Monday, November 28, 2016

R.I.P. Phil Chess

On October 18, at the age of 95, Phil Chess, founder of Chess Records passed away.

He started Chess Records in 1950 with his brother Leonard. The company had previously been named Aristocrat Records and produced a wide variety of music style. With the name change, the company shifted focus to R&B music. The label released music by Howlin Wolf, Chuck Berry, and Willie Dixon, but was perhaps best known for launching the career of Etta James.

He retired in 1972 and the record label ceased operation not long after. He was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1995 as a non-performer.

Goodbye Phil Chess!

Songs to remember him by:

Gene Ammons - "My Foolish Heart"
Chuck Berry - "No Particular Place to Go"
Etta James - "All I Could Do Was Cry"

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Upcoming Album of the Week (Ending November 26)

Likely due to the Thanksgiving holiday, this was a very slow week for new album announcements. I was down in North Carolina for the holiday with my mom and boyfriend (his folks live down there). I hope that everyone had a great and safe holiday!

View a longer list of Upcoming Releases here.

Announced this week:

Cate Le Bon - Rock Pool (January 27)
The Microphones - Early Tapes, 1996-1998 (December 9)
Tim Cohen - Luck Man (January 20)

New Music Friday - October 28, 2016

Be sure to view a list of upcoming releases here!

Essential Full-Length Releases

CRX - New Skin

At some point over the past ten years, every member of The Strokes had released a record as a solo artist or with another band, except for Nick Valensi. He spent much of that time, when not with The Strokes, providing guitar for other artists, including Regina Spektor, Sia, and Devendra Banhart. He formed this new band three years ago, and this is their debut album.

Watch: "Ways to Fake It"
Listen: "Broken Bones"

Honeyblood - Babes Never Die

Honeyblood is a Glaswegian duo currently made up of Stina Marie Tweedale and Cat Myers. Tweedale formed the band in 2012 with Shona McVicar, both transitioning from other bands. The lo-fi band released their eponymous debut album in 2014. McVicar departed not long after, at which point Myers came on board. Their follow-up was recorded with producer James Dring (Jamie T, Gorillaz) in London.

Watch: "Sea Hearts"
Watch: "Ready for the Magic"

Slothrust - Everyone Else

Slothrust hails from Brooklyn, New York. The grungy, bluesy trio is fronted by Leah Wellbaum, who also plays guitar in the band. Everyone Else is their third album, following 2012's Feels Your Pain and 2014's Of Course You Do.

Watch: "Horseshoe Crab"
Watch: "Like a Child Hiding Behind Your Tombstone"

Tove Lo - Lady Wood

This Swedish singer had a breakout year in 2014 with her debut album, Queen of the Clouds, which hit 14 on the Billboard Hot 100. She's hardly been quiet in the two years following the release of the record; she released multiple singles from the debut record, recorded songs for film soundtracks, featured on songs for other artists, and wrote songs for other artists like Ellie Goulding, Hilary Duff, and MS MR. Her sophomore album is intended as the first part of the double album, with the second expected next year.

Watch: "Cool Girl"
Listen: "True Disaster"

Twin Limb - Haplo

This Louisville trio is made up of Lacey Guthrie, Kevin Ratterman, and Maryliz Bender. Following the release of their debut EP, Anything Is Possible and Nothing Makes Sense, they caught the ears of contributors at NPR and Stereogum. Now, they're on tour with My Morning Jacket's Jim James and have released their first full album!

Watch: "The Weather"
Listen: "Sutro Baths"

Other Full-Length Releases

Barbagallo - Grand Chien

Watch: "Oubliez-moi"
Watch: "Mungibeddu"

Empire of the Sun - Two Vines

Watch: "High and Low"
Listen: "Two Vines"

Future States - Casual Listener

Listen: "Lulu"
Listen: "Apostolic"

Marching Church - Telling It Like It Is

Watch: "Heart of Life"
Watch: "Lion’s Den"

Sam Kogon - Psychic Tears

Listen: "I Was Always Talking" (featuring Frankie Cosmos)
Listen: "I Could Kick Myself"

TOY - Clear Shot

Watch: "I’m Still Believing"
Listen: "Fast Silver"

Singles, EPs, Soundtracks, etc.

2 Chainz - Hibachi for Lunch

Watch: "Diamonds Talkin Back"
Listen: "Doors Open" (featuring Future)

Beck - Guero Reissue

Watch: "E-Pro"
Watch: "Girl"

Beck - Odelay Reissue

Watch: "Devil’s Haircut"
Watch: "Where It’s At"

Beck - Sea Change Reissue

Watch: "The Golden Age"
Watch: "Lost Cause"

Emily Reo - "Spell"/"Stronger Swimmer"

Listen: "Spell"
Listen: "Stronger Swimmer"

Hinds - Leave Me Alone Deluxe Edition

Watch: "Warts"
Watch: "Easy"

Jacques Greene - "Afterglow" 12”

Listen: "Afterglow"

Kacey Musgraves - A Very Kacey Christmas

Listen: "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"
Listen: "Ribbons and Bows"

Leo Balyan - Outside In EP

Watch: "Fucked Up"

Lou Barlow - Apocalypse Fetish

Watch: "The Breeze"
Listen: "Anniversary Song"

Many Voices Speak - Away for All Time

Listen: "Away for All Time"
Listen: "Video Child"

Meek Mill - DC4

Listen: "Litty" (featuring Troy Lanez)
Listen: "Offended" (featuring Young Thug & 21 Savage)

Public Image Ltd. - Album Reissue

Public Image Ltd. - Metal Box Reissue

Listen: "Albatross"
Listen: "Memories"

She & Him - Christmas Party

Listen: "Happy Holiday"

Uniform - Ghosthouse

Listen: "Ghosthouse"
Listen: "Symptom of the Universe"

Yeasayer - Cold Night EP

Listen: "Cold Night" (Dirge version)
Listen: "Loan Shark Blues"

Sunday, November 20, 2016

New Release Friday - October 21, 2016

Be sure to view a list of upcoming releases here!

Essential Full-Length Releases

Leonard Cohen - You Want It Darker

We didn't know it at the time, but this would be the last album that this musical genius would release during his lifetime. The 82-year-old singer and songwriter passed away on November 7 following a fall. He'd said some prophetic statements recently, but was in good health and just seemed like he should live forever. Thankfully, he graced us with another incredible collection of songs before he left us.

Watch: "You Want It Darker"
Listen: "Traveling Light"

NxWorries - Yes Lawd!

NxWorries is Anderson .Paak and Knxwledge. The duo first formed last year and released an EP, Link Up & Suede. 2016 has been a big year for both artists individually; .Paak released a highly-regarded fourth album, Malibu, and Knxwledge released several albums, and provided production for tracks by Ghostface Killah, Action Bronson, and Earl Sweatshirt.

Watch: "Link Up"
Listen: "Lyk Dis"

Pretenders - Alone

This album is a meeting of Akron minds. The Pretenders are back after an eight-year gap with an album produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. In addition to providing production, Auerbach brings several members of his Arcs project to provide instrumentation on the record; Chrissie Hyndes and Martin Chambers are the sole original members that remain with the band.

Watch: "Holy Commotion!"
Listen: "Alone"

The Radio Dept. - Running Out of Love

The Radio Dept. always flies under my radar when I think about my favorite artists and albums over the past few years, but their 2010 record Clinging to a Scheme, is an album I can always come back to and enjoy. Running Out of Love is an amazing follow-up. The album is inspired by dance and techno music, though they employ a more understated version of the styles. They also add a healthy dose of politics to their music.

Listen: "Swedish Guns"
Listen: "We Got Game"

Weyes Blood - Front Row Seat to Earth

Weyes Blood is Natalie Mering, who started her career as the bassist for Jackie-O Motherfucker before going solo ten years ago. It wasn't until 2014 that she released her debut album, The Innocents, which debuted her 70s folk-inspired sound and use of distinct instrumentation. She doesn't stray far from the sound on her debut with this follow-up.

Watch: "Do You Need My Love"
Watch: "Seven Words"

Other Full-Length Releases

American Football - American Football

Listen: "I’ve Been Gone for So Long"
Listen: "Give Me the Gun"

Cakes Da Killa - Hedonism

Watch: "New Phone (Who Dis)"
Watch: "Talkin Greezy"

Crocodiles - Dreamless

Watch: "Telepathic Lover"
Listen: "Time to Kill"

D.R.A.M. - Big Baby D.R.A.M.

Watch: "Cash Machine"
Listen: "WiFi" (featuring Erykah Badu)

Jagwar Ma - Every Now & Then

Watch: "O B 1"
Listen: "Give Me a Reason"

Jimmy Eat World - Integrity Blues

Watch: "Get Right"
Watch: "Sure and Certain"

Kevin Devine - Instigator

Listen: "No History"
Listen: "Instigator"

Lady Gaga - Joanne

Watch: "Perfect Illusion"
Listen: "Million Reasons"

Malcolm London - Opia

Listen: "Opia" (featuring Jamila Woods)
Listen: "Northstar" (featuring Vic Mensa)

Spirit Club - Slouch

Watch: "Broken Link"
Listen: "Fast Ice"

Singles, EPs, Soundtracks, etc.

Belle and Sebastian - The Jeepster Singles Collection

Listen: "Dog on Wheels"
Listen: "Jonathan David"

The Blow - "Think About Me"

Watch: "Think About Me"

The Cinematic Orchestra - "To Believe"

Listen: "To Believe" (featuring Moses Sumney)

felicita - a new family

Watch: "a new family"
Listen: "softly"

Iggy Pop - The Idiot Reissue

Listen: "Sister Midnight"
Listen: "Nightclubbing"

Iggy Pop - Lust for Life Reissue

Listen: "Lust for Life"
Listen: "Some Weird Sin"

Lazarus (Original Cast Recording)

Watch: Sophia Anne Caruso - "Life on Mars?"
Watch: Michael C. Hall - "Lazarus"

Really Big Pinecone - W.I.S.A.T.P.

Listen: "Chorus Girl"
Listen: "W.I.S.A.T.P."

Sarah Davachi - All My Circles Run

Sia - This Is Acting Deluxe Version

Watch: "The Greatest" (featuring Kendrick Lamar)
Watch: "Cheap Thrills"