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Editor's Notes, December 2017

Editor's picks and musings for December 2017 and the end of the year.

By Patrick Prince

I know I’m a little late to the game here, but I really like this year's The Magpie Salute longplay. It came out in June and it finally came around on my CD carousel. A little reluctant to listen, perhaps, since I’ve never been a big Black Crowes fan (former Crowes guitarists Rich Robinson and Marc Ford got together here) but Salute opens with one of the best rockers I’ve heard all year, “Omission.” What a beauty of a kick-ass song. The album continues with a mixture of well-played covers and originals (the cover of a Delaney & Bonnie/Clapton composition, "Comin' Home," will make your heart sing). If you have not heard it, give it a ride.

High Roller Records sent me Deadheads’ new music, “This One Goes To 11.” And how can we expect less with a title like that? If you’re expecting any connection to the Grateful Dead: NO; if you’re expecting full-throttle, loud rock ’n’ roll: YES. In fact the second song on the album is an amped gem that I can’t get out of my head: “Don’t Mind The Ghost.” The rest of the album from this Swedish Action Rock band pretty much follows suit (except for a decent Fleetwood Mac-ish pit stop), but "Don't Mind the Ghost" is your gateway song to Deadheads. Expect nothing less than 11. Release date is end of January 2018.

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There's a cool "Double-A" single to buy, released by Brit indie rock trio, Victories, on Red Menace Records. I got swept up by the ebb and flow of the song “Mandy Machine,” which goes from a classic rock melody to brief Doom amplifications. Then there’s a sweet, traditional rock keyboard solo in the middle of it all. If anything, the song is too damn short. The flip-side song, “Wiccan,” is just as powerful, maybe not as catchy, but a steady, heavy rhythm highlighted by Purple-esque keyboards. Nice.

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Want to shoegaze your heart out and deliver yourself back to the '90s? It's that kind of trip with Secret Shine's LP "There Is Only Now" on Saint Marie Records. Fact is, the band has been around for quite awhile, since the late '80s /early '90s, but for various reasons had periods of inactivity (too complex to get into here). The key to this new album, "There Is Only Now," is to prove themselves once again. And Secret Shine certainly do prove themselves in 2017 with a mix of ethereal vocals (something akin to the Cocteau Twins) and atmospheric guitar noise (I can hear a more restrained Curve on display). One track alone is proof of the band's specialty to this art: the second track,"Burning Stars." What a track! By the third track you know you're in for something worth the time to proceed. Others can go ahead and call Secret Shine showgaze but I'll simply call them enjoyable.

Readers have a few more days to get the December 2017 issue with Ringo Starr on the cover and then it's our Psychedelia issue (January 2018, at right), on the newsstand on December 12. You can get Goldmine at select indie record stores (via URP), Barnes & Noble and Books A Million. Or subscribe here.

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Goldmine covered some fantastic music in 2017. It's been a great year. Let's continue that into 2018!

Have a great Holiday season!