Welcome to NEXT. We are a new music show on the radio with a very simple goal – find you a NEXT, new favorite song.
May NEXT find a song that makes your ears smile. Enjoy it all.
“I don’t deserve a Songwriters Hall of Fame Award. But fifteen years ago, I had a brain operation and I didn’t deserve that, either. So I’ll keep it!” ― Quincy Jones
Let us begin NEXT week 781 with Emily Wolfe. Emily Wolfe is an American rock and roll musician based out of Austin, TX. Wolfe was born in Raleigh, NC, and moved to Texas when she was 8 years old. Emily Wolfe started playing guitar at the age of 5 and also started to play drums at an early age. FF to today. Emily Wolfe just launched her signature Epiphone Sheraton Stealth – Emily Wolfe has unveiled Something Better, the first single from upcoming second album, Outlier. The track sees Wolfe defy genre pigeonholing, opening proceedings with a pumping synth that gives way to a huge guitar-driven pop chorus, while fiery octave-fuzz slides channel the Austin singer-songwriter’s blues-rock roots. Emily Wolfe wrote this song at a difficult time in my life when she was working hard toward a future but wasn’t sure if that future would ever come. Emily Wolfe: “But with the pandemic, it feels more like a universal song about wanting change and not knowing when things are going to be okay. Emily Wolfe wanted to take her love of ’80s and ’90s music, and twist it with modern pop sounds. Emily Wolfe wanted it to sound fresh, but familiar.” Emily Wolfe wanted to step outside of the blues-rock box and see what else could happen. This record is Emily Wolfe’s attempt at crossing genres between classic ’70s rock, ’80s pop, ’90s grunge, and modern pop elements of today. Emily Wolfe wanted to see how far she could push my boundaries musically, while still holding onto her integrity as a guitar player first and foremost. This album is a huge indicator of where Emily Wolfe is headed as an artist – Emily Wolfe’s goal is to create well-crafted rock songs with polished pop production, but stay true to herself as a lover of guitar solos. And we all love guitar solos, no?
These new Prince songs were recorded more than a decade ago and his bandmates say the release is “right on time.” The good news is Prince’s storied vault is finally getting updated and organized, and Prince fans will have enough new music to last them until the next millennium. By the time Prince was 40, he had written and recorded more songs than any artist could possibly release in a lifetime. Material, it seems, is the musical genius’s burden. To house all of his unreleased recordings, Prince constructed a vault in the basement of his Paisley Park complex in the suburbs of Minneapolis. Legend has it that as many as 8,000 songs are stored in the vault. “Prince was very good friends with Dr. Cornel West,” Hayes told Wertheim. “But there was this early footage of Dr. West talking about Curtis Mayfield and about the music of the struggle back in the day, in the ’70s. And Dr West said, ‘Yeah, brother Prince is great but he’s no Curtis Mayfield.’ And Prince was like, ‘Really?’…’So I set out to show him that I could do Curtis, you know, but Curtis can’t do me.'”
Philadelphia rock outfit Low Cut Connie are prepping a new covers album featuring material recorded during the band’s quarantine livestream series. Tough Cookies: The Best of the Quarantine Broadcasts. Low Cut Connie frontman Adam Weiner and guitarist Will Donnelly launched the Tough Cookies livestream series last year, two weeks after going into quarantine for Covid-19. The pair have since covered over 500 songs on the twice-weekly show, and the new album will boast 23 of those performances (an official tracklist has yet to be announced). “Two weeks into quarantine, Low Cut Connie ‘went live’ in Adam Weiner’s spare bedroom in South Philly to cheer up our fans. There was no script, no plan, just a couple schmucks trying every form of entertainment to try to lift people’s spirits,” Low Cut Connie’s Weiner said. “Now a year later, Low Cut Connie is still going strong and have covered over 500 songs for viewers in over 40 countries. It’s been amazing watching the project grow and Low Cut Connie wanted to put the record out as a document of this insane time we all shared. It was all done on cellphones but the spirit of the matter cuts through.”
Liz Phair has announced her first album in 11 years, Soberish. Phair describes her new song in a press release as being “about the fracturing of a beautiful life, when everything you counted on is suddenly thrown up for grabs.” She adds, “Liz Phair drew inspiration from a friend who was going through a divorce, but the actions in the lyrics are my own. Liz Phair related to hiding out in the bathroom when everyone around you is having a good time, but your life just fell apart. You look at yourself in the mirror and wonder who you are now, shadows of doubt creeping into your eyes. Just a few moments ago you were a whole, confident person and now you wonder how you’ll ever get the magic back.” Liz Phair also speaks about the meaning behind the album’s title and cover art: “Soberish can be about partying. It can be about self-delusion. It can be about chasing that first flush of love or, in fact, any state of mind that allows you to escape reality for a while and exist on a happier plane. It’s not self-destructive or out of control; it’s as simple as the cycle of dreaming and waking up. That’s why Liz Phair chose to symbolize Soberish with a crossroads, with a street sign. It’s best described as a simple pivot of perspective. When you meet your ‘ish’ self again after a period of sobriety, there’s a deep recognition and emotional relief that floods you, reminding you that there is more to life, more to reality and to your own soul than you are consciously aware of. But if you reach for too much of a good thing, or starve yourself with too little, you’ll lose that critical balance.”
The Record Company Cover Big Mama Thornton. Los Angeles based rock band The Record Company recently announced a new EP they are calling Side Project. The project will include covers of some of the band’s favorite influences. The first song unveiled is a cover of Big Mama Thornton’s classic “Ball and Chain.” Big Mama Thornton first released “Ball and Chain” back in 1968 as a B-side. Although the preeminent blues song did not crack the record charts at the time, it is still one of her best known contributions, thanks in no small part to frequent performances by Janis Joplin. For The Record Company’s take on the tune, they were not hesitant to restructure and reframe the songs arrangement. Their version does away with the standard blues progression the original employs, instead opting for more rock n roll over soul. Big Mama Thornton’s version is an unabashed splendor of powerful vocals, vintage piano accompaniment and galvanized guitar segments. In contrast, The Record Company’s version feels more congenial, Big Mama’s immense vocal range was a great attribute the original flexes, so the band’s evening out of the vocal segments gives it a catchier, night out at the bar feel. “The pandemic forced The Record Company to try an entirely different approach to our process, with everyone working from home. With ‘Ball and Chain,’ The Record Company used some really non-traditional home methods and ended up finding some new sounds The Record Company may not have found otherwise. Side Project is what happens when three guys who have always been in bands finish their record, are locked away from each other, and are told they need to make more ‘content.’ So, we took songs we love, fucked them up, cut them up and twisted them around, until we loved it and felt like a band again.”
Beach Bunny featuring Tegan And Sara are next. Beach Bunny, the Chicago band led by vocalist and guitarist Lili Trifilio, have enlisted Tegan and Sara for a new version of their song ‘Cloud 9’. Can you cover yourself? The lyrics of the track, originally taken from the group’s 2020 debut Honeymoon, have also been updated to include gender neutral and feminine pronouns. “Tegan And Sara are massive fans of Beach Bunny, and when Tegan And Sara heard ‘Cloud 9’ for the first time fell in love with the brilliant lyrics and addictive melody,” Tegan and Sara said in statement. “We love that Lili was up to let us experiment with changing the pronoun in the chorus to she. The efforts made to make the song relatable to everyone, isn’t just about inclusivity, Tegan And Sara think it’s a great indication of the flexibility and creative spirit of the band at its core!” Beach Bunny Enlist Tegan and Sara for New Version of ‘Cloud 9’
The Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger talked about collaborating with Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl on the recent single “Eazy Sleazy.” When did Mick Jagger first cross paths with Dave Grohl? You must have met a bunch of times over the years, right?”, Jagger replied “Yeah, we met quite a few times, we played together on Saturday Night Live, we did a couple of shows together, we did a jam in New York… I’m not saying we’re the closest friends or anything but we’ve kind of kept in touch. “I really like Dave Grohl’s style, he’s a great musician, a very all-around guy. Dave Grohl can play a lot of instruments really well. “And Dave Grohl’s kind of really rocky, and lots of energy, which I like. And so Mick Jagger thought The Stones are a band that very much works in a room, together in a room, and that wasn’t possible. “So Mick Jagger thought to do this song, this is going to have to someone that’s going to be working remotely, and Mick Jagger bet Dave Grohl’s studio is in his house…So it was very easy, and Mick Jagger said, ‘Well, what do you think? Would you like to do it?’ And Dave Grohl said, ‘Send me a song. I’m going in tomorrow, I love it.’ “So he just did it straight away, so that was really easy. I mean, Dave Grohl’s a very easy person to get on with so it was fun doing with him.” More songs with Dave Grohl? “No, Mick Jagger thinks this is just a one-off thing. Mick: “I’m not saying I won’t ever want to play with Dave again, I’d love to. I’d love to do some other things with him, but this is just a one-off, for now, it’s just a fun thing.”
Nearly two decades into Norah Jones’ career, nine-time Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and pianist Norah Jones will release her first full live album, ’Til We Meet Again. The 14-track collection presents performances in the U.S., France, Italy, Brazil and Argentina that were recorded between 2017 and 2019. The first single, “It Was You,” which is already available to stream or download, was recorded at the 2018 Ohana Festival in Dana Point, California. Whether we’re musicians or fans, we all miss sharing the experience of live music,” Norah Jones said. The songs featured on ’Til We Meet Again span Jones’ entire career, from her 2002 debut Come Away With Me, 2004’s Feels Like Home, 2012’s Little Broken Hearts, 2016’s Day Breaks, as well as Norah Jones’ more recent singles series. The album closes with Jones’ stunning solo piano performance of Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun,” a tribute to Chris Cornell recorded at the Fox Theatre in Detroit just days after Cornell’s death by suicide following a performance at the same venue.
Tom Petty’s estate released the album Finding Wildflowers (Alternate Versions), which first appeared in the super deluxe edition of last year’s Wildflowers & All the Rest box set. “Finding Wildflowers (Alternate Versions) features 16 studio recordings of alternate takes, long cuts and jam versions of Wildflowers songs as Tom Petty, band members and co-producer Rick Rubin worked to finalize the album in 1994.” “The release offers fans further deep access into the writing and recording of Wildflowers, as well as realizing the full vision of the project as Tom Petty had always intended.When a nine-disc version of Tom Petty’s 1994 album Wildflowers was released last year, a daunting level of fan loyalty was required. For the more fair-weather and conventionally curious Tom Petty follower, this detachment (from that set) of the 16 alternative takes and longer jams makes solid sense, offering insight into his process without demanding that you pass an exam on every home recording. An album that Tom Petty always wanted to be longer (the label disagreed) is, almost 30 years on from its inception, being allowed to stretch its legs at its own pace.
London-based, Steveston born-and-raised musician Sandra-Mae Lux is yet another talented graduate of the Capilano University jazz studies program. Sandra-Mae Lux was a regular on the local circuit before finally packing up and relocating to the UK. There, Sandra-Mae Lux pursued playing gigs, voice acting and focused on producing her debut album. Having branched out from jazz roots into EDM, pop and bossa nova, Sandra-Mae Lux has arrived back at the source of her musical inspirations. Happily Ever Now is a dozen cuts of sweet 70s soul, funk and disco.
Pale Waves adds a cool Live Cover. #LiveMusicIsGoodForYourSoul and I’ll take it anywhere I can get it now. Heather Baron-Gracie lives fearlessly these days. Frontwoman of Pale Waves, the singer-songwriter takes ownership over her body—from the emo-pop aesthetic to her sexuality and mental health. Indie Rock from Manchester.
The Michigan four-piece, Greta Van Fleet, continue to channel 70s classic rock without restraint. More Led Zeppelin on top of a lot Led Zep – This follow-up isn’t going to completely put those parallels to bed. One could argue that Michigan quartet Greta Van Fleet’s entire existence is based in this kind of homage/parody of Zeppelin-esque, blues-based hard rock. Brothers Josh, Jake and Sam Kiszka along with unrelated drummer Danny Wagner, do it exceptionally well, although the clichés in their music are so big, bold and intentional — hell, they could have been genetically engineered for rock radio. The brooding “Weight of Dreams” bears more than a trace of Zeppelin’s epic 1976 track “Achilles Last Stand.” It has not one but two false endings: one that turns into a majestic, sweeping coda — complete with a blazing guitar solo, swooning strings and wailing, wordless vocal ad-libs — and a second that’s a moody outro played on acoustic guitar (another genre specialty). Rock live on. Rock is dead. Rock will never die.
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:
Emily Wolfe – Something Better
Prince – Welcome to America
Low Cut Connie – Need You Tonight (Cover)
Liz Phair – Spanish Doors
The Record Company – Ball And Chain (Cover)
Beach Bunny – Cloud 9 featuring Tegan And Sara
Mick Jagger and Dave Grohl – Eazy Sleazy
Norah Jones – Black Hole Sun (Live Cover)
Tom Petty – Girl on LSD (Alternate Take)
Sandra-Mae Lux – How Can You Trust
Pale Waves – Torn (Live Cover)
Greta Van Fleet – The Weight of Dreams
and remember if you love someone hug them right now