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Wednesday, Apr 21, 2010
by PopMatters Staff

Jennifer Davis will be appearing on WNYC’s Soundcheck program today at 2.00pm EST alongside the legendary Specials discussing the history of ska. Last year she penned “The Ska Will Go On” for PopMatters where she claimed, “ska never died… it merely sank back underground to the grimy clubs from whence it sprang, while the genre’s biggest stars took time to rest, regroup, and strategize their comebacks.”


Here’s the description of the planned Soundcheck program: “Ska started as a politically volatile offshoot of reggae in the 1960s. It returned in the Thatcher-era England of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s with seminal bands like the Specials and the English Beat. And it has resurfaced in the songs of groups like the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Now, as the Specials and the English Beat embark on major tours of the U.S., we look at the roots of the genre and find out where it’s traveled. Our guests include two original members of the Specials and Jennifer Davis, a journalist who covered the history of ska for PopMatters.com.”


You can listen to the program online here.


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Tuesday, Apr 20, 2010

Seminal 1980’s cow punk rockers Jason and the Scorchers are back with their first batch of original music since 1996. The CD is Halcyon Days. The single featured here is “Moonshine Guy”. Highlight lyric: “He yells and he roars / Loves the Stones, hates the Doors / Thinks the Beatles sing for girls / He’s a moonshine guy in a six pack world.”



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Friday, Apr 16, 2010

This Saturday, April 17, is Record Store Day, which is self-explanatory enough. To lure consumers away from iTunes and into stores to buy CDs and maybe even vinyl, indie retailers—provided you can still find one where you live—are offering loads of interesting one-offs and reissues, along with in-store performances by some heavyweight acts. The list of bands participating is pretty impressive, from Against Me! at Plan 9 Music in Richmond, VA, Drive-By Truckers at Harvest Records in Asheville, NC, and Yo La Tengo at Rhino Records in Claremont, CA. The official Record Store Day website has more information on special offers and live performances. And if it doesn’t seem too counterintuitive to you, you can hear a couple of exclusive Record Store Day tracks from Beach House streaming online, courtesy of Sub Pop.


  Beach House - The Arrangement by subpop


  Beach House - Zebra (UK Radio Edit) by subpop


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Thursday, Apr 8, 2010

Longtime fans of Everything But the Girl (meaning those who date back to Love Not Money and Eden, not just “Missing”) will be excited to hear that Tracey Thorn is back with a new full-length album in May 2010. The first single, “Oh, the Divorces!” will feature a cover of Vampire Weekend’s “Taxi Cab” as a B-side, not to mention some truly inspired cover art. Go to traceythorn.com for more information.



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Monday, Apr 5, 2010

The Hold Steady
Heaven Is Whenever
(Vagrant)
Releasing: 4 May


The Hold Steady have been dropping pre-release tracks from their forthcoming album, Heaven Is Whenever, like they’re going out of style, offering up three new songs as exclusive premieres on various online sites. The album is among the most anticipated of the spring, especially since the band has been trumpeting a change in direction this time around from its thinking man’s bar-rock anthems to something “sonically more diverse”, as guitarist Tad Kubler puts it. Don’t know if any of the three leaked numbers stray too far from the Hold Steady’s consistently winning formula, but we’ll find out soon enough when Heaven Is Whenever comes out in May.


SONG LIST
01 The Sweet Part of the City
02 Soft in the Center
03 The Weekenders
04 The Smidge
05 Rock Problems
06 We Can Get Together
07 Hurricane J
08 Barely Breathing
09 Our Whole Lives
10 A Slight Discomfort


Tagged as: the hold steady
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