The Week in Music: Paste's Favorite Albums, Songs, Performances and More

Let's review: Wolf Parade, Whitney Rose, Ryan Adams and, of course, Tom Petty.

Music Features
Share Tweet Submit Pin
The Week in Music: Paste's Favorite Albums, Songs, Performances and More

We’ll come right out and say it: This week sucked. The sudden death of Tom Petty at age 66 on Monday night cast a long, enveloping shadow over the music world, dwarfing what should have been a great week of releases by some of our favorite artists. Don’t get us wrong: those releases were still great. Wolf Parade returned with the rocking Cry Cry Cry, and Jessica Lea Mayfield released the album of her lifetime (so far, at least), Sorry Is Gone. We hosted some amazing Studio sessions in our New York office, including Steve Martin, Ayo and John Pizzarelli. And we talked with Liam Gallagher about this new record, and why he wants to get back together with his estranged brother, Noel.

But it’s been tough to shake Tom Petty. Maybe we never will. For starters, here’s a video collection of the many performance tributes that have been popping up around the world. And here’s some rare footage of Petty and the Heartbreakers playing the last ever show at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco in 1978.

Check those out, and catch up with our favorite albums, songs, live performances and feature stories of the past week.

Wolf Parade: Cry Cry Cry
It’s been more that seven years since Wolf Parade released Expo 86 and abruptly announced their indefinite hiatus. The members moved all over the globe, but eventually migrated back to their home of Vancouver Island and decided to give it another shot. With John Goodmanson (Bikini Kill, Sleater-Kinney) manning the soundboard, the band set out to trim the fat that made albums like Expo 86 and At Mount Zoomer dense, proggy affairs. The music most closely mirrors Wolf Parade’s standout debut, 2005’s Apologies to the Queen Mary. Spencer Krug’s keys joyously bounce from one song to the next, while Dan Boeckner’s guitar spasms between rigged power chords and wailing blues riffs. Hell, they even include horns (“Baby Blue”) and woodwinds (“King of Piss and Paper”) to the mix. —Katrina Nattress

Jessica Lea Mayfield: Sorry Is Gone
On her latest, Jessica Lea Mayfield creates a manifesto for living apology-free after escaping from a toxic marriage. Her subject matter is deep, and her influences range: Tracks like “Safe 2 Connect 2” have a lyrical similarity to Patti Smith, while “Soaked Through” oozes with a resemblance to Slowdive’s Souvlaki. On the latter, Mayfield’s garage influences soak through, with blaring guitars and hazy, dream-like vocals that pull us into a deep, rock-fueled trance. —Virginia Croft

Whitney Rose: Rule 62
Rule 62 finds Canadian Whitney Rose continuing to sow the seeds of the Americana mindset as plied from its roots. The songs have a timeless quality, the gentle sway of “You Don’t Scare Me,” the lilting “Tied to the Wheel,” the resilient resolve of “Arizona,” the sturdy swagger of “Can’t Stop Shakin’” all being prime examples. Each sounds like a standard even on first listen. “Trucker’s Funeral” resonates as if it came from the pen of Kris Kristofferson. “Wake Me In Wyoming” is something Tammy Wynette might have sung while pouring her tears into a beer. —Lee Zimmerman

Gunn-Truscinski Duo: ‘Sugar’
Guitarist Steve Gunn and drummer John Truscinski have logged time together as members of the trio GHQ. Truscinski has helped support Gunn’s singer/songwriter side on albums like 2013’s Time Off and last year’s Eyes on the Lines. This intuitive collaboration has never felt as strong as it does on their forthcoming album, Bay Head, set for release on Nov. 3. It’s instantly engaging as it moves through arch Chuck Berry tributes and lovely acoustic folk augmented by synth and cymbal splashes. “Sugar” has the acid tang of a 9 volt battery to the tongue. —Robert Ham

Ryan Adams: ‘Back in Your Head’
Tegan and Sara   are going all out to commemorate the 10th anniversary of their breakthrough 2007 record, The Con. The twins have already announced an acoustic tour of the album this fall, and they’ve also assembled a reissue, The Con X: Covers. Last month, CHVRCHES delivered a stripped-down rendition of “Call It Off,” and this week Ryan Adams landed with a powerful version of “Back in Your Head,” turning Tegan and Sara’s piano-led pop ditty into a crunchy hard-rock growler. —Matthew Oshinsky

Sebastian: ‘Passages’
Paul Major might only be familiar to you as the frontman for the unstoppable psych group Endless Boogie. But for record collectors, the 63-year-old has been one of the best sources to find rare vinyl. This month, he’s giving folks a taste of some of his favorites with Feel the Music Vol. 1, a compilation of zonked folk and wild-eyed acid rock rarities. Sebastian’s “Passages,” originally released in 1970 on the album Rays of the Sun, sports phased out vocals and “Eleanor Rigby”-like melodics. —Robert Ham

  Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers
Martin and the Rangers just released their long-awaited second album together…The Long-Awaited Album. It brims with banjos, fiddle, mandolin, and everything you love about bluegrass. Check out three new songs—and even a little talk about the making of Three Amigos!

John Pizzarelli
On his new album, jazz guitarist John Pizzarelli blends his love of Frank Sinatra and Brazilian bossa nova with Sinatra & Jobim @50, a 50th anniversary tribute to the Chairman’s landmark 1967 album with Antonio Carlos Jobim. His warm guitar tone and breathy tenor are ideal for this delicately swinging music. Listen here to an original, “Canto Casual.”

Singer/guitarist Ayo was born and raised in Germany, lived for a time with her father in Mali, moved around Paris and London, and now calls Brooklyn home. Her music manages to capture all of that, with flashes of Afrobeat, folk, and a dollop of reggae mixed in. Watch her play “Boom Boom,” from her new self-titled record.

RIP Tom Petty: Watch the Late Icon Play the Final Show at Winterland Ballroom
Petty, who died Monday at the age of 66, was such a permanent fixture in rock, not to mention someone universally liked across the entire spectrum of the genre, that it’s difficult to honor him without leaving out something vital. Let’s start at the beginning with the help of the Paste Vault, which has an abundance of great, rare Petty recordings. In the last show ever at San Francisco’s Winterland Ballroom on Dec. 30, 1978, Petty & the Heartbreakers were just starting to break through. —Michael Salfino

Liam Gallagher Chats about ‘As You Were’ and His Hope for a Reunion with Brother Noel
Th 45-year-old ex-Oasis frontman is mounting something of a comeback with his solo debut, As You Were. He’s been in the wilderness, dealing with the 2009 departure from Oasis of his songwriting brother Noel Gallagher, which led to a steady stream of public acrimony that continues today; the splintering of his second group, Beady Eye, in 2014; and, that same year, the dissolution of his marriage. On the eve of the album’s release, he talks to Paste about how he almost fell out of music, and why he wants to reunite with his brother after years of acrimony. —Tom Lanham

The 10 Biggest Broadway Turns By Rock Stars
On Tuesday, Bruce Springsteen began preview performances for his scheduled four-month run at the Walter Kerr Theatre, a 975-seat room on West 48th Street whose notable productions include Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull, Tony Kushner’s Angels in America: Millennium Approaches and Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. If any rock star seems suited to the Great White Way, it’s the Boss. But he’s far from the first bona fide rock star to attempt a takeover of the theater. From U2 to P. Diddy to Elton John, artists across genres have attempted the transition to Broadway, with varying degrees of success. —Claire Greising

Recently in Music