Ryan Adams is a darling of the Americana music world. As frontman for pioneering alt-country band Whiskeytown, Ryan helped bring the genre into the mainstream and established himself as one of the standout artists of his time.
As a prolific solo artist, Adams continued to break barriers and explore his own life and experiences through his music. He has a long history of sharing his heartbreak, love, struggles, sobriety, emotional overwhelm and everyday joys with an authenticity that matches his I-am-who-I am personality.
His latest offering, Prisoner, sees Adams exploring his divorce from actress/singer Mandy Moore. As NPR reports:
“Prisoner in many ways feels like a retreat: to self-reflection, to primal emotions, and to a tense, rootsy rock sound that recalls the mid- to late-’80s work of Bruce Springsteen…More than anything, though, Prisoner has a welcome urgency to it: With their raw, vivid imagery of agony and isolation, these songs could only come from this time in his life. He’s not much for faking it — which, come to think of it, is itself a good way to carve out a nice, long career.”
Released on March 10th, 1972, Thick As A Brick was the fifth release for British rock band Jethro Tull.
After the success of Aqualung, frontman Ian Anderson decided to go with another concept album.
Though it was received to mixed reviews by the critics, Thick As a Brick reached the top of the charts and earned Jethro Tull another gold album.
On March 8, 1977 the British-American band Foreigner released its self-titled debut on Atlantic records.
With two top ten singles, “Feels Like The First Time” and “Cold As Ice,” Foreigner’s debut was a huge success. It stayed in the top 20 for a year after it’s release and is going on four times platinum.
On the strength of their singles Foreigner was a headlining arena rock band months after the release of the debut.
Several years ago, Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears played an in-store concert at Streetlight Santa Cruz. The band blew the audience away with its driving blend of soul, garage, rock, psych and punk.
Lewis and company just dropped the band’s fifth album, Backlash, the first since 2013’s Electric Slave.
The album sees the band doing what it does best: creating driving grooves full of gritty guitar, spot-on drums, catchy horns and Lewis’ skillful and catchy vocals.
As American Songwriter puts it:
“There’s occasional funk, as in the hip-swiveling “Global,” and even a six-minute psychedelic/jazzy ballad (“Maroon”) that closes the disc. But this is predominantly a rowdy, raucous, garage-punk album with nods to the wonderfully unhinged likes of Swamp Dogg, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and Andre Williams, who also mixed the wilder aspects of rock with a crazed soulful attack.
“If the frantic Black Keys-styled riffing “Shadow People” was slowed down, you’d even have a decent heavy metal track. It’s hard to make out what’s going on lyrically since Lewis’ wild-eyed vocals lash out like a rabid dog (and there are no printed words), but it really doesn’t matter. The appropriately titled Backlash is all about gritty attitude, pulsating groove and the kind of freewheeling, irreverent swagger that defines music’s most iconic figures.”
Sleater-Kinney has to be experienced live to be fully appreciated.
One of the original riot grrrl bands, as well as one of the pioneer bands of the Northwest indie-rock scene, the band rocks with the best of them, has a longtime commitment to social justice, and is a musical force that has influenced countless other bands.
In 2015, the band went on a comeback tour of sorts. Live in Paris is a showcase of that tour and the impressive trio of women behind the band.
“If there is one unifying thread among many of the songs that make the cut on Live in Paris, it’s not just that they’re late-era Sleater-Kinney highlights (five of the 13 songs come from No Cities to Love, four from 2005’s The Woods). From the post-recession terror of opening track “Price Tag” to the sly sendup of capitalist femininity on closing song “Modern Girl,” the tracklist emphasizes what Sleater-Kinney does best: playing not just with urgent feeling, but in service of immense meaning. Corin Tucker, Carrie Brownstein, and Janet Weiss came back swinging in 2015 as strongly as they ever had—a gift considering how rarely it happens in rock. Live in Paris is the victory lap leaving us wanting more.”
Here’s the tracklist from the album:
01. Price Tag
03. What’s Mine is Yours
04. A New Wave
05. Start Together
06. No Cities to Love
07. Surface Envy
08. I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone
09. Turn It On
12. Dig Me Out
13. Modern Girl
In February of 1992 Pantera released its sixth studio album, Vulgar Display of Power.
Though pretty deep in the band’s catalogue, Vulgar Display Of Power contains a handful of Pantera’s most memorable songs: “Mouth Of Love,” “This Love,” “Hollow,” “Walk,” and “A New Level.” “Walk” was a tribute to fans who felt that the band was losing their edge.
Vulgar Display Of Power was received extremely well upon release, and in 2011 it was ranked number 4 on Guitar World’s top 10 list of best guitar records of 1992.
The album has been praised by critics who argue that it is Dime Bag Darrell’s (RIP) finest guitar work and Phil Anselmo’s best vocals.
Released in the U.K. first and a U.S. release a month later Little Earthquakes is Tori Amos’ debut album.
Containing 5 singles, “Me and a Gun,” “Silent all These Years,” “China,” “Winter,” and “Crucify,” Little Earthquakes was received well by critics in both the U.S. and U.K.
In 2002 Amos’ debut album made the top 5 of greatest albums of all-time by a female artist.
Here is a popular cut available on the deluxe edition of Little Earthquakes: