Archive for the ‘New Music’ Category

Metallica debuted their new song “The Lords of Summer” at their show in Bogota, Columbia last night.  This is their first truly new song since recording the Death Magnetic album in 2008.  It is an 8 minute epic, thrasher complete with “Hey! Hey! Hey!” chants that is sure to have the mosh pits swirling, fists pumping and the crowd screaming along during their current “Metallica By Request” tour.  For this tour of South America, Europe and Canada every song on the setlist at each show other than “Lords” will be based on fan voting.  A great concept that more bands need to try.

The Mixtape for March 2014 includes some great new music from a diverse mix of artists.  Punk, Pop, Rap, EDM, Gospel, Soul, Blues, and good old heavy Rock N Roll.  From new up and comers fresh out of high school (Broods) to International superstars fresh off of Grammy wins (Pharrell Willims and Justin Timberlake) to a legendary singer you have definitely heard but may not have heard of who recorded her first song in 1962 with Bobby Darin (Merry Clayton).  Highlights include:

  • “I Wanna Dance (But I Don’t Know How) from the new SKATERS album Manhattan.  Great album of Strokes-ish melodic-punk.
  • “Every Stone” the second single of 2014 from Manchester Orchestra building more excitement for their upcoming album Cope set to be released next month
  • “One Night Romance” by legendary backup gospel-soul singer Merry Clayton featuring G. Love & Special Sauce.
  • “Brand New” from the new Pharrell Williams album GIRL and featuring Justin Timberlake

The Afghan Whigs will release their first album of new music in 16 years, Do The Beast, April 15 on Sub Pop Records.  Today they released the first single “Algiers” along with the official music video.  Pre-order the CD on SubPop.com and receive a bonus Loser edition white vinyl copy, the ability to stream the album 1 month before the official release, and a chance to win a Greg Dulli autographed tour poster

Can you believe that it has been 20 years since G. Love and Special Sauce released their self-titled debut album that featured the hits “Cold Beverage” and “Baby’s Got Sauce”?  Brings back such great memories of high school days.

Fun fact #1: I was one of the first people anywhere to play the single “Blues Music” on the radio “91.7 WPAA broadcasting live from the basement of Evans Hall on the campus of Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts…”

Fun fact #2: I went to school with G. Love aka Garrett Dutton at Germantown Friends School in Philly.

Now 20 years later we are all grown up, and to the delight of many thirtysomethings, the original lineup of G. Love, “Jimi Jazz” Prescott and “The Houseman” Jeffrey Clemens have reunited to record the new album, Sugar, which will release on April 22.  You can pre-order at Philadelphonic.com.  G and the Sauce have also announced a 20th Anniversary U.S. tour to support Sugar that will include complete performances of their debut album at each stop.  Congratulations to the band for reaching this milestone anniversary and continuing to entertain us.

Check out the video for the first single “Nothing Quite Like Home” below.  The song was co-written with Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons and includes supporting vocals from Ben Harper and Marc Broussard.

I have always had a soft spot in my heart for bands that play hip-hop over live instruments.  Combine a smooth hip-hop flow with heavy rock/alternative/punk music and you get yourself a fan who will even write about your new album in his music blog.  Washington, D.C. based RDGLDGRN (pronounced Red Gold Green) has done just that on their new Red Gold Green EP.  Although RDGLDGRN’s sound is not quite as unique as they seem to think (see Gym Class Heroes), it does successfully combine their eclectic mix of influences which includes The Beatles, Vampire Weekend, Outkast and Bad Brains.  This sound has already caught the attention of music heavyweights Dave Grohl and Pharrell Williams who contributed to Red Gold Green during its recording at the legendary Sound City Studios.  Pharrell co-wrote and co-produced the track “Doing the Most” while Grohl was so impressed that he decided to play drums on all four tracks.  You can catch them this summer on the Van’s Warped Tour.

Spotify has just released the exclusive “The Soundtrack of My Life” playlist created by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee, Legendary Music Industry Executive Clive Davis as an accompaniment to his recently released memoir of the same title.  What makes this different from other celebrity playlists is that each song is preceded by audio commentary by Davis himself explaining the significance and facts about the songs.  Did you know that Barry Manilow’s “Mandy” was originally an upbeat song titled “Brandy” that was changed because they wanted to release it as a single but there were 2 other singles titled “Brandy” out at the time.  Or that Clive Davis had to re-write the lyrics to Air Supply’s “All Out of Love” because the original contained too many Australian terms that the American audience wouldn’t understand.  The 20 songs themselves are a greatest hits of music collection by artists from Janis Joplin, Bruce Springsteen and Dionne Warwick to TLC, Puff Daddy and Alicia Keys that makes great listening even without the commentary.

Spotify playlists are proof that the Mix Tape is not dead.  Everybody should create their own “Soundtrack To My Life” playlist.  Mine already has 340 songs and each has a related story that I could tell about how I saw it performed entirely by the audience because the PA system crashed (Jane’s Addiction – “Jane Says”) or how I saw it performed on a street corner by an, at the time, unknown band who would win a Grammy 10 years later (The Roots – “Pass The Popcorn”) or how when I was in high school and feeling depressed I would pick myself up by putting on head phones and turning it up so loud that I’m surprised I still have my hearing (Metallica – “One”).  Cheers to Spotify for coming up with new ideas and this exclusive content that gives more reasons for people to subscribe.  Let’s hope that they continue to work with artists and other important people in music to create more of these “Storytellers” type commentary filled playlists.  And if they’re reading this I’m ready to create commentary for all 340 of my songs in the “Soundtrack To My Life”.  You know where to find me

Clive Davis’ “The Soundtrack of My Life” with commentary

My “Soundtrack To My Life” (Sorry no commentary yet)

It’s difficult for me to call The Mowgli’s new music because I have known them for quite a while as a part of The Collective CA along with my friends and family The Jane Does and D. Hollywood.  Although their debut EP Love’s Not Dead (Listen on Spotify) was released in fall 2012 they are just now starting to break out.  If you’re from the Bay Area you may know their single “San Francisco” as the unofficial theme song of the San Francisco Giants 2012 World Series run.  Soon many more of you will know them as they have been added to the SiriusXM Alt Nation rotation.  Expect to see them fly up the Alt-18 Countdown chart in the next few weeks.  They are playing fun, folk pop at the right time to follow in the successful footsteps of bands like Grouplove, Edward Sharpe, and Ball Park Music.  They also recently released the official video for “San Francisco” and they kick off a US tour along with Family of the Year on March 23 at the Spring Jam Music Fest in Charleston, SC.  Don’t be surprised to see their summer filled with appearances on the festival circuit.  If you want some happy feel good music, support the band by picking up their album and buying your concert tickets now.  And while you’re at it, check out the rest of the great The Collective CA bands.

Check out The Mowgli’s Spring Tour Dates here.  Let’s hope for a Vegas addition soon!

Everybody always writes about the Best New Music.  Well what about the Worst New Music?  I think I have officially found the worst “music” my poor ears have ever endured.  Spin Magazine just listed Pharkamon as one of the 5 Best New Artists of February 2013.  I would love to have seen the reaction in the room when this song was played as a suggested inclusion in the article.  And I would love to know what the editors were smoking, drinking, injecting, and popping all at the same time when they agreed that this could even be considered music let alone be considered “The Best” of anything.  As I write this article I am attempting to listen to the entire 12 minutes, 2 seconds of noise from the below YouTube video of one of New Yorker, Margaret Chardiet’s performances.  I am at the 9 minute mark right now and I can feel the warm trickle of blood pouring out of my ears.  I have chills, my stomach is turning and my head is pounding.  I challenge you to hit play and try to not to turn it off before you finish reading this.  I can only think to classify this genre as Electro-Noise-Scream.  Also known as What-The-Fuck-Is-This-Crap-I’m-Listening-To.  The most exciting part of the Spin Article was the explanation of how you cannot find her album anywhere because she has recorded it fully from scratch twice and (thank whatever Deity you pray to) has decided not to release it.   The only thing scarier than this music is the fact there are probably thousands of jet black haired, black eyeliner and black nail polished, black trench coat wearing Goth kids out there waiting impatiently for the album to be released.  If any law enforcement officials are reading this I encourage you to go to the comment section on YouTube and put every author of a positive comment on a watch list.  One of them will leave their parent’s basement eventually and kill multiple people with homemade explosives.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.  The video has finally ended and my body is starting to recover.  I have found music’s rock-bottom and there is nowhere to go but up.  I think I will listen to a Nicki Minaj song right now because this is the only time I will ever enjoy hearing her auto-tuned, whiny voice.  “Ahhhhh……..Moment 4 Life” – thankfully signed, My Ears.

Silver Lake indie folk rock band Local Natives just released their sophomore album Hummingbird following in the footsteps of their 2010 album – Gorilla Manor which included singles “Airplanes”, “Wide Eyes” and “Sun Hands”.    Emotional music with strong harmonies that draws comparisons to Vampire Weekend and Grizzly Bear.  They have a few upcoming sold out shows in LA, Oakland and NYC before heading out for a month long European tour ending at the Where the Wild Things Are Festival in Netherlands.  Catch them back in the U.S. starting mid-March but get your tickets early as a few shows in March and April are already sold out.  You can also see them at Coachella and The Governer’s Ball.

Official music video for the first single “Breakers”

Cincinnati Alt-Pop rockers Walk to Moon have released a new EP Tightrope (Listen on Spotify) as a follow up to their full 2012 self-titled album that included alt-rock radio hits “Anna Sun” and “Tightrope”.  The 6 song EP includes 3 new songs and a live cover of Talking Head’s “Burning Down the House” along with the original and a new acoustic version of “Tightrope”.  They have a few shows left in the Northeast US before heading out on a month long European tour.  Expect to see them back in the US for the summer festival circuit.

Check out this cool J. Viewz remix of “Tightrope” that is not included on the EP