Jessie Reyez – Figures

Musically, Toronto is the new Portland. Here’s another tough new tune from the rough and tumble Hogtown in Canada. Released just yesterday, it’s taking the internet by storm.

https://twitter.com/jessiereyez

https://www.facebook.com/MusicJessieReyez/

https://www.instagram.com/jessiereyez/

Star of Bob’s Burgers and Archer, H. Jon Benjamin Records Experimental Jazz Album

Based on his stellar work as the voice of Bob Belcher on Bob’s Burgers (the only show that matters) and Sterling Archer on Archer, it is clear that H. Jon Benjamin is not only the most gifted actor of all time, he is the greatest human on the planet since the passing of Mother . . . → Read More: Star of Bob’s Burgers and Archer, H. Jon Benjamin Records Experimental Jazz Album

Laura Nyro – Stoned Soul Picnic, by Pat Thomas

I’d love to go to a Stoned Soul Picnic right about now…… by the way – the four night run of shows by Miles Davis (with Chick Corea-Keith Jarrett-Jack DeJohnette-Steve Grossman and Airto) in June 1970 that become Miles Live at the Fillmore [East] was in fact, Miles opening for Laura Nyro each night . . . → Read More: Laura Nyro – Stoned Soul Picnic, by Pat Thomas

R.E.M. – Gardening at Night, by Pat Thomas

34 years ago today, REM’s Chronic Town EP was released and it simply changed the whole landscape of indie-rock, college-radio, clubs, touring, fanzines – it inspired a whole host of imitators (god help us!) but also tons of bands that sounded absolutely nothing like them (such as SST bands). During the first half of . . . → Read More: R.E.M. – Gardening at Night, by Pat Thomas

Wages Of Sin Headline Darrel’s Tavern On A Hot August Night, by Holly Homan

On a hot August 19 night Darrel’s Tavern just north of Seattle hosted a night of Seattle hillbilly, celtic and folk punk bands.

The headliner was Wages Of Sin. This Seattle quintet combined a bit of country, a bit of folk, a bit of punk and a heavy dose of Celtic and tossed it . . . → Read More: Wages Of Sin Headline Darrel’s Tavern On A Hot August Night, by Holly Homan

Archie and The Bunkers – Sally Lou

Everyone’s favorite acid organ punk duo, Archie and the Bunkers, have returned from a massively successful European tour and released a new record, Mystery Lover. Below is a video they released a few months ago which will give you a feel for their electrifying retro sound.

http://archieandthebunkers.com/

Vince Guaraldi – Joe Cool, by Pat Thomas

Strangely, this version of “Joe Cool” sung by Vince Guaraldi is NOT featured on any of the countless Peanuts soundtracks issued by Fantasy Records (their albums only have an instrumental version) – I had to buy a CD called Lost Cues from his family’s estate.

– Pat Thomas is the author of Listen, . . . → Read More: Vince Guaraldi – Joe Cool, by Pat Thomas

Good News About the Shaggs, by Pat Thomas

“Credit must be given to the foremothers: the Shaggs. In 1969 they recorded an album that can stand, I think, easily with Beatles ’65, Life with the Lions, Blonde on Blonde, and Teenage Jesus and the Jerks as one of the landmarks of rock history. The Wiggins sisters (an anti-power trio) not only redefined . . . → Read More: Good News About the Shaggs, by Pat Thomas

Shane Ericks – Love Me For What I Am

This fine Carpenter’s cover was discovered by my lovely wife who tells me that when she grabs the mic to sing, her favorite karaoke jam is this song. As for this version, it’s marvelous. Ms. Ericks channels Karen Carpenter excellently. Enjoy:

https://www.youtube.com/user/ShaneEricks

https://www.facebook.com/shaneericksmusic

Evolution of Lollapalooza: “Dad, Rock is Dead,” by Mark Erickson

Beach House: the band that rocked Pitchfork

On the eve of the Pitchfork Music Festival last month, I read the Chicago Tribune’s preview of the three day event. The article coded the entertainers by genre such as EDM, hip hop, indie, rock, etc. On day one, the first act was a rock band called . . . → Read More: Evolution of Lollapalooza: “Dad, Rock is Dead,” by Mark Erickson

Ron Swanson’s Back to School Song List

I have been on a Modest Mouse kick of late. Love the records Good News for People who Love Bad News and We Were Already Dead before the Ship Sank. I really love those records, pretty much in their entirety, but especially, “Ocean Breathes Salty.” My right now favorite lyric of all time is:

. . . → Read More: Ron Swanson’s Back to School Song List

The Showbox Market Hosts the Return Of Ska Masters Streetlight Manifesto, by Holly Homan

Streetlight Manifesto in December 2011.

Last Saturday night was a long anticipated event, the return of NJ ska band Streetlight Manifesto.

SLM are a very tight band. They exude an energy on stage that is reflected in their music, but not in their physical actions. This is not a band that interacts much . . . → Read More: The Showbox Market Hosts the Return Of Ska Masters Streetlight Manifesto, by Holly Homan

Ian Hunter – Dandy

I am extremely grateful that Ian Hunter is still with us. So underrated… He has a new record coming out called Cross My Fingers. Since I saw Ian and the Rant Band on their 2001 tour I honestly don’t think anyone has put out better music since. We’ve had Rant, Shrunken Heads“, Man Overboard, . . . → Read More: Ian Hunter – Dandy

Japanese Breakfast – Everybody Wants To Love You (Live Session)

A side project from her work as front woman of Philadelphia indie punk band Little Big League, Michelle Zauner released a tape in June 2013 under the solo moniker Japanese Breakfast. The tape was titled June and boasted thirty tracks written and recorded every day of the month. A stark deviation from Little . . . → Read More: Japanese Breakfast – Everybody Wants To Love You (Live Session)

A New Theme Song for Fox News: Fountains of Wayne’s “Traffic and Weather,” by Chuck Strom

In light of the recent stories about Roger Ailes and what appears to be the locker-room culture at Fox News, this would be an appropriate musical theme for their broadcasts: Fountains of Wayne’s, “Traffic and Weather”.

“We belong together, like traffic and weather . . . “

Quick Reflection on Seeing the Psychedelic Furs Last Night, by Todd Johnson

Photo by Kjerstin Johnson

I saw the Furs the first time at the Riviera Theatre in Chicago on August 21, 1981, 34 years and 11 months to the day before last night’s show at the Santa Monica Pier.

That show was opened by the Chicago power pop band, The Kind, and was followed by . . . → Read More: Quick Reflection on Seeing the Psychedelic Furs Last Night, by Todd Johnson

Darling Cora – Yearn

This tune is truly special. It starts out pained, focused and inward but opens to illuminate an emotional story and sonic landscape as big as all of our sadnesses put together. The voice of Darling Cora (Darlene Cuevas) has a delicious range, vivid color and a soothing, comforting feel. She sounds like the . . . → Read More: Darling Cora – Yearn

Fitz and The Tantrums – HandClap

Fitz and The Tantrums’ self-titled album came out June 10. The first single, “HandClap,” was #1 most added at Alternative radio for 3 weeks in a row, was in the Top 5 of Spotify’s US viral chart and is already in a FIAT ad. It’s big and danceable and may be the summer song . . . → Read More: Fitz and The Tantrums – HandClap

Skating Polly – Pretective Boy, by Mike Hughes

I shouldn’t like Skating Polly, two Oklahoma kids playing thrashy post punk, but it turns out I love them utterly to bits. I got the album on a whim, and to check them out further, seeing as it turns out I’d seen them live supporting Babes In Toyland. I’d kinda filed that away in . . . → Read More: Skating Polly – Pretective Boy, by Mike Hughes

The Legendary Dickies & the Queers Headline A Night Of Punk Rock At El Corazon, by Holly Homan

Friday night July 8 Seattle’s foremost punk club, El Corazon, hosted one of punk’s foremost bands, the Dickies. Hailing from So Cal, the Dickies have been around since 1977 and are essentially the clowns, the satire of punk rock while still being punk. The band integrates numerous props in their performance including an anatomically . . . → Read More: The Legendary Dickies & the Queers Headline A Night Of Punk Rock At El Corazon, by Holly Homan