Beside Bowie: The Mick Ronson Story
Portrait of unsung guitar god lets you doc out with your rock out
Rooster Roundabout: This week’s music highlights
The Daily Word in Sheriff Rodella's conviction, deficit destroying dildos, and outlawing the Confederate flag
Family Guy mentioned New Mexico in last night's episode.
Rio Arriba County sheriff Tommy Rodella was convicted of abusing his power yesterday.
I don't know what this means but Blue Cross/Blue Shield seems to be preparing for a shakeup.
Kansas is liquidating a large number of sex toys to make up for a budget shortfall.
White House fence jumper made it further into the building than was previously disclosed.
Snoop Dogg interviews the news anchor who quit so abruptly recently.
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.
“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.
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.
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!
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.
XX + Americana + Lou Reed
Rooster Roundabout: This week’s music highlights
Damon Albarn, of Blur and Gorillaz fame, has announced that he's coming out with a solo LP, titled Everyday Robots. The album comes out on April 29, which is still a little down the road, so that gives you time to save some pennies. But Albarn has made the title track and video available, so you can check that out below.
Amnesty International is putting together a Human Rights Concert (well, putting it back on, so to speak), and they've gotten some good names to provide the tunes, like Flaming Lips, Lauryn Hill, Cold War Kids, etc. But most importantly, they're gonna have Pussy Riot at the festivities … or at least the two members who were formerly imprisoned, but released about a month ago. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina will make an appearance on Feb. 5 at the Bringing Human Rights Home concert at Brooklyn's Barclay's Center. So pack those bags and get to steppin'!
I've probably said this before, but I don't mind saying it again. I hate Kanye West. No. Hate is a strong word. I severely dislike Kanye West. Is the man talented? Yes. Does he need to shut his mouth if he's not spitting fierce rhymes over intricate beats? Yes. But he doesn't. That's the problem. Regardless, when Kanye isn't on a soap-box, he's actually an extremely talented individual. So I guess it's fitting that Interview Magazine paired him with innovative filmmaker Steve McQueen (Shame, 12 Years a Slave) for a print interview. You can read that here.
When you see a music project simply called Miserable, you have to take a listen. So it was a leap that I took when Stereogum highlighted a new track by Miserable, or Kristina Esfandiari (formerly of Whirr). Granted, I've never listened to her former band; this dark, brooding track immediately drew me in. The wall of sound existing within the short expanse of time it takes to get through it is immediately apparent, the thundering drums that quietly linger in the background before becoming a full force all their own. It's a nice treat. The track (titled “Bell Jar”) comes off her Halloween Dreams 7-inch, which hits the streets on Feb. 18. But you can hear the track below.
According to NME, in 1992 Columbia Records threw a special 30th anniversary concert for Bob Dylan at Madison Square Garden, which featured performances by numerous legends, from Johnny Cash to George Harrison, from Tracy Chapman to Lou Reed. And now that special concert is going to be released on CD and DVD on March 4. You can click here to get a full tracklisting of the CD and see a trailer for the DVD release.
I'm a huge Beck fan, just in case that's not already been made painfully obvious. Whether I'm listening to the gutter-soaked ramblings of a “loser” on Mellow Gold, or the electronic intonations of a veteran on The Information, the man just doesn't stop. And now Beck has released the audio of a track (“Blue Moon”) off his upcoming record Morning Phase. The album comes out on Feb. 25, which is right around the corner, so just bear with me while I try to contain my excitement. You can hear the track below.
Nicki Minaj and Drake have proven to be ubiquitous entities in the music-sphere. Good for them. It's a hard business, ain't it? So then it must be time to celebrate. I guess that's why their label is releasing Young Money: Rise of an Empire, which features tracks from Lil Wayne, the aforementioned Drake and Minaj, Birdman, Tyga and others. You can hear the Lil Wayne's track (“We Alright”) with Birdman and Euro, and read more about the compilation here.
Doesn't retiring from the music business mean not releasing any more albums? Or does it just mean releasing music but not making a public statement over it? In Tina Turner's case, it's the latter. The 74-year-old rock and soul icon has announced an album of love songs, titled Love Songs, to be released on Feb. 4. According to Billboard, the album will have some Turner classics like “What's Love Got to Do With It?” and “Private Dancer,” and some unreleased tracks. So get ready for that one.
I've only sporadically heard songs from Gary Clark Jr., but the amount of praise that's been thrown his way has been hefty. I remember reading a glowing story about the blues musician in Texas Monthly, and that made me curious about him. Of course, I forgot his name and never looked back. That won't happen twice. Now Gary Clark Jr. is coming out with Blak and Blu: The Mixtape, which features unreleased tracks and remixes featuring such names as Big K.R.I.T., Erykah Badu, Talib Kweli and more. You can hear the Big K.R.I.T. Remix of “Blak and Blu” over at Consequence of Sound. Apparently the mixtape doesn't have a release date yet. So keep your eyes and ears open.
Bet you never thought Patti Smith would cover a Rihanna track. Well, she did. A video recently surfaced of a concert performance from December that features Smith singing the somber ballad “Stay.” You can view that below.
Drag City, a record label hosting such contemporaries as Joanna Newsom (one of my all-time favorites), Bill Callahan and Ty Segall, has teamed up with Fred Armisen to release a series of 7” records of … wait for it … “Saturday Night Live” songs from Armisen's time on the show. You can head over to Stereogum to read more about that.
Uh-oh, someone's trying to bring the roof down in a big way. English electro duo Disclosure released their debut LP (Settle) last year. Now they've redone their track “F For You,” but they've added Mary J. Blige to the mix. This version of the bombastic club jam will definitely hit some turntables in the coming months (if it hasn't already). You can see the video for the track below.
The Daily Word in sign language, our moral compass and Taos Ski Valley
There was a fake sign language interpreter at the Nelson Mandela memorial.
Russia is the moral compass of the world.
The space station broke down—miles from the nearest town.
A giant meteor exploded over Tucson.
Welcome back, extinct tree.
Lou Reed had a Lou Zoom magnifying app. Be sure to read the review.
Instant messaging is coming to Instagram.
Cool dragons. (Thanks, Oskar!)
Help me hate Michael Cera. I can’t do it all myself.
Let’s pour molten aluminum in a (vacant) anthill.
Check out Alibi’s Last Minute Gift Guide.
Have a delicious iPhone cookie.
Opposites don’t attract, says eHarmony.
McCluskey gets life.
Taos Ski Valley has been sold.
Happy birthday Edvard Munch.
The Daily Word in Gallup exposure deaths, Rick Springfield buttocks-assault and a foam-party death arrest
Ski Santa Fe opens on Thanksgiving Day
It's not really winter in New Mexico until some people freeze to death in Gallup.
The Whittington brothers have been presented with a plethora of search warrants, including one executed by the DEA at their car dealership in Albuquerque.
Some folks really don't want the Albuquerque parole offices to move downtown.
State Police made an arrest in connection with the "teen foam-party death."
There is now a ginormous Rough Trade record store in Brooklyn.
Mistrial declared in case involving alleged injury sustained from assault by Rick Springfield's ass.
Time to check in with awesome stupid chatroulette.
The Buddha may be older than we thought.
The site of the real Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
Is Charles Manson getting married to a freaky-deaky 25 year old Susan Atkins look-alike!?
Bro, we did too leave a damn tip.
A can of Soylent Green was auctioned for 2000 bucks.
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.
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.
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.
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.
7 Days of Funk (composed of Snoopzilla and Dam-Funk) have unleashed the video to their first single “Faden Away.” We shared the track a couple weeks ago, but now this old-school throwback visual should further cement it into your subconscious. Cause why not?
After releasing The Big Dream earlier this year, David Lynch has decided to release a 12” LP for a song titled “Bad the John Boy.” According to the avant-director and sometimes musician, the track was recorded during the Big Dream sessions but was never intended for the album. Looks like Lynch had other plans. The single hits stores and online markets on Nov. 12.
The Killers have always been hit-or-miss with me. Sam's Town had some great tracks, but I pretty much boycotted everything they've done after that album. Now the band is coming out with a compilation of their hits (titled Direct Hits). The release will also have two new songs, one of which is “Just Another Girl,” which recently became available online. You can hear that below.
Girl power! Apparently, due to complaints of a lack of women at music festivals, HARD Events co-founder Gary Richards has decided to curate an all-female electronic music festival for 2014. It may not be as big as Coachella or Austin City Limits, but given time, this could be a huge and extraordinary thing. So keep an eye out for that in the new year.
Am I the only one that ever wondered what happened to Busta Rhymes. It's not like he withered into the wasteland of one-hit wanderers, but more that he hasn't had a hit in some time, or at least one that I can name off the top of my head. But now Busta has released a new track from his forthcoming album (E.L.E. 2), and I think I smell a hit. The track, “Thank You,” also features Q-Tip.
The entire world was saddened by the death of Lou Reed. And fans were somewhat a little territorial or at least flabbergasted at the fact that his album sales and digital downloads sky-rocketed. It's not really a surprise when you think about it. But now, Laurie Anderson, Reed's widow, has shared a touching and heartfelt goodbye to Reed, which you can read at Rolling Stone. You can also read Patti Smith's elegiac remembrance of a generation's most prized poet in the New Yorker.
Ty Segall's album Sleeper, which was released earlier this year, had more of a folk bent rather than the garage antics that had permeated his earlier releases (and probably his future releases). But that didn't stop music critics from fawning over his slight change of sound. Now Segall has shared a video for album track “The Man Man,” which you can see below.
Granted I like older punk music (no name-dropping here), but Black Flag was one of those bands that just swooped by me. It wasn't an intentional detour away from their particular sound, but more like I just fell asleep when their set came on. But now the band has released its first album (with original member Greg Ginn) in 28 years, titled What The..., and it's streaming online for those who are too excited to get in the car and go buy it.
Again, you gotta love NPR's “First Listen” for the albums they choose to give advanced listens to. Now they've shared the soundtrack to the Coen brothers’ upcoming flick Inside Llewin Davis. You can head to their website to hear the soundtrack, which features Justin Timberlake, Carey Mulligan, Marcus Mumford, Oscar Isaac and more. Or grab a physical copy on Nov. 11. Or you can get it now on vinyl for a mere $5.98.
The Daily Word in a hantavirus death, outlaws suing Dillards and why would anyone move into the Love Canal neighborhood!?
First fatal Hantavirus case of 2013 in New Mexico.
The FBI may investigate the Ventana Ranch neighbor vs neighbor shooting that was captured on video by an APD helicopter.
Some think local police officers need heavier weapons.
Video: collision of two planes carrying skydivers.
Mayor of Toronto, known drunk and alleged crackhead Rob Ford is the most fascinating news story on the continent right now. UPDATE: In a surprise news conference two hours after this post, the Mayor of Toronto admitted to smoking crack cocaine.
The US Supreme Court declined to hear a case concerning Oklahoma's restrictive abortion law, meaning some medical procedures are again available to women in that state.
3-D maps in 2-D are neat looking.
Cal Schenkel, creator of many Straight/Bizarre record (Zappa's labels) covers has an awesome website with stuff for sale.
Rooster Roundabout: This week’s music highlights
Since last week's Rooster Roundabout, we lost one of rock 'n' roll's truest gods … Mr. Lou Reed. I can't speak for others, but he had a profound effect on how I listen to music, and he showed the immense beauty that exists when poetry and rock meld together seamlessly. It's a practice few can master. And no one did it like Reed. You can read the obituary his wife, Laurie Anderson, wrote here. This one's for you, Lou.
According to the folks over at Pitchfork, Beck has signed with Capitol Records and will be releasing a new album (Morning Phase) in February 2014. This has been sort of a long time coming, as his last full-length release was back in 2008, and it wasn't one of his best. They also stated that a good amount of personnel on this new record worked with Beck on 2002's Sea Change, so this should be interesting.
Okay, I'm obviously playing favorites at this point, but I can't help it. Savages is still very much on my radar with their stellar release Silence Yourself. And now they've come out with a new video for album closer “Marshal Dear,” one of the best tracks on the album. Then again, all of the tracks on the album are fantastic. Okay, okay … I'll stop gushing. Just watch the animated, conceptually war-torn video.
Oh those relentless psych-garage rockers! First Ty Segall and now Thee Oh Sees. The latter band is coming out with a third Singles Collection that's scheduled to drop on Nov. 26. They've also made the track “What You Need” available, so get those boomboxes (assuming you still got one) prepared for this probably-pretty-good compilation.
James Blake has one of those magnetic voices that just needs to be heard. It operates on a wavelength that mixes beautiful tones with a soulful prowess rarely seen in male vocalists. Maybe that's why Blake won the 2013 Barclaycard Mercury Prize for his album Overgrown. For those who don't know, the Mercury Prize is given once a year for the best British or Irish album. Past winners include Primal Scream, PJ Harvey and Antony & The Johnsons.
Dancing at numerous parties in Austin, Texas, it was natural to stumble upon Calle 13, a Puerto Rican outfit who've been steadily releasing albums for years to much acclaim. They've also garnered 19 Latin Grammies. Not bad, eh. Now the group has announced a new single that'll hit the streets on Nov. 13, and a new album that will come out in March, though they've stated that they plan on releasing it independently. So we'll see how that goes. You can hear their awesome track “Atrevete te te” below.
Lady Gaga has unleashed another derivative disco pop-infused club track, titled “Venus,” to the masses. Can we not have a little time to digest the last one, Gaga? Sheesh. Either way … the track is now available for listening via the world wide web. Gaga's ARTPOP is slated for a Nov. 11 release, so keep that pocket change jingling.
Devendra Banhart came out with a substantial release this past year (Mala). It was a release that showed him recycling his worldly sentiments and regurgitating them in a sonically forward-moving motion. Now Banhart has released a music video for the track “Für Hildegard Von Bingen.” You can view that below.
A week ahead of the release of The Marshall Mathers LP2, Eminem has shared his collaborative track with Rihanna, titled “The Monster.” If the song isn't a groundbreaking attempt to boast marketable partnerships, it's at least an okay iteration of Eminem's prowess as a rapper. And at this point, can we hope for anything more? [Editors Note: By the time this was scheduled to go up, Eminem also made his collaboration with Kendrick Lamar available, so you can hear that as well.]
Lou Reed Faked His Own Death
… so people would start talking about Metal Machine Music again. It’s hard to top Lester Bangs’ famous paean to MMM ( “If you ever thought feedback was the best thing that ever happened to the guitar, well, Lou just got rid of the guitars.”) but it’s awesome to see the closet fans coming out of the woodwork. Just like Lou planned it.
Fortunately, it’s possible once again to own a (simulated) quadrophonic edition and/or vinyl reissue (complete with locked groove so the fun never stops). Thank you, Mr. Reed! You may now come out from behind the curtain to thunderous applause.
The Daily Word in the pepper-spray cop, a new candidate for Governor of New Mexico and Lou Bega is not dead
A teacher in Las Cruces is responsible for the reviled name of El Paso's new AAA baseball team, The Chihuahuas.
Parking meters in Taos will cost double and have time restrictions.
There is a new democratic candidate for Governor of New Mexico.
Obama administration said to be considering possible end to parts of NSA spying program.
A Texas judge did not allow part of the state's new law restricting abortion.
New Mexico isn't the only state debating the ethics of slaughtering horses.
Were Americans really that freaked out by Orson Welles' War of The Worlds broadcast in 1938?
Dot Wiggin, one of The Shaggs, has a new album.