Caught a Ghost – “No Sugar in My Coffee”

(from Human Nature)

You may have inadvertently heard his L.A. project before; Caught a Ghost’s songs have been featured in handful of television shows (Boardwalk Empire and The Vampire Diaries among them).

The sound is something old, something borrowed, and something new: warm, well-traveled, and forward-thinking.

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Ziggy Marley – “You”

(from Fly Rasta)

Fly Rasta feels slick and safe; a family-friendly reggae affair guided by Ziggy’s increasingly more Bob-esque voice.

Repetitive though it is, “You” is our favorite track on the album. We dig the Melody Makers’ back-up vocals and the song’s funky groove.

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Metal Mondays – Gamma Ray “Born to Fly”

(from Empire of the Undead)

Straight-forward power metal from the German band’s eleventh studio album. Most of the album plays like a NWOBHM tribute album, but we’re not complaining.

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Forgotten Fridays – Metamorpho Theme Song

With Record Store Day happening tomorrow we decided to celebrate vinyl with this obscurity from the mid-70s.

Power Records (owned by Peter Pan Records) was a label that put out a series of licensed stories about DC and Marvel comic book characters. Each release was a combination of a comic book and 7″ vinyl record–the record was essentially an audiobook version of the printed comic.

We loved Power Records when we were in grade school, and one of our favorites was the super-weird Metamorpho story “Fumo, the Fire Giant.” Before the story rolled out, we got a groovy theme song that recapped Metamorpho’s background. Enjoy it in its scratchy, poppy, straight-from-the-1970s glory.

Happy Record Store Day!

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Split Single – “Never Look Back”

(from Fragmented World)

We loved Jason Narducy’s voice, guitar playing and songwriting in previous bands like Verbow, Jason and Allison, and Rockets Over Sweden. He’s been adding rock heft to Bob Mould’s band most recently, so it’s nice to see him step back under the spotlight with Split Single.

“Never Look Back” has fuzzed-out 90s guitars, lyrical charm, elevated melodies, Midwestern power pop-smarts and Narducy’s voice. Sold.

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Afghan Whigs – “Algiers”

(from Do to the Beast)

On Afghan Whigs’ first album in 16 years, the band carefully avoids taking any nostalgia trips. “Algiers” finds singer Greg Dulli walking through a haze of cigarette smoke, crooning and urging you to “sin your dreams away.”

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Old 97s – “Longer Than You’ve Been Alive”

(from Most Messed Up)

Leave it to Old 97s to make the tired rock cliche of writing about being in a band totally enjoyable. Old 97s have long been a favorite of ours, and that love starts with Rhett Miller’s lyrics:

“Most of our shows were a triumph of rock, although some nights I might have been checking the clock”

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Metal Mondays – Sonata Arctica “Cloud Factory”

(from Pariah’s Child)

Power metal that’s beautifully overblown and ridiculous:

“There is a factory clouds are made in/ They make ‘em big and blue/ The Factory eats you, it swallows you whole”

“Cloud Factory” is equal parts Meat Loaf and “What Does the Fox Say?” And we’re pretty sure that’s an endorsement.

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Forgotten Fridays – Steel Pulse “Ravers”

(from True Democracy)

“I wanna know how you’re feeling (irie)”

The weather is mercifully turning for the better, and that has us lusting for reggae sounds. This Steel Pulse classic from ’82 dutifully fulfills that need. We want to be outside under the sun with a cold beverage. Right. Now.

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Jonny Two Bags – “Avenues”

(from Salvation Town)

Social Distortion guitarist Jonny Wickersham delivers a solo album filled with America-tinged grit, regret, and self-loathing.

We especially love the accordion and female Spanish vocals on this one.

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