Tuesday, February 19th, 2013
The Right Thing Right
Johnny Marr dispatches The Messenger early
Jon ShardIt’s been a while since both Morrissey and Johnny Marr have been in the news simultaneously, and not just issuing denials of Smiths reunions. Moz, unfortunately, is making headlines for his health issues and resulting tour cancellations – though that’s probably better than for making outrageously offensive comments – but Marr’s press cycle is decidedly more positive as he’s now just a week out from the release of his new record The Messenger.
It’s not entirely clear to me why The Messenger is being called his solo debut; even though 2003’s Boomslang was credited to Johnny Marr & The Healers, I don’t think anyone looked at it as a songwriting partnership between Marr and Zak Starkey. Of course, the fact that that record wasn’t very good may play a part in why they’d rather present The Messenger as its own standalone thing rather than a follow-up. In any case, with the February 26 release date of the new record almost upon us, the whole of it is now available for advance stream at Rolling Stone.
I’m not sure what general expectations around the record are. It’s great to have Marr and his guitar back and not just playing sideman, even though that’s the role through which his legend was largely formed. For my part, I just wanted it to be better than Boomslang which was disappointingly lacking in personality and sounded like a late-era Britpop also-ran. The Messenger feels sprightlier, more melodic, and more classically Marr – more jangle than riff. Whereas I couldn’t wait for Boomslang to be over, I’ve been hitting repeat on The Messenger – consider it endorsed?
Pitchfork, Clash, and Time have interviews with Marr and NME got him to play “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Know” for the first time in a quarter-century by way of a guitar lesson. Marr’s North American tour – backed by The Healers but not the same Boomslang Healers – kicks off in April and will stop in Toronto at The Phoenix on April 27.
Stream: Johnny Marr / The Messenger
Esquire has an interview with Thom Yorke, usually of Radiohead but lately of Atoms For Peace. Yorke and his AFP compatriots hosted a Reddit AMA yesterday in advance of the release of AMOK on February 26, and have also begun streaming the new album in whole at NPR. Oh, and if a Thom Yorke-Flea collaboration doesn’t float your boat, know that Radiohead will be reconvening this year to work on a new album.
Stream: Atoms For Peace / AMOK
Stream: Shout Out Louds / Optica
Lyric Video: Phoenix – “Entertainment”
Primal Scream have released the first video from their new record More Light, which is due out on May 6.
Video: Primal Scream – “2013”
Though there’s maddeningly no word on an actual full-length release, Kate Jackson – ex-Long Blondes – has made the whole of her recording sessions with Bernard Butler available to stream. Which will have to suffice for the foreseeable future.