Monday, September 17, 2018

3 Songs: Soundgarden – A-Sides Vinyl Reissue Edition

Soundgarden’s 1997 career-spanning greatest hits compilation, A-Sides, had never been issued on vinyl, until now.  Originally released this past April as a limited edition colored Record Store Day exclusive, Interscope/Geffen/A&M/Ume has now released the album on classic black vinyl for all to enjoy.  A-Sides has been pressed onto 180gm vinyl and includes a gatefold sleeve, two inserts and an mp3 download code.     
With the untimely death of Chris Cornell last year, the legacy of the Seattle grunge-rock pioneers lives on with this 17-track collection.  Reminisce with me here with 3 of my personal favorite tracks from A-Sides, in chronological order.    

“Loud Love” (Originally released on their 1989 sophomore album and major label debut, Louder Than Love; this track was the world’s first introduction - via music video - to their brand of proto-metal sludge and Cornell’s distinct wail.)

“Outshined” (The dynamic lead single, originally released on their Grammy-nominated mainstream breakthrough album, 1991’s Badmotorfinger.)   

“Fell On Black Days” (This dark track originally appeared on their massive hit 1994 album, Superunknown.  Check out a video of the song performed in 2012 on Live On Letterman.) 

Friday, September 14, 2018

3 Songs: On Repeat

Knife Knights – “Give You Game” (Knife Knights is the experimental new project of Ishmael Butler of Digable Planets and Shabazz Palaces along with longtime collaborator, engineer/producer Erik Blood.  Butler and Blood, along with a host of friends, build upon their futuristic hip-hop style with elements of lush shoegaze-inspired soul and woozy psychedelia for a fresh sound on their debut album, 1 Time Mirage, out today on Sub Pop.  Check out the R&B-inflected standout single here, featuring Marquetta Miller and Stas THEE Boss.)       

Active Bird Community – “Baby It’s You” (The Brooklyn quartet makes their Barsuk Records debut today with their fourth album titled, Amends.  They set highly-relatable lyrics depicting honest reflections on relationships and forgiveness and their dual vocal approach to inspired guitar-centric indie rock that recalls 90’s greats like Built To Spill.  Check out the single here with its bright blasts of trombone.)

Night Surf – “Enemies” (The emerging Brooklyn punk band recently released their second EP titled, Enemies, making their label debut for Sothern California’s Wiretap Records.  The quartet combines hardcore-inspired pop-punk with touches of 90’s alt-rock for a dark yet poppy brand of punk rock that only heightens the anticipation for a full-length album release.  Check out the raging title track here.) 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

REISSUE: Suicidal Tendencies – Lights…Camera…Revolution!

L.A.’s Suicidal Tendencies - led by "cyco" vocalist Mike Muir - were seminal figures in the 80’s hardcore punk scene; their heavy, metallic hybrid of thrash and punk incorporated elements of funk and was highly-influential.  After ruling the 80’s, their fourth album, released in June of 1990 titled, Lights…Camera…Revolution! was arguably their definitive moment.  Led by the singles, “You Can’t Bring Me Down” and the Grammy-award nominated “Send Me Your Money” as well as standout tracks, “Get Whacked”, “Alone” and “Lovely”; the album was a huge hit and garnered the band a much wider audience.
Century Media/Legacy Recordings has just reissued the album on vinyl for the first time since its original release on Epic Records.  It is available on classic black and limited edition transparent green 180 gm vinyl.
Order Lights…Camera…Revolution! on vinyl here:
 Watch the video for “You Can’t Bring Me Down” here:

Monday, September 10, 2018

REISSUE: Bob Dylan - Live 1962 – 1966: Rare Performances from The Copyright Collections

Columbia Records/Legacy Recordings recently released a new compilation of rare live Bob Dylan performances titled, Live 1962 – 1966: Rare Performances from The Copyright Collections.  Though not under the usual Bootleg Series banner, the two-disc compilation is culled from the extremely limited edition (100 copies each!) “50th Anniversary / Copyright Extension” albums which were originally released in 2012, 2013 and 2014 to prevent the recordings from entering the public domain. 
This new 29-song collection outlines Dylan’s humble café folk beginnings all the way to his full band electric era.  The album opens with early recordings from Gerde’s Folk City in 1962, his 1963 New York’s Town Hall and Carnegie Hall concerts, and highlighted by “When The Ship Comes In”, a duet with Joan Baez, taken from the historic March on Washington on August 28, 1963.  The album is rounded out by recordings from his 1965 and 1966 European world tours and the legendarily incendiary electric Newport Folk Festival performances. 
The track list also includes long-loved fan favorites such as “Blowin’ In The Wind”, “Maggie’s Farm”, “Mr. Tambourine Man”, “Ballad Of A Thin Man”, “It Ain’t Me Babe”, “Chimes Of Freedom” and many more.      
For more info:
Stream “Seven Curses” (Live April 12, 1963 Town Hall, New York City) here:

Friday, September 07, 2018

3 Songs: On Repeat (Extended Edition)

Spiritualized – “I’m Your Man” (After a six year wait, Jason Pierce, AKA J.Spaceman will release his eighth album titled, And Nothing Hurt, today via Fat Possum.  The long-awaited new album was recorded at home instead of a studio for the first time and is just as grandiose and cosmically layered yet feels more intimate and more stripped-down due to the personal nature of the lyrics.  Check out the soaring Gospel and horn-soaked standout track with its bluesy, extended guitar solo here.)   

Lung – “Spiders” (The Cincinnati duo - consisting of cellist/vocalist Kate Wakefield and drummer Daisy Caplan – will release their second album, All The King’s Horses, today on Sofaburn Records.  Dark, unsettling and totally compelling, the duo creates music that is evocative both musically and lyrically.  They are road warriors, having played over 70 shows just in the last 3 months alone, and the new album captures their live energy perfectly.  See for yourself with this live performance of the eerie album standout, “Spiders”.)

Saintseneca – “Ladder To The Sun” (The experimental Columbus folk-pop collective led by vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Zac Little and The Sidekicks’ Steve Ciolek recently released their new album, Pillar Of Na, via Anti Records.  Produced again by Mike Mogis, the new album - their best yet - features a new lineup and an evolved sound that includes elements of chamber-pop and dream-pop to great effect; with the perfect culmination in the upbeat, twinkling pop of the single heard here.)

NOTHING – “Blue Line Baby” (The Philly noise-rockers recently returned with their third album, Dance On The Black Top, out now on Relapse Records.  Produced by John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr.), the dynamic new album blends their dense, shoegaze-inspired guitar sound and forceful post-punk rhythms with catchy pop melodies that creep through the cracks.  Listen to the yearning, languid single here.)    

IDLES – “Danny Nedelko” (The Bristol post-punk quintet stormed back with their sophomore album, Joy as an Act of Resistance; out now on Partisan Records.  Quickly, the new album expands on their stunning 2017 debut with more personal, tragic lyrics that are marked by death and despair that match the musical intensity with an anthemic charge.  Check out the pint glass-in-the-air chant-along hooks of the standout track heard here.)     

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

REISSUE: Brandtson – Fallen Star Collection - 20th Anniversary

'90s emo-punk favorites Brandtson are set to reissue their breakout sophomore album, Fallen Star Collection on October 31 via Steadfast Records.  Originally released on Deep Elm Records in 1999, the expanded edition finds a new home on the relaunched independent label operated by Brandtson’s Matt Traxler. 
Cleveland’s Brandtson stood out in the late '90s emo era with a pop-leaning punk sound highlighted by their intricate and infectious dual vocal harmonies and dueling guitar lines.  Fallen Star Collection was anthemic and passionate, dark yet hopeful, and retains a timeless quality that holds up today.
To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Steadfast Records is reissuing the album on vinyl for the first time in a limited edition that comes with a bonus CD that includes 10 previously unreleased demos as well as a 36-page lyric and photo book consisting of live, recording and tour photos specific to the era.  Additionally, the album will be issued on limited edition cassette.   
For more information:
Stream Fallen Star Collection here:

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

While I Was Out: The Top 10 Releases I Missed While Out On Paternity Leave Again!

For the past month I have been off work and mostly unplugged from the music world so that I could be on paternity leave with my beautiful wife Jenna and our second child Miles.  It was an amazing time - despite the lack of sleep – and now I am back to work and missing that little guy.
While I was out, there was a ton of great music released.  Here are 10 of my favorite releases listed in alphabetical order.

Bummer – “HeXXX Games” (The K.C. noise-punks recently unleashed their highly-anticipated debut album, Holy Terror, as a joint venture between K.C.’s High Dive Records and Minneapolis label Learning Curve Records.  The trio combines bludgeoning Deadguy and Unsane like heaviness with the sludge-leaning pop mindset of early Nirvana and the Melvins.  Fittingly, the band is currently on tour supporting Unsane and Big Business.  Be sure to check them out in a live setting to get the full effect of their sound.)    

Campdogzz – “Southern” (The Chicago indie rock quintet led by vocalist/guitarist Jess Price released their stunning second album, In Rounds, via 15 Passenger, the label run by the band Cursive.  Their shape-shifting sound blends aching Cure-like melodies with country-leaning instrumentation and electronic elements alongside Price’s haunting vocal delivery and evocative lyrical depictions.)  

Joey Dosik – “Take Mine” (The L.A. classic soul-pop revivalist and Vulpeck collaborator just released his highly-anticipated debut album, Inside Voice on Secretly Canadian.  Dosik possesses and wields his power over a gorgeous, golden age-esque voice and charm that matched with his timeless production and stellar songwriting makes for a very promising debut.  Check out the uplifting call for unity on the standout single heard here.)

Interpol – “The Rover” (Interpol just released their sixth album, Marauder, on Matador Records.  The NYC trio brought in an outside producer for the first time in over a decade, with Dave Fridmann (Modest Mouse, Flaming Lips) manning the boards and the new album is filled with the moodiness and aesthetic we’ve come to expect and experiments with R&B-inspired beats but where it lacks the propulsive bass lines of their previous work, the guitars take center stage and are just as driving and even noisy and psychedelic at times.  Lyrically, Banks delves into personal and political matters, bringing a fresh, new dimension.)       

The National – “Fake Empire” (Originally released as a Record Store Day exclusive this past April, The National and 4AD have recently released Boxer (Live in Brussels) digitally and on CD for all to hear.  In celebration of its 10 year anniversary, the band captured a spirited live performance of their breakthrough 2007 album, played in its entirety, last fall in Brussels.  Listen to the live version of “Fake Empire” below.)

Cullen Omori – “Four Years” (The L.A.-by-way-of Chicago musician and former member of Smith Westerns recently released, The Diet, his second solo album.  Out now on Sub Pop, Omori filters his heavy-hearted singer-songwriter faire through 70’s art-rock, glam, and jangly power-pop for his most immediately rewarding set of songs yet.  Listen to the absolutely blissful lead single and opening track here.)    

The Pauses – “Digital Detox” (The Orlando-based indie rock trio - consisting of multi-instrumentalist Jason Kupfer, vocalist/bassist/keyboardist Tierney Tough, and drummer Nathan Chase - recently released their J. Robbins-produced sophomore album, Unbuilding via Artic Rodeo Recordings.  With heavy, math rock guitars, Mates of State-like synths and super-catchy pop melodies; the trio creates a unique sound that caught the attention of Jonah Matranga of Far, who brought the band on his current Water & Solutions 20thanniversary tour as his opening and backing band.)   

Rubblebucket – “Inner Cry” (The quirky, danceable indie-pop band led by Alex Toth and Kalmia Traver just released their new album, Sun Machine via Grand Jury Music.  This standout track from the album is highlighted by a rippling undercurrent of synths with an especially peppy horn section and a catchy, sing-along chorus.  Formerly a couple, the new album shows the power of music as the duo heals from their relationship to continue to make music together; and after one listen, you will be glad they have.)   

Seasurfer – “Into Dust” (On the heels of last year’s stellar second full length, Under The Milkyway…Who Cares, the dream-pop/shoegaze project led by German guitarist/songwriter Dirk Knight recently released a new 4-song EP titled, Vampires, on Saint Marie Records.  The new EP is highlighted by the gorgeous and ethereal vocals of Hamburg-based vocalist Apolonia that match well with the soaring synths, especially on the atmospheric opening track, heard here.)    

Shy Boys – “Evil Sin” (The K.C. surf-pop trio expand to include members of fellow K.C. band Fullbloods on their long-awaited sophomore album, Bell House, out now on their new label, Polyvinyl Records.  The cleaner production allows the bubblegum-sweet “blood harmonies” of brothers Collin and Kyle Rausch to shine as the album has more vocal harmonies than a Beach Boys box set; alongside personal lyrics, warped synths and elements of baroque-pop and old school R&B.)    

Friday, August 31, 2018

3 Songs: On Repeat (Extended Edition)

Big Red Machine – “Lyla” (Big Red Machine is the collaborative new project from Justin Vernon of Bon Iver and Aaron Dessner of The National along with numerous guests from their PEOPLE collective.  The experimentally-eclectic self-titled debut album is out today on Jagjaguwar and blends glitchy electronics, broad-stroking guitar atmospherics, bombastic hip-hop inspired beats and vocal cadences (“Lyla”), room-filling Gospel and much, much more into a headphones-worthy world to get lost in.)

Iron & Wine – “What Hurts Worse” (Sam Beam returns with a new EP of songs written during the sessions for his excellent Grammy-nominated 2017 album, Beast Epic yet completed and recorded after its release.  Out today on Sub Pop, the 6-song Weed Garden EP continues his recent trend back towards the beloved stripped-down folk of which Beam began his musical journey and also offers a studio version of live fan favorite, “Waves of Galveston”.)  

Mogwai – “We’re Not Done (End Title)” (The highly-prolific Scottish post-rock legends return with another impressive soundtrack release in their arsenal, this time for the thrilling sci-fi film, KIN.  Out today on Temporary Residence, their cosmic synth-driven cinematics are on full display and like last year’s studio album, Every Country’s Sun; vocals are included on the soaring closing track and end title heard here.)

Beanpole – “Cousins” (Out today on Sean Lennon’s Chimera Music imprint, is a long-lost album of odd music created in the 80’s and 90’s by Derek Greenberg and Adam Gates of ‘90s alt-rock band The Spent Poets along with Les Claypool and Larry LaLonde of Primus.  The album titled, All My Kin is one of the strangest things to come from under the Primus family umbrella, with quirky carnival-like instrumentation and lyrics that hue humorous with a child-like wonder.)   

Mass Gothic - “J.Z.O.K.” (Mass Gothic began as the solo project of Noel Heroux of Hooray For Earth but for his second album, he has transformed and evolved with the addition of his wife, Jessica Zambri.  Together the duo creates synth-pop with a darkly romantic post-punk edge on the new album titled, I’ve Tortured You Long Enough, out today on Sub Pop.)     

SHOW ALERT: 311 & The Offspring at The Rose Music Center on 9/4

Summer isn’t over yet! The Never-Ending Summer Tour featuring co-headliners 311 and The Offspring with special guest Gym Class Heroes will be making a stop at the beautiful Rose Music Center in Huber Heights on Tuesday September 4th at 7pm. With two of the greatest live bands that produced plenty of hits in the 90’s, this tour is guaranteed to deliver a nostalgic-rock-filled night.

311 has not only survived the 90’s they are one of the longest active bands containing the original members, Nick Hexum, Doug “SA” Martinez, Tim Mahony, Aaron “P-Nut” Willis, and Chad Sexton, at over 27 years strong. This incredible statistic puts them in a rare category right behind bands like U2, ZZ Top, Kings X, Phish, and Radiohead. 311’s mixture of rock, reggae, funk, and rap has created a solid fan base that has allowed them to create twelve albums and sell over 9 million records. With hit singles “Come Original”, “Down”, “Love Song”, “All Mixed Up”, “Amber”, and “Beautiful Disaster” along with their latest album release Mosaic, 311 have proven they have created a unique mixture of sound that can stand the test of time. Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

With over 40 million albums sold worldwide The Offspring’s pop-punk rock sound has made them one of the most successful bands of their kind. Led by Dexter Holland’s unique vocals, The Offspring has notable hits like “Come Out And Play (Keep Them Separated)”, “Self Esteem”, “Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)”, “The Kids Aren’t Alright”, “You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid”, and “All I Want”. The band still holds the record for the highest-selling album of all time on an independent label for Smash (1994) that sold over 11 million copies. They are currently working on their 10th studio album. Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Gym Class Heroes released their debut album, Paper Chronicles in 2005 where they introduced us to their radio friendly alternative hip-hop sound. Their single “Cupid’s Chokehold” reached number 4 on Billboard Hot 100 and took home the Best New Artist award at the 2007 MTV VMA’s. The band took a brief hiatus in 2009 and reunited to release Paper Chronicles II in 2011. The album’s single “Stereo Hearts” featuring Adam Levine (Maroon 5) climbed to number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Be sure to check out 311 covering The Offspring’s hit “Self Esteem” and The Offspring covering 311’s hit “Down” that they specifically did to promote The Never-Ending Summer tour.

For tickets and more info:

Current Setlists for this tour:
The Offspring
Gym Class Heroes

Tour promo video

By Jesse Jackson

Thursday, August 30, 2018

REISSUE: The Band – Music from Big Pink 50th Anniversary

In 1968, The Band – consisting of multi-instrumentalists Levon Helm, Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel, and Garth Hudson – released their beloved debut album, Music from Big Pink.  After making a name for themselves touring as Bob Dylan’s backing band, The Band created a blend of styles incorporating everything from country, blues, gospel, folk and rock and turned it into a highly-influential sound.  Led by singles such as “The Weight”, “Tears of Rage” and “I Shall Be Released”, Music from Big Pink basically spearheaded the entire Americana genre and its influence is evident today, over 50 years later.      
In celebration and in honor of such a legacy, Capitol/UMe will release Music from Big Pink in a newly remixed and expanded 50th Anniversary Edition package on 8/31.  Packagers include a Super Deluxe CD/Blu-ray (with 5.1 stereo mix)/2LP/7-inch vinyl box set with a hardbound book (with an in-depth essay from Rolling Stone’s David Fricke and era-specific photography from Elliot Landy) and in1-CD and digital configurations. 
Also of note, the album has been expanded to a 2-LP package for the first time and was mixed at 45rpm and pressed onto 180-gram black vinyl or limited edition pink vinyl.  All packages feature a new stereo mix of the album, produced by Bob Clearmountain and sourced from the original four-track analog masters.  Additionally - also for the first time - some previously unreleased studio chatter from the recording sessions as well as five outtakes and alternate recordings, highlighted by a previously unreleased a cappella version of “I Shall Be Released”,  are included.
Watch the unboxing video here: