September 22, 2020

Soundgarden's Ultramega is Finally OK

Modern Rock
By Kristi Kates | March 18, 2017

Soundgarden has remixed and deluxe–ified its debut album, 1988’s Ultramega OK, a move that marks the end of the band’s longstanding dissatisfaction with how the original version of the album was produced. Soundgarden acquired the album’s original multi–track tapes last year and brought in Nirvana/Mudhoney engineer Jack Endino to clean up the set’s sound; in the process, the band also dug up six early eight–track versions of songs from the same album that were recorded in 1987. You can now order all of the above in the new reissue version of Ultramega OK, which will arrive as a CD, double vinyl, cassette and download via Soundgarden’s official website (soundgardenworld.com) and Sub Pop Records; select independent retailers will also offer up a “Loser Version” of the album on maroon and blue vinyl.

Swedish singer Jens Lekman has just released a new album called Life Will See You Now, the fourth album of his career and a mashup of the styles of his previous singer–songwriter approach plus some new elements including bossa nova rhythms and disco beats. On Life…, you’ll find tracks such as “Hotwire the Ferris Wheel,” “Our First Fight” and “Wedding in Finistère.” Lekman is currently in the midst of a North American tour that will take him across the U.S., with a full listing of U.K. and Scandinavian concert dates to follow later this spring.

Queens of the Stone Age (QOTSA) reportedly has a new album on the way, if Troy Sanders (also of Mastodon) knows anything about it. In a recent interview, Sanders mentioned that all band members want to continue QOTSA. In addition to working on other projects, he said they put some time into QOTSA at the beginning of this year. Late last year, the band’s frontman Josh Homme mentioned that a new album from QOTSA was a priority on his schedule, so this likely means we’ll hear new music from the band soon, although no release dates have been announced yet. If so, this will be the band’s first album since 2013.

Garbage is prepping a new autobiographical coffee table book that will hit stores this July on Akashic Books. The tome, written by former Rolling Stone contributor Jason Cohen, will include peeks at memorabilia from all four members of the band – Shirley Manson, Butch Vig, Duke Erikson and Steve Marker – plus a pile of previously unseen photos and special editions of the book that include vinyl records. While you’re waiting for the book to arrive on July 4, you can catch Garbage on its North American tour this summer co–headlining with Blondie.

Modern Rock Link of the Week:
Detroit band Flint Eastwood has just released a music video for its new track “Queen,” an impressive piece of moviemaking that looks a lot like a movie trailer; check out the vid (filmed in Detroit) on YouTube at http://tinyurl.com/z8fkpu3.

The Buzz:
Speaking of Soundgarden, it’s just announced a concert in Detroit May 17 at the Fox Theater with opening act The Pretty Reckless.
Grammy Award–winning hip hop artist Lil Wayne will be at The Fox this spring, too, with his show happening May 11.

The lineup has been announced for this year’s Buses by the Beach Benefit concert May 26–29 in West Olive, Mich.; it will include Melophobix, The Barbarossa Brothers, Fauxgrass and Roosevelt Diggs.
There’s a good chance you can keep an eye out for Paramore passing through Detroit this summer, complete with drummer Zac Farro, who’s just rejoined his bandmates after quitting the band back in 2010.
The ever–elusive band Ween has just booked a show at the Royal Oak Music Theater for June 2, with regular sale tickets available for that concert now…And that’s the buzz for this week’s Modern Rock.

Comments, questions, rants, raves, suggestions on this column? Send ‘em to Kristi at modernrocker@gmail.com.

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