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Ever since forging out on his own in 2011 with his solo debut album, Noel Gallagher has had a keen interest in creating some danceable, rhythmic music. After that album cycle, he started a project called Amorphous Androgynous that promised to tackle experimental/electronic music, but it never materialized. Today, he hit that sweet spot with the release of Black Star Dancing, a new EP from Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds that features both Gallagher’s signature sound and some new approaches, including dabbling in more experimental production flourishes. It was previewed in recent weeks with its trippy title track: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LKSW_RK8Ss The…

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Throughout much of Turn Off The News (Build a Garden), the new album from Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real that was released on Friday, there are sentiments to do exactly that. Turn off the news, go outside, unplug and just experience life. Pick up a copy of the LP at this link. On “Lotta Fun,” for example, Nelson (Willie’s son), begins with the line “I don’t trust computers anymore/Gonna buy a little weed in the marijuana store,” and that pretty much sums things up. This is a record about love, life and experiencing it free of the distractions…

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Bruce Springsteen may have unintentionally undercut his own new album, Western Stars, with recent talks of reconvening with the E Street Band for a new album and tour — but the record, out today, deserves its own attention. Pick up a copy of the record now at this link. The LP finds the Boss visiting the troubadour/storyteller persona he’s used heavily throughout his career, and the songs boast some robust production flourishes. Look no further than “The Wayfarer,” which gives way to flittering orchestral accompaniment after a few verses of traditional Springsteenian singer/songwriter fare: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uTWooB6V-4 The album’s title track, “Western…

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There’s quite a bit of fire in Liam Gallagher’s new music video for “Shockwave,” the lead single off his forthcoming solo album — but the longtime Oasis vocalist doesn’t seem to mind it very much. In the visually dramatic clip which surfaced on Thursday, Gallagher stomps around the world in a variety of locations, several of them on fire. At one point he’s on the front lines of a protest, but those gathered are holding signs featuring lyrics from the song itself, which is a nice touch. Watch the video below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBAhgZZNR7E “Shockwave” is the first song off Gallagher’s new…

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Songwriter/bassist/vocalist John Lodge is known as one of the central figures behind the Moody Blues, and he has a busy summer ahead of him. In addition to taking part in the Royal Affair tour alongside YES, Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy and Asia, Lodge will release a new solo compilation on August 23. Beyond: The Very Best Of will combine new recordings, remixes and selections from his past that revisit both the best material from the Moody Blues as well as Lodge’s solo career. Here’s “Street Cafe” as a preview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9c_LP3sKCk Like the song above, the album features some re-interpretations of…

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On June 21, a compilation paying tribute to the musical contributions of the late Harry Nilsson will be released. This Is The Town: A Tribute to Nilsson (Volume 2) (pre-order here)is the sequel to the original tribute album released in 2014, and comes at a pretty relevant time. Not only was Harry Nilsson an important songwriter, but his music has undergone a bit of a renaissance lately thanks in large part to the Netflix series Russian Doll, which features “Gotta Get Up” heavily in its first season. https://twitter.com/royalpotato/status/1131932278211399681 That song isn’t represented on this new compilation album — it was…

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Merry Ellen Kirk’s last two releases, 2015’s We Are the Dreamers and the newly-released We Are the Dreamers (Reprise), are the remarkable bounty of the decade Kirk has spent pursuing a fascinating music career. While Kirk is very much a singer-songwriter, and her influences and expressions often fit the label comfortably, what makes her albums stand out is her ability to express the most intimate of concerns through the most expansive of musical textures while creating an emotional landscape that feels as sonically lush as it does interpersonal. Though as the title might suggest, the fresh Reprise offering serves as…

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The (excellent) new Elton John biopic Rocketman features a soundtrack heavy on classic songs from the Sir Elton and Bernie Taupin songbook — as well as a new composition, the bouncing and confident “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again.” A collaboration between Elton and Rocketman star Taron Egerton, the song now has its own music video incorporating scenes and images from the film with some excellent visual additions — soak it all in below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LtusBN3ST0 Rocketman came at a big time for the rock and roll biopic — after Bohemian Rhapsody made waves last year in the box office for its tale…

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As a young, exuberant and adventurous rock writer back in the ‘70s and ‘80s, I would fly anywhere to pursue a story. On this particular day it was a trip to New York to interview Steely Dan singer-keyboardist Donald Fagen. It was the thrill of the chase and that whole idea of traveling to some distant vista — even if some of the locations weren’t so distant such as Las Vegas or San Francisco, which were only one-hour plane rides away — armed only with a cassette player and a typewritten page of questions in order to do battle [albeit…

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“Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.” – George Burns “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin Bobby McFerrin’s 1988 tune “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” was the first a cappella song to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. McFerrin first spotted the simple philosophy on a poster of Indian guru Meher Baba. “I would do it in clubs, it wasn’t finished, I didn’t have all the lyrics and stuff figured out but I would just sing the refrain and just improvise, playing with it a little bit,” McFerrin told Vancouver’s CityNews 1130.…

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