Friday, April 19, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat

Drugs & Attics – “So Tuff” (The self-proclaimed “premier party drug rock band” lives up to the billing on their debut album, Clean Their Room, out today on High Dive Records.  The trio’s excellent debut delivers both the punk-splattered garage rock party and the inevitable comedown with some lonesome, doo wop-inspired ballads, for the complete package.  Check out the Misfits-like surf-punk churn of the standout track here.)     

Damien Jurado – “Newspaper Gown” (For his fourteenth album – In The Shape of a Storm - out now on Mama Bird Recordings, the singer-songwriter has stripped his sound down to the bare essentials; just his voice and guitar.  After years and several albums focusing on fuller arrangements with psychedelic 60’s production, Jurado returns to his folk-rock roots for a sincere and solid release.  Check out the slow-waltzing standout here, with his stellar storytelling in the spotlight.)   

Jake Najor and the Moment of Truth – “Keeping Up” (After spending the last twenty years as an in-demand session percussionist, the SoCal-based Jake Najor leads his own funk/soul collective, with his songwriting now sharing the spotlight with his in the pocket grooves and percussion skills on his debut solo album, In The Cut, out now via The Redwoods Music.  Guests vocalists include Jamie Allensworth and Najor’s former Breakstra bandmember MixMaster Wolf as well as Burkey of Vokab Company, who guests on the hip-hop inspired standout heard here.)

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

REISSUE: Brandtson – Letterbox

Cleveland’s Brandtson – favorites of the 90’s emo-punk era - stood out with a pop-leaning punk sound highlighted by their infectious intricate dual vocal harmonies and dueling guitar lines. Led by the anthemic charge of “Blindspot” and the starkly evocative “January”; their debut album, Letterbox, is a love letter to the beginning phases of their marriage of pop-leaning hooks to their hardcore punk past.
Originally released on Steadfast Records in 1997 and reissued the following year on Deep Elm Records, the recently-revitalized Steadfast Records – operated by Brandtson’s Matt Traxler - is reissuing the album on limited edition vinyl and cassette for the very first time.
The vinyl is limited to 500 total copies, housed in a gorgeous gatefold jacket, featuring restored and expanded artwork from the original Steadfast Records release.  Available in the following variants:
Still Life Green – 200
Bruised Blue – 200
150gm black – 100
The very limited cassettes are available in either blue or green and limited to 50 copies of each variant.
Watch the lyric video for “Blindspot” here:

Friday, April 12, 2019

Record Store Day 2019 - ORG Music

Each year ORG Music – the L.A. indie imprint known for reissuing long lost masterpieces - outdoes it on Record Store Day and this year is no exception.  In addition to their biannual Mike Watt-related release, they will release several reissues including ones from 60’s blues musician Johnny Adams, jazz pianist Cecil Taylor and noise-jazz drummer extraordinaire William Hooker.

Record Store Day is tomorrow and listed below are my top 3 choices from the ORG Music offerings for Record Store Day this year.  Check them out and add them to your list to pick up tomorrow!

Art Ensemble Of Chicago – “Lori Song” (Out of print on vinyl for over 40 years, ORG Music will release The Spiritual the highly-abstract 1974 album by the avant-garde jazz legends; highlighted by supreme performances by trumpeter Lester Bowie, saxophonists Joseph Jarman and Roscoe Mitchell, and bassist Malachi Favors.  The album was remastered at Infrasonic Mastering and is pressed onto transparent red 180g vinyl.)        

Fat Lip – “Worst Case Scenario” (Fat Lip, a member of 90’s Southern California rap collective, The Pharcyde, released his debut solo album in 2005 on Delicious Vinyl.  Out of print since its original release, ORG Music has reissued it on yellow and black swirl vinyl. The Loneliest Punk features West Coast-style G-funk-like production from J-Swift and guest spots from Shock G of Digital Underground and Chali 2na of Jurassic Park and Ozomatli.)   

Chad Smith & Josh Klingoffer – “Jeepster/Monolith” (The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ drummer Chad Smith and guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Josh Klingoffer have teamed up to record two T.Rex covers for a Record Store Day exclusive 7” via ORG Music.  With Josh handling vocals, bass and guitar, the duo put their own unique and fuzzy, funky spin on the glam-rock classics, “Jeepster” and Monolith”.)  
Stream: unavailable at press time...but trust me, it’s good!

For more info: &

Monday, April 08, 2019

Stream It From The Mountain: y god y – S/T EP

The Lawrence, KS based electronic duo, y god y, is a collaborative project between producer Joel Martin and vocalist/multi-instrumentalist, Garrett Marsh; who create a synth-driven dream-pop and weirdo R&B hybrid on their self-titled debut EP, just released last week on High Dive Records.  The EP is available digitally, on standard black vinyl and limited edition white and black half and half vinyl. Additionally, it is available on a yellow skeleton USB flash drive that includes the album and multitrack stems to create your own remixes. Standout tracks include, “Lighthouse” with its skittering Casio beat and the super catchy, sing-along single, “Say”. 
Though under the radar, the duo’s excellent first effort shows promise – with their modern pop sound - that with the right placement could explode the band into the mainstream.          
Listen below and help spread the word!
Stream the y god y EP here:

Friday, April 05, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat

Ages And Ages – “How It Feels” (The Portland indie-poppers led by Tim Perry return today with their fourth album, Me You They We, via Partisan Records.  The new album is a little more laid back and dreamy but still as highly-melodic and catchy as ever. Much of the new songs lean more into the synths for a festival-ready sound yet most remain close to their folk-pop r oots; the standout track and single heard here is the perfect blend.)

Jenny Lewis – “Red Bull & Hennessy” (Jenny Lewis recently released her highly-anticipated fourth solo album, On The Line, via Warner Bros.  Lewis’s knack for vivid if not lucid storytelling and her gorgeous voice are the spotlight on these piano-led pop tunes as she leads an all-star cast of legends that includes, Benmont Tench, Don Was, Ringo Star and Beck.  Additionally, Lewis plays on the same piano Carole King used on Tapestry and she channels the charismatic charm of Stevie Nicks on the standout single, “Red Bull & Hennesy”, heard here.)  

Small Feet – “Let The Guys Down” (The Swedish-folk rock trio recently returned with their long-awaited sophomore album, With Psychic Powers, out now on Barsuk Records.  Small Feet is fronted by the pleasing tenor of songwriter Simon Stalhamre that somehow recalls both Neil Young and Jason Molina along with a bit of Daniel Johnson’s whimsical nature. The new album, recorded in his Stockholm-based studio, is more experimental with the addition of swirling psych-pop melodies and synths to his organic, Fleet Foxes-esque folk.)   

Friday, March 29, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat

Unknown Instructors – “Acquainted With the Night” (Unknown Instructors is the avant-garde art punk project led by legendary bassist Mike Watt along with his Minutemen and Firehose  bandmate, drummer George Hurley and poet Dan McGuire.  Guitarist extraordinaire J Mascis was enlisted for their fourth album, Unwilling To Explain, out today on ORG Music.  The new album blends loose jazz improvisation, noisy punk outbursts and gonzo spoken word; with Watt’s signature bass spiels battling with J’s inimitable guitar squeals over tumbling rhythms as McGuire waxes about the strange ways of the world.  Additionally, Stephen Perkins provides his inimitable percussion to two tracks and jazz-punk guitarist Joe Baiza contributes vocals to a handful of tracks.)      

Hell Night – “Human Shelves” (The St. Louis metal band recently released a compilation album of sorts, titled, Unlimited Destruction, released on vinyl by Planet Score Records.  The 16-track album features five killer new songs with the remaining tracks coming from their digital and CD-only releases from the last two years.  Led by guitarist Andy White with bassist Eric Eyster and drummer Adam Arseneau; the trio recruited vocalist Brian Fair of Overcast and Shadows Fall, who elevates their explosive punk and hardcore-fueled metal sound with his distinct vocal style.  This is music to murder and mosh to.)      

Drekka – “We Who Are Not Lonely” (Drekka is the long-running experimental electronic project of Bloomington, IN musician Mkl Anderson.  Out now on Dais Records is No Tracks In The Snow, a collection of his early works, recorded between 1996 and 2002.  The new collection is the third such offering, completing a trilogy for the label and features Anderson’s brooding, headphones-worthy soundscapes and visceral ruminations on memories.  The album also traces his folk-driven singer-songwriter beginnings, heard here; showcasing just how far Drekka has expanded his sound over the years.)  

Friday, March 22, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat - Megadeth – Warheads On Foreheads

The 80’s thrash metal titans Megadeth celebrated its 35th anniversary as a band last year and now in honor, Dave Mustaine and company have just released a definitive new career-spanning anthology titled, Warheads On Foreheads.  Available via Capitol Records/UMe in either a 3CD or 4LP set, it features a chronological track listing - picked by Dave himself - beginning with their 1985 debut album, Killing Is My Business…And Business Is Good and ending with their 2015 Grammy-winning album Dystopia. 
Each album in between is represented, highlighted by six tracks, including, “Hangar 18”, and “Holy Wars…The Punishment Due” from the classic 1990 album, Rust In Peace and “Sweating Bullets” and “Symphony Of Destruction” from Countdown To Extinction, released in 1992.  It also features fan-favorites like,  “Angry Again” taken from the soundtrack to the 1993 film, Last Action Hero.      
Warheads On Foreheads is not the first Megadeth hits compilation but it is certainly the best as it showcases, in chronological order, how Mustaine and his crew grew from raw thrash metal upstarts into the powerhouse metal band they are today. 
Celebrate Megadeth’s 35th anniversary with me; here are 3 of my favorite tracks.  Enjoy!
“Wake Up Dead”

“Holy Wars…The Punishment Due”

“Sweating Bullets”

for more info:

Friday, March 15, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat

Stephen Malkmus – “Viktor Borgia” (Groove Denied, out today on Matador is Steven Malkmus’s first solo album since 2001 and first ever electronic music album.  The long-gestating experimental album is inspired by 80’s synth wave and early 90’s dance music; featuring his trademark quirky lyrics and highlighted by electronic rhythms and warped analog synth sounds.  Sometimes when beloved artists step out of their and their long time fan’s comfort zones, it doesn’t always translate but Malkmus has created a psychedelic brand of electronic music that you can zone out to and even dance to.)     

Stella Donnelly – “Tricks” (On the heels of her breakout solo EP, Thrush Metal, released in 2017; the Western Australia-based singer-songwriter recently released her awaited debut album, Beware of the Dogs, on Secretly Canadian.  With a backing back in tow, the arrangements are fuller and more fleshed out but the spotlight remains on Donnelly - who can flat out sing with a lilting vibrato - and on her highly-observant lyrics that bite with snark, wit, heart and charm.)

Maren Morris –“Flavor” (The Texas-based country-pop singer-songwriter with the powerhouse, Texas-sized voice recently released her highly-anticipated sophomore album, GIRL, via Columbia Nashville.  Building upon her stunning debut, Morris continues to blur the lines between country and pop with R&B-inflected beats and ultra-catchy melodies alongside her empowering lyrics and Aguilera-esque vocal runs and prowess.  Brandi Carlisle and Brothers Osbourne provide guest appearances on the sophomore-slump busting album.)  

Friday, March 08, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat

Durand Jones & The Indications – “Long Way Home” (After signing to their hometown label Dead Oceans and rereleasing their debut album last year, the Bloomington, IN soul revivalists recently returned with their second album, American Love Call.  The masterful new album boasts improved songwriting and production and trades the bright brass outburst of their debut for doo wop and 70’s soul-inspired strings, while wrestling with modern issues.  American Love Call exceeds the great expectations and delivers on the promise of their debut and then some, for a modern day soul masterpiece.)

Gary Clark Jr. – “Gotta Get Into Something”” (For his third album – THIS LAND, out now on Warner Bros. - the blues guitar virtuoso has broadened his sound to include elements of Prince-like funk, hip-hop, dub reggae and soul  for an eclectic yet cohesive melting pot of an album that is easily his best effort yet.  Lyrically, he is more politically provocative, especially on the stunning title track.  Check out the super-catchy album track here with its hybrid power-punk and 50’s rock sound.)

Switchfoot – “Native Tongue (Live In Atlanta)” (The San Diego alternative rock vets returned earlier this year after a three year wait, with the release of their eleventh album, Native Tongue.  In support of the album, they are about to embark on a tour.  In celebration, they have shared a live performance video, today, of the album’s catchy and sentimental title track – that reflects the album’s themes of love, hope and positivity - recorded during a performance at The Tabernacle in Atlanta.  Watch the video below and check the link here for tour dates in your city.)

Friday, March 01, 2019

3 Songs: Tom Petty – The Best of Everything

Out today via Geffen Records/UMe is The Best of Everything the definitive, 40 year career-spanning greatest hits collection of the late, great Tom Petty.  The 2CD or 4LP set contains 38 newly remastered tracks that include standouts from Petty’s solo work and outstanding output with his bands The Heartbreakers and Mudcrutch.  The collection features the hits, “Free Fallin’,” “Don’t Come Around Here No More”, “You Don’t Know How It Feels”, “American Girl”, “The Waiting”, “Refugee”, “I Won’t Back Down”, “Don’t Do Me Like That”, “Learning To Fly” and his duet with Stevie Nicks, “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around”. Also included are an alternate version of the title track “The Best of Everything” that includes a never-heard second verse; and the previously unreleased “For Real”, which closes out the set with a sentimental moment.  Completing the package along with tons of great photos is an insightful and heartfelt essay written by Cameron Crowe.
Tom Petty’s The Best of Everything collection is the perfect tribute to Petty’s amazing contributions to the musical landscape over the last 40 years that will stand the test of time for another 40 years and more.
In honor, I have chosen 3 of my favorite Tom Petty songs to share with you.  It was very hard to only choose three.

Tom Petty – “Free Fallin” (One of my all-time favorite Petty songs.  I still have the cassette single!)

Tom Petty – “Saving Grace” (A gritty blues-rock track from his final solo album, Highway Companion, released in 2006.)

Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers – “Don’t Come Around Here No More” (My first introduction to Tom Petty was via this psychedelic and strange video.)

Monday, February 25, 2019

Stream It From The Mountain: Better Oblivion Community Center – S/T

Better Oblivion Community Center is the surprise collaborative project from Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers, that was born from Conor’s contribution to Bridger’s song, “Would You Rather from her debut album, Stranger In The Alps.  The duo’s self-titled debut album was surprise released digitally in late January and got a physical release via Dead Oceans last week.  Produced by Oberst, Bridgers and Andy LeMaster, the album features contributions from Carla Azar, Nick Zinner of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Wylie Geber and Griffin Goldsmith of Dawes, along with Christian Lee Hutson and Anna Butterss.    
The ten-song album is the perfect blend of their distinct voices and folk-rock sounds.  Clearly Bridgers’ quiet and vulnerable form of folk was inspired by Bright Eyes and in turn, Oberst has found inspiration in his protégé.  The opening salvo, “Didn’t Know What I Was In For” with its melancholic acoustic strumming, yearning e-bow melody and dual vocals is the perfect introduction.  Later, “Exception To The Rule” stands out with electronic instrumentation that recalls Bright Eyes’ album, Digital Ash In A Digital Urn.  Other standouts include the jangly, propulsive single, “Dylan Thomas”, the slow-burning “Forest Lawn” and the lively “Sleepwalkin” with its conversation-like vocal trade-offs.       
Together Oberst and Bridgers have created an album of the year-worthy debut with their self-titled release as Better Oblivion Community Center.     
Stream Better Oblivion Community Center here:

Friday, February 22, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat

The Claypool Lennon Delirium – “Blood And Rockets” (The collaboration between Les Claypool of Primus and Sean Lennon continues with their second full-length offering, South Of Reality, out today on ATO Records.  Once again they combine their off-kilter sensibilities and complementary voices into a strange stew of psych-rock and prog-rock, further strengthening their musical bond.  Check out the Lennon-led standout track here with its propulsive bass line and twinkling synths and cascading guitars.)    

J.S. Ondara – “Saying Goodbye” (The Minneapolis-based Americana singer-songwriter J.S. Ondara was born in Kenya and his recently released his debut album, Tales Of America (Verve Forecast) is the perfect display for his vividly versatile voice and distinct cross-cultural perspective.  The album - produced by Mike Viola and featuring collaborations with Andrew Bird, Joey Ryan of The Milk Carton Kids and Taylor and Griffin of Dawes – is built upon folksy acoustic instrumentation inspired by Bob Dylan and provides for a very promising debut.)

Tullycraft – “Passing Observations” (The Seattle indie-pop pioneers and original gangsters of the twee movement return with The Railway Prince Hotel, their seventh album and first in six years, out now on HHBTM Records.  Led by the indelible male/female vocal melodies of Sean Tollefson and Jenny Mears; the band, featuring, Chris Munford and Corianton Hale continues to prove their medal with their impossibly catchy and joyous brand of indie-pop that is stocked full of humor, horns, and sticky bubblegum and power-pop melodies.  Check out the exuberant single with its sing-along chorus here.)    

Friday, February 15, 2019

Stream It From The Mountain: Jean-Sébastien Côté – Wilderness

Jean-Sébastien Côté is a Canadian composer and sound designer whose experimental electronic music can be heard in the theatre, on TV and in art installations.  He is also one half of the electronic duo crashride.  His most recent work, Wilderness was released late last year and was written for and inspired by SOMETHING ABOUT WILDERNESS AND OTHER ATTEMPTS AT TAMING BEAUTY by Melanie Demers and Laïla Diallo, presented by the Skånes Dansteater in Malmö, Sweden.
Wilderness was composed and performed by Côté using just piano, analog synths and strings, which were performed by Marjolaine Lambert (violin), Heather Schnarr (violin), Emily Westell (violin) and Paul Casey (viola). 
The opening track, “Genesis”, over its eight-minute-and-41 second run time, is a slow burn of long-droning and buzzing strings that are barely audible to begin the song but burst to life in a cacophonous swell to end the song.  The following track, “Beauty and the Beast” sounds like its title implies, with gorgeous ascending melodies but with a sinister undercurrent.  Other standouts include, “Alep” which is evocative of being caught in a swirling snow storm and “Bad Racket” highlighted by its echoing beat and haunting strings.
 Jean-Sébastien Côté’s Wilderness is a beautifully meditative and quiet listen; a headphones-worthy world to get lost in.
For more info:
Stream Wilderness here:

Friday, February 01, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat

Liz Brasher – “Blood Of The Lamb” (The Memphis-by-way-of-North Carolina singer/songwriter/guitarist’s highly-anticipated debut album, Painted Image was recently released on Fat Possum Records.  Brasher’s powerful voice lights up her anthemic and timeless-sounding torch songs which are set to organ-drenched Gospel, soulful girl group and gritty garage rock grooves that improve upon her promising debut EP released just last year.  Check out her hybridization of Gospel and Motown on the leadoff track heard here.)  

Skinny Girl Diet – “Shed Your Skin” (The London-based duo consisting of, Delilah Holiday & Ursula Holiday, recently released their stunning sophomore album, Ideal Woman, on HHBTM Records.  Their genre-defiant sound is equal parts grunge and punk; with a DIY attitude and a youthful outlook, the duo delivers cathartic anthems for the disenfranchised.  Check out the buzzing Melvins-like riffage of the standout second single from the album here.)

Wild Pink – “There Is A Ledger” (Shy Layers Remix) (The Brooklyn trio led by John Ross return March 1 with a new EP titled, 5 Songs.  Available for pre-order now, the EP follows last year’s excellent sophomore album, Yolk In The Fur - which paired subtle synths with heartland rock.  It features two new songs and three remixes of Yolk tracks including, this one by fellow Tiny Engines label mates Shy Layers, who add effects to the vocals, set it to a skittering beat and make it more atmospheric.)

Monday, January 28, 2019

REISSUE: Green River - Rehab Doll and Dry As A Bone

Forget the muddy banks of the Wishkah, at the banks of Green River was where the grunge era was birthed.  The Seattle band Green River, active from 84-88, featured Mark Arm, later of Mudhoney, Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam and Bruce Fairweather and Alex Shumway.  They were the original pioneers of the gritty glam-rock and punk inspired alternative rock sound that became the “grunge” movement of the late 80’s and early 90’s; later ushered into the mainstream by Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Alice In Chains.
In celebration, Sub Pop recently reissued Green River’s long-out-of-print lone full-length, Rehab Doll, originally released in 1988 and their 1987 mini-LP, Dry As A Bone.  Each album is pressed onto colored vinyl and expanded to include previously unreleased material such as the demos from the Dry As A Bone sessions that were recorded onto Betamax and the Rehab Doll demos, recorded to 8-track at the legendary Jack Endino’s Reciprocal Recording. 
These new deluxe reissues provide a history lesson for new listeners and pays tribute to the progenitors of a scene.
Stream Rehab Doll (Deluxe Edition) here:

Friday, January 25, 2019

Stream It From The Mountain: High Praise – Forever Ever After

High Praise is the new instrumental post-rock project from Matt Traxler (Brandtson) and artist/illustrator Kevin Fagan (S.S.&C). Together the Cleveland-based duo creates a self-proclaimed “acid casual daydream pop” sound, incorporating elements of ambient dream-pop and shoegaze.  Their debut EP, Forever Ever After is out today on January 25 via Traxler's Steadfast Records.
Led by the first single, “Avalanched” with its smoldering synths and guitars that warble like the lines on an old VCR tape, High Praise creates the soundtrack to a walk through an abandoned shopping mall in outer space.
The debut EP is available on limited edition cassette and CD-r as well as digitally from the Steadfast Records website of Bandcamp page.  For more info:
Stream Forever Ever After here:

Monday, January 14, 2019

Stream It From The Mountain: Radar State – Strays

Out now on Wiretap Records is Strays, the highly-anticipated debut album from Radar State.  Radar State is the Kansas-based punk band comprised of Matt Pryor and Jim Suptic of the Get Up Kids, Josh Berwanger of The Anniversary and Adam Phillips of The Gadjits and The Architects.  The combination of their talents results in an energetic punk-fuelled power-pop sound that feels both nostalgic and modern.  One of the most intriguing aspects of the album is that songwriters Matt, Jim and Josh each take turns at the microphone and lend background melodies to the each other’s songs.
Standout tracks include the sarcastic and speedy Pryor-led “Self Hurt Guru”, the infectiously catchy power-pop of the Berwanger-led “Artificial Love”, the statement-making title track and the first single, “Anywhere” with its anthemic sing-along chorus.
The band members of Radar State bring an impressive punk pedigree, with roots in the late 90’s emo and punk scenes but they don’t consider the band a side project of even a “supergroup”.  They are just having fun and it shows on their impressive debut!
Also, be sure to check them out on tour later this month.
Stream Strays here:

Friday, January 04, 2019

Top 10 Albums of 2018

Better late than never!  Here are my Top 10 Albums of 2018 (in alphabetical order):

Damien JuradoThe Horizon Just Laughed
Walter MartinReminisce Bar & Grill
The 1984 DraftMakes Good Choices
The Rad TradsOn Tap
Wild PinkYolk In The Fur

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Top 10 Reissues of 2018

As you may have noticed the last couple of years, I have focused more and more on reissues.  It has been fun reliving the music of my childhood and reviewing music that predates my blog.
Below is an alphabetical list of my 10 favorite reissue releases of 2018.
The BandMusic From The Big Pink (5oth Anniversary)
Brandtson Fallen Star Collection (20th Anniversary)
Miles Davis/John ColtraneThe Final Tour: The Bootleg Series Volume 6
Digable PlanetsReachin’ (A New Refutation Of Time And Space) (25th Anniversary)
Guns N’ RosesAppetite For Destruction (30th Anniversary)
The Helio SequenceKeep Your Eyes Ahead (10th Anniversary)
The Jimi Hendrix ExperienceElectric Ladyland (50th Anniversary)

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Top 5 EPs of 2018

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

3 Songs: On Repeat (Extended Edition)

High Praise – “Avalanched” (High Praise is the new instrumental post-rock project from Matt Traxler (Brandtson) and Kevin Fagan (S.S.&C). Together the Cleveland-based duo creates a self-proclaimed “acid casual daydream pop” sound, incorporating elements of dream-pop and shoegaze.  Their debut EP, Forever Ever After will be released early next year via Traxler’s Steadfast Records.  Listen to the first single below with its haunting, smoldering synth-driven atmospherics and reverb-drenched guitars for the perfect introduction.)

Richard Swift – “Sept20” (The late musician/producer’s final album was completed a month before his passing in July of this year.  Out now on Secretly Canadian, is Swift’s swan song, The Hex, on which he faces death – his own and that of his mother and sister – set to a background of 60’s psych-pop, doo-wop and the excellent, trademark production that became his calling card during his musical career.  The album showcases his many sides and is a lasting tribute.)

Foxwarren –“Lost In A Dream” (Foxwarren is the long-gestating project from  Andy Shauf (guitars/keys/vocals), Dallas Bryson (guitar/vocals), and brothers Darryl Kissick (bass) and Avery Kissick (drums & percussion); whose self-titled debut album was recently released via Anti.  As siblings and childhood friends, the culmination of their talents converges on a sound that combines elements of Elliot Smith’s baroque piano-led pop, Beatles-esque melodies and Wilco-like folk-rock experimentation for an album of the year-worthy debut.)

Cold War Kids – “Opium Tea (Nick Cave cover)” (Cold War Kids emerged from the music blog’s golden age in 2005 with an eclectic and percussion-heavy indie rock sound and celebrate their first ten years of existence with the release of the recently released career-spanning anthology, This Will All Blow Over In Time, out now via UMe.  The first disc of the 2-CD or 2-LP set features all of their radio singles from 2005 to 2015 including, “Hospital Beds”, “Hang Me Up To Dry” and “Miracle Mile”.  The second disc is comprised of rare and unreleased tracks including tracks from their long out of print debut EP Mulberry Street and their fan favorite cover of Nick Cave’s “Opium Tea”, heard here.)

Kleenex Girl Wonder – “ The History Of Ice” (NY singer-songwriter Graham Smith and his indie rock band proves prolific yet again with the release of their second album this year.  The recently released White Lacuna follows Vana Mundi, released earlier this year.  While known for his lengthy, verbose lyric sheets and whip-smart observations and wit; Smith blends elements of power-pop and melodies that evoke the British Invasion era alongside lyrical themes that discuss memories and relationships and the divisions between.  Check out the jangly bounce of the infectiously catchy, XTC-esque opening track and single here.)

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.)