The new album from Kat Robichaud and The Darling Misfits is out today, January 27th. An impressive, ambitious, and confident collection of dramatic rock and pop songs, the eponymous record was funded by fans earned by Robichaud throughout her time as front-woman of The Design and, most famously, during her thrilling run as a contender on The Voice.
There are no shortage of artists today aiming for the grand and theatrical, inspired by Lady Gaga, Dresden Dolls and the like – and surely these are influences on Kat Robichaud as well. But what makes this a special record, and Robichaud a special artist, is her natural edge. We would not hesitate to classify this as a rock and roll record, despite its polished pop production, purely for the non-stop intensity and the sheer force of the singer’s will. More Queen and Foxy Shazam than Gaga, really.
On top of this, the LP is beautifully bizarre. It is funny, clever, defiant, and plainly well-written. Sound collages recur throughout, sometimes to create or enhance a vibe, and occasionally just for a laugh. Yet this is no novelty. Veering between wrenching balladry and dynamic, piano-pounding epics, this is the sound of an artist going for broke, being completely true to herself and discovering her own essence, having tested her limits and finding only those that are self-imposed.
While you were mentally blowing off work in anticipation of your vacation, Yahoo Music was premiering the new official lyric video for Kat Robichaud and the Darling Misfits‘ “Somebody Call The Doctor.” The propulsive lead track from her upcoming album (January 27th) hit the web on December 23rd. Sure, it’s not all mistletoe and eggnog, but with all that out of the way, it’s time to focus on how spectacular this song sounds, and how entertaining the Doctor Who-themed video is. We’ll have more about the full-length soon, but until then, please enjoy:
It does not seem like that long ago that we were ears deep in Ripely Pine, the debut full-length from friend of OurStage Lady Lamb the Beekeeper. The artist otherwise known as Aly Spaltro joined up with us early on and was soon a favorite around the office, before being selected as the MTV Needle in the Haystack artist back in 2011. Ripely Pine was an impressive debut that firmly established the singer’s gravitas and seemingly endless potential as a songwriter. Today, Spaltro debuted “Billions of Eyes,” the first single from her new record, After, which is due in March 2014. Check out the official lyric video, made up of stills, home movies, and fan-submitted art. See below for the album artwork. (And be sure to check out our exclusive session with Lady Lamb the Beekeeper from a few years ago.)
UPDATE 2: McLagan’s official site has posted a statement: “It is with great sadness and eternal admiration that we report the passing of rock and roll icon Ian McLagan. Ian was a member of the ‘Small Faces’ and ‘Faces’ and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. He died today, December 3, 2014, surrounded by family and friends in his adopted hometown of Austin, TX, due to complications from a stroke suffered the previous day. He was 69 years old. His manager Ken Hushnick says, ‘He was a beloved friend to so many people and a true rock n roll spirit. His persona and gift of song impacted the music across oceans and generations.’ Ian’s bandmate in Small Faces and Faces, Kenney Jones said, ‘I am completely devastated by this shocking news and I know this goes for Ronnie and Rod also.’ Ian’s artistry, generosity and warmth of spirit touched countless other musicians and music fans around the world. His loss will be felt by so many. Ian was scheduled to begin a North American tour today, opening for labelmate Nick Lowe.”
Details are scarce at the moment, but Ian McLagan, the great keyboardist for The Faces and Small Faces, frequent sideman with The Rolling Stones, and solo artist, has been hospitalized in his hometown of Austin TX with a reported head injury. He is said to be in critical condition.
McLagan currently leads the Bump Band, and has just come off the road. His website confirms the news of his hospitalization, saying he was admitted last night and asking fans to keep him in their thoughts and prayers. Ours are certainly with him.
Having recently been sidelined for Rolling Stones dates for medical reasons, Bobby Keys, longtime saxophone player with the Rolling Stones, has died. His death has been confirmed by Michael Webb, keyboardist for Bobby Keys and the Suffering Bastards (via Nashville Scene).
Keys is nothing short of a legend when it comes to rock and roll sidemen. He was a close friend of all the Stones, and especially Keith Richards. In addition to being a member of the touring band for decades, Bobby Keys played on most of their classic records, and his horn is an integral part of some of the Stones’ biggest hits.
RIP Bobby Keys.
Few artists could call their song “Heart And Soul” and still have a hit on their hands. No, it’s not the dueling piano piece for beginners, nor the Huey Lewis deep cut, but rather an undeniably anthemic rocker from friends of OurStage Twin Atlantic. The Glasgow quartet’s recently released single is already at #10 on the UK charts. Get it here, and watch the band perform the song on Radio 1’s Big Weekend below.
When audience attention is one of the rarest commodities, artists have to be careful about what they release and when. Your double album might be impressive in theory, but you’re not going to find too many people telling you how much they liked track 22 after they clicked your Soundcloud link. You’ll be lucky if they like what they hear enough to make it to track three. Guitar-and-drums duo Yellabird has tackled this concern with a novel approach. Instead of releasing their newest EP Debts all at once, they are making the release of each track an independent event. This method serves bite-size portions to an audience who, in turn, are regularly reminded about the band and their new material. And the material speaks for itself, earning every bit of your attention. Today, the band posted “Dead Hand Blues,” which follows the EP’s first track, “Tired Eyes.” Yellabird will be in NYC and Boston over the next few months.
The late-’90s were kind of a dark time for pop-rock aficionados. In the time between faux-grunge and rap-rock, it was every man for himself. Luckily, our attention was grabbed by the fuzzed-out, off-kilter debut from Jonny Polonsky, who made the bulk of Hi My Name Is Jonny in his childhood bedroom. His demos found their way to Pixies frontman Frank Black, who pitched them to his then-label, Rick Rubin‘s American Recordings. The LP was not a smash, but those of us who heard it really loved it. Meeting someone else who got it is like finding a long-lost brother. “You know about this?! It’s fantastic, right?!”
Polonsky released an acclaimed second solo album in 2004, then went on to a diverse career as a supporting member of many high-profile acts, including Puscifer, Johnny Cash, Nightwatchman, Pete Yorn, Dixie Chicks, and more. He’s finally back to writing and recording his own stuff, and he’s launched a Kickstarter campaign to help release a new record, titled The Other Side of Midnight. It promises to be less crunchy and more dreamy, inspired by David Lynch (it was recorded at Lynch’s Asymetrical Studio) and Depeche Mode. In addition, Polonsky is performing living room webcasts on Concert Window, starting TONIGHT. Do yourself a favor and check out both.
Here’s his Kickstarter video. It’s funny.
Since the success of his 1994 smash single “Cold Beverage,” the artist also known as Garrett Dutton has been quietly refining and enriching his career as a performer and producer in the Philadelphia music scene, with a few recent acclaimed solo albums.
Now he’s back with the original lineup of Special Sauce, celebrating 20 years since their debut album and promoting the newest, Sugar. Check out this great looking and sounding performance clip for “Good Life.”
Our friends in the power-duo known as Yellabird have released the first track from their upcoming EP Debts. The song is “Tired Eyes,” and it bears the trademark Yellabird heavy riffage, flying-off-the-rails rhythm, and contrastingly sweet melodicism, with an ethereally roomy verse. Check it out.