Friday, September 22, 2023

Faye Webster - "Lifetime"

Photo by Michelle Mercado

Atlanta's Faye Webster has this very specific sound of mellow, laid back and incredibly groovy music. Her latest single, "Lifetime," might just be the most Faye Webster song to date. "Lifetime" is almost impossibly chill. It almost has this lounge song vibe to it, and has an almost jazzy quality. This is the definition of a cool sounding song. In another artist's hands, this song could have ended up boring, but Webster has this magical quality that makes virtually everything she does compelling. Part of it is her voice just sucks you in, but Webster has that certain intangible star quality that makes you need to listen.

You can watch the video for "Lifetime" below. The single is out now via Secretly Canadian. For more on Faye Webster, check out the artist's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the video, and the U.S. portion is completely sold out.

Oct 17 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club - SOLD OUT

Oct 18 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club - SOLD OUT

Oct 20 - Boston, MA @ Roadrunner - SOLD OUT

Oct 21 - Philadelphia, PA @ Franklin Music Hall - SOLD OUT

Oct 23 - Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel - SOLD OUT

Oct 24 - Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel - SOLD OUT

Oct 25 - Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel - SOLD OUT

Oct 27 - Toronto, ON @ History - SOLD OUT

Oct 29 - Chicago, IL @ Vic Theatre- SOLD OUT

Oct 30 - Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue - SOLD OUT

Nov 02 - Seattle, WA @ Showbox SoDo - SOLD OUT

Nov 03 - Vancouver, BC @ Vogue Theatre - SOLD OUT

Nov 04 - Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom - SOLD OUT

Nov 07 - San Francisco, CA @ Fox Theater - SOLD OUT

Nov 08 - Los Angeles, CA @ The NoVo - SOLD OUT

Nov 09 - Los Angeles, CA @ The NoVo - SOLD OUT

Nov 10 - Phoenix, AZ @ The Van Buren - SOLD OUT

Nov 12 - Dallas, TX @ The Factory in Deep Ellum - SOLD OUT

Nov 13 - Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall - SOLD OUT

Nov 14 - Austin, TX @ Stubb's Waller Creek Amphitheater - SOLD OUT

Nov 16 - Atlanta, GA @ The Eastern - SOLD OUT

Nov 17 - Atlanta, GA @ The Eastern - SOLD OUT

May 09 - Dublin, IE @ Button Factory

May 11 - Glasgow, UK @ St. Luke’s

May 12 - Manchester, UK @ New Century

May 13 - Leeds, UK @ Stylus

May 15 - London, UK @ KOKO

May 18 - Bristol, UK @ SWX

May 20 - Brussels, BE @ Botanique

May 21 - Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso

May 23 - Copenhagen, DK @ Vega

May 24 - Hamburg, DE @ Mojo Club

May 25 - Berlin, DE @ Metropol

May 27 - Munich, DE @ Technikum

May 28 - Cologne, DE @ Gloria

May 29 - Paris, FR @ Le Trabendo

Steph Green - "Take a Walk"

We absolutely loved Steph Green's single "Next Place" and her album Thanks for That, so we're thrilled to get new music from her. Her latest single, "Take a Walk," is this odd but perfect mix of garage rock and country. It has that ramblin' country/folk feel, but in a garage rock song. It's a song led by lap steel and Green's vocals. In the press release, it's described as "... a song suitable for literally taking a walk to," and that somehow fits this one perfectly. It's the perfect song for just taking a walk just for the sake of taking a walk. You're not going anywhere, and you're not trying to get your steps in for the day. You're just going to "Take a Walk."

You can listen to "Take a Walk" below. Lore is out October 20 on Mashed Potato Records. For more on Steph Green, check out the artist's website.

Juliana Hatfield Covers ELO Again

Photo by David Doobinin

I'm pretty sure I've never heard ELO's song "Telephone Line" before. I even listened to it before writing this, and I'm at least ninety-five percent sure. But, I love Juliana Hatfield and virtually everything she touches, so of course I'll give her version of the song a listen or three. Her version of "Telephone Line" is a 70's style power ballad more along the lines of what ELO would sound like than classic 90's Hatfield. But it's really fun hearing Hatfield pull off a song in this style so expertly. I don't think this is going to convert me into ELO fandom, but I can see myself grooving to this one for a while.

You can listen to Juliana Hatfield's take on "Telephone Line" below. Juliana Hatfield Sings ELO is due out November 17 on American Laundromat Records, and is available for pre-order here. For more on Juliana Hatfield, check out the artist's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the song.

OCT 4 / Pittsburgh, PA @ City Winery (w/ On Being An Angel)
OCT 5 /  Cleveland, OH @ Music Box Supper Club (w/ On Being An Angel)
OCT 6 / Columbus, OH @ Rumba CafĂ© (w/ On Being An Angel)
OCT 7 /  Evanston, IL @ S.P.A.C.E. (w/ On Being An Angel)
OCT 9 / St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club (w/ On Being An Angel)
OCT 10 / Milwaukee, WI @ Shank Hall (w/ On Being An Angel)
OCT 11 / Cincinnati, OH @ The Woodward Theater (w/ On Being An Angel)
OCT 13 / Northampton, MA @ The Parlor Room (w/ Freda Love)
OCT 14 / Providence, RI @ POP (w/ Freda Love)
OCT 15 / New York, NY @ City Winery (Wesley Stace’s Cabinet of Wonders)
*all dates solo electric

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Bombino, Crystal Ballroom at Somervile Theater, Somerville, MA 9/19/23

I first stumbled on Bombino at the 2013 Newport Folk Festival. If I remember correctly, I had carved out that time to eat as I wasn't familiar with any of the artists playing that timeslot. Instead of eating, I was sucked into Bombino's performance and vowed to see him again as soon as I could. Unfortunately, it took ten years, but it was worth the wait.

Playing with no opener, Bombino took the stage with a five piece band and played the first few songs with an acoustic guitar. It was a perfect way to ease the audience into his style of Tuareg music that is much closer to folk. After those three songs, the electric guitar came out, and the show truly took off. His guitar playing is completely mesmerizing. Every moment of every song was perfect and spellbinding, but the instrumental parts where Bombino got to just play guitar were absolutely transcendent. It makes zero sense that he doesn't get listed as one of the truly great guitarists of today, because I've seen very few come close to his playing. Maybe it's the ignorant American in me, but it's a style unlike anyone I've ever seen.

Even while singing, Bombino is very soft-spoken. He did very little (if any, really) between song banter. At the most, he thanked the sections of the crowd that kept yelling his name between songs. Any banter was handled by his bass player. As enjoyable as his vocals and melodies were, the highlight was truly his playing ability.

When Bombino came back for an encore, he did so alone. This seemed to signal the typical one or two solo songs to start off an encore, but after maybe a minute the rest of the band joined him for a fiery few songs. Bombino is one of the acts you need to make some time to see live. I can guarantee you will be changed after.


Photo by Yoshio Nakaiso

For the singles off their upcoming album, Japanese quartet CHAI have been delving into the 80's. Their latest single, "GAME," keeps the trend going. "GAME" is a chilled out synth-heavy track that has an insane amount of groove throughout. As with any song from CHAI, the new song is beyond fun. It's about as stripped down as a song predominately tracked with synthesizers can be, and it lands somewhere between early New Wave and early hip hop can be. CHAI is always a fun band, and "GAME" somehow steps their typical level of fun up a few notches.

MANA (vocals/keys) says of the new single:

“Winning isn’t the goal, it’s the strategizing and challenge that matters♡ So it doesn’t matter if you lose. Take that loss and turn it into an even better strategy! Life’s a game! We made the video with our lovely friend Ginger Root♡ It’s fun and NEO KAWAII♡ As long as you’re living, you can play the game as many times as you want. Be honest to your heart, don’t take it too seriously, and live life.”

You can watch the video for "GAME" below. CHAI's self-titled album is due out September 22 on Sub Pop, and is available for pre-order here. For more on CHAI, check out the band's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

Sat. Sept. 23 -  Boise, ID @ Flipside FestivalSun. Sept. 24 - Seattle, WA @ Tractor TavernMon. Sept. 25 - Portland, OR @ Doug Fir LoungeWed. Sept. 27 - San Francisco, CA @ The IndependentFri. Sept. 29 - Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram BallroomMon. Oct. 2 - Chicago, IL @ Thalia HallWed. Oct. 4 - Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe TavernFri. Oct. 6 - Brooklyn, NY @ WarsawSun. Oct. 8 - Boston, MA @ Crystal BallroomTue. Oct. 10 - Washington, DC @ Union StageWed. Oct. 11 - Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’sFri. Oct. 13 - Mexico City, MEX @ Indie Rocks!Wed. Nov. 1 – Berlin, DE @ Pitchfork Music Festival BerlinFri. Nov. 3 – Paris, FR @ BadaboumSun. Nov. 5 –Amsterdam, NL @ Tolhuistuin (Paradiso Noord)Mon. Nov. 6 – Brussels, BE @ Botanique OrangerieWed. Nov. 8 – Southampton, UK @ HeartbreakersThu. Nov. 9 – Brighton, UK @ PatternsFri. Nov. 10 – London, UK @ Pitchfork Music FestivalSun. Nov. 12 – Manchester, UK @ Yes (Pink Room)Tue. Nov 14 – Glasgow, UK @ BroadcastWed. Nov. 15 – Leeds, UK @ Headrow HouseThu. Nov. 16 – Bristol, UK @ Rough Trade

The Breeders with J Mascis - "Divine Mascis"

Photo by K Rector

Way back in June I first discovered there was a version of The Breeders' "Divine Hammer" featuring J Mascis, and I desperately wanted to hear it. I assumed I'd have to wait until Last Splash (30th Anniversary Original Analog Edition to be released on September 22, but The Breeders decided to release it a couple of days early! "Divine Mascis" features Mascis on guitar and lead vocals for this version of "Divine Hammer," and the song is basically reworked around him. It sounds more dreamy and pop than the original, and less Dinosaur Jr than I ever would have expected. The bass also seems to kick a little harder on "Divine Mascis," which is fairly unexpected. It's a fun re-imagining of an iconic song from the 90's and makes me wonder what could have been if this ended up on Last Splash.

Kelley Deal says of the newly released song:

At the time, J Mascis was a guitar god… we sent him the tape to put guitar on, so when it came back and he’s got rid of our voices and just put his vocal on, we were like, ‘Wha?!’ But it’s really cute. There’s a freshness to it, and it’s just so weird. I like his voice and the idiosyncratic way he sings and delivers lines. So I thought it was really neat.

You can watch the video for "Divine Mascis" below. Last Splash (30th Anniversary Original Analog Edition) will be out September 22 on 4AD, and is available for pre-order here. For more on The Breeders, check out the band's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

21 September – SILVER SPRINGS, MD, USA, Fillmore %

23 September – BROOKLYN, NY, USA, Kings Theater %

24 September – BOSTON, MA, USA, House of Blues %

3 October – PHOENIX, AZ, USA, Talking Stick Resort *

5 October – EL PASO, TX, USA, Don Haskins Center *

7 October – FORT WORTH, TX, USA, Tannahill’s Tavern & Music Hall

8 October – AUSTIN, TX, USA, Austin City Limits Music Festival

13 October – AUSTIN, TX, USA, Stubb’s Waller Creek Ampitheater

15 October – AUSTIN, TX, USA, Austin City Limits Music Festival

18 October – LOS ANGELES, CA, USA, The Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever

19 October – LOS ANGELES, CA, USA, The Wiltern #

20 October – SAN DIEGO, CA, USA, Observatory #

22 October – BIG SUR, CA, USA, Henry Miller Library #

23 October – SAN FRANCISCO, CA, USA, The Warfield #

25 October – SEATTLE, WA, USA, Paramount #

20 January 2024 – AUCKLAND, NZ, Go Media Stadium *

24 January 2024 – CHRISTCHURCH, NZ, Apollo Projects Stadium *

27 January 2024 – WELLINGTON, NZ, Sky Stadium *

5 April 2024 – NEW YORK, NY, USA, Madison Square Garden ^

6 April 2024 – NEW YORK, NY, USA, Madison Square Garden ^

8 April 2024 – NEW YORK, NY, USA, Madison Square Garden ^

9 April 2024 – NEW YORK, NY, USA, Madison Square Garden ^

13 August 2024 – LOS ANGELES, CA, USA, The Forum ^

14 August 2024 – LOS ANGELES, CA, USA, The Forum ^

16 August 2024 – LOS ANGELES, CA, USA, The Forum ^

17 August 2024 – LOS ANGELES, CA, USA, The Forum ^

* with Foo Fighters

% with Screaming Females 

# with Belly

^ with Olivia Rodrigo

Slothrust Covers Ginuwine

Photo by Marcelo Mayen

When I first saw that Slothrust was covering Ginuwine's "Pony," I assumed they'd lean into their pop side on this one. Instead, Slothrust bring the rock for the cover. That's not to say there aren't any pop elements present in the cover. But "Pony" is transformed into a rock song on this one. It's landing somewhere between grunge and metal, but with some aforementioned pop elements. The guitar goes straight up noise rock at times, and Will Gorum's drums are reminding me a lot of Charlie Benante's (Anthrax) COVID covers series, especially his version of Billie Eilish's "Bad Guy." What also helps Slothrust's cover stand out against other rock covers of Top 40 songs is that this one is done without a shred of irony. It's fun, but it's not making fun of the original.

You can watch the video for Slothrust's version of "Pony" below. I Promise is due out October 20 via Dangerbird Records, and is available for pre-order here. For more on Slothrust, check out the band's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

OCT 20 FRI - SOMA SAN DIEGO @ 7:00pm - San Diego, CA
OCT 24 TUE - Marquee Theatre @ 7:00pm - Tempe, AZ ^
OCT 25 WED - The Historic El Rey Theater @ 7:00pm - Albuquerque, NM ^
OCT 27 FRI - Diamond Ballroom @ 7:00pm - Oklahoma City, OK ^
OCT 28 SAT - Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater @ 8:00pm - Austin, TX ^
OCT 29 SUN - The Factory In Deep Ellum @ 7:30pm - Dallas, TX ^
OCT 30 MON - Marathon Music Works @ 7:00pm - Nashville, TN ^
OCT 31 TUE - Marathon Music Works @ 8:00pm - Nashville, TN ^
NOV 2 THU - Iron City Bham @ 7:00pm - Birmingham, AL ^
NOV 3 FRI - St. Augustine Amphitheatre @ 7:00pm - St. Augustine, FL ^
NOV 4 SAT - The Eastern @ 7:00pm - Atlanta, GA ^
NOV 5 SUN - The Senate @ 7:00pm - Columbia, SC ^
NOV 7 TUE - The Ritz @ 7:00pm - Raleigh, NC ^
NOV 8 WED - The Fillmore @ 7:00pm - Silver Spring, MD ^
NOV 10 FRI - Terminal 5 @ 7:00pm - New York, NY ^
NOV 11 SAT - Terminal 5 @ 7:00pm - New York, NY ^
NOV 12 SUN - The Song & Dance @ 7:00pm - Syracuse, NY
NOV 13 MON - Jamestown Skate Products @ 7:00pm - Jamestown, NY
NOV 16 THU - Rose Music Hall @ 7:00pm - Columbia, MO
NOV 17 FRI - Reverb Lounge @ 7:00pm - Omaha, NE
NOV 18 SAT - WAVE @ 7:00pm - Wichita, KS
NOV 19 SUN - Black Sheep @ 7:00pm - Colorado Springs, CO

^ with The Front Bottoms