Friday, June 30, 2017

The reunited band LIVE gets expanded debut CD reissue

Douglas Sonders
Since I interviewed the band for this album, I'm excited to hear the reissue. Read more from the press release...

The recently reunited original line-up of +LIVE+ - Ed Kowalczyk (vocals, guitar), Chad Taylor (guitar, backing vocals), Patrick Dahlheimer (bass) and Chad Gracey (drums, percussion) - have announced they'll mark the 25th Anniversary of their 1991 debut full-length album, MENTAL JEWELRY, with a deluxe reissue digitally and physically via Radioactive/Geffen/UMe on Aug. 11.

For the package, Ed Kowalczyk wrote liner notes about the band's beginnings including their monthly gigs at CBGB before they were signed to Radioactive Records. "Hilly [Kristal, the club's owner] typically didn't pay bands for showcase-type gigs, but he would give us $100 for gas for the three-hours-plus commute from old York [PA]."

The newly remastered package features an unreleased studio track ("Born Branded") from the album's original sessions; a club remix of "Pain Lies On The Riverside" by Public Enemy producer, Hank Shocklee; two songs from the band's September 1991 EP Four Songs; and an unreleased 1992 full concert at The Roxy in Los Angeles.

The 25th anniversary release of MENTAL JEWELRY will be celebrated with re-issues on Colored Vinyl, Standard Vinyl, Cassette and the Deluxe Edition on a two-CD set. Produced by Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads, the album was originally released on December 31, 1991 and includes the singles "Pain Lies On The Riverside" and "Operation Spirit (The Tyranny of Tradition)."

On June 29, the multi-platinum band - currently on a world tour (see dates here) - partnered with for the premiere of "Pain Lies On The Riverside" from the band's Roxy show. Click here to listen to the song.

Pre-order is available now with instant grat track "Pain Lies On The Riverside" (live from The Roxy, 1992). Click here for more information.

"I was really surprised to hear and experience again how fully formed we were as a young band by the time we played the Roxy show," Ed Kowalczyk tells Rolling Stone. Chad Taylor elaborates: "For the most part, the audience was experiencing our songs for the first time. This meant that the band couldn't rely on singles to keep the show's momentum. We had already extended many of the album arrangements to carry us through a headlining set and this included 'Pain Lies on the Riverside,' a future single. There are so many improvised moments throughout the entire recording. We had to sell the drama of each song and you can tell that were both excited and nervous to perform in Los Angeles. The raw energy is something I doubt we could duplicate."

Kowalczyk, in a statement from the band, says: "It's really cool that we have this unreleased material from virtually all of the LIVE studio albums and that the limitations of the various media that we experienced early in our career have vanished with the digital/online revolution. Fans can look forward to more!"

"Jerry Harrison deserves a lot of credit for getting so many early songs recorded," explains Taylor. "Radioactive [Records] gave the band a budget for 12 masters but Jerry, a veteran recording artist sent a lo-fi demo that included 14 or 15 tracks to the label. He suggested that the label pick the 12 songs that would make the album. Since the album was initially released on vinyl, we were limited by the media format and over time, we simply forgot about the extra songs. Thankfully, this new release really captures the spirit of that era!"

Says Kowalczyk: "The experience of rediscovering the Roxy show recording is a window through which the sun of that youthful energy has shown on us again, helping to remind us of where we've been but more importantly, to inspire the way forward."

Notes Taylor: "I'm not sure the younger version of myself would listen to any advice I could offer, but I would be sure to tell myself to enjoy the ride, and to take care of each other."

Track Listing:


Pain Lies on the Riverside
Operation Spirit (The Tyranny of Tradition)
The Beauty of Gray
Brothers Unaware
Tired of "Me"
Mirror Song
Take My Anthem
You Are the World
Good Pain
Mother Earth Is a Vicious Crowd
10,000 Years (Peace Is Now)
^Born Branded
* Pain Lies On The Riverside
< Negation
< Heaven Wore A Shirt

^ = previously unreleased
* = Hank Shocklee club remix
< = from 4 Songs EP (September 24, 1991)

DISC TWO (Live At The Roxy July 16, 1992):

Show Intro
Take My Anthem
Pain Lies On The Riverside
You Are The World
Tired of "Me"
Heaven Wore A Shirt
Operation Spirit (The Tyranny of Tradition)
Good Pain
The Beauty of Gray
10,000 Years (Peace Is Now)

About +LIVE+:

The multi-platinum band from Pennsylvania--Ed Kowalczyk (vocals, guitar), Chad Taylor(guitar, backing vocals), Patrick Dahlheimer (bass) and Chad Gracey (drums, percussion)--have sold over 22 million albums worldwide and earned two number one albums (Throwing Copper, Secret Samadhi). Their catalog is filled with such alt-rock hits as "Lightning Crashes," "I Alone," "All Over You," and "Lakini's Juice," which get played today as classics at rock radio.

Throwing Copper produced the band's biggest single, "Lightning Crashes," which was #1 at Modern Rock radio for 10 consecutive weeks. Throwing Copper reached #1 on the Billboard Top 200 and eventually surpassed sales of 10 million albums sold with Rolling Stone honoring the album with placement on their "1994: The 40 Best Records From Mainstream Alternative's Greatest Year."

Secret Samadhi (1997) immediately shot to #1 on the BillboardTop 200 and eventually went double platinum. The release of the platinum-selling The Distance to Here (1999) turned +LIVE+ into an international powerhouse and moved the band from arenas into stadiums.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Kasabian album out now digitally; touring US soon

Phil Knott
Kasabian have revealed plans for a run of North American live dates in September. The popular UK band released their sixth studio album For Crying Out Loud in the UK on May 5th, landing them their 5th UK #1 album.

It is available on all DSPs in the US now via RED. The band will release a physical version of the LP in the US via Third Man Records on Sept. 1. Lead singles are "You're In Love With A Psycho" and "Bless This Acid House." Watch the band perform "Bless This Acid House" live on the BBC's Later With Jools Holland. 

Following the more electronic direction of 2014's 48:13, Kasabian's Serge Pizzorno says, "We wanted to make a very positive album full of hope with guitars to remind people that it's still relevant."

Kasabian have won a UK GRAMMY-equivalent BRIT Award, seven NME awards and four Q Awards to date. They've headlined multiple music festivals, including England's legendary Glastonbury Festival. It's been three years since North American fans saw them on tour.

Band members are: Serge Pizzorno (guitar and vocals), Tom Meighan (vocals), Chris Edwards (bass), Ian Matthews (drums) and Tim Carter (guitars).

Tour Dates:

Sept 14 New York, NY @ Terminal 5*
Sept 15 Philadelphia, PA @ The Trocadero Theatre
Sept 16 Boston, MA @ Royale Nightclub
Sept 18 Toronto, ON @ Rebel Complex*
Sept 19 Chicago, IL @ House of Blues *
Sept 23 Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern*
Sept 24 San Francisco, CA @ Regency Ballroom*
Sept 27 Mexico City, MX @ Pabellon Cuervo Palacio Del Los Deportes*
*support from Slaves

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Doors singles collected in new box set

The Doors’ 50th anniversary celebration continues this summer with three new collections that spotlight every single and B-side the band released in the U.S., all gathered together for the first time.

The Singles will be available as a 2-CD, 2-CD + Blu-ray and limited-edition 7" vinyl box set on Sept. 15. Pre-order is available now at The Doors Official Online Store.

THE SINGLES – Limited-Edition 7” Vinyl Box features 20 replica U.S. singles, with original B-sides, on 7-inch vinyl 45s with meticulously reproduced cover art and labels, presented in an ornate, lift-top box. This set collects the rare single versions from all of the band’s landmark studio albums, plus other rarities from the era, including:

“Light My Fire” (Original Mono Single Edit),
“Unknown Soldier”/”We Could Be So Good Together” (Original Unique Mono Mix/Edit),
“Love Me Two Times” (Single Edit),
“Touch Me” (Original Unique Stereo Single Mix).

All selections have been mastered from the original analog single masters by the band’s longtime engineer Bruce Botnick. As a bonus, the box also contains a poster featuring singles covers from around the globe! Each Singles Box is individually numbered and is limited to 10,000 copies worldwide!

This release collects all 20 U.S. singles released by The Doors, and their corresponding B-sides, gathered together for the first time. The set includes the rare, original single versions of such classics as, “Love Me Two Times,” “Love Her Madly," “Riders On The Storm” and many more. As a bonus, the CD features four original mono radio versions of some of the band’s biggest hits which have never been made available anywhere after being sent to radio stations around their original release. All 44 tracks have been mastered from the original analog single masters by the band's longtime engineer Bruce Botnick.

The Blu-ray disc that accompanies the expanded version of THE SINGLES features a high-resolution Quadraphonic mix of The Best Of The Doors. This 11-song compilation, available on Blu-ray for the first time, was remixed specifically for Quad in 1973 and offers a unique sonic experience on songs like “Soul Kitchen,” “Moonlight Drive” and “Love Me Two Times.”

Radio news: Veteran DJ Rodney on the Roq finds new home

Good news, especially for longtime SoCal alt-rock radio listeners...

SiriusXM announced today that legendary radio host and rock and roll influencer Rodney Bingenheimer will host a new weekly music show on SiriusXM's Little Steven's Underground Garage channel.

Rodney Bingenheimer, who curated his longtime radio show "Rodney on the ROQ" for over 40 years on KROQ/106.7 FM in Los Angeles, has been known for launching and championing now legendary acts like the Sex Pistols, The Ramones, Tom Petty, Blondie, Elvis Costello, Van Halen, The Clash, The Smiths, The Go Go's, The Bangles, The Runaways and Oasis.

He has also been recognized for bringing back classic acts and album cuts from the likes of The Monkees, The Beach Boys, The Standells, The Ventures and many more. He continues to launch new music from the likes of The Regrettes, the Atomics, The Moon Kids, The Tearaways and Beck Black.

"I'm so honored to be on the same SiriusXM channel as Little Steven," said Rodney Bingenheimer. "He has also championed some of the greatest music of our time, both past and future. With both of us now at the same channel we're gonna keep great music alive. Especially for me, being on at an earlier time, I can have more listeners who don't have to worry about missing work or school the next day. To be on in Primetime on the East Coast as well is also exciting."

"Rodney was one of my first calls when I started the channel," said Steven Van Zandt. "We are honored to have him. This is where he belongs!"

Rodney Bingenheimer's SiriusXM show will premiere on Sunday, July, 16 at 9:00 pm ET, 6:00 pm PT, on SiriusXM's Underground Garage, via satellite on channel 21 and through the SiriusXM app on smartphones and other connected devices, as well as online at .

SiriusXM's Underground Garage channel is executive produced by Steven Van Zandt, and plays the coolest records ever made from all 60 years of rock and roll from artists like The Beatles, The Ramones, The Rolling Stones, Little Richard, The Who, The Beach Boys, The Temptations, Joan Jett, The Clash, and everything in between, alongside the best new rock and roll bands in the world.

For more information on SiriusXM, please visit

Peter Himmelman teams with Los Lobos’ Steve Berlin for 'There Is No Calamity'

Some songwriters wrestle with demons. Peter Himmelman wrestles with dialectics. In “Sacrificial,” a central song on his new album There Is No Calamity, Himmelman ponders questions like “How angry is too angry? How sweet is just too sweet?/How do you call out for love when love feels like defeat?”

Later, he defines his song title “Ropes or Wings” as being among “the deepest choices of the human mind … With ropes we stay tied up, and with wings we can make this troubled world aligned.” His all-too-prescient “245th Peace Song” states, “the anger in people’s hearts needs to be cooled” before noting: “but you’ve got to be careful what you cool it with.”

The album’s brick-and-mortar release date is Aug. 11 on Himmasongs Recordings.
There Is No Calamity’s existence arose with a touch of serendipity. The Minnesota-bred, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter has had conversations of late with his musician friends over the dilemma they are facing: “Why make a record these days, especially when no one's buying them?” For Himmelman, the answer is easy: songwriters need to write songs and need to record them, and then get them out into the world. Making an album also, in Himmelman’s words, “taps into something I loved as a kid when a record was something cool.”

The road to Calamity really began when Himmelman’s longtime tour guitarist Scott Tipping mentioned that his friend, Los Lobos’ Steve Berlin, was a big fan of Himmelman’s music. Himmelman contacted Berlin and things clicked. Berlin expressed interest in producing his next album and asked to hear all his demos. Himmelman sent him 53. After not hearing anything for months, Himmelman thought it was one of those “not meant to be” things. Then Berlin, back from a Los Lobos tour, got back in touch, and he had a list of songs for the album.

Himmelman admits that the songs Berlin picked weren’t ones that he would have selected, but he found Berlin’s perspective on his music refreshing and the choices “put things into focus for me.” In the past, Himmelman has been hands-on when it came to making his albums. This time, however, he stepped back and let Berlin take the helm for this record.

For his part, Berlin appreciated the trust Himmelman placed in him. Their collaborative process, Berlin explained, “was remarkable in that when we started he really didn’t know me or my taste yet he basically said ‘just tell me what to do and I'll do it as good as I can.’ A producer can’t ask for anything more than that, and I can tell you that too is rare in my experience.” Berlin strove to capture the dynamism of Himmelman’s voice and music, as well as showcase the rare moral and ethical perspective that he sees in Himmelman’s songwriting.

While Berlin was a new collaborator, Himmelman brought in his longtime touring band to record with him. He had long discussed using these Chicago-based musicians — bassist Matt Thompson, drummer Chuck Lacy and guitarist Scott Tipping — but it had never worked out before. Last spring, they all convened for four days at the B-Side Studio in Portland, Oregon.

Playing in the studio with his touring band for the first time “brought a sense of adventure,” according to Himmelman, over whether it would succeed; however, the recording sessions “worked out well on all counts.” More old friends — keyboardist Jeff Victor, percussionist Jimi Englund and vocalists Kristin Mooney, Claire Holley, and Willie Aron — also contributed to Calamity, as did noted producer Mitchell Froom, who guested on the Hammond organ, Celest and Mellotron.

The results thrilled Himmelman, who says it “captures the elusive sound of a record — as opposed to a well-wrought demo.” He was so excited that he had friends come listen to Calamity’s tracks in the car. 

“Fear Is Undoing” addresses how fear rules human’s lives, but how it can also be controlled. It is a concept that the Grammy- and Emmy-nominated musician explores in his recently published book Let Me Out: Unlock Your Creative Mind and Bring Your Ideas to Life. The book grew out of the work he does in Big Muse, a company he founded that does music-based creativity seminars for Fortune 500 corporations and organizations. As a result of his Big Muse work, Himmelman earned a scholarship to do a yearlong program at Northwestern’s esteemed Kellogg School of Management, and was invited to the Army War College’s annual National Security Seminar. All of these experiences, Himmelman says, are things that he brings back to his music.

Himmelman, who Time magazine has said “writes songs with the same urgency that compelled the Lost Generation to write novels,” has long explored a variety of creative outlets. In addition to his dozen solo albums, he has recorded several children’s CDs (including the Grammy-nominated My Green Kite) and composed scores for numerous films and TV shows. For Himmelman, it is all about taking action and doing something he loves — making music. “Life happens,” he says. “This is it.”

A.J. Croce update

I interviewed Croce a couple years ago when he gave me some hints about the new album he was working on. Now Compass Records will release it on Aug. 11. Get the lowdown from a press release I just received below... 

A.J. Croce has been inextricably linked to a version of his own story by virtue of his name. He’s experienced a lifetime of comparisons to a father he lost at age two, whose music bares little resemblance to his own output yet still serves as a reference point despite the years that have passed and the many iconic mentors who have stepped in to offer their counsel, creativity, and endorsement throughout his long career.

It’s curious then that it now feels necessary to include the reference, as enough time has passed that a new generation of tastemakers and journalists might not know who Jim Croce was — that he was a golden-voiced everyman, a singer-songwriter-guitarist who died too soon, leaving one of pop music’s most beautiful and memorable ballads (written about a young A.J.) in his wake.

Croce the younger, on the other hand, is a piano man, first and foremost, and a vocal stylist second. His muted growl pulls from a host of American traditions and anti-heroes — it’s part juke joint, part soul, but somehow evokes New York, a continuum where John Lurie meets Lou Reed. He is further a songwriter, driven by a personal muse, informed by a life on a boomerang of tragedy.

His ninth studio album Just Like Medicine - out Aug. 11 - was produced by legendary soul singer-songwriter and producer Dan Penn - the writer of such hits as “The Dark End of the Street,” “Cry Like a Baby,” “I’m Your Puppet” and “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man,” and producer of the Box Tops’ “The Letter,” as well as songs and recordings by Jerry Lee Lewis, Bobby Blue Bland, Clarence Carter, and Alex Chilton.

Also making appearances on the album are Grammy Award-winning country artist Vince Gill, Steve Cropper (Booker T. & the MGs, Blues Brothers, author of many Stax hits), the McCrary Sisters and the Muscle Shoals Horns.

Croce has lived longer now than his father did — at 45, he is 15 years beyond the age his father was when he died. With Just Like Medicine, an authentic version of his story, which contains both unimaginable sorrow and many blessings, can be felt and understood.

Just Like Medicine is an exploration of relationships, the disappointments and the confusion, and reflects Croce’s realization about the role music has played in his life.

“I’ve been to therapy for 25 years and it never helped me as much as sitting down and playing the piano or writing a song.”

As he explains, “I wanted to make a real soul album, but not a throwback Stax album or a Motown album or anything like that — even though Dan was producing and there are great players from that world and Muscle Shoals on these tracks.”

Sonically and in every other way, the intention on Just Like Medicine seems to keep things real. “We recorded this album in mono, to analog tape, primarily to two tracks and we never used more than sixteen tracks,” says Croce.

“We did that not to be cool or trendy, but because these days everyone seems to be listening to music primarily on little devices and tiny speakers. In a world of amazing audio possibilities, we’re all basically listening to music on transistor radios again. After that first session, Dan explained that when he worked with the Box Tops, they only had like three tracks — one for the band, one for the vocals, one for string and horns. So that became our starting point.”

As one listen to Just Like Medicine confirms, that turned out to be an excellent place to start, including opening track “Gotta Get Outta My Head,” which has what Croce calls with a laugh “its own dark voodoo” and explores its own dark truth. “I wrote that song in my kitchen hitting a box and thinking how I had to find a way to get out of my own head,” he says. “So, as a recording and a thought, I absolutely love that song because it’s so true.”

Just Like Medicine’s second track, “The Heart That Makes Me Whole,” was written by Croce with the late great Leon Russell. Croce notes, “We’d played together over the years, and one time I went to go see Leon play with Willie Nelson and we really connected through the music that we both loved — whether it was Ivory Joe Hunter, or all these great piano players who we both loved. At first, it felt a little sad recording this song because Leon and I had spoken and I was looking forward to have him on this album. Leon lived 20 minutes away from me in Tennessee, so it was bittersweet because we couldn’t record it together. But I was happy that Steve Cropper, the McCrary Sisters and the Muscle Shoals Horns and I could try to fill that void as best we could.”

Indeed Croce feels fortunate to be in such excellent musical company throughout Just Like Medicine. “I feel so lucky to have these players with me on this album,” he says. “Everyone on this record brought so much to it. We were supposed to finish the album last fall, and then Dave Hoodbroke his wrist on tour in Europe. I thought about getting another bass player, but then I listened to some of the roughs and realized I didn’t want anyone else. The way we were recording this album, there was no going back to fix anything, we needed these players making these sounds.”

The track “The Name of the Game,” is notable for many reasons. One is that it finds Croce connecting with a part of his soulful legacy that hits close to home because the bluesy gem is a previously unreleased song by his father — the only known completed song written for the elder Croce’s next album, and the last song that he wrote.

A.J. explains, “‘The Name of the Game’ is a song I had known about for a really long time. It was destined for my dad’s next record that he never got to make. The song had been bootlegged, just him playing guitar, but it had never been properly recorded. I thought this song really fit this album. We listened to a couple of my father’s demos and final recordings and tried to treat the song with the respect it deserves — while still making it my own. At the beginning of our track, Colin Linden — who’s amazing — is playing the same guitar my father wrote the song on. You can tell it’s a Jim Croce song, no doubt. And I just love Vince Gill’s playing, so I called him up to add his musical touch to it too.”

In truth — as Just Like Medicine demonstrates beautifully — A.J. Croce has spent his very musical life forging deep connections with music and musicians, including with producer Dan Penn and many of the other soulful artists who helped him make this new album.

“I’ve had the chance to work with a lot of my musical heroes and a lot of people who became my heroes as I worked with them,” Croce explains. “These people don’t have a lot to prove. And one thing I found out is that even with all they’ve done and all they’ve achieved, every one of them is really open in the end. Even though they may have a certain style, and sometimes be stubborn about how they do things, when push comes to shove, they are open, willing and able to go in any number of directions to chase a good song. They’ve all taught me a lot about how to follow the music and find the truth. That’s why the music of Just Like Medicine sounds real and raw — it’s meant-to-be music. This music here was not fixed. This music here was made.”

Interpol to mark 'Our Love to Admire' anniversary with reissue, tour

Interpol's third album Our Love to Admire, its first major-label release and one of the group’s biggest selling albums will get a 10th anniversary commemorative edition on Aug. 18 via UMe..

There  will be three special expanded-edition reissues: 2LP, 2LP w/DVD, CD/DVD. The LP and CD will debut a new edition of the original album, remastered for this release by Gavin Lurssen with all of its original packaging intact. Additionally, the LP editions will be available in ltd. ed vinyl exclusively through The Sound Of Vinyl, as well as standard black vinyl.

The bonus DVD captures the band's 12-song performance at the London Astoria on July 2, 2007, marking the first time that these performances will be available in the U.S.

Recorded with producer Rich Costey (Muse, Death Cab for Cutie), the album debuted in the Top Five in both the U.S. and the U.K.

Track listing (2LP & CD):

01. Pioneer To The Falls
02. No I In Threesome
03. The Scale
04. The Heinrich Maneuver
05. Mammoth
06. Pace Is The Trick
07. All Fired Up
08. Rest My Chemistry
09. Who Do You Think
10.Wrecking Ball
11.The Lighthouse

01. Pioneer To The Falls*
02. Narc
03. Mammoth
04. Rest My Chemistry*
05. Obstacle 1*
06. Public Pervert*
07. Hands Away*
08. The Heinrich Maneuver
09. Evil
10. Not Even Jail*
11. NYC*
12. Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down*
* previously unreleased

This year Interpol will also celebrate the 15th Anniversary of their debut album Turn On The Bright Lights by playing the record in its entirety.

Tour Dates:

August 9 - Prague, CZ - Lucerna Music Bar
August 10 - Vienna, AT - Arena
August 12 - Buftea, RO - Summer Well Festival
August 13 - Belgrade, RS - Belgrade Fortress
August 15 - Budapest, HU - Sziget Festival
August 16 - Munich, DE - Muffathalle
August 19 - Luxembourg, LU - Den Atelier
August 20 - St. Malo, FR - La Route Du Rock
August 22 - Asolo, IT - AMA Music Festival
August 23 - Milan, IT - Carroponte
August 25 - Zurich, CH - Zurich Open Air Festival
August 27 - Copenhagen, DK - The Koncerthuset
August 29 - Tilburg, NL - 013
August 30 - Groningen, NL - Oosterpoort
September 1 - London, UK - Alexandra Palace
September 3 - Manchester, UK - Albert Hall
September 5 - Paris, FR - Le Trianon
September 9 - Madrid, ES - DCode Festival
September 23 - Queens, NY - Forest Hills Stadium *
September 30 - Los Angeles, CA - LA State Historic Park *
October 17 & 18 - Mexico City, MX - Pepsi Center WTC
* denotes w/ Deerhunter and Battles

LP -
Limited Edition Colored-Vinyl -

Paul Kelly declares 'Life Is Fine' on new album

I always look forward to new music from Australia's national treasure of a songwriter and one of my past interview subjects. Kelly's last full length studio album was among my top 10 best of '16. Since I missed his recent local appearance, I'm glad he'll be returning. Here's the latest PR...

Paul Kelly's upcoming album Life Is Fine — is due out in North America on Gawd Aggie/Cooking Vinyl via The Orchard on Aug. 11. It finds Kelly playing with a band reminiscent of his finest ’80s recordings.

Paul enjoys playing live and in support of the new album, he will tour the continent with a full band — his first such North American tour in 13 years, since the Ways & Means album. 

Kelly agrees about early comparisons with albums he made with the Messengers, such as Gossip and So Much Water So Close To Home. “I was aware of that as we were making it,” Kelly says. “The guitar riff at the start of “Firewood and Candles” (the first single/focus track) is like a Sunnyboys song. Those kind of guitar lines, nothing fancy but really strong, are like the ones Steve Connolly used to play with the Messengers. I can see a lot of parallels to those records I was making then.’’ 

Life Is Fine features some guest vocalists via frequent collaborators/singers Vika and Linda Bull. “I wonder why I hadn’t thought of it sooner, to have another voice on my records besides mine. A lot of my favorite bands have that. The Stones have Keith Richards, the Velvet Underground had Nico. Vika sings “My Man’s Got a Cold,” which has a Bessie Smith attitude. “Don’t Explain” is sung by Linda. It’s at least 25 years old. I have been trying to get a woman to sing it for that long.” 

“I knew I wanted it to be an upbeat record,” Kelly continues. “We worked with Steve Schram, who engineered and co-produced. He likes to work really fast and get the performance of the band live in the studio, vocals and all at the same time. There are lots of different ways to make records but that’s the way I like to do it now.’’  Featured musicians include Ashley Naylor on guitar, Bill McDonald on bass, Cameron Bruce on keys and Peter Luscombe on drums. 

One of the reasons behind Kelly’s enduring power as a songwriter is his continual drive to break old habits and find new ways to refresh his creativity. A massive songwriting breakthrough for Kelly came after writing his autobiography How To Make Gravy. 

“Five years ago I was asked by the Australian National Academy of Music to write a song cycle for their students with a modern classical composer. This was after I had spent a couple of years writing a book and in that time I had hardly written a song. I felt rusty. I started looking at poems with a linking theme, which is how the show and the album Conversations With Ghosts (currently not available in North America) came about with James Ledger. 

“That turned a little key for me. Until that point the music had always come first. I thought putting music to a lyric wouldn’t work, that it might be too stiff or control the music too much. I was wrong about that. Now, just for fun, I like to find a poem and have a go at putting music to it. It has given me another arrow in the quiver as a songwriter and it came along at a good time after writing songs for 30 years.  When you have a beautiful set of words to begin with, whether it’s Shakespeare or Yeats or Les Murray, a lot of the hard work is done if you can write a good melody for it.” 

“The lyric for the album’s title tune and concluding track, with lines like “If that water hadn’t been so cold I might have sunk and died,” sounds exactly like something Kelly would have written. Yet it is by the American poet Langston Hughes, who died in 1967. A friend of mine sent me the poem 18 months ago and it looked like a song lyric. Recording it we took a more folky approach, without drums, so I wasn’t sure if it would fit on this record. It was the lyric that helped get it over the line.” 

Kelly adds, “At first I worried about Life Is Fine as a title because life is not fine for everyone. But I like the original meaning of fine, as in life is a fine thread. We never know what is going to happen the very next minute, or what is just around the corner.’’ 

North American tour dates: 

Sun., Sept. 17 WASHINGTON DC The Hamilton 
Tue., Sept. 19 TORONTO, ON The Mod Club 
Wed., Sept. 20 MONTREAL, QC Petit Campus 
Fri., Sept. 22 BOSTON, MA Brighton Music Hall 
Sat., Sept. 23 NEW YORK, NY The Highline Ballroom 
Sun., Sept. 24 SELLERSVILLE / PHILADELPHIA, PA Sellersville Theater
Tue., Sept. 26 RALEIGH, NC Stag’s Head Music Hall 
Wed., Sept. 27 ATLANTA, GA City Winery 
Fri., Sept. 29 DALLAS, TX Sons of Herman Hall 
Sat., Sept. 30 AUSTIN, TX 3ten  
Mon., Oct. 2 TOMBALL, TX Main Street Crossing
Wed., Oct. 4 NASHVILLE, TN City Winery 
Thu., Oct. 5 LOUISVILLE, KY Zanzabar 
Sat., Oct. 7 DETROIT, MI Magic Bag 
Sun., Oct. 8 CHARLESTON, WV The Clay Center for the Arts — Mountain Stage (NPR) taping
Wed., Oct. 11 MINNEAPOLIS, MN Cedar Hall
Fri., Oct. 13 DENVER, CO Daniels Hall 
Sat., Oct. 14 SALT LAKE CITY, UT The State Room 
Mon., Oct. 16 VANCOUVER, BC Imperial 
Tue., Oct. 17 PORTLAND, OR Doug Fir Lounge 
Wed., Oct. 18 SEATTLE, WA The Crocodile 
Fri., Oct. 20 SAN FRANCISCO, CA Slims 
Sun., Oct. 22 LOS ANGELES, CA The Roxy 
Thu., Dec. 21 Gravy Day 

Select Discography: 
Life Is Fine (August 11, 2017) - Gawd Aggie/Cooking Vinyl America 
Death’s Dateless Night w/Charlie Owen (October 7, 2016) - Gawd Aggie/Cooking Vinyl America
Seven Sonnets And A Song (July 29, 2016) - Gawd Aggie/Cooking Vinyl America
Paul Kelly presents - The Merri Sessions (2015) - Gawd Aggie
Conversations With Ghosts (2013) - Australia only
Spring And Fall (2012) - Gawd Aggie 
The A to Z Recordings (2010) - Gawd Aggie
Songs FromThe South: The Best of Paul Kelly Vols. 1 & 2 (2009) - Gawd Aggie

View the Paul Kelly EPK:

Debut from Bash & Pop (the Replacements' Tommy Stinson) gets deluxe reissue

I interviewed Tommy for this album, so I can't wait to hear the reissue. If memory serves, I think I even included it in my year-end best list. Read more from the press release below...

When the Replacements called it quits in 1991, founding member Tommy Stinson missed playing in a band with great chemistry and whose members all shared the same vision. He recruited then-Replacements drummer Steve Foley, Foley’s brother Kevin, and Steve Brantseg to form a new band — Bash & Pop.

Recorded with producer Don Smith (Cracker, Keith Richards, John Hiatt) and with help from Heartbreakers Benmont Tench and Mike Campbell, Americana icon Greg Leisz, Wire Train’s Jeff Trott, and more, the band’s debut album, Friday Night Is Killing Me, arrived in January of 1993. It combined stellar performances and a renewed energy, something many felt the last few Replacements records were missing.

Friday Night Is Killing Me returns via Omnivore Recordings on Sept. 8 — on the heels of this year’s new Bash & Pop album and tour. (The band will be heading out with the Psychedelic Furs across the U.S. this summer and fall.)

In addition to the original 11-track release, an 18-track bonus disc adds rare singles and B-sides, their contribution to the soundtrack of the 1994 film Clerks, and a whopping 15 previously unissued performances (encompassing the entire second disc). The packaging contains photos and a new essay from Bob Mehr, author of the acclaimed bestseller Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements.

The reissue was produced by the Replacements’ former manager Peter Jesperson and Omnivore’s Grammy® Award-winning Cheryl Pawelski. It was mastered by Bash & Pop bassist Justin Perkins.

While many are discovering Bash & Pop for the first time on their current tour, and via their new release, the time is right to reintroduce the record that started it all — Friday Night Is Killing Me.

Track listing:
Disc One:
1. Never Aim To Please
2. Hang Ups
3. Loose Ends

4. One More Time
5. Tickled To Tears
6. Nothing
7. Fast & Hard
8. Friday Night (Is Killing Me)
9. He Means It
10. Tiny Pieces
11. First Steps

Disc Two:
1. Never Aim To Please (Home Demo) *
2. First Ups (Home Demo) *
3. Hang Ups (Home Demo) *

4. Tiny Pieces (Home Demo) *

5. Situation

6. Harboring A Fugitive

7. Making Me Sick

8. Nothing (Alternate Version) *

9. One More Time (Alternate Version) *
10. He Means It (Alternate Version) *
11. Loose Ends (Alternate Version) *
12. Hang Ups (Alternate Version) *

13. Tickled To Tears (Alternate Version) *
14. Fast & Hard (Alternate Version) *
15. Friday Night (Is Killing Me) (Alternate Version) *

16. Tiny Pieces (Alternate Version) *
17. Never Aim To Please (Alternate Version) *
18. Speak Now Or Forever Hold Your Peace (Instrumental) *

* Previously Unissued

Watch the Bash & Bob trailer:

Grizzly Bear to make long-awaited return

Grizzly Bear has released a new song, “Four Cypresses,” from their first album in five years, Painted Ruins, out Aug. 18 on RCA Records.

Watch the lyric video for “Four Cypresses,” which includes footage from Daniel’s family video collection, here:

Painted Ruins follows 2012’s Shields, which was a critical and commercial breakthrough and debuted at #7 on the Billboard 200. 

The band has also confirmed additional dates on their worldwide tour in support of the album. See full itinerary below.

Track listing:

1. Wasted Acres
2. Mourning Sound
3. Four Cypresses
4. Three Rings
5. Losing All Sense
6. Aquarian
7. Cut-Out
8. Glass Hillside
9. Neighbors
10. Systole
11. Sky Took Hold

Tour dates:

Aug 14 – Portland, ME – State Theatre
Aug 15 – Kingston, NY – BSP Kingston
Aug 16 – Kingston, NY – BSP Kingston
Oct 4 – Dublin, IR – Vicar Street
Oct 5 – Dublin, IE – Vicar Street
Oct 6 – Manchester, UK – Albert Hall
Oct 8 – Glasgow, UK – O2 ABC
Oct 9 – London, UK – O2 Academy Brixton
Oct 10 – Bexhill On The Sea, UK – Bexhill De La Warr Pavilion
Oct 12 – Berlin, DE – Columbiahalle
Oct 13 – Utrecht, NL – TivoliVredenburg
Oct 14 – Brussels, BE – Ancienne Belgique
Oct 16 – Paris, FR – L’Olympia
Nov 1 - Boston, MA - House of Blues
Nov 2 - Brooklyn, NY - Brooklyn Steel
Nov 3 - Brooklyn, NY - Brooklyn Steel
Nov 7 - Philadelphia, PA - The Fillmore
Nov 9 - Knoxville, TN - The Mill & Mine
Nov 12 - New Orleans, LA - Civic Theatre
Nov 14 - Atlanta, GA - Tabernacle
Nov 15 - Orlando, FL - House of Blues
Nov 16 - Miami Beach, FL - The Fillmore
Nov 19 - Mexico City, MX - Corona Capital
Nov 26 - Montreal, QC - Metropolis
Nov 27 - Toronto, ON - Massey Hall
Nov 28 - Royal Oak, MI - Royal Oak Music Theatre
Dec 1 - St. Paul, MN - Palace Theatre
Dec 3 - Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre
Dec 7 - Vancouver, BC - Orpheum Theatre
Dec 8 - Seattle, WA - Moore Theatre
Dec 9 - Portland, OR - Roseland Theatre
Dec 11 - San Francisco, CA - Warfield Theater
Dec 12 – San Francisco, CA - Warfield Theater
Dec 13 - Los Angeles, CA - The Wiltern


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Friday, June 23, 2017

Out today: The Chain Gang of 1974

The Chain Gang of 1974 has released new album Felt on Caroline Records. Of the collection, leader Kamtin Mohager tells us, "After 10 years of having this project, I believe that Felt sounds exactly like what Chain Gang Of 1974 is supposed to sound like."

This is his third full-length under the moniker Chain Gang of 1974, which was preceded by Wayward Fire and Daydream Forever. He worked with producer Thom Powers of The Naked and Famous to complete it.

For the recent clip for "Wallflowers," the concept strayed from the structures of a typical music video into mini-documentary format, following the story of an Iranian adolescent whose family immigrated to the US at a dire moment in her battle with cancer. The video lets art overlap with current events to tell a story of obstacles overcome. 

Mohager told Billboard Magazine of his approach to this video, "I didn't want to present 'Wallflowers' in the typical music video fashion. I wrote this song knowing that it was bigger than me; a story needed to be told, with the song serving solely as its soundtrack. This represents love. This represents care. This represents all of us." 

Track list: 

1. Slow
3. Wallflowers
3. I Still Wonder
4. Forget feat. Alisa Xayalith
5. Looking For Love
6. It Needs You
7. Bliss
8. Human
9. Temptation

Liam Gallagher news

Liam Gallagher has announced his eagerly anticipated debut solo album As You Were. Set for an October 6 release date via Warner Bros./Parlophone Records, fans can pre-order the album today and receive and instant download of first single "Wall of Glass" followed by "China Town" on June 30.

Fans will also have the ability to purchase the album in a variety of formats including digitally (standard and deluxe), CD (standard and jewel case) and vinyl (standard 12" and limited edition color 12" formats).Click here to pre-order.

A special box set will also be available from here. This exclusive compiles a 12" color vinyl pressing of the album, an exclusive 7" single of "For What It's Worth," a print designed by Klaus Voorman (the artist behind The Beatles' Revolver album cover) and additional collectors' items.

As You Were was recorded in two locations. Greg Kurstin performed all of the instruments on the four songs that he produced ("Wall Of Glass," "Paper Crown," "Come Back To Me" and "It Doesn't Have To Be That Way"), while Dan Grech-Marguerat produced the remainder of the album at Snap! Studios in London.

"I didn't want to be reinventing anything or going off on a space jazz odyssey," says Gallagher, about the album. "It's the Lennon 'Cold Turkey' vibe, The Stones, the classics. But done my way, now."

Gallagher has also confirmed his first ever North American tour as a solo artist. Fans can pre-order tickets now. Local market tickets pre-sales begin June 27. All pre-sales will end June 28 at 10:00 p.m. local time.

General ticket on-sales begin June 29, at 10:00 a.m. local time. Ticket bundles packages will also be available. With every online ticket purchased for Gallagher's fall tour, fans will receive a choice of either a standard physical or standard digital copy of his upcoming album, As You Were, releasing October 6, 2017. For further info check here: 

Joining Liam Gallagher on the road will be Jay Mehler on guitars, Mike Moore on guitars, Christian Madden on keyboards, Drew McConnell on bass, and Dan McDougall on drums. 

North American tour dates:

Oct 7 San Bernardino, CA Glen Helen Regional Park
Nov 13 San Francisco, CA Warfield
Nov 18 Denver, CO Gothic
Nov 20 Minneapolis, MN First Avenue
Nov 21 Chicago, IL The Riviera
Nov 23 Toronto, ON Rebel
Nov 25 Boston, MA House of Blues
Nov 27 New York, NY Terminal 5
Nov 29 Washington, DC Lincoln Theatre
Nov 30 Philadelphia, PA Union Transfer

Out today: 311's 'Mosaic'

311's new album Mosaic - out now on BMG  - and the alt-rock band just launched their U.S. summer headlining tour.

Today at 3:11 p.m. PT, the band will launch a one-hour online listening party for the new release with track-by-track commentary from singer Nick Hexum. Listen in live here:

For Mosaic, 311 worked with producer John Feldmann (Blink-182, Panic! At The Disco) as well as Scotch Ralston (who produced the group's Transistor, Soundsystem and Stereolithic CDs).

Of the album's current single "Too Much to Think," Hexum states, "Musically, it starts out with a signature 311 guitar riff. The unique thing about this arrangement is that the chorus is so sparse. Usually, the chorus is the biggest part of the song. The first time you hear 'I wanna get high, but you're keeping me low' it's just voice and very sparse reggae guitar and bass. Then it kicks in. The song's been described as an earworm. It sticks in your head."

The headlining run of North America started last night in Cleveland. Unity Tour 2017 marks the group's 18th consecutive summer headlining the U.S. The outing features special guests New Politics plus The Skints and Passafire (on select shows). 311 will also make headline appearances at several festivals and radio events. The full tour itinerary is listed below and on:

MOSAIC is available now at:

311 is singer Nick Hexum, guitarist Tim Mahoney, bassist P-Nut, drummer Chad Sexton and singer/DJ S.A. Martinez.

Track listing:

Too Much to Think
The Night is Young
Island Sun
Perfect Mistake
Inside Our Home
'Til the City's on Fire
Too Late
Hey Yo
Places That the Mind Goes
Face in the Wind
Forever Now
Days of '88
One and the Same
Syntax Error
On a Roll

Tour dates:

6/24 Montebello, Quebec
Amnesia Rockfest

6/25 Detroit, MI
The Fillmore

6/28 Columbus, OH
Express Live

6/29 St. Louis, MO
Pageant Theatre

6/30 Lincoln, NE
Lincoln on the Streets Party

7/2 Chicago, IL
Northerly Island Pavilion

7/3 Kansas City, MO

7/4 Indianapolis, IN
Pavilion at Pan Am Plaza

7/6 Pittsburgh, PA
Stage AE

7/7 Hampton Beach, NH
HB Casino

7/8 Portland, ME
Maine State Pier

7/10 Buffalo, NY

7/11 New York City, NY
Hammerstein Ballroom

7/14 Long Island, NY
Great South Bay Music Festival

7/15 Asbury Park, NJ
Stone Pony Summerstage

7/16 Boston, MA
Blue Hills Bank Pavilion

7/19 Glen Allen, VA
Innsbrook After Hours

7/21 Philadelphia, PA
Penns Landing at Festival Pier

7/22 Hartford, CT
CT Convention Center

7/24 Washington, D.C.
Fillmore Silver Spring

7/25 Washington, D.C.
Fillmore Silver Spring
7/26 Charlotte, NC
Metro Credit Union Amphitheater

7/28-29 Atlanta, GA

7/30 Myrtle Beach, SC
House of Blues

8/1 Boca Raton, FL
Sunset Cove Amphitheater

8/2 St Augustine, FL
St Augustine Amphitheater

8/4 New Orleans, LA
Bold Sphere Amphitheater

8/5 Houston, TX
Revention Music Center

8/6 New Braunfels, TX
Whitewater Amp

8/8 Dallas, TX
Southside Ballroom

8/10 Albuquerque, NM
Sandia Casino

8/11 Denver, CO
Levitt Pavilion

8/12 Salt Lake City, UT
USANA Amphitheater

8/14 Boise, ID
Revolution Concert House

8/15 Eugene, OR
Cuthbert Amphitheater

8/16 San Jose, CA
City National Civic

8/18 Las Vegas, NV
Mandalay Bay Beach

8/19 Los Angeles, CA
Hollywood Palladium

8/20 San Diego, CA
Cal Coast Credit Union OAT

9/1 Virginia Beach, VA
American Music Festival