New Music for Old People: ALO, Jeremih, Cris Cab, PHOX and More

By , Columnist

Cris Cab

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.

Aug082014 by Willow on Grooveshark

1. "Last, First" — Hooray for Earth (3:51)

On these two opening songs I followed the instructions of the titles. For us older folks this is a week of comparative little-knowns with BIG musical ideas. HFE started in Boston in 2005 and played the smaller club circuit, then re-settled in New York City in 2007. The band revolves around songwriter-singer-guitarist Noel Heroux and presently there are three guys and a gal. To me, this is kinda current prog rock from their just-released album Racy. It's not something you can whistle on the subway on the way home, but there is something here and, as Noel suggested, I’m playing the last track first.

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2. "Starting All Over" — Jeremih (3:36)

This was a complete "WTF" when I read this artist's bio info. I never thought this was an artist associated with rap/hip hop and I couldn’t tell if it was a boy or a girl singing. I just loved everything about this track. I downloaded it when it came out about five years ago. I came back to it because it fit the other songs in the column this week. So while most of us were sleeping, Jeremih has been cruising all over the charts in the last five years. While in college in Chicago, he made an album with producer Mick Shultz. It got him signed to Def Jam by LA Reid in 2009 and the first single (not this) went to number FOUR on the Billboard Top 100! There were two other singles and this great track isn’t even one of them! So he was 22 at this time. This guy is so talented and I gotta go catch up NOW. You too?

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"Hey, J — those are some big-asses glasses ya got there."

3. "Rose (Rattle Your Bones)" — Matt Duke (2:59)

This is from 2008 and Matt is a singer-songwriter raised in Virginia and New Jersey, born in 1985. This was from his second album, Kingdom Underground. He mostly performs solo, singing and playing acoustic guitar. This track is more fully realized than that. I kinda like it. Rose probably hates it.

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4. "Satyr and the Faun" — PHOX (2:54)

I thought they were saying "seder and the fun” ... kinda maybe a whimsical tune about the Jewish holiday, Passover. So I cracked up when I read the real name. This is a good track with a quirky arrangement and the lead singer has an original-sounding voice. There are a few acoustic instruments in there as well. I’d give it an eight but you don’t wanna dance to it — it’s too pensive and probing, if ya know wot I mean, mate!

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5. "Criminal" — The Revivalists (2:46)

This is fer sure a live band. Ya gotta go see them live first, I think. They’re rooted in The Allman Brothers/Gov’t Mule family and this track is heavily shortened by yours truly to just about getting the point across. If you like this, you’ll love the six-minute version. If they’re in your town, go see ‘em but bring along a dance partner and go berserk when it’s called for, or better yet, when it’s uncalled for. My brain still knows how to have fun ... but my body knows better.

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6. "Be Long" — Little Daylight (3:20)

This is a tastefully lavish ballad with electronic accoutrement that has pretty great sound. I like listening to well-made records; there are just too many of the other kind, unfortunately. These are two guys and a gal and they met working on other people's remixes and decided to create their own ‘sound’ and songs. This is their first album, Little Memory. It’s been out two weeks.

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"Hurry up! We'll wait for ya in the car and we can probably find a gas station soon!"

7. "Liar, Liar" — Cris Cab (2:42)

I have used another of this guy’s songs in an earlier column, probably from his last album. This is from his latest album. Cris likes to borrow Jamaican grooves for many of his songs and this is no exception. This was #34 on the worldwide iTunes chart last year. Oh, and by the way, Chris is only 21. His new album will be out in two weeks. This is on it.

8. "Silent Life" — Fruit Bats (2:44)

This band has been defunct for a few years. I still love them — great songs with really original lyrics and fresh music. This is my second favorite of theirs. I wish they were still together. They ARE — at MY house!

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9. "I Digress" — Big Wreck (2:38)

Yeah I know... this is the third song by them in four weeks. Let’s just say I’m diggin’ on their album Ghosts and I don’t usually go for most heavy metal stuff but they got to me. This is a great album and there are still more good tracks but I promise to control myself and this will be all from this album. But actually, I digress... NEXT WEEK will be the last track I’ll play... I really promise... but I saved the best for last... really!

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"No, we're NOT all on line for the restroom … we're just waiting for that singer from track 6."

10. "Shine" — ALO (3:25)

Somebody wanna check and see how many songs there are in history called this? Jeez — but this one is kinda nice and it draws you in. The Animal Liberation Orchestra has been around since before 2000 but these rats keep getting better and better. I’m a big fan, hence they are in the coveted closing position here. See ya next week.

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"Yeah, yeah, we know — you want that singer from track 6, heh-heh-heh…"

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