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Music

Rooster Roundabout: This week’s music highlights

Jesse Schulz

No more BBQ

Looks like we're gonna be seeing a new album from King Khan & BBQ Show ... wait, never mind. The new album will be released under their old/new moniker Bad News Boys. Apparently a barbecue joint in Berlin sued the band for taking their name (King Khan Und BBQ), so they decided to go back to their original band name. Along with that, they've shared a track from said upcoming record, though there's no details as far as the release date and whatnot. Still, have a listen to “We Are The Champion” below.

Play Youtube Video
Bad News Boys - “We Are The Champion”

Out tha basement

Two legends. Count 'em, two: Bob Dylan and The Band. Why do I bring them up? Because Bob Dylan has announced the release of The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11. Basically he's releasing “every salvageable recording” from sessions with The Band from 1967. 138 tracks of sonic goodness, all yours for the small price of ... wait, I don't know how much it costs. But it hits online and physical markets on Nov. 4, so that's somethin' to look forward to, no?

Take a leap

'Member how I mentioned that underground folk legend Vashti Bunyan was releasing a new and final album, Heartleap, on Oct. 7? Well, to give fans another snippet of the record, she's released the track “Holy Smoke.” The atmospheric ditty is gorgeous, whispery and magical ... as I'm sure the record will be. Have a listen below.

Believe in Usher

Uh-oh, the sexy vocal stylings of Mr. Usher Raymond are about to grace the airwaves once again. Not like he's been slacking on that front or anything. Usher shared a new single, “Believe Me,” which is scheduled to appear on his forthcoming record Everything You Can Imagine. The song is produced by Mike WiLL Made-It, who has worked with noted contemporaries like Juicy J, GOOD Music, Lil Wayne and the queen of dick pop (new genre, you heard it here) Miley Cyrus. Head to Spin to hear the tune.

Morrissey, Scorsese, Ramones, oh my!

Here's a lil something exciting if you like The Smiths (which I don't) … or better, if you like the Ramones. Morrissey has chosen the tracklist for the upcoming Best of the Ramones compilation. Not only that, he also got to choose the cover photo, which is viewable below. No word on when that'll be released, but this should still be interesting. Not because Morrissey had anything to do with it, but because it's the Ramones! Speaking of the Ramones, apparently there's a film in the works, and it's set to be directed by none other than Martin Scorsese. That's gonna be a good one. Head to Pitchfork to read more about that.

Please stand up

Slim Shady ain't over, y'all. Eminem recently announced a 2-CD compilation titled Shady XV, which is scheduled to hit the music-sphere on Nov. 24. The compilation will feature one album of Shady Records greatest hits and an album of new work by Em, D-12, Yelawolf and more. As an added bonus, Shady also shared a collaborative track with Sia (who's been gaining some hardcore traction with her latest album 1000 Forms of Fear), titled “Guts Over Fear,” which is featured in the upcoming film The Equalizer (out Sept. 26). To read more about the compilation and single, head over to Billboard.

Dream of the stream

It's time for the album streamage. New York rock band Interpol announced a few months ago that they'd be coming back with a new record (El Pintor). Well, they weren't lying. That record drops on Sept. 9, but in the meantime, NPR has you covered. Head their way to hear the album in its entirety. And while we're talkin' free music (well, this next one is free), why not mention Ty Dolla $ign's new $ign Language mixtape, which is available for download. Don't worry, fans. He's still coming out with a new record later this year. This is just a nice little sampler. Listen to/download that below. Note: Streams are only available for a limited time, so we apologize if they’re no longer available by the time you click these links.

MacFarlane’s crooning skills

He may not be Frank Sinatra, but Seth MacFarlane can sing a tune. Known mostly for his various voices and comedic timing after creating such hits as “Family Guy” and Ted, MacFarlane seems to have a hand in everything, whether it's writing, directing, voice-overs and singing. You name it, he's probably done it. And now he's tackling a Christmas album (Holiday for Swing), in which he'll cover such classics as “Baby It's Cold Outside” and “Let It Snow.” If you like Christmas LPs and crooning, then this is the record to play whilst decorating your house in tinsel and stockings. MacFarlane spoke to Billboard from the set of Ted 2, so head there to read what he had to say about the record.

Berry gets the Polar

It's great news for the music industry, or for people in general, that legend Chuck Berry received Sweden's Polar Music Prize, considered to be “the world's most prestigious music accolade.” Not bad, Berry. The 87-year-old musician wasn't able to make it to the ceremony due to illness, but he did have someone there to read his acceptance speech. So, congratulations Mr. Berry! Now, we watch a performance of “Nadine” to celebrate!

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Chuck Berry - “Nadine”

A dip in sales

Uh-oh, the record industry is in trouble. According to Billboard, last week's sales (3.97 million) are the lowest weekly sum since SoundScan began tracking these numbers in '91. It's also the first time sales have fallen below 4 million for a single week. But record executives aren't surprised, as the head of one label said, “Sales have been going in the wrong direction all year. I guess it's overdue when you look at the growth of streaming.” For more information on the decline of the record business, click here.

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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.

Play Youtube Video
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.

Play Youtube Video
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.

Play Youtube Video
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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