“Twisted Highway” – Erika Wennerstrom. While her excellent band Heartless Bastards takes a break, Wennerstrom decided to record a solo album on a whim. If this, the first single, is any indication, there will be no loss of quality compared to her work with HB. 

“Gauntlet in the Sun” – Ricky Lewis. I feel like my general music tastes have not changed that much. I’ve been locked into alt/indie rock for over 20 years now. But within that umbrella there have been shifts over the years. This song, for example. Would I have listened to and enjoyed it ten years ago? Would the pedal steel and the gentle whine of the guitars have put me off as being too country? But after discovering The War on Drugs, Kurt Vile, and Ryan Adams, this song fits squarely into what I like these days. It seems perfect for playlists put together for road trips once summer arrives.

“Chasing the Muse” – Valley Queen. Along those same lines, Valley Queen is a band I probably wouldn’t have listened to not that long ago. But over the past 18 months or so they’ve put out a series of tremendous songs that bump up against Americana and Folk while keeping one foot firmly planted on a 70s, retro-rock base. This is good stuff.

“You Don’t Tell Me” – Night Flowers. So much power pop greatness wrapped up in this track. It could be a lost track from The Posies’ prime era.


“Mexican Radio” – Wall of Voodoo. This time tomorrow, the travel gods willing, we will be on our way to Playa del Carmen, Mexico for a week in the sun and sand. What better way to celebrate than the greatest song from the New Wave era about Border Blaster radio stations that pumped ground breaking music into America in the 1970s?