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Music

Rooster Roundabout: This week’s music highlights

Jesse Schulz

Audio/Visual

Like a lot of people, my first introduction to Robyn was her song “Dancing On My Own,” when it was featured in the hit HBO series “Girls.” Used perfectly in the soundtrack's sequencing, it's my only indicator of Robyn's prowess as one of Sweden's most notable exports. Regardless, Robyn ventured to create an EP with Norwegian electronic duo Röyksopp (Do It Again), and now they've released a video for album track “Monument.” Have a looksie below ...

Play Youtube Video
Röyksopp & Robyn - “Monument”

Givin’ it away ...

It's free music, y'all! Free music! Well, not in physical form, but still, it's free! DJ Shadow has released his new EP (Liquid Amber), available for streaming, as “an opening salvo” for future snippets of sonic fancies. Fans better eat it up, considering this is his first release since 2011's The Less You Know, The Better. Should make it feel more sacred, right? You can listen to the EP below. Enjoy!

Deadly ills

My rap game could use a little work. OK, maybe a lot of work. But that's even more reason to mention that rap aficionado Nas announced a while back that he was going to commemorate his intricate verbage on legendary album Illmatic by coming out with a full-length documentary as well as a tour. On tour, which kicks off Oct. 2, he'll perform the album in its entirety. The documentary (Nas: Time is Illmatic) hits theaters on Oct. 1 (Oct. 3 for on demand and iTunes), so check your local theater listings. While the tour doesn't make a stop in the Duke City, it's worth it to plan a possible trip around it, no?

Vile riffs

If you're not familiar with Matt Sweeney's online show “Guitar Moves,” I'd recommend some viewage. It's cool if you like seeing various guitar devotees share some tricks of the trade, especially when you're attempting to learn the instrument (like myself). Now the show is titled “Guitar Power,” and Sweeney's latest incarnation sees Kurt Vile showing off his prowess as an axe man and songwriter. Check out Vile's episode below.

Play Youtube Video
Guitar Power Ep. 3 featuring Kurt Vile

Why Friday?

Most people who still buy albums know that they almost always hit stores on Tuesdays. Well, that might change. In an effort to battle music piracy (and taking a note from Australia), the record industry is making a push to make Friday a “standard, global album release day.” According to Billboard, some digital music venues have given the release day their blessing, though the change is already being met with opposition from indie record labels and stores. Apparently, having a release day earlier in the week is better for sales. If this comes to pass, that'll be put into effect in July of 2015.

The Foo is back

While I'm not a huge Foo Fighters fan, I can attest that they put on one of the best shows of any band around. After seeing an epic, mind-blowing set at ACL a few years back, I'd convinced myself that I'd seen something akin to my generation experiencing Led Zeppelin in their heyday, which is a fairly bold statement. Regardless, the Foo Fighters have announced their upcoming record Sonic Highways (out Nov. 10). The album was apparently recorded in eight studios in eight different states, and the band is also coming out with an HBO doc series about the process (premiering Oct. 17). View a teaser for the record below, and head to NME to read more 'bout it.

Play Youtube Video
Foo Fighters Sonic Highways

Full circle listen

Fugazi is one of those bands that has always escaped me, though bands I'm a fan of have always lauded them and their influence on rock and roll. And now people can partake in a listening session with the music that started the group on its course to take over the world: their first demo. Titled First Demo, it'll be the release of music recorded in 1988 from their original demo tapes. Talk about the rough and ready. That'll get a proper release some time this Winter, so keep an eye out for it.

Cohen’s 80th

Leonard Cohen is one of those musicians that really doesn't need any sort of introduction, as the man has been in the game for numerous decades. Still, his track “Hallelujah” is one of the most covered and revered tracks ever to hit the music-sphere. The singer-songwriter's webmaster Jarkko Arjatsalo recently announced that in celebration of Cohen's 80th birthday, he's coming out with a new record in September, titled Popular Problems. No word yet on what songs will be featured, but he did add that Cohen has no plans to tour the album. Bummer. Have a listen to “Hallelujah” below.

Play Youtube Video
Leonard Cohen - “Hallelujah”

Music for the inmates

Talk about bringing music to the masses … John Dwyer's Castle Face Records (which has released records by Dwyer's Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall, White Fence, etc.) is now conducting a program where they send free CDs from their catalog to prison inmates. All you gotta do is send them the prisoner's info and mailing restrictions, and they'll take care of the rest. Click here to read more about Castle Face For the Incarcerated.

Actor-singer-somethin’

Those actors and their music ... you know, the ones who think they're talented enough to take a stab at the golden glory of releasing a record, playing shows and being a straight-up rock n' rolla. Well, a lot of the time, they're not even rock musicians when they transfer from the big screen to the small stage, but more often than not, they still have the chops to back it up. (Zooey Deschanel, Charlotte Gainsbourg (even though she was a musician before she was an actress), Michael Cera). That last one is what this is about. Michael Cera released a surprise album, titled true that, which is now available to stream online. Head over to his Bandcamp page to give that a listen. I’m sure, to some, the lo-fi, folky intonations are reminiscent of his work in Juno (viewable below).

Play Youtube Video
Michael Cera & Ellen Page - “Anyone Else But You”

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Music

Rooster Roundabout: This week’s music highlights

Yup, watching Belle and Sebastian cover Journey's “Don't Stop Believin'” for a group of kids at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta might be the cutest thing in music this week. You can check that out below, but you might need to have a tissue handy.

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Belle and Sebastian covering Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’”

A few weeks ago, I posted a track from Buzz Osborne's upcoming solo acoustic album This Machine Kills Artists. And now King Buzzo has posted another snippet from that forthcoming record, which, despite being acoustic, is pretty heavy and dark. But that's a good thing. You can hear his new song (“Drunken Baby”) by heading over to A.V. Club.

For those of you that think Lana Del Rey is all that and a bag of stale potato chips, the moment you've waited for is finally here. The singer-songwriter has come out with the first track from her upcoming sophomore LP Ultraviolence. Some blogs have already touted the tune as the “song of the summer.” Getting ahead of yourselves much? But I'll let y'all be the judge of that. You can listen to “West Coast” below.

Play Youtube Video
Lana Del Rey - “West Coast”

I guess it’s only appropriate that I mention tomorrow is Record Store Day. Not only is it a way to promote shopping at your local record stores, it opens your horizons to new and exciting music emerging from the depths of post-Top 40-whatever. Meh ... political correctness aside, I’m not much of a fan of Record Store Day. Most record stores don’t carry the releases the peak my interests, and sometimes it makes me wonder whether it’s a trick to get you into the stores in the first place. Regardless, you’ll probably see me at Mecca tomorrow. But you can read Pitchfork’s top Record Store Day Releases by clicking here.

Hmmm... trippy sound effects, a slick guitar riff quietly sneaking around the bush and lush vocals … The Black Keys' new tune (the title track from their forthcoming Turn Blue) isn't half bad. I just may be tricked into hearing more. Could this be a change of heart or a momentary lapse of judgment? I don't know, but it's one good ditty. I'm impressed, Keys. The tune should tide fans over till May 13, when the album hits stores. Preach on!

Play Youtube Video
The Black Keys - “Turn Blue”

I'll admit that the only reason I decided to write about this follow-up item is because Kelley Deal is involved. Sure, everyone knows about her sister Kim (Pixies, Breeders, Amps, etc.), but Kelley Deal is a good songwriter in her own right. Check out The Kelley Deal 6000 if you haven't yet. Now Deal is featured on a track by Motel Beds (“Tropics in The Sand”). It's supposed to be on a split 7-inch that'll be out on Record Store Day, but you can hear the track over at Stereogum if you don't plan on participating. Cause why would you do that anyways?

The only stuff I've heard from The Pains of Being Pure at Heart were tracks on a compilation album I got for free at Austin City Limits. And I don't even remember the names of the songs; that's how out of touch I am. But they've shared a new track via SoundCloud, and if I can describe it in one word: cute. It doesn't hit hard like Bass Drum of Death, but it's not overtly twee like She & Him. It holds a nice place in the middle. Let's call it cute without the “e.” Wait, that spells “cut.” That doesn't work. Just listen to the damn thing.

Well this just seems to be a good week for streaming albums in full ahead of their release dates. You can head over to NPR to listen to Kelis' new record Food. And you can head over to The New York Times to listen to Eels' The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett. And then head over to Consequence of Sound to listen to Nas' Illmatic XX reissue. Thank your kind publications for letting you get a sneak peak before you go purchase these albums … assuming you will actually purchase them.

If you ever wanted to see Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age play a disappointing gay man … here's your chance.

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Music

Rooster Roundabout: This week’s music highlights

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 trackthat is also on said compilation, titled Girls, Volume 2: All Adventurous Women Dohas 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.

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Miguel - “Simplethings”

'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 fanwhich was blasphemy to my “goth” friends in high schoolbut 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.

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The Cure - “Plainsong”

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 debutwhich hits stores on March 4and 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.

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St. Vincent - “Prince Johnny”

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 yearand 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.

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Jorge Elbrose - “Called to Ring”

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news

The Daily Word in the poors, the HPV vaccine makes you retarded and Spongebob makes you stupid

The U.S. poverty rate jumps to a 52-year high.

People are excited about this woman I've never heard of running for Senate.

Michelle Bachmann claims HPV vaccine causes mental retardation. Must resist joke.

Arizona isn't getting enough attention these days.

Is it ironic that Ron Paul's campaign manager died of pneumonia, penniless and uninsured? Yeah, it is.

Atlanta vegans get life in prison for the starving death of their 6-week-old.

These are the next 12 terror threats to keep you up at night.

Disasters have been declared in all but two states so far this year.

Vladimir Putin = badass.

I guess I need this if I die app.

Kabletown Comcast is launching low-cost, high speed internet for poor families.

Watching Spongebob Squarepants makes your dumb kids dumber.

How is Tyler Perry the highest paid man in entertainment if I've never seen one of his movies?

You need naked men and horses to harvest marijuana in Kyrgyzstan.

Why doesn't anyone want to talk about Operation Northwoods?

The man who coined the term pop art dies at the age of 89.

Finally some good news for parents flying with children.

Let's take a tour through Egypt's Great Pyramid.

Consumer Reports notes an uptick in reports of glass bakeware exploding.

Ozzy Osbourne's music helps rescue autistic boy.

Playboy's October issue will have a cover price of 60¢.

Dwarf porn star eaten by a badger. You read that right: Dwarf porn star eaten by a badger.

Flooding could result in higher pumpkin prices this year.

Bartender fired for a 9/11 joke.

Confuse your grandpa with these hipster nicknames.

Warner Brothers sued for copyright fraud and abuse.

Happy Birthday Nas!!!

Today's Events

The Piano in a Factory at National Hispanic Cultural Center

Zhang Meng's whimsical film about a father's attempt to build a piano for his daughter in the wake of his unending marriage.

Alex Maryol • blues, rock at Monte Vista Fire Station

Backdoor Lovin: Anal Pleasure 101 at Self Serve

More Recommented Events ››
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