Music Releases 05-31-19
Guns N’ Roses bassist and New York Times bestselling author Duff McKagan’s new solo album, Tenderness, is a reflection on his experiences traveling the globe over two and a half years on GNR’s Not In This Lifetime tour. Encountering heartbreak, anger, fear, confusion and divide on his travels during this tumultuous time in our world history, McKagan channeled a collective hurt into songs of monolithic power. The album was produced by recent Grammy winner Shooter Jennings and features Jennings’ band along with appearances by The Waters and The Suicide Horn Section, amongst others. Pressed on 180-gram audiophile black vinyl and housed in a single-pocket gatefold jacket, the vinyl edition features 10 tracks and a unique sequence carefully selected by Duff and Shooter.
Omoiyari is Kishi Bashi's fourth album, following the acclaimed 151a (2012), Lighght (2014), and Sonderlust (2016). Channeling the hard-learned lessons of history, Omoiyari reflects the turbulent socio-political atmosphere of present day America. "I was shocked when I saw white supremacy really starting to show it's teeth again in America," Kishi Bashi says. "My parents are immigrants, they came to the United States from Japan post-World War II. As a minority I felt very insecure for the first time in my adult life in this country. I think that was the real trigger for this project." Kishi Bashi recognized parallels between the current U.S. adminis- tration's constant talk of walls and bans, and the xenophobic anxieties that led to the forced internment of Japanese-Americans in the months following the attack on Pearl Harbor. So he immersed himself in that period, visiting former prison sites and listening to the stories of survivors, while developing musical concepts along the way. The unique creative process behind Omoiyari has been documented in a film scheduled for release in early 2020. "I didn't want this project to be about history, but rather the importance of history, and the lessons we can learn," Kishi Bashi reflects. "I gravitated toward themes of empathy, compassion, and understanding as a way to overcome fear and intolerance. But I had trouble finding an English title for the piece. Omoiyari is a Japanese word. It doesn't necessarily translate as empathy, but it refers to the idea of creating compassion towards other people by thinking about them. I think the idea of omoiyari is the single biggest thing that can help us overcome aggression and conflict." The strong conceptual elements of Omoiyari are driven by Kishi Bashi's captivating musical score. Stepping away from his past loop-based production model, he embraced a more collaborative approach when recording, and for the first time included contributions from other musicians, such as Mike Savino (aka Tall Tall Trees) on banjo and bass, and Nick Ogawa (aka Takenobu) on cello. Kishi Bashi's spectacular trademark violin soundscapes are still an essential component of his sound, but the focus of Omoiyari is centered squarely on it's songs. While the theme of Omoiyari is rooted in 1940s America, the album's message is timeless. In exploring the emotional lives of the innocent Japanese-Americans who were unjustly incarcerated, Kishi Bashi hopes to nurture a sense of empathy, or omoiyari, in all who hear the album.
The Traveler, an album of experience and profound resonance by the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band. Recorded in Los Angeles, while the band was on a break from their uncompromising tour schedule that left them road-tested and ready to rock, The Traveler showcases some world-class musicians: vocalist Noah Hunt, drummer Chris “Whipper” Layton (formerly of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Double Trouble), bassist Kevin McCormick, and keyboardists Jimmy McGorman and Joe Krown. The album features ten songs including eight new originals co-written by KWS and some of Nashville’s most in-demand songwriters, plus incendiary covers of Buffalo Springfield’s “Mr. Soul” and Joe Walsh’s “Turn to Stone.”
The Peyote Dance, by Soundwalk Collective with Patti Smith, is the first in a triptych of albums, collectively titled The Perfect Vision, to be released over the next year. Each take their inspiration from the writings of three emblematic French poets: Antonin Artaud, Arthur Rimbaud and René Daumal, and their necessity to travel to different lands to acquire a new vision and perspective on themselves and their artwork. Recorded in the Sierra Tarahumara of Mexico, The Peyote Dance, retraces Artaud's footsteps. The album's opening, recited by Gael Garcia Bernal, evokes the summer he traveled by train towards the Chihuahua region, and by horse to the Tarahumara mountains with the help of a mestizo guide. One of Artaud's goal was to find a peyote shaman who could help him recover from an opioid addiction. During his stay he encountered the Rarámuri Indians and peyote shamans of Tarahumara. His transcendental experience resulted in the book The Peyote Dance. Back in New York, Patti Smith channeled Artaud's spirit by listening, reading and improvising to the music.The penultimate track on the album is a poem she wrote in homage to Artaud's last hours in a mental asylum in France.
After years of struggling with drug and alcohol abuse, the then 62 year old homeless Nashville street musician Doug Seegers’ life changed overnight. A hit song catapulted him to superstar status in Sweden and since then he's played hundreds of sold out shows. And in the spring of 2018, Doug Seegers recorded his first international album in Los Angeles with master producer Joe Henry - the result is the much anticipated emotional eleven-songs album "A Story I Got to Tell” which is to be released on May 31st 2019.
In a career that spans over four decades, garage rock superheroes The Fleshtones truly have done it all. Theyre one of the final remaining original CBGB bands, theyve played on Andy Warhols short-lived MTV show while Sir Ian McKellen read Shakespeare over their jamming, and were the last band to publicly perform at the World Trade Centers Windows on the World. However, whats most incredible about The Fleshtones is that theyre putting out some of their best music yet forty years into their career, as evidenced by their brand new limited edition 45 single Layin Pipe b/w Lady Nightshade. Layin Pipe is a cover of the great Canadian blues rocker David Wilcox, but the track gets a garage rock facelift from The Fleshtones, complete with howls from Keith Streng and a leading vocal performance by The Count Peter Zaremba. Lady Nightshade is a rollicking original by The Fleshtones, featuring some haunting guitars licks and various spellbinding chants throughout the chorus.
Mercury Prize nominated Irish singer-songwriter Lisa Hannigan is reminiscent of introspective folk artists such as Nick Drake, while delving into the eccentric impulses of musicians like Kate Bush. For Live in Dublin, recorded on her tour of the British Isles, she is joined on stage by Stargaze's Andre De Ridder. The 14 song set list features songs from Hannigan's three albums - Sea Sew, Passenger and At Swim - alongside two 'unreleased' tracks, ''Bookmark'' and ''Swan''.
Growing up intensely shy, 22-year-old Pip Blom was uncharacteristically plunged into the limelight during her teens when she answered an advertisement for a songwriting competition and reached the semifinals. Failing to win was anything but a deterrent and neither was struggling to find band members post-competition. Pip simply plowed on, programing drums on a computer and writing and recording both bass and guitar parts. She decided to start self-releasing songs on the internet and it didn't take long for people to start taking notice. Today, that same plucky, head-on attitude characterizes everything she does, whether that's witnessing her band's powerfully impressive live show or listening to her honest, heart-on-sleeve approach to writing songs on record. Boat is an an open book of Pip Blom, delivered via her undeniable knack for writing a hook-laden, 3-4 minute song and planting it in your head on a loop for days.
Give me a minute or three to extol the virtues of The Gotobeds, the modern rock and roll sensation that has always sounded like they love to play. Never maligned by having the world’s weight on their backs, The Gotobeds - Cary, TFP, Eli and Gavin - return to the fray with their third full lengther, Debt Begins at 30. The esprit de corps and anxiety-free joy that permeates their other LPs and EPs remains intact. The octane is high-test, the engine still has knocks and pings and the battery is overcharged. The Gotobeds - as Pittsburgh as it gets, the folk music of the Steel City - have more tar for us to swallow. Debt Begins at 30 is an old-fashioned blast furnace and the liquid iron flows. Debt Begins at 30 is not "pub sop" in any way or shape. Though I never considered The Gotobeds a band that needed assistance from their peers, Debt Begins at 30 features outside contributors on every track. The album's first single, "Calquer The Hound," includes local buddy Evan Richards, and Rob Henry of Kim Phuc. "Calquer The Hound" has euphony, a sly bridge, plenty of trademark bash, and a spacey outro. It's a sanguine album opener, more Al Oliver than Starling Marte. On "Twin Cities," the lads tap Tracy Wilson, formerly of Dahlia Seed and currently of Positive NO!, to share the vox, and the result is an exuberant pop song proving The Gotobeds benefit from women ruling the scene. "Twin Cities" is more Dakota Staton than Don Caballero. "Debt Begins at 30," the title trackular, includes the wizardry of Mike Seamans and legend Bob Weston. It's a brooding romp with tribal beats and slash-and-burn guitar, more Rocky Bleier than Le'Veon Bell. Unsurprisingly, The Gotobeds called partners-in-rock-crime Protomartyr a coupla times, with Joe Casey bolstering "Slang Words" and hook-fiend Greg Ahee shredding on "On Loan." "Slang Words" is a savory wrecking ball with a crunching bite, more of a soft shell crab sandwich from Wholey's Market than a 4am slop feast at Primanti Brothers. "On Loan" is an anthemic jangle-fest with high-arcing fret work, more Karl Hendricks (rest his soul) than "Weird Paul" Petroskey. Silkworm guitarist Tim Midyett is tapped on "Parallel," a grand song that enters a world of whimsy, melodic and uncomplicated, more Jaromir Jagr than Sidney Crosby. The likes of 12XU label boss Gerard Cosloy, Tre Orsi's Matt Barnhart, the wonderful Victoria Ruiz of Downtown Boys, Pittsburgh wordsmiths Jason Baldinger and Scott MacIntyre, and yours truly strut stuff on other tracks. In my case, I just scream “dross” on "Dross" several times. Good judgment on the part of The Gotobeds to know that's the best I can do, more Max Moroff than Andrew McCutchen. Anyways, The Gotobeds have quickly reached the veteran stage, but, based upon Debt Begins at 30, their best days are ahead of them. It's a pleasure to be associated with such an excellent band. --Bob Nastanovich, 1/13/2019, Des Moines
Metal with WWI lyrics is a traditional affair – especially in the extreme metal sector where bands such as Endstille, God Dethroned or Hail of Bullets set the bar high. But none of them took the matter as seriously (visually too!) as 1914! The Ukrainian act mixes blackened, massive death metal with audio drama soundscapes and disquieting melodies, and tunes like ‘A7V Mephisto‘ bring in the majestic doom factor. The Blind Leading The Blind towers over the listener with dense atmosphere and technical supremacy and even has a surprise up its sleeve in shape of the blackened punk cover version of The Exploited`s ‘Beat the bastards‘. A future genre classic!
Mighty warriors of the galaxy, the time has come: Gloryhammer have forged their third longplayer! The next thrilling chapter of the heroes around mastermind Christopher Bowes (Alestorm) awaits! The spies of Emperor Zargothrax are everywhere, which is why Legends from Beyond the Galactic Terrorvortex has been secretly recorded in an undisclosed location in the highlands of Scotland with producer Lasse Lammert (Alestorm). Mighty fanfares guide the listener into his journey through the Terrorvortex – and only the bravest warriors will make it out of this maelstrom, clad in triumphant power metal and epic orchestral backgrounds. Could there be a more hypnotizing and beautiful place than the gloriously symphonic ‚Land of Unicorns‘? We doubt it. FOR THE ETERNAL GLORY OF DUNDEE!
Polish extreme metal veterans VADER are pleased to announce that they will release a new EP titled "Thy Messenger" on May 31st this year. The effort will contain four of the five songs that were recorded over a week-long period in January and February at Hertz Studio in Białystok, Poland under the supervision of the Wiesławski Brothers. The cover art was painted by Wes Benscoter, who previously worked with VADER on the "De Profundis" LP and has collaborated with such bands as SLAYER, KREATOR and SINISTER. A new full VADER album will be recorded later this year for a tentative autumn release.
Ascending from the depths, the almighty DEATH ANGEL return to offer their latest, energy fueled masterpiece: “Humanicide.” A return to the wolves alongside a survivalist pack mentality are what fuel the powerful themes erupting from these fresh metal anthems. In a modern capitalist society where selfishness reigns and communal help and survival are things of the past, Death Angel produces sounds and symbols that point out the truths of attempting to exist safely in the present day. The title itself describes a plain in which humans, after generations of violence, regression, and hate, have finally extinguished themselves into dust. The wasteland they left behind is populated only by those creatures that passionately depend on their pack for survival: The Wolves. Gnashing their teeth and struggling to survive in an abandoned world, the wolves are back and galloping fiercely across the cover of the album. Adorned in the war skins of their enemies and the creatures they’ve killed together in order to survive, the powerful messages of the songs can be seen in Brent Elliott White’s fantastic piece of art.
ROYAL REPUBLIC don’t believe in ‘guilty pleasures’ – only pleasures, free of compromise. Since meeting at the Malmö Academy Of Music in 2007, they’ve become Sweden’s most addictive rock’n’roll export; mixing riffy guitars, king-sized tunes and jet-packed beats with their own eclectic tastes and inimitable joie de vivre. Plus the kind of snazzy suits most of their contemporaries wish they had the balls to pull off. They’ll rock the s**t out of you and make you dance like you’ve just won the lottery. Now, with the arrival of fourth album “Club Majesty”, ‘disco rock’ has been added to the mix.
180gram vinyl for the band's seminal 3rd LP from 1992. Features 4 Top 20 singles, 'Connected' ( #18 in September '92 ), 'Step It Up' ( #12 in December '92 ) and 'Ground Level' ( #19 in February '93 ) and 'Creation' (# 19 in May '93) Contains a Download Voucher.
The Stax Soul Explosion 2-LP reissue celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Memphis label’s defining hits collection. Features powerful soul tracks like “Private Number” by Judy Clay & William Bell, “Who’s Making Love” by Johnnie Taylor and “I’ve Never Found A Girl (To Love Me Like You Do)” by Eddie Floyd. The set features 28 tracks, including chart-toppers and deeper cuts.
In 1968 Stax was working overtime to reinvent itself in the wake of Otis Redding's untimely December '67 passing and the dissolution of a deal with Atlantic Records that gave the label perpetual rights to Stax's back catalog. When the deal ended, Stax also lost one of their leading artists, Sam & Dave, who were signed to Atlantic, but released their music on Stax. Though Stax lost nearly all of the songs they had recorded from 1957 through 1968, they still had the talented musicians, songwriters and producers who had made them. Al Bell, who had just been promoted to Vice President of the label, quickly realized that Stax needed more than hits if they were going to survive. They needed to rebuild their back catalog. In 1969, Bell steered Stax into a prolific period of recording that united Stax’s creative forces in the common goal of getting the label back on its feet. This rebuilding phase was labeled the Soul Explosion. During this remarkable rebuilding phase, 30 singles and 27 albums were recorded in eight months.
Requiring less than two weeks of studio time to complete, it's accurate to say that Apex Manor's Heartbreak City was captured more than it was recorded due to the "everybody in the same room" live sessions featuring songwriter Ross Flournoy on guitar and vocals, Dan Allaire (The Brian Jonestown Massacre) on drums, and Rob Barbato on bass and production duties. The raucous result is a sonic spectacle that cleverly balances aggressive Dinosaur Jr.-esque guitars with dreamy synth work that's reminiscent of The Cure, all mixed together with spirited instrumental performances, nuanced melodicism, and lyrics that swing wildly between being cryptic and being profound. In short, it's everything there is to love about early '90s pre-commercialized alternative rock but with a refreshingly modern absence of pretense or nostalgia.
Limited green colored vinyl LP pressing including digital download. 2019 release. Sacred Paws have a natural inclination not to take things too seriously. You can hear it all the way through a conversation with it's two members, guitarist Rachel Aggs and drummer Eilidh Rodgers, punctuated by rolls of giggles and thoughtful pauses, and you can hear it in the light touch they bring to their music, a jangly blend of indie pop full of fizzing world rhythms and bright horns. Run Around the Sun brims with upbeat reflections on growing up and looking back. Shimmering guitar riffs dance between snappy beats and swooning melodies that will have crowds committing to far more than a simple head-bob.
The infamous Gaahl (ex-GORGOROTH, WARDRUNA) is a grim and imposing personification of black metal's iconoclasm. Now he returns with his new band Gaahls WYRD and their massive debut album 'GastiR – Ghosts Invited'.
Borne out of a project honoring the legacy of his first band TRELLDOM , Gaahls WYRD continues on the left hand path that has defined his music for 25 years. As "From the Spear", "Ghosts Invited", and the epic "Carving the Voices" illustrate, his ghastly vocals are the cutting edge of a full-strength assault of pure Norwegian black metal. Gaahls WYRD are one of the best new metal bands to arise in the last decade, and 'GastiR – Ghosts Invited' is a towering monument of black metal malevolence and majesty.
The mighty upsetter returns with 9 brand new tracks recorded with longtime friend and collaborator Adrian Sherwood at the controls!This new set is the culmination of over two years work and recording sessions that span Jamaica, Brazil and the UK. Determined to craft a work of lasting power, Sherwood likens to the album to the work that Rick Rubin did with Johnny Cash on the American Recordings series, a deeply personal work (the album title refers to Lees birth name) and arguably the strongest batch of original material that Perry has released for many years. From the atmospheric field recording and wah-wah guitar of album opener Cricket On The Moon, to the gothic cello embellishment on Let It Rain, the chopped-and-compressed horn section of Makumba Rock, to the layered, carefully arranged backing vocals like a heavenly chorus throughout the record, this is an album with true love, care and attention poured into its every groove. It culminates in the truly extraordinary Autobiography Of The Upsetter, in which Scratch narrates the story of his life from growing up on a plantation in 1930s colonial Jamaica to becoming a worldwide musical superstar. It's the most intimate album Lee has ever made, but at the same time the musical ideas are very fresh. I'm extremely proud of what we've come up as a piece of work.
Sinkane is unique in that he is one of few artists that has a real, tangible stake in our current cultural and political climate, and it shows in the music. For the new album Dépaysé (a French word meaning to be removed from ones habitual surroundings.) Ahmed Gallab didnt just write a few protest songs in the style of the familiar Sinkane sound. Rather, you can FEEL the difference, the change that has taken place in the art. The falsetto of the earlier records is almost entirely gone in favor of an aggressive, clearly stated tenor. There is almost nothing in the lyrics that is ambiguous or even difficult to understand, and even the musics poppier moments are confrontational and bombastic. And while the new album is reflective of what the band has become musically, a wild raging force to be reckoned with live, it is at its heart about what real frustration feels like and what real change could require. It is by far the most personal, direct, unfiltered and raw Sinkane album.
David Hillyard & The Rocksteady 7 have become one of the most prominent rocksteady groups based in the United States over the last several decades. Band leader David Hillyard (The Slackers, Hepcat) has assembled a rotating team of expert players for both studio sessions and live shows, featuring such recurring members as Larry McDonald (Carlos Malcolm, Lee Scratch Perry, Toots & the Maytals) and Eddie Ocampo. Playtime is group's first official record, originally released in 1999 by Hellcat Records. This lively mix of American jazz, world music, and roots is coming to vinyl for the first time in 2019.