Hello new music lovers. Welcome to NEXT. We have a simple goal: Find you a NEXT, new favorite song. #NextFavoriteSong

Let us begin NEXT week 751 with Michigander. Michigander emanates a magnetic Midwest spirit, delivering uplifting anthems, raised even higher by six-string fireworks, empowering lyrics, and understated arena ambition. Spoon released “Rainy Taxi (Big Beat),” a recording made for the A Night For Austin livestream benefit held in June. Proceeds from the single will go to the Austin Community Foundation. “Rainy Taxi (Big Beat)” features Spoon’s Britt Daniel on acoustic guitar joined remotely on a laptop computer by the band’s Alex Fischel playing piano.The song appeared on Spoon’s 2014 album, They Want My Soul. The band shared video footage from the livestream performance. The track is also available on streaming platforms, including Bandcamp.

The Pineapple Thief combine sweeping soundscapes with infectiously pensive choruses, ‘Demons’ is a swelling and expansive journey from subtle ambience to immersive climaxes, underscored by exotic orchestral flourishes and carried by emotive vocals. The new album, Versions Of The Truth, stands as The Pineapple Thief’s finest album yet. It takes the creative and commercial triumphs of their last two albums, 2016’s breakthrough Your Wilderness and its follow-up Dissolution (the band’s first UK Top 40) and magnifies them. Musically bold and lyrically thought-provoking, this is the sound of a band determined to push themselves forward. 

Billy Pilgrim From the album, In The Time Machine. “Breathtakingly delicate and redemptive” Rolling Stone. Billy Pilgrim is named for a character in Kurt Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse Five”. The master tapes burned in a fire in late 2000 at Nickel & Dime Studio near Decatur, Ga. Only one copy remained. For nearly two decades, there was no documentation that the final work recorded by rock duo Billy Pilgrim existed. On September 21st, Billy Pilgrim’s lost recording, the lone copy was unearthed and now it will finally receive its widespread due when it is released on all streaming platforms. 

John Craigie is next. A few quotes to get you in the mood. “John Craigie is an incredible songwriter. He also happens to be a  remarkable storyteller in live settings.  Seattle’s alt weekly The Stranger, years  ago, referred to Craigie as the  “Lovechild of John Prine and  Mitch Hedberg;” a pretty spot on  description.” – Glide “ …a soft, dreamy place to come to….  for many weary and heavy-hearted  listeners, the album might be  exactly what they need.” – No Depression

Bruce Springsteen is releasing a new album, Letter To You. Three of the songs on the album date back to the ’70s, and in a new feature with Rolling Stone, Springsteen said that he rediscovered those tracks while going through his archives for a planned follow-up to his 1998 collection Tracks. Those archives contain various “lost albums” and other outtakes. The existence of a new archival Springsteen box set has been rumored for a while now, but this is the first time that Springsteen has confirmed it publicly. “There’s a lot of really good music left,” he said in the interview. “You just go back there. It’s not that hard. If I pull out something from 1980, or 1985, or 1970, it’s amazing how you can slip into that voice. It’s just sort of a headspace. All of those voices remain available to me, if I want to go to them.” The E Street Band drummer Max Weinberg told Rolling Stone that over the last few years he’s overdubbed at least 40 old songs in the studio. “Any other artist would kill to get these songs,” he noted. described as a “rock album fueled by the band’s heart-stopping, house-rocking signature sound” in a statement. “I love the emotional nature of Letter To You,” Springsteen said in a statement about the album recorded at his home studio in New Jersey. “And I love the sound of the E Street Band playing completely live in the studio, in a way we’ve never done before, and with no overdubs. We made the album in only five days, and it turned out to be one of the greatest recording experiences I’ve ever had.”

Nane’ is Indie Soul from Austin TX. Austin, Texas’ Nané (Nah-Nay) is excited to be releasing their new single “Blue Velvet”. The song’s exuberant music video shot in a laundromat was submitted to this year’s NPR Tiny Desk Contest and was selected as one of Brittany Howard’s five “Top Shelf Picks.” Howard says in her chat with Tiny Desk Concert Host Bob Boilen that “their energy was infectious” and went on about lead singer Daniel Sahad’s “no holds barred” performance.  When asked about “Blue Velvet,” Sahad said, “I want everyone to celebrate the goodness in themselves, the things that make them different, because therein lies true value.” He goes on to describe the single as, “a playful drum of confidence that reminds you not to take yourself too seriously. Sometimes we let waves of adversity and insecurity crash upon us, and sometimes the best medicine is just to mow those suckers down on a Jetski. Be yourself, it is enough, and it’s all you have.”

It’s hard to argue that Blue October frontman Justin Furstenfeld has his priorities in order these days. The band just released its latest single, “Oh My My,” and last week they were in the studio rehearsing the three final songs for their new album of songs he’s written. While it is a “sadder and darker album,” he says, it is the first he’s written completely sober and while facing life head on. But more importantly, he was at the moment of our interview, making sure the teenagers in the car with him were enjoying the Blizzards they’d just gotten at the Dairy Queen drive-thru. “Our single ‘Oh My My’ just came out [last week] and it is doing really well. It’s about his daughter and being 13, and how it feels to be a guy really noticing girls for the first time. “I wrote it about my daughter, because she is in middle school right now, and I wrote about how the boys must feel because she is so cute. All the boys must feel like ‘Oh my my,’ because she has that kind of sad cool look. I remember being in middle school and that inspired me.” tenth studio album ‘This Is What I Live For,’ their ‘Get Back Up‘ Documentary that details the longevity of their career, the Christmas album in the works, how he’s staying proactive during the band’s time off the road and much more.

Matt Costa’s tune comes at us with its snappy bass and doo-wop-inspired backing vocals, the elegant “Slow” feels like a song that could have been plucked from a Copacabana scene featured within Scorsese’s Goodfellas. “There are shades of the heavy-hearted Americana of wandering-troubadours like Kurt Vile and Pete Yorn, along with the gentle, faraway-pop of Real Estate and early Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin.” –  Secret Meeting. “poetic imagery that is given flight by the carefully-constructed arrangements and his voice, which tip a hat to classic soul” – Beats Per Minute. ”Distinctly timeless. There is something nostalgic about its soft choral backing and Matt’s soulful vocals,” – When The Horn Blows. ”that stripe of really gifted songwriters… who quietly whittle away at some very classic song craft and seduce those who come into their particular clearing in the songwriting forest.” – Backseat Mafia 

Jeff Tweedy is a prolific man. Since 2018, he has released a memoir, two sister albums, and a new Wilco album — and that’s just the stuff with his name up top, let alone all the production work and extracurricular hijinks he’s up to at any given moment. He’s already got a new book, How To Write One Song, coming out on Oct. 13. Now, he’s also got a new album coming out in October, just 10 days afterwards. Tweedy’s new solo album is called Love Is The King. Along with the announcement, he’s shared two new songs, “Guess Again” and the album’s title track. Here’s what he had to say about them: At the beginning of the lockdown I started writing country songs to console myself. Folk and country type forms being the shapes that come most easily to me in a comforting way. “Guess Again” is a good example of the success I was having at pushing the world away, counting my blessings — taking stock in my good fortune to have love in my life. A few weeks later things began to sound like “Love Is The King” — a little more frayed around the edges with a lot more fear creeping in. Still hopeful but definitely discovering the limits of my own ability to self soothe.” As Tweedy put it, the two songs operate on slightly different wavelengths. “Guess Again” has a breeziness to it, while “Love Is The King” recalls a bit of that hazy thump that ran through Ode To Joy.

The Inspector Cluzo. The name of the band is not to be confused with Blake Edwards’ fictional French investigator, Inspector Clouseau of Pink Panther fame – isn’t affiliated with law enforcement or big cats. However, the bluesy rock duo is from Mont-de-Marsan in the southwest of France. whose GASCONY corner is sometimes known as The Little California.  It is bordered by Bordeaux and Biarritz. Why this matters is that, although a band’s hometown roots might play some part in shaping a group’s sound or the subject of its songs in this instance defines exactly who they are and what they do. Malcom Lacrouts (Guitar,Vocals) and Phil Jourdain (Drums) are globally-acclaimed musicians and organic-oriented farmers who grow an assortment of vegetables and raise geese through their business. There’s even a short documentary titled “RockFarmers” that you can watch HERE. The Inspector Cluzo have made farming as much of a priority as the band itself and have successfully balanced the two endeavors over more than six albums, dozens of countries, and thousands of shows. From Laurent and Mathieu, “This song is about our neighbor Alain Laborde. He is the man outstanding in his field.  He is from an old Gascon farming family now retired but still working and helping us at our farm, (Lou Casse Organic Farm), and other farms in the area. He reminds us A LOT of our ancestors: grandfathers, great grandfathers, that we were so lucky to meet. These guys were born during the second world war or just before, they lived with suffering, starving, but always kept their smiles and sense of humor (typical gascon aspect ). They are really humble and were working in the fields really hard. They knew the farming before The Marshall plan (before tractors etc..) and knew how to work together. In France, as in most countries of the modern world, farmers are underestimated. When we were kids, our teachers always said “if you’re not good at school, you will end up like a farmer.”  We’ve always been shocked by this way of thinking where as before in the pastoral world, they were the heroes feeding their families and communities with no holidays, no complaints, just doing it!  This is why we did this song for our ancestors feeding their families, by working hard and being outstanding in their fields :).”

The Wild Feathers will release a new album, Medium Rarities, which spans the band’s decade-long career. The album, set for release on Nov. 20, is composed of those B-sides, covers, demos, and other nuggets the band culled from The Wild Feathers’ vault. “Blue,” a Dave Cobb-produced cover of the Jayhawks’ classic, sticks close to the original but with the band’s signature harmonies expanding beyond the existing vocal melody.

The lead single from singer/songwriter/activist Ani DiFranco stays true to what she started nearly thirty years ago, speaking truth to power. With “Do or Die” DiFranco implores her fellow citizens to vote to maintain democracy during these historically unprecedented times. Vote like our lives depend on it, because they do. DiFranco came out of isolation during Covid to record “Do or Die”. “Unprecedented numbers of Americans have poured into the streets for months now, in the midst of a pandemic, to demand a reckoning with white supremacy once and for all. Black Lives Matter and it is time for Americans to stand up now. Heed the lesson of 2016: this is not a shoe-in. In November, we will need to vote in such massive numbers as to overwhelm massive corruption. Not only must we vote out [#votethemout], we must vote in enough people to pass The Breathe Act! We’ve got to vote in people all the way down the ballot who will enact meaningful policy change which rises to this historic moment and heeds the call of the American people for justice. Insistent, tenacious, against-all-odds voter participation this November will become the difference between life and death for many. Nothing will stem the tide of suffering from COVID-19, economic crisis, police brutality, mass incarceration, endemic poverty, entrenched white supremacy and misogyny, deportation and detainment, gun violence, fire, flood, disease, pollution, irradiation, exploitation, forced reproduction, gender and sexuality-based violence and oppression, dis-information, propaganda, corruption, and greed… short of a functioning democracy! Let’s harness our outrage and vote. We can do this, if we try, if we do this like it’s do or die.

The Temptations – Runaway Child, Running Wild (Live on Ed Sullivan Show). #LiveMusicIsGoodForYourSoul and when was the last time you listened to The Temptations? Even if the answer was, “just a few minutes ago” now is is good time to listen again. Enjoy The Temptations live.

Shame’s return is a burst of energy that blazes bright and fast. “Alphabet” is a restless and relentless track that feels familiar yet bigger and bolder than anything the band have done before, signaling the arrival of a new era of Shame. Alongside, the band have shared a Tegen Williams directed video for the single, capturing the unnerving nature of hypnagogic hallucinations and the distressing way the mind can play tricks on us while dreaming. Frontman Charlie Steen on “Alphabet”: “Alphabet is a direct question, to the audience and the performer, on whether any of this will ever be enough to reach satisfaction. At the time of writing it, I was experiencing a series of surreal dreams where a manic subconscious was bleeding out of me and seeping into the lyrics. All the unsettling and distressing imagery I faced in my sleep have taken on their own form in the video”

Gorillaz featuring Robert Smith. British rock band Gorillaz released their latest song, “Strange Timez,” a collaboration with The Cure’s Robert Smith, along with an animated music video. “Strange Timez” premiered Tuesday on YouTube with a video featuring the rock band’s signature animated avatars exploring space in a flying RV while Smith appears via his face superimposed on the moon and a passing satellite. It marks the sixth installment in Gorillaz’ “Song Machine” series, which celebrates the band’s 20th anniversary. The Gorillaz Almanac, a comic book exploring the Gorillaz’ visual history, is due out in October.

Music is Life. And new music keeps you young at heart. And keeps your mind nimble. It’s science. Do the google if you don’t believe me.

It was tough before Covid 19. Now more than ever we need to support these bands. Even something as simple as buying an album, or a ticket to a show (when live music comes back or if they are hosting online events), or a tee shirt. And if you can buy directly from them. Even better. Thank you.

Spotify playlist updates on Thursday(ish). Link to Chris Bro on Spotify.

WARNING may contain bad words. Or may not. Depends.

You can listen to NEXT on the radio. Listen to NEXT on Ocean 98 in Maryland Sunday nights at 10. Or Saturday afternoon on VOBB in Canada

Artist and Song Title:

  • Michigander – Let Down
  • Spoon – Rainy Taxi (Big Beat)
  • The Pineapple Thief – Demons
  • Billy Pilgrim – Open All Night
  • John Craigie – Part Wolf
  • Bruce Springsteen – Letter to You
  • Nane’ – Blue Velvet
  • Blue October – Oh My My
  • Matt Costa – Slow
  • Jeff Tweedy – Guess Again
  • The Inspector Cluzo – A Man Outstanding in a Field
  • The Wild Feathers – Blue (Cover)
  • Ani DiFranco – Do Or Die
  • The Temptations – Runaway Child, Running Wild (Live on Ed Sullivan Show)
  • Shame – Alphabet
  • Gorillaz – Strange Timez featuring Robert Smith (The Cure)

and remember if you love someone hug them right now

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.