New Naomi Alligator: Concession Stand Girl

Video: Naomi Alligator – “Concession Stand Girl”

Naomi Alligator - "Concession Stand Girl" (Official Music Video)

Animation by Corrinne James. From the Concession Stand Girl EP, out October 29 on Carpark.

Well this is about as adorable as it gets. A voice and a banjo and lyrics about a pregnant kid at a football game. Wow. Who is this Naomi Alligator?

Turns out she’s a songwriter from Virginia named Corrinne James who’s been uploading her self-recorded releases to Bandcamp for five years. And now she’s signed to Carpark.

Inspired by Liz Phair’s Girly Sounds recordings, James decided to create her own music. “I was nervous to show it to other people because I was just scared about what they might think, but eventually I started sharing it with friends in college and they would share it with more people.”

Just like Girly Sounds! Very cool. I might have to dip into her Bandcamp archive. There’s a lot there!

Naomi Alligator: web, twitter, bandcamp, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Johnny Marr: Spirit Power and Soul

Video: Johnny Marr – “Spirit Power and Soul”

Johnny Marr - Spirit Power and Soul (Official Video)

From the Fever Dreams Pt 1 EP, out on October 15.

Johnny Marr is still as cool as ever, but man, these are some dopey lyrics.

When we all turn to gold
When make believe is in your eyes
That’s when I realise
The dawn has come.

That is some Bernard Sumner-level nonsense right there.

Marr’s solo material has the tendency to veer toward generic 90s britpop and this is no exception. Sure, it’s fine. The guitars sound great and glammy, and the groove is dancey enough, I guess. But overall, it suggests that Johnny Marr is a better songwriting foil to a creative partner.

Then again, he’s Johnny fuckin Marr — he doesn’t need me or anybody else telling him what to do. I’m glad he’s still out there, running marathons, eating vegan food, showing off his incredible collection of guitars, never saying racist garbage, and generally being a decent human being.

New Ty Segall and Denée Segall: Feel Good

Video: Ty Segall and Denée Segall – “Feel Good”

Ty Segall and Denée Segall "Feel Good" (Official Music Video)

Directed by Joshua Erkman. From Harmonizer, out now on Drag City.

The last time we heard from the Segalls they were in a band with two basses and no guitars. They’ve definitely got some guitar on this one!

I love how Ty is scowling throughout the entire video for a song called “Feel Good.” I wonder if people think he’s insane because he is frowning all the time?

Denée says, “’Feel Good’ is about allowing oneself to be confident and unrestrained in regard to whatever makes them feel good, be it emotionally, physically, or beyond. It’s also about extending this sentiment to another who might desire this same sort of freedom, but needs a little encouragement. It’s an ode to the joy that comes from loving and supporting one another unconditionally.”

New Mac McCaughan: Circling Around

Video: Mac McCaughan – “Circling Around”

Mac McCaughan - Circling Around (Official Video)

From The Sound of Yourself, due September 24 on Merge.

Isn’t Mac McCaughan’s voice comforting? The Superchunk frontman always makes me feel better.

I often think about his December 2016 single, “Happy New Year (Prince Can’t Die Again)” and how we naively hoped it might not be as bad as we feared. But it was. It was worse. And it’s not getting much better. Not any time soon anyway. But hey, at least Prince can’t die again.

“Circling Around” feels like acceptance that we’re going to be stuck in this loop for a while.

X’s in the carpet of where I walked a path through to the floor
Kinda looks like a target but I’m not getting my hopes up anymore.

Mac says, “Here’s a song for wherever you’re wearing out a path & thinking your thoughts.”

Mac McCaughan: web, twitter, bandcamp, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Mac McCaughan: Circling Around

COVID, Tech & Cars

So Kiss cancels. Paul Stanley tests positive for COVID, then a few days later, Gene Simmons did, as well. Hard to rock and roll all nite when you have a severe respiratory illness.

BTS, quite possibly the biggest band in the world, has canceled the BTS Map of the Soul Tour, a world tour. Although the band is from the South, north of the 38th Parallel Kim Jung Un told the country’s Politburo last week that “tightening epidemic prevention is the task of paramount importance”—and it was announced that he was foregoing some vaccines being offered by the U.N.

Alan Parsons—admittedly, one of the musicians of days gone by that I had no idea still existed, which just goes to show that if you don’t think about things, for you, anyway, they don’t exist (no, not a gloss on Bishop Berkeley)—has canceled his U.S. tour.

Nine Inch Nails? Nope.

The Limited Last Minute Post Pandemic Popup Party Edition tour that Limp Bizkit was going to stage has been limited to nothing because we are no post-pandemic and consequently there is nothing much to party about.

A friend who drives from Detroit to New Orleans each year for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival told me the other day that he was set to go south, the room was booked and the car was ready for the 1,000-mile trip, that it had been canceled because of COVID. But then there was Hurricane Ida, and were it not the virus it would have certainly been the massive weather event. (He is still going down in October: he feels that it is important to support the New Orleans community with his tourist dollars.)

And speaking of Hurricane Ida, Bonnaroo was canceled due to the rain.

Plague. Rain. Whence come the locusts?

Continue reading COVID, Tech & Cars

New Dean Wareham: The Past Is Our Plaything

Video: Dean Wareham – “The Past Is Our Plaything”

The Past Is Our Plaything

Directed by Alexandra Cabral. From I Have Nothing to Say to the Mayor of L.A., due October 15 on Double Feature.

This upcoming album contains the first new songs Wareham has written in almost seven years. Why so long? Wareham jokes, “Maybe it’s just too sunny in L.A.”

Tonight I am playing my 335 while gazing at your photograph
We’re living inside a beautiful dream
A winter where memory sleeps.

Wareham says, “‘The Past Is Our Plaything’ was recorded at a studio on Stinson Beach, just north of San Francisco, in November 2020. The song sorta grew out of observations by Julian Barnes in my favorite book last year — The Man In the Red Coat — about a collection of dandies, drug addicts, artists and writers in belle epoque France and England.”

Dean Wareham: web, twitter, bandcamp, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Bad Bad Hats: Walkman

Video: Bad Bad Hats – “Walkman”

Bad Bad Hats - Walkman (Official Lyric Video)

From Walkman, due September 17 on Don Giovanni.

Bad Bad Hats are a trio from Minneapolis but you’d be forgiven for assuming they’re from New Zealand. They’ve got that laid back, stripped-down, classic indie pop vibe. Some people might call it “lo-fi” even though it’s not.

I hope you play this on your walkman, baby
Sun in your eyes and your hair long, baby.

Guitarist/singer Kerry Alexander says the song is “about having a feeling so strong for someone that whenever you’re falling in love, it brings you back to being with that person. This song was just a voice memo when we went into the studio and the direction it took was a pleasant surprise. It ended up being one of our favorite songs on the album.”

Their previous single was called “Detroit Basketball” so now I think they might be my new favorite band.

Bad Bad Hats: web, twitter, bandcamp, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Bad Bad Hats: Walkman

New Tim Easton video: Speed Limit

Video: Tim Easton – “Speed Limit”

Tim Easton - Speed Limit (Official Music Video)

From You Don’t Really Know Me, out now on Black Mesa.

Fifteen years ago, we featured Tim Easton in one of our first “GLONO Video” collaborations with Whiskey Bender Productions. This was a series we ran that featured interviews and performances from a variety of touring musicians including Dirty Pretty Things, The Chamber Strings, Jesse Malin, Centromatic, our beloved Two Cow Garage, and many, many others. We pivoted to video, ha ha, 10+ years before it was the cool thing to do. Like most things GLONO, we were a dollar short and a decade early. So it goes.

In the 15 years since we made that video, Easton has continued to release albums and You Don’t Really Know Me is his first for Black Mesa Records.

Easton says, “In some ways, it’s a recovery album. Not only recovery from a vice, but also recovery from a divorce and a destructive, rambling life of self-centered gratification. It’s a peaceful, positive, loving album — an album about personal revolution.”

This kind of earnest rock and roll played by grownups may not be the most fashionable type of music out there right now, but that doesn’t make it any less compelling.

Stuck in the middle of a losing game,
I was just about to hang my hat.
Just because I got out of the rain
doesn’t mean I won’t still get wet.

Easton describes “Speed Limit” as “a healing song that is played with a lot of energy to remind you to slow down.”

New Lizzo: Rumors ft. Cardi B

Video: Lizzo – “Rumors” (ft. Cardi B)

Lizzo - Rumors feat. Cardi B [Official Video]

Directed by Tanu Muino. Single out now.

I missed out on Lizzo’s first wave. I’ll admit it wasn’t until I saw her appearance on that Dave Letterman Netflix show that I realized how great she was. Since then, of course, like any decent human being, I play “Juice” every time more than one person is gathered together and drinks are consumed.

Not sure if “Rumors” rises to that level of impressiveness, but not much does. Cardi is as spicy as ever and once again proves herself impossible to deny.

My favorite bit is where Lizzo says, “This shit from my soul, yeah / Black people made rock and roll, yeah.” Because it’s true. In the video she sings this line next to giant vase featuring a figure that looks like Sister Rosetta Tharpe dressed like a Greek goddess (i.e., toga, no pants).

Of the 29 pre-Elvis songs on my chronological history of rock and roll playlist that I obsessed over for most of this summer, 22 of them are by Black people. Five of those are by Black women. And the seven songs by hillbillies are all influenced by Black people. So claiming that “Black people made rock and roll” is factually accurate and indisputable.

So yeah, Lizzo rules.

Listen for the Union Label

Here is a quick quiz.

The following is the Mission of an organization.

Identify the organization:

• “We can live and work in dignity;
• Our work will be fulfilling and compensated fairly;
• We will have a meaningful voice in decisions that affect us;
• We will have the opportunity to develop our talents and skills;
• Our collective voice and power will be realized in a democratic and progressive union;
• We can oppose the forces of exploitation through our union solidarity.”

Obviously that last bullet point gives away that it is a trade union.

According to an article in The Observer, “In a three-week span, between July 26 and August 16, art workers at the Brooklyn Museum, Whitney Museum, and New York’s Hispanic Society Museum and Library all voted to unionize with UAW Local 2110. Additionally, on July 30, Guggenheim employees filed a petition for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board. Local 2110 already boasts dozens of unions in cultural institutions across the city, including The New Museum and the Tenement Museum, as well as a longstanding union at the Museum of Modern Art.”

Perhaps it is just the Detroit in me, but when I think “UAW” I think “auto workers.”

In fact, the full name of the organization is “United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America.”

Yet autos aside, the UAW claims it has “members in virtually every sector of the economy. UAW-represented workplaces range from multinational corporations, small manufacturers and state and local governments to colleges and universities, hospitals and private non-profit organizations.”

And evidently art museums. While many people would think that sport utility vehicles are important and sculptures are optional (think of school districts where budget cuts occur and the art classes get the boot while the football program has but minor modifications), there are people who work in museums who have found that in order to sustain a modicum of normalcy in their day-to-day lives it is necessary to band together in a trade union.

But the answer to the quiz isn’t the UAW.

Continue reading Listen for the Union Label

Rock and roll can change your life.