Author: Keith Creighton

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Eliot Sumner Claims Her Family Name on 2016’s Most Triumphant New Album

Earlier this year, Eliot Sumner quietly released Information, one of the loudest, most ambitious, most exhilarating and inventive rock/pop albums of the decade, let alone the year. And I had no idea it was sitting on my hard drive until last month. Such are the perils of being a music blogger with an overactive downloads folder. After one listen, I promptly rushed out and bought the CD. And her last album too. And such begins our story… There’s a moment every music fan longs for when they buy a new album at the store, bring it home, struggle to remove the @#$%*ing plastic wrap and security sticker, and pop it into the CD player, cassette deck or turntable. If you’re already saying — um, but what about streaming? — I say you are killing the music industry, but hey, who am I to stop you from reading this? #lovewins Back to my story — there is a moment when you realize you are listening to something truly special, something fresh, something exciting, something that will likely …

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VIDEO PREMIERE: Swerve’s Baby Blue is a Backwards Love Story

You figure, all romantic relationships can only end in one of two ways: death or a break-up. ‘Baby Blue’ by Los Angeles indie rockers Swerve looks at a love affair in reverse. Whereas Christopher Nolan’s Memento and Seinfeld’s “The Betrayal” (the one with Sue Ellen Mischke’s wedding in India) laid out scenes in reverse, in this clip the footage itself plays backwards. “Baby Blue is the story of a relationship, told and filmed in reverse,” said lead vocalist Greg Mahdesian. “Throughout the whole thing I’m the mistral or bard, witnessing and recounting the entire story.” Casey Baird (drums), Ryan Berti (guitar) and Brandon Duncan (bass) round out the band, delivering a perfect summer pop song for fans of Marshall Crenshaw, Matthew Sweet and the Gin Blossoms. The clip was conceived and produced by Backwards Car Films; directed by Alex Gardels with cinematography by Justin Moore. Max Benton and Claudia Santangelo show a lot of star potential as our doomed couple. With any luck, they will find love again — together or with new partners, in future Swerve clips. …

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Haley Reinhart and Allison Iraheta Come Back Swinging

Dear American Idol, Since you’ve been gone, I’ve been thinking about your legacy. Your original premise was to take an unknown talent and usher them into superstardom. Mission accomplished in Season One, but then never again. Sure you discovered a lot of country stars, but so did Nashville Star. You minted a lot of celebrities, but so did YouTube. While you still have a better track record than The Voice, Britain’s Got Talent and X Factor UK have you beat. Did any bonafide recording artists emerge from the shadow of Simon Cowell’s giant cup of Coke? When it comes down to true originality, innovation, earphoria and albums that will sound as fresh 20 years from now as they did 15 minutes ago, in my book it comes down to four: two guys (Adam Lambert and Blake Lewis) and two gals (Haley Reinhart and Allison Iraheta). No offense to Kelly, Carrie and Chris who deliver pretty popular, but formulaic albums in their respective genres of belters, crossover country and arena rock. No offense to Jennifer and her Oscar or …

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ABC, Daniel Ash and Others Reinvent the Eighties in 2016

One of my favorite musical trends of the 2010’s is the glorious “return to form” comebacks from a dizzying array of great 80’s artists. As gutted as I am about the death of Prince (about 80% of my time spent listening to music has been Prince-related since April 21; prior to that it was about 50%), I’m comforted that we live in a Now where The Ocean Blue, Duran Duran, OMD, Blancmange, New Order and others are again prolific, relevant and urgent. Even comebacks that might have been nothing more than an Awakenings-style one off encore (Devo, the Wild Swans and the tragically cut short comeback of Visage) were still as exciting to hear as any new music by new bands of the decade. Here’s a quick roundup of who’s back now and what why you should get off your teenage stream and check em the hell out: Daniel Ash • Stripped When you look at the CD title and familiar tracklist, Stripped looks like one of those nostalgic cash-ins where a beloved but commercially faded artist craps …

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THINKING INSIDE THE BOX SET: Cherry Red Producers Tell All

  Long before Prince’s death, fans were wildly discussing if and when the vast contents of his audio library – the legendary vault – would be officially released. While former labels, associates, band members and distant relatives jockey for position as the estate ambles through probate, one can only hope they archive, release and celebrate his work as well as London’s Cherry Red Records has been doing for years in a wide variety of musical arenas. Box Sets are nothing new; from the bloated “scrape the archives” cash-ins that just about every major artist puts under the Christmas tree to focused niche sets like Nuggets and Children of Nuggets. Cherry Red has been digging gold out of the 1970s and 1980s alternative underground they way Nuggets celebrated psychedelia. A few years ago, they released the stunning 5CD set, Scared to Get Happy: A Story of Indie Pop 1980-1989. The set brilliantly restored more than 100 tracks that in many cases were never issued on CD or digital platforms, or if they were, they weren’t prominent …

Post Pop Depression

Finding Salvation In The Best New Music of 2016

For my final POPDOSE post until Fall, I am going out with a bang — or better yet, a shake, rattle and roll. Cancer sucks. I am shifting my focus in the months ahead to support my wife through chemotherapy. In many ways, music serves as therapy for survivors, supporters and just about anyone dealing with this thing called life. The rhythms wrap around us, the lyrics comfort us, the beat keeps us moving forward. So let’s focus on the positive. 2016 is proving to be one of the best years in years for great new music from new and beloved artists. Let’s dive in. New Order • Singularity For fans of New Order’s 1989 masterpiece, Technique, this is as New Ordery as New Order has been in the New Millennium. Music Complete, one of the top albums of 2015, was a both a bold move forward and a solid reconnection to the sound that put em on the map in the first place. Plus, there’s a cameo by Iggy Pop which brings us to… Iggy Pop • …

Typhoid Rosie 2016

Popdose Premiere: Typhoid Rosie ‘Baby I Want You’

Typhoid Rosie, rising like a phoenix straight outta Brooklyn, recalls a feistier rock & roll yesteryear when the likes of Joan Jett, Suzi Quatro and Kim Carnes ruled the charts instead of the typical sex kitten dinner theater we’ve been deluged with ever since a bored Britney Spears emerged from the classroom. The rebellious attitude comes from lead vocalist Rosie Rebel, a stand-up comedian who found cathartic release in the throws of rock and roll. Most funny people mask a dark side, so her songs are naturally filled with heartache, heartbreak and loss. As the band’s second album, Hearts Bleed Goodbye (out March 26th, 2016), started coming together a few years back, Rosie’s mother died of an aneurism while leaving her grandmother’s funeral. Two losses in a day, heartbreak that is still healing to this day. The rest of the tight-knit band includes Rosie’s husband, Phil Wartell (drummer/producer), along with Dean Wartell (bass), Matt Kursmark (guitar) and Justin Rothberg (lead guitar). If you’re into Blondie, Garbage or 90’s BritPop acts like Republica, Elastica or Echobelly, Typhoid Rosie should hit your sweet spot. Definitely a band to keep an eye on. …

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What The World Needs Now: The Incredible Music and Story of Cait Brennan

Cait Brennan has an amazing story. One of conquering incredible odds of gender identity, disease, abuse and homelessness, getting her shit together, rising up, becoming a stellar live performer and giving birth to not one, but two amazing albums with a third on the way. But that’s not why we’re here today. We’re here about the music. Cait Brennan makes AMAZING music. Songs steeped in 50 years of music history that sound urgent, current and eternal. Songs that the moment you hear them, you can’t imagine how you lived so long without them. Cait Brennan isn’t some jaded hipster Millennial whose main currency is Instagram followers, she has lived herself some life – and that life is captured in her debut album, perfectly titled to document her coming out on an international stage. Debutante. Debutante, a sparkling album produced by Brennan and Fernando Perdomo, is right up there with the great “drenched in blood, sweat & tears, leave everything on the table, conquer the world” albums like Against Me’s New Wave, Guns & Roses’ Appetite …

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All Hail The Legends of Et cetera

Every time I see something like Selena Gomez’s flat, tuneless, speak/sung SNL performance and think to myself, “seriously, THIS is the crap the kids are listening to these days!”, someone else comes along, kicks my ass, and makes me believe that the children are indeed the future… well, if we don’t fuck it up for them by electing some douchebag like Trump or Cruz. It shouldn’t matter that singer/songwriter/guitarist Serena Miller and her band, Legends of Et cetera, are still in high school, their music is pure, and it rocks. Their story, high school plot line and all, is truly worth telling, so here goes. They crushed their set at WTMD’s Baltimore Band Block Party and their song, ‘Give Up The Ghost’ is on regular rotation at the station. The station recently set them up with a gig at the airport of all places (see it on their facebook page). ‘Ghost’ deserves to be a national hit, the guitar line hooked me first and it’s been thundering out of my stereo ever since. When I picked up, Coyote, their …

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Album Stream: Angela Perley & The Howlin’ Moons’ Homemade Vision

POPDOSE has been listening to Homemade Vision, the second album by Angela Perley & The Howlin’ Moons, nearly round the clock for the past month. Spin after spin, the Michael Landolt-produced rocket ride soars higher onto my eventual Best Albums of 2016 list (their previous album, Hey Kid, landed high in my 2014 round-up). Thankfully, you don’t need to wait a year to hear my fancy pants aging hipster music critic review of it, take control and Rock & Roll right now. Stream it below — for a limited time — to give yourself a taste and then pick it up on iTunes or Amazon (digital). Want a CD? You should, I’m an old school (circa 1985), high fidelity guy myself. Get it direct from Angela’s store right here. While it’s easy to get lost in her midnight eyes or swoon over her signature vintage dresses and hats, don’t for a minute think this is a one woman show. Chris Connor (lead guitar), Billy Zehnal (bass) and a Spinal Tap’ian rotation of drummers help Perley deliver the goods on record and on stage …

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Oh Canada! Here Come The Lipstick Junkies

If the Lipstick Junkies new song, ‘Build Me a Box’, gets stuck in your head for days, don’t blame me. Blame Canada! Blame Canada! The Toronto trio’s new EP was recorded by Al Connelly and Sam Reid of the Juno Award-winning and Grammy-nominated band, Glass Tiger. For fans of HUGE pop songs from the Eighties, let’s let the awesomeness of that sink in for a moment… Now if this post can’t get Canadian enough, Bryan Adams sings back-up on that Tiger track. OK, back to business. Fun and games is part and parcel for the Lipstick Junkies who take their name from a Red Hot Chili Peppers song (2011’s ‘The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie’). They have performed around southern Ontario, from London to Montreal, including appearances at Canadian Music Week, Indie Week and Ryerson Radio, and have opened for acts like Walk Off the Earth and Organ Thieves — never heard of those bands? Ask a Canadian! If you think I mock Canada here, you could not be further from the truth. I love Canadian music. From …

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Breaking Band: Banta Fits The Fashion and Breaks The Mold

Decades after its Sunset Strip heyday, Los Angeles has no shortage of hot new bands on the rise. Phases (featuring the Like’s Z Berg), Halo Circus (featuring Allison Iraheta, one of American Idol’s most talented expats) and Echo Park’s Banta are well poised to break out nationally as 2016 picks up speed. Imagine if Rumors-era Fleetwood Mac truly went new wave in the early 80’s — that’s just about the sound Banta brings to ‘Someday’, a single from their promising full-length debut, Dark Charms. Banta is Sharaya Mikael (Lead Vocals/Guitar), Alathea Reese (Keys & BGV’s), Dan Perez (Lead Guitar), Jon Marcu (Drums) and Steve Grohne (Bass). The group unveiled their debut EP in 2014, recorded with producer Andrew Stonestreet, and began playing shows around Los Angeles, including the Buzzbands LA Showcase at Echo Park Rising and opening slots at The Satellite and The Troubadour. Dark Charms was pieced together over several sessions in Portland and Los Angeles with Stonestreet and producers Andy Brohard and Ryan Castle. “I can’t believe this album is actually finished,” Sharaya Mikael said via her rep. “It was such a long process. …

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Honor “The Artist”, Feed An Artist, Gift Your Favorite Little Prince

Last summer, POPDOSE talked with Seattle artist, Troy Gua, about his years-long celebration of a funky lil musical genius named Prince — and the lawsuit, global press coverage and short film (pun intended) that followed. Read the full interview here. As 2016 kicks off, we reconnect with Gua to discuss his latest project, one that could land your hands on this limited edition gem of a poster (see below): What inspired the Le Petit Prince poster project? LPP for those in the know. It was an end-of-the-year Instagram app that culled your 9 most popular posts of the year and compiled them into a grid for posting. I guess it should have come as no surprise that all nine of mine turned out to be LPP pics. I posted, someone said it would make a great poster, the wheels turned. Does this mark the end of the LPP era? It’s not the end of an era, but I had concentrated on an entirely new 80’s period series earlier this past year, so I thought a compilation would make sense and …

Bill Pritchard 2016

WORLD PREMIERE: Bill Pritchard ‘Saturn and Co.’

26 years after it’s release, Bill Pritchard’s Three Months, Three Weeks & Two Days, remains one of my all time favorite albums. It arrived at my college radio station, WKSR (Kent State University), just as we were playing Morrissey’s Viva Hate into the ground. Pritchard struck the same nerve as Moz without all the drama. The buoyant melodies, wry lyrics, Parisian cafe touches and Pritchard’s crisp, deep woodwind of a voice helped end the Eighties on a high note as we faced a daunting Nineties without the Smiths. ‘Nineteen’ and ‘Tommy & Co.” were the big hits, but I absolutely fell in love with the single ‘Romance Sans Paroles’. Considering this album was Pritchard’s 4th in two years, I fully expected to fill my shelves with his work in the decade to come. But the stretches between albums became greater and greater and I often found out about “new” Bill Pritchard albums years after their official release. Needless to say, I am glad to be ahead of the game with his upcoming album, Mother Town Hall — arriving hot on the heels of …

Repeater 2016

World Premiere Video: Repeater ‘Never Forget’

To kick off 2016 in high style, POPDOSE proudly premieres the latest video from one of our favorite bands. Ideal listening for fans of New Order, Echo & The Bunnymen and The Postal Service. There are plenty of original new wave acts (typically with at least one original member and loads of spare parts) riding nostalgia circuit. Beyond New Order, a handful, like Duran Duran, OMD and Blancmange, have found a way to recapture their magic with compelling new music (see my Unintentionally Retro Top Albums of 2015). Even fewer NEW bands have been able to tap into that signature sound with original music that looks back and still moves forward. Among them, Repeater of Long Beach, California. Their self-titled album made the Top 10 of the Best Albums of 2014. Repeater’s music might be close to impossible to find on Amazon or Google — type in the name and you need to wade through a crap load of electronics — but it’s worth seeking out. Repeater the album gets better and better with every listen. Big melodies with dark undertones. Shiny synths and shimmering guitars with …

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Popdose’s Unintentionally Retro Heavy Top Albums of 2015

Give 50 music writers a forum to tout their top 50 albums of the year and you’ll probably see 45 or so unique bands and albums on every person’s list. You’ll immediately doubt your hipster credentials because you’ve likely never heard of 35 to 40 of the artists on each list. Every year there will also be one album that everyone’s afraid NOT to like. Typically this honor goes to Kanye West, this year it’s all about Kendrick Lamar. A lot of the artists in my 2015 list also ranked high in my 1985 or 1995 lists — or at least sound like they’re of that era. 2015 was a year of comebacks and throwbacks. Some beloved artists returned to greatness. Some new artists embraced old sounds while boldly diving into the new. So if you’re not a jaded millennial and want to discover some 2015 albums you’ll actually enjoy listening to in 2016 and beyond, let’s hop into the Delorean and crank up the Discman: 45: Against Me! – 23 Live Sex Acts! Laura Jane Grace & a relatively new lineup celebrate the …

Nada Surf 2016

2016 Music Preview: Nada Surf, Angela Perley, M.I.A. and more

With 2016 right around the corner, POPDOSE peers into the future to see what will be rocking your boots in the new year. Nada Surf • You Know Who You Are (March 4) I was this close to writing up Nada Surf’s thundering debut, High/Low, as one of the best albums in the greatest year ever for alternative rock, 1995, when I discovered the damn thing came out in 1996. Well, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of that classic, the band is back with their eighth proper album, You Know Who You Are (Barsuk). For a band that’s been on hiatus since 2012’s The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy, they’ve been far from silent. Get There, from Matthew Caws’ Minor Alps partnership with Juliana Hatfield was one of our favorite albums of 2013 (#3). The following year, Barsuk released B-Sides, a digital compilation of Nada Surf’s bonus tracks and other international rarities, that easily stands alongside their best work. On top of that, a concert LP: Live at the Neptune Theater. The new album marks the band’s first official outing …

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21 Things We Learned From Adele’s 25

As we sit on pins and needles awaiting Star Wars 7, the force certainly awakened in the music industry last week as Adele’s third album, 25, became a worldwide sensation and the first album since the dawn of Soundscan to move more than 3 million units in a week. So, what does it all mean? Let’s roll into the deep: 1. Moms Rock Who are some of the top selling artists of the past decade? Adele, Michael Buble, Josh Groban and Susan Boyle. Who buys their albums? Moms. Who doesn’t have time to illegally download music and is constantly shopping at Target? Your mom. Why record companies don’t focus more effort on Adult Contemporary pop music is beyond me. Which leads us to… 2. You Don’t Need to Be a Britney, Bitch. Video Killed the Radio Star — and also killed pop stars as we knew em. Lanky, gangly, real-looking men like Ric Ocasek, Eddie Money and Billy Squier; lovely ladies like Barbra Striesand, Liza Minnelli and Carole King. Post MTV, looks were everything and 21 was considered “over the hill”. …

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5 Must Have Limited Editions To Gift Your Music Nerd

Cyber Monday is here, that time of the year where people who would never dream of camping outside of a Target in sub zero temps finally get around to holiday shopping in between updating their Facebook statuses and pretending to work. If you have a music nerd on your shopping list, you know how challenging it can be to get them something special that truly knocks their socks off. By nature, they likely already have everything and you’re unlikely to ever beat them to the punch with something new. For this same reason, I don’t buy clothes for my wife. But I am here to help. So grab your credit cards, let’s go shopping! New Order • Music Complete 8LP Vinyl Box Set In September, New Order released their best album since 1989’s Technique. Music Complete kicks off a new era of their career with Mute records and Mute is going all out to keep the party going long into 2016 and beyond. I listen to the album most of the time on MP3 and it’s great — …

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Stream The New Nat Jay EP (A Popdose Premiere)

Last year, Vancouver’s Nat Jay crashed the Cheryl Cole, Taylor Swift and Charli XCX party on my Top Pop Albums of 2014 list with her stunning debut album, All I Think When I Wake Up. This album is nominated for Pop Album of the Year at the 2015 Western Canadian Music Awards happening later this month. To celebrate her nomination and help a wounded nation heal from the Avril Lavigne/Chad Kroeger split, Jay releases an encore EP, Quiet Dreams, on September 8th. Among the EP highlights, two acoustic versions of songs from the album, plus ‘Something This Way Comes’, a duet with Hey Ocean! lead singer, Ashleigh Ball, and a lovely rendition of Pat Benatar’s ‘We Belong’. “There’s an intimacy in an acoustic performance that can be extremely moving for the audience, and as a listener, this has always been my favorite kind of music to experience,” said Jay at the EP’s completion. “It was exciting to see these songs come to life in such a quiet and simple setting. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and I was lucky to be …

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Popdose Premiere: Heather Bond, “Some Other Lover”

If you’ve been Jonesing for a Sarah McLachlan fix without all the depressing caged animal misery that often goes with it, Nashville’s Heather Bond is here to whisk you way into a fluffy white cloud of lush, romantic, guilt-free piano pop. Her simmering full-length debut, So Long (out September 18th, 2015), was produced by Grammy-award winner Matthew Odmark of Jars of Clay. The title track is a slow-burn stunner that would fit nicely into your “me time” and/or “getting over you” playlist. Considering she lives in the home of country music, perhaps Bond can ask a neighbor to whip up a Nashville remix with a lil steel guitar to get this single on the radio. Bond’s lovely vocals take center stage throughout the affair, backed by a delicate piano here and a string section there. She delivers dreamy songs to cozy up to on a rainy day with a strong coffee, a good read and nowhere to go. POPDOSE was particularly fond of the rhythmic flourishes on ‘Some Other Lover‘; the crackling drum, entwined with waves of Bond’s stacked vocals and a Sia-sized piano build, it’s quite the rush. So Long is …

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Hot New Rock: A Projection, American Television, the Breton Sound

The name of the site might be Popdose, but rock and roll is our lifeblood. Here are some truly exciting new bands to truly get your heart racing and blood pumping to all the right places, most notably your fists and feet. A Projection • Exit Stockholm’s A Projection takes you in the wayback machine to the early 80’s, recalling a variety of beloved post punk bands like Joy Division, a very young Cure, Comsat Angels and the Chameleons. Loads of post Millennial bands have tried this formula and a select few like Interpol have been able to make it work. A Projection takes “the sound” and makes it sound both retro and modern. Their debut album, Exit, is easily my favorite album of the year by a new artist, it’s packed full of sinister singles that crackle with urgency, energy and most importantly, addictive melodies that reward listening on heavy rotation. A Projection makes me want to dig up every cassette I made of my late 80’s college radio show. Once you get past the DeJoy Division Vu in the rhythmic hook …

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Impastor and Jim Gaffigan Turn TV Land into the New HBO

TV Land, once Cable TV’s Cousin Oliver, has gone all Marsha, Marsha, Marsha seemingly overnight. Their latest one-two punch, The Jim Gaffigan Show and Impastor, rival the best comedic fare on HBO and Comedy Central and just might be the best two scripted series on TV this summer. The Jim Gaffigan Show Gaffigan mines his irreverent family-themed adult stand-up routine to fuel his first headline series (after a solid two year run with a supporting role on TBS’s My Guys). Ashley Williams (How I Met Your Mother) is perfectly cast as the fictional Jeannie Gaffigan; the real Jeannie serves as a show producer and writer. The Fat Dad/Hot Wife combo is a sitcom staple; what makes this one more believable than the rest is the fact that semi-fictional Jim and Jeannie work as well on screen as the real ones do off screen. Raising five kids in a 2-bedroom New York apartment is a fertile premise, with the Big Apple cast as a supporting character (reprising her role from Sex and the City). Adam Goldberg plays Jim’s BFF ‘Dave’ no differently than every other time ‘Adam …

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Trans TV: The Big Debate About “I Am Cait” and “I Am Jazz”

As POPDOSE’s resident non-gender conforming correspondent, I thought it was high time to weigh in on this fabulous summer of Trans television: I Am Cait (E!) and I Am Jazz (TLC). What started off as a traditional television review (this is POPDOSE after all) turned into a more personal exploration leading to the question, Should Caitlyn Jenner be THE voice of the transgender Community? TV in and “on” Transition TV has come a long way since men in dresses were the punchline (M*A*S*H, Bosom Buddies) or Trans characters were relegated to that of serial killers or murder victims. Let’s not even talk about soap operas where female actresses are revealed as trans! in a shocking plot twist. I hear CBS’s Big Brother has a trans contestant this season, but that’s just a stunt. Let’s talk about people who are actually doing something positive. This summer, we’re being treated to two reality shows about budding icons in Trans culture. They have a lot in common; redundant titles (technically Jazz claimed the “I Am…” bit first), trans topics (“coming out” and “day in the life stories”) and captivating leads …

Duran_Duran 2015

10 Essential September New Releases for Kids of the Eighties

For jaded hipster Millennials and their streaming services, September 2015 will be just another month of the year, a time to wander aimlessly through millions of songs and hundreds of commercials. For record collectors, especially whose who grew up in the 1980’s or love 80’s music, September 2015 just might be the greatest month in world history. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many blockbuster releases hitting the shelves, if it weren’t for Gerry Galipault’s comprehensive and addictive new release calendars on Pause and Play, I would be completely lost. Let’s tear open his calendars and dive on in: September 2 Against Me! • The Libertines • Public Image Limited Against Me! • 23 Live Sex Acts Since coming out as transgender in the pages of Rolling Stone, Laura Jane Grace has risen from being unfairly tagged as a “major label sell out” to the much-deserved status as a national icon. Best of all, Grace is finally being recognized as one of the era’s top songwriters and performers. With an Emmy nomination under her …

Karl Larssen

Popdose Premiere: Last Days of April, “Oh Well”

Don’t let the Swedish passports fool you, Sea of Clouds by Last Days of April, out last week on Tapete Records, is not your typical Robyn or Max Martin confection. Imagine a slow simmering skillet of indie rock-fueled deep country Americana, seasoned by Tom Petty, sad Beck, Fountains of Wayne, My Morning Jacket, the Ravonettes and David Lynch. Clouds is the band’s 9th album across a prolific 20 years. Led by singer Karl Larsson, Last Days of April decamped to Atlantis Studios in Stockholm and recorded the entire album to analog tape in two and a half days. The result is a cohesive and magnificent listen. Take a peek inside the studio for the POPDOSE world premiere of album highlight, ‘Oh Well’: While ‘Oh Well’ is a quieter affair, there is plenty of thunder to be heard elsewhere, most notably the guitar solo that crescendos ‘The Thunder & The Storm’: Get Sea of Clouds on CD and vinyl or on iTunes and Amazon MP3. For the newly enlisted fans of the band, this summer also marks the 10th anniversary of Larsson’s hit ‘Off a Cliff’, presented …

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Sarah Cracknell, Adam Lambert, FFS Lead June Bloom New Releases

Forget Christmas or “Christmas in July”, most of the year’s top new albums arrive this month to a record store (way to go!), digital retailer (sure why not?) or streaming service (you are killing the music industry) near you. Sarah Cracknell • Red Kite Her name might not ring a bell, but her voice will flood your memory holes with 20 years of effervescent post acid indie house dance pop singles dreamily sung through her day job in Saint Etienne. For the second time in as many decades, Cracknell leaves bandmates Pete Wiggs and Bob Stanley in the train station to cut off on a solo holiday. 1997’s Lipslide (and companion EP, Kelly’s Locker) were charming if unmemorable affairs, but Red Kite (out this week on Cherry Red) is much more lush and ambitious and easily ranks high among her best work (for the record, I am more of a Finisterre man than team Foxbase Alpha). The dreamy waltz, ‘On The Swings’, whisks you out of London into the English countryside, Oxfordshire to be exact, where Red Kite was …

LPP

Artist Vs. The Artist — Le Petit Prince Rides Again

Troy Gua isn’t the first artist to run afoul of the Artist currently known as Prince, we all remember that dancing toddler who was served with a Cease & Desist letter in 2007. However the wet towel snap of the law stung a little bit more for Gua for he had been an ardent fan of Prince for close to 30 years at the time (read SPIN‘s account of the drama). Gua’s work(s) of art, Le Petit Prince, featured a 1/6th scale marionette of the musical super genius posed in re-creations of landmark Prince album covers, video moments and film clips. The project went viral, gaining fans around the world including ?uestlove of the Roots who frequently wears an LPP shirt while DJing and sported one of Troy’s custom-made  ‘<3’ emblems on his lapel the night Prince played Fallon. You would think that Prince would be honored, but we all remember, Prince has similarly refused to grant “Weird Al” Yankovic permission to parody his songs for years. Under the protection of the law, Weird Al …

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The Spectacular Spectacular Trans Mission of Isley Reust

Isley Reust is a force of nature. While most everyone in Hollywood is a multi-hyphenate of some kind (writer/producer/model) with an off-resume day job, Isley is making waves on several fronts by thrusting her art and herself into the world.  She’s an activist for the LGB and Transgender communities, the title subject of a film to come out next year, and the guitarist for a new band, Spectacular Spectacular, that is prepping a summer tour up the West Coast and Canada. Isley was also featured in the AOL series, True Trans, hosted by Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! Hayden Black, the writer/director/co-star of Goodnight Burbank (Laura Silverman, Dominic Monaghan), urged me to check out Spectacular Spectacular’s first single, ‘Orange Juice’ after he lined up the band’s music to appear in his upcoming animated series, Gen Zed. “Isley’s music is just phenomenal so when she offered Gen Zed an exclusive track, all of us here just flipped,” said Black. “Gen Zed, which is coming out later this year, is the first animated series to feature a …

RSD

Record Store Day Founder Responds To Popdose Op-Ed

My POPDOSE op-ed on how to build a better record store day turned into a bit of a lightning rod when Salon picked it up and added an incendiary new headline. In both forums, many people shared part of my opinion and others said I have it all wrong. One reader pointed me to an article by (no not that) Chris Brown that put the number of RSD titles on eBay in perspective with total titles offered and sold. Another called me a curmudgeon, which is more charitable than many of the other insults hurled my way from people who likely didn’t ready beyond the headline or lead. If the founders of Record Store Day responded to interview requests from every blogger with an opinion, they would have no time to plan the event. But since we got the Salon bump, they welcomed my offer to share their perspective. So with that, here’s an unedited Q&A with Michael Kurtz, Co-founder, Record Store Day and Chevalier de Ordre des Arts Et Des Lettres, France. POPDOSE: We agree on the intentions of Record Store Day — …