Not many albums live up to their title as literally as Sonik Kicks (released March 27 on Yep Roc), the gobsmacking 11th solo album from Paul Weller. The sound of this one can be fairly described as aurally precocious (which is MUCH different than being orally precocious…), charging at the listener with near-manic energy, grabbing hither and tither for nifty, interesting sounds and mingling proper songs with brief instrumental fantasias. It’s a far cry from Wild Wood but this should come as no surprise to anyone who’s being paying attention to Weller’s wandering muse through The Jam, Style Council, and particularly his past few solo albums. The new official video for Sonik Kicks‘s lead-off track and a live take on “The Attic” offer a bit of the mood, but the whole thing – jittery pop bits, speaker pummeling weirdness, sincere love ditties, and all – is ample proof that Weller remains one of the preeminent artists in rock, a 50-something chap giving all the knob twiddlers in Brooklyn a healthy bit of competition in the modern sounds game.
Not many bands have made such a positive first impression or continued to stoke our faith in them over the years as NYC’s Leroy Justice. The essence of greats like The Black Crowes and The Band murmur in their bones, and they look just like we think a rock band should – there’s something of an archetype about them. Judge for yourself in these super sweet photos from Joe Russo captured at the band’s February performance at Brooklyn Bowl with guests God Street Wine’s Lo Faber and saxophonist Michael Kammers guesting. There’s a new performance video of an unreleased track from this show below the photos, too.
Leroy Justice returns to the Bowl to open for the North Mississippi Allstars next Friday, April 6th, along with a handful of opening slots for NMA this week and some other gigs the next – dates & details. And if you haven’t already, y’all need to get familiar with Leroy Justice’s two albums, Revolution’s Son and The Loho Sessions as we wait impatiently for record number three (which we think is gonna be pretty fucking great based on the new tunes they’re doing live).
Set One: Worry Me No More, Blue Eyed Blues, Light Cigarette, Evil K, Bender, So Long, Watch Him Fall, Domino
Set Two: Before I Die > Revolution’s Son, Swingtown *@, Belt Buckle *@, Let’s Go Get Stoned *@, Love The One You’re With *@, Temporary Cure *@, The Ocean *
Encore: Sea Jam > Out To Sea
* – w/ Lo Faber on guitar.
@ – w/ Michael Kammers on sax.
Michael Kiwanuka had a musical epiphany after hearing Bill Withers’ landmark 1973 soul-folk double album Live At Carnegie Hall. While many have tried to conjure the same subtle magic as Withers and his crack band, East London’s Kiwanuka comes closer than anyone DI has ever heard, also touching on landmark figures like Terry Callier and the jazzier end of John Martyn. His debut album, Home Again was released in the United Kingdom today and is scheduled for U.S. release on July 31st. The Impound is currently getting its first listen to the full album and we’re pretty knocked out. For now, check out a live take on a standout cut captured in London earlier this year. Kiwanuka’s first U.S. tour dates were also announced today with a string of shows in June. Dates and details here.
In this edition: Julian Cope, Pond, Hellsongs, Lee Ranaldo, Lost In The Trees and Lyle Lovett.
DI really loves our readers. You’re the kinda folks that pick up on the vibe we’re laying down here AND then turn US onto cool new rock! Thanks to Steve Kennedy-Williams (who handled the quality sound on this video) for pointing us to this blazing clip of Jordan Cook aka Reignwolf. This is just the kind of sweaty, impolite, beautifully messy rock ‘n’ roll we live for…and live to share with others. Apparently, Reignwolf is working on a new single and there’s a 2010 album called Seven Deadly Sins we’ll be checking out pronto. Like his fellow Canadian DI fave Lions In The Street, Reignwolf is keeping things good ‘n’ gritty and we thank him for it and hope he gets around America a bit more in days ahead. However, folks in Seattle have a couple chances to see him in April (4/7 at the Comet Tavern and 4/21 at Easy Street Records).
Last weekend, Grateful Dead seasoned vet Bob Weir joined together with a handpicked group of young Brooklyn musicians in an East Coast/West Coast musical and political summit held at Weir’s Marin-based TRI Studios. The HeadCount organized event was put together around the theme of bridging differences and finding common ground. The night also included a roundtable discussion with political heavyweights Buddy Roemer, Mark McKinnon, Jessy Tolkan and John Perry Barlow, and you can read a full report on the happening over here.
The musicians playing with Weir at this Session were chosen by The National’s bass and drum playing brothers Scott and Bryan Devendorf and included The National’s Aaron Dessner (guitar, electric mandolin), Kyle Resnick (trumpet) and Thomas “Doveman” Bartlett (keys) with Yellowbirds’ Sam Cohen (guitar) and Josh Kaufman (guitar, lap steel), The Walkmen’s Walt Martin (keys), and Taka Taka’s Conrad Doucette (drums).
What transpired was inspirational and thought provoking, and against some expectations the musical union of Weir and the indie world players proved really satisfying and a fine fit. A happy surprise to be sure. Check out a few of the performances in the videos – including Weir doing a boffo job on The National’s “Daughters of the Soho Riots” – below this swell action-capturing gallery from DI chum Jay Blakesberg. And by all means pop over to HeadCount and get registered to vote and explore ways to get involved with real democracy!
Set I: Help on the Way, Love Thine Enemy, Looks Like Rain, El Paso, Friend of the Devil, Cassidy, Daughters of the SoHo Riots, My Brother Esau
Set II: Me and My Uncle, Fake Empire, Most of the Time, Brown Eyed Women, The Other One, Standing on the Moon, China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider
Encore: Ripple, Uncle John’s Band, Brokedown Palace
“Red wine and whiskey are no good for me.” Many of us have mumbled something along these lines the morning after a night of good-bad behavior. Beth Jeans Houghton & The Hooves of Destiny concisely capture the euphoria and aftermath of such stretches in their new video off the curiously titled Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose (released February 28). The clip has the feel of a mad Monkees segment with a dented next morning undertow, and the music shimmies somewhere between Shocking Blue and early Throwing Muses. Much to snag one’s attentions here, not the least the comely Ms. Houghton and hooky chorus: “Dissecting the atlas for places we’ve been/Your list is longer but you’ve got more years on me.”
We loves us some Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers at the Impound, particularly these endlessly charming Van Sessions. We also loves us some Hall & Oates, and this is as fine a version of this classic single as we’ve ever heard. Way to nail the keyboard hook, and the harmonies from the boys make us smile. Broadly. Though we’re not nearly as, uh, happy as one YouTube commenter who remarked, “KAZOO IS FUCKING AWESOME I JIZZED.” We seriously don’t know how to respond to that but it seems like a compliment.
And after you’re done watching you can check out DI’s chat with John Oates to really simmer in the feeling. And be sure to catch the hard touring Nick and the Gramblers as they travel around this great nation making music a good deal sweeter. Find dates and details here.