New Music for Old People: California Breed, White Sea, The Flaming Lips, Sam Smith and More

By , Columnist

Hey – check out the shot I just literally dug up of Flaming Lips!

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.

May302014 by Willow on Grooveshark

1. "The Way" — California Breed (3:17)

The guitarist wants to play out again; the bass player will do what the guitarist says; the lead singer is smart enough to know he’s too far gone to recreate the high notes of yesteryear. The drummer passed away at the height of it all, from the height of it all. But now, his son Jason has put a new band together and I don’t see anybody grasping this the way I have. This band does Led Zep the way you want to hear it live today, and original tunes are what they are pushing — not the Led retread. I think the singing is the closest to a young Plant I have ever heard growing. And they certainly have the drumming covered. This track alone should be an event for the LZ community. Jimmy Page meanwhile pushes his new old stuff mastering on Jimmy Fallon’s show. What is wrong here?

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2. "Chariot" — Glen David Andrews (2:32)

His cousin is Trombone Shorty Andrews. His grandfather is Jessie ""Ooh Poo Pah Doo" Hill. Lineage obviously is no problem and with a voice akin to Louis Armstrong's, his presence is easily felt. Nawlins blues, gospel, and R&B are evident in this track and I am immediately sold. Lemme know if they have sold YOU.

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Nice Swatch, dude... it could be your time...

3. "Best Shot" — Birdy & Jaymes Young (2:17)

With her second album flying out of the stores, she is taking on an Adele position. Her debut long player was an album of covers, comparatively simply put, but her voice and piano playing sold it. Don’t even mention that she was born in 1996 in her native UK and that at 17, she has a rare view of the world. Her latest album The Fire Within features her songwriting for the first time and no one seems to be complaining. Jaymes Young, born in Seattle, is a wee bit behind her, receiving his acclaim for an EP called Dark Star and opening for London Grammar on their latest tour. He doesn’t even have his debut album out yet, much less his second one. They were paired for this one song for a movie soundtrack. They both are getting a taste of success quite early. I don’t think THIS will be huge, but it shows their voices off nicely.

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4. "Higher" — W.E.R.M. (2:12)

This is a trio from Orlando, Florida who felt theirs was a union between electronica and grunge and began pursuing it full time in 2011. They are Clayton Sturgeon (vocals, guitar) Nate Mullins (drums) and Joey Parker (keyboards, electronics). Their name stands for When Everything Really Matters, which is a nice thought in my mind. I think they do successfully wed grunge and electronica and I will keep my eyes and ears on them.

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"These shirts are too big, man. Let's try another clothesline."

5. "For My Love" — White Sea (3:49)

Morgan Kibby, an LA singer-songwriter and collaborator with the band M83, is an amazing singer from the Laura Nyro school of invention and high note phrasing. In addition to this track I have included a video from Heart of Austin 2014. It is amazing how effortlessly Morgan hits notes that have never been hit in her field of music. This band has some pedal magic going on as well, with instruments and voice loops that are over my head; but I am just a singer-songwriter from the '60s and it seems a lot has been invented and sold in the last 15 minutes when I wasn’t paying attention.

6. "Leave Your Lover" — Sam Smith (3:07)

This should be Birdy’s boyfriend now I'm thinking with my TMZ hat on. He is only 21 and had hits singing with various dance music new wave bands, specifically Disclosure, Naughty Boy and veteran Nile Rodgers. His first solo album is out and a tour will be announced momentarily. I like tracks like this because the emphasis is on the vocal and the song and ya can’t beat that. His video for the Disclosure sit-in “Latch” has been played 26 MILLION times on YouTube in the last 18 months! Let’s hope he doesn’t go the offstage way of Justin Bieber. Last year his collab with Naughty Boy knocked the Daft Punk single outta #1 and that video has been viewed on YouTube 224 MILLION times! Justin who?

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Sam just doesn't like getting his hair all stuck up in his headphones; and so a new trend starts. However, I don't think this will help the Beats/Apple deal.

7. "Words as Weapons" — Seether (2:42)

Originally from Pretoria, South Africa but now settled all around the US, Seether is a power trio that can also be gentle when required. Lead singer and composer Shaun Morgan lives in New Hampshire now and has built a writing room in his house he spends a great deal of time in. The band's friendship with über producer Brendan O’Brien (Springsteen, Pearl Jam) hasn’t hurt their latest release either. They feel he is like a fourth member of the group and understands perfectly how it all works. This album Isolate & Medicate was recorded in Hollywood this past January in 16 days. They were indeed ready to rock. This is their eighth album and it just came out last week. Two of their previous albums went platinum and another two gold, so they are not “just starting out.” This is a great track and perfectly produced.

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A little Cobain, a little Manson, a little Sutherland and ya got ya a platinum band.

8. "Get Her Back" — Robin Thicke (2:54)

The former king of the supermarket magazine stands returns with a topical song about his marital woes. Very laid back , it’s a tale that’s simply spun and as a result it works quite well. Will people buy it? We’ll just have to wait and see...

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RT: Hey! Kooper! Just leave my personal stuff outta this!
AK: Yeah, yeah ... so what's with the ring on your Thicke fourth finger, dude?

9. "Everybody Got Some Dues to Pay" — Little Beaver (2:55)

One of my heroes ensconced in the Miami area, Beaver might have unseated James Brown but he was content to do mostly studio work — most notably all the guitars on Betty Wright’s “Clean Up Woman” and a few tracks with yours truly. Mostly known for his guitar work, this shows how his vocal talents could occasionally easily upstage his guitar playing. This is from an era that is sadly gone, but certainly missed.

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"They wanted to shoot the photo here. This is actually my manager's office but this is MY vintage Gibson guitar that I played on all the hits that PAID for this office, so I guess it's okay..."

10. "Lucy In the Sky with Diamonds" — The Flaming Lips (4:36)

Always versatile and multi-formatted, the Lips take on the Fabs. The chorus PURPOSELY sounds like it’s overloaded and distorted (that's them, not me doing that) and with that and other goodies, they put their own mark on the song titled by a young Julian Lennon. This is from their latest album of ALL Beatles covers.

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