Album Picks: Charles Bradley, Explosions in the Sky, Bleached, Andrew Bird, Frankie Cosmos

Posted by Billy Gil, April 1, 2016 11:49am | Post a Comment

Charles Bradley - Changes

charles bradley changes lpSoul master Charles Bradley’s third album for Daptone is a knockout. Beginning with a genuine interlude of “God Bless America,” the album positions Bradley as someone who has gone though career and personal difficulty and come out on top, sounding upbeat and grateful to be alive and working. On “Good to Be Back Home,” Bradley flips things to explore the dual nature of home and what that means, singing of being back in the land where he was born, “sometimes it hurt so bad, sometimes, so good,” before unleashing a howl that better expresses the notion than any words could. That passion runs through the heartfelt and extremely affecting love songs like “Nobody But You.” Throughout, the Menahan Street Band’s expertly played and recorded horns and jazz grooves deliver the ideal backdrop, while there’s some experimentation beyond classic soul on tracks like “Ain’t Gonna Give It Up,” its moog and bass-drum-heavy groove reminiscent of krautrockers like Can. And if you don’t get goosebumps during Bradley’s cover of Black Sabbath ballad “Changes,” check your pulse. A playful flexibility within the carefully cultivated classic soul sound Bradley and many Daptone artists work within proves to be incredibly fruitful here. It’s Bradley’s best release yet from his second wind, as Bradley remains an expert at getting to the heart of soul music.

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20 Albums to Look for in Spring

Posted by Billy Gil, March 8, 2016 11:47am | Post a Comment

20 albums to look for in spring


Hey! It’s almost spring. That means a ton of great albums are on the way. Check out this list of 20 that we’re looking forward to.

The Joy FormidableHitch
Out March 25

joy formidable hitch lpThe alt-rock trio’s third album was recorded in the band’s native Wales. Check out the fun video for “The Last Thing on my Mind” below, which flips the tables on the female objectification. (It’s kinda NSFW.)

Bob MouldPatch the Sky
Out March 25

bob mould patch the sky lpThe former lead singer of Husker Du and Sugar’s latest album is a “triumph of opposing forces and properties” from “the master of balancing personal darkness with melodic brightness,” according to a press release. Watch the video for the introspective “Voices in My Head” below.

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10 Records From the FYF Fest Lineup

Posted by Billy Gil, September 2, 2011 05:10pm | Post a Comment

FYF Fest is this weekend — tickets are still available here — at the LA Historic State Park Saturday. The lineup features Descendents, Death From Above 1979, Explosions in the Sky, Broken Social Scene, Guided By Voices, the Dead Milkmen, Girls, No Age and more. Check back here later this weekend for my review of the event, including a preview show at Los Globos (!) tonight with Chromatics and Glass Candy. F yeah, indeed. (BT dubs, I'll always link to a record first, then a CD if I can't find it on record.)

In preparation, I made a list of 10 great records from the lineup of the show. Check it out.

Guided By Voices – Propeller

Lots of people know Alien Lanes and Bee Thousand (get them now if you don't!) but Propeller is another solid-to-great GBV album with great shoutalong chorus four-track gems like “Exit Flagger.” They'd release stronger material later on, but this charmingly lo-fi album was self-released at the same time Nirvana's Nevermind and a bunch of grunge albums would change the alternative landscape forever. While out of step then, it sounds positively prescient now.

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out this week 4/19 & 4/26...explosions in the sky...holy ghost...craft spells...

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 6, 2011 06:22pm | Post a Comment
The releases just keep coming -- I seriously can barely keep up! One of my favorites is finally back with a new album: Explosions In the Sky! They have been around for over ten years now, which is hard to believe. They put out their first album, How Strange, Innocence, in 2000, and it has been 4 years since their last brilliant album, All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone. It would be very easy for you to have never heard of Explosions in the Sky because they are one of those quiet little bands that have managed to become very popular without anyone really noticing. Their fans are fanatical and devoted and they wait in the explosions in the sky take care take care take caresidelines patiently for each new album to come out. I don't want to bore you too much with my love for this band, so if you want to read more about them and my love for them...check out my blog about their last album, All of A Sudden I Miss Everyone, from 2007. The new album is called Take Care Take Care Take Care. Explosions In The Sky is an all instrumental group. You can call it post rock if you want, or post instrumental rock. They are one of the bands that I listen to alone, one of those bands I listen to when I need to think or process my life. Their music is my therapist, I guess, although sometimes all I can think about when I listen to them is how good they are! Check them out for yourself.

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out today 3/11...the photographic...

Posted by Brad Schelden, March 12, 2008 09:00pm | Post a Comment

Maybe I am bit selfish or egocentric but I think sometimes that certain releases come out just for me. It makes me feel special. We all have our special little secret bands we like and it is always exciting to hear some new band for the first time, especially when you feel like you may already like every band that you are ever going to like.

I have been really obsessed with the Explosions in the Sky for the last couple of years. It is nice to have an instrumental album to escape into every once in a while, for the times you don't really want to hear anybody talking and just need time alone to think for yourself.  It helps me focus myself and think about my life. I often use electronic music on these types of days, but sometimes that gets a little too intense and I need some more smooth instrumental music. I really am starting to sound like some smooth jazz new age dude right now. What is going on? I guess it is sort of like some dude that is into crazy free jazz but every once in a while just needs some smooth jazz. I guess I really should not compare instrumental rock music to smooth jazz. It really is in its own category. I have really worn out my Explosions in the Sky albums, so I was excited to find the new band The Photographic. Their debut album Pictures of a Changing World comes out today. They come from the land of Louisville, Kentucky. And they really sound nothing like smooth jazz.

I seem to go through phases of liking music from one area of the world. For a while I seemed to be listening to a lot of music coming out of Austin, Texas. At the end of last year I was really obsessed with music coming out of Sweden. I don't intentionally go out and try to find bands from one certain city or country, it just sort of happens-- so it might just happen that I all of sudden start liking a bunch of Louisville bands. I thought I would check to make sure I already don't. I did also find out some interesting facts about the city.

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