Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Cool, New Song from The Meat Puppets: "Warranty"; first song with original line-up since 1995

As per Brooklyn Vegan:

Curt Kirkwood and Cris Kirkwood have been keeping Meat Puppets active for a while, and this year they reunited with original drummer Derrick Bostrom, which means the full original lineup is back for the first time since 1996. They’ve also now announced their new album Dusty Notes, which will be the band’s first album since 2013’s Rat Farm and the original lineup’s first album since 1995’s No Joke!. The original lineup is planning to tour in 2019 too (dates TBA).
The new album comes out March 8 via Megaforce (pre-order), and it also features keyboardist Ron Stabinsky and Curt’s son Elmo. The first single is “Warranty,” a dose of psychedelic country punk which should appeal to fans of the Meat Puppets’ classic era.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Best Music of 2018; Top 50 Albums And More...

Blythe Intaglios, Blythe, California - giant desert figures of unknown origin and purpose

ThisSmallPlanet.com BEST MUSIC OF 2018 LIST....

These are the new albums we enjoyed most this year. Also listed are new re-issues that came out in 2018, as well as older material that landed up on heavy rotation for us this year


Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Wolf Of The Cosmos, "Wild Is The Will", "Blueberry", and under his birth name: Will Oldham, Songs Of Love and Horror

Parquet Courts, Wide Awake! and their Neil Young cover "We R in Control". Also solo album from Parquet Courts' guitarist/singer A. Savage, Thawing Dawn and his cover of The Fall "Frightened"

Courtney Barnett, Tell Me How You Really Feel, "Small Talk", INXS cover "Never Tear Us Apart"

Richard Thompson, 13 Rivers, from Fairport Convention in the 60's to his solo work in 2018 and beyond, Richard Thompson remains at the top of his game

Ty Segall, Fudge Sandwich and Freedom Goblin, with White Fence Joy, his new group: The C.I.A. Guitar wonderkid Ty Segall continues to amaze...

Kurt Vile, Bottle It In - Perhaps his best album yet (really liked his album last year with Courtney Barnett too)

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, Sparkle Hard. Great album. Still wondering about a Pavement reunion tour in 2019...

Jeff Tweedy, Warm - Great new solo album from Uncle Tupelo and Wilco frontman. Tweedy produced and played guitar on Mavis Staples, If All I Was Was Black (feat Jeff Tweedy), a fantastic album from living legend Mavis of The Staple Singers. Mavis appeared on a song by Hozier feat Mavis Staples, "Nina Cried Power" - powerful tribute to Nina Simone and other artists and activists who "cried power".

The Good The Bad & The Queen, Merrie Land, feat Damon Albarn and Paul Simonon of The Clash. Damon's other band also released a smash album of a very different nature: Gorillaz, The Now-Now

British rock veterans released some of the most powerful music of their careers: Johnny Marr (The Smiths' legendary guitarist), Call The Comet and "Jeopardy", The Jam's Paul Weller, True Meanings, Spiritualized, And Nothing Hurt, and Richard Ashcroft, Natural Rebel are all excellent.

Mark Sultan Let Me Out - groovy 60's retro sound from the psychedelic surf rocker

Shame, Songs Of Praise - new British guitar band that's pretty damned good

J Mascis, Elastic Days. Strong album from the Dinosaur Jr. vet

John Prine, The Tree Of Forgiveness. Give this man a Grammy and a ticket to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame!

The Voidz, Virtue. Julian Casablancas, The Strokes' singer, has a band that sounds a lot different from his old band. If you're missing The Strokes, check out their guitarist's solo album - sounds just like classic Strokes: Albert Hammond, Jr., Francis Trouble

The Coup feat Tune-Yards, Sorry To Bother You (Official Movie Soundtrack). Great movie, great soundtrack. Boots Riley scores a major victory! #Oakland

Oh Sees, Smote Reverser

The Growlers, Casual Acquaintances

King Tuff, The Other

Simon Love, Sincerely S. Love

Art Brut, Wham! Bang! Pow! Let's Rock Out!

The Vines,  Miracle Land

Jim James, Uniform Distortion

Pete Kosanovich, Take Me To The River

Marianne Faithful, Negative Capability

Bryan Ferry, Bitter-Sweet

Sun Kil Moon, This Is My Dinner

Guided By Voices, Space Gun

Two sons of Nigeria's Fela Kuti carry on the traditions: Seun Kuti, Black Times and Femi Kuti, One People One World

Titus Andronicus, Productive Cough and Home Alone on Halloween

Ezra Furman, Transangelic Exodus

Kelley Stoltz, Natural Causes

Superchunk, What A Time To Be Alive

Car Seat Headrest, Twin Fantasy (2018 re-recording)

Kyle Craft, Full Circle Nightmare

Iron & Wine, Weed Garden

Mark Lanegan, With Animals

The Lemon Twigs, Go To School

Jon Spencer, Sings The Hits

Jeff The Brotherhood, Magick Songs

Ex-Poets, Too Much Future

Carl Cleves, Before Twilight Turns To Night

The Love Language, Baby Grand

Renny Conti, People Floating

Cool Singles

Riz MC, "Mogambo" (actor Riz Ahmed, also collabs with Heems from Das Racist in Swet Shop Boys)

Kinky Friedman, "Jesus In Pajamas"

The Vaccines, "All My Friends"

PJ Harvey, "Sorry For Your Loss" and "An Acre of Land"

Sufjan Stevens, "Lonely Man Of Winter"

AJJ, "Night of the Long Knives"

Memorable Musical Moments

Jennifer Hudson, "The Times They Are A-Changin'" live at DC "March For Our Lives" Rally Against Gun Violence

Leonard Cohen, "Kanye West Is Not Picasso", A Poem By The Late, Great Leonard Cohen

James McMurtry,  "State Of The Union" a moving meditation on family division in the Trump era


Barbara Dane, Hot Jazz, Cool Blues & Hard-Hitting Songs

The Beatles, White Album box-set

John Lennon, Imagine box-set

Bob Dylan, More Blood, More Tracks, and Live 1962 - 1966, and Trouble in Mind

Gene Clark, (co-founder, The Byrds),  Back Street Mirror, and Gene Clark Sings For You, and special thanks Rose Garden for preserving several of these Gene Clark songs for us as well as their own songs. This was the first time a lot of us heard these songs.

Neil Young, Roxy: Tonight's The Night Live

The Who, Live at the Fillmore East 1968

Joe Strummer, Joe Strummer 001 (compilation)

The Pixies, Live From The Fallout Shelter


Joseph Spence
Roxy Music
Gabor Szabo
Johnny Cash
Paul Butterfield/Mike Bloomfield
Stevie Wonder
The Kinks
Chet Baker
Louis Armstrong
Fairport Convention
Tim Buckley
Tim Hardin
Memphis Minnie
Doc Watson & Chet Atkins
The Clash
Hoyt Axton
David Bowie feat Mick Ronson, Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture (soundtrack)
Elton John, "Madman Across The Water", original version feat Mick Ronson
Steely Dan
Os Mutantes
Otis Redding
The Easybeats
Reverend Gary Davis
Sister Rosetta Tharpe
Rory Gallagher & Muddy Waters
Lou Reed
Aretha Franklin

SPECIAL NOTE: One of the most profound personal and musical losses for us in 2018 was the death of our dear friend, street musician Clayton Gross. Everyone in Santa Cruz knew him and his music, and he met hundreds of people who became his friends and fans on his bicycle travels throughout the U.S. You can listen to some of Clayton's music here and here...

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Cool, New Song by Wilco's Jeff Tweedy: "I Know What It's Like" (Video)

New albums I wanna hear: 

Jeff Tweedy, Warm 
Bryan Ferry, Bitter-Sweet

Other stuff I'm liking: 

The C.I.A. (feat Ty Segall), The C.I.A. (2018)
Mark Sultan, Let Me Out (2018)
Shame, Songs Of Praise (2018)
Various Artists, Music From Saharan Cellphones (2011)
801 (Eno & Manzanera), 801 Live (1976)
Roxy Music (first two albums, with Eno, Roxy Music & For Your Pleasure and Peel Sessions)(1972-1973)(Vote here for Roxy Music's bid for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2019!)

P.S. Special shout-out to Wilco's Jeff Tweedy for his excellent recent work with the legendary Mavis Staples.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Jim Carrey On Mississippi Senate Race: Vote for Mike Espy this Tuesday, November 27th

@JimCarrey: Mississippi you are BETTER than these hate-mongers. Show the world. Vote for Mike Espy this Tuesday, November 27th.

Undeserving of serving as a U.S. Senator...

 If Johnny Cash were here to weigh in on the race, this might be his response...
"Get along home, Cindy, Cindy, get along home..."

If you invited her to a public hanging, she'd be on the front row!

Sunday, November 25, 2018

John Prine On CBS "Sunday Morning" (Video)

CBS "Sunday Morning" (November 25, 2018):
Singer-songwriter John Prine: Still alive and kickin'

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John Prine, "When I Get To Heaven" (Lyric Video)

Steven Malkmus "Mother Of Pearl" (Live 2014) Tribute To Roxy Music; Vote Here/Now For Roxy Music's 2019 Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Bid

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks perform "Mother Of Pearl" by Roxy Music, Slim's, San Francisco, March 27, 2014. Video by Michael Donnelly for ThisSmallPlanet.com 

(P.S. Will there be a Pavement anniversary reunion tour in 2019?)

Roxy Music is a 2019 nominee for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame...

Roxy Music, Peel Session, 1972

In the 1970's and 80's, roxy music had a huge impact on glam, new wave, ART ROCk, and punk in their native england and beyond.

Roxy Music is on the ballot for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Class of 2019.

Fans can Vote for up to five artists Once a day until voting is closed.

(DECEMBER UPDATE: FAN Voting is now closed)

ThisSmallPlanet.com recommends


2. MC5



                          YOU CAN VOTE HERE  (FAN Voting is now Closed)

Fan votes will be factored in with music industry votes to determine the "winners" for 2019.

The top 5 of the 2019 fan vote: Def Leppard, stevie Nicks, Todd Rundgren, The Zombies, and The cure.

Car Seat Headrest Live At Pitchfork Festival Paris 2018: "Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales" & "Destroyed By Hippie Powers"

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Best New Music: December 2018 Playlist: What The Kool Kidz Are Listening To

New & Cool:

Sufjan Stevens, "Lonely Man Of Winter"

The Vaccines, "All My Friends Are Falling In Love"

Art BrutWham! Bang! Pow!

The Good, The Bad & The Queen, Merrie Land  (and "History Song", from their 1st eponymous album)

Random Cool Stuff

Aretha Franklin, "Keep Me Hanging On" (feat Duane Allman)

Roxy Music, Roxy Music (Deluxe Edition)

Jakob Dylan & Cat Power, "You Showed Me"

Shame, Full Performance on KEXP, February 20, 2018: "Dust On Trial", "Concrete", "One Rizla", "Friction", "The Lick"

Social Distortion, Discography (inc. live shows and 2 Mike Ness solo albums)

Various Artists, Music From Saharan Cellphones

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

St. Vincent Live Cover of Lou Reed's "Perfect Day" (Brooklyn Academy of Music 11/20/18)

No Depression: L.A. artist Brad Byrd puts his alt-country spin on The Cure's "Lovesong"

Brad Byrd
It's always a daunting task to re-create a song with monumental success as "Lovesong" by The Cure. The 1989 hit song which peaked at #2 on Billboard's Top 100 chart, was on the UK band's eighth studio album Disintegration which helped spin them into international alt-rock superstars. Fastfoward to today, LA indie rock/alt-country artist Brad Byrd releases his own rendition of the popular song today, and he shares his inspiration for the cover as well as what he's got planned for 2019...
As an artist in the indie rock/alt-country genre, what was your inspiration to cover the 90s alternative song, "Lovesong," by The Cure?
I was on recent trip to Big Bear, CA and I heard "Lovesong" on the radio, and it suddenly hit me that this might be an interesting track to cover and perhaps slow it down a little. I always have an ear out for songs like this. I grew up with The Cure, they were one of those bands that were the background soundtrack to my high school years.
Your songs have appeared in dozens of national film and television shows, including New Girl (FOX), American Housewife (ABC) and Keeping Up with the Kardashians (E!). Do you write songs with the intention of licensing them out? Or do you find your musical style is more appealing for music supervisors?
I just write songs and record them and hope for the best really. I don't get caught up in what would work better for film/tv placements. I'm telling my story through my songs, and if one of them gets selected for placement, then that's just an extra bonus really for me, I guess I've just been lucky to date.
How did you decide to start a music venue and artspace in your garage?
My mother-in-law came up with the idea, actually. My garage is my studio here in Highland Park, CA and I have the garage door open most of the time when I'm in there rehearsing, recording, and painting and people come by and hang out sometimes and listen and watch and check out the paintings. One day she (Martha) said, "Why don't you do shows in here and open it up to the public as an art gallery and performance space"? and boom..."The Garage" was born!
What's a typical Brad Byrd show like?
I try to keep it interesting with a mix of songs in my catalog that are both upbeat and intimate. I like my records and my shows to have a lot of dynamic range to them. So song choice is important. It can't all be the same tempo and key, ya know? I’m very grateful to have a killer backing band so that helps for the full band shows! I usually have paintings for sale along with other merch so it can get colorful. I think that adds a nice element to the live performance that you don't see all the time with most singer/songwriters.
With the upcoming release of your new album 2019, what else can we expect from Brad Byrd in the New Year?
Yeah, my fourth full length LP Phases will come out in late spring 2019 and I'm very excited. I had an amazing team help me produce this one, and I think the songs and the sound of it is the most realized effort yet for me. I really think this record is going to open things up for me more. Blessed to have some of the top studio musicians in LA playing on this record, and even a guest appearance from Kay Hanley (Letters To Cleo) singing backing vocals on “American Life”. It's going to be a busy and exciting year, lots of shows, and touring over the spring, summer and into the fall. Looking forward to it....
Here's Brad Byrd's new single, his rendition of "Lovesong" by The Cure, out today:
For more info:  bradbyrdofficial.com

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Test Subjects: Haight St., San Francisco, 1985, pop-punk, psycho-delic

Marvin Gaye Stamp in 2019 from USPS!

The U.S. Postal Service will release a Forever stamp in 2019 honoring one of America's finest singers, Mr. Marvin Gaye. Congratulations to artist Kadir Nelson for an excellent job.

We love his voice, from his early Motown hits, many with Tammi Tarrell, through his later masterpieces like What's Going On, Let's Get It On, and Sexual Healing. 

Marvin captured the hearts and souls of so many people, from every community, until his untimely passing in 1984.

The stamp is a fitting addition to his legacy. The popularity of his music seems to have only increased not diminished since his death.

In these troubling times, it is comforting to know Marvin spoke of many of these same issues in his day, never with anger; always with love. Oh, how we could afford to have such a voice today!

All those years ago, Marvin warned of "trigger happy policing" that Black Lives Matter addresses today. He asked, "What's Going On?" and, in "Mercy, Mercy Me", spoke of the damage humans were doing to the environment:

Woah, ah mercy mercy me
Ah things ain't what they used to be, no no
Where did all the blue skies go?
Poison is the wind that blows
From the north and south and east

Woah mercy, mercy me, yeah yeah
Ah things ain't what they used to be
Oil wasted on the ocean and upon our seas
Fish full of mercury

Oh Jesus yeah mercy, mercy me ah
Ah things ain't what they used to be, oh no
Radiation under ground and in the sky
Animals and birds who live nearby are dying

Hey mercy, mercy me oh
Ah things ain't what they used to be
What about this overcrowded land
How much more abuse from man can she stand?

Sometimes it just "make you wanna holler, throw up both your hands...", but Marvin asks us to remember, to always remember this:

"War is not the answer, for only love can conquer hate..."

Cool, New Song by Karen O & Danger Mouse: "Lux Prima"

"Suffer Not A Witch To Live": Nigerian Kids Attacked As Witches By Religious Fanatics (Graffic Novel With Real Life Videos)

Cool Cover Of "November Rain" (Guns N' Roses) by Nicole Atkins feat Mark Lanegan...

Monday, November 19, 2018

Roger Waters Tours Amazon's “Rainforest Chernobyl”; Chevron Tried To Stop Him

Photo caption from activist Steven Donziger @SDonziger:

5 hours ago

Roger Waters crossing the Rio Aguarico in Ecuador’s Amazon after touring ⁦⁩’s waste pits. Chevron tried to block his trip by denying a flight permit to land in Lago Agrio. Roger is a hero to the people of Ecuador.

From @RogerWaters on Instagram: 

  • "So happy to be in beautiful Ecuador, spent yesterday visiting the wonderfully hospitable indigenous people. I am deeply moved by their predicament in the face of Chevron corporations’ deadly pollution of their rainforest home..."

"It's a desperate situation but we, activists around the world, are very proud of the Ecuadorian people, fighting Chevron in the way that you are, and we will help you as much as we can, until the fight is won... Much love to all of you..."

(UPDATE): At the press conference the following day (Tuesday, November 20, 2018)...

@SDonziger: Roger Waters speaking to a packed press conference in Quito this morning. Calls Chevron “despicable” for its misconduct in historic legal case.

@SDonziger: Roger Waters in Ecuador: “The law must serve us all, not just the Chevron’s of the world.”

@SDonziger: Roger Waters in Ecuador with two Amazon leaders, Rafael Pandam (to Roger’s right) and Carlos Nihua. Roger’s necklace was given by Pandam on behalf of the Shuar people. It has a tiger’s tooth to symbolize strength. ⁩ ⁦

The crown worn by in the photo was a gift from the Wuaorani people of Ecuador. Cesar Nihua explained it is given to young warriors who protect Indigenous territory from invasions by oil companies.

ThisSmallPlanet.com thanks Steven Donziger and his colleagues for their activism in the Amazon and for the photos and quotes above. 

Musician Roger Waters In Ecuador To Support Amazon Peoples Who Won Landmark Judgment Against Chevron

Posted: Nov 19, 2018 – 10:44 AM EST
NEW YORK, Nov. 19 /CSRwire/ -  Roger Waters, the founder of Pink Floyd currently touring Latin America to sold-out stadiums, is arriving in Ecuador today to bear witness to Chevron’s “Amazon Chernobyl” disaster and to support Indigenous peoples and farmer communities who are fighting to force the oil giant to pay a landmark $12 billion liability to be used to clean up the world’s worst environmental disaster. 
“I am honored to come to Ecuador to see the environmental damage firsthand and to listen to my brothers and sisters in the Amazon who have taken on a true corporate monster in Chevron,” said Waters, who recently won a humanitarian award from the city of Buenos Aries. (See here.) “Chevron must clean up the disaster it caused in Ecuador and do so immediately. Chevron shareholders must recognize this is a humanitarian disaster and act to hold Chevron management accountable for its toxic dumping and attempts to evade court judgments.
“I am also here to support my friend Steven Donziger, the American lawyer for the Ecuadorians whom the company has targeted with a demonization campaign designed to intimidate supporters and leave the Ecuadorians without legal counsel,” Waters added. “I stand by Steven and all human rights defenders in Ecuador and around the world who get attacked by large corporations who commit wrongdoing.”
Carmen Cartuche, the President of the Amazon Defense Coalition (the group hosting Waters), said: “We are honored and privileged to be hosting legendary artist and musician Roger Waters on our ancestral lands. Mr. Waters not only has been an inspiration to millions of people around the world, but to those of us in Ecuador he has been a supporter for many years and we are deeply grateful for his solidarity. We look forward to telling Roger the truth about Chevron’s ongoing destruction of the environment and about the company’s crimes and fraud committed on our sacred lands.”
Waters was the creative force and principal lyricist for Pink Floyd from 1968 to 1983 in one of the most successfully runs of a rock band in history. With Waters as the driving force, Pink Floyd produced the famed Dark Side of the Moon (1973) and The Wall (1979), among other successful albums. Touring later as a solo artist, Waters later broke the record for the highest grossing tour in history for his spectacular Wall Live tour in 2010. 
In Ecuador, Waters will visit in an area of the Amazon rainforest mired in a humanitarian crisis. Chevron’s operational area in Ecuador – roughly the size of Rhode Island and comprising 400 production sites – is poisoned with life-threatening toxins and cancer rates have skyrocketed, claiming hundreds and possibly thousands of lives. One noted academic predicts 10,000 people in the area will die of cancer in the coming years because of Chevron’s failure to clean up its pollution. Several community leaders in the area have succumbed to cancer recently, including legendary nurse Rosa Moreno.
Waters will visit the Ecuadorian town of Lago Agrio, which means “Sour Lake” in English. Located on Indigenous Cofan territory, Lago Agrio was built by Chevron’s predecessor company Texaco in the 1970s and named after its headquarters in Texas.  The Cofan, once a thriving band of 15,000 people, have been completely displaced by Chevron’s oil production with their traditional culture of hunting and fishing largely decimated. Chevron’s first well in Ecuador -- known as Lago 1 -- was built on Cofan territory and caused extensive pollution to a nearby farm and stream, according to court documents.
Waters has been a longtime supporter of the five Indigenous groups and 80 farmer communities in Ecuador who originally brought the pollution case in 1993 in U.S. courts. Chevron later shifted the case to Ecuador, but then lost a trial there based on 64,000 chemical sampling results, extensive witness testimony, and 105 expert evidentiary reports. The Ecuador verdict has been affirmed by four layers of courts in the country and 17 separate appellate judges. (See this summary of the evidence against Chevron.)
Last year, while on tour in Canada, Waters attended court proceedings in Toronto to support the Ecuadorians in their attempt to seize Chevron assets to force compliance with the Ecuador court judgment. Chevron has an estimated $15 billion worth of assets in Canada, where it has come under sharp criticism for using its local subsidiary as a vehicle to send billions of dollars of annual payments to foreign governments as part of an apparent tax avoidance scheme. (See this summary of Chevron’s tax avoidance.)
Last week, Waters spoke to an academic conference in Alberta on Indigenous rights and the environment that focused in part on the litigation against Chevron. The pollution case – the first to result in a large environmental judgment against a U.S. oil company out of Latin America -- was filed 25 years ago this month in U.S. federal court in New York before Chevron moved it to Ecuador. 
When the evidence mounted in the Ecuador trial, Chevron sold its assets and threatened the Indigenous groups with a “lifetime of litigation” if they persisted. Chevron also hired 60 law firms to fight the Indigenous groups and launched an avowed “demonization” campaign targeting their lawyers. Donziger, a sole practitioner and graduate of Harvard Law School, has borne the brunt of Chevron’s attacks. 
In the meantime, Chevron has suffered significant legal setbacks. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled unanimously in 2015 that the Ecuadorian communities could try to seize Chevron assets in that country, denying a Chevron jurisdictional challenge. The Ecuadorians also have won two unanimous decisions from the Ontario Court of Appeal denying other Chevron attempts to block the case. (See here for background on the Canada litigation.)
At the conference in Alberta two weeks ago, Waters criticized Chevron for what he called the “despicable” treatment of the Ecuadorian communities and their lawyers. 
“We cannot allow Chevron to destroy Steven Donziger and 60,000 people in Ecuador,” Waters said. He later described the case against Chevron “as a matter of life and death for thousands of people” and said Chevron’s “ad hominem attacks against the Ecuadorians and Steven Donziger are utterly despicable.” Waters received a standing ovation after he talked, which took place via Skype from Santiago, Chile. (See here for studies documenting high cancer rates where Chevron operated.)
Chevron’s troubles from its Ecuador liability also have produced consternation in the financial markets.
Thirty-six Chevron institutional shareholders recently sent a letter to Chevron CEO Michael Wirth criticizing his mishandling of the litigation and asking that he explore a settlement. In the meantime, two shareholder resolutions relating to Wirth’s mishandling of the case received overwhelming support at the company’s 2018 annual meeting. (See here.)
For the last several months, Waters has been touring in Latin America while playing to large audiences in stadiums in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paolo, Buenos Aries, Montevideo, Santiago, and Lima. He plays in Bogota on Wednesday night before closing his 18-month world tour in Costa Rica and Mexico. He previously played several cities in the United States, Canada, Europe, Russia, Australia and New Zealand.
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