If you would’ve told me back in 1991 that the Charlatans would still be making music twenty-something years later, I would have scoffed. Back then, as much as I enjoyed their Some Friendly album, it was obvious to anybody reading imported copies of the NME that these guys were total bandwagon-jumping posers. The Stone Roses were the real deal and everybody else was a sad imitation. But time has a funny way shaking things out. So here we are in 2015 and the Charlatans are still touring and releasing albums and making videos.
Video: The Charlatans – “Let The Good Times Be Never Ending”
…in which our boys walk around Japan and show off their terrible haircuts. Modern Nature is out now.
Continue reading The Charlatans are still around
Video: Desaparecidos – “City On The Hill”
Conor Oberst leads his “political punk” band on a cheerful little ditty about how everything is bullshit and we’re all doomed.
All the founding fathers
sowed their seeds into servant girls
All the godless heathens
had to leave to make a newer world
So we could live together in America
Justice is blind and so is love
Good times. From Payola, due June 23 on Epitaph. Directed by Rob Soucy.
Video: Morrissey – Kiss Me a Lot
Good old Moz. He scheduled a new tour and has released a new video for a song from his latest album, World Peace Is None Of Your Business, which he pulled from iTunes and other digital services back in August of 2014. The “Kiss Me a Lot” single, however, is now available on iTunes.
The video looks kinda crappy with bad lighting and egregious shots of half-naked women. But you know: gotta get those eyeballs, right?
Right. Cross your fingers for the old grouch to stay healthy and make all of his upcoming shows.
Continue reading New Morrissey video: Kiss Me a Lot
Video: The Muggs – “Applecart Blues”
Several years ago I saw the Muggs open up for my beloved Quasar Wut-Wut in Chicago. Being drunk and being in Chicago, I naturally heckled the band. It’s what we do. By the end of their set they had won me over with their high energy Detroit rock and roll.
One interesting feature of the Muggs is that the bass parts are played on a Rhodes keyboard. You might think this is a clever affectation. But you’re wrong. Turns out their bass player had a stroke and the right side of his body is paralyzed, so instead of quitting the band he now uses his left hand to play bass on the Rhodes. And it sounds awesome.
“Applecart Blues” is from their new album, Straight Up Boogaloo, out now. Buy it from the band or on vinyl from Bellyache Records.
Video: Peter Doherty – “Flags of the Old Regime”
Pete may be the ultimate poster boy for fuck ups across the world, so it’s easy to forget what a touching songwriter he can be when he’s not making headlines in British tabloids. At least they care in the UK; over here, his latest album–Babyshambles’ Sequel to the Prequel–didn’t even get a domestic release. Too bad, because it’s solid.
Hopefully this is all a good sign for the impending Libertines reunion recordings, happening now in Thailand where Doherty has completed yet another stint in rehab. Maybe I’m foolish for hoping he can keep it together long enough to make a worthy successor to the first two Libs LPs, but his most recent material certainly suggests he hasn’t yet smoked away all of his talent and charms.
Continue reading Watch Peter Doherty’s tribute to Amy Winehouse
Have you seen the headline? Jazz is officially the least popular genre of music in the United States.
Quite obviously, there’s nowhere to go but up for jazz.
And while I don’t see jazz supplanting mainstream pop anytime soon, its status as the music nobody listens to anymore is bound to give it an appeal to alternative-leaning, rebellious kids. Give it another decade and jazz is going to have a stunning comeback.
I think there’s this idea that in the post-rock era a predominantly instrumental style can never be popular again, but if you look at the recent rise of electronic music it proves otherwise. EDM may well be the force that helps propel jazz back into the public consciousness. The jazz of the next generation probably isn’t going to sound like Ellington, but the genre isn’t going to die out either.
Photo: Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers
Anybody remember Ambulance LTD? No? Just me? Well I really liked the album they released 11 years ago. Until I did a search I had completely forgotten that I had seen them at Lollapalooza in 2005. Time flies.
The guy from Ambulance has a new band called Drug Cabin with the guitar player from Pretty Girls Make Graves and–from the two songs I’ve heard–the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree. If psychedelic singer-songwriter pop music is your bag, you might want to check these guys out.
Video: Drug Cabin – “Sapphire”
Audio: Drug Cabin – “Handsome”
Yard Work is out now and Wiggle Room is due April 7 on 401K Music.
Continue reading New Drug Cabin video: Sapphire
Video: Sondre Lerche – “Lucky Guy”
It’s hard to believe I’ve been listening to Sondre Lerche for over ten years. Seeing him at the Double Door in Chicago on his Two Way Monologue tour is still one of my all-time favorite concert experiences. The way he connected with the audience was something that went far beyond his heartthrob status at the time. He’s dreamy, for sure, but he’s also super talented and ambitious and he’s never stayed in one spot musically for too long. I saw him a few years ago at Hope College (Sufjan’s alma mater) where he was busting loose with some totally skronky lead guitar action.
This song, “Lucky Guy,” is stripped down and lovely.
Video: Courtney Barnett – “Pedestrian At Best”
I was hoping this video would have a happy ending, but — spoiler alert! — no such luck. A great new song from her upcoming album, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, due March 24 on Mom+Pop.
Barnett’s Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas was one of my faves of last year after hearing “History Eraser” on satellite radio. That song nailed just about everything I like in my rock and roll: perfect scuzzy slacker folk fuzz. It sounded like it had been written for me. She was great at Lollapalooza last year too. Hopefully she tours a lot for this album because I’d love to see her in a dark club instead of in a “grove” in the middle of the day.
Continue reading New Courtney Barnett video: Pedestrian At Best
Video: The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – “Do The Get Down”
From their upcoming album Freedom Tower – No Wave Dance Party 2015, due on March 24 on Mom+Pop Music. Cool video with lots of crazy clips from NYC public access channels.
I’ve already got my tickets to see these monkeys at the Pyramid Scheme in April. Take a whiff of my pantleg, baby!
Continue reading New Blues Explosion video, man!