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Next Week in Music | Oct. 21-27 • The Short(ish) List: 17 Albums You Need to Hear

If you can't find 10 albums you want to listen to this week, you're just not trying.

No excuses: With nearly 300 new albums, EPs and singles arriving this week, there’s literally something for everybody out there. In fact, if you can’t find 10 albums you want to hear this week, you’re just not trying. Here are 17 titles I’ll be sticking in my earholes, in alphabetical order (the list, not the sticking):


THE PRESS RELEASE:Boneshaker is the most immediate, visceral, spontaneous and thrilling album of Airbourne’s career. 10 songs in 30 minutes, raw, alive and bristling with attitude and intent. From the thunderous opening riff of the title track through to the raucous, roaring, bad bad boogie of Rock‘n’Roll For Life, it’s a celebration of life lived loud – no shame, no surrender, no regrets, no wasted moments. There’s lust and aggression and rage and defiance, tales of messy nights and broken hearts, excess and abandon, brotherhood and love and community. If you listen closely, you might even detect a little country ‘n’ western twang in Burnout The Nitro. One thing is certain: Boneshaker is the sound of a mission accomplished for both band and producer Dave Cobb.”

Big Star
In Space Expanded

THE PRESS RELEASE:Big Star formed in 1971, and in their brief four years together, created three albums that consistently make Best of All-Time lists. Eighteen years after officially disbanding, original members Alex Chilton and Jody Stephens joined forces with The PosiesJon Auer and Ken Stringfellow for a live performance, which led to a tour and years of concerts. While the live shows were a joy and surprise, a bigger surprise happened in 2005. After over a decade playing together: a new studio album. In Space featured 12 tracks recorded where Big Star began, at the classic Ardent Studios. The new line up was creating a new chapter for the band while minding and honoring its past. With original vinyl going for outrageous prices, In Space returns as an LP on translucent blue vinyl, and expanded CD with 6 bonus tracks including Hot Thing (previously available on the out-of-print Big Star Story) and five previously unissued demos and alternate mixes.”

Guided by Voices
Sweating the Plague

THE PRESS RELEASE:Sweating The Plague, Guided by Voices’ 29th album and their third this year, spars playfully with stadium sized fidelity and uncharacteristically impactful arrangements. Sweating The Plague is an uncharacteristically concise rock’n’roll record, with lush gems tucked in amongst the hooks and hits, and with a sprinkling of prog rock moves. And, as usual with Robert Pollard, the album is sequenced as a whole, a coherent collection, rather than a selection of downloadable content baubles. Producer Travis Harrison’s counterintuitive approach to Guided By Voices’ historically lo-fi sound was that he didn’t want it to sound homemade. Sweating The Plague is constructed as a classic 12 song album experience, made to be played loud.”

All Aboard the Skylark

THE PRESS RELEASE:All Aboard The Skylark is the band’s 32nd studio album and a storming return to their space rock roots. 2019 marks the beginning of the band’s 50th Anniversary year and All Aboard The Skylark picks up effortlessly from their conceptual Top 40 charting albums The Machine Stops (2016) and Into The Woods (2017).”

The Kinks
Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire) 50th Anniversary Edition

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Included in this anniversary edition are 4 CDs comprising of 81 tracks in total, 5 of them unreleased and 28 previously unreleased versions. These include 2019 newly remastered versions of the original album from HD sources (in its original track listing), mono and stereo single versions, B-sides, alternate mono and stereo mixes, rehearsal tracks, BBC mixes and the lost Dave Davies’ solo album, with bonus tracks. It also includes Ray Davies’ compiled medley of unreleased demo tracks, 2 new recordings of Ray with The Doo Wop Choir, Arthur & The Emigrants including one previously unreleased track, 3 previously unreleased Come Dancing Workshop Ensemble tracks, and new Ray remixes of Australia and Shangri-La.”

Allison Moorer

THE PRESS RELEASE:Blood is not only Allison Moorer’s most personal and revealing work to date, but also her finest and most important. Blood stands on its own as a complete work, but the album serves as a companion piece to her anticipated autobiography, Blood: A Memoir, being released on Oct. 29. Blood: A Memoir is a detailed account of Moorer and her sister’s (Grammy Award winner Shelby Lynne) childhood growing up in a troubled home in Southern Alabama, which ended with the well-documented murder-suicide of her parents in 1986. Much of what the public has known about the tragic event begins and ends there. For years Moorer had avoided going into the traumatic details of the abuse, alcoholism, intimidation, poverty and neglect, that existed prior to the deaths, and for good reasons which she addresses in the memoir. Moorer also addresses the fact that there was so much more to her family than tragedy, darkness and what people thought they knew. There was love, there was a protective mother, there was the bond of sisterhood and there was music. There was always music. The album Blood serves as a song cycle featuring ten tracks that directly connect to the people, emotions, trauma, and state of mind that are all detailed so eloquently in the memoir.”

Van Morrison
Three Chords & The Truth

THE PRESS RELEASE:Three Chords And The Truth is truly something wonderful — 14 new original compositions effortlessly encapsulate the Van Morrison sound and showcase his talents as one of our generation’s most celebrated songwriters. His sixth album in just four years, Three Chords And The Truth is further proof that Van Morrison is one of the greatest recording artists of all time and a creative force to be reckoned with. Three Chords And The Truth was produced and written by Van Morrison (except for If We Wait for Mountains which was co-written with Don Black). The album features contributions from legendary guitarist Jay Berliner and a duet with The Righteous BrothersBill Medley, Fame Will Eat the Soul.”

1979 Box Set

THE PRESS RELEASE: “1979 was Motörhead’s year – the year of Overkill and Bomber. Motörhead, the loudest band in the world, with the power and force of a hundred pneumatic drills they destroyed the nation over and again and no-one, repeat no-one, remained unaffected by them — everyone was torn limb from limb. The albums Overkill and Bomber were 10 times more powerful than their first album Motörhead, which was a killer in itself. The lush 1979 box set includes: • The Overkill and Bomber albums — Brand new half speed masters created from the original tapes for optimal lawn killing / wall-shaking dynamic range. Pressed on 180g heavyweight vinyl. • Live at Friars, Aylesbury on 31st March 1979 and Live at La Rotunde, Le Mans on 3rd November 1979 — Two double live albums of newly unearthed, previously unreleased concerts. • The Rest Of ’79 — Ten song album of B-sides, outtakes and rare tracks from 1979. • No Class — Trifold 7″ of the No Class single with all three of the original cover variations. • Melödy Breaker — Forty page book of interviews with key players, accomplices, and various guilty parties in the world of Mötorhead in 1979. Includes never-before-seen photos and rare memorabilia. • Bomber Tour Program + Motörhead ’79 Badge Set + Overkill Sheet Music.”

Grace Potter

THE PRESS RELEASE:Daylight arrives after a turbulent, life-altering four-year hiatus from music that had the acclaimed singer-songwriter contemplating whether she would ever record another album. Cathartic and emotionally raw, Daylight is the result of that arduous journey, the most emotionally revealing, musically daring work of her career. “I had just pulled the ripcord on my whole life. It was an incredibly jarring, private experience. When the dust settled a bit, the last thing I wanted to do was tell the whole world about it through song. It was a very gradual process of re-framing music and its purpose in my life. So, when I finally started writing songs again — it had to be for myself and myself alone.” Having endured a painful divorce and the breakup of her band — as well as far more joyful events like a new marriage and the birth of her first child — Grace Potter reached for Daylight and delivered a commanding statement of power and purpose.”

Bruce Springsteen
Western Stars: Songs From the Film

THE PRESS RELEASE:Western Stars: Songs From The Film features each of the live performances captured in Bruce Springsteen’s directorial debut Western Stars. The soundtrack includes every song from Springsteen’s most recent studio album of the same name, as well as a cover of Glen Campbell’s Rhinestone Cowboy. The Western Stars film is a cinematic retelling of Springsteen’s first studio album in five years, as he plays the album backed by a band and full orchestra at Stone Hill Farm in Colts Neck, NJ. The film is written and performed by Bruce Springsteen, with special guest Patti Scialfa. Thom Zimny, Jon Landau, Barbara Carr, and George Travis produced the film, with Springsteen serving as executive producer. The original score is by Springsteen.”

Ringo Starr
What’s My Name

THE PRESS RELEASE:What’s My Name is the latest in a series of heartfelt and homespun records that Ringo Starr has produced in his home studio and a distinguished, ever-changing yet often repeating cast of musical characters and friends playing along with Ringo. Those friends include Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Edgar Winter, Dave Stewart, Benmont Tench, Steve Lukather, Nathan East, Colin Hay, Richard Page, Warren Ham, Windy Wagner, Kari Kimmel and more. For Ringo, recording at home, known as Roccabella West, has become a welcome and productive way of life. “I don’t want to be in an old-fashioned recording studio anymore, really,” Starr explains. “I’ve had enough of the big glass wall and the separation. We are all together in here, whoever I invite over. This is the smallest club in town. And I love it, being at home, being able to say hi to Barb, it’s just been good for me and the music.”


THE PRESS RELEASE: “Recorded in just 11 days at The Distillery, Wiltshire, Kind was co-produced by Kelly Jones and George Drakoulias (Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Screaming Trees, Primal Scream). The recording sessions used minimal studio techniques, overdubs and technology. This stripped-back, raw approach to committing Kelly Jones’ songwriting to tape provides listeners with captivating and candid snapshots of one of the UK’s most enduring bands. The performances are led by Jones’ distinct and emotive vocals that reveal a raw vulnerability not yet heard. The results are an honest and hopeful album for our times, and an album that stands shoulder to shoulder with the band’s best work. With unparalleled longevity and continued success, Stereophonics are a band woven into the fabric of popular music. With Kind, Jones continues to cement his place amongst the great British songwriters with an ability to sketch and capture truth and beauty from everyday observations as well as delving into his own life experiences.”

Leaving Meaning

THE PRESS RELEASE:Michael Gira: leaving meaning. is the first Swans album to be released since I dissolved the line up of musicians that constituted Swans from 2010 – 2017. Swans is now comprised of a revolving cast of musicians, selected for both their musical and personal character, chosen according to what I intuit best suits the atmosphere in which I’d like to see the songs I’ve written presented. In collaboration with me, the musicians, through their personality, skill and taste, contribute greatly to the arrangement of the material.”

Drift Songs

THE PRESS RELEASE: “What is DRIFT? • It’s precisely one year inside the minds of Underworld. • It’s a journey that began on 1st November 2018 when Underworld released the track Another Silent Way and set off with no map, no fixed destination and a simple mantra (“Drift is the opposite of ‘normal’ or ‘usual’ practice; we’ll do this until we’re dust.”) Rick Smith and Karl Hyde’s aim was to create and publish music and film episodically for 52 weeks and see where the journey took them. Within a few weeks, the experiment found its own path, prompting the electronic pioneers to react to previous releases and create new works accordingly. Over time, the duo’s innate curiosity opened up a unique space in which they could experiment, learn and explore new frontiers – together and with others (including Tomato’s Simon Taylor, Australian improv-trance band The Necks, techno producer Ø [Phase], Japanese noise band Melt-Banana, economics writer Aditya Chakrabortty and members of Black Country, New Road). During the 52 weeks, five self-contained episodes were released (respectively in November, January, March, May and August) – collectively, they formed DRIFT Series 1.”

Various Artists
Desert Sessions 11 & 12

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Out of the woodwork, dusty and soiled with cobwebs and mud dauber nests, emerges Desert Sessions. Led by the pale red horse who goes by Josh Homme, the project lasted from 1997-2003 and included artists from all over the rock and roll atlas. Scorched, stoned and sun-kissed riffage in the name of the holy rock, this was the Desert Sessions mantra. And after 16 f-ing years…it has been reborn. HOT DAMN. The album will feature collaborations from Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Les Claypool (Primus), Stella Mozgawa (Warpaint), Jake Shears (Scissor Sisters), Mike Kerr (Royal Blood), Carla Azar (Autolux, Jack White), Matt Sweeney (Chavez), David Catching (Co-founder of Rancho De La Luna studio), comedian Matt Berry (What We Do in the Shadows), Töôrnst Hülpft and newcomer Libby Grace.”

Neil Young & Crazy Horse

THE PRESS RELEASE:Colorado was recorded mostly live in the studio in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and produced by Neil Young and John Hanlon with additional mixing at Shangri-La Studios in Malibu. Mastering by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering, Hollywood. As with every Young release, the resultant audio fidelity is nothing short of astonishing and sounds as if one is present on the studio floor with the band during the recording.”

Frank Zappa
Halloween 73

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s, the iconoclastic composer Frank Zappa put on a series of spectacular, now legendary, shows around Halloween each year to celebrate his favorite holiday. Before settling on New York in 1974 to host his annual costume-clad festivities, which would continue until he retired the tradition in 1984, Zappa, fronting an exciting new band, performed two rousing back-to-back Halloween concerts the year prior at the Auditorium Theater in Chicago. Whereas many of the NYC shows were not recorded due to the musician’s union charging exorbitant fees making it virtually impossible to allow Zappa to record the event, there were no such restrictions at the Chicago show – in true Zappa fashion it was of course taped. Now for the first time ever, Zappa’s two complete Halloween shows recorded on October 31, 1973 in Chicago, will be released just in time for Halloween. These completely unreleased live recordings total more than four and a half hours and feature songs from across his prolific catalog, including his then just-released 1973 album Over-Nite Sensation and forthcoming 1974 record Apostrophe, as well as early arrangements of compositions like Penguin In Bondage, Dickie’s Such An Asshole and Village Of The Sun that would appear on later studio and live albums.”

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