After two New Mexico counties went to the Supreme Court to put two nonbinding questions about marijuana and taxes on the November election ballads, Secretary of State Dianna Duran went to the federal court to intervene. But they said they won't referee this issue.
Jesus Arredondo Soto has been convicted of killing a woman and her 1-year-old son in 2010. He faces up to two life sentences, plus more than 70 years in prison.
According to a statewide ABQ Journal poll, 50 percent of New Mexico voters opposed marijuana legalization, while 44 percent were in favor.
We lost another one: Robert “Throb” Young, the former guitarist for Scottish rock group Primal Scream, died on Tuesday, Sept. 9. He was 49 years old, and no cause of death has been listed. If you've ever listened to the band's album Screamadelica, then you know what a loss this is. Safe journey, Throb. Here's a little sendoff.
Primal Scream - “Movin’ On Up”
We really got something
Can you believe The Kinks have been around for 50 years? Not a lot of people can, or do, considering the band hasn't released a full-length record since 1993, and they've been hinting at a possible reunion tour for years to no avail. Regardless, their record label sees a reason to celebrate, as they've taken the initiative to release a “career-spanning anthology” of The Kinks' greatest hits, including songs like “You Really Got Me,” “Lola” and “Waterloo Sunset.” That hits stores and online markets on Oct. 14. And that's just for starters. They're also going to release a deluxe version of their 1971 record Muswell Hillbillies on Nov. 10. To read more about these upcoming auspicious endeavors, head over to Consequence of Sound.
The color pink
With Nicki Minaj's “Anaconda” video making splashes all over the interwebz (the big booty kind), people have been wondering when her next full-length effort will be released. The wait is over, y'all. Well, the wait for the release date, which is Nov. 24. That record (The Pinkprint) will feature the aforementioned “Anaconda,” as well as another track she released some time back: “Pills N Potions.” So if you're ready to hear Ms. Minaj spew some rhymes, mark those calendars. At least you'll have the “Anaconda” video to tide you over. View that below.
Nicki Minaj - “Anaconda”
Meester’s got heart
Like most people who've heard the name Leighton Meester, my only real knowledge of her prowess as an actress is embedded within the no-longer-with-us “Gossip Girl.” Besides that, not a whole lot I know. And in regard to her singer-songwriter abilities? She's got 'em? Apparently so, as Meester is gearing up to release her debut full-length record Heartstrings on Oct. 28. She's released the title track exclusively on Billboard, and if the tune is anything to go by, she's actually got some nice pipes. And the fact that she wrote all of the songs herself is pretty impressive. Head to Billboard to give that a listen.
Oh, the tyranny
It's finally here, y'all: a full-length track and video from Julian Casablancas' new solo project, Julian Casablancas + The Voidz. Though my enthusiasm over the Strokes' latest works has somewhat waned, I'm happy to hear Casablancas return to a more sinister, garage sound. The song (“Where No Eagles Fly”) comes off his upcoming record Tyranny, out Sept. 23, which is right around the corner. Have a looksie at the video below.
Julian Casablancas + The Voidz - “Where No Eagles Fly”
U2? What about me?
What people are excited about U2's surprise record? Not me, but I'm sure they're out there ... wandering through dark alleyways, guitar picks between thumb and index, waiting for Bono's voice to hail from the gutters. The band has released Songs of Innocence, which is available for anyone who is on iTunes, iTunes Radio and Beats Music. You can hear the record exclusively on those sites before it gets a physical release on Oct. 13. Oh, did we mention it's free? So have at it!
Sure, most people are upset with Robert Plant over his refusal to reunite with former bandmates Led Zeppelin. But I say if the guy's got a good thing going by his lonesome, leave him be. Have you not heard his collaboration with Alison Krauss (Raising Sand)? It's flawless. Now Plant has just released his latest solo effort lullaby And... The Ceaseless Roar. To add to that, he's also come out with a video for the album's lead single “Rainbow,” which you can take a gander at below. Enjoy!
Robert Plant - “Rainbow”
Here with Keys
This past week, Alicia Keys posted a video for her new song “We Are Here,” which turned the microphone away from that godawful “Girl on Fire.” And though her new ditty has a hefty amount of inspirational cheese, it's definitely a step in the right direction. The song is meant to inspire a dialogue between people of various cultures and nations, so unity is the theme here. Not sure if the song will get a proper release, though Keys did say she's working on new material in an interview with AP. To watch the video, head to Billboard.
Perfume on the grid
Singer-songwriter Mike Hadreas, who performs under the guise of Perfume Genius, never really caught my attention until I heard the first single from his upcoming record Too Bright. That song (“Queen”) didn't leave my head for days, maybe weeks. Touted as a gay rights anthem, the song just hits. But I'm sure for most internet aficionados, that's old news! Now Hadreas has come out with another single from the same record: “Grid.” And the video can be watched below. PS: The album drops on Sept. 22.
Perfume Genius - “Grid”
Blige in London
It's the opposite of a British invasion! It's an American invasion! Wait ... is that the opposite? Either way, diva Mary J. Blige has announced a new record (The London Sessions), and she's enlisted the help of a few Brits (Disclosure, Sam Smith, Jimmy Napes, etc.) to provide some collaborative magic on the proceedings. That record'll see the light of sound on Nov. 24, and Ms. Blige has released a trailer for said release, which you can watch over at Pitchfork.
There's a thing about car shows: A lot of the time, people think you have to be obsessed with trannys and motors to be included in the fun. But sometimes a car show comes around that has so much more than vehicular jargon that it's almost a waste to look at the cars ... but you do anyways. So if you like cars, or tolerate them, head over to the KongFusion Car Show & Tattoo Expo at Santa Ana Star Center (3001 Civic Center NE) in Rio Rancho for this three-day extravaganza featuring a bikini contest, a burnout contest, games such as Car Limbo and Car Glow, and cash prizes. That's just the tip of the motor, so to speak.
There will also be live music, and by that, we mean rap stars Chamillionaire and Paul Wall, and industrial rock group Powerman 5000. If that's not enough to rev your engine, I don't know what is. The event starts tomorrow at 6pm and continues on Saturday, Sept. 6, and Sunday, Sept. 7, at 11am. Tickets go for $5 (kids), $15 (adults) and three-day passes for $30. Showcasing the “finest and loudest rides in New Mexico,” this should be a memorable outing. Santa Ana Star Center, Rio Rancho • Fri Sep 5 • 6-10pm • $5-$30 • ALL-AGES! • View on Alibi calendar
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.