Monday, January 31, 2022

New Music: Marshall Crenshaw, The Rave-Ups, Sam Moss

Don't let this trio of terrific releases escape your listen.

Marshall Crenshaw
Title: #447 (Shiny-Tone)
You might like if you enjoy: Marshall Crenshaw, The Smithereens, Gin Blossoms
Tell me more: In 2020, Marshall Crenshaw launched a series of reissues focused on a handful of his classic albums beginning with the release of his 1996 album Miracle of Science. On Feb. 4, 2022, a deluxe and expanded edition of his 1999 masterwork #447 will be available. This was an ambitious effort featuring Crenshaw on lead vocals, guitar, bass, drums, percussion and vintage keyboards; the album was bolstered by the contributions of Bill Lloyd, Greg Leisz, Andy York and former E. Street Band member David Sancious. Remastered with perfection by engineer Greg Calbi, the new edition of #447 allows listeners to rediscover a parade of outstanding selections including the melodic "Television Light," Americana "Glad Goodbye," jazzy instrumental "Eydie's Tune," power pop gem "T.M.D." and Irresistible "Tell Me All About It" along with two new bonus tracks (the terrific roots rocker "Will of the Wind" and a wistful cover of Gregg Turner's "Santa Fe"). Information:  

The Rave-Ups
Title: Tomorrow (Omnivore Recordings)
You might like if you enjoy: The Rave-Ups, The Beat Farmers, Walter Clevenger & The Dairy Kings, The Blasters
Tell me more: Roots rock troupe The Rave Ups are back with the must-hear Tomorrow, the quartet's first new album since 1990. The original Rave-Ups lineup   singer-songwriter Jimmer Podrasky, guitarist Terry Wilson, bassist Tommy Blatnik and drummer Timothy Jimenez   have crafted a return that is truly a glorious and uplifting listen; Tomorrow is filled to the brim with explosive rockers and affecting more restrained Americana (notably the beautiful "Roll" and reflective "Cry"). The driving opener "So You Wanna Know The Truth?" and melodic pedal steel-adorned "How Old Am I?" (whose affecting lyrics focus on the relationship between father and son) and shimmering "Coming After Me" are among my early favorites on the 11-track album, while late-disc entries "The Dream of California," blues-flavored "When I Write Your Name" and countrified "Tomorrow" shine just as bright. Information:

Sam Moss
Title: Blues Approved (Schoolkids Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Eric Clapton, Alvin Lee
Tell me more: Singer-songwriter/guitar great Sam Moss' legacy and talent cast a strong and lasting influence on the Winston-Salem, North Carolina music scene during his lifetime and even after his death in 2007. Listening to his so-called "great lost" album titled Blues Approved it's easy to hear why. Although the majority of the tracks on the wonderful album were originally recorded on 4-track analog equipment, their magic and fidelity sound greatThese priceless recordings were originally produced by Moss, who would travel from his home in Winston-Salem to nearby Chapel Hill to record with Mitch Easter (who played drums and engineered on the sessions). In 2020, noted producer Chris Stamey discovered an old tape that featured many of the tracks heard on Blues Approved that were recorded in 1977. Although the majority of the selections on Blues Approved are anchored in blues (just listen to “Rooster Blood” and “King of My Hill”), the sounds of Memphis soul, ‘70s classic rock and R&B are artfully incorporated along the way. Kudos to Stamey (along with Easter and Gene Holder) for restoring and enhancing the older source tapes for today’s audiences.  There is a myriad of great originals and covers on Blues Approved, including a tasty British blues-styled take on Mike Bloomfield's "If You See My Baby," the original classic rock-mining "To Those Still at Sea," and “Ain’t That Peculiar” (a buoyant and riveting cover of the Marvin Gaye 1965 classic), the latter with Mike “Wezo” Wesolowski’s harmonica adding to the magic. The crunchy original “Vida Blanche” recalls the might of Bad Company’s best work, with Moss’ fiery rhythm and lead guitar mastery on display.  Moss ventures into psychedelic hard rock territory via the dazzling instrumental “Nightflight Over Berlin.” Among the other far-flung nuggets on the set is a rousing take on the Gerry Goffin and Carole King classic “Pleasant Valley Sunday” and infectious reading of the rare Rolling Stones cut “Who’s Driving Your Plane?” Listening to the album in 2022 is to discover an artist who possessed impressive and stylish talents as a lead singer, songwriter and guitarist. A 16-page booklet really provides a wealth of images and liner notes that tell the full story on Moss and how these tracks were readied for release in 2022. Information:

Robert Kinsler

Thursday, January 27, 2022

'The Beatles and India' documentary to stream exclusively on BritBox starting February 15, 2022

 Here is a media release that just landed in my inbox...Robert Kinsler



“When I first heard Indian music, I just couldn’t really believe that it was so great, and the more I heard of it, the more I liked it. It just got bigger and bigger, like a snowball”. 
-George Harrison

New York, NY (January 27, 2022)—Post Summer of Love, in 1968 the world’s most popular rock and roll band, The Beatles had achieved mass fame and fortune yet were searching for deeper meaning in their lives. Under the spiritual guidance of Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, The Beatles took a trip to Rishikesh, India to study transcendental meditation and set out on a path of deep enlightenment that would change the world.

Slated for release on February 15 via BritBox in North America, the streaming service from BBC Studios and ITV, the award-winning feature documentary, The Beatles And India (Silva Screen Productions, Renoir Pictures) examines how Indian music and culture shaped the music of John, Paul, George and Ringo and in turn, explores how The Beatles served as ambassadors of this pioneering World music sound and cultural movement.

Drawing together an expansive archive of footage including contemporaneous locale shooting in India, recordings, photographs, and compelling first-hand interviews, The Beatles And India exhaustively documents this East meets West touchstone in pop culture history. Purloining inspiration from Ajoy Bose’s book Across The Universe - The Beatles In India, the documentary is produced by British Indian music entrepreneur Reynold D’Silva and directed by Bose (his directorial debut) and cultural researcher Pete ComptonThe Beatles And India has been awarded Best Film Audience Choice and Best Music at the 2021 UK Asian Film Festival “Tongues On Fire.”

The Beatles’ were first introduced to Indian music while filming their 1965 film, Help!, which featured the Indian musicians in a restaurant scene. George Harrisonwould become a lifelong impassioned devotee of Indian music. He would soon buy his first sitar, befriend and study under sitar master Ravi Shankar and employ the instrument to revolutionary effect linking the worlds of pop music with Indian music on the Beatles song, “Norwegian Wood,” which appears on their Rubber Soulalbum. That song marked the group, and particularly Harrison’s full on immersion into Indian music, a raga rock sound heard in The Beatles songs, “Tomorrow Never Knows” and “Love You To” (Revolver) “Within You Without You” (Sgt. Pepper) and “The Inner Light (B-side to the “Lady Madonna” single)”

In early July 1966, while returning from shows in the Philippines, The Beatles made a quick stopover in New Delhi, India, marking their first trip to the country. Less than two years later, in February 1968, the group would return for an extended sojourn at Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram in Rishikesh, India where they would take a training course in Transcendental Meditation. Their search for spiritual enlightenment would both shape their thinking and values and indelibly color the sounds of their expanding musical palette.

Silva Screen Records, in tandem with the documentary release on BritBox in North America, presents a 19-song companion album: The Beatles And India: Songs Inspired by The Film, featuring wondrous interpretations of The Beatlessongbook, blending traditional and contemporary Indian influences, as recorded and performed by Indian artists Anoushka Shankar (Ravi Shankar's daughter), Vishal Dadlani, Kissnuka, Benny Dayal, Dhruv Ghanekar, Karsh Kale, and Soulmate. Many of the songs featured on the album--“Mother Nature’s Son,” “Dear Prudence,” “Sexy Sadie,” Back in the USSR,” “I’m So Tired,” “Julia,” I Will,” “The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill,” Everybody’s Got Something to Hide (Except for Me and My Monkey),” “Child of Nature,” (later re-written and recorded by John Lennon in his solo career as “Jealous Guy”)--were written during The Beatles 1968 extended stay in Rishikesh, India and most would feature on the group’s 1968 double-album, The Beatles, better known as “The White Album.”

The Beatles And India is an unforgettable audio-visual experience that spotlights the legacy of that historic visit, chronicling The Beatles’ crucial role as avatars of a musical movement inspiring newfound societal and cultural awareness, weaving the fabric of pop and Indian music into a unified force of positivity and spiritual exploration.

About Silva Screen Music Group:

The Silva Screen Music Group is a London based independent record company, which is home to one of the world’s leading film and television specialist soundtrack labels, Silva Screen Records. Alternative rock label So Recordings is also part of the group and includes bands such as Placebo and Enter Shikari. Founded by music devotee Reynold D’Silva in 1986, the group has a catalog of over 800 titles and in excess of 10,000 master recordings, with offices in New York, Paris and Mumbai.

About BritBox:

BritBox is a digital video subscription service offering the largest collection of British TV in the U.S. and Canada. Created by two British content powerhouses—BBC Studios, the subsidiary arm of the BBC, and ITV, the UK’s biggest commercial broadcaster—the service features iconic favorites, exclusive premieres, and current series and soaps—most available within 24 hours after their UK premiere. BritBox also offers expert curation and playlists that enable fans to easily find programs they know and discover new favorites via the web, mobile, tablet and connected TVs.

Track listing:

1.) Tomorrow Never Knows – Kiss Nuka 
2.) Mother Nature's Son - Karsh Kale / Benny Dayal 
3.) Gimme Some Truth – Soulmate 
4.) Across The Universe - Tejas / Mali 
5.) Everybody's Got Something To Hide (Except Me And My Monkey) - Rohan Rajadhyaksha / Warren Mendonsa 
6.) I Will - Shibani Dandekar / Neil Mukherjee 
7.) Julia - Dhruv Ghanekar 
8.) Child Of Nature - Anupam Roy 
9.) The Inner Light - Anoushka Shankar / Karsh Kale 
10.) The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill - Raaga Trippin 
11.) Back In The USSR - Karsh Kale / Farhan Ahktar 
12.) I'm So Tired - Lisa Mishra / Warren Mendonsa 
13.) Sexy Sadie - Siddharth Basrur / Neil Mukherjee 
14.) Martha My Dear - Nikhil D'Souza 
15.) Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) - Parekh & Singh 
16.) Revolution - Vishal Dadlani / Warren Mendonsa 
17.) Love You To - Dhruv Ghanekar 
18.) Dear Prudence - Karsh Kale / Monica Dogra 
19.) India, India - Nikhil D'Souza

Monday, January 24, 2022

New music: Julie Christensen, Keb' Mo', Night Crickets, John Mellencamp

In this column I celebrate new releases from Julie Christensen, Keb' Mo', Night Crickets and John Mellencamp.

Julie Christensen
Title: 11 From Kevin: Songs of Kevin Gordon (Wirebird Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Flesh Eaters, Divine Horsemen
Tell me more: The exceptional song writing of Nashville singer-songwriter Kevin Gordon is celebrated by Julie Christensen on her latest album 11 From Kevin: Songs of Kevin Gordon (released Jan 21). It speaks volumes about the power of Gordon's songcraft and Christensen's strengths as a recording artist that this is an album where diverse music styles somehow couldn't be more at home together. The loose rocker "Find My Way," the medley of the countrified "Heart's Not In It / Down To The Well," bluesy "Jimmy Reed Is The King of Rock n' Roll," gorgeous roots rocker "Gatling Gun" and lovely folk gem "Rest Your Head" collectively cast a welcome light on Gordon's pictorial lyrics while simultaneously showcasing Christensen's gifts as a singer. Co-produced by Christensen and Brett Ryan Stewart, 11 From Kevin: Songs of Kevin Gordon also rises via contributions from a field of great musicians; in particular Sergio Webb and Chris Tench add a myriad of diverse guitar sonics across the marvelous recording. Information:  

Keb' Mo'
Title: Good To Be (Rounder Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Keb' Mo', Darius Rucker, Bill Withers
Tell me more: Keb' Mo' is back with an album (Good To Be) that celebrates the richness of life with an optimistic and winning approach that reminds us not to let life's everyday moments pass us by. Indeed, the opening track "Good To Be (Home Again)" acknowledges "It's good to be here, good to be anywhere" and not later, "Good to be young, good to be old, good to be home again." Elsewhere on Good To Be the South Los Angeles native takes that same inspiring approach on the romance-minded "So Easy," social justice-aimed "Louder," heartfelt cover of Bill Withers' "Lean On Me" and luxurious life-affirming "Marvelous to Me." There are also several impressive collaborations here, including the lovely duet "Quiet Moments" (featuring soprano Kristin Chenoweth), Americana-styled "The Medicine Man" (with Old Crow Medicine Show) and tuneful "Good Strong Woman" (with Darius Rucker). Across the 13-track album   his first since his 2019 holiday set Moonlight, Mistletoe & You — Keb' Mo' utilizes his signature mix of blues, gospel and even pop to create songs that are as infectious as they are memorable. Information:

Night Crickets
Title: A Free Society (Omnivore Recordings)
You might like if you enjoy: Bauhaus, Love and Rockets, Violent Femmes, David Bowie
Tell me more: A trio comprised of David J (Bauhaus, Love and Rockets), Victor DeLorenzo (Violent Femmes) and Darwin Meiners, Night Crickets has released an impressive debut whose sonic moodscape fully captures the era of the pandemic. A Free Society features 13 originals that challenge and thrill the listener. The mix of sparse electronica, enticing rhythms, introspective lyrics and stylish grooves draws positive comparisons with a range of greats spanning from David Bowie to Gorillaz. Listening to this evocative album, I wondered if it could have been created any other way than musicians working remotely and sharing audio files from their far-flung locales. The dazzling opener "Black Leather on the Inside," retro "Amanda's Mantra," hypnotic "Roman A Clef" and "Soul Wave," lovely "Sloe Song," experimental "Down Below" and swirling "Sacred Monster" all enthrall. Information:

John Mellencamp
Title: Strictly A One-Eyed Jack (Republic Records)
You might like if you enjoy: John Mellencamp, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan
Tell me more: Singer-songwriter John Mellencamp has returned with his highly-anticipated 25th studio album Strictly A One-Eyed Jack, which finds the 70-year-old artist reflecting on his life with honesty and insight. Tracks such as "Always Lie To Strangers," "I Am A Man That Worries," "Chasing Rainbows" and "Gone So Soon" capture the spirit of the album's arc. All tracks on the disc are adorned with traditional Americana instrumentation that is a perfect counterpoint to Mellencamp's raspy baritone. Highlights include the lovely "Streets Of Galilee," genre-blending "Sweet Honey Brown" and driving "Lie To Me" along with several notable collaborations with Bruce Springsteen (the rootsy "Did You Say Such A Thing," affecting "A Life Full Of Rain" and poignant "Wasted Days"). Information:  

Robert Kinsler

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Video Discussion: Bono doesn't like U2?

On their latest discussion episode, TJR and Robert Kinsler discuss Bono's controversial comments he made about U2 and his own vocal talents. View the episode HERE.

Friday, January 21, 2022

Hoodoo Gurus ready new album 'Chariot of the Gods' for March 11, 2022 release

Here is the official media release announcing Hoodoo Gurus' forthcoming new album coming March 11...Robert Kinsler

Hoodoo Gurus are set to release their new album 'Chariot of the Gods' on Friday, March 11, 2022

Check out the band's amazing advance track "Carry On" HERE

SYDNEY, Australia — Despite the global COVID-19 pandemic, Hoodoo Gurus had a busy 2021, preparing for the release of their 10th studio album, Chariot of the GodsThe album is due from Big Time Phonograph Record Co./EMI on Friday, March 11, 2022.  Chariot of the Gods is classic Gurus  14 bangers (17 on the deluxe double-vinyl edition) featuring the relatable lyricism and peerless songwriting placed in a distinctively Australian context that the band are renowned for.


Lead singer Dave Faulkner describes the recording of Chariot of the Gods: “The last two years have been frustrating and nerve-racking for everyone, but for the Hoodoo Gurus, this dark cloud has had a silver lining. Forced to rely on ourselves instead of the outside world for validation, there has been a creative rebirth within the band that has resulted in a new album. Most important of all, the musical bonds between the four of us have never been stronger. When the discussions are all about which songs we’re sad about having to leave off the record, that's a damn good sign. I'm tellin’ ya, folks, we’ve got a real spring in our step right now.” 


Each of the album’s songs tells a different story. The album’s lead single is Carry On,” an anthem celebrating resilience and tenacity (damn the torpedoes!).  There’s the explosive glam-stomper World of Pain.” “Hung Out to Dry,” a politically incorrect ode to a former orange President, is only available on the limited-release double vinyl version. Get Out of Dodge is a song to all the non-conformists out there — anyone who feels outnumbered and can’t fit in with the unreasonable expectations of the crowd, and the punk-snarling stage-setter Answered Prayers.” 


Celebrating their 40th anniversary (since forming in 1981), Hoodoo Gurus boast nine ARIA (Australian Record Industry Association) Top 20 albums, nine ARIA Top 40 singles, a host of multi-platinum albums and an induction into the ARIA Hall of Fame. They hold a singular place in Australian and international rock ’n’ roll history. Comprising members of seminal ’70s Auspunk outfits including the Victims, the Scientists, the Fun Things, Radio Birdman and the Divinyls, the band were unrepentant garage rockers whose colorful personality and pop culture smarts took them to the top of the charts at home and to the forefront of international garage/alternative /power pop movements of the mid-’80s, accepted as friends and contemporaries by bands ranging from the Bangles to the Fleshtones and the Flamin' Groovies to Redd Kross. The band played to packed houses across Brazil, Europe and America, making their way to the top of the U.S. College and Alternative charts on multiple occasions.


Hoodoo Gurus are Dave Faulkner (vocals, guitars), Brad Shepherd (vocals, guitars), Rick Grossman (vocals, bass) and Nik Reith (drums).


About the eMusic livestream

In an exclusive preview, Hoodoo Gurus fans across the globe can hear the band’s forthcoming 10th studio album Chariot of the Gods played in its entirety for the very first time, as eMusic Live streams a special event pre-recorded at Damien Gerard Studios, Central Coast, NSW.


The streamed set will be shared at 8 p.m. AEDT / WST / PST / EST/ GMT on Thursday, March 10 ahead of the album’s official release on Friday, March 11 (Big Time Records /EMI Music) and will include members of the band online to chat with fans. It is not only a special album preview but also a thank you to loyal fans around the world who have been waiting on shows for the past couple of years. (Fans in North America who had purchased tickets to the recently cancelled tour were extended complimentary tickets to the stream by the Gurus and eMusic Live). 


Tickets are $10 AUD /$8 USD – available here





Early Opener

World Of Pain

Get Out Of Dodge

Answered Prayers

Was I Supposed To Care?

Hang With The Girls

My Imaginary Friend


Chariot Of The Gods

Carry On

I Come From The Future

Don't Try To Save My Soul

Settle Down

Got To Get You Out Of My Life


Early Opener

World Of Pain

Get Out Of Dodge

Answered Prayers

Was I Supposed To Care?

Hang With The Girls

My Imaginary Friend


Chariot Of The Gods

Carry On

Hung Out To Dry

Obviously Five Believers

I Wanna Be Your Man

I Come From The Future

Don’t Try To Save My Soul

Settle Down

Got To Get You Out Of My Life



Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Danny Elfman releases innovative AI-Generated Music Video for "In Time”

Check out the artful music video for Danny Elfman's "In Time" and make plans to catch his live set at Coachella this spring...Robert Kinsler





Danny Elfman - “In Time” Official Music Video (Courtesy of ANTI- / Epitaph Records)

January 19, 2022 (Los Angeles, CA)
 - Today, Danny Elfman has unveiled a brand new music video for “In Time,” the latest single from his acclaimed new album Big Mess. Directed by Zev Deans (St. Vincent, Chelsea Wolfe, HEALTH), the video features artificial-intelligence-generated visuals created by Italian media artist Lorem and was produced using source footage of Danny that was run through a GAN (generative adversarial network). The result is a hypnotic machine dream that collides the worlds of art and technology, melting and warping Elfman’s appearance through various colors, textures and backgrounds. Watch now HERE.

Preceded by music videos for the singles “Happy” (Aron Johnson), “Sorry” (Jesse Kanda), “Love In The Time of Covid” (Sven Gutjahr), “Kick Me” (Petros Papahadjopoulos), “True” (Sarah Sitkin), “Insects” (Sam & Andy Rolfes) and the reimagined duet version of “True” featuring Trent Reznor (Aron Johnson), “In Time” serves as a fittingly outlandish eighth chapter within the visual journey of Big Mess. Led overall by Elfman’s creative director Berit Gwendolyn Gilma, each of the video’s directors have created individual statements that shape a diverse but cohesive whole; all of which channel the feelings of anger, angst and frustration that pulse throughout the album. 

The release of “In Time'' follows the recent announcement that Elfman will be a featured performer at this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on April 16th and April 23rd, 2022, where he will present Danny Elfman: From Boingo to Batman to Big Mess and Beyond! The 2020 festival notably served as the impetus for Big Mess over two years ago, when the cancellation and quarantine that followed triggered the creation of what would become the “Big Mess” double album. 

Elfman officially unleashed ‘Big Mess’ in June 2021. Clocking in at 18 tracks, the expansive double album finds the 4x Oscar nominated, Grammy and Emmy Award-winning composer breaking bold new ground as both a songwriter and a performer. The songs on ‘Big Mess’ unite both harmonically complex arrangements and simple high energy driving music with biting, acerbic wit as they reckon with the chaos and confusion of the modern world. Joined on the album by drummer Josh Freese (Devo, Weezer, The Vandals), bassist Stu Brooks (Dub Trio, Lady Gaga, Lauryn Hill), and guitarists Robin Finck (Nine Inch Nails, Guns N’ Roses) and Nili Brosh (Tony MacAlpine, Paul Gilbert), the project has garnered widespread praise since its release including the LA Times, who called it a “a fiercely political work filled with bombastic peaks and strikingly meditative valleys.” The Big Mess album and visuals were produced by Danny Elfman and executive produced by Elfman’s longtime manager Laura Engel. 

Just last month, Danny officially announced a brand new collector’s edition box set of Big Mess [ANTI- / Epitaph Records]. Limited to 1500 copies worldwide, the stunning release offers fans the ultimate window into the creation and visuals of the groundbreaking project and includes four LPs on exclusive color variants, featuring all 18 songs from Big Mess along with bonus discs containing unreleased reinterpretations of tracks from the album. In addition to the heralded duet version of "True" featuring Trent Reznor, the bonus discs will be comprised of new remixes from HEALTH, clipping. and more, as well as never-before-released songs with featured vocalists including Rebekah Del Rio, FEVER333, Blixa Bargeld and a second vocal collaboration with Reznor. 

Each record is held in its own unique jacket featuring a 3D lenticular print on the cover and is accompanied by a 60 page, hardcover artbook containing never-before-seen renderings of the distinctively unsettling digital sculptures of Elfman done by Sarah Sitkin, who crafted the album’s original artwork. The special box set also includes a 20 page stitched soft cover lyric book with behind-the-scenes photos, a 12” x 9” art print signed by Danny himself, a detailed life-sized light up model of Elfman’s peculiar hand designed to be a stand-alone showpiece or one-of-a-kind night-light, and a code which provides downloadable digital audio files and a behind-the-scenes mini documentary on the making of Big Mess. All components are housed in a high quality two-piece box with liquid embossing on the cover and spot gloss embossing on the cover and sides.

The Big Mess collector’s edition box set is available for pre-order now here for $224.99, and will begin shipping in late January 2022. See below for complete track-listing information, and visit Danny’s site here for more details.
Danny Elfman - “Big Mess” Collector’s Edition Box Set