Friday, February 26, 2010

Q: Have You Joined the Devolution?

Fresh off a tour that included performing the entire albums 'Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!' and 'Freedom of Choice,' the band has given us a listen at the future. Earlier this week -- and for one day only -- Devo unveiled the new song "Fresh" as a free download. It will appear on a new, but as of late untitled, album later this year. Q: Did you happen to catch Devo performing at the Olympic medal celebration on Whistler Mountain this past Monday? A: If you said "no," you're in luck. He's A Whore has mp3s of the performance. In other exciting news from Whistler, the band unveiled new safety wear in a blue motif that included energy domes like in the 'Freedom of Choice' days. Here's an interesting interview Mark Mothersbaugh recently did with 'Billboard' about the new outfits. Enjoy the new song.

Devo - Fresh (mp3)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Hitchcock Gives Fans a 'Phantom 45'

Robyn Hitchcock has launched a new Web site with a really cool section he calls Phantom 45s. I love the name and the idea... especially since the tunes are free! The first single is an acoustic number called "To Be Human." The "flip side" is "Belly Full Of Arms". It's a full-band number that will appear in the upcoming film 'Electra Luxx.' Should be an interesting flick, too. Thank you, Mr. Hitchcock. Your last album, 'Goodnight Oslo', was one of my favorites of 2009.

Robyn Hitchcock - To Be Human (mp3)
Robyn Hitchcock - Belly Full Of Arms And Legs (mp3)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

New Tune From New Pornographers

What a week for sneak listens! (And I'll have another one tomorrow). A few weeks ago Matador's Matablog promised the first mp3 from the New Pornographers would be coming soon. Well, here it is, and it's a juggernaut. You'll want to turn this one way up. As usual, the vocals are stunning, and the guitar is harder than just about anything the band has attempted. 'Together' will be released on May 4. As I mentioned last month, A.C. Newman wrote nine of the songs, and Dan Bejar penned the other three. Don't worry. Neko Case is supposed to be all over it, too. Lend your ears to this one... and let me know what you think.

The New Pornographers - Your Hands (Together) (mp3)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

She & Him Share Second Song From Vol. 2

Zooey Deschanel and M.Ward have done it again. Merge just gave us another sneak listen to a song from 'Volume Two', out March 23, and it sounds great. "Thieves" seems right out of the Phil Spector songbook and is sure to whet your appetite for the LP. Also on the She & Him front, the 7" single for "In The Sun" is now available for purchase with the Ronettes' tune "I Can Hear Music" on the flip side. I know this song from the Beach Boys' version, but our favorite duo has slowed down the tempo and made it a beautiful ballad. You can stream it from Merge right here, and I recommend you do that this instant. Man, I sure hope this month goes fast. I can't wait to get this one.

She & Him - Thieves (mp3)
She & Him - In The Sun (mp3)

And as I mentioned in December, She & Him cover NRBQ on 'Volume 2' too.

Last Stash of Cash

Johnny Cash's 'American' series concludes today with the release of the sixth volume, 'Ain't No Grave.' The songs come from sessions that began in 2002, just after Cash and producer Rick Rubin wrapped up 'American IV: The Man Comes Around,' and continued all the way up until Cash's death in 2003. Cash's wife, June Carter, died during these recordings, and Cash's own health was deteriorating. The press release from label Lost Highway explains his final days this way:

According to Rubin, "Johnny said that recording was his main reason for being alive. I think it was the only thing that kept him going."

Cash feared that American IV might be his last release, so Rubin suggested that he immediately begin writing and recording new material. Due to the artist's frail condition, Rubin arranged for an engineer and guitar players to always be on call. "Every morning, when he'd wake up, he would call the engineer and tell him if he was physically up to working that day," Rubin explains.

During those months, Rubin went to Nashville several times to record with Cash. After a particularly productive four days of sessions, the artist said to the producer, "Oh, this is great; please stay longer." So Rubin canceled his return flight to L.A., only to get a call the next morning that Cash was back in the hospital. "So there was a lot of stopping and starting, based on his health," says Rubin. "But he always wanted to work. The doctors in the hospital kind of lectured me, saying, 'He's not going to stop, so you have to make sure he doesn't work too much.'"

Though Cash knew his days were short, "There was no fear," Rubin says. "I remember speaking to him maybe an hour after June died. He was in the hospital, with her, and I'd never heard him so distraught. And he said, 'You know, I've been through tremendous pain in my life, and I've never felt anything like this.' It was so bad that I didn't know what to say. He sounded so weak, so beaten, and I'd never really heard him like that before. I'm not sure where the question came from, but I said, 'Do you feel like somewhere you can find faith?' And when he heard that word, a switch went off in his head, and he answered in a strong voice, 'My faith is UNSHAKABLE.' And the conversation changed after that. So he had tremendous faith, he didn't really have fear and he already was dealing with pain; I think he had acceptance. When he knew he was going to die, he was calm and matter of fact about it, and... that was it."

I was very late to the Cash party, and I confess that other than the hits everyone knows, I was oblivious to his charms. It was this series that started me on my journey to Johnny. For that, I thank Rubin. If not for this seemingly odd collaboration, I probably would have missed out on a true icon.

Johnny Cash - Ain't No Grave (mp3)

Monday, February 22, 2010

EBTG's Tracey Thorn Preps Solo LP

I see dead routers. Thus, I was sans Internet for almost a week, but now I'm back in business. While I was away there were a couple of exciting announcements on the new-music front. Merge has snagged Everything But The Girl singer Tracey Thorn for her solo album, 'Love And Its Opposite,' out May 18. Thorn has been fairly quiet in recent years, but her voice made me melt back in the '80s. I first heard her on "The Paris Match," a beautiful song on the Style Council's 1984 album 'Cafe Bleu' (also known as 'My Ever Changing Moods'). I got into Everything But The Girl right after that, but I lost touch with the band when they entered their club stage in the '90s. It will be interesting to hear Thorn's sound this time around. Of particular excitement to me is the appearance of Jens Lekman on her new work. It seems like such a great pairing. Here are a few of my favorites from her.

The Style Council - The Paris Match (mp3)
Everything But The Girl - Each And Every One (mp3)
Everything But The Girl - Come On Home (mp3)
Tracey Thorn - Oh, The Divorces! (mp3) New!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Cheap Shots at Cheap Trick

For the second time in a week, I'm responding to something I have seen on another music site. Last month, Brooklyn Vegan reported on Jason Falkner, Roger Joseph Manning, Jr. and Cheap Trick playing New York's Irving Plaza. Wow, what a dream bill! The photos, in particular, were fabulous, but one thing the hugely popular Brooklyn Vegan doesn't need is my praise. They are doing just fine. The real head turner, for me, is the comments section that followed. A large number of readers blasted Cheap Trick. Here is a sample:

Cheap Trick... really???? WHO F***ING CARES?!?!?!!!!


Cheap Trick are total punx

Simply the worst ever.

they should have retired long time ago.

one hit wonders. who cares.

An embarrassment to the eyes and an affront to the ears.

Cheap Trick will be remembered as nothing more than a footnote in music history, a weeping rash on the buttocks of rock and roll. They're cosmically awful.

Now, everyone is entitled to like whatever they want, but these readers seem to need a little extra credit to supplement their musical educations. Unfortunately, a few other BV readers not so subtly let them know as much through name calling. I promise not to resort to that. If you are in the camp that thinks Cheap Trick stinks, here is your homework. Please give the following songs a listen. I'm including a song from 2006 to dispel the theory the band is no longer relevant. I'll let these tunes and the more than 20 million albums the band has sold speak for themselves.

As Grace from 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' would probably put it, "Cheap Trick is very popular, Ed. Sportos, motorheads, geeks, sluts, pinheads, dweebies, wonkers, richies, they all adore them. They think they're righteous dudes." The band transcends both genre and clique for a reason. And if you young whippersnappers are regular visitors to BV, you must realize many of the bands you like are deeply influenced by Cheap Trick. If you haven't made this connection, as was also said on 'Ferris,' "I weep for the future."

Cheap Trick - Perfect Stranger (mp3) (2006)
Cheap Trick - Come On, Come On (mp3) (1977)
Cheap Trick - On Top Of The World (mp3) (1978)
Cheap Trick - Mandocello (mp3) (1977)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Peek at New Pipettes

There's good news and bad news on the Pipettes front. The good news is the group still exists. It didn't look good for a while there. Wholesale lineup changes have resulted in the absence of Rosay and RiotBecki. One of their replacements has already defected as well. As the dust settles, Gwenno is the last gal standing, and it appears her sister Ani is in the band as well. Finally, we hear there will be a followup to the Pipettes' outstanding debut. It should be out this summer on Fortuna POP! The single for "Stop The Music" will be out on April 19.

In the meantime, we are placated by this video and song. Sorry, but that's the bad news. I'm really disappointed by this outing. The sounds of indie colliding with '60s girl groups seems to have been replaced by a straight up trip to the club. What happened to the charm? I'm not giving up. I liked that first album too much. I was one of those fans that bought the singles and the import of the debut so I could get it a year earlier. Please, let this one be a minor throwaway track. You can download "Our Love Was Saved By Spacemen" and judge for yourself.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Top Five Paul McCartney Albums

If you aren't a regular visitor to Ear Farm, bookmark it now. Five weeks ago Mike ranked his top five Paul McCartney LPs on the site, and I have been obsessed with this list ever since. His picks are strong, and I wondered if my list would be the same. So, I have been on a Macca kick for the past month trying to decide if I agree with him. Sir Paul's catalog is vast. I knew a couple of records had no chance of cracking my top five (such as 'Press to Play'), but I listened to just about everything else. The results are "coming up":

5. 'Flowers In The Dirt' (1989)
Most think the '80s were an awful time to be a McCartney fan. I have a different perspective because I grew up in the "me decade." I remember how exciting it was when my father drove me 20 miles to the nearest movie theater (I grew up in the sticks) to see 'Give My Regards To Broadstreet' on opening night or when "Pipes of Peace" was a world-premiere video on MTV. I won't apologize for liking 'Tug Of War' either. McCartney had been pretty quiet in the few years leading up to 'Flowers In The Dirt', but the days preceding its release were exciting ones because the single "My Brave Face", co-written by Elvis Costello, showed they would be good partners on several other tunes. McCartney even said it was his best collaboration since he worked with a certain Beatle. I own the demos from the McCartney/Costello sessions, and I actually like those versions better than the finished record because the production on this album borders on being too slick and polished. But hey, it was the '80s.
Paul McCartney - My Brave Face (mp3)

4. 'McCartney' (1970)
Macca's first solo album (made while the Beatles were still an entity) is not quite a head turner, but I love its understated lo-fi charm. Unlike many of his records to come, there is nothing slick about it. 'McCartney' worked on this one almost completely alone, and it must have been therapeutic as the greatest band of all time was disintegrating. The classic "Maybe I'm Amazed" is the best song on the record, but "Man We Was Lonely", "Junk" and "That Would Be Something" make this one, in my opinion, essential.
Paul McCartney - Junk (mp3)

3. 'Chaos and Creation In The Backyard' (2005)
This past decade was an amazing time to be a Macca fan. 'Memory Almost Full and 'Electric Arguments' from The Fireman were both seriously considered for this list, but I went with this one simply because I have listened to it nearly every week for the last five years. The car I drive most of the time still has a disc player, and I keep a constant rotation of about five CDs. The exception in there is 'Chaos'. I have literally had it in the Jetta wagon for years. If I was honest with myself and had the guts, I would probably rank this one even higher than No. 3. 'Fine Line' was a pretty peppy single, but most of the record has a rather melancholy tone. While listening I often wonder what McCartney thinks of this record today. Although 'Chaos' is a beautiful piece of work, it has his love for Heather Mills written all over it. That's got to be regrettable.
Paul McCartney - How Kind Of You (mp3)

2. 'Band On The Run' (1973)
Now you understand why I couldn't put 'Chaos' any higher. I'm going to get enough hate mail for the inclusion of 'Flowers In The Dirt' without 'Band On The Run' taking a back seat to 'Chaos'. I will echo Ear Farm in saying side one is as good as Macca ever got as a solo artist ("Band On The Run", "Jet", "Bluebird", "Mrs. Vanderbilt", "Let Me Roll It"). For once, fans and critics agree on this one, and 'Band On The Run' marks Macca's most successful non-Beatles album. There's a 25th anniversary edition with a bonus disc that I was very excited about when it was released, but it turned out to be a disappointment. The outtakes are not the complete songs, the live songs are not culled from the 'Band On The Run' era and most of the disc is dotted with bland interviews. I recommend just holding on to your old vinyl version of this one.
Paul McCartney & Wings - Mrs. Vanderbilt (mp3)

1. 'Ram' (1971)
I would love to have something else here just for the sake of an argument, but I knew Ear Farm got it right the second I saw the list. I had 'Wings Greatest' from a very young age, but 'Ram' was the first non-compilation McCartney album I ever owned. Being about 12 years old, I was too young to really appreciate how good this record was. 'Ram' was a complete rediscovery for me when I made the format change to CD a little more than 20 years ago. 'Ram' has a bit of that homemade feel that 'McCartney' had before it, but the songs feel a little more substantial. One of my favorite tunes is the opener, "Too Many People". As the flip side to "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey", this probably ranks as his best Macca B-side. If I could only listen to one 'Ram' song the rest of my life, however, this is the one I would choose:
Paul & Linda McCartney - Monkberry Moon Delight (mp3)

If you're curious about the record that just missed this list, the one that got away was 'McCartney II'. The bottom line is I love McCartney, and I can find redeeming songs on all of his albums. These five, however, transcend the singles mentality that mark much of his career.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Music Samplers From My Youth: Part 5

If I could go back to any moment in time, I would have to consider 1977 to witness The Bunch of Stiffs Tour. Just like the early days of rock 'n' roll, Stiff Records' package tour brought together the label's best and brightest... and what a lineup! Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello, Wreckless Eric, Ian Dury and Larry Wallis shared the same bus to shows around England that featured a rotating lineup. There were obviously no egos yet. The bands changed quite a bit as well. Ian Dury might play drums for Wreckless Eric one night while Pete Thomas of the Attractions might beat the skins for Nick Lowe and so on. The adult beverages consumed while on the road is legendary, and it's quite evident on this piece of vinyl. I mean that in the best way possible. At one point Dury tells the audience to "cut out the f***in' spittin'!" That remark was during a raucous version of "Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll" all of the artists played together to close the LP. Yes, I have daydreamed about being at that show since I was 13 years old.

Enjoy a few tunes from 'Live Stiffs Live'.

Side One
Nick Lowe - I Knew The Bride (mp3)
Nick Lowe - Let's Eat
Wreckless Eric - Semaphore Signals
Wreckless Eric - Reconnez Cherie
Larry Wallis - Police Car
Side Two
Elvis Costello & The Attractions - I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself
Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Miracle Man (mp3)
Ian Dury & The Blockheads - Wake Up And Make Love With Me (mp3)
Ian Dury & The Blockheads - Billericay Dickie (mp3)
All - Sex Drugs Rock & Roll & Chaos

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

As the Holiday of Love Approaches...

Here are a couple of songs you wouldn't want to share with your honey this Valentine's Day, but I share them with you to remind us all of a time not so long ago when there was no such thing as political correctness.

Aretha Franklin will not be remembered for her days at Columbia, and I don't hesitate to state her later work at Atlantic cannot be matched. This song, however, from her second album, 'The Electrifying Aretha Franklin', shows she had the chops as far back as 1962. Even though I have heard "Rough Lover" -- the first song on side two -- dozens of times, I still can't help but be shocked by the lyrics. Here are some samples that would make your best gal blush. This is ripped right from the vinyl.

I want a rough lover
I want a man
I want a rough, tough lover
And I'll bite him if I can
He's got to bite nails
Fight bass
And if I get sassy be a man who dares
to shut me up and kiss me so I know he cares
I want a man

I want a boss
I want a mean, sweet daddy
who is a devil when he's cross
He's got to spit fire
chew iron
and then start roarin' like a mountain lion
and whisper that he loves me so I know he's mine

I want a man
don't want no cream puff, baby...

Aretha Franklin - Rough Lover (mp3)

Frank Sinatra was certainly not known for his political correctness, but he took this theme to an enjoyable level when he recorded the Burt Bacharach tune "Wives and Lovers". You can find it on the 1964 album he did with the Count Basie Orchestra called 'It Might As Well Be Swing'. I have never seen 'Mad Men' but, from what I have heard, this would be a great song to use on that television program. Check out some of the lyrics.

Hey, little girl
Comb your hair
Fix your makeup
Soon he will open the door

Don't think because
There's a ring
On your finger
You need not try anymore

For wives should always be lovers too
Run to his arms
The moment he comes home to you
I'm warning you

Day after day
There are girls at the office
And men will always be men
Don't send him off
With your hair still in curlers
You may not see him again

That's why he was called "The Chairman Of The Board".

Frank Sinatra - Wives and Lovers (mp3)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Music Samplers From My Youth: Part 4

Four of the best samplers from my youth are about to be in the books. Three of them have something physically in common. Can you guess? I'll give you a second. OK, the covers of 'Propaganda', 'Slash: The Early Sessions' and this one, ''No Wave', were all illustrated by the same guy. His name is Lou Beach, and he's a genius. Check out his work here.

'No Wave', subtitled "A Musical Dip Into The Ocean Of Contemporary Sounds", is another collection from A&M, and this one was released even a little bit earlier than 'Propaganda'. The Police, Joe Jackson and Squeeze (still credited as U.K. Squeeze even here in America) were mere pups. Jackson's first album, 'Look Sharp', wasn't even out yet when 'No Wave' hit the shelves. My copy is a really cool clear blue vinyl, but the record was also available as a picture disc with this illustration above. The flip side looked like a pizza and must have been interesting to see on a moving turntable. I, for one, don't think there is a bad cut on this LP. I went on to buy albums from every single act featured here. Now that's the sign of a good sampler.

My favorite song was always "Don't Care" from Klark Kent. Most of you probably know that was Stuart Copeland from the Police. The Stranglers would later go on to some moderate success in America with more mature sounding singles like "Golden Brown" and "Skin Deep". If that's what you know from these lads, prepare yourself. You won't believe this is the same band. "Strong In Reason" is one of Squeeze's best non 'Singles 45s and Under' tunes. That's thanks, in no small part, to the production of one John Cale. After listening to this album today for the first time in years I am struck by just how hard the Dickies were. You'll want to turn them up. I chose the following for posting because they are a little bit harder to find than, say, Jackson, the Police or Squeeze. Let's turn back the clock more than 30 years.

Side One:
1. U.K. Squeeze - Take Me I'm Yours
2. The Police - Roxanne
3. Joe Jackson - Got The Time
4. Klark Kent - Don't Care (mp3)
5. The Secret - I'm Alive (mp3)
6. The Stranglers - Bring On The Nubiles (mp3)
Side Two:
1. U.K. Squeeze - Strong In Reason
2. Joe Jackson - Sunday Papers
3. The Dickies - Give It Back (mp3)
4. The Police - Next To You
5. The Stranglers - Nice N' Sleazy
6. The Dickies - You Drive Me Ape (You Big Gorilla) (mp3)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Music Samplers From My Youth: Part 3

In November 1987, Sire started a very good series of samplers with this one. It is one of the few samplers from my teen years that I bought on CD... and for the grand price of $7.99 to boot. 'Just Say Yes...' featured 14 bands from the label's stable and, to this day, I would swear by at least 10 of them. Several of the bands, including Depeche Mode, Echo & the Bunnymen/Ian McCulloch, the Smiths/Morrissey, Ice-T and the Mighty Lemon Drops would appear on other volumes of these samplers.

The really nice thing about this series is even though you may have been fans of these bands, chances are you didn't own the versions of the songs found here. I, for one, was a big fan of extended versions and remixes like these in the '80s. Although I loved several of the bands on this one, I did get introduced to a few acts from this CD that I really enjoyed. In 1987, I didn't yet know about Throwing Muses, The Mighty Lemon Drops or James. One song I really liked at the time was "No Stars" by Figures On A Beach". Although I never ended up buying any albums from this New England band, I still like the tune from this one to this day. Check out the tune and a couple of others below. By the way, the first two songs alone represent almost 17 minutes of music, and they are probably the best of the lot. If you only pick up one volume from Sire's series, I recommend this one.

1. Depeche Mode - Never Let Me Down Again (Remix Mix Version)
2. Echo & The Bunnymen - Lips Like Sugar (12" Mix)
3. The Mighty Lemon Drops - Out of Hand (Extended Version)
4. James - Ya Ho
5. The Smiths - Work Is A Four Letter Word
6. Figures On A Beach - No Stars (mp3)
7. The Wild Swans - Young Manhood
8. Ice-T - Somebody's Gotta Do It (Pimpin' Ain't Easy) (12" Mix)
9. Ramones - I Wanna Live
10. The Replacements - Can't Hardly Wait
11. Throwing Muses - A Feeling
12. Aztec Camera - How Men Are
13. The Casual Gods - Cherokee Chief
14. Erasure - Hideaway

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Music Samplers From My Youth: Part 2

For white suburban punks in the mid 1980s, holding a vinyl copy of 'Slash: The Early Sessions' was like a reverend grasping the good book. This was the back-cover message from the label:

Continuing to foster the time honored relationship between religion and rock and roll, Slash has compiled its first greatest hits sampler, which commemorates nothing, but which reaffirms this bond.

In the past, others have claimed the territory of popular music to be second only to religion, equal or even more important than religion. Slash has now taken these proclamations to their logical final conclusion: Slash is the word.

This position is defended within, as Slash bands cut through the cultural oatmeal with spicy tunes of truth, morality and meaning. This is an album to live your life by.

Frank Lloyd Wright had a quote for just this sort of situation. When accused of being pompous and self-righteous, he replied, "There is only one greater sin... false humility."

This sermon may seem gutsy, but it isn't when you have these tunes to back your argument. Check out this tracklist:

Side 1
The Blasters - Border Radio
Gun Club - Sex Beat
Rank and File - The Conductor Wore Black
Violent Femmes - Blister In The Sun
The Blasters - Long White Cadillac

Side 2
X- Los Angeles (mp3)
Fear - New York's Alright If You Like Saxophones
Germs - Caught In The Eye
The Dream Syndicate - Tell Me When It's Over
X - White Girl (mp3)

Like all truly great samplers, I went on to buy several other albums because of this single purchase. I definitely went through a cowpunk/punkabilly phase, and it all started here. Today, looking back, the one band that has held up best is X. So, I hope these two samples of their music will help you start a little exploration of your own. These mp3s are ripped right from my vinyl. Enjoy.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Hey Hey It's A Monkees Box

No apologies. I love the Monkees. OK, I don't quite put them up there with the Fab Four, Kinks, Beach Boys or Zombies, but I don't put them that far behind. You can pick up your jaw now. One of the band's underrated albums is 'The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees'. Originally released in 1968, their fifth record was the first not to make it to No. 1. It peaked at No. 3. Three singles broke into the Top 40, and "Daydream Believer" claimed the top spot. The songwriting team of Boyce and Hart penned some great pieces for this one, including "Valleri", but it's the work of Michael Nesmith that has always interested me. I especially like "Auntie's Municipal Court" (see mp3 below).

Nearly 42 years after its initial release, Rhino has pulled out all of the stops for a three-disc tribute to 'The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees'. Only a handful of mono editions of the album were released in 1968, but the reissuing gods give us a mono and stereo version in this box set that comes out next Tuesday. The rest of the 88-song set is filled with previously unissued tracks and dozens of rarities. The $59.98 price will scare away all but die-hard fans, but here is hoping a couple of tunes will sway you.

The Monkees - Valleri (mp3)
The Monkees - Auntie's Municipal Court (mp3)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Paul Weller Album Announced

Since he already has nine solo studio albums under his belt, I guess we are way past the point when we put "former frontman of The Jam and The Style Council" in front of his name, but Paul Weller will release 'Wake Up Nation', his tenth studio album, on May 5. His label here in America, Yep Roc, says the record is "lean" and "mean". The first song we hear from it, "7&3 Is The Strikers Name" is a testament to that. Many Americans may think Weller's days as a viable commercial artist are behind him but, as his last album showed, that's just not the case. The underrated '22 Dreams' was his third solo LP to go to No. 1 in the UK. Yes, music fans across the pond are brighter than us. If you need a little help getting excited about 'Wake Up The Nation", maybe this will help. Kevin Shields and former Jam bassist Bruce Foxton stopped by the studio. See the video below, and check back for U.S. tour dates that we have been promised will be out soon.

'Wake Up the Nation' tracklisting
1. Moonshine
2. Wake Up The Nation
3. No Tears To Cry
4. Fast Car/Slow Traffic
5. Andromeda
6. In Amsterdam
7. She Speaks
8. Find The Torch, Burn The Plans
9. Aim High
10. Trees
11. Grasp and Still Connect
12. Whatever Next
13. 7&3 Is The Strikers Name
14. Up The Dosage
15. Pieces of a Dream
16. Two Fat Ladies