Looks like we're gonna be seeing a new album from King Khan & BBQ Show ... wait, never mind. The new album will be released under their old/new moniker Bad News Boys. Apparently a barbecue joint in Berlin sued the band for taking their name (King Khan Und BBQ), so they decided to go back to their original band name. Along with that, they've shared a track from said upcoming record, though there's no details as far as the release date and whatnot. Still, have a listen to “We Are The Champion” below.
Bad News Boys - “We Are The Champion”
Out tha basement
Two legends. Count 'em, two: Bob Dylan and The Band. Why do I bring them up? Because Bob Dylan has announced the release of The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11. Basically he's releasing “every salvageable recording” from sessions with The Band from 1967. 138 tracks of sonic goodness, all yours for the small price of ... wait, I don't know how much it costs. But it hits online and physical markets on Nov. 4, so that's somethin' to look forward to, no?
Take a leap
'Member how I mentioned that underground folk legend Vashti Bunyan was releasing a new and final album, Heartleap, on Oct. 7? Well, to give fans another snippet of the record, she's released the track “Holy Smoke.” The atmospheric ditty is gorgeous, whispery and magical ... as I'm sure the record will be. Have a listen below.
Believe in Usher
Uh-oh, the sexy vocal stylings of Mr. Usher Raymond are about to grace the airwaves once again. Not like he's been slacking on that front or anything. Usher shared a new single, “Believe Me,” which is scheduled to appear on his forthcoming record Everything You Can Imagine. The song is produced by Mike WiLL Made-It, who has worked with noted contemporaries like Juicy J, GOOD Music, Lil Wayne and the queen of dick pop (new genre, you heard it here) Miley Cyrus. Head to Spin to hear the tune.
Morrissey, Scorsese, Ramones, oh my!
Here's a lil something exciting if you like The Smiths (which I don't) … or better, if you like the Ramones. Morrissey has chosen the tracklist for the upcoming Best of the Ramones compilation. Not only that, he also got to choose the cover photo, which is viewable below. No word on when that'll be released, but this should still be interesting. Not because Morrissey had anything to do with it, but because it's the Ramones! Speaking of the Ramones, apparently there's a film in the works, and it's set to be directed by none other than Martin Scorsese. That's gonna be a good one. Head to Pitchfork to read more about that.
Please stand up
Slim Shady ain't over, y'all. Eminem recently announced a 2-CD compilation titled Shady XV, which is scheduled to hit the music-sphere on Nov. 24. The compilation will feature one album of Shady Records greatest hits and an album of new work by Em, D-12, Yelawolf and more. As an added bonus, Shady also shared a collaborative track with Sia (who's been gaining some hardcore traction with her latest album 1000 Forms of Fear), titled “Guts Over Fear,” which is featured in the upcoming film The Equalizer (out Sept. 26). To read more about the compilation and single, head over to Billboard.
Dream of the stream
It's time for the album streamage. New York rock band Interpol announced a few months ago that they'd be coming back with a new record (El Pintor). Well, they weren't lying. That record drops on Sept. 9, but in the meantime, NPR has you covered. Head their way to hear the album in its entirety. And while we're talkin' free music (well, this next one is free), why not mention Ty Dolla $ign's new $ign Languagemixtape, which is available for download. Don't worry, fans. He's still coming out with a new record later this year. This is just a nice little sampler. Listen to/download that below. Note: Streams are only available for a limited time, so we apologize if they’re no longer available by the time you click these links.
MacFarlane’s crooning skills
He may not be Frank Sinatra, but Seth MacFarlane can sing a tune. Known mostly for his various voices and comedic timing after creating such hits as “Family Guy” and Ted, MacFarlane seems to have a hand in everything, whether it's writing, directing, voice-overs and singing. You name it, he's probably done it. And now he's tackling a Christmas album (Holiday for Swing), in which he'll cover such classics as “Baby It's Cold Outside” and “Let It Snow.” If you like Christmas LPs and crooning, then this is the record to play whilst decorating your house in tinsel and stockings. MacFarlane spoke to Billboard from the set of Ted 2, so head there to read what he had to say about the record.
Berry gets the Polar
It's great news for the music industry, or for people in general, that legend Chuck Berry received Sweden's Polar Music Prize, considered to be “the world's most prestigious music accolade.” Not bad, Berry. The 87-year-old musician wasn't able to make it to the ceremony due to illness, but he did have someone there to read his acceptance speech. So, congratulations Mr. Berry! Now, we watch a performance of “Nadine” to celebrate!
Chuck Berry - “Nadine”
A dip in sales
Uh-oh, the record industry is in trouble. According to Billboard, last week's sales (3.97 million) are the lowest weekly sum since SoundScan began tracking these numbers in '91. It's also the first time sales have fallen below 4 million for a single week. But record executives aren't surprised, as the head of one label said, “Sales have been going in the wrong direction all year. I guess it's overdue when you look at the growth of streaming.” For more information on the decline of the record business, click here.
How do you get rid of the bad thoughts and vibes that have held you captive for the past months? You head to the burning of Will Shuster's Zozobra, of course. Originally thought of in 1926 as part of the Fiestas de Santa Fe, this “part-ghost, part-monster” has grown to be over 50 feet tall and signifies a way to cleanse the emotional constraints that inhabit residents of the Land of Enchantment. Seeing this structure alight in flame and stuffed with papers (each containing notes of the hardships of the past year) is a festive nod toward the future.
One of the City Different's most sacred and celebratory traditions, the event, put on the Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe, includes food and drink from multiple vendors, ceremonial dancing that tells the story of Old Man Gloom and culminates in a glorious effigy at dusk. Happening tomorrow at Fort Marcy Park (320 Artist Rd.), the gates open at 2pm, with entertainment kicking off at 2:30pm. It's a nice way to settle with a blanket and some good people before the real action happens at 7pm. Price is $10, but children 10 and under get in for free. Fort Marcy Park, Santa Fe • Fri Aug 29 • 2:30-10:30pm • $10, FREE for children 10 and under • ALL-AGES! • View on Alibi calendar
courtesy of the Tom Golden Collection, Sonoma County Museum
“Mein Kölner Dom, Wrapped” by Christo and Jeanne-Claude
Most artists have a specific medium, a way of rendering the world around them to be something more than what's already there. Whether it's painting, drawing, collage or something else, most artists are lucky to master one aesthetic. Bulgarian artist Christo, on the other hand, is a master of invention.
An artist in every sense of the word, Christo (and his late wife Jeanne-Claude) started with ideas, put them on sketches, collages and diagrams, then made these flat images into three dimensional installations that took over large plots of land. One need only see photos of Little Bay on the Australian coast with its cliffside entirely covered in fabric to grasp the magnitude of their work.
Christo answering questions
But the process is the interesting part, which is what Christo highlighted in a lecture at the Albuquerque Museum (2000 Mountain NW) on Friday, Aug. 22. Addressing a packed house, Christo detailed the many ideas that prompted his most famous works. He also discussed projects still in the making, including “The Mastaba,” a vast trapezoidal structure made up of oil barrels. If completed, it will stand near Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. Why are such projects still not completed? As Christo explained, “The difficult part is getting permission. Everywhere in the world belongs to somebody.”
What's impressive about these artworks is the time and planning that go into bringing them to fruition. Years are spent diagramming, speaking with engineers, getting permission from the people in power, and each detail is documented so as to make the outcome not only a structure for visible consumption, but a collaborative piece that invites viewers to become a part of it.
Then there’s the money side. Christo pointed out that for “The Gates” in Central Park, New York, they had to pay the city $3 million for three months of planning and building gates hung with saffron fabric in one of New York City's landmarks. That’s why his projects are funded by the ideas themselves, with Christo selling sketches of the structure's plans and earlier artworks to finance the new piece. If that's not ingenuity, I don't know what is.
The lecture provided fans and viewers with a deeper insight into these works. While it may seem arbitrary to see entire islands in Miami's Biscayne Bay surrounded by pink fabric or a mass of blue and yellow umbrellas inhabiting sections of Japan and Southern California, the ideas that prompt these works are not only visionary, but stand as testaments to the power of man to conceive, design and build something great. And hearing Christo talk so humbly about the process was a pleasure and a treat. Not to mention a privilege.
When it comes to speaking out on injustice, who better to share words than people who've been held in high regard for their artistic and thought-provoking contributions within a specific canon. Hip-hop artist Killer Mike took to the written word (via an op-ed for Billboard) to speak his mind on the horrible outcomes surrounding the fatal shooting of unarmed black teen Michael Brown. He not only addresses the shooting, but addresses the abuse of power in regards to the unsightly tactics law enforcement have undertaken in an effort to keep protesters at bay. Head to Billboard to read the article in its entirety. The rapper also went on CNN to talk about the piece and his thoughts on Ferguson. You can watch it below.
Killer Mike CNN Interview
Delivering the rage
And while we're on the topic of Ferguson, rapper/singer Lauryn Hill posted an old sketch track (“Black Rage”) on SoundCloud, dedicating it to what's going on over in Missouri. The song is a version of the famous number “My Favorite Things.” You can hear that ditty below.
The voodoo chile returns
If you have a pen, highlighter or Sharpie in hand, you should flip your calendar over to September, work your magic little finger over to the 15th and circle, circle, circle. Because on that day, two out-of-print records from the late, great Jimi Hendrix are set to be re-released. Both records (The Cry of Love and Rainbow Bridge) were recorded in 1969 and 1970, but weren't released until after Hendrix' death in 1970. Those albums will get the full treatment, meaning people can purchase them on CD, vinyl and digital formats. So, again, mark that calendar.
A swift return
Well ... it's official. Taylor Swift has abandoned her country roots. Rebranding herself under the pop umbrella, Swift released the video for the first single (“Shake It Off”) off her upcoming record (1989), which comes out on Oct. 27. If we're looking at the single from a very distant eye-glance, it's not really anything special, though Swift is using her cutesy wiles to poke fun at herself, while alerting listeners to shake off the bad vibes. Cause that hasn't been heard in music before. Have a looksie below.
Taylor Swift - “Shake It Off”
Tuff it out
I mentioned a while back that King Tuff was coming out with a new record (Black Moon Spell) on Sept. 23. Well, that's still happening. Gasp! But Tuff has taken the initiative to make the title track available for your listening pressure. And let's just say that this is a real treat of a song, and if the tune is any indication of the record itself ... it's gonna be one ferocious little gem. Have a listen below.
Still not fadin’ away
Talk about a sneaker-upper ... a group of country musicians have banded together to create a tribute album to one of rock's greatest gifts: Buddy Holly. Mmhmm, you read that right. Artists like Merle Haggard, T. Graham Brown and Helen Cornelius will tackle songs from Holly's oeuvre and give them a good ol' country spin. The record, The Buddy Holly Country Tribute: Remember Me, hits stores and online markets on Sept. 7, on what would have been Holly's 78th birthday if he'd still been alive. Whether or not you dig country (or what passes for country nowadays), this should be an exciting release.
The last slice
This is a sad one, y'all. Swedish experimental duo The Knife have announced that they're calling it quits. After their tour is finished in November, the band is going to dissolve, though they didn't specify as to what's next for each of the members. All speculation aside, I'm sure that they'll both go on to do interesting and innovative things. So as a goodbye, have a listen to their song “Heartbeats” below. Head over to Dazed to read what the band had to say about the break-up and the future.
The Knife - “Heartbeats”
Something savage this way comes
In case I wasn't overtly explicit, I love Savages. Well, at least their debut record (which made my Best Albums of 2013 list). I'm not going to go into my love over it because it would take all day, and I'm sure you've got important things lined up in your schedule. To the point: Savages is teaming up with “acid punk” band Bo Ningen for a collaborative record. Apparently, the album is going to be one 37-minute track, described as a “Sonic Simultaneous Poem.” And that's expected to be out and about on Nov. 17. Any way you spin this, it's exciting news. Head over to Pitchfork to read more about the upcoming release.
Out of the basement
It was announced a while back that unearthed Bob Dylan lyrics from 1967 were going to be recorded and released as Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes. The record is produced by T. Bone Burnett and includes performances by Jim James (of My Morning Jacket), Elvis Costello, Marcus Mumford and more. The first snippet of what the record will entail has been posted online. Have a listen to Jim James' version of Dylan's “Nothing To It.”
The New Basement Tapes - “Nothing To It (Official Lyric Video)”
Dream of the stream
Oh snap, it's time for some album streamage. You know you've been waiting for this one ... it's the New Pornographers' new record (Brill Bruisers)! Exciting news for people who like the band. I can't count myself in that group, though I've not heard enough from them to make a valid listening decision. You know ... laziness and all. It gets the best of us. Regardless, head over to iTunes Radio to give that a listen before it gets stale from staying out too long. Wait ... that's bread. And since you're getting it for free, you may as well head over to NPR to hear Ty Segall's new record Manipulator. EDITOR’S NOTE: These streams are only up for a limited time, so apologies if they’re no longer available by the time you click these links.
What's one way to celebrate the red and green veggie that makes us proud to call ourselves Burqueños? That would be the Chile Festival, of course. This two-day spectacular has a variety of events and treats that would make any member of the Duke City not only proud, but a little giddy. If there's not live music (which there is), there's a plethora of yummy treats that would make even the snottiest of foodies go red in the cheek. From a bake sale featuring donated sweets to books and movies for sale to roasted chile to arts & crafts, it's basically a hodgepodge of activities that spell “good” in every stride.
Oh, and did we mention music? Performing acts include the Route 66 Revelers, Ambush Brass, the Young at Heart Quartet and more. Oh, and proceeds from the event go to benefit Habitat For Humanity. So the good eats and fun-filled action are for a good cause. Festivities run for two days: tomorrow from 9am to 4pm and Sunday, Aug. 24, from 11am to 4pm. This free event happens at Shepherd of the Valley Presbyterian Church (1801 Montaño NW). Wait … chile? Go get you some. Shepherd of the Valley Presbyterian Church • Sat Aug 23 • 9am-4pm • FREE • View on Alibi calendar
Like a lot of people, my first introduction to Robyn was her song “Dancing On My Own,” when it was featured in the hit HBO series “Girls.” Used perfectly in the soundtrack's sequencing, it's my only indicator of Robyn's prowess as one of Sweden's most notable exports. Regardless, Robyn ventured to create an EP with Norwegian electronic duo Röyksopp (Do It Again), and now they've released a video for album track “Monument.” Have a looksie below ...
Röyksopp & Robyn - “Monument”
Givin’ it away ...
It's free music, y'all! Free music! Well, not in physical form, but still, it's free! DJ Shadow has released his new EP (Liquid Amber), available for streaming, as “an opening salvo” for future snippets of sonic fancies. Fans better eat it up, considering this is his first release since 2011's The Less You Know, The Better. Should make it feel more sacred, right? You can listen to the EP below. Enjoy!
My rap game could use a little work. OK, maybe a lot of work. But that's even more reason to mention that rap aficionado Nas announced a while back that he was going to commemorate his intricate verbage on legendary album Illmatic by coming out with a full-length documentary as well as a tour. On tour, which kicks off Oct. 2, he'll perform the album in its entirety. The documentary (Nas: Time is Illmatic) hits theaters on Oct. 1 (Oct. 3 for on demand and iTunes), so check your local theater listings. While the tour doesn't make a stop in the Duke City, it's worth it to plan a possible trip around it, no?
If you're not familiar with Matt Sweeney's online show “Guitar Moves,” I'd recommend some viewage. It's cool if you like seeing various guitar devotees share some tricks of the trade, especially when you're attempting to learn the instrument (like myself). Now the show is titled “Guitar Power,” and Sweeney's latest incarnation sees Kurt Vile showing off his prowess as an axe man and songwriter. Check out Vile's episode below.
Guitar Power Ep. 3 featuring Kurt Vile
Most people who still buy albums know that they almost always hit stores on Tuesdays. Well, that might change. In an effort to battle music piracy (and taking a note from Australia), the record industry is making a push to make Friday a “standard, global album release day.” According to Billboard, some digital music venues have given the release day their blessing, though the change is already being met with opposition from indie record labels and stores. Apparently, having a release day earlier in the week is better for sales. If this comes to pass, that'll be put into effect in July of 2015.
The Foo is back
While I'm not a huge Foo Fighters fan, I can attest that they put on one of the best shows of any band around. After seeing an epic, mind-blowing set at ACL a few years back, I'd convinced myself that I'd seen something akin to my generation experiencing Led Zeppelin in their heyday, which is a fairly bold statement. Regardless, the Foo Fighters have announced their upcoming record Sonic Highways (out Nov. 10). The album was apparently recorded in eight studios in eight different states, and the band is also coming out with an HBO doc series about the process (premiering Oct. 17). View a teaser for the record below, and head to NME to read more 'bout it.
Foo Fighters –Sonic Highways
Full circle listen
Fugazi is one of those bands that has always escaped me, though bands I'm a fan of have always lauded them and their influence on rock and roll. And now people can partake in a listening session with the music that started the group on its course to take over the world: their first demo. Titled First Demo, it'll be the release of music recorded in 1988 from their original demo tapes. Talk about the rough and ready. That'll get a proper release some time this Winter, so keep an eye out for it.
Leonard Cohen is one of those musicians that really doesn't need any sort of introduction, as the man has been in the game for numerous decades. Still, his track “Hallelujah” is one of the most covered and revered tracks ever to hit the music-sphere. The singer-songwriter's webmaster Jarkko Arjatsalo recently announced that in celebration of Cohen's 80th birthday, he's coming out with a new record in September, titled Popular Problems. No word yet on what songs will be featured, but he did add that Cohen has no plans to tour the album. Bummer. Have a listen to “Hallelujah” below.
Leonard Cohen - “Hallelujah”
Music for the inmates
Talk about bringing music to the masses … John Dwyer's Castle Face Records (which has released records by Dwyer's Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall, White Fence, etc.) is now conducting a program where they send free CDs from their catalog to prison inmates. All you gotta do is send them the prisoner's info and mailing restrictions, and they'll take care of the rest. Click here to read more about Castle Face For the Incarcerated.
Those actors and their music ... you know, the ones who think they're talented enough to take a stab at the golden glory of releasing a record, playing shows and being a straight-up rock n' rolla. Well, a lot of the time, they're not even rock musicians when they transfer from the big screen to the small stage, but more often than not, they still have the chops to back it up. (Zooey Deschanel, Charlotte Gainsbourg (even though she was a musician before she was an actress), Michael Cera). That last one is what this is about. Michael Cera released a surprise album, titled true that, which is now available to stream online. Head over to his Bandcamp page to give that a listen. I’m sure, to some, the lo-fi, folky intonations are reminiscent of his work in Juno (viewable below).
It's here, folks. The event that your FFA courses prepared you for. A chance to show off your crops, tractors and gardening wares, or to sample someone else's. It's the Harvest Festival at Wildlife West Nature Park (87 North Frontage Rd.) in Edgewood, N.M. And while it may seem like a trek, 30 miles is a mere cruise when you take into consideration all that will be on hand. Celebrating the “area's culture, traditions and agricultural heritage,” there will be a tractor parade, visits to the Pinto Bean Museum, fresh produce, wine sampling, live music, delicious food, tractor games and old-fashioned hayrides. And that's just the tip of the pie, so to speak.
A down-home, family friendly event like this isn't one to be missed. And you have two days to get your acts together, get the kiddos in the car and get truckin'. The festival starts tomorrow at 9am with a tractor parade and continues till about 6pm. Then it picks up again on Sunday, Aug. 17, from 10am to 6pm. All the weekend's activities, minus the Chuckwagon Dinner Show, are included with regular admission ($7 regular, $6 seniors, $4 students). And, as always, children under 5 are free. Wildlife West, Edgewood • Sat Aug 16 • 9am-6pm • $4-$7 • ALL-AGES! • View on Alibi calendar