Archive for category Music

STEELE PICKS: Best Albums of 2017

I’m not on as many press lists as I used to be, so I do the best I can as the C-list music critic that I am. here’s my list of the best albums of 2017, in modified alphabetical order.

Adna, Closure

adna

Alvvays, Antisocialites

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Charlotte Gainsbourg, Rest

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Chelsea Wolfe, Hiss Spun

chelsea wolfe

Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile, Lotta Sea Lice

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Cults, Offering
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Fleet Foxes, Crack-Up

fleet foxes crack up

Gary Numan, Savage (Songs from a Broken World)

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Juana Molina, Halo

juana molina_halo
Lana Del Rey, Lust for Life

lana del rey

Laura Marling, Semper Femina

semper femina laura marling

The Mountain Goats, Goths

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The National, Sleep Well Beast

sleep well beast album cover

Real Estate, In Mind

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Ride, Weather Diaries

rideweatherdiaries

Saint Etienne, Home Counties

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Slowdive, Slowdive

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Waxahatchee, Out in the Storm
wax-out

Zola Jesus, Okovi

zola jesus

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new music: Dizzy

Dizzy, “Swim”

How did I miss this Canadian band play Boston earlier this month? Vocals are a little bit Lily Allen, a little bit Lorde; melody is a little bit xx. a little bit Cults. Overall cool, dreamy and a song to play on repeat for hours. It’s that intensely infectious. what an amazingly talented young band. I look forward to hearing more and seeing them play out live. Dizzy is: Charlie, Alex and Mackenzie Spencer and Katie Munshaw

Munshaw said: “Making music always stemmed from my being overly sensitive about everything, so when you’re that close to so many people you’re bound to meet the essential characters that screw you up enough to start writing about them.”

 

 

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new music: Totally Mild

Totally Mild, “Lucky Stars”

such a pretty, heartfelt acoustic song from Totally Mild. It’s vulnerable and melancholic. The theatrical, stark tone makes it particularly powerful and memorable.  The Melbourne, Australia band’s sophomore album, Her [Chapter Records], will be released February 23, 2018. The band has toured with Real Estate, Kurt Vile, Best Coast, DIIV and The Chills and will perform at SXSW in 2018.

Totally Mild is:
Singer/songwriter Elizabeth Mitchell
Zachary Schneider [guitar]
Dylan Young [drums]
Lehmann Smith [bass]

Totally mild album cover

Her Tracklisting:

1. Sky
2. Pearl
3. Working Like A Crow
4. From One Another
5. Lucky Stars
6. Today Tonight
7. Underwater
8. Take Today
9. More
10. Down Together

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new music: Lean Year; Misty Boyd

“Come and See,” Lean Year

–a meditative and profound song with lilting vocals and a mesmerizing melody. Powerful and elegant. Lean Year is Virginia-based singer Emilie Rex and filmmaker/musician Rick Alverson [The Comedy, Entertainment]. The duo co-wrote the album at home in Virginia and recorded it at the home studio of Chicago musician and engineer Erik Hall [In Tall Buildings, NOMO]. Lean Year’s self-titled album is out now.

“Oh Marie,” Misty Boyce

— This is an aching, sad, beautiful, winding song. The Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter’s full-length album, Get Lost, will be released on February 16, 2018.  As a popular keyboardist, Misty Boyce backed Sting, Ingrid Michaelson, Sara Bareilles and BØRNS. She recently lost her brother to an opioid overdose and her step-father to suicide. The indie-folk artist turned to writing music to work through the varied emotions she felt after these losses and hopes to reduce the stigma associated with drug addiction, mental illness and suicide. Boyce said: “Sometimes, I write to get the things I don’t want to feel out. And then maybe somebody else hears it and feels the same way, and it makes us both feel less alone. I get very frustrated with how disconnected we all are from each other, and how we’ll use whatever we can get our hands on to other people, whether it’s religion or our phones or what you like on Pinterest—anything to make us feel right and prove other people wrong. And then we don’t have to listen anymore. We can just tune out and focus on our own self-obsessed worlds. Nobody’s listening. It’s a scary thing.”

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music news: Lloyd Cole at City Winery on November 15, 2017

 

lloyd cole photo by doug seymour

Hey if you have middle-aged nostalgia, there are plenty of good shows! UK native Lloyd Cole will be in Boston on November 15, 2017 for an acoustic set at City Winery for his Retrospective Tour. New venue and should be an excellent setting. I ‘m most familiar with Lloyd Cole for his solo work from the 90s– he released an eponymous album in 1990 and Don’t Get Weird on Me Babe in 1991 and Bad Vibes in 1993. Revisiting. It’s solid. Brooding, assured. Bit of glamrock/Britpop elements combined with folk style. Although I didn’t remain tapped in on The Easthampton, Mass.-based musician’s career throughout the years, he’s not stopped regularly putting out music. I really like the song “Women’s Studies” which came out on Standards in 2013.

$22-26, Wednesday, November 15, 8 p.m., City Winery Boston, 1 Canal Street,  Boston, citywinery.com.

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new music: Calexico

calexico

 

Tuscon, Arizona band Calexico released a new video for the song “End of the World with You” from its upcoming album The Thread That Keeps Us [Anti- Records] which will be released on January 25, 2018.  Assured, laid back indie rock/ American song with lots of Wilco and The Replacements influences. love these lyrics: “Love in the age of the extremes/ there’s nothing better that i’d rather do/ then scatter all the myths/ and walk to the start of the end of the world with you.”

About the new album, guitarist/ vocalist Joey Burns said: “There’s a little more chaos and noise in the mix than what we’ve done in the past, Whenever we’re writing and we come up with something that feels too familiar, someone will end up saying, ‘That feels good, but let’s keep going and see what else we can uncover.’ It’s been really important to the arc of this band’s evolution for us to always keep on trying new things.”

Calexico is:

Joey Burns [vocals, guitar, cello, upright bass]
John Convertino [drums, percussion, vibes, marimba, accordion]
Jacob Valenzuela [vocals, trumpet, vibes, keyboard]
Martin Wenk [trumpet, accordion, guitar, synth, vibes, backing vocals]
Scott Colberg [double bass, electric bass]
Sergio Mendoza [piano, farfisa]
Jairo Zavala [bazouki, baritone guitar, vocals]

The Thread That Keeps Us Tracklisting:

  1.  End of the World with You
  2.  Voices in the Field
  3.  Bridge to Nowhere
  4.  Spinball
  5.  Under the Wheels
  6.  The Town & Miss Lorraine
  7.  Flores y Tamales
  8.  Another Space
  9.  Unconditional Waltz
  10.  Girl in the Forest
  11.  Eyes Wide Awake
  12.  Dead in the Water
  13.  Shortboard
  14.  Thrown to the Wild
  15.  Music Box

 

 

 

 

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new music: Bully

bully

Bully, “Feel the Same”

Grungy guitar and fervent, vulnerable, jaded vocals—a bit Juliana Hatfield, a bit Hole. It’s a short potent song with thoughtful lyrics. Singer Alicia Bognanno : “I feel like all my best work has been born of heartbreak and upheaval; maybe most musicians feel that way. “The title of the record –Losing – kind of says it all. After being on the road so long and coming back to Nashville we all had a lot of changes going on in our personal lives that we were trying to deal with / adjust to and that was really the motivation for this one.” In 2013, Bognanno, a music engineer, formed Bully with guitarist Clayton Parker and bassist Reece Lazarus.

The punk pop band’s sophomore album–Losing (Sub Pop)– will be released October 20, 2017.

Track Listing:
1. Feel the Same
2. Kills to Be Resistant
3. Running
4. Seeing It
5. Guess There
6. Blame
7. Focused
8. Not the Way
9. Spiral
10. Either Way
11. You Could Be Wrong
12. Hate and Control

 

Tour Dates:

11/02/17- St Louis MO – Off Broadway

11/03/17 – Iowa City IA – The Mill

11/04/17 – Minneapolis MN – Fine Line Music Cafe

11/06/17 – Madison WI – High Noon Saloon

11/07/17 – Chicago IL – Thalia Hall

11/08/17 – Detroit MI – Marble Bar

11/09/17 – Toronto ON –  Lee’s Palace

11/10/17 – Montreal QC – Bar le Ritz

11/12/17 – Boston MA – Great Scott (SOLD OUT)

11/13/17 – Brooklyn NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg

11/14/17 – Philadelphia PA – First Unitarian Church

11/15/17 – Washington DC – U Street Music Hall

11/17/17 – Charlottesville VA – The Southern

11/18/17 – Durham NC – Motorco Music Hall

11/19/17 – Asheville NC – The Mothlight

12/06/17 – Little Rock AR – Stickyz

12/07/17 – Dallas TX – Club Dada

12/08/17 – Austin TX – Emo’s

12/09/17 – Houston TX – Walter’s

12/10/17 – New Orleans LA – Gasa Gasa

12/12/17 – Birmingham AL – Saturn

12/13/17 – Atlanta GA – Terminal West

12/14/17 – Nashville TN – Mercy Lounge

12/15/17 – Nashville TN – Mercy Lounge

12/16/17 – Nashville TN – Mercy Lounge

2/16/18 – Norman OK – The Opolis

2/17/18 – Santa Fe NM – Meow Wolf

2/18/18 – Phoenix AZ – Valley Bar

2/24/18 – Eugene OR – Hi-Fi Music Lounge

2/26/18 – Vancouver BC – Biltmore Cabaret

2/28/18 – Seattle WA – Neumos

3/1/18 – Spokane WA – The Bartlett

3/2/18 – Boise ID – Neurolux

3/3/18 – Salt Lake City UT – Kilby Court

3/5/18 – Denver CO – Larimer Lounge

3/6/18 – Kansas City MO – Record Bar

 

 

 

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