New Music for Old People: Paul Weller, Bob Mould, Ann Nesby, James Bay and More

By , Columnist

"Hi! My birth name is Laura Pergolizzi. With the advent of my music successes, I felt it was better to change my name to LP and then stop drinking and abandon my painting career..."

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.

June132014 by Willow on Grooveshark

1. "The War" — Bob Mould (3:02)

Born in 1960, rocked out in the ‘80s with his band Hüsker Dü, countered with new band Sugar in the '90s, brazenly came out in the millennium, and fed us a handful of worthy solo albums throughout. This is from the latest, Beauty & Ruin, and has Sex Pistol and Ramones musical references.

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"Yeah, I'm 54 years old — I've got white hair on my arms but I still can freaking R-O-C-K and the only thing I know how to bury is my voice!!"

2. "Push It Along" — Paul Weller (2:33)

More successful in various locations around the world than in the US, Weller has had an amazingly long career which continues as I write this. This is a track from 2008 that grabbed me; it's from his ninth solo album, 22 Dreams. Prior to solo albums, he had great runs with his two early bands, The Jam and Style Council. This has a nice rocking opening that modulates into a Talking Heads kinda second half of each verse. It’s a good example of solo Weller if you’ve not tasted any before.

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"This was my audition photo for that famous vampire movie a coupla years ago but I still didn't get the freakin' part!"

3. "Frogs Singing" — Andrew Bird (2:16)

Andrew’s been here a few times before. I’m a fan. This reminds me of a Richard Thompson composition (no particular one) with Andrew’s strident fiddle playing replacing Thompson's guitar-istics.

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4. "Through With You" — Ann Nesby (3:46)

Ann’s name has amazingly avoided me over her 25-year career stretch, but I have been a fan without knowing it was her — for example, the group Sounds of Blackness, in which she sang lead and snatched a couple of Grammys. But this is from her latest solo album, Living My Life, and I won’t let her get away so easily anymore. Great song, great arrangement, and wonderful vocal.

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"Rihanna doesn't return my calls, either..."

5. "How I See It" — The Belle Brigade (2:21)

This is the second appearance of this brother/sister group; they both sing and brother plays guitar and sister plays drums, but this is not Carpenter territory. It's actually more Fleetwood Mac, Buckingham/Nicks style.

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"We're not TWINS — but we are brother and sister."

6. "One Track Mind" — Spanish Gold (3:46)

This genre-spanning trio consists of drummer Patrick Hallahan (formerly of My Morning Jacket), guitarist Adrian Quesada (formerly of Grupo Fantasma) and guitarist and lead vocalist Dante Schwebel (City and Colour, formerly of Hacienda). The track is from their recent full-length debut release, South of Nowhere, and they're currently on tour.

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"So we're out touring our debut album South of Nowhere, but we had no idea until we got on the road that our booking agent actually continuously booked us there..."

7. "Running" — James Bay (3:10)

From his new EP Let It Go comes this pensive ballad that draws you right in. This British lad in his 20s reminds me of another newish Californian singer-songwriter named Noah Gundersen who has graced these pages as well recently. These guys would be a GREAT double bill for a tour.

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8. "Into the Wild" — LP (2:59)

If your name was Laura Pergolizzi, I’m sure if you wanted to have hit records YOU would call yourself LP as well. Laura had been songwriting like a maniac prior to gaining a singing career of her own, writing toons for folks like Cher, Rihanna, Joe Walsh, Christina Aguilera and The Backstreet Boys. She has a new set out on Warner Brothers now called Forever for Now and I do like this track when I slip into a comfy pop music mood.

9. "The Shelter of Your Arms" — Sammy Davis Jr. (2:51)

I know most of you are thinkin’ I’ve flipped my wig or made some sort of typing error and it should be Roy Head Jr or something. This is actually, in my opinion, a stirringly original track and if Marianne Faithful or David Bowie had done it no one would have blinked an eyelash. When it was originally released in 1963-4, it was actually avant-garde for its time. I always loved it, hence its inclusion here now. But what you may NOT know is that it was written by Jerry Samuels, who also wrote and sang "They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!" which sold 50 times more than this better song. Anyhoo, I love the chimes, the tuned bongos, and the song itself. And Sammy does a great job on this. I will also disclose that in all of rock music, there is no bigger fan of Sammy Davis Jr than Stan Lynch, former drummer for The Heartbreakers and Don Henley co-producer. Does Henley have the balls to cover this or the good sense not to? Film at eleven...

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"I've got EVERY single Grateful Dead vinyl and VHS that exists ... you can look and see if ya want!"

10. "That's Life" — Paul Thorn (3:51)

In small pockets all over the US, there are rabid Paul Thorn fans. I’ve seen ‘em at various live shows. Once he takes that first bite outta ya, you’re a Thorn-pyre for life. I certainly am and here’s a good reason why, featuring his tasty backup band. Born and raised and still living in Tupelo, Mississippi, they don’t come any better than this.

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