Now Hear This

Now Hear This

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William the Conqueror have paid their damn dues. Like the sportsman cutting chipped teeth in the lower leagues before shooting to the very top, this band have lugged all the amps, placated the in-house sound guy for an easier life, their nails dirty, their hair unkempt. Enough. Except it's never enough, because despite their slinky, swampy, razor-sharp, blues-drenched, guitar thrashed alt. Rock songs that form new album, Maverick Thinker and suggest that the door is opening for bigger rooms and broader audiences, it's those sticky basement bar stages where the songs have always shed a skin and come alive. The record put the three piece behind the glass at Sound City Studios in LA, treading the same carpet as the likes of Nirvana, Johnny Cash, Neil Young, and Fleetwood Mac, and they might well have inhaled the spirit of them all. William the Conqueror's protagonist is Ruarri Joseph who knows his way around a melody and a verse. Joseph's wryness suggests life just ain't plain sailin' and he fizzes that sigh and lament into something that breathes heavy with heart and with soul.
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Music runs deep in the DNA of Tyler and Shane Fogerty. And true to their heritage, they've created their own strand as Hearty Har, whose debut album RADIO ASTRO is the work of rockers who are seasoned beyond their years and live up to their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame lineage with a strand of that DNA they can truly call their own.
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It is the simple thing that is so hard to do. This is the paradox that musician Lael Neale has lived within throughout her development as an artist. It is the reason she became enthralled with poetry. Poems are a distillation. Lael says, “this challenge to winnow away what is unessential is the most maddening and, ultimately, rewarding part of writing a song.” Lael’s new album Acquainted With Night is a testament to this poetic devotion. Stripped of any extraneous word or sound, the songs are lit by Lael’s crystalline voice which lays on a lush bed of Omnichord. The collection touches on themes that have been thread into her work for years: isolation, mortality, yearning, and reaching ever toward the transcendent experience. Lael grew up on a farm in rural Virginia, but for nearly 10 years called Los Angeles home. Those years were spent developing her songwriting and performing in venues across the city, but the right way to record the songs proved more elusive. She says, “Every time I reached the end of recording, I felt the songs had been stripped of their vitality in the process of layering drums, bass, guitar, violin, and organ over them. They felt weighed down.” In a moment of illumination the solution presented itself: do the simple thing. In early 2019, in the midst of major transition, she acquired a new instrument, the omnichord, and began recording a deluge of songs. Guy Blakeslee, who had been an advocate for years, set up a cassette recorder in her bedroom and provided empathic guidance, subtle yet affecting accompaniment and engineering prowess. Limited to only 4-tracks and first takes, Lael had to surrender some of her perfectionism to deliver the songs in their essence. The first song she recorded was “For No One For Now,” which calls to mind the agitated beat of driving fast on the freeway against the backdrop of the San Fernando Valley’s bent palms. The song contrasts romantic idealizations with the banality of folding sheets and toasting bread. It highlights her oft-thwarted attempts to enjoy the day to day while her mind wanders off toward the dream, the ideal. While Lael returned to her family farm in April 2020, Los Angeles is a player on this album, and “Every Star Shivers in the Dark” is an ode to the sprawling city, the outskirts of Eden. One can envision her walking from Dodgers Stadium to downtown, observing strangers and her own strangeness but determined to find communion with others. “Blue Vein” is her personal anthem, a Paul Revere piece that gallops through the town as a strident declamation. It is an amalgam of thoughts, concerns, and lessons as she nearly speaks the words, unmasked by flourishes, ensuring the meaning cuts through. Normally a morning person, Lael recorded most of these songs in the darkening of the early evening, and so became Acquainted With Night.

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Melvins

Working With God

CD: $13.98 Buy

MP3 Album: $9.99 Download

Working With God is the new studio album from the legendary Melvins featuring their 1983 line-up of Buzz Osborne, Dale Crover and original drummer Mike Dillard. Released along with new reissues of 2002's Hostile Ambient Takeover and 1987's Gluey Porch Treatments, Working With God follows this incarnation of Melvins 2013 album Tres Cabrones. One of the band's most playful and melodic efforts, the 13-track collection is introduced by "I Fuck Around," a juvenile re-imagining of The Beach Boys' classic "I Get Around" and "Bouncing Rick," about Osborne and Dillard's junior-high biology teacher. "It's reflective of our 8th grade sense of humor, which we've never grown out of," Osborne said of "I Fuck Around." "We hope Brian Wilson doesn't get mad."
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Menahan Street Band, a veritable supergroup of some of today's most prolific songwriters, arrangers, and producers return with this beat-forward, cinematic masterpiece. If you have spent any time hanging out in bars, cafes, or casually tuning into NPR in the last 10 years you should be well versed in MSB's catalog. Their unique brand of instrumental soul has not only been the foundation for some of modern hip-hop's most successful beats, it has also become the perennial soundtrack and veritable vibe-generator for countless parties, art shows, and restaurants throughout NYC and abroad. While this album carries the aesthetic torch that MSB has skillfully woven into the tapestry of their DNA, it also delves deeper into the experimental, exotic sounds that fill many of the coveted Sound Library and Soundtrack LPs of the late sixties and early seventies - an amalgamation of moog synths, electric pianos, drum machines, and a bevy of analog instrumentation, that ebb and flow in lush swells of Morriconian grandeur.

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Anywhere But Here encompasses many different themes - the exploration of my queerness, lost love, abuse, abandonment - and all the things I wanted to get away from. I titled the album Anywhere But Here because I wrote each song when I was living in a home that I didn't want to be. In hindsight, 'here' was exactly where I needed to be. I was certain that the problem was where I was living. Sometimes, in the most frugal spaces, I would dream about what it would be like to not be without. It helped me realize that the problem wasn't the spaces but rather the discomfort that I had within myself. It took years to awaken to this reality. We're all good and we're all bad. How we see the world influences how we function together as one humanity. I pray we all push through together.
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NIRATIAS, Chevelle's 9th studio album, stands out as the band's most pummeling and provocative record yet. Teaming with longtime producer Joe Barresi [Tool, Queens of the Stone Age], Chevelle recorded throughout 2019 and 2020 and pieced together an intriguing and inimitable body of work, with themes that will reveal themselves soon. Featuring the lead single "Self destructor, " the album is set to be released March 5, 2021.
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2021 release. "Trauma Factory is an accumulation of songs written during a confusing time. It is about accepting the present and following your true north through the pain and suffering of human life. I wanted to make an album that was truly genreless and inspire others to challenge themselves artistically. I believe the most inspiring art is unpredictable and unrestrictive. To me, that's what Trauma Factory is."
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A Day to Remember has announced their Fueled By Ramen debut. The announcement was coupled with the release of the album's latest single, "Brick Wall." The band's frontman Jeremy McKinnon discussed the big news, "It's finally here - almost! To all our fans around the world, we want to say, 'Thank you!' You've waited patiently, and we can't wait for you to hear this. There's a lot of detail in everything we do from the mixes to the artwork, because it all tells a story. So, we made sure each element was perfect. Every line happens for a reason. We took what we envision modern music to be and made a hybrid of who we were, who we are, and who we want to be. It took a lot of maneuvering to get it right, but we feel like we did. We're here now and very happy to present 'You're Welcome'."
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In the spring of 1990, Neil Young and Crazy Horse recorded at Young's Broken Arrow Ranch in NorthernDescription: California. The resulting album, "Ragged Glory", would be released later in the year on September 9th. On November 13th1990, Neil and the Horse performed at The Catalyst - the small bar in Santa Cruz, CA, that Neil Young occasionally played in the 1970's, '80's and '90's. The marathon show lasted over 3 hours and featured the band in tremendous form, playing three blistering sets. It would be the first time many of the Ragged Glory songs were played live, and notably featured the first time "Dangerbird" would be performed live - 15 years after it was released on Zuma. The entire show was filmed and recorded by Shakey Picture's LA Johnson and is now being released as a CD, vinyl and DVD as "Way Down in The Rust Bucket" - #11.5 in Neil Young's Performance Series. "Way Down In The Rust Bucket" is being released on February 26th 2021 as a 4 LP vinyl box set, a 2 CD set and a deluxe edition box set containing a DVD of the concert, plus 4 LPs and 2 CDs.
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Re-imagined new version of their 1982 private press classic. Expanded to 21 tracks, including 14 alternate takes and unissued performances. Contains new liner notes from Austin American-Statesman music writer, Peter Blackstock"The best band in town was Uncle Walt's Band. " That's what Jimmie Dale Gilmore remembers about the trio of Walter Hyatt, Champ Hood, and David Ball circa 1980. Originally released as a private pressing in 1982 on the band's own Lespedeza label, Recorded Live was a document of their legendary shows at Waterloo Ice House in Austin, Texas. While those shows began around 9:30 PM and often continued past 2 AM, only 14 tracks recorded over 4 nights, were captured and released to share the magic of the three virtuoso singers and players.
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Amassing over 350 million streams domestically and receiving acclaim from Billboard, OnesToWatch, mxdwn, PopCrush, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, and Rock Sound of which they graced the cover, this Australia-born and Los Angeles-based trio boldly push forward again on their forthcoming debut for Fearless Records. CD Digipak.

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Ryan Adams

Wednesdays

CD: $11.98 UNAVAILABLE

MP3 Album: $9.99 Download

Ryan Adams' first album in three years, Wednesdays, is purely raw, vulnerable, and honest. The music takes you on a deep dive exploring the complex heart of Ryan Adams, through a journey of love, pain, and heartbreak. The album so effortlessly creates an immediate connection with anyone who has ever experienced love lost - the type of love that haunts you in quiet places of your mind. While the lyrics walk you through the vast emotional layers of grief, they also remind you of the rich memories of a love that will forever remain a part of you.