Welcome to the BroBible New Music Round-Up, where we see what new music has been released this week and couldn’t be more on board with Ja Rule saying he wants to take another crack at doing a FYRE Fest. For updates follow me on Twitter for more: @ryanoconnell79
For a glimpse into the not-so-distant future, check out our rundown of some of the music releases we are most looking forward to in 2019.
Ryan Bingham American Love Song
Bingham strode into the dusty saloon that is our daily lives back in 2009 when he his song “The Weary Kind” appeared in the Jeff Bridges movie Crazy Heart. The song went on to win an Oscar, a Grammy and a Golden Globe, which by my tally is pretty, pretty good. In the years since he has established himself as one of country music’s all stars. He has made a career for himself, writing bluesy, haunting country tunes; telling sad and somber stories, some of which pull from his own personal tragedies.
On American Love Song, like a good many of us, Bingham has found himself somewhat confused and at odds with our country’s current political landscape and wondering what exactly America means these days.
“This record is all about … these different pieces and moving parts of this country,” Bingham tells Rolling Stone Country. “It’s about growing up in all these different parts of America and experiencing all these different cultures … a bit of a love song and love story about getting through it all.”
Bingham calls out Trump and other politicians for “selling them lies” on “Situation Station” and on “Beautiful and Kind,” he looks at a country that is anything but that now. Based on his own experience, Bingham also addresses the so-called crisis at the border. Having lived on the banks of the Rio Grande, Bingham and friends dabbled in border-jumping back in the day and from the time, he knows what most of those people crossing into America are like (i.e. not thugs and criminals.)
“I’ve helped some of them come across the border, and that’s exactly what they are — a lot of women and kids down there just kinda looking for a better life,” he says. “It’s pretty heartbreaking to me to see how anybody would not take some of these people in and try to give them a fair shot.”
Pretty heartbreaking indeed.
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers “For Real”
For a man who is sadly no longer with us, Tom Petty has had a pretty busy week. First he “sent” flowers to Cardi B after her Grammy win last Sunday, which is just a real class move on his part. And then he capped off the week releasing “For Real,” one of two previously unreleased songs that are included in an upcoming Petty anthology album, The Best of Everything – The Definitive Career Spanning Hits Collection. The two disc set pulls from all three phases of Petty’s legendary and prolific career- from his early days with Mudcrutch to his time with the Heartbreakers and then his solo work.
With music currently dominated by streaming services that allow users to create their own playlists of artists, you’d have to think greatest hits projects like this one might be in the back nine and won’t be around much longer. Or they’ll pivot and find some way to make the idea of a retrospective more unique. Like maybe they could find a way to show someone close to Petty picking these songs and sequencing them, explaining why doing it in such a way helps tell Petty’s story.
With that being said, you can kill time before this anthology comes out on March 2nd by checking out my playlist of my 20 favorite Petty songs. I would also add that if you are a Petty fan and haven’t read Warren Zanes’ biography Petty, then you need to get on that. It’s one of the better rock biographies I’ve ever read.
Tedeschi Trucks Band Signs
Tedeschi Trucks Band has always felt as if they belonged in another time, as if their sound came from the 70’s, as opposed to this decade. Part of it is their style, their old school blending of southern rock and R&B, the Allman Brothers meets Muscle Shoals. Actually a big part of it is their style. Most of it is actually.
Either way, you get the point. Tedeschi Trucks Band are a throw back in the best possible way. On their new album Signs, their first since 2016’s Let Me Get By, the band sounds even more like 1970’s transplants, having recorded live to analog in Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks’ home studio, Swamp Raga, in Jacksonville. The result is a warm, down home album, drenched with emotion, passion and feelings.
Tragedy befell the band a couple times during recording, with Leon Russell and Col. Bruce Hampton, both mentors of the band, passing away. Trucks also lost his uncle, Butch Trucks, a founding member of The Allman Brothers Band.
“How their passing affected me,” Trucks told NPR recently, “was that there was the wanting to do it right and wanting to carry on whatever parts I learned from them that I could carry on. The music they made was of a special time and place. I’m never going to recapture that stuff, but I’ve certainly been able to take the lessons I learned from them.”
The band, all 12 of them, head out on tour this weekend.
Katy Petty & Zedd “365”
The song is fine. It is. Maybe it’s better than fine, but I’ll leave that up to someone else to decide. I’d rather talk about the video.
Picture an episode of Black Mirror, but like, a knock off episode of Black Mirror. That’s the video for “365.” Apparently Perry came up with the idea, which I can only imagine came to her one night after binging several episodes of Black Mirror and then thinking that she could do something like Black Mirror if given the chance and then the chance came along and poof, she was like, dudes, I got this. I will say this though, she plays a decent robot.
Oh and she almost kills Zedd. She doesn’t, but she comes close.
Florida Georgia Line Can’t Say I Ain’t Country
Let’s put it this way: if you call your album Can’t Say I Ain’t Country, you’re coming in with a chip on your shoulder. It’s like if I titled this column Can’t Say I Don’t Make Bad Jokes. You want to question my bread and butter, well then, you shall get a heaping serving of both of that bread and of that butter. This seems to be the case with this new Florida Georgia Line album. Sure, they gave the world “bro country,” but you can’t spell “bro country” without “country” and that’s what they’re looking to focus on these days. Yeah, they’ll still play “Cruise” for ya, but you’ll have to sit through at least a dozen of these new songs first.
This album is 19 songs long. 19! My dudes, yes, Drake is popular and someone we could all learn a thing or two from. But a takeaway from Drake should not be that albums should be as long as his.
Rest easy though, bros. If you’re worried that the duo are kicking that part of their past to the curb in 2019, you can ditch those fears.
“We’re ready to party even bigger in 2019,” Brian Kelley said in a statement earlier this year. “Lots of pyro, energy, and good vibes, with a few surprises up our sleeves. And we’re so glad to be bringing our buddies along for the ride!”
The ride in question is the Florida Georgia Line’s 2019 summer tour, which kicks off in Arkansas in early June. Dan + Shay will be joining them, among others.
“It’s going to be fire!” Tyler Hubbard said of the tour.
“I think you mean ‘it’s going to be lit,'” Ryan said, under his breath.
Actually, we might be saying ‘it’s fire’ now. Or actually, according to my trusty podcast partner Elyse, we’re just using the fire emoji now. Whatever. I can’t keep track of this nonsense. #imold
Offset “Red Room”
Holy shit! It might actually happen. I honestly don’t believe it.
Humph. I’ll believe it when I see it, Offset.
The “it” in question is the Offset solo album that was originally supposed to be released late last year, following up solo efforts by his Migos’ mates Quavo and Takeoff. “Red Room” even first appeared at the end of November, but quickly vanished off the face of the Earth. Offset’s relationship turmoil with Cardi B seemed to derail the project, as Offset was hit with allegations of cheating on the Grammy-winning rapper and then made a handful of ill-conceived attempts at winning her back. The couple appear to have reconciled though, as they were together at Sunday’s Grammys.
Stay classy, Offset.
So everyone is back together, everything is awesome and Offset’s solo album is expected to be released next week.
We’ll see. I’m not holding my breath and neither should you.
The Budos Band “Old Engine Oil”
Man, if you don’t know about The Budos Band, I’m sorry. These dudes rock. They’re whatever it is we’re saying these days, whether it’s “lit” or “fire” or the fire emoji or something else I don’t even know about, which is entirely possible. The New York band plays a fierce mixture of afro beat, soul and psychedelic rock. Think lots of horns, percussion and hypnotic guitar.
“Old Engine Oil” is the first song from their upcoming album, Budos Band V, which is due in April. It’s their first release since 2014’s Burnt Offering. That last album was somewhat of a departure for them, as they leaned more on guitars than horns. It’s still great. It was just a little different than what fans had been used to. Based on “Old Engine Oil,” it seems like the band is getting back to Budos’ basics, something that has been reinforced by the band’s comments upon the release of the new track, in which guitarist Tom Brenneck says that Budos Band V “feels like the truest representation of the band” and “has that rock element of Burnt Offering but we have less of something to prove.”
For more of an introduction to The Budos Band (if for some reason you need one,) check out this list of their ten best songs.
Holy Ghost! “Epton on Broadway (Part I & II)
Holy Ghost!, the synthpop duo from some place called Brooklyn, New York, have released their first new track from their upcoming album, which will be their first since signing with West End Records, the classic NYC disco label. It’s been a while since the duo dropped an album. Their last album came out in 2013, which (checks calendar, then stares off wistfully) was a while ago.
Jenny Lewis “Heads Gonna Roll”
This is the second track released from Lewis’ upcoming album On the Line, following “Red Bull & Hennessy,” which came out at the end of January. Lewis is backed by a gang of legends on the track. Ringo Starr is on drums, Don Was plays bass and Benmont Tench of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers mans the Hammond B3 organ.
On the Line comes out March 22nd.
Wyclef Jean “Demons Enjoy”
Hey, it’s Wyclef! That’s cool. I think?
Ah, either way, “Demons Enjoy” is a new Wyclef tune from his upcoming album Wyclef goes Back to School, which is slated to be released in March. The title is kind of the truth too. During his 2018 Carnival Tour, the former Fugee made pit stops at a slew of colleges, pit stops that led to collaborations with students from Howard, Temple, UCLA, NYC and more that will appear on Wyclef goes Back to School.
In addition to his new album, Wyclef is also working on an animated film for Netflix that will be based on the singer’s childhood in Haiti.
Elsewhere in Music…
Drake, You Spent How Much???
Our man Drake won himself a Grammy last Sunday night, but that well-deserved Grammy will soon be playing second fiddle to something else in his life. Rihanna? Please. He wishes.
No really. He does.
Drake recently threw down $400,000 for a custom iPhone case.
My thoughts exactly.
To be fair, this is not any normal, run-of-the-mill phone case. This thing is “18k white gold and features more than 80 carats of white and blue diamonds.” Not sure what that means or more importantly, looks like?
My case has an old My Little Pony sticker on it, courtesy of my daughter. Seems like I win this one, Drake.
This Week in What’s Kenny G Up To?
Gettin’ that paper. That’s what he’s doing.
Further Proof That We Are Living in the Dumbest Timeline
2020 Presidential Candidate and California Senator Kamala Harris stopped by the Breakfast Club on Monday to discuss a wide range of topics, all of which are interesting and noteworthy. Yet what became the main takeaway was that A) Harris copped to smoking weed back in the day and B) said she listened to Snoop and Tupac while doing so. At first glance, seems fine, right?
Now hold on for the second glance because upon second glance, something didn’t quite add up. You see, Harris graduated from college in 1986, which was when she say she smoked. Tupac’s first album didn’t come out until 1991 and Snoop’s didn’t come out until 1993. So yeah, something doesn’t add up and if you don’t believe me, Google “Kamala Harris Tupac.” If you’re brain doesn’t hurt afterwards, do it again. It definitely will the second time.
Your honor, if I could, I’d like to present Exhibit A as further proof that we are in fact living in the dumbest possible timeline imaginable:
Is the truth more complicated? Or is more likely that just like anyone who has smoked weed, the details get a little hazy after a while?
Either way, come on everyone. Aren’t there more important things to be talking about? Bryce Harper still hasn’t signed. That’s kind of nuts. Let’s talk about that, huh?
A Welcome Bit of Good News
One of the last big time American rock bands we have left don’t have any plans of calling it quits and for that we should be grateful. Like really grateful. Have you seen Greta Van Fleet? Good lord.
Speaking at an event on Tuesday, Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters talked about recent arm surgery he had, “paying the rent” for years of playing music. However, the surgery was also necessary because Grohl added that the Foos aren’t breaking up anytime soon.
“For the first twenty years of our band it was, let’s make another record and that’s probably going to do it. Let’s get one more in there and call it a day,” Grohl said. “Then it gets to the point to where I refer to it like imagine your grandparents getting a divorce. I’m sure it happens sometimes, but why? You can’t break up. Who even cares any more? Just go play shows.”
So we got that going for us, which is nice.
You Should Read That Ryan Adams’ Story
On Wednesday The New York Times published a truly gut-wrenching piece outlining Ryan Adams’ alleged history of emotionally abusing women, including his ex-wife Mandy Moore. According to the story, Adams promised to further his victim’s careers and then sabotaged when they rebuffed him or the relationships fell apart. It’s a tough read, but an important one.
And Let’s Just End Here
This trailer might have blown my mind.
See you next week!