NEW RELEASES OUT NOW include:
Karen O & Danger Mouse: Lux Prima
Lux Prima is the debut album from Yeah Yeah Yeahs vocalist Karen O and acclaimed producer Danger Mouse. Includes the single, ‘Woman.’ The straightforward rock stomper puts the Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman’s vocals on display as she screams and croons. “‘Woman’ came like a bolt out of the blue when we were in the studio,” explains O. “We did a first pass where I was blurting unintelligible words and Danger Mouse and I were like ‘Dang! That was intense. What’s that word I keep saying? Woman.’ The atmosphere was volatile with it being just after the election. A lot of people felt helpless like you do when you’re a scared kid looking for assurance that everything is gonna be alright. I like to write songs that anyone can relate to but this one felt especially for the inner child in me that needed the bullies out there to know you don’t f*** with me. I’m a woman now and I’ll protect that inner girl in me from hell and high water.”
Tim O’Brien Band
After many years navigating the outskirts of bluegrass and acoustic music, Tim O’Brien’s dusky, unmistakable vocal timbre and instrumental stylings have this time landed with two feet squarely back in bluegrass. Born in Wheeling, West Virginia, the Grammy winning singer/songwriter and multi instrumentalist grew up singing in church and school, and after seeing Doc Watson on TV, became a lifelong devotee of old time and bluegrass music. ‘Tim O’Brien Band’ is the coming together of a group of musicians perfectly aligned in intention and ability. Purposefully hack, the title is a nod to the nuts and bolts of trad bluegrass, and the singular energy a band such as this can conjure. Well known instrumentalists Mike Bub (bass), Shad Cobb (fiddle) and Patrick Sauber (banjo/guitar) bring the same team effort to the studio that O’Brien fans know from recent live performances, forging Tim’s song choice and delivery into something fluid and breathing.
Todd Snider: Cash Cabin Sessions, Vol. 3
After spending the last six years making rock albums, Todd Snider is going back to folk. Cash Cabin Sessions, Vol. 3 was recorded at Cash Cabin in Hendersonville, TN. Snider wrote the set of songs and played all the instruments on the record, displaying his growth as a musician and vocalist. Of the five songs on which Snider serves up his humorous brand of socio-political commentary, three are performed in the talking blues style. He even had his friends, Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires, contribute backing vocals on a few of the tracks. If Snider is anything, he is a true artist, and he reminds us of that on Cash Cabin Sessions, Vol. 3. At a point in time when the world has never been more complicated and confusing, with people getting louder and louder, Snider did a 180, went back to his roots as a folksinger, to a simpler, quieter form of expression; and it might be what the world is waiting to hear; a man, his guitar, and the truth.
Stephen Malkmus: Groove Denied
Following hot on the heels of 2018’s Sparkle Hard comes Groove Denied, the rejected album Stephen has been telling everyone about. Groove Denied was written in Berlin and Oregon between Malkmus’ soundtrack to the Netflix series Flaked and Sparkle Hard. It finds Stephen in a playful, exploratory mode – recorded by himself in Oregon; Malkmus plays bass, organ, drum machines, a Roland 2080 and a Memorymoog alongside other instruments interspersed with loops and vocal effects. His first album as a solo artist since 2001, Groove Denied is a fine companion to Sparkle Hard, echoing the experimentation (Auto-Tune, genre-dabbling) found there.
The Brian Jonestown Massacre
The Brian Jonestown Massacre burst into 2019 with the release of their 18th full-length album, just seven months after their last one, Something Else (AUK 043CD/LP). The self-titled, nine-track album is released on Anton Newcombe’s A Recordings, and it was recorded and produced at Anton’s Cobra Studio in Berlin. The album was originally going to be released in September of 2018, but due to a hugely successful global tour – taking in USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Europe – the release was delayed. Recorded in early 2018, the album features Sara Neidorf on drums, Heike Marie Radeker (LeVent) on bass, Hakon Adalsteinsson (BJM, Third Sound, Gunman, Holy Ghost) on guitar, and Anton Newcombe on multiple instruments. Also making a guest vocal appearance on “Tombes Oubliées” is Rike Bienert who has sung on previous BJM albums. The band performed songs from the album throughout the European leg of the 2018 tour. Anton Newcombe has been a very busy man over the past few years, having released four critically-acclaimed Brian Jonestown Massacre albums and an EP, one soundtrack album, and two albums with Tess Parks. All releases were fully recorded and produced at Anton’s studio. The Brian Jonestown Massacre track “Bon Bon” was used in the 2015 Palm D’Or winner Dheepan. Anton penned the soundtrack for Moon Dogs, a film directed by multi-BAFTA nominated Philip John (Svengali, Downton Abbey, Being Human).
Snarky Puppy: Immigrance
Immigrance, the new Snarky Puppy studio album, is all about movement. “The idea here is that everything is fluid, that everything is always moving and that we’re all in a constant state of immigration,” explains Michael League.
Jerry Garcia Band: Electric on the Eel
Six CD set. On August 29, 1987 Grateful Dead front man Jerry Garcia led both the Jerry Garcia Band and the Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band for performances at French’s Camp On The Eel River in Piercy, California. Garcia would bring the JGB back to the scenic venue on June 10, 1989 and on August 10, 1991 – now get ready for the spectacular Electric on the Eel set showcasing the Jerry Garcia Band’s electric sets from 8/29/1987, 6/10/1989, and 8/10/1991. The collection features several unreleased rarities including the seldom performed “See What Love Can Do”, “Twilight”, “Lazy Bones”, and “I Hope It Won’t Be This Way Always.” Other rarities from the release include “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love”, “Struggling Man”, “Lay Down Sally” and “You Never Can Tell [C’est La Vie]”.
Tom Russell: October in the Railroad Earth
Singer-songwriter, painter, and essayist Tom Russell describes the songs and sound as: “Jack Kerouac meets Johnny Cash… in Bakersfield.” There are ten new original Tom Russell songs, including the title song from the Irish film Small Engine Repair, featuring Bill Kirchen on lead electric guitar and Eliza Gilkyson singing backup. The GRAMMY-Award winning Texmaniacs appear on Isadore Gonzalez, a track about a Mexican cowboy who died in England during Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. A wonderful ride from stories through time and space from an American treasure.
The Cinematic Orchestra: To Believe
The release of their fourth studio album, To Believe, in March 2019, is the next step in a process of constant evolution. Born out of the band’s latest formation, it’s a creative partnership between founder Jason Swinscoe and longtime friend and collaborator Dom Smith, along with an extended family of regular bandmates and collaborators. Guided by a communal spirit, the changing members are consistent with their ethos, where no individual ego takes precedence. Guest vocalists on To Believe include the art-soul singer Moses Sumney, legendary UK rapper Roots Manuva, longtime vocal collaborator Heidi Vogel and many more. To Believe is the product of a long period of gestation, a reflection of the kind of album they wanted to make – the kind of album, that is, they’ve always made: deep, textured, and layered with meaning. With artwork by The Designers Republic™ (Aphex Twin) and mixed by 15 time Grammy Winner Tom Elmhirst, at the legendary Electric Lady studio built by Jimi Hendrix, it’s a masterful return that stands as their most definitive statement as a group. Surveying the musical landscape of 2019, it’s easy to forget how The Cinematic Orchestra have helped to shape it. They’ve long bridged deep-thinking jazz, a soundtrack sensibility and electronic music into new shapes, starting with their 1999 debut, Motion. They’ve forged a path for acts like Floating Points, Kamasi Washington, Ólafur Arnalds and BADBADNOTGOOD, artists who blur different disciplines together to carve out their own new niches. In this sense, the band’s recorded absence is less a break than an embrace of it’s unique relationship with space, with kinship, with dissent, of course with art and sound, but most of all, with one another.
The Faint: Egowork
The Faint’s long-awaited new album, Egowerk, is set to release on March 15, 2019. Made up of vocalist Todd Fink, drummer Clark Baechle, keyboardist Graham Ulicny, and guitarist and bassist Michael “Dapose” Dappen, the group that ignited an electro-pop-punk movement is back with an 11-track deep-dive into themes on modern society, the internet, and ego – specifically social media and it’s dark effects. Opener “Child Asleep” echoes well-loved Faint singles from the Danse Macabre days, with rapidfire techno beats that sear so hot, your forehead will break into a sweat regardless of proximity to a dance floor. And though the synths should sound familiar to any Faint follower, the song’s monotone message is at once classic and current: “If I was wise, I would see I’m a child still asleep.” Elaborating further, Todd says, “It would be amazing if I could wake up from the world that I think I’m awake in already. If there’s a better way of understanding life, I’d love to be privy to it. You see the wisdom of all Gurus in the East, and you know they’re not bothered by this or that. They’ve attained something, and the rest of us are just kind of banging into stuff, trying to figure out what to do with our lives.” It’s been four years since The Faint dropped a proper studio album, and more than two decades since they first tore onto the Midwest scene, alongside area staples Cursive and Bright Eyes, with anxious electro-pop-punk anthems that meshed doomsday themes with thudding dance-floor hooks. The group began to construct Egowerk shortly after releasing their 2016 career-spanning record, CAPSULE:1999-2016, with Baechle making frequent trips back to Omaha from his new home in Philadelphia to mix the record. The band made a unanimous decision to self-produce the entire record, making it unique and far more involved than any of their past work. Despite The Faint’s nihilistic musings on Egowerk, Fink and Baechle remain optimistic that things can improve if society is willing to absorb dueling perspectives. “The more you learn about any issue, any issue at all, the more you understand that it’s more complicated than you think, ” Fink says. “I’d like to see people less convinced that they’re right about everything all the time. I guess I think we’ll figure it out as time goes on.”
Andy Statman: Monroe Bus
Andy Statman further explores the subterranean caverns of American roots music on ‘Monroe Bus’, tapping deeper into the sources that have energized his playing for nearly 50 years. The 2013 NEA National Heritage Fellow and Grammy nominee has become a near-legendary figure in modern bluegrass and string music. From the sublime to the surreal, his ever-changing repertoire is a challenge and a delight to his audience and to fellow musicians. Monroe Bus was originally conceived to be a collection of interpretations and improvisations on the instrumentals of Bill Monroe. Statman says ‘Bill’s music had a tremendous influence on me when I started out as a mandolin player, and has continued to do so ever since… As the project progressed, I found myself writing my own tunes, inspired by some of Monroe’s musical ideas. Some melodies more closely reflect the master’s influence; others go to other places, but still bear that influence. During the mixing, it once again became clear to me how the music one plays and writes is a reflection of the life a person lives”.
For Andy, Bill Monroe’s music was an ongoing conscious synthesis of the music he heard and his life experience. These tunes were written and played in the same spirit, reflecting his experiences and those of his fellow musicians on these sessions. He brought back Grammy nominated fiddler Michael Cleveland, who contributed mightily to his last CD, Superstring Theory, along with veteran trio members Jim Whitney (bass) and Larry Eagle (drums). Completing the core group, and also significantly expanding the aural palette of the ensemble, is Glenn Patscha (keyboards), who was a member of the New York Americana group Ollabelle and who most recently toured the country in Ry Cooder’s band. Michael Daves (acoustic guitar) rounds out the group on three of the tracks.