Today’s New Albums: Dumpstaphunk, Dinosaur Jr, Todd Snider & More
Each week Release Day Picks profiles new LPs and EPs Team JamBase will be checking out on release day Friday. This week we highlight new albums by Dumpstaphunk, Dinosaur Jr., Todd Snider, Chris Forsyth & the Solar Motel Band, Motorhead and The Who. Read on for more insight into the records we have all queued up to spin.
Dumpstaphunk – Where Do We Go From Here
The Scoop: New Orleans funk group Dumpstaphunk today released their first full-length album in seven years, Where Do We Go From Here, through Mascot Label Group / The Funk Garage. The band consisting of Ivan Neville, Ian Neville Tony Hall, Nick Daniels, Alex Wasily, Ryan Nyther and Devin Trusclair released the album’s title track “Where Do We Go From Here” in August 2020, coinciding with the 15th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Another single, “Justice 2020,” was issued near the 2020 U.S. presidential election and featured Chali 2na and Trombone Shorty. The new record opens with a cover of Buddy Miles’ 1973 anthem “United Nations Stomp,” featuring guitarist Marcus King.
“We hope people can hear the new songs and are inclined to dance, and inspired to think at the same time,” Ivan Neville stated. “Obviously, the New Orleans history is just embedded in us, but we manage to incorporate all the other stuff we’ve listened to over the years. We’re representing a legacy, but we’re reimagining a lot of it, too.”
Dinosaur Jr. – Sweep It Into Space
The Scoop: Dinosaur Jr. are back with their new Jagjaguwar release, Sweep It Into Space, their first new collection since 2016’s Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not. The renowned alt-rock power trio — guitarist J Mascis, bassist Lou Barlow and drummer Murph — convened in the familiar space of the Biquiteen recording facility in their native Amherst, Massachusetts to begin sessions for Sweep It Into Space in Fall 2019. Dinosaur Jr. enlisted the help of Kurt Vile to co-produce the record. Vile also added 12-string guitar on the track “I Ran Away.” But then the world changed with the onset of the pandemic and Dinsosaur Jr. had to postpone the album’s release from 2020 to 2021 and their work with Vile was disrupted. But Dinosaur Jr. hasn’t been around for nearly 40 years to let a plague get them down and they made the best of a bad situation.
Mascis took full control and “ended up just mimicking a few things he’d done,” the frontman said of Vile contributions in a statement. “I was listening to a lot of Thin Lizzy, so I was trying to get some of that dueling twin lead sound,” he continued. “But the recording session was pretty well finished by the time things really hit the fan. When the lockdown happened in March, that meant I was on my own. But it was cool.” As 2021 dawned, Dinosaur Jr. announced the album and shared the upbeat, pop-tinged “I Ran Away” as the lead single and followed with the Barlow-penned “Garden” and finally “Take It Back.”
Todd Snider – First Agnostic Church of Hope And Wonder
The Scoop: Singer-songwriter Todd Snider’s 19th studio album, First Agnostic Church of Hope And Wonder, is out today via Aimless Records / Thirty Tigers. Snider describes the source of the record’s title, “as a house of worship presided over by a preacher who’s full of shit, and when everyone starts to realize it, he asks God to help and God does, proving once and for all that God is hilarious.” The 10 track LP presents several songs written by Snider in honor of musicians who recently died. The song “Handsome John” is a tribute to John Prine, “Turn Me Loose (I’ll Never Be The Same)” was inspired by Jerry Jeff Walker, the opening track “Sail On, My Friend” is dedicated to Jeff Austin, and Col. Bruce Hampton and Neal Casal (who was Snider’s Hard Working Americans bandmate) “serve[d] as inspirations throughout the record.” Snider recorded the album with Midland drummer Robbie Crowell and Tchad Blake — who is typically known for his work as an engineer — playing piano, flute, tuba, guitar and more.
“I had the idea for the sound first,” Snider told Rolling Stone. “I wanted to do what I was calling ‘funk in back and busking up front,’ with White Album-y shit scattered about. I had done a lot of listening to Parliament and James Brown, and lots of reggae music, too … There’s no chords on this record. I just tracked the songs with my voice. Then I played the stuff like an overdub. I’m trying to be a musician, which isn’t really what I am. I’m more of a folk artist, with not as much musicianship. But I want to be someone who gets better as I get older.”
Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band – Rare Dreams: Solar Live 2.27.18 (Expanded)
The Scoop: Out today on the Algorithm Free label, Rare Dreams: Solar Live 2.27.18 (Expanded) captures guitarist Chris Forsyth joined by the final iteration of The Solar Motel Band, a rhythm section made up of regular bassist Peter Kerlin and Kerlin’s Sunwatchers bandmate, drummer Jason Robira. As the title implies, the album was recorded on February 27, 2018 at London’s Cafe OTO. The initial three-song release was issued by No Quarter in 2018 and featured +15-minute versions of “Dreaming In The Non-Dream” and “The First 10 Minutes of Cocksucker Blues,” as well as a cover of Neil Young’s “Don’t Be Denied.” The expanded edition also includes the evening’s encore, a cover of Young’s “Barstool Blues.”
Motörhead – Louder Than Noise… Live In Berlin
The Scoop: Legendary metal act Motörhead’s December 5, 2012 show at the Veldrom in Berlin is documented on Louder Than Noise… Live In Berlin, a live album and concert film out today via Silver Lining Music. The trio — consisting of frontman/bassist Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister, guitarist Phil “Wizzö” Campbell and drummer Mikkey Dee — played in front of 12,000 German fans at the performance featured on the new set. Motörhead’s 15-song set went heavy on fan favorites such as “Killed By Death,” “Ace Of Spades,” “Overkill” and “Metropolis.”
The Who – The Who Sell Out (Super Deluxe)
The Scoop: While The Who are renowned for their rock operas, the legendary band was also on the cutting edge of rock opera’s cousin, the concept album. In 1967, The Who released their LP, The Who Sell Out, a collection of songs strung together with mock commercials and jingles and presented as a pirate radio broadcast. Though the release of Tommy in 1969 may have overshadowed The Who Sell Out, Rolling Stone later called the 1967 record The Who’s “finest.”
Now, The Who Sell Out is getting its due, receiving the super deluxe treatment. The five-disc, two 7-inch collection boasts “112 tracks, 47 of which are unreleased, an 80-page, hard-back full-color book, including rare period photos, memorabilia, track by track annotation and new sleeve notes by Pete Townshend,” noted a press release. The original album features Who classics like “I Can See For Miles” as well as deeper cuts. But the deluxe edition includes a collection of Townshend demos containing previously unreleased tracks like a remix of “Pictures Of Lily,” “Kids! Do You Want Kids?” (aka “Do You Want Kids, Kids?”) and “Odorono,” among others, along with an On The Road To Tommy 1968 collection and more.
Compiled by Scott Bernstein, Nate Todd and Andy Kahn.