Andre Williams, “Life” LP

cover-andre-williams-life90% of Andre Williams‘ latest, Life, is stone-cold cool. Alive Records put the man with with a team of musicians who know how to rock that back-alley juke joint vibe. This is some after-hours shit. “Stuck In the Middle” and “Heels” groove and sway. Smooth. Not quite silky … more like a black cup of coffee, the way it warms with its heat and bites just enough at the end to let you know it’s working — not unlike a stiff shot of rye.

Yeah, I know Williams is 100% stone cold sober on Life, but these are the tales of a man who knows what it’s like to be blisteringly blasted past all sense. His voice shows its age, but the band knows how to work alongside it, and age brings knowledge and experience in this case, not wear and tear.
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Wherein I talk with some people you might know

Over at the Pitch‘s Wayward Blog, I get to use the nature of a major metropolitan free weekly to speak with all kinds of people who are slightly more well-known than the people with whom I speak over here. That’s not to say that anyone’s better than the next person – just that the people whom I interview for the Pitch are probably gonna garner a few more hits than the indie bands and label heads here at Rock Star Journalist. In the interest of making my writing work for me twice, here’s a brief compendium of folks from the past few months.

* Valient Thorr’s Valient Himself on politics, bad flicks, and Thorriors.
* Director Gorman Bechard on his Replacements documentary, Color Me Obsessed.
* Bryan Cox talks up Soft Lighting’s debut, Slow Motion Silhouettes.
* The State‘s Kevin Allison takes a Risk with his podcast.
* The Pharmacy want you to Dig Your Grave.
* Omaha’s Conchance on the trials and travails of indie hip-hop.
* KU’s Paul Laird addresses the racial and gender politics of South Pacific.
* Alive Records founder Patrick Boissel on his label’s new compilation, Where is Parker Griggs?

Get Hip reissuing the Beat’s “The Kids Are the Same”

cover-beat-kids-are-the-saemGet Hip Records reissues Paul Collins’ Beat‘s sophomore LP, The Kids Are the Same as an 180-gram LP March 6. Originally release on CBS in 1982, the album was – as are many lost classics – a critical success and commercial failure. The repress is of a limited edition of 1000 and comes on the heels of Get Hip’s 2011 reissue of the Beat’s self-titled debut.

Paul Collins is currently on the road with Peter Case. Case was the frontman for fellow ’80s power pop heroes the Plimsouls, but Collins and Case both did time in seminal West Coast bands the Breakaways and the Nerves. The two are performing songs by the Plimsouls, the Beat, the Breakaways, and the Nerves.

Here is a chance to see two of rock ‘n’ roll’s finest songwriters performing some classics of underground pop. What are the chances that you’ll ever get to hear “Don’t Wait Up For Me,” “Hanging On the Telephone,” and “A Million Miles Away” in the same set, much less by the original performers? A complete list of tour dates is right here.

cover-plimsouls-beach-townAdditionally, there’s a new live album from the Plimsouls out now on Alive, entitled Beach Town Confidential. Recorded at The Golden Bear in Huntington Beach, CA on August 13, 1983, this is the Plimsouls’ third live release, following 1988’s One Night In America and 2010’s Live! Beg, Borrow & Steal.

If you buy it direct from the label, there’s a version on pink vinyl, limited to a pressing of 200.