CD STAPLES MA
Carry Me Home / Mavis Staples & Levon Helm
Featuring live recordings from 2011 (less than a year before Levon Helm would pass away from throat cancer), Carry Me Home is a triumph, reuniting two icons and friends who famously joined forces during the 1976 filming of The Band’s classic concert film The Last Waltz (Helm of course, was their beloved drummer and one of three vocalists). Mavis Staples, whose group The Staple Singers featured on a performance of “The Weight,” still shines brightly in the galaxy of that concert’s guest appearances. This album finds Helm and Staples in fine form, each enjoying a late-career resurgence in popularity and critical acclaim, and what results is an album steeped in the gospel-folk-roots music tradition that shaped them both. Includes “This Is My Country,” “Wide River to Cross,” and returns, once more, to “The Weight” for a truly poignant finale.
CD LINDA LIND
Growing Up / The Linda Lindas
Fueled by their own youthful energy, talent, and the supreme power of the Internet, The Linda Lindas exploded into the zeitgeist in 2021 with their viral hit “Racist, Sexist Boy.” Since then, the multi-cultural group has signed to iconic punk label Epitaph and released their debut, Growing Up, which in less than a half-hour, encapsulates so much of what pre-teens and teens are dealing with and sends it hurtling through filters of punk rock, garage rock and power pop with thoroughly enjoyable results. Top tunes: “Magic,” “Why,” and the title track.
CD LAMAR KEND
Mr. Morale and The Big Steppers / Kendrick Lamar
The follow-up to 2017’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “DAMN” has finally arrived, and as fans now know, it is the artist’s final project for longtime creative and familial home, Top Dawg Entertainment. Kendrick Lamar emerges from his relatively quiet period with an introspective (at times, incendiary) double album filled to the brim with his takes on topics such as sexual addiction and abuse, cancel culture, interpersonal relationships, generational trauma and its effects, and more. Lamar’s own partner Whitney Alford and spiritual teacher/author Eckhart Tolle help guide the album, along with other mostly well-placed guest appearances. Highlights include “N95,” “Father Time,” and “Mirror.”
CD FRANZ FERD
Hits to the Head / Franz Ferdinand
Beloved Scottish indie rock band compiles their deliciously danceable classics and fan favorites (“Take Me Out,” “Do You Want To,” “Ulysses,” “Stand on the Horizon,” etc.) into a twenty-track anthology quirkily titled Hits to the Head. Grouped in chronological order, it makes for a compelling growing history of the band whose incredible debut was released in 2004 and discography spans five studio albums. This collection also marks the introduction of new drummer Audrey Tait (following the departure of drummer Paul Thomson in late 2021), and adds two new recordings, “Curious” and “Billy Goodbye.”
DF: September 1, 2022