What's New?


Hey all —

Read the news yesterday that Phil Alvin, of L.A.'s mighty band of rockers The Blasters, has been suffering a series of health problems in the past week and needs some help. One thing that people might wonder is how a music industry pro who's been working for 40+ years would need this kind of help, but the realities of the gig lifestyle — especially when you've remained at the cult level for your entire career — doesn't allow for amenities that lots of folks take for granted; things like insurance, regular health care, and so forth aren't always within the reach of every musician — they can't all be Bono and Madonna. Because of this situation, the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund was set up. In 1994, Victoria Williams was forced to drop off a tour with Neil Young because of a debilitating series of symptoms that was ultimately diagnosed as multiple sclerosis, and as a young musician she had no financial net set up to help out. Sweet Relief notes their mission like this: “As a non-profit dedicated to musicians and music-industry workers, Sweet Relief Musicians Fund provides assistance to all types of career musicians who are struggling to make ends meet while facing illness, disability, or age-related problems.” Alvin's friends have set up a direct donation for him HERE, but if you'd like to read more about Sweet Relief (or even donate more broadly to the fund to help out those who aren't even at Alvin's level yet), you can read about them HERE.

On a similar note, I read about another non-profit organization doing similar work for those who aren't suffering from physical ailments, but who are dealing with the more internal and private (and often invisible) struggle of mental health and wellness. The organization Backline works with music industry professionals of all types, not just musicians, and “connects music industry professionals and their families with mental health and wellness resources.” I know the struggles with mental health hit home for lots of folks in and around the industry, so I'm very impressed with Backline's commitment to locating this demographic and creating a resource for them — for us. To read more about their services or to donate to another worthwhile cause, please click HERE. Thanks for reading, and if you can donate or connect someone who needs either of these to resources to help them, thanks for helping out!

In music new releases, things are picking up again after a few mellow weeks, so read on. We kick off with the second album by Dan Auerbach's side project from Black Keys, The Arcs, entitled Electrophonic Chronic and available now on CD an indie exclusive CD that comes with a bonus iron-on patch, and on indie exclusive clear/black vinyl LP; we've also got reissues of five LPs by Black Lips (200 Million Thousand, Arabia Mountain, Let It Bloom, Satan's Graffiti or God's Art, and Underneath the Rainbow); Childish Gambino's mixtape Kauai has been released on LP this week and and we've got plenty of copies!; the 30th anniversary issue of The Cure's Wish album is out now on vinyl; on CD there's a new 2-disc compilation of tracks by Congolese guitar master Franco, just called Best of — from the track lengths it looks to be early material, but given that nearly everything else of his is out of print on CD, it's worth snapping this up before it's gone too; Toronto hardcore back Fucked Up has returned with their first album in five years, One Day, out now on CD and indie exclusive blue and white LP; on both CD and LP we've got All the Eye Can See, the latest by talented singer-songwriter Joe Henry; two great 70s albums by the legendary Curtis Mayfield have gotten lovely LP reissues this week as well — Curtis and Curtis/Live!; and lastly, hometown heroes Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats have a beautiful blue vinyl LP reissue of their debut album, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats.

Over in DVD and Blu-ray, it's a relatively light week, but as always, there are a few things of note. The Criterion Collection has released the 2019 film This Is Not a Burial, It's a Resurrection (directed by Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese) on both DVD and Blu-ray. It's from Lesotho, a small landlocked kingdom contained entirely with the borders of South Africa and is Mosese's third feature film. Should be an interesting one! Also out this week on DVD and Blu-ray is Violent Night, the wildly entertaining holiday-themed actioner with both John Leguizamo and Beverly D'Angelo that came out at the beginning of December last year. On Blu-ray only, the 1982 teen sex comedy The Last American Virgin has (finally!) been released, and Shout Factory has released a 7-film box set entitled Jackie Chan Collection Vol. 1: 1976-1982 that ought to tell you exactly what you're getting into (to be precise, you're getting into these films: The Killer Meteors / Shaolin Wooden Men / To Kill with Intrigue / Snake & Crane Arts of Shaolin / Dragon Fist / Battle Creek Brawl / Dragon Lord).

Outside the store, TONIGHT - Friday January 27th - local folk music treasure Mollie O'Brien will be performing with her husband, guitarist Rich Moore, at Swallow Hill's Daniels Hall! Check out all the details and get your tix HERE! Dazzle Denver kicked off a monthly series last month exploring the compositions of Colorado jazz great Ron Miles and educating listeners about his approach to music last week and it will continue with the second event in the series on Tuesday February 7th, when Joshua Trinidad's trumpet/guitar/drums trio will also be taking on Ron's music. Read about that one HERE. Also coming up in February at the Hi-Dive another set of local heroes, indie popsters Dressy Bessy, will be performing on Friday Feb 24. You can read details and get tix HERE. And the classic Golden music venue, The Buffalo Rose, will be playing host on Tuesday Feb 28th to Stick Men - Tony Levin, Markus Reuter, and Pat Mastelotto! Their site doesn't take you to a specific event, but you can scroll down the page HERE to find the event and read more details or secure your tix!

Coming up on Friday March 3rd, Japanese punk rockers Otoboke Beaver will be back in Denver and performing at the Bluebird. The last time they were here they packed out a smaller venue and I would not be surprised if this one sells out too! Read details and get tix HERE! The Songwriting of Ron Miles series continues at Dazzle Denver in March, featuring pianist Tenia Nelson's trio on Tuesday March 7th. You can get more details and tickets HERE. And taking place on March 17th and 18th at Swallow Hill's Daniels Hall, tickets are on sale for two nights of The Magnetic Fields. It's been a long time since they played in the Denver metro region, and I can't think of any time they've played a venue this intimate here. You can read more about it and get tix at THIS LINK (link is to Friday March 17th show, but you can link through to Swallow Hill's site from here to get to the Saturday show easily enough). Another one to put on your calendar and start thinking about tix for is San Francisco's legendary band of anonymous weirdos, The Residents, who were scheduled to play a show in 2020 but cancelled for obvious reasons, and have now rescheduled a show for Tuesday March 21st at the Bluebird! Read more and get your tix HERE! Lastly, Protomartyr announced a show coming up on Tuesday March 28th at the Hi-Dive! Tickets are on sale as of 10AM today so hopefully it's not sold out by the time you read this! You can get yours HERE.

Hope you're all doing well and staying healthy!

Cheers,
Patrick




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