Welcome to The Weekend Stream, a relaxing review of notable digital-only catalogue titles. There may be no CD or vinyl, but there's plenty of great new/old music to float you into the weekend. Ahead of a three-day holiday weekend, it's all about re-imagining, from Paramore to Melissa Manchester to the disco mixes of John Luongo - plus some cool rock, jazz and soundtrack work making digital debuts.
Pop-punk trio Paramore released their sixth album This is Why back in February; now, a year from the release of the title tracks as the first single, they've put out a new version of the album featuring remixes, covers and reinterpretations of the songs on the album from the likes of Julien Baker, Bartees Strange, Wet Leg, Zane Lowe and more, plus the previously unreleased demo "Sanity."
If you're excited for Demon/Edsel's upcoming Dance Masters box set devoted to Luongo's killer disco remixes, enjoy this digital collection as a teaser and companion piece, featuring 31 extended versions from Dan Hartman, Patti LaBelle, Sly & The Family Stone, Barbra Streisand, Santana and many more - some of which aren't on the other box! Keep it tuned to The Second Disc in the coming weeks for insight from Luongo and collaborators on putting these sets together, as well as his incredible career.
At long last, Melissa Manchester and Kenny Loggins have come together to record "Whenever I Call You Friend," the effervescent pop standard they co-wrote more than four decades ago. The story goes something like this: After having run into one another numerous times at various events, the pair met at Manchester's home one evening to write a song together. The result was "Whenever I Call You Friend." Loggins took it into the studio for his 1978 album Nightwatch, enlisting Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks as his partner. Their bright recording reached the U.S. Pop Top 5 and AC Top 10. Melissa recorded her own moving rendition with Arnold McCuller on her 1979 self-titled Arista album, but fans of both Manchester and Loggins long clamored for them to record the song together. Now, that duet is here as the first official single from Manchester's upcoming album RE:VIEW, and it doesn't disappoint! These two friends, joined by sax man Dave Koz, have subtly updated the classic song while retaining its warmth, tenderness, and heart.
This Grammy-winning 1960 jaunt found the legendary film composer and conductor in a terrific small orchestra session (including jazz vibraphonist Victor Feldman and a young John Williams on piano) that featured two titular originals along with bright versions of jazz standards like "Misty," "Mood Indigo" and "Sing, Sing, Sing."
A founding member of The Section - an L.A. collective of first-call session musicians that included guitarist Danny Kortchmar, bassist Leland Sklar and drummer Russ Kunkel - keyboardist Craig Doerge logged time with some of the best folk-rock acts of the '70s, including, Crosby, Stills & Nash, James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt and others. This 1973 album was his only solo effort from that time, featuring members of The Sections as well as associates and other session legends like David Spinozza, Jim Keltner and the late David Lindley.
Originally released as a 12" promo in 1992, this set from U.K. techno/house act Shades of Rhythm was released to promote their first album for ZTT, issued a year prior - and makes its full digital debut as part of the label's 40th anniversary Definition Series.
This intimate, acoustic EP was part of a series of releases by Yorn known as You and Me Acoustic, recorded at in-store appearances to promote 2006's Nightcrawler. It also appears to be the first in the series to be available digitally - one couldn't be surprised to see the other 30+ releases available before too long.
Brian Gascoigne, Phase IV (Music from the Motion Picture) / Bruce Broughton, The Monster Squad (Music from the Motion Picture) / Christopher Young, Jennifer 8 (Music from the Motion Picture) / Mark Isham, Fire in the Sky (Music from the Motion Picture) (Paramount Music)
Four film scores from Paramount's '70s-'90s film library make their digital debuts, most notably Bruce Broughton's beloved and seasonally-appropriate work for the cult classic horror comedy The Monster Squad (including a pair of pop tracks written for the film by Michael Sembello).
Finally, as we sometimes do on The Weekend Stream, here are a couple causes this week that mean a lot to us...
Sign the Bandcamp petition. Last week, Bandcamp - arguably one of the most artist friendly digital music platforms - was sold by Epic Games (who'd purchased it in March 2022) to Songtradr, an audio licensing company. Epic and Songtradr did themselves no favors for both the ardent supporters and workers in the process: Epic laid off more than 800 workers alongside the sale, and Songtradr has both announced that "not all Bandcamp employees will receive offers from Songtradr" and has not pledged to recognize a union of Bandcamp workers. That's where you can help, by signing this petition. Unions make arts employees strong - just look at the successful Writer's Guild of America negotiations!
Help a grieving person. Ryan Thorensen Carson was an advocate and staffer at the New York Public Interest Research Group, where he devoted his time to everything from expanding recycling programs in the city to harm reduction to prevent drug overdoses. On Monday, October 2 in Brooklyn, he was randomly stabbed to death while waiting for a bus with his girlfriend after coming home from a wedding. (Because of their progressive politics, a frankly distressing amount of invective has been thrown toward Carson and his girlfriend; we will not entertain such commentary here, so think deeply before you post.) A GoFundMe has been set up to aid his partner to take time off from work and grieve and process the unspeakable horror she just witnessed; while it has exceeded its goal, it never hurts to help someone who's been through a tragedy like that.