New Robyn Hitchcock video: Sayonara Judge

Video: Robyn Hitchcock – “Sayonara Judge”

Robyn Hitchcock – "Sayonara Judge" (Official Video)

Directed by Hugh Hales-Tooke. From Robyn Hitchcock, out now on Yep Roc.

Everybody knows that he’s been obsessed with Syd Barrett but it’s weird when Robyn Hitchcock sounds like post-Barrett Pink Floyd. This could almost be an outtake from The Wall.

Losing my face, losing my friends, losing my temper
Losing my place on the map, losing my home

“I first saw Robyn Hitchcock in my hometown, Cambridge, in 1976,” director by Hugh Hales-Tooke told Rolling Stone. “He was playing with a fairly early incarnation of the Soft Boys. It seemed fitting for Cambridge to be the place for Robyn Hitchcock to emerge. He was doing something strong and unique but with a strong connection to Cambridge, the home of Syd Barrett and early Pink Floyd psychedelia.”

Robyn Hitchcock: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Death Valley Girls video: (One Less Thing) Before I Die

Video: Death Valley Girls – “(One Less Thing) Before I Die”

Death Valley Girls "(One Less Thing) Before I Die" (Official Video)

Directed by Kansas Bowling. From Darkness Rains out today on Suicide Squeeze.

On March 24, 2018, “Mad” Mike Hughes successfully launched himself into the sky in a homemade, steam-powered rocket. Elon Musk’s got nothing on this daredevil.

Director Kansas Bowling was there and the new Death Valley Girls video combines her footage from the day with additional footage of ritual sacrifice and mourning. Everybody grieves differently. Kansas Bowling does it with a fish.

Bonnie Bloomgarden said, “We heard of this guy that wanted to shoot himself into the sky in a home made, steam-powered rocket ship to prove that the Earth was flat. Kansas Bowling asked us if we wanted to go film the launch. At first we thought we didn’t care at all about flat earthers, or the flat earth theory, but then we met Mad Mike Hughes. Mad Mike is an amateur rocket scientist, lawyer, limo driver, dare devil, Guinness Book world record alum, conspiracy theorist, and is now running for governor of the state of Nevada. After going to three launches in the desert – two attempted, and one successful – we learned a lot. While we don’t agree with his politics at all, we are glad we met him, and that we learned one more thing before we die.”

You can see more footage from the launch on YouTube and some of it even includes cameos by Bowling and the band.

“(One Less Thing) Before I Die” features guitars that sound like they could’ve come straight from Sonic Smith and Wayne Kramer. And that’s high praise.

Death Valley Girls: bc, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Death Valley Girls video: (One Less Thing) Before I Die

New Marc Ribot and Tom Waits video: Bella Ciao

Video: Marc Ribot – “Bella Ciao (Goodbye Beautiful)” (ft. Tom Waits)

Marc Ribot – "Bella Ciao (Goodbye Beautiful)" (feat. Tom Waits)

Directed by Jem Cohen. From Songs Of Resistance 1942 – 2018, out now on Anti.

It’s always news when Tom Waits does anything. Especially when he records a version of an old anti-fascist resistance anthem from the Italian Civil War.

One fine morning I woke up early
Find the fascist at my door
Oh, partigiano, please take me with you
Bella ciao, bella ciao, goodbye beautiful

This comes from a new collection of protest songs from guitarist Marc Ribot, who recruited a bunch of singers (including Steve Earle, Tift Merritt, Syd Straw, and Meshell Ndegeocello) to voice historical songs and a few originals.

Explaining “Bella Ciao” Ribot says, “Mussolini’s voodoo economics led Italy into a generation of poverty and a senseless war with hundreds of thousands of Italian casualties—including over 30 thousand Partisans. This song tells the story of one of them. At a tender moment when he or she is saying goodbye to her lover (Bella Ciao=goodbye, beautiful) and trying to imagine what it means to fight for freedom. I played Tom a bunch of the tunes and he immediately bonded with that one. “Of course, he brings a certain gravitas to everything he does—my Italian friends say he sounds exactly like an old ‘partigiano’ (resistance fighter)!”

Portions of the album’s proceeds will be donated to The Indivisible Project, an organization that helps individuals resist the Trump agenda via grassroots movements in their local communities.

Tom Waits: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Marc Ribot: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Breeders video: Spacewoman

Video: The Breeders – “Spacewoman”

The Breeders – Spacewoman (Official Video)

Directed by Richard Ayoade. From All Nerve, out now on 4AD.

Kim Deal calls it “a sci-fi thriller with the soul of Harlan Ellison.” But it looks a lot like a lady walking through the woods in a hazmat suit.

We got a beachball in the stadium
Everybody’s havin’ fun
When you close your eyes
You spin in peace

The song’s a classic slow burner, and any excuse to listen to the Breeders is always welcome!

The Breeders: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Number One Records: Girls Like You

Video: Maroon 5 – “Girls Like You” ft. Cardi B

Maroon 5 – Girls Like You ft. Cardi B

Single out now on Interscope.

This is another terrible Maroon 5 song distinguished by a couple of halfway-fun verses by Cardi B. But hey, at least it’s not Drake.

I can’t remember exactly why I’ve always hated Maroon 5. I’m guessing it all comes down to Adam Levine seeming like an enormous douche. He looks like an orthopedic surgeon and sounds like a less soulful Jamiroquai.

But “Girls Like You” has been at the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart for two weeks in a row now with 24,000 downloads sold and 22.9 million U.S. streams in the week ending Sept. 27, and 128 million in radio audience in the week ending Sept. 30. This is Maroon 5’s fourth Hot 100 No. 1.

The video tries to fool us into thinking Cardi could be bothered to be in the same room with this tool, but that’s just special effects. It does appear, however, that they managed to coax a number of other charming women to show up, including Ellen Degeneres and Wonder Woman.

Billboard points out that this “ends the record run of 34 consecutive weeks that rap songs had ruled the Hot 100.” “Girls Like You” may very well be being marketed to the pop genre but it features a (lame) mid-song rap by Levine, and of course the new section by Cardi B. Notice that the song required a remix adding Cardi to achieve hitdom; the original Cardi-less version found on last year’s Red Pill Blues went nowhere.

But who cares about genres? Next phase, new wave, dance craze, anyways it’s still crappy Maroon 5 to me.

Continue reading Number One Records: Girls Like You

New Distillers video: Man Vs Magnet

Video: The Distillers – “Man Vs Magnet”

The Distillers "Man Vs Magnet" (Official Music Video)

Single out now.

It’s been 15 years since we last heard from the Distillers. But Brody Dalle has now resuscitated her band and why not? In the years since then she formed Spinnerette, released a solo album, married that douchebag from Queens of the Stone Age and had a few kids.

Dalle still looks like a cross between Fairuza Balk in The Craft and late 80s-era Joan Jett and she still sounds like she’d kick your ass if you crossed her. Beware!

Distillers: fb, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Via punknews.

50 Years Ago in Rolling Stone: Issue 18

Rolling Stone issue #18 had a cover date of September 28, 1968. 32 pages. 35 cents. Cover photo of Pete Townshend by Baron Wolman.

This is the first boost in the page count since issue #3 went to 24 pages from 20 in the first two issues. And no increase in the cover price. In fact, the price would remain 35 cents (cheap!) until issue issue #54 in 1970 when it would go up to half a buck. (By then the magazine would be a whopping 56 pages long.)

This issue featured ten full-page ads and nine album reviews as well as extensive political coverage of the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. It’s definitely starting to feel more like the Rolling Stone we imagine.

Features: A Rock and Roll Guide to Politics (“Everybody’s Chicago Blues”); The Rolling Stone Interview with Pete Townshend (Part 2); The Blues Are the Truth: A Profile of Buddy Guy by Barry Gifford; Jerry Wexler: A Man of Dedication by Sue C. Clark; Smokey Robinson by Michael Lydon.

News: Rock and Roll Shrivels Hearing (summarizing a study published in the New York Times); Record Industry Hits Stride of Billion Dollars; Black Artists Finally Get Television Show; Country Joe Sees Viet Action; Janis Leaves Big Brother & Co; Cheetah Club Blows It Again.

Columns: Visuals (“West Pole”) by Thomas Albright; Country & Rock by Jon Landau (where he covers Buffalo Springfield’s Last Time Around and the Byrd’s Sweetheart of the Rodeo); Random Notes includes a bit about why the new Stones album was delayed and also tidbits about Rhinoceros, the Archies, Janis Joplin, and Frank Zappa.

Continue reading 50 Years Ago in Rolling Stone: Issue 18

New Richard Ashcroft video: Surprised by the Joy

Video: Richard Ashcroft – “Surprised by the Joy”

Richard Ashcroft – Surprised by the Joy (Official Video)

Directed by Richard Ashcroft. From Natural Rebel, due October 19.

Love is a hell of a thing. It can make fools of us all, even the absolute coolest mother fuckers. And let’s be clear, Richard Ashcroft is cool. He’s so cool that Oasis wants to be him. He’s so cool that he told them that he was probably the only solo act big enough to open for them, and he wasn’t wrong. And they knew it.

So it’s a bit jarring to see Richard Ashcroft playing a bit of the fool for love. But maybe that’s where my own insecurities come in, because we can sometimes mistake aloofness for cool. Or at least I can. Here we have the man who wrote “This Is Music,” one of the all-time greatest riff songs and one that contains the line, “If love is a drug then I don’t need it.” And yet, clearly he does. And he’s high as fuck.

I might miss the bombast and pure muscle of some of his work with The Verve, but I can’t deny this is a great little love song. It’s bouncy and fun and maybe a little goofy, just like a love song should be. And he saves himself with that dope KRONK – Detroit t-shirt.

Richard Ashcroft: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Beths video: Little Death

Video: The Beths – “Little Death”

The Beths – "Little Death" (official music video)

Directed by Norwood Cheek. From Future Me Hates Me, out now on Carpark Records.

It’s a love song but it’s better than that. It’s a crush story.

And your voice it makes me weak
I’m wasted when you speak
You hit me hard as red wine

That’s intense!

The Beths: bandcamp, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Jeff Tweedy video: Some Birds

Video: Jeff Tweedy – “Some Birds”

Jeff Tweedy "Some Birds" (Official Video)

Directed by Seth Henrikson. From Warm, due November 20.

Jeff Tweedy knows his audience. After all, he was once one of us. His only job outside of being in a band was as a record store clerk, so he understands well the things that set us off. The lead-off video for his upcoming solo album is a quick bit of catnip for folks like us. It starts with a norm-core version of Tweedy–replete in polo shirt, sweater and “haircut”–walking in to what we think is just a quick trim and probably neck clean-up. Instead, it’s the antithesis to “Almost Cut My Hair,” a freak flag anthem dating back more than 45 years.

What’s more, norrm-o Tweedy is serenaded by real Tweedy who uses the occasion to show off all of the double-neck guitars he has…and we don’t. It’s exactly what I would do in his shoes, and so would you.

The song itself is catchy enough. It’s a cool little mid-tempo cruiser punctuated with some 12-string almost-solos. Again, totally my thing.

According to liner notes written by George Saunders and published by The New Yorker, “”Jeff told me once that what he’s trying to communicate to his listener is, ‘You’re O.K. You’re not alone. I’m singing to you, but I also hear you.'”

Well, we hear you too. And we reply with a resounding, “One of us! One of us! One of us!”

Jeff Tweedy: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

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