Not much to say this month, between DJing and playing in Fruit Bats and Outer Embassy, I'm having my busiest summer yet. So, I'm going to let the music speak for itself for the most part instead of trying to explain why I like all this stuff.
The debut Steady Holiday album is finally out and it is already one of my favorites of the year, the songs not previously released show a softer, more sophisticated side that is quite charming. I hear some Francoise Hardy in there with all the other references I've made in the past. I've been going on about her music for a while now, so if you haven't heard this yet, get to it.
The Monkees have a new album out called Good Times! The single, Me & Magdalena, written by Ben Gibbard (a huge Monkees fan himself) and sung beautifully by Mike Nesmith and Mickey Dolenz is really good. Really.
The new single "Shut Up Kiss Me" by Angel Olsen is great too, plus, a sweet video that she directed with rollerskating and singing on top of cars. Always a good idea. I got to hang with her when we were both playing the Nelsonville Music Fest last month and she mentioned that one of my favorites, Seth Kauffman of Floating Action, played on her new record and helped to "dub it out" a bit. I can't wait to hear "My Woman" when it drops in September.
Imarhan's self titled record has been doing me so right as of late. Their Algerian desert grooves are so infectious, I'm pretty sure even folks that don't think they like "world music" would enjoy this. Heavy spins this month.
Sonny & The Sunsets "Moods Baby Moods" is also up there in heavy rotation. My favorite right now is "Check Out." Sonny's stories are always entertaining, and Merrill Garbus' production places them in an intriguing new context.
I met a musician from Nashville named James Wallace, who was playing with Andy C. Jenkins, while on tour last month. He made a pretty rad album back in 2013 called More Strange News from Another Star that is worth a listen. Keep an eye out for his new project, Skyway Man.
The legendary composer/arranger/producer extraordinaire, Allen Toussaint, recorded a final album before he died last November. He was one of my all time favorites, he made an enormous contribution to the New Orleans sound. There would be no Meters or Lee Dorsey records without him as far as I understand. Dude wrote "Yes We Can," that is some serious stuff. His last hurrah is a collection of standards, mostly instrumental piano tunes, but the last track is a cover of Paul Simon's "American Tune," it really moved me the first time I heard it. What a special man.
Lastly, Céu, a genre hopping Brazilian singer/songwriter, released an amazing album, Tropix, in March that is so super cool, I don't even want to describe it. As international musical boundaries continue to blur, this might be what the future of music sounds like.
That's all folks. Lots of good stuff this month, but I gotta get back to it. Thanks for listening! Oh, and here's me singing "Absolute Loser" with Eric and Fruit Bats at the Paste Studios last month.