Some new good stuff you really should know about:
Bob Dylan & The Band - The Complete Basement Tapes
Lost on the River - Various Artists
Christopher Owens (ex-Girls)
Jeff The Brotherhood
Tweedy (A Wilco & Son)
Many of these artists are also touring the U.S. currently, playing their new stuff, so try to catch them if you can...
The Orwells are a young band from Chicago with two albums out and currently touring. They have a lot of punk and heavy rock influence, and seem incredibly developed and have a wide variety of styles in their songs considering they are a "new" band... looking forward to seeing them soon...
The Vines have a great new album out, actually available as a double album, but apparently won't be touring anytime soon. We hadn't heard anything about them for a while, and the new material is a very strong come back, but... The Vines 2.0 is actually lead singer/guitarist/genius Craig Nicholls with a completely new rhythm section. Craig's well-documented personal problems (see: Google) appears to have contributed to the departure of the other original members, and mandated a decidedly low-key release of the new material - no interviews or touring to speak of. Here's hoping things improve, and these talented Aussies can grace these shores again...
Paul Weller, you've of course heard of, from The Jam, etc., but he has never achieved the god-like status in the U.S. that he has long enjoyed in the U.K. and elsewhere. He also has a new double album and it literally contains everything... but you'll never hear it in the U.S. unless you buy it...
Ty Segall, well you've definitely noticed him getting noticed, especially recently, but you know what? He totally deserves all this recognition... and go see him live for sure if you can... he is an amazing guitarist...
Foxygen got a lot of attention in the past year or so... but often for their off-stage antics rather than their performance, songwriting, or recording skills... Now they've got a new album and a new tour... We weren't sure they were going to stay together after Sam's ex aired their dirty laundry all over the Interweb... It seemed Sam was going to have to chose between his girlfriend and his musical partner... looks like he chose his musical partner, for better or worse for him, but, sorry to say, better for us, the listening public.
People like Greil Marcus have been singing the obscure praises of Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes for some time now... it was the time between the motorcycle crash and Dylan's return to public life, when he was mostly relaxing in the Woodstock, New York area, recuperating, raising his family, and jamming with The Band. Now a 6-CD (what???!?!?!?!?!) collection is being released with different versions of the songs we've heard and several others no one has ever heard... Can't wait!.... Dylan also has a new album coming out soon and is touring the U.S....
Meanwhile, Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Marcus Mumford (of Mumford), Rhiannon Giddens, Elvis Costello, and Taylor from Dawes will release Lost on the River, based on unfinished Basement Tape-era lyrics and song snippets by Dylan.
Leonard Cohen is turning 80 and releasing a new album and continuing to tour...
(to be continued...)