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New Releases: April 21, 2017

So many legendary artists have new releases coming out this week: Ray Davies, Barry Manilow, Sheryl Crow, Robyn Hitchcock, Procol Harum, Big Star, etc.

Cait Brennan feels blessed to share space with them on’s April 21 release list.

Brennan’s glam-tastic second LP, cheekily titled “Third,” is one of the week’s most anticipated albums, coming just a little over a year after her debut, “Debutante,” won over so many rock critics, she landed on several year-end best-of lists.

“Debutante” even impressed Sire Records President Seymour Stein, who discovered the Ramones, Talking Heads, Madonna, among others. He signed Brennan to a demo deal last year but ultimately declined to sign her for a full-on record deal. Undaunted, she then got an invitation from Big Star drummer Jody Stephens to record at Ardent Studios in Memphis.

With co-producer Fernando Perdomo, Brennan put her all into “Third,” and even got to use some of the same instruments and recording equipment that Big Star used in its heyday in the 1970s.

Omnivore Recordings snapped her up, and today is Brennan’s big day. It’s also Brennan’s day at … she’s the first artist ever to get free rein of our list, getting to comment on the other releases and artists that the week has to offer.

Below, you will find Brennan’s insights sprinkled throughout the list.

Thank you, Cait. You rock, in so many ways.

New Releases (CDs / vinyl)

Artist: Title: Label:
Actress (British musician-producer) “AZD” (first single: “X22RME”; See here; iTunes) (Ninja Tune / Redeye)
Ricardo Arjona (Guatemalan singer-songwriter) “Circo Soledad” (Hear here; eBay) (Sony U.S. Latin)
Avery*Sunshine “Twenty Sixty Four” (Hear here; MP3; iTunes; On Tour) (Shanachie)
Big Star “Thank You, Friends: Big Star’s Third Live … and More” (2016 show in Glendale, Calif., was filmed for a documentary, directed by Benno Nelson; performed by a collective featuring members of Big Star, the Posies, R.E.M., Semisonic, Wilco, the dB’s, Let’s Active, the Old Ceremony, Yo La Tengo with Kronos Quartet, Skylar Gudasz, Brett Harris, Robyn Hitchcock, Jessica Pratt; See/read here; CD/DVD; CD/Blu-ray) (Concord Bicycle Music)

BRENNAN: “Since I made my own record at Ardent Studios, using Alex Chilton’s amp and Mellotron and Chris Bell’s guitar, with Jody Stephens in the building at the time, and I had the cheek to call mine ‘Third,’ you can probably guess my heart belongs to Big Star, and their ‘Third’ in particular. So it’s very much a love affair and a thrill to see Jody and so many legendary musicians come together to bring this music to life again. I’ll be first in line for this one Friday morning.”

The Black Angels “Death Song” (producer: Phil Ek; first single: “Currency”; Hear here; NPR First Listen; MP3; On Tour) (Partisan)

BRENNAN: “The Black Angels are really on a roll right now and I’m dying to hear this; I bet they’re amazing live. They frighten me, in the best possible way.”

BoDeans “Thirteen” (Hear here; On Tour) (Free & Alive)
Cait Brennan “Third” (recorded at Ardent Studios in Memphis; producers: Brennan, Fernando Perdomo; guests: Memphis power pop legend Van Duren, Continental Drifter Robert Maché; Hear here) (Omnivore Recordings)

BRENNAN: “My album’s called ‘Third,’ but it’s not my third album, which is not confusing to anyone anywhere. 🙂 I make loud rock/glam/soul music, so anyone expecting a solo record from a girl singer has to be acoustic folk music, you’re in for some surprises. There’s some power pop influence, tons of harmonies and some (hopefully) clever lyrics to keep you on your toes, and catchy fuzzed out guitar hooks for miles, which are mostly provided by my brilliant musical associate Fernando Perdomo. We made this one at Ardent Studios in Memphis, using a lot of gear nicked from Big Star, and we’re pretty proud of the results; it’s out now on Omnivore Recordings and I hope you’ll give it a listen. Charly Bliss fans, I’m lookin’ at you. 🙂 ”

Charly Bliss (NYC power-pop band) “Guppy” (Hear here; NPR First Listen; MP3; iTunes; On Tour) (Barsuk)

BRENNAN: “I totally love this band – their EP a couple of years ago was just a delight, and between the videos, the sound and the comic book (!!) how can you not love them. They have a really joyous and fun sound, I really hope people check out their record. I predict big things.”

COIN (Nashville-based quartet) “How Will You Know If You Never Try” (producers: Tim Pagnotta, Andrew Maury; new single: “Don’t Cry, 2020”; MP3; iTunes; On Tour) (StarTime International / Columbia)
Sheryl Crow “Be Myself” (producer: Jeff Trott; first single: “Halfway There,” feat. Gary Clark Jr.; See here; Barnes & Noble-Exclusive Vinyl; Target-Exclusive CD, with three extra tracks; MP3; iTunes; On Tour; Merch) (Warner)
Ray Davies “Americana” (The Jayhawks are the backing band on his first solo album since 2008; producers: Davies, John Jackson, Guy Massey; first single: “Poetry”; Hear here; Read here; Vinyl; MP3) (Legacy Recordings)

BRENNAN: “I’m so excited to hear a bunch of this week’s releases and perhaps none more so than Ray Davies, who continues to make great music and come up with inventive approaches to his songs. Growing up with so much love for both The Kinks and The Jayhawks, I can’t wait to hear what they come up with together.”

Jason Eady “Jason Eady” (producer: Kevin Welch; guests: Vince Gill, Tammy Rogers, Eady’s wife Courtney Patton; first single: “Why I Left Atlanta”; Hear here; MP3) (Thirty Tigers)
Joe Goddard (of Hot Chip) “Electric Lines” (first single: “Lose Your Love”; See here; MP3) (Greco-Roman / Domino)
Robyn Hitchcock “Robyn Hitchcock” (producers: Hitchcock, Brendan Benson; first single: “I Want to Tell You About What I Want”; Hear here; Read here; MP3) (Yep Roc)

BRENNAN: “Robyn has been near and dear to my heart since the Soft Boys days and I have all his records and a bunch of rarities and promos and live things and whatnot. He’s absolutely brilliant and I feel vaguely unworthy of sharing a release date with him. This is his 21st solo album and I’ve bought them all; it’s really only fair he starts reciprocating … Cait Brennan’s ‘Third,’ available in finer shops everywhere, that’s all I’m saying.”

Incubus “8” (first streaming singles: “Glitterbomb” / “Nimble Bastard”; Hear here; MP3; iTunes; eBay; On Tour; Merch) (Island)

BRENNAN: “I almost feel like I was in middle school when Incubus had those monster hits —
‘Megalomaniac,’ ‘Anna Molly’ — dang, that would have been a perfect stage name. Those were amazing songs and I’m hearing good things about this record.”

Daye Jack (Nigeria-born, Atlanta-raised rapper-singer) “No Data” (first single: “Raw”; Hear here; MP3; iTunes) (Warner)
Junkyard “High Water” (their first album in 26 years; producer: guitarist Tim Mosher; Hear here; On Tour) (Acetate)
Bobby Kimball (original Toto singer) “We’re Not in Kansas Anymore” (producer: John Zaika; Hear here; MP3; iTunes) (Purple Pyramid / Cleopatra)

BRENNAN: “Some people may not immediately recognize the name, but if you’ve owned a radio anytime since the ’70s, the voice needs no introduction. Bobby Kimball was the frontman of Toto during their greatest chart topping years. My co-producer and musical partner in crime Fernando Perdomo and I both love ’70s pop and I know we’re both eager to hear his voice again.”

The Legends “Nightshift” (Hear here; MP3; iTunes) (Labrador)
Barry Manilow “This Is My Town: Songs of New York” (includes a virtual duet with the late Mel Tormé on “The Brooklyn Bridge”; first single: “This Is My Town”; Hear here; Barnes & Noble-Exclusive Vinyl; ; MP3; Merch) (Verve)

BRENNAN: “Barry’s a legend, and his ’70s pop hits are beyond compare. That kind of songcraft and tunefulness and sensitivity is almost a lost art these days. He still knows how to own those classic Broadway showtunes, too. Sometimes I’m a little skeptical of the beyond-the-grave duet concept, but I loved Mel Torme – one of my fave shows ever was a triple bill of Mel Torme, Mudhoney and The Ramones at Seattle’s Bumbershoot festival when I was young – and I know Mel’s irreverence and sense of humor and I think he would have loved to be singing a duet with Barry from the great beyond, so it should be pretty cool.”

Maxïmo Park “Risk to Exist” (producer: Tom Schick; first single: “Risk to Exist”; Hear here; MP3; MP3 Deluxe Edition, with seven extra tracks; Merch) (Daylighting / Cooking Vinyl)

BRENNAN: “I followed this band a bit when their first few records were out and have lost track a bit, though I caught the new single on Steve Lamacq’s show on BBC 6 Music; I’ll be keen to hear the whole record.”

Imelda May “Life Love Flesh Blood” (producer: T Bone Burnett; guests: Jeff Beck, Jools Holland; first single: “Call Me”; See here; MP3; MP3 Deluxe Edition, with four extra tracks) (Decca)

BRENNAN: “I’m a big Anglophile and I love U.K. music. I first saw Imelda May on ‘Later with Jools Holland’ and her incredible voice, style and swagger grabbed me right away. I’m always interested in her records which have a retro vibe but are anything but stuffy and old-school – her music is great fun.”

Matty Mullins (of Memphis May Fire) “Unstoppable” (producer: Cameron Mizell; first single: “Unstoppable,” feat. Jordan Feliz; See here; MP3; iTunes) (BEC Recordings)
Mr. Mitch (London grime producer Miles Mitchell) “Devout” (guests: P Money, Denai Moore, Duval Timothy, Milo and Oscar, Palmistry, Py; Hear here; NPR First Listen; MP3; iTunes; On Tour) (Planet Mu)
Overcoats “Young” (Hear here; NPR First Listen; MP3; iTunes; On Tour) (Arts & Crafts)
Brad Paisley “Love and War” (producers: Paisley, Luke Wooten; first single: “Today”; See here; On Tour; Merch) (Arista Nashville)
Angaleena Presley “Wrangled” (featuring collaborations with Wanda Jackson, the late Guy Clark, Chris Stapleton, Yelawolf, Morgane Stapleton and her Pistol Annies bandmates Miranda Lambert and Ashley Monroe; producers: Presley, Oran Thornton; Hear here; On Tour) (Mining Light Music / Thirty Tigers)
Procol Harum “Novum” (their first album in 14 years marks their 50th anniversary; producer: Dennis Weinreich; Read here) (Eagle)

BRENNAN: “This one really intrigues me. Their heyday was a bit before my time, so for a while I only really knew these guys from their haunting and gorgeous radio hit. Last year, a friend introduced me to their albums, and I was absolutely blown away, and am still in the discovery stage; happy to see them making new sounds for their 50th anniversary. If I’m even so lucky, I’ll be 96 when the 50th anniversary of my first album rolls around, so I’ll just enjoy Procol Harum’s new one instead.”

Rhino Bucket “The Last Real Rock n’ Roll” (their first album since 2011; producer: Supersuckers frontman Eddie Spaghetti; Hear here; MP3; On Tour) (Acetate)
Samuel Rohrer (Berlin-based Swiss drummer-producer) “Range of Regularity” (producer: Rohrer; Hear here; MP3) (arjunamusic)
Ron Sexsmith “The Last Rider” (producers: Sexsmith, Don Kerr; Hear here; On Tour) (Compass)

BRENNAN: “I dig Ron Sexsmith, we’re sort of worlds apart musically in some ways, but he’s brilliant and always has interesting things to say. He deserves a much wider audience and I hope people check out his work and his new record. The ‘Love Shines’ documentary was really fantastic.”

Steps “Tears on the Dancefloor” (the British dance-pop group’s first album in five years; first single: “”; Hear here; MP3; iTunes; On Tour) (Steps Music LLC)
Texas “Jump On Board” (producers: guitarist Johnny McElhone, lead singer Sharleen Spiteri; first single: “Let’s Work It Out”; See here; MP3) (Liberator Music / BMG Rights Management)

BRENNAN: “I’ve had the good fortune to have a lot of fans in Glasgow and all of Scotland, and airplay there and just so much support. Texas is (oddly enough) a Glasgow band and they’ve been around a long time; they made a splash in the U.S. at first but don’t get heard here enough. Definitely looking forward to catching up on what they’ve got cooking on the new album. ”

Matthew Logan Vasquez (Delta Spirit frontman) “Does What He Wants” (Hear/read here; MP3; iTunes; On Tour) (Dine Alone)
Kim Walker-Smith “On My Side” (Hear here; MP3; iTunes; On Tour) (Jesus Culture / Capitol CMG)
Charlie Worsham “Beginning of Things” (producers: Frank Liddell, Eric Masse; Hear here; NPR First Listen; Read here; MP3; iTunes; On Tour) (Warner Music Nashville)

More Releases for April 21, 2017 »

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New Releases (MP3s)

Artist: Title: Label:
Cotillon (aka NYC-based artist Jordan Corso) “The Afternoons” (producers: Al Carlson, Shane Butler; Hear here; On Tour) (No Roads)
FAINITES “Battle Scars” (four-song EP; producer: Tim Greaves; first single: “Geraldine”; Hear here) (Gravel Entertainment, April 17)
Deryl Dodd “Long Hard Ride” (guests: Pat Green, Cody Jinks, Wade Bowen, Stoney La Rue, Radney Foster, etc.; Hear here) (Little Red Truck Music)
Valgeir Sigurðsson (Icelandic producer-musician) “Dissonance” (producer: Sigurðsson; Hear here; NPR First Listen; CD, out April 28; iTunes; On Tour) (Bedroom Community)
Various artists “The Get Down II (Original Soundtrack From The Netflix Original Series)” (13 songs) (RCA)
Various artists “Groundhog Day The Musical (Original Broadway Cast Recording)” (music and lyrics by Tim Minchin, with orchestrations and additional music by Chris Nightingale; cast includes Andy Karl, Barrett Doss, etc.; CD, out May 12; NPR First Listen; On Broadway) (Masterworks Broadway)
Woods “Love Is Love” (six-song EP; Hear here; CD, out May 19) (Woodsist)

More Digital Releases for April 21, 2017 »

“NOW That’s What I Call 90’s Pop” »

Reissues (CDs / vinyl)

Artist: Title: Label:
Bee Gees “Timeless – The All-Time Greatest Hits” (21-song collection; Read here; MP3) (Capitol / UMe)
Ry Cooder “Paradise and Lunch [Super Audio CD]” (1974 album; remastered) (Mobile Fidelity)
Chick Corea “The Musician” (three-CD, one-Blu-ray box set chronicling gigs with 10 different bands and 28 legendary musicians, including Herbie Hancock, Bobby McFerrin, Wynton Marsalis, John McLaughlin, Stanley Clarke, etc.; See here; MP3; On Tour) (Concord Jazz)
Ella Fitzgerald “Ella Fitzgerald: 100 Songs For A Centennial” (the First Lady of Song would have turned 100 on April 25; four-CD box set; MP3) (Verve)
Humble Pie “Official Bootleg Box Set Volume 1” (three CDs, 33 songs; Read here) (Hear No Evil / Cherry Red)
Jive Bunny and The Mastermixers “The Very Best of Jive Bunny and The Mastermixers” (two CDs, 48 songs; Track list) (Not Now Music)
The Knack “Get the Knack [Super Audio CD]” (1979 album; remastered) (Mobile Fidelity)
Al Kooper “Rare and Well Done” (two-CD, 34-song collection of rarities and greatest hits; Hear here) (Music On CD)
Level 42 “The Ultimate Collection” (two CDs) (U.K. – Polydor)
Lighthouse “Lighthouse / Suite Feeling / Peacing It All” (three albums for RCA, from 1969 and 1970, on two CDs; remastered) (BGO)
Major Lance “Ain’t No Soul (In These Old Shoes): The Complete OKeh Recordings 1963-67” (two CDs, 53 songs; Read here) (Cherry Tree)
Ralph McTell “All Things Change: The Transatlantic Anthology 1967-1970” (two CDs, 51 songs; Read here) (Cherry Tree)
Kenny Rogers “5 Classic Albums” (featuring “Kenny Rogers,” “Daytime Friends,” “Love or Something Like It,” “The Gambler” and “Kenny”) (U.K. – UMC)
Sly Stone “High On You” (1975 album; remastered) (Music On CD)
Various artists “Honeybeat: Groovy 60s Girl Pop” (19-song collection compiled by girl group expert Sheila Burgel, who was given full access to Sony’s vaults; Hear here) (Real Gone Music)
Various artists “Strictly 80s” (three CDs, 60 hits, featuring Elton John, Cyndi Lauper, Cyndi Lauper, Simple Minds, Spandau Ballet, Tears For Fears, ABC, Soft Cell; Track list) (U.K. – UMD)

More Releases for April 21, 2017 »

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Reissues (MP3s)

Artist: Title: Label:
Michael Bolton “Michael Bolotin” (1975 album, recorded under his given name), Every Day of My Life” (1976 album) (RCA / Legacy)
Crazy Horse “Crazy Moon” (1978 album) (RCA / Legacy)
Miles Davis “Miles Ahead (Mono Version)” (1957 album), “Porgy and Bess (Mono Version)” (1959 album), “Sketches of Spain (Mono Version)” (1960 album), “Someday My Prince Will Come (Mono Version)” (1961 album), “Miles and Monk at Newport (Mono Version)” (1964 album) (Columbia / Legacy)
Paul Davis “Paul Davis” (1980 album, featuring “Do Right”) (Epic / Legacy)
Doris Day “By the Light of the Silvery Moon” (1953 album; with Paul Weston and his Orchestra), “Young at Heart” (1954 album, with Frank Sinatra; featuring bonus tracks) (Columbia / Legacy)
Lionel Hampton “The Complete Victor Sessions, Vol. 3” (1954 album, with Frank Sinatra; featuring bonus tracks) (Bluebird / Legacy)
Kenny G “Six of Hearts” (1997 EP; On Tour) (Arista / Legacy)
Henry Mancini and His Concert Orchestra “Mancini Plays the Theme from ‘Love Story'” (1970 album), “Mancini Concert” (1971 album) (RCA / Legacy)
Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes “I Miss You (Expanded Edition)” (1972 album, featuring “If You Don’t Know Me By Now”), “Black & Blue (Expanded Edition)” (1973 album, including “The Love I Lost”), “To Be True (Expanded Edition)” (1974 album, including “Bad Luck”) (Epic / Legacy)
Teddy Pendergrass “Teddy (Expanded Edition)” (1979 album) (Philadelphia International / Legacy)
Michael Penn “Free Time” (1993 EP) (RCA / Legacy)
Pockets “Come Go With Us” (1977 album; Hear here), “So Delicious” (1979 album) (Columbia / Legacy)
Pointer Sisters “So Excited! (Expanded Edition)” (1982 album), “Break Out (Original 1983 Version – Expanded)” (1983 album), “Break Out (1984 Version – Expanded)” (1984 album), “Contact (Expanded Edition)” (1985 album), “Hot Together (Expanded Edition)” (1986 album), “Serious Slammin’ (Expanded Edition)” (1988 album) (RCA / Legacy)
Lonnie Liston Smith “Love Is the Answer (Expanded Edition)” (1980 album) (Columbia / Legacy)
Various artists “BANG! The Bert Berns Story (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)” (2017 documentary; Hear here; See here) (Legacy Recordings)

More Digital Releases for April 21, 2017 »

Next Week: April 28, 2017

March 17 / March 24 / March 31 / April 7 / April 14

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