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Rooster Roundabout: This week’s music highlights

Call me superficial. Call me impulsive. Call me weird. But the only reason I even watched the video for EMA's track “So Blonde” was because the default photo showed her wearing a Jim Morrison t-shirt. In case we haven't met, I have a tattoo of Morrison on my left arm. So yeah, let's just say I admire the “American poet.” But I am glad I clicked the link because the track contains some alt.rock, grunge tendencies that remind me of later Hole (around the Celebrity Skin era). You can watch that below.

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EMA - “So Blonde”

While I'm not a crazy fanatic of Wes Anderson's films, I've always appreciated his aesthetic, his color, his attention to detail and his creativity in general. But as well as having an incredible eye for visuals, he's got a sharp ear for sound. You can tell by listening to the The Royal Tenenbaums' tunes, which include Paul Simon, Nico, The Ramones, etc. And now, thanks to the folks over at Pitchfork, you can hear the full soundtrack of his upcoming film The Grand Budapest Hotel. But keep in mind that it'll only be available for streaming till March 2 … right in time for the Oscars. What what!

Bring on the abuse! The Faint are back. I remember being introduced to them by pre-hipster kids that my friends used to know in high school, and their tunes could always be heard blasting from speakers at house parties where 16-year-old girls with eating disorders passed out on couches, and people would sneakily retreat to bathrooms for bumps on the toilet. The Faint always seemed like an appropriate soundtrack, and their new track (off their upcoming record Doom Abuse) seems to have the same sentiment. I foresee it being played at similar festivities upon its release. You can watch the video below, and look for their album on April 8.

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The Faint - “Help in the Head”

A couple weeks back, I posted rock band The Men's track “Different Days” and noted its boisterous beat and wild direction. And now you can hear their entire forthcoming album Tomorrow's Hits over at the New York Times website. Enjoy …

'Member when Coldplay used to be good? You know … around A Rush of Blood to the Head? 'Member how their lyrics and melodies would strike at the heart and making your blood boil with confusion, sadness and reflection? Well, after that Viva La Vida bullshit, that sort of went out the window, and it seems as if they've gotten worse and worse with age. But maybe there's hope? Maybe their new, contemplative track “Midnight” might stir some emotion? See for yourself …

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Coldplay - “Midnight”

It looks like iTunes is the place to listen to albums ahead of their release dates (or surprise albums in Kid Cudi's case). The Kid released his record (Satellite Flight: The Journey to Mother Moon) this past week on the music-buying and listening platform. So go get it! On another note, last week I mentioned that Pharrell was coming out with a new album (titled G I R L), and folks, you're in luck because Pharrell has decided to stream the album in its entirety via iTunes Radio. How's that for digitally representing yourself? And while you're at it, take a listen to Rick Ross' new Mastermind LP. Since you'll already be on iTunes anyway.

Sister trio Haim have been making quite a name for themselves in the pop world. Their track “The Wire” gained them some pretty good traction, considering they'd been teasing their album (Days Are Gone) for a while before it finally came out. And now the sisters have released a video for album track “If I Could Change Your Mind,” and they've added some groovy dance moves to the proceedings. You can watch that below.

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Haim - “If I Could Change Your Mind”

I've always liked Mudhoney. I feel like they were the more creative, low-key sibling of more well-known grunge contemporaries. But when you hear their sound, it's anything but low-key. Just listen to their album Superfuzz Bigmuff to get a taste of their crunchy cool. But on to the news, people. Mudhoney and Divine Fits recently recorded live records at Jack White's Third Man Records studio. And both albums hit the music market Tuesday. That's right … this coming Tuesday. So get to buyin'.

Damnit! Every time I hear Screaming Females, I'm admonished for not having purchased one of their albums, so I just need to get with it already and make a buy. In due time, people. In due time. But I've just been reminded of how their particular brand of rock is necessary in my collection after hearing a live recording of their track “Lights Out.” The song comes off their upcoming LP Live at the Hideout, which is out on April 8. Listen ... and let your ears bear witness to greatness.

Nothing says good vibes like songs with the word “happy” in the title, which is evidenced by aforementioned Pharrell Williams' track “Happy.” But Billboard took the initiative to compile a list of 20 chart-topping songs that contain the word “happy.” NOTE: Most of them are gracious golden oldies because, let's face it, them's was the good ol' days. Keep in mind, just because a song has the word “happy” in the title doesn't mean it's going to put a smile on your face. But as an added treat, I've included one of my favorites (which is also on the list). Enjoy …

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Jimmy Soul - “If You Wanna Be Happy“

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Music

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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Music

Rooster Roundabout: This week’s music highlights

MGMT are some weird dudes. While I was a fan of Oracular Spectacular, 2010's Congratulations just flew by without really sticking, and I don't regret that. But the third time's a charm? They have an upcoming self-titled album coming out on Sept. 17 via Columbia, and the band has shared a short film/trailer featuring some tracks from the soon-to-be-released record.

Sonic Youth-alum Kim Gordon has a new project to add to her wide array of artistic pursuits. Together with Bill Nace, they are Body/Head, and their new album, Coming Apart, gets released next week. But thanks to the folks over at Pitchfork, you can stream the album now.

If you've been following Pixies for the past few months, you may have already known that they're planning on releasing new material slowly but surely over the next year or so. For those who've been waiting, the wait is over. The band has released a 4-song EP, titled EP-1. It's available for purchase digitally and also as a limited edition 10” vinyl, which you can buy on their website. Sadly Kim Deal's not involved in these tracks, but you can hear new song “Indie Cindy” below:

“Indie Cindy” by Pixies

Apparently music blogs were iterating that Fiona Apple had another “meltdown” onstage at an event in Tokyo (remember Roseland?), in which she stormed off stage. But a friend of Apple's, ?uestlove of The Roots, received an email from the singer/songwriter, asking that he publish her statement because, you know, she likes to stay somewhat under the radar and all. But you can read the statement via Okayplayer.

I can admit when I've made a mistake. Or when I've mistakenly avoided a band. Savages is that band, and judging from their new video for the track “I Am Here,” that was definitely my bad. You can also read about the band's re-recording process while making the video via Pitchfork. Now I have to go buy Silence Yourself.

“I Am Here” by Savages

What the hell are Arcade Fire up to? Whatever it is, they're planning something for Sept. 9 at 9pm, and they've released a video trailer for whatever is expected to go down. It could be their title single, “Reflektor,” which supposedly gets out to the public on Monday. Oh, and their follow-up to 2010's The Surburbs hits the streets on Oct. 29. It's called Reflektor, obviously.

Reflektor trailer by Arcade Fire

I don't get Reddit. I'm just not tech-savvy enough to fully comprehend everything that Reddit has to offer, but I am a fan of their “AMA (Ask Me Anything” series where fans can post comments and receive answers to questions they've been dying to ask. And Big Boi is one of the latest artists to take part, wherein he talks about his work with Modest Mouse, sheds light on a possible Outkast reunion and new stuff he's working on.

Loretta Lynn's collaboration with Jack White, 2004's Van Lear Rose, was a masterpiece. I won't go into it again; I already have. But in an interview with Billboard, Lynn expressed her desire to work with White again. Though she's a busy woman; she says she's “got a Christmas album done, a religious album done, a CD of mountain songs with Shawn Camp,” so it'd be safe to assume we're going to be hearing some great stuff from one of country music's most loved and iconic performers. Also, White was recently named an honorary dean of Fermatta Music Academy in Mexico City.

Loretta Lynn and Jack White performing “Portland, Oregon” on David Letterman

If you haven't heard of Fred Stobaugh, it's okay. Even though he's 96, he's relatively new, having only written one song (a poetic ode to his wife of 72 years, who passed away in April). The song, titled “Oh Sweet Lorraine,” was entered in a songwriting contest by Green Shoe Studio, and it made such an impression that musician Jacob Colgan and Green Shoe Studio recorded the track and gave Stobaugh writing credit. And now Fred is the oldest artist to appear on Billboard's Hot 100. Not bad, Fred.

Short doc about Stobaugh and the writing of “Oh Sweet Lorraine”

Neko Case's latest album, The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You, hit the music-sphere this week, and the singer/songwriter did an interview for A.V. Club's “Set List” where she talks about songs on the album, including her single, “Man,” and some of her noted previous work.

“Man” by Neko Case

I have mixed feelings about Coldplay. While I like A Rush of Blood to the Head, I’ve had a stagnant relationship with everything they’ve done after, minus “Speed of Sound.” But now Chris Martin and company have shared a new track, titled “Atlas,” which is going to be featured on the soundtrack for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which hits multiplexes on Nov. 22. Somewhere out there, some teenage girls just cried.

“Atlas” by Coldplay

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Music

Rooster Roundabout: This week’s music highlights

Do you remember where you were when you first heard Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP? I remember trying to be cool with my older brother and his friends, jamming out to it at someone's house … or was that in a dream? Regardless the sequel is headed our way in the form of MMLP2, which comes out Nov. 5. But Eminem (who's blonde again) shared the track, “Berzerk,” which you can hear below:

“Berzerk” by Eminem

You gotta love NPR and their “first listen” antics. Right now, they're streaming The Julie Ruin's Run Fast, which hits stores Sept. 3. Don't think, just hit play.

When I was a kid, I watched Almost Famous, and the song “Sparks” by The Who completely enthralled me to the point where it sort of became my own personal mantra to follow. It’s fantastic. On that note, Universal is going to reissue The Who’s Tommy in a deluxe edition, set to break down walls on Nov. 11.

The Who - “Sparks”

In honor of The Breeders’ Last Splash turning 20, Stereogum writer Tom Breihan did a little write-up about his love/hate relationship with one of the best records of the ’90s.

Spike Jonze and Karen O collaborate again! After Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeahs handled the soundtrack to Jonze's rendition of Where the Wild Things Are, she has now provided a track, titled “The Moon Song,” for his new film, Her, starring Joaquin Phoenix. You can hear the track below as well as view a trailer for the flick.

“The Moon Song” by Karen O

Her trailer

Apparently, some lost Joy Division and New Order tapes have been recovered and former member of both bands, Peter Hook, is in talks to buy them back. Unheard material? Yes please!

Cursive's The Ugly Organ confirmed two things for me. The first was that a rock band could be self-critical but with a poetic, angry prowess, and that Tim Kasher had one of the most tragically unique voices I've ever heard. But here's Kasher in a more synth-friendly, less angsty light, with his new track, “Truly Freaking Out,” taken from his new solo record, Adult Film, which hits the music-sphere on Oct. 8.

“Truly Freaking Out” by Tim Kasher

Alibi Arts Editor Lisa Barrow has suggested I tune in to watch “Boardwalk Empire.” I still have yet to get see it because I'm always weary when it comes to getting obsessed with a new show. I still haven't gotten into “Breaking Bad,” and that show's already coming to a close. But I digress, the soundtrack for “Boardwalk Empire,” which features Patti Smith (!), St. Vincent, Stephan DeRosa, Elvis Costello and more, drops next week (Sept. 3), but thanks to the folks at Billboard, you can hear it now.

In case you're wondering what Paul McCartney is up to, he's released a new track, titled “New,” from his upcoming album of the same name. The track maintains that whimsical style that made The Beatles so legendary. Look for the new record on Oct. 15.

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“New” by Paul McCartney

According to Consequence of Sound, The Dead Weather just got a little deadlier. The band, featuring Jack White on drums, singer Alison Mosshart, guitarist Dean Fertita and Jack Lawrence handling bass, released two albums, their last being 2010's Sea of Cowards. But Third Man Records announced, via Twitter, that the band is working on some new material (!).

“Die by the Drop” by The Dead Weather from Sea of Cowards

4AD American pioneers, Throwing Muses, are coming out with an art book/album. According to Pitchfork, the release, titled Purgatory/Paradise, is scheduled for release on Oct. 28, with a full(er) release set for Nov. 11. So, if you're feeling nostalgic, pull out those late-'80s, early-'90s albums, or have a listen to their new track, “sleepwalking 1.”

Throwing Muses’ “sleepwalking 1”

I love A.V. Club. From their “Hatesong” columns to their Undercover music series, they know how to wrangle interesting musicians and make them do interesting things. Like here … we have Kurt Vile covering “Down In It” by Nine Inch Nails.

If you've never listened to “I Luv the Valley, OH!” by Xiu Xiu, where've you been? It's a fantastic song that captures the sadness and anger of misspent youth and the hardships of all-consuming love. At least that's my interpretation. But, Shearwater's covering it for their new LP (of covers) titled Fellow Travelers. The album drops on Nov. 26 via Sub Pop, and will feature covers of songs by St. Vincent, Smog, Coldplay, etc.

Shearwater - “I Luv the Valley, OH!”

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