This Month's Picks

Make Some Noise (CD)

The Dead Daisies
They don’t make arena rock like they used to. Or so we thought. The latest from Australian-American businessman-turned-professional-musician David Lowy and co. brings back the fist-pumping rock of yore with gleeful abandon on tracks like the blistering, AC/DC-ish “Long Way to Go.” Tunes like “Song and a Prayer” could easily pass for long-lost ’80s glam-rock gems — you could easily sneak this song between Bon Jovi and Van Halen on classic rock radio and no one would bat an eye. If flashes of Thin Lizzy, Motley Crue, and Whitesnake come to you while listening to self-styled anthems like “Make Some Noise,” it’s with good reason — guys from all three of those bands play with Lowy in The Dead Daisies. While they don’t update the sound that ruled rock radio in ’86, they don’t really have to. There’s enough attitude and tunefulness on Make Some Noise to carry Lowy and co. to headlining arenas around the world. More
Genre: Rock

I Kinda Like It When A Lotta People Die (CD)

George Carlin
The world lost one of the true comedy greats when George Carlin died in 2008. This first posthumous release of unreleased material by Carlin showcases just that. Far from a cash grab of inessential material, it comprises home recordings and recordings of live shows that were shelved for various reasons (the 9/11 attacks, for one). The material presented here is thoughtfully culled from those recordings, beginning with a startlingly prescient treatise on police and governmental inefficacy, recorded in 1957 but as unfortunately relevant today as it was then. The material ping pongs a bit across decades and subject matter, from bathroom humor to social commentary, but Carlin’s delivery remains as pointed as ever whether he’s skewering surveillance culture or wondering aloud about who invented the first enema. The album includes liner notes by comedian Lewis Black, former manager Jerry Hamza, and comedy special producer Rocco Urbisci, as well as bonus-track interviews with Hamza and Urbisci. More
Genre: Comedy

Migration (CD)

Electronic music producer Bonobo’s sixth album applies the idea of “migration” and to his sound, with stunning results. Spanning from teaming with breathy electro duo Rhye on the sumptuous, urbane “Break Apart,” to working with N.Y.C.-based Moroccan group Innov Gnawa on the buoyant “Bambro Koyo Ganda,” Migration bounces between sounds and locales but feels seamless, like a well-planned trip with many destinations. Whether this globe-trotting mentality results in the kind of 4 a.m.-in-Ibiza feel of “Outlier” or fluttering electro-pop of “Surface,” featuring Hundred Waters’ Nicole Miglis, the results are never short of arresting. Looking for that perfect album to soundtrack your summer nights? It’s here. More

It's A Myth (CD)

Washington, DC-based artist Eva Moolchan creates stark, minimalistic post-punk under the moniker Sneaks. Her tracks are simple, utilizing only voice, drum machine, and bass guitar, which lends the music a hypnotic, urgent quality. Sneaks’ latest release, It's a Myth , is short but sweet (clocking in at under twenty minutes) and fittingly for such a punk rock record length, it’s also very, very cool. Fans of original post-punks/fellow travelers Pylon and ESG will dig Sneaks’ intelligent, ultra hip groove. More
Genre: Rock

Feels (CD)

LA band Feels’ self-titled debut LP was produced by garage rock guru Ty Segall, and while we get hints of Segall’s influence as a producer and performer, the quartet are clearly charting their own course. It’s an impressive debut, descended from the current full throttle garage scene, but at the same time, Feels does its own uncompromising, scuzzy, sorta riot grrl thang. It’s super enjoyable, stripped down good time garage, but with a post-punk twist. Simultaneously simple and sweet, brash and bold, this LP will charm fans of pure rock ’n’ roll. More
Genre: Rock

Signs Of Light (CD)

The Head And The Heart
The Head & the Heart’s Signs of Light is a carefully-crafted alt-rock record with a sound so bold it’s just begging for the big time. This is emotional, polished indie rock that showcases the band’s incredible songwriting abilities and checks all the boxes necessary to make a good deal of the songs alt hits. Piano rock? Got it. Surprising washes of synth sound? Got it. Anthemic tracks seemingly made for summer music festival sing-alongs? Got it in spades. Fans of The Lumineers and the Avett Brothers should perk up their ears on this one. More
Genre: Rock

The Lucky Ones Forget (LP)

Craig Brown Band
Detroit bartender, guitar teacher, and purveyor of backwoods country cool Craig Brown teamed up with Jack White’s Third Man Records for the release of his first LP, The Lucky Ones Forget , with his titular band. Throw this record on and you’ll find yourself transported to some no-hope deep south saloon, where life is as raw and rough as the outlaw twang presented here by the Craig Brown Band. It’s a tremendously fun record given a bit of a rock ’n’ roll injection by Brown’s punk rock past and the recording assistance of Mr. Warren Defever (Thurston Moore, Yoko Ono, Iggy and the Stooges). This loose, wild, and often silly outing from the band proves they’re off to a promising start. More
Genre: Rock

Regina (CD)

Becca Stevens
Becca Stevens took inspiration for her latest full-length, Regina , while doing research on Queen Elizabeth I and later, on other regal subjects. The album is consistently strong; it’s dreamy, enchanting, and poetic, like immersing yourself in a modern fairy tale. The centerpiece of the LP is “Queen Mab,” Stevens’ take on Mercurio’s speech in Romeo & Juliet , with a music video created to raise awareness of the horrific plight of albino children in Tanzania. The album features David Crosby, Laura Mvula, and Snarky Puppy’s Michael League, all of whom add some extra flavor — but Stevens is definitely the star of her own show here. Fans of fantastical chamber pop in the vein of Bat for Lashes and Kate Bush will want to lose themselves in this gorgeous, fascinating collection of songs. More
Genre: Jazz

Why Love Now (CD)

Pissed Jeans
Why Love Now is the latest intense, abrasive album from Pissed Jeans: a brutal takedown of male entitlement, shame, and social ills. Produced by no wave pioneer Lydia Lunch and black metal guru Arthur Rizk, it’s a dark, heavy-hitting descent into the underworld of post-punk noise. The album is irreverent, sometimes caustically funny, and ultimately very timely — Pissed Jeans are not a band to shy away from difficult discussions. There’s a lot of substance here, but there’s also the band’s distinctive sludgy style, and as evidenced by Why Love Now , they’re just getting better and better. More
Genre: Rock

All-Amerikkkan Bada$$ (CD)

Joey Bada$$
Joey Bada$$'s sophomore release still keeps him in place as the bridge from the golden era of hip hop to the new age. He picks up where he left off lyrically, but on this effort his topics include America's current status and the powers that be. It's the variety of beats and the delivery of his message that pull you in to listen and feel where he's coming from. Just as the albums before this one, B4.Da.$$ and 1999 , All-Amerikkkan Badass is a record that will stay in your rotation without being retired anytime soon. Standout songs: "Rockabye Baby," "Legendary," "For My People," and "Babylon." More
Genre: Hip Hop