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Posts Categorized / Song Of The Week

Song Of The Week | Sep 18, 2017

Ted Leo – Can’t Go Back

Ted Leo is one of the finest songwriters of our generation, even if it’s not entirely clear what generation that is. Starting in New York Hardcore with Citizen’s Arrest, making the ‘90s safe for power-pop and Weller-esque hair with Chisel, then singing our turbulent lives like we were smarter than we were with The Pharmacists, and most recently providing equal parts sweetness and solace with Aimee Mann as The Both, Ted never let us down. And now, seven years after The Brutalist Bricks, he has a new solo album. And it’s wonderful.

The songs on The Hanged Man, recorded at a home-studio-in-transition in Wakefield, RI, with Ted playing almost all the instruments, are some of the finest and most finely wrought of Ted Leo’s career. Ted describes the time working on the album as one of “personal desolation that felt fallow but was actually very fertile” and, indeed, lyrically, The Hanged Man is suffused with hope of sorts but is crushingly heavy. The concerns addressed, whether personal trauma or the national disaster we’re all currently existing in, matched with the range and vitality of the songcraft, is inspiring, even uplifting.

The Hanged Man offers the sharp bursts of skinny-tie pop-punk fury one would expect from Ted—and even these feel streamlined like never before—but they are offset with an adventurousness in both tone and structure. The intention was to upend expectations but, on songs like the bookends of “Moon Out of Phase” and “Let’s Stay On The Moon,” the intention never gets in the way of the result. There’s no strain of effort in songs that are unlike anything Ted has done previously. The Hanged Man is a career high, born through industry soul sickness, nausea-inducing crisis, and a talent that feels like secular grace.


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Song Of The Week | Sep 11, 2017

The Dream Syndicate – Filter Me Through You

The Dream Syndicate was a classic guitar band of the eighties. Born at the end of the Punk era, with a feel for Velvet Underground The Dream Syndicate instantly became the saviors of alternative rock before the term was commonly used. With The Days Of Wine and Roses they climbed to a high point in the critics eyes, and is still today considered a classic outside of die hard Steve Wynn fans circles. The Medicine Show took a different direction that the raw punkish debut, and some critiques turned their fingers down. It was/is however on of the most lived albums among fans.
During the recording of their new record Steve Wynn told his bandmates said, “Hey, you only get the chance to make a first Dream Syndicate album in 30 years once in your life.” He write, “It’s a strange statement but one that’s hard to refute (unless we end up making one at some point in our late 80s — which, well, you never know).”

Steve Wynn will be making a special solo appearance at Jack’s Music Shoppe in Red Bank on Sunday September 17 at 3pm to celebrate the new album!



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Song Of The Week | Sep 04, 2017

The Suburbs – Hey Muse

Founded in 1977, The Suburbs are recognized worldwide as among the original heroes of the “Minneapolis Sound”; a historic music era that saw the emergence of other bands like The Suicide Commandos, Prince, The Replacements and Husker Du. Led now by original keyboardist and singer Chan Poling, original drummer Hugo Klaers, and longtime saxophonists Max Ray (also of The Wallets), they are augmented by a supergroup of newcomers: Stevie Brantseg and Jeremy Ylvisaker on guitars, Steve Price on bass, Janey Winterbauer on backup vocals, Rochelle Becker on Bari Sax and Stephen Kung on horns and keys. Their last single “Turn The Radio On” was voted “Song Of The Year” by a poll of local music critics in the Mpls Star Tribune in 2013, and their brand new album “Hey Muse!” is already being played around the world and is described as, “the product of a seasoned band” (Chris Anderson, The Old Town Crier). The Suburbs continue to entertain at the highest level and remain one of the most creative and vital bands out there today, honoring their past and blazing into the future.


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Song Of The Week | Aug 28, 2017

Noah Gundersen – The Sound

Noah Gundersen is the product of a lifetime of pushing boundaries and learning to craft his own perspective. His parents, although devoutly religious, encouraged a questioning of dogma and church hierarchy. They also instilled in him a love of music from an early age. Along with starting Noah on piano at age nine, Noah’s father taught him melody and tracked songs to a reel-to-reel tape recorder while Noah was growing up. Consequently, Noah started writing and recording himself at age 13, diving headlong into music, forming and leading bands, involving himself in the small but vibrant hardcore scene of Centralia, Washington, and writing prolifically all the while. After quitting his day job at 18 and spending a year living out of his car and on couches, playing small bars and coffee shops, Noah began to build a dedicated following and garner interest from the music industry.
Noah’s canon of albums and EPs delineates a clear path of growth from past works like his Family EP and his full-lengths Ledges and Carry the Ghost. Family, released in 2011, proved to be the endeavor that gained Noah’s songwriting skills acclaim on the national stage—the title track was featured on the TV shows Sons of Anarchy and The Vampire Diaries, while the song “David” was featured on the show The Following. Noah was also nominated for an Emmy for co-writing the tune “Day is Gone” for Sons of Anarchy. And recently, he’s opened up for internationally acclaimed, genre-spanning artists like Emmylou Harris, Beck, City & Colour, and Josh Ritter.


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Song Of The Week | Aug 21, 2017

dada – The Bluebird

Since the release of dada’s groundbreaking 1992 debut Puzzle, the trio has created an array of songs boasting progressive rock musicianship, dazzling vocal harmonies and melodic power pop layered with inspired psychedelic and experimental rock impulses.

Adding to the trio’s groundbreaking line of attack are the marathon-length shows that deliver on the promise that every performance is the only one of its kind. Two decades after the Los Angeles outfit embarked on its singular journey, singer-guitarist Michael Gurley, singerbassist Joie Calio and drummer Phil Leavitt are celebrating dada’s 25th anniversary.


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