All posts by Jake Brown

New Waxahatchee video: Silver

Video: Waxahatchee – “Silver”

Waxahatchee – Silver (Official Music Video)

From Out In The Storm, due July 14 on Merge.

Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield’s says “Silver” is “about self-examination and the different shapes that takes, good and bad. I wanted it to be abstract and poetic, but I also wanted to align it with the other songs on the album, since they’re all so connected lyrically.” But who cares what the lyrics are about when the guitars sound this good? This is a badass song.

Waxahatchee: web, twitter, fb, amazon, wiki.

New Father John Misty video: Total Entertainment Forever

Video: Father John Misty – “Total Entertainment Forever”

Father John Misty – "Total Entertainment Forever" [Official Music Video]

If you’ve been a bit concerned that Papa John Murphy has abandoned his sense of humor, this new video might cheer you up. It’s pretty funny.

Sure, the lyrics are still a little heavy handed. As Doreen St. Felix mentions in her spot-on review of Pure Comedy, Misty often comes across as a “precocious teenage misanthrope.” Indeed, someone’s been told too many times they’re beyond their years.

But he’s still funny. In a snide, prickish way. He’s an asshole, of course, but he’s funny. We’ve all known that guy. He impresses rubes and wannabes by talking about big concepts and scoffs at the trivialities of the less enlightened. 25 years ago he would’ve had a “kill your television” bumper sticker on his car. Today he’s all about unplugging the internet.

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New Blondie video: Long Time

Video: Blondie – “Long Time”

Blondie – Long Time (Official Video)

Johnny Loftus featured “Long Time” on Frontier Justice 3/25/17 and here’s what he had to say about it:

Debbie Harry has never stopped being cooler than everyone, and “Long Time” is the new proof. Written with Dev Hynes of Blood Orange and feeding on the genetic material of “Heart of Glass,” it’s one of the lead tracks from Pollinator, out May 5, which will also feature collabs with Dave Sitek (TV on the Radio), Johnny Marr, Sia, and the homie Charli XCX.

And now Blondie has made a video for the song featuring Harry as a taxi driver with more style and panache than anybody on the scene. They played at the local high school auditorium a few years ago and now I wish I would’ve gone. New Wave doesn’t seem like a genre that would lend itself to geriatrics, but I’ll be damned if Blondie doesn’t pull it off!

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Number One Records: Bruno Mars – That’s What I Like

Video: Bruno Mars – “That’s What I Like”

Bruno Mars – That’s What I Like [Official Video]

We’ve got a new #1 song, America. Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble.” only stayed at the top spot for a single week. He’s all good though because DAMN. is still the number one album for the second week in a row.

Bruno Mars reached the top of the Hot 100 with “That’s What I Like” for chart date May 13. It’s his seventh #1. And it’s a pretty good song. You have to be a bit of a dick if you aren’t at least partially charmed by Bruno Mars.

“That’s What I Like” might not be as hook-laden as last year’s “24K Magic” and it’s not even close to as irresistible as his 2014 collaboration with Mark Ronson, “Uptown Funk.” But honestly, what is?

Billboard points out that this is “the 1,063rd No. 1 in the Hot 100’s history” dating back to August 4, 1958 when the magazine fully integrated the best-selling and most-played pop singles. The chart now also includes downloads and streams.

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A bunch of new Handsome Family videos

Video: The Handsome Family – “King of Dust”

"King of Dust" by The Handsome Family

Jeez, I stop paying attention for a minute and when I open my eyes the Handsome Family has released four more videos from their latest album, Unseen, released last September. I guess it’s been nine months since they shared the video for “Gold”, and after that they’ve cranked out quirky, homegrown videos for “Back in My Day,” “Tiny Tina,” “The Red Door,” and now “King of Dust”.

I’m so happy these guys are still together and still putting out great music.

Continue reading A bunch of new Handsome Family videos

Cool Still Rules: Kendrick Kicks Ed in the Teeth to Take No. 1

Video: Kendrick Lamar – “HUMBLE.”

Kendrick Lamar – HUMBLE.

Ladies and gentlemen of the United States, I am pleased to announce we have a new number one record. After sitting at the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart for 12 of the year’s 18 weeks, that doughy English dweeb Ed Sheeran is finally knocked out. And who better to do the deed than righteous rapper Kendrick Lamar?

Lamar’s “HUMBLE.” is only the fifth number one record of 2017. Back in February I was telling Johnny Loftus about how I’m never exposed to the Top 40 anymore unless I make a conscious effort to seek it out. And when I do, I’m often surprised by how freaky and interesting popular music has gotten. Many big hits are more “experimental” sounding than a lot of stuff being released on our beloved indie labels. We thought we should at least cover the singles that reached the top of the chart, or as Johnny called it: “the most main of mainstreams.” But then dopey old Sheeran just stayed at No. 1, week after week after week. And come on. “Shape of You” is nothing to write home about. It’s so flaccid and predictable it makes John Mayer’s “Your Body Is A Wonderland” sound substantial. So good riddance. Finally.

And “HUMBLE.” is a jam! A sparse one-finger piano riff drives the beat and Lamar’s rhyming is effortless as always. It’s great that an artist as cool as Kendrick Lamar can reach number one on the pop singles chart. Lots of grumpy old dudes dismiss current music entirely, myself included. That’s a mistake. There’s always good new stuff being released and sometimes the most popular song is also the best song. “Sit down, lil bitch. Be humble.” That’s solid advice that we should all be listening to these days. Reminds me of the great Rookie essay by Charles Aaron where he shares some tips for how not to be a jerk; it boils down to: Fall back…listen…question. That’s an important lesson that can take a lifetime to master. I’m still working on it.

Continue reading Cool Still Rules: Kendrick Kicks Ed in the Teeth to Take No. 1

New Shout Out Louds video: Oh Oh

Video: Shout Out Louds – “Oh Oh”

Shout Out Louds – Oh Oh

In the video for their first new song since 2013, our Swedish heroes explore the joys of breaking and entering into a villa on a Spanish island. If you like crafty, jangly pop music, you’re probably already familiar with these guys. Their fifth album is due later this year on Merge Records.

“Oh Oh” in some way feels like the trigger for this album. We felt, as soon as we had completed it, that the only way we could and should do this was to focus on the energy, the feeling in everything. We wanted to get back to our roots, to our togetherness and some kind of craftsmanship. We reminded ourselves that we are a band that love each other and playing together; the rest is pretty unimportant to us. “Oh Oh” is a lot about keeping that feeling, of never letting go of a dream.

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New Lillie Mae video: Over The Hill and Through The Woods

Video: Lillie Mae – “Over The Hill and Through The Woods”

Lillie Mae – “Over The Hill and Through The Woods” (Official Video)

From Forever and Then Some, out now on Third Man Records.

Lillie Mae Rische has been performing on stage since she was 3 years old, according to Jack White, who recently signed her to Third Man and produced her new album. Her family band Jypsi was signed to Arista Nashville and released a digital-only album in 2008 and a few singles that went nowhere. The label dropped them.

She released a Third Man Blue Series single (“Nobody”) in 2014 and has played fiddle and mandolin in Jack White’s band. Now she’s ditched her last name and got a haircut like King Cyrus from “The Royals” and is ready to start fresh.

This song sounds good and shares a similar vibe with other White-produced countryish stuff like the more acoustic moments on his solo stuff, especially Lazaretto‘s “Temporary Ground” to which Rische contributed vocals and fiddle. She also sang on “Alone In My Home” and played fiddle and mandolin all over the album.

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New Son Volt video: Back Against the Wall

Video: Son Volt – “Back Against The Wall”

Son Volt "Back Against The Wall" – Official Video

From Notes of Blue, out now on their own Transmit Sound label.

The best thing about this video besides the gnarly Dustbowl-era footage is Jay Farrar’s badass sideburns. I can’t think of a more overtly political Son Volt song. Then again, it’s easy to hear everything as a topical statement these days…

All the signs say pick up the pieces
All the signs say make a stand as one
What survives the long cold winter
Will be stronger and can’t be undone

I still love this band. It’s always reassuring to hear Farrar’s voice. I wonder why he hasn’t played lead guitar since the Uncle Tupelo days? Do you think he misses it? He had a unique style. Oh well. People change. So it goes.

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New Feist video: Pleasure

Video: Feist – “Pleasure”

Feist – Pleasure

From Pleasure, out April 28 on Interscope. Since we last heard from Leslie Feist she grew out her bangs and stripped her sound down even further. “Pleasure” is a funky song with kooky, Yoko-inspired vocals. “I make sense of a mysterious thing,” she says and goes on to describe the evolutionary basis of pleasure in regards to the continuation of our species:

That is how we evolved
We became our needs
Ages up inside
Escaping similar pain
Dreaming safe and secure
Generations in line
Old and then the youth
Come to meet or fade
A chromosomal raid
Built by what we got built for

Not super romantic, but hey: whatever gets you through the night. It’s alright.

Continue reading New Feist video: Pleasure