Long Beach to Hampton

Badfish is back for annual show

By Michael Witthaus

Some things never change, like the annual return of Badfish to Casino Ballroom for a Fourth of July show, a tradition that began in 2007. What started near the end of the ’90s as a few URI students responding to the passing of Sublime lead singer and creative force Bradley Nowell has evolved into more than a tribute act.

They’re still performing songs from the short-lived ska-punk band, like “Santeria” and their namesake deep cut, but now a few original songs are part of their sets. Last December they put out a single called “High With You.” Badfish drummer Scott Begin expects more tracks will be released “strategically” in the coming months.

“We tried in fits and starts to do some original music over the years, and it was always a fun experiment, but nothing ever really felt like it stuck,” Begin recalled by phone recently. That changed when singer Pat Downs and Danny Torgerson, a multi-instrumentalist and Badfish’s newest member, did a few writing sessions together.

“They came up with some demos that we were really grooving on,” Begin continued. The latest is “FYPM,” a slow, steady growler of a kiss-off that’s definitely NSFW. It’s now on Badfish’s SoundCloud page. The group also performed a few of the new songs live during an appearance on the Sugar Shack podcast in January.

All the creative activity hasn’t changed their primary mission.

“We promote ourselves as Badfish – A Tribute to Sublime,” Begin said. “We certainly don’t want any confusion … people are still going to hear Sublime songs. In the future, if some of our originals gain some traction, that could be a reason to say, ‘Well, now we’re just Badfish’ and then maybe you’ll be hearing a good chunk of [those] as well as some Sublime songs — and maybe others from influences we like.”

In May, Sublime was back in the news when Bradley Nowell’s son Jakob appeared with a reunited band at Coachella. The event captivated both fans and the members of Badfish, who watched it from the green room in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, before a show. They’re now touring, with a stop at the Elevate Festival in Marshfield, Mass., scheduled for July 7.

“We were really excited to see it,” Begin said, noting Sublime drummer Bud Gaugh once sat in with Badfish, and that they even appeared with Nowell’s band Law at a few shows. “We were huddled around the TV like little kids, it was a really exciting moment. So, we’re really just excited to see that happening. I mean, it’s a huge thing.”

With Gaugh and fellow original member Eric Wilson now playing with the younger Nowell, the reunion effectively ended Sublime With Rome. Led by Rome Ramirez, it blended elements of a tribute act with new music. However, Ramirez is continuing the name using a different set of musicians, much to Nowell’s consternation.

“For there to be some other band out there performing shows without any original members and without anybody on the crew or management or performative side that even knew my dad or anybody in the scene, it’s mind-blowing to me,” he told the Boston Globe in a June 25 story. “I can’t tell you how angry it makes me.”

The re-emergence of an official Sublime didn’t put Badfish at a similar crossroads, however.

“Our approach has always been the same; we love the music of Sublime, and we want to perform it as best we can,” Begin said. “If anything, it feels like Sublime is a little bit more in the public consciousness now [and] it makes us excited that maybe more people will be turned on to Sublime that maybe had not been prior to this reunion.”

Begin and his mates are keen to hit the beach this Fourth of July weekend.

“I think I can speak for the band; this is definitely one of our favorites to play,” he said. “It feels like a real event, because it’s become a tradition. I don’t know how many times it’s been a sellout, but it certainly has several times, and it’s great to play in a historic kind of venue like the Ballroom. And it’s always a complete rager; people come out and they’re ready to party. It’s one of my favorite gigs of the whole year for sure.”

Badfish – A Tribute to Sublime
When: Saturday, July 6, 8 p.m.
Where: Casino Ballroom, 169 Ocean Blvd., Hampton Beach
Tickets: $27 at casinoballroom.com

Featured photo: Badfish. Courtesy photo.

The Music Roundup 24/07/04

Local music news & events

Happy Fourth: A patriotic celebration in downtown Nashua, Riverfest offers performances from four different acts: Lone Wolf James, Who.iam, Jesse Rutstein and The Whole Loaf. The charity event highlights the community and culture of the Riverfront area and is presented by Nashua Veterans Promise in partnership with Involved To Impact and Midnight Creatives Collective. Thursday, July 4, noon, Liquid Therapy, 14 Court St., Nashua, involvedtoimpact.wordpress.com.

Southern charm: Scrappy singer-guitarist Ciara MacKenzie performs. Check out the video of her song “This Side of the Barbed Wire” to get a sense of her musical skills. Friday, July 5, 6 p.m., Backyard Brewery & Kitchen, 1211 S. Mammoth Road, Manchester. Visit cieramackenzie.net.

Dynamic duo: Classic and yacht rock share the stage as Justin Hayward and Christopher Cross perform, reprising a tour done last year. The idea of hitting the road together was Hayward’s, who told American Songwriter recently that he’s a big fan of Cross. “I know wherever I’m in the building and he starts playing ‘Sailing’ I just have to stand there and listen to it,” he said. “It’s great.” Saturday, July 6, 8 pm., Tupelo Music Hall, 10 A St., Derry, $99 and up at tupelohall.com.

Song swap: An intimate NH Music Collective spotlight show has Ian Archibold and Ian Galipeau. The latter performs indie rock “for hopeful cynics” and is a good choice for fans of Ben Harper and Hozier; he’s based in Keene. Originally from Panama, Archibold is a singer and guitarist who released an EP, Parallel, a while back and covers Coldplay, John Mayer and The Beatles. Sunday, July 7, 6 p.m., Cantin Room at BankNH Stage, 16 S. Main St., Concord, $18.75 at ccanh.com.

Hometown hero: It’s been an excellent year for Brooks Young. The blues rock guitarist did a few more shows with his new pal George Thorogood, and he’s headlining with his band in Keene this weekend at the new-ish Colonial Showroom. When he’s not high-profiling it, Young plays a lot of solo gigs like this midweek one at a music-friendly Manchester bar and restaurant. Wednesday, July 10, 6 p.m., Derryfield Restaurant, 625 Mammoth Road, Manchester, brooksyoung.com.

At the Sofaplex 24/07/04

Godzilla Minus One (PG-13)

As people in Japan try to restart their lives after World War II a new threat emerges in Godzilla Minus One, a pretty great Godzilla movie but also a surprisingly good movie about war and its aftermath.

Reluctant kamikaze pilot Shikishima (Ryunosuke Kamiki) returns to his family home in Tokyo only to find it destroyed and his parents dead. Haunted in part by an end-of-war run-in with Godzilla when Shikishima failed to fight back against the monster, he forlornly spends his days in the ruins of his parent’s house until he meets Noriko (Minami Hamabe), a young woman who shoves a baby at him as she is chased through the market being called a thief. These three unrelated people — Shikishima, Noriko and the baby — eventually form a found family, with Shikishima getting a job helping to clear the coastline of underwater explosives dropped during the war.

Meanwhile, the U.S. tests nuclear weapons at Bikini Atoll, which is a Godzilla hangout spot. He is injured and angered and also seems to acquire great regenerative powers as well as the ability to shoot out a heat ray that is roughly the equivalent of a nuclear explosion. One day at sea, Shikishima witnesses these new abilities close up and is horrified as a bigger, badder Godzilla heads to the mainland.

The movie features some significant ramp up to post-war Godzilla. We get a lot about Shikishima’s guilt over the war and his inability to truly live — to put the war behind him and accept his new family, marry Noriko and find some peace. But there is enough Godzilla-ness interspersed with these elements to keep the movie going, and ultimately the emotional and relationship parts of the story do pay off.

I also liked this movie’s visual effects — no surprise as it won a visual effects Oscar at the 2024 awards. There is a real tactile quality to everything here from Godzilla to the buildings he crashes into. I’m going to say “guy in a rubber suit” and that’s going to sound like an insult but I mean it in the sense that Godzilla has the quality of a real entity moving in and reacting to its surroundings, not a weightless cartoon inserted after the fact. Even if some visual elements looked a little stylized, it made sense with the overall visuals of the world created here.

This movie doesn’t have the awe-inspiring beauty of some of the shots of the 2014 Godzilla but it does have a story that is more cohesive, more “real” and more compelling. A Available for rent or purchase and on Netflix.

Wicked Little Letters (R)

Olivia Coleman has fun as meek spinster Edith Swan, who receives vicious hate mail in interwar Britain. Filled with profanities that horrify her (horrible) parents (Timothy Spall, Gemma Jones), the letters are brought to the local police, who quickly investigate the Swans’ neighbor Rose Gooding (Jesse Buckley). She’s a woman who drinks, swears and is Irish, which seems to be the basis for her being a suspect. While the men of the police department are quick to arrest her, “Woman Police Officer” Gladys Moss (the excellent Anjana Vasan of We Are Lady Parts) has other ideas — not that those ideas are listened to.

Wicked Little Letters is a delightful little treat and if anybody wants to make a show with Vasan’s Moss solving crimes with the help of her townswomen irregulars (including Joanna Scanlan, Lolly Adefope and Eileen Atkins) I am here for it. B Available for rent or purchase.

Brats (NR)

Andrew McCarthy directs the documentary Brats, which is kind of a rumination on the idea of the “Brat Pack” and what it meant for his life and his career. McCarthy deeply hated the “Brat Pack” label when it first appeared in a New York magazine cover story in 1985. He describes feeling like it was an immediate diminishment of his career and the careers of his fellow “Pack” members — though who exactly that includes becomes part of the movie’s discussion. The casts of St. Elmo’s Fire and The Breakfast Club probably yes; adjacent people like Lea Thompson, Tom Cruise and Michael J. Fox probably no. John Cryer, who appears here, is Duckie forever but doesn’t consider himself a Pack member, though he did date Demi Moore and appear in movies with Molly Ringwald. The documentary offers memories of the time and what the phenomenon meant for the Pack-ers by the likes of Cryer, Thompson, Ally Sheedy, Moore, Emilio Estevez and Rob Lowe and then turns to movie reviewers and pop culture commentary types to talk about what the movies meant in the wider culture. It’s a fun bit of ’80s teen culture nostalgia. B Streaming on Hulu.

Hit Man (R)

Glen Powell stars in and co-wrote Hit Man, a movie directed by Richard Linklater.

Gary (Powell) is a slightly nerdy professor whose side gig is audiovisual technical support for the New Orleans Police Department. He works on a team that includes Jasper (Austin Amelio), a cop posing as a hit man; Phil (Sanjay Rao), another tech guy, and Claudette (Retta, just forever awesome), who seems in charge. When Jasper is suspended, Gary is tasked with being the “hit man.” On his first attempt, he scores big, turning in a believable performance as the self-assured, take-no-crap Ron and getting the person attempting to hire him to incriminate himself for attempted murder.

When Madison (Adria Arjona) attempts to hire Ron, he stops her before she makes the official ask and talks her out of it, forestalling an arrest. Later she invites him to a puppy adoption event and the two start dating — though Madison thinks she’s dating Ron, a killer for hire, not Gary, a cat owner who enjoys bird watching.

There are parts of this movie that are just whipped cream fun — Gary trying on different personas to placate the hit-man-seekers, the twitchy Jasper trying to catch Gary in wrongdoing, everything involving Retta. Elements of this movie exist in the gritty neighborhood of comedy — think Justified but not as smart. But there are other parts that seem plastic — that kind of too shiny, overly slick quality that feels like somebody asked AI for “sexy banter dialogue.” B-Available on Netflix.

Trigger Warning (TV-MA)

Jessica Alba is almost a convincing action star in Trigger Warning, one of those “soldier with a particular set of skills returns to their hometown to right wrongs” movies. Remember Dwayne Johnson in Walking Tall? It’s like that.

In Alba’s case, she plays Parker, returning from her “part spy, part butt-kicker” government job to her home town in New Mexico after her father died. Died in a collapse in his hobby mine? That’s the official story but Parker’s not so sure.

Early in our introduction to the town we see a campaign sign for a senator (Anthony Michael Hall) whose sons include the local sheriff (Mark Webber), who dated Parker in high school, and the local sleazeball criminal (Jake Weary). There are no surprises in how this plays out and it has dumb action fun potential but Alba is weirdly wooden for a lot of the movie. She doesn’t quite hit — but totally could, if you remember early seasons of Dark Angel — that baseline level of energy to really carry this kind of kicky-punch movie. C Streaming on Netflix.

A Family Affair (PG-13)

Zac Efron is a famous action star who stumbles into a relationship with his assistant’s mother in A Family Affair, a movie that is 30 percent friend, family and romantic relationships and 70 percent real estate and home design.

You know those $13 quarterly home magazines filled with architecture and interior design so beautiful in a “no human has ever lived here” otherworldly way that it might as well be about home design on Mars? This movie is full of these places, from a sleek production office to a young couple’s dwelling to the modernist estate of Chris Cole (Efron), an actor rich from starring in a series of increasingly dumb big-budget action movies. His Los Angeles mansion has this workout loft space that is all white surfaces and exceptional light and this massive door that is both beautiful and medieval-moat-bridge-like in its unwieldiness. His put-upon assistant Zara (Joey King) might be miserable at work, responding to his stupid actor whims and not getting any closer to the production job she was hoping for, but she comes home every night to her mother Brooke’s (Nicole Kidman) palatial yet cozy oceanfront mansion. Brooke is a writer who has mostly been writing for magazines and her late husband was also some kind of writer and unless what they wrote was collectively the most successful set of books of all time I’m going to say a big “nope” to them owning such a house.

None of these people have real problems, nor does Brooke’s mother-in-law Leila (Kathy Bates), who has some sort of cozy ski-country house that appears to be specifically for celebrating Christmas in. Zara’s friend Eugenie (Liza Koshy), who listens to her whine and is barely able to discuss her own relationship woes with the self-involved Zara, is having her fights and uneasy silences with her boyfriend in a very nice ground-floor apartment or maybe townhome with a separate bedroom and a very nice living room — these people are in their 20s! The kitchen is positively Nancy Meyers-ish!

The central tension of this movie is around the relationship Brooke falls into with Chris and how that icks out Zara. But who can even pay attention when Brooke is gazing into her massive closet specifically for unworn designer dresses that — wait, is it backlit? B- Streaming on Netflix.

Featured photo: Thelma the Unicorn.

Fancy Dance (R)

Lily Gladstone turns in another captivating performance in Fancy Dance, a movie on Apple TV+.

Thirteen-year-old Roki (Isabel Deroy-Olson) goes nearly everywhere with her Aunt Jax (Gladstone). They live together in the family’s house on the Seneca-Cayuga Nation Reservation in Oklahoma. They fish for crawfish together, they work together to do a little light car boosting. Roki is saving her earnings from those endeavors to pay for entry in the upcoming powwow in Oklahoma City where she and her mother will wear their regalia and dance in the mother-daughter dance. But despite Jax’s semi-encouraging “she’s never missed a powwow before”-type statements about Roki’s mother, the hard set of her face and the stack of “missing” posters she carries everywhere tells a different story.

Tawi (Hauli Gray), Jax’s sister and Roki’s mother, has been missing for a few weeks. Tawi and Jax’s brother JJ (Ryan Begay), a tribal police officer, tells her he’s tried, with minimal success, to get the FBI involved in investigating Tawi’s disappearance. Jax takes it on herself to organize searches, hang posters and even push her way in to unfriendly situations to ask men who may have seen Tawi if they know anything about her whereabouts.

Despite Jax’s hopes that Tawi could still return soon, the state’s child services informs her that criminal charges for drugs in her (Jax’s) past keep her from being a fit guardian for Roki. Frank (Shea Whigham), Tawi and Jax’s white father they haven’t seen much of in the years since their mother died, and his new wife Nancy (Audrey Wasilewski), are given custody of Roki. Though Roki hopes to still attend the powwow, Frank and Nancy say they’ve been told Jax can’t be with Roki unsupervised. Jax at first tells Roki “next year” but then, perhaps sensing that there won’t be a next year for Roki and Tawi at the powwow, borrows Frank’s car and takes Roki on a road trip to the event.

Or, to put it the way the FBI sees it, Jax steals Frank’s car and kidnaps Roki, leading to an Amber Alert and statewide hunt for them by local and federal law enforcement.

Jax doesn’t at first realize the seriousness of the situation but even when she learns that Frank has called the police she continues forward in her twin missions to take Roki to the dance and to find information about Tawi. JJ both tries to bring Jax home and helps her in her quest. Both of them hope that perhaps this FBI attention will shine some light on Tawi.

I went into this movie rooting for Gladstone and I was not disappointed. She elevates everything she’s in, helping to highlight this movie’s solid storytelling despite some indie movie scruffiness. Gladstone makes you believe every moment of Jax’s struggle and makes you feel her exhaustion and desperation as well as her deep love for Tawi and Roki.

Which maybe doesn’t sound like the funnest use of your movie-watching time, but Fancy Dance manages moments of heart and sweetness among the bitter. And at just about 90 minutes it’s a well-crafted story. A-

Rated R for language, some drug content and sexual material, according to the MPA on filmratings.com. Directed by Erica Tremblay and written by Erica Tremblay and Miciana Alise, Fancy Dance is an hour and 30 minutes long and is streaming on Apple TV+.

Featured photo: Fancy Dance.

There Was Nothing You Could Do, by Steven Hyden

There Was Nothing You Could Do, by Steven Hyden (Hatchett, 272 pages)

When Steven Hyden was 6 years old, he found a cassette tape in the glove box of his parents’ car and asked his dad to play it. When the sound came through, after precisely nine seconds of silence, it was “my personal ‘big bang’ moment,” Hyden writes. “All these years later, I am still chasing the rush of hearing that titanic BOOM! in my father’s car.”

The artist was Bruce Springsteen; the album Born in The U.S.A., issued 40 years ago this year.

There Was Nothing You Could Do is Hyden’s exegesis of Springsteen’s impact — in Hyden’s own life and in the country, focusing on Springsteen’s best-selling album, released in 1984. The title is a line from the song “My Hometown,” the last single released from “Born in the U.S.A.” The subtitle references “the end of the heartland.” But don’t be scared off by that. While there is some politically tinged commentary, as has always accompanied Springsteen’s work, it’s mostly a book about music.

First and foremost, Hyden is a fan, although his fandom had an inauspicious beginning, coming as it did in childhood. Kids loved Born in the U.S.A. “for the dumbest possible reason — because we heard the songs constantly. That’s all it takes to appeal to little kids,” he writes. “Kids my age weren’t brainwashed, exactly. We were Boss-washed.”

It wasn’t as if that’s all he listened to, however; Hyden’s examination of the Boss-washing of America detours into other culturally significant pop musicians: Michael Jackson, Prince and Madonna (all of whom comprise “the big four” of the 1980s); as well as Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan. Springsteen, he writes, was something of a combination of the latter two: “… he could move like Elvis and write like Dylan. The pelvis and the brain had been fused into one.”

A critic for the entertainment website Uproxx and the author of previous books on music (Twilight of the Gods and Your Favorite Band is Killing Me), Hyden brings encyclopedic knowledge to the topic, and as such, There Was Nothing You Could Do sometimes reads like an encyclopedia, as when he lists the various iterations of songs that were proposed for Born in the U.S.A. when the album was under development. Herein he runs into a problem: For the Springsteen fanatic — and they are legion — much of this material might induce a yawn.

There’s a lot of material that seems better fit for a blog, such as digressions into the author’s fantasies: what would have happened, say, if Springsteen had drifted from the lane of heartland rock to straight-up country music, or had put out another album in 1985 when Springsteen mania was at its peak. (He even proposes a playlist for this.) And Gen Z might raise a collective eyebrow to Hyden pronouncing Springsteen more of a “national monument than a pop star” at the age of 75. For all of their success, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band never had a No. 1 hit.

Still, despite some vaguely silly asides, Hyden does a good job of explaining the Springsteen phenomenon as he delves into stories that relate specifically to Born in the U.S.A., such as how the “Dancing in the Dark” music video was made, and how it was received.

The video, directed by filmmaker Brian De Palma, shows Springstreen awkwardly dancing at a concert with Friends actress Courteney Cox (relatively unknown at the time). It “undeniably made him more famous in the short run, and it unquestionably made him easier to make fun of in the long run,” Hyden writes. The video has become a popular GIF and “personifies everything that is corny about Bruce Springstreen and almost nothing that is cool about him.”

But it could have been worse, Hyden reveals. In another video that was made and ultimately abandoned, Springsteen “looks like a mime attending a Jazzercise class,” he writes.

Hyden is at his best when he strings together snapshots from Springsteen’s life, from his troubled relationship to his father to the existential struggles that inform so many of his lyrics, and connects them to the singer’s appeal. “If you want to see the emotionally repressed man in your life cry — a stoic father, an unflappable granddad, a weird uncle, an immature brother — send him to a Bruce Springsteen concert,” Hyden writes.

Toward the end, he examines the controversy that erupted from the Super Bowl Jeep commercial that angered both conservatives and liberals in 2021. It was indicative of America’s deep political divide that a commercial inviting Americans to “meet here in the middle” irritated so many people. “‘The Middle’ was designed to please exactly no one,” Hyden writes. “In that way, Bruce did manage to unite red and blue America, ironically, their condemnation of him.”

Hyden did not interview the Boss for this book, although he’s been within 50 feet of him, at a concert where he obtained special press seating. His reporting comes from previously published articles, Springsteen’s autobiography and other books. and so much of this information is already out in the world; this is just an artful rearrangement of music history. For the casual fan, the minutiae might be too much. But Hyden is a skilled wordsmith, and There Was Nothing You Could Do is a surprisingly breezy read, despite the ominous title. It’s a sort of love letter we all might write to our favorite pop star if we had the time and skill. B-

Album Reviews 24/07/04

Category 7, Category 7 (Metal Blade Records)

I’ve mostly avoided covering albums released through the Metal Blade imprint owing to their long history of not paying their bands, but in this case I’ll make an exception, as I assume the members of this group have been around the block enough times to avoid the usual contractual traps. Here we have the first album from this all-star band of thrash oldschoolers, featuring John Bush (Anthrax), Mike Orlando (Adrenaline Mob), Phil Demmel (Machine Head), Jack Gibson (Exodus) and Jason Bittner (Overkill), a group that has its act together for sure in the area of production (this is major-label-level stuff). In the area of tuneage, though, it’s assuredly not anything new. If you’ve heard any of the above-cited bands you know what you’ll be hearing, although the intensity level does get pretty high on songs like “Land I Used To Love” and “Exhausted,” which are both pretty, well, enthusiastic. It’s likable enough. B-

Dye, “Dirt” (Metal Blade Records)

This Los Angeles-based nonbinary singer has accumulated international love from BBC Radio1’s Rock Show w/ Daniel Carter, Australian radio station Triple j, and loads of editorial love at Spotify and Apple. This is their latest goth-pop/shoegaze single, intended for fans of (naturally) Cocteau Twins (their voice is reminiscent of Elizabeth Fraser, point of order); by melding both genres, it’s both full of yearning and sonically epic. But wait, there’s more; the tune is also informed by Nirvana grunge, Nine Inch nails goth and dark orchestral flourishes reminiscent of My Chemical Romance, Smashing Pumpkins and such. The sounds sit atop a familiar but innovative New Wave drum beat you’ve heard on hits from artists ranging from Flock Of Seagulls to The Kid Laroi, tabling lyrics “about accepting that not everything broken needs repairing, sometimes it’s best to throw it away.” Cool stuff. A


A seriously abridged compendium of recent and future CD releases

• Yikes, wait a second, it’s totally, irrevocably summer already, how did this even happen, I’d been anticipating some sort of normal segue, like one last snow-blizzard in May just to remind us all who’s really in charge of all this “New England weather” nonsense! It is summer, definitely, so my drive-time music-listening habits have gone into summer mode with a vengeance: If I have to drive somewhere fast and dangerously, I’ll crank old Kiss albums or Foghat Live, but if I’m just being an old semi-retired dude who’s constantly getting honked at by younglings waiting for me to get the hell out of their way so they can get to their fifth work-shift of the day at Burger King, I’m listening to big-band albums from the 1920s. Those always put me in a good mood, and quite frankly I think our country would be in a lot better shape if those younglings would just get off my lawn and go listen to Ray Noble singing about freckle-faced girls who grew into smokin’ hot babes all the boys wanted to (very respectfully) smooch. But alas, that is not to be, because the only music today’s younglings want to hear is songs about twerking and beefs and being awkward. Sigh, so let’s go look at the list of albums coming out on Friday, July 5, and just try to forget that music was once a good and wholesome thing, with nothing but songs about freckle-faced girls and not about [REDACTED] and [REDACTED] and [TOTALLY 100% DITTO]. Wow fam, not a lot of new albums, because it’s the Fourth of July vacation week, and the record companies know that everyone will be spending all their discretionary funds on fireworks and alcohol instead of albums, which is wise, I’d say. We’ll start this week with Fink, a 51-year-old songwriter/DJ/something-something from England, whose real name is Fin Greenall! Among other career highlights, he co-wrote the song “Half Time” with Amy Winehouse, which is on her posthumous 2011 album Lioness: Hidden Treasures. His new album, Beauty In Your Wake, opens with “So We Find Ourselves,” a slow, pensive tune whose vibe evokes floating around aimlessly on a raft with a freckle-faced girl while her grandpa lazily croons about awkwardness or something. I think it’s relevant to the zeitgeist but I’m not 100 percent sure.

• Hm, look at that, it’s another album by a British act, because the Fourth of July means nothing to those transgressive colonizers, as we ’muricans all know. Yes, it’s none other than former interesting band Kasabian, with their new one, Happenings. The first time I heard them was years ago and I liked them very much, as you may recall from past columns, in this space, but now, I don’t know, maybe not so much. This “slab” opens with “Coming Back To Me Good,” a sunny, peppy, happy-ish mid-tempo jaunt that tells me they’ve been listening to a lot of M83, nothing like the stuff they used to do when they were trying to do hard rock or whatever it was.

• Also on Friday, Kiasmos, a Faroese-Icelandic minimal/experimental techno duo, will release their second LP, mysteriously titled II. This is very listenable stuff, bloopy techno reminiscent of Orbital and that sort of thing

• Finally it’s Kokoko!, an experimental electronic music collective based in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Their trip is playing homemade instruments, so of course it’s cool and interesting. Their new album, BUTU, includes a single titled “Mokili,” a ’90s-sounding tune that’s like an Afrobeat-infused Technotronic. It’s pretty fun.

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