Monthly Archives: September 2018


Click here to listen to Paul Collins’ new track “In and Out of My Head” via Billboard!

Power Pop Legend Paul Collins Returns With ‘In And Out Of My Head’: Premiere
by Gary Graff

Even in his early sixties, Paul Collins is happy to try some new tricks — and revisit some old ones.

The power pop veteran’s new album Out Of My Head — whose opening track “In And Out Of My Head” premieres below — is full of adventures. It was recorded as the “guinea pig” for a friend’s new studio in Brooklyn. It features Collins playing all the drums, as well as guitar, for the first time since his days in the Nerves during the mid-70s. And it finds Collins newly opened to including others’ songs — [Click here to read more]




Click here to check out Dirty Streets’ new music video “Dream” via The Big Takeover Magazine

Video Premiere: “Dream” by Dirty Streets
Hailing from Memphis, Tennessee, a hub of historical soul and blues that crafted much of the world’s modern music, Dirty Streets have spent years on the road and in the studio forging their own style. They’ve moved from DIY, independent recordings to ambitiously self-produced studio ventures over the course of five albums.

Their latest, fifth LP Distractions, is an explosively charged follow-up to their acclaimed 2015 release White Horse, and contains a unique style of heavy, soulful, and sometimes psychedelic rock. Recorded at the historic Sam Phillips Recording studio in Memphis, the album pushes the sonic palette of the band to the next level with an eclectic mix of songs.

Drawing from influences that span from the bluesy twang of Howlin’ Wolf and Wilson Pickett, to the heady expansiveness of Hendrix and Donovan, Distractions lives in its own time and place. The album was recorded live in the studio by Matt Qualls and Wesley Graham in the room where the raw and explosive energy of the Yardbirds’ iconic “Train Kept a Rollin’” was originally put to tape. This album continues the tradition.

The Big Takeover is pleased to host the premiere of the video for “Dreams”, a more laid-back track off the album that reverberates with bluesy guitar licks, shaking rhythms, and gently winding vocals. The riverside-located video features frontman Justin Toland strolling the banks at dusk, playing the guitar. He’s sporadically joined by his percussion-providing bandmates on the chorus sections before he passes by a group at a campfire, and then finally walks into the rippling waters…

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Click here to check out Handsome Jack’s new “Keep On” video

VIDEO PREMIERE: Handsome Jack “KEEP ON” by Benjamin Ricci

Performer is excited to premiere the brand-new video for “Keep On” from Lockport, NY boogie-soul band Handsome Jack.

Here’s what Handsome Jack frontman Jamison Passuite has to say about “Keep On” — and be sure to scroll down for upcoming tour dates!

“‘Keep On’ is about how it’s easy to feel like you’re living on the margins of society being in a traveling band while also serving as a reminder to ourselves that you can’t let anything get in the way of doing what you love. The concept, production, directing and filming for the video was all done by our friend Nate Chateaux. We wanted the video to have a fun vibe and I think you can tell we all had a blast making it. It was filmed on one of the hottest days of the year and believe me, we were working up a good sweat in those jumpsuits!”

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Nitzer Ebb reunite, announce retrospective box set through Pylon Records
1982-2010 will collect the band’s first five Mute albums, along with rarities and remixes.

British EBM band Nitzer Ebb are returning with a retrospective box set and new live shows.

The influential group has been on hiatus since 2010, but this week announced that at 2019’s Amphi Festival in Cologne next July, core duo Douglas McCarthy and Bon Harris will reunite for a live show with all four founding members. It’ll be the first time they’ve all played together since 1987.

Coming sooner, in October, is a new box set through Pylon Records collecting the band’s five albums that were originally released through Mute and Geffen. Titled 1982-2010, it features each album expanded to double-vinyl format with bonus tracks and extended mixes, all remastered.

A limited-edition version of the box set, pictured below, will also include the group’s self-released 1983 album Basic Pain Procedure. The regular release will include empty slots meant for Basic Pain Procedure and the duo’s latest LP, Industrial Complex from 2010, both of which are currently in print and widely available.

1982-2010 boasts a book with liner notes from McCarthy and Harris, plus photos, flyers and other artwork detailing the group’s progression. The box set marks the first time these records have been reissued on vinyl.

Listen to the group’s 1987 classic “Join In The Chant.”

For the full tracklist and details, check out the Pylon Records website.
Pylon Records will release Nitzer Ebb: 1982-2010 on October 5th, 2018.


Click here to check out Handsome Jack’s new single “Got It Bad” via MXDWN

mxdwn PREMIERE: Handsome Jack Have “Got It Bad” In Bittersweet New Ballad

Sometimes all you really need when you’re down about a failing relationship is a straightforward heartbreak song. “Got It Bad” by Handsome Jack, which we have the pleasure of premiering today, is just that sort of remedy. It’s yearning instrumentals and from-the-heart lyrics are all about the bittersweet feeling of being in a dysfunctional relationship and turning a blind eye because as they say, you’ve just “got it bad.”

Upstate New York band Handsome Jack will be releasing Everything’s Gonna Be Alright on October 19, 2018. “Got It Bad” is the last song on the record and makes for a quiet complement to the more boogie-ing, funky-Southern-soul inspired moments heard on earlier tracks.

“In ‘Got It Bad’ I’m recalling a memory that I think a lot of people can relate to,” said guitarist/vocalist Jamison Passuite.”When you’re in love and things just aren’t working out, you can turn a blind eye to that reality. The story at the beginning draws you in and the horns at the end really drive home a powerful bittersweet feeling.”

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Click here to check out Ampline’s new “Shrunken Heads” music video via Immersive Atlanta


It’s tempting to say that Ampline defy expectations for indie rock, but it’s more accurate that their bombastic music simply doesn’t give the listener time to think about categorization or genre. On their punchy new single “Shrunken Heads,” the Cincinnati punks seem hell-bent on mainlining inscrutable lyrics, good vibes, and heavy beats (pretty much what they’ve been doing for the past 17 years).

Clocking in at just under a minute, the meaty jam that doesn’t last nearly long enough, but somehow it finds the time to include a historical epic. According to guitarist Mike Montgomery, the track centers around a “fictional 15th century sea voyage, loosely based on the exploits of Magellan who was forced to leave his country and explore the unknown under a foreign flag. In our story, which parallels his, our captain encounters new peoples, sights terrifying creatures, finds God and loses his humanity.”

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Click here to listen to Ian Fisher’s new track “Icarus” via Atwood Magazine

ATWOOD MAGAZINE (music site) – “Icarus” song premiere
Ian Fisher sings with a voice that has seen the world, so it’s no wonder his new song “Icarus” challenges American Folk as we know it.
For fans of Gregory Alan Isakov and Damien Rice

Greek mythology has a tendency to pose a Catch-22 for artists searching for a metaphor: The tradeoff is a near universal understanding of a story, for the cost of being compared to every other song, poem, or film that shares that tale. Fortunately for Ian Fisher, his latest single “Icarus” certainly does the ancient figure justice. Melancholy keys trace Fisher’s crooning to create an intimate song that sounds like he’s right in the room with you.

somewhere there’s gotta be someone
holding out a line that can pull me in
from the reckless abandon of flying
too close to the sun playing icarus
somewhere there’s gotta be someway
for me to finally give in
and let myself love someone else again
Listen: “Icarus” – Ian Fisher

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Click here to listen to power-pop legend Paul Collins’ new single “Go” via Magnet Magazine

Paul Collins was one of the pioneers of American power pop, playing with bands such as the Nerves (“Hanging On The Telephone,” later made famous by Blondie and covered by Def Leppard and Cat Power), the Beat and the Breakaways (both bands recorded the Collins-penned “Walking Out On Love,” later part of Green Day’s American Idiot Broadway musical). For much, much more on the history of American power pop, kids, check out our exhaustive 2002 cover story on the subject, featuring Big Star, Cheap Trick, Matthew Sweet, the Posies and many more

Collins returns September 28 with Out Of My Head (Alive Naturalsound), an album that recalls nothing if not the reverb-heavy rock ‘n’ roll he helped to perfect in the late ’70s. A multi-instrumentalist (he played drums in the Nerves before switching to guitar when that band broke up), Collins does most of it himself on Out Of My Head, with Paul Stingo (Rockinghams) contributing bass and harmonies.

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Click here to watch Paul Collins’ new video “Killer Inside” via PopMatters

Paul Collins Addresses the “Killer Inside” Ahead of New Album, ‘Out of My Head’ (premiere + interview)
Photo: Joy Whalen

Power pop master Paul Collins finds a new creative foil for masterful collection that celebrates his signature sound while sounding thoroughly contemporary.
Paul Collins returns with Out of My Head, a predictably impactful collection of songs cut from the power pop cloth Collins has been working with since the late 1970s. As a member of the Nerves, he was one-third of a magnificent outfit that also housed Jack Lee and Peter Case, themselves among pop songwriting’s elite. Launching his solo career in 1979, Collins has gone on to release a series of memorable recordings under the name Paul Collins or, sometimes, Paul Collins’ Beat.

For his latest, he plays all the drums, most of the guitars and, of course, sings. He is joined by fellow writer and musician, Paul Stingo throughout. Additionally, Stingo wrote a number of tracks which wound up on the record, which serves as a masterclass in the art of the catchy, to-the-point, affecting pop song. Out of My Head arrives on limited edition vinyl, CD, digital and streaming formats on 28 September via Alive Naturalsound Records. (Find out more about purchasing the album, including the limited edition vinyl.)

Collins has also just issued a new video for “Killer Inside”, culled from Out of My Head. With a perfectly melodic bassline, ace drum cracks and a lyric that’s unforgettable, the tune is a perfect precursor to a record that seems destined to go down as one of Collins’ best.

Collins’ will also release his memoirs in early 2019.

Collins recently spoke to PopMatters about songwriting, collaboration and the painful moments when songs seem in short supply.

When did you know you were going to make this record?

A friend of mine, Tony Leventhal, built his own studio, a really high-end one. He said, “I need somebody to figure out how to use this stuff. Do you want to do it?” I said yes.

What happened from there?

I like working with at least one musical partner who I can bounce Ideas off. That’s why the relationship between me and Steve Huff back in the early days was so great. I had a foil who could take an idea of mine and add to it so that the two things together are better than the one idea by itself. With Jack Lee and Peter Case in the Nerves, I was really more of a student of theirs. They really knew what they were doing. I was just there to learn. By the time I worked with Steve I was a better writer, but if I couldn’t get something past him, I figured it wasn’t good enough. He kept me honest.

It had been a long time since I found somebody I could work with in that way where I was comfortable enough and trusted their musical taste enough to put myself on the line with them. Then I met Paul Stingo. I was initially working with him at a time when I was working with a lot of different musicians. I was touring a lot, and the first job at hand for anyone coming into the band was to learn all my material. That wasn’t a creative process. That was just copying what had been done.

I wanted to work with somebody and be able to say to them, “Here’s a new song. There are no parts written for this. What’re we going to do?” That’s usually where things would fall apart. I was really looking for someone who had the same kind of creative influences I did and who could come up with parts. The songs I play really depend on cool parts.

Paul writes songs as well.

I was trepidatious about that because I’m so picky. I wasn’t going to do a song just out of obligation. When he presented me with his songs, it took me a minute to digest them, but I said, “Wow, this is really good stuff.” From there, we’d get together, weed out the songs that weren’t up to snuff. We want to end up with 10-12 really good songs. They can all be ballads. Twelve great ballads are better than 12 lousy rockers.

Is there something on the record that you think best spotlights your working relationship?

The last track, “Beautiful Eyes”, which is a song that’s been kicking around since the ’90s. It was written by a friend of my family, Neal Grossman, who was a poet. I’ve done a few things where he supplied the lyrics, and I wrote the music. When Paul and I recorded it we put strings on it; we put other guitars on it, we really layered things. Then we’d go to mix it, and I’d think, “There’s something wrong. It’s too big, too pretentious.” In the end, I said, “Just put up the guitar, the bass and the vocal.” What you don’t use is almost as important as what you do use.

You have a considerable body of work behind you at this point. How careful are you about not repeating yourself?

I don’t have a formula. I only know how to write a good song. That’s a very elusive thing. Sometimes, when I sit down with a guitar, my fingers will feel like baseball mitts. I wind up saying, “I’ve written tons of songs, but I don’t know anything I can play.” If I had a formula it would be way too tempting to knock out “Rock ‘N Roll Girl” and “Don’t Wait Up” ad infinitum. Or ad nauseum. Those are great songs but impossible for me to duplicate. I still work with the same five, seven, eight chords that I’ve worked with since I first started learning how to play. The combinations are endless, the melodies you can put on top of them are endless, the quest of writing a great song is so alluring to me and so great and so satisfying.

You can get into a zone where you think everything you do is genius. Eventually, you have to step back and say, “About 90 percent of that stuff stinks.” That’s the hardest thing for me to do, which is why I like having a collaborator.

Do you go through things on a micro level?   Click here to read more…


Click here to listen to Ian Fisher’s “Idle Hands” album in its entirety via Ghettoblaster Magazine

Album Stream: Ian Fisher, “Idle Hands”

Today, Ghettoblaster has the pleasure of premiering Ian Fisher’s new album “Idle Hands.” This is what Fisher had to say about it:

“I just wanted to make the best album I could and I feel like I did that. I borrowed from a lot of the styles that inspire me and mixed in my roots as a folk songwriter to create a record that I’m deeply proud of. I’d like to thank all of my friends who helped make this album what it is. I definitely wasn’t alone and this wouldn’t have happened without them. It was a long process. It consumed the last year and a half of my life. Now it’s time to give it to the world and let it take on a life of its own.”


Click here to check out Dirty Streets’ new title track “Distractions” via All Music

Song Premiere: Dirty Streets, “Distractions”
By Chris Steffen
Hard-boogieing Memphis trio Dirty Streets delivers a scathing indictment of our perpetual state of overstimulation on the title track from the band’s upcoming album, Distractions. “We are all like fattened princes who want fulfillment but can’t get past gluttony,” frontman Justin Toland wrote of the track, which ends up being a pretty good blues-rocking time despite its lyrical concerns. Distractions is due out September 14.

Photo by Bob Bayne

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