For anyone who’s been listening to great music during the past half-century, Paul Simon is certainly no stranger. So one of the most remarkable things about his extraordinary masterpiece, Stranger to Stranger, Paul Simon’s 13th solo record, is that it conjures a vivid and vital new context to his well-established genius as a singer and songwriter. Full of thrilling textures that feel fresh and modern, while still offering subtle and artful allusions to our shared musical past, Stranger to Stranger presents the perfect opportunity to get to know Paul Simon in a new way. Stranger to Stranger allows the listener to experience Simon’s singular voice with the shock of the new. Here, his strong voice and conversational lyrics usher us into a brave new musical world where expectations are defied and exceeded, as they were 30 years ago with another masterpiece, Graceland.
Two worlds have collided, and what glorious and odd worlds they are. After a summer tour pairing Primus with The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, Les Claypool and Sean Lennon combined their abstract talents into a project called The Claypool Lennon Delirium. “Sean is a musical mutant after my own heart,” said Claypool. “He definitely reflects his genetics – not just the sensibilities of his dad but also the abstract perspective and unique approach of his mother. It makes for a glorious freak stew.” Includes “There’s No Underwear In Space”, ‘Boomerang Baby”, “Breath Of A Salesman” and many more.
In creating Soulrocker, Michael Franti & Spearhead introduce a new sensibility to their potent hybrid of hip-hop, rock, folk, and reggae: a gracefully arranged take on electronic music. Produced by Michael Franti, in collaboration with Jamaican producers Stephen ‘Di Genius’ McGregor (son of reggae luminary Freddie McGregor) and Dwayne ‘Supa Dups’ Chin-Quee (known for his work with artists like Bruno Mars and John Legend). Features the tracks ‘Crazy for You’, ‘Once a Day’, ‘My Lord’ and more.
Ash & Ice is the follow up to 2011’s critically lauded Blood Pressures and was five years in the making in part due to Jamie Hince’s five hand surgeries, which resulted in him having to re-learn how to play guitar with a permanently damaged finger. It was during Hince’s recuperation from surgery that he first started sketching out what would become the songs for the album. To shake up the writing process, Hince booked a solo trip on the infamous Trans-Siberian Express for inspiration while Alison Mosshart, now residing in Nashville, TN, wrote some of the most affecting, poetically candid lyrics that she ever has, painting word pictures that mine the dangerous terrain between romantic obsession, prophecy and tough love. Where previous albums had an air of detachment and emotional austerity, underpinned by an uneasy self-awareness and unexpressed anger, the songs on Ash & Ice are more understated, less tempestuous and more affecting because of that, exposing the kind of push-pull you feel when you find yourself in a complicated but all-consuming relationship. Ash & Ice is The Kills at their emotionally charged, arresting best. Prepare to be slayed.
After 10 years, four albums and countless global tours as headliners and as participants on can’t-miss rock festival bills, and sales of hundreds of thousands of albums, Hellyeah make their biggest and boldest statement yet with their fifth album, Unden!able. The band has risen in the hierarchy of rock and metal bands to elite status and are embarking on an 18 month cycle that will see the perform over 150 shows to 1 million fans. The momentum has been building with each album since the members of Pantera, Mudvayne, and Nothingface first joined forces. They have now had mass radio and video airplay that weekly reaches two million fans across multiple platforms. Unden!able was produced by Kevin Churko (Ozzy Osbourne, Five Finger Death Punch, Papa Roach to name a few).
Winner of the 2015 Tiny Desk Concert Contest: Fantastic Negrito is a man’s truth told in the form of black roots music. Each song the true story of a musician from Oakland who experienced the highs of a million dollar record deal, the lows of a near fatal car accident that put him in a coma, and is now in the phase of rebirth despite his playing hand being mangled. Negrito’s music emphasizes rawness and space. Slide guitar, drums, piano. Rather than update the Delta Blues, Fantastic Negrito leaves the original sounds of Lead Belly and Skip James intact, building bridges to a modern sound with loops and samples of his own live instruments. But the primary element that drives Fantastic Negrito’s music is uncut realness and zero concern for “pop” anything.
This album could have been a real Train wreck (heh-heh) but it’s actually pretty good! Train performs the entirety of the 1969 sophomore album by Led Zeppelin, one of Rock’s greatest quartets. The Train album’s nine-song track list mirrors the original Zep release from first track to last. This bold artistic move will present Train in a new musical light as well as introduce their audience to a classic album that wrote the blueprint for Blues-influenced Hard Rock.
Love You to Death is the follow up to Tegan and Sara’s pop breakthrough album Heartthrob. In addition to this, the band was featured on the LEGO Movie single “Everything is Awesome” with The Lonely Island, and were invited to perform that song as part of the 2015 Oscar telecast. Tegan and Sara’s career has seen them build an avid global following of fans and fellow musicians alike. Their unique ability to bridge the pop and indie worlds has allowed their music to cross all traditional boundaries of genre, from being covered by The White Stripes to collaborating with superstar DJs such as Tiesto and David Guetta. Having toured with acts from The Killers to Neil Young, Tegan and Sara have now released their albums as internationally-celebrated songwriters, performers, and artists.
If the Summer of 1967 was the Summer of Love, the Summer of 1966 set the stage for the musical revolution that was to come. Albums released during the season, like The Beatles’ Revolver and The Byrds’ Fifth Dimension, brilliantly blended the burgeoning influence of Eastern exoticism into the rock music format, and the term “psychedelia” entered the common lexicon to stay. But beating them all to the punch was a multi-racial blues band that cut it’s teeth in Chicago, far from the hippie havens of London, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Issued in July 1966, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band’s East-West took blues-rock to places only free jazz had dared to tread, offering lengthy, modal improvisational passages that sparked the West Coast rock revolution, and, in Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop, fully unleashing the first great guitar tandem in rock history. Now, Real Gone Music is very proud to release, for the first time in legitimate fashion, a legendary bootleg that captures this singular sextet on the brink of the stylistic breakthrough that would shake the rock ‘n’ roll world to it’s core: recorded live at Boston’s Unicorn Coffee House 50 years ago in May 1966, two months before the release of East-West, Got a Mind to Give Up Living-Live 1966 reaffirms that The Paul Butterfield Blues Band was simply untouchable live, capable of turning on a dime from slowburning blues tunes to up-tempo rave-ups. And, particularly on a pair of tunes that were soon to be released on East-West, “Work Song” and “I Got a Mind to Give Up Living,” the raga influence (check Bloomfield’s solos!) comes through loud and clear, combining with the band’s blues tropes to create a truly new style of rock and rock guitar playing. Butterfield fans will also delight in the early appearances of “One More Heartache” (from The Resurrection of Pigboy Crabshaw) and “Walking by Myself” (from Keep On Movin’), plus a pair of tunes, “Comin’ Home Baby” and “Memory Pain,” that the band never commercially recorded. Notes by Chris Morris featuring fresh quotes from Elvin Bishop and Mark Naftalin, rare pictures and memorabilia, editorial input from Bloomfield aficionado and co-producer Toby Byron, and some audio spit ‘n’ Polish from Mike Milchner at SonicVision make this a package indispensable for any ’60s rock (or jazz or R&B!) fan.
Australian blues singer, songwriter and guitarist. Gone are the sepia-toned tales of marooned adventures in the tropics of his last release, the ARIA Award winning Jungle Blues, this time replaced with the latest invention in the world of C.W. Stoneking – electricity! C.W. has stashed his afore-favored vintage National guitar and banjo combo for a shiny gold Fender and an extra-large helping of rock ‘n’ gospel dancehall blues to deliver 12 tracks recorded directly to tape with his full band, his very own hokum wall of sound.
This album is called Basses Loaded and it features six different bass players. That’s right six different bass players. New Melvins bass players for this go around are Steve McDonald from the legendary Los Angeles glam punk band Redd Kross and their old friend Krist Novoselic from Nirvana. Making return appearances are former and probably future bass players Jeff Pinkus (Butthole Surfers), Trevor Dunn (Mr. Bungle/Fantomas), Jared Warren (Big Business) and Dale Crover.
Recorded before an adoring crowd in Jamestown, NY, Playing Favorites features 14 tracks, including hits and fan favorites from the group’s storied and infl uential career. The 6 piece band (Jerome Augustyniak, Dennis Drew, Jeff Erickson, Steven Gustafson, John Lombardo, and Mary Ramsey) is augmented by strings, horns, and backing vocalists, making their lush sound even fuller and more engaging. The full color digipak and booklet only adds to the magic.
Robert Ellis’ fourth full-length project, and third for New West Records, finds the singer-songwriter building upon the familiar themes of love and loss, regrets and heartache, but also hope and optimism for the future. Almost entirely self-produced, the eponymous upcoming release finds Ellis’ writing growing in maturity and depth, while offering choice co-writes with such esteemed writers as Jonny Fritz and Angaleena Presley. Musically, the 11-song collection is a further unfolding of the genre-melding soundscapes that were explored so effortlessly on the critically acclaimed “The Lights From The Chemical Plant.” On Robert Ellis, sweeping string arrangements, arresting harmonies and the virtuosic instrumentation so familiar to his fan-base lay the foundation for tales of love and abandon, memories and new desires.
I have my books
And my poetry to protect me;
I am shielded in my armor,
Hiding in my room, safe within my womb.
I touch no one and no one touches me.
I am a rock,
I am an island.
And a rock feels no pain;
And an island never cries.