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

Elvis, Elton, Dream Syndicate, Kula Shaker, Shearwater & the rest of the week's best.

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Elvis gets rusty, Dream Syndicate do battle, Elton goes mad again, Kula Shaker hug it out, Michael Monroe works fast, µ-Ziq ponies up and Shearwater go to great lengths. These are your plays of the week:

 


Elvis Costello & Allan Mayes
Rusty: The Resurrection Of Rust

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Elvis Costello and his partner in his first band Rusty, Allan Mayes, have reunited for, as Costello puts it, “the record we would have cut when we were 18, if anyone had let us.” The Resurrection of Rust was produced by Costello and Sebastian Krys and features Costello’s band The Imposters. Costello (then D.P. MacManus) joined Mayes’ band Rusty on New Year’s Day 1972, and while for the next 12 months they played dozens of gigs, from almost deserted clubs to one of Liverpool’s most beautiful Victorian recital halls — but never made it to the recording studio. The Resurrection of Rust comprises newly recorded renditions of six songs drawn from Rusty’s 1972 set lists: Duets on two 1972 Nick Lowe tunes (Surrender To The Rhythm and Don’t Lose Your Grip On Love), Kentucky songwriter Jim Ford’s I’m Ahead If I Can Quit While I’m Behind, two originals (Costello’s Warm House and the duo’s Maureen and Sam) and, finally, a medley of Neil Young’s Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere and Dance, Dance, Dance, the latter witnessing Costello’s debut on the electric violin.”


The Dream Syndicate
Ultraviolet Battle Hymns and True Confessions

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The new album from The Dream Syndicate blends vintage Krautrock, Eno-like ambience, Neu-inspired rhythmic groove and a Californian sun baked sheen into the their classic psychedelic, melodic, hue. The band have moved well past their early Velvet Underground influences and taken on British glam, German prog, and more. Singer-songwriter and guitarist Steve Wynn, drummer Dennis Duck, bassist Mark Walton, lead guitarist Jason Victor and newest member Chris Cacavas on keyboards are joined by guests Stephen McCarthy (The Long Ryders) and Marcus Tenney‘s expressive sax and trumpet work.”


Elton John
Madman Across The Water 50th Anniversary Edition

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Spawning the hits Tiny Dancer and Levon, Madman Across The Water was Elton John’s fourth studio album, released only two years after his debut. Recorded in 1971, it was a foundation stone of what was to become a dazzlingly prolific decade for the global-icon-in-waiting. Madman Across The Water was largely written after Elton had made his initial foray to America, offering the opportunity for lyricist Bernie Taupin to witness first-hand the landscapes and people he’d only seen on a screen or on the page. Recorded at Trident Studios in London in 1971, it was the first album where all of Elton’s fabled band lineup (Dee Murray, Nigel Olsson, Davey Johnstone and Ray Cooper) were featured. The album also featured Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman, who plays Hammond organ on three songs. The 50th anniversary edition includes 18 previously unreleased tracks, rare restored material from the era, piano demos of the album, and the audio of a BBC Sounds For Saturday concert broadcast in 1972.”


Kula Shaker
1st Congregational Church Of Eternal Love And Free Hugs

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Yea, though we walk through the valley of dark shadows… and though there is a famine of supercharged, spirit jangling, fractal protest rock, there are good tidings. The battle has not been lost to average digital earworms; the zeitgeist has gone into a spin and Kula Shaker have been called forth to deliver their most inspired album in years. 1st Congregational Church Of Eternal Love and Free Hugs is a firebrand double-album, energised and purposeful in a way that few guitar bands currently manage. It spills over with blazing songs (15 in total), cross-genre sonics and a renewed super confidence in its wish to joust into the big themes: Love vs. Fear; Lucifer vs. St Michael; freedom vs. autocracy; Colonials vs. The Indians: The Empire vs. The Rebellion. All quite surprising for an album that wasn’t part of the plan. Kula’s previous album K.2.O (2016) was a 20th anniversary marking of their Britpop-slaying debut K, which Crispian Mills saw as a ‘closing of the circle’, coming to an end-point after a year-long world tour. Three years further on however, Crispian and the band’s bassist and studio guru Alonza Bevan, drummer Paul Winterhart and keyboardist Henry Broadbent were drawn back together. “Whatever that spark of life was that inspired us in the beginning, it seemed to come back,” says Mills. “We were ‘filled with the holy spirit’, so to speak.”


Michael Monroe
I Live Too Fast To Die Young

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: ”I live too fast to die young, it ain’t nothing when your head’s screwed on,” roars Michael Monroe on his latest LP. In an era where pandemics and war are seamless bookends to a continually crazy society, Monroe and his bandmates decided to get together in at the end of 2021 to follow up 2019’s critically acclaimed One Man Gang with 11 street-walking’, jive talking’, strutting ‘n’ swaggering procklamations that double down and deliver on that title. At a time when fun has been hard to feel, I Live Too Fast To Die Young is lean, mean, raw power rock ‘n’ roll music, with cracking cuts such as Young Drunks & Old Alcoholics, All Fighter and the punky fun of Murder The Summer Of Love showing crisp electricity and melodies which wrap their shimmering selves around some razor-sharp riffs. There are also expansive, Stones-tinged saunters such as Can’t Stop Falling Apart and Everybody’s Nobody, while the title track takes aim between your eyes off a driving back-beat with a defiant chorus dripping with Monroe’s irrepressible attitude. “This album has a great combination and balance of songs, and the collection tells a great overall story,” says Monroe. “It has a lot of color and energy, and, of course, it is rock ‘n’ roll, but punk is also always going to be a part of who we are; that will never die.”


µ-Ziq
Magic Pony Ride

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Planet Mu welcomes back owner Mike Paradinas (aka µ-Ziq) for Magic Pony Ride, an album of joyful, melodic, jungle-inspired music, and his first LP of new material on the label since 2013. The title reflects the childlike wonder of the album, happy melodies are foregrounded, wordless vocals bounce and echo while sounds bubble and sparkle. Paradinas had been releasing archival albums but got a taste for making new music after a trip to Wales (inspiring Scurlage, his 2021 album). This influence of using trips away as a muse is carried on in Magic Pony Ride, after a weekend getaway to found Paradinas riding Icelandic horses across a snowy landscape at dawn. You can almost feel the relaxed wide open spaces in the lush synth chords of the title track and Uncle Daddy. 
These reflective themes tie in with this year’s 25th anniversary reissue of µ-Ziq’s 1997 breakthrough album Lunatic Harness. In Mike’s own words “Magic Pony Ride was written as a kind of followup to Lunatic Harness, at least in terms of genre and style. After mastering Lunatic for its reissue I went back to using breaks again on some newer tracks and this is the result!”


Shearwater
The Great Awakening

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Shearwater’s seventh studio album, produced by the band and Dan Duszynski (Loma), shows us where its wandering frontman has been. While the thundering songs of the band’s 2016 LP Jet Plane and Oxbow were filled with fears for what the United States was becoming under the previous presidential administration, leader Jonathan Meiburg resolved to find a new approach for The Great Awakening. “I felt hopeless,” he admits. “And I didn’t want to make hopeless music.” The Great Awakening is a soulful and immersive travelogue of grand atmospheres and intimate landscapes, decorated with field recordings from Meiburg’s journey while writing his critically acclaimed debut book A Most Remarkable Creature: The Hidden Life and Epic Journey of the World’s Smartest Birds of Prey, released in March 2021. The resultant 11-track album — anchored by Meiburg’s closely recorded voice, more otherworldly and urgent than ever — is one that Shearwater have been striving toward for years: a journey into the unknown, embracing sorrow and joy, beauty and terror.”