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

“Music is the art which is most nigh to tears and memory.”– Oscar Wilde

Let us begin NEXT week 758 with The Band Of Heathens. The Band of Heathens left for Portland last fall with renowned producer Tucker Martine (Decemberists, My Morning Jacket, Neko Case), the Austin-and-beyond quintet stretched beyond its Americana roots on its sixth studio album. Country, folk and rock & roll remain an integral part of the mix, and with psychedelic jams that suggest Band of Heathens could break into Austin’s psych-rock scene if they wished. Not every song on Stranger is positive. There are songs about the end of truth and personal betrayal that offer a moral perspective on bad behavior. Even the optimistic tracks acknowledge that not everything is rosy. As a whole, Stranger does suggest that when life gets weird, the best response is to get weirder. What else would one expect from a band originally based in Austin, Texas?

Old 97’s just released ‘Twelfth,’ and on it The Old 97’s Contemplate Ups And Downs Of 27-Year Career. Their new music reflects the ups and downs of that journey, including Miller’s five years of sobriety and his bandmates’ health issues. “Twelfth” is the band’s 12th studio album. Miller says much of this new album reflects a new incarnation of himself that came to be as he got sober. He says this new clarity prompted him to ask questions about who he is as an artist. “Was I always just someone who was leaning on this crutch of, you know, I’m the party? I’m the life of the party. I’m bringing it. Let’s sing about whiskey and weed, and this is what life is and fun is built on?” he says. “And maybe the hardest part of all of it was getting used to the idea that there is fun that can be had that doesn’t involve passing out at the end of it.” While he doesn’t consider himself “some giant advocate for sobriety,” Miller says his new music reflects his newfound love for himself. “The terrifying thing, when people look at a life without whatever kind of substance they’re dealing with, it’s once you’re on the other side, it’s really a beautiful place to be,” he says. “And it’s not as scary as you thought it was going to be.”

Hanson, the pop-rock trio from Tulsa, Oklahoma, who are known for their Grammy-nominated hit song “MMMBop,” when the brothers were still kids, have maintained a consistent level of success throughout the last three decades (you read that right) with a steady release of albums. Their 2018 double-album, String Theory, featured the Prague Symphony (again, you read that right).. Their newest release, Perennial, serves strictly as a compilation album of music exclusively released on their website, so it may not come as a surprise for more hardcore fans to hear these tracks—but for everyone else, there are 21 tracks to dive into with fervor and glee.

Kate Clover on this video are decked out in matching black suits and ties. Kate Clover and her band look like a late-1970s power-pop group or perhaps members of Blondie circa Parallel Lines. And while the L.A. singer’s original songs are loaded with catchy pop hooks, she plays with a hard-driving punk power that’s closer to the Ramones than The Knack. “Woke up with the television telling them lies,” Clover declares on her 2019 debut single, “Channel Zero.” She goes on to rail about the CIA mind-control program Project MKUltra as distorted punk guitar chords rage behind her, indicating that Clover has got a lot on her mind and is anything but a typically escapist and retro power-pop wannabe

How in the world do we have a new AC/DC album? The bassist quit, the singer lost his hearing, the drummer was under house arrest and founder member Malcolm Young died from dementia. Somehow AC/DC are back. At the end of an AC/DC show, Angus Young has a routine. After a couple of hours of perpetual motion in his schoolboy outfit, he heads straight for the shower and then, because he hasn’t been able to eat since noon – you can’t do an AC/DC show on a full stomach – he looks for food. “The first thing that enters my head is: I’m starving.” There’s something comforting in knowing that, even in 2020, AC/DC will still be out there, kicking ass. After the band’s seeming demise (following the death of rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young, bassist Cliff Williams’ retirement, and more), the return of the legendary hard-rock group was improbable, to say the least. Yet here we are, with a brand-new collection of 12 tunes, most of which—such as lead single “Shot In The Dark”—sound ready to go toe-to-toe with anything in the band’s discography. Honestly, how many groups are this consistent? AC/DC found a formula that works, and they’ve stuck with it, nary a deviation, for almost 50 years. What’s the saying? Don’t fuck with a winning streak.

Tom Petty is an unrelenting creation soul that the world continues to grieve, even three years since his sad death in 2017. He was a true rock ‘n’ roll icon, one who bowed out in epic style while performing at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles just a week before his death. It was a stellar two-hour performance for the ages as Petty flexed his muscles to put on a show of the finest calibre—but little did he know that he would never step foot on the stage ever again. Seeing and hearing Petty perform so perfectly just a week before he would suffer a fatal cardiac arrest is as heartwrenching and heartwarming in equal measures. On the one hand, it showed that Petty never lost his showmanship and was still the same high octane performer that released his near-faultless debut album Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers over 40 years prior to that moment. However, it also tragically showed just how much he had left to give. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer was going to go out with a bang and anyone who was lucky enough to witness his brilliance can vouch for Petty, an artist always giving every last drop of energy while on stage, treating every show as if it is possibly his last. Petty had said before he took to the road for the tour, which was to commemorate 40 years of the Heartbreakers, that the run of dates would be his “last big one”, as he explained: “We’re all on the backside of our sixties,” he said before talking hopefully about what the future held with him whilst he arrived into semi-retirement, “I have a granddaughter now I’d like to see as much as I can. I don’t want to spend my life on the road. This tour will take me away for four months. With a little kid, that’s a lot of time.” The Hollywood Bowl concert that capped off the epic tour would turn out to be Petty’s final hurrah was the third in a trio of sold-out dates at the iconic Los Angeles venue, a space that holds 17,500 people — of all the places to bow out, Petty couldn’t have wished for anywhere better. The final song in the set couldn’t have been any more perfect, Petty led the sell-out crowd through a euphoric rendition of his magnum opus ‘American Girl’ to rapturous applause. Petty and his merry men first released the gloriously brilliant number as the final track on Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers self-titled debut which, at the time of release, was a slow-burner in the charts with crowds taking a while to discover their magnificence. Despite the track nor the album becoming a commercial hit, both would become fan favourites with Petty fans over the years that would follow.

Eagles. LIVE FROM THE FORUM MMXVIII, a Scheme Engine production directed by Nick Wickham, was filmed on 14 4K cameras. It is available now through Rhino in a variety of audio and video formats, including Blu-ray, CD, Vinyl, and Streaming. A super deluxe edition is also available. All titles can be ordered now at www.eagles.com and www.rhino.com. It captures definitive live performances of the band’s most iconic hits (“Hotel California,” “Take It Easy,” “Life In The Fast Lane,” “Desperado”) and beloved album tracks (“Ol’ 55, “Those Shoes”), along with some of the individual members’ biggest solo smashes (Henley’s “Boys Of Summer,” Walsh’s “Rocky Mountain Way,” and Gill’s “Don’t Let Our Love Start Slippin’ Away”). In today’s faddish, fractured, rock landscape, the Eagles retain an appeal that transcends both generation and genre, cementing the band’s role as enduring musical icons. As the best-selling American band of the ’70s, and one of the top-selling acts of all time, the Eagles have sold more than 150 million albums worldwide, scored six #1 albums and topped the singles charts five times. The band’s Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 and Hotel California are the #1 and #3 best-selling albums of all time according to the RIAA, certified Platinum 38x and 26x respectively. They have won six GRAMMY® Awards, were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, in their first year of eligibility, and received the Kennedy Center Honors in 2016.

Barry Gibb featuring Jason Isbell. Barry Gibb has announced the all-star collaborative project Greenfields: The Gibb Brothers Songbook, Vol. 1, to be released on January 8, 2021. The lead song “Words of a Fool,” featuring Jason Isbell. Other guest artists on the country-themed project include Alison Krauss, Olivia Newton-John, Dolly Parton, and Keith Urban. Gibb, the co-creator of the peerless Bee Gees song catalog, is a lifelong fan of country and bluegrass, and has long dreamed of a recording vehicle that would connect him with some of the greatest names in those styles. Says Gibb: “From the first day we stepped into RCA Studios in Nashville (the very place where Elvis, Willie, Waylon, Roy, the Everly Brothers and so many other legends made their magic) the album took on a life of its own. I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to work with Dave and all the artists who stopped by. Americana heavyweight Isbell notes: “Barry Gibb is one of the greatest songwriters and singers in popular music history, and I’m happy to say he still has that beautiful voice and that magical sense of melody. Working with him on this project has been one of the great honors of my career. He’s a prince.”

Del Amitri are a Scottish alternative rock band formed in Glasgow in 1980. Between 1985 and 2002, the band released six studio albums. Their 1995 single “Roll to Me” reached number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. Five Del Amitri albums have reached the Top 10 in the UK. Globally, Del Amitri have sold six million albums. De Amitri’s drummer Ash Soan revealed that work on Del Amitri’s seventh studio album had begun at Vada Studios, Worcestershire. Justin Currie confirmed that the band finished recording the album “the night before the UK-wide lockdown” began on 24 March, and that they expected to tour in January 2021, following a one-off free show in December 2020 for Scottish NHS workers.

Guided By Voices. Despite the global pandemic, Guided By Voices have remained as prolific as ever, finding ways to create despite distance — Styles We Paid For was recorded by the members in five different states and is out December 11th. Guided By Voices share “Crash At Lake Placebo,” the second single off of their upcoming record. Brooklyn Vegan premiered the track, lauding it as “another winner from Bob Pollard’s never dry well of riffs. Like a lot of GBV songs, it owes just a little to The Who, with its anthemic guitar hook and fill-happy drumming”

Brian Dunne. The pandemic has been difficult on all of us, but it’s been especially harsh on musicians who routinely spend much of each year on the road.  That’s where the majority of their income is made – everything from selling CDs and merch to money earned at the club. Equally as important is the ability to perform in front of strangers who wind up becoming fans.  For the Brooklyn-based artist Brian Dunne, the pandemic was the first time in years he could honestly say he wasn’t on tour. Dunne had a decision to make in the early days of the lockdown: release his latest album or hold off for the opportunity to do a proper release and promotional tour. Believing that this was his strongest album yet, he decided to release his Selling Things on April 10th.

Flyte. “a breezy guitar pop jammer that contains shades of Elton John’s imperial run, alongside that potent Flyte touch.” — Clash Recorded in LA with a dream team of collaborators from producers Justin Raisen (Angel Olsen, Ariel Pink), Andrew Sarlo (Big Thief, Bon Iver) to mixing engineer Ali Chant (Aldous Harding), first releases “Easy Tiger” and “Losing You” were an introduction to a remarkably poignant breakup record, with romance at the heart. “I’ve Got A Girl” depicts the eroding of a different kind of relationship; portraying an all too familiar break up with a creative partner, friend, or band member. “Where all the other tracks on this record are about a romantic relationship coming to an end, this covers the loss of a creative one. Breaking up with a friend and band member. There’s definitely a bitterness listening back to it, but at its core is the sound of a band completely letting go and having a genuinely cathartic time. We recorded it very late at night and more than a little intoxicated,” says lead singer Will Taylor.

Painted Shield. Before the pandemic, Pearl Jam’s Stone Gossard had big plans for 2020. His band released their best album in years, Gigaton, and were gearing up for a huge tour — and that doesn’t include any 30th-anniversary plans they may have had. Covid stopped all that, of course. But Gossard was resourceful: He just formed a new band. In 2014, the guitarist was introduced to singer-songwriter Mason Jennings by the latter’s manager, Dan Fields, whom Gossard has known since Fields tour-managed Ministry at Lollapalooza ’92. “He was a huge fan of Stone as a person,” Jennings tells SPIN. “[Fields said], ‘It might be cool if you two try collaborating.’ Stone hadn’t heard my music at that point. And we just started sending files, and it went really well.” Outside of Pearl Jam, Gossard says he’s “always demoing and doing music,” so zipping files back-and-forth to Jennings wasn’t the world’s biggest chore. In fact, being locked down may have been a benefit: Without a formal timetable, they could organically collaborate without being in the same place. They eventually wound up with Painted Shields, their self-titled debut LP, out Nov. 27.

Slow Pulp. Art, whether it be a painting, poetry or music, is not always perfect on the first try. Sometimes it demands taking a step back, reevaluating that particular moment in life and starting all over again. With their newest album Moveys, Slow Pulp take on that need to start all over again directly. After the band’s 2019 four-track EP Big Day, which generated some serious buzz on Spotify, the band backtracked and started their album writing process anew.   This Madison, WI bred, Chicago-based band includes Teddy Matthews on drums, Emily Massey on vocals and guitar, Henry Stoehr on guitar as well and Alex Leeds on bass. Massey’s sudden illness played a role in the band’s decision to scrap the original project and start fresh, but it also helped the band to come back to the studio with a newfound sense of purpose. They were ready to reimagine the Slow Pulp sound.  

IDLES. Mark Bowen and Lee Kiernan are trying to describe the sort of sounds that tear through the new Idles record. “KRRRING! KRRRONG! KRRRONK!” they shout, gesticulating through a Zoom window. They could have saved themselves some effort. The new Idles record sounds like the sky falling. Ultra Mono is the band’s third outing, following up the Mercury-nominated Joy As An Act of Resistance, an album that broke them into the mainstream spotlight and almost broke them in two physically and mentally. Idles are a touring band, existing in order to share a dialogue with the people on the other side of the barrier, and supporting Joy… they played something like 400 shows in a couple of years. Onto their shoulders they hefted the record’s mix of grief and anger – vocalist Joe Talbot sang of the death of his daughter, Agatha, and railed against toxic masculinity and the rise of right-wing populism – and set off for rooms that grew in size as the miles disappeared beneath the wheels of their bus. At different times, it all became too much.

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.

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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:

  • The Band Of Heathens – Truth Left
  • Old 97’s – This House Got Ghosts
  • Hanson – Ooh La La La
  • Kate Clover – Channel Zero
  • AC/DC – Kick You When You’re Down
  • Tom Petty – You Wreck Me (Live)
  • Eagles – Rocky Mountain Way (Live) (Cover)
  • Barry Gibb featuring Jason Isbell – Words Of A Fool
  • Del Amitri – Close Your Eyes And Think Of England
  • Guided By Voices – Crash at Lake Placebo
  • Brian Dunne – Nothing Matters Anymore
  • Flyte – I’ve Got A Girl
  • Painted Shield – I Am Your Country
  • Slow Pulp – At It Again
  • IDLES – Grounds

and remember if you love someone hug them right now

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