Music Releases 02-02-24
What Do We Do Now is the fifth solo studio LP recorded by J Mascis since 1996. This is obviously not a very aggressive release schedule, but when you figure in the live albums, guest spots, and records done with his various other bands (Dinosaur Jr., The Fog, Heavy Blanket, Witch, Sweet Apple, and so on), well, to paraphrase Lou Reed, “J's week beats your year.”
What Do We Do Now began to come together during the waning days of the Pandemic. Utilizing his own Bisquiteen Studio, J started working on writing a series of tunes on acoustic with a different dynamic than the stuff he creates for Dino. “When I'm writing for the band,” he says, “I'm always trying to think of doing things Lou and Murph would fit into. For myself, I'm thinking more about what I can do with just an acoustic guitar, even for the leads. Of course, this time, I added full drums and electric leads, although the rhythm parts are still all acoustic. Usually, I try to do the solo stuff more simply so I can play it by myself, but I really wanted to add the drums. Once that started, everything else just fell into place. So it ended up sounding a lot more like a band record. I dunno why I did that exactly, but it's just what happened.”
Two guest musicians are playing this time out; Western Mass local Ken Mauri (of the B52s) plays piano on several tracks. Since J himself has some experience with keys, when asked why he needed a hired gun, he says, “Ken is great, and he plays all the keys. I tried playing some keyboards on the first Fog album, but I'm really only comfortable playing the white notes, so it's kind of limiting. [laughs] Nowadays, I could just turn the pitch on a mini Mellotron to play different sounds, but black keys just seem hard. For whatever reason, I just like banging on the white ones. Seems like it's harder to figure out how to stretch your fingers around the other ones.”
Mauri has no such qualms and plays all the keys very damn well. He sounds especially great on “I Can't Find You,” where he is Jack Nitzsche to J's Neil Young, creating one of the album's loveliest tunes. The other guest musician, Matthew “Doc” Dunn, is also prominent on this track. Dunn's steel guitar manages to both widen and soften the musical edges of the music, giving it a full classicist profile. Dunn is an Ontario-based polymath who J met through Matt Valentine. After J played on Doc's great 2022 Sub Pop single, “Your Feel,” he figured it was time for payback. Both Dunn and Mauri add beautifully to the songs here, helping to transform them from acoustic sketches into full-blown post-core power ballads.
What Do We Do Now is the finest set of solo tunes J has yet penned, and the way they're presented is just about perfect. Asked if he would be touring to support the album, J says he'll be doing some weekend dates, but he probably won't be putting a band together. And I'm sure these songs will sound great solo and acoustic, but the arrangements on this album are truly great and put a cool, different spin on Mascis' instantly recognizable approach to making music.
So, what do we do now? Not sure. But apparently, what J does is to make one of his most killer records ever. Hats off to him.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1973 album, Band On The Run, this special edition was cut at half-speed on 180g vinyl using a high-resolution transfer of the original master tapes by Miles Showell at the legendary Abbey Road Studios. This tracklist mirrors the U.S. release which includes the song, “Helen Wheels.” Also included is a reproduction of the Linda McCartney Polaroid poster.
The second of two limited edition box sets that are a comprehensive, chronological overview of The Rolling Stones’ early career as chart toppers. Contains 18 authentic reproductions of the original 7” 45 RPM singles in full color picture sleeves, a 32-page book with extensive liner notes by Rolling Stones authority Nigel Williamson, plus set of 5 photo cards and a poster, all housed in a hard-shell box.
Features the rare 1971 Decca “Street Fighting Man” maxi-single, non-LP B-sides “Long Long While,” “Who’s Driving Your Plane?” and “Child Of The Moon,” and rare mono mixes of “We Love You” and “Dandelion,” which are exclusive to the single release. Mick Jagger’s “Memo From Turner” and the Ry Cooder instrumental “Natural Magic” from the film Performance, as well as the Neptunes and Fat Boy Slim remixes of “Sympathy For The Devil” are also included.
Vinyl: $103.98 Buy
A 4-LP set, Music Box: 30th Anniversary Expanded Edition presents the original album Music Box in its entirety on Disc One with the noteworthy addition of "Everything Fades Away" (previously available only as an international bonus track). Discs Two and Three premiere a variety of previously unreleased tracks including "Workin' Hard,""All I Live For (Extended Version),""My Prayer,""Hero (2009 Version),""Anytime You Need A Friend (Extended Mix,") "Music Box (A Capella)"and two live performances from Top of the Pops: "Dreamlover"and "Without You." Disc Two also includes Mariah Carey's duet with Luther Vandross on "Endless Love"as well as two brand new remixes from Grammy Award nominated DJ Terry Hunter: "I've Been Thinking About You"and "Workin' Hard." Disc Four, "Mariah Carey Live at Proctor's Theater, NY - 1993" presents Mariah's complete showcase for the first time and features eight previously unreleased concert performances. (The Proctor's Theater performances of "Hero"and "Dreamlover"are the only two previously released tracks from the concert.)
From the Dolls-meets-the-devil opening title track to the desperate Sister Lovers-adjacent finale "The Findings," The Interrogator is thirteen vibrant, crackling, scary and hilarious songs which taken together represent nothing less than a thorough and thrilling moral inventory of our decadent and depraved times. Following up and doubling down on the themes of last year's lionized cult favorite For Executive Meeting, Elizabeth Nelson has authored an album as politically potent and pointedly hilarious as antecedents like The Mekons’ Rock 'n' Roll and Neil Young's on On the Beach and wed it to the sound of ZZ Top's Eliminator. As writers like Rob Sheffield and Robert Christgau have known for years Elizbeth Nelson has been one of our very best songwriters for going on a decade. On the charged anthem "Bad Day for the Group Chat" she reassesses the current state of affairs: "I have bested all my peers.”
Mellow War is Taylor McCall’s 2nd studio album and first production project. This album was co-produced by Taylor McCall and Sean McConnell. This album features Taylor’s late grandfather during his days in Vietnam on the cover as well as the intro track, “Sinking Sand”, from his days as a pastor. His mother also is singing in the choir. Mellow War explores the balance of good and evil, destruction and healing and the importance of having faith in the darkest of times.
Maddie’s 2022 EP, You Might Not Like Her, marked the end of a chapter for Maddie at the same time it marked a beginning for her fans, a teeter-totter of an experience for the singer-songwriter who, at the time of its release, had moved on to writing a new body of work about a new chapter in her life. Having left behind the Boise church community where she long served as a worship leader to move to Los Angeles where she came out as queer and explored what that meant to her for the first tangible time, inspiration was flowing at a moment when some of her most meaningful songs were bringing her back to the past she’d left behind. “It was such a weird whiplash to see people connecting with those songs on such a deep and meaningful level knowing that I’d already processed everything within them months and months ago,” she says. “It was like everyone listening to the songs I was performing was 12 months behind my own healing process – and it was even wilder performing them knowing that I had so many more, newer stories I was just waiting to be able to share.”
Now That I’ve Been Honest lays bare those stories in chronological order, a raw, triumphant, honest and refreshing personal story in her debut album that signals the arrival of one of music’s most important new voices. As sonically textured and layered a debut you’ll find, Now That I’ve Been Honest professes to be a coming-of-age story detailing Maddie’s life since moving to Los Angeles, while continuing to build upon the sound foundation of her early work and the community she’s created and fostered in her music. “The EP was me in a lot of ways deconstructing who I was,” she says. “The album is me saying, ‘Well, now that we've gotten that taken care of…’” The digital album was released October 20th.
THE HUNGER GAMES: THE BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS & SNAKES (MUSIC FROM & INSPIRED BY) IS THE OFFICIAL SOUNDTRACK TO THE HIGHLY ANTICIPATED NEW FILM IN THE HUNGER GAMES SAGA. THE SOUNDTRACK WAS EXECUTIVE-PRODUCED BY NINE-TIME GRAMMY®-WINNING PRODUCER DAVE COBB (CHRIS STAPLETON, BRANDI CARLILE, STURGILL SIMPSON) AND FEATURES “CAN’T CATCH ME NOW”, WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY OLIVIA RODRIGO.
“Prelude To Ecstasy is a pendulum which swings between the extremes of human emotion – from the ecstasy of passion to the sublimity of pain – and it is this concept which binds our album together. This is an archeology of ourselves; you can exhume our collective and individual experiences and influences from within its fabric. We exorcised guitars for their solos, laid bare confessions directly from diary pages, and summoned an orchestra to bring our vision to life. It is out greatest honour and pride to present this offering to the world, it is everything we are.” – The Last Dinner Party
DJ Seinfeld and Confidence Man teamed up this year to bring us “Now U Do”, a fun-filled summer anthem described by Seinfeld as “quirky, naive and an ode to all the summer flings out there”, Following a hot summer of hearing the single played out in clubs and radio stations around the world, garnering 24+ millions views across TikTok and receiving a stellar remix treatment from Diplo acolyte and party starter in her own right, Carlita, the infectious single is finally coming to vinyl as a limited edition 12”. The single arrived just under two years on from DJ Seinfeld's 2021 album ‘Mirrors’ which saw the producer hone a melancholic yet optimistic sound which took elements of the deliberately sepia-tinged lo-fi sound of his early work, and put it firmly into focus. The album garnered amazing support across the board, with glowing reviews from Resident Advisor, Pitchfork and Clash Magazine. Around the release Seinfeld was made the cover star of Mixmag, before taking his now lauded Mirrors live show to The Warehouse Project, Printworks, Primavera and a North American and Australian tour.
Operating in a basement studio at the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, pipeline man Howard Neal and his appropriately named Shoestring label was Alton, Illinois’ answer to a question no one asked. Pressed in minuscule numbers and barely outside the 62002 zip code, the singles by The James Family, Jimmie Green, Pete & Cheez, and Carletta Sue are prime examples of cosmic midwestern disco in search of a break. This heavy weight 10-song LP is housed in a tip-on sleeve, and includes an essay and imagery that complete the picture of this pure expression of small-town soul.
The Fray is the self-titled second studio album from The Fray. The platinum selling album reissued on vinyl features hit songs, “You Found Me,” “Never Say Never,” and more. The Fray quickly became a number-one selling album that year and cemented the band as a mainstay in the pop-rock scene of the 2000’s.
How To Save A Life, the debut studio album from Grammy-nominated pop-rock band, The Fray, features hit songs, “How To Save A Life,” and “Over My Head (Cable Car).” The album held the title for best-selling digital album of all time until 2010, selling over 4 million copies. The album continues to find popularity among new and long-time fans alike.
Lucy Thomas’s eagerly awaited fifth studio album “Beyond” is a stunning collection of re-imaged classics and exciting new original songs. At 19 years of age Lucy is widely considered to be one of the finest young singers in the world and this incredible album, featuring both sensational solo and duet recordings, beautifully showcases Lucy’s extraordinary talent.
TWS - TWS 1st Mini Album 'Sparkling Blue' (Lucky Ver.) - K-Pop CD
New K-Pop Boy Group out of PLEDIS Entertainment has officially debuted! TWS (24/7:WITH:US) is here with their first mini album titled `Sparkling Blue' - available in 2 versions: Sparkling and Lucky. Consisting of 6 members, the concept of TWS is sparkling, non-toxic and friendly with refreshing and catchy music. Contents include: CD, Outbox, Photo Book (120 pgs), 2 Stickers, Polaroid, Name Tag, Photo Card (random 1 of 6). US/EU Retail Exclusive: Group Postcard.