Recommended New Releases – Radiohead, Swans, Mitski

Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
In some ways, A Moon Shaped Pool plays like a Thom Yorke solo album for that reason, akin to a Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes successor, with personalized invitations mailed to both Greenwoods: “Jonny, I was hoping you could pen some of those monstrous There Will Be Blood strings here. And, Colin, perhaps some lines too subdued for the spotlight that are still rather thick? What do you say? xxx.” But there’s communal pain in Yorke’s words, in everyone’s playing. When he uses an acoustic guitar on “Desert Island Disk” for pastoral finger-plucking, it could easily stop there as rework of live solo material, but whirring electronic waves and light drumming turn it into Radiohead’s version of full-blown English countryside folk, their own “Hazey Jane I”. Perhaps they realized Yorke’s pain could speak for the band as a whole. Read the Full Review on Consequence of Sound

Swans – Glowing Man
The aforementioned sense that every note and word on this record is building toward something truly colossal is fulfilled in the record’s title track. “The Glowing Man” is nothing short of a storm, every musician in lockstep as if creating one giant note that bears all the force of a Category 5 hurricane. While there are some moments of calm, nearly all of the song’s 29 minutes are explosive. Read the full review on Treble Magazine
Mitski – Puberty 2

From overdriven punk to the gentlest of ballads, Puberty 2 is a multifaceted venture through what it means to be strong. Out of luck? Lost in love? Unsure and insecure? The songs on this album are all of those things, and in admitting it, showcase an unparalleled grace that can only come from accepting all of who you are. With “Happy” Mitski spins a lyrical tale of being fulfilled and then forsaken by a significant desire. Whether it’s about a relationship or a sense of contentment is up to the listener, but portrayed through the narrative of cleaning up to feel good again the notion is universal. Read the full review on Line of Best Fit

Recommended New Releases: Band of Horses, Allen Toussaint, Fitz + The Tantrums

Allen Toussaint – American Tunes
American Tunes, released posthumously following his death last November, isn’t designed to capture or simulate a live concert experience. But it does present a side of Toussaint he seemed to emphasize at those shows — an almost retrospective, autumnal focus on the ideas which made him and his music. This is a program of largely all-time-classic songs from jazz and pop history, emphasizing his hometown and personal hero Professor Longhair. Read the full review on NPR

Band of Horses – Why Are You OK
Opening track Dull Times/The Moon actually opens with a faint synthesiser, an unexpected tack for the band, and proceeds through 5 minutes of tense blues, before exploding into a joyous climax in its final minutes. It feels well-paced and thoughtful, nostalgic without being saccharine. Lead single Casual Party is a fast-paced, rollicking track, and details the awkward smalltalk of a party – “talking television at a casual party”. The sardonic subject matter is welcome, given the band’s propensity for navel-gazing. Read the full Review on Renowned for sound

Fitz and the Tantrums – Self Titled
Led by founder and frontman Michael Fitzpatrick, Fitz and the Tantrums burst onto the national scene in 2011 with their breakout hit, “MoneyGrabber,” from their debut album, Pickin’ Up the Pieces. Featuring a throwback, soulful sound build around keyboards, sax and the exuberant vocals of Fitzpatrick and co-lead vocalist Noelle Scaggs, the band became unlikely fixtures on radio, continuing to pump out hits with their 2013 sophomore album, More Than Just a Dream, which featured the tracks “Out of My League” and “The Walker.” Read the full review on LA Weekly

Free Stuff 06/03/16

The Kills prize pack free with purchase of new album “Ash & Ice” cd($12.49)/lp($27.96) includes:

Vinyl shopping bag


Lyrics Books


The Monkees Coloring Book with purchase of new “Good Times” cd ($12.49)

Ladyhawke sticker with “Wild Things” cd($12.49)/vinyl($18.96)


Michael Franti heavy stock poster with purchase of “Soulrocker” album, cd ($13.99)/vinyl ($28.96)


Tegan & Sara sunglasses with purchase of “Love You to Death” cd($12.49) or vinyl ($18.96)

GrateFul Dead wristband with purchase of “Live at Red Rocks (7/8/78) on cd ($25.99)

Recommended New Releases: Miles Davis, Daniel Romano, Beth Orton

Beth Orton – kidsticks
It’s a particularly atmospheric record, which should perhaps be expected as it was co-produced with Andrew Hung of Fuck Buttons and mixed by David Wrench, who has a quite remarkable strike rate when it comes to being involved in beautiful music. Pulled together over time, with loops worked on in the presence of her family and friends, ‘Kidsticks’ has an effortless quality to it that is woozily endearing. Read the full review on Clash Music

160309_eb_coverMiles Davis / Robert Gasper – Everything’s Beautiful
Unlike most tribute albums, which generally devolve into glorified cover songs, Everything’s Beautiful is a musical collage of Miles Davis’s work. Glasper mixes in some of the jazz legend’s riffs and melodies in order to create new and original songs that sound almost nothing like the source material. The music is mixed tastefully, changing certain stylistic elements but retaining the same passion and energy that Davis himself imbued in his music, and the end result is an album that has no major flaws musically from start to finish. Read the full review on Pop Matters

danielmoseyDaniel Romano – Mosey
Romano had grown up in rowdy punk and indie bands in his hometown of Welland, Ontario before turning to folksy Americana as part of Daniel, Fred and Julie and drowning in pedal steels, acoustic guitars and languid, rootsy lullabies on his early solo work. Feathers were ruffled when he started calling himself the ‘King of Mosey’ and strutting about like the lonesome, bohemian ghost of Hank Williams, with many questioning whether this was some kind of hipster affectation or parody piss-take. Read the review on The Line of Best Fit

Recommended New Releases: Grateful Dead, Fruit Bats, Nothing

Fruit Bats – Absolute Loser
Yes, Absolute Loser is a winner. (You see how EDJ challenges us at every step!) There’s no avoiding the too-twee-to-be-actually-wistful tone and the winfully-wry-yet-heartfelt-and-affecting lyrics that have always made Fruit Bats a favorite among KEXP listeners, and Eric D. Johnson doesn’t even try to break from the Dustbowl orchestral pop that has grown in complexity with each consecutive Fruit Bats album. If you’ve loved the band, as so many already have, you’ll love this, and if you haven’t yet heard Fruit Bats, then Absolute Loser is a terrific place to start. Read the full review and listen on KEXP Blog

Grateful Dead – Red Rocks 7/8/78
The 12-CD set features full-concert recordings from five Midwestern shows, including performances in Kansas City, St. Paul and Omaha that have never been in circulation, as well as the band’s first ever appearances at Morrison, Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre. (The complete July 8th, 1978, Red Rocks show will also be available as a separate three-CD set.) Each show in the box is drawn from the legendary Betty Boards, soundboard recordings made by the band’s former engineer Betty Cantor-Jackson — July 1978: The Complete Recordings will be the first official Grateful Dead release sourced from Betty Boards master recordings. Sample the collection with this exclusive stream of “Wharf Rat” from the July 8th show. Read the full review on Rolling Stone

Nothing – Tired of Tomorrow
Nothing’s cryptically worded lyrics can be tricky to parse under the feedback, yet Setta and Palermo don’t shy away from examining flaws, or admitting their complicity in poisoning relationships by making the same mistakes. “Can someone find a cure, because you know me and you know I am not well / I always knew I’d eventually hurt you,” they sing in the scorching “ACD (Abcessive Compulsive Disorder).” “I will leave you with a bad taste in your mouth.” Read the full review on NPR

Recommended New Releases: Brian Eno, Aesop Rock, Jayhawks

Brian Eno – The Ship
Obliquely inspired by the sinking of the Titanic as a metaphor for scientific hubris presaging the industrialised conflict of WW1, The Ship is a strange amalgam of Eno’s familiar ambient approach with poetry – the latter delivered in a sonorous basso profundothat resonates with a sort of looming, warning warmth. Read the full reivew on The Independent.

Aesop Rock – Impossible Kid
With his new album The Impossible Kid coming out this Friday, Aesop Rock decided to change the album stream game by releasing his album as one nearly 50 minute video. But instead of just putting his album cover as a visual, he and his team recreated Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Stephen King’s The Shining in a near shot-for-shot remake! The video uses little toys and scale models. It’s a mixture of being charming in its obvious low-budget approach but also delightful in how much detail and passion was poured into the end product. This was a labor of love and I’m adoring every second! Read the full story on Bloody Disgusting

Jayhawks – Paging Mr Proust
“Paging Mr. Proust” kicks off with a one-two punch that’s a good guide for the rest of the collection. The leadoff, “Quiet Corners & Empty Spaces,” shimmers with a beauty and familiarity that wouldn’t have been out of place on the band’s “Tomorrow the Green Grass” or “Rainy Day Music.” It’s followed by “Lost The Summer,” which equally rocks but the jangle is replaced with a slightly less common funky syncopation and distortion. read the full review on Washington Post

Recommended New Releases: Lumineers, Parquet Courts, M83

The Lumineers – Cleopatra
Aptly named title track Cleopatra is the perfect taste of the material that makes up this new LP, with it’s slow building beat, infectious chorus and an intriguing tale, each of its elements plays a role in tracks to come. Take the incredibly smooth, and even catchier, Ophelia, crooning, “Ophelia, you’ve been on my mind girl since the flood.” / “Ophelia, heaven help a food who falls in love.” And then, striping back the padding, Gun Song, Angela and Sick In The Head feature a poem-like quality to them, with nothing but a simplistic combination of melody and beat as the backing for the vocals. Read the full review of Renowed for Sound
Parquet Courts – Human Performance
Few bands are as articulate as Parquet Courts, so Dust confounds our expectations right away with sparse lyrics that leave the story unfinished. The music, however, is eloquent enough, an interweaved playing of tense guitars and organ swirls that paint images of urban blight and crumbling tenements. This time around there are more shades and textures to the band’s sound, no doubt aided by the album’s long gestation, which is quite contrary to the hurried DIY approach of their first recordings. Read the full review on No Ripcord
M83 – Junk
The key musical cue on M83’s last two efforts was the sound of the 1980s—pulsating beats, garish synths, shimmering vocals. Junk, on the other hand, stretches the time-space continuum by taking Gonzalez back one decade further to the syrupy piano ballads and blue-eyed soul of the 1970s. It’s a style long considered tacky—but much like last year’s Tame Impala effort Currents, the record finds a way to invigorate the styles your dad probably listened to in his shag-carpeted van. Read the full review on Pretty Much Amazing

Recommended New Releases – Last Shadow Puppets, Andrew Bird, Weezer

Last Shadow Puppets – Everything You’ve Come to Expect
Unlike their debut, ‘Everything You’ve Come To Expect’ isn’t fixated on the ’60s baroque-pop of Scott Walker and David Axelrod, although a different vibe and era – ’70s soft-rock and blue-eyed soul – does prevail in places. Opening track ‘Aviation’ may be the closest they come to sounding like their former selves – it’s the “Puppety tune” that convinced them to reprise the project – although we don’t recall them ever being so forward as Kane’s reptilian come-on of “It’s your decision, honey/ My planet or yours?”. Read the full review on NME

Andrew Bird – Are You Serious
Even in the slowest songs on Are You Serious, Bird’s approach still includes a few key leavening agents, from springy strings to whistling so deft he was once hired to ghost-whistle for a character in a Muppets movie. That tendency helps give “Chemical Switches,” an otherwise somber take on the unseen forces of science, the kind of soft lightness to which Bird is ideally suited. Read and listen to the new album on NPR

Weezer – White Album
The faint sound of lapping waves and seagulls quickly give way to a driving riff, before the song bursts into life with a crunching, infectious chorus as Cuomo belts out: “It’s going to be alright/ if you’re on a sinking ship/ the California kids/ will throw you a lifeline.” It is unmistakably Weezer and kicks off a collection of songs that, while clearly indebted to the the band’s origins, sounds fresh and energetic.
Read the full reivew on OHM

Recommended New Releases: Lucius, M. Ward, Little Green Cars


Lucius – Green Grief

Swirling opener “Madness” recounts a literal fever dream with guns aimed point-blank in an act of revenge, brides on the run, flights missed by a hair, and running away from that menacing phantom that is time. Standing naked in front of a roomful of strangers is the only thing missing from this nightmare that pulsates with the same jarring dread of new horror classic It Follows. Read the full review on Consequence of Sound

M. Ward – More Rain

But it wouldn’t be an M. Ward album without the reliable staples; namely, a lot of beautiful, atmospheric ballads. After the instrumental title track that begins the album, Ward moves into “Pirate Dial,” which paints an evocative image of a man talking to his long-distance love on a late-night drive. Elsewhere, “Phenomenon” is the type of acoustic love song that Ward has been giving fans for years; its predecessors include “Rollercoaster” from 2006’s Post-War and “Sad, Sad Song” from 2003’s Transfiguration Of Vincent. Read the full review on AV Club

Little Green Cars – Ephemera

Ephemera does exactly what all great albums are meant to do. It draws you in. Through Little Green Cars own experiences and want to convey those moments musically, we project our own onto the music also. Each song is personal for both the band and the listener, and it takes the harmonious nature of the group’s sound to help us do this along the way, through each and every song. Read the full review on The Last Mixed Tape