Lord Huron, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2015

Jul 29, 2015

On Strange Trails, Lord Huron's most recent album, songwriter and bandleader Ben Schneider's cinematic storytelling never strays far from the grave. Even the album's most gloriously foot-stomping tracks are overlaid with apocalyptic portents and tales whose heroes have brushes with death. Yet the Los Angeles band's Newport Folk set was jubilant and loud, with thumping kick drum grounding lively, rolling arrangements and electronic fuzz juxtaposed against ringing Appalachian-style harmonies.

There's a reason Paul Weller is so respected by his fans despite his shifts in musical styles over the years. Weller follows his heart and his tunes stay true to the times and his age. I first heard him in 1977, when I bought a British import of a 45 and later an album, each called In The City, by The Jam. Inspired by The Who, the music of The Jam was infused with urgency and melody. Then Weller wanted more from music and began The Style Council with a bit of R&B, ballads and even jazz.

Guest DJ: Leon Bridges

Jul 28, 2015

As cosmic as their jams can be and as free-floating as their new album's title appears, Built to Spill have never seemed more grounded. On Untethered Moon, their eighth studio album and their first in six years, the veteran rockers haven't drifted away from their roots.

The first line of Palehound's "Cushioned Caging" begins in the middle of a thought. "And when the organ starts a-playin," sings frontwoman Ellen Kempner, whose voice arrives in a crashing wave of sound after a twangy, beachy one-chord intro. It sends a message that resonates through the rest of the too-brief song: This ain't the half of it.