Showing posts with label Singles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Singles. Show all posts

Monday, September 28, 2020

Amanda Shires


This is a benefit single and is worth a moment of your time.

Amanda Shires and Jason Isbell have teamed up for a powerful new duet released in conjunction with International Safe Abortion Day, with all proceeds going to the Yellowhammer Fund, an "abortion fund and reproductive justice organization serving Alabama and the Deep South."


Laurie Bertram Roberts, executive director of Yellowhammer Fund, added, "'The Problem’ tells a story that’s rarely heard or discussed—especially by southerners—and we are grateful that Amanda is shining a light to keep the conversation going. With the 2020 election looming, we want to continue destigmatizing abortion and we hope that normalizing conversations around it will help folks feel more comfortable seeking the essential health care they need… We at Yellowhammer Fund deeply appreciate that Amanda understands why accessible abortion for all is so essential and we’re beyond thrilled to join her in this venture."

 "The Problem" is a gorgeous, melancholic, alt-country song that leaves its impact on first listen. Its message comes through loud and clear, and Amanda has crafted the perfect musical backdrop to match.

Friday, March 6, 2020

European Female

The Stranglers have been featured in a retrospective article that summarizes their experiences making the song European Female:
We recorded it in Brussels, but that wasn’t anything to do with the concept of the song. At the time, you used to save tax by recording overseas, so we recorded a few albums over there. We all had apartments near the studio. Not the height of luxury, but it was a nice working environment. Our girlfriends – mine then is my wife now – were often in the studio. There’s a good chance that Anna, the European Female, was watching while we were recording it.
The song was produced by Steve Churchyard and mixed by Tony Visconti. We’d generally get ideas in the rehearsal room and then work them out there, long before recording. For European Female, I just came up with something on my old synthesiser to go with the band’s bits. The best ideas come pretty quickly. With Golden Brown, for example, I was working on a song called Second Coming with Jet [Black, drummer] but came up with something that didn’t fit, but that unused part eventually became Golden Brown. The keyboard melody for European Female is mostly spontaneous, or very close to it. It’s just two chords, with arpeggios over them. It’s pretty simple, but it fits. 
It was our third Top 10 of 1982 following Golden Brown and Strange Little Girl, but it was one of the Top of the Pops appearances where we behaved ourselves. The Musician’s Union guy used to make you rerecord all the tracks [to then mime to on the show], so we’d distract him and use the original. There was a lot of hanging around, so to try and make things more entertaining for ourselves we do things like play the wrong instruments or mime very badly. I once pretended to play with gloves on the end of sticks. We did a TV show in Germany where Jet spent the entire song sawing up a bass drum.

Could you even make records like this anymore?

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

First World Problems

Ian Brown is out with a new single, and there’s an album that follows:

Ian Brown appears to be teasing his return, as posters advertising a new single ‘First World Problems’ have been spotted across his native Manchester.

This follows a similar pattern to when The Stone Roses plastered their iconic ‘Lemon Posters’ across the city in 2016 – before returning with new music and tour dates.

Having not released a solo album since ‘My Way’ in 2009‘, there have been rumours that Brown was working on material away from the Roses since last year. Fans are now speculating that a new track from album news from Brown will arrive this week.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Why is Radiohead Going After Lana Del Rey?

Anyone who has ever used an F chord should probably run and hide because Radiohead's lawyers are going to come after them:

Lana Del Rey has responded to reports that she is being sued by Radiohead for copyright infringement.

This weekend, it was alleged that the ‘Born To Die’ singer was accused of copying elements of their 1993 hit ‘Creep’ on her ‘Lust For Life’ album track ‘Get Free’. It’s the final song on the number one record, which also includes the single ‘Love’.

According to The Sun, “both teams are trying to thrash it out behind the scenes to prevent it going to court.”

The source added: “It’s understood that Radiohead’s team are hoping for the band to either receive compensation or be credited on the list of songwriters to receive royalties.”

I say, go to court.

The songs, while similar, are certainly not identical. Radiohead's Creep is based on the formula that the Pixies used--soft, then loud, with crunchy guitars and dark subject matter. And, since it came out on 1993, you could even lay it at the feet of grunge.

Lana Del Rey's track uses a very similar chord progression, but, to me, this is not a rip-off by any stretch of the imagination. What throws people is the pace of the song. Suffice it to say, without the distorted, slashing guitar break before the chorus, no one would remember Creep at all. Lana Del Rey didn't copy the most identifiable aspect of Radiohead's song.

This has to be something the lawyers cooked up. Why would anyone in Radiohead need to go after Del Rey's money? This is crazy. She should have never offered them a penny and she should have forced them to sue her in open court. I hope their suit crashes and I hope she wins.


Well, is there a lawsuit or not? Is there a dispute or not? If Lana Del Rey says that she's being sued, why would anyone doubt that? Apparently, she isn't being sued. She's being shaken down, or that's what it looks like to me.

Who the hell knows? This article does not shed any light on the matter, other than pointing out Radiohead did, in fact, steal Creep from the Hollies.

Monday, December 11, 2017


I love to drop in on a new release and see how it feels and see what an artist is putting out. There's nothing more immediate that a just-released single and Paul Weller's latest, Alpha, is no exception to the rule that there is no such thing as a "late period" or "decline" for him. Weller evolves, and it's up to you to stick with him. He's not going to wait for anyone to catch up to what he's interested in doing.


Weller is one of the most consistently current musicians in all of music. Alpha is experimental and thought provoking--can you really make a harmonica work like this? Can you match it with avant garde film and release something instrumental in 2017?

Hell yeah, you can. But, seriously--where are the blues? I heard dissonant guitar and riffs that would make The Charlatans jealous. This is a bit more adventurous than the old NME describes.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Hey Muse

Hey Muse is a song you should hear.

It's by a Minneapolis band called The Suburbs and even if you don't know their history and even if you don't actually like "new" music anymore, it's amazing.

Released this past summer, it demonstrates that all of your old bands can come back and make relevant, urgent music that needs to be heard. I'm embedding this special live version, but the studio album version is phenomenal as well.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Being Human by Salad Undressed

Let's not talk about reunions. This is a fantastic song:

Salad Undressed is the acoustic version of the British band Salad. It's Marijne and Paul making wonderful music. This is not nostalgia. This is in the here and now.

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Church Release Another Century

The Church have released a new single, and this is somewhat different from previous releases. I knew that they had basically made another album, but this one lands as a complete surprise, and it's a very welcome one at that.


No matter what you think of the direction, the changes, the choices, or the evolution of the band, every new project reveals something interesting. These are musicians who just don't sit still. They are constantly discovering something new by refusing to chase old glory. I think this method is preferable to any other. The reason why new music from Ride, Slowdive, the Jesus and Mary Chain, and a host of other bands has been so successful this year is because of a refusal to entertain the past and wallow in what once was. 

Anyway, the Church are on tour this summer and, keeping with my luck, they have avoided Texas completely.

Wednesday, June 28
The Ark, Ann Arbor, MI

Thursday, June 29
Summerfest, Milwaukee, WI

Friday, June 30
The Woodward, Cincinnati, OH

Saturday, July 1
City Winery, Nashville, TN

Monday, July 3
City Winery, Chicago, IL

Tuesday, July 4
City Winery, Chicago, IL

Thursday, July 6
The Broadberry, Richmond, VA

Friday, July 7
Ardmore Music Hall, Ardmore, PA

Thursday, July 8
Daryl’s House, Pawling, NY

You should definitely go see them. Why they didn't book a night in Arlington, VA or Annapolis, MD is one for their agent. No show in Austin? And no Minneapolis gigs? Wow. Here's hoping it's a smashing success of a tour. Can't wait for the album.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Roger Waters Deja Vu


Now that's a goddamned song.

Roger Waters is getting ready to put out his first new album since Amused to Death. This new album is called Is This the Life We Really Want. If it's anything like this, then it will be an amazing statement about the times in which we live.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Red Hill Mining Town

U2 have decided to re-work an old song and release it in conjunction with Record Store Day. They are celebrating everything Joshua Tree related and why not? What other album kicked as much ass as this one did?

Red Hill Mining Town is a bit of a "lost" single for the band. They didn't release it in America because, well, their best stuff from the late 1980s just didn't go down with this demographic. The U2 of 1988 and 1989 was very successful touring Australia and New Zealand, and they were immensely bummed by the critical backlash against Rattle and Hum, of which, there won't be a celebration in this country in a few years when it turns 30. Which is sad because I loved that album. It gave you original songs and live versions and the film itself was an incredible testament to what they could do live. It was full of songs. What's not to love about a band that is generous with songs? Where everyone else was stingy, U2 was giving away as much of itself as it could. For that, they earned nothing but scorn.

Everywhere else, they ate it up, but this country hated that album. Go figure. There's great stuff on it, and All I Want is You is their best single of the 1980s, by far.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Star Roving

Slowdive have a new album coming out this year, and if it sounds like this, it will be massive. What a great track.

This new song is available for purchase on Bandcamp.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Primal Scream Country Girl Covers

This is where I really, really started to get into Primal Scream again.

This single has a fantastic cover. Country Girl is a classic rave up. Live, this song brings down the house. The cover here is classically presented with a dark and sinister top and bottom bar, just like a scene from a letter-boxed film. I love what they did with this package.

Ten years? Really? It feels like it just came out.

Monday, December 12, 2016

James Laid Cover

The single from James called Laid was easily one of the best things to come out in 1993; I would say that it was definitely a high point for the band that experienced so many highs and had so many great singles.

The design for this one somewhat mars the impact of the single; the cover is difficult to read and I would definitely have flipped what's on the back for the front. I love the close up stitching as a motif and I like the detail in the cloth and the colors. This is not the first time I have liked the back cover more than the front cover, but it won't be the last, either.

Oasis Live Forever Cover

This single broke Oasis wide open, and helped vault their debut album into the stratosphere. Live Forever was more than just some Britpop throwaway. It rose above the genre and defined the Oasis phenomenon. Every subsequent single rode this wave of optimism in the face of bullshit, lies, and blank stares.

The sleeve features the childhood home of John Lennon on Menlove Avenue, and it is one of those fantastic collaborations between Microdot and Michael Spencer Jones. How many singles put the lyrics on the back? Am I right?

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Echo and the Bunnymen A Promise Cover

Another old favorite, and why not?

The cover for the 45 rpm single for the song A Promise borrows from the cover art and theme of the album Heaven Up Here. This is an excellent use of the method of tying in the single to the album.

Sleeper Inbetweener Single Cover



Single features a fantastic piece of commercial art, and it works on so many levels.

The song, in and of itself, is a novel set to music, and it is so intelligently rendered as to demand the sort of packaging and artwork seen here.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Echo and the Bunnymen Never Stop EP

I find it hard to believe that there aren't more (and better) images than this of Echo and the Bunnymen's Never Stop EP. I have cleaned this up and I tried to enhance it a bit. Somewhere, I can probably dig out a better version.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Beautiful Thing

This is the E-mail I received after getting the second Stone Roses single, Beautiful Thing.


The message goes on to ask me if I want to send it back for a refund.

Who would return a 12" vinyl single because they made 6,000 of them instead of 5,000? Whoever would do that is an asshole.

I am a bit ticked off that they included no B-sides on the two new releases. When you order All For One or Beautiful Thing, you get the single track and nothing more. Given that there have been numerous live performances, I wish they had thrown 3-4 live tracks on these releases as B-sides. At a minimum, there should be an official release of the version of Fool's Gold that appears in Made of Stone

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Prince Had One Hell of a Sense of Humor

I think the point I'm trying to make is that Prince probably got the humor in letting Weird Al do his songs. He just didn't think the ideas were good enough.

Comedian ‘Weird Al' Yankovic has said that he is sad that he never got the chance to parody Prince's songs. 

Yankovic who has in the past done parodies of Lady GagaMichael Jackson and Kurt Cobain claims he had ideas lined up for ‘Let’s Go Crazy', '1999', 'When Doves Cry' and 'Kiss'.

But the Artist Formerly Known As always turned him down. “It's too bad. I hadn’t approached him in about 20 years because he always said no, but I had this fantasy that he’d come out with a new song, I’d have a great idea, he’d finally say yes and it would erase decades of weirdness between us. But that’s obviously not going to be the case,” Yankovic explained. 

Prince had a sense of humor about himself though. Using an image of Dave Chappelle dressed as Prince on the cover of a single was the ultimate expression of what he thought was funny.