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    • Next Wave #695: salute August 31, 2016
      Textural, bumping neo-soul...Whether it’s playing out in a club or to family and friends, musicians have their ways of evaluating their new sounds. salute, meanwhile, has a simpler litmus test: Uber drivers. “I’ll play it amongst other tracks that I’m enjoying at the moment, just to see how the driver reacts,” he laughs. “Just recently, actually, I was in on […]
    • Machinedrum Returns, New Album 'Human Energy' Incoming August 31, 2016
      Check out new cut 'Do It 4 U'...Machinedrum is set to release new album 'Human Energy' on September 30th. Travis Stewart is back, and his upcoming full length 'Human Energy' is set to take the producer in some fresh directions. “It’s an exchange of energy through sound,” he says in the press note. “It’s a healing experience. We’ […]
    • Premiere: Billy Lockett - 'Wide Eyed' August 31, 2016
      A dizzying new single from an artist to watch...Billy Lockett's material is outwardly beautiful, but truly cuts deep. Electronic bliss fused to fragrant emotion, each song feels like its pinned down by loss - a loss that is all too personal. The songwriter's upcoming debut album "is love songs to my dad and about the loss of someone very dear […]
    • Premiere: The Greasy Slicks - 'Hawks' August 31, 2016
      Indie trio showcase their debut album...The Greasy Slicks have a raucous sound, one that isn't about to be tamed by some over-eager studio engineer. As raw as they come, the three-piece simply unpacked their stuff in the studio and let rip - throwing down results on tape in a matter of seconds. Debut album 'The Greasy Slicks' drops on Septembe […]
    • Track Of The Day 31/8 - Scarlet Rascal August 31, 2016
      'Strange'Somewhere between definition and suggestion, that's where you'll find Scarlet Rascal. The band swing between the taut, electric lead of Tom Verlaine and the glacial swathes of Kevin Shields, while mapping out their own vantage point. Working with Invada on new material, the band's brutal poetry reaches back to the post-punk […]
    • X&Y Blaze A Very Stylish Trail On 'Secrets' August 31, 2016
      Viral sensations hit hard...X&Y are barely out of their teens, yet already the stylish trio have an incredible online following. Beautifully succinct, incredibly catchy slices of electronic melody, the three-piece are currently building up material for a new EP. Fresh from supporting Take That at Barclaycard presents British Summertime, X&Y are now r […]
    • The Wedding Present Rip Away Our Cobwebs On 'Birdsnest' August 31, 2016
      New album 'Going, Going...' is due on September 2nd...The Wedding Present face one major problem when recording new material: themselves. After all, with such a lengthy, esteemed, and varied back catalogue, how do you begin to attempt to add something new? New album 'Going, Going...' certainly manages to locate new ground - in the United […]
    • Premiere: IDLES - 'Divide And Conquer' August 31, 2016
      Bristol punks strike out against the government...The NHS is a uniquely British institution, one of the central facets of our welfare state. It's also under attack. The current Conservative government have not shied away from the slashing cuts branded 'austerity', and these are currently aimed square at the NHS. Which is where IDLES come in. T […]
    • A Made Up Sound Concludes Label With New Compilation August 31, 2016
      'A Made Up Sound (2009 - 2016)' incoming...A Made Up Sound is set to conclude his self-titled label with a new compilation. Dutch producer Dave Huismans kicked off the project back in 2009, intending to reach back to the techno cuts that first inspired him. Since then, A Made Up Sound - both the moniker and label - have shifted through enormously d […]
    • Clash DJ Mix - Du Tonc August 31, 2016
      Parisian duo with an innate dancefloor flair...Du Tonc is a project born from Parisian nightclubs, from the fetid underground scene that lies just beyond the French capital's glamorous surface. A production duo who like to take things a little deeper, the pair enjoyed almost immediate success, releasing a flurry of cuts on some vital imprints. Of course […]
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Rock Chick of the Day: Courtney Marie Andrews – Not the End

Posted by falconi5 on August 30, 2016

courtneymarieThe first thing that grabs your ears is the voice. Floating somewhere between Linda, Joni, and Laurel Canyon it is pure late 60’s Laurel Canyon.  Once you get past the honey dripped singing voice, the pure talent of the music and the songwriting will catch your attention. Two spins in, her new album Honest Life is a stone cold winner and rising fast.

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Five Cool Ones: Five New(ish) Bands We are Grooving To

Posted by falconi5 on August 28, 2016

 

5Dreamers – Drugs

Dreamers is a Los Angeles based three-piece band that weaves solid festival-ready hooks with sharp lyrics with an infectious energy that never overwhelms and rarely lets up. Their debut long player This Album Does Not Exist, while somewhat poorly named, is terrific. Key stand out tracks are “Drugs” a song that addresses a different type of drug with the addiction to technology, and “Wolves (You Got Me)” covers another type of addiction.  To the opposite sex. This band should be on your ones to watch list.

 

 

Mother Feather – Mirror

First there was Rock, then there was Pop, now there is Pop Rock. And N.Y. Based Mother Feather do it in style. If you are not careful you will dismiss this dual frontwoman band led by Ann Courtney and Elizabeth Carena a shock rock, all hat no cattle glam rock outfit that pays more attention to the Kiss style make up and the outfits than they do their music.  But you would be wrong.  Very wrong.

Their music is self-described as Pop Cock Rock with a touch of female empowerment along with nuances of Lady Gaga, Karen O, Kiss, and Beth Ditto. Must hear songs from their new self-titled album are “Mirror,” “Trampoline” and “Mother Feather,”  just to name a few shiny apples from a bushel of excellent tunes.

Lisa Hannigan – Fall

It’s always good to discover, or re-discover in this case, a musician that has been around for a spell and has a bit of a back catalog to enjoy along with their current case.  Such is the case with Irish singer, songwriter, musician, Lisa Hannigan who is best known for her collaboration with Damian Rice.  Having just released At Swim Hannigan also has two beautifully atmospheric records under her belt with Sea Sew released in 2008, and Passenger in 2011.

L.A. Salami – The City Nowadays

You can find the roots of 70’s singer songwriter troubadour all over Dancing With Bad Grammar, the debut album from L.A. Salime, the stage name that U.K. based Lookman Adekunte Salami goes by.  There is a lot of Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Elliott Smith, and Rodriguez in the spirit of this one with Salami turning the mundane into magic with his dense lyrics and everyday life storytelling.

Larkin Poe – Trouble in Mind

This is another one of those been around for a minute, but are new to us bands. Atlanta-based sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell deliver a more than solid of gritty Garage Blues with “Trouble in Mind” with the shout out to Freddie King as sparkling a song as you will hear all year,

 

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Rock Chick of the Day: Kandace Springs – Everything Your Heart Desires (feat. Daryl Hall)

Posted by falconi5 on August 21, 2016

kandacedarylSoul Eyes, the new album from Kandace Springs is destined to be a top 10 caliber record at the end of the year.  In the meantime, she took time to pay a visit to Daryl’s house.

 

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Video of the Day: Bright Light Bright Light – All in the Name

Posted by falconi5 on August 21, 2016

brightlightBright Light Bright Light, the nomme de plume of Elton John’s favorite Pop Star Rod Thomas, delivers a perfect set of 80’s perfection with his new record Choreography. With shades of New Order and The Pet Shop Boys, this one sparkles with plenty of contributions from Sir Elton himself.

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Video of the Day: Quaker City Night Hawks -Mockingbird

Posted by falconi5 on August 13, 2016

quaker

Starting with the name, there is nothing that is not cool about The Quaker City Night Hawks. With an energy that would rival The Cadillac Three, and musical chops that float somewhere between The Allman Brothers and The Black Crowes, this might be your new summertime Rock and Roll Band.  The new record, El Astonauta, is top 10 worthy.

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Five Cool Ones: Five Cool “Covers” Albums

Posted by falconi5 on August 7, 2016

5

Albums consisting entirely of songs made famous by someone else can be decidedly hit or miss affairs. When an actor like William Shatner gives birth to a record of space related songs on the horribly named Seeking Major Tom record, a platter that is an assault to the ears and absolutely tortures stone-cold classics like “Space Cowboy”, “Rocket Man” and “Walking on the Moon” and Pat Boone is given valuable studio time to cut 12 “Metal” tunes on In a Metal Mood: No More Mister Nice Guy covering  “Metalclassics “Smoke on the Water” and “Love Hurts” along with an absolutely horrid version of “Holy Diver” that warrants Ronnie James Dio coming back from the dead to kick Pat Boone’s ass, a legitimite case can be made to ban the genre altogether.

And then there are the good ones.  And there a lot of them. The Walkmen took their fandom to the next level with their nuanced recreation of Harry Nilsson’s Pussy Cat’s that was itself essentially a covers record, and the Flaming Lips recently came out with a somewhat bizaar guest driven track by track rendition of Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band which is strangely cool, and is probably considered epic to a Flaming Lips fan, but hardcore Beatle fans would probably be better served checking out Cheap Trick’s Sgt. Pepper Live.

Willie Nelson has released a lot of really good covers albums, the best of which is probably Willie Sings Kristofferson, and even the iconic Bob Dylan has joined Rod Stewart with songs performed from the great American songbook.

Here are five top-notch artist covers albums very much worthy of some of your ear time.

Metallica – Garage Inc.

Very much a genre specific selection here, this one tend to veer slightly more to the rock side vs. the heavy metal bombastic playing we are used to from Metallica.  Scoring high marks for the song selection here with Seger’s “Turn the Page,” the Thin Lizzy anthem “Whisky in the Jar,” and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Tuesday’s Gone,” this one is a mighty fine road trip record and on that will definitely scratch that hard rock itch.

 

Bryan Ferry – Dylanesque

When the first line of the song hits you between the ears “When you’re  lost in the rain in Juarez and it’s Easter time too” the line from “Just like Tom Thumb’s Blues,” this time delivered by Roxy Music front man Bryan Ferry, you immediately know that this version rides the same side of the track as the original, and that this song, or any other Bob Dylan song for that matter, is in the capable hands of a master. A master paying tribute to a master.  Highlights are “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” and the somewhat over looked classic “Make You Feel My Love.”  The version of “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” might be the second best cover of the song just behind the almost death bed performance of the song delivered by Warren Zevon on The Wind.

 

k.d. Lang – Hymns of the 49th Parallel

This unique take on the covers genre, covering songs by Canadian artists, works well mostly due to the fact that two of the most brilliant songwriters ever just happen to be from north of the border in Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, and Joni Mitchell.  All of the arrangements here are short, sweet and too the point with k.d.’s voice on brilliant display front and center. “After the Gold Rush” and “Helpless” the two Neil Young songs presented here are first rate, and “The Day I Walk,” a song written by the criminally ignored (except by the critics) Bruce Cockburn is a pleasant surprise. The real stunner here, of course, is Lang’s version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”. in a Beatles vs. Stones sort of debate the jury is still out among many as to which version is better. This one, or the Jeff Buckley version. While the studio version presented here is certainly terrific, seek out a live version.  It will change your life.

 

Dexys – Let the Record Show: Dexys Do Irish and Country Soul

Dexys, the later day version of Dexys Midnight Runners of “Come On Eileen” fame may not be that well known on certain sides of the pond, and lead singer Kevin Rowland certainly could shop in any mall in America without fear of recognition, but all of that being said, Let the Record Show: Dexys Do Irish and Country Soul is on fine record, forget covers record.

The album is 1/2 vinatge traditional Irish standards and 1/2 carefully curated from an eclectic palate of artist including Joni Mitchell, LeAnn Rimes, and The Brothers Gibb, with a couple of tasty nuggets from the great American songbook thrown in for good measure. “You Wear it Well” sounds perfect with the Dexy-fied arrangement and Rowlands exquisitely deep voice, and the Johnny Cash deep track 40 Shades of Green sounds like it could have been a traditional Irish ballad, Country style.

The opener “Women of Ireland” is a beautiful instrumental and a perfect mood setter to carry you on a sea voyage to the Emerald Isle. “To Love Somebody” is brilliant, and “I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen” is stunning.

This record released in 2016 is a good one.  Better than good actually.

 

David Bowie – Pin Ups

This album, released between Alladin Sane and Diamond Dogs represented sort of the last hurrah for Ziggy Stardust, and Bowie was in fine peak form. Choosing a set of songs that were his personal favorites some of these songs were bona-fide hits of the day including The Easybeats “Friday on My Mind” and The Yardbirds “Shapes of Things” while others more are obscure deeper tracks by major acts like “See Emily Play” the Pink Floyd Song and the Who’s “Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere.”  “I Can’t Explain” in the slowed down version presented here is distinctly different that the original, and “Here Comes the Night” is a scorcher.

Pin Ups was the swan song for Mick Ronson and the Spiders from Mars. What a way to go out.

 

Honorable Mention

Steve Earle – Towns

Jesse Malin – On Your Sleeve

Joseph Arthur – Lou

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Kicking Against the Pricks

Elvis Costello – Almost Blue

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Best Albums of 2016: Charlie Faye and the Fayettes – Charlie Faye and the Fayettes

Posted by falconi5 on July 28, 2016

Charlie Faye and the Fayettes – Charlie Faye and the Fayettes (Rating 3.5 out of 5)

charliefayeThere is not a lot of thinking you need to do to enjoy this retro to the extreme, girl group fun fest, do the watusi self-titled album from Charlie Faye and the Fayettes. From the beginning strains of “Green Light” you are taken back to a simpler time when music was made for the pure joy of moving your feet and swaying to the beat.

Most of the girl groups are represented here with the trio of Charlie Faye, Betty Soo, and Akina Adderly pulling off a groove that comes across more cool than campy, and more channeling than copying. At one moment Supremes are dancing on top of your speakers, and the next your are listening to The Ronettes complete with a mini wall of sound courtesy of “Coming Round the Bend.”

For more current comparisons, you can hear more than of a whiff of the Go Go’s on songs like “Delayed Reaction”, but for the most these boots are made for walkin’ with the sixties female singers and girl groups lining up to be played on Austin Powers’ jukebox. Dionne Warwick, Dusty Springfield, and Leslie Gore all seem to bunny hop across your speakers, and it is all groovy.

Your IQ won’t go up by listening to this record that times in at a bit over 30 minutes, but you just might have a little fun.  And at the end of the day isn’t that just what music is all about.

 

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Best Albums of 2016: Caveman – Otero War

Posted by falconi5 on July 27, 2016

Caveman – Otero War (Rating  3.5 out of 5)

cavemanTo properly expose yourself to Otero War, the latest, and in the opinion of many, the greatest effort from Brooklyn based Synth/Psych/Indie band Caveman, go directly to song number 3 on the record and give “On My Own” a Listen. With a more distinct Southern California Laurel Canyon vibe, the song immediately establishes itself as a departure from the more gloomy atmospheric efforts of the bands prior efforts.

The whole thing has a Dawes meets Best Coast with a touch of LCD Soundsystem to it.  With each song carrying a DNA all its own, songs like “80 West” would have fit quite nicely on Dawe’s recent All Your Favorite Bands record, “Lean on Me” carries a whiff of U2 at their most sincere, and Life or “Just Living” is a radio friendly hit with some ELO worthy production value. Radio friendly  if they actually played great songs like this on the radio that is.

The vocals are great courtesy of main man and lead songwriter Matt Iwanusa, and the songwriting is spot on and melds with a glossy synchronicity courtesy of the refined production values. Close your eyes, put the headphones on, and give a careful listen to “Over the Hills”.  It is a great song with layered Beach Boy worthy harmonies.

If there is one criticism to be doled out it is the fuzzed out, Crazy Horse at their most rebellious, last track “I Need You in My Life”. No we don’t really need this song in our lives, so feel free to stop at song number 11. The rest of the record is pure class.

 

 

 

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Best Albums of 2016: Frankie Lee – American Dreamer

Posted by falconi5 on July 11, 2016

Frankie Lee – American Dreamer (Rating 4 out of 5)

frankieleeAmerican Dreamer, the first proper full length record from cosmic cowboy troubadour Frankie Lee is the smile out loud leader in the clubhouse for summer album of the year. Everything about it makes you want to pick up a six-pack, load the buddies in the back of your El Camino, and hit the road for the beach.

From the opener “High and Dry” a take what life gives you ode to real life that would fit quite nicely on a John Mellencamp record, to “Queen of Carolina” that has early Neil Young written all over it, the stories that are told here are small time epic with highly relatable themes of lost loves, hardscrabble living, and dreams that seem always to be just out of reach.

There are a lot of influences to pluck out of the air on this one if you are so inclined.  The easy, atmospheric rhythms of the Jayhawks are front and center with “Know By Now” carrying a Yoko-less John Lennon vibe, “Black Dog” sounding more than a little like Tom Petty, and “East Side Blues” sounding more than a little like a Justin Townes Earle Song. The songwriting is excellent floating somewhere in the mold of Dave Alvin or Elvis Costello.

A favorite track is “Buffalo,” with a groove laid down that would make J.J. Cale proud, the song professes that there must be more to life than a factory job and a trophy wife. This is a serious bit of songwriting and this one along with the piano driven title track are just two sterling examples that should separate Frankie Lee from the rest of the singer songwriter pack for years to come.

 

 

 

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Video of the Day: Elton John – A Good Heart

Posted by falconi5 on July 11, 2016

eltonwond“A Good Heart” the latest video from Elton’s latest record A Wonderful Crazy Night has more than a bit of old school Elton about it. With lyrics written by Bernie Taupin and accompanied by his band from the 70’s, this is some of the best work Elton has done in decades.

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