Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The New Sounds from Air Traffic Controller

When we teased last summer's US tour for Air Traffic Controller, we leaked a lyric video for their single, "The House." The song was a flourish of sound and possibly the best pop song I heard last year. Like so many of ATC's songs, it was instantly catchy and it got locked in the memory banks for months. I invited the band into studio on the radio program for a talk and some whiskey. About to embark on the road after months in studio, they were in a good place. They spoke about the new album and it became clear the forthcoming album would be a collaborative songwriting effort... something very different for this band which was created by front-man David Munro - who wrote all the songs working with his friend and music mentor Bleu McAuley. The first songs that Munro had crafted were his stories and ideas brought to life. These new songs are a triumph of  the band as a whole.

Munro & Sullivan 

After seeing the band perform live recently, the new songs seemed considerably fuller and more vibrant - written and crafted to perform live. Hell, the old songs even sounded better - the beneficiaries of a great band honing them for many many months on end. The next round of songs are here. The album release draws nearer and one thing is clear. No matter what happens next, these new songs spell a serious shifting of gears and as predicted, they are great. "People Watching," released a few weeks ago sounds like a band reborn. The production qualities and music ability here are pretty epic. But it's only on the latest single, "On The Wire," we realize how much everything is changed. Bass and Banjo player Casey Sullivan - who has a gorgeous voice, steps to the fore and fronts the track and we realize just how much this band has changed. It's a beautiful number and so very different than the bubble-gum pop from the band's initial release. There is much to be excited about with Air Traffic Controller. This could prove to be one of the best albums of 2015. Get ready.


ATC is Dave Munro on lead vocals and guitar; multi-instrumentalist Steve Scott on lead guitar, keys, and more; big brother Richie Munro on drums; Casey Sullivan on bass, banjo, and backing vocals; with violinist Alison Shipton and Kiara Perico on viola.

Web / Fb / Tw

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Legal Immigrants

LOOKOUT SUMMER! - There's just something about mid-west, blue collar blues that does us all in. And it's with that in mind that I share today's spotlight artists, some up-and-comers from Michigan in a rock band called, The Legal Immigrants. The band live and breathe the staple fruits of rock's past (Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath) and some of it's latest influences (moderns like The White Stripes) but there's a slow, glory that rises in these otherwise scrappy tunes that makes me really dig what I'm hearing. The heat of the summer brings the band's new album, Drugs to Roses (July 3.) Recorded at Goon Lagoon Studios in Grand Rapids with producer Dick Chiclet, the record was completed in six, five-hour sessions with a few extra days for the mixing and mastering process. The Legal Immigrants are Joe Bockheim, Trevor Reidsma, Tony Lubenow, and Kevin Kitsch. Get in now..


The first single off the album, “Fork in the Road,” revolves around making decisions with an underlying theme of hypocrisy. There are literal and symbolic lyrics in this song. Bockheim explains, “I went to catholic school growing up, so got many a hefty helping of the gospel.” “Move the plank that’s been stuck in your eye and I’ll give you a stone to throw” is the gospel inspired line. There’s this one story where Jesus is calling people out for being hypocritical and talks about removing the plank in your eye before pointing out the speck in someone else’s eye. He says, “Now as a kid, the image in my head was someone walking around with a five foot 2x6 board in their eye.”


Well hello doll, fancy that I might find you this way
There’s some shame in the things that you’ve done
What you chose at the fork in the road
Need a judge now, who’s to blame when everyone’s wrong
Move the plank that’s been stuck in your eye
And I’ll give you a stone to throw
Was it worth it or not, might find out by tomorrow
Blind hindsight
You’re a star child and I knew that before your rite
And forgot most of what you did wrong
But it wasn’t worth that life
But through it all child, I will wish you well each day
Despite all the harm that ya done
What you chose at the fork in the road
Was it worth it or not, we’ll find out by tomorrow
Blind hindsight
Cause all anybody could ever really want it love
You’re wasting your time
Sparks flying but the flame just won’t start
Leaving me all alone in the dark
Dwelling on all the cruel things you said
My covers blown and I’m not sure what to do
Can’t keep my minds lonely eye off of you
Dwelling on all the cruel things you said
Oh oh oh oh

Don’t you worry about another thing
Was only a matter of time
A fool to think I’d be the one keeping you in line
Wastin’ your time
Well it worked for a while but I’m starting over
Blind hindsight
You’re insane as defined with the world on your shoulders
Change my mind

one to watch
Web / Fb / Tw

Monday, May 18, 2015

Mick Jones drops New Arthouse Vinyl

MICK JONES is still surprising people. His new record release, available for the first time today, is set to coincide with an installation of art -- all of Jones' many years of rock and roll ephemera, keepsakes and life in music at The Rock And Roll Public Library in The Rock And Roll Public Library at Venice Biennale. That makes the record sort of a meta soundtrack for decades of kept art (some of it magazines, notes, signed records, photographs etc.) The installation remains up until November.

It's great to see Jones remain active in music. Along with his celebrated career with The Clash, Mick Jones founded Big Audio Dynamite and Carbon/Silicon, he has collaborated with acts as diverse as Los Fabulosos Cadillacs and The Wallflowers; and has gone on to produce Ian Hunter, The Libertines and Gorillaz.

Album / The Clash / Wiki

Friday, May 15, 2015

One of the Best New Songs of 2015

Matt Sucich is a gifted player with a special soul. 
Having seen this song develop out on stage has been a treat.
To hear it now, to learn what it's become makes me proud as hell...
One of the Best Songs of 2015's First Half...

Web / Fb / Tw

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Rising Star Courtney Barnett is about to slay America

Quietly, well - perhaps not so quietly, Australia's Courtney Barnett is winning over hearts and minds and it's happening right in front of our eyes. Having just spent 4 weeks (an entire month is something these days) at the #1 spot on the College Music Journal (CMJ) List, Barnett has a ramblin', jamblin' masterpiece in her album, "Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit"

Barnett's shows are selling out like gangbusters and her band has been added to the country's most prestigious music festivals (she closes out this summer at Newport Folk - nothing more timeless than that!) You probably know some measure of all this, or perhaps not, but what you should do it get to know her quirky, self-effacing lyrics and fiery yet demure spirit. The new video is called "Dead Fox."

05.14.15 - The Forum - Melbourne, Australia
05.15.15 - The Forum - Melbourne, Australia
05.16.15 - The Forum - Melbourne, Australia
05.18.15 - The Sinclair - Boston, MA (SOLD OUT) *
05.19.15 - Bowery Ballroom - New York, NY (SOLD OUT) *
05.20.15 - Bowery Ballroom - New York, NY (SOLD OUT) *
05.21.15 - Bowery Ballrom - New York, NY (SOLD OUT) *
05.25.15 - Sasquatch Festival - George, WA
05.27.15 - Red Rocks Amphitheater - Morrison, CO **
05.29.15 - Bottle Rock Napa Valley - Napa, CA
05.30.15 - The Roxy Theatre - Los Angeles, CA (SOLD OUT) *
05.31.15 - The Roxy Theatre - Los Angeles, CA (SOLD OUT) *
06.02.15 - Casbah - San Diego, CA (SOLD OUT) *
06.05.15 - The Mohawk - Austin, TX (SOLD OUT) *
06.06.15 - Club Dada - Dallas, TX (SOLD OUT) *
06.07.15 - One Eyed Jacks - New Orleans, LA *
06.09.15 - The Loft - Atlanta, GA *
06.10.15 - Koka Booth Amphitheater - Cary, NC #
06.11.15 - Bonnaroo Music Festival - Manchester, TN
06.13.15 - 9:30 Club - Washington, DC (SOLD OUT) *
06.14.15 - 9:30 Club - Washington, DC (SOLD OUT) *
06.15.15 - Union Transfer - Philadelphia, PA (SOLD OUT) *
06.18.15 - Uptown Theatre - Kansas City, KC ^
06.19.15 - Pabst Theatre - Milwaukee, WI ^
06.20.15 - Rock the Garden Festival - Minneapolis, MN
06.26.15 - Glastonbury Festival - Glastonbury, UK
07.16.15 - 07.19.15 - Pemberton Music Festival - Pemberton, BC
07.19.15 - Pitchfork Music Festival - Chicago, IL
07.22.15 - Terminal 5 - New York, NY %
07.24.15 - 07.25.15 - WayHome Music & Arts Festival - Oro-Medonte, ON
07.25.15 - Newport Folk Fest - Newport, RI

* w/ Chastity Belt & Darren Hanlon
** w/ Spoon + The Decemberists
# w/ The Alabama Shakes
^ w/ Belle & Sebastian
% w/ Speedy Ortiz & Torres

Album / Web / Fb / Tw

Monday, May 11, 2015

VIDEO Fort Frances - I Shall Be Released (Encore)

It's those big moments, the crowd integration - the end of a really big night of music. Check out this great video of Fort Frances walking out into the crowd and celebrating just such an evening at Lincoln Hall in Chicago. Surrounded by their friends and fans, they had a magic moment that few are likely to forget. Fort Frances are David McMillin, Jeffrey Piper and Aaron Kiser. Their sensational new album, No One Needs to Know Our Name, will be released tomorrow, May 12.

Music / Web / Fb / Tw / Ds