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Welcome to NEXT: where new music lives.

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.

“Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.” — Lao Tzu

This week we say goodbye to Charlie Watts.

And let us begin NEXT week 801 with Jackson + Sellers. Jackson + Sellers, is the indie rock brainchild of Jade Jackson and Aubrie Sellers that was created mid-quarantine.  Their creative journey began when Jackson connected with Sellers via social DM. The duo instantly sparked musical chemistry and finally decided to record a compilation of their expansive and collective musical interests. Together, the songstresses blend into a harmonic bliss full of lush 70s rock that intertwines with modern indie pop.  “Waste Your Time” emphasizes the two’s experiences of vulnerability, isolation, sensitivity, and autonomy. Taking a mimetic approach where art initiates life, Jackson + Sellers relect on their own personal relationships when creating their heartfelt tunes. Their debut album, Breaking Point, is a ten track project was recorded at The Cabin Studio located in East Nashville at the end of 2020. Jade says, “‘Waste Your Time’ was my heart’s way of ringing out the last few drops of a toxic relationship. When I started strumming the chords and scribbling down the lyrics I was in a place of weakness. After I put the pencil down and finished the song I felt strong again. It helped me move on.” Aubrie adds, “When we were putting songs together, Jade sent over a folder of a bunch of different ones that she had written and this one really stood out to us. It reminded me of what it might sound like if someone made a pure 90s rock anthem today. I think everybody has wondered if they wasted their time in the wrong relationship, and Jade encompassed the sentiment simply and completely.”

Dutch garage pop band The Vices are next. There’s a certain excitement in a debut album that a band never gets to emulate ever again. The blank slate, zero expectations, the excitement in possibilities that comes from something new. There’s no backlog of reference points and comparison, no return to form or best work since, no cliche fatigue, instead it’s limitless possibility and a chance for a band to make a statement. For some bands, like The XX or Fontaines D.C., their modus operandi is so distinct that right from the start, their sound is distinct enough to become immediately recognisable, with an album worth of songs exploring ideas within the boundaries of that calculated style. As impressive as that approach may be, it hides some of the human element that lies behind who they are. 

In a bid to remind the world of the joys of letting go, sibling duo STEEN have dropped their carefree cut, “What Day Is It?”. Brimming with elation, uplifting instrumentation and the pair’s melodic vocals welcome listeners into the fun-filled realm of The STEEN brothers as Justin Raisen’s warm production adds a summery layer to the song. STEEN have a genreless approach to music giving us a wildly unique cacophony of sound. While joy radiates out of the track upon the first listen, its accompanying music video only works to further its vibrant nature. An ode to the rebels, watch the duo and their band of carefree companions embark on a day of harmless mischief in which rigid expectations and appearances are abandoned. A heartwarming reminder of the necessity of not taking life too seriously. “Our real intention with the ‘What Day Is It?’ visual was to capture the essence of what it really means to ‘let go,’ which many of us need now more than ever,” explains STEEN. “That inner rebel never truly disappears, so why hide it?”

Eddie Vedder’s version of R.E.M.’s classic song “Drive” is faithful and moving, as one of the greatest frontmen of his generation relies on restraint and understatement and resists the urge to bellow. The song works because of the many different inflections he puts into the word “baby,” his stutter on “what” when he sings, “Nobody tells you what to do,” and a growl that sounds like the sigh of a mountain on those weighty, repeated, “Tick… Tocks…” The reworking of the lead single from R.E.M.’s eighth studio album, ‘Automatic For The People’, features on the soundtrack for Flag Day, a new crime drama directed by Oscar-winning actor Sean Penn. Staying faithful to the original, the Pearl Jam frontman delivers a reverent rendition of ‘Drive’, adding a hint of eeriness, due mostly to Vedder’s smokey vocal tone

Springtime In New York: The Bootleg Series Vol. 16 (1980-1985)’ centers around songs recorded for ‘Shot of Love,’ ‘Infidels’ and ‘Empire Burlesque’. The next chapter of Bob Dylan’s Bootleg Series will center around the music recorded in the aftermath of his Christian period in the early Eighties. The package includes studio outtakes from 1981’s Shot of Love, 1983’s Infidels, and 1985’s Empire Burlesque along with songs recorded during live rehearsals in 1980, Dylan’s 1984 European stadium tour, and his 1984 appearance on Late Night With David Letterman. Springtime In New York: The Bootleg Series Vol. 16 (1980-1985) will be available as a two-disc set and a deluxe package containing a five-CD box set and a book with previously unseen photos from the era and liner notes by Scottish writer Damien Love. Third Man Records is releasing its own vinyl version of the collection that will include 42 songs spread across four records. “It’s quite often said that Bob lost his way in the Eighties,” says a source close to the Dylan camp. “But he was searching for his way in the Eighties. This set shows that search.”

Rainbow Kitten Surprise Live! Remember live music is good for your soul. The ascendant Nashville band Rainbow Kitten Surprise has surprised us with the release of their first-ever live album. RKS! Live from Athens Georgia is a 25-song collection recorded over two nights from the Georgia Theatre in Athens, GA amidst their 2019 Friend, Love, Freefall tour. The album is a remarkable experience, allowing for fans to feel the live energy that this band brings in the stead of a tour this year. Nashville-based quintet Rainbow Kitten Surprise have announced their first official live album, RKS! Live From Athens Georgia, set for release on August 13. The 25-song collection – recorded during a two-night stand at The Georgia Theatre in Athens, GA, on the band’s 2019 sold out North American tour – will be available on all streaming platforms and as a limited-edition 3-LP vinyl featuring five sides of music and special artist’s etching on the sixth side. In tandem with the release, the band engaged fans to support the Louisville Pride Foundation, who are raising funds to open an ADA-compliant LGBTQ+ Community Center in Louisville, KY. The Center will be a home for events, programming, and connection to services/resources ranging from substance abuse to intimate partner violence to housing. They will provide backbone support to the city’s LGBTQ+ community and the organizations who support it. The Center is especially close to the bands’ hearts as it will serve as a tangible space for queer individuals living in the South to feel safe. To help meet the Foundation’s fundraising goal of $20k to open their doors during Louisville Pride this September, RKS has launched exclusive pride merch items including a t-shirt, socks, and a vinyl slipmat [available here]. The band has partnered with PLUS1 so that 100% of the proceeds will go to support the Foundation.

Melbourne funk outfit The Bamboos have shared the first single from a forthcoming deluxe edition of their 2021 album ‘Hard Up’ – a fiery ode to independence titled ‘Piece Of Me’. Belting over a soundscape of roaring horns, thumping bass guitar and upbeat, yet understated drums, vocalist Kylie Auldist quips: “My music set you free / I ain’t your property / I owe you nothing at all.” “We just want to raise the bar each time”: The Bamboos fill us in on their new album, ‘Hard Up’. The Melbourne outfit’s new album, Hard Up, is another example of Ferguson’s sly self-effacement. The songwriting reconnects with the classic Atlantic/Motown/Stax sounds that motored the band’s early years, while Ferguson’s production makes it sound as good as anything in The Bamboos catalogue. But it’d be an injustice to describe it as Ferguson’s record. This is the sound of nine inspired individuals putting their long-established synergy towards making a lean and muscular funk-soul record that ranks among the best of The Bamboos’ career. “We just want to raise the bar each time,” says Ferguson of The Bamboos. “It’s not necessarily something that’s tangible to the listener, but as long as we feel like we’re raising the bar ourselves every time and achieve that within our own little world, that’s what keeps us going and excited about doing it.”

Good bye Charlie Watts

Drums may not be the first thing you think of nor listen to when you hear these songs. I want you to put headphones on. I’ll wait…..good. Now listen. Really listen to Charlie. The other guys where rolling. Someone had to be the stone. Charlie kept deeply reliable time behind the flamboyant bad boy bandmasters. Watts came up a jazz drummer. As Charlie said “I think it should be whammity-wham-mity-bam but I’ll do wham-wham-wham. And wham wham wham he did. For 58 years.

Some of Charlie Watts’s best performances were on songs like “Sister Morphine” where he was silent for the acoustic opening half the song, until a couple of thumps of the kick drum and the crack of a snare cue the band. Tucked towards the end of Voodoo Lounge was the slow burner “Thru And Thru” sung by Keith Richards where Watts booms ominously on his tom-toms for a few minutes before a big grimy full-band groove finally comes in.

Forget Blue Oyster Cult‘s “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper.” “Honky Tonk Women” is the premier cowbell song (even though that’s not Watt on the famous intro; that’s producer Jimmy Miller getting all Gene Frenkle there). Honky Tonk Women also features one of Watts’ best-ever performances. From the stumbling-in intro, which is 100 percent Watts, to the steady beat that drives the verses to the doubling up on the choruses, rock ‘n’ roll drumming doesn’t get much better.

Every note of “Tumbling Dice” is perfection, and each of the song’s hooky little moments has a perfect Charlie Watts snare fill to accompany it. The drums fall in during an unexpected spot in the opening guitar flourish, the three snare hits before every “baby” boost the track’s irresistible singalong energy, and the breakdown and build up into the final “you got to roll me” refrain is sublime.

Even with all of the other musical shenanigans going on (sitar, Hammond B3, the stop-start structure near the end of the song), Watts’ arms-all-over-the-place drumming manages to stand out on “Paint It, Black.” Unlike most of his subtle playing throughout his career, Watts’ performance here tends to be a bit showy, as he slams, rolls and attacks with spotlight-hogging directness. No complaints.

Charlie Watts was the Stones backbone. This drum fill on Anybody Seen My Baby is my favorite part on the song. Listen at 3:10 This is an homage to a legendary drummer, rest in peace Charlie, you’ve paved the way for everything that came after you guys, the 60s bands were the source and everyone should acknowledge that. Watts was the epitome of a drummer who played for the band and for the song, never drawing attention to himself or his chops.

Most major label rock bands adapted to big gated drum sounds that were all the rage in the ‘80s, but even on the Stones’ most overproduced albums, Charlie Watts remains the nucleus of their sound. Four backing percussionists, including Sly Dunbar of the reggae production duo Sly & Robbie, bang on bongos and even timpani on the bombastic opening track of 1983’s Undercover —> It’s Watts’s hi-hats that are running the show. Even though outside musicians supply some of the percussive fuel for this rhythmic political song from 1983, it’s Watts’ machine-gun drumming that propels it forward, spraying bursts of snare and big drum bounce all over the place. Like their mid-’60s output, “Undercover of the Night” breaks band formula and ricochets inside your head with exciting new sounds.In 2003, guitarist Ronnie Wood described the fractious writing as “just me, Mick and Charlie [Watts]… [We] took it up into some wonderful adventures with all these different changes… There was a great percussive and acoustic version, which is the kind of song it should be. The final polished, glossed-up version may have been Mick’s vision of the song…”

Music is Life. Thanks again for listening.

NEXT on the radio.

WERB 107.5 Global Radio Monday/Wednesday/Sunday mornings.
River Radio in the UK â€“ Thursday night.
Ocean 98 in Maryland â€“ Sunday nights at 10.
Saturday afternoon on VOBB in Canada

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

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

Artist and Song Title:

and remember if you love someone hug them right now

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