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lost on the river: the new basement tapes


Music

Rooster Roundabout: This week’s music highlights

Jesse Schulz

Social awakening

When it comes to speaking out on injustice, who better to share words than people who've been held in high regard for their artistic and thought-provoking contributions within a specific canon. Hip-hop artist Killer Mike took to the written word (via an op-ed for Billboard) to speak his mind on the horrible outcomes surrounding the fatal shooting of unarmed black teen Michael Brown. He not only addresses the shooting, but addresses the abuse of power in regards to the unsightly tactics law enforcement have undertaken in an effort to keep protesters at bay. Head to Billboard to read the article in its entirety. The rapper also went on CNN to talk about the piece and his thoughts on Ferguson. You can watch it below.

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Killer Mike CNN Interview

Delivering the rage

And while we're on the topic of Ferguson, rapper/singer Lauryn Hill posted an old sketch track (“Black Rage”) on SoundCloud, dedicating it to what's going on over in Missouri. The song is a version of the famous number “My Favorite Things.” You can hear that ditty below.

The voodoo chile returns

If you have a pen, highlighter or Sharpie in hand, you should flip your calendar over to September, work your magic little finger over to the 15th and circle, circle, circle. Because on that day, two out-of-print records from the late, great Jimi Hendrix are set to be re-released. Both records (The Cry of Love and Rainbow Bridge) were recorded in 1969 and 1970, but weren't released until after Hendrix' death in 1970. Those albums will get the full treatment, meaning people can purchase them on CD, vinyl and digital formats. So, again, mark that calendar.

A swift return

Well ... it's official. Taylor Swift has abandoned her country roots. Rebranding herself under the pop umbrella, Swift released the video for the first single (“Shake It Off”) off her upcoming record (1989), which comes out on Oct. 27. If we're looking at the single from a very distant eye-glance, it's not really anything special, though Swift is using her cutesy wiles to poke fun at herself, while alerting listeners to shake off the bad vibes. Cause that hasn't been heard in music before. Have a looksie below.

Play Youtube Video
Taylor Swift - “Shake It Off”

Tuff it out

I mentioned a while back that King Tuff was coming out with a new record (Black Moon Spell) on Sept. 23. Well, that's still happening. Gasp! But Tuff has taken the initiative to make the title track available for your listening pressure. And let's just say that this is a real treat of a song, and if the tune is any indication of the record itself ... it's gonna be one ferocious little gem. Have a listen below.

Still not fadin’ away

Talk about a sneaker-upper ... a group of country musicians have banded together to create a tribute album to one of rock's greatest gifts: Buddy Holly. Mmhmm, you read that right. Artists like Merle Haggard, T. Graham Brown and Helen Cornelius will tackle songs from Holly's oeuvre and give them a good ol' country spin. The record, The Buddy Holly Country Tribute: Remember Me, hits stores and online markets on Sept. 7, on what would have been Holly's 78th birthday if he'd still been alive. Whether or not you dig country (or what passes for country nowadays), this should be an exciting release.

The last slice

This is a sad one, y'all. Swedish experimental duo The Knife have announced that they're calling it quits. After their tour is finished in November, the band is going to dissolve, though they didn't specify as to what's next for each of the members. All speculation aside, I'm sure that they'll both go on to do interesting and innovative things. So as a goodbye, have a listen to their song “Heartbeats” below. Head over to Dazed to read what the band had to say about the break-up and the future.

Play Youtube Video
The Knife - “Heartbeats”

Something savage this way comes

In case I wasn't overtly explicit, I love Savages. Well, at least their debut record (which made my Best Albums of 2013 list). I'm not going to go into my love over it because it would take all day, and I'm sure you've got important things lined up in your schedule. To the point: Savages is teaming up with “acid punk” band Bo Ningen for a collaborative record. Apparently, the album is going to be one 37-minute track, described as a “Sonic Simultaneous Poem.” And that's expected to be out and about on Nov. 17. Any way you spin this, it's exciting news. Head over to Pitchfork to read more about the upcoming release.

Out of the basement

It was announced a while back that unearthed Bob Dylan lyrics from 1967 were going to be recorded and released as Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes. The record is produced by T. Bone Burnett and includes performances by Jim James (of My Morning Jacket), Elvis Costello, Marcus Mumford and more. The first snippet of what the record will entail has been posted online. Have a listen to Jim James' version of Dylan's “Nothing To It.”

Play Youtube Video
The New Basement Tapes - “Nothing To It (Official Lyric Video)”

Dream of the stream

Oh snap, it's time for some album streamage. You know you've been waiting for this one ... it's the New Pornographers' new record (Brill Bruisers)! Exciting news for people who like the band. I can't count myself in that group, though I've not heard enough from them to make a valid listening decision. You know ... laziness and all. It gets the best of us. Regardless, head over to iTunes Radio to give that a listen before it gets stale from staying out too long. Wait ... that's bread. And since you're getting it for free, you may as well head over to NPR to hear Ty Segall's new record Manipulator. EDITOR’S NOTE: These streams are only up for a limited time, so apologies if they’re no longer available by the time you click these links.

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Music

Rooster Roundabout: This week’s music highlights

I always hate writing these … but sad news, people. GWAR frontman Dave Brockie (also known by his stage name Oderus Urungus) has gone to see the spirit in the sky. The musician was 50, and his cause of death is not yet known. The thrash ensemble has been performing for decades, building a loyal following. So it's an understatement to say that Brockie will be missed. R.I.P. And since their cameo in Empire Records was my first introduction to the band, it's only fitting to share that with y'all. You can watch that below.

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Marc meets GWAR

“Do you know what this is, son? This is the panopticon. And all around us blink the brash and shifty eyes of common cash.” Sorry … a little Joanna Newsom fever going on over here … But let me get to business. Smashing Pumpkins have launched a new website called The Panopticon where they announced they're coming out with two new albums in 2015. (Monuments To An Elegy and Day For Night). The recording process kicked off this past Tuesday (so says the site), and they're working with Howard Willing, whom they worked with on their Adore record. I'm sure there'll be updates on that in the coming year.

As if they couldn't get any better, blues-rock duo The Kills are now part of a documentary series (”Unlock Art”) that explores the processes, thoughts and perceptions going into creating art. The Kills' mini-doc focuses on “duos” in the art world and how collaboration can help mold, shape and magnify any particular medium. While this isn't solely music-related, I find it important in that music itself is an art form, and bandmates Jamie Hince and Alison Mosshart both go into detail about great duos from Keith Richards and Mick Jagger to Jeff Koons and Cicciolina. You can read more about the doc series at NME, and you can watch The Kills' video below.

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Unlock Art - Great Double Acts

I'm sure Cyndi Lauper fans are already in the know regarding the 30th anniversary reissue of her breakout debut record She's So Unusual. The re-release of that LP will have demos, outtakes, B-sides, the works. And to give a little taste as to what surprises might be lurking within that LP (which hits stores on April 1), Lauper has shared a demo of the track “Rules and Regulations,” which didn't make the final cut of the original album. You can hear the track and Lauper's thoughts about it over at Rolling Stone.

Singer-songwriter Joseph Arthur has made a hefty amount of music since his debut in 1997, and now he's gearing up to release a new record: a tribute album to the late Lou Reed. Apparently Reed and Arthur were pretty chummy, and thus, Arthur felt compelled to provide a nice send-off to a close friend. The record Lou hits stores and online markets on May 13. And as a believer in signs, this release is already kind of blessed because that's my niece's birthday. But you don't wanna hear me ramble. Arthur has come out with a video for his cover of Reed's “Walk on the Wild Side.” Check it.

Play Youtube Video
Joseph Arthur - “Walk on the Wild Side”

Some peoples are gonna be excited with this one. Jim James (of My Morning Jacket), Marcus Mumford (of Mumford & Sons), Elvis Costello (of Elvis Costello), T-Bone Burnett and more are going to record an album of recently discovered Bob Dylan lyrics. Apparently the lyrics “date back to 1967,” and this endeavor is being handled “with Dylan's approval.” That should come out later this year, and the record is titled Lost On The River: The New Basement Tapes.

It took me this long to really delve into The Julie Ruin's 2013 release Run Fast. Not that I wasn't stoked, but upon hearing some tracks, I put that record on an indefinite hiatus until I found a vinyl copy at Mecca. And after giving it a thorough listen, I was delighted that Kathleen Hanna was officially back. Tracks like “Oh Come On,” “Kids in NY” and “Just My Kind” show Hanna's range from the punk-tastic overtures of Bikini Kill to the club-happy remnants of Le Tigre. And now The Julie Ruin has come out with a video for the aforementioned track “Just My Kind,” which you can watch below. Cheers!

Play Youtube Video
The Julie Ruin - “Just My Kind”

It looks like tributes are in the air, man. Charlie Daniels (whom most of you know from his classic bar tune “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”) is gearing up to release an album of Bob Dylan songs, titled Off the Grid: Doin' it Dylan. Apparently Daniels lent a hand on some of Dylan's records (from Nashville Skyline to New Morning). The record comes out on April 1, and you can read more about it over at Billboard.

There's not a whole lot you can say about The Pretenders that's not been fit to print and re-print already. I will say that it was one of the only bands that me and my best friend's dad (who is kind of a music nerd) could agree on. I mean, just listen to Chrissie Hynde's voice. And now Hynde is gearing up to release her first solo record, Stockholm, later this year. And she's made the track “Dark Sunglasses” available. And while the track isn't overtly stellar, you can't deny Hynde's vocals. The woman's still got it.

Not a lot has been written or talked about regarding The Strokes’ Julian Casablancas’ new project (Julian Casablancas + The Voidz), other than a trailer and a website. But now, Casablancas and co. have shared an 8-minute video talking about the band, the project and the music. You can view that below.

Play Youtube Video
Can I VHS You? - Julian Casablancas + The Voidz

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    BeerBeatsBellydance&More9.20.2014