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Heavy Lungs tour dates January / February 2019

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Tour announcement: Heavy Lungs
Tour dates: January / February 2019
More info: Band website

To celebrate the release of the IDLES and Heavy Lungs split 7” single, Heavy Lungs have revealed a brand new video to accompany their track 'Blood Brother', a reference to their front man's close relationship with Joe Talbot. IDLES return the favour with their anthem ‘Danny Nedelko’, a direct reference to the Heavy Lungs singer of the same name.

Watch Heavy Lungs ‘Blood Brother’ video on YouTube.

Following their support role for IDLES' sold out UK tour last month, Heavy Lungs have their own headline UK tour early next year.

Full tour dates and tickets here.

Danny Nedelko of Heavy Lungs on the collaboration:

“The 'Blood Brother' video is a collaboration with our friend Elliot Pearce, who also directed the video for 'Stutter'. The video is a visually driven narrative that echoes the lyrical content of the song. However, it ultimately stands alone as a separate piece of surrealistic art driven by Elliot’s creative interpretation of the song.”

Editor & Director Elliot Pearce

"The lyrics are very potent and speak candidly about the love, devotion, and commitment that occur in friendship - specifically referring to Danny’s relationship with Joe. I wanted this video to represent these feelings in a more literal and physical sense. I also wanted it to be fun. I don’t come from a music video background, and I find the traditional idea of just watching a band play for three and a half minutes boring and artificial. This was about having fun, and I really hope that translates to anyone watching."

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The Rocket new single out now

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Single release: ‘Lost At Sea’ by The Rocket
Release date: Out now
More info: Band Facebook

  • Watch the video for ‘Lost At Sea’ here.

Belgian pop-punk outfit The Rocket are sharing the video for their latest single ‘Lost At Sea’, taken from their forthcoming album ‘Another Reason Not To Fear The Sky’, which is due out 30th November. The follow-up to recent single Focus, can now be watched here.

Speaking about the single, the band said;

"Lost at Sea might be one of the most personal songs our singer Tom has ever written. Although he’s this great charismatic dude who fills every room with joy, he’s not always great with expressing his feelings and thoughts. When he does so in lyrics like these, it’s always so poignant. He went through a bad breakup when we were writing the album, and Lost at Sea is about coming to terms with his own feelings.

We’re really proud of the clip we did for this one too; we fully directed and edited it ourselves, which was a painstaking process with lots of post-production and effects. For not being a high budget production, we really feel like we were able to stay true to our original concept and idea and the images just complete the song so well. The video shows a kid astronaut getting stuck on a planet without people, which to us seemed like a great metaphor for the loneliness depicted by the lyrics."

Having taken a break from writing together, the Rocket's new album Another Reason Not To Fear The Sky sees the band return in full effect. Produced by Marc McClusky (Weezer, Motion City Soundtrack, Bad Religion) and mastered by Chris Athens (Beastie Boys, AC/DC, N.E.R.D), the record is proof of the reinvigorated energy that has seen the quintet earn an illustrious live reputation playing stages at the likes of Groezrock and alongside many other major European festivals.

The album also features guest appearances from Justin Pierre (lead vocals/guitar) & Joshua Cain (lead guitar) of Motion City Soundtrack, merging the band's first-era pop-punk influences (think-Millencollin, NFG, Blink 182) with some of their more synth driven melodic sensibilities.

With years of gigging experience their shows are full of anthemic choruses, hook-driven emotive vocals, melodious synth lines and rapturous drumming, The Rocket are ready to blow all expectations away with a record that pushes genre forward with new layers of intricacy and depth, whilst packing in the vigour and irrepressible choruses fans of the genre have come to know and love.

Another Reason Not To Fear The Sky is due out on 30th November and will be see the band continue to a number of shows across Europe throughout the rest of 2018.

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Deer Tick new album out 1 February 2019

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Album release: ‘Mayonnaise’ by Deer Tick
Release date: 1 February 2019
Label: Partisan
More info: Band website

On Feb 1st Deer Tick will release a new compilation album entitled ‘Mayonnaise’ – a 13-song companion piece to last year's full-length albums 'Deer Tick Vol. 1' and 'Deer Tick Vol. 2.' Listen to two tracks from ‘Mayonnaise’ now - a cover of George Harrison’s ‘Run Of The Mill’ as well as brand new track ‘Hey! Yeah!’, which is accompanied by a Scorpion Dagger animated visualizer.

  • Check out ‘Hey! Yeah!’ here.

  • Listen to ‘Run Of The Mill’ here.

The band explains: “On ‘Mayonnaise,’ you’ll find alternate versions of songs from ‘Vol. 1’ & ‘Vol. 2’ that we feel have their own merit and wanted to share. We also decided to record some of the cover songs that ‘Vol. 1’ & ‘Vol. 2’ inspired us to play on our Twice Is Nice Tour. We had such a good time playing these covers live that it felt appropriate to document them here. And, lastly, if we are going into the studio, why not write a few new songs, record them, and give the fans something new to round everything out? So, here you go, this is ‘Mayonnaise.’”

'Deer Tick Vol. 1' and 'Deer Tick Vol. 2' were the band’s first new material since 2013’s ‘Negativity’ and were recorded at the legendary Ardent Studios in Memphis, TN. The albums earned raves everywhere from Vice Noisey, Consequence of Sound, Mojo, Uncut, Uproxx, as well as a performance on CBS This Morning. The band will be on tour in the UK / Ireland this November, with more dates to be announced soon.

Praise for 'Deer Tick Vol. 1' and 'Deer Tick Vol. 2’

"...with Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, McCauley solidifies his status as a modern-day barstool poet...throughout both albums, the band varies its rhythms and arrangements with surprising agility." – Pitchfork

“Vol.1 is raw, introspective and rootsy… Vol.2 is its noisy yang” – Mojo

“Vol 1 is reflective and rootsy… Vol 2 is high-class punk thrash” – Uncut

"...'Deer Tick Vol. 1' and 'Vol. 2' find the Rhode Island roots rockers back and better than ever...Deer Tick's most optimistic effort yet, a masterclass in newfound maturity not losing what made the band so likeable in the first place." – Noisey

"If the motive behind putting out two albums with contrasting volumes was intended as a demonstration of ambition and range, well, mission accomplished" - NPR Fresh Air

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The Joy Formidable on tour February 2019

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Tour announcement: The Joy Formidable
Tour dates: February 2019
More info: Band website

The Joy Formidable’s new album ‘AAARTH’ has keenly shone the spotlight back onto the Welsh alt-rock trio. An album packed with inventive and emotive rallying cries, born from a place of renewed vision, ‘AAARTH’ has become their most experimental work to date, and among their most heralded.

As their live outings in support of the new album got underway in the summer – with main stage appearances at Reading & Leeds Festival, a sold-out show at The Lexington, followed by extensive touring in support of Foo Fighters through the US and Canada – their latest material has been connecting with fans old and new, and is turning into a defining record in the band’s already storied career. Three huge singles - ‘Dance of The Lotu’, ‘The Wrong Side’, and ‘The Better Me’ – have picked up airplay across BBC Radio 1 and BBC 6 Music too. Watch the video for latest single ‘The Better Me’ here.

Never ones to sit still for long, the band are already plotting an extended return to UK venues and have confirmed their first full UK tour of the album through Feb 2019. Tickets will be on sale on Weds 24th Oct from 10am at the band’s website here. They will bring their magnetic live show to the following cities.

Listen to new album ‘AAARTH’ here.

Praise for new album AAARTH

The Welsh rockers build their towering songs on wobblier foundations for the sheer thrill of trying to make them topple. - Pitchfork

All Beck groove, Beatles psych, volcano solos and guitar hooks that sound like Elon Musk trying to catapult himself to Mars. – The Guardian

Tightly-wound rock riffs and pummelling drums. A great leap forward. - Q

An album of compositional daring and fierce experimentation. – DIY

It’s an album that sees them back on solid footing, re-energised and ready to take on the world again. – Upset

Joyfully experimental and refreshing. – Total Guitar

A biting, visceral return. - CLASH

Riffs as high as a Welsh mountain. – Louder Than War

The trio have found their form again (4/5) - Dork

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The Hold Steady concerts 8 - 10 March 2019

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Tour announcement: The Hold Steady
Tour dates: March 2019
More info: Band website

After three sold-out shows in London earlier in the year, The Hold Steady has announced plans to return next year for a very special three-day concert event. THE WEEKENDER will see the NYC-based band taking the stage at London’s Electric Ballroom on Friday, March 8 and Saturday, March 9, followed by a limited capacity third show at Oslo, in Hackney, London on Sunday, March 10. In addition, an exclusive screening of The Hold Steady’s acclaimed 2009 documentary, A Positive Rage, will be held the afternoon of Sunday, March 10 at the Picturehouse cinema in Hackney. Tickets for THE WEEKENDER – which marks The Hold Steady’s only scheduled UK live dates for 2019 – are on sale now here.

The Hold Steady have also just unveiled plans to join Frank Turner at his upcoming LOST EVENINGS III festival, serving as special guest at Boston, MA’s House of Blues on Friday, May 17. Tickets for LOST EVENINGS III are available here.

“The UK has always been so great to The Hold Steady,” says Finn. “We’re excited to be returning for another weekend in 2019. As for Frank, he’s has always been a vocal fan of ours. It’s an honor to be asked to play his festival. Looking forward to being a part of the energy in Boston!”

That same weekend will also see The Hold Steady hitting the tri-state area for a pair of additional live dates, set for Jersey City, NJ’s White Eagle Hall on Thursday, May 16 and Hamden, CT’s Space Ballroom on Saturday, May 18. Tickets for these shows will go on sale November 2. For complete details and ticket information, please see here.

Last, but certainly not least, The Hold Steady is currently getting ready for the third annual MASSIVE NIGHTS celebration, set for Brooklyn, NY’s Brooklyn Bowl on November 28 through December 1. Friday, November 30 and Saturday, December 1 are already sold out; limited tickets for Wednesday, November 28 and Thursday, November 29 remain and are available now here.

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Deer Tick new album out 1 February 2019

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Album release: ‘Mayonnaise’ by Deer Tick
Release date: 1 February 2019
Label: Partisan
More info: Band website

On Feb 1st Deer Tick will release a new compilation album entitled ‘Mayonnaise’ – a 13-song companion piece to last year's full-length albums 'Deer Tick Vol. 1' and 'Deer Tick Vol. 2.' Listen to two tracks from ‘Mayonnaise’ now - a cover of George Harrison’s ‘Run Of The Mill’ as well as brand new track ‘Hey! Yeah!’, which is accompanied by a Scorpion Dagger animated visualizer.

  • Check out new track ‘Hey! Yeah!’ here.

  • Listen to ‘Run Of The Mill’ here.

The band explains: “On ‘Mayonnaise,’ you’ll find alternate versions of songs from ‘Vol. 1’ & ‘Vol. 2’ that we feel have their own merit and wanted to share. We also decided to record some of the cover songs that ‘Vol. 1’ & ‘Vol. 2’ inspired us to play on our Twice Is Nice Tour. We had such a good time playing these covers live that it felt appropriate to document them here. And, lastly, if we are going into the studio, why not write a few new songs, record them, and give the fans something new to round everything out? So, here you go, this is ‘Mayonnaise.’”

'Deer Tick Vol. 1' and 'Deer Tick Vol. 2' were the band’s first new material since 2013’s ‘Negativity’ and were recorded at the legendary Ardent Studios in Memphis, TN. The albums earned raves everywhere from Vice Noisey, Consequence of Sound, Mojo, Uncut, Uproxx, as well as a performance on CBS This Morning. The band will be on tour in the UK / Ireland this November. More dates to be announced soon.

Praise for 'Deer Tick Vol. 1' and 'Deer Tick Vol. 2’

"...with Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, McCauley solidifies his status as a modern-day barstool poet...throughout both albums, the band varies its rhythms and arrangements with surprising agility." – Pitchfork

“Vol.1 is raw, introspective and rootsy… Vol.2 is its noisy yang” – Mojo

“Vol 1 is reflective and rootsy… Vol 2 is high-class punk thrash” – Uncut

"...'Deer Tick Vol. 1' and 'Vol. 2' find the Rhode Island roots rockers back and better than ever...Deer Tick's most optimistic effort yet, a masterclass in newfound maturity not losing what made the band so likeable in the first place." – Noisey

"If the motive behind putting out two albums with contrasting volumes was intended as a demonstration of ambition and range, well, mission accomplished" - NPR Fresh Air

More information

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Death By Unga Bunga on tour October 2018

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Tour announcement: Death By Unga Bunga
Tour dates: October 2018
More info: Band website

Ash have just announced that the brilliant Oslo-based power-punks Death By Unga Bunga, will be joining them on their upcoming UK tour latest this month. The band will also be performing a headline show in Huddersfield in and amongst the dates with Ash.

The band have been handpicked by Ash for the dates as they are known for their wild live shows across Europe and the US.

Death By Unga Bunga recently celebrated their 10 year anniversary as a band by releasing the brilliant album 'So Far, So Good, So Cool' via Jansen. The band have been described by Brookyln Vegan as making "an infectious racket that recalls late ’60s Britpop and mid-’00s garage". In 2017, the band joined punk legends Stiff Little Fingers on their 40th Anniversary World Tour.

Find all upcoming UK live dates, below:

  • Oct 16th: Sheffield, Leadmill

  • Oct 17th: Glasgow, The Garage

  • Oct 19th: Bristol, SWX

  • Oct 20th: Birmingham, O2 Institute

  • Oct 21st: Norwich, Waterfront

  • Oct 22nd: Huddersfield, The Parish (without ASH)

  • Oct 23rd: Manchester, O2 Ritz

  • Oct 24th: London, O2 Forum

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Minus the Bear new single out now

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Single release: 'Viaduct' by Minus the Bear
Release date: Out now
Label: Suicide Squeeze Records
More info: Band website

Minus the Bear are thrilled to share their new single, 'Viaduct', the latest offering from their forthcoming EP, Fair Enough, which is due out October 19th on Suicide Squeeze Records. The song premieres today on Revolver, who who hail it as “a warm and catchy track propelled by jaw-dropping, shimmering guitar lines,” another banger delivered by the “guitar-virtuoso post-punk favourites” ahead of their final EP. The band is also excited to announce a charity auction they’re partnering on with MusiCares, a nonprofit that provides support and community services to musicians in need of medical, personal and financial assistance. Today, Minus the Bear launch an auction for the first in a series of four original paintings by artist and Minus the Bear bassist Cory Murchy, created for the cover of Fair Enough. Cory has the following to share on his thoughts behind the painting and EP cover art:

“It was important for me to create a cover relevant to the band and our history, as well as something strong enough to stand on its own artistic merit. The picture we used for our first EP was a blurry photo of the band walking through the forest. We were grainy and not so well defined, monochromatic, youthful. This painting is a response to those same young men and the 17 year-long journey they took together. The human figures, now much more defined, have been replaced by shapes that are now finding their own colors to live in. Much less unified but still working within each other’s orbit. The wonder of the woods has been replaced with a milled piece of working lumber. It’s a representation of who we’ve become as individuals and I think it reflects the music in a lot of the same ways. Distilled by time and purpose.”

MusiCares holds a special place in Cory's heart, as he personally benefited from their aid while struggling with a chronic back injury. You can learn more about MusiCares here. For more about Cory Murchy and his paintings, see here.

This past July, the band announced their breakup in tandem with a final farewell tour, which kicks off in Nashville on October 9th and culminates with three sold out shows in their hometown of Seattle on December 14th, 15th and 16th. Since their first shows in 2001, the Seattle group have been thrilling crowds with their virtuosic songwriting and play from Los Angeles, New York, London and Tokyo, to Jimmy Kimmel Live and Bonnaroo. Their melding of genres and innovative use of pedals, loops, and electronic elements in their music has been a defining contribution to indie rock in the mp3 and streaming era, and an influence on the band’s peers and those that followed in their wake.

You can check out the remaining VIP presale packages for this fall’s farewell tour here, as well as pre-order the Fair Enough EP. All upcoming tour dates are listed below.

Stream ‘Fair Enough’ via Stereogum or SoundCloud

Pre-Order the ‘Fair Enough EP’ here

Minus the Bear is a product of the first two tumultuous decades of this century. From their first show in 2001 to their impending dissolution at the end of 2018, the Seattle band thrived on the musical awakening in the era of the mp3, the internet, poptimism, and the endless cross-pollinations generated from an expanded consciousness of new forms of music. With the aim of sounding like “classic rock from the future,” they initially forged their music from the dichotomous blend of David Knudson’s prodigious finger-tapped guitar lines and Jake Snider’s cool-tempered narratives set against a backdrop of souped-up dance beats. Throughout their career, spanning six full-length albums and a raft of EPs, singles and split 7”s, they’ve carried on the trailblazing traditions of ‘70s prog rockers and guitar-centric indie rock pioneers of the ‘80s and ‘90s, but they’ve also always been a band of new sounds. Synths, drum machine break beats, omnichords, and pedalboard gadgetry all contribute to the band’s electronic flourishes. You can hear the poptimist appreciation for a club banger, a new wave hook, or a solid hip-hop beat in any number of their songs. And with their final EP, ‘Fair Enough’, Minus the Bear closes the book on their inimitable hybrid of scholarly art-rock, breezy indie pop, and warehouse party appeal.

One of the first tracks written for their last album VOIDS was ‘Fair Enough’, a reserved track that went through a variety of permutations before winding up on the backburner. Like most Minus the Bear songs, it began as a loose framework of interlocking guitar parts created by Knudson that quickly changed shape as the other members contributed their parts. “It’s interesting because we tried re-doing it twice in the studio,” says keyboardist/vocalist Alex Rose. “I was really into the first new direction as it was very pop, but collectively it didn't seem to fit. Then we tried a more ambient one… it just ended up being one of those songs that didn't beat the others.” But as the band was digging through their archives earlier this year, they stumbled upon an early version of the song. “It jumped out as sounding done,” Rose recalls. “I touched up the mix, fixed a few edits and sent it to everyone while we were on the recent Planet of Ice anniversary tour. The other guys all listened together and by all accounts had ‘a moment.’ I think the song had taken on new meaning after we decided to end the band.” Given Snider’s prescient lyrical lament of lost passions and finding “the exact moment we turned it off,” it’s hardly surprising to hear that the song resonates strongly within the group. Snider insists it was written to eulogize a failed romantic relationship, but it’s hard to not hear the lyrics as foreshadowing the band’s break-up.

The other three songs of Fair Enough are both a continuation and a culmination of Minus the Bear’s diverse sounds. The adrenalized up-tempo drumbeats, lush electronics, and nimble guitar work that initially set them apart from their peers back in 2001 are on full display during “Viaduct”. It certainly sounds like the same band that wrote “Monkey!!!Knife!!!Fight!!!”, but with a whole new arsenal of tricks, techniques, and toys to embellish the sound. “Dinosaur” has the punctuated groove of early hits of “Fine + 2 PTS ”, but crafted with the understated Steely Dan-esque delivery of their more current slow jams. In keeping with their “classic rock from the future” approach, the opening keyboard line of “Dinosaur” is a ham-fisted hook originally conceived on a cheap iPhone piano app. The EP closes with a nod to their ongoing remix collaborations, this time with a vibrant rave-up reinvention of “Invisible” by Sombear.

The EP album art comes courtesy of bassist Cory Murchy. “The picture on our first EP—This Is What I Know About Being Gigantic—was a blurry photo of the band walking through the forest,” Murchy explains. “The cover to Fair Enough is a nod to that almost 20 years on. The figures are much more defined, coming into their own colors, a little less unified but still working within each other’s orbit. The wonder of the woods has been replaced with a milled piece of working lumber as the canvas. I think it reflects the music in a lot of the same ways—distilled by time and purpose.”

Minus the Bear are a band born in the new millennium, when the gateways to cult artists were blown open by the internet, rock’s purist aesthetic rules were challenged, and technological advancements completely altered the way we create and consume music. If there was some middle ground to be found between King Crimson’s fretboard gymnastics, Midwest indie rock’s cerebral songcraft, Warp Records’ glitchy compositions, and FM radio’s current bump-and-grind staples, Minus the Bear staked it out first. Suicide Squeeze is proud to release Fair Enough on October 19, 2018. Fair Enough will be available on CD, digital formats, and as a 12” cut at 45rpm. The initial vinyl run consists of 2000 copies on coke bottle green and 1000 copies on black.

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Semisonic 20th anniversary album out 19 October 2018

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Album release: ‘Feeling Strangely Fine’
Release date: 19 October 2018
Label: UMe
More info: Band website

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of their seminal album Feeling Strangely Fine, Semisonic will release a deluxe edition reissue of the record on October 19th via UMe. The album will be released on deluxe edition CD and digital, as well as a limited edition gold vinyl pressing, which marks the first time ever a Semisonic album has been pressed to vinyl LP.

In addition to hits like ‘Closing Time’, ‘Secret Smile’ and ‘Singing In My Sleep’, the deluxe edition features four B-sides taken from international CD singles that were released at the time of the album.

To mark the announcement of the release Semisonic shared a previously-unreleased demo of ‘Closing Time’ giving fans a glimpse into the evolution of the song. The Grammy-nominated, final version of ‘Closing Time’ appears on the upcoming release out October 19.

Stream ‘Closing Time’ (Demo) here.

Stream ‘Closing Time’ here

The album is currently available for pre-order via PledgeMusic and includes unique premiums including lessons with bassist John Munson and drummer Jake Slichter, as well as the original ‘Closing Time’ 2" safety master tape reel.

When I started writing songs for the album that would become Feeling Strangely Fine, John Munson and Jake Slichter and I were living in South Minneapolis. I had decided a while back that my best songs were about me and the people I loved or admired and our adventures and troubles, and the new songs really reflected that ideal. I was writing about our lives," reflects Dan Wilson. "I remember telling Jake I wanted to make a record that had the folk music simplicity of Simon & Garfunkel but also the loudness of U2 and Nirvana. I wasn't thinking that these songs would become the soundtrack for so many people's lives. We definitely weren’t thinking that these songs would still be played on the radio 20 years later."

Last year, Wilson released Re-Covered, a unique album that finds the Grammy-winning songwriter reinterpreting songs from his storied career that he wrote for and with other artists.

About Dan Wilson:

Dan Wilson is a Grammy-winning songwriter, artist, and producer. His long songwriting resume includes three modern classics: “Closing Time”, which he wrote for his band, Semisonic, “Not Ready to Make Nice” (co-written with Dixie Chicks) and “Someone Like You” (co-written with Adele). Prior to his time with Semisonic, he was a member of the band Trip Shakespeare. Since Semisonic, Dan has released four solo albums and has become a highly sought-after songwriting collaborator. He has written with and produced a diverse group of artists including Adele, Dixie Chicks, Chris Stapleton, Phantogram, Bishop Briggs, The Head & The Heart, Dierks Bentley, My Morning Jacket, Keith Urban, Taylor Swift, and many others. Recently, he co-wrote Halsey’s top 40 hit “Alone,” the Vance Joy single "We're Going Home," Leon Bridges' "Shy," and Noah Cyrus' "Almost Famous," which he also produced. Wilson’s 2017 album, ‘Re-Covered’ is a collection of his reinterpretations of songs he wrote for and with other artists. Dan has also created a series of songwriting and collaboration advice on Instagram titled Words & Music in Six Seconds.

About Jacob Slichter (drummer for Semisonic):

In addition to drumming for Semisonic, Jacob Slichter is the author of So You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star (Broadway Books, 2004). He has written for the New York Times, has been a commentator for NPR’s Morning Edition, and currently teaches creative nonfiction at Sarah Lawrence University. He also blogs about connections between music, writing, and other art forms at portablephilosophy.com

About John Munson (bassist for Semisonic):

Since Semisonic, John Munson has continued to be a leader in the thriving Minneapolis music scene. He currently plays with The New Standards (alongside Chan Poling of The Suburbs); the group recently played sold out shows at The State Theater and Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis. He also plays with The Twilight Hours alongside Matt Wilson (of Trip Shakespeare and Dan's brother) who are working on their new record. Munson held the title of Music Director for the nationally broadcast American Public Media program Wits! during its six years on air. He recently produced critically acclaimed records for Minneapolitan artists Dylan Hicks and Lucy Michelle.

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The Hold Steady new single out 7 September 2018

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Single release: 'Confusion in the Marketplace' b/w 'T-Shirt Tux' by The Hold Steady
Release date: 7 September 2018
Label: Frenchkiss Records
More info: Band website

The Hold Steady has released a brand new single. 'Confusion in the Marketplace' b/w 'T-Shirt Tux' arrives at all DSPs and streaming services via Frenchkiss Records today, September 7.

'Confusion in the Marketplace' b/w 'T-Shirt Tux' can be heard now exclusively at The Hold Steady’s Bandcamp page. Fans can download the single now by donating to The K + L Guardian Foundation, a fund set up to benefit the children of Unified Scene founder 'jersey' Mike Van Jura, who died in November 2012.

Recorded at Isokon Studios in Woodstock, NY with producer Josh Kaufman and engineer D. James Goodwin, 'Confusion in the Marketplace' b/w 'T-Shirt Tux' continues a string of recent THS single releases that includes 'The Stove & The Toaster' b/w 'Star 18', 'Eureka' b/w 'Esther', and last year’s 'Entitlement Crew' b/w 'A Snake In The Shower'” All eight of these new songs mark the return of keyboard player Franz Nicolay.

Additional performers on the new songs include Stuart Bogie and Dave Nelson on horns and Annie Nero on backup vocals. All three singles are available now at all DSPs and streaming services as well as the official Hold Steady Bandcamp.

'Confusion in the Marketplace' b/w 'T-Shirt Tux' arrives just as The Hold Steady gets set to continue its 'Constructive Summer' series of North American live dates with an eagerly anticipated sold out four-night-stand at Toronto’s Horseshoe Tavern. The dates begin with a special 10th anniversary performance of STAY POSITIVE in its entirety on Wednesday, September 12 and then continue through September 15. On September 21 and 22, The Hold Steady will be in Chicago as part of Goose Island’s 312 Block Party. 

“We are counting the days before we hit Toronto for our four-night stand at The Horseshoe Tavern,” says The Hold Steady’s Craig Finn. “Toronto is one of our absolute favorite cities to play, and the (legendary) Horseshoe Tavern has hosted some classic THS shows. These will be no exception, to be sure. Night One, we will be paying tribute to the 10th anniversary of STAY POSITIVE by playing the album in full, as well as a bunch of jams from all the other albums. So come raise a toast to 10 years of STAY POSITIVE with us and hear a few that we don’t pull out very often."

“It won’t all be looking backwards though, as we are pleased to announce some new songs: ‘Confusion in the Marketplace’ and ‘T-Shirt Tux.’ We had a blast making these and hope you enjoy hearing them. We hope to play them for you in Toronto for their live debut. Can’t wait to see you all there and celebrate the last four shows of ‘Constructive Summer’ before we move onto what’s looking like an already pretty constructive autumn…”

The Hold Steady is returning to the Brooklyn Bowl for the third annual 'Massive Nights' celebration, November 28 through December 1.  Limited tickets remain for 'Massive Nights III' and are available here.

The Hold Steady is: Bobby Drake (drums), Craig Finn (vocals), Tad Kubler (guitar, vocals), Franz Nicolay (keyboards), Galen Polivka (bass), and Steve Selvidge (guitar, vocals).

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Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam new album out 9 November 2018

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Album release: 'Blackout Cowboy' by Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam
Release date: 9 November 2018
Label: By The Time It Gets Dark
More info: Band website

  • Listen to the single 'All The Way Over The Edge' at Stereogum
  • Album available to pre-order as DL / CD / LP here
  • UK tour dates through November

Prolific Birmingham quintet Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam are today premiering their brand new single 'All The Way Over The Edge (Bros Don't Talk About Anything)' at Stereogum. On a track that makes an immediate impact from the opening riff, its febrile energy, subject matter and crushing, jerking rhythms are characteristic of an album that makes you feel something at every turn. This first track is about the importance of being able to feel like you can talk about your mental health. Lead singer and guitarist Pete Dixon says; "I think the male condition stops us from sharing emotions we tend to either make light of things or brush it off completely and typically men don't talk about our feelings until it's too late."

About the track, Stereogum says; “All The Way Over The Edge (Bros Don’t Talk About Anything) is psyched-out spin on the neurotic power pop of early Weezer and the sprawling guitar rock of Titus Andronicus... When you’re listening to this, everything feels massive and urgent but it never takes itself too seriously, thanks to some darkly funny lyrics." 

What of the bands that can’t stop writing? How do you keep up? Like Bob Pollard and R. Stevie Moore before them, it’s something that must just be there, in the blood. Over the last few years, Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam have been putting out quality material at an alarming rate – 100+ songs, and if it wasn’t for the day jobs, there’d have been far more – whilst never quite fitting in to any one pigeonhole long enough to be branded with a genre. So, where to start? Here. 'Blackout Cowboy' is that record. It could as easily be their debut. A fresh slate from which to start from. A band with 100 songs distilling everything that makes them great down to just 8 new songs. Like a record from the 70’s, succinct and compact, total confidence in the material.

Early lo-fi offerings in the form of two EPs, a self-titled album, and a Halloween single secured the then three-piece a regular spot on the Birmingham music scene, as well as frequent invites to towns and cities up and down the country. A couple of increases in headcount (most recently Junior Laidley on keyboards and percussion) and the purple patch writing sessions around 'Blackout Cowboy' have allowed the band to move away from the lo-fi aesthetic they once adhered to, and are now able to work the same unique approach to songwriting into an ever expanding range of hooks, riffs and drones that fill any room they play.

Dark lyrical matter permeates throughout the record, as does black humour and the band’s gift for melody. From the power-pop rush of opener 'Running From A Ghost', through to the Malkmus-esque closer of 'Mind Control', there’s both variety and an almost endless slew of good ideas throughout. From the thick guitar tone that brings 'All The Way Over The Edge' to life, to the melodic invention across 'Blackout Cowboy' and 'Meatloaf To The Camera', there’s no let up across the record. And on 'Mrs JR Hartley' the band even channel the neurotic energy of those early Weezer songs, in contrast to that most English of references in the song title.

Some bands hit their stride a few records in, and some bands hit it out of the park entirely: this is Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam making a strong claim for the latter.

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IDLES new single out now

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Single release: 'Great' by IDLES
Release date: Out now
More info: Band website

Following the single's debut with Steve Lamacq on 6 Music (listen to recent session here) and ahead of a live performance for Annie Mac on Radio 1, IDLES have shared another new song off their much-anticipated new LP ‘Joy as an Act of Resistance,’ out 31st August via Partisan.

'Great' is a pro-immigration black comedy (“Islam didn’t eat your hamster/change isn’t a crime”) as well as a scathing confrontation of the Brexit/Trump era. The song is accompanied by a music video (directed by Theo Watkins), which you can watch here.

Singer Joe Talbot says of the track: “Let us go forward with open minds and open hearts into that fuck off fire we've started. No blame, no hate. Just love and a blue passport.”

‘Joy as an Act of Resistance’ bluntly addresses everything from toxic masculinity, immigration, racism, nationalism + more. The band are able to channel those weighty subjects though pure positivity and even biting humor. 

Earlier this month IDLES also announced an art exhibition to celebrate the release of their album. Open for two days on 30 and 31 August, between 12pm and 8pm, and curated by the band, the exhibition will take place at: HM Electrics Gallery, 65 Nile Street, London N1 7RD

The gallery will contain 18 pieces of work across several mediums. All proceeds going to the Samaritans charity. Watch the exhibition trailer here.

Watch IDLES on News At Ten

The band have also announced a run of live in-store dates around the album:

30 Aug UK London, Banquet Records, 9pm
31 Aug UK Bristol, Rough Trade, 3pm
31 Aug UK Bristol, Rough Trade, 7pm
03 Sep UK Portsmouth, Pie and Vinyl, 1pm
03 Sep UK Brighton, Resident, 6.30pm
04 Sep UK London, Rough Trade East, 7pm
05 Sep UK Sheffield, Record Junkee, 1pm
05 Sep UK Nottingham, Rough Trade, 7.30pm
06 Sep UK Leeds, Crash Records, 1pm
06 Sep UK Manchester, FOPP, 5.30pm
07 Sep UK Cardiff, Spiller Records, 7pm

'Great' is the fourth song to be released from IDLES's much-anticipated upcoming album 'Joy As An Act Of Resistance'. Produced by Space and mixed by Adam Greenspan & Nick Launay (Arcade Fire, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Kate Bush), The album takes aim at everything from nationalism and immigration to class inequality - all while maintaining a visceral, infectious positivity. Singer Joe Talbot summarises: “This album is an attempt to be vulnerable to our audience and to encourage vulnerability; a brave naked smile in this shitty new world. We have stripped back the songs and lyrics to our bare flesh to allow each other to breathe, to celebrate our differences, and act as an ode to communities and the individuals that forge them. Because without our community, we’d be nothing.”

Read Joe’s full statement on the album’s inspiration and origins here

Watch the video for album opener 'Colossus' 

This autumn, IDLES will embark on their first ever global tour, including their biggest London headliner yet at O2 Forum Kentish Town on 18th October. Their last London headliner, at Heaven, sold out nearly six months in front. Tickets are on sale now here

Watch the video for anthemic single 'Danny Nedelko'

"IDLES might just be the best live guitar band in Europe." - The Quietus

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Paul Smith new album out 26 October 2018

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Album release: 'Diagrams' by Paul Smith
Release date: 26 October 2018
Label: Billingham Records
More info: Artist website

Paul Smith returns this October with a brand-new album 'Diagrams', a release that strips bare his work to this point and ploughs fresh songwriting pathways. Now onto his fourth record as a solo artist, the Maxïmo Park frontman continues to sharpen his skills via a keenness to step out of his comfort-zone, and an ever-present desire to digest culture in all its forms. Newly announced single 'Silver Rabbit' conjures a story of self-doubt, set against the low-budget romance of the seaside, and channelled through overdriven guitars. Listen to 'Silver Rabbit' here.

With each Paul Smith release we expect an evolvement, and on 'Diagrams' he remains committed towards expanding the parameters of his songwriting. From the anthemia of his debut solo outing 'Margins' (2010) to the exploratory minimalistic jazz of his Peter Brewis (Field Music) collaborative album 'Frozen By Sight' (2014) and the spirited, guitar pop record that was 'Contradictions' (2015), 'Diagrams' sets its stall out as a vivid and complex album that binds the obscure and the everyday, searching for romance under stones that not many songwriters would think to turn over.

“It's a punchy song where the self-doubt and regret in the lyrics is mirrored by the musical tension that develops as it goes along. I grew up in the grunge era, so this has echoes of that sound but with my own romantic view of everyday life.” – Paul Smith

Alongside co-producer Andrew Hodson, of 6 Music favourites, Warm Digits, he charts a course into the yearning, melancholic jangle-pop of The Go-Betweens, finding himself drawn to the literate, grunge-pop of The Lemonheads, to build a cohesive collection that pulls in his many strengths.

'Diagrams' is a collection that further cements Smith’s reputation as a revered songwriter and lyricist, whose skills continue to find new avenues through which to develop.

Pre-order the album here.

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Lonely The Brave new singer and live 13 October 2018

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New singer and live date announcement: Lonely The Brave
Live date: 13 October 2018
More info: Band website

Lonely The Brave - one of Britain’s most successful rock bands of the last few years, boasting two Rock Chart #1 albums – are today announcing the arrival of new vocalist Jack Bennett, a name more than familiar to the rock world for his solo work under the name Grumble Bee.

After the departure of co-founder and vocalist David Jakes earlier this year due to health reasons, Lonely The Brave stood together, supporting their friend but adamant that as one door was closing, they would very soon be opening a new one. They never stopped writing, never stopped creating, and instead started the search for a vocal talent that they could stand side by side with in their march toward album number three.

A short search led them to the door of Jack Bennett, and an instant connection was made as they traded stories, ideas and inspirations. He is noted for his strong and emotionally wrought vocal performances - qualities that have come to define the band’s live show - so it is with some excitement that their first live outing together is announced to take place at Omeara, London, on October 13th. Tickets will be available here and go on general sale from 9am Friday, August 17th. This will be a special headline show with no support act and an early 10pm curfew, so be sure to get down early to avoid disappointment.

The band had this to say about Jack’s arrival;

We don’t know where to start with everything that has happened over the last 12 Months or so, so first of all we all want to say thank you to every single one of you that has messaged us with your support during this period. Nothing worth doing is ever easy and your continued words of encouragement really have helped galvanise our belief that this band has so much more to give. It fills us with pride to say that this new chapter of our history will begin in earnest on the 13th October. The show is our way of thanking every single one of you for standing by us and understanding that this is a continuation; that the songs really are the most important part.

We hope to see friends old and new on the 13th

With love
Lonely The Brave

Join the band as they pen a new chapter together.

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IDLES pop-up art exhibition 30/31 August 2018

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Exhibition: Pop-up art exhibition to raise money for Samaritans
Date: 30/31 August 2018
More info: Band website

  • IDLES announce pop-up art exhibition to raise money for Samaritans
  • Live in-store dates to promote the new album
  • First ever global tour, including their biggest London headliner

IDLES have announced an art exhibition to celebrate the release of their second album 'Joy as an Act of Resistance' out on Partisan Records. Pre-order the album here.

Open for two days, between 12pm and 8pm, and curated by the band, the exhibition will take place at HM Electrics Gallery, 65 Nile St, London N1 7RD

The gallery will contain 18 pieces of work across several mediums, with contributions from:

  • Orlando Weeks
  • Nigel Talbot
  • Tao Lapsley
  • Russell Oliver
  • Robin Stewart
  • Tom Ham
  • Dapper Signs
  • Chris Nicholls
  • Ed Barrett
  • Beth Cater

The gallery will be free entry and artwork on display available to buy, with all proceeds going to the Samaritans charity. Watch the IDLES gallery video here.

The band have also announced a run of live in-store dates around the album:

  • 30 Aug UK London, Banquet Records, 9pm
  • 31 Aug UK Bristol, Rough Trade, 3pm
  • 31 Aug UK Bristol, Rough Trade, 7pm
  • 03 Sep UK Portsmouth, Pie and Vinyl, 1pm
  • 03 Sep UK Brighton, Resident, 6.30pm
  • 04 Sep UK London, Rough Trade East, 7pm
  • 05 Sep UK Sheffield, Record Junkee, 1pm
  • 05 Sep UK Nottingham, Rough Trade, 7.30pm
  • 06 Sep UK Leeds, Crash Records, 1pm
  • 06 Sep UK Manchester, FOPP, 5.30pm
  • 07 Sep UK Cardiff, Spiller Records, 7pm

Last week the band shared further new material in a searing takedown of toxic masculinity entitled 'Samaritans'. A live favourite for sometime, the Theo Watkins directed music video compiles archival clips displaying traditional masculine imagery. The FADER writes: ""The mask of masculinity is a mask that's wearing me," sings front man Joe Talbot over the top of a tight and anxiety-laced guitar riff. It's the third single... and one of their most confrontational songs to date." Listen/watch here and feel free to share.

Speaking of the song’s message, front man Joe Talbot says:

"There's been a long line of bullshit that has pushed men into a corner, where simple masking becomes a trope of masculinity and a catalyst for insanity. What we wear, what we eat, what razor we use, high performance chewing gum, go faster shampoo, how we treat women, how we treat ourselves, how we die. I truly believe that masculinity has gone from an evolution of cultural praxis to a disease. I wanted to encourage a conversation about gender roles by writing this song."

'Samaritans' is the third song to be released from IDLES's much-anticipated upcoming album 'Joy As An Act Of Resistance'. Produced by Space and mixed by Adam Greenspan & Nick Launay (Arcade Fire, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Kate Bush), The album takes aim at everything from nationalism and immigration to class inequality - all while maintaining a visceral, infectious positivity. Singer Joe Talbot summarises: “This album is an attempt to be vulnerable to our audience and to encourage vulnerability; a brave naked smile in this shitty new world. We have stripped back the songs and lyrics to our bare flesh to allow each other to breathe, to celebrate our differences, and act as an ode to communities and the individuals that forge them. Because without our community, we’d be nothing.”

  • Read Joe’s full statement on the album’s inspiration and origins here.
  • Watch the video for album opener 'Colossus' here.

This autumn, IDLES will embark on their first ever global tour, including their biggest London headliner yet at O2 Forum Kentish Town on 18th October. Their last London headliner, at Heaven, sold out nearly six months in front. Tickets are on sale now here.

  • Watch the video for pro-immigration anthem and current single 'Danny Nedelko' here.

"IDLES might just be the best live guitar band in Europe." - The Quietus

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Black Belt Eagle Scout debut album out 14 September 2018

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Album release: 'Mother of My Children' by Black Belt Ealge Scout
Release date: 14 September 2018
Label: Saddle Creek
More info: Artist website

“Having this identity—radical indigenous queer feminist—keeps me going. My music and my identity come from the same foundation of being a Native woman.” - Katherine Paul (aka KP) is Black Belt Eagle Scout

Recorded in the middle of winter near her hometown in Northwest Washington, Paul’s connection to the landscape’s eerie beauty are palpable throughout as the album traces the full spectrum of confronting buried feelings and the loss of what life was supposed to look like. Paul reflects, “I wrote this album in the fall of 2016 after two pretty big losses in my life. My mentor, Geneviève Castrée, had just died from pancreatic cancer and the relationship I had with the first woman I loved had drastically lessened and changed.” Heavy and heartbroken, Paul found respite from the weight of such loss in the creation of these songs that “are about grief and love for people, but also about being a native person in what is the United States today.”

Listen to the new single 'Soft Stud' here.

On 'Mother of My Children', the songs weave together to capture both the enduring and fleeting experiences of loss, frustration, and dreaming. The structures are traditional, but the lyrics don’t adhere to any format other than what feels right in the moment. Mother of My Children begins with lead single 'Soft Stud,' which Paul describes as her “queer anthem.” It’s “about the hardships of queer desire within an open relationship.”

“It’s is a sprawling six minutes that feels surprisingly compact, tight nerves and circuitous guitars and muddy drums building and breaking” - Stereogum

'Indians Never Die,' a call out to colonisers and those who don’t respect the Earth, follows. As Standing Rock was happening, many people in Paul’s life were coming together to fight for the most basic necessity to sustain human life: water. “Our treaty rights weren’t being honored. Imagine hearing on the news that the government doesn’t support you as a human being and never has. They don’t care about the water, they don’t care about how they are destroying what is around them. Indigenous people are the protectors of this land. Indians never die because this is our land that we will forever protect in the present and the afterlife.”

Paul grew up in a small Indian reservation, the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, surrounded by family focused on native drumming, singing, and arts. From an early age, Paul was singing and dancing at powwows with one of her strongest memories at her family’s own powwow, called the All My Relations Powwow. Paul reminisces, “When I was younger, my only form of music was through the songs my ancestors taught the generations of my family. Singing in our language is a spiritual process and it carries on through me in how I create music today.” With the support of her family and a handful of bootleg Hole and Nirvana VHS tapes, Paul taught herself how to play guitar and drums as a teenager. In 2007, she moved to Portland, Oregon to attend college and get involved with the Rock’n’Roll Camp for Girls eventually diving deep into the city’s music scene playing guitar and drums in bands while evolving her artistry into what would later become Black Belt Eagle Scout.

'Mother of My Children' is a life chapter gently preserved. The access listeners have to such vulnerability feels special and generous.

Pre-order Mother of My Children:
https://BBES.lnk.to/MOMC

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Lucero new album out 3 August 2018

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Album release: 'Among The Ghosts' by Lucero
Release date: 3 August 2018
Label: Liberty & Lament / Thirty Tigers
More info: Band website

Nashville, TN – Memphis rock/alt country quintet Lucero has announced 2018 fall tour dates in support of their upcoming album 'Among The Ghosts', which releases on August 3rd via Liberty & Lament/Thirty Tigers. The anticipated new album has already received positive responses, including early coverage from Billboard, Garden & Gun, Rolling Stone Country and Brooklyn Vegan, with more to come. American Songwriter posted an exclusive premiere of Lucero’s new track 'Cover Me'. Click here to listen.

Celebrating 20 years together, Lucero returns to their early rock n’ roll days for the band’s ninth studio album as they pull back on the big arrangements and Memphis-styled horns of their recent work. With lead singer/songwriter Ben Nichols taking a more observational approach, 'Among The Ghosts' showcases his penchant for creating hauntingly vivid imagery with literary-inspired storytelling steeped in Southern Gothic vignettes. The result is an album that is more core Lucero and yet not quite like anything the band has done in recent years. Among The Ghosts is the sound of a band going back to their roots to discover a fresh perspective and cement their legacy for years to come. In recognition of their 20 year anniversary, Lucero just released a home movie-style video featuring entertaining personal footage captured during their earlier days set to the track 'For The Lonely Ones'. View it here.

Lucero has remained firmly rooted in their blue-collar ethos for two decades, building a loyal legion of fans along the way with their gritty, high-powered live performances and communal atmosphere. Keeping one foot firmly planted in a foundation of Memphis rock and soul, the band consistently brings it night after night, playing over 100 shows a year and continuing to pack houses all over. Lucero’s longevity and ability to evolve while engaging fans both new and old, proves that even after all this time they remain a relevant, dynamic force with staying power.

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Creedence Clearwater Revival 50th anniversary video release

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Video release: 'Fortunate Son' by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Release date: Out now
Label: Craft Recordings
More info: Band Facebook

Craft Recordings proudly announces the 50th anniversary of America’s greatest rock band, Creedence Clearwater Revival. It was in the summertime half a century ago that CCR, a group that would reach sky-high success while retaining a resolutely rootsy, earthbound sound, released their debut album. This marked the beginning of an incredible legacy that was formed over just four years of unbridled creative output (1968-1972).

CCR's canon has become a staple in the Great American Songbook. Songs like 'Bad Moon Rising', 'Down on the Corner', 'Have You Ever Seen the Rain', 'Proud Mary', and 'Up Around the Bend' have been ingrained into the pop-cultural consciousness—not just as classic rock staples, but as American standards.

As the United States speeds towards another anniversary of its own on 4th July, Craft is kicking off the CCR50 campaign by releasing an official music video (the first ever) for one of the band’s most enduring classics, 'Fortunate Son', a song as vital now as ever.

Beyond its anti-war sentiment, 'Fortunate Son' is an anthem for the 99%ers, condensing a critique of elitism and class privilege into three simple, but powerfully defiant words: It Ain’t Me. Craft partnered with director Ben Fee (Band of Horses, The War on Drugs, The Lumineers, Aesop Rock) to give a whole new generation a visual entry point into the world of Creedence.

The song already has an undeniable place in history as one of the most visceral, attention-grabbing protest tunes of the Vietnam era. With the new video, Fee extends the reach of 'Fortunate Son' even further. "For me, protest right now is just showing pure positivity in the face of division and anger." Says Fee, “I wanted to highlight the community and positivity that everybody shares…I wanted to show what America feels like when you actually hit the road and drive throughout the states."

Though the Vietnam war is decades away in the rearview mirror, the people CCR were speaking for in the song are still the heart and soul of America, and they're still the underdog, facing a whole new set of challenges. So, Fee turned the video into a celebration of their indomitable spirit, giving viewers a glimpse of the broad array of characters comprising the patchwork that is our country at its core.

In spotlighting the diversity and unconquerable spirit of America's so-called 99%, Fee created a concept as relevant to today's world as it is to the original 1969 setting of "Fortunate Son." "I met so many beautiful people," says Fee of the folks he shot for the video. "I went to the Taos Pueblo people, into their land, and met with the war chief, and they were very big fans of CCR. They were so welcoming because they knew the song and the band, and they really loved the idea of protest through positivity." 

Click here to watch the video.

Fee’s video road trip took him across the country, from Los Angeles to Miami and all points in between. The footage captures people across America of diverse ages, cultures, ethnic backgrounds and locations (including Florida, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, California, Washington and Hawaii) to document the true spirit that makes up the fabric of the United States, for which CCR have been the soundtrack for 50 years.

In addition to the video, the half-century celebration will continue in the coming months to fill out the CCR story even further. Craft will be honouring the band’s musical legacy via a diverse array of media, products and events; including a special release coming this autumn. The fête will also provide fans with new ways to engage with CCR online–sharing their memories, streaming new content, and diving deeper into the band’s legendary history. Stay tuned to CCR50.com for more details, coming soon.

In the meantime, you can dig in to more from the Creedence Clearwater Revival catalogue (and build your 4th July playlists) via Apple Music (click here for the Essentials) or Spotify (click here for This Is).

Creedence Clearwater Revival’s 1968 self-titled debut album introduced the world to guitar-playing brothers John and Tom Fogerty, drummer Doug Clifford, and bassist Stu Cook, four young men out of El Cerrito in the San Francisco Bay Area. Though they emerged in a place and time where trippy psychedelic visions were the order of the day, CCR bucked the trends and instead tapped into a rich, traditional seam of American music that connected to blues, country, rockabilly, gospel, folk and R&B.

While their contemporaries were unfurling mind-bending musical excursions with elaborate productions, Creedence crashed into the upper rungs of the album and singles charts with songs that wasted nary a note or word, overflowing with raw soul and unbridled energy. Although the band members were only together for four years under the Creedence Clearwater Revival appellation, they managed to accomplish more than many artists do in their entire career – they released 14 Top 10 hits, six Platinum albums, and one Gold in just four intensely prolific years, all powered by John Fogerty's gut-level growl, with Tom Fogerty, Stu Cook and Doug Clifford providing just the right kind of gritty, in-the-pocket punch to propel CCR's vision.

The band's West Coast origins notwithstanding, Fogerty's voice contained echoes of everything from the Chicago blues bite of Howlin' Wolf to the Alabama twang of Hank Williams and the Memphis swagger of Elvis Presley, creating an archetypal example of Americana decades before anybody ever thought of using that term to define a musical genre.

For all the indelible guitar hooks and commanding vocals the CCR catalogue contains, their songs are more than catchy tunes. CCR was a people's band in more ways than one; hand in hand with the accessibility that made their music relatable to just about everybody, there was a strong sense of identification with America's common folks, the ones whose stories were told in the songs.

On tunes like 'Born on the Bayou' and 'Green River', Creedence harnessed the sonic hoodoo of almost dangerously deep, “swamp rock” grooves to propel vivid New Orleans imagery. 'Long As I Can See the Light' floats luminously with the kind of sanctified soul feel that we've come to expect only from the South. And the spry country two-step of 'Lookin' Out My Back Door' finds its feet in Nashville, at least in a spiritual sense. While CCR's signature song, "Proud Mary," is a Southern-soaked riverboat travelogue, with stops in Memphis and the Crescent City.

Even some of the covers of Creedence's tunes have become part of history—Ike & Tina Turner's sped-up, R&B-slathered 1971 recording of 'Proud Mary' almost rivaled the original in popularity. And an astonishing array of artists, from Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson to R.E.M. and the Ramones, have recorded 'Have You Ever Seen the Rain', to home in on the reach of just one of their profusely covered songs.

The group also performed a historic headlining set at Woodstock, and toured the world before disbanding in 1972. CCR's music endures today – still in popular rotation on the radio, and heard regularly in films and TV shows. Having sold over 30 million albums in the U.S. alone, Creedence received a rare Diamond certification from the RIAA in 2016, marking 10 million units in sales for their 1976 compilation album, Chronicle: The 20 Greatest Hits.

The appeal of Creedence Clearwater Revival isn't tied to any one era or milieu; whether it's 50 years ago or 100 years from now, all you need is a pair of ears to pick up on their sound. As John Fogerty once sang on a certain 1969 hit single, "Over on the corner there's a happy noise/People come from all around to watch the magic boys."

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Estrons new single out now

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Single release: 'Lilac' by Estrons
Release date: Out now
More info: Band website

Welsh alt-rock outfit Estrons return today with 'Lilac', the first song to be taken from fruitful recent sessions with Alex Newport (At The Drive-In, Death Cab For Cutie, Pissed Jeans). Debuted last night by Huw Stephens on his Radio 1 show, he said 'Lilac' was "so good" that he played it twice in a row. Listen to Lilac here.

A further evolution sonically from what has come before, immediate and anthemic, the song marries tense vocals from Tali Källström to the off-kilter, cutting guitars that Rhodri Daniel has become known for. Tali dedicates the song to "an encounter I had with a teenage girl in the early hours of the morning. I drove past her crying in the street with her shoes in her hand and so I decided to turn the car around to check on her. I'd assumed that she was crying about something superficial and I'd also assumed that the man walking a few feet behind her was trying to take advantage. Turns out the man actually lived on that street and the girl was heartbroken because her dad had just been diagnosed with terminal cancer. We often get things wrong because society leads us to create prejudices on genders; the song is myself reflecting on that. It also celebrates human empathy as the girl I helped was genuinely touched that I'd stopped to check she got home okay. I haven't seen her since that day - but this one goes out to her, anybody who is going through a difficult time and also to all the people out there who have helped me in a crisis. Someone always cares and you can get through it."

The band played a London headline show at House Of Vans, have been handpicked by Garbage to support on their September tour and also announce headlining dates of their own for November.

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Active Bird new album out 26 October 2018

Active Bird.jpg

Album release: 'Amends' by Active Bird
Release date: 26 October 2018
Label: Barsuk Records
More info: Band website

Brooklyn, NY’s Active Bird Community today announced their new album and Barsuk Records debut, 'Amends', will be released on 26th October 2018 via Barsuk Records. The video for first single 'Unwind With Me' premiered today via Brooklyn Vegan, and can also now be seen here.

Filmed entirely in the back of a moving truck, director Henry Kinder explains, “We considered a few different options for how to pull this off, but at the end of the day, the only way to achieve the natural claustrophobia amidst the constructed world that we imagined was to practically build the apartment into the actual bed of a truck. This choice created tight parameters within which we had to work, but it felt like the only way to achieve exactly what we wanted: to visually represent this state of unsettled displacement that we were both feeling at the time and that we were hearing in the song."

'Amends' is also now available for pre-order here.

Of the song, singer/guitarist Tom D’Agustino says, "I don’t think I realised until after the song was finished that it sort of felt like I was putting myself on trial. It was finished during a pretty confusing time in my life, my relationship was ending right around the time I had gotten sick with shingles. It became clear that my life wasn’t going in the right direction or any direction really, and that left me feeling guilty and ashamed. ‘Unwind With Me’ was sort of like declaring bankruptcy on myself - I’m gonna unravel everything so I can get back to some sort of starting line. I think I also realised that in that decision or that outlook, I felt like I could take back some control. It’s my choice to tear everything down and rebuild, and even if it hurts, it’s alright because I’m moving forward, I’m willing a change..."

Active Bird Community have also announced a fall North American tour, beginning with a hometown Brooklyn show on 27th September at Rough Trade. The dates continue throughout the northeast, midwest, and Canada before wrapping up on October 6 at Great Scott in Boston, MA. 

'Amends' dwells in the intricacies of relationships -- broken bonds between friends, family, and lovers -- and hoping to heal. A contemplation on loss and forgiveness, the album volleys between the perspectives of D'Agustino and co-songwriter/lead guitarist Andrew Wolfson. “We’ve both written for the records before,” Wolfson says. “But on Stick Around it felt like Tom’s voice was the protagonist and mine was the narrator.” D’Agustino’s anxious search for maturity was countered by Wolfson’s hesitation to stop and absorb the world around them. A similar step-ball-change of action and commentary drives 'Amends' forward, only this time specific memories are unpacked, and the past is explored and confronted rather than avoided.

The 11 tracks deal with universal themes including the tension of family, loss, and learning to move on without resentment (“Amends,” “Lighthouse”), breakups (“Unwind With Me”), anxieties (“Downstairs”), and hope for the future (“Silver Screen”). As a whole, 'Amends' represents Active Bird Community’s efforts to contend honestly with the pain of their experiences and explore the empowering nature of forgiveness.

Active Bird Community’s 2017 album, 'Stick Around', was self-released last year and hailed as “a scrappy punk slugfest rife with immediate post-college struggles" (Billboard), and “superb...full of addicting cuts" (Earmilk). The band -- who have been playing together since middle school -- recently played a sold-out show at Brooklyn's Knitting Factory as part of Northside Festival, have toured with artists including Cymbals Eat Guitars and We Were Promised Jetpacks, and performed at festivals including Panorama and Audiotree.

Active Bird Community are: Tom D’Agustino (vocals, guitar), Andrew Wolfson (vocals/lead guitar), Quinn McGovern (drums), and Zach Slater (bass).

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