Fall Music Preview: New albums from Taylor Swift and Bjork, concerts by Ringo Starr and The Who – The Globe and Mail

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This season brings plenty to listen to, read and watch for audiophiles of all stripes
As any magazine magnate would, Jann Wenner appreciates a good scoop. So no one should have been surprised earlier this month when the Rolling Stone founder let the Boss out of the bag by casually mentioning in an interview that he’d been listening to a “stunning” Bruce Springsteen record that is “coming out this fall.”
While the new Springsteen music hasn’t been officially announced, other fall blockbusters are confirmed, including LPs from Taylor Swift, Red Hot Chili Peppers and, yes, hard rock’s favourite whipping boys, Nickelback.
On the live music side, this year’s ridiculously heavy touring schedule isn’t stopping just because the summer amphitheatres are closing for the season. Canadian concert highlights to come include a string of dates by Beatles drummer Ringo Starr that begin in Laval, Que., and finish in Penticton, B.C.
Wenner, by the way, disclosed the Springsteen nugget while making the media rounds in support of his new memoir, Like A Rolling Stone. That title will compete for shelf space with forthcoming music books that include one written by the Like A Rolling Stone songster himself, Bob Dylan.
Alanis Morissette performs during the Festival d'été de Québec on Friday, July 15, 2022.Amy Harris/The Associated Press
The new class of inductees welcomed into the tower of song include Bryan Adams, Jim Vallance, David Foster, Daniel Lavoie and Alanis Morissette, the You Oughta Know icon who is one of the headliners for the Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert in Los Angeles later this month. The late Foo Fighters drummer once worked in Morissette’s touring band. (Sept. 24; Toronto’s Massey Hall)
Or, Cowchella. The annual benefit in support of the farming way of life happens in Raleigh, N.C., this year, with headliners Willie Nelson, Margo Price, Dave Matthews, Allison Russell, Sheryl Crow, Chris Stapleton and, as always, small-town proponent John Mellencamp. (Sept. 24; streaming on YouTube)
Backing the bejewelled Beatle on an eight-date Canadian tour are hired guns Edgar Winter, Toto’s Steve Lukather and Men at Work’s Colin Hay. They’ll play their own hits and back up the main attraction on his solo material and signature Beatles numbers that include Yellow Submarine, Octopus’s Garden and a show-closing With a Little Help From My Friends. (Sept. 26 to Oct. 9)
There was a time when the British classic-rock conceptualists were the loudest band around. Founding members Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend continue to fly the My Generation banner, defying odds, age and the advice of otolaryngologists to present brash anthems of an era. For their current tour, local orchestras are hired for a show that draws heavily from grandiose albums Tommy and Quadrophenia. (Oct. 2; Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena)
Edward Scissorhands is coming to town, but Jeff Beck has the chops in this oddball partnership. Actor and “singer-musician” Depp and the British guitar legend are hitting the road in support of 18, their curious album of stylish instrumentals, Depp-written originals and a selection of covers including an interpretation of an iconic Motown song that might have the Marvin Gaye estate wondering what, indeed, is going on? (Oct. 17; Toronto’s Meridian Hall)
Her hit song from 2021 was Nightflyer, which, apparently, is more literal than we ever realized. How else but by a midnight plane did the Montreal-born Americana music star manage to headline this summer’s Calgary Folk Music Festival one night and make it to Rhode Island the next afternoon to play clarinet in the band that backed up Joni Mitchell at the Newport Folk Festival? Russell is still on the move, with important appearances at Farm Aid, Carnegie Hall and Hollywood’s Troubadour club and more. (Sept. 28; Pop Montreal and Oct. 28; Toronto’s Koerner Hall)
Icelandic singer Bjork.FABRICE COFFRINI/KEYSTONE
The Icelandic art-rocker’s first album in five years is sure to disappoint the Webster’s Dictionary people, for Fossora is a made-up word. Bass-clarinet aficionados, however, are in luck. Six of those instruments were employed for recordings featuring a “heavy bottom end,” as Bjork explained in a statement. Lyrically, Fossora was inspired by the global pandemic’s effect on community. “Are these not just excuses to not connect?” she asks on the album’s lead single, Atopos. (Sept. 30; One Little Independent)
Blue Rez is the album that did not want to happen. The day after a flooded basement nearly ruined the Toronto dream-pop band’s equipment, a thief broke into singer Molly Rankin’s apartment and made off with a stash of demo tapes. The band’s rhythm section has been overhauled, and Grammy-winning Canadian producer Shawn Everett thrust a more freewheeling recording process onto a young group accustomed to meticulous preparation. (Oct. 7; Celsius Girls)
Can’t quit, still addicted to the shindig. The California alt-rock adventurists, who made their record debut in 1984, are set to release their second double-LP of the year. Return of the Dream Canteen follows this spring’s Unlimited Love – two Rick Rubin-produced albums that feature guitarist John Frusciante. He rejoined the band in 2019 after a decade-long absence. (Oct. 14; Warner)
With Beyond the Reservoir the Americana music melodist looks to build on the breakout success of his 2020 acoustic album The Ridge. In August he released Wide Awake, a bittersweet song about embracing one’s ingrained familial experiences. While the single suggests a countrified Jim Croce or a twangier Cat Stevens, Taylor is a unique and important voice on the Canadian roots-and-folk scene. (Oct. 14; Howling Turtle)
A firm believer in romance, phone-based coyness and the power of pop music, the breathy-voiced British Columbian is not even waiting for the release of her forthcoming LP to embark on her So Nice Tour (it kicked off earlier this week). New album The Loneliest Time follows the release of summer singles Western Wind and Beach House, which were mellow and thumping, respectively, filled with thoughts of California on a wistful singer-songwriter’s mind. (Oct. 21; 604 Records)
When the superstar singer-songwriter revealed details about Midnights during a speech at the MTV Video Music Awards last month, the screams of Swifties in the audience repeatedly interrupted even the announcement of the album. Always one to invoke drama, Swift said Midnights was conceived during nocturnal “terrors and sweet dreams.” (Oct. 21; Republic)
Some simple pleasures are simpler than others. The throaty Albertans, whose postgrunge bangers appeal to the uncomplicated listener, are back with their 10th studio album and first release in five years. Get Rollin’ is preceded by the aggressive single San Quentin, inspired by a prison warden and, by the sounds of it, Metallica-scale heavy metal. (Nov. 18; BMG)
Kid Cudi performs at the Coachella Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club on Saturday, April 20, 2019, in Indio, Calif.Amy Harris/The Associated Press
Having completed his Man on the Moon trilogy of albums two years ago, the busy American rapper with a challenging past now offers Entergalactic, an “adult animated love story” for Netflix and an accompanying album of the same name. (Sept. 30; Netflix/Republic)
Those who decided to skip the recent Pearl Jam concerts in Canada and wait for the book to come out instead won’t have to cool their heels for long. The new book from rock journalist Steven Hyden (Twilight of the Gods and Your Favorite Band Is Killing Me) chronicles the grunge-rock pioneers with a contextual look at their legacy. (Sept. 27; Hatchette)
If you liked his zig, you’ll love his zag. Fans of the man’s popular memoir Chronicles: Volume One from 2004 won’t get the sequel they pine for. Dylan instead offers The Philosophy of Modern Song, a collection of essays on 66 songs which include The Whiffenpoof by Rudy Vallee, Witchy Woman by the Eagles, London Calling by the Clash and Viva Las Vegas by Elvis Presley. (Nov. 1; Simon & Schuster)
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