Fridays are cool; we tend to call in sick with some contagious but temporary condition, it kick starts the process of indulging in a weekend’s worth of activities that we’ll pretend never happened come Monday morning and new music comes pouring out of every streaming hole. But this Friday holds two extra cards: round two of Coachella (y’all have fun with that) and – dammit – the first anniversary of losing THE greatest musical creature ever to grace the Earth, Prince Rogers Nelson. Seriously, the man has been gone for a whole year and, to add insult to this great injury, Prince’s estate just court orderly blocked the release of Deliverance, the 6-song EP of unreleased Prince songs that was supposed to drop today. Something about the recordings violating an agreement that Prince had with his former sound engineer, George Ian Boxill, so we wait and hope for some resolution because if you heard the title track then you know what it feels like to attend the church of Prince. A-holy-men.
But Friday’s are also for 13 new songs in my Spotify Music On, World Off playlist and I’ve beefed it up with some things raucous, things sexy, things thoughtful and things just plain cool. Like what, you say? So glad that you asked….
“More To Explore” by Irontom
One of my favorite hometown heroes happens to be these Irontom guys, makers of dynamically muscular and funked up gems, none more manic than the freshness of “More To Explore.” On Monday April 24th, these cats will close out their month-long residency at the Satellite in Los Angeles and it’s FREE. Be there or be square. Of course, if you miss it then just catch them on the road opening up for Red Hot Chili Peppers beginning in May.
“The Fire” – Bishop Briggs
It was a pleasure to be in the room when this vocal dynamo kicked off her headlining tour at the El Rey in Los Angeles on April 13th and her live rendition of “The Fire” was an amped up affair. On April 14th her 6-song self-titled EP was released into the wild showing Briggs to be quite capable of dramatically moving through the “River.” Vocal dynamo, kids.
“No Reason To Run” – Cold War Kids
Now just because I left Cold War Kids’ record release party with a Cold War Kids tattoo (come on; when a band throws a party and hires a tattoo artist to give FREE tats, it’s just rude not to go home with one), that’s no reason to include “No Reason To Run” in my playlist, but it being my favorite song on their latest record LA Divine is plenty reason. It’s a jaunty, romantically joyful tune and Nathan Willett’s lyrical skill is as elevated as ever as the guy cites anthropology (Cro-Magnon men) and a current social state of awareness (“woke”) between breaths. And let’s give a drummer their due because Matthew Compton’s fills and rolls are a fantastically full-bodied push and pull. Cheers, Matthew.
“KDV (Ft. SHUG)” – Missio
In case the acronym eludes you, it’s “Killing Darth Vader” and David Butler and Matthew Brue are Austin, TX’s Missio: a cool, dark horse on the alt/electronic/whatever field. From throwing up rebellious “Middle Fingers” to taking you to the “Bottom Of The Deep Blue Sea,” this duo is thriving on backing up Matthew’s honesty with David’s killer beats. Darth Vader never stood a chance against their kick drum.
“Drive 3/4s” – Brutus
So, hey, here’s a Belgian trio on the post-hardcore side of the street (and former Refused tribute band), fronted by a vocally ferocious woman behind the drum kit while the band weaves prog rock, math rock and metal into what you hear in “Drive 3/4s.” Thanks to Spotify’s own Allison Hagendorf (Global Head of Rock) for guiding me towards this female-led bit of awesome.
“Fear of Jesus” – Goodbye June
I accidentally hung up on Landon Milbourn, Brandon Qualkenbush and Tyler Bakerthese (aka the awfully lovely to talk to, hard rocking Nashville gents of Goodbye June) yesterday (damned iPhone) and I’m still not cool with it, but at least I got to tell them how perfectly beautiful their song “Fear of Jesus” (from their upcoming album Magic Valley out May 5th via Interscope) is. But they also pulled back the curtain on the song for me…and now the song is even more perfect. Well done, guys, and thank you…and sorry about the hanging up-thing.
And that’s just the tip of the climate change-endangered iceberg of diverse and good stuff to be found in my Spotify playlist. You’ll also find MisterWives going all head banger on you with “Oh Love,” Polarcode teamed up The Voice final fiver, Taylor John Williams, for the slick, soulful pop of “Cut You Loose,” Australia’s Meg Mac returning to assert herself with “Low Blows” and check out the smooth alt soul coming out of the UK like “Haze” from The King’s Parade. Seriously, that jam’s a keeper.
So dig into Music On, World Off, follow it, share it with your friends and hopefully you’ll find several somethings that turn your ears, head, heart or any combination thereof on.
PS: Find me on Twitter and keep in touch at @dharma69. Let’s be friends.
Til next time…Music On, World Off.