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Pokey LaFarge
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Pokey LaFarge

Rock Bottom Rhapsody [LP]

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'The man singing these songs isn't exactly the same man who wrote them,' says Pokey LaFarge of Rock Bottom Rhapsody, his eighth and latest studio release. 'This album is about the story of who I used to be.' In early 2018, LaFarge ' searching for the sort of artistic freedom and inspiration he wasn't finding in the Midwest ' relocated from his longtime home base of St. Louis, Missouri, to Los Angeles, California. New songs came quickly to LaFarge in his new environment, but new temptations soon found him, as well. Though he declines to get into specifics, LaFarge admits that he experienced a significant 'fall from grace' during the last months of 2018. 'Things sort of started to unravel in my mind,' Shortly before the recording of Rock Bottom Rhapsody began, LaFarge experienced a spiritual awakening ' and the faith he re-embraced in his hour of darkness helped to buoy him through the making of the album. Though he was struggling for spiritual equilibrium at the time, LaFarge at least had some rock-solid musical support to lean on. Recorded primarily at Reliable Recorders on Chicago's Northwest side, Rock Bottom Rhapsody was produced by LaFarge's friend and collaborator Chris Seefried (who also co-wrote several of the album's tracks), and features the considerable talents of guitarist Joel Paterson, keyboardist Scott Ligon, upright/electric bassist Jimmy Sutton, and drummer Alex Hall. Musically, LaFarge continues to mix and match a wide variety of styles and traditions, while never losing track of his own vision This record is kind of like Roy Orbison and Bob Dylan hanging out with chanson singers and French jazz bands in like the forties, but I was never trying to make it sound like a particular person. Despite the trying period that preceded its recording, Rock Bottom Rhapsody is ultimately far more uplifting and life-affirming than its title would suggest. 'That desperation, that struggle,' LaFarge ponders, 'Did it add something to the record? It certainly did. I mean, I don't know if it made it better; it just is what it is. It's not up to me to decide if people are going to feel that'

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Kiana Ledé

Kiana Ledé

Kiki

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On April 3rd, breakout artist Kiana Lede will release debut album KiKi via Republic Records. Features current track "Mad At Me" which is climbing the Rhythm radio charts. 2019 saw the rise of Lede as her hit track "EX" achieved RIAA Gold Certification. Her YouTube channel -where her career began by posting viral cover songs like "One Dance x Needed Me mashup"- surpassed 1M+ subscribers. Additionally, she served as support on Ella Mai's sold out spring tour & sold out her own headline fall tour.

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Thundercat

Thundercat is set to release his new album It Is What It Is on Brainfeeder Records on April 3, 2020, and shares the first music; 'Black Qualls (featuring Steve Lacy and Steve Arrington). The album, produced by Flying Lotus and Thundercat, features musical contributions from Ty Dolla $ign, Childish Gambino, Lil B, Kamasi Washington, Steve Lacy, Steve Arrington, BADBADNOTGOOD, Louis Cole and Zack Fox. It Is What It Is follows his game-changing third album Drunk (2017). That record completed his transition from virtuoso bassist to bonafide star and cemented his reputation as a unique voice that transcends genre. 'This album is about love, loss, life and the ups and downs that come with that,' Bruner says. 'It's a bit tongue-in-cheek, but at different points in life you come across places that you don't necessarily understand' some things just aren't meant to be understood.'

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The Monkees
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The Monkees

The Mike & Micky Show Live

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2020 live release. Produced by The Monkees' archivist Andrew Sandoval and mixed by Christian Nesmith, The Monkees - The Mike & Micky Show Live was recorded live in March 2019. The collection includes performances of all three of the band's #1 hits: "Last Train To Clarksville," "I'm A Believer" and "Daydream Believer." In addition to those hits, the live album also spotlights many of Nesmith's finest compositions, including several songs that were never performed live during the Monkees' heyday, like "St. Matthew" and "Auntie's Municipal Court." Other Nesmith-penned tunes on the collection include live versions of "The Girl I Knew Somewhere," "Listen To The Band," "Papa Gene's Blues," "You Just May Be The One" and "You Told Me." Dolenz takes the spotlight singing hits like "Pleasant Valley Sunday," "Randy Scouse Git," "Mary, Mary," "Goin' Down," "For Pete's Sake," and "Porpoise Song." The collection also features live versions of "Me & Magdelena" and "Birth Of An Accidental Hipster" from The Monkees' most-recent studio album, Good Times (2016).

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Sam Hunt

Sam Hunt

SOUTHSIDE

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Multi-Platinum-selling country star Sam Hunt announces his eagerly-awaited sophomore album SOUTHSIDE, releasing April 3 on MCA Nashville. The album will feature his current Top 5-and-climbing radio hit “Kinfolks,” the introspective ballad “Sinning With You,” and more from the award-winning artist. SOUTHSIDE will be the first full album since Hunt’s critically acclaimed, GRAMMY-nominated, Triple Platinum-selling debut, Montevallo.

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M. Ward

M. Ward

Migration Stories [LP]

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"It was in winter 18/19 - I flew to Montreal to meet with Tim Kingsbury, Richard Reed Parry, Craig Silvey and Teddy Impakt at Le Studio Du Arcade Fire. It was a fine time with a dream team in a city I love. Winter in beautiful Quebec. Les semaines les plus froides de ma vie. I had a bunch of demos that were inspired by migration stories I had heard from friends or read in newspapers while on tour in Europe and North America. I remember being struck by the similarities of the stories I heard from both continents and how really only the names of the powerful and the powerless had changed - thinking, "Is this the future? Is this our future?"Some time went by, the stories wove together and I remember them now closer to characters in a dream of how people could treat each other than any kind of front-page news realism. I think music subconsciously - whether writing or listening - is a filter for me - helping to process all the bad news into something new to build from - some records to me are like self-fulfilling prophecies - visualizing change to wish something into being - those records inspired this one." - M. Ward

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Nina Simone

Recorded in 1982, not long after she moved to Paris, Fodder On My Wings was one of Nina Simone's favorite albums. In addition to having written the music and lyrics for all but one of the album's 13 songs, the back cover proudly states that she 'arranged, conducted and conceived' all of them. Originally recorded for a small French label and only sporadically available since its initial release, Fodder On My Wings is a lesserknown but important part of Nina's musical history. The album contains deeply personal songs, including 'I Sing Just To Know That I'm Alive' and 'I Was Just A Stupid Dog To Them', as well a searing lyrical improvisation about the death of her father on 'Alone Again, Naturally'. Recorded at a time when Nina was feeling rejuvenated by her surroundings and the African musicians she met in Paris, Fodder On My Wings is an essential Nina Simone album that is making a longoverdue reappearance.

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