Rooster Roundabout: This week’s music highlights
Folk master Pete Seeger passed away this past Monday at the age of 94. Sources say it was due to natural causes. This is a sad loss for music, but Seeger's legacy will for sure live on … and his songs will always retain the zeal and prosperity he showed while playing. From creating an anthem for civil rights to performing an inaugural show for President Barack Obama, this man was a legacy in his own. And Pete, this one's for you …
Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti was introduced by a friend while driving in his car and smoking a joint as the Corpus Christi heat beat down on our bodies from outside half-tinted windows. Those were the days. I immediately liked his lo-fi basement recordings, but never kept up with his later pursuits. And now Pink is teaming up with producer Justin Raisen, and together they are production duo Raw Deal. They've been working with a band called the Garden, based out of California. You can read more about that collaboration at Pitchfork.
Former Burqueño Willis Earl Beal released his second album (Nobody knows.) last year, and while it wasn't a stellar release, it had some good moments. (See “Coming Through,” which features Cat Power.) And now Beal has recorded a third album, titled A Place That Doesn't Exist. It contains more of the lo-fi intonations of his first record, but his voice is always front and center. And what a voice it is. He announced that he'd like to “give it away for free,” but the album hasn't come out. However, you can stream it below!
I'm sure some people are about to shit themselves … or at least fart from excitement. Singer-songwriter Mike Doughty posted some tracks that feature Elliott Smith's vocals (deeming them “new” tracks.) He went on to specify that they are new (or at least unreleased) in that Smith recorded the vocals in 1998, to be “sliced/diced over beats.” You can read more about that and hear the tracks over at A.V. Club.
I'm sure most Burqueños know about Deerhoof, what with band member John Dieterich calling this burg home now. And considering they've been making music since the '90s, it's no wonder they've gained a massive following, if not an adoring fanbase. And after coming out with their 11th record in 2012, the band seems to be riding that engine with some lasting intent, seeing as how they've come out with a music video for album-cut “Flowers.” You can watch that below.
'Til this day, the cover of Eels' Beautiful Freak haunts me. I never bought the album, but seeing it on the shelves at Best Buy when I was in my formative years (you know … between six and nine years old), I always stopped to pick it up. And I always wondered if I'd get the courage to ask my mom to buy it for me. I never did. Instead I saved that courage for Marilyn Manson's Mechanical Animals when I was 10. That was a doozy. I digress … Mark Oliver Everett (the main man behind Eels) has come out with a new track, off The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett (which hits stores on April 22). The song (“Agatha Chang”) is a sentimental yet somber tune that I'll gladly add to my collection. You can hear that at Consequence of Sound.
Pixies recently released a brand new collection of material in the form of EP2. And as Alibi writer August March pointed out, the release was kind of underwhelming. But seriously … what can you expect? Kim Deal's not in the band anymore. And you know home-gurl added the most fire to the festivities. But now the band has come out with a video for their track “Magdalena.” You can view that below.
It's no secret that the Russian government has treated the LGBTQ community with the upmost disrespect, if not outright hate. And to bring attention to Russian activists fighting the good fight in support of gay rights, Melissa Etheridge formed a coalition to support them. She also wrote a song, “Uprising of Love,” to coincide with the movement. You can hear that below.
I mentioned a while back that Strokes guitar player Albert Hammond Jr. was coming out with a solo EP (AHJ). Well that collection is out and about, but now Hammond has shared a visual representation for one of the tracks from said release (“Strange Tidings”). You can view that below.
Karen O, frontwoman of art-rockers Yeah Yeah Yeahs, is no stranger to covers. She's tackled “Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys,” made famous by Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings. She's taken on Led Zeppelin's “Immigrant Song.” And now, she's covering Bob Marley's “I Shot the Sheriff.” She recorded the song with Sam Spiegel (of N.A.S.A.), and it's here for your listening pleasure.
You 'member Sarah McLachlan? You know … the one that founded Lilith Fair and was on that really sad dog commercial that made me cry every time it aired on public access? No? Oh, she's also a singer. Yeah, if you were around in the '90s, you remember her. I had an older sister who had her album Surfacing, so let's just say I remember her well. Aside from that, McLachlan has just signed with Verve and is coming out with a new record (Shine On) on May 6. You can read more about that over at Billboard.
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.