Greg Graffin Announces Solo Album

Millport will be released March 10th, and it will probably be composed of more roots music.  The first single “Making Time” is now streaming.  He’d previously shared “Lincoln’s Funeral Train.” Continue reading

10 Songs for 4 years: A Playlist for a Trump Presidency.

Now, the polls have closed. Clinton won the popular vote, but Donald Trump received the majority of electoral votes. He will be our next president. Eight years of progress will be undone once Trump takes office in January. While I legitimately do hope that Trump is a good president, my better senses tell me he won’t be. Even though it seems that no good can come of all of this, some of my favorite music came out of anger for politicians. Here are some songs for a Trump presidency:

Green Day-“Holiday”


American Idiot has been in heavy rotation today. Even though the title track is often used as the marker for discontent, “Holiday” is easily the most political fueled track on the album. Billie Joe has recently been altering the lyrics to include “Pulverize the Donald Trump Towers,” and just as Green Day amplified a nation’s disgust in 2004, this song still rings true. Continue reading

Monday Mixtape: 10/3 (The Weeknd, Bon Iver, Nick Drake)

The Weeknd-“False Alarm”

Following an electric SNL performance, it seems The Weeknd’s Starboy will be one of the strongest in R&B this year.  It’s one of the fastest, heaviest loaded songs, creating a dark club track.

 

Bon Iver-“715-CRSSKS”

This haunting auto-tuned anthem has some of the heaviest emotions on all of Bon Iver’s latest release.  Justin Vernon lets the weight of the world fall on the listener as his vocals become more distorted and confusing until he’s shouting during the song’s outro.

 

Slaughter Beach, Dog-“Jobs”
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Painting an image of the fictitious Slaughter Beach’s thriving underbelly, this is one of the most varied pieces on Jake Ewald’s debut solo album.  It’s an infectious track with one of the best opening lines of the year.

 

Bad Religion-“Fuck Armageddon…This is Hell”

 

As debates have been recapped, we keep alluding to the end of the world with both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.  This is a fitting song for an election year, and for the fact that I’m seeing Bad Religion tomorrow night.

 

Brand New-“Limousine”

 

The Long Island hometown heroes have just announced that they will be playing this iconic album from front to back on their forthcoming tour with Modern Baseball and The Front Bottoms.  This is one of the best songs from Devil and God and sure to be explosive as always.

 

Diet Cig-“Harvard”

Speaking of The Front Bottoms, I’ve been reviewing their Champagne Jam lineup, and I’m always thrilled to see some of New Paltz’s finest on the list.  This punky, emotional jam is a must-listen from the duo.

 

Against Me!-“I Still Love You Julie”


Another prep for Tuesday night’s show-I have my fingers crossed to hear a couple classic Reinventing Axl Rose songs on Tuesday from Against Me!

 

Nick Drake-“Day is Done”

 

Nick Drake’s eerie folk tune is fitting for the rainy fall weather New York has seen this weekend.  As October rears its head, Nick Drake’s mournful folk is always suited to the occasion.

 

Against Me!-Shape Shift With Me

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During “ProVision L-3,” it seems like Against Me!’s seventh album will be a return to more hardcore punk roots albeit in a bland way.  Laura Jane Grace and company shatter that idea by the time Grace sings the opening lines of “12:03.”  Against Me! deliver a nice helping of heavy power-pop throughout Shape Shift With Me.  If Transgender Dysphoria Blues was a rebirth for the punk outfit, Shape Shift With Me is the band finding steady footing.

Transgender Dysphoria Blues set out for Laura Jane Grace to record her experience as coming out as a trans-woman, and Shape Shift With Me seems to show what Grace’s love life has been like since she came out.  She has songs that both show excitement for a new relationship (“12:03,” “Crash”) and others that show anger and grief (“Delicate, Petite & Other Things I’ll Never Be,” “Boyfriend”).  The melodic instrumentation is reminiscent of punk rock heavyweights like The Gaslight Anthem or Green Day.  Grace’s vocals still cut through everything making some of Against Me!’s most solid music and lyrics.

Laura Jane Grace sings some songs at a mile-a-minute.  Tracks like “12:03,” “333” and “Norse Truth” have moments where Laura’s speak-singing style crams in all the words she needs to say.  “Delicate, Petite & Other Things I’ll Never Be” is one of the most powerful moments on Shape Shift as it seems to see Grace tackling her gender dysphoria again as she had on Transgender Dysphoria Blues.  “Boyfriend” has Grace chastising a lover not to treat her like “some dumb fucking boyfriend,” and you can hear both the anger and lament in her voice.  Where most of the early cuts on the album are self-reflective and emotional, the latter tracks of the album take a more lustful approach.  “Rebecca” glorifies “just a good couple casual fucks” in a seemingly BDSM relationship, and “Dead Rats” seems to blur the lines between love and lust.

Shape Shift With Me only suffers from the lack of boundaries it pushes.  Against Me! have constantly been a band of reinvention, and Shape Shift With Me only succeeds in being a pretty great album.  It doesn’t tackle large issues like on Reinventing Axl Rose or Transgender Dysphoria Blues, but Grace’s explorations of personal relationships are still just as enjoyable.