Wednesday, May 22, 2024 Cool New Music Summer Playlist June & July 2024


On September 20, 2024, Bob Dylan will release a massive 27-CD boxset collecting recordings from 1974's infamous tour of Dylan and The Band. 


UPDATED: July 11, 2024

Test Subjects at The New Method Warehouse, Emeryville, CA. Late 1985. 
                                           Photos: Murray Bowles

Robert Plant & Alison Krauss recently released their version of "When The Levee Breaks", about the Great Mississippi flood of 1927, first recorded by Memphis Minnie & Kansas Joe McCoy in 1929, and later reworked by Plant's old band Led Zeppelin in 1971.


  Best Archival Albums

The Ramones. The 1975 Sire Demos (RSD 2024 Vinyl). Very cool. I'd never heard these demos before.

Bob Dylan. At The Bonnie Beecher's Apartment (Live) (1961). Priceless.

David Bowie.Rock 'n' Roll Star! box set (5 CD, 1 Blu-Ray Audio Only) Ziggy-era outtakes, alternate versions, and live performances with Bowie and Mick Ronson at their creative peak. Classic.

Johnny Cash. Songwriter. Recorded in 1993, previously unreleased. The first single is a cool song, "Well Alright". 

Aderemi Kabaka. Roots Funkadelia. (1980) Afrofunk classic - much beloved, seldom heard. Until now. Now it's on Heavy Rotation.

Paul McCartney & Wings. One Hand Clapping. Recorded live in the studio in 1974 while the band was filming a documentary. Often bootlegged, never previously released, it consists of songs by The Beatles, Wings, "Blue Moon Of Kentucky", and others.

Georgia Sea Island Singers feat Bessie Jones, Ed Davis, Mississippi Fred McDowell & Ed Young. The Complete Friend Of Old Time Music Concert hosted by Alan Lomax in 1965 featuring the unique Gullah Geechee singers as well as the guitar (and singing) of the incomparable Fred McDowell. 

Neil Young & Crazy Horse. Early Daze. Recorded in 1969 with original guitarist Danny Whitten. I'm kind of over Neil Young, but this is some great stuff.

Best New Albums (Top Ten)

Steve Dawson. Ghosts. Fresh Americana sounds. A major talent.

Redd Kross. Redd Kross. Double album from the McDonald Brothers. First single  killer. 

Wilco. Hot Sun Cool Shroud EP. Sounds interesting.

John Cale. - POPtical Illusion. Velvet Underground's cellist/bassist returns at age 82 with some cool new songs.

Kneecap. Fine Art. Bilingual (Irish/English) rappers long awaited debut album. Their singles and forthcoming biopic have had a big impact already. This album should put them on everyone's map as well as their radar.

The DecemberistsAs It Ever Was, So It Will Be Again. Very strong double album of Americana gypsy country magic.

The Felice Brothers. Valley Of Abandoned Songs. Very good.

Linda Thompson. Proxy Music. Feat guest vocalists like Rufus Wainwright. Nice songs.

Diiv. Frog in Boiling Water. Maybe the best rock album out right now.

Beth Gibbons. Lives Outgrown. Very ambitious debut solo album for the singer from Portishead. Swings for the fences. Successfully. 

PJ Harvey live at Primavera, Barcelona, June 1, 2024

                                                       Top Albums

Jake Xerxes Fussell. When I'm Called. Folk songs based on traditional tunes. Brilliant.

Cassandra JenkinsMy Light, My Destroyer. More "pop" than "indie pop" like last time? I'll still give it a listen... I like the first single.

Dave Alvin. TexiCali. Worth a listen.

Kelley StoltzLa Fleur. Complicated pop for adults.

Bonny Light Horseman. Keep Me on Your Mind/See You Free. Hadn't heard them before but it's pretty good.

Seasick Steve. A Trip A Stumble A Fall Down On Your Knees. More variety musically than you might expect. Some nice surprises.

Richard Thompson. Ship To Shore. I expected a good album but it's better than that.

Maya Hawke. Chaos Angel. She sings, she acts... you know that ultimately, she's got to be a triple-, quadruple-, or perhaps even, quintuple-threat... Directing? Photography? Yoga teacher? Probably all of the above and more...

The Folk ImplosionWalk Thru Me. Lou Barlow and friends are back.

Abdoulaye Kouyate. Fefanyi. Inspired by the musical traditions of his native Guinea, Kouyate sings and plays guitar and kora.

Anna Tivel. Living Things.I liked her last album, so I gave this one a chance too. And it's good.

Various Artists. I Saw The TV Glow (Original Soundtrack). Feat artists such as Jay Som, Bartees Strange, Caroline Polachek, and Frances Quinlan

Pedro the Lion. Santa Cruz. Check it out. Pseudo-biographical? Maybe...

Willie Nelson. The Border He's an American icon. A very enjoyable listen.

Aba Diop & The Yermande Family. Revolution Sabar. Senegal's finest, traditional drumming is the foundation for these songs. Feels deep.

Richard Hawley. In This City They Call You Love. Oh, Sweet Soul Singer of Sheffield, sing us a bittersweet song...

Bernard Butler. Good Grief. Like the aforementioned Richard Hawley, BB is a giant in Britain, but little known in the U.S. outside of a few Anglophile hipsters. Both albums are superb and well-worth a listen.

Jessica Pratt. Here In The Pitch. Cool retro psychedelic sounds. Shades of Dusty Springfield. Yes.

ShellacTo All Trains. Very strong album, featuring the late, great super-producer Steve Albini on guitar and vocals. We were looking forward to the band's first new release in ten years, and were shocked by Albini's sudden death May 7, 2024, only a week before the album's scheduled release. We added this album to classics produced by Albini for The Pixies, PJ Harvey, and Nirvana to create a Steve Albini Memorial Playlist.

Aluminium. Fully Beat. You call it "dream pop", I call it "shoe gaze". Maybe we're both right.

The Avett Brothers. The Avett Brothers. Industrial strength Americana served.

Blitzen Trapper. 100's of 1000's, Millions Of Billions. Psychedelic stoned rock done right.

Arab Strap. I'm Totally Fine With It... Scottish veteran rockers back and better than ever.

Mdou Moctar. Funeral For Justice. African desert blues.

Paul Weller. 66. The Master returns.

Orville PeckStampede: Vol. 1. Willie Nelson, Elton John, Nathaniel Rateliff, and other friends join the masked queer cowboy crooner from South Africa (via Canada) on his debut album. Don't ask me, I just work here. Featuring the hit single (with Willie): "Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly Fond Of Each Other".

Heems, Lapgan. Lafandar. Hip hop from the Das Racist guy.

Sunny Day Real Estate. Diary at London Bridge Studio.

Thunderpussy. West.

Mick Harvey. Five Ways To Say Goodbye.

Garbage. Lie To Me. (EP). Originally a Record Store Day release, it contains a cover of Tim Buckley's "Song To The Siren".

New albums are generally released on Fridays. Sometimes they are released on other days. Some albums are long scheduled, while others are surprise releases with little lead-up. Of the dozens of albums that are released on Fridays, I generally find one or two that I recommend. It is highly unusual to have 5 releases coming out on the same day (as was there case on June 14, 2024) that I recommend. I usually recommend albums instead of singles. Ideally an album is a collection of songs which are somewhat interrelated and indicate of the artist's current state of mind and their current reflections on the state of the world and such. But some albums are just a couple of singles surrounded by filler. For those albums, I sometimes just recommend the singles, but, overall, I prefer albums. I try to listen to pretty much everything that comes out, with a focus on indie rock, Americana, British and Irish artists, but also listening to other genres and mainstream pop. New releases that are not on the playlist are generally albums I have listened to and do not recommend.

St. Vincent. "Broken Man" live on Jimmy Kimmel

Best Singles

Billie Eilish. "Lunch" (single) & "Lunch" (live on Colbert)
Amyl And The Sniffers (Australia). "U Should Not Be Doing That"/"Facts"
Jay Som. "If I Could" ("I Saw The TV Glow" soundtrack)
Asian Dub Foundation. "No Fun" (feat Iggy Pop).
The Pixies. "You're So Impatient"
The Jesus Lizard. "Hide & Seek"
Toro Y Moi. "Tuesday"
Cassandra Jenkins. "Petco"
MJ Lenderman. "She's Leaving You"
Bright Eyes. "Bells And Whistles" (feat Conor Oberst)
Manu Chao. "São Paulo Motoboy".
Bonnie "Prince" Billy & Nathan Salsburg. "Hear The Children Sing"/"The Evidence".
 David Bowie, "I Can't Explain". Cover of The Who's 1964 hit. Previously unreleased version from the new Rock 'n' Roll Star! boxset, recorded in 1972 during the Ziggy Stardust sessions. Bowie recorded a different version of the song for 1973's Pin Ups
Ty Segall. "The Dance" (Edit)


                                      Totally Random

Sly & The Family Stone. "If You Want Me To Stay" (1973). Sly is the best.

Ken Boothe. Freedom Street. (1970). Classic reggae that hasn't been overplayed.

Daddy Dewdrop. "Chick-A-Boom (Don't Ya Jes Love it)". (1971). Novelty song ear candy yum.

The Chats. Get Fucked (2022), High Risk Behaviour (2020), and "Smoko" (2017). Caught their recent performance at Punk Rock Bowling in Las Vegas on YouTube and was a good excuse to re-listen to their excellent 2022 release Get Fucked as well as their 2020 album High Risk Behaviour, and the unforgettable single "Smoko" from 2017's Get This In Ya.

             Highly Anticipated Forthcoming Releases

Fontaines D.C. have a new album out in August. Sure to be huge...

Fontaines D.C. Romance. [XL] August 23, 2024. Ireland's best band's fourth album promises to be very different and take them to another level. This could very well be The Best Rock Album Of 2024. It's going to be huge. Enormous. Big.

Ty Segall. Love Rudiments. [Drag City]. August 30, 2024. Always good.

David Gilmour. Luck And Strange. September 6, 2024. Pink Floyd guitarist/singer has a new album coming out.

Toro Y Moi. Hole Erth. [Dead Oceans]. September 6, 2024. Should be great.

MJ Lenderman. Manning Fireworks. [Anti-]. September 6, 2024. Anticipation couldn't be higher for this album from this rising Americana star, who has a solo career, plays guitar for Wednesday with his partner Karly Hartzman, and recently was a prominent guest artist on the new Waxahatchee album Tigers Blood. And in his spare time...

The Jesus Lizard. Rack [Ipecac]. September 13, 2024.

Jesse Malin. Silver Patron Saints: The Songs of Jesse Malin [Glassnote]. September 20, 2024.

Bright Eyes. Five Dice, All Threes. [Dead Oceans] September 20, 2024. New release from Conor Oberst & Friends sounds good, a return to form.

Mano Chao. Viva Tu. [Radio Bemba/Because]. September 20, 2024. Liked the title song, which was the first single, "Viva Tu".

Glastonbury 2024 is happening...


All nature photography: MD/JB/ThisSmallPlanet (Creative Commons)

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Steve Albini Memorial Playlist

Friday, May 10, 2024

Steve Albini Memorial Playlist

                                                      Steve Albini  (
July 22, 1962 – May 7, 2024) 

Steve Albini Memorial Playlist:

The Pixies. Surfer Rosa. (March 21, 1988). (Producer: Steve Albini)

PJ Harvey. Rid Of Me. (April 26, 1993). (Producer: Steve Albini)

Nirvana. In Utero. (September 21, 1993). (Producer: Steve Albini)

Shellac. To All Trains. (May 17, 2024). (Guitar/Vocals: Steve Albini)

NOTE: Substitute the original 1993 Steve Albini mixes from Nirvana's In Utero (30th anniversary Super Deluxe version, 2023) of "Heart Shaped Box", "Pennyroyal Tea", and "All Apologies" for the Scott Litt-produced remixes the suits insisted on for the album's radio-friendly singles.

Obviously, by no means comprehensive, just a sample and overview of his work... 

...but also a great playlist if you're in one of those Albini moods...

It's astonishing how well these songs go together, considering the first ones are from 1988 and the final ones are from 2024.

Shellac hadn't released a new album in ten years and there was a high amount of anticipation to see what Albini had been up to and if he still had the goods.

When I first heard Steve had passed, I immediately thought "this new album is probably, tragically, great..." and it is. It's a shame he's not here to enjoy its success, promoting it in interviews and touring it in a live show. We don't know if he had been ill, if the stress of the up-coming release contributed to what happened, or if was just one of those things.

I thought of David Berman of The Silver Jews. In July 2019 he released the excellent "Purple Mountains" album, which was instantly hailed as a major triumph. Berman tragically died a few weeks later, never getting to tour the album and feel the love.

Maybe David Berman and Steve Albini are together now, bouncing around on a cloud, singing songs all day. Or maybe not.

Saturday, March 16, 2024 Cool New Music Playlist Spring 2024 (March/April/May)

(UPDATED MAY 23, 2024)



                                                        Steve Albini  (July 22, 1962 – May 7, 2024) 

ShellacTo All Trains. Very strong album, featuring the late, great super-producer Steve Albin on guitar and vocals. We were looking forward to the band's first new release in ten years, and were shocked by Albini's sudden death May 7, 2024, only a week before the album's scheduled release. We added this album to classics produced by Albini for The Pixies, PJ Harvey, and Nirvana to create a Steve Albini Memorial Playlist.

St. Vincent. All Born Screaming. Sometimes she is a bit much, but I am grateful for her role in saving the guitar and rock n roll. (Check out the wild title song, feat Cate Le Bon...)

Iron & Wine. Light Verse. Featuring folky Americanish goodness, like "All In Good Time", a duet with Fiona Apple.

The Libertines. All Quiet On The Eastern Esplanade. One of the best British rock bands of our time is back and firing on all cylinders. A good excuse to listen, along with the new release, to their first two albums, Up The Bracket (2002) and The Libertines (2004). The likely lads also recently did cool covers of Buddy Holly's "That'll Be The Day" and Love's "Alone Again Or".

Various Artists. The Power Of The Heart: A Tribute To Lou Reed. [Light In The Attic] April 19, 2024. Some if us will always be endlessly fascinated by anything that has anything to do with Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground. This tribute to Lou's solo career features outstanding artists such as Angel OlsenKeith RichardsRufus Wainwright, The Afghan Whigs, and Joan Jett

Pearl Jam. Dark Matter. Not bad. I've heard it called "the last Pearl Jam album". If so, going out on a high note. Eddie Vedder says it's the best Pearl Jam record ever. Maybe he's right.

The Black Keys. Ohio Players. Good album with some good songs.

Fat White Family. Forgiveness Is Yours. Interesting. Worth a listen. Diverse.

Cloud Nothings. Final Summer. Very good (indie rock) stuff.

T-Bone Burnett. The Other Side. Ace producer and sideman steps out front. Interesting. Heartfelt. Some very sweet songs here. Steven Soles, an old friend of T-Bone's from their time with Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue (1975-1976), worked on the album and guests on the excellent "Hawaiian Blue Song". 

Cedric Burnside. Hill Country Love. The late Bluesman extraordinaire R.L. Burnside played with rockers such as The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. His grandson Cedric carries the proud family legacy into the 21st century. Minimalist sound quite effective. It reminded a friend of some of Hendrix's playing. Soothing yet chilling.

Waxahatchee. Tigers Blood. Sure to be one of the album's of the year. Following up the Americana flavor of 2020's breakthrough album St. Cloud (we especially liked the  St. Cloud bonus tracks, which included a stellar cover of Dolly Parton's "Light Of A Clear Blue Morning").

Tigers Blood was produced by Brad Cook and features Katie Crutchfield (lead and harmony vocals, acoustic guitar, high bass guitar), Wednesday's MJ Lenderman (electric guitar, drone guitar, baritone acoustic guitar, harmony and group vocals), Phil Cook (Dobro, organ, piano, banjo, harmonica, marimba, accordion, electric slide, group vocals), Brad Cook (bass guitar, Prophet 6 synth, low bass guitar, baritone acoustic guitar, group vocals), Spencer Tweedy (drums, percussion, Mellotron, cedar plank, cymbal, harmony and group vocals), Nick Bockrath (pedal steel) and Natalia Chernitsky (group vocals).

Adrianne Lenker. I Won't Let Go Of Your Hand (EP) & Bright Future (LP).

Big Thief's lead singer Adrianne Lenker currently has two new releases. Her new acoustic EP, I Won't Let Go Out Your Hand, is an intimate 6-song collection of demos rush-released to benefit the Palestine Children's Relief Fund It's available now on Bandcamp 

Lenker had already been scheduled to release her fifth solo album, Bright Future, and it's great!

Here's Adrianne on The Tonight Show performing Bright Future's "Free Treasure"....


Adrianne & Big Thief caught first many people's attention with performances such as the powerful 2019 number "Not"...


Gary Clark, Jr. JPEG RAW. Great blues guitarist, equally at home with funk, soul, R&B, hiphop, pop, and rock. The retro sounds sound quite current, somehow. Stellar guest stars include Valerie June and Stevie Wonder.

Beyonce. Cowboy Carter. Worth checking out.

Vampire Weekend. Only God Was Above Us. They hadn't caught my attention much before, but this album is pretty good actually.

Charles Moothart. Black Holes Don't Choke. Ty Segall collaborator rocks out hard solo. Dark and Powerful. And then there's that Celtic/Medievalist/Renaissance title song...

Peter Garrett. The True North. You may remember him from his explosive 1987 hit with Midnight Oil, "Beds Are Burning". In Australia he's known as an environmental activist, an advocate for indigenous rights, and for serving in Parliament and as a government minister. He's back at age 70 with a great new solo album.

Midnight Oil (feat Peter Garrett): "Beds Are Burning" (1987)

The Dandy Warhols. Rockmaker. Hard rocking album from the beloved Portland indie rock vets.

Charlie Parr. Little Sun. Americana at its best.

Mark Knopfler. One Deep River. Very good album from a great guitarist. Also check out The Boy (EP).

Phosphorescent. Revelator. Check it out.

Finnoguns Wake. Stay Young. Fresh band with fresh sounds.

Kacey Musgraves. Deeper Well. Is this country star trying to channel Phoebe Bridgers and boygenius? Maybe... And that's not a bad thing...

RideInterplay. Shoegaze is apparently making a comeback this year, and Ride is finally getting the recognition they always deserved.

Sleater-Kinney. Frayed Rope Sessions (EP). Cool versions of songs from the Little Rope album.


Fontaines D.C. "Starburster"


Fontaine D.C. "Starburster" on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon"

The Libertines. "Oh Shit"

Waxahatchee. "Right Back To It" (feat MJ Lenderman from Wednesday)

Adrianne Lenker. "Sadness As A Gift"

Adrianne Lenker. "Vampire Empire". Closer to the original arrangement than the previously released Big Thief version and the one they performed live on Colbert. Here's a lively live version from London in April 2023.


Gary Clark, Jr. "What About The Children" (feat Stevie Wonder)

The Dandy Warhols. "I Will Never Stop Loving You" (feat Debbie Harry)

Mdou Moctar. "Imouhar"

Maxim Ludwig & Angel Olsen. "I Can't Stand It" (Lou Reed cover)

St. Vincent. "Flea".

Iron & Wine. "Anyone's Game".

Jake Xerxes Fussell. "Going To Georgia"

Redd Kross "Candy Colored Catastrophe"

SAD MUSIC NEWS: Iranian Rapper Toomaj Salehi Sentenced to Death for Anti-Government Lyrics


Pavement. Cautionary Tales: Jukebox Classiques. The singles and B-sides. Very cool. I thought I had heard everything Pavement did, but there are some songs here I'd never heard before. Great to hear Malkmus & Crew in top form.

Stevie Wonder. Live in Berkeley 1973. Yes!

Bruce Springsteen. Best Of Bruce Springsteen. Do we really need any excuse to listen to classic Bruce? Forgive us if we focus on the early hits and skip over the newer stuff. Sorry. But it is awesome to hear those classics any old time.

Various Artists. The New Demesne. Field Recordings By Alan Lomax, Ireland 1951. In 1951, American folklorist Alan Lomax recorded several important folk musicians in Ireland. Those excellent recordings, collected on The New Demesne, are now available on Bandcamp:

Vampire Weekend "Peggy-O"


Peter Frampton. Frampton Comes Alive 

Supertramp. Crime Of The Century.

Faces.  First Step (1970) & Long Player (1971) & A Wink's As Good As A Nod... (1971) & Ooh La La (1973). The first four studio albums of Faces feat Rod Stewart, Ronnie Wood, Ronnie Laine, Ian McLagan & Kenney Jones.

Carl reading the Bible to Justin Bieber in LA, April 2024


Been checking out "Sacred Steel", the steel slide guitar (lap and pedal) played in Black churches. Amazing!

One of the best new acts out there is Kneecap from Belfast, Occupied Northern Ireland. They rap in English and Irish, often sparking controversy with their drug-fueled political and social commentary (powerful, in the context of the region's volatile and violent sectarianism) all covered with a generous dollop of their trademark twisted humor. They've been touring and releasing singles. Another U.S. tour is planned for September 2024. Their bio-film and debut album is coming out this summer. Seems these boys are about to blow the f up.

Rest in Peace Gary Floyd of The Dicks and Sister Double Happiness...

Highly Anticipated Forthcoming Releases

Diiv. Frog in Boiling Water. [Fantasy]. May 24, 2024.

Andrew Bird, Alan Hampton & Ted Poor. Sunday Morning Put-On [Loma Vista] May 24, 2024.

Richard Thompson. Ship To Shore. [New West] May 31, 2024.

Maya Hawke. Chaos Angel [Mom+Pop]. May 31, 2024. She sings, she acts, she is.

Willie Nelson. The Border [Legacy] May 31, 2024.

Fontaines DC, Massive Attack, Young Fathers. Ceasefire EP (Vinyl Only). [Battle Box] Benefit for Doctors Without Borders. Get it at  Bandcamp. Release delayed until late May/early June. (The original release date of March 1, 2024 was previously delayed until April 1, 2024.)

Pedro the Lion. Santa Cruz [Polyvinyl] June 7, 2024.

John Cale. - POPtical Illusion. [Double Six / Domino] June 14, 2024. Velvet Underground's cellist/bassist returns.

Kneecap. Fine Art [Heavenly] June 14, 2024. Bilingual Irish/English rappers long awaited debut album. Their singles and forthcoming biopic have had a big impact already. This album should put them on everyone's map as well as their radar.

Paul McCartney & Wings. One Hand Clapping. June 14, 2024. Recorded live in the studio in 1974 while the band was filming a documentary. Often bootlegged, never previously released, it consists of songs by The Beatles, Wings, "Blue Moon Of Kentucky", and others.

Georgia Sea Island Singers feat Bessie Jones, Ed Davis, Mississippi Fred McDowell & Ed Young. The Complete Friend Of Old Time Music Concert hosted by Alan Lomax in 1965 featuring the unique Gullah Geechee singers as well as the guitar (and singing) of the incomparable Fred McDowell. [Smithsonian Folkways]. June 14, 2024.

The DecemberistsAs It Ever Was, So It Will Be Again [Yabb] June 14, 2024.

Johnny Cash. Songwriter. June 28, 2024. Recorded in 1993, previously unreleased. The first single is "Well Alright". 

Redd Kross. Redd Kross. June 28, 2024. Double album from the McDonald Brothers. First single is killer. 

Jake Xerxes Fussell. When I'm Called. [Fat Possum] July 12, 2024. Folk songs based on traditional tunes. Brilliant.

Cassandra JenkinsMy Light, My Destroyer [Dead Oceans] July 12, 2024.

Fontaines D.C. Romance. [XL] August 23, 2024. Ireland's best band's fourth album promises to be very different and take them to another level.

David Gilmour. Luck And Strange. September 6, 2024. Pink Floyd guitarist/singer has a new album coming out.

                                                Wednesday "Tiny Desk Concert"

                                           The Small Faces "What'Cha Gonna Do About It", Beat club, 1966

                                         Heavy Rotation: Hurray For The Riff Raff: "Hawkmoon"

                                            Heavy Rotation: Kneecap "It's Been Ages"

Kim Gordon: "Bye Bye" live on Jimmy Kimmel

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Tribute to Sinead and Shane Rehearsal, Carnegie Hall, NYC, March 19, 2024