It's been a couple of years since we heard from Justin Courtney Pierre. When we last left off, his celebrated rock band Motion City Soundtrack decided to take a hiatus following a victory lap in support of their sixth album, Panic Stations. This culminated with a Riot Fest performance and a sold-out, career-spanning show at The Metro in Chicago in September of 2016. In reality, what he's been doing lately hasn't been terribly exciting bio fodder: He's been in Minneapolis, mowing the lawn, cultivating tomatoes, taking care of his daughter and figuring out who he is if he isn't the guy fronting Motion City Soundtrack. “I guess the jumping off point for this album was that I wanted to see if I could just write everything myself and perform as much of it as I could,” Pierre says of the impetus for his first solo album, In The Drink. When it came to recording the songs, it made perfect sense to enlist longtime collaborator and Motion City Soundtrack guitarist Josh Cain to produce In The Drink. “Working with Josh on this album was super fun because we have been working together for 20 years and basically share a brain. But it didn't have the same dynamic of Motion City Soundtrack in the sense that at the end of the day I got to call all the shots,” Pierre says. Musically, In The Drink sees Pierre evoking his usual influences like Pavement, Superchunk, The Flaming Lips, Jawbox, Fugazi, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., Nirvana, more Jawbox, Tom Waits, The Carpenters and Eddie Money, but through his own unique perspective and sung via his instantly recognizable tenor. From the quirky, anthemic pop of “Anchor” or “I Don't Know Why She Ran Away” to more moody, darker material such as “Moonbeam” (which features guest vocals from Jenny Owen Youngs) and the experimental closer “Goodnight Hiroyuki,” the album is Pierre at his most unfiltered and the results are sublime (even if it sounds nothing like Sublime).
Soft Hell, Pill’s second full-length album for Mexican Summer, is a raucous, splintering dispatch from New York City, animated by the madcap ingenuity of a foursome finding a palpable sense of joy and play in expressions of caustic, black humor. Like the contradiction of the album title, which references our acceptance of everyday miseries, it’s a slew of dichotomies, a frenzied cutup. It’s bleeding saxophone and lustrous feedback sounding somehow pastoral, and winking hooks subtly infused with venom.
The expansive, charred psychedelia of Pill’s early sound — textured by homemade, circuit-bent instruments and custom effects by guitarist Jon Campolo’s brother Nick — has morphed into something more compact and mischievous but no less evocative. It’s also the most hook-laden, melodic statement in the band’s catalog to date.
Soft Hell, like its Mexican Summer predecessor Convenience, carries forward a free-associative ensemble feel, with the players finding room for intuitive subtleties and melodic interplay even in the most skeletally spare compositions. They play post-punk, maybe no wave, mostly insofar as the terms are far-reaching creative passports.
Saves The Day have been through a lot over the past two decades: Van accidents, member changes, the emo explosion, and the adventures that carried the act and their fans from adolescence to adulthood. But they’ve never had a proper history of the band… until now. Saves The Day’s ninth album 9 tells the story of the band from the perspective of the band’s founder Chris Conley and does it in a way that’s as exhaustive as it is poetic and makes the listener a part of the songwriting process. From a narrative standpoint, 9 chronicles the epic story of a group of kids from New Jersey who realized their dream and became international sensations. However, on a more existential level, it shows how Conley “woke up” and became aware of his own consciousness through his relationship with music and the unbelievable adventures it inspired since he formed the act in 1997.
Oh Pep! have returned with their second full-length that takes their alt-folk to a whole new level of delicious pop. Chock full of memorable hooks, sing-along moments I Wasn't Only Thinking About You…, proves itself as a career-defining feat. The band gets its Oh from Olivia 'Liv' Hally (vocals, guitar) and its Pep! from Pepita Emmerichs (violin, mandolin), who met at secondary school in Victoria. Their harmonies are sweet, with lyrics that are thoughtful, deep, funny and poetic.
Andrea Bocelli has teamed up with some of the hottest musical stars on the planet for his forthcoming album Si reuniting with his friend Ed Sheeran after their chart-topping Perfect Symphony on a brand new song called Amo Soltanto Te (written by Ed with lyrics by Tiziano Ferro) and joining with pop sensation Dua Lipa on the single If Only . Crossover superstar Josh Groban and classical soprano Aida Garifullina also duet with Bocelli on the record, which is released on Sugar/Decca on 26th October. It is his first album of new material in 14 years 16 brand new songs which celebrate love, family, faith and hope. At the centre of the new record is a spine-tingling duet between father-and-son, as 20 year-old Matteo Bocelli steps into the limelight to duet with Andrea on Fall On Me a beautifully poignant song which reflects the bond between parent and child. It will appear in the end credits of the hotly-anticipated new Disney film, The Nutcracker and The Four Realms, starring Keira Knightley, Mackenzie Foy, Helen Mirren and Morgan Freeman, to be released on 2nd November. Andrea explains how his voice compares with Matteo's: Technically they are very different, but there is one thing that makes them most similar: the attitude. That characteristic way of expressing yourself through your voice. This makes Matteo and I very similar. But that is something that you cannot learn, that cannot be taught. That is something you are born with.
Grammy-nominated vocalist Jessie J to release new holiday This Christmas Day via Lava Records / Republic Records on 10/26. The album will include her previously released holiday track “Man With The Bag” in addition to holiday classics “Let It Snow,” “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town,” and “Jingle Bell Rock”. The album features production by David Foster. Jessie J will embark on her first US headlining tour this October.
Dan Mangan is a multiple JUNO Award-winning singer/songwriter who pairs the rich vocals and classic, melody-driven songwriting of Van Morrison and Nick Drake with the clever, everyman lyrical insights of The National and Ryan Adams. More Or Less, Mangan’s fifth studio album, uses perceptive wit and storytelling to grapple with the experience of growing older and becoming a new parent in an increasingly distressing world, finding hope and love while forging ahead into an unknown future.
Since the early 90s Sweden’s Opeth have stretched the boundaries of heavy music. From the progressive death metal the band began with on classics like “Orchid” and “My Arms, Your Hearse” to the records like “Blackwater Park” and the band’s recent record, 2016’s “Sorceress”, Opeth has continually invited their growing audience along with them as they grew into the musically respected band they are today. Filmed and recorded in 2017 at Red Rocks Amphitheatre outside of Denver, “Garden of the Titans (Opeth Live at Red Rocks Amphitheatre)” is a 2-CD/BLU-RAY + DVD release (along with several vinyl color formats) consisting of tracks spanning the band’s nearly 30 year career.
JD McPherson presents A Christmas Album, SOCKS. Featuring 11 original tracks written by JD McPherson and his friends. SOCKS is an album of Holidays songs sure to be standards while you are decorating the tree. Come get warm by the fire with songs such as , "All The Gifts I Need" and "Every Single Christmas." Or, burn the cookies to "SOCKS" and "Ugly Christmas Sweater." There is something for everyone on this record to enjoy whether you are in the Christmas spirit or if you just wanna say, "Bah Humbug".
My childhood memories of Christmas aren't warm and fuzzy. The holidays were more of a nuisance for my parents than cause for celebration. This is not to say that on behalf of their only child they didn't give the season a halfhearted try. There were Christmases when I found under the tree an electric football set, a Daisy pump air-rifle and a basketball goal that never got nailed up. But, there were also mornings when apples, oranges, hickory nuts and a hammer signified that year's bounty. Which is to say that Christmas in our household was mostly a wait-and-see proposition. I was finally ready to record an album of original Christmas songs. With Dan Knobler producing and some very gifted musicians and vocalists lending their talents, the making of the album Christmas Everywhere ranks as some of the most enjoyable recording sessions I've ever experienced. The record was close to being finished when it occurred to me that to set the tone for the albums mostly irreverent subtext, I needed to compose a lyrical prelude. In honor of Clement Moore, who wrote the poem we all know as, 'The Night Before Christmas,' I came up with a short piece called 'Clement's Lament (We'll See You in The Mall)'. Tania Hancheroff and Kim Keyes stopped by the studio and performed the tune with Jordan Lehning's orchestral backing and the album was pronounced complete. Seasons Cheer, Rodney Crowell
What was it like when ALICE COOPER reunited in a record store? Watch what it was like at Good Records when that very thing happened, and then get the whole concert on the Record Store Day Black Friday release LIVE FROM THE ASTROTURF FULL PERFORMANCE starting 11/23 only at record stores.
Laurie Strode Returns! And so does JOHN CARPENTER, who comes back as producer, and also, COMPOSER for the brand new HALLOWEEN! The soundtrack is in record stores now on CD, vinyl and indie-exclusive-only-while-it-lasts pumpkin orange vinyl.