The latest Son Volt album, Notes Of Blue, may just be precisely the album that will put your anxious brain at ease. It’s inspired by Nick Drake, but it’s also inspired by Mississippi Fred McDowell and Skip James. While the influences of the latter are more easily evident, Son Volt’s leader Jay Farrar says he was “aiming for where blues and folk and country converge.” He’s certainly hit his mark. Continue reading ‘Music Review: Son Volt, Notes Of Blue’
Comparisons to Rockstar Games’ unbelievably popular crime opus, Grand Theft Auto, are always apt with the Yakuza series. Like those games, Yakuza Zero, a prequel to the prior five main entries and several spin-offs in the series, attempts to provide a snapshot of the culture embodied in its distinct setting (fictionalized cities in America in Grand Theft Auto, Japan in Yakuza) by telling stories about their criminal underbellies. Though fundamentally similar in this way, it’s the cultural distinctions that make both games into well-crafted, interactive time capsules, albeit with some confounding elements. Continue reading ‘Game Review: “Yakuza Zero” (Playstation 4)’
Over at The Bluegrass Situation you’ll find the video for the debut single from Americana artist Jade Jackson. The song, “Motorcycle,” is the lead track from the forthcoming album produced by Social Distortion’s Mike Ness. “Motorcycle” is scrappy but soft-spoken and feels like a dusty western noir. I’m really looking forward to this album; if “Motorcycle” is any indication Jackson will be an artist to watch in 2017.
Overkill, The Grinding Wheel (Nuclear Blast Records)
Thrash veterans Overkill return on February 10 with The Grinding Wheel. The first single, “Our Finest Hour,” is exactly what you want/expect from Overkill, which is lightning-fast, squealing-tires-on-pavement, aggressive, and confrontational classic thrash metal. You can check out “Our Finest Hour” below. The album is currently up for pre-order on digital, digi-pak, CD, and vinyl. The vinyl comes in four variants; black, yellow, green, and splatter. You can pre-order from Nuclear Blast Records.
Mastodon, “Sultan’s Curse”
In keeping with the “coming soon” theme of the day, Mastodon released their first single for their March 31 album Emperor Of Sand a few days ago and you can preview it on Loudwire. It’s called “Sultan’s Curse” and sounds like the Mastodon we all know and love. I’ll admit that nothing the group has done since Leviathan has exactly thrilled me as much as their metal adaptation of Moby Dick, but that hasn’t stopped me from being excited every time a new album is announced. In addition to the video in the link, Loudwire also has some info on the album itself. Spoiler alert: it sounds pretty great.
Iron Maiden brings The Book of Souls Tour back to North America
Maiden remains one of the best live bands ever. Their heavy and ambitious Book Of Souls album is a highlight of their nearly four-decade career and with their latest tour they promise to bring back all the Eddies. I saw them a couple years ago with Alice Cooper (who also still knows how to put on a hell of a show) and it was a blast! It’s absolutely worth the experience. (And Ghost is opening!—Ed.)
JUN 03: BRISTOW, VA; JIFFY LUBE LIVE;
JUN 04: PHILADELPHIA, PA; WELLS FARGO CENTER
JUN 07: NEWARK, NJ; PRUDENTIAL CENTER
JUN 09: CHARLOTTE, NC; PNC MUSIC PAVILION:
JUN 11: TAMPA, FL; AMALIE ARENA
JUN 13: NASHVILLE, TN; BRIDGESTONE ARENA
JUN 15: CHICAGO, IL; HOLLYWOOD CASINO AMPHITHEATER
JUN 16: MINNEAPOLIS, MN; XCEL ENERGY CENTER
JUN 19: OKLAHOMA CITY, OK; CHESAPEAKE ARENA
JUN 21: HOUSTON, TX; TOYOTA CENTER
JUN 23: DALLAS, TX; AMERICAN AIRLINES CENTER
JUN 24: SAN ANTONIO, TX; AT&T CENTER
JUN 27: ALBUQUERQUE, NM; ISLETA AMPHITHEATER
JUN 28: PHOENIX, AZ; TALKING STICK RESORT ARENA
JUL 01: SAN BERNARDINO, CA; GLEN HELEN AMPHITHEATER*
JUL 03: LAS VEGAS, NV; T-MOBILE ARENA
JUL 05: OAKLAND, CA; ORACLE ARENA
JUL 07: SALT LAKE CITY, UT; USANA AMPHITHEATER
JUL 09: LINCOLN, NE; PINNACLE BANK ARENA
JUL 11: KANSAS CITY, MO; SPRINT CENTER
JUL 12: ST LOUIS, MO; HOLLYWOOD CASINO AMPHITHEATER
JUL 15: TORONTO, CANADAvBUDWEISER STAGE
JUL 16: QUEBEC CITY, CANADAvVIDEOTRON CENTRE
JUL 19: MANSFIELD, MA; XFINITY CENTER
JUL 21: BROOKLYN, NY; BARCLAYS CENTER
Multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Mick Harvey will likely be best known as Nick Cave’s longtime collaborator, from their first 1band The Boys Next Door, to the Birthday Party, to Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds. Harvey worked with Cave for 36 years, but he’s also had a distinguished solo career in his own right with Crime And The City Solution, The Wallbangers, and under his own name. It seems whatever Harvey has touched has been at the very least a fascinating addition to the annals of rock and roll. Continue reading ‘Music Review: Mick Harvey, Intoxicated Women’
After a fairly slow episode last time, we’re met with, you guessed it, another build-up episode. That’s perfectly OK because there must be build-up if there’s going to be anything explosive to look forward to. And I’m sure the writers at The Walking Dead will not disappoint. I’ll be addressing the different plotlines individually, as this episode had quite a bit of hopping around, with very little detail to them other than a quick scene with only a few lines. At the end of the day, this episode should have been called “This Is Why Carl Should Stay In The House, a.k.a. Dammit Carl!” Continue reading ‘TV Review: The Walking Dead, “Sing Me A Song”’
Brigitte DeMeyer and Will Kimbrough have written songs, recorded, and toured together for years, but with their album Mockingbird Soul, they are putting both their names on the collaboration. And Mockingbird Soul is a true partnership, one that is evident in their instinctive harmonies, their quietly literary lyrics, and the grace of their musicianship. It’s a beauty of an album. Continue reading ‘Music Review: Brigitte DeMeyer and Will Kimbrough, Mockingbird Soul’
If ELO, ABBA, and the Rolling Stones had a baby, it would be Foxygen, but don’t believe that they are any sort of rip-off. The duo’s latest effort, Hang, is a symphonic powerhouse that not only borrows from music of yesteryear, but also delivers a sense of authenticity and originality that only comes around so often. With a 40-piece orchestra accompanying all eight (typically) upbeat tracks, Foxygen has released one of the most fearless and valiant records in recent times. Continue reading ‘Music Review: Foxygen, Hang’
The Pacific Northwest’s Dark Palms return with a four-song EP that expands the group’s sound in fantastic ways. Smoke opens with a title track that sounds like Black Sabbath by way of Hüsker Dü with a Funhouse Stooges digression. “Heroes” has a push and pull rhythmic thing going, almost as if the song is fighting against being buried alive. “Salton Sea” is more of a straight-forward rocker, like it could have been on the band’s previous release, Hoxbar Ghost Town, but there’s an aged quality to it, like a hot rod running against a desert wind.
The album closes with “Margarita And The Master” which borrows its title from the Mikhail Bulgakov novel about the Devil visiting the atheistic Russia. I haven’t read the book, so I can’t comment on the lyrics and if they actually reference the novel, but the song conjures an interesting notion. All four tracks are damn good and Smoke is a great companion to the group’s debut from last year.
Werewolves In Siberia, Transcontinental Road Race (Bandcamp)
Ah, Werewolves In Siberia, one of the most kick-ass synth-wave projects out there… This album hits Bandcamp today to coincide with the release of Death Race 2050. You get three tracks: the title track, plus two versions of “Frankenstein, The Indestructible,” one with a sample from the original film and one without. The trailer looks like a direct sequel to Roger Corman’s original Death Race 2000, and it looks fucking awesome. The EP is pretty great itself, as one would expect from WiS.
RIP Gabby Gaborno
A while ago during my hiatus from Popshifter, Gabby Gaborno, lead singer of the Cadillac Tramps and Manic Hispanic, passed away after years of struggling with health problems. He was a great singer and frontman and both bands are well worth your time to seek out if you’re unfamiliar with them. From interviews I’ve read Gabby seemed like a really cool, nice guy. My heart goes out to his family and friends.