June 14, 2021

Mike’s Monday Muse – Barbara Lynn

Mike’s Monday Muse is where friend of the blog, roots DJ, house show organizer, Bloomington Music Expo czar and all around nice guy Mike McAfee picks one song a week to share with the people.

Before crushing it left-handed, she tells a great story about Mick Jagger calling her to get permission to cover this song on their Rolling Stones, Now! record. Barbara Lynn, Empress of Gulf Coast Soul, has written, sang and played lead guitar on most of her songs during her incredible 60-year career. She’s so damn good and cool she toured with Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder, etc. and has been sampled by Moby and Lil’ Wayne.

June 9, 2021

The Midweekly – HMLTD

First thought it was an abbreviation for Humiliated, then learned their first EP was titled Hate Music Last Time Delete. But that too was wrong. It comes from their previously hilarious name Happy Meals Limited. Can’t imagine why a label would ask them to change that! West of Eden is the London group’s debut release, and it spins the roulette wheel of styles and tones. Their often bright, flamboyant image isn’t just a gimmick. They confidently back it up with well polished brit pop, glam rock, and post punk. The production and songwriting takes turns between heavy electronic beats, layered guitar, stripped down tunes reminiscent of a surf, western, or cabaret feel, and even a few weirder tracks of fx laden spoken word. Vocalist Henry Spychalski croons and screeches out lyrics mostly of a dark storytelling nature. The album is definitely an ambitious start for this flashy band. 

June 7, 2021

Mike’s Monday Muse – Mike Cooley, Patterson Hood and Jason Isbell

Mike’s Monday Muse is where friend of the blog, roots DJ, house show organizer, Bloomington Music Expo czar and all around nice guy Mike McAfee picks one song a week to share with the people.

Three former Drive-By Trucker bandmates swapping tunes and stories recorded live at the Shoals Theatre in Florence, AL in 2014. This 4LP box set was just released on vinyl last week.

June 3, 2021

Fasman’s Finds – Georgia Anne Muldrow

Fasman’s Finds is our column from Rebecca Fasman (intrepid record nerd, DJ, and curator at the Kinsey Institute) in which she shares what she’s listening to and why. 

Georgia Anne Muldrow released her most recent album (21st in her incredible catalog), called VWETO III, on May 21st. Georgia said that “VWETO III is intended for movement. It’s to be played when you birth yourself back outside after a long introspective period to get the things you need. It intends for you to be your own superhero and wants to be your theme for power.” 

Movement and inertia have both played perhaps outsized roles in our lives in the past 16 months, and coming out of this deeply embodied interplay between inside/outside, stasis/movement is hard. This record, thankfully, is not about movement in a showy or prescribed way – there will probably not be a tik tok dance challenge to come out of any of these tracks (though I am very open to being proved wrong about this!). Instead, this thoughtful, beautiful, rich album wants the listener to determine what movement means to us as individuals and wants to be the soundtrack to our own (re)emergence and power. This, especially after the past 16 months, is such a gift. 

June 3, 2021

The B-Side: Max MacLaury

We’ve been seeing a trend of late with Americana releases sent our way, and that is an embracing of a more relaxed song structure, a movement away from the tight confines of the honky tonk and the hushed front porch confessions and into something a bit more loose and wide open. A lot of the times that manifests itself in a journey toward the psychedelic (best embodied by Leon III’s genre blending masterpiece Antlers in Velvet that came out earlier this year) and then there’s Max MacLaury‘s “Cut From The Same Cloth.” MacLaury doesn’t throw any curve balls at you, nor whips the song into an unexpected left turn, he just simply pops the top off of it and lets it breathe and stretch its legs a bit, to great effect. It gives the song a kind of natural cinematic openness that matches MacLaury’s vocals which sit perfectly between a classic country croon and roots rock attitude, and has us playing this one on repeat.

June 2, 2021

Play Listy For Me – Indie Rock Vol. 7

Play Listy For Me is our column where we share with you all the music we recently talked about in a genre blocked playlist, plus extra bonus songs.

Had enough of the cicada drone? Mix it up with these fresh hot tracks.

June 2, 2021

The Midweekly – Kota The Friend & Statik Selektah

The title comes from the line, “Thank you for pressing play, they tried to kill a sunrise, but you can’t contain the sun, trust me, we have just begun.” Line after line, in every verse, is packed with this kind of positive attitude on the new record To Kill A Sunrise, by Kota The Friend & Statik Selektah. The Brooklyn rapper has been putting out a lot of material in a short amount of time, and doing it the way he wants.. After turning down offers from majors, he decided to start his own label. That independent, hard working spirit shows in the lyrics. There’s the determination of a self-made artist, and a reconciliation with enemies in these verses. Also tracks about seeing the world, an appreciation for those who helped him along the way, and the confusion of new relationships. All of this is scored by Boston-born, NY-based DJ and producer Statik Selektah, a well respected name in the business. Statik lays down classic-style beats, cut with jazzy piano and soulful horns. That sunrise represents the beauty of beginning, new color and warmth thrown over everything. Kota & Statik won’t let anyone take that away from them. 

June 2, 2021

The B-Side: Oh Condor

Fuzzed out 90’s influenced indie rock will always have a special place in our heart and Oh Condor has just planted their flag there with “Bending Negative.” There’s a healthy Mascis/Barlow-ness going on here musically, with overdriven guitars riding above a loose groove that give it a decidedly slacker rock vibe, but vocally Oh Condor gives us a bit more verve and pep than is usually associated with that genre. It’s both familiar and fresh at the same time and reminds us that grunge was never a fad, it was just an evolution of the timelessness that is rock n roll.

June 1, 2021

Play Listy For Me – Americana, Folk & Roots Vol. 5

Play Listy For Me is our column where we share with you all the music we recently talked about in a genre blocked playlist, plus extra bonus songs.

Back from our vacation in the Smoky Mountains, but still feeling that vibe, so here’s a playlist to get you on our level.

June 1, 2021

The B-Side: The Daily Spreadsheets

Maybe it’s the fresh ears we’re sporting after taking a few weeks off, but hot damn does this number from The Daily Spreadsheets sound good. Its classic bedroom rock mixing British Invasion rock with 70’s power pop and it stands shoulder to shoulder with Uncle Bob and the rest of the boys in Guided by Voices. Don’t over think it. Just turn it up and let the easy melodies take you there.

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