Earlier this week Pearl Jam announced that they’d be releasing their eleventh album, Gigaton, on March 27th. A new Pearl Jam record is a long time coming. Their last album was 2013’s Lightning Bolt. In addition to the new album, the album will be on tour throughout March and April.
To celebrate the news, this week’s playlist is 45 of Pearl Jam.
[protected-iframe id=”26a7bfd71a00f2f01d94304411593d77-97886205-24270677″ info=”https://open.spotify.com/embed/playlist/70S6TLc8nJ6aqoBEyl3mOK” width=”300″ height=”380″ frameborder=”0″]
This Week’s Releases
Eminem Music to Be Murdered By
If you thought the biggest surprise you’d be waking up to on Friday morning was that yet another Major League Baseball manager had been fired, you are sorely mistaken. Once again, Eminem has come out and dropped a surprise album. Eminem’s last album, 2018’s Kamikaze, was also released without any advance notice.
Although to be fair, there have been rumors of a new Eminem album since the summer of 2019. Those rumors got started when 50 Cent said that “Eminem sent me a record now, he working now. He got some things, man. We’re doing it now.”
I’m not sure we’d consider them rumors actually. That kind of feels like reporting courtesy of 50 Cent.
Eminem announced the album on Instagram, saying “it’s your funeral.” He later added on Twitter that the album’s cover was inspired by Alfred Hitchcock.
The new album, which once again features production from Dr. Dre, includes guest appearances by Q-Tip, Ed Sheeran, Black Thought, Young M.A., Black Thought and the late Juice WRLD.
Along with the album, Eminem dropped the video for “Darkness,” which starts off as a meditation on loneliness before eventually transitioning into tackling the mass shooting in Las Vegas in 2017. The clip concludes with the message, “When will this end? When enough people care. Register to vote at Vote.gov. Make your voice heard and help change gun laws in America.”
On the album, Eminem also references his feud with rapper Machine Gun Kelly, the 2017 bombing at an Ariana Grande concert and shots he had taken at Earl Sweatshirt and Tyler the Creator on Kamikaze.
Green Day “Oh Yeah!”
Since announcing their upcoming album Father of All… Green Day had come out swinging.
The album’s first two singles were loud, fast and seemed to signal that the band wasn’t messing around. I’m not saying that their new album had to be huge, but I am implying that they’re at the point in their career where at least some semblance of success would certainly help when it comes to staying relevant.
“Oh Yeah!,” the latest song to come from Father of All… is a slight step down for them in terms of action-packed songs. It has an eighties’ vibe to it, which I guess is cool.
The song samples Joat Jett’s cover of Gary Glitter’s “Do You Wanna Touch Me? (Oh Yeah)” and because of that, the band is donating royalties from the song to the International Justice Mission, which is focused on enforcing human rights and The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.
If you’re wondering why those two organizations, I would suggest that you Google Gary Glitter and get back to me.
Father of All… comes out on February 7 and next summer the band will be part of The Hella Mega Tour with Fall Out Boy and Weezer.
G. Love The Juice
It still sounds like G. Love.
The production might be a little glossier and some of that initial shine might have worn off over time but the bones are still there. There’s still G. Love’s laid back vocals, an easy drawl that goes back and forth between white boy rap and white boy blues.
On the new album, his first since 2015’s Love Saves The Day, G. Love gets a little political. Not super political, but a little political. Let’s just say that he grazes the bow of politics and social issues. The album’s first single, “Go Crazy” is a call for action featuring blues legend Keb’ Mo.
“We’ve got the cure for all of your pent-up frustration. ‘Go Crazy’ is a party jam for our troubled times,” says G. Love (a.k.a: Garrett Dutton). “With so much bad news on the news every day, we have to work hard not to get swept away into a downward spiral of negative anxiety.”
Keb’ Mo appears on a couple tracks on the new album, as do Marcus King, Robert Randolph, and Roosevelt Collier.
New Jersey indie-rockers Pinegrove are finally ready to take the next step. They looked to be on their way to doing so a couple years ago, but that was put on hold after the band’s lead singer faced accusations of sexual coercion that resulted in the band taking a break for a year.
There is something honest and pure about Pinegrove’s sound, a rich, harmony-heavy take on Americana and they continue to expand that sound on Marigold. The first single they released from the album, “Phase,” was especially exciting as it packed more of a punch than nearly anything they had released before.
That feeling of innocence in the band’s music only made the allegations against Hall that much more surprising. A recent piece in The New Yorker tackles that very idea and according to Stereogum, seems like “an attempt to wrestle with the idea that a beloved musician might not be as sensitive as the person he portrays in his music.”
How any artist responds to a scandal is always interesting and this is especially the case with Pinegrove, a band that has made honesty a hallmark of their sound.
Pinegrove heads out on tour later this month.
Marcus King El Dorado
If you are even casually interested in what’s going on in the jam band circuit then you’ve heard of young Marcus King. The long-haired fella with the infectious smile and old school guitar playing seems to pop up everywhere. He has even appeared in this column already, having contributed to G. Love’s new album.
But now it’s his time to take center stage thanks to his new album El Dorado, which was produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys. King is a longtime fan of Auerbach’s, but the feeling was mutual, with Auerbach recently saying that “It’s staggering how good he is, how crazy-good his vocals are, how he can go anywhere on guitar.”
King is an old soul and his music reflects that. His sound is vintage Muscle Shoals bluesy soul and it’s a sound he doesn’t stray from on El Dorado. Auerbach encouraged him to pursue that sound even further, bringing him to his Nashville studio to record.
“I think it was really nice for him to get into the studio and let his guard down, mix it up with some different musicians,” says Auerbach. “We wrote as many songs as we possibly could and just let the cream rise to the top.”
King has a slew of tour dates already in the books for 2020, including shows opening for Chris Stapleton.
Long Beach Dub Allstars “Tell Me”
Long Beach Dub Allstars came together after Sublime’s Bradley Nowell passed away, the band had broken through with their self-titled album and surviving members Eric Wilson and Bud Gaugh were looking for something new.
Fast forward to 2012 and the band (minus Wilson and Gaugh) reunited and are now set to release their first new album in almost twenty years later this year. “Tell Me” is the first glimpse of the band’s new material.
The Allstars, now led by Marshall Goodman, who was Sublime’s original drummer and co-founder, said the new album pulls generously from lessons learned from the Sublime days.
“Our approach to making music stems back to the Sublime days. When we were writing ‘40oz to Freedom’ we were very experimental but at the same time we were diligent, understood what we wanted to do, and had the skill sets to do it. When making the self-titled Sublime record, we brought a more solid approach to making music that emphasized understanding what we wanted to do and our skills to get it done. Similarly, the new Long Beach Dub Allstars record carried this approach forward and inspired us to make a solid ‘Studio One’ style album.”
Fun fact about Marshall Goodman? He’s the mayor of La Palma, California.
Long Beach Dub Allstars’ new album comes out later this year.
Elsewhere in Music…
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Does Okay. Just Okay.
Earlier this week The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced it’s class for 2020. The Notorious B.I.G., Nine Inch Nails, Whitney Houston, Depeche Mode, T. Rex, and The Doobie Brothers are all set to be inducted into the hall when the ceremony is held in May.
Houston has been in the running to get in since 2010, so it’s about damn time one of the greatest singers got in.
However, this being the Internet, we’d be remiss to not mention those folks that didn’t get in, specifically Dave Matthews Band and Soundgarden.
Dave Matthews Band won the fan vote, but will still have to wait another year. Other artists who failed to get in this year include Motörhead, Kraftwerk, Judas Priest, Thin Lizzy, and Todd Rundgren.
How exactly does one get inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame you might be wondering? Well, “a committee of 1,000 artists, historians, and music industry members, as well as a fan vote, determined next year’s Rock Hall class. In order to be eligible, a nominee’s first recording must have been released at least 25 years ago.”
The ceremony is May 2nd and will air live on HBO.
Next Up: Governors Ball 2020
Okay, so we have the Coachella lineup, the Bonnaroo lineup and a handful of other festival lineups. Now we have the lineup for Governors Ball. We’re almost there everyone!
As for how these things usually go, there’s not a lot of difference between the New York festival lineups and other festival lineups. Tame Impala, Missy Elliot, Flume and Vampire Weekend are headlining. Other performers include Miley Cyrus, Stevie Nicks, Solange, Portugal .The Man, Pinegrove, Foals, Of Monsters and Men and more.
Overall, I’d give the lineup a solid:
New for this year at Gov Ball is an age policy in which anyone under 18 must attend with someone 21 or older.
Hey, The Raconteurs Effin’ Rock
[protected-iframe id=”bf3ae5a75a1212d099576bde63b83eac-97886205-24270677″ info=”https://player.pbs.org/viralplayer/3036564770/” width=”512″ height=”332″ frameborder=”0″ scrolling=”no” allowfullscreen=””]
And Speaking of Things That Rock…
One of the most anticipated albums for 2020 is a new Kendrick Lamar album. Of course, nothing has been officially released but as we saw with Eminem, release dates are for suckers.
However, that does mean we are left to read between the lines when it comes to festival appearances and keep a lookout for tweets like these from Bill Werde, editorial director for Billboard.
Kendrick Lamar? Rock sounds?
And We’ll End Here
In honor of legendary Rush drummer Neil Peart passing away last week, we’re closing things out with two clips of his virtuoso drumming.
The first is Peart playing the Rush classic “Tom Sawyer,” a song Peart said he would never get tired of playing “because it’s always difficult to play right.”
And of course, we’re going to share a Peart drum solo.
See you next week!