Friday, March 30, 2018

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite on 'Corden'

Watch Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite perform "The Bottle Wins Again" on The Late Late Show Starring James Corden.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Live Review: The Strypes at Mercury Lounge

In their first trip to New York City in four years, Ireland's The Strypes sold out the infamous Mercury Lounge and brought their blend of mod rock revival back to town.

It was a early show that was able to cure a case of the Mondays in what feels like a never ending winter. As the band got a heroes welcome walking from the back of the intimate room to the stage, the fresh-faced lads from Cavan, Ireland, were ready to make their presence known.

The band's raucous stage show had all 200 people in the venue jumping for joy. Aside from the songs, which are clearly inspired by The Who, Thin Lizzy, and the Stones, they are a baby faced band that looks the part. Singer Ross Farely was in a pilots jumpsuit and rocked a pair of shades, bassist Pete O'Hanlan looked like a young Roger Daltrey, guitarist Josh McClory looked as if he stepped off the Pretty Green runway but it was drummer Evan Walsh who took classic New York City punk and combined it with what you would have seen in the London punk scene in the late 70s.

The band slammed through songs from their 2013 debut, Snapshot, and their latest, Spitting Image, which arrived last year. The Strypes are an interesting band because in 2018, they are one of the few acts that has releases that have not physically been available in the U.S. like most European bands had years ago. While the releases are on streaming services, the band would intro the tracks from their second album, Little Victories, which never arrived in America, as well as other E.P.'s as if fans have never heard them before.

In the near hour they were on stage, the intimate return was not only a success, it was enough to show that while they are still so young their best days are certainly ahead.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Los Angeles Mixtape

In our latest installment of our cultural mixtape series, we fled the country and headed to a city. Instead of showcasing the music of a whole nation, we are looking at a whole city that has given the world so much music -- La La Land... Los Angeles. 

Like the food and people that are in the City of Angels, this mixtape is an amalgamation of styles, cultures, ideas, genres, and vibes on one playlist. 

Moby on 'Colbert'

Watch Moby perform "This Wild Darkness" on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Arcade Fire on 'SNL'

Watch Arcade Fire perform "Put Your Money on Me," and "Creature Comfort" on Saturday Night Live.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Buddy Guy on 'Kimmel'

Watch Buddy Guy perform "The Sky is Crying" on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Beth Ditto on 'Meyers'

Watch Beth Ditto perform "Oh My God" on Late Night with Seth Meyers.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Peter Hook & The Light Return To North America

Next month, Joy Division and New Order's Peter Hook and his band, The Light, will return to North America for their 2018 tour which will see them bring Factory Records' Substance albums to life. 

The compilation record of Joy Division and New Order material was released in 1988 on Factory Records. This tour will mark the first time this record has ever been played live before from start to finish. 

We have covered every single tour Hook has done with the Light and each experience gets better and better. It really is amazing having these songs come alive and Hook, ever the showman, is having the time of his life doing it.

The tour begins in late April '18 and sees The Light play a mammoth 28 dates over nearly seven weeks ending up in Florida in early June '18. Some of the reaction to the band's previous North American Substance dates below:

Thu 4/26/18    Union Transfer, Philadelphia, PA
Fri 4/27/18      Brooklyn Steel , Brooklyn, NY       
Sat 4/28/18      Paradise Rock Club, Boston, MA - SOLD OUT  
Mon 4/30/18   Fairmount Theatre, Montreal, QC  - SOLD OUT
Tue 5/1/18      Danforth Music Hall, Toronto, ON - SOLD OUT
Thu 5/3/18      Royal Oak Music Hall, Royal Oak, MI      
Fri 5/4/18        Metro, Chicago, IL- SOLD OUT
Sat 5/5/18        Majestic Theatre, Madison, WI
Mon 5/7/18     First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN      
Tue 5/8/18      Venue, Vancouver, BC        
Thu 5/10/18    Neptune Theater, Seattle, WA        
Fri 5/11/18      Wonder Ballroom, Portland, OR   
Sat 5/12/18      Warfield, San Francisco, CA          
Mon 5/14/18   Brooklyn Bowl,  Las Vegas, NV     
Tue 5/15/18    Metro Music Hall,  Salt Lake City, UT      
Thu 5/17/18    Van Buren, Phoenix, AZ     
Fri 5/18/18      Wiltern Los Angeles, CA(Exclusive Unknown Pleasures/Closer Show)
Sat 5/19/18      House Of Blues, San Diego, CA      
Mon 5/21/18   Ace Of Spades, Sacramento, CA    
Tue 5/22/18    Granada, Dallas, TX           
Wed 5/23/18   Mohawk, Austin, TX           
Fri 5/25/18      Cat's Cradle, Carrboro, NC           
Sat 5/26/18      The Mill & Mine, Knoxville, TN     
Sun 5/27/18    Variety Playhouse, Atlanta, GA     
Tue 5/29/18    Exit / In, Nashville, TN        
Wed 5/30/18   Paper Tiger, San Antonio, TX        
Thu 5/31/18    Warehouse Live,  Houston, TX      
Sat 6/3/18        Respectable Live, West Park Beach, FL
Sun 6/3/18      Plaza Live, Orlando, FL      
Mon 6/4/18     State Theater, St. Petersburg, FL    
For More Information, Check Out Hook's Website

David Byrne on 'Colbert'

Watch indie rock icon David Byrne perform "Everybody's Coming to My House" and speak with Stephen Colbert on The Late Show.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

In Their Own Sweet Time: How The Fratellis Continue Getting Excited

Photo By Nicky J Sims

After 13 years, five albums, a handful of solo projects, a brief hiatus, The Fratellis still make music that excites them.

“We are still pleasing ourselves,” Jon Fratelli told me over dinner during a recent trip to New York City. “It is a job but is the best job there is. I would do it for free.”

The slim Scottish frontman seems to be at ease with his work, life, and the world and couldn’t be happier. As his band readies their new album, In Your Own Sweet Time, the singer and guitarist discussed the madness of Costello Music, doing things their own way, and how grateful they are for their fans.

“If I didn’t do something musical with my day, I didn’t do anything with my day,” the 38-year-old said of how he is constantly cranking out sounds.

In Your Own Sweet Time is his bands latest opus about enjoying the hell out of your life and pushing for ways to break down the boundaries of what a three-piece band can do.

The Fratellis came from the atom bomb explosion of garage rock bands of the mid 2000s. They formed in Glasgow in 2005 after answering an ad that Barry Fratelli posted in local adverts calling to form a band. When the three met and got together, Jon says everything just clicked.

“Barry wanted to name us after the family from The Goonies, I never saw the film, I’ve only seen parts of it now, but I liked the name,” the singer admitted.

“Being a three piece is by accident,” he added. They started out as a four-piece band but a member left leaving just the three of them together and realizing they could just soldier on without an addition component.

Interestingly, he says that it wasn’t a take on the Ramones to each name each other from the name of the band, it simply was how they put each other in their phones because they didn’t know one another’s surnames and it was easy just typing in “Barry Fratelli, Mince Fratelli, Jon Fratelli,” he said.

“I don’t have a brother,” he said, “But I love them like family.”

After releasing a self-titled EP in 2006, the band got buzz in the local rock scene. “Our biggest ambition was just to get a gig in Glasgow,” he said. Months later, the world came calling.

Sepetember 2006 saw the release of their debut, Costello Music, and The Fratellis were everywhere.

Led by the singles, “Flathead,” “Chelsea Dagger,” and “Henrietta,” the album was an international smash. “Flathead” would also become the soundtrack to an iTunes commercial, which pushed the bands catchy sound even more mainstream. As the success of their debut grew, the band could not escape the chaotic atmosphere.

The Costello Music period should have been great but I was too tired to enjoy it,” the frontman admits. “We crammed everything in such a short time and did so much in 18 months.”

In that 18 months, they toured the globe headlining clubs and festivals, supported The Police on their reunion tour, and recorded their second album, Here We Stand.

By 2009, the members of the band were exhausted with life on the road and each other. At the peak of their popularity, they took a hiatus that left many scratching their heads.

“It is an easy job but we made it hard,” Jon admitted. “We had problems with everything.”

In that time, he formed a new band called Codeine Velvet Club and released a solo record. Within that period, they got dropped from their label – Island Records – and it seemed as if The Fratellis had run its course.

After a few years apart, in 2012, something sparked the members to get back together. A year later, they released their “comeback” album, We Need Medicine.

After two records that entered the top 5 of the UK and US charts, their third effort saw steadfast decline, yet, nevertheless they were back and learned that without the pressure of a label, they were free to do anything.

The band found themselves having fun returning to the studio and to the stage, even pumping out 2015’s Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied, which has now led the foundation to where they are now with In Your Own Sweet Time.

The new record, which features more synths than ever before still, has the band’s positive and thunderous sound attached to each song. Jon says they were in “a playful mood” when they recorded and the album is a demonstration of that emotion.

“We are far better now,” Jon assures. “Now, I can make just about anything I want with this band.”

He says the band have already written half the songs which will appear on a new album, however, he didn’t elaborate as to when they will record it and put it out.

The Scottish outfit will hit the road this spring in support of their new album and Jon says the stage is their home. He says before he goes to perform an internal switch “flicks on” and loves delivering a fun show to his crowd.  “If I can’t entertain myself, I can’t entertain anyone,” he admits.

“Live is where we know how to be and if all else fails, live is what we can do,” he added. “We still know how to go out an play. It is the simplest thing there is.”

While some bands get tired of playing their biggest hits, for The Fratellis, it is unlike that.

“People should get exactly what they want” the singer says when it comes to delivering the hits. “Elton [John] is still playing ‘Rocket Man’ and there is good reason for that. You are in the entertainment business, I don’t see a reason in not entertaining.”

As fans around the world continue to buy tickets to come out to see them, get some merchandise, maybe even physically purchase a record and enjoy themselves, Jon Fratelli says he is simply “grateful” for all of it.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Noel Gallagher on 'Kimmel'

Watch Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds perform "Holy Mountain" on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Quick News

In May, Beach Slang's alter ego Quiet Slang will release their debut album, Everything Matters But No One Listens. Take a look at the cover, above.

According to reports, jazz icon Herbie Hancock will have a slew of special guests on his forthcoming yet-to-be titled album. The 14-time Grammy winner has reportedly enlisted Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Thundercat, Flying Lotus, and Kamasi Washington, among other for the album. This is gonna be a tasty record for sure.

Gang of Four will release their new EP, Complicit, next month.

Snow Patrol will release their new album, Wildness, in May. Take a look at the tracklisting, below:
01 Life On Earth
02 Don’t Give In
03 Heal Me
04 Empress
05 A Dark Switch
06 What If This Is All The Love You Ever Get?
07 A Youth Written In Fire
08 Soon
09 Wild Horses
10 Life And Death

The Cranberries said they plan to release their final album with the late Dolores O'Riordan, who passed away earlier this year. The Irish band announced on their website they will reissue their debut, If Everyone Else Is Doing It, Why Can't We? for a special 25th anniversary addition and plan to finish their latest album that they started with their singer before she passed. "We will also be completing the recording of a new studio album as previously announced, which we also started last year and for which Dolores had already recorded the vocals," the statement said. "All going well we hope to have this new album finished and out early next year."
Pennywise will release their new album, Never Gonna Die, next month. In a press statement, singer Jim Lindberg says of the album: "The goal of the song is to try and get young people to finally say enough, and that the system isn’t working. It’s going to take a massive evolutionary shift in consciousness to change it, starting with the youth, because unless we do, we’ll just have more of the same carnage we’ve seen happening all over the world reincarnated with every new generation.”
 The latest incarnation of MC5 will hit the road in support of the 50th anniversary of "Kick Out the Jams." Guitarist and founding member Wayne Kramer will be joined by Kim Thayil (Soundgarden), Brendan Canty (Fugazi), Dug Pinnick (King’s X) for the outing.

Beach House Announce New Album

In May, Beach House will release their seventh album, 7. 

Take a look at the cover, above, and the tracklisting, below:

01 Dark Spring
02 Pay No Mind
03 Lemon Glow
04 L’Inconnue
05 Drunk in LA
06 Dive
07 Black Car
08 Lose Your Smile
09 Woo
10 Girl of the Year
11 Last Ride​

Rising Artist: KOKOKO!

Music is a melting pot and one African band is proving that they are ready to boil over with their creativity and showcase their talents. Congolese band KOKOKO! combine 1970s raw punk, Arabic, electroclash, and explodes in a musical utopia. Hailing from the city of Kinshasa, KOKOKO! have been turning heads since they formed last year. In their time of coming together, they have flipped the musical landscape of the DRC in such a short period of time and are becoming the catalysts to display that African music is thriving in an alternative space now and not what people may think it is anymore and in fact, it is happening across the continent. They released their acclaimed debut EP last year and are currently booked for a European tour this spring. To learn more about the band, check out their self-made documentary below:

Underrated Classic: Band of Horses 'Cease to Begin'

Band of Horses have announced they are recording a new album and it will be released later this year. As they chip away at new material, we look back on their second record, 2007's Cease to Begin, which was the lush follow-up to their acclaimed debut, Everything All The Time. Cease to Begin didn't have the singles like its predecessor had but it certainly had the passion and masterful storytelling that the band would become known for. The record was also a transition album for the band as three of the founding members left the group after the tour of the debut, leaving singer Ben Bridwell to find people to plug the holes. As they learned to sew their oats and become the band they set out to, the record displays that. It is a bit more folky and country than their debut but also showcases Bridwell's play on words with songs like "No Ones Gonna Love You," "Detlef Schrempf," and "Cigarettes, Wedding Band." The album was a hit in countries like Norway, Sweden, and Denmark and peaked at No. 35 on the Billboard Top 200 chart in the U.S. As the years have gone on, the record sometimes gets overlooked but sustains its grace and like a fine wine, gets better with age.

Movie of the Month: 'Stromboli'

After World War II, Hollywood began creating epic blockbusters and one of the first came in 1950 with Roberto Rossellini's Italian neo-realism drama, Stromboli. At the time, it was the most expensive film ever made and had a budget of over a million dollars. The film, which stars Ingrid Bergman as a women who escapes an internment camp by claiming she fell in love with an Italian soldier. After the war, the duo go live in his remote village in the island of Stromboli off the coast of Sicily. The film takes a turn when the man she thought she would be involved in becomes a monster and treats her like garbage. Bergman's character then falls for another man on the island causing a passionate and volatile love triangle which parallels the volcano on the island which erupts causing everyone to flee. The film itself was a box office bomb, causing the studio, RKO, to lose over $200,000, however, it did create tabloid sensations as Bergman and Rossellini had an affair which resulted in a child out of wedlock. The film also was edited down to 80 minutes in America where the rest of the world saw a film that was 105 minutes long causing both cuts to create vastly different movies. Over the years, the film has gained the acclaim it never got at the time and has since been hailed as one of the best Italian films ever. 

Albert Hammond Jr. on 'Corden'

Watch Albert Hammond Jr. perform "Set to Attack" on The Late Late Show with James Corden.