These past few weeks, my Flux Capacitor-equipped Mazda3 has been skidding through spacetime as if it was heading for the Virginia state line on I-85, with memories scattered like litter along the roadside due to the preparations for our impending move. In the over-stuffed closet in our den, for example, I came across boxes (and boxes!) of photos and assorted ephemera, from ancient cassettes (and/or their cases) to letters my mother wrote my grandparents when we lived overseas in the early 1970s. I flipped through some of the photos and, wow. I was indeed once young!
I’ve also come across a few scratchy (and figurative) 45s that house the grooves to new tunes—spacetime doesn’t just stretch from the present into the past, but from the then to the now. Calista Garcia’s latest single, for example, sounds like a late-night treat discovered long ago on The Midnight Special, while the Midlands-based Crystal Teardrop’s “Nine Times Nine” sounds like a hidden track on the classic Lenny Kaye-curated Nuggets collection.
1) Calista Garcia – “Can’t Give Myself Away.” Garcia’s latest single from her forthcoming Confession LP blends the best of the present with the past while spinning a raucous tale that builds byte by byte into a colossal kiss-off.
2) The Crystal Teardrop – “Nine Times Nine.” As I mentioned above, this tune could well have been lifted from the Nuggets set, which—for those not in the know—collected psychedelic treats from the mid-1960s. It’s a blast.
3) Stephen Stills & David Crosby – “The Lee Shore.” An archival treat from Stephen Stills is due on April 28th—a 14-track live album titled Berkeley 1971. This teaser track finds him joined by pal David Crosby for a performance of Crosby’s classic “The Lee Shore.” It’s a magical, mystical rendition that—for me, at least—stops time.
4) Lydia Luce – “Face and Figure.” The Nashville-based singer-songwriter released this single a few weeks back. The studio version is a delight, but this acoustic rendition takes me to other places. If I didn’t know any better, I’d swear it was lifted from a Fast Folk Musical Magazine compilation.
5) Juliana Hatfield – “Lotta Love.” Technically, this rendition of the Neil Young song—which was a Top 10 hit for Nicolette Larson in 1978—isn’t a “new” single per se, as it was first released as an exclusive Record Day release last November. But it finally hit the streaming services last week, so why not? Hers is a punky delight that has me yearning for a Juliana Hatfield Sings Neil Young LP. The cover art, of course, is a play on Neil’s Comes a Time album. (Juliana fans should make a note to visit her Substack page, where she’s publishing chapters from her unreleased memoir about her 10-day stay in an eating disorder treatment center.)
6) Emma Swift – “Give Me Strength.” Since I shared the A-side of the “Lotta Love” 45, here’s the B-side: Emma Swift’s stirring cover of Neil’s “Give Me Strength,” which Neil recorded in 1974 but decided to hold back until he released its album home, Homegrown, in 2020. (At the time, he decided to go with Tonight’s the Night instead—he played the song in concert on occasion, of course, so those of us who collected live recordings knew it long before 2020.)
7) Salt Collective (featuring Juliana Hatfield and Richard Lloyd) – “Where the Wild Things Are.” SALT is a French band that has an album slated for release in May that features collaborations with Matthew Caws, Juliana Hatfield, Matthew Sweet, Peter Holsapple, Richard Lloyd, Mitch Easter, Anton Barbeau, The dB’s rhythm section (Gene Holder & Will Rigby), Susan Cowsill, Wilco’s Pat Sansone, and newcomer Faith Jones. “Where the Wild Things Are” is one of two tracks that feature Juliana. Sounds great.