Exclusive Music, Playlists, Merch & More

Wednesday, June 17, 2015 - 4:08pm
Traveling Wilburys

Eight years ago today, a defunct supergroup – one which necessarily dispersed as a result of the death of two of its key members – received a resurrection of sorts when a collection of their two studio albums, a quartet of outtakes and otherwise-unavailable tracks, and a DVD sent them to the top of the UK Albums chart.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015 - 6:41pm

Picking a favorite Foreigner album from the initial Lou Gramm era of the band is for many a choice along the lines of picking your favorite child: they all have their merits, but no matter which one you choose, someone’s going to look down their nose at you for your selection. On the other hand, the unselected albums aren’t likely to scream “I hate you” and run off sobbing, so at least they aren’t likely to be left with the permanent emotional scars that your children will, but…oh, sorry, where were we? Oh, well, let’s just forget the analogy and make with the announcement: we’ve just released Foreigner’s 4 album on 180-gram vinyl.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015 - 2:44pm

Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoit Dunckel, the duo from Versailles, France otherwise known as Air, have been delivering their ever-evolving blend of dance, electronica, prog-rock, and psychedelia since 1995, when they released their debut single, “Modular Mix,” and they’ve built a tremendous fanbase with their subsequent efforts over the course of the last two decades. If you’re one of their many fans, then this is a good week for you…so good, in fact, that the goodness actually carries over into next week as well.

Let’s start with the most awesome news first: today marks the release of The Virgin Suicides – 15th Anniversary –The Limited Edition Super Deluxe Box Set, a mammoth affair which would seem to argue that the soundtrack to Sofia Coppola’s first feature film is far more important on the pop culture landscape than the film itself...or not. (We figured we’d better throw in the “or not” just in case: Ms. Coppola is pretty well connected in the entertainment business, you know.) Either way, though, there’s no question that we’re taking this album very, very seriously, indeed, as you can see by what’s included:

Monday, June 15, 2015 - 7:27pm
Gig of the Week

To celebrate The Hollies upcoming new collection CHANGIN' TIMES, due this July, we're taking a look back at a date from their Australian tour in 2014 at Perth's Crown Theatre. The poster stated that "no support was needed" - we think you'll agree when you listen to this storming setlist!

Monday, June 15, 2015 - 4:20pm
Aquarium Drunkard

First off, if you missed last week's column, go read/listen to that, HERE. As season two is set to kick off this weekend, this week's playlist continues down the path of True Detective. If there is a musical equivalent of "fan fiction," well, then this is it -- Music Inspired By True Detective. This week, dig in to twenty tracks that aurally embody the strange universe T. Bone Burnett curated every Sunday night for HBO. Swampy, primitive, spooky.

Monday, June 15, 2015 - 3:33pm
Coldplay X&Y

10 years ago today, Coldplay’s third studio album became the band’s first album to debut at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart… and then seven years ago today, Coldplay’s fourth studio album also became their fourth consecutive album to debut at the top of the UK Albums chart. In other words, to paraphrase the great ballplayer Chico Escuela, June 15 has been berry, berry good to Coldplay.

With that having been said, however, 2005’s X&Y was a slightly troubled album for Coldplay, with the band having to battle through some creative struggles, including an aborted attempt to have Ken Nelson serve as producer. In the end, Nelson only helmed a portion of the record (although he did work on “Fix You,” which went on to be a top-5 UK hit for the band), with Danton Supple working on the majority of the material, but that didn’t stop fans from devouring the album, nor did it stop X&Y from winning Best British Album at the BRIT Awards and earning nominations for the Mercury Prize and for a Best Rock Album Grammy.

Monday, June 15, 2015 - 12:04pm
Once Upon a Time in the Top Spot: Radiohead, Hail to the Thief

12 years ago today, Radiohead released their sixth studio album, an effort which became the band's fourth consecutive album to debut at #1 on the UK Albums chart.

Deemed somewhat of a return to rock after 2000's Kid A and 2001's Amnesiac, Hail to the Thief was an album whose commercial success was not entirely guaranteed, due to the fact that it had been leaked onto the internet two and a half months prior to its scheduled release. Although this understandably angered the band, what particularly made the band - or at least Jonny Greenwood, since he's the one who wrote it on Radiohead's official online forum - “kind of pissed off” was the fact that it was an unmastered version of the album, one which still contained unfinished tracks. Similarly, Colin Greenwood said in an interview with Q that the situation was “like being photographed with one sock on when you get out of bed in the morning.”

Friday, June 12, 2015 - 10:15am
Bob Lefsetz: Welcome To My World
Steely Dan's 1972 debut gets no love, despite having two smash hits and a legendary track. Possibly this is because it features multiple lead singers. This was before we knew that Steely Dan was charting its own course in the history of rock and roll, positively sui generis, and all the talk is about the later albums, even the commercially disappointing second, "Countdown To Ecstasy," but before they were exploring, testing limits, taking us to heretofore unknown places, Steely Dan produced an album so exquisite it flummoxed the cognoscenti.