I've never understood people's obsession with rap-rave group Die Antwoord. While I can appreciate them repping Cape Town and the culture therein, their music just never sat well with me, and still doesn't. A friend responded to this by saying “you just don't get it.” Maybe that's so. But for those that do get it, I'm sure you'll be ecstatic (or a little giddy) to know their new record (Donker Mag) comes out on June 3. So mark them calendars. The group has also shared a video for album track “Pitbull Terrier,” which you can watch below. PS: It's kind of graphic and, but what else do you expect from them?
Die Antwoord - “Pitbull Terrier”
I never liked Rilo Kiley, but I always loved the country-twinged aesthetic that singer-songwriter Jenny Lewis pursued on her solo material. It had a sort of grittiness and longing that I always felt RK seriously lacked. Now the songstress is releasing a new record on July 29, titled The Voyager. After the brilliance that was Acid Tongue, I'm sure this one will be a poignant and enchanting effort. You can read more details, including the tracklist, over at Rolling Stone.
It's no secret this past year was partially owned by Robin Thicke, as his single “Blurred Lines” was everywhere and anywhere that had speakers and a sound system. Not that that's bad. It's a good song. And now, Thicke is set to release a new album on July 1, though the title and tracklist haven't been revealed. The only indication of the new record's sound is the track “Get Her Back,” which Thicke debuted at the Billboard Music Awards. You can watch that performance below, and keep an ear out for news on that upcoming record. Who knows? 2014 may also be his year.
Robin Thicke - “Get Her Back” (2014 Billboard Music Awards)
It's a Destiny's Child reunion! Well, kind of. Kelly Rowland and Beyoncé appeared on a Michelle Williams song from her upcoming album Journey to Freedom. The track features Solange, as well. Titled “Say Yes!,” it's a remix of a Nigerian gospel track (“When Jesus Says Yes”) and though it's not the most excellent ditty, it's nice to hear these women back together. I don't know about you, but I'm tired of Beyoncé solo. Destiny's Child needs to make a full comeback, am I right? Head to MissInfo to hear the tune.
While I'm not a huge fan, I appreciate The Knife. Several songs in their catalog have struck my fancy, from their oft-referenced “Heartbeats” to “Pass This On.” But my interest fizzled over the years. However, the group is still going strong … at least strong enough to release reworked versions of various tracks from their catalogue. Shaken-Up Versions hits the public in the face on June 17, so keep a lookout. You can also view the video for the “shaken-up” version of “Without You My Life Would Be Boring” below.
The Knife - “My Life Would Be Boring Without You (Shaken-Up Version)”
What better way to celebrate the mark you've made on the music industry than by reissuing the material that catapulted you to stardom? That's what Bon Jovi plans on doing. The band is set to reissue a large amount of their catalog, and that starts with 1988's New Jersey, which hits stores (again) on July 1. That album had such notable hits as “Bad Medicine” and “I'll Be There For You.” The reissue will include deluxe editions that have bonus material and whatnot. For more details, head to Rolling Stone.
I've always loved M.I.A. Granted, MAYA wasn't her best album, but I had hopes for Matangi. And that record proved to be a world-born effort of a Sri Lankan rapper still fighting to be heard and still pursuing controversial material with the swagger of a soldier and an aesthetic of a cut-and-paste artist. Now she's released a video for Matangi-track “Double Bubble Trouble,” which features 3D-printed guns, kids of varying cultures and lots of color. You can give it a looksie below.
M.I.A. & the Partysquad - “Double Bubble Trouble”
Talk about a match made on Earth. Lorde and Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst were paired up in an artistic conversation for The New York Times. The duo talked about their writing styles, their processes, backlash and whatnot. You can read that here.
I'm a-gonna be honest. The only reason I clicked the link for the following video was because the folks over at A.V. Club provided the headline: “Mat Devine’s Wrongchilde channels John Hughes on a new single.” If you say someone channels John Hughes, I'm there. I, like most people my age or older, grew up on Hughes' films, and I have to say their assumption is fairly accurate with the '80s imagery (Karate Kid, anyone?), colorific exploration and, of course, the synth-heavy track. And yes, I know Karate Kid wasn't by Hughes, but we're talkin' about the '80s, man. Like, get it? Anyway, you can listen to Wrongchilde's “Gold Blooded” below.
Wrongchilde - “Gold Blooded” Lyric Video
Lastly, Richard Reed Parry, one of the many members of Arcade Fire, is releasing his own record (titled Music for Heart and Breath) on June 9, which is right around the corner. The multi-instrumentalist will have such guests as the Kronos Quartet, Nico Muhly and Bryce Dessner of The National. So keep your eyes and ears open, and for more info on it, head over to Pitchfork.
Guitar legend Carlos Santana has announced that he's going to release a new record in early 2014, and he will preview the album's material at a concert in Guadalajara, Mexico on Dec. 14. Looks like some people have some flights to book.
Santana - “Black Magic Woman”
Uh-oh spaghettios, it's that time of year again. The time when music aficionados, nerds and enthusiasts altogether flock to local record stores to purchase limited edition pressings from your favorite bands … yes, it's Record Store Day … or at least the Black Friday edition. Some bands doing special releases include The Doors, Cheap Trick, Tegan & Sara, Roy Orbison and more. You can go to the Record Store Day website for a full list.
Punk fans rejoice! Bad Religion's Christmas Songs drops on Oct. 29, but the band has provided a little slice of the festive season by sharing their cover of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” Nothing says Christmas like a punk/thrash version of a Christian classic.
Bad Religion - “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”
It wasn't enough for Kurt Vile to release what I consider to be one of the best albums of 2013, but he had to go the extra mile by releasing an EP, It's a big world out there (and I am scared), which comes out Nov. 19. Vile has given a sneak peek of the EP by making one of the tracks (“Feel My Pain”) available online. You can head over to Consequence of Sound for a listen.
Bombadil is one of those derivative folk-pop bands, but their mellifluous melodies are easy to get lost in. My favorite track off their album, Metrics of Affection, was “Born at 5:00,” and it's one of those sentimental ditties where a life is encapsulated within three to four minutes (which is no easy feat). So it's awfully appropriate the band decided to make a video for this particular track.
Bombadil - “Born at 5:00”
I don't like Billie Joe Armstrong. I like Norah Jones. I love the Everly Brothers. So upon reading that Armstrong and Jones decided to cover the Everly Brothers' Songs Our Daddy Taught Us with a series of duets, I was a little unsure of how to feel. Then I listened to their version of the track “Long Time Gone,” and my worries were immediately assuaged. Their album, Foreverly, hits stores on Nov. 25, and you can head over to Stereogum to read an interview with the artists about the record.
It seems like the Daft Punk craze is anything but dying down as the band have decided to expand on Random Access Memories by releasing a deluxe box set, which includes a 56-page booklet, robot schematics, a 70mm motion picture film strip and more. That available for shipping in early December, but it's available or preorder and runs about $275.
The Arcade Fire have been everywhere. From performing on “Saturday Night Live” to an appearance on “The Colbert Report” to playing numerous shows in preparation for their upcoming album's release (Reflektor comes out next week), they've been anything but shy about making their faces recognizable. Not that they weren't already well-known. Now they've shared the entire album via Youtube.
Arcade Fire - Reflektor
Paul McCartney shared a new video for the track, “Queenie Eye,” from his latest LP New, which basically shows McCartney laying the track down in a studio before a celebrity dance party ensues. Naturally Meryl Streep is the best one.
M.I.A. Isn't one to shy away from confrontation. So it's no surprise that she shared a new track (“Y.A.L.A.”), which is sort an answer to Drake's “YOLO” motto. She previewed a sample of the track last week, but now the song is available for aural consumption in its entirety. It's also going to be on her upcoming album, Matangi, which comes out Nov. 5.
M.I.A. - “Y.A.L.A.”
I love Chinese food, and apparently so do a lot of people. Because Alison Gold's ode to Oriental cuisine has gone viral and debuted at 29 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Many know Jim James the front man of My Morning Jacket. Some know him from his work in Monsters of Folk. And some know him simply as Jim James, since his solo LP debuted in February. Now James has shared a video for album track “State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.),” which you can view below.
Now that TLC has a biopic coming out, starring Lil Mama (of “Lip Gloss” fame), they've also decided to come out with a greatest hits LP, which drops on Oct. 15. You can head over to Pitchfork for the tracklist, which includes “Waterfalls,” “Red Light Special” and “Creep.”
The dream of the '90s seems to be alive and kickin' as Veruca Salt have announced via Twitter that they're reuniting and recording with Brad Wood, who they worked with on their first record, American Thighs. Who knows what could become of this, but this is the most exciting news I've heard all week.
Veruca Salt - “Seether”
Just in case you were wondering what M.I.A.'s upcoming album, Matangi, looks like. You can view the tracklist and see the cover art over at Pitchfork. The album hits shelves on Nov. 5.
If you haven't listened to Mudhoney, you should definitely entertain the notion of listening to Mudhoney. They've been steadily releasing material in their 20+ years as a band, and their newest record, Vanishing Point, is currently available in stores or via online markets. They've just released a video of the track “The Only Son Of The Widow From Nain,” which you can check out now. Probably NSFW.
Mudhoney - “The Only Son Of The Widow From Nain”
Dr. Dog's newest album, B-Room, comes out next week, but thanks to the folks over at Rolling Stone, you can stream the whole thing. Oh, and you can read about the band's efforts in making the album.
Jennifer Hudson's voice mixed with Pharrell's production and a cameo by T.I.? Yes, please!
What is it with the Coen brothers and churning out movies that provide killer soundtracks? O Brother, Where Art Thou?, anyone? Their upcoming flick, Inside Llewyn Davis is another Coen film that is getting the star-powered soundtrack treatment, and you can hear Marcus Mumford and Oscar Isaac singing “Fare Thee Well (Dink's Song)” from the film via Billboard.
Ever the chameleon, Madonna channels inspiration from the world around her. But then again, doesn't every other artist? Now, she's channeling inspiration in the fight for freedom of expression, and her latest mode of exacting said message is by covering Elliott Smith's “Between the Bars.” You can see the performance below and check out her Art for Freedom short film here.
Madonna covering Elliott Smith’s “Between the Bars”
Don't act like you're not excited that the tracklist for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has been released. I'm actually surprised at some of the big and interesting names they were able to get for it, but then again, it's got Jennifer Lawrence, so... Some people on this venture include Christina Aguilera (have you heard this woman sing?), Sia, Antony & The Johnsons, Patti Smith and much more.
A couple weeks back, it was announced that Albert Hammond Jr. (most notable from his work with The Strokes) was going to release a solo EP, titled AHJ, on Oct. 8. Well now Mr. Hammond (Jr.) has shared the first single from said release. It's sort of like old-school Strokes with a more crisp, poppy tone to it. Appoved.
Savages, my latest obsession, have shared a video for the track “Husbands,” off their fantastic debut LP Silence Yourself. The black-and-white vid has footage of the band playing interspersed with footage of cells, maggots, rising smoke and white triangles. Sounds about right.
Peter Gabriel released an album of covers, titled Scratch My Back, in 2010. Now Gabriel has flipped the switch by having artists take a whack at his songs on a second album of covers, titled And I'll Scratch Yours. The album features the likes of St. Vincent, Bon Iver, Lou Reed, Regina Spektor and more. The album is available this week, but you can hear Feist's cover of Gabriel's “Don't Give Up,” featuring Timber Timbre.
In case you're still keeping tabs on Nine Inch Nails (I stopped around The Downward Spiral), Trent Reznor shared a couple new songs from Hesitation Marks (out Sept. 3). One song is titled “Everything,” which is streaming at NPR. Newer track, “Find My Way,” you can hear below via Zane Lowe’s BBC radio show:
Nine Inch Nails - “Find My Way” radio rip
Jack White, Marcus Mumford, Joan Baez and The Avett Brothers are just some of the acts scheduled to perform at the benefit show on Sept. 29 for the Coen brothers' upcoming film, Inside Llewyn Davis.
Inside Llewyn Davis trailer
Remember John Frusciante? The guitarist who left Red Hot Chili Peppers and disappeared to the nether-sphere? Well, he's back. And instead of returning to rock n' roll, he's back with some “Progressive Synth Pop.”
Lady Gaga shared the music video for the track, “Applause,” the first single from her upcoming album, ARTPOP, thus confirming that if you put a woman in skimpy outfits with dramatic lighting, she'll believe she's an artist. Where's the challenge? Oh, and the album hits stores on Nov. 11.
Lady Gaga - “Applause”
Let me just say that I never really got Grimes. I guess her brand of electro-pop just went over my head. But people seem to like her. So much so that it's been confirmed she'll be cohost MTV Style's Red Carpet Report, along with designer Rachel Antonoff.
Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond, Jr. is coming out with a solo EP, titled AHJ, via Julian Casablancas' Cult Records. The EP is set to hit stores on Oct. 8.
Former Burqueño Willis Earl Beal, whose new record, Nobody knows., comes out on Sept. 10, can also add actor to his résumé. Beal is set to star in a film titled Memphis, which was written and directed by Tim Sutton.
M.I.A. released a new track, titled “Unbreak My Mixtape.” Not quite sure if this song is from her upcoming album, Matangi, which her label states is scheduled for a Nov. 5 release. The song samples Blur's “Tender” and Karen Dalton's “I Love You More Than Words Can Say.”
The Alibi recently reviewed Belle and Sebastian's The Third Eye Centre, a collection of rarities, remixes, etc., and now you can stream it via The Guardian.
Most people who are familiar with M.I.A. mostly remember her ostentatiously pregnant performance at the 2009 Grammy Awards or her flipping the bird at the 2012 Super Bowl. Taking those things into consideration, it's a wonder that she has maintained a sense of bad-assery often challenged by the media, but ostracized by naysayers in general. So, what could she do to surprise everyone, or at least flip that big-mouthed hype-driven third world diva stigma? Make a positive record, apparently.
Her upcoming album, Matangi, was postponed at the end of 2012 after a disagreement with her label for making the record “too positive.” According to an interview with Australian news-source Gold Coast, M.I.A. says that in regard to the current tone of her record, the label wants her to “darken it up a bit.” Looking at her past releases, from 2005's Arular to 2010's MAYA, she's ridden the controversial war-horse by tackling subjects like the PLO and people's obsession/reliance on the internet not only as a source of information, but a source of identity. So, what could this new record have in store? Well, if her latest single “Bad Girls” is any indication, it could very well be a pimped-out party-driven extravaganza of hot cars on two wheels and colorful taste. But, isn't that something a bad girl would want to avoid?