This week’s Timely Tunes features new music from the likes of Neil Young, The Replacements, Iron Chic, Kelela and Lorenzo Senni. Pour your favorite beverage, sit back and listen.
Iron Chic “My Best Friend (Is a Nihilist)” (From “You Can’t Stay Here”)
I was a big fan of Iron Chic’s 2013 album, “The Constant One”, but after the tragic death of founding guitarist Rob McAllister, I wondered if the band would ever follow it up. Fortunately, the Long Island punk band’s new single is a fist-pumping, black humored, multi-hooked barnburner. For a band that once memorialized The Gin Blossoms in a song (“True Miserable Experience”), it’s not entirely surprising that their catchiest song to date would sound a bit like emo’s answer to “Hey Jealousy”.
The Replacements “I Will Dare (Live)” (From “Live at Maxwell’s, Hoboken, NJ, 2/4/86”)
The Replacements are, without a doubt, my favorite American rock and roll band of all time; a quartet of Minneapolis misfits who wrapped perfect pop songs in a coat of ragged punk threads. They were also one of the most frustratingly wonderful live bands of their era, capable of ramshackle, drunken destruction or mercurial brilliance (often in the same set). On September 29, Rhino Records is releasing a double disc set of their legendary 1986 show at Maxwell’s.
Neil Young “Give Me Strength” (From “Hitchhiker”)
Neil Young has given us half a century of brilliant songs, bizarre artistic cul-de-sacs, and transcendent live performances. There has also always been a mythic belief that he probably has an innumerable bounty of gems in his vast vault. In 1976, during one of the peak eras of his overflowing genius, he spent one night recording a collection of ten sad, stripped-bare, beautiful songs that fell into the cracks of history. Many of the songs were re-worked and released in different forms on future albums, but a couple were never given a proper home. Now that Young has finally officially released “Hitchhiker”, we get the previously unreleased “Give Me Strength”, a simple, gorgeous song about moving on.
Kelela “Frontline” (From “Take Me Apart”)
The second single from Kelela’s highly anticipated new album, another collaboration with young producer Jam City, is a jaw-dropper. Her music, a meticulously well-crafted blend of abstracted synthesizers and laser-precise human emotion, sounds beamed in from the future. This is the sound of an artist reaching the pinnacle of her prowess.
Lorenzo Senni “The Shape of Trance to Come”
In 1959, alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman blew apart the jazz world with the masterpiece “The Shape of Jazz to Come”. Italian producer Lorenzo Senni’s latest single is a winking nod to Coleman (and perhaps also to the Refused’s later “The Shape of Punk to Come”). Trance has little of the critical cache of either jazz or punk, generally dismissed as a somewhat gauche, corny substratum of club music. But Senni is a playful experimentalist capable of bending the core elements of club euphoria into much darker, stranger clusters of sound.
TIMELY TUNES, VOL. 59
1. Local H “All The Kids Are Right”
2. iron Chic “My Best Friend (Is a Nihilist)”
3. Gin Blossoms “Hey Jealousy”
4. The Modern Lovers “Dignified and Old”
5. The Replacements “I Will Dare (Live)”
6. Hüsker Dü “Eight Miles High”
7. Miracle Legion “You’re the One Lee”
8. Neil Young “Give Me Strength”
9. Gram Parsons “She”
10. Lou Reed “Sad Song”
11. Cocteau Twins “Fifty-fifty Clown”
12. Kelela “Frontline”
13. Caribou “Our Love”
14. Lorenzo Senni “The Shape of Trance To Come”
15. Roy of the Ravers “Emotinium – Original Mix”
What are you listening to lately?
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