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Rooster Roundabout: Best albums of 2013

Well ... according to me

Now that Christmas is over and the New Year is upon us, many music outlets are looking back at one more year in music and the many bands that inhabited that particular point in time. 2013 was a big year. We had releases from Kanye West, Arcade Fire, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and much more. But I’ve never been one to look at year-end lists because I mostly don’t agree with the writers, or I get bored with them. So if you get bored reading this one, I completely understand and won’t fault you. Now, the idea of a year-end list is to boast the work created that year. I’m not going to do that. Instead I’m going to list the top five albums I listened to this year.

Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean these albums were made this year. Hell, a couple of them were made decades ago. But, in my humble perspective, I always urge people to delve into music of the past. My argument is that you can’t completely focus on the music of today without understanding how past music shaped that sound. IE: I recently heard an interview with Lorde (who is on this list) where she said that if the Beatles hadn’t done what they did, she wouldn’t have done what she did. You get the idea. So ... here’s my list! Enjoy or don’t enjoy. And remember ... there’s always next year.

Lorde - Pure Heroine

This album completely came out of nowhere. I remember hearing “Royals” on the radio and wondering who this pop princess was. Turns out she wasn’t a “princess” per se, but more of a weird little goth chick who made sparse electronic ditties. What won me over was the fact that she wrote her own songs, helped produce the album and she was only 16 when the album was finished. If that’s not an accomplishment, I don’t know what is. Oh, and the album is actually good. Songs like “400 Lux,” “Buzzcut Season,” and “White Teeth Teens” show her range and vivacity.

Lorde - “400 Lux”

Hank Williams - Wait For the Light to Shine

While I do believe in God, I’m not especially religious. So church hymns, gospel and good ol’ fashioned odes to Jesus via country music rhythms and rhymes always strike a music fancy to my eardrums. And Williams’ homage to the Lord is no exception. Tracks like “Thy Burdens Are Greater Than Mine” and the title track show Williams crooning over typical country ditties, but his voice presents a magic wash over the scratchy record I got at Charley’s for $1.99. My hands-down favorite track on the record is “Devil’s Train.” It’s the most scratchy, and maybe that’s why I like it.

Hank Williams - “Devil’s Train”

King Tuff - Was Dead

Apparently the original pressing of this record is impossible to find, but due to an overwhelming number of people attempting to get a copy in their sweaty hands, Burger Records reissued the album, making it available for people like me (who find out about bands very late in the game). This LP never left my record player for a good month. Whether I was cleaning, eating or pooping, it was always on in the background. Album opener “Dancing On You” immediately grabs you, and Tuff’s trippy (sometimes whiny) vocals just take over. My personal favorite is “Sun Medallion,” but “Freak When I’m Dead” and “Just Strut” are great songs as well. Actually, just listen to the whole thing. It’s a keeper.

King Tuff - “Sun Medallion”

Patti Smith - Horses

This record dominated 2013 for me. While I’m an artist, I had gone through a slump, so I started becoming more diligent by painting again. So one day while painting, I played Smith’s most famous album. I’d already been a fan of it, but for some reason, while blending colors and etching out pieces of cardboard with a needle, it just hit me. It’s brilliant. From her opening rendition of “Gloria” to “Land,” the album is genius. If you haven’t listened to it, there’s still time. So from then on, any time I sat down to paint, draw, sketch or take photographs of weird ornaments, it was always on in the background ... and still is. It’s the perfect “art” record.

Patti Smith - “Land”

Savages - Silence Yourself

I can’t remember the last time I got this excited about a band. While every music blog was riding the wave of salivating over this “post-punk” prodigy, I just couldn’t get over their stark single “I Am Here.” It was my obsession with that song that prompted me to buy the album (at Urban Outfitters no less). While it has a dark, menacing tone, the musicality at work is of the upmost cohesive. Each song blends into the next, but each track is a stand-alone gem. “Husbands” is quick and painful. “City’s Full” is fantastically dreadful. And album closer “Marshal Dear” ties it all together with some horns and piano. It’s a masterpiece, and it makes me brim with anticipation for what they’ll put out next.

Savages - “Husbands”

Those were my top five albums of the year. What were yours? Feel free to comment.

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Rooster Roundabout: This week’s music highlights

While I'm not much of a Robin Thicke fan, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked “Blurred Lines” because it reminded me of my favorite Marvin Gaye track “Got to Give it Up.” (Lest we forget that's the reason the Gaye family is suing Thicke.) Regardless, Thicke has released his new video for the track “Feel Good,” and while this one doesn't have the same laid-back, good-time vibe of “Blurred Lines,” I can foresee it becoming a club favorite. I think that's the goal at this point for most pop musicians, right?

Reverend Horton Heat was one of those musicians that various friends played, but never really stuck. Maybe I was sleeping … maybe my mind just wasn't too much into the psychobilly fanaticism that permeated an outsider group of friends around 2008. Regardless Reverend Horton Heat (real name Jim Heath) is prepping a new album, titled Rev, that's scheduled to be released on Jan. 21. You can hear a track from it, titled “Spooky Boots,” (which also gives a shout-out to the Land of Enchantment) over at Billboard. Because why not.

What would it be like if Megadeth released an album of Christmas standards? And what would it be like if Jenny Lewis did a duet with them?

Megadeth’s New Holiday Album feat. Jenny Lewis

Soul singer Charles Bradley is proof that it doesn't matter how old you are or what your background is. If you have natural, raw talent, people will notice. Having two albums under his belt, Bradley has taken a somewhat unthinkable turn: He's provided a soulful cover of Black Sabbath's “Changes.” And it's fantastic. You can listen to that below.

It's that time again, y'all. Time for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to announce the newest pool of inductees. Among the musicians to be inducted and honored at this year's festivities is Nirvana, Peter Gabriel, Kiss, Hall and Oates, Cat Stevens and Linda Ronstadt. The ceremony takes place at Brooklyn's Barclays Center on April 10.

My first introduction to Swedish singer-songwriter Jose Gonzalez was his cover of The Knife's “Heartbeats.” While that track was excellent, it couldn't have compared to the magnetic prowess that made the original so noticeable. But that's neither here nor there. Now Gonzalez has a few tracks on the soundtrack to the Ben Stiller flick The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. And Gonzalez has released a video for the track “Stay Alive,” which was written by Ryan Adams. You can watch that below.

I'm a fan of bare acoustic ditties. Maybe that's why it took me hearing A Sleep & A Forgetting to finally notice Islands, even though a friend had tried to get me to listen to them for years. Nick Thorburn (the front man, songwriter, extraordinaire) released Islands' latest opus, Ski Mask, earlier this year, and now he's shared an acoustic track that he recorded last Friday. You can hear it below.

Girls who were 16 circa 1998 are about to be very, very excited … and cry. For what, I don't know. But, Dave Matthews, Jakob Dylan and a host of other musicians have formed a new band (The Nauts). Apparently they got together at Brady Blade's Studios in Shreveport, La., to record some material, and now they've booked some live shows. Let the crying commence!

Country music legend Ray Price died at the age of 87 this past week. Though a lot of people (myself included) weren't too familiar with Price's repertoire, his indelible imprint in the music country sphere has been felt and ruminated over since his death to pancreatic cancer was announced. It's always hard to see a legend called home. So here's “Crazy Arms.”

Ray Price - “Crazy Arms”

I've said it once, and I'll say it again: If it's free, it's me. Texas group Okkervil River have released a third EP of '80s covers, titled Golden Opportunities 3. The mix features covers of artists ranging from Roseanne Cash to Don Henley. You can download or stream the EP (and get the two previous Golden Opportunities releases) here.

Every bit as dark and seductive as they were when they first started, the Dead Weather's latest song, “Open Up (That's Enough),” shows the group in a stylized light that further exemplifies their hard blues rock tendencies. Maybe the cigarettes are helping Mosshart's voice because it's working on this track. But enough of my gushing. You can hear the track below, and you can download it digitally on Jan. 14.

The Dead Weather - “Open Up (That’s Enough)”

Sufjan Stevens has gotten together with Son Lux and Serengeti to form a trio of ideas (and music, obviously) called Sisyphus. And they're coming out with their eponymous debut on March 18, and they've shared a track, titled “Calm It Down.” Judging from the single alone, it could be interesting, or it could get old really fast. Let's see what happens.

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Rooster Roundabout: This week’s music highlights

I'm sure a lot of people were sad after LCD Soundsystem decided to call it quits, especially after releasing the stellar This Is Happening in 2010. But all good things … Anyways, front man James Murphy recently told Rolling Stone that he's working on the live album for their final show at Madison Square Garden (the subject of the rock doc Shut Up and Play the Hits). You can read more of interview here.

LCD Soundsystem - “Drunk Girls”

Spotify wins out again (as if taking over the world's streaming sinuses weren't enough). Led Zeppelin's entire catalogue will now be available for free listening on the service. So if you're one of those who's too lazy to get out to a record store (or even purchase the physical albums online), then your wish has come true. So head over to your Spotify page, and climb that “stairway to heaven.”

Don't you love it when innovative and interesting musicians become such restless artists that they keep releasing innovative and interesting music over and over? Well, this is from judging one song. But St. Vincent, aka Annie Clark, has announced a self-titled album that's set to hit music markets on Feb. 25. Clark has made the track “Birth in Reverse” available online. You can hear that below.

St. Vincent - “Birth in Reverse”

Don't you just love love songs? No? What's wrong with you? Having already spilled my guts by ruminating over the “myth of the love song,” I've just come to accept that it's a notion that never dies. Maybe that's why artists like Beck, Fiona Apple, Blake Mills, Jim James and more have taken to covering famous love songs for the Sweetheart 2014 compilation. You can hear Jim James' cover of Bob Marley's “Turn Your Lights Down Low” below, and head over to Pitchfork to get a full tracklist.

I feel as if Black Lips are one of those bands that you can only really appreciate if you were into them from the beginning. Granted, I've only heard their album Good Bad Not Evil (which was a good album), but after seeing them live at Emo's in Austin, Texas, the underwhelming concert wasn't enough to make me a faithful listener. Oh well … now the band has announced a new record (Underneath the Rainbow), and it was partially produced by the overrated Black Keys' drummer Patrick Carney. Let's just say I probably won't get to this one.

The bossy lady herself, Kelis, has announced that she's coming out with a new album. The album, supposedly titled Food, is being produced by Dave Sitek (of TV on the Radio) and is slated to come out on April 28. Kelis' last album took listeners on a techno-club journey, whereas her previous efforts had a more pop-friendly rap/R&B vibe to them, so who knows what this new record holds? Either way, I'm intrigued.

Kelis feat. Too $hort - “Bossy”

Mark March 25 on your calendars. It will be a golden day indeed. Because that's the day that a “lost” Johnny Cash album (titled Out Among the Stars) is scheduled to be released. According to Pitchfork, the album was recorded in 1981, and John Carter Cash (Cash's son, duh) took the helm in restoring the recordings, which contain duets with June Carter Cash and Waylon Jennings. This is good news, folks. Good news.

You mean to tell me that kid from Home Alone is in a “pizza-themed Velvet Underground cover band”? Seriously? You're not joking? Come on … And there's a demo??? And a video of their first concert???

Movie soundtracks: Those fuckers can be a hefty bore or a good time … depending on how you look at it. David O. Russell's new film American Hustle is getting the soundtrack treatment that will be available in stores on Dec. 24. But the reason this soundtrack is extra special is because it has a new track by Jeff Lynne … yes, the front man, songwriter, composer, singer, the list goes on and on, of E.L.O. The track is titled “Stream of Stars,” and you can give it a listen below.

Wow … I must have been half-asleep if I didn't even know The Sounds had released a new album (titled Weekend) in October. Oops. But now they've premiered a video for their track “Hurt the Ones I Love.” This is my first introduction to their newer stuff, which seems to follow more closely to their work on Crossing the Rubicon. But I've always been more partial to the dance-pop-punk craze that dominated Living in America. You can view their new video below.

The Sounds - “Hurt the Ones I Love”

I could get better with rap. OK, I need to get better with rap. While my musical palate is rudimentary at best when it comes to rap and hip-hop, I always appreciate a good beat, some slick rhymes and good production. And that's what's happening on Busta Rhymes & Q-Tip's track, “Butch & Sundance,” off their mixtape The Abstract & The Dragon, which became available this week for streaming and downloading. You can hear the track below.

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High Desert Doom

via wikimedia.org
New Mexico is a pretty metal state. From the Rez to downtown Burque, there’s almost always something heavy on the Land of Enchantment’s aural menu. Half an hour from now, you could be stretching your neck and breaking in your earplugs at High Desert Doom Fest. The headliner is unknown quantity Stonerist, which features members of Denver grindcore outfit Cephalic Carnage and local death/grind foursome Vale of Miscreation. Whether old-school or upstarts, these desert-dwelling noisemakers—Black Maria, Black Lamb, Hanta, Prey for Kali, Marsupious, The Horned God and Rezin Tree—crank out glorious low-end bass and vicious riffage for your pleasure. This 21-and-over fest starts at 6:30pm at Launchpad (618 Central SW), and admission is $8. Launchpad • High Desert Doom Fest • Sat Dec 7 • 6:30pm • 21+

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Texan Seraphim

The Angel Babiesâ âTone Deafâ video still
Calida Salazar
The Angel Babies’ “Tone Deaf” video still
While updating my smart phone, said intelligent device offered to sync my favorite music. Along with obscure dark wave, stoner/doom and The Sound of Music soundtrack, I synced up The Angel Babies’ “Blew My Speakers.” This track from the New Mexico-born, Austin-based band’s debut 7-inch personifies the crunch and hiss of badland garage rock. When the group released their self-titled full-length in 2012, I described the result as ranging from “postmodern corrido-style numbers to fuzzy, electronics-laced rockers to slow-burning and darkly ethereal tunes.” Hang with The Angel Babies’ Frankie Medina and Calida Salazar at Captain America’s ninth Garage & Wax Night at Low Spirits (2823 Second Street NW) on Saturday, Dec. 7. The Klondykes and Ballets open this 21-and-over gig. The concert kicks off at 9pm and tickets are five bucks, but get there early for stellar vinyl curation. Low Spirits • The Angel Babies • Sat Dec 7 • 8pm • 21+

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Rooster Roundabout: This week’s music highlights

A few weeks ago, we posted Lauryn Hill's latest track “Consumerism.” Now, Ms. Hill has made a lyric video available via the interwebz. If you're anything like me (and like to learn the lyrics of songs), you may need to hit replay a few times. This one's a doozy.

So … you know Black Francis … the front man of Pixies … yeah, that one … well, apparently, he's got another project in mind. A project that will take the form of a graphic novel, titled The Good Inn. The novel, which will be illustrated by Steven Appleby, is described as “a fantastical piece of illustrated fiction based on a yet-to-be-written soundtrack to a movie that doesn't yet exist.” The book is scheduled to be published in the UK in May of 2014, so you still got time to save the dough.

It was announced a few weeks back that The Velvet Underground's fantastic White Light/White Heat was getting a 3-disc reissue, which hits stores on Dec. 10, to commemorate its 45th anniversary. Now, a recording of a 19-minute live version of the track “Sister Ray,” which was performed at The Gymnasium in 1967, has become available online. You can listen to that below.

I do believe it's time for the album streamage to commence. Well, it's always that time because there's always something coming out. But now, you can stream Snoopzilla and Dam Funk's collaboration (7 Days of Funk) over at NPR. Mind you, it’s only available for the next week. And you can also stream R. Kelly's latest album, Black Panties (for real?), at VIBE.

Primal Scream released the so-so More Light earlier this year, and now they've come out with a video for the track “Goodbye Johnny.” The sometimes black-and-white, sometimes color vid is as underwhelming as the album, but who am I to criticize? You can view the video below.

Primal Scream - “Goodbye Johnny”

Drum roll please … the lineup for Austin Psych Fest has been revealed. And this one's got some good stuff. From Black Lips to Primal Scream to The Black Angels to The Zombies to The Horrors and more, it should be a formidable celebration of aural magic. The festival happens May 2 – 4, 2014, and weekend passes will run you about $127. Not too bad. Head over to Consequence of Sound for the full lineup and more info.

I'm sure most people couldn't have predicted how huge Lorde would get, but I'm kind of happy to encounter a pop singer who actually has something to say. And so are a lot of other people because apparently the release of her new video (for the track “Team”) caused Vevo to crash. Not bad, Lorde. Not bad.

Play Youtube Video
Lorde - “Team”

Just in case you're curious as to how Jay Z would rank his own albums.

So who wants to see Joan Jett and the Blackhearts play their classic track “Bad Reputation”? We do! The band played the track in their Guitar Center Sessions performance, which airs on DirecTV tonight at 9pm EST. But you can view them performing the track below.

Play Youtube Video
Joan Jett and the Black Hearts - “Bad Reputation”

I like Devendra Banhart's quirkiness. It fits not only the style of music he creates, but often the visuals that go along with it. (Did I mention he's a talented artist who does most of his album artwork?) In keeping with that mentality, Banhart has released a video for the track “Taurobolium.” The animated video, titled “Mondo Taurobolium,” also features Rose McGowan, as she and Banhart (appearing as ducks), venture through a psychedelic City of Angels. You can view the video here.

I know that I've mentioned the Coen brothers upcoming flick, Inside Llewyn Davis, because of its major folky soundtrack. I also mentioned that there would be a concert special for the film (back in September), and now a video has surfaced of Jack White performing his awesome track “We're Going To Be Friends.” The concert, titled Another Day, Another Time is scheduled to air on Showtime on Dec. 13, but this video should tide you over.

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Huntress Blazes the Sky Tonight

Huntress * Carrion Kind * The Conjuring * Death Rides A Horseat Launchpad

Play Youtube Video

Huntress is fresh off a North American tour with Lamb of God, Killswitch Engage, and Testament, and is headed to the Duke tonight! It can be tough to get it up on a Monday night, but here are a few reasons to make it out for this show:

1) You’ve seen Iron Maiden more times in your life than you’ve flipped your mattress.

2) You’d sooner forget your underwear than your denim.

3) Not only do you know who King Diamond is, but you could apply his corpse paint with precision.

4) You have a weakness for a hot blonde bombshell that knows how to rock, and scares you as much as she turns you on.

5) You can’t remember the last time you had your face melted on a weekday.

The band last played here at the Isleta Amphitheater on the Mayhem tour. Seeing them on a smaller stage will be a real treat. Huntress will be at the Launchpad, joined by Carrion Kind, The Conjuring, and Death Rides A Horse. A measly eight bucks gets you in. Doors at 8. Show at 9:30.

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Rooster Roundabout: This week’s music highlights

I'm sure a lot of people were sad when Rilo Kiley called it quits. Personally, I could care less. I've always liked Jenny Lewis' solo work much more. But, in keeping with their faithful fans, the band released a compilation of rarities and b-sides, titled RKives. Now they've shared a video for the track “Emotional” off said record. You can watch that below.

Roger Waters, the former bassist and singer of Pink Floyd, has announced that he's got a new album of “rock material” in the works. It's always hit-or-miss when aging rockers try to maintain a certain edge in this “shock-less” culture, but who knows? Maybe he's still got it.

Still reeling from Lou Reed's death, musicians and fans have come out and shared their condolences, goodbye thoughts and whatnot. Now Morrissey has announced that his live cover of Reed's “Satellite of Love,” which was recorded a couple years ago, will be released as a single on Dec. 2 (Dec. 3 digitally), which is the same day his autobiography comes out. Go figure.

Morrissey - “Satellite of Love”

I never really cared for Phoenix (and still don't). Their brand of electro-pop-rock just never sat with me. It just never seemed to bring anything new to the table. But that's just me. However, I love frontman Thomas Mars' wife, Sofia Coppola. Yes, I'm a huuuuge fan of her movies, so naturally I was excited to read that she directed Phoenix' new video for their track “Chloroform.” You can head to MoMa's PopRally to view the video.

We shared a while back that Shearwater was releasing an album of covers, featuring tracks originally penned by the likes of St. Vincent, Xiu Xiu, Coldplay and more. Now they've made a video for their Xiu Xiu cover (“I Luv the Valley OH!”) available for viewing. You can check that out below, and don't forget to look for the album (Fellow Travelers) on Nov. 26.

Shearwater - “I Luv the Valley, OH!”

Willis Earl Beal released the so-so Nobody knows. earlier this year, and while the album wasn't epic, it had some great moments. Now Stereogum reports that Beal shared two new songs on Youtube, though it's unclear when they were recorded or what was intended for them. But you can head over to their site to hear the tracks, titled “Babble On.” and “Coriander Tree Life.”

Regardless of Lily Allen's pop leanings, I always appreciate a musician with a sense of humor. Allen has sort of been MIA for the past couple years … but then again, motherhood'll do that to you. Now she's back with a new track/video titled “Hard Out Here.” In the track Allen talks about the injustice of sexism in the music industry and describes how hard it is “for a bitch.” And already it's generating a heap of criticism. You can watch the video below.

Lily Allen - “Hard Out Here”

Considering Jack White's repertoire and every magical note he's recorded, it's no wonder that a band of legendary musicians have come together to record a series of covers of White's creative catalog. The collection of covers is set to come out on Nov. 19 and is titled Rockin' Legends Pay Tribute to Jack White. It features the likes of Wanda Jackson, Bobby Vee, Rosie Flores and more. You can hear Wanda Jackson's cover of “In the Cold, Cold Night” (originally performed by The White Stripes) here. And you can get more details about the release via Rolling Stone.

A couple weeks ago, we shared Norah Jones and Billie Joe Armstrong's cover of “Long Time Gone,” originally by the Everly Brothers. The track comes off their forthcoming covers record (Foreverly). Now they've made another track available, titled “Silver Haired Daddy of Mine,” which … you guessed it … is another Everly Brothers cover. The album itself hits stores and online markets on Nov. 25, and in the words of Wayne Campbell, “I think I'm gonna buy it.”

Just because “Breaking Bad” is over doesn't mean that the people who inhabited the controversial and edgy world it created have withered into dust. Actor RJ Mitte, who played Walt Jr. on the show, has expressed an interest in starting a music career. While attending MTV's European Music Awards, he said he's in the process of learning guitar and piano and hopes to break into the music industry. You can read more at NME.

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Thee Oh Sees...

...are anything but dead.

Photo by Mark Lopez
Photo by Mark Lopez
John Dwyer's guitar strings punctuate the air with their horrific riffs, draining the residual sins from a dormant desert. Each note settling upon the armored faces that look on in the hopes that with each song, their hearts will dance aimlessly, with no points to ponder.

Thee Oh Sees. Launchpad. Four 7&7s. Hipster androids and old souls—each dancing to the rhythm of another backbeat gone awry amidst treacherous winds. They start with “I Come From the Mountain.” And immediately a sense of chaotic emergence becomes desperately relevant. Their harmonies echo throughout the space. People dance wildly, contemplating nothing because all thoughts have been thought before they even had a chance to question anything. By the third song (“Block of Ice”), the senselessness lies heavy. There's blood. There's acid. There's trickery amongst the bass lines.

Couples argue while the music accentuates a recklessness not seen in many bands nowadays. Thee Oh Sees exhibits the loss of drug-addled discord, but their energy inhabits a place that dares to call itself rebellion. Their harmonious chaos is relevant. It seeps into the fog of relentless normality. It speaks of experience. It speaks of wild infatuation. And the Launchpad was the perfect—if not only—venue to house such indecent rallying. A call to the indigenous to come forward and surrender to explosive vibration.

There was The Master's Bedroom (is Worth Spending The Night in), there were Floating Coffins, there was “Lupine Dominus” merging with the boneless bodies swaying to those sinister sounds. And yet, there was magic manifesting itself in these moments. No one cared. Nothing mattered. Jobs, children, the drudgery of the day-to-day. Each melted. Each murdered within that magnificent moment. This is what matters. Music. It's one hell of a freak show.

Thee Oh Sees - “Lupine Dominus” Probably NSFW

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Rooster Roundabout: This week’s music highlights

7 Days of Funk (composed of Snoopzilla and Dam-Funk) have unleashed the video to their first single “Faden Away.” We shared the track a couple weeks ago, but now this old-school throwback visual should further cement it into your subconscious. Cause why not?

Play Youtube Video
7 Days of Funk - “Faden Away”

After releasing The Big Dream earlier this year, David Lynch has decided to release a 12” LP for a song titled “Bad the John Boy.” According to the avant-director and sometimes musician, the track was recorded during the Big Dream sessions but was never intended for the album. Looks like Lynch had other plans. The single hits stores and online markets on Nov. 12.

The Killers have always been hit-or-miss with me. Sam's Town had some great tracks, but I pretty much boycotted everything they've done after that album. Now the band is coming out with a compilation of their hits (titled Direct Hits). The release will also have two new songs, one of which is “Just Another Girl,” which recently became available online. You can hear that below.

Girl power! Apparently, due to complaints of a lack of women at music festivals, HARD Events co-founder Gary Richards has decided to curate an all-female electronic music festival for 2014. It may not be as big as Coachella or Austin City Limits, but given time, this could be a huge and extraordinary thing. So keep an eye out for that in the new year.

Am I the only one that ever wondered what happened to Busta Rhymes. It's not like he withered into the wasteland of one-hit wanderers, but more that he hasn't had a hit in some time, or at least one that I can name off the top of my head. But now Busta has released a new track from his forthcoming album (E.L.E. 2), and I think I smell a hit. The track, “Thank You,” also features Q-Tip.

The entire world was saddened by the death of Lou Reed. And fans were somewhat a little territorial or at least flabbergasted at the fact that his album sales and digital downloads sky-rocketed. It's not really a surprise when you think about it. But now, Laurie Anderson, Reed's widow, has shared a touching and heartfelt goodbye to Reed, which you can read at Rolling Stone. You can also read Patti Smith's elegiac remembrance of a generation's most prized poet in the New Yorker.

Ty Segall's album Sleeper, which was released earlier this year, had more of a folk bent rather than the garage antics that had permeated his earlier releases (and probably his future releases). But that didn't stop music critics from fawning over his slight change of sound. Now Segall has shared a video for album track “The Man Man,” which you can see below.

Play Youtube Video
Ty Segall - “The Man Man”

Granted I like older punk music (no name-dropping here), but Black Flag was one of those bands that just swooped by me. It wasn't an intentional detour away from their particular sound, but more like I just fell asleep when their set came on. But now the band has released its first album (with original member Greg Ginn) in 28 years, titled What The..., and it's streaming online for those who are too excited to get in the car and go buy it.

Again, you gotta love NPR's “First Listen” for the albums they choose to give advanced listens to. Now they've shared the soundtrack to the Coen brothers’ upcoming flick Inside Llewin Davis. You can head to their website to hear the soundtrack, which features Justin Timberlake, Carey Mulligan, Marcus Mumford, Oscar Isaac and more. Or grab a physical copy on Nov. 11. Or you can get it now on vinyl for a mere $5.98.

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    Ryan McGarvey
    Ryan McGarvey4.18.2014