Friday, July 3, 2020
I never go into a Paul Weller interview expecting him to give up much. He's a very guarded artist, and I would imagine that his attitude, all these years later, is "listen to the records, it's all there."
Weller's new album is called On Sunset, and I never would have taken him for an L.A. type of guy. This is a loose album, and if you know Weller's output, these explorations are becoming a welcome addition to his catalog.
This series, from Consequence of Sound, is one of the better ones out there so I heartily recommend it.
Saturday, May 2, 2020
The release of Don't Stop by Oasis happened this week and it struck me as a strange thing to put out. It's somewhat unfinished and is really an entirely solo affair from Noel Gallagher. There is very little of Oasis to recommend the song since he has the lead vocal on it.
It should have been on an album and if not Dig Out Your Soul then Chasing Yesterday. It's a solid piece of music, and it was played well and inadvertently forgotten if Gallagher's version of events are to be believed. I don't know how you write something like this and forget about it, but that's the staggering thing about this fellow. He has written so many great songs, a few are bound to have fallen by the wayside.
Thursday, February 27, 2020
Some good news for a change:
At the beginning of February, Boston trio Throwing Muses announced their first album in seven years, Sun Racket. Now they’ve shared the lead single “Dark Blue”, as well as the album’s artwork and tracklist.
With song names like “Bywater” and “Maria Laguna”, Sun Racket is thematically linked to the sea. Lead single “Dark Blue” will open the album, and in the first few seconds we’re introduced to a melancholy surf guitar that’s abruptly obliterated in a tidal wave of distortion.
Friday, February 14, 2020
There was a time when I thought there wouldn't be any new music from Midnight Oil. They have found their second wind after going out in 2018 and 2019 to play all over the world. This effort has led to the release of two new albums in the next year:
Over the coming weeks you’ll start hearing about some of the specific things we’re doing in 2020, so before all that starts we wanted to tell you directly about the broad brushstrokes.
After coming home from Europe via Birdsville in mid-2019 we started recording new music together for the first time in nearly two decades. Our mate Warne Livesey travelled from Toronto to Sydney to produce these sessions just as he did on Diesel & Dust, Blue Sky Mining and Capricornia. It felt good to be back in the studio, and intriguing to see where it all ended up.
We had over 20 songs we wanted to record and eight of them shared a strong focus on the issue of indigenous reconciliation, so we invited some of our First Nations friends to collaborate with us in various ways on each of these eight tracks. Our collective work will be released as a mini-album called The Makarrata Project in June/July. Band profits from this release will be donated to charities which elevate The Uluru Statement From The Heart (ulurustatement.org/the-statement). This mid-year release of The Makarrata Project will be accompanied by a small handful of themed live performances in Australia featuring some of the very special guests who helped create this mini-album.Incredible. Midnight Oil is a must see band.
Then toward the end of the year we’ll release a new Midnight Oil album which is currently at final mixing stage. This completely separate batch of material deals with various lyrical themes including climate chaos, no surprise after the mega fires we’ve just experienced in Australia. We plan to follow the album with lots more Australian and international touring across late 2020 and early 2021.
Over the next 12 months we will also be releasing various singles from both The Makarrata Project mini-album and the new Midnight Oil album. We’re seriously excited about all of these songs and the two separate works on which they will feature. Stay tuned for more detailed announcements about our new music and our touring plans. Thanks in the meantime for your patience … we know it’s been a long wait but good things take time!
Wednesday, December 4, 2019
I'm not sure why this exists.
Pink Floyd, circa the years 1987 to 2019, was largely a celebration of what the band could accomplish with the name but without Roger Waters. The fact that the solo work of the band has been almost universally disappointing notwithstanding, why does this period have to be celebrated? It's a cheap cash grab, and nothing else.
Who, in Pink Floyd, is short of money at this point? What record company demands this release and what fan is clamoring for this material?
It's hard not to become cynical when this sort of thing keeps being released, year after year.
Tuesday, October 15, 2019
After seeing X this past summer, I was wondering about new music and, sure enough, that’s what they’ve been up to:
Punk icons X have released their first new music in more than 30 years. The Los Angeles act hit the studio earlier this year to record five new songs, and today they’re unveiling “Delta 88 Nightmare” and its accompanying video.
A rough demo of “Delta 88 Nightmare” originally surfaced on a 2001 reissue of the band’s debut album, Los Angeles. This new version marks X’s first release to feature original members Exene Cervenka, John Doe, Billy Zoom, and DJ Bonebrake since 1985.
Along with laying down a proper studio version of “Delta 88 Nightmare”, the band recorded four additional songs. That includes the track’s B-side, “Cyrano de Berger’s Back”, which was written by Doe prior to X’s formation. A 7-inch vinyl release of the single, due November 29th, is available for pre-order.
They are back on the road this Christmas, and if they play anywhere near where you live, do go and see them. What a show!
X 2019 Tour Dates:
11/11 – San Diego, CA @ Wonderfront Festival
11/29 – San Juan Capistrano, CA @ The Coach House
11/30 – San Juan Capistrano, CA @ The Coach House
12/01 – San Juan Capistrano, CA @ The Coach House
12/05 – Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades
12/07 – Sonoma, CA @ Sebastiani Theatre
12/09 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
12/10 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
12/11 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
12/15 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
12/16 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
12/19 – Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom
12/20 – Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom
Saturday, August 3, 2019
The band’s next album is This is Not a Safe Place, so I think it is fitting to remember what an incredible sophomore album GBA really is. In terms of second records, it’s one of the best there ever was.
Those big moments, though, are defined by the more concise ones around them. The taut ringing of acoustic guitars on “Chrome Waves” or the lean psych-pop of “Making Judy Smile” or the angular riffage of “Time Of Her Time” all let us hear a new side of Ride. It reminded us that Ride may have made pop built firmly for the dreamworld, but the group never forgot the very real rock muscle this sound could generate underneath all that atmosphere. Here, it’s that physicality that comes to the surface and makes Going Blank Again an album that doesn’t have to take up space to be staggering in its sound. Ride didn’t make the mistake of making one huge-sounding album (Nowhere) and trying to top it with more layers, with bigger distortion, with more muddled volume. Instead, Ride peeled things back most of the time on Going Blank Again, so when they did decide to swell into something more atmospheric, those huge moments were earned.
Definitely go for the expanded version of the album and see them playing live. And track down all of the B-sides, too. If there was ever a record that deserved an omnibus or expanded version, this is it.
Monday, April 15, 2019
The idea of a new Metallica album does not interest me in the slightest. They can put out all the records they want, but I won’t be listening to any of them. That does not mean I am anti-Metallica or anti-Heavy Metal. I just listen to other things.
I have always thought that Metallica was the first major band to stand up against the piracy that ended up destroying the music business in the early 2000s. Albums are not free, nor should they be. So, when Lars Ulrich took all that shit for pointing out that, if you don’t pay for music, then there will be a lot less of it that you will want to own, I could tell that his heart was in the right place.
People have made a lot of music since the early days of Napster, but the resulting business model meant that there weren't any viable record companies to ensure that artists would get paid for their work. This ended a lot of promising careers and left musicians with no sustainable means to make a living. So, it’s great that Billy and the Funkerbeans put out all those free tracks, but I’m not exactly burning up the Internet trying to find them.
Kirk Hammett needs to have a long talk with his fellow band members, and make a decision here:
Metallica‘s guitarist Kirk Hammett has admitted that he feels “uncomfortable” over the long wait fans have had to endure with their previous albums.
The band had an eight year gap between 2016’s ‘Hardwired…To Self Destruct’ and 2008’s ‘Death Magnetic’.
And it’s looking like they won’t be getting into a recording studio any time soon with the guitarist confirming the band will not finish their current world tour until November 2019.
“When I was 13-14 years old, bands put out albums every year,” Hammett told Mixdown. “Seriously, KISS put out an album every eight months. None of this eight years between albums.
“None of us are very comfortable with the fact it’s been so long, because that is a long time. We’re hoping to avoid that this time around.
He added: “We’re in our third year since ‘Hardwired’. Maybe we can get a bit more focus and go into the studio a bit sooner. I have a ton of material. I’ve over-compensated, so I’m ready to go anytime.”
Nowadays, the old model of album/three-singles/EP to hold you over/album/three singles/quickie live album/break just doesn’t cut it anymore. In approximately their first four years of putting out music, U2 released a slew of independent singles, Boy, October, War, the A Celebration single (which has vanished from their canon almost entirely) and then put out The Unforgettable Fire. That’s an amazing run. In five years, the Police literally put out five incredible albums and then told everyone to fuck off.
There’s no pressure anymore. There’s no fear of being dropped, no institutional memory of what it means to be on the charts, no need to have product in the stores because, umm, there are no stores (and Record Store Day doesn’t count). So Hammett doesn’t have to put anything out.
What they could do is innovate. Go back and figure out how to make EPs work. Or set a deadline and work towards it. This comes out on x date with x songs and if we only have three of them done, that’s what is released. If we have 20 songs by x date, that’s what comes out. Let the fans bank on that.
I don’t know what you could even do anymore. Someone has an answer, and it’s probably Billie Eilish or someone like that. They’ll be the new innovators, and then maybe we’ll all stop buying video games as if they were Led Zeppelin albums.
Friday, April 12, 2019
Tuesday, March 26, 2019
If you count the band's temporary disintegration in 1995, and the 2007 comeback, we're due for a third reunion by The Verve. Given that the return of Richard Ashcroft yielded a good but not great album that did not set the charts on fire, this news seems to be a pretty good indication that the band will come together yet again:
On September 9th UMC release expanded editions of The Verve’s seminal first two albums A STORM IN HEAVEN and A NORTHERN SOUL.
Both remastered by Chris Potter (co-producer of the band’s Urban Hymns) at Metropolis studios, the albums feature previously unreleased and never-heard-before tracks, E.P. and B-sides material and BBC sessions.
Both albums are presented as 3CD box sets (A Storm In Heaven also contains a bonus DVD) and both come with booklets featuring new interviews and previously unseen photos. Limited edition vinyl versions will also be released in faithful reproductions of the original packaging.
The reissue of their masterpiece, Urban Hymns, should follow shortly. In 2017, that album turns the magical age of twenty in September of that year. Having sold over ten million copies, there's a lot of incentive to give it a real celebration. If they went on a short tour of England and Europe, and played the whole thing live, it would be a huge event.
UPDATE: I went and retrieved this from the archives because it strikes me as being both possible and impossible that the Verve might get back together. I thought for certain that there would be a commemoration of Urban Hymns, but nothing came of it.
To be fair, the last two Richard Ashcroft solo albums have not set the world on fire in terms of sales or impact. At some point, the dam has to break.
Monday, February 25, 2019
I have always maintained a curious interest in Bombay Bicycle Club. Flirting with the oblivion offered by the flu gave me the opportunity to acquire three of their albums/cds/releases in a way that did not bankrupt me, so I am going to give them a proper evaluation.
Bands come and go, and their impact is difficult to gauge. I know that in the 2000s I had a healthy liking for a band called Goldrush, but it would seem that they have disappeared. The rest of the music from that era just passed me by. I never got into the Arctic Monkeys or The Libertines like I probably should have, and everything else from that whole decade just seemed weird. Then there are these albums and I don’t even know when they were made. I think this is a band that straddled the 2000s and 2010s, from what I see on the labels, but who knows anymore?
I always give the new stuff a chance. There aren’t enough great bands! You have to keep searching for new music. I know, I’m an idiot. But I have new music to listen to, so I can’t be all bad.
Saturday, February 16, 2019
Friday, February 8, 2019
Sophie Ellis-Bextor ‘The Song Diaries’ – the new album out 15th March 2019
The Orchestral Greatest Hits
Pre-order the new album now & receive 5 tracks immediately including ‘Love Is You’ plus the Orchestral and Orchestral Disco Versions of ‘Murder On The Dancefloor’ and ‘Take Me Home’. 19 incredible tracks including ‘Murder On The Dancefloor’, ‘GrooveJet’, Take Me Home’ plus ‘Love Is You’
The album includes orchestral versions of 6 x Top 10 hits plus many more fan favourites
“Joyous, exhilarating reinvention and reminiscence” - Evening Standard ****
Available on CD, Limited Deluxe Digipack CD, 180g Gatefold Double LP and Limited Edition Gatefold ‘Baby Blue’ Coloured Double LP
140g double LP, gatefold
1. GrooveJet (Orchestral Version)
2. Take Me Home (Orchestral Version)
3. Murder On The Dancefloor (Orchestral Version)
4. Move This Mountain (Orchestral Version)
5. Music Gets The Best of Me (Orchestral Version)
6. Mixed Up World (Orchestral Version)
7. Catch You (Orchestral Version)
8. Me and My Imagination (Orchestral Version)
9. Today The Sun's On Us (Orchestral Version)
10. Heartbreak (Make Me a Dancer) (Orchestral Version)
11. Bittersweet (Orchestral Version)
12. Not Giving Up On Love (Orchestral Version)
13. Young Blood (Orchestral Version)
14.Love Is a Camera (Orchestral Version)
15. Wild Forever (Orchestral Version)
16. A Pessimist Is Never Disappointed (Orchestral Version) (Bonus Track)
17. Love Is You (Bonus Track)
18. Take Me Home (Orchestral Disco Version) (Bonus Track)
19. Murder On The Dancefloor (Orchestral Disco Version) (Bonus Track)
She has never been given her due in America, and sort of reminds me of another version of Kylie Minogue - a tremendous artist who lives in the pop/dance music/fashion world who should really be a bigger star but sort of already is.
Wednesday, January 30, 2019
I don’t think a two star review for Ian Brown’s new album is going to hurt it a bit. In fact, this criticism will probably be forgotten, and soon because his records don’t seem to age a bit. The old NME doesn’t have the reach that it used to.
A new Ian Brown album is the arrival of something challenging and thought out, and it usually takes a while to hear what he’s cooked up. I remember when his first and third records dropped, and I really had to work at getting where he was at and what he was bringing into the fold. I’m glad I never gave up on him because his body of work is superb, it really is.
From what I’ve heard so far, Ripples is going to be a challenging album for the times, and that’s a damned good thing. Brown has incorporated his offspring and new grooves and new beats into what he wants you to have. First World Problems is a killer track, so I automatically don’t trust what the fucking NME have to say, as per usual. Listen to them and none of your favorite records make sense, do they?
Thursday, January 24, 2019
Fresh off the back of a world tour, Brian Jonestown Massacre have announced the release date of their 18th full-length album, Getintothis’ Mostyn Jones reports.
Coming just 7 months after 2018’s Something Else, the self-titled record was recorded in frontman Anton Newcombe’s own Berlin studio early last year, and will be available on March 15 on A Recordings.
The band have teased the album with a full track list and lead single, Cannot Be Saved, a rumbling psych-rock tune with a belter guitar solo and fuzzy production that hints at their early shoegaze-inspired work.
Having been based in Berlin for over a decade now, it’s no surprise that Newcombe has put together a roster of international talent for this iteration of the band’s ever-evolving line up.
The album features Scandinavian bassist Heike Marie Radeker, of noise rockers LeVent; the Icelandic guitarist Hakon Adalsteinsson, of Singapore Sling and Third Sound; along with fellow US expat Sara Neidorf on drums; and guest vocals from Rike Bienert, who has appeared on previous BJM releases.
I’m telling you, if all of your old bands are disappointing you, find a way to acquire some BJM and have your mind blown. They are always recording, always releasing exciting, vital music and they seem to always be on the way to your town.
Friday, January 11, 2019
Please ignore my vacant stare, but who in the name of all that is holy has been screaming for this to come out?
Recorded between Fez in Morocco, Dublin (HQ), New York (Platinum Sound Recording Studios) and London (Olympic Studios) and produced by Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois and Steve Lillywhite, No Line On The Horizon debuted at number 1 in 30 countries across the globe in 2009.
Lead single ‘Get On Your Boots’ was followed by ‘Magnificent’ and ‘I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight’. The album has been fully remastered with two additional remixes added to celebrate its 10th Anniversary – ‘Magnificent (Wonderland Remix)’ by Pete Tong and Paul Rogers and ‘I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight’ (Redanka’s ‘Kick the Darkness’ Vocal Version).
I can’t think of a less interesting U2 album than No Line on the Horizon. It is the dishwater cafe of U2 albums, the one I think no one would miss (apart from that whole Lemon thing where they put out seven or eight versions of it and the running time equaled an album, basically). There’s nothing on this album I would miss, but that’s just me, I guess.
Since it has been a decade, is there anything U2 have done in this century that rises to the level of being essential as far as their catalog is concerned? I would put Achtung Baby at the top of it all, and everything sort of winds itself down from there. I guess I just don’t like any of the new stuff, so take this all with a grain of salt.
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Tuesday, October 9, 2018
Bauhaus are releasing their live LP Press the Eject and Give Me the Tape for Record Store Day and I think it would be a wonderful acquisition if you can get your hands on it. You may be underwhelmed by the quality but, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter because it’s the coolest shit ever to play this stuff in the dark when you’re trying to think about your problems.
When I got this album, along with Mask, I immediately became frustrated with Bauhaus. Then, I went and got their other albums, and fell in love with everything they have ever done. This is one of those bands where I buy everything they do, up to and through all of the Love and Rockets stuff, of course. Casual fans just need their greatest hits. Some of the deep tracks get a little ponderous, but so does everyone who made a lot of music in the 1970s and 1980s.
Record Store Day is coming, and sometimes assholes ruin it by gobbling up all of the good stuff. Go fight for what’s yours and don’t let them pull their capitalistic bullshit on you.
Monday, August 13, 2018
If you didn't already know, he has a wonderful single out, and you can get it on CD. I was not quick enough to get it on vinyl, but that's okay, because I am a kid of the 90s and I like CDs just fine. Oh, I have your spinning vinyl discs, and I like them well enough, but give me the pristine clarity of an impersonal silver plate and I am happy enough.