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Easy Street Online review by Ian Bremner

The ageless wonder that is Willie Nelson. It’s difficult to imagine a figure like Nelson is even real. He has outlasted his sometimes cartoonish stoner reputation to remain a country music legend well into 2017 which, if you take the state of country music as an industry, is quite comical. He can do a song with Snoop Dogg, make a reggae album, and follow it up with a Ray Price tribute record years later like nothing happened. He can do covers, duets, fingerpick or just plain sing. Nelson has made over 100 albums, not all of them great, but that’s what makes him great. His new record, God’s Problem Child, is one of the truly exceptional ones.

You would be hard pressed to ever find a more self-aware 83-year-old. Willie knows even he is not immortal, an idea he explores rather bluntly on the new record. Over the last year, anytime Willie Nelson starts trending on the Internet, a virtual and collective gasp takes place as we nervously click to see what the news may be. More often than not, it’s usually just Willie being Willie. God’s Problem Child is vintage Willie. There is some modern production, but for the most part it’s a stripped back vehicle for some poignant lyrics, much like Red Headed Stranger or Shotgun Willie. After David Bowie and Leonard Cohen’s last albums, listeners may take liberty to listen deeper, to find darker meaning in the lyrics. Nelson toys with this concept with the jaunty track, "Still Not Dead," which is about checking the Internet and reading about his death, but in reality, NOPE - still not dead. Getting older is the main theme of the record, yet he’s never unhappy about it. Some of the album’s standouts like "Old Timer," his Merle-tribute "He Won’t Ever Be Gone" and "It Gets Easier" are about the pure beauty of old age.

Willie Nelson is the type of legend that can live off his name, but he continues to push forward, which is truly inspiring. God’s Problem Child may go back in time style-wise, but it is as modern a country record as you will find.

Willie Nelson - God's Problem Child
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Father John Misty

Pure Comedy

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Easy Street Online review by Ian Bremner

Josh Tillman’s public profile has grown quite steadily since the release of his first album as Father John Misty. His debut, Fear Fun, was an outstanding California folk-rock record seeped in psychedelics, but was often times still billed as the “drummer from Fleet Foxes’ solo project.” By the time 2015’s I Love You Honeybear came around, people were hip to Josh Tillman for his music and his highly-quotable sense of humor. At this point in his career, his “persona” is as much of a talking point as is his third album, Pure Comedy. As the world continues to prove outrageous headlines get people fired up the most, blogs have used his antics as clickbait, rather than let people listen to his music and actually determine for themselves. As a result, a lot of folks immediately label him an arrogant, pretentious dick.

“Father John Misty” is used to generate clicks much the way Kanye West is. Anything he does or says is often turned into a full blog post and it has led him to, of course, toy with the audacity of it all. When he pens a line like, “bedding Taylor Swift every night inside the oculus rift,” he knows exactly the backlash that he will get on the internet. He saw what happened to Kanye West. But, for as many Father John Misty haters - and there are many - there is a growing number of adoring fans and apologists. One of the beautiful ironies of Pure Comedy, is the fact that he is using this media-driven phenomenon to promote an album about exactly these concepts.

The ironic messaging, although insanely vivid, is not always easy to translate in Tillman’s lyrics. Pure Comedy, however, makes no mistake of its intention: to differentiate the divide between art and entertainment. Most music serves the purpose to entertain. You put music on at a party. You dance to music, you smoke and drink and chat with music in the background. Art is something you have to actively engage in, interpret, discuss, or think about. For good reason, those are not elements all people want to delve into when they put on a record. Pure Comedy’s brilliance is in spite of its unwillingness to be easily-listenable, danceable or “entertaining.”

Father John Misty - Pure Comedy
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Easy Street Online review by Ian Bremner

On a near-universal level, the biggest fear of any artist is to be put into a box with labels that may or not be accurate to the music, but undoubtedly put preconceived notions into the heads of potential listeners. For All Them Witches, this fear could be fairly more prevalent than most bands, OR they may not care one bit. They are a band who is incredibly hard to label. You can’t necessarily call them a “Nashville Band” because only one member of the group actually calls the city in which they met and formed, still home. You can’t call them a “Southern Rock” band because that brings to mind the likes of Tom Petty or Lynyrd Skynyrd, when really, they are closer in line to the Melvins or other noise-rock bands. You could call them “blues” or “punk” or “metal” but none of those really feel right either.

Another reason deciphering what to call All Them Witches is difficult, is each record they release has its entirely own spin on their sound. Their fifth record, Sleeping Through The War adds new layers to their heavy rock n roll by shedding the noise. There is more space, more room to breath and less guitar solos. Yet still intact, is the sludgy blues-based rhythms and heart-pounding grooves. 

All Them Witches is a highway experienced, American rock n roll band in its essence. Touches of grunge, sprinkles of southern blues with Nashville roots, made them the perfect band for superstar producer Dave Cobb to get involved with. Cobb has to be the most popular producer in the country, certainly in Nashville after his recent hot streak of Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell and Chris Stapleton records. It was Cobb who in fact, wanted to work with All Them Witches. He saw a uniqueness to them that is accurately described as “refreshing.” Certainly not all bands can pull off what All Them Witches are doing right now.

Sleeping Through The War is a hard hitting, yet very easily digestible blues/not blues, punk/not punk record that sounds like the new Nashville…but not.

All Them Witches - Sleeping Through The War
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Easy Street Online review by Ian Bremner

Thundercat is an absolute anomaly. His third album, Drunk, is a continuation of the trippy jazz fusion he has come to make a name for, but it delves even deeper into a space unknown. A man known for his collaborations with Flying Lotus and Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly, Thundercat’s talent and ear allow him to call up legends like Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins to sing on a track and it is in no way out of place. A record with a Kenny Loggins track followed by a Kendrick verse has never sounded so seamless, nor will that statement ever sound normal.

Drunk is filled with two-minute sketches of songs, interludes, and full songs, all giving a glimpse into his entirely unique world. Lyrics include Nintendo references, blowing money on anime in Tokyo, beating his meat and getting sick off eating too much fish, but they never override the genuine musical feels of the record or even, “too much information.” You can simply brush them off and be thankful for the permission to escape, albeit briefly, into Thundercat’s brain. The themes are unapologetically funny, dry, sometimes absurd, but sung so smoothly with a buttery falsetto and thick bass lines, it’s damn near impossible to NOT drink it all up to intoxication.

Thundercat - Drunk
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Easy Street Online review by Ian Bremner

Jack Cooper and James Hoare were both on tour in separate bands when they met. They quickly realized they shared a lot in common musically, and anyone who has listened to the two of them make music can probably see why.

The two men from London not only write similarly, but sound similar as well. When the come together as Ultimate Painting, it truly is hard to tell whose part is whose. Dusk is the third album from the duo and although it may be easy to label them as “indie pop,” they have a clean musicality to them that makes for supremely easy listening.

As the name suggests, Dusk sounds good in dim lighting like a lot of good '60s pop records. It’s quiet, yet full of sound. It’s guitar pop, yet poetic.

Ultimate Painting - Dusk
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Dawes

We're All Gonna Die

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Easy Street Online review by Ian Bremner

If you let fan comments on Facebook influence your thinking, which as a general rule of thumb, you should DEFINITELY NOT DO, you will think the new Dawes album, We’re All Gonna Die, is either pure perfection or the worst crime to music possibly committed. In today’s social media climate, sports and politics aren’t the only arenas where the word “fan” is nearly synonymous with “irrational” and “kneejerk.”

In reality, We're All Gonna Die is neither perfection, nor crime worthy. It IS, however, difficult to define and significantly different than anything Dawes has ever done. “Different” for a band means change, and we all know how people react to change. Fans are drawn to Dawes for many reasons. Some of the most vivid songwriting imaginable, California sunsets, sweeping guitars and nostalgia for the dusty Laurel Canyon days of the '70s are all peak Dawes.

We’re All Gonna Die has traces of all of these characteristics, but dives into something entirely new. Chunky basslines, pop choruses, spacey soundscapes, make for a new type of listening environment. When their fourth record, All Your Favorite Bands, came out, front man and songwriter Taylor Goldsmith pointed to wanting to get back to their live-band roots and giving a more live sound. It was heavy on ballads and guitar solos, which is straight out of a Dawes show. The new album is more of a headphone record. The songwriting still stands with the best of Dawes, when displayed with just Taylor and his guitar, but it seems as though the lyrics are not the main attraction anymore. They are still poignant and heavy, but Wylie Gelber’s bass, for example, is at the forefront in some songs, which would never have been the case in the past.

At one point Goldsmith and Blake Mills were bandmates in Simon Dawes, but that was before they went their separate routes and Mills became super-grammy-winning-producer for Alabama Shakes, Jim James and countless other bands. Mills and Goldsmith have collaborated on multiple projects over the years, but We're All Gonna Die is produced entirely by Mills.

Despite the mix of sounds, the album is cohesive and all fits together. When lead single, "When The Tequila Runs Out" dropped, people were up in arms about the direction of the band. The song probably is a good representation for the album. The fun part about a band like Dawes, who are on their way to legendary status, is that we can look back on the catalog when it’s all said and done and find out if We're All Gonna Die is a one-off in the discography or turning point where “Dawes” became Dawes.

Dawes - We're All Gonna Die
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Easy Street Online review by Ian Bremner

Cass McCombs has been doing this a long time. He knows what he’s doing and he does not sit still. The Bay Area artist has been pumping out albums for a decade. He is an outstanding guitar player and songwriter, yet his style is always changing. His debut for Anti Records, Mangy Love, may be his best. Summer and Fall 2016 have been so good to us as music consumers.

Cass McCombs dropped Mangy Love in the middle of Frank Ocean hype and Angel Olsen’s instant-classic My Woman, but it deserves to be up there with both of those records. In this harshly political season, perhaps we can all listen to the words of McCombs and an album like Mangy Love. His wit and wry lyrics hit even deeper than normal and touch on everything including racist government, misogyny, California porn industry. Everything. It’s not a protest record or anything of the like, because you have to listen hard to pick up certain vibes, but that is never a chore on Mangy Love.

The music surrounding the messages is plain beautiful so it could be easy to get lost. Swirling guitars, horns flirting with soul tunes join blues and folk rock with a hint of '80s, but sometimes all at the same time, making it difficult to pin down, but very easy to enjoy.

Cass McCombs - Mangy Love
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Angel Olsen

My Woman

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Easy Street Online review by Ian Bremner

My Woman is out and Angel Olsen is heading on tour with a six-piece band (Seattle show is 2/18 at the Neptune). The number†of band members may sound like overkill for anyone who associates Olsen with the lo-fi songwriting tendencies of her previous albums. Turns out, the only overkill is the "lo-fi" descriptor itself still being applied to her.

Though there are lo-fi elements from time to time, My Woman is so far beyond that. It's†a gorgeous rock 'n' roll record, with†layers that grow upon each listen. The first five†tracks set the tone with a controlled, raucous feel. Electric guitar, synths, and drums fill the soundscape with Angel Olsenís voice in full command throughout. The last five†tracks slow it down and stretch it out.

Where the first two singles, "Intern" and "Shut Up Kiss Me," demonstrate the direction Olsen is taking, there is a noticeable shift in the album at "Heart-Shaped Face," the sixth track. My Woman plays like a classic A-Side/B-Side record. The A-Side ROCKKSS and the B-Side BURNNSS. By the time album standout, "Sister" comes around, Olsenís voice is steady at the forefront, rolling over Crazy Horse-styled guitar solos. Itís an eerie, lonesome type of beauty best found in classic '70s albums. My Woman packs plenty of punch, but the two seven-minute burners ("Sister" and "Woman") stick out most without isolating themselves from the bunch.

Angel Olsen - My Woman
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By Ian Bremner, Easy Street Records

Leaving the artistic hotbed of New York city can sometimes draw different forms of inspiration, and a bit of California air can do the body and mind good. When Kevin Morby moved westbound to the hills outside of Los Angeles, a piano from the previous tenants greeted him. Though a beginner at the piano, Morby quickly picked up some essential chords and thus, began the initial foundation for his beautiful new album, Singing Saw.

Morby, who has played bass with WOODS, and founded the band Babies, is one of the purest songwriters in recent memory. His third solo album, Singing Saw, is as smooth of a record as you could ask for. The nine-track record flows beautifully with sparse, but lush, natural sounds with enough acoustic and electric guitar with sweet piano to bring it all together. At the forefront however, remains the voice and words of Kevin Morby.

The west coast breeze, sun-covered hills and city lights of Los Angeles in the background almost become real life to the listener, but he makes it apparent that not all sunny days are happy days. Beneath the beauty of the arrangements, there is a present darkness to the lyrics. Singing Saw manages to bring the gritty New York alleyways to the bright greenery of California. A clearing in the fog. A hole in the clouds.

Kevin Morby - Singing Saw
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By Andrew Lee for Easy Street Records

When I press play on an opening track like ďPrime,Ē the change is almost instant. The music I hear is so appealing it changes my life. The ordinary life becomes the extraordinary life just by virtue of the music, if only for a few minutes. Ironically, I donít really even know what Jonathan Meiburg is singing about. I canít easily understand all the lyrics, but it doesnít matter. In this case itís all about the music and the feeling. And to me, music like this feels amazing. But why? Itís that electronic hook mainly. It lights up something inside me - some kind of internal recognition receptor turns on and just, like, glows. Itís like something was out there, or maybe it was inside me, and I knew it was there but I couldnít find it, so I couldn't say it, but I can recognize it when I hear the band play it.

And thatís just the first song.

And no, theyíre not all like that. Musicians canít be magicians every time. But in the case of Jet Plane And Oxbow, the power of Shearwaterís opening trick is strong enough to light a path all the way to the end of the album for both the band and their listeners.

Shearwater - Jet Plane and Oxbow
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Kacey Musgraves

Pageant Material

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By Andrew Lee
6/26/15

I listened to this album all the way through without knowing a thing about Kacey Musgraves and I’m pleased to report that I enjoyed the whole darn thing. Albums like this are rare for me and they remind me of an apple pie I once ate. So many people rave about apple pie and so often I enjoy parts of it but not the whole thing and the apples make me feel too full. One day my friend came home from his bakery job with an apple pie with a streusel crumb topping and the apples were all finely diced and well blended into the filling and every last bite was delightful. Still not sure if it was Dutch Apple Pie or French Apple Pie but that pie had my attention and interest to the last bite, as did this new album by Kacey Musgraves.

Less pie, more music you say? Here are three reasons to buy Pageant Material by Kacey Musgraves:

1. These songs are full of clever lyrics, rhymes and turns of phrase (which is sort of a tradition in a lot of country music). When these kinds of things are done right - i.e. they appear naturally in the song and are sung earnestly and without trying too hard - they can be like memorable little gems the listener can easily remember and take away with them when the song is over. “I’d rather lose for what I am than win for what I ain’t.” “Mind your own biscuits and life will be gravy.” “They own too much wicker and drink too much liquor.” - the list goes on and on and it can be kind of fun to pick these out. With Musgraves’ laid-back presentation I’m willing to eat this stuff instead of sending it back to the kitchen.

2. There is an easy-going confidence wrapped in a sort of cool retro-country vibe throughout, making this all go down like a cold, sepia-colored drink on a warm country day. Notice how the album cover evokes a classic 1960’s feeling. Notice the prettiest songs with the longest phrasing beginning and ending the album and playing their natural part in the storytelling. Notice the surprise uncredited guest vocals after the silence at the end of the album - they appear as almost a sort of confirmation - “if you’ve been listening to this thinking this girl’s an easygoing natural who knows what she’s doing, well, you’re right."

3. For all the self-empowerment, life-lessons, and daily affirmation nuggets in these songs there is also a nod to self-questioning and doubt, and with the album ending with the words “are you sure this is where you want to be?” I was left feeling that I'd been listening to an album that was maybe sort of sad and beautiful instead of just plain cute and twangy.

Kacey Musgraves - Pageant Material
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By Andrew Lee for Easy Street Records

Bob’s back. Can you dig it, man? There’s a lot to dig into on this release, whether you go with the two-disc “Best of” version or the six-disc deluxe edition. The sound is great and has a sort of up close and personal feel to it (as it should!). It’s interesting to hear these classic songs as they evolve and change. Most versions included on the deluxe six-disc set seem to be different or good enough that they are worth listening to. However the two-disc “Best of” version may provide the more accessible, traditional, and enjoyable listening experience from beginning to end. It all depends on how deep you wanna go man, and as Joan Baez said in the film No Direction Home:

"There are no veils, curtains, doors, walls, anything between what pours out of Bob's hand onto the page and what is somehow available to the core of people who are believers in him. "There's some people who'd say... you know, not interested. But if you're interested, he goes way, way deep."

What a great opportunity to step back in time and hear these seminal songs of the ‘60s as they could have been vs. how they were released. The Cutting Edge gives some insight to Dylan’s process during the peak of his powers in ’65-’66 and serves to increase the perception that his was a one-time only comet streak of musical inspiration that arguably burned brightest during the nearly two-year period represented in these recordings.

A particular highlight for this reviewer was "Sitting on a Barbed Wire Fence," which I missed the first time it came out (Bootleg Series 1-3). This song rocks. The guitar work stings and runs you over. Dylan yells. He sings some different lyrics. Words from "Tom Thumb's Blues" make an appearance. And Dylan picks his guitar player over a woman -  "She's good alright but she ain't as good as this guitar player I got right now." A fitting tribute to the singular guitar work of Mike Bloomfield.

The hardbound book accompanying the deluxe issue is called Bob Dylan Mixing Up The Medicine 1965-1966 and it is almost entirely made up of photographs with not much in the way of text. It’s fun to see all these pictures, especially the pictures of lyric sheets with handwritten changes and of newspaper articles from the time period. I also like the section titled “Articles from Around the Globe” that includes magazine and album covers and assorted Dylan-related oddities of the time from other countries. The set's extensive liner notes (54 pages including pictures) are packaged with the discs, which are designed to look like mini-LPs in a gatefold style.

So then, which version is for you? Perhaps I can help…

- The two-disc version contains 36 of the 111 tracks on the six-disc version.

- It appears the two-disc version contains two tracks that are slightly shorter than their counterparts on the six-disc version. There may be others with very minor differences of a few seconds as well.

- The two-disc version contains just two versions of “Like a Rolling Stone” whereas the six-disc version devotes the entirety of disc four's 20 tracks to the song. I’ve read this is the full sessions for this particular song, but I'm not sure if that is accurate.

The two-disc version contains the following number of tracks off each disc of the six-disc version:

- 10 out of the 23 tracks on disc 1
- 8 out of the 19 tracks on disc 2
- 2 out of the 20 tracks on disc 3
- 7 out of the 19 tracks on disc 4
- 4 out of the 15 tracks on disc 5
- 5 out of the 15 tracks on disc 6

How many songs (regardless of take or version) that appear on the six-disc set do not appear on the two-disc set?  Answer = 12

Those songs are:

- "It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue"
- "It’s All Right Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)"
- "From a Buick 6"
- "Ballad of a Thin Man"
- "Jet Pilot"
- "I Wanna Be Your Lover"
- "Unknown Instrumental"
- "4th Time Around"
- "Most Likely You’ll Go Your Way (and I’ll Go Mine)"
- "Temporary Like Achilles"
- "Obviously 5 Believers"
- "Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands"

Bob Dylan - The Best Of The Cutting Edge 1965 - 1966: The Bootleg Series Vol. 12 [2CD]
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By Andrew Lee for Easy Street Records

Alan Jackson is a name I’ve heard a lot over the years, but somehow I'd never knowingly listened to one of his songs until I pressed play on Angels And Alcohol, and it didn’t take long to know this guy is a master at what he does. Listen to just the first minute and thirteen seconds of opening track “You Can Always Come Home” and see if you know what I mean. It’s a pure genre song to be sure, but it’s done so well it transcends the genre and goes down as not just a great country song, but a great song, period. I’ve always been sort of a sucker for a slow, stripped down intro that suddenly morphs into a full-voiced, uptempo, emotional pick-me-up. No matter how bad it gets “you can always come home” - I mean, what warm-blooded human being doesn’t want to hear that, right, especially when it’s delivered in the warm and seasoned country superstar singing voice of someone like Alan Jackson?

Unfortunately there isn’t another song like this one on the album, but fortunately it seems Alan Jackson didn’t get to where he is for nothing, as the man knows how to fill his listeners' cups all the way up.

“You Never Know” is the kind of country rocker where everyone and their brother gets a solo (including the piano player, my favorite), and suddenly the warm father figure from the first song is singing about a “curvy little bottom like a roller coaster ride.” “Angels and Alcohol” features some appropriately woozy pedal steel work while addressing one of country music’s favorite subjects - drinkin’ - and it's notable for the double meaning of the word "angels" as well as the narrator’s apparent lack of apology or regret.

And perhaps it’s a certain lack of apology or regret through the entire album that effectively conveys Jackson’s veteran country confidence and makes this music worth listening to. Sure, some of it gets a little corny at times (“Flaws,” “When God Paints”) but when you’re as justifiably confident as Alan Jackson even corny can seem kind of cool.

Alan Jackson - Angels and Alcohol
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Jason Isbell

Something More Than Free

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By Andrew Lee for Easy Street Records

If music were clothing then Jason Isbell’s latest album would be like one of those favorite shirts. You know, the one you reach for more than the others, the one that fits right and feels good - the one that doesn’t go out of style. Something More Than Free is a comfortable, well-made album that deserves some heavy rotation in the playlists of singer-songwriter appreciators everywhere.

Opening track “If It Takes a Lifetime” would not sound too out of place on a late 70’s Kenny Rogers album - and if you don’t think that’s a compliment then I don’t know what to do with you. “Hudson Commodore” could have been a hit for Eagles in their heyday. “Speed Trap Town” evokes the best of Nebraska-era Springsteen.

Don’t put this one on to rock out. Don’t put this one on to dance. Put this album on to think and reflect and question, to come to terms and plan and move forward somehow. This music is good for staying up late, driving around, learning lyrics and singing along. There’s a lot of acoustic, mid-tempo shuffling stuff and the electric guitar flavors are used sparingly but to great effect on songs like “24 Frames,” "Children of Children,” and “Palmetto Rose.”

A strong sense of memory and character and story abounds on these songs, and there’s plenty of conflict and regret, but there’s also a feeling of purpose and potential for good. Isbell asks questions (“The Life You Chose”) and he offers answers (“24 Frames”) and he sings about work like the grown-ass man that he is (“If It Takes a Lifetime,” “Something More than Free”). Recently my 12-year-old nephew declared that I didn’t like the same kind of music he did because he was into “singer-songwriter.” He offered 17-year-old internet discovery Shawn Mendes as an example of a singer-songwriter he was into. I’ve got nothing against Shawn Mendes, nephew, but hopefully someday you’ll learn to think of someone like Jason Isbell instead, because Something More Than Free is what real man singing and songwriting is all about.

Jason Isbell - Something More Than Free
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Leon Bridges

Coming Home

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By Andrew Lee for Easy Street Records

Just a quick note to let you know that I’ve listened to Leon Bridges' new album, Coming Home, several times now and I’ve come to the following conclusions:

- Leon Bridges is a pretty smooth dude. His vocal phrasings are nicely toasted to the low burning embers of the music - no marshmallows catch fire on this album if you know what I mean - and I was continually left wanting s’more of Leon's sound. This can be both a good thing and a bad thing - maybe Leon is a little too nicely toasted at times. Maybe it would be nice to hear him really let loose and catch fire - he certainly has the voice for it. Perhaps he lets things hang out a little more in his live shows - some artists are great on record but even better live.

- I like soul. I need more of it in my life and in my music collection. I go through life with a damper on my feelings most of the time and it can be liberating to listen to a honey-throated heartbreaker sing it with feeling (whatever “it” may be). If I was a singer I think I’d want to be the soulful kind who could sing those “Baby, baby, baby’s” and “Whoa girl’s" like Leon, in a way to make the ladies lean forward and listen.

- “Coming Home” is far and away the best song on the album, which is probably why it is the title track and why it was also the demo song that got him significant radio airplay and attention from major labels, leading to a deal with Columbia. Unfortunately, “Coming Home” is also the first track on the album, which could make it a downhill trip from there for some listeners. I’m here to tell you to hang in there and keep listening. “Better Man,” “Smooth Sailin’,” "Lisa Sawyer,” “Pull Away,” and “River” are also standout tracks that deserve attention. Leon’s music has what I call “instant atmosphere” and by virtue of his velvety vocals and smooth, retro style he can make any room and any person in that room feel instantly cooler with the sound of any of the tracks on this album.

- I’ve seen names like Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, and Marvin Gaye written in connection with Leon’s. I hear the similarities, though his voice doesn’t have the same kind of grit or power or passion of any of these, but of course not and so what? He’s awfully close, but I don’t really want him to be any of these guys anyway. I want him to be himself, and on the strength of this, his debut album in what surely could be a long and successful career, he is succeeding wildly at doing just that.

Leon Bridges - Coming Home
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Future

Honest

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2014 album from the Atlanta Rapper. After releasing a prolific string of successful mix-tapes, the Rapper dropped PLUTO, his official debut album featuring the ubiquitous hits 'Same Damn Time,' 'Turn on the Lights,' 'Tony Montana' (with Drake), 'Magic' (with T.I.) and 'Neva End' Remix (with Kelly Rowland). But despite his growing profile - and contrary to today's rules that you must divulge everything about yourself to everyone immediately - Future stayed on the humble, preferring to keep certain parts of his unique life private. Not anymore. For Future, his second album, HONEST represents both his present state of mind lasting future 'I went into everything on this album with more depth and more thoughtfulness,' he says. 'I want people to remember my music 20 years from now. I'm a make the world just a little better. People are gonna start becoming more honest because of HONEST.'
Future - Honest
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We think Godspeed has made a record that maintains if not exceeds the standards of their previous work a high bar, many would agree.
Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!
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Nick Waterhouse is the New Breed - An R&B fanatic who combines an uncanny old-school sensibility and with a charged, contemporary style. Having just turned 25, he joins the ranks of similar acts and producers of recent times - Mark Ronson, Amy Winehouse, Sharon Jones, Mayer Hawthorne, Aloe Blacc et al -- that are all moving forward into the past, yet all quite different. For Waterhouse, his muse is the over-modulated sound of vintage '50s R&B and Rebel Rock n' Roll. His take on such a time-honored tradition evokes the back-alley thrill of New Orleans, Detroit and Memphis in their heyday. He combines an astute attention to detail recording on all vintage equipment with an honest desire to match the emotional impact of the music that inspires him.
Nick Waterhouse - Time's All Gone
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Beach House

Bloom

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Like all great sequels, Bloom takes what worked before and intensifies it, lining up humming synthesizers, luminous guitar tones, and intricate human and digital percussion to create an even more alluring package.
Beach House - Bloom
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Moon Duo

Mazes

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We are thrilled to present the newest long-player from psych prodigies Moon Duo. For just over two years now Ripley Johnson (Wooden Shjips) and Sanae Yamada have been burning up the scene with their propulsive beats and compelling acid washed shows. Formed in San Francisco, the duo recently relocated to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. This record, however, was cut in Berlin. Certainly the most pop-oriented batch of songs the band has ever delivered. The Duo will be slow riot mosh touring the US beginning mid-March.
Moon Duo - Mazes
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Composed, according to FlyLo, as ''a collage of mystical states, dreams, sleep and lullabies'', Until the Quiet Comes has the distinct feel of this nocturnal trip.
Flying Lotus - Until the Quiet Comes
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First Aid Kit

The Lion's Roar

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First Aid Kit is Swedish sisters Klara and Johanna Soderberg. The first single and title track to their sophomore album, ''The Lion's Roar'', was recorded with producer Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Monsters of Folk, Jenny Lewis) in Omaha, NE. The record sees the band exploring a bigger sound and more instrumentation than on their debut album ''The Big Black and the Blue'', but maintains the signature storytelling and harmonies they have become renowned for.
First Aid Kit - The Lion's Roar
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Kimya Dawson

Thunder Thighs

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Ex- Moldy Peaches singer/ songwriter Kimya Dawson is most widely known for the Grammy nominated, Platinum selling soundtrack for the movie JUNO. Kimyas solo album, THUNDER THIGHS, has major and Minor themes including oceans, cancer, transgendered heroes, feeling safe in your own skin, saving public libraries and making big albums in a small, familial way. The album features guest performances by rapper/producer Aesop Rocky plus members of the Strokes, Mountain Goats, and more.
Kimya Dawson - Thunder Thighs
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Twenty-two year old Trevor Powers, whose musical venture is called Youth Lagoon, has had a long year. Not because he's been endlessly touring or pursuing some wild dream, but because of life the life of a kid going to college, being in love, dealing with heartache, and just living. 'Youth Lagoon isn't me.' says Powers. 'It's merely a part of me.
Youth Lagoon - The Year Of Hibernation
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Tegan and Sara

Heartthrob

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Heartthrob, the highly anticipated follow-up to Sainthood, gives us Tegan and Sara in their superhero tights and capes, ready to conquer the pop universe, and the new outfits suit them just as well as their old-school jeans and T-shirts.
Tegan and Sara - Heartthrob
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Gary Allan

Set You Free

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Gary Allan's new album Set You Free is a perfectly named, well-conceived album that embodies his own evolution toward personal, creative freedom. The album, sequenced with a storyline in which a man breaks the restraints of a failed relationship and conquers the loneliness of its aftermath, is the result of Allan's own journey as a man and as an artist.
Gary Allan - Set You Free
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LEAD WITH YOUR HEART is The Tenors' first album in over two years, following the international release of their debut album and an extensive touring schedule. Over the past few years, The Tenors have performed worldwide, sharing the stage with legendary artists such as Andrea Bocelli, Celine Dion (on The Oprah Show), Sting and Paul McCartney.
The Tenors - Lead with Your Heart
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Tame Impala

Lonerism

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Cocooned away inside walls of psychedelic fuzz in Western Australia they re-created their preferred period one song at a time with the aid of gear and production techniques that sounded like they hadn't been dusted off since 1968.
Tame Impala - Lonerism
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Bob Dylan

Tempest

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Featuring ten new and original Bob Dylan songs, the release of Tempest coincides with the 50th Anniversary of the artist's eponymous debut album, which was released by Columbia in 1962. The new album, produced by Jack Frost, is the 35th studio set from Bob Dylan, and follows 2009's worldwide best-seller, Together Through Life.
Bob Dylan - Tempest
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Father John Misty

Fear Fun

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Father John Misty is the nom-de-plume of Josh Tillman, who has been releasing solo albums since 2003 and who left Seattle's Fleet Foxes after playing drums from 2008-2011.
Father John Misty - Fear Fun
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Cloudland Canyon

Fin Eaves

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Originally an all-things-not-Panthers outlet for guitarist Kip Ulhorn swapping musical ideas with Simon Wojan, Cloudland Canyon spent several years interpreting the more structurally-challenged examples of Krautrock, '70's psych of the drone-discovering variety, spots of unnerving (in a good way) improv here and there, and the wonderful '90's bands that started out as head-scratchers and ended up as innovators.
Cloudland Canyon - Fin Eaves
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2010 physical release of this eccentric re-interpretation of the classic Pink Floyd album, Dark Side of the Moon. The world's most predictably unpredictable band, The Flaming Lips, have teamed up with their Oklahoma City brethren, Star death And White Dwarfs to record their own unique take of Pink Floyd's 1973 classic album the Dark Side of the Moon, under the title of The Flaming Lips and Star death And White Dwarfs with Henry Rollins And Peaches. The collaborative project was recorded after several weeks of both bands touring the world together and mutually citing Pink Floyd as one of their favorite bands of all time and the Dark Side of the Moon as one of their primary influences.
Flaming Lips & Stardeath & White Dwarfs - The Flamming Lips and Stardeath and White Dwarfs With Henry Rollins and Peaches Doing Dark Side Of The Moon
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High Violet is a nervy, melodic, explosive and beautiful set of songs that finds the band at the height of their collaborative powers. Berninger's singing - wild, half-broken, sly - evokes a feeling of being haunted, by love, by paranoia, by something just out of reach.
The National - High Violet
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Reissue of King Crimson's THREE OF a PERFECT PAIR originally released in 1984 as part of the recorded trilogy begun by DISCIPLINE (1981) and BEAT (1982). Includes bonus tracks: "The King Crimson Barber Show," "Industrial zone," "Sleepless" and more!
King Crimson - Three of a Perfect Pair
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Deftones

Diamond Eyes

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'Diamond Eyes' works the way good records used to; each song carries you a little further away from your bad day until finally, you've been transported to a place that feels a whole lot better than where you started. There's also a newfound sense of purpose that makes Deftones' sixth album stand out.
Deftones - Diamond Eyes
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Debut full-length from buzzy Florida band praised by NY Times 'Velvet Underground and punk riffs, reverberating textures, African-style guitar filigrees, grunge crescendos, power-pop choruses headed for anthems and, yes, some surf-rock twang', SPIN 'you ll be hearing more from this band for sure', Rolling Stone 'giant-sized choruses, festooned in glitter and lit up with neon', Pitchfork 'lo-fi clangor, glo-fi harmonies, punchy retro-garage concision, never-out-of-style classic rock song-craft'.
Surfer Blood - Astro Coast
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Magic Sam

West Side Soul

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One of the greatest blues albums of all time, West Side Soul was chosen by Living Blues magazine as one of it's top ten Desert Island Blues Discs. The new digipak case contains previously unissued photos and 1960s pluggers (promoting west side gigs) from the private collection of Bill Lindemann. The source material for the CD is now the original 1967 analog stereo mix by Stu Black who recorded many of Delmark's classic 1960s blues and jazz recordings. Featuring Mighty Joe Young, guitar; Stockholm Slim, piano; Earnest Johnson or Mac Thompson, bass; Odie Payne Jr. or Odie Payne III, drums. 12 tracks including "That's All I Need", "I Need You So Bad", "Feelin' Good", "All Your Love", "Sweet Home Chicago" and more.
Magic Sam - West Side Soul
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Track listings include "Concrete Jungle," Slave Driver," "400 Years," plus lots more.
Bob Marley & The Wailers - Catch a Fire
$13.95

        
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