Jan. 21, 2014
Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues (Total Treble)
It's been two years since frontwoman Laura Jane Grace publicly came out as transgender, and the band's sixth album reflects her intensely personal grappling with gender dysphoria, loss of a young friend, love and acceptance. She took on producing duties for the first time and even built a new studio in Florida to record Transgender Dysphoria Blues' demos. Unfortunately a tornado damaged the studio, but the album was eventually recorded, mixed by Billy Bush (Garbage, Muse, Tegan and Sara) and features NOFX's Fat Mike on bass for "Unconditional Love" and "FUCKMYLIFE666." All 10 tracks veer from deeply personal and political to commenting on the current state of the music business, and is sure to resonate with longtime fans and new listeners alike.
Graham Colton – Lonely Ones (Graham Colton Recordings)
After parting ways with Universal Music, Colton began reconnecting with himself as an artist and collaborating with friend and fellow Oklahoma City musician Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips, who inspired him to experiment more during the songwriting process. As a result, this new album is a move away from Colton's singer-songwriter past towards the lush textures of indie/psych pop, complete with handclaps, la-la-las and infectious melodies.
U.S. Royalty – Blue Sunshine
The Washington, D.C. foursome isolated themselves in a house overlooking a cemetery near Great Falls, Md., with longtime friend and engineer Justin Long, who worked on their Mirrors debut, to begin their sophomore effort. They eventually finished Blue Sunshine at Dreamland Studios in upstate New York, and the album reflects the intense reflection produced from isolation and new songwriting approaches inherent in being in new locales, as well as the passing of lead singer John Thornley and lead guitarist Paul Thornley's father. As you listen to the 11 songs, you'll hear whispers of "Hollywood folk, 70s AM gold and desert road trip blues."
Young the Giant – Mind Over Matter (Fueled By Ramen)
I admit that I'm sometimes biased when it comes to bands from where I grew up in Orange County, but as evidenced by the success of their 2010 self-titled debut, Young the Giant deserve all the praise I throw their way. If you love them for "My Body" and "Cough Syrup," Mind Over Matter – produced by Justin Meldal-Johnsen (Beck, Nine Inch Nails, Paramore) – will continue to please with tracks like energetic lead single "It's About Time." Their Feb. 7 show at the Palladium is sold out, but if you don't mind driving a bit you can see them at Ventura Theatre Feb. 4 or Soma in San Diego on Feb. 9.
Also available – 2014 GRAMMY Nominees album; Aer's self-titled; Akissforjersey's New Bodies; Chris Gatsby's Middleground: Morals + Money; Crushed Stars' Farewell Young Lovers; Culted's Oblique to All Paths; Damien Jurado's Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son; Dog Bite's Tranquilizers; I Break Horses' Chiaroscuro; Ice Nine Kills' The Predator Becomes the Prey; The Jacka & Laroo's Never Be the Same - Season II: No Mercy; The John Lurie National Orchestra's The Invention of Animals; Mode Moderne's Occult Delight; Mogwai's Rave Tapes; Ray West & OC's Ray's Café; Shoko Hikage's Inishie no; Sister's Disguised Vultures; Snowgoons' Black Snow 2; Step Brothers' Lord Steppington; Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra's Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light on Everything; Throwdown's Intolerance; together PANGEA's Badillac; Warpaint's self-titled
Available this week – Dark Souls: Design Works art book; The Days of Anna Madrigal by Armistead Maupin; People Tools by Alan Fox; Perfect Ending by Robert Jeffress; Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine; The Second Machine Age by Erik Brynjolfsson
Film – Woody Allen directs Cate Blanchett as a New York socialite who moves into her sister's San Francisco apartment when her life begins to unravel in Blue Jasmine, also with Sally Hawkins, Alec Baldwin and Peter Sarsgaard; Captain Phillips, starring Tom Hanks and Barkhad Abdi, is the true story of the commanding officer of the Alabama as it is overtaken by a crew of Somali pirates; Eugenio Derbez directs and stars in the highly lauded dramedy Instructions Not Included
TV – Borgen: Season 3; Comedy Bang Bang: Season 1; How the Universe Works: Season 2; The Incredible Dr. Pol: Season 3; NYPD Blue: Season Five
Music – The Doors' R-Evolution; Pink!'s The Truth About Love Tour: Live From Melbourne
Also available – Bad Milo; Best Man Down; Charlie Countryman; Crossing Lines; Freezer; In a World; Machete Kills; Old Goats; The Prey; Starving Games; Sunlight Jr.; Vikingdom