic performances recorded in November of 1976. 
This special edition of my 3 Songs: On Repeat column features a track from each release.
“The Losing End” (A less twangy acoustic version taken from Songs For Judy; the original version appeared on the album, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere.  The album also features extensive liner notes from Cameron Crowe.)


“Mellow My Mind (Live)” (Originally issued as a Record Store Day exclusive, Roxy – Tonight’s The Night Live was given a wide release and the album, featuring the backing band the Santa Monica Flyers,  captures a spirited performance of many songs that would become the album Tonight’s The Night.)


“Peace Trail” (Taken from the Paradox Soundtrack and performed by Neil Young + Promise Of The Real, this rambling, expansive track is classic Neil with a modern touch, thanks to Lukas Nelson and company.  This is their second release together in as many years.)

Monday, December 10, 2018

Chris Cornell – Career Retrospective

Seattle singer/songwriter Chris Cornell passed away last year but left behind an unparalleled musical legacy.   From the grunge-metal pioneers Soundgarden to Temple Of The Dog to his work with Rage Against The Machine members in Audioslave and his dynamic solo music; Cornell possessed a powerful voice and wrote darkly poetic lyrics that made him a voice of a generation.    
In tribute and in celebration of his iconic musical career, UMe recently released a self-titled career-spanning collection of Cornell’s music.  Released as a 2-LP or 1-CD 17-track album, a 64-track 4-CD limited edition box set and as a Super Deluxe box set including 7 LPs, 4 CDs, 1 DVD and a 66-page hardcover book.
The tracklist for the 4-CD set is highlighted by 11 previously unreleased tracks and is chronological, with the first disc tracing the early evolution of Soundgarden from proto-metal punks (“Flower”, Loud Love”) to the psychedelic off-kilter grunge (“Rusty Cage”, “Spoonman”) they helped pioneer.  Also included on the first disc are two tracks from Temple Of The Dog, the super group the presaged Pearl Jam.  The second disc is comprised of Cornell’s early solo work and opens with one of my all-time favorite Cornell-related tracks, “Sunshower”, originally released in 1997 on the Great Expectations soundtrack.  Also included are six Audioslave songs led by the powerful, “Cochise” as well as his yearning cover of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” and “You Know My Name” from the Casino Royale soundtrack.   The third disc is a mix of modern-era Soundgarden songs and solo tracks including, live acoustic covers of Lennon’s “Imagine”, “Live To Rise” and the previously unreleased solo song, “When Bad Does Good”.  The fourth disc features live recordings from Soundgarden, Temple Of The Dog, Audioslave and solo, including, his rendition of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” recorded live at Sirius XM and his cover of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song”, a devastating duet with his daughter Toni Cornell.
The included booklet features many photos and heartfelt and insightful essays in remembrance from former band members and friends such as Kim Thayil, Matt Cameron, Mike McCready, Tom Morello and Brendan O’Brien.  The box set’s artwork complete with die-cut Seattle tree-line graphics was designed by Pearl Jam and Temple Of The Dog bassist Jeff Ament.  
The Chris Cornell career retrospective box set is a lasting tribute to a one of a kind musician.
Watch the video for the previously unreleased solo track, “When Bad Does Good” here:

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

3 Songs: Primus – Vinyl Reissues

Primus has been my favorite band ever since my seventh-grade-self laid ears on Sailing The Sea Of Cheese in 1991.  Their quirky bass guitar-led hybridization of funk and thrash metal (and nearly everything in between) and Les Claypool’s humorous lyrics had me hooked from then on.    
So, I was completely ecstatic to see that Interscope/UMe are releasing the Primus discography on vinyl, each for the first time since their initial pressing.  Previously, 1991’s Sailing The Sea of Cheese was remastered and reissued on vinyl in 2013 so out now are newly-remastered vinyl reissues of Pork Soda (1993), Tales From the Punchbowl (1995), Brown Album (1997) and 1999’s Antipop.  Also, making their vinyl debut are their two excellent cover EP’s, Miscellaneous Debris (1992) and Rhinoplasty (1998).  Rounding out the collection is the 2003 reunion EP, Animals Should Not Try to Act Like People.     
The albums are available on 180-gram black vinyl as well as limited edition color versions for each release (as seen above) and include a download code on an album cover sticker, featuring the remastered audio in WAV format.  Additionally, Rhinoplasty is bolstered by an extra bonus track, the fan favorite cover of “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” and Tales From The Punchbowl is outfitted with new artwork.  
To celebrate, here are 3 of my favorite Primus songs.  Enjoy!
“Tommy The Cat” (From Sailing The Sea Of Cheese and featuring the voice of Tom Waits.)


“My Name Is Mud” (From Pork Soda; Claypool the storyteller at his best, set to a thumping rhythm.)


“Southbound Pachyderm” (From Tales From the Punchbowl; the Pink Floyd-like psych-rock live favorite.)

Monday, November 26, 2018

REISSUE: Jimi Hendrix – Electric Ladyland (50th Anniversary Reissue)

Fifty years ago, Jimi Hendrix released his third and final album, his magnum opus, Electric Ladyland.  Led by the hits, “Crosstown Traffic”, “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” and his blazing rendition of Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower”; the expansive double album hit #1 on the Billboard charts and showcased all sides of Hendrix, from his blues-rock roots, to his more experimental and psychedelic side.    
In celebration, Experience Hendrix, L.L.C. along with Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings recently released an expanded deluxe 50th anniversary edition of Electric Ladyland.  Available as a 3CD/1 Blu-ray set or 6LP/1 Blu-ray set, the original album has been remastered by Bernie Grundman from the original analog tapes and has never sounded better.  Likewise, the Blu-ray includes a new 5.1 stereo surround mix from original engineer, Eddie Kramer. 
The deluxe edition is highlighted by a full disc of unreleased demos and alternate takes taken from the original sessions that show how the songs evolved.  Two of the standouts are demos of songs titled, “Angel” and “My Friend” which never made it onto the album. 
Also included is the previously unreleased live album, Jimi Hendrix Experience: Live At the Hollywood Bowl 9/14/68, performed and recorded just a few weeks before Electric Ladyland was released.  In addition to Ladyland tracks, the track list also includes energetic performances of “Fire”, “Hey Joe”, the “Star Spangled Banner” and a cover of Cream’s “Sunshine Of Your Love”.     
The package is housed in a beautiful 12x12 hardcover book loaded with tons of pictures and essays from Rolling Stone’s David Fricke and producer John McDermott, as well as reproductions of Jimi’s handwritten notes about the album and lyrics.  Also, the original photo for the album cover is used, as Jimi had always intended.  Co0mpleting the package is the Blu-ray, which in addition to the album in 5.1, includes the documentary film, At Last… The Beginning: The Making of Electric Ladyland which features an oral history of the making of the album.   
To order or for more info: https://jimihendrix.lnk.to/ELL_50
Watch an excerpt from the film featuring an interview with Eddie Kramer about the album and the 5.1 mix here:

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

REISSUE: Barenaked Ladies – Stunt (20th Anniversary Edition)

Twenty years ago, the Canadian pop-rock band Barenaked Ladies finally broke through in the United States with their smash, #1 hit, “One Week”, the lead single from their fourth album, Stunt.  With nonsensical, hip-hop inspired lyrics and a sly, satirical sense of humor, “One Week” along with the other standout singles, the dark yet party-starting anthem, “Alcohol”, the power-pop tune “It’s All Been Done” and the ballad-esque “Call And Answer” propelled the band into new heights; showcasing for American audiences what Canadian music fans had known for years. 
To celebrate the album’s 20th anniversary, Rhino/Warner Bros. recently reissued Stunt in a deluxe edition featuring an expanded CD/DVD set and on vinyl for the first time in a long time, in a 2-LP set.
The expanded edition of the album includes two album outtakes, "She's On Time" and "Long Way Back Home," as well as the fan favorite, "Get In Line," which originally appeared on the King Of The Hill Soundtrack.  Additionally, the included DVD features their 1999 documentary titled, Barenaked In America, a film directed by actor and longtime BNL fan, Jason Preistly, that chronicled the band’s 1998-1999 American tour.  The film captures the band’s improvisational live show and showcases their humor in backstage footage.  It also features cameos from John Stewart, Conan O’Brien and Jeff Goldblum along with an oral history of the band. 
Relive the “One Week” video in all of it's late-90's glory here:  

Friday, November 16, 2018

3 Songs: On Repeat

Ryley Walker – “Busted Stuff” (The Chicago-based musician is following up his stellar new album, Deafman Glance, released earlier this year, with a track-by-track cover of Dave Matthews Band’s unreleased, fan-favorite album, The Lillywhite Sessions.  Out today on Dead Oceans – carrying the same title - is Walker’s homage to the music of his youth with a respectful take on the famously file-shared album that eventually was re-recorded for the 2002 release, Busted Stuff.  Walker turns DMB’s songs into noisy, punk-fueled rock-outs and free-jazz freakouts but keeps the well-known melodies intact.  Fans of both bands should artists should be pleased.) https://ryleywalker.bandcamp.com/album/the-lillywhite-sessions   

P.O.D. – “Rockin’ With The Best” (The San Diego band returns today with their tenth album, Circles, and debut for their new label home, Mascot Records.  Inspired by recent touring, the new album is instantly one of the best releases in their career.  With an optimistic message, the band still blends together punk, metal, rap and reggae into a pop-forward mix that should appeal to longtime fans and new fans alike.  Check out the infectiously fun and simple yet effective lead-off track and single here, with its shout-along refrain.) http://www.payableondeath.com/   

Lennon Stella – “La Di Da” (After finding fame singing songs in viral videos with her little sister on YouTube and starring on the ABC drama Nashville, the emerging pop star, Lennon Stella has just released her first solo music in the form of her debut EP, out now on RECORDS/Columbia Records.  Titled, Love, Me the 5-song EP features production from Greg Kurstin and a hip-hop inspired pop sound, a pivot from her country and folk roots.  Check out the melancholic yet fun track, which features the close-knit harmonies from her sister, Maisy, here.) http://smarturl.it/LoveMeEP      



Wednesday, November 14, 2018

REISSUE: The Beatles – The Beatles (White Album) - 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition

1968 was a landmark year for music.  Just like the grunge and alternative rock boom of 1991 headed by Nirvana, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam, 1968 saw the release of timeless albums such, The Big Pink by The Band, Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland, Astral Weeks by Van Morrison and many others, including the self-titled double album from The Beatles, known as the “White Album”.
The White Album was John, Paul, George and Ringo’s ninth album and first release issued on their newly-minted record label, Apple Records.  With complete creative control, it was a sprawling 30-song collection that showcased all sides of the band and their stellar songwriting.  The album eclectically flows from the full, ornamental arrangements of “Dear Prudence” to the surf-rock splendor of “Back in The U.S.S.R.” and the psychedelic strangeness of “Wild Honey Pie” to the simplicity of “Blackbird” and “Julia”; it’s no wonder the album has become their most iconic and beloved releases of their illustrious career.
In celebration of its 50th anniversary, Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe have just released The Beatles (White Album) in a variety of expanded packages highlighted by a 7-disc Super Deluxe set that has 107 total tracks including 50 mostly previously unreleased alternate takes and session recordings.  Also included, for the first time ever, are the 27 previously unreleased and much sought after Esher Demos, recorded in May of 1968 at George’s house in Esher on a 4-track reel-to-reel tape deck.
Amazingly, this is the first time the original album has been remixed and remastered and it sounds amazing, especially with the inclusion of the Esher Demos which is like listening to the Beatles in the raw.
Additionally, the album is available digitally, in a 2-LP set and as a 3-CD or limited edition 180-gram 4-LP vinyl box set that features the 2018 stereo album mix along with the Esher Demos.
For more info and to order: http://thebeatles.lnk.to/WhiteAlbum
Listen to the joyous Esher Demo version of “Back In The U.S.S.R.” complete with Paul’s hummed guitar solo here:

Monday, November 12, 2018

Stream It From The Mountian: Dylan Mondegreen - A Place In The Sun

Dylan Mondegreen - Norway-based indie folk-pop singer-songwriter Borge Sildnes - just released his fifth album, A Place In The Sun.  Issued by Sildnes himself in conjunction with Japan's Fast Cut Records, Mondegreen continues to perfect his soft rock/indie-pop formula which is highlighted by laid back 60's pop melodies and lush, carefully crafted arrangements that compare to Belle And Sebastian and Jens Lekman.

The excellent new album dives into matter both personal (odes to his children) and political (the utopia-dreaming title track) without diverting from his trademark hushed delivery.  On the standout track, Sildnes reflects back the "Golden Days" of his life and his recording career, though he is certainly in his prime right now.  Another standout, "In You" opens with spacey synths before a gentle jangle of guitars and a funky clavinet leads the way before saccharine strings sway the sweetly sentimental  track.

Stream A Place In The Sun here: 

Friday, November 09, 2018

3 Songs: On Repeat (Extended Edition)


Morning Again – “Reinventor” (After twenty years, the metalcore originators return with Survival Instinct, an aptly-tiled new EP, out today on Revelation Records.  Vocalist Kevin Byers, bassist Gerardo Villarroel and guitarists Stephen Looker and John Wylie along with new drummer Joshua Williams reclaim their crown with another killer set of death metal-infused metallic hardcore.  Fellow hardcore lifer, Rick Rodney of Strife lends his vocals and New Found Glory’s Chad Gilbert guests as well.  Watch for the band to appear on festival bills next year!) https://morningagain.bandcamp.com/album/survival-instinct  

J. Mascis – “See You At the Movies” (The Dinosaur Jr. frontman returns today with Elastic Days, his fourth solo album and first in four years.  Released via Sub Pop, the new album is driven by acoustic guitars and some of his most memorable alt-folk melodies and of course, his signature electric guitar solos steal the spotlight.  J plays everything on the album save for keyboards and some guest vocals from Pall Jenkins of Black Heart Procession and fellow Sub Pop signee, Zoë Randell of Luluc.) https://jmascis.bandcamp.com/album/elastic-days    

Coheed And Cambria – “The Gutter” (After taking a break from the Armory Wars saga with their last album, Coheed returned recently with their ninth album, Unheavenly Creatures, via their new label, Roadrunner Records.  With the story in place and their prog-rock tendencies on full display, Claudio and crew continue to blend pop-punk, metal and prog into something otherworldly, especially on the heavy, Queen-esque standout track heard here.) http://www.coheedandcambria.com/

twenty-one pilots – “Smithereens” (The Columbus duo recently released their highly-anticipated fifth album, Trench, via Fueled By Ramen.  Under pop pressure with the mainstream on high beam, Tyler and Josh have created their most cohesive yet experimental album yet with elements of hip-hop and reggae rhymes and rhythms and more positive messages.  Where the group shines, is on stage so be sure to catch their electric live show when you get the chance!)  http://www.twentyonepilots.com/  



Thursday, November 08, 2018

REISSUE: Anthrax – State Of Euphoria (30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)

In the metal world and beyond, it is well known that Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax are “The Big Four” of thrash metal.  Each band had an enormous influence in the 80’s and 90’s on the heavy metal music scene.  It is my opinion that the fourth album, State of Euphoria by Anthrax is what solidified their spot on the Mt Rushmore of Metal.       
The album was released in September of 1988 by the New York City band featuring, guitarists Scott Ian and Dan Spitz, drummer Charlie Benante, bassist Frank Bello and vocalist Joey Belladonna.  Though initial critical reception of the album was not as hot as for their previous releases, the album became a cult classic and produced three of their most well-loved hits; the anthemic “Be All, End All”, the fan-favorite “Finale” and their cover of the French rock band Trust’s “Antisocial”.  Another album standout is “Who Cares Wins”, a politically-charged discussion about homelessness that is just as true today as it was then.           
In celebration of its 30th anniversary, Island Records/UMe recently released an expanded 2CD or 2LP edition of State Of Euphoria.  Disc one features the original album fully remastered as well as five bonus tracks including, a French version of “Antisocial” and a live version that was recorded at the legendary Hammersmith Odeon.  The second disc of rarities traces the evolution – from rehearsal to recording - of most of the songs on the album and was provided by Charlie Benante from his personal vaults.
Additionally, the booklet features tons of great photos from the era and liner notes penned by British journalist Alexander Milas, former editor-in-chief of 80’s metal mag Metal Hammer.  As a special added bonus for fans, also included in the booklet are several responses from fans from when Benante invited Anthrax fans on social media to tell him what State of Euphoria had meant to them.  The album is available digitally, on 2CD and as a 2-LP set on standard black vinyl and limited edition red and yellow vinyl.
Watch the video for “Who Cares Wins” here: 

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Sepultura – Above The Remains Official Bootleg: Live In Germany ‘89

Last year Roadrunner/Rhino Records reissued the first six albums by highly-influential Brazilian metal band, Sepultura - Morbid Visions (1986), Schizophrenia (1987), Beneath The Remains (1989), Arise (1991), Chaos A.D. (1993), and Roots (1996) – on colored vinyl in a box set.  Earlier this year, they reissued expanded newly-remastered 2CD or 2LP versions of Chaos A.D. and Roots, complete with bonus tracks, b-sides and live recordings.    
Now to complete the collection - as part of their annual ROCKTOBER collection of releases - Rhino has recently issued Above The Remains; an Official Bootleg recorded Live in Germany during their 1989 tour in support of Beneath The Remains.  On translucent red 140g vinyl, the previously-unreleased live recording features 8 tracks including, blistering takes on fan favorites such as “Inner Self”, “Lobotomy” and “Troops of Doom”.  Also, included is their metallic cover of Dead Kennedy’s punk classic, “Holiday In Cambodia”, as well as all of Max’s stage banter.  The recordings were captured directly to tape at the soundboard and provided by Monte Conner and Borivoj Krgin, then mastered and cut to vinyl.   
You can find the Above The Remains Official Bootleg: Live In Germany LP in your local retailer.  For more info please visit, https://www.rhino.com/rocktober
Watch the video for “Inner Self” from Beneath The Remains here:

Monday, November 05, 2018

REISSUE: The Helio Sequence - Keep Your Eyes Ahead (Deluxe Edition)

Portland indie-rock duo, The Helio Sequence - consisting of Brandon Summers and Benjamin Weikel – released their fourth album, Keep Your Eyes Ahead, ten years ago on Sub Pop.  To celebrate its ten year anniversary, they have released an expanded deluxe edition of the album featuring remastered audio and in addition, a full album’s worth of demos, alternate takes and outtakes.  It is available on Loser Edition blue vinyl, CD and digital.         
On Keep Your Eyes Ahead, the duo effortlessly combined atmospheric dream-pop and organic acoustic Dylan-esque folk-pop into their best and most compactly cohesive set of songs for their best album yet.  Led by Summer’s twinkling guitars and Weikel’s inventive percussion, the lead single and opening track, “Lately” was the perfect introduction to the album which includes the standout tracks like the infectiously bouncy “Can’t Say No” and the gauzy, finger-picked ballad, “Shed Your Love”.  Standouts among the eleven newly-included tracks include the bluesy, raucous outtake, “Heart Disease” and the three different versions of the stomping, Gospel-infused closing track, “No Regrets”; one acoustic, the second with keyboards and the third, electrified.        
Stream Keep Your Eyes Ahead (Deluxe Edition) here:

Friday, November 02, 2018

3 Songs: On Repeat (feat. Bob Dylan and two songs from Those Far Out Arrows)

Those Far Out Arrows – “American Trap” (The Nebraska-based band creates a gritty, punk-inspired brand of Heartland rock on their sophomore album, Part Time Lizards, out today on High Dive Records.  With three vocalists, the infectious melodies shine like a beacon through all of the fuzz, especially on the laid back, jangly standout single heard here.) https://highdiverecords.bandcamp.com/album/those-far-out-arrows-part-time-lizards
Stream:


Those Far Out Arrows – “Be Alright” (Part Time Lizards is available digitally, on CD, cassette and on limited edition green splatter or classic black vinyl. Check out the slightly psychedelic and twangy single here with its ramshackle rhythm and fuzzed-out solo that recalls both Neil Young’s Crazy Horse days and Some Girls-era Rolling Stones.)
Stream:


Bob Dylan – “You’re A Big Girl Now (Take 2)” (Out today on Columbia/Legacy Recordings, is volume 14 of Bob Dylan’s ongoing Bootleg Series, that highlights one of his most beloved albums, Blood On The Tracks.  The 1CD and 2LP configurations of More Blood, More Tracks feature ten of the alternate takes - one for each of the ten songs on the original album - recorded during the NY sessions, as well as a previously unreleased version of “Up to Me.”  Additionally, the comprehensive limited edition deluxe 6CD set – featuring over 85 songs - compiles all six of the mythic New York and both Minneapolis sessions from 1974 and features a hardcover book with tons of photos and liner notes from Jeff Slate.  Listen below, to Take 2 of “You’re A Big Girl Now, recorded solo at A & R Studios in New York on 9/16/74.) https://bobdylan.lnk.to/mbmt-allLW!news180920
 Stream:

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

3 Songs: On Repeat (Extended Relapse Records Catchup)

Since Halloween is today, here is an extended edition of my 3 Songs: On Repeat feature consisting of some of Relapse Records best new recent releases.  Have a HEAVY Halloween!

Windhand – “Grey Garden” (The Richmond, VA-based band’s fourth album, Eternal Return was released on Relapse Records earlier this month.  The album - once again produced by the legendary Jack Endino (Nirvana, Soundgarden) - continues to improve upon their triumphant blend of psych-rock and fuzzed-out alt. rock, highlighted by frontwoman Dorthia Cottrell’s powerful yet poppy vocals which are set to stomping stoner rock rhythms and enormous sludge-encrusted riffs.) https://windhand.bandcamp.com/album/eternal-return

Obscura – “Diluvium” (The German progressive death metal virtuosos released their excellent new album, Diluvium, via Relapse Records back in July.  The album - which completes a story arc that stretched over four albums - continues to showcase their genre-defiant brand of technical metal which is augmented by jazz-informed polyrhythms and liquid fretless bass lines along with cosmic Cynic-like vocal effects and the occasional thrash riff and black metal passage.  Since 2002, rare few have done it better than Obscura!) https://obscura.bandcamp.com/album/diluvium

Pig Destroyer – “The Torture Fields” (After a six year wait, the Virginia extreme metal purveyors returned recently with their sixth album, Head Cage, via Relapse Records.  For their first album since adding a bassist in John Jarvis, the band, led by the dystopic lyrical view of JR Hayes, creates a caustic sound found at the intersection of noise-addled industrial-assisted grindcore and crusty propulsive punk.  Guest vocals provided by Agoraphobic Nosebleed's Richard Johnson and Kat Katz and Dylan Walker of Full Of Hell.)    

Outer Heaven – “Bloodspire” (The Pennsylvania death metal quintet made their Relapse Records debut with their highly-anticipated debut album, Realms Of Eternal Decay, a couple of weeks ago.   By splitting the difference between the growling grindcore of Cannibal Corpse and the old school-inspired brand of death metal of their label mates, Gatecreeper; their sound is laced with vividly primal lyrics and music that matches in intensity, for a very promising debut.) https://outerheaven.bandcamp.com/album/realms-of-eternal-decay
Stream: https://youtu.be/7hcRuY9N4WQ

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

BEASTIE BOYS BOOK – Michael Diamond/Adam Horovitz

The Beastie Boys - MCA, Ad-Rock and Mike D - were a once-in-a-lifetime band; from their hardcore beginnings to hip-hop stardom, there was and never will be a band like them again.   
The highly-anticipated Beastie Boys Book, out now from Penguin Random House is a 590-page memoir by Michael Diamond and Adam Horvitz, as told in their own words and in their own distinctly eclectic and humorous style, along with contributions from former Beastie member Kate Shellenbach, Wes Anderson, Amy Poehler, Luc Sante and many more.
The book opens with an introduction by Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock) featuring a heartfelt tribute to the enigmatic late Adam Yauch (MCA) as well as Michael Diamond’s (Mike D) documentation of his first encounter with Yauch.  From there, we learn about the Beastie Boys’ beginnings and rise to stardom and everything beyond and in between.     
One of the standout essays in the book is an incredibly evocative one by Luc Sante which transports you back to New York City in 1981 and the melting pot of a music scene - including the clubs, records stores and radio stations - that influenced the Beastie’s highly-eclectic sound.  Another written by Mike D, recounts how hardcore paved the way but hip-hop offered unlimited possibilities for the Beastie Boys.  Likewise, Horovitz tells how the impulsive purchase of his first drum machine led to their first experiments with hip-hop.
This book is a packed full of inside information about the Beastie Boys from the sources themselves.  Their pop culture-filled lyrics and inside jokes become clearer with context and each album is explored in depth, track by track, and Horovitz argues that the Beastie Boys’ 1998 album, Hello Nasty is their best record.  This book is a must have for Beastie Boys fans.        
Check out the first 117 pages of the book, including Adrock’s introduction, tons of exclusive photos and Luc Sante’s contribution here: http://insight.randomhouse.com/widget/v4/?width=600&height=860&isbn=9780812995541&shortCode=&author=Michael%20Diamond%20and%20Adam%20Horovitz&title=Beastie%20Boys%20Book&refererURL=www.penguinrandomhouse.com
In celebration, here are 3 of my favorite Beastie Boys songs.
“Hold It Now, Hit It”


“Hey Ladies”


“Pass The Mic”

Friday, October 26, 2018

3 Songs: On Repeat

Saves The Day – “Side By Side” (The New Jersey emo-punk heroes led by Chris Conley return today with their aptly-titled ninth album.  The long-awaited new album titled 9, is out today on Equal Vision Records and is their most ambitious yet, serving as an oral history of the band by the band with nostalgic looks back – both lyrically and musically - at the band’s journey over the last two decades.  Additionally, the album closes out with ”29”,  a 21-minute long suite of seven songs that is the most personal Conley has gotten on a Saves The Day album, tracing numerous events in his life from his birth to the birth of his daughter to more tragic band-related events such as a near fatal van accident.) http://www.equalvision.com/releases/9/    

Rilian – “Stardrive” (The Tampa-based band comprised of multi-instrumentalist/songwriter Jerad Griffin creates a cosmic, 90’s-inspired brand of alt-rock in the vein of Hum and Failure, with a heavy emphasis on catchy melodies on their promising self-titled debut EP, out now on Kenobi Records.  For the perfect introduction, check out the melodic single, on which Griffin gets personal about depression alongside thick, crunchy distorted guitars and a soaring, sing-along chorus that offers a glimpse of hope.) https://rilianmusic.bandcamp.com/album/rilian  

Anakin – “Sun-Kissed” (The San Diego-based fuzz-gaze band led by Brad Chancellor just released another two-track single titled, @-2, as part of their plan to release a series of five singles - each featuring a new original and an influential cover song - over the course of the year, culminating in a physical release.  The A-side to @-2 features a stomping rhythm alongside dense guitars with an irresistible synth melody hovering over top.  The B-side is a more atmospheric cover of the Smashing Pumpkins’ Siamese Dream-era favorite, “Rocket”.) https://anakinmusic.bandcamp.com/album/2

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

REISSUE: The Cranberries - Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? 25th Anniversary Edition

In January of this year, vocalist/guitarist Dolores O’Riordan of The Cranberries passed away as the band was putting together a 25th anniversary edition of their 1993 debut album, Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? for release on Island Records/Ume.  Out now, the Super Deluxe Edition is a 61-track 4-CD set that features the brilliant multi-platinum debut album newly remastered at Abbey Road Studios.  The second disc is comprised of their 4-song debut EP, B-sides and remixes including the Prêt-à-Porter movie remix of “Pretty” and early demos recorded under their first moniker, The Cranberry Saw Us; including early, 1991 versions of the standout singles, “Dreams” and “Linger”.  The third and fourth disc features live concert recordings and live radio sessions, respectively, including their 1992 BBC Peel Session.  The album is also available digitally or as a 2-CD set that omits the live CDs, a 180-gram vinyl edition in classic black or limited clear vinyl colorways or a 1CD set.            
Led by the soaring, exotic vocals of the late Delores O’Riordan, the band - featuring Noel Hogan, Mike Hogan, and Fergal Lawler - inspired by the Cure and the shimmering guitars of the Smiths, created a world-conquering alternative rock sound that defied the humbleness suggested by the album’s title.  This expanded silver anniversary edition of Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? proves to be the definitive version of their most defining album and is a lasting and loving tribute to the memory of Delores O’Riordan.       
In honor, here are 3 Songs from the 25th Anniversary edition of Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?
“Shine Down” (Taken from their extremely limited debut recording, Nothing Left All EP.)

“Íosa” (Íosa translates to “Jesus” in Irish.  The unreleased Irish-sung song was recorded with producer Stephen Street during the Everybody Else studio sessions.)

“Linger” (The aptly-titled, everlasting smash single from the album that remains just as ubiquitous today as it was 25 years ago.)

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

SHOW ALERT & INTERVIEW: Us, Today at The Trolley Stop 10/26

Alias Imaging: John Carrico, Adam Henry, Cody Gunningham

The Cincinnati-based experimental instrumental rock trio, composed of Kristin Agee on vibraphone, guitarist Joel Griggs and drummer Jeff Mellott, recently released their fourth album titled, COMPUTANT, with an album release show in Dayton back in July.  The new album heavily features synths and electronics, adding a new dimension to their already genre-defiant sound that blends together elements of avant-garde jazz, math rock and post-rock. 

The trio is set to play in Dayton again at The Trolley Stop on Friday, October 26.    
In anticipation, Atlas and the Anchor spoke with Kristin and Jeff about their influences, electronic experimentation and the differences between the Dayton and Cincinnati music scenes.
Your avant-garde sound defies genre boundaries, as does your list of influences that includes, Miles Davis, Radiohead and Tortoise.  But who are some of your least obvious influences?
 It's different from each member of the band.  We all come from different music backgrounds.  But a small list would have to include Talking Heads, Umphrey's McGee, Michael Jackson, Zammuto, Euphone, Sunny Day Real Estate, Jaga Jazzist, St. Vincent, Phillip Glass, and Isotope 217. – Kristin
The instrumental music you create is vividly evocative; with your new album, are you trying to convey any sort of message through your music; what do you hope people take away from your music? 
I think we are just trying to explore things we haven't had the opportunity to do with other bands, and really create something new.  I guess the message would be to stay open minded.  Some people don't give us a chance because we are different.  Being an instrumental band, some people won't even give you the time of day.  They assume they won't like it.  For those people I feel sorry.  Music is so much more than what is being fed to us through clear channel.  Go out there, explore, find something new, and give it a chance.  You might enjoy it.  - Kristin
The new album also features more electronic instrumentation, what inspired the new direction?
Honestly, having some money to play with after the release of our TENENEMIES album in 2015.  We spent all of the money we made touring that album on new gear, and on recording COMPUTANT.  There were a lot of things we'd talked about doing for a while that we just didn't have the money to do.  For me, it was putting pickups on my vibraphone, which makes it much easier to play live and allows me to manipulate the sound with guitar effects pedals. For Joel, it was purchasing a MOOG synthesizer.  Jeff did a lot of upgrading of his drum set and electronics for this album too, adding a Roland SPDX pad and triggers from his drum set.  All of the new gear really expanded the sounds we are able to make. - Kristin
The standout single, “Spellcaster (Dr. Spirit)”, with its frenetic rhythm and dynamic melodies sounds like a fun one to play live.  What is your favorite song to perform and why?
It's hard to pick a favorite song to perform, we like different songs for different reasons.  “Spellcaster (Dr. Spirit)” is definitely one of the more songs to play live.  For me, that one is one of more physically demanding songs we play these days.  I also really enjoy playing “No Funny Game Please”.  It starts with a slow groove that builds and builds.  I think sometimes it's hard to leave space in songs, musicians are always tempted to play too many notes, but there is openness to the beginning of this song that we created that I really love living inside when we are playing it live.  - Kristin
My personal favorite to play might be "Gravity Always Wins" from our last record.  I feel like that one has it all for me as a drummer.  Good groove sections, bombastic near solo sections and heavy rock to end it.  It's a great journey playing that every time.  Still very invigorating!! - Jeff
Coming from Cincy, you have played in Dayton a couple times now.  What are some similarities and some differences in the music scenes of each city from your viewpoint?
I think there are a lot of similarities.  We are so close; it's so easy for bands to play back and forth between these two cities that the scenes start to meld together in some places.  We've been well received every time we come to Dayton, and it seems to me like Dayton is a scene that is a bit more open to experimentation and self-expression.  That exists in Cincinnati, but I also feel like there is more pressure to stick to the mold here and follow in other bands' footsteps. - Kristin
I think there's a general openness and appreciation for live music that is well played in both scenes.  There are so many great bands in this region, and I feel like the fans and followers in the area take advantage of that and are really supportive!! - Jeff
Stream COMPUTANT here:

Monday, October 22, 2018

Stream It from The Mountain: Danny & His Fantasy

Danny & His Fantasy is the pop star alter ego of Joey Cook, formerly of Cincinnati psych-pop favorites, Pomegranates.  Since the Poms amicably broke up, the prolific Cook has dabbled in psych-rock with his project JOESPH and curated the indie label The Eyebrow Palace. 
Today, Atlas and the Anchor is proud to premiere a stream of the self-titled debut album from Danny & His Fantasy, that was released last Friday on The Eyebrow Palace.  The seven-song self-titled debut album is led by the glittering dream-pop of the first single, “Something Real” and “Mantra” with its funky bass line, energetic 80’s-informed rhythms and quick, rap-like vocal cadence.  The album also features two tracks – the soulful, synth-pop rave-up, “Soul Crossing” and the uplifting and anthemic “Friends” - previously written and recorded as Healing Power songs, but released now in updated form. 
Joey Joesph, owner of The Eyebrow Palace, had this to say about the signing of Danny & His Fantasy: “I feel very lucky and excited that Eyebrow Palace has nabbed Danny & His Fantasy for a two-record deal. This is going to be huge for the label, and I think significant for the world at large...”
Stream Danny & His Fantasy here:

Friday, October 19, 2018

3 Songs: On Repeat

Spirit Award – “Supreme Truth” (Hot on the heels of last year’s promising debut album, the Seattle psych-rock trio are set to release their sophomore album, Muted Crowd.   Out today via Union Zero, the new album was produced by Trevor Spencer (Father John Misty, Fleet Foxes) and much like their debut, projects heavier lyrical themes against a buzzing backdrop of haunting psych-rock blended with post-punk and Krautrock-informed rhythms and textures; though it has a much looser vibe as it was recorded quickly, capturing their live energy.  Check out the brighter melodies and rumbling bass line of the standout single here.) https://www.unionzero.com/shop  

Jr. Thomas & The Volcanos – “What A Shame” (The Minneapolis-based reggae revivalists led by Tom McDowall, aka Jr. Thomas, are set to release their highly-anticipated sophomore album, Rockstone, today via Colemine Records.  McDowell and crew use the songs on the new album to promote a positive message of love and healing, as they blend 60’s soul-inspired strings and vocals into their rootsy, organ-drenched brand of reggae, for a sophomore-slump busting breakthrough.) https://jrthomasandthevolcanos.bandcamp.com/album/rockstone

Justin Courtney Pierre – “In The Drink” (In The Drink, the debut solo album from the Motion City Sountrack frontman was recently released on Epitaph Records.  The album – produced by Motion City Soundtrack guitarist Joshua Cain - showcases Justin Courtney Pierre’s singer-songwriter side alongside his catchy, power-pop and punk rock roots.  In true solo fashion, JCP played every instrument on the album except for the drums which were handled by David Jarnstrom of Gratitude and BNLX.  Check out the propulsive, fuzzed-out title track here.)