New Music for Old People: Mayer Hawthorne, London Grammar, Rosanne Cash, Capital Cities and More

By , Columnist

London Grammar

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.

TMR0131 by Lisa on Grooveshark

1. "They Don't Know You" — Mayer Hawthorne (2:57)

He's my favorite in the current male blue-eyed soul singer sanctuary. Good songwriting is one good reason, but there are a few others. Robert Palmer’s smiling down.

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"Uh-oh. I think I got shingles from this weird watch my manager gave me..."

2. "I Sold My Bed But Not My Stereo" — Capital Cities (3:14)

What hath Daft Punk wrought? The rebirth of disco married to more electronica than in the past, that’s what. Here is a sterling example of "tolerable" disco for old people like me. I mostly grin over the title, but the bass part and some more of the lyric wins me over as well. And in my best American Bandstand usage — you can DANCE to it!

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"Hi! Welcome to Walmart! All Capital Cities CDs are on sale and don’t forget to try the chicken samples in the meat department. Have a nice day!"

3. "Seagull" — Saturday Sun (3:07)

What hath U2 wrought? The lads that grew up on it mostly, led by We Are Augustines, who this band sounds more like than the Irish originals. I kinda like the second wave nowadays more than the intention of the originals. These guys should tour with We Are Augustines; I’d pay to see that (depends on how much, though...heheheheh).

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"If I use the acoustic guitar, and we put the groovy lights on behind the drummer and use a red lighting splash, we won’t look exactly like Four Star Riot!"

4. "Get It Right This Time" — Four Star Riot (3:36)

They got me at the intro: organ, piano, and soul guitar licks played perfectly. Hell, I could've just listened to that for three minutes but I guess there ain’t that many like me downloading at the moment. Still and all, this quartet from Tampa Bay have paid their dues opening for Train, Bon Jovi, Maroon 5, etc. I hope 2014 finds them in a headlining position ASAP with the proper album in tow. I’m a fan now.

"If we put the bass player in the middle and you can actually see the drummer, we won’t look exactly like Saturday Sun!"

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5. "World of Strange Design" — Rosanne Cash (2:59)

Her new album, The River & The Thread, is pretty damn good. She, more than the rest of the progeny, has lived up to the name and hopefully the definition of said name. Her husband kinda watches over it all, and the arrangements, mixes and song selection appear to be a happy working marriage. I’m always eager to hear her latest work.

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"Honey? Maybe now we can finally change the d├ęcor in the apartment from San Quentin style?"

6. "You Make It Real" — James Morrison (2:37)

I usually complain about his name choice because I can’t figure out why this guy isn’t on top with this VOICE. This is his third appearance in the column, and if he keeps making records like this, I’ll keep buying them and including him in the weekly walk-on.

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"Yeah, yeah, I know, James Morrison, The Doors — you want my Bob Dylan face? Try this..."

7. "Maneater" — Grace Mitchell (3:28)

I do like it when women cover men’s songs because it changes the meaning of the lyrics in some ways. I wouldn’t be surprised if this gal was singing and dining at Daryl’s house in 2014.

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"I haven’t been asked yet, but I’m goin' over the fence to Daryl’s house. He hasn’t heard my album, but he’s never tasted my quesadillas either. Piece of cake! See ya on late-night cable!"

8. "Eyelids (Come Back with Me)" — Peter Adams (2:19)

Cincinatti-based Peter Adams is a classically trained composer, producer, singer and multi-instrumentalist who started playing violin at the age of three. He has also produced works for film, theater, TV and dance. His first album, The Spiral Eyes, was released in 2005. This track is from his second full-length album, I Woke With Planets in My Face, released in 2008, which he recorded, performed, produced and mixed himself.

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"Wow, my song from six years ago is in New Music For Old People this week? Hang on ... I need a little break here..."

9. "Calling Your Name" — The Autumn Defense (2:57)

Two guys in Wilco who needed more space started this band in 2000. When they can, they make AD albums and tour. They’re getting better and better at it. This is from their latest one, Fifth, released on January 28, and this is strong pop rock. It’s surely not too Tweedy if ya know wot I mean. They have their own thing and it probably won’t be mistaken for a Wilco track. This is their best collection so far, as it should be.

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10. "Hey Now" — London Grammar (2:26)

It’s been close to a year since I wrote about this band’s debut album. They are a UK trio who met at college there. This track highlights lead singer Hannah Reid’s ethereal voice and Dan Rothman’s spot-on guitar playing. This grew on me over the year until it jumped into the column this week. This is a great band that I expect will get better with each release. Can’t wait for this year's album, hopefully. You have your whole life to think up your first album and then just the time between your first and second album to create the next one. Sometimes it’s a rude awakening and not enough time. Sometimes you can’t wait to fix what you thought was wrong with the first one. I hope that’s the case here, although there wan’t much wrong on their first effort. See ya next week...

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