V.24 No.2 | 1/8/2015
We Like to Watch (Instantly)
Stream docs on Afrobeat, hip-hop nation and Hole drummer Patty Schemel
By August March
Wherein we hype three music docs (on Fela Kuti, Clarence Reid and Patty Schemel) that are available to stream on Netflix now.
V.23 No.16 | 4/17/2014
Rooster Roundabout: This week’s music highlights
By Mark Lopez [ Fri Apr 11 2014 4:40 PM ]
I got a lot of homework to do listening-wise. Like listening to The Men's latest LP Tomorrow's Hits, which has already been out for a few weeks? Months? See … I've lost track of time; total nightmare. But back to the topic at hand: 'Member I posted The Men's track “Different Days” a while back in anticipation for the record? I liked it so much that I thought I'd go ahead and share their recent video of said track with y'all. You can watch it below. Cheers!
Kim Deal's latest 7-inch hit the online markets on April 1, and there's a review by yours truly in the current edition of the Alibi. But Deal recently did an interview with Stereogum about the 7-inch releases (which, if you haven't heard them, are fantastic), working on new material with the Last Splash lineup of The Breeders after their extensive 20 year anniversary tour and much more. Why would you want to read this interview, you might ask. Because it's Kim fucking Deal. And she's always hilarious, humble and just plain cool in her interviews … and well, in life, I guess.
Is there some kind of rule that says you're supposed to change band names every few years? If that's the case, then Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Cedric Bixler-Zavala are right on time with their new band Antemasque. First there was At The Drive-In, then there was The Mars Volta, and now we have Antemasque. And judging from the two in-studio videos the band has already put out (as well as debut single “4AM”), it sounds like this could be something good. Head over to Consequence of Sound to read more about the project and the studio vids, and listen to their new track below. Oh and Flea (from Red Hot Chili Peppers) is also in the band.
Not only is “Shameless” one of the most daring shows on television, it's one of the most compelling. Though it's based off a British television series of the same name, the American version is way better (in my honest opinion). Watching the lives of the Gallaghers unfold as alcoholic family patriarch Frank hustles, does drugs and pretty much becomes the most awful human being imaginable is a roller coaster ride in and of itself. Now the music of the show (which stars William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum) is finally getting the soundtrack treatment … after only four seasons. You can read more about the indie-centric soundtrack at Billboard.
I mentioned some time back that Brody Dalle (formerly of The Distillers and Spinnerette) was coming out with a solo album (Diploid Love, out April 29). Now Ms. Dalle has graced listeners with another snippet from that forthcoming record. The track (“Blood In Gutters”) has somewhat of a grunge feel, already making me like it more than her first solo track (“Meet the Foetus/Oh the Joy”). Here's hoping the rest of the album has this same sinister intensity. You can hear the track below.
Not sure if I mentioned this before … but oh well … Bikini Kill have been broken up for what? 17 years? But the band is preparing to come out with some unreleased material in the form of their Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah reissue. And they've posted an unreleased tune from the release (out next week). The track is called “Girl Soldier.” So listen over at Soundcloud, and feast on some Riot Grrrl goodness.
Don't you just love when musicians up and surprise you with new music? Former Burqueño Willis Earl Beal recently released a surprise album online a few months ago, and to top it off, he's just released another surprise album, titled Curious Cool. Don't know where the songs came from (probably just demos he cut during his downtime), but when there's new material, you don't question it. You listen. So have at it.
Talk about jumping the gun … 'member how last week I wrote about the mid-'90s lineup of Hole reuniting. Well, apparently the band wasn't too happy with Love making those comments. So in a new interview with The Telegraph, Courtney states “It’s very frail, nothing might happen, and now the band are all flipping out with me.” Looks like we'll just have to wait and see.
Most of America knows The Roots as Jimmy Fallon's house band on “The Tonight Show.” But these guys have been making hip-hop tunes since the '80s. And now they're gearing up to release a new record, titled ...And Then You Shoot Your Cousin. In anticipation for the album (out May 13), the group has graced us with a song from the forthcoming release. You can hear “When the People Cheer” below.
I always like pop songs that have some sense of theater to them. You know … those bombastic, dramatic ones. That's probably why I like Lykke Li's “No Rest For the Wicked” so much. I posted the track a week or two ago, but now LL has come out with a video for the track. The ditty comes off her upcoming record I Never Learn, which hits the music-sphere on May 6. You can watch the video below.
V.23 No.15 | 4/10/2014
By Mark Lopez [ Fri Apr 4 2014 4:13 PM ]
The man is back! Jack White has been hinting at a new solo release pretty much since 2012's Blunderbuss hit shelves. And now he's shared a snippet from his upcoming LP, titled Lazaretto, which hits stores and online markets on June 10. It's an all-instrumental track (sorry for those who like when White's wailin' vocals recall Robert Plant), but it's a good indicator of what the album will sound like: pure magic. You can hear that below.
For those of you who miss “Breaking Bad” so much that streaming the entire series on Netflix isn't cutting it … well, now you can purchase the show's score. The double LP, titled Breaking Bad (Original Score From the Television Series), is scheduled to be released on April 29. That's right around the corner, y'all. Soon, after listening to the album, you'll relive Walter White's drug-enterprising endeavors and feel the emotional decline of Jesse Pinkman as the show's tunes provide some lovely soundscapes. Or sinister ones, depending on which track you hear. Read more about that over at Billboard.
Here's another exciting thing on the horizon: The mid-’90s lineup of Hole is reuniting. Yup, you read right. According to Courtney Love, she and Eric Erlandson, Patty Schemel and Melissa Auf Der Maur have been rehearsing some new material. If we're lucky, it will have the same ferocity, fragility and angst that made Live Through This such a gem. You can read more about that at the Quietus, and have a listen to LTT album cut “Violet” below.
I'm gonna say this … and I'll take whatever flack I get. It's called honesty. But … wow, this is hard … okay … just say it, Mark. Okay … I've always preferred The Jackson 5 to Michael Jackson's solo work. Any and everyone I've told this to throughout the years has basically deemed such a proclamation sacrilegious. I can't help how I feel. But MJ fans will be excited to know a new record of unreleased material (XSCAPE) is slated to come out May 13. Read more about that over at Pitchfork.
It's no secret that Janelle Monáe is a big David Bowie fan because … well … she’s said so several times. But now the funky fresh artist has decided to do Bowie a solid by covering “Heroes.” You don't need me to talk about it. You can hear it below.
My knowledge of Elliott Smith is rudimentary at best. And before you commence to gasping, I'll clarify by stating that most of what I've heard has been through hearing his music in films (like Good Will Hunting and The Royal Tenenbaums). Granted, that makes sense for me. I'm a very cinematic-minded person; it matters to me how music is used to shape a scene and capture a moment. While we're on the topic of film, a new documentary about Smith titled Heaven Adores You will premiere at the San Francisco Film Festival on May 5, and that film will include “unheard songs, personal pictures and lost footage.” So keep an eye (or both eyes) open for that.
My first foray into the world of Swedish duo First Aid Kit was watching a video of them covering Patti Smith's “Dancing Barefoot,” with Smith reduced to tears of gratitude in the audience. It was magical. Now the group is getting ready to release a third LP titled Stay Gold. That record comes out June 10, and you can hear some of what it has to offer by listening to the track “My Silver Lining” below.
Late spoken-word performer and musician Gil Scott-Heron's unreleased recordings are going to see the light of day … or be listened to by people. Apparently he'd recorded some of his older songs during sessions for his 2010 album I'm New Here, but those recordings were shelved. Now, for Record Store Day, a posthumous release, Nothing New, is slated for April 19. Read more about the record over at Rolling Stone.
I don't know much about Stagnant Pools. Nothing, in fact, other than they're a sibling duo that makes noise-inflected rock music, and they're coming out with their second LP Geist. I clicked the link to listen to their new song after reading comparisons to Joy Division and The Jesus and Mary Chain. After listening to their new track from the forthcoming album (which hits stores on June 10), I think I need to pay some attention to their first record Temporary Room. Listen to their track “Intentions” below.
This one may seem to come out of left field, but there's context … at least for me. Country star Martina McBride's new record of pop and R&B covers, Everlasting, comes out next week. And for the hipsters, no … there's no irony here. I grew up in South Texas where '90s country was a staple. Hell, McBride's “Independence Day” was one of my favorite songs growing up. Now that that's out of the way … McBride is streaming her album in its entirety over at Billboard. Head that way to get a first glimpse.
We got another leak, people. Some time back, self-proclaimed “gangsta Nancy Sinatra” Lana Del Rey announced she's releasing a new album (Ultraviolence) later this year. And now a track has appeared online, though there's no clarification about whether the track is from the upcoming record or not. Your guess is as good as mine, and you can listen to that below.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This video has since been removed. Sorry for any inconvenience.
V.23 No.10 | 3/6/2014
By Mark Lopez [ Fri Feb 28 2014 4:27 PM ]
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.
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.
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 …
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.
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 …
V.23 No.6 | 2/6/2014
By Mark Lopez [ Fri Feb 7 2014 4:43 PM ]
Am I the only one who’s surprised Korn is still making music? Probably … because it seems the band is still going strong, having released The Paradigm Shift late last year. My last foray into the world of Korn was Follow The Leader when I was a kid. And that was largely a byproduct of having an older brother. Regardless the band has come out with a video for the track “Spike in My Veins,” from their latest record. You can watch that video below.
Granted my musical repertoire could use some brushing up on the rap front. I guess it's just a genre I spent a vast majority of my life being woefully ignorant of, but hey: There's always room for improvement. Nas was always a name thrown at me growing up, whether it was cousins sharing his new tracks or aficionados urging me to pick up one of his LPs. Now Nas has decided to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his debut record in a big way: He's releasing a reissue (Illmatic XX) that features remixes, freestyles and demos. And he's also coming out with a documentary about working on the album, “Time Is Illmatic.” You can read more about it and view the tracklist over at Pitchfork.
I posted Jenny Lewis' contribution to the soundtrack for HBO series “Girls” a couple weeks back. Now a new track—that is also on said compilation, titled Girls, Volume 2: All Adventurous Women Do—has surfaced. It's Miguel's song “Simplethings,” which layers lofty fuzz over an otherwise-typical modern R&B beat. Still, it works, and you can hear it below. And as of press time, Lily Allen's contribution to the soundtrack was revealed via Rolling Stone. So head over there to hear her track. The album itself comes out on Feb. 11.
'Member when I mentioned John Dwyer's new project Damaged Bug? Dwyer, singer/guitarist of currently defunct garage contemporaries Thee Oh Sees, is gearing up to release Bug's first record (Hubba Bubba) on Feb. 25. And since that date is fast approaching, he's made a new tune from said album available. This track is titled “Photograph,” and while it has more electronic leanings, it also has got some distorted overtones ringing throughout. Nice job. You can head over to Pitchfork to give that a listen.
Ohhh snap! Folks who are still keeping tabs on Robert Smith and the gang are sure to be excited that The Cure has announced a new album for 2014 (titled 4:14 Scream). Now I've never been much of a Cure fan—which was blasphemy to my “goth” friends in high school—but I can appreciate their appeal. And some tracks have stirred my emotions, here and there (see “Plainsong”). I was always looking for something with more cojones, but you can learn more at the A.V. Club.
I believe that it was Hole that said, “If the world is so wrong, yeah, you can take it all with one song.” I'm not saying that The Men's new track “Different Days” is that song, but it's enough to at least put a smile on your face, make you get your ass off that seat and start jumping around. And isn't that what rock and roll is all about? Minus the sex and drugs … Either way, the track comes off The Men's upcoming album (Tomorrow's Hits), which gets released on March 4, and you can take a listen to it below.
For those who may not be too familiar with them, The Jesus Lizard is a rock band that started out in Texas in the late '80s. And while they haven't released a standard LP since 1998, they've always been a band I've heard about from various, excited friends. But I've said it before: I always hear about things late in the game. Aside from that, guitarist Duane Denison has joined with Tomahawk and Alexander Hacke of Einstürzende Neubauten to form a new band called The Unsemble. They've shared a tune off their upcoming self-titled debut—which hits stores on March 4—and you can hear that over at the A.V. Club.
Okay … it may seem like I'm playing favorites here … what with mentioning St. Vincent's upcoming self-titled release again. But it's not from a lack of trying to expand my horizons, people. It's just that Annie Clark has now posted another song, “Prince Johnny,” from her upcoming LP, and since it's real good stuff, I thought, “why not share it?” So you can hear that below.
It's no secret that Kurt Vile's Wakin’ on a Pretty Daze was a pretty stellar release. We don't need to go there, ’cause I've already gone there. But this isn't about Vile. No, this is about Ms. Aly Spaltro aka Lady Lamb the Beekeeper. LLB's 2013 record Ripely Pine was one of my favorite albums of the year—and for damn good reason (see “Crane Your Neck” or “You Are the Apple”). But now Ms. Spaltro has covered Vile's “Girl Called Alex” to pay homage to what she considered the best record of 2013. You can hear that below.
So many collaborations! Just last week I mentioned Ariel Pink's involvement in Raw Deal. Apparently he's also involved in another project with Jorge Elbrecht, and that’s called Jorge Elbrose. They've just come out with a video for their track “Called to Ring.” You can read more about their project at Pitchfork, and you can watch the video below.
V.22 No.15 |
Ode to grunge
By Samantha Anne Carrillo [ Thu Apr 11 2013 2:10 PM ]
Depending on your aural upbringing and age, the term "grunge" may conjure up wildly divergent things. Read all about Alibi Copy Editor/Staff Writer Mark Lopez's romance with the Seattle sound in Seattle Wall of Sound: A paean to grunge. For me, Nirvana's Bleach was revelatory; Lopez prefers In Utero. Exploring difference is fun, no? In honor of this myriad genre, I compiled an hour-long grunge-tastic playlist for our dear readers, featuring tracks by: Flipper, L7, Babes in Toyland, 7 Year Bitch, Hole, Nirvana, Mudhoney, Tad, Wool, Melvins, Sleep Capsule, Coffin Break, Soundgarden, Killdozer, Pixies, The Breeders and Green River. Stream it below. Less-than-fresh coiffures, well-worn flannel and Dr. Martens are optional.
V.22 No.15 | 4/11/2013
Julia Minamata juliaminamata.com
Seattle Wall of Sound
A paean to grunge
By Mark Lopez
Staff writer Mark Lopez explores the fuzzy riffs, frenzied corporate co-opting and ethos of authenticity that the grunge movement birthed.
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