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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 is a total constant. That’s why we have such a strong visceral connection to it, you know? Because a song can take you back instantly to a moment, or a place, or even a person. No matter what else has changed in your or the world, that one song says the same, just like that moment. –  Sarah Dessen

Let us begin NEXT week 803 with The Beatles. The Beatles released a boxed set that includes new mixes, unreleased vintage mixes and previously unheard alternate takes. Including never-before-heard variants of two of the most celebrated rockers from the 1970 Let It Be album – Get Back (Take 8) and One After 909( Take 3).  Also George Harrison’s “I Me Mine” the Glyn Johns Mix. Representing a version that engineer Johns put together in the studio for possible release. It’s included on an EP of different mixes that rounds out the new box. It was the last song ever recorded by the Beatles albeit with John Lennon missing from the session on January 3, 1970. Johns put together this unused mix two days later, for an album that at that time was still scheduled to be released under the title Get Back.

Finally, a 2021 mix of “Across the Universe”. It’s not a radically different rendering from what was released in 1970, in that it’s not a Naked version that has been stripped of its Phil Spector-ization, but represents a fresh spin on Specter’s re-producing of the track. The version of One After 909 has a significant difference from the 51-year-old album version: Billy Preston had taken producer George Martin’s suggestion to play piano on it in the studio and he adopted a barrelhouse style for that session, before he went back to playing organ on the rooftop concert version. This version of “Get Back” meanwhile, is from a moment in the sessions, ending with Paul McCartney doing a funny vocal vamp over the coda. The group got what they considered the master take of “Get Back” three takes later in that same January 1969 session, although they ended up combining it with a coda recorded the following day for the ultimate studio rendering of the track. Let It Be: Special Edition release will be followed by a book about the sessions and filming of Peter Jackson’s multi-part film documentary.

My Morning Jacket will release its first new studio album in nearly six years. MMJ’s Regularly Scheduled Programming is out now. My Morning Jacket will support the new project on a fall tour. Jim James:  This song really hits home for me after what we’ve gone through with the pandemic. But even before then, it felt like so many of us were trading real life for social media, trading our own stories for the storylines on TV, trading our consciousness for drugs. We need to help each other wake up to real love before it’s too late.

The War On Drugs recorded “I Don’t Live Here Anymore” at seven different studios over the past three years, including Electric Lady in New York and Sound City in Los Angeles. The War On Drugs describes the 10-track project as “uncommon” and an “an expression of rock ‘s power to translate our own experience into songs we can share and words that direct our gaze toward the possibility of what is to come.” A four-year wait on a new album from The War on Drugs is coming to an end. Also on this The War On Drugs song are backing vocals by the New York band Lucius.

The former Smiths guitarist last released a solo album with 2018’s Call The Comet, following on from 2013’s The Messenger and the following year’s Play-land. “I’m back! we’re back. New music. Let’s go”–> Johnny Marr wrote on Twitter. New Johnny Marr’s “Spirit, Power and Soul” is a Vacillating Meditation on Existence. While his former Smiths partner spirals into whatever socio-political abyss he seems destined for, Johnny Marr continues to prove his relevance, especially in a world that doesn’t seem to give much of a toss about guitar music anymore (to wit, he recently collabed with Billie Eilish and Hans Zimmer on the No Time To Die soundtrack). And never one to be found lacking in confidence, Johnny Marr’s now flying in the face of this long and terrible pandemic by releasing a – wait for it – a double album. Titled Fever Dreams Pts 1-4.  We find the 57-year-old guitar god in a distinctly contemplative mode. Johnny Marr explains: “I had an idea about an electro sound with gospel feeling, in my own words –  an electro soul anthem.”

Back when alt-rock pioneers Pixies reunited in 2004, they released each show as a limited-edition live CD – now this live shows are being re-issued. I’ll take any excuse to play – not only live music but something Pixies. Throughout this past fall and winter, Pixies shared four albums from London’s Brixton Academy, plus their Coachella appearance and the tour kickoff in Minneapolis, MN. This 2004 reunion tour was the first time the band had played together since their split in 1993. It featured the entire original lineup, including Kim Deal, who subsequently left the band in 2013. Hey! includes popular choices like “Here Comes Your Man” and two versions of “Wave of Mutilation” (the traditional, and the “UK Surf” b-side version) along with album tracks from nearly all of the band’s releases, which makes it a useful counterpart to 2004’s Wave of Mutilation: The Best of the Pixies. Despite covering numerous shows, Hey! still retains the shape of a single, very long concert. It’s difficult to think of better back-to-back openers than these fierce renditions of “Planet of Sound” and “Debaser”, especially when “Gouge Away” follows. “La La Love You” is a strangely diverting intermission, “Vamos” closes the show (despite Lovering losing the beat once or twice), and “Gigantic” is the evening’s only encore, with Pixies wishing each other good night on the outro. What it lacks in stage banter and crowd response Hey! makes up for with a strong tracklist and careful sequencing.

This live version by Big Thief is arguably better than the studio version. Such intensity. the raw energy and intensity that this performance makes me feel. It pierces through my heart like a spear. Big Thief’s drummer has a wonderful feel for this kind of music. my kind of dude, not overcomplicating things and staying locked in. She plays and sings right at that line between control and chaos. It’s like the line between metal and punk. She warbles, she screams, she whispers and wails and somehow every note is absolutely precise. I can’t wait to hear this live after the pandemic is over. The groove, the voice, the chemistry, the lyrics. Thank you Big Thief. #LiveMusicIsGoodForYourSoul

It’s a good time to be a lover of the Athens music scene. The Nashville-based band Rainbow Kitten Surprise released an official live album on Aug. 13 of its performances at the Georgia Theatre in 2019. The album comprises of 25 live recordings from a two-night tenure at the Georgia Theatre in October 2019 during Rainbow Kitten Surprise’s sold out North American tour. Rainbow Kitten Surprise released a few of the live tracks and videos their RKS YouTube page. 14 videos were captured during the RKS tour. The Rainbow Kitten Surprise live album is also available as a physical three-disc vinyl featuring five sides of music and an artist etching. It can be purchased at the Rainbow Kitten Surprise official website. Nashville-based quintet Rainbow Kitten Surprise have announced their first official live album, RKS! Live From Athens, Georgia. The 25-song collection shows Rainbow Kitten Surprise in fine form.

Pixies – Live – yes, please. I may be in the minority as I usually add up picking the UK Surf version of “Wave of Mutilation over the album version from Dolittle – it’s just there’s something about how the song translates to a slower, softer rhythm that somehow brings out elements of the song you can easily miss from the faster-paced studio version. And what makes it so great is that it feels so different from the studio version that you can choose your version of “Wave of Mutilation” based on mood. The Pixies are not advocates of the arcane, nor of the commonplace. They have repeatedly taken the poet’s tortured path through complex emotions, anxieties, and cultural traditions. The Pixies “Wave of Mutilation is a song with a strange and mysterious history. “Wave of Mutilation – a surf grunge ditty about a ruined Japanese businessmen driving off a pier into the sea with his family strapped in the back seat

Cassandra Jenkins’ Hypnotic Folk Music Turns Everyday Moments Into Monuments. The New York singer-songwriter, Cassandra Jenkins, talks about making art out of interactions with strangers. Cassandra Jenkins relationship with music has always been inextricably linked to her family. Cassandra Jenkins’ parents played cruise ships as part of a lounge act in the 1980s before raising Jenkins in an apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. When Cassandra Jenkins was a child, her dad bought a bus so their family band could drive around the country and perform at obscure folk festivals together. Up until the pandemic hit last year, her family regularly hosted touring musicians and held concerts in that same Manhattan home. It was at these shows that Cassandra Jenkins played some of the songs on her new album for the first time. One of her day jobs was digitally restoring gems at the Natural History Museum, working at a farmer’s market, and as a photographer. 

R.E.M. Announce a “New Adventures in Hi-Fi” Reissue R.E.M. share Alternate Version of “Leave” too. New Adventures in Hi-Fi 25th Anniversary Reissue Features B-Sides, Rarities, and More. The new version of “Leave” features a sparse arrangement and newly recorded vocals by frontman Michael Stipe. Michael Stipe of R.E.M.: “I actually might prefer this version to the one that’s on the record. Well, I wouldn’t say I prefer it, it just tells a different story with the lyric. R.E.M. have announced a 25th anniversary reissue of their critically acclaimed tenth studio album New Adventures in Hi-Fi. The reissue will feature the original album alongside a second disc of B-sides and rarities, as well as a Blu-ray disc featuring a 64-minute outdoor projection film originally used to promote the album upon its release, a 30-minute EPK, the original album in both Hi-Res and 5.1 Surround Sound audio, and five HD-restored music videos. The collection also comes with a 52-page hardcover book featuring archival photographs and liner notes.

Too cute? Oh well – it’s done. This week I know I’ve overdone the cute factor with both the Pixie versions of “Wave” and now R.E.M. followed by a cover of REM. Isbell’s cover of ‘Driver 8’ features The Civil Wars alum John Paul White. Singer-songwriter Jason Isbell’s “Georgia Blue” marks his eighth overall, It’s Isbell’s first covers album. It is dedicated to songs by bands, artists and musicians from the American state of Georgia. Driver 8, a 1985 single from R.E.M. R.E.M. formed and based out of Athens, Georgia. The cover features guitar and backing vocals from John Paul White, a former member of alt-country duo The Civil Wars.  Isbell confirmed that the album was a fulfillment of a promise to make a Georgia-themed covers album following the 2020 Presidential Election.  Says Jason Isbell: “When I saw that there was a good chance the state of Georgia might go blue, I came up with an idea: to record an album of Georgia-related songs as a thank you to the state, and donate the money to a Georgia-based non-profit organization.” True to his word, Isbell will donate the proceeds raised by album sales and streams to three charities: the Black Voters Matter Fund, political action committee Fair Fight and social justice organization Georgia STAND-UP.

And now we have North Mississippi AllStars featuring Son Little and Valerie June. North Mississippi Allstars will return with their new studio album, Up and Rolling. It’s North Mississippi AllStars’s debut on New West Records.  ”Up and Rolling” is an easy flowing tune anchored by a clean, straightforward riff from Luther Dickinson’s guitar and similarly consistent beat from brother and drummer Cody Dickinson (plus new bassist Carl Dufrene, formerly of Anders Osborne’s band), with Luther and vocalist Sharisse Norman crooning over the top about Mississippi hippies tripping on LSD. Up and Rolling album was inspired by the unearthing of a collection of photos taken by Texas photographer in 1996. 

Lindsey Jordan/Snail Mail: “I wanted to take as much time as possible with this record to make sure I was happy with every detail before unleashing it unto y’all. Referring to the process as the deepest level of catharsis and therapy I have ever experienced would be a huge understatement. Valentine is my child!” Lindsey Jordan’s stellar debut album, Lush, was hailed as one of the best of 2018, so the indie-rock phenom, a.k.a. Snail Mail knows all eyes are on her as she prepares its follow-up . “Valentine” is as auspicious a first taste as we could hope for, a gorgeously robust and sonically adventurous fist-pumper stocked with warbling synths, crunchy guitars, and a desperate refrain (“Why’d you have to erase me?”) that renders Lindsey Jordan’s pain not just believable but palpable. It’s evident Lindsey Jordan/Snail Mail is already a master at chronicling how sweet romance can quickly curdle into a bloody mess.

The Minneapolis trio Bad Bad Hats will release their good, good new album Walkman. They’ve already shared the early songs and now they’ve dropped the sparkling power-pop banger “Milky Way”. A supremely catchy piece of DIY fuzz-pop. With an affinity for mid-90s garage-rock choruses, pop-punk lyricism and glazed vocals, Bad Bad Hats stake their sound in stories of nostalgia and honesty fused with bouncing melodies you can’t get out of your head. Whether you discovered Bad Bad Hats through the eternal perseverance of their early hit “Super America” or a Spotify-curated playlist, or their supporting stints on tour with The Front Bottoms, Hippo Campus and The Beths, they have lived on through multiple eras of indie rock already, with the Bad Bad Hats signature still intact and translated to perfection on Walkman, their first release in three years and strongest to date.

Frank Turner has expanded his musical palette over the last couple of albums, but he’s ready to rock harder, inspired after a year of self-reflection amidst the pandemic. Frank Turner’s latest album – FTHC. Frank Turner says of the track: “It’s been a difficult time for a lot of people and their mental health, myself included, and discussing that openly is important to me, so this is a song about anxiety and the struggles that come with that.” Frank Turner has found plenty of inspiration brought about by the past year, previously dropping the hard hitting song “The Gathering” that shares the elation he’ll feel upon returning to the stage and being able to play for full crowds again. Turner recorded FTHC at Abbey Recording Studios. As was previously revealed, the album does include some guest musicians with Muse’s Dom Howard and Jason Isbell previously queuing up to help rock out on “The Gathering.” Speaking about the new album Frank Turner says, “I think it’s going to surprise some people. There’s just a kind of like attitude and a dirtiness and a noise to it. I think that after doing a kind of a record that explored more electronic music and then sort of like a history folk record, I think it’s really gonna like to restate my purpose as an artist and blow some cobwebs away.”

Thanks for listening. 

NEXT on the radio.

WERB 107.5 Global Radio Monday/Wednesday/Sunday mornings.
River Radio in the UK Thursday night.
Ocean 98 in Maryland 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:

  • The Beatles – Don’t Let Me Down (First Rooftop Performance)
  • My Morning Jacket – Love Love Love
  • The War On Drugs – I Don’t Live Here Anymore
  • Johnny Marr – Spirit, Power, And Soul
  • Pixies – Wave Of Mutilation (UK Surf Live)
  • Big Thief – Not (Live)
  • Rainbow Kitten Surprise – Cold Love (Live)
  • Pixies – Wave Of Mutilation (Live)
  • Cassandra Jenkins – Michelangelo
  • REM – Leave (Alternative Version)
  • Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit – Driver 8 (Cover)
  • North Mississippi All Stars – Up And Rolling (featuring Son Little and Valerie June) Snail Mail – Valentine
  • Bad Bad Hats – Awkward Phase
  • Frank Turner – Haven’t Been Doing So Well

and remember if you love someone hug them right now

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