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Next Week in Music | June 21-27 • The Not-So-Short List: 20 Titles You Have to Hear

There’s so much great music coming out next week, I can barely keep up with it all.

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Maybe I’m getting soft in my old age. Maybe it’s just the luck of the draw. Or maybe everybody’s been holding out on us. All I know is that there’s so much great music coming out next week that I can barely keep up with it all. Here are 20 titles I’ve got my eye on — and if I had more time, I could probably have included another dozen or so. Let’s get to it:

 


Gaspard Augé
Escapades

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Gaspard Augé has always created brilliantly lurid musical worlds to get lost in. He is best known as one half of Justice, the duo that united rock and rave in the mid-2000s and whose dancefloor smashes defined a generation. His debut solo album Escapades seals his reputation as a master of maximalism, an electronic auteur whose imaginary soundtracks are a refreshing jolt out of reality. His are deliciously massive dreamscapes and sentimental sugar rushes that conjure images of proggy pagan rituals in orbit or spaghetti westerns on a space station. Let’s face it, the Zappa-like producer was never going to write an introspective record. “I’ve always been obsessed with making larger than life music,” he says. “Mostly because it’s more fun.” There are some elements that are of course spiritually in tune with Justice — the way the synths crunch and whirr, the cinematic enormity of it all — but Escapades sounds like a UFO landing from another galaxy, or time, a baroque masterpiece that reimagines European classical music for this century.”


Cedric Burnside
I Be Trying

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:I Be Trying isthe title of the new record from two-time Grammy nominee Cedric Burnside, but it’s also a mission statement in an era when plenty of us have discovered what “the blues” really means. Recorded over three days at Royal Studios in Memphis (the home studio of Al Green and Hi Records in the ’60s and ’70s), this album is the ultimate statement of purpose for a critically acclaimed artist who has proudly carried the mantle of Mississippi Hill Country blues around the world. Over 13 tracks, Burnside delivers his bruised but unfettered truth over blistering guitar and deep-pocket drums — a sound birthed in his soul but developed and perfected on the road. But no matter how far he travels, the righteous sound he makes could only come from one place. I Be Trying is the sound of modern Mississippi.”


Miles Davis
Merci Miles! Live At Vienne

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “By 1991, the world’s most celebrated trumpeter could look back on five decades of musical evolution — his own, and that of the world around him. Miles Davis had found ways of marrying jazz with classical ideas, then later R&B, rock and funk, producing hybrid offspring that shaped the course of popular music and had come to define his legend. In 1985, he’d left Columbia after thirty years to sign to Warner Bros. Records, a label riding high with best-selling artists like Madonna, Van Halen and Prince, with whom he had a mutual admiration and friendship. His performance at Jazz a Vienne on July 1, 1991 became one of his final live performances before he passed away on Sept. 28, 1991, and this previously unreleased set includes two songs written by Prince, Penetration and Jailbait.”


Matthew Dear
Preacher’s Sigh & Potion: Lost Album

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “More than 20 years into his career, Matthew Dear remains artistically unpredictable in pursuit of his prescient strain of electronically formed, organically delivered indie-pop. Traveling between his adopted Detroit and his home state of Texas throughout 2008 and 2009, Dear amassed a set of personal, playful, looping guitar-centric recordings he’d consider for his next album. Given the new momentum of the hybrid electronic pop of Asa Breed which led to an opening slot for Hot Chip and remixes for ‘00 heroes like Spoon and Postal Service, Dear decided to shelf the material. This “lost album” had a sound, a spirited country romp in the techno barn, and it had a rough title, Preacher’s Sigh & Potion. He never fully walked away from it, and merely kept moving down the road, waiting for the audience to catch up. Over a decade later, that time is now. Preacher’s Sigh & Potion finds Dear unknowingly at an intersection in his young run, a burgeoning songwriter at his most freewheeling and unaffected. Dear reflects as he listens back, “I love hearing how free and raw a lot of the production is. As we age, we get trapped in thinking our output or creativity needs to mature as well. Some of that is unavoidable, but listening to these songs reminds me to not think so much. It’s important to be in that world without consequence from time to time.”


The Grateful Dead
The Grateful Dead (Skull & Roses) 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “For The Grateful Dead’s second live album, released two years after its predecessor Live/Dead, the band delivered an equally magnificent but entirely different sound. Whereas Live/Dead was a perfect sonic encapsulation of the band at the peak of their primal era, the so-called Skull & Roses captures the quintessential quintet, the original five piece band, playing some of their hardest hitting rock ‘n’ roll, showing off their authentic Bakersfield bona fides, and some originals that would be important parts of the Dead’s live repertoire for the next 24 years. Of course, the Dead were never defined by one specific ‘sound’ and amongst the aforementioned genres and styles the band brought to this album, they also delved deeply into their psychedelic, primal playbook. In celebration of the 50th anniversary, the 2CD set will feature the album’s original 11 tracks, newly remastered from the stereo analog master tapes, plus more than an hour of previously unreleased live recordings taken from the much-requested July 2, 1971 performance at the Fillmore West, the band’s final performance at the historic San Francisco venue.”


The Grid / Fripp
Leviathan

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In 1973, the curiosity of a significant chunk of the King Crimson and Roxy Music fan bases, along with an attractive price, propelled Fripp & Eno’s No Pussyfooting into many thousands of homes. In the 1990s, The GridDave Ball of Soft Cell & Richard Norris — formed a key act in what was sometimes referred to as electronica. The Grid were managed at the time by David Enthoven who had also managed King Crimson and Roxy Music from inception, and with a Sylvian/Fripp remix among their producing credits, it is no surprise that the duo and Fripp were keen to see if mutual recordings would produce interesting results. The recordings provided material for much of The Grid’s second album 456 and their followup Evolver. A few years ago, The Grid rediscovered tapes from these sessions, including unreleased tracks they’d worked up but never completed or mixed. Further Fripp soundscapes from the same period were added to the mix, which inspired The Grid to add new synths, drums, programming and effects to create the album Leviathan.”


Hiatus Kaiyote
Mood Valiant

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Melbourne group Hiatus KaiyoteNaomi “Nai Palm” Saalfield (guitar, vocals), Paul Bender (bass), Simon Mavin (keys) and Perrin Moss (drums) — are back with the followup to their 2015 album Choose Your Weapon. The new album has been in the making for six years, but that interval reflects more hustle than hiatus. The result is an album that relaxes into a groove: sunlit, sublime, masterful. Behind everything is Hiatus’ familiar sense of musical adventure, their knack for making the complex sound simple.”


Helvetia
Essential Aliens

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Helvetia is the solo project of Jason Albertini from Duster. The songs on Essential Aliens were recorded over the last year in Jason’s basement. Helvetia resides in Portland, Oregon but was formed in Seattle in 2005 after Duster went on hiatus. Essential Aliens takes all the elements of the Helvetia sound and simplifies. Basic progressions morph with stoner repetition and end in head scratch. Drums distort and muted bass lines prop up acoustic guitars that were recorded blown out on a cassette four-track. Cheap electric guitars are barely kept in tune and are recorded direct, almost painfully in your face. The character of the recordings are informed with warm fuzz and intimate room sounds. The songs are short blasts of psychedelic chill, unrooted by genre, a rummage around an alien radio dial These are simple songs about keeping yourself from falling apart. To remind you that you can be strong. This is a weird blues.”


Island
Yesterday Park

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Yesterday Park is an album about nostalgia, that feeling of looking back, not to one specific time or place but rather the feeling associated with the hazy blur of childhood and teenage memories. The songs cover a lot of different themes, but at their heart they all stem from formative memories. When writing we considered how our understanding of past experiences had shifted through the many different retrospective lenses we have. Life has become more complex and we wanted to capture that feeling of looking back, finding the beauty in those simple moments that exist as silver-linings in our memories. That reflection also brought us to think differently about the complexity and challenges of life today. It inspired us to consider the importance of taking responsibility for the harm that the world is doing to itself, at the same time as needing to take more responsibility in our own lives. We drew a lot of influence from the 90s, and particularly beat-driven ’90s hip-hop which inspired a lot of the grooves in the album.”


Kilter
Sys

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Deep in the heart of Brooklyn’s experimental music scene, one band seeks to marry the heaviness of metal with the madness of jazz. Kilter are the trio in question, led by bassist Laurent David and rounded out by drummer Kenny Grohowski and saxophonist Ed Rosenberg III. After the resounding success of their previous album Axiom, they are back with a short blast called Sys. Three tracks, three people. Each musician takes the lead on a song, showcasing their technicality and craftsmanship. But music is a team sport, and interplay is a key component of Kilter’s writing. For those who seek something a bit different in their listening habits, Kilter have you covered. Sys slides on the spectrum between jazz and metal, and will scratch an itch you didn’t even know you had.”


Lightman Jarvis Ecstatic Band
Banned

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Yves Jarvis and Romy Lightman are a pair of idiosyncratic and restlessly creative artists. Over the past five years, Jarvis’s ever-expanding discography has earned international acclaim, while Lightman’s twin-sister-led band Tasseomancy have transfixed listeners since the late 2000s. The debut album from Lightman Jarvis Ecstatic Band marks the duo’s first collaboration, slingshotting both musicians out of their comfort zones into spellbinding territories of lysergic folk and impressionistic rock. Banned was recorded in the tranquil environment of the Tree Museum, an outdoor art gallery in rural Ontario hosting residencies for contemporary sculptors over the past 20 years. The pair credit its 200 acres of natural spaces intermingling with human-made creations as the fuel for their unfettered process. Recorded over two weeks in a free-flowing stream of improvisation, the album finds Lightman on synthesizer with Jarvis on drums and guitar, as their voices weave together into an electrified pastoral tapestry.”


Modest Mouse
The Golden Casket

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Golden Casket is Modest Mouse’s seventh full-length and first new album in six years. It heralds another new chapter in the band’s unpredictable evolution. Produced with Dave Sardy and Jacknife Lee in Los Angeles and in Modest Mouse’s studio in Portland,  the album hovers in the liminal space between raw punk power and experimental studio science, as frontman Isaac Brock explores themes ranging from the degradation of our psychic landscapes and invisible technology, to fatherhood. The 12 tracks behave like amorphous organisms, undergoing dramatic mutations and mood swings that speak to the chronic tug-of-war between hope and despair that plays out in Brock’s head.”


T. Hardy Morris
The Digital Age Of Rome

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Heading into the spring of 2020, T. Hardy Morris had 12 demos that he thought would make up his next album. Then everything changed. The world took a break and so his plans to record did as well. As we all watched and waited out the storms; viral and societal, we seemed to wake up scrolling through a whole new century, a time Morris began to refer to as The Digital Age of Rome. He scrapped the demos and began a collection of songs in quarantine where the unprecedented times and topics were unavoidable. He wanted to document the era sonically and lyrically in some way. “I wanted it to sound like how the world felt to me in the second half of 2020. Uncomfortable and chaotic, dystopian but still beautiful.”


The Mountain Goats
Dark In Here

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “At last it can be told: the story of how, when The Mountain Goats got together in early March 2020, it was to make not one album, but two: Getting Into Knives and Dark In Here. That’s how many keepers the band’s superhumanly prolific frontman John Darnielle had come up with since they’d recorded In League With Dragons in Nashville back in 2018. From Peter Hughes of The Mountain Goats: One of the words that John used when we were talking about the direction for Dark In Here was “wild,” which I liked a lot. Not wild in the sense of abandon — these aren’t those kind of songs. But wild in the sense of something undomesticated, untamable. Wild like the immutability of nature, the way it will take back any piece of untended space as its own, whether amidst the AutoZones and Chick-fil-As of Muscle Shoals (home of FAME Studios, where the album was recorded) or among the ruins of a scientific outpost on the Kola Peninsula. Wild like the whale; like a powerful animal. Or a virus — the beast that awakes, emerges from a forest, and stops the world. You can fight the calamity all you want, but either way, it’s going to demand your surrender.”


The Murlocs
Bittersweet Demons

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “On their fifth album Bittersweet Demons, The Murlocs share a collection of songs reflecting on the people who leave a profound imprint on our lives: The saviors and hellraisers and assorted other mystifying characters. From the 11 infectious tracks emerges a beautifully complex body of work, one that shines a light on the fragilities of human nature while inducing the glorious head rush that accompanies any Murlocs outing.”


Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog
Hope

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “When these recording sessions began in the last week of May 2020, I hadn’t left my house to go anywhere other than the grocery store in over two months. I hadn’t taken a cab or subway. I’d lost several friends to COVID-19, and was afraid I’d also lose more thanks to the non-response of our would-be dictator. When me and fellow Ceramic Dogs Ches and Shahzad figured out a way to record, we entered the studio separately, sat in separate, isolated rooms from which we couldn’t see each other, communicating through mics and headphones. We were careful to wash our hands: One of us has respiratory issues, so fuck-ups could’ve been bad. We wound up with two record’s worth of material.”


The Rubinoos
The CBS Tapes

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “On Nov. 2, 1976, Jimmy Carter was elected President of the United States. The events of Nov. 3 were less earth-shaking: It was the day the power-pop pioneers The Rubinoos recorded this album. The group walked into CBS Studios in San Francisco to, as band co-founder and singer Jon Rubin recollects, “have a ‘set up and get comfortable in the studio’ kind of affair.” Guitarist Tommy Dunbar, who started the group more than 50 years ago with his childhood pal Rubin, recalls they were told “something like, ‘OK, the tape is going to run, just go ahead and play anything you want’.” The CBS Tapes chronicles that occasion, and its previously unreleased 11 tracks certainly reveal a wildly diverse set list that includes, yet reaches beyond, the power pop that the band is well known for. Selections range from The Modern Lovers to The Meters, King Curtis to The DeFranco Family. The Rubinoos also tackle a bubblegum classic, an iconic surf instrumental and a couple of Beatles tunes, along with a trio of now-rare originals.”


2nd Grade
Wish You Were Here Tour Revisited

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “It was hard to get in touch with Pete Gill in the summer of 2018. He didn’t have a phone, car, or apartment. He had a job renting swan boats on the Delaware River in Philadelphia, where he was the oldest employee by 10 years. He had a third-generation iPod Touch, which he used to listen to The Beach Boys every day. And he had a bicycle. Gill wrote over 150 songs that summer. 2nd Grade began as a passion project, inspired by the childlike openness and excitement of early power pop singles. Over two weekends, Gill recorded every instrument of Wish You Were Here Tour to garageband in a friend’s carpeted bathroom, starting with drums. Gill never expected anyone to hear it. Gill isn’t getting sunburned at the Harbor Park anymore. He’s got a band, and he wants everyone to hear it. The five-piece band has re-recorded eight songs from Wish You Were Here Tour. Along with remastered versions of the original 14 and one outtake, they will make up Wish You Were Here Tour Revisited, a document of the band’s past, present, and future.”


10,000 Years
II

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “After narrowly escaping the confines of the strange planet and its surrounding dimension, the Albatross and its crew finally return home to Earth. The re-entry is rough and the ship crashlands in a forest. The Earth that greets them is vastly different from the one that they left. When the ship travelled back to earth through the wormhole it created a rift in the space-time continuum which propelled them far into the future as well as allowing the Green King and other ancient gods from the other dimension to cross over to our dimension. They have since taken control of not just the Earth, but the entire Solar System. After various harrowing experiences and encounters, the truth finally dawns on the surviving members of the crew. They are indeed back on Earth, but 10,000 years in the future from when they started their journey. And to make matters worse, they find evidence that the Green King have been known and worshipped by secret cults and societies on earth for millennia, since before what we today know as humankind even existed. The surviving members of the crew come to the conclusion that the only way to set things right again is to repair the Albatross and take it back through the rift again in order to close it.”


Various Artists
Party For Joey: A Sweet Relief Tribute to Joey Spampinato

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:A Sweet Relief Tribute to Joey Spampinato features a lengthy list of friends and fans of the NRBQ founding member and bassist, saluting him with 14 versions of their takes of Spampinato-penned songs. Many of those musicians — including Keith Richards, Ben Harper, Charlie Musselwhite, Bonnie Raitt, Los Lobos, Buddy Miller, Peter Case, The Minus 5 and, of course, his current and former NRBQ bandmates — answered the call from Joey’s wife Kami Lyle and producer Sheldon Gomberg when they contacted them about recording one of Joey’s songs to help raise fundsfor his battle against cancer. Says Spampinato: “I want to say, I’m humbled by the fact that all these great musicians here wanted to be a part of this. As a person who is easily embarrassed by presents, or even a compliment, this is, in a word, overwhelming. Some of the people here are dear personal friends, people I’ve had the great pleasure of writing, recording, or playing gigs with over the years. Others are newer artists on the scene, people I’ve also admired, and am happy to now discover that they like what I do, too! Here’s to all of you, and thank you for coming to my party!”