Tag Archive: “Weezer”

Hey folks, it’s Luke LaBenne here, writer and host of Ghettoblaster’s Best Song Ever podcast. 2016 was a crazy year, full of surprises, so many musical icons released albums and some of them served as farewells. We saw so many amazing albums from veteran artists and some newcomers who grabbed our attention and quickly became beloved favorites. There were so many great albums that I had the honor of listening to and writing about this year thanks to Ghettoblaster. Some of them really stood out so here they are, my Top 20 Albums of 2016.


 

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20. Okkervil River – Away

The ghost album from the band that no longer exists. After the breakup of Okkervil River, frontman Will Sheff went through a period of uncertainty in which his Grandfather and personal hero passed away. Sheff teamed up with jazz musicians, including yMusic’s C.J. Camarieri who used his grandfather’s old trumpet, fusing jazz with their existing folk rock sound. This album that almost didn’t happen turned out to be a warm and beautiful expression with the emotional weight we’ve come to expect from the rock veteran.

Watch: Okkervil River –  Okkervil River R.I.P

 

 

 


 

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19. Kyle Craft – Dolls of Highland

Former GASHCAT frontman Kyle Craft made his SubPop debut with the right amount of retro and modern influences, from Velvet Underground to Neutral Milk Hotel. Kyle tells vivid, sprawling tales of love and loss akin to Bob Dylan, with his powerful, one of a kind voice and big, Springsteen-esque instrumentals. Whether he’s serenading a lady or lamenting his friend who committed suicide, these songs feel very personal and lived-in, with Kyle’s 27 years of life informing each tune.

Listen: Kyle Craft – Pentecost

 

 

 

 


 

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18. Michael Kiwanuka – Love & Hate

I remember a week where I felt like no albums had come out that grabbed my attention and then later in the week I heard this album and was blown away. British singer/songwriter Michael Kiwanuka combines the building jams of Pink Floyd, with the vocal force and social relevance of Marvin Gaye. Joining soul, folk, and rock to explore the meaning of love & hate, and express the triumphs and trials of a “black man in a white world.” Much of this album is featured in the Netflix’s The Get Down giving a fitting canvas for Michael’s epic, emotional, and uplifting music.

Watch: Michael Kiwanuka – Black Man In A White World

 

 

 


 

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17. Conor Oberst – Ruminations

Last year, Conor Oberst released an album and did a tour with his punk band Desaparecidos. Afterwards, he was exhausted and ill, so he returned to his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska to recover. While there, inspiration struck and he wrote a recorded an album in 48 hours. We see a different Conor then we’re used to, stripped down to just guitar or piano with an occasional harmonica solo. Lyrically, these songs are thick with cultural and literary references that drive home the Americana vibe of this album as Conor looks back over his life and career and considers what lies ahead. What began as a sort of pit stop to regroup turned into some of his most personal and powerful work yet.

Watch: Conor Oberst – A Little Uncanny

 

 


 

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16. Frightened Rabbit – Painting Of A Panic Attack

Scotish indie-rock veterans Frightened Rabbit really came into their own with their 2012 album Pedestrian Verse, completing the gradual transition from rougher folkier sound to a more polished indie-rock sound. The National’s Aaron Dessner helped them perfect that sound on this album. Resembling The National and the sound Dessner helped Mumford and Sons achieve last year, these songs are much brighter and catchier than you would assume based on the cover art and title. Lyrically, this album deals with death, addiction, and depression though it has it’s fair share of self-deprecation hope permeates each track. Under the tutelage of Dessner, these guys join the ranks of indie-rock greats and continue to grow with each new album.

Watch: Frightened Rabbit – I Wish I Was Sober

 

 


 

a3501043119_1015. Mutual Benefit – Skip A Sinking Stone

Jordan Lee has made music under the name Mutual Benefit since 2009, but this year he reached new heights with Skip A Sinking Stone. While touring, Lee contemplated life and love during long car trips, putting his questions and realizations into words gives this album it’s lyrical power. Backing up his insightful lyrics are grand compositions akin to Sufjan Stevens, that can shift quickly into bare, intimate folk. This album is grand yet isolated, using nostalgia as a means to move forward.

Watch: Mutual Benefit – Not For Nothing

 

 

 


 

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14. Vince Staples – Prima Donna

Last year, Vince Staples established himself as a force to be reckoned with in the world of Hip Hop with his album Summertime ’06. This year, Vince let us know just how fame was treating him with a mini-album full of 7 heavy-hitting songs about his disillusionment with fame, but his strength and relevance despite it, effortlessly weaving social topics into his personal narrative. Not only is Vince at the top of his game lyrically (with more lyrics that can make Christian moms cry), but he has some production help from the great James Blake, appearances by A$AP Rock and Kilo Kish, and heavy nods to OutKast, even with a sample of Andre’s verse from ATLiens. Every song on this album is fantastic and it comes with a short film to compliment each track.

Watch: Vince Staples – Prima Donna

 

 


 

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13. Lambchop – FLOTUS

For Love Often Turns Us Still. The veteran folk-rock band turned a page with their latest album, ditching their folk sound for electronic elements and airy, funky grooves. Kurt Wagner has experimented with electronics in the past, but on FLOTUS he seamlessly rolls them in with traditional instruments, primarily bass and piano, to make a smooth, hazy, and beautiful album. Ending, with an 18-minute “love” song. This album can pull at your heart strings just by the mood and feeling the music creates.

Watch: Lambchop – NIV

 

 

 


 

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12. El Perro Del Mar – KoKoro

After 8 months of “maternity leave” indie-pop artist Sarah Assbring returned with her 5th album as El Perro Del Mar. After visiting a museum with eastern instruments and listening to japanese, chinese, thai, and indian pop Assbring added this eastern influence into her existing style of melancholy pop. This new style emerges on each song always in a new and interesting way. Something about motherhood enabled Assbring to tap into primal truths of humanity make this album very deep and insightful.

Watch: El Perro Del Mar – Breadandbutter

 

 

 


 

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11. Beyonce – Lemonade 

Lemonade was more than an album. It was a film, it was couples therapy, and it was a cultural phenomenon. Never before had a superstar given such an intimate look at their lives on such a large scale. Not only did Jay-Z’s infidelity bring out some of Beyonce’s most powerful work exploring the nature of love, blackness, and womanhood, but she is also joined by an all-star cast of collaborators like Jack White, Kendrick Lamar, and the aforementioned James Blake. Queen B is at the height of her power and vulnerability making this album dynamic and addictive.

Watch: Beyonce – Sorry

 

 

 


 

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10. Red Pill – Instinctive Drowning

If you’ve read my posts or listened to my podcast then it’s no surprise that Detroit rapper Red Pill ended up this high on my list. Red Pill was one of my greatest discoveries this year and  just in time for him to drop his innovative second album for Mello Music Group. With the help of producer Ill-Poetic, he creates an eclectic journey through the life and mind of Chris Orrick a.k.a. Red Pill. Shedding the old school style of dusty samples and venturing into more expansive and experimental instrumentals, so much ground is covered on this album. Whether it’s grand speculation about the universe or small insights into his personal life, we hear a deep thinker whose thoughts and intentions go deeper than his actions. This record is a weighty and philosophical listen with stunning instrumentals and dynamic production, reflecting the complex contradictions in all of us.

Watch: Red Pill – Instinctive Drowning

 


 

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9. Childish Gambino – “Awaken, My Love!”

I was anxiously awaiting a rap album from Childish Gambino but he delivered was even better. Venturing into funk and not spitting a single rhyme on the album, Donald Glover has defied our expectations of what he’s capable of. With the success of his FX series Atlanta we can see Glover really coming into his own as an artist. This album feels completely genuine and as a result is his best record to date. With sprawling guitar solos, extensive jams, and call and response vocals reminiscent of old school funk. Glover tackles social issues in a way we haven’t seen him do before, he calls it, “a shared vibration for human progress.”  No album released this year sounds remotely like this one.

Listen: Childish Gambino – Me and Your Mama

 

 


 

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8. Kishi Bashi – Sonderlust

Sonderlust is the idea that each random passerby has a life as rich and complex as your own. That elusive concept it what K. Ishibashi attempted to capture on his third album. This album had a rocky start, with K. being underwhelmed by the songs he was writing. Meanwhile, family problems occurred and he threw himself into the music. The result is an examination of love, an album that plays like a movie. Produced by Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor and featuring a full backing band, string quartet, and some contributions from of Montreal’s Kevin Barnes. This album is the grandest instrumentation and most experimentation that we’ve seen from Ishibashi yet. I recently got the vinyl and put it on and it’s impossible to turn off, each song is so engaging and plays into the next song perfectly.

Watch: Kishi Bashi – Hey, Big Star

 

 


 

weezer_white_album7. Weezer – Weezer (White Album)

2014 saw the comeback of Weezer, one of the greatest rock bands who seemed to have lost their way a bit. Fans of Weezer’s early work had shut out their pop punk sound when it went in strange directions while still permeating the mainstream. Everything Will Be Alright in the end won back many Weezer fans (including myself) and they quickly followed it up with the fourth installment of their self-titled color albums with what will forever be called The White Album. This is the greatest summer album you could ask for, channeling The Beach Boys with nautical themed rock songs as warm as the California sun. Every song is beautiful while being relentlessly catchy and fun. They may have won back their fans in 2014 but in 2016 they’ve assured us that they won’t be straying from our favor any time soon.

Watch: Weezer – LA Girlz

 

 


 

life-of-pablo6. Kanye West – The Life of Pablo

Where does the art end and the artist begin? Can you separate the two? Kanye makes us ask this question all the time. How can I adore someone’s music but disagree with most of their actions in their life? Everybody has to draw their own line, all I know is that ever since 2004 when I listen to Kanye’s music I’m blown away. Though his styles have changed and there’s so much controversy surrounding him constantly, he has a true talent for music. There are moments of shocking vulnerability on this album as well as your typical Kanye ego and braggadocios attitude. The collaborators here are insane from Chance to Frank Ocean, Rihanna to Kid Cudi; so many amazing artist line up to work with Kanye despite all his issues and there is a reason for that. I don’t let the news or blogs or reality shows or even the artist’s actions shape my opinion, I let the music speak for itself.

Listen: Kanye West – Ultralight Beam

 


 

09e256ce885fe6b3cf181239c3b3231c-1000x1000x15. A Tribe Called Quest – We got if from here… Thank you 4 your service

The legendary hip-hop group’s first album in 18 years was everything you would hope. Including the late Phife Dawg’s final verses, and an all-star list of contributors including Kendrick Lamar, Jack White, Andre 3000, Anderson Paak, and Elton John. Q-Tip masterfully comments on all the major political and social topics over beats that feel completely current while evoking the groups earlier work. From start to finish this album has you hooked, the music is so engaging while leaving room for some experimentation and the lyrics just speak so perfectly to the emotions many people are feeling. Dave Chappelle hosted SNL with ATCQ as the musical guest and he said it’s always scary to make a comeback so it’s nice to know you’re not doing it alone. This is one of the greatest comeback records you could ask for, while adding to the legacy of one of hip-hop’s greatest contributors.

Watch: A Tribe Called Quest – We The People…

 


 

a2344894986_104. AJJ – The Bible 2

Formerly Andrew Jackson Jihad the Arizona folk-punk band has been making music since the mid 2000s. Their sound was mostly acoustic with folk instruments like guitar, banjo, and standup bass and Sean Bonnet’s wild, cracking voice and unpredictable lyrics. On 2014’s Christmas Island they unveiled a new sound, with the help of one of my favorite rock producers John Congleton. On The Bible 2 we see Bonnet’s lyrics more refined, and the folk punk style perfected. This is the most dynamic album the band has delivered. Congleton likes music that makes him feel a range of emotions, and helps bring out the individual personalities of each song. Weather it’s crunchy punk tracks like “Cody’s Theme” and “My Brain Is a Human Body,” resembling Neutral Milk Hotel, or intimate ballads like “Junkie Church” and the song that brings the album’s core mantra, “No More Shame, No More Fear, No More Dread.” For those of us who feel uncertain in our skin sometimes, these weirdo anthems have relatable lyrics that hit hard. Though they’ve been around for years this album quickly made them one of my new indie favorites.

Watch: AJJ – Goodbye, Oh Goodbye

 


 

c5e308973. Chance The Rapper – Coloring Book

Forget Blonde. Forget Pablo. Forget Lemonade. Coloring Book was my most anticipated album of the year (and then it was exclusively on Apple Music FML). With 2014’s Acidrap I fell in love with the music of Chance Bennett. I began to respect him a lot after I watched him get a beer bottle thrown at him and tell the person who threw it that he loved them (he did walk off stage after someone threw a second bottle but can you blame him?). After the release of Angels, the birth of his daughter, and his phenomenal appearance on Kanye’s Ultralight Beam it was clear that Chance is growing and maturing. On this album we see Chance on top on the world, yet he remains grounded. In a world where mainstream hip-hop keeps getting darker with melodies drained, Chance injects warmth and brightness into the genre. Tapping into nostalgia in a more productive way than Donald Trump. This album has everything, ballsy hip-hop swagger, brooding trap, and glorious gospel. Not to mention this album redefined what independent mixtapes are capable of accomplishing. Chance has ascended to super stardom with Nike and Kit-Kat commercials, and features on numerous albums including The Hamilton Mixtape. It’s hard not to be a stereotypical hipster and say I’ve loved Chance for years and condemn the bandwagon jumpers, but instead i’ll just say it’s about damn time.

Watch: Chance The Rapper – No Problem

 


 

a1767464498_102. John K. Samson – Winter Wheat

The former frontman of The Weakerthans trades out his rocking for restraint and the result is one of the most beautiful, powerful folk albums of the 21st century. Whether he’s speaking about internet trolls, a departed loved one, or a rehab center he so perfectly captures the humanity in any situation. John is a master of melody so you have some incredible lyrics paired with the most infectious melodies. The lyrics walk the line of being cryptic enough that you don’t understand his specific references, but specific enough that you grasp the mood and the story being told. The albums title refers to a crop that endures the winter and rises in the spring and this metaphor extends to many of the stories on this album. He is great at capturing low points and the clarity that follows. This album just hits you in the heart with every new song, they’re masterfully performed and produced emotional wrecking balls, delivered with a warm and comforting voice.

Watch: John K. Samson – Postdoc Blues

 


 

heavn_front-1000x10001. Jamila Woods – HEAVN

This album was off of my radar because it wasn’t on Spotify, and it is responsible for 90% of my Soundcloud visits this year. This album did for me what Solange’s Seat At The Table did for many others, perfectly put into words and music the life and struggles of black females. It shows how music can be the most powerful tool to connect with someone who’s life is different than yours, while highlighting the shared aspects of humanity that connect us all. Whether she’s singing a love song, lamenting her departed grandfather, or sounding a battle hymn, she does it with such a warm and steady voice. The music is just so beautiful with production by the likes of Saba and Kweku Collins, combining jazz, folk, and r&b. Much like her Chicago buddies Noname and Chance (who both appear on the album) she taps into the nostalgia of 90’s kids, altering playground rhymes and the Mr. Rogers theme. This album is a smooth and tender tale of love, family, pain, power and resilience.

Watch: Jamila Woods – Blk Girl Soldier

 


 

Atlas Genius, led by Australian brothers Keith and Michael Jeffery, will be hitting the road this summer with Bear Hands on a U.S. co-headline tour, kicking off July 18 in Lexington, KY.

In addition to the dates with Bear Hands, Atlas Genius are playing 11 festivals this summer. They will also play a handful of dates alongside Weezer and Panic! At The Disco for their summer tour. See below for a full list of confirmed dates.

06/11   Pasadena, CA                     Make Music Pasadena

06/15   La Jolla, CA                       KBZT Radio Show

06/17   Chicago, IL                        Taste of Randolph

06/18   Dover, DE                           Firefly Festival

07/16   Oklahoma City, OK          Zoo Amphitheater**

07/17   Columbus, OH                   PromoWest Fest

07/18   Lexington, KY                   Manchester Music Hall*

07/20   Des Moines, IA                  Wooly’s *

07/21   Omaha, NE                          Slowdown*

07/22   Brandon, SD.                      Badlands Motor Speedway**

07/25   Ft. Collins, CO                   Aggie Theatre*

07/26   Colorado Springs, CO       The Black Sheep*

07/27   Albuquerque, NM              El Rey Theater*

07/29   Tucson, AZ                          The Rock*

07/30   Phoenix, AZ                        Crescent Ballroom*

07/31   Bakersfield, CA                  B Ryder’s*

08/01   Santa Ana, CA                    The Observatory* 08/04  Santa Cruz, CA                   Catalyst*

08/05   Fresno, CA                           Strummers*

08/06    Sacramento, CA                 Ace of Spades*

09/02   Seattle, WA                          Bumbershoot Festival

09/23   Las Vegas, NV                     Life is Beautiful Festival

10/09   Austin, TX                           Austin City Limits

*w/Bear Hands

**w/Panic! At the Disco and Weezer

SRCVinyl have announce the release of Weezer’s Death to False Metal for the first time on vinyl. Originally known as Odds and Ends, this record is comprised of 11 previously unreleased (on vinyl) tracks from Weezer’s career.

“These were great songs, great recordings, but for some reason they didn’t make the final cut for previous records,” Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo stated. “Some just weren’t right for the albums we were recording at the time—just a bit ahead of their time or too ‘rock.’ Now, the time is right to introduce them. Together, they are the album that should logically follow Hurley.”

Death to False Metal will be released on November 11, with pre-orders starting on September 30th. The record will be pressed on 180 gram black vinyl at RTI, with lacquers and mastering done by Kevin Gray.

Pre-order Tues Sept 30 @ 3 pm EST: http://www.shopradiocast.com/products/Weezer-%252d-Death-To-False-Metal-LP.html

Los Angeles, CA’s Weezer will release their highly anticipated ninth album, Everything Will Be Alright In The End, on September 30 on Republic Records.  Produced by Ric Ocasek, who previously helmed production on the band’s first and third records (“The Blue Album” and “The Green Album”), Everything Will Be Alright In The End is the band’s first collection of new material in four years.

More information about Everything Will Be Alright In The End, including details about the album’s first single, will be available soon.

7/24/14                        London, ON @ Rock The Park 2014 7/25/14                        Belleville, ON @ Empire Rockfest 7/26/14                        Rimouski, QC @ Les Grandes Fetes du St-Laurent 8/1/14                          Las Vegas, CA @ The Cosmopolitan 8/2/14                          Del Mar, CA @ Del Mar Thoroughbred Club Summer Concert Series
8/9/14                          Bethlehem, PA @ Musikfest PNC Plaza 8/13/14                        Southaven, MS @ Snowden Grove Amphitheater 8/14/14                        Lake Charles, LA @ L’Auberge Casino Resort 8/31/14                        Los Angeles, CA @ Made In America 9/6/14                          Charlotte, NC @ 106.5 The End presents Weenie Roast ‘14
9/12/14                        Paso Robles, CA @ Vino Robles Amphitheatre 9/13/14                        Sacramento, CA @ Aftershock Festival 9/14/14                        Chicago, IL @ Riot Fest 9/19/14                        Denver, CO @ Riot Fest

Orlando, FL’s You Blew It! have announced details for their upcoming Weezer covers EP titled, You Blue It. Topshelf Records will release the EP digitally on July 15, followed by a vinyl release on August 12.

The 5 song EP, consisting of You Blew It!’s take on 5 classic Weezer tracks, follows on the heels of the 20th anniversary of the beloved alternative rock band’s eponymous debut studio LP, commonly referred to as “The Blue Album”.

You Blue It was engineered by Matt Wilbur and Matt Burns and produced by Wilbur, Burns, and You Blew It. It was recorded at Vanguard Room in Lakeland, FL and mastered by Dan Coutant at Sun Room Mastering.

Sign up here to be notified when You Blue It is available for pre-order.

Tracklist:

1.) My Name Is Jonas

2.) Surf Wax America

3.) In the Garage

4.) Only In Dreams

5.) Susanne

You Blew It! is currently on tour in Europe with Real Friends and Modern Baseball. The band’s U.S. summer tour supporting Say Anything (along with The Front Bottoms and the So So Glos) kicks off June 13 in Dallas, TX.

You Blew It! on Tour with Real Friends and Modern Baseball

12 May- Liverpool, UK @ Korova Club

13 May- Glasgow, UK @ Audio

14 May- Manchester, UK @ Star & Garter (SOLD OUT)

15 May- Norwich, UK @ Epic Studios

16 May- Leicester, UK @ Soundhouse

17 May- Eindhoven, Holland @ Dynamo (w/ The Wonder Years, A Loss For Words and State Champs)

18 May- Cologne, Germany @ MTC

19 May- Hamburg, Germany @ Hafenklang

20 May- Berlin, Germany @ Comet

21 May- Munich, Germany @ Sunny Red

22 May- Karlsrube, Germany @ Jubez

23 May- Antwerp, Belgium @ JH Kavka

You Blew It! on tour with Say Anything, The Front Bottoms, The So So Glos

Jun 13 Dallas, TX @ Granada Theater

Jun 14 Austin, TX @ Emo’s

Jun 15 Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live

Jun 17 Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution

Jun 18 Tampa, FL @ Ritz Ybor

Jun 19 Orlando, FL @ Beacham Theater

Jun 20 Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade

Jun 21 Charlotte, NC @ Amos Southend

Jun 22 Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle

Jun 24 Norfolk, VA @ The NorVa

Jun 25 Baltimore, MD @ Rams Head Live

Jun 26 Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory

Jun 27 Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom

Jun 28 New York, NY @ Best Buy Theatre

Jun 29 Boston, MA @ House of Blues

Jul 01 New Haven, CT @ Toad’s Place

Jul 02 Clifton Park, NY @ Upstate Concert Hall

Jul 03 Syracuse, NY @ Lost Horizon

Jul 05 Toronto, ON @ Opera House

Jul 06 Millvale, PA @ Mr Smalls Theatre

Jul 08 Lansing, MI @ Common Ground Fest

Jul 09 Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall

Jul 10 Columbia, MO @ The Blue Note

Jul 11 Chicago, IL @ Concord Music Hall

Jul 12 Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave

Jul 13 Minneapolis, MN @ Varsity Theater

Jul 15 Lincoln, NE @ Bourbon Theatre

Jul 16 Denver, CO @ Summit Music Hall

Jul 17 Salt Lake City, UT @ Club Sound

Jul 19 Seattle, WA @ Showbox at The Market

Jul 20 Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom

Jul 22 San Francisco, CA @ Regency Ballroom

Jul 24 Los Angeles, CA @ The Fonda Theatre

Jul 25 Pomona, CA @ Glass House

Jul 26 San Diego, CA @ House of Blues

Jul 27 Tempe, AZ @ The Marquee

Weezer has announced a string of shows in smaller venues following a free show at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida on March 29.  The band is slated to release their ninth studio album later this year.

Date City Venue
Mar 29 Orlando, FL Universal Studios (FREE)
Apr 01 Myrtle Beach, SC House Of Blues
Apr 02 Charlotte, NC The Fillmore
Apr 03 Richmond, VA The National
Apr 05 Nashville, TN Ryman Auditorium
Apr 06 Nashville, TN Ryman Auditorium
Jun 05 Durham, NC Durham Performing Arts Center
Jun 21 Rochester, NY Main Street Armory
Jun 22 Dover, DE Firefly Music Festival

American musician and singer-songwriter Scott Murphy from pop-punk band Allister and vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Rivers Cuomo from the Grammy award winning alternative rock band Weezer, have partnered up to release an extraordinary self-titled debut album, Scott & Rivers.  Available now on iTunes, Scott & Rivers features twelve catchy pop-rock songs, which are almost entirely sung in the Japanese language, including the hit track “Homely Girl.”

While on a Japanese tour with Weezer in 2009, Cuomo happened to hear one of Murphy’s records.  That chance moment led to an arranged meeting in Los Angeles later that year.  Cuomo had been thinking of putting out an album in Japanese but was still in the early stages of learning the language and wanted to ask Murphy for advice.

Over the next several years, as Cuomo mastered the language, the two became close friends and began writing and recording music in Los Angeles and Chicago, and eventually finished the album in early 2013.  Scott & Rivers was released on March 20 through Universal Music Japan and quickly became the number one selling album on the Japanese alternative chart in its first week.

Scott & Rivers is now available in the U.S. and worldwide through iTunes.