The marvelous guitarist Johnny Marr (the Smiths, Electronic) will release his second solo album Playland on October 7, 2014. Last year, Marr released his much-lauded debut album The Messenger. Marr commenced work on Playland in London in spring of 2014 soon after his tour in support of The Messenger finished. He brought in The Messenger collaborator and co-producer Doviak, as well as the other musicians who performed on the album and accompanying tour. Marr said through his publicist, "When the Messenger came out I kept on writing. I liked that the band had a momentum going on tour and a connection with the audience, and I thought that energy would be good to capture on the new record." Written around a common theme of "songs that move at the speed of life," Playland captures much of the spirit that made The Messenger intriguing. Marr’s guitar playing and songwriting has never sounded better. "It's important to sound like your environment and on this record that's London and Manchester," he adds. "The feeling of the cities and the people make it into the music." The title Playland is inspired by Homo Ludens, a 1938 book by the highly influential Dutch cultural theorist Johan Huizinga, which explores the concept of play as a precursor and principal element of cultural development. Marr plans to trek through UK as soon as the new album is released. No US dates have been announced yet.
Southern California’s Dirty Heads fuse mellow rock and hip-hop with splashes of reggae, evoking everlasting summers. This is feel-good music to be sure and the new album, Sound of Change, floats along on wider rails, expanding their sound further. The buoyant single “My Sweet Summer” is a lyrical salute to the carefree summertime flings that seem to fade as quickly as the season. Frontmen Jared “Dirty J” Watson and Dustin “Duddy B” Bushnell are touring with a full band. They will perform at the Fillmore in Charlotte on July 29.
The Melvins’ guitarist and frontman King Buzzo is touring solo in support of his first acoustic project, This Machine Kills Artists. Don’t expect reflective, mellow numbers, as Buzzo still wields the six strings like an axe, even when unplugged. Lyrically, the new songs would fit right into any Melvins’ album, while the signature heavy strumming and howling into the mic remain intact. On tour, he’ll likely mix in selections from 30-plus years of work for an evening of acoustic sludge. He will perform at the Visulite in Charlotte on Saturday, July 19.
Electric Würms, a prog-rock side project of the Flaming Lips’ multi-instrumentalist Steven Drozd and frontman Wayne Coyne backed by Nashville’s psychedelic band Linear Downfall, will release their six song album Musik, Die Shwerzu Twerk on August 19, 2014. The first single, a cover of Yes’ “Heart of the Sunrise” is out now digitally. The song is a teaser into the warped universe of the Lips. The album will be available on CD, digital and vinyl formats.
Some upcoming tour dates are listed below.
The Flaming Lips
July 13- Cincinnati, OH (Bunbury Music Festival)
July 15- Minneapolis, MN (First Avenue)
July 16- Fargo, ND (The Venue at the Hub)
July 19- Pemberton, BC, Canada (Pemberton Music Festival)
July 27- Niigata, Japan (Fuji Rock Festival)
Aug 10- San Francisco, CA (Outside Lands Festival
Aug 16- Crownsville, MD (Silopanna Festival)
Aug 30- Larmer Tree Gardens, UK (End Of the Road Festival)
Aug 31- Larmer Tree Gardens, UK (End Of the Road Festival)
Sept 1- London, England UK (The Village Underground)
Jonathan Byrd is a deep-rooted man. He is a 7th generation Carolinian with a natural understanding and love of folk, country music and songs and tales of the South. When he performs, It’ll be an evening of stripped-down music that tips hats to traditions above all. Byrd meshes the rural sensibilities and lives of common folks into mighty fine songwriting along with fluid picking and crooning. Byrd will perform at the US National Whitewater Center in Charlotte on Thu, July 10.
Sometimes all you need is one guy, one guitar and the grit to play the music they’re born to play. Brother Dege (Dege Legg) plays “Psyouthern” music — Delta blues, folk, country and punk — all mixed into one by his fast-picking fingers and the slide as he strums the dobro into an extension of his musical soul, while howling in a whisky-soaked voice and slowing down time for a spell. He’s on the road in support of his 19-track summer mixtape, Scorched Earth Policy. Brother Dege will perform at the Double Door Inn in Charlotte on Sat, July 5.