June 5, 2016


Here are the new releases we’re listening/watching in June:

June 3:
Paul Simon: “Stranger To Stranger”
Tegan and Sara: “Love You To Death”
The Claypool Lennon Delirium: “Monolith Of Phobos”
The Kills: “Ash & Ice”
The Strokes: “Future Present Past”

June 10:
Band of Horses: “Why Are You OK”
Brandy Clark: “Big Day In A Small Town”
Diarrhea Planet: “Turn To Gold”
Fitz & the Tantrums: “Fitz & the Tantrums”
Garbage: “Strange Little Birds”
Little Big Town: “Wanderlust”
The Monkees: “Good Times”
Motorhead: “Clean Your Clock” (a live album of one of their final shows)
Nick Jonas: “Last Year Was Complicated”
Peter Bjorn and John: “Breakin’ Point”
Shawn Colvin & Steve Earle: “Colvin & Earle”

June 17:
Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers: “Rehab Reunion”
case/lang/viers: “case/lang/viers”
Caveman: “Otero War”
Let’s Eat Grandma: “I,Gemini”
Mogwai: “Atomic”
Neil Young: “Earth” (new takes on older songs)
Red Hot Chili Peppers: “The Getaway”
Swans: “The Glowing Man”

June 24:
The Avett Brothers: “True Sadness” (produced by Rick Rubin)
Deerhoof: “The Magic”
DJ Shadow: The Mountain Will Fall”
The Felice Brothers: “Life In The Dark”
Hot Hot Heat: “Hot Hot Heat”
Iggy Azalea: “Digital Distortion”

Of Special Interest: Pink Floyd Records will begin releasing vinyl copies of the Pink Floyd catalog starting in June (“Piper At The Gates Of Dawn”, “A Saucerful Of Secrets”, “More” and “Ummagumma”)



April 18, 2016

givemeyourmoneyI have been a bit tardy with the April new release schedules:

April so far:
Andrew Bird: “Are You Serious”
Bibio: “A Mineral Love”
Black Stone Cherry: “Kentucky”
Charles Bradley: “Changes”
Cheap Trick: “Bang Zoom Crazy…Hello”
Mogwai: “Atomic”
Pet Shop Boys: “Super”
Shonen Knife: “Adventure”
Sam Beam/Jessica Hoop: “Love Letters For Fire”
Weezer: “The White Album” (not that one)
Yeasayer: “Amen & Goodbye”
Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals: “Call It What It Is”
Colin Stetson: “Sorrow”
Deftones: “Gore”
Janiva Magness: “Love Wins Again”
M83: “Junk”
Mayer Hawthorne: “Man About Town”
Cate LeBon: “Crab Day”
Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros: “PersonA”
Graham Nash: “This Path Tonight”
Lita Ford: “Time Capsule”
PJ Harvey: “The Hope Six Demolition Project”
Santana: “Santana IV”
Sturgill Simpson: “A Sailor’s Guide To Earth”
The Coathangers: “Nosebleed Weekend”

April 22:
Guided By Voices: “Please Be Honest”
Rufus Wainwright: “Take All My Loves”
We Are Scientists: “Helter Seltzer”
Wire: “Nocturnal Koreans”

April 26:
Aesop Rock: “The Impossible Kid”
Brian Eno: “The Ship”
Britta Phillips: “Luck Or Magic”
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard: “Nonagon Infinity”
Plants and Animals: “Waltzed In From The Rumbling”
Rob Zombie: “The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser”
Rogue Wave: “Deluisions Of Grand Fur


ramble on

First some comments about the April new releases as I had the opportunity to listen to a few of them: The Santana album isn’t bad but I was expecting more from the reunited 70’s version; Colin Stetson’s album is subtitled “Reimaging of Gorecki’s 3rd Symphony”…I would add “for a 12 piece band”; Bob Mould’s album is one of his best ever (I put a song up on my Spotify playlist); The Lumineers” 2nd is already #1 on the charts: Cheap Trick’s latest is their first on a major label in 22 years (too long in the wasteland): the Sturgill Simpson album is eliciting a lot of positive comments and a few negative ones as well (I get the feeling some people are upset he didn’t remake “Metamodern Sounds”)……sorry; Mogwai is celebrating 20 years with their soundtrack for the BBC documentary series “Atomic” (another song on my Spotify playlist): Peter Wolf’s “A Cure For Loneliness” is a lot more laid back than I ever expected…love his rendition of Thomas Wayne’s “Tragedy” and finally other April artists with songs I’ve added to our Spotify playlist: Britta Phillips, Willie Nile, Andrew Bird, Curtis Salgado and others. Enjoy.


A quick note before signing off. Our book club just finished the latest version of Greil Marcus’ “Mystery Train”. If you love music and have a club, it is well worth reading. Great conversation. My friend Rowdy sent me the following a couple of days later. It’s entitled “Incredible History Of Rock In One Song”….so what if it’s 15 minutes long.
Click here for the link.

March 21, 2016

sxswimagesREFLECTIONS ON SXSW 2016:

For starters SXSW is the biggest musical (etc.) event of its kind in the world. For a first-time-attendee it can be quite daunting and requires a substantial amount of flexibility and perseverance. You can’t see/hear everything, and as you talk with other attendees you WILL hear stories of artists you missed (like not staying at the Austin Music Awards long enough to see Robert Plant). With that in mind here are our award winners from the 30th anniversary of SXSW:

sxsjuntitledBest Non-Sanctioned Venue: South By San Jose. Without a doubt the most diverse line-up, the best atmosphere and hands down the best people watching. The “hotel” is possibly the most unique in Austin


Best Emcee (Friday): Rebecca Havemeyer (above) at SXSJ.

Best Award Ceremony To Miss: MTV’s Woddie Awards.

Best Award Ceremony To Attend. The Austin Music Awards Wednesday night at the Hilton.


Artist Most In Need Of A Clothing Allowance: Iggy Pop


Best Back-up Band: Josh Homme and Co. with Iggy.

solarimagesEE1ION78Best Band Uniforms and Stage Presence: Systema Solar from Columbia. Here is a link to a YouTube video sans uniforms. Click here. Over 1 million views on this.

Best EDM Band For People Who Don’t Like EDM: see above.

Best Band Name (seriously): Chicano Batman.

Best Film At SXSW: “Bang! The Bert Berns Story”. And I quote, “Music meets the Mob in this biographical documentary about the meteoric career and tragic life of Bert Berns, the most important 60s songwriter (and producer) that you never heard of”. And way more interesting than “Vinyl”. Click here for the trailer.

Best Sanctioned Event: The International Day Stage. Not every act was a classic, but even if you didn’t particularly like the act they were worth hearing.

Worst Presentation At The Austin Music Awards: Renee Zellweger. Embarrassing.

lulacruzauntitledBest Artist You’ve Never Heard Of: Lulacruza from Argentina/Colombia. I haven’t heard an album yet, but she has a voice that will make you wish you could sing and songs that will make you wish you could compose music. Here is a link to a YouTube video. Click here.

Worst Non-Sanctioned Event: Rachel Ray’s “Turkey Fest” (my description) at Stubbs. People started lining up for this about 4:30 am to get in when the doors opened at 10:30. Like a Led Zeppelin concert in a phone booth.

Best Reason Not To Leave Austin Saturday:
Music at Threadgills. Got to see Kinky Friedman (“Jesus loves you” is beautiful unless you’re in a Mexican prison) (click here) and James McMurtry (if you aren’t a fan you should be) (click here).

Most Unexpected Pleasure and Classiest Venue: Dion at The Driskill Hotel. Who knew that “Runaround Sue” was a “cleverly disguised blues song”.

Best Rock Band: Rayland Baxter. You need to see this band live…..killer. I can’t find a video that does them justice.


The “Where Do I Find Their Albums” Award: Warren Hood. The young man won “Best String Player” at the Austin Music Awards and then played a song that I hope is on an album.

Who We Missed: The Heavy, Ra Ra Riot, Caveman, Anderson .Paak, George Clinton, Aubrie Sellers, Waco Brothers and The Woggles.

The Best Way To End SXSW: Dim Sum at Wu Chow Sunday morning. You need a reservation. Then head over to the “original” Whole Foods grocery store a couple of blocks away. The best one we’ve ever seen.

The Award For The Most Underappreciated People at SXSW: A tie between the sound system people, the security personnel (always helpful) and the restaurant staffs (always smiling).

And to answer your question, “are we going back next year?” YES!



March 1, 2015


Here are the new releases we’re following for March:

March 4:
Glitterbust: “Glitterbust” (Kim Gordon’s new band)
La Sera: “Music For Listening To Music To”
Loretta Lynn: “Full Circle” (hope to see her at SXSW)
Nada Surf: “You Know Who You Are”
Polica: “United Crushers”
Ray LaMontagne: “Ourboros”
Violent Femmes: “We Can Do Anything”

March 11:
Jeff Buckley: “You And I” (recently discovered studio session)
Jeremy Gara: “Limn” (of Arcade Fire)

March 18:
Damien Jurado: “Visions Of Us On The Land”
Gwen Stefani: “This Is What The Truth Feels Like”
Iggy Pop: “Post Pop Depression” (also at SXSW)
Lima: “iii”
Lust For Youth: “Compassion”
Pere Ubu: “Architecture of Language 1979-1982”
Primal Scream: “Chaosmosis”
Soul Asylum: “Change Of Fortune”
Underworld: “Barbara Barbara”
James: “Girl At The End Of The World”
“Elvis Presley: The Album Collection” (60 disc limited edition “crate” w/ rarities)

March 25:
The Joy Formidable: “Hitch”
The Thermals: “We Disappear”
White Denim: “Stiff”
Bob Mould: “Patch The Sky”



David Leisner/Zuill Bailey: “Arpeggione”. First you take music by Schubert, Saint-Saens, Paganini, and Villa-Lobos and transcribe it for cello and guitar. Then you get two world-class musicians to play it. The result is my favorite classical album of the year (so far); make that one of my favorite “albums” of the year. Click here for a sample.

School Of Seven Bells: “SVIIB”. The final album for the duo and as one reviewer so aptly put it, “the perfect goodbye” (Benjamin Curtis died in 2013). Wonderful synth pop tunes. The band’s name comes from a South American school for pickpockets. Here is video of one my favorite songs on the album “Open Your Eyes”. Click here.

DTCV: “Confusion Moderne”. I always feel a bit guilty when I hear a good album by a band I’ve never heard of and then find out it’s their 4th album, not counting 2 EPs. DTCV is short for “Detective”. The album is mix of classic French pop songs (Lola G. is French but I won’t hold that against her) and garage rock. Their bio describes their music as “Francoise Hardy fronting Buzzcocks”. Here is a video from the album; the song kicks in at about the 2 minute mark. Click here.

Field Music: “Commontime”: This is the band’s 5th long player and easily their best. Field Music isn’t for everyone. Their instrumentation and song styles can be a bit confounding at times, something I find fascinating. And the lyrics! One Amazon reviewer compared the album to Steely Dan’s “Aja”. Here’s a YouTube video. Click here.

Bonnie Raitt: “Dig In Deep”. It’s hard to believe that this is Bonnie’s 20th album. Picking out a “best” is damn near impossible but this is right up there. It follows the pattern of her classic albums: deeply personal songs, covers that don’t sound like covers, funky/bluesy numbers and a record that you wish wouldn’t end. Here is a YouTube video (in the studio) of “Gypsy In Me”. Click here.

Relick: “Twin House” EP. I’m not sure why critics compare the band to Rilo Kiley and Neko Case and then invoke 60’s British and 90’s alternative rock band comparisons. The Denton, Texas foursome quite simply make good music, strong on melody with hooks that are engaging and lasting. For a debut it is impressive. Here is a link to a YouTube streaming of “Offering”. Click here.

Bayonne: “Primitives”. Another significant debut, this from Austin’s Roger Sellers. His music is all about melody over intricate layers of sound (musical and otherwise). It’s at once hypnotic and also thoroughly enjoyable. Here is a link to a YouTube video of “Appeals”. Click here.

Mothertapes: “Mothertapes”. First an apology for totally missing this wonderful album which came out in October of last year. The Portland duo makes unique music that I’ve seen described as “avant-pop” and “rhythmic rock electronica”…..I’ve requested a ruling on the last one. My favorite is “a smorgasbord of sound”. Here’s a link to a streaming YouTube video. Click here.

The Blue Stones: “Black Holes”. Another 2-man band, this time from Canada. The music is blues-rock with a pop component that makes it all the more interesting. Their music has been featured on “Parks & Recreation” “Suits” and “Monday Night Football” so it’s not like they are complete unknowns. The album comes out in April so I don’t have a video, but here is a stream of the first single at YouTube. Click here.

Ana Caprix: “M6 Ultra” EP.  When you start using words like “reclusive” and “mysterious” to describe an artist and when I can’t find a lot of information, I get interested. And when the music is called “tropical trance” (whatever that is), the last album in 2014 made some year-end “best of ” lists, and the music is available as a “free” download………click here.

till next time……………………………




February 20, 2016

30edb83d96ddf17ade3e450d44cdc271WHAT WE’RE LISTENING TO…………

Shearwater: “Jet Plane And Oxbow”. You’d think after 8 albums that everyone would be a Shearwater fan….I’m a little late to the party myself. MetaCritic scored the album an 82, perhaps because there isn’t a bad cut on the album. Here’s a link to a YouTube video from the album, click here.

Luther Dickinson: “Blues & Ballads (A Folksinger’s Songbook, Volume I & II)” (selections from). The lead guitarist of The North Mississippi Allstars releases what he describes as a project celebrating “the American oral tradition of blues and folksongs”. Luther will be at SXSW and on my list of must-sees! Here’s a link to a NoiseTrade sampler. Click here.

Dumptruck: “Live at CBGB’s ’86 & ’88”. A band that should have made it big but didn’t (there but for fortune). Their albums were critically acclaimed but didn’t have the commercial impact they so richly deserved. The band broke up in 1991. NoiseTrade has the album available for a free download. Click here.

The I Don’t Cares: “Wild Stab”. The “band” is Paul Westerberg and Juliana Hatfield. The 16 tracks consist of demos and songs that Westerberg didn’t get around to recording plus 2 remakes. It’ s not a classic but it is a lot of fun; and after slogging through Rihanna’s latest, I needed something to soothe my nerves. Here is a link to a couple of free downloads at Aquarium Drunkard. Click here.

Michael Rische: C.P.E. Bach: Piano Concertos. I love Bach (C.P.E. that is). At one time he was more popular than his father. Rische gives a magnificent performance on this 2014 release and I highly recommend it. I couldn’t find a YouTube video from the album but here is another version of Part III from the Keyboard Concerto in D Minor, Wq. 22, H 425. Click here.

Elton John: “Wonderful Crazy Night”. Not every song is a classic but definitely worth buying (a mediocre Elton John album is better than 90% of what I listen to these days).

Wire: “Wire”. Formed in the mid-70s, they’ve gone through punk, post-punk, art-punk, alternative rock, electronic, etc., etc. phases….whatever direction the music took them. Their 2015 self-titled release is one of their best. Here are links to YouTube videos of “Blogging” off the new album (click here) and my favorite Wire song from their 1988 album “A Bell Is A Cup…Until It Is Struck” (click here).