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Next Week in Music | Dec. 6-12 • The Short List: 7 Titles You Want to Hear

Here are all the new, old and new-old offerings that interest me. Timmmberrrrr!

If a new album drops in December, does anybody hear it? Well, maybe — assuming it doesn’t get lost in the forest of reissues, anthologies, box sets, compilations and live albums that arrive every year at this time. Here are all the new, old and new-old offerings that interest me. Timberrrrr!


Nicole Atkins
Memphis Ice

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “A reimagined companion project to last year’s acclaimed Italian Ice, Memphis Ice was recorded live in the studio. Italian Ice was among the best albums of 2020, its warmth, vivid color, and a tilt-a-whirl variety of musical grooves providing much-needed positivity in what proved a very difficult year. Unable to tour behind the album’s release, Atkins began hosting a variety show from her attic, Live From The Steel Porch with Nicole Atkins. The back-to-basics performances inspired Atkins to explore new and previously untapped flavors in her vocals and songcraft. Backed by an ace trio of Dan Chen (piano), Laura Epling (violin) and Maggie Chaffee (cello), Atkins recorded Memphis Ice live in one day at Memphis Magnetic studio, simultaneously filming the performance with painterly shadow and light. The stripped-down, smoky style of both brings all-new emotional vistas to fan-favorite songs like Domino, Captain, and Forever, while opening the door even wider to where Atkins would like to go next as a singer.”

The Band
Cahoots 50th Anniversary Edition

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “When The Band pulled into the unfinished Bearsville Sounds Studios in Bearsville, New York in early 1971 to record Cahoots, their fourth studio album in as many years, they were still basking in the success of and acclaim for their first three history-making records. Beginning with their landmark debut album, July 1968’s Music From Big Pink, the musicians drew inspiration from the American roots music melting pot of country, blues, R&B, gospel, soul, rockabilly, the honking tenor sax tradition, hymns, funeral dirges, brass band music, folk and good ol’ rock ‘n’ roll to foment a timeless new style that forever changed the course of popular music. The new 50th anniversary edition of Cahoots, overseen by principal songwriter Robbie Robertson, features a new stereo mix from the original multi-track masters; Live at the Olympia Theatre, Paris, May 1971, a rousing bootleg partial concert consisting of 11 tracks culled from the initial throes of a European tour that found The Band perched at the top of their live game; early and alternate versions of Endless Highway and When I Paint My Masterpiece; and six other early takes, outtakes, instrumentals, and stripped-down mixes.”


Art Blakey And The Jazz Messengers
First Flight to Tokyo: The Lost 1961 Recordings

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:First Flight to Tokyo: The Lost 1961 Recordings is a thrilling, previously unreleased live recording of Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers captured at Hibiya Public Hall in Tokyo on Jan. 14, 1961 during the band’s first-ever tour of Japan. The Jazz Messengers were among the first modern jazz groups to tour the country, and adoring Japanese audiences were enthralled by one of the band’s all-time great line-ups featuring the legendary drummer with Lee Morgan on trumpet, Wayne Shorter on tenor saxophone, Bobby Timmons on piano, and Jymie Merritt on bass. The concert featured soaring performances of well-known jazz staples including Dizzy Gillespie’s A Night In Tunisia, Charlie Parker’s Now’s the Time, Thelonious Monk’s ’Round About Midnight, and Jazz Messenger hits including Blues March, Dat Dere and Moanin’.”

Green Day
The BBC Sessions

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Opening up the vault and revisiting a series of historic U.K. broadcast performances, five-time Grammy-winning band Green Day present The BBC Sessions live album. The 16-track collection features four seminal performances recorded at BBC’s legendary Maida Vale Studios from 1994, 1996, 1998, and 2001 together on one album, marking the first time these recordings have been mastered for official release. Four months after dropping Dookie upon an unsuspecting world, Green Day entered the hallowed halls of BBC on June 8, 1994 and ripped through a raucous and raw four-song set that captured the band on the precipice of their worldwide explosion. They returned during 1996 in support of Isomniac, and then in 1998 in the midst of the Nimrod era. Finally, they capped off summer 2001 with four Warning anthems. They’re all on The BBC Sessions.”


THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Kosmodome, a rising star in the firmament of Norway’s flourishing prog music scene, will blow minds with their psychedelic sounding, ’60s-coloured rock. The brainchild of the two Sandvik brothers — Sturle on guitars and vocals, and Severin on drums — Kosmodome’s music is riff-based rock with stoner elements all of which are placed within a progressive universe to great effect. Together, the duo bridge the gap between the explosive drive of bands such as Mastodon with melodic magic and retrospective, clever songwriting. “We aim to draw listeners into the Kosmodome, in all its diversity,” they say. “Throughout the album, we dwell in the melodic and the groovy; a baseline for deep dives into massive, heavy soundscapes and spacy atmospheres. Instrumental sections are central to our musical storytelling, further supported by our lyrical themes; introspection and wonder, ruminations on the human condition, and frustrations toward contemporary society.”

Mouth Congress
Waiting For Henry

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Mouth Congress — friends Paul Bellini and Scott Thompson of Kids In The Hall fame — wrote and recorded hundreds of songs in the ’80s without ever putting out a proper release. Alongside various cohorts and conspirators, the band drew on their experiences as gay men to craft hilariously crude punk songs that run the gamut of strange characters and taboo subject matter. Their rag tag approach to songwriting blended various styles from noisy punk to lo-fi new wave and DIY disco, all with a very gay bent. Without trying, they were surprisingly cutting edge. Waiting For Henry is a collection of 29 tracks over two LPs, with a booklet of interviews and ephemera from one of the ’80s last queercore bands.”

Neil Young & Crazy Horse

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Neil Young & Crazy Horse’s new album Barn features Ralph Molina on drums, Billy Talbot on electric bass and multi-instrumentalist Nils Lofgren. Its 10 songs capture the raw, idiosyncratic rock ’n’ roll spirit and lyrical beauty that epitomizes a classic NY/CH collaboration. Recorded this summer under a full moon, in a restored off-grid 19th century barn high up in the Rockies, the Horse was right at home and the album’s stunning love songs, reflective ballads and powerhouse rockers naturally burst into life.”