New Music for Old People: Al Green, Bombino, James Blake, Paramore and More

By , Columnist

Paramore

This column is like the title says - its intention is to fill the gap for those of us who were satiated musically in the '60s and then searched desperately as we aged for music we could relate to and get the same buzz from nowadaze. iTunes was the answer for me in 2003 and I have been following the new releases every Tuesday ever since I realized there was an endless stream of music I could enjoy there.

I also include older items that I felt were obscure originally and might not have been heard back then. The reason I am writing this column is to make sure others don't miss this wonderful music. These are not top ten items; but they SHOULD'VE been!

Below is a jukebox containing all the songs I picked this week. After you read about them below, go back and listen to whatever you like by just clicking on that title in the jukebox, or stream the whole playlist by clicking on the "play" icon at the top. It's free and it's the entire song. We're not selling anything. We're just in the business of hopefully making your days better by listening to great music.

We apologize to our readers/listeners who are trying to enjoy the playlists via mobile devices like iPhones/iPads and are finding that they can't; these are, unfortunately, circumstances beyond our control. At present, Grooveshark is not compatible with those operating systems, and in order to stream the playlist, you will need to use a PC or Mac.

TMR0419 by Lisa on Grooveshark

1. "Now" — Paramore (3:43)

This is music for younger people than us. I have nicknamed them “Powermower.” It sorta smacks of a modern-day Pretenders, only the vocalist is not as subtle as Ms. Hynde. They’ve been selling mucho albums for six years now, but this was my first peek. As we go to press, their new album is #1 in the USA.

2. "Retrograde" — James Blake (3:18)

Speaking of youngsters, this lad was born in London in 1988. He studied music in college and began releasing homemade music in the summer of 2009. The label that distributed him brought it to the attention of the BBC and his career ascent began. He won various awards based on airplay and later sales. This is the lead-off single from his second solo album Overgrown, released last week. Puts me to mind of a Peter Gabriel/Gotye combo artist, up to his waist in electronica. I really like this track.

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3. "Chainsaw" — The Band Perry (3:33)

This is a country music trio hit-making machine. This track steps just to the right towards pop and if there weren’t pedal steel and fiddle on it, it would be a top ten pop hit. Well-written and produced a bit too cleanly, it will surely go top five in country. Their album, Pioneer, just came out last week as well. This photo looks like vintage Stevie Nicks flanked by a James Blake look-alike with an accordion (!) prop and a Badfinger twin on bass. On closer inspection, she could be naked from the waist up and they blacked it out — sorta.

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No more accordions!

4. "Lay It Down" — Al Green (3:24)

Yet another album with modern artists assisting Al surrounded by his original Memphis sound. There are cracks in the bodywork, especially his nervous laughter appearing in a total of seven (!) bursts throughout this one track. Not good for credibility, his most valuable commodity besides his amazing voice. If he dropped the unnecessary duets, rounded up the Hodges Brothers and Rhodes-Chalmers & Rhodes for backup, and captured his spirit the way late producer Willie Mitchell did, there is no reason why he couldn’t be knocking his many fans out once again. If ya need songs, you can call me, Al.

5. "Yukon" — Wheeler Brothers (2:54)

These guys are from Austin — they’re a three-Wheeler with two friends, and with their sophomore album, Gold Boots Glitter, on the street, they are making the touring rounds, including The Newport Folk Fest in late June. I love the guitars and their general approach which ain’t exactly folky. Good album, and I can’t wait 'til they hit Boston so’s I can have a look and a live listen.

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6. "Niamey Jam" — Bombino (1:57)

This is one of my fave world music locations — Mali, in the Sahara region of Africa, where the guitars all have the same wonderful tone and influences. This lad suffered through two rebellions in his hometown area and had to escape twice but was finally able to return and play a celebratory concert. There is a documentary about him being readied and he is touring all summer (Newport Folk Fest as well) so check it out live — it will be even better than this comparative snippet.

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Jeez, wouldja look at the size of his FINGERS!!!

7. "Silver Streets" — Boy (3:47)

I know, I know ... they were just in the column a coupla weeks ago. But what if I like more than ONE song?

8. "Stone Cold Coup D'Etat" — They Might Be Giants (2:44)

I know, I know ... they were just in the column a coupla weeks ago. But what if I like more than ONE song?

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They look like they might be The WHITE Keys in this photo.

9. "Vacation" — Griffin House (3:13)

I know, I know ... he was just in the column a coupla weeks ago. But what if I like more than ONE song?

10. "I'm Not Sayin'" — The Replacements (2:45)

They have a new album! They haven’t changed much!! Paul Westerberg LIVES!!! See ya next week!

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