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.

“Tell me what you listen to, and I’ll tell you who you are.” -Tiffanie DeBartolo, How to Kill a Rock Star

Let us begin NEXT week 788 with Wolf Alice. The London band’s third studio album. Wolf Alice’s first since 2017’s ‘Visions Of A Life’. Another stone-cold masterpiece that further cements Wolf Alice’s place at the very peak of British music. Wolf Alice: “I can’t wait to play these new songs live they are gonna sound so gooooood. Joff’s pedal board literally sounds like an orchestra at the moment and you have no idea how sweet Theo’s falsetto is rn.” Wolf Alice now have Two Top 5 albums, a Mercury prize and a Grammy nomination into their career.  Wolf Alice have come a long way in a climate where what would once have been called “indie” music is supposed to struggle.

Be Nice To Yourself a masterclass in self-care. a guitar-driven pep talk by Jason Matu. This song is an act of aggression against Jason Matu’s feelings of infinite loneliness and self-loathing following his longtime partner’s death. Recorded remotely in conjunction with producer, frequent collaborator, and Grammy-nominee Justin Craig (Hedwig and the Angry Inch), Be Nice To Yourself focuses on the feelings of grief and the ability to take time for one’s self in times of tragedy. In short, it acts as a masterclass in self-care. Thank you Jason Matu.

After an 11-year hiatus, Liz Phair is older, wiser, and no less crushing. Over the past decade, Liz Phair’s work has served as a key model for a rising wave of young, female, rock-adjacent singer-songwriters. Yet during that same period, Liz Phair, the 1990s indie-rock feminist icon released no new songs of her own. Yes, Liz Phair was busy raising a teenager and scoring TV shows, but Liz Phair was also burned out after a series of business ordeals and backlashes. Phair began coming out of retreat with a monumental 2018 box set for the 25th anniversary of her zeitgeist-rearranging debut Exile in Guyville. (That album was, by the way, voted No. 56 on Rolling Stone’s 2020 list of the 500 greatest albums ever.) Next came Liz Phair’s 2019 book Horror Stories, a collection of troubled, poignant reminiscences that’s perhaps the most artfully written rock-star memoir I’ve ever read. A Liz Phair follow-up, Fairy Tales, is due in the near future. All this retrospection led Phair to reunite with Brad Wood, the main producer of her first three, strongest albums, and the outcome is Soberish. But then came pandemic pandemonium, so instead, the record’s only arriving now, more than a year later. And as if its songs alone weren’t proof enough of how much Phair’s reclaimed her aesthetic radar, the delay’s only landed it in a more simpatico environment. Soberish is fearlessly a middle-aged record, about the trepidations of daring to love and create while you have a lot of cautionary experience behind you.

This Hanson Song will appear on trio’s next album, Against the World. Bonus guitar work from Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen. “Don’t Ever Change” is a bright piece of power pop with piano and tambourine ringing behind the song’s crunchy guitars. Taylor Hanson: “’Don’t Ever Change’ is about the madness and beauty that love brings accompanied by a pure power-pop guitar riff. The fact that the legendary Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick agreed to lay down a guest solo on the song takes it to a whole new level.”

Royal Bliss have been together over 20 years. Royal Bliss still has three original members: Middleton, guitarist Taylor Richards and drummer Jake Smith, in addition to brothers Sean and Brian Hennesy on guitar and bass who not only joined the band, but moved from Nashville and California, respectively, and are now full-time Utah residents. While a lot of people helped Royal Bliss get their career off the ground, it was Middleton and his bandmates’ hard work that was the catalyst for their success. The Royal Bliss story began when Skyline High School student Middleton was playing solo acoustic sets at the old Gepetto’s Pizza in Murray. Highland High School students Richards and original guitarist Chris Harding were looking for a new singer for their band and went to watch Middleton play. Royal Bliss has been called the unluckiest band in rock, and with a slew of mishaps – a car wreck, near paralysis, a stabbing, and record company promises unrealized – they’ve rightly earned the title. Middleton of Royal Bliss explains, “We were smoking a lot of weed, and trying drugs like acid and mushrooms. There was nothing like taking a hit of acid and listening to Floyd, or smoking a bunch and laying in your bedroom jamming out to the classic rock. We liked the word bliss because the definition was the peak of a hallucinogenic drug or a euphoric experience.” Middleton of Royal Bliss: “We’re like ah that’s so awesome. We love the word bliss” But they thought it needed to be “something” bliss. Someone mentioned the word “royal bliss.” “We were all at the same time like ‘that’s it man.’ It’s like the king of the highest you can be.” Done. Band has a name. Royal Bliss. Middleton of Royal Bliss: “That’s what we wanted our music to be for the fans. We wanted to be that drug for them. So they could come and get away from whatever they’re getting away from and listen to music and forget about it while we’re playing. Or to sit in their room and press play and listen to our CD like we listened to all the classics.”

Dylan LeBlanc Covers ‘Gentle on My Mind’ for Upcoming EP. LeBlanc’s “Pastimes” includes versions of songs recorded by Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, and JJ Cale. LeBlanc doesn’t mess too much with the arrangement of “Gentle on My Mind,” letting the wheels-in-motion brushed drums and restless acoustic guitar figures carry things forward. There’s a little extra atmosphere from steel, piano, and even washes of strings, while LeBlanc’s airy vocals add an extra layer of wistfulness compared to the relative warmth of Campbell’s delivery. Elsewhere on Pastimes, LeBlanc leans into his love of classic rock, covering Led Zeppelin’s “Going to California” and the Rolling Stones’ “Play With Fire” along with songs by Bob Dylan, JJ Cale, and Buffalo Springfield.

Rod Stewart Announces ‘1975-1978’ Vinyl Box Set.  The Rod Stewart box set is Five-LPs and includes bonus Encores 1975-1978 with 10 rare and unreleased studio outtakes. Rod Stewart will reissue four of his mid-Seventies albums as part of a vinyl box set that also includes an extra LP filled with rare and unreleased studio outtakes from the era. Rod Stewart: “It’s extraordinary for me to look back on this era of my career. I think fans will enjoy experiencing these songs on vinyl. I know I did.” The box set’s fifth LP, dubbed Encores 1975-1978, is dedicated to alternate and early versions and studio outtakes from the four albums’ recording sessions, including five previously unreleased session outtakes from Foot Loose & Fancy Free and Blondes Have More Fun, like a cover of the Motown classic “You Really Got a Hold on Me” and the songs “Silver Tongue” and “Don’t Hang Up.” Three tracks Rod Stewart recorded alongside Booker T. and the MG’s also feature on the fifth disc.

Japanese Breakfast goes Down in a Blaze of Guitar Glory. Across Jubilee, that search for a new true north takes place through instrumentals as much as music. It all culminates in a minutes-long guitar solo on closing track “Posing for Cars.” Zauner sings of “waiting for your affection/I’m just a woman with a loneliness/I’m just a woman with needs.” Jubilee isn’t just a happy album, but an album with happiness as a goal. It’s not an easy goal and it’s a damn fine goal. Enjoy it all. These songs especially favor digging into the journey rather than the resulting feeling. Zauner sings the final line of “Posing for Cars” around two and a half minutes into the song, describing “a single slow desire fermenting.” Then, over the next four minutes, Zauner shows what she means instead of resting on words. Zauner’s steady guitar-strumming gives way to a poignant, slow-burning solo.

The Scottish rockers – Del Amitri – first album in nearly 20 years doesn’t contain anything as instantly infectious as their 1995 U.S. breakthrough hit “Roll to Me” but there’s enough song-craft on display here to suggest they’ve still got it. “Fatal Mistakes” fits well within the group’s discography with its blend of dark lyrics, bright melodies and brooding ballads. Still led by Justin Currie and Iain Harvie, the band’s trademark gallows humor is present. I think the world is better with Justin Currie singing about it. His music gives me great pleasure.

The Mountain Goats give us a galloping, urgent song with a spaghetti western vibe. Dark in Here is the band’s third album in just over a year. John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats: “If you’re looking for a governing theme here, it’s calamity, as all the songs are either anticipating one or reflecting one that’s already happened.” Dark In Here as “wild” with bassist Peter Hughes of Mountain Goats adding, “Not wild in the sense of abandon—these aren’t those kind of songs. But wild in the sense of something undomesticated, untamable… You can fight the calamity all you want, but either way, it’s going to demand your surrender.”

The Rolling Stones released A Little Bang (Bigger Bang Tour EP). The EP contains a number of Stones classics from their upcoming concert film and live album, The Rolling Stones — A Bigger Bang: Live On Copacabana Beach. The five-track A Little Bang (Bigger Bang Tour EP) contains “Sympathy For The Devil,” “Wild Horses,” “You Got Me Rocking” and “Happy” from the legendary rockers’ landmark 2006 concert at Copacabana Beach in Rio di Janeiro, one of the largest free concerts in history. The collection also includes “Rough Justice” from the Stones’ Salt Lake City stop on their A Bigger Band Tour.

Billy F Gibbons with Larkin Poe Gibbons.  Mr Gibbonns is 71. And is keeping things rockin’ outside of the Lil’ Old Band From Texas, with a book, a line of hot sauces and numerous appearances on friends’ albums. Since 2015 he’s also maintained a side solo career, and his third release, “Hardware.” The set was recorded at Escape Studio in California’s high desert, with Matt Sorum of Guns N’ Roses, The Cult and Velvet Revolver fame — who also worked with Gibbons on 2018’s “The Big Bad Blues” — and Mike Fiorentino. The sister duo Larking Poe joins Gibbons on the track “Stackin’ Bones,” while the rest of “Hardware” showcases the guitarist’s range, from gritty rock and blues to the psychedelic spoken-word album closer “Desert High”

When Gang of Four’s Andy Gill passed away in February 2020 he had been working on a 40th anniversary homage to Gang of Four to mark the anniversary of the first album ‘Entertainment’. When his friends like Flea, La Roux, Gary Numan, Tom Morello and Dandy Warhols got involved the project went from being about the first record to the Gang of Four catalogue. Andy of Gang Of Four had been hands on with the project right up to his death as one of England’s first Covid cases. His wife, journalist Catherine Mayer, decided to finish off the project. The result is The Problem of Leisure. At the time of his passing, Gang Of Four’s Andy Gill had been planning the release of a compilation album of cover versions that truly showed the impact of the band, spanning genres with some interpretations faithful to the originals while others rewiring the sonics into further spheres. Originally conceived to mark the 40th anniversary of their debut Entertainment!, the double album, with artwork by long-time Gang Of Four aficionado Damien Hirst, now sees the light of day. From start to finish it is a journey through the genius and lasting influence of one of the most important bands of the last half-century, covering a broad spectrum of their career. Thank you Everything Everything for this brilliant cover. 

Music is Life. Thanks again for listening.

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

You can listen to NEXT on the radio.
River Radio in the UK – Tuesday night.
Ocean 98 in Maryland – Sunday nights at 10.
Saturday afternoon on VOBB in Canada

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

Artist and Song Title:

  • Wolf Alice – Delicious Things
  • Jason Matu – Be Nice To Yourself
  • Liz Phair – Good Side
  • Hanson – Don’t Ever Change featuring Rick Nielsen
  • Royal Bliss – Feeling Whitney
  • Dylan LeBlanc – Gentle On My Mind (Cover)
  • Rod Stewart – You Really Got A Hold On Me (Cover)
  • Japanese Breakfast – Posing For Cars
  • Del Amitri – Nation Of Caners
  • The Mountain  – Dark In Here
  • The Rolling Stones – You Got Me Rockin’ (Live)
  • Billy F Gibbons – Stackin’ Bones with Larkin Poe
  • Everything Everything – Natural’s Not In It (Cover)

and remember if you love someone hug them right now

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