Friday, November 30, 2018

My Next Band only writes Songs about Space (New Mix)

While I have a history of sharing my playlists, I have never communicated the thought process behind crafting one of these. So today I'm doing that. Hope it helps draw you in closer to the music.

For this one, I envisioned the protagonist of this mix finding themselves in an ever changing environment, a series of crossroads. The tracks were to present a series of descriptions for what our hero encounters along the way. (Laughing) I tried to find a way to share this story without sounding like an eight-year old boy. Follow along and we'll get to share one of my favorite mixes of the year. 

As soon as I considered the concept for the mix, my mind immediately self-reminded of the Crossroads story line from Marvel Comics. (Yes - and don't ask me why, because I don't know why..) but my mind jumped back to these books from 1985. This adventure involves the once-hero Incredible Hulk being cast out into the multiverse. There the banished Hulk continued to encounter all sorts of new life and face fantastic challenges. I furiously reviewed the stories on the pages I remember them intensely three decades later. Even as a boy I knew whatever I did for work, I knew I wanted to create.

Mike Mignola art 1985. Words by Bill Mantlo.

Remembering these comic pages and listening to the music playlist it inspires puts a smile upon my face. And it pleased my young mind then to consider that adults in this would could produce work like that as a way to make a living. Those lucky comic book creators somehow found a way to win the keys to the palace: they managed to dislodge their grounded character from the confines of a restraining reality where they - like The Hulk - could explore whatever path they chose. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Pyramid Song by Radiohead

I jumped in the river, what did I see?
Black-eyed angels swam with me
A moon full of stars and astral cars
And all the figures I used to see
All my lovers were there with me
All my past and futures
And we all went to heaven in a little row boat
There was nothing to fear and nothing to doubt
I jumped into the river
Black-eyed angels swam with me
A moon full of stars and astral cars
And all the figures I used to see
All my lovers were there with me
All my past and futures
And we all went to heaven in a little row boat
There was nothing to fear, nothing to doubt
There was nothing to fear, nothing to doubt
There was nothing to fear, nothing to doubt

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Saturday, November 24, 2018

mxmtoon shows us there is no ceiling

mxmtoon (pronounced em-ex-em-toon) is the moniker of 18-year-old Maia, an Oakland-based singer, songwriter, and ukulele player. Maia is like any other teenager, playing sad songs from her bedroom and making goofy videos. But these videos have reached a global audience - a staggering 75 million streams at this point. She's not being celebrated here for being famous, though. She's here today because she's good.


I guess what I find most inspiring by young creators is their relative lack of understanding of limits and boundaries. mxmtoon, 18,  literally has no idea the she shouldn't be able to accomplish so much at a young age. Her debut EP, Plum Blossom, comes out later this year. Until then she needs to be content with her near 1 million listener following on Spotify and a trove of young global listeners who treat her like a cultural touchstone. My favorite so far is 'stuck,' the self-questioning song that any adult can understand. 

The ukulele has never seemed more powerful.. the sky is no longer the limit.. anything is possible. Artists of all ages please take note. 

Music / Web / Fb / Tw / Insta

HER BIO:  Growing up in Oakland, music was a constant for this rising star as she took lessons in violin, cello, trumpet, and guitar before being introduced to the ukulele in middle school. Since then, Maia has written about a host of subjects, from being a burden to her friends (the sweet 'please don't'), the trials of love ('cliché''s head-over-heels moment, or the bubble bursting on 'don't play your card'), and her connection to the Chinese side of her family (the wistful 'hong kong').

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

SPOTLIGHT - Come Undone from Gracie Curran

You want atmosphere.. I'll give you atmosphere. Our Spotlight today shines down on Come Undone, the soft and bluesy new track from Gracie Curran. Her huge personality and empowered vocals are well-supported here by an all-star band made up of some of New England's best. 

photo credit: unknown

Come Undone
Gracie Curran- Vocals
Damon Fowler- Guitar
Matt Walker- Bass
Justin Headley- Drums
Victor Wainwright- Hammond
Pat Harrington- Guitar
Mark Earley- Sax
Doug Woolverton- Trumpet

I love how after the first big horn break, the band walks it back.. the long segue, and that slow, eventual triumphant return to Gracie's voice are just great! This music could be heard pouring out of the alley behind a Detroit or New Orleans blues bars after 3am. Song of the Day. Gracie Curran is a name you need to know.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The Storming of the Castle (New Mix)

While I have a history of sharing my mixtapes, I have never communicated the thought process behind crafting one of these. So today I'm doing that. Hope it helps draw you in closer to the music.

For the Castle Mix, there are no wasted songs, arrangements meant to enhance the strengths one another. The steering tracks for me on the first half are from Bry Webb, Arcade Fire, and Black Books and the new one, "Getting In The Van Again" from Fruit Bats. These are powerhouses, even among Super Heroes.

I just started assembling songs I felt would be good pivot points for the mix. Movement is what keeps any mix alive and it's what brings you the sense of euphoria when you find one of these perfect song trails. When one works, it's something wonderful and new out of something that already exists. 

Setting the Story - "Sprawl II" is just classic grandiose Arcade Fire - and here it works. Sprawl unfolds like an unexpected mountain-range. Scene is set. Black Books are pure emotional energy and the very discipline of restraint.. "Heaven Help US" sounds every bit a cathedral prayer.. The guitar-work and patter of drum on "Someplace I'm Supposed to Be" is only surpassed by the soft drone of Bry Webb's perfect vocals. 

The middle of this mix is about living in that place we've already created-mentally with the first third of the mix. A series of just perfect songs punctuate this lovely expanse. They each came to me (in rapid fire succession) over the weekend. This run ends with a big change-up: Soul Coughing with "Screenwriters Blues." This track is cerebral and a perfect palate cleanser for the huge ending sequence.. which I like to call The Worst Is Over!

Treetop Flyers "Things Will Change" (from their The Mountain Moves Album); a track that empties directly into "Crater" a lovely 2014 collaboration between The Sadies and the late Gord Downie of The Tragically Hip. The Hip transitions into "The Grateful Song" from our friend in Jonah Tolchin. This new track couldn't come at a more important time. I dug really, really deep to close the mix. Nico Stai's "One October Song" first appeared on his 2006 Park Los Angeles album. The song is perfect for this mix.. it opens to soft strings and before Stai's quiet-howl of a voice explains wa howling indie rock voice

Friday, November 16, 2018

Suddenly - Hallelujah The Hills drop a mesmerizing instrumental record!

A musical point of pride for the city of Boston, Hallelujah the Hills, made a surprise album drop this week of "Against Electricity," the instrumental soundtrack to singer/author Ryan Walsh's nationally celebrated Van Morrison book, 'Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968.' (Here's my post.) 

Sure, having a great rock band with an author behind the microphone might sound cool - but that's only because it is cool. Walsh's writer's voice is present throughout 'Electricity' and it's the vision of the words and the execution by these soundsmiths that made this an instant purchase for me. (Yes, people should still buy music.) The best parts of this will, you will note is when things are real low and then run real high. 

Hallelujah The Hills are: Brian Rutledge, Nicholas Ward, Ryan Walsh, Joe Marrett, and Ryan Connelly.

Courtney Brooke Hall photo

Aside from dropping the instrumental album this week, HJH did something else special by announcing their new record is also now-on-sale.  The next full-length album, I'm You, will be released in the Spring. More new stuff, just a few weeks away.

Albums / Web / Fb / Tw / 
Astral Weeks (Amazon)

Thursday, November 15, 2018

American Legend Roy Clark has died

One of the great, great showmen in American music has died. A spokesman today said Roy Clark passed away peacefully in his Tulsa home following complications from a recent bout with pneumonia. Clark was a face and name for multiple of generations and was widely celebrated for his banjo- and guitar-play. He was beloved by millions for his two-plus decades on the legendary Hee-Haw show. Sad day for a lot of folks. Clark was a real American music legend.

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End of a Year with Sister Sparrow

Photo by Shervin Lainez

A Winning Combination - for fans of big, powerful deliveries and top notch vocal execution, we give you Sister Sparrow. The modern soul outfit out of Brooklyn - fronted by Arleigh Kincheloe, offers fans a bridge to soul music's glorious past and it's neo-modern execution. Perhaps what I like best about about Sister Sparrow is the music (instantly relatable) and Arleigh's voice (she's a wonderfully reliable narrator.)  The new album, Gold, is available now with the video for the title track below. The Sister Sparrow is Arleigh Kincheloe, Jackson Kincheloe, Josh Myers, Dan Boyden, Brian Graham and Phil Rodriguez.

A Best of 2018 Selection - Known far and wide as the impossibly big voiced leader of acclaimed soul collective Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds, singer Arleigh Kincheloe has made an astonishing leap forward with Sister Sparrow’s new LP, GOLD. Produced by Carter Matschullat (Chef’Special, Secret Weapons), the album sees Sister Sparrow taking the classic brass-fueled Dirty Birds sound and turning it into something altogether new: a soul-blasted contemporary pop sound both timeless yet utterly now.

Brighton Music Hall
Boston, MA
9:30 Club
Washington, DC
Irving Plaza
New York, NY
Teragram Ballroom
Los Angeles, CA
The Independent
San Francisco, CA
Levon Helm Studios
Woodstock, NY
Narrows Center for the Arts
Fall River, MA
The Warehouse at FTC
Fairfield, CT

Sister Sparrow
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POSTER DROP: Chuck Sperry - Oracle

The Oracle
21 x 31.5
Edition of 150
7 colors on cream paper
Signed and Numbered

Variant editions of Gold, Silver, Black, Holo Sparkle Foil, Holo Lava Foil

San Fran-area poster guru Chuck Sperry is my favorite designer artist and silkscreener. A prolific and influential creator for decades now, the man is a legend. Sperry's been making sophisticated pieces of beauty, like this week's drop, for decades now.  In the eyes of a great many Sperry collectors, his art print "lady series" are the most desirable pieces. This is a home show for Sperry - so he's bringing out the big guns: Oracle, released this weekend at DesignerCon 2018 in Anheim, CA, is sure to disappear fast!

On this one: a huge tip of the hat to Chuck on the melting flowers in Oracle's hair.. Gorgeous! If you can't get to Cali, keep your fingers crossed for an online drop on what remains, maybe on Black Friday.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The Toughest Ticket - the massive LA tribute concert for Chris Cornell goes on sale this Friday

This Friday's on-sale for the Chris Cornell "I Am The Highway" tribute concert to be held this January in Los Angeles promises to be the single most sought after concert ticket of 2018/2019. The show features members of Soundgarden, Audio Slave and Temple of the Dog; who will be joined Foo Fighters, Metallica, and Ryan Adams. Just wow.

The evening will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and also feature performances from the Foo Fighters and Ryan Adams, along with other special guests.   

In keeping with Chris and his family's vision for a better world, the evening will benefit the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation as well as The Epidermolysis Bullosa Medical Research Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to raising funds and awareness for this painful and debilitating genetic disorder. 

Tickets go on sale through Ticketmaster this Friday, November 16th at 10 AM PT. Each ticket purchased online for the show will include a copy of Cornell’s self-titled career retrospective album. Visit for additional details.

This will be my generation's The Last Waltz. And sadly, despite the forum's 17,000+ capacity, no one reading this will likely get a ticket without a second mortgage or some akin vow of servitude for perpetuity. (I mean each of these acts could sell out the Forum on their own!) Best of luck everyone. The Countdown's on.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Exciting New Trailer for Game Of Thrones Season 8

Just... Wow.

Season 8 begins April 2019


POSTER DROP: Joshua Budich treats Stan Lee like Gold

Artists and Writers sure do love their Stan Lee. The beloved Comic creator, responsible for most of the best characters in fandom, passed away yesterday - and you probably couldn't help but notice due to the out-pouring of respect and love from around the world. This tribute just popped up inside the hour and I wanted you to know about it.

 (Limited to Just 100 copies)

One of my favorite pop culture artists, Josh Budich, appeared on my Outlaw Roadshow radio program about two years ago and we dissected his influences then. Josh has created an ultra-rare gold foil tribute, an 18x24" poster, (limited to just 100 copies) that is now on sale via Nakatomi. Half of all the proceeds to to The Hero Initiative- a charity that helps comic book creators in need. That is kind and cool all at once!

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(What's with all the Cold) November Rain?

When I look into your eyes
I can see a love restrained
But darlin' when I hold you
Don't you know I feel the same
Nothin' lasts forever
And we both know hearts can change
And it's hard to hold a candle
In the cold November rain
We've been through this such a long long time
Just tryin' to kill the pain, oo yeah
But love is always coming and love is always going
And no one's really sure who's lettin' go today
Walking away
If we could take the time
To lay it on the line
I could rest my head
Just knowin' that you were mine
All mine
So if you want to love me
Then darlin' don't refrain
Or I'll just end up walkin'
In the cold November rain
Do you need some time on your own
Do you need some time all alone
Everybody needs some time
On their own
Don't you know you need some time all alone
I know it's hard to keep an open heart
When even friends seem out to harm you
But if you could heal a broken heart
Wouldn't time be out to charm you
Sometimes I need some time on my
Sometimes I need some time all alone
Everybody needs some time
On their own
Don't you know you need some time all alone
And when your fears subside
And shadows still remain, oh yeah
I know that you can love me
When there's no one left to blame
So never mind the darkness
We still can find a way
'Cause nothin' lasts forever
Even cold November rain
(Repeat 4x)
Don't ya think that you need somebody
Don't ya think that you need someone
Everybody needs somebody

"A Preview of the new Guns N' Roses Album" (Nov 13)

Music / Web / Fb / Tw / Insta

Monday, November 12, 2018

Friday, November 09, 2018

Andrew Bird - Bloodless

Video directed by Matthew Daniel Siskin


They're profiting from your worry
They're selling blanks down at the DMZ
They're banking on the sound and fury
Makes you wonder what it all's got to do with me
Bloodless for now
I'm keeping mine with the altruists
I'm putting my weight behind the dancer
I know it's hard to be an optimist
When you trust least the ones who claim to have the answers
And it's an uncivil war
It's an uncivil war
It's an uncivil war
Bloodless for now
And the poets they explode like bombs
While the gentry is drinking Moet Chandon
Turn around and quote a well known psalm:
Don't you worry 'bout the wicked
Don't you envy those who do wrong
And your innocence will be like the dawn
While the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun
Well, the best have lost their convictions
And the worst keep
Sharpening their claws
They're peddling in their dark fictions
While what's left of us, well, we just hem and we haw
And it feels like 1936
In Catalonia
In Catalonia
Bloodless for now
Bloodless for now
And the poets they explode like bombs
While the gentry is drinking Moet Chandon
Turn around and quote a well known psalm:
Don't you worry 'bout the wicked
Don't you envy those who do wrong
And your innocence will be like the dawn
While the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun

Vinyl / Web / Fb / Tw / Insta

Thursday, November 08, 2018

A New Record is on the way for Hollis Brown!

photo by Shervin Lainez

New York, NY – Mascot Label Group has announced the signing of Hollis Brown to a global recording agreement on their Cool Green Records imprint. 

Lead singer Mike Montali shares, “It’s an honor to be working with one of the best labels in the world. Can’t wait to do amazing things together.” Mascot Label Group President, North America Ron Burman offers, “We’re thrilled to have Hollis Brown join our MLG family. I love their unique brand of infectious soulful authentic American rock. Mike’s got classic vocals in the vein of Petty, Dylan, and Young…. I was blown away the first time I heard them.”

Hollis Brown has toured extensively in America and Europe, headlining and supporting such bands as The Counting Crows, Citizen Cope, The Zombies, Jackie Greene, Heartless Bastards, Rich Robinson of Black Crowes, and Jesse Malin, and building an impressive fan base on both continents.

Mascot Label Group is a 100% independently owned and operated record company that is a market leader in the worlds of Rock, Metal and Blues.

One of the Best Live Acts in America

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POSTER DROP: Shepard Fairey

Today's Art Drop
10am Pacific time


Silkscreen Poster
by Shepard Fairey

I created this art previously but never released it as a print until now. For this new version, the message reads Knowledge + Action = Power. The text, ”The Future Is Unwritten” was inspired by a quote from Joe Strummer of The Clash. The flower growing from the barbed wire in my art piece is symbolic of the negative being overcome by the positive, a visual metaphor for hope in the unwritten future. - Shepard

18 x 24 inches. Screenprint on cream Speckle Tone paper. Signed by Shepard Fairey. Edition of 550. $45. Available Thursday, November 8th @ 10AM (PDT) on in Store under Prints.
Max order: 1 per customer/household.

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Wednesday, November 07, 2018

On Vocal: Amy Douglas

Amy Douglas is just great. The passionate rock singer from the Brooklyn, who New England knows as the whisky-soaked vocalist from rock band FEINTS, has found a world of success in fronting hip-shaking dance and disco tracks and electronic music. Her tracks aren't just great they're winning her and her label, DFA Records, international acclaim.

I suppose I should start out by offering that this is nothing new, really. Douglas has lent her powerful vocals to artists in the genre for years and she often collaborates often with artist Juan MacLean. (Together they are the act Peach Melba.) "I never intended to be a dance music artist. I always envisioned myself in some version of Led Zeppelin or something extremely loud and heavy but as I do love classic disco and soul, transitioning into dance music was fun," says Douglas. "It's been exciting to bring a very singer/songwriter point of view into that world."

So this thing that started as vocal work but now it has grown into something more involved.. and much bigger. Douglas has offered her debut single on the label with two remixes from Sheffield artist Crooked Man - which is being spun now on BBC1. This is what they call a good day.

Things are only be going to be getting bigger and soon. Douglas is in high demand. She's already recorded vocals for in-the-can material being released throughout 2019. The single you are about to watch the video for (below) has charted for weeks and it's being played by some of the top DJs in the world. Vinyl versions have sold out at various retail stores (including Piccadilly Records) and emptied inventories at online UK music stores. With all this early success, Douglas and DFA are promising more.

Fb / Tw / Insta / DFA Records

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

The Grownup Noise - Carnival

The Grownup Noise is an American indie-folk rock band from Boston, Massachusetts that was formed in 2005 by songwriter / guitarist Paul Hansen and bassist Adam Sankowski with their debut album landing two years later. The current lineup for the band is Paul Hansen, Rachel Gawell, and Yuriana Sobrino.  

Today's spotlight song was first unveiled back in 2011 on Paste Magazine's Haiti benefit and ended up being one of the most beloved and downloaded tracks of the year for the publication. It's also on the latest RSL Monthly Playlist

(written by Paul Hansen)

Bulls eye memory they met once in Tel Aviv
She knows cause he's shaking like a tree
She said you fell drunk into me and screamed out into the street
We're all just here to compete and that a girl wants a guy to mistreat

Well she laughed most suddenly he fell back into his seat
And dreamed of his hands on her feet
He said do just what you want give me what you got
Cause I'm feeling fit for the roast

Oh tell me what you know about this carnival
Sing for me I'm sold. I'll hang on every note
She said let's meet again at 9 o'clock ditch your friends
We'll hit the block there's something you really outta know
He said wait what's your number please you never told me honestly
She kissed him quick and headed for the door
Humming a tune he ain't never heard before

Well it's the same old song you see boy meets girl and everything
Except for when the wind begins to blow and he
Wondered if she ever could've known

Oh tell me what you know about my sorry soul
Sing for me I'm sold I'll hang on every note

The politics were obvious she the rock, he Sisyphus
He was pushin' but he didn't even know
Because at 10 o'clock she didn't show
And just as he got up to go he thought of something
That she might've said and that was
Do just what you want and drink one for me because
Some of us were meant to be alone

Oh tell me what you know about this carnival
Sing for me I'm sold I'll hang on every note
Oh tell me what you know about my sorry soul
Sing for me I'm sold I'll hang on every note

INFLUENCES: Our parents, trustworthy politicians, current and ex-girlfriends, superheroes, anything requiring chopsticks, buddies, good comedy, gin, diet coke, drummers with exceptional time, any musician that is creating for the right reasons, and Matt Snook (kinda.) 

Albums / Web / Fb / Tw / Insta / Wiki

Monday, November 05, 2018

Vote With Your Love!

So I'm pretty much the opposite of political but these are very strange days..   

There has never been so much at stake during a mid-term election. All over the country, some serious issues are being addressed. Participate in your elections tomorrow America.

Playtime is 1 hour and 7 minutes


ABOUT: Ryan Spaulding is the writer behind and the Music Blogger responsible for The Outlaw Roadshow. He used to have a cool TV show. Ryan puts together about a dozen or so mixes a year. This is one of them.