CIMS Now Hear This
Skin&Earth Acoustic marks a new era for Lights. Not only is the singer releasing her album July 12 but she has announced that she has signed with Fueled By Ramen. Skin&Earth Acoustic looks to be the singers best acoustic effort yet. Completely produced and mixed by Lights herself, the singer went above and beyond for this release to make it feel as authentic as the Skin&Earth comic by recording it in settings corresponding to their chapters in the comics.
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Canvasback Music/Atlantic have announced the release of TINY CHANGES: A CELEBRATION OF THE MIDNIGHT ORGAN FIGHT. Recorded in 2018 to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the acclaimed Scottish band Frightened Rabbit’s seminal album THE MIDNIGHT ORGAN FIGHT, friends – including The National’s Aaron Dessner & Chvrches’ Lauren Mayberry, The Hold Steady’s Craig Finn, Katie Harkin & Sarah Silverman, Manchester Orchestra, and Death Cab For Cutie’s Benjamin Gibbard, among others - contributed their own renditions of every track on the original 2008 release.
Give me a minute or three to extol the virtues of The Gotobeds, the modern rock and roll sensation that has always sounded like they love to play. Never maligned by having the world’s weight on their backs, The Gotobeds - Cary, TFP, Eli and Gavin - return to the fray with their third full lengther, Debt Begins at 30. The esprit de corps and anxiety-free joy that permeates their other LPs and EPs remains intact. The octane is high-test, the engine still has knocks and pings and the battery is overcharged. The Gotobeds - as Pittsburgh as it gets, the folk music of the Steel City - have more tar for us to swallow. Debt Begins at 30 is an old-fashioned blast furnace and the liquid iron flows. Debt Begins at 30 is not "pub sop" in any way or shape. Though I never considered The Gotobeds a band that needed assistance from their peers, Debt Begins at 30 features outside contributors on every track. The album's first single, "Calquer The Hound," includes local buddy Evan Richards, and Rob Henry of Kim Phuc. "Calquer The Hound" has euphony, a sly bridge, plenty of trademark bash, and a spacey outro. It's a sanguine album opener, more Al Oliver than Starling Marte. On "Twin Cities," the lads tap Tracy Wilson, formerly of Dahlia Seed and currently of Positive NO!, to share the vox, and the result is an exuberant pop song proving The Gotobeds benefit from women ruling the scene. "Twin Cities" is more Dakota Staton than Don Caballero. "Debt Begins at 30," the title trackular, includes the wizardry of Mike Seamans and legend Bob Weston. It's a brooding romp with tribal beats and slash-and-burn guitar, more Rocky Bleier than Le'Veon Bell. Unsurprisingly, The Gotobeds called partners-in-rock-crime Protomartyr a coupla times, with Joe Casey bolstering "Slang Words" and hook-fiend Greg Ahee shredding on "On Loan." "Slang Words" is a savory wrecking ball with a crunching bite, more of a soft shell crab sandwich from Wholey's Market than a 4am slop feast at Primanti Brothers. "On Loan" is an anthemic jangle-fest with high-arcing fret work, more Karl Hendricks (rest his soul) than "Weird Paul" Petroskey. Silkworm guitarist Tim Midyett is tapped on "Parallel," a grand song that enters a world of whimsy, melodic and uncomplicated, more Jaromir Jagr than Sidney Crosby. The likes of 12XU label boss Gerard Cosloy, Tre Orsi's Matt Barnhart, the wonderful Victoria Ruiz of Downtown Boys, Pittsburgh wordsmiths Jason Baldinger and Scott MacIntyre, and yours truly strut stuff on other tracks. In my case, I just scream “dross” on "Dross" several times. Good judgment on the part of The Gotobeds to know that's the best I can do, more Max Moroff than Andrew McCutchen. Anyways, The Gotobeds have quickly reached the veteran stage, but, based upon Debt Begins at 30, their best days are ahead of them. It's a pleasure to be associated with such an excellent band. --Bob Nastanovich, 1/13/2019, Des Moines
Angie McMahon is an Australian musician who loves honest songwriting and romantic melodies, with songs that ruminate on life, love and takeaway food. Angie loves to write and perform across the full dynamic spectrum, shifting between gravelly intimacy and pounding rock.
“There are two ways things can fall,” says Dude York’s Claire England. “They can fall and be ruined, or they can fall gently like a feather and be fine.” On Falling, their second full-length for Hardly Art, the Seattle trio explores that sentiment—evoked by the broken cake on the album cover and the soft confetti on the inside sleeve—through impossibly catchy and emotive songs that investigate the ways you can fall in and out of relationships, and sometimes fall back together. Recorded at Different Fur Studios in San Francisco with producer Patrick Brown, Falling finds Dude York sounding bigger and more fully-realized than ever with hits that would feel perfectly at home sandwiched between Jimmy Eat World and Third Eye Blind in early 2000s alt-rock radio rotation, while somehow still sounding utterly their own. Peter Richards (guitar) and England (bass) share equal songwriting and lead vocal duties on this record, a significant change from their previous album, 2017’s Sincerely, on which England fronted only two songs. The duality of their songwriting and vocals compliment each other emotionally and sonically, with Andrew Hall’s harmonies and driving drums providing their own unique character in each song. The collaboration is clear—each part is carefully crafted, with Richards’ guitar adding texture to the verses and then soaring into the particularly special kind of guitar solos that make you want to sing along. The production on Falling is full of meticulous details and sonic tricks designed to hit that deep teenage place in your heart, whether it’s the dense, chugging guitars or impeccably-placed harmonies. “We all have very different reference points for music and then when we swap them in becomes something totally different,” says Richards. He didn’t grow up as attached to the radio-friendly emo music that defined the adolescence of the rest of the band, but when he got into the genre in the past few years decided he wanted to embrace it in his songwriting, which comes across in the heavy guitars and dramatic arrangements that shine. Ultimately, the relationship Dude York is really investigating and playing around with is their relationship to music. By playing with tropes of romantic relationships, Dude York created a record that feels like a love letter to the alternative radio of yesteryear while managing to stay uniquely singular.
There is this curious equilibrium to existence: In order to create balance, the universe must giveth, and the universe must taketh. Kyle Craft, with his now solidified backing band, dubbed Showboat Honey, know this all too well. And this is why their self-titled album, the contemplative yet restless Showboat Honey reflects that sturm und drang. “This is basically an album centered around bad luck and good fortune hitting at the same time,” Craft explains “Then, out of nowhere, I find love. Everything went to shit except that. I guess that’s how life works.” The sticky-sweet title of the album is lifted from the brightly choral “Buzzkill Caterwaul:” “Once you were the showboat honey/But your ship sailed out.” “I wanted to make something that sounded like a raucous collision of Leon Russell and Patti Smith,” he says, “But ‘Buzzkill Caterwaul’ was the only tune that ended up showcasing that vision.” Though aesthetics veer from song to song, Showboat Honey’s steadfast formula remains the same. Drummer Haven Mutlz holds down the machine with a ’60s/’70s fast-molasses groove that locks in with the slinky rolling bass of Billy Slater. When Kevin Clark isn’t bouncing across the piano, his mellotron strings swell in and out of frame. Jack of all trades Ben Steinmetz’s organ parts well up from the deep of the songs, while lead guitarist Jeremy Kale’s solos rip through them like electricity. On top of it all, sits the tongue-in-cheek phantasmagoria created by Craft’s lyrics, in which perspectives shift to imbue life into a cast of intriguing, mysterious characters, à la Bob Dylan. (“There is not a single thing in my life that has affected me more than the first time I heard Dylan,” says Craft. “It immediately changed my life.”) Craft started writing about as soon as he could play the guitar at the age of 15. He grew up in the isolated Mississippi River town of Vidalia, Louisiana where his chops weren’t honed in a woodshed, but rather an old, dingy meat freezer that was out of commission. After years of touring, two LPs with Sub Pop Records, and solidifying the band, he’s grown into a prodigious songwriter, to say the least. The band recorded Showboat Honey—co-produced by Craft, Clark, and Slater—at their own Moonbase Studios in Portland over 2018. “We approached this record differently for sure,” Craft says. “I’d make a demo, and after putting the songs together, shoot it to the band for ideas.” Kyle and the members of Showboat Honey worked at such a feverish wine-fueled pace that they actually ended up with two completely different albums. But at the end of the day, they decided to combine the two into what is now Showboat Honey, a moonstruck rock ’n’ roll record teeming with reckless abandon.
When Julia Shapiro flew home from a cancelled Chastity Belt tour in April 2018, everything in her life felt out of control. Dealing with health issues, freshly out of a relationship, and in the middle of an existential crisis, she realized halfway through a tour supporting her band’s third album I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone that she was going through too much to continue. “I was really struggling; I was really depressed. I felt like I couldn’t sing or be a person,” Shapiro recalls. “At that point I couldn’t even imagine playing a show again, I was so over it.” Returning home to a newly empty Seattle one-bedroom apartment, Shapiro had wanted for a long time to learn how to record and mix her own music, and out of the uncertainty of the future of her music career and her health, she began to record the songs that would become Perfect Version, her solo debut for Hardly Art. What she created in the space of ten songs is an intimate and beautifully self-aware examination of feeling lost in the life you’ve created for yourself. It’s an album of shimmering guitars and layered vocals that feels vast in the emotional depth it conveys and masterful in the way each song is intentionally crafted and recorded. Over the course of a tumultuous year of trying to find stability amidst depression and surgery, Shapiro ultimately rediscovered the parts of music that she loved through the process. Her perfectionist qualities create an album that shines in tiny lyrical moments and meticulous guitar parts. “When the rest of my life felt out of control, I felt like this was my chance to be in control of everything,” says Shapiro. She plays all the instruments (save for a mouth trumpet solo by Darren Hanlon and guest violin by Annie Truscott) and after recording and mixing the first batch of four songs at the Vault studio with Ian LeSage decided to record the final six tracks alone in her apartment, adding drums in the studio later and learning to mix them with the help of her friend David Hrivnak. Perfect Version is a fully realized vision from a gifted songwriter finding a more intimate voice. “So what comes next?” she questions on the album closer “Empty Cup” which explores the quiet satisfaction of being alone with yourself and creating a blank slate. “A lasting sense of self,” she concludes.
When “Sugar Ray’s” breakthrough hit song “Fly” put them on the map in 1997, lead vocalist Mark McGrath was thrust into the public eye. It’s no doubt the band maintains its momentum due in no small part to the good looks, charisma and talent of its front man, Mark McGrath. McGrath first appeared with Sugar Ray (then known as the Shrinky Dinx) when he jumped on stage and grabbed the microphone. Two years later, in 1994, the band changed its name and landed a deal with Atlantic Records. Shortly after, in 1997, the band’s collaboration with reggae artist Super Cat resulted in the song “Fly,” which dominated the airwaves. Later that year, and following the success of their number-one hit, Sugar Ray released its second album, “Floored,” which went double-platinum. Sugar Ray’s success rocketed McGrath to pop-star status, as he graced the covers of “Rolling Stone” and “Spin.” He even made People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” issue, named “Sexiest Rocker” in 1998. After “Floored,” Sugar Ray released “14:59,” in reference to its fading “15 minutes of fame.” Ironically, the CD wound up outselling its predecessor, going triple-platinum with hit singles “Every Morning,” “Someday” and “Falls Apart.” Their success continued with the release of the self-titled album, “Sugar Ray,” which garnered the band it’s first-ever top-10 album. The band has appeared numerous times on the Tonight Show, The Late Show with David Letterman, Carson Daly, and The Today Show's Summer Concert Series to name a few. In addition, McGrath has made guest appearances on the hit television dramas “Las Vegas”, “North Shore”, The Neighbors, The Office, Law and Order SVU and The Drew Carey Show to name a few. He has been featured on a number of MTV and VH1 programs, including the “Teen Choice Awards,” “My VH1 Music Awards,” “Rock ‘n’ Roll Jeopardy,” the “American Music Awards” and the “ESPY Awards.” McGrath has hosted VH1’s “I Love the 80’s” and “The Greatest: 100 Most Shocking Moments in Rock and Roll,” and the primetime specials “The World Music Awards” and “Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show”, as well as Extra, Don’t Forget the Lyrics and Killer Karaoke on the Tru Network. He also appeared with Sugar Ray in the 2002 feature film “Scooby-Doo.” And has gone on to co-star in last summers Si-Fy thriller Sharknado 2. Sugar Ray continues delivering the hits live and with the Summerland tour which combines great bands from the 90's and their top 10 hits, a big hit. Sugar Ray has a robust schedule of live dates scheduled and look forward to seeing everyone out on the road. “This is my life’s work,” he notes. “People say, ‘You’re still in the band?’ This is what I do! I’m gonna be in Sugar Ray till I die! I’ve been lucky enough to fit a uniform, I’m gonna wear it till the wheels fall off!”
Critically acclaimed singer-songwriter MARC COHN and gospel titans BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA have announced the August 9th release of WORK TO DO, via BMG. Produced by John Leventhal, the unique collection combines the songwriting talents of Marc Cohn with the soul stirring harmonies of Blind Boys of Alabama and falls on the heels of more than a year of live collaborative dates. WORK TO DO is comprised of three studio tracks by COHN and THE BLIND BOYS, (two originals and a version of the gospel standard “Walking To Jerusalem”) and seven intimate live performances recorded at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook, CT, during a taping of the PBS series The Kate, which premiered on May 24th, 2019. Original plans were to release an EP containing the studio tracks, but the excitement and magic captured during the taping inspired the decision to create this unique hybrid album. The live performances on WORK TO DO feature the Grammy award-winning BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA adding their trademark harmonies and vocal textures to six songs drawn from the breadth of Cohn’s venerable career including the mega-hit, “Walking in Memphis,” “Ghost Train” and “Silver Thunderbird.” THE BLIND BOYS’ striking rearrangement of the traditional hymn “Amazing Grace” completes the collection. Grammy award-winning artist MARC COHN has solidified his place as a highly acclaimed and compelling singer-songwriter, combining the precision of a brilliant tunesmith with the passion of a great soul man. Hailed as “gospel titans” by Rolling Stone, THE BLIND BOYS first rose to fame in the segregated south with their thrilling vocal harmonies and roof-raising live show. They released their debut single, “I Can See Everybody’s Mother But Mine,” on the iconic Veejay label in 1948, launching a 70-year recording career that would see them rack up five Grammy Awards (plus one for Lifetime Achievement), enter the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, collaborate with everyone from Mavis Staples and Stevie Wonder to Prince and Lou Reed, and perform on the world’s most prestigious stages. MARC COHN and BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA have announced a string of summer tour dates in support of WORK TO DO beginning in June. This rare combination of the incredible soul of MARC COHN mixed with the stirring vocal harmonies of BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA is a moment not to be missed.
Grammy® Winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Member, Michael Edward Love, grew up under the Southern California sun where he soaked up a life of music, surf, sand and sport. Beginning his singing career as a teenager, Mike along with his cousin, Brian Wilson, frequently sang at family gettogethers and holiday gatherings. These early influences served as the inspiration to form the legendary group, The Beach Boys, which originally consisted of Mike and his cousins, Brian, Dennis, and Carl Wilson along with neighbor David Marks and High School friend Alan Jardine. Throughout his career, Mike has co-authored more than a dozen Top 10 Singles, cementing The Beach Boys legacy, alongside The Beatles and Michael Jackson, as the only artists to have produced twelve Top 10 Singles, within 5 years. The Beach Boys are led by Mike Love (lead vocals) and Bruce Johnston (keyboards and vocals), who along with musical director Scott Totten (lead guitar, vocals) Jeffrey Foskett (rhythm guitar, vocals), Brian Eichenburger (bass, vocals), Tim Bonhomme (keyboards), and John Cowsill (drums) continue the legacy of the iconic American band.
The conceptual adventure that became a compilation, RED GOLD GREEN & BLUE calls on the black cream of Jamaican artistry, generations of talent spanning decades. Completing a circle, the classic American blues songs performed here, bring out an intriguing tonality in this record’s top-notch selection of already flavorful voices, familiar and brand new. This modern anthology throws down a creative challenge: how will today’s great Jamaican artists, themselves descendants of captured Africans, reinterpret African-American blues songs written and sung by artists who are effectively their own long-lost family?
Run Home Slow is the sophomore album from The Teskey Brothers. The Australian band are two brothers (Josh and Sam Teskey) and their friends Liam Gough and Brendon Love. Onstage the band is as tight as any in the game, bringing horns and keys into the fray to deliver a show that soars and dives with masterful control. It's anyone's guess how far The Teskey Brothers are going to take their music but all indications so far suggest the love will go deep and wide around the world for this special combo.
2019 release, the second collaborative studio album by rapper Freddie Gibbs and record producer Madlib. Entirely produced by Madlib, it is the follow-up to their critically acclaimed 2014 album Piñata, and their sixth project as MadGibbs overall. The album features guest appearances from Pusha T, Killer Mike, Anderson.Paak, Yasiin Bey, and Black Thought.