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Next Week in Music | Sept. 19-25 • The Short List: 13 Titles You Want to Hear

With new albums from Dr. John, Kid Kapichi & more, 13 is truly your lucky number.

Is 13 really an unlucky number? Depends on the circumstances, I guess. If 13 cops show up at your door, that’s bad luck. But if 13 new albums by the likes of Arkells, Dr. John, The Grateful Dead, Kid Kapichi, Nikki Lane, Todd Snider and Buzzcocks all arrive on the same week, it’s hard to see the downside. Judge for yourself:


Blink Twice

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The followup to 2021’s Blink Once, Blink Twice showcases a new collection of songs where Arkells continue to push their sound and creativity to a new level. As the band stayed busy making music during the last two years, they always knew they would come out of the pandemic with two distinct records. “Blink Twice is about going to new places and seeing the world with fresh eyes. You can either move through life and grow stubborn, or you can grow curious, says frontman Max Kerman. “We’ve never had an album with so many guest artists along for the ride. Everyone from Cold War Kids to Aly & AJ, Tegan and Sara, Lights, Cœur De Pirate, Joel Plaskett and Wesley Schultz of The Lumineers. At our core we’ll always be a living, breathing soul band. But Blink Twice lets us be that and more.”

Tim Burgess
Typical Music

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Over the first year of the pandemic, Tim’s Twitter Listening Parties were a lifeline to many. At a time when the world shut down, we all retreated indoors, alone, and cancelled gigs were the least of our worries, the North Country Boy’s idea of utilising social media to unite us round a digital turntable was inspired.

Meanwhile, Burgess was writing. And writing. And writing. From September 2020 to summer 2021, ideas poured out of Burgess. He’d been encouraged by Simon Raymonde, boss of his record label Bella Union (and, of course, a former Cocteau Twin). He applied a musician’s logic: if you can’t tour your last album, write a new one. Then, when you can tour again, you’ll have two albums’ worth of songs to play. Well, now, arguably, Burgess has three albums’ worth of songs to perform live. Typical Music is a 22-track double, a blockbuster set of songs that are as expansive and diverse as they are rich. As fun as they are funky. That embrace heartache and love. That run the gamut from ABBA (in the shape of guest vocalist Pearl Charles, whose own brilliant Magic Mirror album is the sound of the magic Swedes doin’ disco) to Zappa (free-form studio experimentation is go!).”

Sonics in the Soul

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Senses Out of Control, the new Buzzcocks album, is finally unveiled — their first new studio offering since The Way in 2014! The legendary Manchester punk band need little introduction. Back in 1977, they gave birth to a generation of independent labels with their debut EP Spiral Scratch. Thereafter, their melodic punk-pop proved irresistible, leading to hit singles and three landmark albums. They broke up in 1981 but reunited in 1989 and have been going steady ever since. Sadly, singer Pete Shelley passed away in 2018, but founder member and the band’s other singer/songwriter Steve Diggle has kept the flag flying. During the COVID pandemic, Steve and co. (Chris Remington on bass, Danny Farrant on drums) busied themselves with recording Sonics In The Soul. Recorded at Studio 7 in London, the album was co- produced by Steve himself with Laurence Loveless.”

By Divine Right
Otto Motto

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Canadian indie-rock institution By Divine Right return with a new album, Otto Motto, a disc whose 14 tracks display their haunting, psychedelic pop sound. By Divine Right’s perennial driving force,Jose Contreras says: “We were on a roll from 2014 to 2016. After 25 years, BDR suddenly seemed unstoppable. Everything was easy and we wanted to make a record that was ‘us.’ The LP was to be called Onomatopoeia, the sound of us, but stuff happened. It wasn’t until 2021 that it was finished, mixed, and mastered. Some songs grew and evolved, some got forgotten, and some new ones showed up. Onomatopoeia turned into Otto Motto. We had more than an album’s worth of songs, but it had been so long since we’d been able to function as a band, we simply forgot to think about anything. But at least we made it into the garage. We recorded it ourselves with the help of a couple old pals. We played it all how it came out. We did almost no editing; the songs are long and take their time. Fourteen songs in an hour, and a double vinyl sounded romantic — like the re-issue of a ’90s CD on vinyl.”

The Comet Is Coming
Hyper-Dimensional Expansion Beam

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:King Shabaka, Danalogue and Betamax’s newest effort finds the Mercury Prize-nominated trio creating a musical landscape that is equally cerebral as it is physically enthralling. While containing elements of jazz throughout, this release leans further into heavy dance-hall themes, providing hypnotic, electronic soundscapes to dance to while keeping you intellectually stimulated. The Comet Is Coming grab you by the head and don’t let go with their relentless and fiery sound,. The ingredients: ’80s synth models, saxophone and drums, sprinkled with visceral punk rock, interstellar jazz blasts, and dance-floor trances. On Hyper-Dimensional Expansion Beam, The Comet Is Coming burn brightly, soundtracking our epoch of change in ways their contemporaries simply aren’t trying to.”

Dr. John
Things Happen That Way

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Malcolm John “Mac” Rebennack, Jr. is known to countless music fans around the world as Dr. John. While no longer with us, his legacy is living on through his work, with a country-infused album called Things Happen That Way. In his remarkable six-decade run as one of the most original, distinctive, and influential voices in popular music, Dr. John put his inimitable stamp on many spirituals and Gospel-influenced songs. Throughout this recording, he invited a few old friends to lend their voices to the project. In bringing his album’s songs to life, Dr. John drew on a lineup of musicians befitting of a universally beloved luminary. Along with an elite cadre of New Orleans session players, the album’s personnel include icons Willie Nelson and Aaron Neville, and rising stars Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real. The album features three brand new original compositions, a mesmerizing reworking of Dr. John’s 1968 classic I Walk on Guilded Splinters, and new interpretations of songs by Nelson, Cowboy Jack Clement, Hank Williams, and Traveling Wilburys.”

The Grateful Dead
In And Out Of The Garden: Madison Square Garden ’81, ’82, ’83

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Numbered and limited to 12,500, this 17-CD set celebrates the band’s rich history at “the world’s most famous arena,” introducing six previously unreleased shows recorded at Madison Square Garden between 1981 and 1983. It offers a front-row seat to The Grateful Dead in the early 1980s, an overlooked and underestimated era of rebirth for the band. At the time of the recordings, the group featured Brent Mydland. Mydland’s vocal power and colorful keyboard palette energized the band, invigorating older material like The Wheel, Truckin’ and Eyes of The World” He also gave the band more musical flexibility, which encouraged them to dust off rarely aired treasures like Dupree’s Diamond Blues and Crazy Fingers. In And Out Of The Garden touches on the three-year period after 1980’s Go To Heaven was released, a time when the Dead were constantly on the road, playing more than 200 dates. While they were in no rush to return to the studio during this time, they continued to write new music. In 1982 and ’83, the band performed most of the songs that would appear on 1987’s In The Dark. The new collection includes performances of four songs from that album — Touch Of Grey, Hell In A Bucket, Throwing Stones and West L.A. Fadeaway — plus the B-side My Brother Esau.”

Kid Kapichi
Here’s What You Could Have Won

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Here’s What You Could Have Won, he second album from U.K. quartet Kid Kapichi, showcases the band’s bigger, punchier, ‘beat punk’ sound, co-produced with Dom Craik from Nothing But Thieves. A behemoth of a band on and off stage thanks to the Hastings scene that nurtured them, their best songs explore racism, in-work poverty, mental health, violence, frustration and all-consuming love with honesty and humour. All their songs come studded with barbed wire hooks, bristling with the juddering shock of lived experience, the cathartic thrill of a balled-up fist relaxing into an air punch. Kid Kapichi front man Jack Wilson says “The title, ‘Here’s What You Could Have Won’ sums up the feeling of missed opportunity. Being dragged right at a junction when you know you should be going left or screaming at the TV whilst someone picks the wrong answer on a game show. It looks inwardly at the U.K. and the decisions that have been made and how they have affected us all.”

Nikki Lane
Denim & Diamonds

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “From the first bass note within the driving drum beat you can tell something is different about the new record from Nikki Lane. The backbeat feels like a gutsy strut while the lead guitar feels like a revved up engine shifting gears. Denim & Diamonds comes out firing, spit shining the cowboy boots and tossing on a jean jacket. Produced by Joshua Homme (Queens of the Stone Age), Denim & Diamonds embraces a more rock-oriented sound while still maintaining the heartfelt outlaw country sound Lane has developed across her previous three releases. Denim & Diamonds still has the fuck-off flare of which Nikki has come to be known. Her stylized, story-telling lyrics are all there as well as her catchy country hooks.”

Beth Orton
Weather Alive

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Many musicians turn inward when the world around them seems chaotic and unreliable. Reframing one’s perception of self can often reveal new personal truths both uncomfortable and profound, and for Beth Orton, music re-emerged in the past several years as a tethering force even when her own life felt more tumultuous than ever. Indeed, the foundations of the songs on Orton’s stunning new album, Weather Alive, are nothing more than her voice and a “cheap, crappy” upright piano installed in a shed in her garden, conjuring a deeply meditative atmosphere that remains long after the final note has evaporated. “I am known as a collaborator and I’m very good at it. I’m very open to it. Sometimes, I’ve been obscured by it,” says Orton, who rose to prominence through ‘90s-era collaborations with William Orbit, Red Snapper and The Chemical Brothers before striking out on her own with a series of acclaimed, award-winning solo releases. “I think what’s happened with this record is that through being cornered by life, I got to reveal myself to myself and to collaborate with myself, actually.”

Todd Snider
Live: Return Of The Storyteller

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Live: Return Of The Storyteller is a new collection of songs and stories captured during Todd Snider‘s first performances after venues opened back up last year. With material spanning from his 1994 debut album Songs From The Daily Planet through 2021’s First Agnostic Church Of Hope And Wonder, Snider uses much of his storytelling to pay homage to friends gone too soon including John Prine, Jerry Jeff Walker, Neal Casal and Colonel Bruce Hampton. But typical of a Snider live show, his stage banter also veers into one-of-a-kind road tales like conversing with haunted ghost children in California, raising hell with the inventor of Crocs in Montana and misadventures in the woods behind Johnny Cash’s house in Tennessee. Snider says: “This album is dedicated to all the people who come to these shows, whether this last tour was the first one you caught you’ve been coming since ’94, or you joined the family somewhere in between, you have my undying gratitude. Traveling and singing has been the great joy of my life and it’s not lost on me who makes it possible.”

Sports Team

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Britain’s most exciting breakthrough band of recent years, Sports Team, are about to release 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 + 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.”

Vieux Farka Touré et Khruangbin

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Ali Farka Touré trekked the world, bringing his beloved Malian music to the masses. Dubbed “the African John Lee Hooker,” one could hear strong connections between the two; both employed a bluesy style of play with gritty textures that elicit calm and fury in equal measure. While the influence of Black blues music prevailed, Touré created a West African blend of ‘desert blues’ that garnered Grammy awards and widespread reverence. Ali’s musical legacy lives on through his son Vieux, aka “the Hendrix of the Sahara,” an accomplished guitarist and champion of Malian music in his own right. On Ali, his collaborative album with Texas trance-rock trio Khruangbin, Vieux pays homage to his father by recreating some of his most resonant work, putting new twists on it while maintaining the original’s integrity. The result is a rightful ode to a legend.”

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