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-$7 • ALL-AGES! • View on Alibi calendar
There's not a whole lot I know about A$AP Rocky other than he's been making waves through the rap music-sphere for the past couple years. And now, he's going to be a more well-known face after having a Noisey documentary filmed about him (SVDDXNLY). The first part of the film, which features a cameo by Rihanna, is available online, with the rest coming out in weekly increments. Future installments of A$AP's feature-length film include appearances by Drake, Danny Brown, Kathy Griffin, Snoop Dogg, Macklemore and Jeremy Scott. View the first part below, and check YouTube weekly for the rest of the doc.
A$AP Rocky: SVDDXNLY - Part 1/5
On the horizon ...
Bass Drum of Death's self-titled album was one of my favorites of 2013. Not enough to make my top five, but it was a bashin', thrashin' mix of a variety of influences, culminating in a wall of sound that wasn't easily forgettable. Now the band is set to release a new record (Rip This), which hits the online and physical markets on Oct. 7, and to give folks a snippet as to what the record will sound like, they've made album track “Left For Dead” available. If the track is anything to go by, this one's gonna be a keeper.
Now that Sonic Youth has called it quits (thank God, and you can quote me), Thurston Moore has had his hand in other projects, among them Chelsea Light Moving, though that project hasn't released anything since last year. However, Moore is now gearing up to release a solo LP (The Best Day), which will have contributions from Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley and My Bloody Valentine bassist Debbie Googe. The record will have other guest musicians, including Chelsea Light Moving contemporaries. And before you start marking those calendars, a release date hasn't been announced. Bummer.
I go back and forth with Stevie Nicks. I like her voice, I do. But a part of me always flinches when people declare her one of the greatest female vocalists in music. That's a bold statement to make. I mean ... have you never listened to Aretha Franklin? I digress. Nicks is releasing a compilation of unreleased tracks (24 Karat Gold: Songs From the Vault), which drops on Oct. 7. And Nicks has released one of the album's tunes (“The Dealer”), which you can hear below.
Stevie Nicks - “The Dealer”
The Flaming Lips is another band I don't know much about, though I was a little surprised to see photos of Wayne Coyne hanging out with Miley Cyrus and getting matching tattoos. Not up to me to question the friendship between a singer-songwriter in his fifties and a young pop star 30 years his junior. I could care less. But that's beside the point. The Lips are gearing up to release With a Little Help From My Fwends, which covers The Beatles' entire St. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. It'll have contributions from the aforementioned Cyrus, as well as My Morning Jacket, Dr. Dog, MGMT, Tegan and Sara, Moby and many more. That drops on Oct. 28, so you still have some time to save a few “coynes.” See what I did there?
If you haven't yet watched “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” here is some incentive to tune in. Well ... at least for a short time. In case you didn't know, Fred Armisen is Meyers' bandleader. However, weirdo rock/pop ingenue St. Vincent is going to fill in for Armisen on Monday, Aug. 11, and Tuesday, Aug. 12, at 10:35pm (our time). Not sure if she's going to play any of her originals, but it would be interesting to see her leading an entire house band on a network television show. Check out the video to her single “Digital Witness,” off her latest release.
St. Vincent - “Digital Witness”
Like most people who know about Jimmy Tamborello, I was introduced to him via The Postal Service. However, it wasn't until years later that a friend played me his solo work as Figurine that I became more acquainted with the artist. Then his album Dumb Luck, under the monicker Dntel, came out. And hearing his track “Roll On,” which featured vocals by Jenny Lewis, changed things. It even prompted me to see him live, which was fairly boring, as he stood on a stage with a computer in front of him, with some light installations on a screen making weird shapes and colors. Not exactly my idea of a concert, but it'll do. I digress. Now Dntel is coming out with a new record (Human Voice) on Sept. 23, and he's shared the track “If I Stay a Minute” to give peeps a taste of its oeuvre. You can hear that below.
There's nothing like a record label celebrating a quarter century of its tenure. And there's nothing better than a record label coming out with a new music compilation to celebrate such an expanse of time. In keeping with the spirit of such triumphs, XL Recordings is releasing a collection of ditties called Pay Close Attention, which “compiles important music from the label's illustrious discography.” It'll feature artists such as Radiohead, M.I.A., The White Stripes, The Prodigy, Adele, Devendra Banhart and more. There's also a Pay Close Attention website where fans can read more about why these records and songs were so monumental when they were released. And you can also preorder your copy of the compilation here.
While I'm not an overtly huge fan of electronic music, I'm not completely opposed to it. It just takes me some time. Like dipping your toe in a frozen lake before you plunge through a crack in the ice, ya dig? Austra was first introduced to me after a friend played me an acoustic piano performance of their track “Lose It,” and that's pretty much all I know of the Canadian group. The band recently came out with their Habitat EP, and they've shared a new video for the song “Doepfer,” which is viewable below. If you like LED lights and trippy electronic tunes, this has your name spray-painted all over it.
Austra - “Doepfer”
For all the New Pornographers fans out there, it's time to get excited. Or kind of excited. Band member A.C. Newman has been hard at work on the soundtrack for the film What If (a romantic comedy/drama starring Daniel Radcliffe, aka Harry Potter, and Zoe Kazan). The soundtrack is out and about, meaning you can find it at your local retailers or online. Almost all of the songs were were written and recorded by Newman, though there is an Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros track. Oh, and a Patrick Watson tune. But you get the idea. Head over to Pitchfork to read more 'bout it.
More often than not, when you say dinner, I'm there. But dinner and a show? That sounds, perhaps, a tad more enticing than a normal evening over some shrimp and grits. Not that that's on the menu at the third annual “Evening with the Luna-Otero family.” Though guests will get to feast on a “gourmet meal,” the real luck of the draw are the costumed actors making their way through the festivities, sharing pieces of New Mexico history from the scope of the Luna and Otero families.
Guests can travel back to the 1700s and 1800s and bear witness to the “adventure, romance, political intrigue, murder and even a ghost” of New Mexico's treasured past. For the mere speck of a price ($45), attendees get a one-of-a-kind evening à la Medieval Times. But I'm sure the jousting will be in short supply. Different periods, people. The scrumptious, historical extravaganza happens at the Luna Mansion in Los Lunas (110 Main SW) tomorrow night at 6:30pm. Call 865-7333 to schedule a reservation. Luna Mansion, Los Lunas • Thu Aug 7 • 6:30-8pm • $45 for dinner and show • View on Alibi calendar
Talk about three powerhouse divas coming together: English singer Jessie J has given listeners a snippet of her forthcoming album, which hits stores some time this fall. Said snippet comes in the form of the song “Bang Bang,” which features vocals from Ariana Grande and a few rhymes from Nicki Minaj. From the first listen, I can see this infectious track becoming a fan favorite. But don't take my word for it. Get your boogie on by hitting “play” below.
For those of you who haven't been keeping up, Led Zeppelin recently reissued their first three records (Led Zeppelin I, Led Zeppelin II and Led Zeppelin III). And you know those releases had some unreleased material, prompting the question: Where were those tunes before yo? Either way, now the legendary rock and rollers are set to reissue their two following records (Led Zeppelin IV and House of the Holy), which hit stores on Oct. 28. It's a little ways off, but at least that gives you time to save some dinero. Cause why not?
I'm a bit overdue. TV on the Radio is one of those bands that I've heard so much about over the years, but I couldn't name one song if you asked. Not one. Nada. And a part of me is shameful about it only because they're a fairly respected group of musicians, and you have to wonder where that respect comes from, right? All I really know 'bout 'em is that bandmate Tunde Adebimpe was in the film Rachel Getting Married. But enough jabber … the band has announced a new album (Seeds) that hits the music-sphere some time this fall. The group has come out with a teaser for said release, which you can view below. Cheers!
TV on the Radio - Seeds Teaser
On the horizon ...
If you've paid any attention whatsoever to mainstream music in the past couple decades, then you know who Timbaland is. The man has had a producing hand in releases by such artists as Nelly Furtado, Justin Timberlake, Aaliyah, Missy Elliott and more. Basically if you get this man to work on your record, it's pretty much guaranteed to be a hit (except if you're M.I.A.). No offense, but it's true. Back to the topic at hand, the man has confirmed to Rolling Stone that he's working on an upcoming solo record (Opera Noir) and says it's the most “innovative” thing he's ever done. And it might be his last. Okay, now we're listening ... To read more of what he had to say, click here.
Beck recently released Morning Phase, which he deemed as a companion piece to his heartbreaking record Sea Change. And now the singer/songwriter/rapper/extraordinaire has come out with a video for album track “Heart is a Drum,” which you can view below. If you've not yet heard the record, it's a nice slice of the man's oeuvre. And while we're talkin' 'bout Beck, you can stream his new record Song Reader, which features a wide array of artists, including Jack Black, Fun., Norah Jones and more. Listen to that via Spotify via Consequence of Sound.
Beck - “Heart is a Drum”
'Member how I mentioned that Karen O (of Yeah Yeah Yeahs fame) is coming out with her first solo record? The album (Crush Songs) will see the light of day on Sept. 9, but in the meantime, O has released the visual accompaniment of album track “Rapt.” If you ever listened to her brief side project Native Korean Rock & the Fishnets, this song will sound like familiar, lo-fi territory. Nothing wrong with that. Have a looksie/listen over at NME.
Riding high from last year's The Electric Lady, Janelle Monáe is still traversing the galactic waves of sonic sounds vibrating from her warped but funky psyche. What I mean is that she's come out with a new video for the track “Electric Lady.” The visual features cameos from Estelle, Kimbra, Monica and other “electric ladies.” Go ahead and view that below, and buy the album any and everwhere.
Janelle Monáe - “Electric Lady”
Out tha vault
A lot of people didn't know this (myself included), but before The Shins were The Shins, they were Flake Music, a local band here in the big, bad Duke City. Yup. They were slinging their tunes for local Burqueños before they made it to the majors. Then they became Zach Braff's favorite band and started appearing on every indie compilation and soundtrack known to man. But why do I bring this up? Because Flake Music's 1997 record When You Land Here, It's Time to Return is getting reissued. That's right … The Shins before they were The Shins are re-releasing the album The Shins made before they were The Shins. Confusing? Sorry. That should get released some time in the fall, so keep an ear out.
A Jonas mention
I think the day's gotta come where any music blog has to suck it up and finally talk about The Jonas Brothers. I mean, when they're not dishing out purity rings or making reality shows, they're musicians. So, there's the link you were after. Now the youngest sibling (Nick Jonas) is coming out with a new solo record (which doesn't have a title or release date yet), and he's shared the first snippet with the video for album track “Chains.” It's decidedly less Disney than from when young Jonas first started. All grown up? As grown up as the chains will allow. Ha! Chain pun. Either way, you can view the video below.
'Member how I mentioned that former Burqueno Willis Earl Beal had left XL Recordings and was self-releasing his new record Experiments in Time? Well now you can stream the album in its entirety via Pitchfork Advance. That is if you can't wait for the album to hit stores and online markets on Aug. 8. And if you can't, well ... enjoy!
Now that summer is slowly starting to wind down and those Back to School sales are picking up speed, there's no better way to bask in the tidings of the season than a good run. If you're the kind of person who likes to climb rocks, walk on tightropes or take your dog for a 5K, then the Helping Dogs Helping Heroes 5K is right up your alley. In an effort to kick off International Assistance Dog Week, Paws and Stripes have put together this little fun run for those who want to show their athletic chops and those who want to do something special with their canine companions, all while supporting military veterans, of course.
The event will have food trucks, family activities and dog washes. The run itself is dog-friendly, so you and your barking buddy can go for the gold together. The sprinting commences Sunday, Aug. 3. Check-in is at 7:30am, and the race starts at 8am at the Aperture Center Park at Mesa del Sol (5700 University SE). To participate, adults pay $30, and it's $15 for young ones ages 10-15. Be sure to stretch. Aperture Center, Mesa del Sol • Sun Aug 3 • 8am • $15-$30 • ALL-AGES! • View on Alibi calendar
Those musicians and their surprise album releases. Indie-rock duo The Raveonettes just released a new record (Pe'ahi), and though I'm sure some knew it was coming, it's still a lovely surprise. Cause new music is new music, no? Have a listen to the album's opening track below, and look for the record … well … everywhere!
The Raveonettes - “Endless Sleeper”
It's a good day, y'all. 'Member how I mentioned The Unicorns had sort of reformed to play some live shows (even though they insinuated no plans to record new material)? Well, not that it's exactly new material, but the band has decided to reissue their phenomenal 2003 record Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone?. The reissue will be available digitally (July 29) and via CD (Aug. 26) and vinyl (Oct. 7). So depending on your format, mark them dates on your calendars. Among the few unreleased tracks available on the reissue is the Daniel Johnston cover “Rocketship,” which you can tune into below.
Damn that Mr. Jack White and his prolific prowess as a singer/songwriter/producer/record label owner/ and now book publisher. In keeping with the theme of hard work and tangible results, Mr. White has launched a book publishing company through his record label, under the guise Third Man Books, and he's gearing up to release a book of art, poetry and prose, titled Language Lessons: Vol. 1. Contributors to the text include Dale Ray Phillips, Richard Hell and Tav Falco. To read more 'bout the book, which hits stores and online markets on Aug. 5, head over to Pitchfork.
I know tons of people are excited to see a new release from rock band Weezer. Hell, even I'm excited, and I'm not even that big of a fan. Their new record (Everything Will Be Alright in the End) hits stores on Sept. 30, but the band has made album track “Back to the Shack” available for aural consumption. Here's where you thank them. Have a listen below.
Weezer - “Back to the Shack”
All I know of Blake Mills seems to carry a connection to Fiona Apple. I first found out about him from reading that they were doing a tour together last year. Then came the video of Apple and Mills performing my favorite Apple track “I Know.” Now Apple is appearing on Mills' ditty “Don't Tell Our Friends About Me,” off his upcoming record Heigh Ho. The song also features Jon Brion (who produced Apple's fantastic When The Pawn …). See all those connecting dots? See 'em? You can hear the track below, and look for Mills' record on Sept. 16.
Dream of the stream
We know you love streaming new albums. And why shouldn't you? It's a nice way to preview an entire album before deciding whether or not you want to spend your heard-earned pennies. We get you. We understand you. And so does Tom Petty, which is why you can stream the new Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers album (Hypnotic Eye) over atNPR. And while you're there, why not check out Jenny Lewis' The Voyageras well. Happy listenin'! Editor’s Note: The streams are only available for a short period of time, so apologies in advance if they’re no longer online.
What would a superhero movie be without a theme song? A superhero movie without a theme song. Regardless, it makes sense that if you're gong to have some dudes (or in this case, turtles) fighting crime, a slick tune is required to kick some ass and take some nombres. So Wiz Khalifa, Juicy J and Ty Dolla $ign have banded together to make “Shell Shocked,” a track from the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (out Aug. 8). Let's not talk about Megan Fox being cast as April O'Neil. It's just upsetting. But who knows? The film could be friggin sweet. Have a listen to the tune below.
Juicy J, Wiz Khalifa, Ty Dolla $ign - “Shell Shocked” featuring Kill the Noise & Madsonik
Those musicians and their film scores … First we have Jenny Lewis scoring Naomi Foner's Very Good Girls, and now we got James Murphy (formerly of LCD Soundsystem) scoring Noah Baumbach's upcoming film While We're Young. This is essentially exciting because not only do I consider Baumbach to be one of the greatest living directors around (see Margot at the Wedding, Squid & the Whale or his last film Frances Ha), but Murphy is a perfectly reputable guy to get for scoring duties. Oh, and he also scored Baumbach's Greenberg, so this should be somewhat of a kind reunion. PS: Ad-Rock (of Beastie Boys) is also set to star in the film. To read more 'bout it, head to Stereogum.
An undercover cover
In case I haven't mentioned it before (though I'm sure I have), A.V. Club does a series called A.V. Undercover where they put out a list of famous songs, and bands come in and choose a song to cover at the publication's headquarters. After a song is covered, it gets crossed off the list, so no bands can do one that's already been done. Their latest is The Coathangers covering The Go-Go's “We Got the Beat.” Though their version is “We Got the Weed.” You know … cause weed makes things better. You can view that below, and don't miss out on The Coathangers, who are playing at Sister on Wednesday, July 30. Your trusty Alibi writer August March wrote a little somethin' 'bout 'em in the latest issue. Enjoy!
The Coathangers covering The Go-Go’s
On the horizon ...
I'm sure some people have wondered what Eric Clapton's been up to. Though I'm sure those in the know have gathered that Clapton doesn't really ever stop. Sure, you can search the old record bins for his work in The Yardbirds, or you can listen to his new record: The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale. The album includes 16 tracks and numerous collaborations with such musicians as Tom Petty, Willie Nelson and John Mayer. In fact, you can hear Clapton's “Don't Wait,” featuring the aforementioned Mayer over at Billboard. The album itself hits the music-sphere on July 29, so keep your ears out for that one.