Friday, August 16, 2019

3 Songs: Spoon – Everything Hits At Once: The Best of Spoon

For this special edition of my 3 Songs: On Repeat feature, I will be highlighting the Austin band Spoon; an influential indie rock institution since forming in 1993 by Britt Daniel and Jim Eno. 
The band recently released a greatest hits compilation titled, Everything Hits At Once: The Best of Spoon, via Matador Records that features twelve of their best songs from 2001-2017 – twelve of the best songs in the indie rock canon, honestly.  In addition, the collection features an exciting new track titled, “No Bullets Spent” that proves worthy of inclusion.    
Check out “No Bullets Spent” as well as two of my favorite Spoon songs below.
“No Bullets Spent”:

“The Way We Ge By”:

“I Turn My Camera On”:

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

REISSUE: My Morning Jacket – The Tennessee Fire: 20th Anniversary Edition

Kentucky-bred rock heroes, My Morning Jacket are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their debut album, Tennessee Fire, with a deluxe reissue.  Originally released by Darla Records in 1999, the album was our first introduction to Jim James and crew and was where their unique reverb-rich sound first emerged with a convergence of Appalachian folk, early rock and roll, southern rock and soul. 
Out now on Darla Records is The Tennessee Fire: 20th Anniversary Edition, an expanded deluxe reissue available in three formats – digitally, as a 2CD set and a 3LP set pressed onto red vinyl. 
Along with the classic original album, 16 bonus tracks are included that were selected from Jim James’s personal archives, featuring demos, first versions, alternate versions and B-sides recorded during the original sessions for the album.  The set is highlighted by first and third versions of the anthemic standout track, “The Bear”, that show how the song evolved and overall, show the band's experimental spirit in its beginning stages.    
Listen to the beguiling previously-unreleased track, “John Dyes Her Hair Red” here:

Check out the first version of “The Bear” here:

Monday, August 12, 2019

REISSUE: Ned’s Atomic Dustbin – God Fodder

The British alternative rock band, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, released their debut album, God Fodder, in 1991.  On it, they blended noisy shoegaze guitars with propulsive drumming and an inventive and highly-melodic two bass guitar attack.  Upon its release, the video for standout single, “Grey Cell Green” was in heavy rotation on MTV as part of the “Buzz Bin”.  Another standout track, “Happy” is the perfect introduction to their sound with its mix of swirling guitars and driving bass melody.  The band went on to release several more albums to less acclaim – including the equally as good follow-up, Are You Normal? and 1995’s synth-driven Brainbloodvolume -  but 28 years after its initial release, God Fodder remains a cult classic.  It has always been a favorite of mine. 
The noted vinyl-only label, Music On Vinyl is once again giving God Fodder the attention it rightly deserves with a recently issued vinyl reissue that has been pressed onto 180gm silver and black marbled vinyl and limited to 1,000 numbered copies.  Completing the package is an insert featuring lyrics and photos that were included with the original release.      
Ned’s remains active after reforming in 2008 with its original lineup of Jonn, Alex, Dan, Rat and Mat. 
Revisit the video for “Grey Cell Green” here:

Friday, August 09, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat

A Voice Of Your Own – “Clean” (The rising Dayton indie rock band released their stellar sophomore album, Satellites, in June.  Led by vocalist/guitarist James Crabtree along with guitarist Tyler Conley, bassist Jonny McConnell and drummer Matt Mihalus, the quartet creates a dynamic and lushly layered sound that incorporates everything from 90’s-inspired alternative rock and 80’s post-punk rhythms to shimmering dream-pop with infectiously catchy melodies.  The standout track heard here with its soft-chugging guitars and atmospheric background vocals will give you all of the 90’s feels!)       

Have Mercy – “Heartbeat” (The Baltimore emo revivalists led by Brian Swindle recently released their fourth album, The Love Life, via Hopeless Records.  The new songs lean more toward the pop-leaning, Jimmy Eat World and Dashboard Confessional side of the emo spectrum and are Swindle’s most vulnerable and emotionally-charged songs since their promising 2013 debut album.  Check out the standout single here with its sing-along chorus and see them on tour this fall with The Early November and Owel.)              

Sum 41 – “Out For Blood” (The L.A.-by-way-of-Canada pop-punk lifers recently returned after a three year wait with a new album, Order In Decline, on Hopeless Records.  The new album is both political and personal and also their heaviest and most aggressive; matching the lyrics in their intensity.  The standout first single, heard here, is the perfect example with its raging riffs and rhythm and thrash metal-esque guitar solo.)        

Friday, August 02, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat

Cabin Essence – “No More” (Cabin Essence is the solo project of Milwaukee-based indie-pop singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Nick Maas, who recently released a new 7” single via hometown label, Good Land Records.  The two-song single opens with the silky, harmony-rich psych-pop vibes of “For Your Love”.  Heard here, the B-side, “No More”, is an immediately catchy Brit-pop and power-pop influenced tune that jumps out of your speakers and into your head where it will stay for days.)      

Taylor Hollingsworth – “Tap Dancin’ Daddy” (The Birmingham, Alabama singer-songwriter is set to release a new solo album, Tap Dancin’ Daddy, his first since 2011.  Out now on Flower Moon Records – the label founded by Maria Taylor of Azure Ray – Hollingsworth blends gritty blues rock and catchy Country-colored folk rock with a punk rock spirit and a unique voice.  Over the years, he has also recorded and toured with Conor Oberst in the Mystic Valley Band, The Dexateens and with his wife Kate in Dead Fingers.)         

HUNNY – “Saturday Night” (The emerging California indie rock quartet signed with Epitaph for the recent release of their highly-anticipated debut album, Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes..  Their totally infectious sound is a hybrid of 80’s New Wave, danceable post-punk rhythms and 90’s pop and punk.  Check out the standout single featuring the fellow retro-minded band, Bleached here.)     

Monday, July 29, 2019

Stream It From The Mountain: Empty Moon – The Empty Moon Story

Empty Moon is the solo project of singer-songwriter Brendan Hangauer, formerly of Lawrence, KS indie rock band Fourth Of July; his long-awaited sophomore album, The Empty Moon Story is out now on High Dive Records.  It is available digitally and on black or limited edition purple vinyl. 
Five years has passed since we last heard from Hangauer and he has since moved back to Lawrence after moving to California for a spell.  He has also gotten married and had a daughter.  Though this new collection of songs was written before much of that happened; it was produced again by Jason Quever of Papercuts.  Known for his clever wordplay and observational lyrics, Hangauer is a great storyteller and the aptly-titled new album is ripe with relatable themes of life and love set to indelible folk-leaning indie rock melodies. 
The album is led by “500 Friends” with its lyrical stream of conscience and propulsive rhythm and “Grown Ups” with its tumbling, tom-heavy beat.  Other standouts include the organ-drenched surf-rock inspired “Family Names” and the jangly album closer “Good Bones” with its sing-along melodies.  The only thing missing this time around is the usual female vocal counterpart that has marked his past releases.    
Stream The Empty Moon Story here:

Friday, July 26, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat

black midi – “ducter” (The rising London quartet recently released their genre-defiant debut album, Schlagenheim via Rough Trade.  Equally complex and chaotic, they create their own dynamic brand of post-punk that combines math-rock and jazz-inspired rhythms with theatrical vocals and an unending energy.  Their live show is not to be missed and they will be touring across the world for the rest of the year, so be sure to catch them live!)        

Heron – “Sun Release” (The Pennsylvania post-rock quartet recently released their sophomore album, Sun Release, produced by Matt Bayles and mastered by Frank Arkwright of Abbey Road Studios.   Guitarists Ben Blick and Boyd Lewis, bassist Eric Morelli and drummer Nate Blick go wide-screen on the stellar new album; creating visceral post-rock instrumentals with cinematic atmospherics and melodies evocative enough that lyrics would only get in the way.  Check out the slow-building closing title track here.)    

The Flaming Lips – “How Many Times” (Forty years into their career, Wayne Coyle and crew recently released their first concept album titled, King’s Mouth: Music And Songs, out now on Warner Records.  Originally a RSD-only release, the album is narrated by the legendary Mick Jones of The Clash and follows an arc about a baby with a giant head that eventually saves the world.  Unlike most concept albums, this one is not bloated with seemingly half-cocked ideas but is short and sweet, clocking in at 42 minutes for an easy-going listen.  King’s Mouth is a festival-ready yet headphones-worthy world to get lost in.  Check out the electro-acoustic single here.)    

Friday, July 19, 2019

REISSUE: Live – Throwing Copper 25th Anniversary Reissue

Pennsylvania alternative rock band Live released one of the biggest modern rock records of the year in 1994 with their stellar sophomore album, Throwing Copper.  Led by the singles, “Selling The Drama”, “I Alone”, “All Over You” and the emotionally-charged standout “Lighting Crashes”; the album sold over 8 million copies and earned the band a spot in the lineup of the second edition of Woodstock that year.  The album – produced again by Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads fame - built upon their promising 1991 debut album Mental Jewelry, with a collection of songs that were even grander, more dynamic and more lyrically dense – with Ed’s socio-political themes - that still deeply resonate today.      
To celebrate, Radioactive/MCA/UMe has just released a deluxe reissue of Throwing Copper today that is available digitally, on CD and as a Super Deluxe 2CD/2LP box set.  The box set is highlighted by the inclusion of three bonus tracks led by the single-worthy cut “Hold Me Up”; as well as a recording of their legend-making, nine-song performance at Woodstock ‘94 featuring seven songs  from Throwing Copper, including a fiery performance of “White, Discussion”.   
As with all UMe reissues, the packaging is absolutely incredible and will look as good on your shelf as it sounds on your stereo.  Also included in the box set is a booklet with tons of photos from the era and an oral history of the band during the Throwing Copper era of 94-95, as presented in an interview with Lori Mejewski. 
To purchase or for more info:
Additionally, Live has partnered with California craft brewery, Alosta Brewing Co. collaborating on a craft brew called, Throwing Copper Ale, in celebration of the album’s 25th anniversary.  More info here:
Stream the previously unreleased bonus track, “Hold Me Up” here:

Revisit “I Alone” here: and “Lightning Crashes” here:

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

REISSUE: Gomez – Liquid Skin 20th Anniversary Reissue

The UK psych-folk hybrids Gomez released Liquid Skin, their sophomore album in 1999, hot on the heels of their Mercury Music prize winning debut album, released just the year before. The follow-up features “We Haven’t Turned Around” - a standout on the American Beauty soundtrack - as well as the laid-back psychedelia of “Revolutionary Kind” and the raucous blues-soaked “Blue Moon Rising”.      
Virgin/UMC has just released a newly-remastered vinyl reissue of Liquid Skin to celebrate the album’s 20th anniversary.  As with the recent reissue of Bring It On, Abbey Road’s Frank Arkwright has remastered the album from the original tapes and it is available digitally, as a deluxe 2CD set and as a 2LP set on 180gm vinyl, in standard black or limited edition clear.  The expanded digital and 2CD versions collect the remastered original album along with 18 previously unreleased demos, alternate takes and live recordings including, a live set recorded at The Fillmore in San Francisco in 2000. 
To purchase or for more info:
Watch the video for “We Haven’t Turned Around”:

Friday, July 12, 2019

SHOW ALERT: Rockstar Energy Drink DISRUPT Festival featuring Thrice, Circa Survive, The Used and more at Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center in Indy on Sunday 7/14

With the Warped Tour ending its long-held reign, the summer punk rock festival void has been filled by the inaugural DISRUPT Festival, presented by Rockstar Energy Drink.  Eleven bands are set to play between two stages with headliners The Used, Thrice, Sum 41 and Circa Survive leading the way.  Rounding out the bill are a host of mainstays in the scene such as Atreyu, Sleeping With Sirens, Andy Black and Memphis May Fire; and rising stars like, Trophy Eyes, Juliet Simms and Hyro The Hero.    
One of the highlights of the DISRUPT Festival is that there are no over-lapping set times, so there will be no fear of missing out on one band to see another.  Additionally, lifestyle brands and activities such as photo-ops and VIP ticket options featuring, meet and greet opportunities with the bands are also available.       
For tickets and more info:

In celebration, here are 3 Songs that I hope to hear at the show on Sunday!
Thrice – “Deeper Wells” (This propulsive grunge-punk gem is the title track to their EP, released on Record Store Day this year and is a companion piece to their excellent 2018 album, Palms.)

Circa Survive – “Act Appalled” (This standout track comes from their 2005 debut album, Juturna; a modern classic that introduced the world to their prog-leaning post-hardcore sound.)

The Used – “Buried Myself Alive” (An early 2000’s screamo classic - taken from their self-titled debut album - with one of Bert’s best vocal performances.)   

3 Songs: On Repeat

Smug Brothers – “Today Is Always Today” (Earlier this year, the Columbus-by-way-of-Dayton band led by Kyle Melton and Don Thrasher released an album, Attic Harvest.  It was their first vinyl release and was funded in part by fans.  One of the options for fans who helped fund the album was to request a custom song to be recorded by the band and those songs have now been compiled on their newest release, All Blur And Spark.  Out now on Gas Daddy Go!, the album shows the duo – along with new guitarist/keyboardist Scott Tribble - returning to their lo-fi roots (recording in Melton’s basement studio) and offers a mix of acoustic-driven numbers and the upbeat, power-pop that the band has been known for over the last 15 years.)   

The Raconteurs – “Sunday Driver” (After a very lengthy hiatus, Jack White, Brendan Benson, Jack Lawrence, and Patrick Keeler recently returned with their long-awaited third album, HELP US STRANGER.  Out now on Third Man Records, the quartet picks up where they left off, blending their classic rock-loving sound with elements of smoky blues, vivid psych, freaky funk and organ-drenched soul.  The band will tour for most of the rest of the year as well, so don’t miss out.)

The Black Keys – “Eagle Birds” (Also returning from a long hiatus is the duo of Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney with their ninth album, Let’s Rock, out now on Easy Eye Sound/Nonesuch Records.  The aptly-titled new album is a welcome return to their signature blues-rock sound with a sharper focus on guitars, drums and vocals and less studio trickery this time around.  Early fans of the band will be very happy!  Also, be sure to catch them on tour this fall with Modest Mouse.)

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat

The Appleseed Cast – “Collision” (Chris Crisci recently returned after a six year hiatus with a new Appleseed Cast album titled, The Fleeting Light of Impermanence.  Released on Graveface Records, the stunning new album is built upon a post-rock foundation with the signature emo sound in place but Crisci is always experimenting, with new surprises like the bright and bubbly synths and electronics that drive the standout track, “Collision”, heard here.)        

Black Pumas – “Black Moon Rising” (The retro-minded Austin-based duo of vocalist Eric Burton and producer Adrian Quesada create a déjà vu-inducing brand of funk and soul on their highly-anticipated self-titled debut album, out now via ATO Records.  The duo blends 60’s/70’s soul with hip-hop influence and elements of psychedelia.  Check out the stirring, horror movie inspired video for the opening track here; originally released as a single on Ohio funk label Colemine Records.)    

Jade Jackson – “Bottle It Up” (California singer-songwriter Jade Jackson recently reemerged with her sophomore album, Wilderness, out now on Anti.  Produced again by Social Distortion’s Mike Ness, Jackson’s classic country and western sound is greased up with some punk rock grit, matching the intensity of her confident voice and songwriting.  Lyrically, Jackson is more personally revealing this time around, remaining hopeful and inspiring in spite of life’s struggles.)    

Monday, July 01, 2019

SHOW ALERT: 311 and Dirty Heads with special guests The Interruptors, Dreamers and Bikini Trill @Rose Music Center Tuesday July 2

Likeminded alternative acts 311 and Dirty Heads are touring together this summer and will play The Rose Music Center tomorrow night, July 2.  Joining them are The Interrupters, Dreamers and Bikini Trill. 
90’s alt-rock survivors 311 are gearing up to release their thirteenth album, Voyager, later this month and have already released a quartet of amazing tracks in preview.  One of the heavier standout tracks can be heard below.    
Southern California’s Dirty Heads will release their seventh album, Super Moon on August 9.  The band creates a hybrid sound that is heavy on hip-hop and alternative rock with reggae rhythms and infectiously anthemic hooks; the new album adds some spaghetti western-inspired funk sounds to the mix.     
The Interrupters, the ska-punk band led by the energetic and enigmatic Aimee Interrupter released a new album last year titled, Fight The Good Fight.     
L.A. trio DREAMERS recently released their sophomore album, Launch Fly Land and will bring their festival-ready pop-rock anthems to the Rose Music Center stage.
Another L.A. trio, Bikini Trill is set to take the stage with their twisted brand of surf-pop that blends in hip-hop beats and a punk rock spirit.   
With five awesome bands on the bill, the show starts early at 5:45 and looks to be the perfect kickoff party to your Fourth of July weekend!
In anticipation, here are 3 Songs from 3 of the bands on this amazing bill.  Enjoy and I’ll see ya at the show!

311 – “Crossfire” from upcoming album, Voyager:

Dirty Heads – “So Glad You Made It” (Ft. Nick Hexum of 311 from their 2017 album, SWIM TEAM:

The Interrupters – “Gave You Everything” from the album, Fight The Good Fight:

Friday, June 28, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat from Berwanger – Watching A Garden Die

Berwanger is the solo project of Josh Berwanger of Radar State, The Only Children, and The Anniversary, his fourth solo album, Watching A Garden Die, is out today via Wiretap Records.  The new album is Berwanger’s most personal, raw and revealing record yet retains his penchant for power-pop and country-leaning rock.  
 Standouts include the two singles, “Friday Night” with its anthemic sing-along refrain and “Bad Vibrations” with its upbeat, danceable rhythm, help to disguise the anxiety lurking underneath.  Other standouts include “Long Way Down”, featuring guest vocals from Matt Pryor (Radar State and the Get Up Kids) and his daughter Lily Pryor, and “When I Was Young”, a nostalgic rumination on growing older set to aching pedal steel (played by Casey James Prestwood of Hot Rod Circuit) and steady acoustic guitars.  The closer, “Remain Untamed” with its catchy vocal phrasing and hopeful outlook is one Berwanger’s finest songs to date.     
Stream and purchase Watching A Garden Die here:

Berwanger creates the best videos for his songs with humor and nostalgia in equal measures.  Here are 3 from Watching A Garden Die.  Enjoy!
“Bad Vibrations”

“Friday Night”

“When I Was Young”

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Stream It From The Mountain: Wolftooth – Wolftooth

The Richmond, Indiana metal band Wolftooth have been making a ton of noise in the metal scene across the world in a relatively short period of time.  The quartet featuring, vocalist/guitarist Chris Sullivan, bassist Terry McDaniel, guitarist Jeff Cole and drummer Johnny Harrod create a dense, riff-heavy hybrid that combines the best of 70’s hard rock and 80’s thrash and heavy metal along with catchy stoner rock melodies.
Their self-titled debut album was originally self-released by the band via their Bandcamp page, where it quickly climbed up the charts and was picked up by Pittsburgh’s Blackseed Records, who released it on CD and then by Copenhagen’s Cursed Tongue Records, who reissued it on vinyl.

It has now been re-released on CD via California's Ripple Music, who specialize in doom, psych and stoner metal.  
In addition to the standout tracks including, “Sword Of My Father” which is built upon a rollicking power metal riff and “Frost Lord” with its galloping riff and rhythm; the reissue includes a bonus track, "Withered Trees".  The new track was written during the original sessions then finished later to be included on the reissue and it rocks just as hard!       
Stream Wolftooth here:

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

REISSUE: Miles Davis – The Complete Birth Of The Cool

Seventy years ago, a young trumpet player named Miles Davis pioneered a new style of jazz music with the seminal singles he recorded in 1949 and 1950; known as Birth Of Cool when it was compiled nearly 10 years later and given that iconic title.  With Miles Davis leading a nonet of musicians featuring Gerry Mulligan, Lee Konitz, Max Roach and others; Davis turned the boisterous big band and energetic bebop sound of the time on its head, giving their sound a relaxed, more chilled out vibe that was equally complex, sophisticated and highly melodic.  Standout tracks such as “Jeru” with its memorable melodies and “Boplicity” with its swaying rhythm and layered melodic arrangement, fused jazz with polyphonic orchestral touches; bridging the gap between jazz and classical.        
A deluxe 2LP vinyl reissue titled, Complete Birth Of Cool is out now on Blue Note/UMe and compiles all of the studio sides along with a previously-issued 13-song live recording of a NYC performance from September of 1948.  The highlight is that the original collection has been remastered from analog tape of the original singles for the first time since 1957 and it sounds stunning with a newfound clarity and bounce.  This revolutionary classic album is a well-known and well-loved jazz standard and has been for decades.  This new complete collection ensures it will remain as such for another seventy years or more.          
Completing the package is a booklet featuring an engaging newly-penned essay from famed Miles Davis historian Ashley Kahn, liner notes from saxophonist Gerry Mulligan and jazz historian Phil Schaap, tons of photos and a gatefold jacket with laminated coating.
To purchase and for more info:
Listen to samples of music from The Complete Birth Of The Cool:

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Stream It From The Mountain: Joesph – I Dreamed You Were My Lover

Joesph is the psych-rock project led by Joey Cook, formerly of Cincy psych-pop faves Pomegranates/Healing Power.  The third Joesph album titled, I Dreamed You Were My Lover was released last week via Cook’s own label, The Eyebrow Palace.  Usually a trio with Cook joined by Pierce Geary and Devyn Glista; he goes it alone for this new album, which was actually recorded in 2013. 
I Dreamed You Were My Lover is highlighted by acoustic guitars and strange synths, adding elements of prog rock and psych-folk to his quirky brand of bedroom pop.  Standouts include, “Two Suns” which retains some of Healing Power’s surging surf-rock dynamics and “Flash And Flame” which grows from an acoustic strummer to an electrified psychedelic freak-out.      
The album is available now digitally, on CD and as a limited edition CD box set that includes artwork by Cook and artifacts inspired by the album.
Stream I Dreamed You Were My Lover:

Monday, June 24, 2019

Soundgarden – 35th Anniversary Vinyl Reissues

Soundgarden, the Seattle grunge pioneers, are celebrating the 35th anniversary of the band this year, having formed in 1984.  In celebration, A&M/UMe in conjunction with The Sound of Vinyl have begun an album of the month series, reissuing Soundgarden’s multi-platinum and genre-defining albums on limited edition color vinyl. 

The first three albums in the series includes their breakthrough 1991 album, Badmotorfinger, pressed unto 2 LPs of 180g marbled red and dark purple vinyl, along with an amazing, removable lenticular cover and an etching on the fourth side.  The set also features remastered audio from the album’s 25th anniversary reissue in 2016.   
Next, 1994’s mainstream masterpiece, Superunknown - celebrating its own 25th anniversary this year - is a 2LP set pressed unto 180g translucent red and orange vinyl that matches the album artwork and features remastered audio from the original analog tapes in 2014 and a lyric booklet.   
Finally, 1996’s Down On The Upside, also a 2LP set, is pressed onto 180g vinyl that is a stunning swirled orange and marbled lavender colorway. 
There is much more to come from Soundgarden’s 35th anniversary celebration this year so stay tuned!    
For more info:
In honor, here are three of my favorite Soundgarden tracks, one from each of these three albums.
Soundgarden – “Rusty Cage” from Badmotorfinger:

Soundgarden – “The Day I Tried To Live” from Superunknown:

Soundgarden – “Blow Up The Outside World” from Down On The Upside:

Friday, June 21, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat

Fruit Bats – “Gold Past Life” (Eric D. Johnson returns with Gold Past Life, his seventh album under the Fruit Bats moniker and first for his new label home, Merge.  Johnson dresses up his latest collection of folk-rock songs with the honeyed hue of AM gold and the rhythmic bounce of 70’s disco, which aligns perfectly with his fantastic falsetto.  Additionally, the LP version comes with a bonus 7” containing non-album tracks “Shane” and the previously released “Getting in a Van Again”.  Watch the hilarious and nostalgic video for the title track here.)     

Willard Gayheart – “Ern & Zorry’s Sneakin’ Bitin’ Dog” (Hailing from Galax, Virginia, Willard Gayheart is the 87-year old grandfather of Americana star Dori Freeman and his long-awaited debut album, At Home In The Blue Ridge, is out now on Blue Hens Music.  The catalyst for the release of Gayheart’s music was when Freeman recorded an acapella version of his song, “Ern & Zorry’s Sneakin’ Bitin’ Dog” for her breakout album and it quickly became a fan favorite.  The album was recorded live in Gayheart’s frame shop and produced by Teddy Thompson and Ed Haber.  It’s a family affair as well, with Dori, her father Scott Freeman, and her husband, percussionist Nick Falk joining in.  Willard’s a vivid storyteller in the Appalachian folk fashion with a gentle voice and you just have to root for a project like this. Watch the animated video for the full band arrangement of the standout track, here.)         

Strobobean – “When You Won’t Look” (Strobobean is the new Cincy-based trio featuring Katrina Eresman formerly of Dayton duo strangewave and Pop Empire, Brianna Kelly of Soften and Jake Langknecht also of Pop Empire.  On their promising debut EP, Winter, the trio alternates between languid and crunchy 90’s alt. rock riffs, blending swirling melodies into their shoegaze/dream-pop hybrid sound.  Check out the psych-rock inspired standout single here, with its transfixing droning melodies and driving rhythm.)      

Thursday, June 20, 2019

SHOW ALERT: The National @ Express Live! in Columbus on June 24

The National recently released their eighth album, I Am Easy To Find, via 4AD and are currently on tour in support of the excellent new album.  The NYC-by-way-of-Cincy band will make a stop at Express Live! in Columbus on Monday, June 24 with Courtney Barnett as special guest. 
The 16-track album, I Am Easy To Find, continues to add new textures and colors to their sophisticated indie rock sound and is their most ambitious effort yet, balancing the synths and electronics of the Sleep Well Beast era with a focus on female vocalists.  Frontman Matt Berninger’s distinct baritone is complimented and even over-shadowed at times by the guest vocalists that include longtime collaborators Lisa Hannigan and Sharon Van Etten, as well as Mina Tindle, Kate Stables and Gail Ann Dorsey.  The result is gorgeous and not too over the top, which is a testament to their long-running career. 
Additionally, the album was produced by filmmaker/musician/designer Mike Mills, who also directed a moving, 24-minute short film, soundtracked by I Am Easy To Find and starring Alicia Vikander, to accompany the album.     
Watch the film below.  For more info click here:

Friday, June 14, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat - Extended Edition

Lettuce – “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” (The long-running jazz/funk hybrids return today with their sixth album, Elevate.  Even after over 25 years as a band, they still sound fresh and experimental, incorporating touches of Ethiopian funk, Latin spice, bluesy soul and even trip-hop into their already expansive sound.  Check out their silky smooth cover of the Tears For Fears classic, “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” featuring a blissful vocal performance from keyboardist Nigel Hall, here.)    

Calexico And Iron & Wine – “Midnight Sun” (Calexico and Iron & Wine first collaborated in 2005, releasing the excellent EP, In the Reins.  Today they return with their long-awaited full-length follow up, Years to Burn, out now on Sub Pop.  With an improvisational spirit, Sam Beam, Joey Burns and John Convertino take their distinct individual sounds and turn them into something new entirely with elements of country, rock, folk and nearly everything in between.  It’s just a shame it took so long for this to happen but once you listen, you will be glad that it exists in the world.)     

The Head And The Heart – “Honeybee” (In less than a decade, The Head And The Heart have evolved from indie-folk darlings to full-fledged Coachella-pop heavyweights.  Their recently released fourth album, Living Mirage, out now on Warner Records is more dynamic and pop-leaning; having been produced by the duo of Tyler Johnson and Alex Salibian, best known for producing Harry Styles and Sam Smith.  The result is as anthemic and life-affirming as ever with the addition of hip-hop inspired production, Gospel-soaked melodies and a road-worn maturity.)         

Silversun Pickups – “Freakazoid” (The California quartet recently released their fifth album, Widow’s Weeds, on their own label, New Machines Recordings.  Produced by Butch Vig, it is their most immediate and striking album yet with loads of catchy hooks bursting from their layered sound which features Cure-like synths and soaring strings.  Lyrically, it may their most personal and revealing as well yet with a positive spin and themes of renewal.  The standout single here with its 80’s production and positive message is the perfect example.)   

Rat Fancy – “RIP Future” (The L.A.-based quartet led by Diana Barraza and Gregory Johnson recently released their highly-anticipated debut album, Stay Cool, via HHBTM Records/Solidarity Club. Produced by David Newton of 80’s indie-poppers The Mighty Lemon Drops; their debut offers a nostalgic 90’s-inspired brand of power-pop and pop-punk with a sweet side of twee.  Lyrically, Barraza skews personal and slightly political but remains unashamed and witty.)        

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

PREMIERE: Sadbox – “Carry It Close”

Dayton's Sadbox - featuring members of The 1984 Draft - are set to release their debut album, The Magic Nothing at a record release show at The Yellow Cab on June 28. Also playing are Salvadore Ross and Age Nowhere.   
Led by vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Paul Levy, along with guitarist Eli Alban (also of the 1984 Draft), bassist Ryan Goudy and drummer Ray Owens; Sadbox creates an infectiously catchy, 90's inspired brand of indie rock on their debut album, The Magic Nothing.     
Atlas and the Anchor is proud to premiere the album’s opening track, "Carry It Close".  The propulsive track is a swirl of 90's alt. rock and psych-pop melodies, reminiscent of a more unhinged Stone Temple Pilots.  It is the perfect introduction to the band and sets the tone for the rest of the album.    
Stream “Carry It Close”: