OUT THIS WEEK
Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, “Rocket” (Verve Forecast). Since rocketing to pop stardom out of Dallas in the late 1980s, Brickell and her band have reconvened in the studio just twice in the past three decades. Yet with “Rocket,” their first album since 2006’s “Stranger Things,” New Bohemians may be headed for a surprise resurgence. Brickell still lives in the Northeast with husband Paul Simon and guitarist/co-writer Kenny Withrow remains in Dallas, but the rest of the band is centered around Austin. Bassist Brad Houser and percussionist John Bush have been fixtures on the local scene for years, while drummer Brandon Aly found a home in Blanco teaching middle-school and high-school music classes. Two more key Austin acquisitions helped “Rocket” get off the ground: Kyle Crusham, who produced the album at Arlyn Studios, and keyboardist Matt Hubbard. What always worked so well about this band is still right in the pocket: Brickell’s pop sensibilities give shape and focus to her bandmates’ creative instrumental improvisation. Lead single “What Makes You Happy” bounces to Brickell’s rapid-fire lyrics and the band’s rhythmic effervescence, with a similarly playful and upbeat vibe resurfacing on the more anthemic “Exaggerate.” “Drawn to You” and “Far Away” are quieter, acoustic-based tunes, relying on the simple beauty of Brickell’s captivating voice. The band gets funky on “Green Magic,” taps a sweetly jazzy vein with “Trust” and turns up the heat on the rocking “Eyes in the Window.” That indefinable yet unmistakable New Bohemians groove, a sort of spacey glide between rhythmic strut and melodic sway, shows up most distinctly on “Obvious” and “Superhero.” Thirty years later, it’s remarkable just how much this band still has the same spirit they did when they were rising up out of Deep Ellum clubs in Dallas. The music landscape has changed so much since then that re-bottling the lightning that struck on their 1988 LP “Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars” seems unlikely if not impossible. But forget all that and just listen to “Rocket,” which is a beautiful, inspiring, sensational album. Here’s the video for the opening track “What Makes You Happy,” filmed at Playland skating rink in North Austin:
Lindsay Beaver, “Tough As Love” (Alligator). Beaver has been a regular at Austin blues club Antone’s over the past year with her band the 24th Street Wailers, but with the release of this album, she’s hit the road on an extensive tour. From the Canadian town of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Beaver has been a good fit into the Antone’s scene, with a deeply rooted sound that draws heavily on R&B, blues and rockabilly. A drummer who plays her kit up front and center, Beaver also proves on this album to be a powerful singer on material ranging from original tunes to covers of songs by Art Neville, Angela Strehli and others. Here’s a recent video of a non-album track, Lloyd Price’s “Just Because,” live at Antone’s:
Mike Molnar, “Far Toward Sundown” (Self Sabotage). Twelve-song instrumental record from the local guitarist known for his work with the Bellfuries, Ronnie Dawson, Will Courtney and others. Release show Oct. 14 at 13th Floor. Here’s an alternate take on the leadoff track, “(Nothing Happening) At the Present Time”:
OCT. 15: Kevin Welch, “Dust Devil” (Dead Reckoning), playing Nov. 15 at Susanna’s Kitchen in Wimberley.
OCT. 19: Kendall Beard, “Here Comes Trouble,” playing Nov. 10 at Lamberts.
OCT. 19: Dirty River Boys, “Mesa Starlight.”
OCT. 25: Lesly Reynaga, playing Oct. 25 at One-2-One Bar.
OCT. 26: Carson McHone, “Carousel,” playing Nov. 1 at Cactus Cafe.
OCT. 26: Jamie Lin Wilson, “Jumping Over Rocks,” playing Oct. 20 at Sam’s Town Point.
OCT. 26: Isaac Jacob Band, self-titled (Union 28).
NOV. 7: Kate Howard, release show Nov. 7 at One-2-One Bar.
NOV. 9: Sydney Wright, “Seiche.”
NOV. 9: Frenchie’s Blues Destroyers, “Love Is Blood.”
NOV. 10: Bruce Smith, “Til The Wheels Fall Off,” release show Nov. 10 at Saxon Pub.