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Next Week in Music | Aug. 22-28 • The Short List: 12 Titles You Want to Hear

Blondie, Bill, Butch, Bret, box sets, blues & Brits: Plan B is in full effect.

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Blondie and Bill Nelson. Butch Walker and Bret McKenzie. Toss in some box sets, blues-rock, bluegrass and big-name British bands, and it’s clear that Plan B is in full effect next week. Be there or be square:

 


Blondie
Against The Odds 1974-1982

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Over the years, Blondie’s many partner record companies have done an exemplary job archiving the band’s recorded legacy, given the miles it’s logged and the oceans it’s had to cross. From Larry Uttal’s Private Stock Records to Terry Ellis and Chris Wright’s Chrysalis, which was absorbed by Capitol and then Universal, the band’s reels have been moved, transferred, baked, re-boxed, remixed, and barcoded more than a few times. To make the fittingly titled Against The Odds 1974-1982, we pored over every foot of magnetic tape and, thanks to our brand new 24-bit, 192KHz transfers, have expanded the dynamic range of Blondie’s six LPs. We’ve scoured the earth for era-appropriate photos, pic sleeves, lyrics sheets, fan club newsletters, postcards, jukebox strips, and even eight-track tapes. There will always be more to find. Whether it’s a mislabeled cassette tape squirrelled away in a New Jersey garage, a previously unknown Thai 45 variant, or a roll of film excavated at the Long Beach flea market, slivers of Blondie will continue to poke into our collective unconscious until there ceases to be any consciousness to poke.”


Datura4
Neanderthal Jam

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “West Australian boogie masters Datura4 — fronted by Dom Mariani of legendary Oz garage rockers The Stems — are back with their highly anticipated fifth album Neanderthal Jam. The album is packed with new tracks of psychedelicised blues and full-tilt heavy rock that were jammed out and recorded at their favourite south-west farmhouse studio. Having already released four acclaimed albums — Demon Blues (2015), Hairy Mountain (2016), Blessed Is The Boogie (2019) and West Coast Highway Cosmic (2020) — Neanderthal Jam sees them building upon and going beyond on another diverse collection of tastefully crafted songs.”


Valerie June
Under Cover

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Acclaimed Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Valerie June presents Under Cover — a specially curated covers collection that contains singular interpretations of some of her favorite songs including previously unreleased versions of Mazzy Star’s Fade Into You, Frank Ocean’s Godspeed, Joe South’s Don’t It Make You Want To Go Home, Gillian Welch’s Look At Miss Ohio, and Nick Cave & The Bad SeedsInto My Arms. Under Cover also includes two tracks from Valerie’s recently released The Moon and Stars: Prescriptions For Dreamers Deluxe Edition — John Lennon’s Imagine and Nick Drake’s Pink Moon.” Bob Dylan’s sublime Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here with You rounds out the set.”


Marcus King
Young Blood

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “All hail Marcus King. The 26-year-old Grammy-nominated innovative songwriter and phenomenal performer. Soon to become rock royalty with the release of Young Blood, a timeless concoction of swaggering rock and supersonic soul, drawing on his most stadium-sized rock influences. Young Blood is an album about looking at tough times in your rear view mirror, although King shares that his anthemic tales of excess and salvation draw on some difficult and personal moments. King stated, “I was going through a lot during the album with addictions, breakups, and addictions because of breakups. I was overindulging in everything. It’s not a big secret to my friends. I was in a real rough place for a while. I was trying to process the death of family members and I was on the wrong medications.”


Jim Lauderdale
Game Changer

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “At any given time, you’re likely to find Jim Lauderdale making music, whether he’s laying down a new track in the studio or working through a spontaneous melody at his home in Nashville. And if he’s not actively crafting new music, he’s certainly thinking about it. “It’s a constant challenge to try to keep making better and better records, write better and better songs. I still always feel like I’m a developing artist,” he says. This may be a surprising sentiment from a man who’s won two Grammys, released 34 full-length albums, and taken home the Americana Music Association’s coveted Wagonmaster Award. But forthcoming album Game Changer is convincing evidence that the North Carolina native is only continuing to hone his craft. Operating under his own label, Sky Crunch Records, for the first time since 2016, Lauderdale recorded Game Changer at the renowned Blackbird Studios in Nashville, co-producing the release with Jay Weaver and pulling from songs he’d written over the last several years. “There’s a mixture on this record of uplifting songs and, at the same time, songs of heartbreak and despair — because that’s part of life as well,” he says. “In the country song world especially, that’s always been part of it. That’s real life.”


Bret McKenzie
Songs Without Jokes

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “As you can probably glean from that gleaming album title above, Bret McKenzie — whom you know from such modern musical treasures as comedy duo Flight of the Conchords, the Muppets movie reboots and other ace family-film soundtracks, Lord of the Rings fan blogs, guest songs for The Simpsons, cycling around the streets in his native New Zealand, and more — has a new solo record coming out filled with songs that are not comedy songs! Written mostly during the quieter moments of 2019, with his life split between work in Los Angeles and his family in Wellington, the songs of Songs focus on themes of escape, the perpetual search for peace, and navigating a life being pulled in multiple directions at once. There are also simple meditations on driving through a city, and the weather.”


Muse
Will Of The People

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Grammy-winning English rock band Muse are about to release their long-awaited ninth studio album Will Of The People. Of the album, Muse frontman Matt Bellamy says, “Will Of The People was created in Los Angeles and London and is influenced by the increasing uncertainty and instability in the world. A pandemic, new wars in Europe, massive protests & riots, an attempted insurrection, Western democracy wavering, rising authoritarianism, wildfires and natural disasters and the destabilization of the global order all informed Will Of The People. It has been a worrying and scary time for all of us as the Western empire and the natural world, which have cradled us for so long are genuinely threatened. This album is a personal navigation through those fears and preparation for what comes next.”


Bill Nelson’s Red Noise
Art/Empire/Industry: The Complete Red Noise

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Following the release of the album Drastic Plastic and tour, Bill Nelson disbanded Be Bop Deluxe. Aware of the emergence of the new wave artists and out of a desire to continually evolve, he announced the formation of Red Noise. Working with co-producer John Leckie, Bill recorded a new wave masterpiece, a record that would influence a new generation of musicians with its intelligent and punchy material. Sound On Sound and the subsequent live shows would divide opinion of both fans and critics, but with the passage of time, the album is now regarded as one of Bill Nelson’s finest works. This boxed set features the complete Red Noise recordings — the original album newly remastered from the original master tapes, along with stunning new stereo and 5.1 Surround Sound mixes. The set also includes an outstanding complete live concert recorded in Leicester in 1979, newly mixed from the original 24-track tapes, a session recorded for BBC Radio One and a further Red Noise studio session from May 1979 plus a bonus CD of Nelson’s home demos. The set also includes video material, including the video for Revolt Into Style and the band’s session for the BBC TV show The Old Grey Whistle Test from February 1979.”


Lou Reed
Words & Music, May 1965

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Light in the Attic Records, in cooperation with Laurie Anderson, proudly announces the inaugural title in their ongoing Lou Reed Archive Series: Words & Music, May 1965. Released in tandem with the late artist’s 80th birthday celebrations, the album offers an extraordinary, unvarnished, and plainly poignant insight into one of America’s true poet-songwriters. Capturing Reed in his formative years, this previously unreleased collection of songs — penned by a young Reed, recorded to tape with the help of future bandmate John Cale, and mailed to himself as a “poor man’s copyright” — remained sealed in its original envelope and unopened for nearly 50 years. Its contents embody some of the most vital, groundbreaking contributions to American popular music committed to tape in the 20th century. Through examination of these songs rooted firmly in the folk tradition, we see clearly Lou’s lasting influence on the development of modern American music — from punk to art-rock and everything in between. A true time capsule, these recordings not only memorialize the nascent sparks of what would become the seeds of the incredibly influential Velvet Underground; they also cement Reed as a true observer with an innate talent for synthesizing and distilling the world around him into pure sonic poetry.”


Sports Team
Gulp!

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Britain’s most exciting breakthrough band of recent years, Sports Team, have announced their second studio album Gulp! Sports Team are Alex Rice (lead vocals), Rob Knaggs (rhythm guitar and vocals), Henry Young (lead guitar), Oli Dewdney (bass), Al Greenwood (drums) and Ben Mack (keyboard and percussion). Formed in 2016, the band released two EPs, Winter Nets and Keep Walking!, before sharing their debut album Deep Down Happy in June 2020 to widespread critical acclaim. Sports Team’s vivid vignettes of modern Britain and inspections of the follies, foibles and frustrations of youth have earned them an impassioned fanbase, a real community who come together at the band’s infamously electrifying live shows.”


Tedeschi Trucks Band
I Am The Moon: IV. Farewell

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:I Am The Moon, the fifth studio release by Tedeschi Trucks Band, is the most ambitious and, at the same time, intimate recording that America’s best rock ‘n’ roll big band has ever made: A genuinely epic undertaking in four albums and 24 original songs inspired by classical literature but emotionally driven by the immediate drama, isolation and mourning of the pandemic era. There is the recurring fight for hope too, the reaching across damaged connections — all of that trial and urgency unfolding over a robust tapestry of blues, funk, country, jazz and gospel in collaborative writing, luminous singing and the instant fire of improvisation. At more than two hours of music, the four albums that comprise I Am The Moon — Crescent, Ascension, The Fall and Farewell — are like a full evening of all-new composition and performance with  the 12-piece touring phenomenon founded in 2010 by its married leaders, guitarist Derek Trucks and singer-guitarist Susan Tedeschi. In its heart and scale, I Am The Moon is also a living, evolving map of the soul: the enduring tale of star-crossed devotion in Layla and Majnun by the 12th-century Persian poet Nizami Ganjavi, brought forward to present day, through universal experience and faith. I Am The Moon is a record as big as its stories — and the life and love inside.”


Butch Walker
Butch Walker As…Glenn

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “I went back to my piano (the same piano I wrote almost the entire Letters album on almost 20 years ago) where sometimes there’s just an inherent emotion that comes with that particular instrument when I sit down to play it. I had no ideas. No songs. No words, really. So I just sat and played whatever my fingers guided me to. I know. Sounds pretty hippy dippy of me. But between reaching for all of my rock ’n’ roll piano balladeer muses of my youth while driving or motorcycling, and feeling a common thread of snarky humor with sad reality, I started a journey for this new crop of songs. A theme will sometimes pop up when I start to culminate lyrics while writing records (yes yes including that rock opera record awhile back), and I couldn’t help but feel a theme of someone choosing the life of a bar singer (it’s my night shift when I am not in the studio making music by day). I should probably give this album about a bar singer a name, right? Why? Because like a promising young singer from New Jersey once said, “I’m just tired and bored with myself.” In this case, I chose my middle name, after my great uncle that I never knew, but I heard was a real character. Please silence your cell phones. Ladies and Gentleman.. A warm welcome for Glenn.”