Category Archives: Record Release

Review: King Khan and the Shrines – “Idle No More”

King Khan’s first new full album in six years with the Shrines (though, they also put out an EP in between) is called Idle No More, and it could not be more perfect of a title. It’s self-referential not only for the band’s extended hiatus, but reflects the band’s own penchant for wearing its influences and sources on their sleeves as prophets of high-octane, few-frills rock n’ roll. While it’s difficult to eschew that absurd tendency to recall other bands in trying to define how a given song sounds like X (along the lines of something stupid like, “It’s the Rascals showing up, covered in sweat after a marathon of drugs and playing a set with Screamin’ Jay Hawkins down in Muscle Shoals!”), it becomes difficult when the Shrines are so obvious in where they cull their tunes. Any band that plays with less self-assured confidence would come off as hacky, self-important, self-appointed saviors of rock and roll. The difference is: King Khan and the Shrines just may be those saviors of rock and roll by their prowess first, their historical acumen second.

After the Jump: King Khan and the Shrines kick it old school, as they are wont to do

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Review: “The Next Day” – David Bowie

David Bowie will never have a ‘last album.’ Sure, in terms of time and effort, there may be a few more left in his corporeal being, but he’s the kind of dude who’s entire body of even half-hearted demos can last the demanding public centuries of musical debate. And that’s the other thing: when you’ve had a career as storied, legendary, and ever-changing as his, how do you cap it all off? It’s an impossible task, and I certainly wouldn’t ask  him to.

But what to make of this J.D. Salinger-esque reclusiveness in terms of creative output, besides his many film and television cameos and the occasional word with the press? To, suddenly, release an album out into the world with barely a month’s worth of advance notice, with two music videos to appear prior to the album’s full release, and with a cover virtually irreverent to the man’s own body of work? That cover should be the stuff of debates, given the music on the record and its own presentation of a sort of in-joke, as if the input after Heroes wasn’t worth remembering, and this is exactly what was supposed to follow.

The Next Day doesn’t quite follow that blueprint, though the cover certainly influences it. You can’t say this is the return of Ziggy, or the Thin White Duke, or any other variation of Bowie you can think of. In fact, it simply is The Next Day, but what that says — either as comment on the past or a continuation of Bowie’s impressive oveur — doesn’t matter as much as media types want to have you believe. Yet, I can’t help but feel like there was a twinge of frustration with this record, a need to just release something, just to move on past the speculation about what Mr. Bowie’s been doing all this time.

After the jump, David Bowie takes us to some very familiar territories via strange routes.

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King Khan Releases New EP for Free.

I was originally going to post about the new Black Keys single that came out today, “Lonely Boy,” but I figure: we haven’t heard from King Khan in an even longer time, so this is more important.

Working with the Scion A/V series, this is King Khan’s first release since 2009’s Invisible Girl, with BBQ Show. Click on the link here for the nine-song EP, The King Khan Experience, and enjoy the kind of psychedelic punk that only King Khan can provide. Yeah, you have to sign up with the Scion people, so expect some obnoxious e-mails coming your way from that whole thing, but seriously, this is worth it.

(alright, fine: here’s the link to watch the video to Black Keys’ “Lonely Boy.” Sheesh. Cry babies).

Jagger’s Super Group, ‘SuperHeavy,’ debuts new single and promo video.

After Keith Richards so thoroughly embarrassed Sir Mick, Mick Jagger has been busy with preparing a new super group, ‘SuperHeavy’ that consists of Joss Stone, Damien Marley, Dave Stewart, and A.R. Rahman. The first single, “Miracle Worker,” has been released, with a full album to follow in September.

The track can be heard here, and the promotional video of the band putting together their other songs, can be found below.

 

Yeesh. Not to take away from bands that have a wide range of influences, but let’s face it, when there’s too many cooks, you spoil the soup. What’s irritating to comment on this, is that every one of the individual players of SuperHeavy are in top form. Stone is her usual soulful self, Damien Marley brings a great energy to the song, and Mick just burns his lines when he gets the spotlight. But this is, dare I say it, almost too complex to enjoy. It’s hard to listen to the overall product when there’s some cool elements within, and others that just clash against one another in a cacophony orchestrated in anger at Keith Richards (yeah, this’ll show ’em).

 

Bob Dylan’s Grandson, Pablo, is a Rapper.

He's Got. . . Somebody's. . . Good(?). . . Looks.

You know, I could probably write a longer entry, but I really want to leave this up to you as you listen to it. I could entertain the thought of the younger Dylan sampling the older Dylan (Blond on Blond has got the sickest beats, yo), but, again, I think this is just another entry in young men taking their blood lineage for granted. Who didn’t think that of Jakob Dylan when he struck it big with the Wallflowers? Or Hank Williams III? Or Julian Lennon? Or Sean Lennon, for that matter. It just is what it is.

STILL: Does this kid really grasp just how fucking big his granddad truly is? This kid’s grandfather is BOB FUCKING DYLAN. BOB FUCKING BLOND ON BLOND, BLOOD ON THE TRACKS DYLAN. According to the AV Club article that introduced me to this kid, he said “My grandfather, I consider him the Jay-Z of his time.” And in the song, he does briefly mention the legacy he has to live up to, but nothing more that suggests it’s line for the sake for rhyme. I just. . . I just don’t. . . I’m not familiar with the thing I’m listening to.

Well, listen to it yourself. His mixtape, 10 Minutes is available for free download. The first single (I guess?), “Top of the World” is posted below.

Then again, I suppose it’s only right. As far as I could remember, Bob Dylan NEVER wrote a bridge, and rap rarely ever has a bridge. So there’s that.

Review: Smith Westerns “Dye it Blond”

After a first album of rambunctious energy and glam-punk orchestration  originated by Marc Bolan and modernized by the likes of the Strokes, and oozed a lo-fi quality that practically ensured round-the-clock play in your local record emporium, the Smith Westerns returned with a follow up of similar, but decidedly cleaner, songs. Get-in, get-out, get-laid is still the order of the day, but on the follow up to their self-titled debut, Dye it Blonde is the sound of a band that knows they put out one hell of a demo, and this one is for real. No more bullshitting around, these are the good takes that people are going to want to hear. And for better or for worse (more the former) it works to their advantage.

After the jump: sexy glam rock action! And a review!

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Album Review: The Greenhornes – “****”.

Since slimming down to the core trio of Craig Fox (guitar/vocals), Patrick Keeler (drums) and Jack Lawrence (bass/vocals), the Greenhornes have experienced a long hiatus since 2002’s Dual Mono. In that time, and much like the effect its had for the White Stripes and Brendan Benson respectively, Keeler and Lawrence’s experiences with the Raconteurs seems to have influenced their sound most of all upon returning to their original project. That’s not to say that the Greenhornes’ sound owes a great deal to Brendan Benson and Jack White (and that’s a subject for a later debate), but like the other members of the Raconteurs, there’s something a little more adventurous about their work now post-“Consolers of the Lonely.”

After the jump: the full review of “****”.

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