Welcome to NEXT.

And thanks for listening. Hey – if you like what you hear. Tell a friend.

Or don’t. This week Spoon covers Petty. A Beatle is back. Todd Snider gets a bit funkier and much more….thanks for listening to NEXT.

May NEXT find a song that makes your ears smile. Enjoy it all.

“Despite everything, no one can dictate who you are to other people.” – Prince

Let us begin NEXT week 777 with Friedberg a London-based all-female indie quartet. Friedberg have dropped their debut EP, YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH. This tune sounds like it was made for a mid-00s iPod advert. Big weekend energy. It’s good for your going out playlist. For when…you can go out again. Soon. Very soon.

Nick Waterhouse harkens back to a soulful rockabilly-fusion. It’s foot-stomping, head-bobbing, jazz-meets-blues, cruisin’-good-time music, that’ll make you dance in spite of yourself. I don’t dance and toes start tapping. Psychedelic, garage-rock guitars fill the air. Over Nick Waterhouse‘s cool swagger, he takes on California, New York and Texas. Waterhouse brings a laidback California surf vibe. There’s a grooviness as he sings, “I’m from California and I don’t mind.” The song is infectious, fun and has a sunshiny feel, emblematic of the California beach sound.

English rock band Sea Girls have just released their debut album Open Up Your Head. With a sound drenched in 00s indie rock. Sea Girls are a perfect match for fans of The Killers, Two Door Cinema Club and Bloc Party. Introspective anthems for anxious times. Sea Girls aren’t just rehashing their heroes’ former glories bubbling away under the surface is something fresh. Sea Girls’ brand of indie-rock leaves plenty of doors ajar for further exploration.

Michigander is the project of Michigan musician Jason Singer and he’s been on the rise for the past few years, with EPs/singles dating back to 2016 and gigs with Silversun Pickups, Born Ruffians, and more. Michigander’s newest EP, Everything Will Be OK Eventually, is out now and it finds him offering up atmospheric, swinging-for-the-fences indie heartland rock with hints of Lord Huron, The War On Drugs, the last Killers album, and more. It also has a more electronic side than Michigander’s previous material, as Jason explains: “In the past, I didn’t want to write anything I wasn’t sure we could pull off live. This time, I didn’t care. I incorporated programming and samples that went beyond being a rock band. I became more sure of who I am, what I want to do with music, and how I want to go about it. I tried to be more vulnerable and make something I’m very proud of. I got to add in everything I always wanted to.” “I’ve said the title over and over again to all of my friends,” Jason Singer, of Michigander continues. “Eventually, we’ll get back to normal, and everything will be alright. Personally, I’m very optimistic and hopeful about everything to a fault. You can hear it in the music. I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing though.”

Open Up The Heavens is the singer-songwriter, Jade Bird’s favourite track from her upcoming new album. “‘Open Up The Heavens’ was written and recorded two days before I had to fly home from recording in Nashville,” Bird explained in a statement. “I’d heard stories about the last song you write for a record being the best, so I was searching for that in the vocal booth of RCA that evening.

Todd Snider’s New Concept Album Is a Funky, Funny Tribute to Recently Departed Friends. ‘First Agnostic Church of Hope and Wonder’ was inspired by the loss of several friends, including Snider’s mentor John Prine. To say Todd Snider is a MUST SEE LIVE. Well that’s an understatement. Todd Snider’s live shows are unparalleled experiences. The folk singer delivers hilarious, heartbreaking songs about his life, punctuating them with stories that can stretch as long as 18 minutes — about everything from the time he joined a Memphis cover band called K.K. Rider to the time he took mushrooms and immediately quit his high-school football team. This album is a stretch for Snider. The record sounds unlike like anything Snider has ever made. Todd Snider: “I want to be someone who gets better as I get older.”

Tom Petty’s lean style is a clear influence on Austin’s Spoon. I’m sure you’ve heard it before. And now…you will for sure. Britt Daniel was on SiriusXM’s Tom Petty Radio. He DJ’d an hour of his favorite cuts, and also played two Tom Petty covers that Spoon recorded at the end of 2020. Spoon did straight-ahead versions of “Breakdown” and “A Face in the Crowd.” Spoon just celebrated the 20th anniversary of Girls Can Tell and are finishing up their 10th album. Back in October, on the day that Petty would’ve turned 70, Spoon took part in Petty’s virtual birthday bash. On that show, the band covered “A Face In The Crowd,” as well as Petty’s 1976 hit “Breakdown.” Those covers hadn’t been archived or on demand…and luckily…Spoon have released those two covers. Spoon’s live-in-studio covers of “Breakdown” and “A Face In The Crowd” are entirely faithful to the Petty originals, but the band still makes both tracks sound like Spoon songs. Maybe that’s because “Breakdown” and “A Face In The Crowd” already sounded like Spoon songs — or, more accurately, because Spoon learned a whole lot from those two songs. Spoon haven’t just adapted Petty’s exacting songcraft and precise production; they’ve also got some of the man’s pinched, understated swagger.

Goodman of Major Spark says he became fascinated with songs that transcend generational divides, like Outkast’s “Hey Ya!” and Rihanna’s “Replay”. Major Spark understood the quirky genius of the Sofi Tukker song immediately, and Goodman of Major Spark thought: Damn, it would be fun to try to write a song like that.” That moment awakened his new obsession with crafting the perfect pop song. Goodman and Charles (who plays virtually every instrument on the album) spent the next three years at Zippah Studios in Boston meticulously honing Beautiful Noise, their 11-song debut album. Major Spark gave the songs time to sit, which is something they’d never done in other bands. Walking away for a week or more made it easier to identify what was good and what could be better” Goodman of Major Spark recalls. We were on a mission to get people moving and forget about everything else going on in their lives. These songs are meant to be adrenalin delivery systems.

“We’re kind of all over the place but, if I had to pin it down, I’d say Sorry It’s Over is somewhere in between pop and alternative rock. Think Weezer meets Death Cab for Cutie?” Sorry It’s Over is a pop and alternative rock band formed by Sam Adgate and Louis Petrella. Their SoCal vibe and style have quickly propelled them as the rising band to look out for. Sorry It’s Over have mastered a mix of classic and modern rock. Sam and Louis of Sorry It’s Over draw heavily from an eclectic source of inspiration. The result is a cool original sound. Sam and Louis describe themselves as local Socal boys. And the band’s music reflects their “good time” vibe. The two trace their relationship back to highschool, where Sam and Louis were bandmates.

Ringo Starr has been working from home. The former Beatle released his latest album on Friday, a five-song package he appropriately named “Zoom In” after the videoconferencing service. Starr made the record last year from his home studio in Beverly Hills, California. Musicians who joined him were tested for the coronavirus, and no more than two at a time took part. They wore masks when they came and stayed six feet apart. “It’s a weird way of making a record,” Starr said “But if it’s the only way, you get on with it. Ringo had no problem attracting big names to participate, including Dave Grohl, Ben Harper, Jenny Lewis, Sheryl Crow and Toto’s Steve Lukather. Former Doors guitarist Robby Krieger recorded his contribution from home. The pandemic, which has shuttered the concert business for the past year, gave a lot of musicians free time. Ringo Starr jumped on “Not Enough Love in the World,” from Lukather and his Toto bandmate Joseph Williams, to cheer people up in these tough times. Starr chose to release an EP because a full album would have been too much work. Ringo said he’ll likely stick with that format going forward.

“It was such a fun song to write, collecting modern-day problems and putting them into the song. It’s part tongue-in-cheek but was a real awakening in seeing myself in that character.” Mansionair is a Sydney-based trio. Mansionair begun in 2014 as an invitation to Jack Froggatt to sing on a hook-up between new Lachan Bostock and Alex Nicholls, Mansionair were known in the clubs of Paris and Brooklyn before they were an official entity.

Mike Doughty and Andrew “Scrap” Livingston have released their first full-length album under Ghost of Vroom. Ghost of Vroom is both artists’ newest project. In Ghost of Vroom 1, the pair has combined the blues, alt-rock and a poetic hip-hop lyrical style. Simply put, the album by Ghost of Vroom is a beautiful blend of country backroads, summer heat and the concrete jungle. Born in Kentucky, Mike Doughty moved early and was raised in upstate New York. When he turned 18, he found himself in New York City. Mike Doughty first began career with a previous band, Soul Coughing. Fast forward to today—now running solo, he has settled in Memphis, Tennessee. Doughty enlisted the help of his old friend and bassist/cellist Scrap, and together they are Ghost of Vroom.

Copenhagen punk rock band Iceage is back. Vendetta by Iceage has a primal rhythm section breathes life into the song before the drums settle into a commanding stomp and sway as roaring, buzzsaw guitars lay out the destruction. As the song moves into full swing, a horn section joins the stampede and adds to the spacious sound, resulting in an atmosphere that feels guttural but sounds lush in the most sinister of ways. Frontman Elias Bender Rønnenfelt. The band sounds like a looming force of nature. Rønnenfelt of Iceage said of the track, “Crime is the undercurrent that runs through everything. If you don’t see it, you’re not looking. In its invincible politics, it is the glue that binds it all together. ‘Vendetta’ is an impartial dance along the illicit lines of infraction.”

Lead singer of Bird3, sent his band mates Greg Coates and Michael Miley the new songs he wrote in 2020, there was no way they were going to let anyone else play on any of it. Bird3 is, Bird (lead singer/guitarist), Greg Coates (Bass/Vocals), and Rival Sons’ drummer Michael Miley (Drums/Vocals). They are a powerhouse Rock and Roll trio from Long Beach, California.

“I’ll be honest with you, it’s been the worst year of my life,” Ward of The Strumbellas “And every day I’m just here, trying to heal and get better.” The Strumbellas release “Greatest Enemy” a new single that marks their first effort since Ward faced crippling depression and anxiety. “Greatest Enemy” reflects on the overwhelming demons of the mind, but in true Strumbellas fashion, the words are paired with a soaring chorus of perseverance.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Danny Payne/Shutterstock (10438528j)
Alice Cooper – Alice Cooper
Alice Cooper in concert at First Direct Arena, Leeds, UK – 07 Oct 2019

Alice Cooper Pays Homage to His Hometown With a Wink on ‘Detroit Stories”. The shock rocker’s love for the Motor City is genuine, but he won’t let that stand between him and a good one-liner. And amid all the jokes, the message of Cooper’s one totally serious song, “Hanging On by a Thread (Don’t Give Up),” about suicide prevention, feels hidden late in the record. At 73, Alice has come home to give his home city a new classic to add to its illustrious hard rock legacy.

Music is Life. Thanks again for listening.

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:

Friedberg – Yeah
Nick Waterhouse – B Santa Ann 1986
Sea Girls – Forever
Michigander – Better
Jade Bird – Open Up The Heavens
Todd Snider – Turn Me Loose
Spoon – Breakdown (Live Cover)
Major Spark – I’m Not Gonna Stand Around
Sorry It’s Over – Is It Cool?
Ringo Starr – Not Enough Love In The World
Mansionair – More
Ghost Of Vroom – I Hear The Ax Swinging
Iceage – Vendetta
Bird3 – By Law
The Strumbellas – Greatest Enemy
Alice Cooper – Hanging On By A Thread

and remember if you love someone hug them right now

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