It’s Friday and we’ve got your music, your books, your music to listen to while reading your books and your books about musicians and the music they create.
This week we’re featuring the latest releases from No Age, Calexico, Tune-Yards and The Sheepdogs. In addition to the new releases there’s a huge list of restocks and additions to our new record selection here at Backbeat.
Then keep on scrolling to check out some of our featured books this week.
Got all that? Great, let’s dig in!
No Age – Snares Like A Haircut
Recorded in a few days and mixed forever, “Snares Like a Haircut” finds NO AGE in full on mode, because there was nothing else to do but go full on. In the songs inside the songs, the thumpy/thwappy drums, the desperately voiced paens to determination, a promise from the 1980s echoes once again across today, for the undetermined in-between generation reality seekers. With “Snares Like a Haircut”, No Age scrub the itch in the little moments, engage actively with the process and carve/plaster/shave something in an album shape that’ll last.
Calexico – The Thread That Keeps Us
Over the past two decades, a strong sense of place has shaped the music of CALEXICO, infusing their albums with a stylistic unpredictability and richness of texture. While 2015’s Edge of the Sun brought the Tucson-bred band to the Mexico City borough of Coyoacán, their new full-length The Thread That Keeps Us mostly came to life in a house studio near the Northern California coast nicknamed “The Phantom Ship” by CALEXICO vocalist/guitarist Joey Burns and drummer John Convertino. Like “End of the World with You,” much of The Thread That Keeps Us captures the anxieties and unease of living in tumultuous times. While the album draws a kinetic energy from all that uncertainty, its lyrics unfold with a literary nuance and sense of setting and character. “Instead of writing straight-up protest songs, I want to tell stories,” Burns says. Largely inspired by his wanderings around Northern California during the album’s production, the narratives embedded in The Thread That Keeps Us reflect on displacement, transitory existence, and—in Burns’s words—“returning to your home after being gone for some time and seeing how things have changed, and maybe not in the best way.”
Tune-Yards – I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life
Thematically, these 12 new songs tackle race, politics, intersectional feminism and environmental prophecies head on. But in the billows of intense subject matter, the album arrives as Tune-Yards’ most immediate and upbeat music yet – this is Tune-Yards’ music to dance to. On I can feel you creep into my private life, Tune-Yards is officially a duo. Garbus is joined by longtime collaborator Nate Brenner who produced and wrote the album together with lyrics by Garbus. Tune-Yards worked with mixer Mikaelin “Blue” BlueSpruce (Solange, Kendrick Lamar). Tune-Yards’ 2014 release Nikki Nack was one of the most well received albums of the year with New York Magazine calling it “possibly the catchiest record of the year.” the New Yorker praised its “joyful energy” and “surprisingly sweet singing and catchy tunes,” and Entertainment Weekly said “life need joyful noise like this.” Since the release of Nikki Nack, Tune-Yards has kept busy collaborating with legendary musicians David Byrne, Laurie Anderson and Yoko Ono, as well as penning the standout track, “Action,” from Mavis Staples’ 2016 album.
Sheepdogs – Changing Colours
While most rock bands are all too focused on the riff, the Sheepdogs remember the importance of those other elements that make for great rock music: melody, harmony and groove. To see them live is pure rock and roll jubilation, to revel in the splendour created by 3 part vocal harmonies and heavy hitting dual guitar leads. These boys are as dedicated to the craft of songwriting and album making as they are to playing a dynamite live show. The Sheepdogs are an old-school rock and roll revival.
Restocks and additions to our new record selection:
Alice In Chains – Jar Of Flies/Sap
Arcade Fire – Funeral
Baby Huey – The Living Legend
Bahamas – Earthtones
Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath
Blink-182 – Enema Of The State
Boards Of Canada – Music Has the Right to Children
Bowie, David – Changesonebowie
Bowie, David – Diamond Dogs
Childish Gambino – Awaken, My Love!
Dio – The Last In Line (Limited Blue Vinyl)
Eno, Brian – Another Green World
Evans, Bill Trio – Waltz For Debby
Helloween – Pt1 Keeper Of The Seven Keys
Iron Maiden – Number Of The Beast
Iron Maiden – Powerslave
James, Elmore – Definitive
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – Murder of the Universe
Knife – Silent Shout
Kuti, Fela – Zombie
Kuti, Fela – Expensive Shit
Lumineers – Cleopatra
Marley, Bob – Legend
Mastodon – Crack The Skye
Mastodon – Leviathan
McEntire, H.C. – Lionheart (Limited White Vinyl)
Metallica – Kill Em All
Metallica – Metallica
Mos Def/Kweli, Talib – Black Star
Motley Crue – Dr. Feelgood
Motorhead – Overkill
Mumford & Sons – Babel
Nine Inch Nails – Downward Spiral
Price, Margo – All American Made
Rancid – Life Won’t Wait
Sonic Youth – Evol
Sonic Youth – Sister
Sonic Youth – Goo
Soundtrack – Commitments
Soundtrack – Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
Soundtrack – Reservoir Dogs
Soundtrack – Romeo And Juliet
Soundtrack – Suicide Squad: The Album
Soundtrack – V1 Guardians Of The Galaxy
Specials – Singles
Tragically Hip – Trouble At The Henhouse
Tragically Hip – Tragically Hip
Tricky – Maxinquaye
Twenty One Pilots – Blurryface
War on Drugs – A Deeper Understanding
West, Kanye – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
West, Kanye – College Dropout
Williamson, Sonny Boy – Down and Out Blues
Withers, Bill – Just As I Am
This week, we’re refilling our music book section with paperbacks of various genres. Rockers reliably have interesting stories to tell about their lives behind the scenes and on the road and these books are no exception. We’ve loaded up with AC/DC, Chrissie Hynde, Motorhead and Van Halen for you rock lovers out there.
So Long, Marianne, named after the song Leonard Cohen wrote for her, is a love story that contains unpublished poems, letters, and photographs and is an intimate account of Marianne’s journey and a portrait of the international artists’ colony on Hydra in the 1960s.
We’ve also brought in the latest works by Haruki Murakami, Brian Wilson and James McBride.
The music book I’ve been most eagerly awaiting is “They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us” since it first caught my eye late last year – it definitely gets my vote for awesome cover design, but the mainly music-focused essays by Hanif Abdurraqib themselves sound thought-provoking and enlightening and I can’t wait to start reading.
Have an amazing weekend!