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Copenhagen’s Iceage will make their Mexican Summer Records debut on May 7th with “Seek Shelter”, their fifth album and first since 2018’s Beyondless. The Danish rockers shared another preview of the album in the form of new single/video “Vendetta” a menacing, yet danceable blues-rock track that moves in a fashion somewhere between swaggering and stumbling. “This ain’t no place for a sightseer,” Rønnenfelt warns, his impressionistic lyrics conjuring hazy images of transaction, exploitation and retribution. He swears vengeance over swaying shakers and drums, rowdy guitars and a monolithic synth hum that swells as “Vendetta” crescendoes, with discordant horns only sending it deeper into its dark downward spiral.

Of the album as a whole, Rønnenfelt had this to say: “When we started, I think we were just lashing out, completely blindfolded with no idea as to why and how we were doing anything. For Seek Shelter, we had a definite vision of how we wanted the album to be carved out, yet still the end result came as a surprise in terms of where we sonically were able to push our boundaries.” 

A decade on from New Brigade, an instant punk record made by four Danish teenagers that came out of nowhere and inspired total devotion around the world, Iceage’s fifth album and label debut is a thrilling new chapter for the band. Produced by Sonic Boom (Pete Kember of Spacemen 3) and mixed by Shawn Everett (HaimThe War on Drugs), Iceage come with a new emotional palette ripe with psychedelic flourishes, romantic piano balladry, invocations of patron saints and even a gospel choir for a song or two. Seek Shelter is a striking new direction for a band at their most expressive and expansive, recorded in a dilapidated wood-paneled Lisbon radio studio with a steady rain dripping through the ceiling. Equipment was arranged around puddles and slowly-filling buckets, garden lamps lit up the high-ceilings and a special record was made.

Sonic Boom (aka Pete Kember) produced the album. It includes “The Holding Hand,” a new song the band shared at the start of the February. The band’s line up features Elias Bender Rønnenfelt, Jakob Tvilling Pless, Johan Surrballe Wieth, and Dan Kjær Nielsen. An additional guitarist, Casper Morilla Fernandez, also joined them to record Seek Shelter, which was mixed by Shawn Everett.

Of the new single, Rønnenfelt had this to say in a press release: “Crime is the undercurrent that runs through everything. If you don’t see it, you’re not looking. In its invincible politics, it is the glue that binds it all together. ‘Vendetta’ is an impartial dance along the illicit lines of infraction.”
 
Director Jonas Bang directed the “Vendetta” video, which features actor Zlatko Burić alongside the band. Bang had this to say: “We wanted it to be less 1:1 story and more short format collage-ish like if you flick through a chapter in a book reading a bit here and there.” 

The band’s previous album, Beyondless, came out in 2018 on Matador Records.

Iceage“Vendetta” from the album ‘Seek Shelter’ out May 7th on Mexican Summer Records, their first for the label.

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Mere Women Sydney post punk new album Romantic Notions Amy Wilson

Romantic Notions’, the fourth album from Sydney post-punks Mere Women, confronts its listeners with a question about the nature of “romance” itself. We tend to think of romance, broadly speaking, in its simplest and most wholesome terms – a rose-tinted equivalence with love and fulfilment. But what of the word’s more sinister connotations? That is, the romanticising? If romantic notions are ultimately just that, how do we come to terms with the way they shape how we move through the world?

That tension forms much of the new record’s conceptual background. ‘Romantic Notions’ is not an easy listen, as it focuses on the coercion, obsessive love and controlling behaviour faced by women throughout time, and interrogates the way idealism can become a coping mechanism in otherwise fraught circumstances.“That term ‘romantic notions’, for me, it’s really double-edged,” explains singer and keyboardist Amy Wilson. “It’s really beautiful, and it sounds so lovely, but it’s also quite a naive state to be in, I think. It can be quite disempowering to live in a dream world of romantic notions.”

Wilson’s song writing is direct, economical, and plays a lot with repetition and motif. It’s a style well-suited to an album like this one, where lyrics are presented as intimate internal monologue. On album track ‘As You Please’, against a wave of discordant guitars and frenetic rhythms, she repeatedly sings, “Take what you want as you please / I’ll wear my heart on my sleeve”, a crescendo that epitomises the desperation, yearning and quiet hope that underpins ‘Romantic Notions’.

Women’s lived experiences have long informed Wilson’s song writing. They were particularly influential on Mere Women’s previous album, 2017’s ‘Big Skies’, written largely while Wilson was living in regional NSW. Exploring the expectations placed on women of her grandmother’s generation, along with the experiences of women in remote communities, the record juxtaposed its spacious textures with lyrics about being penned in and held back by tradition. ‘Romantic Notions’ – which is out this Friday – continues to examine those themes, with Wilson drawing heavily on her generational family history.

“This record was kind of brought about by my family, and particularly my grandmother, who recently gave me a whole stack of her mother’s diaries. And they’re amazing to read – how intensely she felt about everything, and how she was held back and mistreated by people around her, but she still held onto these really romantic ideals about how her life should be and would be.”

Given its subject matter, Wilson says it’s the most personally connected she’s felt to a Mere Women album, the closest to home she’s ever written. NME asks what it was like delving into such personal content, and about the kind of responsibility that comes with communicating stories like the ones Wilson does on ‘Romantic Notions’.

“I get obsessed with certain things, and it goes over and over and over in my mind,” Wilson says. She pauses.“It’s really complex, because I look at people in my family, especially women of older generations – I see all the things that they struggled with, how hard it’s been for them to find their identity, to find their way in the world independently of whoever their partners were. For me, I feel so lucky. There’s still challenges, of course, but these stories have affected how I’ve turned out as well. I feel so honoured and privileged that they’ve been able to share those stories with me, and I just want to be able to pass them on.”

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‘Romantic Notions’ is Mere Women’s most accessible and cohesive record, the culmination of the 11 years spent finding their identity. It’s a refined version of what they’ve always done best: pairing urgent, angular guitars with atmospheric soundscapes, propulsive rhythms with Wilson’s Siouxsie Sioux-esque vocals. While ‘Big Skies’ was an album full of masterful performances, ‘Romantic Notions’ feels more focused on the band locking in with each other, each part in service of the song.

That may be due in some part due to the conditions in which the songs on ‘Romantic Notions’ first came together. Much of the album was written in a rustic house on the Hawkesbury River shared by Wilson, guitarist Flyn McKinnirey and bassist Trisch Roberts. An hour out of Sydney, it takes driving through national park for 15 minutes to get to the small town the house is located.

The trio – along with drummer Mac Archibald, who makes his recorded debut with the band on ‘Romantic Notions’ – crafted a huge deal of the record collaboratively, all crammed together in the house’s living room.

“It was really nice to not be in a studio in the city at 9pm on a Thursday night, trying to jam,” Wilson says. “We’d spend the whole day or the whole weekend just hanging out and playing, having lots of tea and coffee breaks and diving into the river when we felt like it. “It was just such a different way to write a record than we’d been used to in the past. This was a way less isolating experience, even though we’re still in a remote sort of place. We could all easily be together.”

Wilson formed Mere Women back in 2010 alongside McKinnirey and drummer Katrina Byrne, who played with the band up until 2017. Debut singles ‘Sun Rising’ and ‘Waves’, released shortly after the band’s formation, were stark no-wave cuts that commanded attention in the makeshift warehouse venues the band emerged from.

Following on from members’ previous acts like Ohana and Little A, Mere Women became a distinctive figure in Australia’s underground punk scene, finding their peers more through a shared DIY ethos than similarities in genre. Debut album ’Old Life’ arrived in 2012, with its follow-up ‘Your Town’ two years later. Roberts joined in 2016, and Archibald after the release of ‘Big Skies’ in 2017.

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Throughout the decade, across a handful of records and line up changes, they found a home in the community fostered by the likes of inner west institutions like Black Wire Records and the Red Rattler, along with Beatdisc in Western Sydney. They were part of a sea of fiercely independent bands creating esoteric music, by and for the small niche who passionately championed it.

In 2021, things look different. Black Wire’s physical store and venue on Parramatta Road in Annandale, where the band regularly performed and rehearsed, has been gone for a few years – leaving a gap that has yet to be filled. Similar venues have had to weather the impacts of the pandemic over the last year, and the small, intimate shows that bands like Mere Women found an audience in were stopped dead in their tracks. While the band’s recorded output is captivating listening, they’ve always thrived most in a live context.

“I miss it so much,” Wilson says mournfully. “It’s like a piece of me is missing. I love playing live, and it’s such an important part of my life. And I knew that, but you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.”

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Though shows in Sydney have been able to safely return in recent months, the way they’ve been able to take place feels somewhat incongruous with the kind of community Mere Women emerged from. Large venues capable of hosting seated, socially-distanced shows may have begun to recover, but the impact on small, community-oriented spaces remains yet to be fully seen. Wilson says that while they haven’t found the right setup just yet, they’re planning on eventually touring ‘Romantic Notions’, excited at the prospect of bringing these urgent, visceral songs to a sweaty room once more.

‘Romantic Notions’ is out March 5 on Poison City Records

As The New York Times tells the story, lead guitarist and vocalist “Emir Mohseni, was inspired by the Strokes to pursue a career in music — a passion that brought him to New York all the way from his native Iran.” The move, profiled across acclaimed publications, from Rolling Stone to Billboard, only marked the beginning of the band’s story. Upon landing in this new environment, Mohseni met the three guys that would become his closest friends, and build with him the vitalizing sound and enrapturing live show that The Muckers are garnering early praises for: Anthony Azarmgin at the bass, Chris Cawley on rhythm guitar, and John Zimmerman behind the drums. These guys show a lot of promise, and have the potential to blow up in popularity in a couple more years! Can’t wait to see them live!

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New York City’s layers of continuous noise have become the backdrop to a rising four-piece that NME already calls “one of New York’s most exciting new bands.” Just like the city, The Muckers’ sound is equal parts vital and timeless, resolute and vibrant.

Album available on Greenway Records

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“Eat a Peach” is the third studio album by American rock band the Allman Brothers Band. Produced by Tom Dowd, the album was released on February 12th, 1972, in the United States by Capricorn Records. Following their artistic and commercial breakthrough with the release of the live album “At Fillmore East”. When guitarist Duane Allman was killed in a traffic accident on October 29th, 1971, the Allman Brothers Band was only partway through recording their third studio album at Criteria Studios in Miami, Florida. Following these tragic events, lead guitarist Dickey Betts gradually took over the role as group leader. The band returned to Miami in December to complete work on the album. Twiggs Lyndon, a friend of the band, joined them; he had just completed a stay in a psychiatric hospital stemming from his 1970 arrest for the murder of a concert promoter. Lyndon became the band’s production manager.

They had worked on “Blue Sky,” “Little Martha” and “The Road to Calico” (later titled “Stand Back”) during September sessions with Atlantic Records’ ace producer Tom Dowd. Earlier that year Duane told a journalist the band was “on a mission” to fulfill its promise, after several years of struggling to find an audience outside the bars and small clubs of the South.

Their live double-LP, At Fillmore East, released in July 1971, had indeed established them as a top performing act, but the recording studio still felt a bit alien. Guitarist Dickey Betts said that he didn’t really understand recording work until they entered Criteria Studios for another album: “It seemed like a prostitution of music. You been out playin’ in bars, then you go on to concerts, and it’s always the raw communication between people. But here you are in this tin can with a bunch of machines all ’round you, and you’re expected to produce. It takes a long time to get used to it.”

With the group finally financially solvent, there was more than enough money for drugs and booze and high living, always a temptation for the volatile personalities in the band. By early October 1971 four of the extended Allman family were fighting a heroin habit in a primitive “rehab” program at Linwood-Bryant Hospital: bassist Berry Oakley, Duane Allman and roadies Robert Payne and Joseph Campbell. Duane’s brother Gregg, who sang and played keyboards with the group and had his own demons, later recalled that in 1971, “We were taking vitamins, we had doctors coming over, sticking us in the ass with B12 shots every day.”

 

After Duane’s death, there was never a real chance they’d change the name of the Allman Brothers Band (they would never ditch that plural) or retire from the road. Betts told the New Musical Express’ Roy Carr, “Apparently, we were all of the same mind. The best way to relieve the immense pain we felt deep inside was to get back together again as soon as possible and go out on the road. We had agreed that we all wanted to stay together and keep the band going, therefore the only way we could try to forget what had happened was to carry on as if nothing had happened.” Predictably, denial only went so far.

Betts and Allman had achieved a nearly telepathic musical relationship on stage, where their lengthy guitar interplay couldn’t be considered “duels,” but rather a unified sound, each integrating their immensely intense guitar vocabularies. “When Duane was in the band, he’d play something and then I would try to extend what he was doing,” he told Carr. “Communication had always been our note. We didn’t tread on each other’s notes, Duane and I just used to listen to each other’s licks…it almost got to the point where Duane and I were thinking as one man, and believe me, it’s a very nice thing to get yourself into.”

They never seriously considered replacing Duane with another guitarist; Betts would have to do the work of two. Returning to Criteria in November and December, the band (which also included the astounding drum/percussion duo of Butch Trucks and Jai Johanny Johanson) completed “Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More,” “Les Brers in A Minor” and “Melissa.” It was decided the studio cuts would be supplemented by live recordings to create a double-LP. It was dubbed “Eat a Peach“, taking off from what Duane had told a journalist who questioned him about what the band was doing “for the revolution.” He replied, “There ain’t no revolution, only evolution, but every time I’m in Georgia I eat a peach for peace.” Insiders knew that Duane was jokingly referring to the two-legged, female “Georgia peaches” back home. Completing the recording of Eat a Peach raised each members’ spirits; Allman said, “The music brought life back to us all, and it was simultaneously realized by every one of us. We found strength, vitality, newness, reason, and belonging as we worked on finishing Eat a Peach”.”Those last three songs  just kinda floated right on out of us … The music was still good, it was still rich, and it still had that energy—it was still the Allman Brothers Band.

Eat a Peach, adorned with a magnificent gatefold sleeve designed by Jim Flournoy Holmes and W. David Powell of Wonder Graphics, was released in late February 1972 and “went gold” immediately, A line on the artwork read simply, “Dedicated to a brother.”

“Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More,” Gregg’s heartfelt tribute to returning Vietnam War veterans, his brother and his own spiritual development, kicks off the album: “Last Sunday morning, the sunshine felt like rain/Week before, they all seemed the same/With the help of God and true friends, I come to realize/I still had two strong legs and even wings to fly/And oh, I ain’t wastin’ time no more/’Cause time goes by like hurricanes, and faster things.

On the November-December recordings, Betts expertly plays the slide parts that would have been assigned to Duane, plus his own regular rhythm and solo parts, using Gibson Les Paul, SG and ES-335 models. Gregg is on both piano and organ, a potent combination that was popular with the likes of The Band, Procol Harum and others during this period.

“Les Brers in A Minor,” written by Betts, is nine minutes of blissful improv, melodic flights and dramatic loud/soft dynamic changes, not far from what the Grateful Dead were doing at the time. Trucks plays tympani, vibraphone and gongs, and Johanson adds congas, on top of their regular drum kits. The main theme doesn’t kick in until the four-minute mark, and Gregg gets the first solo, on organ, before a meaty drum break and Oakley’s funky bass lay the groundwork for a Betts solo (at this point we could be listening to a Santana outtake). It’s an impressive, experimental piece.

The beautifully poetic “Melissa,” written by Gregg and Steve Alaimo, was actually composed in 1967. Gregg thought it was a bit tame for the Allman Brothers Band, and saved it for a solo album he’d make someday, but the Eat a Peach take is one of the band’s most enduring hits, The melody is gorgeous, the playing delicate (Gregg handles the acoustic guitar and keyboards, Betts the electric guitar leads), and Allman’s vocal is a master class in understated passion: “Crossroads, seem to come and go/The gypsy flies from coast to coast/Knowing many, loving none/Bearing sorrow, having fun/But back home he’ll always run/To sweet Melissa.” Listen to what he does with his vocal control on the bridge, starting with “Again, the morning’s come.” And this is perhaps Berry Oakley’s greatest bass work with the Allmans, at least on a ballad.

Two entire sides of the original LP are turned over to a 33-minute live “Mountain Jam,” recorded at the same March 1971 dates that yielded At Fillmore East (four entire sets were taped). An extended riff on Donovan’s song “There Is a Mountain,” there are even longer and better versions in the full Allmans discography, but this one is a fine example of the coil-and-release dynamics of the band in full flight.

The version of Muddy Waters’ “Trouble No More” from the second show on March 12th ignites Eat a Peach further, with Duane spectacular on slide and his brother’s vocal one of his very best. “One Way Out,” from a June 27th, 1971, Fillmore East date, is likewise prime Allmans, Duane on fire on slide, the rhythm section driving like mad, and Betts laying down a fluid, super-bluesy solo. The single release of “One Way Out” has been one of the most-played tracks on FM radio for the last 50 years.

The album concludes with the zippy “Stand Back” (a Gregg Allman-Berry Oakley co-write for which Gregg Allman pairs organ and electric piano), “Blue Sky” (Betts singing nature-infused lyrics about his girlfriend Sandy Wabegijig, entwining his lovely guitar parts with Duane’s electric and acoustic work), and the only solo songwriting credit for Duane, “Little Martha,” an acoustic instrumental duet with Betts.

On “Blue Sky” the two guitarists trade leads, with Allman soloing at 1:07 and Betts at 2:37. Betts purposely left out “he” and “she” words in “Blue Sky” to make it more about spirit than gender; he originally intended it for Gregg but Duane encouraged him by telling Betts, “Man, this is your song and it sounds like you and you need to sing it.” It was his lead vocal debut, and strangely, given its immense popularity, it was never released as a single. Eat a Peach’s final tunes are moving examples of how Betts and Allman could sound like four hands with one brain.

Tom Dowd’s final mixing sessions were curtailed by impending work with Eric Clapton, and veteran engineer/musician Johnny Sandlin stepped in to finish preparing the album, only to be slighted by a lack of proper credit, with a vague “Special thanks to Johnny Sandlin” on the LP liner. The Allman Brothers Band had many decades of success ahead of them: for further reading, Gregg Allman’s memoir My Cross to Bear and Alan Paul’s band biography One Way Out are seminal texts. Many Allmans fans keep Eat a Peach, the poignant and multifaceted farewell to Duane, closest to their hearts.

Rolling Stone‘s wrote that, even without their leader, “The Allman Brothers are still the best goddamned band in the land … I hope the band keeps playing forever—how many groups can you think of who really make you believe they’re playing for the joy of it?” In Christgau’s Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981) called side three “a magnificent testament”, but was relatively unimpressed by the rest of the album, especially the low-tempo “Mountain Jam” sides: And all the tape in the world isn’t going to bring Duane back.” In a retrospective review, AllMusic gave the record a solid five stars, calling the record a showcase of “the Allmans at their peak”. David Quantick of BBC Music also considered it their “creative peak”, praising the album’s “well-played, surprisingly lean bluesy rock”. 

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Over two nights at the Royal Dramaten Theatre in Stockholm in March 2017, Swedish indie/folk act First Aid Kit paid tribute to the songs and poetry of Leonard Cohen. They did so with an ambitious theatrical staging that involved guest actors and artists, and eight-piece band with strings and a twenty-piece choir. ‘Who By Fire’, a double-LP live album, commemorates those two evenings. there’s a long history of covers of leonard cohen tracks showing just how incredible the canadian’s song writing was. First Aid Kit are the latest to breathe new life into his songs on this “theatrical staging” of his songs, poems and letters. we can think of few better people to take on his unparalleled canon than the Swedish duo – this will be stunning. that (famous) blue (raincoat) wax looks lush too!

First Aid Kit have announced that they’ll be releasing a live tribute album to Leonard Cohen, originally performed across two nights. Made up of 20 tracks of songs, poems, and letters, the duo were joined by Swedish guest artists, an 8 person band & strings, two actors, as well as a 20+ person choir on two of the songs. Conceived and anchored by First Aid Kit, the band are joined by an array of guest artists, two actors, an 8 member band and strings and on two songs a 20 strong choir. an incredibly ambitious undertaking, they selected and sequenced all of the material performed and collaborated with the theatre and their music director to stage and orchestrate the show.

Speaking today about Who By Fire, the Söderberg sisters say: “We recently listened back to this concert and realized that this was something out of the ordinary for us. It was a challenge to create a performance that wasn’t centered around First Aid Kit songs. It was something we’d never done before, but everything came together so well. Dwelling deeply into Cohen’s world was a pleasure, he was so prolific as both a poet and a songwriter, and everything he ever put out held a very strong standard. He cared immensely for his work. The band, the guest artists, the atmosphere on stage…everyone had a great passion and it felt magical. This is definitely a record that is best enjoyed listening to back-to-back with no interruptions. Allow yourself to just disappear into Cohen’s world for a little while.

“We decided not to edit any of the performances. The flaws are part of the live experience. In a time when you sadly can’t go to an actual physical live show, you can listen to this and imagine you were there…”

‘Who By Fire’ Tracklisting:
1. Tired (First Aid Kit, Nina Zanjani, Maia Hansson-Bergqvist)
2. Suzanne (First Aid Kit)
3. Sisters of Mercy (First Aid Kit, Nina Zanjani, Maia Hansson-Bergqvist)
4. Who by Fire / As The Mist Leaves No Scar (First Aid Kit, Nina Zanjani, Maia Hansson-Bergqvist)
5. Twelve O’Clock Chant (First Aid Kit, Nina Zanjani, Maia Hansson-Bergqvist)
6. Everybody Knows (Frida Hyvönen, First Aid Kit)
7. Avalanche (Loney Dear)
8. The Future (Maia Hansson-Bergqvist, First Aid Kit, Nina Zanjani)
9. Chelsea Hotel No.5 (Jesper Lindell, First Aid Kit)
10. You Want It Darker (First Aid Kit, Nina Zanjani, Maia Hansson-Bergqvist)
11. If It Be Your Will (First Aid Kit)
12. The Asthmatic (Nina Zanjani, Maia Hansson-Bergqvist, First Aid Kit)
13. Famous Blue Raincoat / Anthem (Maja Francis, First Aid Kit, Nina Zanjani)
14. Show Me The Place (Jesper Lindell, First Aid Kit)
15. Hallelujah (Annika Norlin, First Aid Kit)
16. Prayer for Messiah (Klara Söderberg)
17. Bird on the Wire (First Aid Kit )
18. Who by Fire (Reprise) / Letter to Marianne (First Aid Kit, Nina Zanjani, Maia Hansson-Bergqvist)
19. So Long Marianne (First Aid Kit, Frida Hyvönen, Loney Dear, Jesper Lindell, Annika Norlin, Maja Francis, Nina Zanjani, Maia Hansson-Bergqvist)
20. You’d Sing Too (Johanna Söderberg)

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Michael Philip Des Barres was born January 24th, the 26th Marquis Des Barres, and became an English actor and rock singer. Some people will always remember him as the sunglasses wearing pupil from “To Sir With Love” and some, like the Go, Go, Go Girl, will remember him in red leather pants fronting “Power Station” at 1985’s “Live Aid”. Dave Dalton, remembers him with his band “Silverhead” in 1973, and meeting him briefly in LA, as well as some years later with “Detective” (on Led Zeppelin’s Swan Song Records) at “The Old Waldorf” In 1977. Still others remember the character he created “Murdoc” on the ABC “MacGyver” series, that spanned into the CBS reboot. However you know this man, his career has spanned almost 50 years, and Die Laughing records is excited to usher in this new chapter by welcoming Michael and his band “The Mistakes” to the DLR family. 

Des Barres and DLR are hoping this collaboration showcases Michael and his band “The Mistakes” to a whole new fan base, the “Millennials ”if you will. We know the “Hot Topic” era punks will embrace his past works such as “Silverhead” “Chequered Past” and “Detective”, that street punk sound Michael has now perfected with “The Mistakes”. We are looking forward to releasing their new music, and “Live” EP on Die Laughing Records in 2020,  to a new and nostalgic audience.

Whether you know him as the lead singer of SilverheadDetectiveChequered Past or The Power Station, whether you’ve seen him in To Sir, With Love or MacGyver, whether you’ve heard him on the radio as a free-thinking DJ, Great Britain’s Michael Des Barres checks all the boxes. A real Renaissance man for the ages, he was once married to the notorious groupie Pamela Des Barres. His new release — “Live!”by Michael Des Barres and the Mistakes — is a totally rocking affair a la The Faces or Mott the Hoople with covers of T. Rex, Marvin Gaye, Little Richard and more. At 73, he shows how energetic he is after a lifetime of rock and roll. 

The Band is:

Michael Des Barres – Vocals & Guitar ,Matt Starr – Drums, Paul Ill – Bass, Erik Himel – Guitar, Loren Molinare – Guitar

Michael Des Barres and the Mistakes “What’s Going On” off the upcoming EP : LIVE AT THE HI-HAT Die Laughing Records

Back in slagtion, New Bums, that duo nobody thought to ask for – Six Organs of Admittance’s Ben Chasny and Skygreen Leopards’ Donovan Quinn – are deeper in their nocturnal jungle where all the folly and failure in the world is like an elegant fever dream you want to have every night, and do. Dry humour and pathos pop in a collapsed acoustic vein!.

Does anyone remember the local bar scene? Sure, it was a lifetime ago (the longest lifetime: a year and counting…), but we still recall those unsung heroes of every local scene; musicians who put their blood, sweat and tears into trying to capture the blood, sweat and tears of somebody else’s music. Sure, almost everybody starts off performing covers before eventually finding their own original voice, leaving behind the quiet triumph ‘n tragedy of those who continue to try and draw custom via a spirited taxidermy of some key subset of history’s greatest hits….New Bums are here to tackle this frankly delicate matter with the latest single from their forthcoming “Last Time I Saw Grace”

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Releases March 19th, 2021

Bill Callahan and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy‘s collab-a-thon continues and this week’s cover is Iggy Pop’s “I Want to Go to the Beach.” The original, from Iggy’s 2009 album Preliminaires, was a sombre, piano-led affair, but the Bills make it decidedly more beachy. The musical direction this week comes courtesy of Cooper Crain, who you may know from Cave, Bitchin Bajas and other Chicago groups. The arrangement is reggae / dub, but in an off-kilter, noirish sort of way that fits lyrics like “Waiting, hating the shit life throws my way / Hating, waiting to make my escape.” Listen below.

Who dares to break Iggy’s Jah? Pop’s 2009 cabaret jazz project yielded this perfect song, “I Want To Go To The Beach” a predictably improbable contribution to the beach song oeuvre. The noirish resignation of Iggy’s original modulates bouncily into Cooper Crain’s post-dub version, a beat that draws epic crosstalk out of all the Bill Callahan and Bonnie “Prince” Billy’s (way) out there in space.

Last week was a Drag City all-stars event with the Bills covering Silver Jews’ “The Wild Kindness” with Cassie Berman, David Pajo, Haley Fohr (Circuit des Yeux), Meg Baird, and Matt Sweeney

Heavy Salad work in the space between perceived reality and the abyss of your mind. Melt yourself! , A trio formed in 2018 in one of the most fertile rock cities in the world Manchester, that works in the space between perceived reality and the abyss of your mind. Bonding over a joint interest in psych-horror films, they loved the idea of being in a band like a psychedelic cult, albeit a cult with no rules. Sounds pretty cool, right? Absolutely, as the now this 7-piece gang knocked heavily on the door last year with “Cult Casual”. Without a shadow of a doubt one of the best debut LPs of last year that got missed. So, you really need to learn more about this Lucy in the Sky with diamonds collective.

Delirious you’re not alone trip by these starry-eyed Manchester newcomers. Heavy Salad released their debut slice of psychedelia in the form of new album “Cult Casual”. A loose concept-album-of-sorts, “Cult Casual” explores the idea of finding your own reality in the modern world. Beginning with ‘Death’, the album takes the listener backwards through the very experiences of existence. A prospect that seems like a kind of special challenge at the moment.

“Heavy Salad was just a phrase that Lee liked and thought he’d just made up, then we found out it’s a – lesser known – Scouse saying that means ‘something stressful or demanding’ which seemed to be a nice juxtaposition to the sound of the band.

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Heavy Salad was started by Rob Glennie, Allan Hutchison and Lee Mann and slowly grew into a seven-piece (when we’re all free) with The Priestesses: Ally Boo, Esther Maylor and Lucy Hope and Oscar on rhythm guitar /backing vocals. The whole group contributed to the album too.” “The title of the LP was an off cuff remark by Allan on WhatsApp that stuck. I guess it means we like to think of ourselves as a cult but we don’t expect you to drink the poisoned Kool Aid to transcend, you are free to transcend at your own free will! It was originally going to be called ‘Sun Warm’.”

Allan Hutchison – Drums and Percussion Rob Glennie – Guitars Lee Mann – Bass Guitar and Vocals, Keyboards by Matt Hutchinson aka ortoPilot aka Our Kid, Horn Section: Andrew Morel (Saxophones), Jack Tinker (Trumpet) and Chris Bridges (Trombone), Backing Vocals: Ally Boo, Lucy Elizabeth Hope, Esther Maylor and Jardine Emmanuel Sage.

Heavy Salad – out now on Mal Loco Records.
Released September 25th, 2020
 

How do you process emotion?, How do you come to terms with past and present self, while trying to remain optimistic for the future? How do you know who you are? These are questions that JJ Posway asks on ​“Completed Songs​,” the debut album from his new project Sloping​.

Although some might recognize Posway as the lead songwriter for the band ​Scooterbabe, Sloping emerges as the next evolution of Posway’s lineage. Similar to how an anthology is a collection of series writings, ​“Completed Songs” ​serves as the next chapter to a history being written (and self-consciously re-written) by Posway himself. ​“Completed Songs”​ explores more organic sounds through a mysterious potion of twangy layers, sampling and silence, resulting in a beautifully natural chamber of reflection.

The album progresses from acoustic ruminations to synthesized memoirs, showing technique, patience and practice. Each track serves as a window, giving you a direct view into a moment of time, using decidedly ambiguous language to capture the feeling in a way that sheds through each verse. Practice makes perfect, and no one knows that better than Posway himself. If ​Sloping ​serves as an escapist diary, then ​“Completed Songs” ​is the voyeur’s journey – complete with twists and turns, a changing narrative with moral ambiguities, and an endless amount of heart.

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Taylor Chicoine – drum recording, Zach Spires – drums on Fir and Trail, Anna Staddon – vocals on Treading, Fir – (Posway, Spires), Trail – (Posway, Spires, Chicoine)

Written, performed, recorded and mixed by JJ Posway except where noted.

Released February 26th, 2021

Taylor Chicoine – drum recording, Zach Spires – drums on Fir and Trail, Anna Staddon – vocals on Treading, Fir – (Posway, Spires), Trail – (Posway, Spires, Chicoine)

Written, performed, recorded and mixed by JJ Posway except where noted.

Released February 26th, 2021