Rooster Roundabout: This week’s music highlights
'Member how I mentioned that Veruca Salt was getting back together? Well guitarists/vocalists Nina Gordon and Louise Post have had their first joint interview in … oh … 17 years? Yes, it's definitely worth reading. Head over to Stereogum to see what these women have been up to and what the future holds for one of the most welcomed reunions ever. Oh, and you can also hear their excellent new track, “The Museum of Broken Relationships,” below.
Nothing like a 40th anniversary to inspire new material. Rock band Blondie has decided to come out with a new double LP that will feature new songs as well as their greatest hits. The album, titled Blondie 4(0) Ever, will contain their 10th studio album (Ghosts of Download) as the first disc; the second portion will be a compilation of their most famous tracks. That hits stores on May 13, but in the meantime, you can head over to Billboard to read more.
Most people know of punk band Death from watching A Band Called Death (a documentary by Mark Christopher Covino and Jeff Howlett). While the band didn't see much mainstream success in their heyday (early to late '70s), they're now regarded as precursors to later punk sounds and revolutionary for being an all-black trio of brothers who created wild and uncompromising tunes. The group recently played on “Arsenio,” and you can view that performance below. Also, look out for III, a Drag City reissue of unreleased material, which is out now.
In case you haven't been keeping tabs on Pixies, they've released three EPs in the past year (EP-1, EP-2 and EP-3). And you'd think that with a steady stream of new material, they'd hop back in the studio to record what I would consider to be an appopriate full-length. But I guess laziness prevailed, as they've compiled all three releases into one album (titled Indie Cindy) that comes out on April 29. You don't need me (or want me) to comment on the recordings themselves; rather, you should provide your own educated analysis of the band's material post-Kim Deal's departure. Head over to The Guardian to give that a listen.
Music: the gift that keeps on giving. Jack White broke records this past Saturday by recording and distributing the “world's fastest released record.” And on top of that, he's also given fans another taste of his upcoming LP (after sharing “High Ball Stepper” a week or two ago) in the form of the album's title track. The record comes out on June 10, so keep your eyes and ears open for that. You can give “Lazaretto” a listen below and view some recaps of his record-breaking record making over at Pitchfork. Enjoy!
Austin City Limits is a festival always worth mentioning. Having gone three times, it's one of those experiences that can't be replicated. The only way to truly experience it is to go. And now the fest is two weekends instead of one (Oct. 3-5, 10-12), fancy that. Folks gracing the stage(s) include Beck, Lorde, Eminem, Outkast, Belle & Sebastian, St. Vincent, Juanes, Mac Demarco and many, many more. You can view the full lineup at the ACL website.
When I think of Courtney Love, the first thought that comes to mind is “bitch be crazy.” Granted, she's done little to prove otherwise, but feeding that particular beast has done well for her songwriting. Take her latest track “You Know My Name,” being released as a single with the tune “Wedding Day”; that's scheduled to hit stores on May 4. You can take a listen to the punk-inflected ditty below.
Ever so prolific, Neil Young surprised fans with a new album of covers (titled A Letter Home) via Jack White's Third Man Records. The LP contains covers of songs by Bob Dylan, Gordon Lightfoot, Willie Nelson, Bruce Springsteen and more. Rolling Stone reports that there was no official announcement, but you can order the album on Third Man's website. To add to that, the album is also getting the deluxe box set treatment, with the vinyl record, CD, singles, picture book, the works. So have at it!
Songwriter/composer and performer Owen Pallett first caught my attention when a friend sent me a recording of him covering Joanna Newsom's “Peach, Plum, Pear.” I liked his voice, but as far as delving into his sonic landscapes, there wasn't much in the way of follow-up. But I've heard several excited whispers about his upcoming LP In Conflict, which hits physical and online markets on May 27. And now Pallett has posted a video for his track “Song for Five & Six.” You can view that below.
When Lily Allen announced the title of her forthcoming record (Sheezus), many thought she was parodying Kanye West's last full-length effort Yeezus. However, Allen was quick to point out that it was an homage, rather than making fun of anyone. And now Allen has shared a video of the title track of said LP, wherein she compares herself to a fighter, while also name-checking various pop divas. You can hear the track below.
Last Month in Music
Last Month in Music: September 2013
Cross X Off Your Bucket List This Season
No Principles Tour finds punk band X in fine form
Having attended more than a few "reunion" shows, the only ones that were any good were a Washington, D.C. Damned show in 1988 and a recent Negative Approach show in Albuquerque. Lets face it: By the time most bands reach a certain age, there are good reasons for calling it quits and the motives for resurrection are largely monetary. In many cases the existence of the Casino Circuit enables bands that never should have been assaulting my ears in the first place to once more hit the road and get in my face with billboards along the highways of North America—or at least the highways running through Albuquerque.
The entirely legit performance that the Los Angeles punk rock legend X put on at the Santa Fe Opera last Monday, Sept. 23, dispelled any doubts I might have had about their motives or competence. I was also pleasantly surprised at what a nifty spot the Santa Fe Opera is—and it sounds great in there. There ain't much to say about X: They rocked, they rock and they still rock. With all four original members on stage, X launched their set with a tight rendition of "Los Angeles" and proceeded to rip through nearly two hours of their best songs—that's a lot of tunes—without slowing down, fucking up or retooling their catalog. Guitarist Billy Zoom played with the same panache and chops he had back in 1980 and drummer DJ Bonebrake—though he looked as though he might collapse near the end of the set—whipped it on his snare like Orville Redenbacher makes popcorn. John Doe and Exene Cervanka (or "Cervenkova," as she is apparently going by these days) performed with all the chemistry they showed in Decline and The Unheard Music way back when. The group is obviously enjoying themselves on this tour, with their health and safety in mind, too.
Seriously, folks, if you live near a city the X/Blondie or X/Blasters tour is coming through: Get a ticket and show up. X fans will freak out as the dopamine and serotonin levels in their brains reach pleasure levels produced by only the world's finest live music. Blondie, by the way, while adequate and definitely popular with the choir—oops, I mean crowd—just didn't have the energy and vibe to elevate their set above the rating of "reunion-rock," a term I hereby claim to have coined.