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Next Week in Music | March 9-15 • The Short List: 5 Releases You Want to Hear

From D.O.A to PB&J, these are the top releases of the week — IMHO, that is.

As usual, there’s a big pop album coming out this week: One Direction pretty boy Niall Horan’s Heartbreak Weather. And as usual, I really couldn’t give a damn. But here are five albums that do interest me — and just might interest you too. (Full disclosure: I was paid to write some promotional materials for the new Sass Jordan album. But I’d be recommending it anyway — it’s a winner.)

The Boomtown Rats
Citizens of Boomtown

THE PRESS RELEASE:The Boomtown Rats will mark 2020 (The Year Of The Rat) with the release of Citizens Of Boomtown, their first new studio album since 1984. The Boomtown Rats are Bob Geldof on vocals, Pete Briquette on bass, Simon Crowe on drums and Garry Roberts on guitar. The Boomtown Rats’ first new studio album for 36 years, Citizens Of Boomtown features 10 glorious new Boomtown Rats songs. When The Boomtown Rats took a break after 6 albums and countless singles it seemed the right time. They went off to their different lives. Bob Geldof made 7 solo albums. Then something pulled them back into each other’s orbit. It felt unforced, entirely natural and the rage and frustrations that drove the earlier incarnation of the band was no less tempered by time or life. “Indeed if anything”, says Geldof “it was time to hear THAT noise again. But I only knew that when I heard this group of individuals re-constitute their specific racket”. So why a new record? “Because that’s what bands do. They make records. Songwriters write songs. There’s so much to respond to in this new and different febrile atmosphere that we live in. People forget we took our name from Woody Guthrie, the great musical activist. I think The Boomtown Rats have always shown that rock ’n’ roll is a form of musical activism. The music has intent and purpose even if that is just the sound, about boy/girl, nothing particularly at all, everything in general, or pointed polemical … whatever.” Does the world need another Boomtown Rats record? “I couldn’t give a shite”, says Geldof, “we do, and that’s enough.’ ”

Deap Lips
Deap Lips

THE PRESS RELEASE: “California Rock & Roll duo Deap Vally (Lindsey Troy & Julie Edwards) and Oklahoma psych-heroes The Flaming Lips (Wayne Coyne & Steven Drozd) have come together to create a new self-titled album Deap Lips. Deap Vally have have spent several years touring the world with the likes of Queens Of The Stone Age, Muse and Red Hot Chili Peppers and played festivals such as Glastonbury and Bonnaroo. Their last album FEMEJISM was released to huge critical acclaim. The Flaming Lips, long considered one of the most important alternative rock bands of all time, winning multiple Grammys and selling millions worldwide, released their latest The Soft Bulletin: Live at Red Rocks (feat. The Colorado Symphony & André de Ridder) on Nov. 29.”


THE PRESS RELEASE: “If an actor or a reality show host can become President and wreak havoc around the world, then surely musicians have a time honored duty of reacting to that and speaking up for regular people. Punk rock legends D.O.A. have decided to do just that. That’s the reason for the new D.O.A. album: Treason. Joey Shithead Keithley, Canada’s Godfather of Punk, has been getting sick of the dismaying news coming out of world capitals like Washington, Moscow, Beijing, Tehran, Pyongyang etc., so he decided to come up with D.O.A.’s musical reaction to this crap. So here it is: Treason — it’s the band’s 18th album. It takes off in full frenzy with All The President’s Men — “It’s time to put them in the pen.” Then the band quickly launches into a modern punk anthem, Wait Till Tomorrow, a look at the brutal treatment of refugees. But never lost on D.O.A. is that part of their mantra that is punk rock humor, hence they have spawned: It Was D.O.A., an uproarious piss-take on unsuspecting musicians that will soon learn the tough lessons of the road: the D.O.A. members themselves. Of course with an album named Treason one would expect some comment on President Donald Trump. So the Men of Action have taken one of their all-time classics and come up with new lyrics. They have reworked Fucked Up Ronnie, the result is Fucked Up Donald and it’s a blistering 73 seconds of mayhem! There’s also an absolutely ripping version of fellow Canadian Neil Young’s Hey Hey, My My. On Treason D.O.A. pulls no punches and nor should they. This is an uncontrollable punk rock riot that seems to breathe fire, the way punk was meant to be.”

Sass Jordan
Rebel Moon Blues

THE PRESS RELEASE:Sass Jordan is one of the premiere female rock singers in history, selling over one million albums worldwide. While she has touched upon blues over her 40-year career, this is the first time she has focused exclusively on creating an album of songs in this tradition, that showcase her talent as a blues singer. As Jordan acknowledges: “The blues has always been a huge part of my life. It’s a big part of what I grew up with. It’s been there through my entire career.” Her first blues album arrives in raw, earthy style on the magnificent Rebel Moon Blues. Co-produced with D#, it’s the Juno Award-winner’s ninth studio album and first release in nearly a decade. More crucially, it’s also a watershed that charts a new course in Jordan’s musical voyage while tracing her love of the blues back to its source. The album features eight songs, freshly interpreted and given the Sass Jordan treatment with her band The Champagne Hookers: guitarists Chris Caddell and Jimmy Reid, bassist Derrick Brady and drummer Cassius Pereira, augmented by blues harp master Steve Marriner and keyboardist Jesse O’Brien.”

Peter Bjorn & John
Endless Dream

THE PRESS RELEASE: “It’s hard to survive in the music business, but Peter Bjorn and John have done that and then some. The Swedish indie-pop trio have been triumphing via their pitch-perfect alchemy of varying sounds and styles for two decades now, and their ninth album Endless Dream is but the latest proof of the unique creative chemistry that Peter Morén, Bjorn Yttling and John Eriksson have successfully worked with for so long. Every PB&J album sounds like falling in love with music for the first time, and the deceptively light confections contained on Endless Dream is the trio’s latest romance. “It’s the light to the darkness — the day to the night,” Morén explains, elaborating that PB&J picked up right where they left off from Darker Days. “I find it inspiring when you’re in a process of recording and not thinking too much about making grand statements instead of continuing to write more songs. We were in a good place after Darker Days, so we continued in a similar way.” Indeed, with Endless Dream Peter Bjorn & John find themselves reflecting on the long journey they’ve taken together — what they’ve been through, where they are now, and where they’ll be next. “It’s astonishing we’re still around,” Morén reflects on the trio’s creative relationship. “People around us say that we don’t act like friends — we act like brothers. It can be very creative, and we’re nicer to each other than when we used to be.” “This album’s filled with various types of madness, and to have a band for 20 years is a type of madness itself,” Eriksson continues. “There’s a lot of stuff we’ve just gotten started with. You never know when you’re gonna hit gold, and you’re never finished — so you just need to keep going.”