Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Stream It From The Mountain: Restless Habs – Taking The Fast Way Down

After releasing 6 EPs over the last 11 years, Cleveland indie-punk veterans, Restless Habs,  finally released their long-awaited debut album, Taking The Fast Way Down, last week on Steadfast Records.   
The wait was worth it, as the trio - featuring Ken Blaze and Peter Woodward of Cleveland pop-core legends the Unknown and drummer Anthony Panico (ex-Sleepwalker Defense) - create an incredibly ear-worming brand of melodic Midwestern pop-punk with an emphasis on volume and sing-along choruses.  Standouts include the aptly-titled tracks, “Casual And Reckless” and “Anthem” with their driving rhythms and bombastic, nostalgia-laced hooks. 
The album is available digitally and on limited edition CD, cassette and 140gm vinyl, including an opaque white colorway limited to 100 copies. 
To order, please visit:  https://www.steadfastrecords.net/
Stream Taking The Fast Way Down here:

Friday, February 14, 2020

3 Songs: On Repeat

Ebony Tusks – “HDF” (Ebony Tusks is the emerging Lawrence, KS based trio, consisting of DJ/producer Daniel Smith and vocalist/producers Geese Giesecke and Marty Hilliard.  Their recently released single, “HDF” is a booming slice of hard core hip-hop with minimalist electronics and sharp, unnerving commentary.  The single  - featuring the instrumental on the B-side - is available on 7” vinyl from High Dive Records and cassette from Intelligent Sound.  Look for their debut album later in 2020!) https://highdiverecords.bandcamp.com/album/ebony-tusks-hdf

Christopher Paul Stelling – “Trouble Don’t Follow Me” (CPS, the NYC folk-rock troubadour is joined in the studio by Ben Harper, who produced his new album, Best Of Luck, out now on Anti Records.  Much like the bombastic blues-rock of standout track, "Hear Me Calling" and the soulful and anthemic single, heard here; Harper helps Stelling to expand his sound further and the result is upbeat and hopeful despite dealing with heavier lyrical themes and easily his best effort yet.) https://christopherpaulstelling.com/       

Andy Shauf – “Things I Do” (The Canadian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist recently released his highly-anticipated fourth album, The Neon Skyline, out now on Anti Records.  Shauf lends his stellar storytelling to a concept album that follows a night in a downtrodden guy’s life with every subtle detail of the ups and downs chronicled as only Shauf can.  Musically, he blends breezy folk with soft rock touchstones such as woodwinds and organs that evoke the lamp-lit lounge of the album’s title.) https://andyshauf.bandcamp.com/album/the-neon-skyline     
Stream: https://andyshauf.bandcamp.com/track/things-i-do

Friday, February 07, 2020

REISSUE: Nirvana – MTV Unplugged In New York 25th Anniversary

Late last year, Nirvana’s legendary MTV Unplugged In New York album celebrated its 25th anniversary.  Originally released in 1994 and recorded just five months before Kurt Cobain’s death, the album quickly became a way to mourn and pay tribute to the troubled yet iconic songwriter.  In honor, Geffen/Ume released an expanded and remastered reissue of the album as a 2LP set pressed onto 180g vinyl housed in a gatefold jacket with silver foil embossing in November. 
The set is highlighted by the inclusion of five rehearsal performances previously only available on the DVD release, including, “Polly”, “Plateau” and “Pennyroyal Tea”, as well as plenty of between song banter, for an intimate peek behind the curtain.  Additionally, a download of the expanded album is included on an album cover sticker. 
For more info or to order: https://nirvana.lnk.to/Unplugged25
To celebrate, here are 3 Songs from Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged In New York album:     
“Come As You Are (Live On MTV Unplugged, 1993 / Rehearsal)”:


“Where Did You Sleep Last Night (Live On MTV Unplugged Unedited)”:


“Lake Of Fire (Live On MTV Unplugged, 1993 / Unedited)”:

Friday, December 20, 2019

Top 10 Albums of 2019


BerwangerWatching A Garden Die

Better Oblivion Community CenterSelf-Titled

Big ThiefU.F.O.F. & Two Hands

The Claypool Lennon DeliriumSouth Of Reality

Empty MoonThe Empty Moon Story

Dori FreemanEvery Single Star

Radar StateStrays

that dog.Old LP

Vampire WeekendFather Of The Bride

Kanye WestJESUS IS KING

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Top 10 Reissues of 2019

Miles DavisThe Complete Birth Of The Cool http://www.atlasandtheanchor.com/2019/06/reissue-miles-davis-complete-birth-of.html
Modern EnglishMesh & Lace and After The Snow (review to come…)
Slick RickThe Great Adventures Of Slick Rick http://www.atlasandtheanchor.com/2019/05/reissue-slick-rick-great-adventures-of.html

Top 5 EPs of 2019

Friday, December 06, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat


Spoken In Tongues – “Bluff”  (This new duo is made up of punk rock vets Billy Power of Blenderhead and Chris Wible of Everdown, whose debut album, The Nail That Sticks Up Will Be Hammered Down, was recently released on cassette via Cleveland’s Steadfast Records.  Together the duo reconciles themes of death, loss and growing older with short and simple blasts of catchy, pop-forward punk rock.  Additionally, this album is the first in a planned trilogy of albums so be on the lookout for more!) https://spokenintongues.bandcamp.com/album/the-nail-that-sticks-up-will-be-hammered-down-digital-download

Junkyard – “Pushed You Too Far” (What’s better than new music from an old favorite?  Old new music from an old favorite!  Junkyard were an underrated band from the 80’s hard rock scene who released an excellent new album in 2017 and follow that up with the release of Old Habits Die Hard, out now on Acetate Records.  This new album collects previously-unreleased songs recorded in 1992 meant to become their third album but was lost in the shuffle once grunge rock took over the scene.  It’s a shame because Junkyard led by the raspy howl of vocalist David Roach and Bad Religion guitarist Brian Baker created a raw and raucous brand of blues-drenched hard rock played with a punk rock spirit.)

Cold War Kids – “Complainer” (Indie rock favorites Cold War Kids recently returned with their eighth album, New Age Norms 1, via their own label, CWKTWO/AWAL.  The new album is the first in a trilogy of albums and shows the band doubling down on their irresistible pop hooks along with danceable funk grooves as heard here on album highlight, “Complainer” and on the Prince-like standout track, “Waiting For Your Love” that puts vocalist Nathan Willett’s falsetto in the spotlight.) www.coldwarkids.com  

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat from Bob Dylan (Featuring Johnny Cash) – Travelin’ Thru 1967-1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 15

The next chapter in Bob Dylan’s long-running Bootleg Series is titled, Bob Dylan (Featuring Jonny Cash) – Travelin’ Thru 1967-1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 15, and is out now on Columbia/Legacy Recordings.  While not as celebrated (no Scorsese-produced Netflix film) and not as hefty as the Royal Thunder Revue reissue from earlier this year, Travelin’ Thru is more exciting as it chronicles the years between 1967 and 1969, which saw the release of the acclaimed albums, John Wesley Harding, Nashville Skyline and Self Portrait.  The 3CD or 3LP set features 47 previously unreleased recordings including outtakes, rehearsals and alternate takes from those sessions and is highlighted by recordings of Dylan and Johnny Cash together. 
The first disc focuses on alternate versions of songs like, “All Along The Watchtower”, “Lay Lady Lay” and “I Am A Lonesome Hobo” from John Wesley Harding and Nashville Skyline, highlighted by the previously-unheard “Western Road”, an outtake of the Nashville Skyline sessions. 
The second and third discs are comprised of Dylan’s country & western collaborations with the legendary Johnny Cash.  While only their duet, “North Country Girl” made it onto the album Nashville Skyline, the dynamic duo left behind several songs including covers of “Mountain Dew”, songs by Jimmie Rogers and Cash’s classics, “Ring Of Fire” and “I Walk The Line”.  Other highlights include, live performances of “Living The Blues” and “Girl From The North Country” from the 1969 debut episode of The Johnny Cash Show as well as an alternate take of “Nashville Skyline Rag” featuring Earl Scruggs.  Completing the package are tons of photos and insightful liner notes from Colin Escott.   
For more info: https://www.bobdylan.com/
Here are 3 Songs from Travelin’ Thru.  Enjoy!

“I Threw It All Away (Live On The Johnny Cash TV Show)”:


“Lay, Lady, Lay (Take 2 - Alternate Version)”: https://youtu.be/vgEaRPaGqWM

 “Ring Of Fire (Outtake)”: https://youtu.be/x5SxmXsRyCQ

Friday, November 08, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat


Joy Cleaner – “Dramatization” (The New Jersey indie rock trio return today with their highly-anticipated sophomore album, You’re So Jaded, via Jigsaw Records.  90’s nostalgia is in full effect as their brand of jangly power-pop packs a punch, like a punk-informed Gin Blossoms, with crunchy, alt-rock riffs and infectious pop hooks clamoring for the spotlight.  On repeat, indeed!) https://jigsawrecords.bandcamp.com/album/pzl165-joy-cleaner-youre-so-jaded   

Vetiver – “Swaying” (Andy Cabic recently released his seventh album, Up On High, making his label debut with Mama Bird Recordings.  The new collection of songs sees Cabic return to basics with his folk-rock roots and his smooth voice combining with elements of jangly college rock, heartland rock and 70’s singer-songwriter faire for a breezy listen and one of the best albums of his career.  Stream the Petty-esque and aptly-titled standout single here.) https://tunes.mamabirdrecordingco.com/album/up-on-high   

Big Thief – “Not” (The Brooklyn folk-rock quartet – led by the vulnerable yet powerful vocals and poetic lyrics of Adrianne Lenker – recently released their second full-length album this year.   The album titled, Two Hands, is out now on 4AD and is rawer and ragged, both lyrically and musically, than its predecessor, U.F.O.F.; perfectly capturing their live energy.  With Two Hands, Big Thief has released an Album Of The Year worthy effort, their second just this year.  Listen to the dynamic, 6-minute single here.) http://www.bigthief.net/       


Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Stream It From The Mountain: that dog. – Old LP

90’s alternative rock/indie-pop favorites that dog. recently released their long-awaited fourth album, Old LP, via UMe.  Anna Waronker, Rachel Haden and Tony Maxwell first reunited in 2011 for a few anniversary shows and have played together several times since.  The trio (sans vocalist/violinist Petra Haden) had also been working on a new album over the last three years. The new album – their first in over two decades - is the perfect, more mature and more lushly arranged follow-up to 1997’s swan song, Retreat From The Sun.
Old LP is highlighted by the standout single, “Just The Way”, and with its frantic energy, it is the perfect summation of their punk-smeared power-pop sound.  Other standouts include, “Drip Drops” with its cinematic strings and their trademark vocal harmonies, the snarky anthemic alt.rock of “If You Just Didn’t Do It” and the sentimental album closing title track.   
The guest-heavy album also features contributions from their original (pre-recording) drummer Maya Rudolph, Graham Coxon of Blur, Randy Newman, Josh Klinghoffer of Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Charlotte Gaffey of the Go-Go’s.  Additionally, Petra’s violin duties are carried out by Kaitlin Wolfberg of Wild Honey Orchestra. 
The new album packs a nostalgic punch but expands on their sound, sounding as fresh as it did over two decades ago. 
For more info, please visit: www.thatdogofficial.com
Stream Old LP here:

Friday, October 25, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat

Extra Arms – “Disruptor” (Detroit’s Extra Arms - led by Ryan Allen, formerly of Thunderbirds Are Now! – will release their fifth album, Up From Here, today on Dadstache Records.  Previously a solo project, this new album is the second as a full band with guitarist Michael Gallacher, bassist Ryan Marshall and drummer Sean Sommer.  The band quickly finds their stride on this new collection of songs that explode with emo-tinged punk rock and power-pop melodies in just 22 minutes leaving you wanting more.)  https://extraarms.bandcamp.com/album/up-from-here-2  

Daystar – “Buttons And Brass” (The Portland-by-way-of Chicago quartet led by Derek Phillips is set to return today with their new album, The Complete Recordings.  Blending anthemic 70’s arena rock hooks and 60’s brit-rock with infectious power-pop; their lushly-layered and harmony-rich sound references Wings, Badfinger and Big Star along with Beatles-esque melodies and elements of folk and prog-rock.) https://daystarpdx.bandcamp.com/album/the-complete-recordings

The Building – “Life Half Lived” (The Building is the recording and performing moniker of multi-instrumentalist/songwriter Anthony LaMarca, who is best known as the guitarist for The War On Drugs.  The Youngstown, Ohio native has also drummed for St. Vincent and Dean & Britta and recently released his latest album, PETRA, via Concord Records.  LaMarca battled a life-threatening disease while writing and recording the album which expands on his dreamy folk-pop sound and the result is his most personal and affecting album yet.) https://thebuildingmusic.com/

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

REISSUE: Saves The Day – Through With Being Cool – 20th Anniversary

NJ emo-punk band Saves The Day made their breakthrough in 2001 with Stay What You Are but sowed the seeds for that success with their seminal sophomore album Through With Being Cool, released in 1999.  To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Through With Being Cool, Equal Vision will reissue the album on CD and vinyl as a deluxe 20th anniversary edition, this Friday.    

In addition to the newly-remastered original album and expanded packaging, the 2-CD and 2-LP sets also feature 17 bonus tracks including previously-unheard demos and live recordings.  Though none of the extras are exactly essential there are many standouts including, an acoustic demo of the heartfelt “Hold” and live versions of “Holly Hox, Forget Me Nots” and fan favorite, “Shoulder To The Wheel” which capture their youthful live energy. 
Chris Conley and Saves The Day live on more than two decades later and they have plans to play anniversary shows as well around the release.        
For more info or to order, please visit: https://savestheday.merchnow.com/
Watch the newly-created animated video for “Shoulder To The Wheel” here:

Friday, October 18, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat - Extended Edition


Grade 2 – “Don’t Look Back” (The UK punk rock trio made the jump to Hellcat Records with the release of their third album, Graveyard Island.  Produced by Rancid’s Tim Armstrong, the new album captures their energetic live energy and is a throwback to the early days of punk with streetwise lyrics, riotous rhythms and catchy, chant-along hooks.  Listen to the propulsive standout single here.) https://grade2official.co.uk/       

Gideon – “Take Me” (The Alabama-based metallic hardcore band fully sheds its former Christian beliefs in a big way with a neo nu-metal sound and angry lyrics on their new album, Out Of Control, out now on Equal Vision Records.  The new album is their heaviest, most aggressive and angry effort to date with a focus on brutal breakdowns, low end bass-driven hip-hop-inspired rhythms and a guest spot from Drew York of Stray From The Path.) http://gideonal.com/      

Entombed A.D. – “Torment Remains” (The Swedish death metal pioneers recently released their third album since reforming as Entombed A.D.  Bowels Of Earth is out now on Century Media and former Entombed members LG Petrov, Victor Brandt, Nico Elgstrand, Olle Dahlstedt and Guilherme Miranda sound rejuvenated, as they have combined their often imitated but never duplicated dense guitar sound and groove-driven rhythms with faster beats and a modern touch that will have old fans and new fans intrigued.) https://entombedad.lnk.to/BowelsOfEarthID      

Ikebe Shakedown – “Horses” (The Brooklyn instrumental soul ensemble recently released their highly-anticipated fourth album, Kings Left Behind, via Colemine Records.  The seven-piece band creates a lushly-layered sound highlighted by dramatically cinematic strings, punchy horns, swaggering percussion-heavy rhythms and 70’s funk and psychedelia.  Put on your headphones and your dancing shoes and enjoy this one!) https://ikebeshakedown.com

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

PREMIERE: Tender Mercy – “The War Within”

Tender Mercy is the recording and performing moniker of Louisville-based singer-songwriter Mark Kramer. With Tender Mercy, Kramer creates a minimalist brand of folk with reverb-drenched atmospherics and thoughtful, engaging and poetic lyrics that blur the lines of slowcore and folk rock.  His latest album, War Within, is out this Thursday on Louisville label, Obsolete Staircases. 
Atlas and the Anchor is proud to present the quasi-title track to the album here today.  Listen to “The War Within” below, with its deft use of stark space and ethereal emotion that captures the intensity of his inner struggles.  The soft, sparse ambient folk Kramer crafts is like a warm yet scratchy blanket that will put you at ease and unsettle you; but you will come back for more, for the way it makes you feel.          
For more info: www.tendermercymusic.com
"The War Within":

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

REISSUE: The Roots – Things Fall Apart - 20th Anniversary

2019 marks the 20th anniversary of Things Fall Apart, the breakthrough album from Philadelphia rap legends The Roots.  Out now via Geffen/UMe - as part of their Urban Legends series - is an expanded reissue of Things Fall Apart, available digitally and as a 3LP set.       
The album featured guest spots from prominent and emerging artists including, Erykah Badu, Common, Mos Def, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Beanie Segal, Eve, Dice Raw and more.  Standout tracks included the aptly-explosive “Dynamite”, the old school throwback “Double Trouble” featuring Mos Def, the inventive single “The Next Movement” and the Erykah Badu-assisted hit single, “You Got Me”.  The Roots were a different breed and brought a fresh, unique and authentic take on hip-hop, eschewing glitz and glamour for thoughtful lyrics and inventive jazz-indebted sounds created by a live band.         
The 3LP set is available in limited edition clear or standard black.  The original album is spread across 2 LPs and the third LP features 10 bonus tracks including, B-sides, remixes and soundtrack and compilation tracks from the era.  Standouts include a Journey-esque major key flip of “You Got Me”, titled, “We Got You” featuring Jaguar Wright, a skittering Drum & Bass version of “You Got Me” with original vocalist Jill Scott and “Y’all Know Who”, an old school style headbanger with turntable scratches from DJ Cash Money. 
The package is housed in a slipcase with a booklet featuring photos and extensive essays from Questlove and Black Thought; highlighted by highly-informational behind the scenes liner notes that lift the curtain for a look at the creative process for each individual track.      
Watch the video for “The Next Movement”:

Monday, October 07, 2019

Stream It From The Mountains: Mini Meltdowns – Destined For Disaster

Mini Meltdowns is an emerging garage-punk band led by Nashville-by-way-of-Milwaukee drummer Jonny Phillip, an in demand session player who has played for The Benjamins, Limbeck, Berwanger, Trapper Scheopp, Tommy Stinson, and Paul Collins over the years.  In addition to drumming for Mini Meltdowns, Phillip writes, sings and plays guitar and is joined by former Promise Ring and current Dashboard Confessional bassist, Scott Schoenbeck.  Their second EP titled, Destined For Disaster is out now on Jonny’s Good Land Records.  It was produced and mixed by Mike Kennerty of The All-American Rejects, who also contributes lead guitar and backing vocals.     
Led by the first single, “I Wanna Die” with its propulsive yet staggering guitar riff, blissful Beach Boys-like harmonies and hopeful resignation; the 4-song EP balances Phillip’s struggles with depression, anxiety and the loss of his father with bouncy power-pop and classic punk-informed garage rock and infectiously catchy melodies. 
Jonny Phillip stepped out from behind the drums and into the spotlight to lead his first band last year with Mini Meltdowns’ promising debut EP, then delivered ten-fold on its follow-up, Destined For Disaster; ramping up anticipation for a proper full-length album.
To order or for more info: http://www.goodlandrecords.com/
Stream Destined For Disaster here:

Friday, October 04, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat (Extended Edition)

Eggs On Mars – “Porch Tune” (The K.C. psych-pop trio are set to release their fifth album, It Will Be Like It Was, today on Portland’s Jigsaw Records.  These new jangle-pop songs are mellow with psychedelic flourishes and subtle yet striking melodies.  Lyrically, vocalist/guitarist Brad Smith spins introspective but relatable tales about such life changing themes as marriage and the grind of everyday work life.) https://eggsonmars.bandcamp.com/album/it-will-be-like-it-was  

Daniel Martin Moore – “By The Beams” (The Louisville singer-songwriter will release his ninth album, Never Look Away, today via Sofaburn Records/OK Recordings.  Ever changing – he’s previously recorded an album of lullabies and one of Gospel-soaked hymns – DMM offers up his fullest folk-pop arrangements with the assistance of co-producer and multi-instrumentalist Seth Kauffman of Foating Action.  The newfound focus on driving rhythms and the lushly-layered sound brings new life to his stellar songwriting, resulting in his best album yet.)  http://www.sofaburn.com/daniel-martin-moore         

Temples – “You’re Either On Something” (The British psych-rock trio recently released their third album, Hot Motion, via their new label home, ATO Records.  Though still retro-minded, the new album shows the band venturing into modern, pop-leaning psych sounds with bigger beats, vintage synths and festival-ready hooks; the standout single heard here with its soaring, sing-along chorus is the perfect example.) https://templesofficialuk.bandcamp.com/album/hot-motion    

Death Cab For Cutie – “Kids In ‘99” (Ben Gibbard and company recently released The Blue EP, on the heels of last year’s Thank You For Today.  Out now on Atlantic Records, the 5-song EP features two tracks leftover from the Rich Costey-produced Thank You sessions, a self-produced song and two new Peter Katis-produced tracks that trade in hypnotic Krautrock rhythms and wide-screen arena rock.  The single here, recounts the tragic Olympic Pipeline Explosion from their hometown.) http://deathcabforcutie.com/
Stream: https://deathcabforcutie.bandcamp.com/track/kids-in-99

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Soundgarden – Louder Than Love - 35th Anniversary Vinyl Reissues

2019 marks the 35th anniversary of the formation of Soundgarden and they have been celebrating this year by releasing colored vinyl reissues of their albums via A&M/UMe in conjunction with The Sound of Vinyl.  The final release in the series is Louder Than Love, their sophomore album and major label debut, originally released in 1989 on A&M Records.
Additionally, Louder Than Love turned 30 this year and is available now on a single slab of 180gm translucent yellow vinyl.  The album was the early catalyst for their highly-influential metallic grunge sound and first introduced their penchant for off-kilter rhythms. It is highlighted by standouts such as the thunderous quasi-title track “Loud Love” and the chugging “Hands All Over” which holds up today despite its clunky lyrics.    
Watch the video for “Loud Love” here:       

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Stream It From The Mountain: Blinker The Star – Careful With Your Magic

Blinker The Star, the long-running Canadian indie-rock project of songwriter and producer Jordon Zadorozny, recently released Careful With Your Magic, his eighth album.  The new album was produced, performed, engineered, mixed and mastered by Zadorozny at his own Skylark Park Recording in Pembroke, Ontario.  With everything at his disposal, he creates grandiose glam-rock, 70’s soft rock and New Wave-inspired alternative rock bliss with lushly-layered production that reveals itself more and more with each listen. 
Standout tracks include the singles, “Sweet Nothing” with its 80’s vibes and swooning sing-along chorus and “Little Superstar” which combines the unlikely pairing of cowbell and sitar to great effect.  The late album two-song punch of the highly-melodic and aptly-titled “Top Of The Pops” and the propulsive piano-driven psych-pop of “I Won’t Look Down” provides another standout moment.             
Stream Careful With Your Magic here:


Additionally, Blinker The Star’s breakout 1999 album, August Everywhere, led by the single, “Below The Sliding Doors” and standout track, “September Already” is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.
Watch the video for “Below The Sliding Doors” from August Everywhere here:

Monday, September 30, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat as chosen and written by Shaun Miley

For this special edition of my 3 Songs: On Repeat feature, I’ve asked my friend and fellow music fanatic Shaun Miley to curate and write about his 3 favorite songs of the moment.  Enjoy! 

Horse Jumper Of Love – “Airport” (Horse Jumper of Love play poignant, hypnotic slow-core, which is summed up perfectly by frontman Dimitri Giannopoulos’ line, “I’ll move at my own pace…” from the single, “Airport”.  The Boston, Massachusetts three-piece drags the listener to the track’s crescendo to leave them spinning slowly amongst the heavy, distorted riffs.  So Divine is out now via Run For Cover Records.) https://horsejumperoflove.bandcamp.com/album/so-divine  
Charley Crockett – “5 More Miles” (Charley Crockett is the essence of cool.  His soul/classic country/blues sound was formed in hopped train cars, abandoned warehouses, and the streets where he busked.  In just over two minutes, on “5 More Miles”, Crockett lays out this meandering lifestyle with chugging acoustic guitar and a pounding bass run leading everywhere except to some much needed rest.  The Valley is Crockett’s sixth album in the past five years and is available now from Son of Davy/Thirty Tigers.) www.charleycrockett.com   
Neal Francis – “This Time” (A warm greeting from the organ and bass give way to a rush of horns and in the pocket drumming on Neal Francis’ single “This Time”, which takes the listener on a musical journey to New Orleans circa 1973 to hang with Dr. John and The Meters without missing one funky beat.  The lyrics touch on Francis’ struggle with sobriety, but give hope that this time is different.  The debut album, Changes, is out now on Karma Chief Records, a division of Colemine Records.) https://nealfrancis.bandcamp.com/album/changes-2  

Friday, September 27, 2019

3 Songs: On Repeat


Dori Freeman – “Another Time” (Virginia folk-pop singer-songwriter Dori Freeman - with the pure, lilting classic country-like voice - returns today with her highly-anticipated third album, Every Single Star, via her own label Blue Hens Music.  Once again produced by Teddy Thompson, the new album sees her embracing marriage and motherhood with the same charm alongside arrangements influenced by 60’s pop and highlighted by her Appalachian roots.  Listen lead single, an ode to friendship, here.) http://www.dorifreeman.com/      

Blink-182 – “Happy Days” (The pop-punk vets recently released their eighth album, Nine, on Columbia Records; the second album with Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio joining Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker.  After spending all summer touring amphitheaters alongside Lil Wayne, the trio’s pop-punk sound leans more toward the pop end of the spectrum and is streaked with neon-lit synths and festival-ready bombast.  Listen to the upbeat and inspiring standout single with its soaring sing-along chorus, here.) https://www.blink182.com

Pixies – “Catfish Kate” (The indie rock legends recently returned with Beneath The Eyrie, their third album since reuniting in 2004, out now on Infectious/BMG.  This new collection of songs is more in line with the classic Pixies sound than the previous two albums with the propulsive rhythms, infectious hooks and goth-streaked atmospherics fans have come to expect.  The standout single heard here is the perfect introduction to the new album and continuation of their storied legacy.) https://pixies.lnk.to/eyrieID     

Thursday, September 26, 2019

REISSUE: The Cult – Sonic Temple 30th Anniversary

This year marks the 30th anniversary of The Cult’s breakout 1989 album Sonic Temple.  Vocalist Ian Astbury and guitarist Billy Duffy’s fourth album was produced by Bob Rock and boasted four anthemic singles; “Fire Woman”, “Sweet Soul Sister”, “Sun King” and “Edie (Ciao Baby)”.  On Sonic Temple, they transformed their sound from goth-shaded post-punk to heavy, psychedelic classic rock-informed hard rock and took on mainstream audiences without losing their “outsider” cred.            
To celebrate, Beggars Arkive has reissued the seminal album in several different formats, highlighted by a deluxe 3LP box set with the album spread across 2LPs with a third LP that captures a performance recorded by the BBC titled, Live At Wembley, featuring previously-unreleased tracks.  The box set is numbered and limited to 3,500 and also features loads of replica tour memorabilia and a cassette of limited-release demos.  Also available, is a 5CD set - packaged in book form with tons of photos and interviews with the band with UK journalist James Brown – featuring 53 tracks including, the original album plus alternate, extended and acoustic versions as well as the Live At Wembley performance.  Additionally, Sonic Temple has been reissued on vinyl for the first time in twenty years, now as a 2LP set that includes improved audio and six B-sides for a total of sixteen songs.    
This definitive reissue along with the fact that “Fire Woman” and the other singles from Sonic Temple remain in rotation on rock radio to this day, proves that this album will reign for another 30 years.     
Watch the “Fire Woman” video here: