First, a confession: I’ve never really understood the collective mourning when most artists die. Not to sound callous, but what exactly am I supposed to be mourning? I don’t personally know the artist in question. In the vast majority of the cases, said artist stopped making music that mattered to me years before his or her death. The actual act of passing does absolutely nothing to change my relationship to the artist. Bowie’s Station to Station sounds every bit as good as it did two years ago or 20 years ago.
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Town Mountain‘s new album, Southern Crescent, released on April 1st via Todd Snider’s new record label, Lo Hi. We previously featured this IBMA Award winning band just prior to the release of Leave the Bottle. When we talked for this podcast at Revelator Coffee in Nashville during AmericanaFest, the band had not publicly announced the album and were shopping it around. Southern Crescent reflects the band’s loose, dance-able music, more reflective of their festival and club sets that a staid performing arts center straight-bluegrass set. I’m not sure if the Southern Crescent still runs from Atlanta to Boston like my relatives talked about taking to go “visit culture” in the Northeast, but I’m fairly sure it still runs down to New Orleans, where a more exhilarating culture has endured—an apt analogy for this album.
Amidst meeting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the surprise SNL appearance anchoring the performance of one of music’s ascendant stars, and taking his mainstream erotica soundtrack to the Oscars, one recent event has stood out as indicative of the Weeknd’s incredible metamorphosis from blog darling to ubiquity: a change in real estate. In a February Los Angeles Times article, it was revealed that the Weeknd, born Abel Tesfaye, no longer made his residence in Toronto, but instead lived in an LA condo. Having not left Toronto for virtually all of his first 21 years, the city can lay claim to birthing one of the greatest trilogies in music, and moving away signifies that era has ended. Now, this certainly isn’t surprising given his status, but instead makes this retrospective all the more necessary, as five years ago today, the Weeknd released his debut mixtape, House of Balloons.
Golden Eels popped onto my feed because of our mutual music preferences on Bandcamp. Their songwriter, Neil Golden, has played on records for several Athens, Georgia bands, ranging from the Elephant 6 legends, Elf Power to the Glands and Country Fried Rock alumni Shonna Tucker and Eye Candy. Periscopes in the Air leans toward the psychedelic pop sounds of Golden’s earlier collaborations, yielding a completely DIY record that suits long commutes and pleasant workday distractions.
On 6 April 1966, nearly 50 years ago, the Beatles entered Abbey Road Studios in London and began recording a musical masterpiece. Revolver would be released on 5 August of that year, and would mark the moment the Beatles leaped forward from a tight and professional rock band to, perhaps, the most influential studio artists in rock ‘n’ roll history.