Kristine England

Jun 30, 2022

Frank Zappa

INDISPENSABLE NEW MUSIC PICKS

June 2022

Kristine England

June 30, 2022

Frank Zappa

Zappa/Erie

Zappa freaks can rejoice! In the unlikely event they feel Frank didn’t release enough music, they can listen to three complete Mothers’ shows from the early to the mid-70s. The band performed songs from Freak Out, One Size Fits All, Bongo Fury, Apostrophe, and beyond. This is one of my top 5 favorite songs by the great man.

"Stink-Foot"

Wire

Not About to Die

The release of Wire’s debut album, Pink Flag, ushered in the era of post-punk and influenced countless bands (Sonic Youth, Joy Division, Elastica, the Feelies, REM, The Minutemen -- and the list goes on and on). The band changed direction for its follow-up album, Chairs Missing, but a series of tapes recorded during the intervening years made the rounds for years.  Now the band is issuing the bootleg officially under Not About to Die which offers a hint of the evolution that occurred between the records.

"Stepping Off Too Quick (Not About To Die)"

Patty Griffin

Tape

Patty Griffin first hooked up with Robert Plant (both musically and romantically) when she was invited to join Band of Joy. Included on her latest release, Tape, the featured track is one of their musical pairings.  After nine studio recordings, Griffin has spent some time curating her past work, digging through old demo tapes, and choosing 10 of these tracks to share with fans.

"Don't Mind" (feat. Robert Plant)

Bryan Senti

Manu

Every genre appears to have a post or neo subgenre these days, and classical music is no exception. Bryan Senti has released his first post-classical record, Manu, which combines traditional with indigenous folk from Latin America, celebrating the music of his parents’ native Colombia and Cuba. Creating less formally-structured compositions, the record showcases a string ensemble with Senti on lead violin.

"Manu"

LIFE

North East Coastal Town

As a love letter to the group’s hometown of Hull, UK, LIFE recorded with instruments acquired within a 40-mile radius of their birthplace for its third album, North East Coastal Town. Serving up some post-punk rock (they were probably influenced by Wire too and very likely the Fall as well), the group considers this record an ode to the place that “runs through our DNA and has shaped us, weathered us, empowered us, embraced us and made us feel accepted.”

"Big Moon Lake"

Hollie Cook

Happy Hour

A member of the reformed punk-reggae band, the Slits, Hollie Cook has an interesting musical pedigree. Daughter of Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook and mother Jeni sang with Culture Club (Boy George is her godfather). On her fourth album, Cook continues as a purveyor of Lovers Rock, a reggae sub-genre less concerned with rasta politics and more interested in, you guessed it, love.

"Happy Hour"

Mt. Joy

Orange Blood

Another band that put the pandemic touring lull to good use, psychedelic folk band Mt. Joy crafted its third album Orange Blood uncertain times. The contemplative title track was inspired by a trip to the Joshua Tree National Park, celebrating the desert sunset and living for the moment, or as the band puts it, tapping “into our subconscious and just sit still on this beautiful planet and be present.”

"Orange Blood"

Tim Bernardes

Mil Coisas Invisíveis

Brazilian singer-songwriter Tim Bernardes, who has collaborated with Gal Costa, Fleet Foxes, om Zé and David Byrne, offers a stripped-down, folky record with Mil Coisas Invisíveis. He plays most of the instruments himself, including guitar, bass, keyboards, and percussion, while also arranging the horns and strings. Pitchfork notes, ”Despite the abundance of textures, the production is delicate, precise, and meticulously arranged.”

"​​Nascer, Viver, Morrer"