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Four (Albums) For the Fourth
There isn't much to celebrate this Independence Day but that doesn't mean your BBQ can't have an awesome playlist with these four new releases
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Now that summer lasts through December, there’s no point in classifying the 4th of July holiday as the midsummer marker, and with everything going on with the Supreme Court and ex-presidents trying to wrestle the wheel of a brick shithouse limo, it’s once again another Independence Day full of mixed emotions.
That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t enjoy a three-day weekend and some time outside, so here are four fresh albums that will liven up the party. The only qualification for these releases is that they prescribe an upbeat departure for a few hours and ultimately avoid the unwelcomed summah bummah.
Enjoy the time off and Check This Out! will be back next Friday ✌️🕶️
Lipphead - In the Nude
In the Nude is the first full-length collaboration between New York producers Blockhead and Eliot Lipp, and their “no rules” attitude allows for one scorcher of a mixtape. The duo combines Blockhead’s renowned beats with Lipp’s electronic specialty to concoct a unique blend of downtempo instrumental hip-hop like on the sax sampling track, “Shallow Halal,” which wouldn’t sound out of place in a Thievery Corporation set. “D.I.A.” remixes the train announcements at my hometown airport, electing to turn Alan Roach’s announcements into a funky foot stomper. “Proud Dad” also leans into a similarly organic feel with a jazzy piano hook, and “Finnegan’s Wakeboard” (so many good titles on this one) leaves behind the stuffy tome of Joyce in favor of finding the ultimate wave.
In the Nude is available now on Young Heavy Souls.
Goose - Dripfield
The stale idea that jam bands can’t make good studio albums is hogwash, and Dripfield, the third album from Norwalk’s psychedelic favorite sons, Goose, proves otherwise. After years of being every indie dork’s favorite new jam band, the group reached new levels of hype after playing a bunch of socially distanced shows at spots like drive-ins and taking advantage of the lack of other acts out on the road the past few years. With loads of new fans in tow, Dripfield is acting as Goose’s reintroduction of sorts, produced by D. James Goodwin, who worked with Bob Weir on his later career masterpiece, Blue Mountain, as well as indie favorites of this site like Kevin Morby, Whitney, and Bonny Light Horseman. The payoff is pretty fantastic, with the group dialing in for a tight hourlong set that includes updates to old favorites like the scorching “Hot Tea.” Sure, these songs’ live counterparts are still the preferred way to hear them, but this one can be snuck in a similar fashion as Billy Breathes and Farmhouse and there (usually) won’t be complaints. Goose celebrated the album’s release by playing two sold-out nights at Radio City Music Hall, and even Trey Anastacio joined them for a set for the ultimate seal of approval. Get in on the Goose, folks.
Dripfield is available now on No-Coincidence Records.
Hollie Cook - Happy Hour
When an album is titled Happy Hour, the suggested situation for listening to the said record is self-explanatory. Here, we have another lovely set of lovers rock from London’s Hollie Cook. While playing in the last iteration of punk legends The Slits, Cook may have flirted with reggae, but her solo work takes those rough edges and refines them into hazy tropical pop. Teaming up with drummer Ben McKone (who co-produces with Cook), who keeps the pace chugging along yet relaxed, there’s a nice variety here with well-placed horn accents and some excellent keyboard work from Luke Allwood. With songs like the title track and “Kush Kween,” it’s time you bring the island breeze to you, no matter the locale.
Happy Hour is available now on Merge Records.
Jerry Garcia & Merl Saunders - GarciaLive Vol. 18: November 2nd, 1974 Keystone Berkeley
If you somehow aren’t a fan of the greatest American band of all time, The Grateful Dead, I hear you. Even with that in mind, though, I always ask the non-Deadheads to consider some live Jerry sets, whether with Jerry Garcia Band or, in this case, one of the legendary shows with keyboardist Merl Saunders at Keystone Berkley, a frequent haunt for the frontman when he was looking to play something smaller than an arena. The earlier Keystone shows were initially released as a compilation set in 1973. Still, the Garcia estate has done a great job releasing them in their entirety through the GarciaLive series. This particular set also features Garcia’s go-to bassist outside of the Phil Zone in John Kahn, mythical jazz session drummer Paul Humphry, and saxophonist Martin Fierro - he also played with Garcia in Legion of Mary. As is tradition with the Keystone sessions, this is all covers, like a searing 17-minute yet still lean run at “Valdez in the Country,” or regular favorites like Jimmy Cliff’s “The Harder They Come,” and the wicked closer in “Mystery Train,” which grooves so much harder than the earlier Elvis version, thanks to Fierro’s sax work.
GarciaLive Vol. 18: November 2nd, 1974 Keystone Berkeley is available now on A.T.O.
Hear songs from these albums and so much more on the Good Ass Songs 2022 playlist!