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Indie Roundup | Six Ways to Have a Better Thursday

Check out these new cuts from BLS, D.O.A., Justin Townes Earle and others.

Black Label Society battle boredom, D.O.A. fight The Man, Justin Townes Earle has a nightmare and more in today’s Roundup. If I saw a guy who looked like Death busking on the corner, I’d give him a buck. Because hey, better safe than sorry.

1 If there’s one thing I’ve learned from talking to Black Label Society founder Zakk Wylde, it’s this: Despite looking like a Viking biker who wants to murder you, the heavy metal singer-guitarist does not take himself seriously. For proof, cast your eyes upon the playfully cartoonish video for BLS’s new single Bored to Tears, which features everything from rainbows and kitties to eggplant emojis and dancing bunnies. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Zakk comments, “With the NEW BLACK LABEL SUPAH-EXCITING TECHNICOLOR DREAM COAT HIGH CALORIE BURNING video for BORED TO TEARS, I told BLACK LABEL DIRECTOR O’ DOOM & DELIGHT, FATHER JUSTIN REICH, that I wanted to do an ‘EXCITING’ and ‘TOUGH’ looking video in the movie genre style of CLINT EASTWOOD & CHARLES BRONSON. After seeing the video, apparently FATHER JUSTIN REICH Doesn’t know who these LEGENDARY FILM ICONS are or has them confused with two other actors named CLINT EASTWOOD & CHARLES BRONSON. Every time I watch this video I’m more confused than I was during the previous viewing.“ Get on the Weedeely Weedeely express:

2 Joe Keithley and D.O.A. know what time it is — it’s time to fight back. And since old Joe has never been once to mince words, Time to Fight Back also happens to be the title of the Vancouver punk icon’s latest rabble-rousing single and video — which also happens to come from the Fight Back album. See how it all ties together? SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “It’s a scathing and timely piece in which Joe deals with all manner of unseemly low characters and issues. The anthemic Time To Fight Back is street punk resistance at its fiercest.” To the barricades!


3 Justin Townes Earle is not a lost cause. He’s the Saint of Lost Causes. Or at least that’s the title of the Nashville singer-songwriter’s latest album, out May 24. He’s already graced this space with the roots-rocker Ain’t Got No Money and the taut folk-rock strummer Frightened By the Sound. Now he offers up the dusty single and video Appalachian Nightmare, a harrowing “drugstore-cowboy-turned-cop-killer” tale laced with barb-wire guitar licks. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “Earle says “I want this song to say that if you are marginalized, you will find anyway you can to survive. Drug problems and criminal behavior are not a problem of color, creed, or race.” Join the cause:

4 Like beauty, ugly is in the eye of the beholder. But just how ugly do you have to be to be too ugly for New York City? Oregon singer-songwriter Kyle Craft and his band Showboat Honey have a few ideas in their surprisingly raucous and upbeat roots-rock single and video 2 Ugly 4NY, from their July 12 Showboat Honey album. The Grim Reaper never sounded so lively. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “The carefree sing-along 2 Ugly 4 NY features a lyrical reference to a previous incarnation of Craft. Its lyrics—“Don’t wanna see Death strum for cash downtown/ Or the look on his face when the change hits the case on the ground”—call out his early days in Portland when he went by the moniker of Hobo Grim. Busking downtown, he’d cover country tunes while dressed as the Grim Reaper so as to conceal his true identity.” Death becomes him:

5 The One Armed Man know how to deliver a knockout punch. And put their best foot forward. Get a load of the compelling video for the French quintet’s hard-hitting single Boots Back in the City — from their new EP #1 — and hear for yourself. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “French five-piece rock/folk/bluegrass born in 2012, TOAM is influenced by american rock vibes and bands like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Dead Weather, The Raconteurs, The White Stripes or The Black Keys.” Step right up:

6 Sometimes the old ways are best. Jake Xerxes Fussell knows this. And the North Carolina folk-blues singer-guitarist puts it into practice on the gently shuffling waltz Michael Was Hearty, his rendition of a tragicomedy by Irish troubadour Thomas McCarthy. It’s the latest preview of his June 7 album Out of Sight. Keep an eye out for this one. SAYS THE PRESS RELEASE: “When showed a YouTube video of the song by friend Nathan Salsburg, guitar wizard and curator of the Alan Lomax Archive, Fussell was inspired to arrange and record his own version. “I immediately wanted to commit the words to memory, but I had to come up with another way to perform it that worked for my way of singing,” says Fussell. “So I worked out a waltz arrangement on my guitar and taught it to my band. Some great imagery in there too: ‘High was the step in the jig that he sprung / He had good looks and soothering tongue’— don’t we all know somebody like that?” May we have this dance?


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