The single and title track from the new Public Enemy record, Man Plans God Laughs. I am extremely glad that one of the greatest groups of all time is still putting out records that are fearless and relevant.
As I looked quickly at the headlines over at Rolling Stone today, I was shocked and extremely psyched to see that Public Enemy is releasing a new album…this week! The album is titled Man Plans, God Laughs. They are one of the greatest groups of all time in any genre, and if they weren’t so intensely political, I believe their profile would be even higher here in the states than it has been in recent years. Their last two albums, Most of My Heroes Still Don’t Appear On No Stamps and The Evil Empire of Everything, both released in 2012, were both jaw dropping and worth checking out if you have checked the group out in awhile. (I would definitely get both records as they both feature different sonic textures, yet compliment each other really well from a musical perspective. If you love the group or just love exciting and intense music, you can’t go wrong.) The above video is one of the official singles from Most of My Heroes Still Don’t Appear On No Stamps.
I can already imagine the endless grief I will get for posting this from certain band mates and some camps that think themselves too hip for Stewart’s charms. But I fucking love his shit anyway. There’s no doubt that the early solo years and Faces period can never be equaled. (Those years set a bar that most musicians, period, will never equal. And pretty much every musician I know loves this era of records.) But as long as Rod is singing something that has a hint of rock n roll in it, something that makes you cry in your drink, or that you can imagine him kicking a soccer ball to in a stadium, I am in. Really, except for his American Songbook dreck, and his other recent covers albums, I pretty much like everything. (The American Songbook stuff is one of the few times even I will say he went a bridge too far.) It’s not only his voice, but the fact that he seemingly throws himself in with total enthusiasm, even to things that other musicians wouldn’t try, and possibly shouldn’t. But I feel he can get away with it, as he has an exuberance that is equaled by few. This song would be filed under his quasi-celtic soccer stadium anthems, but it’s good fun, and most of all emotional sounding. At the end of the day the first rule of music should be that it is emotional. Rod rarely fails to deliver on those terms, no matter how overly professional his backing band sounds. About eleven or twelve years ago I went to see him live and I was sure I was going to be witnessing a cash grab, but he ended up having the entire audience, all ages, on their feet for the entire night. Not only is he a first-rate interpreter, he is also a really underrated songwriter when he decides to pick up the guitar and pen. Too often his celebrity has overshadowed his very real talents, and his best song lyrics display a great wit, that is equal at conveying sadness and humor. At this stage Never a Dull Moment is probably my favorite record of his. If you doubt Stewart’s talents, but love rock n roll in the slightest, check it out. There are many reasons that I love many kinds of music, but rarely has someone made me smile as much as Rod Stewart. For that reason alone I would feel ashamed of myself for not sticking with him. So there: I love Rod Stewart. What are you going to do about it?
Keith Richards just announced that he is coming out with a new solo album this fall, Crosseyed Heart, for the first time since 1992. His two solo records so far, Talk is Cheap and Main Offender, are both great, with Talk is Cheap being especially loved by many musicians that I know. I was really into these records at one point. Everyone knows that Richards is a great guitar player, but I always loved his singing too, which is full of feeling. He has great phrasing as well. Above is the single Take it So Hard from Talk is Cheap.
Tonight I’ll be in Lubbock with Shinyribs. We play Amarillo tomorrow night and Wichita Falls on Friday. Saturday and Sunday we’ll be at Old Settlers Festival right outside of Austin. If you want the full details go here. That will take you to the Shinyribs show page.
Our new album Okra Candy is coming out this week. We should have physical copies this weekend and it is available online on the 21st.
The above New York Times article is the best review I’ve seen yet of Brian Wilson’s new album, No Pier Pressure, based on what I have heard of the record so far. All of the other reviews I have read have been either completely shallow, or seem to not be interpreting it correctly given his discography. I am still forming my thoughts about the record and will write about it more at some point. In the meantime I think that this is a good place to start reading about the album if you are interested in it.
The new Brian Wilson album, No Pier Pressure, is out. I can’t wait to hear it. I am a Brian Wilson and Beach Boys fanatic. This is a new song off of the album, Sail Away, featuring old Beach Boys Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin. (Blondie Chaplin was a Beach Boy in the 70’s and has played with everyone, including the Rolling Stones.) I’m so happy Brian Wilson is making new music.