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Music

Now Hear This, Vol. V

You are about to enter another dimension. A dimension of A/V. This is the middle ground between mediocre and too-good-to-be-true, between something called "reggae" and the sound angels emit. You are traveling deep into the realm of rad tuneage. Next stop, Now Hear This!

High desert magick

When it comes to local wizard-themed bands, too much is never enough. Swervegaze wizard REIGHNBEAU has been casting beatific spellsand stealing my vantablack heartsince prime mover Bryce Hample began transmitting incantations into the æther. During the Alibi's latest totally-not-weekly podcast, guests Marya Errin Jones (ABQ Zine Fest founder, The Tannex co-founder) and Mike Smith (author, zinester and Alibi contributing writer) had high praise for REIGHNBEAU's "Milk of Amnesia" video premiere at Guild Cinema. If you missed that rad event, fear not. Screen the viddy below. Commune with REIGHNBEAU, BK Beats, The 1960 Sci-Fi Era and Nathan New in the so-called flesh at a Nothng Forevr showcase at Burt's Tiki Lounge (313 Gold SW) on Saturday, Aug. 23 at 9pm. It's a 21-plus recital, and there's no cover.

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The eldritch band next door

During the same podcast, Mike Smith hipped us to the debut music video for up-and-coming alchemical heavies Melanthius. It's a family band featuring siblings Mauro Woody, Brahm Woody and Dhaveed Woody and kindred spirit Eric Wellman. "The Door" video captures the mage collective with shimmery, psychedelic cinematography as they walk the earth, work a fluorescent cauldron and seek nuevomexicano treasure. Scope the vid below, and catch Melanthius' debut gig on Tuesday, Aug. 26, at Burt's (313 Gold SW) starting at 9pm. The 21-plus show is free and also features Shoulder Voices and Billy Crooze and the Dinglehoppers.

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If you go down to Hammond

Steve Hammond's various projects have garnered a lot of ink in the Alibi over the years. His most well-known bands are twang-and-thrash trio Leeches of Lore and umlautcore outfit Tenderizor, but Hammond is a prolific solo artist and has also performed as Retard Slave and in Death Convention Singers, Knife City, Filthy Jim and Black Ale Sinners. His microlabel, Flying Midget Records, hosts releases from these projects. One of my favorite Flying Midget offerings is Hammond's Cover of the Month Series. Available as a name-your-price download, the compilation features covers of tunes by Miles Davis, Billy Idol, Buck Owens vs. The Fresh Prince, Wire, Melvins, Irving Berlin, Hank Williams, Funkadelic, Neil Young, The Kinks, They Might Be Giants and Beach Boys. Stream or download it below.

We heart music

Explore the bountiful local music scene further with our Back to School Guide's "Intro to VenuesABQ 505," "'90s Nostalgia Meets New Wave of Now," Music to Your Ears and micro reviews of new albums by David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights, Naomi Punk and Samantha Glass. Happy listening, y'all!

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Music

Rooster Roundabout: This week’s music highlights

Jesse Schulz

Audio/Visual

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 ...

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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!

Deadly ills

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?

Vile riffs

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.

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Guitar Power Ep. 3 featuring Kurt Vile

Why Friday?

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.

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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.

Cohen’s 80th

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.

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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.

Actor-singer-somethin’

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).

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Michael Cera & Ellen Page - “Anyone Else But You”

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Rooster Roundabout: This week’s music highlights

Jesse Schulz

Music/Film

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.

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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.

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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?

Music television

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.

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St. Vincent - “Digital Witness”

Is electro

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.

Audio/Visual

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.

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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.

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Now Hear This, Vol. IV

You are about to enter another dimension. A dimension of A/V. This is the middle ground between mediocre and too-good-to-be-true, between something called "reggae" and the sound angels emit. You are traveling deep into the realm of rad tuneage. Next stop, Now Hear This!

ABQ MTV

On the local tip, swervegaze wizard REIGHNBEAU is premiering the boss music video for "Milk of Amnesia" at the Guild Cinema (3405 Central NE) on Wednesday, Aug. 6. One of the perks of the fourth estate is sneak peeks, and I can assure you that my REIGHNBEAU crush remains strong. The screening will be followed by a live performance and light show. The house lights dim at 10:20pm only to rebound with matchless radiance. For more deets and to RSVP for this free cinematic event, click here. Below, listen to or download REIGHNBEAU's "bootleg" of Angelo Badalamenti's "Twin Peaks" theme.

"moccvsin gvze"

Chapter House is an enigmatic micro label whose catalog is hyperlinked to genres like "punk," "moccvsin gvze" and "stewgaze." The label's latest compilation features Four Corners-based and nuevomexicano artists. Ryan Dennison and DISCOTAYS are all-time favorites of mine, but I was unfamiliar with other acts showcased on the release. And while I didn't unearth the secret lives of those new-to-me bands, I did discover groups with names like Purple Cats in Slacks, Midnight Stew and The Fly that are ripe for inclusion in New Mexico's sonic cosmology. Stream Volume 3 below and nab some pay-what-you-will releases from the Chapter House Bandcamp.

Watermelon sunset

This entry's final homespun miracle is the NSFW [coughfreethenipplecough] music video for the opening tracks from sleaze-thrash trio [H]ohm's Haroun Farm EP. The narrative begins with telegenic power-drummer Kris Kerby hitchiking, and it focuses on the band and alt.models from The Voodoo Dolls, including co-owner Jelly Honey. Produced by Solano Pictures, the photography and editing are professional-strength. The cast is easy on the eyes, but wild women and band members aren't the only characters. The Sandias are the real star of this production. If you've ever dreamed about rocking the Kiwanis Cabin, hit play below for vicarious wish fulfillment.

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Rooster Roundabout: This week’s music highlights

Jesse Schulz

Hot off the press

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.

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Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj - “Bang Bang”

Those forthcoming tunes ...

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!

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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.

Audio/Visual

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.

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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.

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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.

Dream of the stream

'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!

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Rooster Roundabout: This week’s music highlights

Jesse Schulz

Good news for good news lovers

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!

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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.

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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 at NPR. And while you're there, why not check out Jenny Lewis' The Voyager as 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.

Music/Film

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.

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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.

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Blues, Booze and Boobs: Bob brings the party to Low Spirits

Bob Log III
Driving across the North American continent with only a box of guitars, drum parts and the bluesand prolly the directions to dozens of roadhouses, dimly lit bars and rustic concert venues as companionsBob Log III makes an appearance on Tuesday night at Low Spirits (2823 Second Street NW). He may or may not have his dinghy on board, but this mysterious and damn talented master of the six-string promises a jam party complete with dancing, boob-stirred drinks and lap sitting as part of the experience. Log wears a human cannonball outfit and microphone-equipped helmet during his performances. He recently chatted with the Alibi on his drive out west. The guitarist now calls Melbourne, Australia home, and stopped in the western desert to talk.

AM: So this is your big summer tour, eh?

BLIII: I get to come back home to America at least once a year, and I love it. I have a blast. I’ll play anywhere there’s a room full of people drinking beer, and that’s pretty much a lot of places.

AM: How’s it shaping up?

BLIII: This one’s pretty big, man. At one point, I’m going to be doing 37 shows in a row; it’s gonna get real interesting, but I’m also gonna get real good. I’ve been practicing 17 years for this show coming up in Albuquerque. But I keep it interesting. I change it up. I don’t do set lists. I just get up there and kinda see what happens.

Bob Log III

AM: Are you touring as a solo act this time around?

BLIII: It’s just me and the car. My plan is to kidnap people. I do have an opening band for the stretch from Nashville to New Hampshire.

AM: You’re playing that legendary Silvertone guitar for this tour, aren’t you?

BLIII: I am, but I also have some Airline guitars right now too. I get acoustic guitars and put a Silvertone pickup on them, and I put a piezo-accoustic pickup on them. There are two outs, so I get a distorted sound and an acoustic sound at the same time; that way I cover every frequency a guitar can possibly make.

AM: Don’t you also play the drums at the same time?

BLIII: When I play drums, I try to sound like a tight drummer and a drunk drummer at the same time. So time becomes like a rubber band, and I can move it or change it or shape it anyway I want. All day, time rules your day … but for an hour and a half each night I get to be the master of time. For the drunk drummer, I have a kick drum and a cymbal. For the tight drummer, I use a drum machine. My two drummers kinda hate each other. I get to finger-pick on top of the fighting.

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AM: That sounds kinda tense.What do you think about that kind of tension in music?

BLIII: It's really a kind of release. The first time people started banging on rocks, it was some kind of celebration. The first musicpeople banging on the stuff around themprobably would have been really fucking fun. I’m trying to keep music fun. That’s my job. I don’t know anything else.

AM: Besides being fun to listen and party to, some have said your act is deeply transgressive. What are your thoughts on that?

BLIII: I’m a guitar player, and I've played since I was 11. I take that seriously, but I try to turn that into a party, a guitar party. I’m trying to get people to dance, and to dance wrong. If they drop a drink and the glass breaks, I’m doing my job. People can come on stage anytime and get crazy, and I encourage that. They come up and sit on me and I bounce them around while I play. I couldn’t actually do that in normal time, but when I play guitar I get energy I don’t normally have.

AM: What about the boob references: boobs as accompanying instruments or boob-stirred scotch?

BLIII: It’s about making fun of people who use boobs to try and sell you something. I’m saying boobs are ridiculous; let’s take out the sexy, the commercial power. Let’s do something folks would never do with their boobs. I dare anyone in the audience to do it and not smile. As for the song itself, instead of writing a song about what made my day bad, I wrote a song about what made my day good. That day, a woman saw me drinking, said give me that drink and just put her boob in it. I took a sip, and that made me feel fucking better.

AM: How does that work within your music?

BLIII: It’s the blues turned into a party. It’s like Little Richard, Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley. The songs aren’t about being sad anymore … Rock and roll came around, and then I decided to put on a funny suit and throw a party. It’s hilarious, and it’s the coolest guitar you’ve ever heard.

Bob Log III performs his one-of-a-kind take on the blues at Low Spirits (2823 Second Street NW) on Tuesday, July 22, at 9pm. Doors are at 8pm, and the cover is just 8 clams.

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Music

Rooster Roundabout: This week’s music highlights

Jesse Schulz

We say goodbye ...

Last week, we said goodbye to the last surviving founding member of The Ramones: drummer Tommy Ramone. He was 65 and had been battling cancer. If you know anything about The Ramones, there really is nothing left to say, other than we'll always have the music. RIP Tommy and a safe journey to the worlds beyond. EDITOR'S NOTE: As of press time, it was also announced that legendary blues guitarist Johnny Winter passed away at the age of 70. We bid you a kind farewell, sir. Rest in peace.

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The Ramones - “Beat on the Brat”

Dream of the stream

It's finally here, y'all. Well, not here exactly, but you can now stream La Roux' new record Trouble in Paradise. Though the record doesn't come out till next week, this'll at least give you an opportunity to decide whether you wanna drop some coin for it. Happy listening! And since we're on the topic of album streamage, why not check out White Fence's The Recently Found Innocent over at NPR. Assuming you can't wait for it to drop on the 22nd.

Audio/Visual

If there's a fun video out there right now, Jenny Lewis' visual for “Just One of the Guys” takes the cake. The single comes off her latest solo record (The Voyager), which hits stores on July 29. What makes the video so good are probably the dude-bro performances by such notable actresses as Kristen Stewart (Panic Room), Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables) and Brie Larson (Short Term 12 (!)). Donning men's tracksuits and mustaches, it's pretty laughable and great. Have a looksie below.

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Jenny Lewis - “Just One of the Guys”

Stuart Murdoch's long-in-the-works film (God Help the Girl) is finally getting its release date. Oh, and the official motion picture soundtrack too. The film hits movie theaters in the US on Sept. 5, and the soundtrack will be available in stores on Sept. 2, which isn't too far off. The Belle and Sebastian singer-songwriter wrote and directed the movie after some hefty crowd-funding and whatnot. Most of us already know that he's a great musician, but what of his prowess as a filmmaker? We'll soon find out. You can listen to a cut from the soundtrack below. PS: The film also stars Emily Browning (of Sucker Punch and Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events), who sings the aforementioned track.

What is a world without “Weird Al” Yankovic parodying the obsessions of his modern compatriots. If it wasn't Nirvana, it was Lady Gaga; nothing really seems to be off limits for Mr. Al. Now he's decided to take on Robin Thicke's “Blurred Lines” with a song called “Word Crimes,” which aims to teach people how to use proper grammar. The song comes off his latest record (Mandatory Fun), which is out now. But have a listen of the track below. You can also head here to see his parody of Pharrell's “Happy” or here to see his parody of Lorde's “Royals.”

Good news for good news lovers

Since you can't really find music shows on MTV anymore (unless you have weird cable channels that give you MTV 2, 3, 4, 5 …), there's little in the way of seeing interactions between various musicians on cable television. To remedy that, VH1 has come out with a new series (“SoundClash”) that puts various artists on stage together to give it more of a music festival feel. The first episode airs on July 23 and has performances from Fall Out Boy, T.I. and London Grammar. You can head to Stereogum to view those performances now. How's that for a special preview?

I first heard of Vashti Bunyan from interviews with Devendra Banhart, in which he listed her as a major influence. That was during my “freak folk” phase. Singer-songwriter Bunyan released her first album in 1970 and waited 35 years to come out with her second offering. And now, the third album approaches. Titled Heartleap, that will see the light of day in October, but you can take a listen to the record's opening track (“Across the Water”) below. Enjoy!

Talk about coming together: Over 700 independent record labels have gathered to form the “Fair Digital Deals Declaration,” which seeks to make a more cohesive and transparent policy in regards to how they deal with their artists. There are five stipulations, one of which is to support artists who oppose unauthorized uses of their music. Another stipulation is to clearly explain downloading and streaming revenues to musicians. Some labels who are taking part are Domino, Drag City, Sub-Pop, Epitaph and Saddle Creek. Head over to Billboard to read more about that.

'Member how I told yous guys that Jordan Knight (of New Kids on the Block) and Nick Carter (of Backstreet Boys) were becoming a dynamic duo (Nick & Knight)? That's still true. In fact, they've put out their debut single “One More Time.” Their self-titled album doesn't hit stores until Sept. 2, but I'm sure they wanted their single to gain traction, what with it being somewhat of a summer jam and all. Listen to the ditty below.

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Nick & Knight - “One More Time”

Attention: The first official Beatle's film in 44 years is about to commence! Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard (you know ... from “Happy Days”) is gonna direct a documentary about the band's touring years from 1960 to 1966. The surviving members and spouses of the late members have all signed off on it, so you know it's going to be fairly legit. The filmmakers are also looking for live footage of The Beatles, so who knows? Your footage could make it into the film. Head to Consequence of Sound to read more 'bout it.

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music

Now Hear This, Vol. III

Consumers of my dancing-about-architecture reportage are probably aware of my frequent use of the adjectival "blackety-black." It's really just an overly precious synonym for: atramentous, ebony, jet, obsidian, onyx, pitch, slate, sloe and the like. But thanks to British scientists at Surrey NanoSystems, there's now an honest-to-goodness blackety-black. It's called Vantablack (or super black), and it's record-breaking darkness absorbs all but .035 percent of light. It's so damn black that the human eye has difficulty discerning its dimensions. Like a freaking black hole. Its primary intended applications are terrestrial, space and air-borne optical instrumentation. But now hear this: The Little Black Dress will never be the same.

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Blouse - "Into Black"

The Daily Mail reports that it's created using carbon nanotubes"which are 10,000 thinner than human hair and so miniscule that light cannot get in but can pass into the gaps in between"and if that isn't enough, it's 10 times stronger than steel and conducts heat seven-and-a-half times more effectively than copper. Yeah. Owing to my obsessive-compulsive nature, themes prove irresistably attractive, so here are my favorite songs that pay tribute to blackety-black, er, Vantablack. Share your favorite black-centric tracks in the comments, fellow darklings.

Dead Can Dance - "Black Sun"

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Beat Happening - "Black Candy"

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Cosmetics - "Black Leather Gloves"

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Nick Drake - "Black Eyed Dog"

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Nina Simone - "Black is the Color of My True Love's Hair"

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Pictureplane - "Black Nails"

The Sandwitches - "Black Rider"

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Timber Timbre - "Black Water"

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The Velvet Underground & Nico - "Black Angel's Death Song"

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Rooster Roundabout: This week’s music highlights

Good news for good news lovers

King Tuff's Was Dead album was one of my favorites of 2013. Though it came out years ago, fan fervor over the original recordings made him reissue it last year, and rightfully so. It's a fantastic record. Now Tuff is gearing up to release another LP (Black Moon Spell), and he's giving a taste of what it'll entail with the album track “Eyes of the Muse.” That should tide you over 'til Sept. 23, but I'm sure he'll release more previews between then and now. Here's hoping.

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King Tuff - “Eyes of the Muse”

I've always liked Usher ... well, mostly. I've lost touch with a lot of his recent work, but “Confessions Part II,” “Nice and Slow” and “Yeah” are some good songs to dance, reflect or get in the mood to. Whatever your preference, the man knows what he's doing. Now Usher has made a track available that was produced by Pharrell and features Nicki Minaj. The slick, club-happy number will definitely be a crowdpleaser. Head to Hip-Hop Wired to hear it.

Coldplay and Cat Power? I'm sure some could have predicted it … probably not. Cat Power is ... well ... Cat Power. And Coldplay used to be good. Regardless, it's an interesting combination any way you squeeze it, and the song they've concocted together (written by Coldplay's Chris Martin, sung by Chan Marshall) is a contemplative little number. The track “Wish I Was Here” was written and recorded for Zach Braff's upcoming film of the same name. How that'll go is an entirely different thing. But check out the song below.

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Coldplay & Cat Power - “Wish I Was Here”

There's always dissension when a legendary rock group announces they've recorded new material. Some say it's going to be awful. Some say it's a new era, a new sound. Whatever your views, that still doesn't stop it from happening. Take Pink Floyd for instance. The group is coming out with a new record (The Endless River) in October, and according to the band's website, it's “an album of mainly ambient and instrumental music based on the 1993/4 Division Bell sessions which feature David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Richard Wright.” So keep an eye out for that one … or don't … I mean I might not even remember … I probably will though.

I mentioned a few weeks back that Christopher Owens (former frontman from Girls) was coming out with his second solo album. Well, that's still happening. The record (A New Testament) hits the music-sphere on Sept. 30. And Owens shared a snippet in the form of “Nothing More Than Everything to Me,” which you can view below.

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Christopher Owens - “Nothing More Than Everything to Me”

It's happening. Beck is going to release a new album titled Song Reader. I know, I know, he already came out with a record called Song Reader (though it was a release of sheet music, made to be interpreted by skilled musicians). But Beck is going to release actual recordings of those songs, and each track is going to be done by a different artist. Among them are Laura Marling, Jack Black, Jarvis Cocker, Jack White and much more. Head to Pitchfork to get more deets on that. Oh, and it drops on July 29, which is hella soon!

Audio/Visual

Like most, I became familiar with The Vines at the turn of the millennium when they graced us with “Get Free.” Anyone else remember the Hives vs. Vines battle during MTV's Music Awards? Them's were the days. The band has been steadily releasing albums over the past decade, though none have found their way on my radar. Now, they're coming out with a new double LP (Wicked Nature). They're self-releasing it via PledgeMusic where fans donate funds and get free downloads of some of the album's tracks. So there ya go. Not sure when the record is coming out, but you can watch the video for their new song “Metal Zone” below.

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The Vines - “Metal Zone”

Out the left hangar

Taylor Swift is a writer? Well, duh, I know she writes her own songs, but an editorial? And for the Wall Street Journal? The country-pop sensation wrote a piece on the future of the music industry, speculating on where music will be in 30 or 40 years. Swift describes herself at the beginning of the piece as an “enthusiastic optimist.” (Go figure.) She does say some insightful things here and there, and whether you agree with her assertions, it's not as if she's the be-all-end-all authority on music entirely. But if you want her perspective, it's not a terrible read. See what she has to say here.

Fans of Death Proof are no strangers to Mary Elizabeth Winstead (you know, the one who was dressed like a cheerleader in the second half). 'Member the scene where she sits in the car and sings a lovely cover of Smith's “Baby It's You”? Good times. Well Winstead and Dan “The Automator” Nakamura have a music project together (Got A Girl), and they're getting ready to release a record on July 22. To give people a preview, they've made the track “There's a Revolution” available. Listen to the retro pop ditty below.

There are still moments when I get tears in my eyes at the thought that I will never see The White Stripes live in person. I think back to moments when I could have seen them had I driven 3 1/2 hours, changed highways, snacked on goodies, all while playing all six of their fantastic albums in chronological order. That is slightly remedied with the release of a live White Stripes album (Live Under the Lights of the Rising Sun). No release date on it yet, but the record will have 31 tracks, and it's taken from their first tour in Japan in 2000. So it'll probably have some good early stuff. Head to NME to read more 'bout it.

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Josh Blue at The Stage @ Santa Ana Star

Josh Blue likes to defy expectations.

A night of stand-up comedy from the "Last Comic Standing" champion.

Gizmo Garage at North Valley Public Library

Summer Nights Concert: Boris McCutcheon • Americana at ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden

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