Labels don’t stick to Ivan Julian, although the various and sundry stamps in his passport are more permanent. Embedded in New York City’s late-1970s punk tribe as a founding member of Richard Hell & The Voidoids, his visceral, off-kilter guitar graffiti and insurrectional songwriting left arty scars all over the blighted scene. Also fabled for his work on The Clash’s Sandinista LP, as well as stints with Shriekback and Matthew Sweet, such highlights only tell part of his story.

Dig a little deeper and culturally diverse experiences with Afro-beat dynamos The Outsets and hip-hop/DJ legend Afrika Bambaata, as well as Bernie Worrell of Parliament/Funkadelic, come to light. As a young man, the son of a Navy officer, Julian resided in far-flung places like Guantanamo Bay and Macedonia, hooking up with U.K. R&B heroes The Foundations, of “Build Me Up Buttercup” fame, while living in London.

It’s not surprising then that his latest solo album “Swing Your Lanterns” – steeped in seedy late ‘70s/early ‘80s New York City chic is born of an adventurous, wide-ranging musical palate, but troubled by the mood and compromised sanity of a country seemingly coming apart at the seams. The slow-burning shuffle “Love is Good” is wrapped in rich, velvety soul and swaying gospel, going to church with its sermon of universal kindness and understanding. Themes of obsession, desire and betrayal simmer in the dark, bluesy seduction “Can’t Help Myself,” the flowing gypsy folk of “Tell Me Lies” and the haunted psychedelic noir of “Love Affair,” while the woozy and weird “VooDoo Christmas” is nightmarishly trippy affair.

In keeping with the more celebrated parts of Julian’s past, as he wrestles contorted guitar solos to the ground, the edgy, explosive funk of danceable, post-punk moshes “Cut Me Loose,” “Wild” and the skewed, jittery title track turned inside out, percussive bottles clinking together – bristle with energy, all hot and messy. It’s where the hard, gritty disco of The Rolling Stones’ Some Girls clashes with The Talking Heads’ oddball musical geometry, as the stylish and romantic ballad “Cazalla” clings to Johnny Thunders’ memory. “Swing Your Lanterns” lights the way.

the full length album “Swing Your Lanterns” on Pravda Records.

“Council Skies” is the highly anticipated fourth studio album from Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. This 10 track album includes the new singles ‘Pretty Boy’ and ‘Easy Now’ plus an album version of the previously released demo ‘We’re Gonna Get There In The End’ as a bonus track.

Council Skies” is the upcoming fourth studio album by English rock band Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. Produced by Gallagher and longtime engineer Paul Stacey, it is set to be released on 2nd June 2023, through Gallagher’s own label Sour Mash Records. It will be the first album Gallagher has recorded in his own recording studio: Lone Star Studios with string sessions taking place at Abbey Road Studios in April 2022. 

Gallagher began demoing the album in late 2021 with sessions commencing at Lone Star Studios in January 2022. Johnny Marr features on three tracks on the album, including lead single: “Pretty Boy”. According to a statement, the new album “sees Noel Gallagher reclaiming his past and paying homage to his Mancunian roots”.

Gallagher has described the album as “going back to the beginning. Daydreaming, looking up at the sky and wondering about what life could be…”. The artwork is taken by Kevin Cummins and features the band’s live equipment set up on the original centre spot of where Maine Road Football Stadium once stood with this year marking 100 years since the ground was opened as the former home of Noel’s beloved Manchester City FC.. When discussing the album title, Gallagher said “The title comes from a book by the artist Pete McKee. I was writing the song which was to become “Council Skies”, but it wasn’t called “Council Skies“.

There’s a bit in the song when I was writing it, where a phrase was missing – I didn’t know what that phrase was gonna be.” He went on to say: “Pete’s book happened to be on my coffee table at home. So I called him up and said, Can I use this title? And he said yeah. And I rewrote the song and then subsequently a lot of other things started to fall into place.”

“When I was growing up in poverty and unemployment, music took me out of that,” he added. “Top of the Pops on TV transformed your Thursday night into this fantasy world, and that’s what I think music should be. I want my music to be elevating and transforming in some way.”

Official video for ‘Easy Now’ feat. Milly Alcock. ‘Easy Now’ is the second single taken from Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds’ forthcoming album ‘Council Skies’, out June 2nd.

‘Council Skies’ will be made available on HD digital, CD, LP, 3LP and 2CD deluxe limited-edition formats, featuring remixes by The Cure’s Robert Smith and Pet Shop Boys.

All album pre-orders via Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds’ official store will receive an exclusive handwritten lyric sheet print and access to ticket pre-sales on selected 2023 UK tour dates. . Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds will play a series of outdoor shows next summer,

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As the son of Steve Earle, Justin Townes Earle carried an enormous weight of expectation. Would he match his father’s artistry? Or would he follow his father’s darker impulses and simply self-destruct?, The answers started coming with the six-song “Yuma” (2007), self-released when Justin was 25 years old, and followed by “The Good Life” the next year, which staked out the middle ground between folk and country. He wrote with a deep love for 20th-century Americana and clearly didn’t want to sound anything like his father. He was just going to be himself, but with the albums’ mix of periods and styles, it was too early to know what that would mean.

‘Lone Pine Hill,’ from Justin’s first full length album, ‘The Good Life’ was released 15 years ago this week, ‘Lone Pine Hill’ is a haunting Civil War ballad that also resonates as a modern parable about the costs of war.
Justin said, “Those were study songs (‘Lone Pine Hill’ and ‘Ghost of VA’), stories that I made up, but I’m a big Civil War buff, so when it comes to story songs usually those are based on historic things, but not historical fact.”
Of this recorded 2008 performance, “Earle comprehensively showed the Annandale audience that night that he has the talent to carry the weight of his name and doesn’t take it for granted. You can see the respect he has for the history and evolution of the strands of Americana that he studies, yet in a live setting he performs with an intense showman attitude and isn’t afraid to show the raw and real honesty that is often missing from contemporary music.”

With Justin’s second full-length album, “Midnight at the Movies” (2009), that vision came into sharper focus. On guitar, his technique remained deeply rooted in Travis picking, but the melodies were growing away from the simplicity of folk, and the lyrics were cutting closer to the bone. The pain was real, whether he was struggling with hopefulness (“Here We Go Again”) or betraying a lover (“Someday I’ll Be Forgiven for This”), and his writing was sharper. When he looked into the mirror on “Mama’s Eyes,” he was able to admit that “I ain’t fooling no one / I am my father’s son.”

He’d grown up in Nashville, Tennessee, living with his mother while Steve left to pursue music and fame, setting a long, painful example of a career endangered by drugs and alcohol. Following close behind, Justin overdosed for the first time as a teenager, just as he was beginning to write songs. Over the years, his father stayed in touch, extending support as Justin moved from punk to string band to a solo act, earning his own outlaw reputation for anger, excess, and addiction.

An invitation to house-sit his father’s New York City apartment gave Justin the change of scene he needed, and with the album that followed, “Harlem River Blues”, he grew more comfortable in his own skin. His primary folk influences—the Carter Family, Lead Belly, and Woody Guthrie—were still central, but he was taking them in new directions, assimilating blues, rockabilly, and gospel to build a sound that was contemporary, urban, and iconoclastic.

The Americana Music Association, which had named him 2009’s Emerging Artist of the Year, gave “Harlem River Blues” its 2010 award for Song of the Year. GQ magazine included him among the 25 Most Stylish Men in the World. He was on the verge of a commercial breakthrough, but couldn’t resist the pull of heroin and cocaine, with erratic performances on and offstage that caused him to cancel his tour and enter rehab once again.

One sober year later, he’s re-emerged with “Nothing’s Gonna Change the Way You Feel About Me Now”, which is the leap he’s been trying to make all along. It’s a dark, shadowy, unsparing album that builds on his love of soul music to more directly face his demons. On the first cut, “Am I That Lonely Tonight?,” the radio voice of his father taps into a deep well of loneliness, and the feeling only continues on “Unfortunately, Anna,” about a street-walker, and “Won’t Be the Last Time,” where he sings, “When I was young / I was dumb and I was free / Now I’m getting older / And I feel this world closing in on me.”

Nothing has its share of upbeat songs too, like “Baby’s Got a Bad Idea,” but most are about loss, and the production’s boldest touch, its horn section, reinforces that slow, dragging gravity that cuts across the album. The core of the band—Bryn Davies (upright bass), Paul Niehaus (electric guitar, steel guitar), Bryan Owings (drums), Skylar Wilson (piano, organ), and Cory Younts (guitar, piano)—is tighter than ever, slowing down to support Earle in a way that allows him to be completely himself: worn, weary, and ultimately wiser.

“The Sheer Drop” is a fantastic first taste of Ulrika Spacek’s first album in five years, a swaggering song full of thrilling dynamics that pulls from psych, noise and krautrock elements. The black and white video, directed by Kyle Macfadzean, is as striking as the song

Close to five years on from their last transmission, Ulrika Spacek resurface from self-imposed exile with their third album, “Compact Trauma”, a collection of songs that function as a chance treatise of sorts for our current collective condition. With a title like that arriving at this point in time, it’s tempting to interpret the record solely in the context of the global events of the past few years, but the roots of these ten songs arc back much further in time, charged with their own personalised internal damage. 

Mid 2018, approaching exhaustion and feeling increasingly fragile from the stresses of itinerant road life, the five-piece of Rhys Edwards, Rhys Williams, Joseph Stone, Syd Kemp and Callum Brown began work in earnest on the follow up to their second album, “Modern English Decoration”. Released less than a year earlier and having promoted it constantly in the months that followed, now might have represented a fine moment for the band to take a breath. Yet Ulrika Spacek were not familiar with the concept of slowing down, conditioned by a strong work ethnic and the demands of capricious touring cycles that necessitated more content and at speed. Moving too fast, it was difficult to avoid the hazards up ahead.

The band’s previous albums had both been recorded in KEN, a studio and rehearsal space in Homerton that also doubled as their shared home. As writing for album three began, KEN suddenly became another victim to the indiscriminate violence of gentrification, rendering the project both hub- and homeless. Writing and recording at KEN was then abruptly shifted to a professional studio in Hackney, only the second time they had worked in such conditions, and tensions and logistical difficulties soon became apparent. The enforced switch to an unfamiliar locale would have been discomforting enough, but when allied with the fractures already beginning to splinter through the band, made for an especially frazzled experience. Somehow, a record began to emerge piecemeal from the gloom, though it was one obviously infected with its circumstances.

Trauma, in its myriad forms, is often hard to qualify, even harder to rationalise. When something begins to go wrong, how do you gain perspective? What is a temporary roadblock, and what is unmitigated disaster? In its first phase of life, “Compact Trauma” was a document of a band striving to perfect an idea while the universe around them seemed to want to shut down. And then, at an impasse of sorts and with a record halfway complete, it suddenly did. If Ulrika Spacek were a band in need of the breaks applying, it was the force of a global pandemic that made it happen. As the world stood still, “Compact Trauma” was filed away, unfinished and unheard by the wider world, possibly to remain that way forever. And yet, there was to be a second act. If mutability is our tragedy, it’s also our hope, clearer days slowly began to emerge as the bad slipped away. The wound, as the saying goes, is the place where the light enters you.

The prolonged break enforced by myriad lockdowns may have separated the group but it also afforded the five time to reflect on what had already been committed to tape.. As the lights came back on and the shutters up, they found themselves drawn back towards “Compact Trauma”. What they rediscovered was a record that seemed to preempt the shared grief of a global pandemic. Even if the specifics were different, the themes were uncannily similar. Addressing existential freak out, displacement, substance reliance and encroaching self-doubt, these highly personalised songs suddenly took on a wider significance, speaking in part to a bigger narrative. 

Opening track, ‘The Sheer Drop’, begins with the line “Homerton is caving in”; ‘It Will Come Sometime’ describes a “liver like a lightbulb and swelling”; and Lounge Angst (an almost perfect description of those maddening lockdown days indoors) laments, ‘seems my friends grew up or left’. The fear and panic is palpable. The lyrics are matched to a soundtrack that oscillates between the febrile and the off-kilter, unconventional song structures and knotty arrangements either spinning the listener in unexpected directions or offering some kind of cathartic release. Take, as example, the aforementioned opener, ‘The Sheer Drop’. A wire-taut exercise in tension-and-release rendered in three parts, a whimsical synth opening giving way to characteristic chiming guitars before a nail biting coda sets its controls for the heart of the sun or the end of the world, whichever comes first. Either way, it’s a hell of a way to reintroduce yourself after a five year absence. ‘If The Wheels Are Coming Off, The Wheels Are Coming Off’ is equally instructive, a lacerating exposition of self-doubt that bursts into ecstatic release at its climax, demanding repeat listens, while ‘Stuck At The Door’ is an 11-minute Pacific North West-style epic that threatens, ‘the worst of it’s to come’. But it’s the title track that might be the true heartbeat of the record.

Either addressing itself or some unknown assailant, it begins by demanding that they “take your hands and your head off the table”, while spiralling around a breathless riff fuelled by an infectious anxious energy, before changing tact completely and shifting to a lullaby-like finale, concluding with the ominous thought, “compact trauma? Or full blown disaster? I’ll be back in an hour (Or so i think)”. It’s a fitting encapsulation of a highly complex record. They could have left it alone, but in coming back to what they knew, Ulrika Spacek found their best work yet.

Taken from the album, “Compact Trauma”, out 10th March via Tough Love Records.

Glenn Donaldson makes pop songs and takes pictures of his neighbourhood in San Francisco. Whereas the 2022 collection “Summer at Land’s End” was a softer, gauzier world, “The Town That Cursed Your Name” is heavier, with fuzzed lines running through. ‘Leave It All Behind’ starts out with an amorphous whine but quickly launches into something both supremely melodic and buzzing at the edges. ‘Here Comes the Lunar Hand’ is an impressionist geometry that seems to capture the album’s themes without telling you how.

Lyrically, Donaldson embraces the earnestness of his heroes Paul Westerberg and Grant McLennan. Sonically, late ’80s college rock is filtered through song-forward lo-fi acts like East River Pipe and House of Tomorrow-era Magnetic Fields. Like the images that accompany his releases – flowers and residential street scenes are pushed to the breaking point with colour – Donaldson’s songs are at the same time dazzling and lurid, beautiful and burdened, not unlike life as a musician around here.

released April 7th, 2022

Titled “All Roads Lead Home”, this special new album from Crazy Horse members Talbot, Molina, Lofgren & Young is out soon!. Three dear, old friends and bandmates for over 50 years, Ralph Molina, Billy Talbot and Nils Lofgren, kept writing and recording songs in their homes during the ongoing pandemic and are proud to share this collection of their music.  Their lifelong friend and bandmate Neil Young, added a special track to complete this 10 song compilation.
For friends with deep bonds, though at times on different paths, they found that, “All Roads Lead Home”

An album born out of pure inspiration as well as social necessity. Molina, Talbot and Lofgren kept recording their original songs, each with other musicians and in various locations during the pandemic years. They were forced to change from working as a trio with Neil Young, and used that opportunity to see what their new individual configurations would lead to.

Track List

  1. 1. RAIN – Billy Talbot
  2. 2. YOU WILL NEVER KNOW – Nils Lofgren
  3. 3. IT’S MAGICAL – Ralph Molina
  4. 4. SONG OF THE SEASONS – Neil Young
  5. 5. CHERISH – Billy Talbot
  6. 6. FILL MY CUP – Nils Lofgren
  8. 8. THE HUNTER – Billy Talbot
  9. 9. GO WITH ME – Nils Lofgren
  10. 10. JUST FOR YOU – Ralph Molina

Beach House finished rolling out a whole double LP a year ago, but it turns out there was still more music left over from the “Once Twice Melody” sessions. The five-song “Become” EP will be a Record Store Day exclusive first, with digital release to follow six days later and worldwide physical release in May. According to the band:

We didn’t think they fit in the world of “Once Twice Melody”, but later realized they all fit in a little world of their own. To us, they are all kind of scuzzy and spacious, and live in the spirit realm. It’s not really where we are currently going, but it’s definitely somewhere we have been. We hope you enjoy these tunes, Alex and Victoria/Beach House.

Become” featuring the songs “American Daughter,” “Devil’s Pool,” “Holiday House,” “Black Magic” and the title track, and was produced by Beach House, with mixing by Alan Moulder (track 1), Trevor Spencer (tracks 2, 3, 5), and Caesar Edmunds (track 4), and mastering by Greg Calbi and Steve Fallone at Sterling Sound.

“Become” will be available on Saturday, April 22nd, 2023 as a Record Store Day crystal-clear vinyl exclusive, with a worldwide digital release through Sub Pop and Bella Union (in the UK and Europe) on Friday, April 28th and a full worldwide physical release (LP/CD/CS) on May 19th, 2023.

Become” promises to be a “scuzzy” outing from the Baltimore masters of texture and atmosphere. Any new music from Beach House is a treat and this crystal-clear vinyl exclusive is set to grant an insight into a side of the band that we rarely see.

1967’s Monterey Pop Festival was one of the first festivals to take place in a similar format to how we know and love them today. The bash was iconic for a plethora of different reasons but one set that often gets unfairly looked over is The Byrds’ masterclass set.

Of course, the backdrop for the festival proved a unique time in history itself: 1967 marked the beginning of the fabled “Summer of Love”; the rise of the “counterculture” and hippie movement; and a period of rising tensions in Vietnam. The Byrds were just one of a highly eclectic line-up, which included established psychedelic-rockers like Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead, and Quicksilver Messenger Service; East Coast folkies Simon & Garfunkel; and West Coast pop acts the Mamas and the Papas, Scott McKenzie, and The Association. It would also mark one of the last great performances by soul sensation Otis Redding, who would die in a plane crash just six months later.

The Byrds set at Monterey Pop is left out of the larger conversation but it was one of David Crosby’s most important shows of his career as his onstage antics on the biggest of stages ultimately played a role in his departure from the group not long after. Crosby, to the irritation of his bandmates, decided to give lengthy in-between-song speeches on a bizarre array of topics. The somewhat rambling interludes acted as red flags for the band as he spoke on stage about the JFK assassination and the benefits of giving LSD to “all the statesmen and politicians in the world”.

“They’re shooting this for television. I’m sure they’re going to edit this out. I want to say it anyway, even though they will edit it out. When President Kennedy was killed, he was not killed by one man. He was shot from a number of different directions, by different guns. The story has been suppressed, witnesses have been killed, and this is your country, ladies and gentlemen.”

Crosby may have had a swell of support within the free-loving crowd but he showed a considerable disregard for his bandmates. Following their set, he then played with rival group Buffalo Springfield at Monterey, filling in for ex-member Neil Young—who he would have course link up within the not so distant future.

Despite talking on a number of no-go areas whilst on stage, Crosby was actually on fine form when he performed his songs rather than ranting, with the cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘Chimes of Freedom’ being a shining example of The Byrds’ enormous talent.

The track featured on their debut album which was appropriately named after their more famous Dylan cover and lead single Mr Tambourine Man, but ‘Chimes of Freedom’ ended up becoming a stalwart of The Byrds’ live sets all the way up until their initial split in 1973 despite not being released as a single.

Judging by thier performance at Monterey, it’s not hard to understand why they enjoyed playing it so much. If there was one festival that has spawned the birth of the most incredible artists it has to be the Monterey Pop Festival. The famous event saw the introduction of the unstoppable Janis Joplin as the leading lady of Big Brother and the Holding Company and, with it, her fiery vocal performance, the voice of her generation, was finally given the stage she deserved. Joplin was one of many stars permanently discovered that day.

Monterey Pop Festival, Monterey County Fairgrounds, California (June 1967)

Following a year of taking it easy, Lana Del Rey returned at the tail end of 2022 with the title track to her upcoming ninth studio album, “Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd?” After throwing up a billboard in her ex’s home town, Lana is back to focusing on herself.

That well-placed billboard is the only public statement that Del Rey has made about the new album, but we do have a confirmed release date of March 10th and a whole host of collaborators that will appear on the new LP, including Jon Batiste, Bleachers, Father John Misty, Tommy Genesis, and SYML.

After dropping two albums, “Chemtrails Over the Country Club” and “Blue Bannisters”, over the course of 2021, Del Rey took a full year to craft her newest album. From the brief previews we’ve heard, it sounds like “Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd?” is going to be another album of lush and thorny music, which is all we could ask for from Lana Del Rey.

Lana Del Rey has said her ninth studio album will be “very wordy”, and that during recording she practised “meditative automatic singing”, whereby she’d record whatever came to mind as a voice note on her phone and send it to producer Drew Erickson to add orchestration. The album is set to feature collaborations with Jon Batiste, Father John Misty, Tommy Genesis, and SYML, as well as production from LDR regular Jack Antonoff, among others. As for its extremely long title? That’s likely a reference to the Jergins Tunnel in Long Beach, California, which once connected the city’s Downtown area to its beach. 

Lana Del Rey references her family in the title of the third single from her new album, “Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd”.

‘Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd’ The New Album Out March 10th,

Gary Crowley and his mate Jim Lahat have been at it again, compiling a new 77-track ‘Punk & New Wave’ collection (Vol. 2). with Signed 4CD sets and signed 6LP vinyl boxes available.

Gary Crowley returns to curate a second volume of “Punk & New Wave“, his well-received 2017 various artists collection.

Co-compiled with Jim Lahat, the pair have once again mined their respective record collections for more gems from the likes of big names such as The Clash, Ramones, The Jam, The Cure and The Slits and lesser known bands such as Limit, Gary Valentine, The Wardens, Basement 5 and The Limps. Many of these incredibly rare tracks appearing here for the very first time on CD. 

These songs are collected together in a 4CD media book (limited Amazon-exclusive signed edition available) and a massive 6LP lift-off-lid box set (all of these include a signed print). Both of of these formats contain 77 tracks and come with a 32-page booklet, including extensive and track-by- track sleevenotes by Crowley and Lahat alongside anecdotes from the likes of Viv Albertine (The Slits), Damian O’Neill (The Undertones), Glen Matlock, Gary Valentine, Mike Sweeney (Salford Jets) and more. A 28-track 2LP vinyl package is also available. The audio has been newly mastered by Phil Kinrade at Alchemy Mastering.

This mega 77 track collection features tracks from the likes of The Clash, The Slits, The Stranglers, Rich Kids, The Jam, Magazine, Mo-Dettes among many as well as lesser known nuggets from the likes of The Limps, Moving England, The Wardens, The Nervebreakers, Gary Valentine and The Limit and many many more, some of which are appearing here for the very first time on CD. coming with accompanying booklets which include an introduction and track-by-track notes from myself and Jim plus there’s band anecdotes from the likes of Viv Albertine, Damian O’Neill, Glen Matlock, Paul Cook, Dennis Morris, Ramona Wilkins- Cartier, Rick Buckler, Mike Sweeney, Brett “Buddy” Ascott, Debsey Wykes and more. Completing the package is a selection of fascinating photos and memorabilia depicting this period of UK music culture.

Gary Crowley’s “Punk and New Wave Vol. 2” is released on 26 May 2023 via Edsel/Demon Records.