Sunday, September 06, 2015

Fall Preview 2015

When the sunlight decreases and the temperatures begin to drop, a new layer of cells forms that cuts off leaves from the branches that supply their nutrients. The leaves are eventually released from their trees and drift to the ground. The fall album release schedule will see many musical leaves drift toward us, but instead of being dead they will come to glorious life in that infinite space of the universe between our ears. Here are a few things that should make this a very colorful autumn.

Guilty Simpson - Detroit's Son This gritty rapper has been at it for a while, honing his flow and never settling for less when it comes to the beats he rhymes over. This new album, produced by Quakers member Katalyst, is his strongest album yet. Out September 11th on Stones Throw. 

Phil Cook - Southland Mission Cook's pedigree as a member of Megafaun, a former associate of Justin Vernon's in DeYarmond Edison, and a member of Hiss Golden Messenger's touring band, among other things, guaranteed his new album would be worth a listen. And it is - repeatedly, in fact. Rootsy and meticulously produced, Southland Mission is the real "new Americana" - accept no substitutes. Cook is also heading out on an international tour but you can catch him at Rough Trade in NYC on September 23rd. Out September 11th.

Dr. John - The Atco/Atlantic Singles 1968-1974 Looking at the peak of Mac Rebennack's legendary career through the prism of his singles should be a recipe for pure pleasure. Make sure you're in the right place at the right time. Out September 18th on Omnivore.

Lloyd Price - sumdumhonky Not a record but an autobiography that promises to be a "no holds barred" look at 80 years in the life of a founding father of rock'n'roll (Lawdy Miss Clawdy, Stagger Lee, etc., etc.). Price has survived in every aspect of the music business while also surviving as a black man in America during tumultuous times past and present. Out October 13th from Cool Titles.

Killing Joke - Pylon The 16th album (and first since 2012) from the post-punk legends will feature their original lineup again. Beyond that not much is known,but judging by the pummeling Autonomous Zone, which they have played in concert, James Murphy needn't worry: they haven't lost their edge. Out October 23rd on Spinefarm.

Van Morrison - His Band and the Street Choir Moondance was a delight but this was the album that sealed the deal for me with Van Morrison. This expanded version will likely earn its keep with the alternate take of I've Been Working, which is supposed to be even funkier than the released version. Van's masterpiece Astral Weeks is also getting the deluxe treatment. Out October 30th on Warner Bros./Rhino. 

Boots - Aquaria Everything I've heard from this makes me think it's going to be more interesting than anything a Beyonce collaborator should be capable of doing. The sounds are lapidary but Boots doesn't seem as sure of himself as a singer and it remains to be seen if that will be a deal-breaker. Out November 13th on Columbia.

Kanye West - Swish Okay, now that we know you don't understand awards shows, can you stay away from them until you finish the follow-up to the mighty Yeezus? Out TBD.

Concert Forecast

The magic doesn't only happen in the studio. Here are some highly recommended live experiences in NYC. Many of these people are performing elsewhere as well - check your local listings, as they say. 

Holly Miranda will be playing at the Mercury Lounge on Thursday, September 17th and Friday September 18th. Those will be full-band concerts but the creator of my number one album of the year so far will also be playing a special solo concert at The Studio in Freehold, NJ on September 11th. That's the one I'm going to and I'm bringing cookies for the potluck.

Ibeyi will be gracing the stage of Webster Hall with their intoxicating blend of world sounds and hip hop production on Friday October 2nd.

Nicole Atkins, whose Slow Phaser was a big favorite from 2014, will be playing Webster Hall with J.D. McPherson on Friday October 9th. 

Michael Chapman and Ryley Walker will both be at Rough Trade NYC, also on Friday, October 9th. This lineup may just win the "embarrassment of riches" award for 2015.

Chance The Rapper and several friends will be at Terminal 5 on Sunday, October 25th. As much as I want to see him, I'll have to see if I'm in the mood for a posse concert.

Wand will be bringing their unique brand of buzzing-amplifier mayhem to Mercury Lounge and Rough Trade NYC on Friday November 13th and Saturday November 14th, respectively.

Winter Bonus

Baroness - Purple Some fans were underwhelmed by their last album, Yellow & Gold, but I thought it was beautiful. The heavy stuff had a lighter touch and the lighter songs were only deceptively so. Baroness's rise was slowed by a devastating bus accident that led to the departure of two members. They regrouped and worked their way back to full strength on the road. Purple will be the first album with their new rhythm section of bassist Nick Jost and drummer Sebastian Thomson (known for his work in Trans Am), and based on Chlorine & Wine it's going to be a doozy. Out December 18.

If you want an easy way to listen to what I'm fussing about, here's a handy Spotify playlist:

What are you looking forward to?

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