CDs + Vinyl:
Derrick Anderson – A World Of My Own CD (Omnivore)
Before touring with Dave Davies (The Kinks) and becoming bassist for The Bangles in 2008, Derrick Anderson (as part of The Andersons!) romped throughout Los Angeles from 1995-2004 flashing an energized, cheeky brand of pop/rock. A World Of My Own, his first solo album, draws inspiration from the Cavern Club, Brill Building and Laurel Canyon. The album opens with the upbeat “Send Me Down A Sign” and heavy-hitting “Waiting For You,” which features backing by The Smithereens (Pat Dinizio, Jim Babjak, Dennis Diken and Severo Jornacion). “Happiness” features stinging guitar lines by Matthew Sweet, while “A Mother’s Love” showcases incomparably lush vocals by Bob, John, and Susan Cowsill. “When I Was Your Man” showcases Bangles’ guitarist Vicki Peterson and drummer Debbi Peterson, along with Kim Shattuck (The Muffs, The Pandoras) on guitar and vocals. The Bangles’ Susanna Hoffs joins the Peterson sisters for backing vocals on two other songs: “Something New” and “Spring” – the latter also reunites him with The Andersons! guitarists Robbie Rist-Anderson and Wil O’Brien-Anderson, and drummer Marc Joseph-Anderson.
Arca – Arca CD (XL)
Arca is the first to feature the Venezuela-born, London-based producer’s untreated singing voice. He sings in Spanish – the language of his childhood home, Venezuela. It stands as a defiant, delicate statement of intent, and cements his position as one of this turbulent decade’s defining musicians. Previous work has incorporated snatches of song and Arca’s rapping, but on Arca, his voice is front-and-center on eight of the album’s 13 tracks. [Vinyl edition due May 5.]
Joey Bada$$ – All-AmeriKKKan Bada$$ CD/LP+MP3 (Cinematic Music Group)
The sophomore album from the Brooklyn emcee features guest appearances by ScHoolboy Q, J. Cole, Styles P, Meechy Darko Flatbush Zombies and members the Pro Era crew. A mix of indie and street, rapper Joey Bada$$ rose to fame by releasing mixtapes and joining the hip-hop collective Pro Era with fellow MC Capital Steez. Born in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn, Joey began performing under the name JayOhVee, but changed it to Joey Bada$$ before the Pro Era crew signed to the Cinematic Music label in 2012. “With his sophomore album, a new sound and a clearer outlook on the problems of the world around him, Joey Bada$$ is ready for the next level. All-AmeriKKKan Bada$$ addresses social conflict with an astuteness that recalls J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar, two rappers who also broke through half a decade ago. Songs like the ironically-titled lead single ‘Land Of The Free,’ defiantly hopeful “For My People’ and the call to arms of album-closer ‘AmeriKKKan Idol’ straddle the line between justified anger and practical resistance, laying out a world view that is more balanced than reactionary.” – Billboard
Joan Baez – The Complete Gold Castle Masters 3xCD (Concord)
The Complete Gold Castle Masters collects Joan Baez’s discography on the Gold Castle label for the first time in a comprehensive three-CD set. The collection includes two studio albums, Recently and Speaking Of Dreams, as well as Diamonds & Rust In The Bull Ring, a 1988 live album recorded in Bilbao, Spain. This new reissue features extensive liner notes, newly remastered audio, and three bonus tracks.
Blaenavon – That’s Your Lot CD/2xLP (Transgressive/Atlantic)
“A bit like the mining town from which they took their name, Hampshire trio Blaenavon (that’s singer and guitarist Ben Gregory, bassist Frank Wright and drummer Harris McMillan) have an unassuming reputation. Beneath their carefree exterior, though, lies a story of evocative beauty just like the wonders of South Wales’ industrial heartland. Just without the dragons. That’s Your Lot is an album that reels you in and lulls you into a false sense of security. Side 1 is packed full of bangers and the sort of literate, smart indie pop that makes them a cut above their peers. Singles – like the positively buoyant in-the-face-of-despair ‘Let’s Pray’ and the doleful, sensual groove of ‘Orthodox Man’ – provide the sweet bait before the second half veers off into all sorts of compelling tangents. It takes a whole lot of ambition to put three six-minute-plus songs on your debut record, but ambition is something Blaenavon have pouring out of every orifice. While the music on That’s Your Lot displays depth and vitality the songs themselves are rich in imagery and a storytelling quality that place Blaenavon in the lineage of great British songwriters. At times these tales of desire, longing, and life’s cruel twists of fate are reminiscent of Jarvis Cocker and Morrissey.” – Dork
Terence Blanchard – The Comedian [OST] CD (Blue Note)
Multiple Grammy-winning trumpeter Terence Blanchard has composed a sublime jazz score for the new Taylor Hackford film starring Robert De Niro and Leslie Mann.
Blood Youth – Beyond Repair CD/LP (Rude)
Beyond Repair is an unrelenting assault of punch-to-the-gut riffing and Kaya Tarsus’ impassioned vocals that both tear and soar. Brutally heavy, yet deftly accessible.
Michelle Branch – Hopeless Romantic CD (Verve)
Produced by Patrick Carney (The Black Keys) and Gus Seyffert (Beck, Norah Jones, SIA), Hopeless Romantic weaves a tale of love-lost and found. [Vinyl edition due May 5.]
JC Brooks – Neon Jungle CD (Rock Ridge Music)
“What does post-punk soul look like? Six and a half feet of raw emotion and sweat, one leather boot planted in gutsy R&B, the other in indie rock. Snarling at the crowd beneath an afro pompadour, while indulging in a sly wink, singing to you directly, and here to make you dance.”