Rooster Roundabout: This week’s music highlights
While I'm not much of a Robin Thicke fan, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked “Blurred Lines” because it reminded me of my favorite Marvin Gaye track “Got to Give it Up.” (Lest we forget that's the reason the Gaye family is suing Thicke.) Regardless, Thicke has released his new video for the track “Feel Good,” and while this one doesn't have the same laid-back, good-time vibe of “Blurred Lines,” I can foresee it becoming a club favorite. I think that's the goal at this point for most pop musicians, right?
Reverend Horton Heat was one of those musicians that various friends played, but never really stuck. Maybe I was sleeping … maybe my mind just wasn't too much into the psychobilly fanaticism that permeated an outsider group of friends around 2008. Regardless Reverend Horton Heat (real name Jim Heath) is prepping a new album, titled Rev, that's scheduled to be released on Jan. 21. You can hear a track from it, titled “Spooky Boots,” (which also gives a shout-out to the Land of Enchantment) over at Billboard. Because why not.
What would it be like if Megadeth released an album of Christmas standards? And what would it be like if Jenny Lewis did a duet with them?
Soul singer Charles Bradley is proof that it doesn't matter how old you are or what your background is. If you have natural, raw talent, people will notice. Having two albums under his belt, Bradley has taken a somewhat unthinkable turn: He's provided a soulful cover of Black Sabbath's “Changes.” And it's fantastic. You can listen to that below.
It's that time again, y'all. Time for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to announce the newest pool of inductees. Among the musicians to be inducted and honored at this year's festivities is Nirvana, Peter Gabriel, Kiss, Hall and Oates, Cat Stevens and Linda Ronstadt. The ceremony takes place at Brooklyn's Barclays Center on April 10.
My first introduction to Swedish singer-songwriter Jose Gonzalez was his cover of The Knife's “Heartbeats.” While that track was excellent, it couldn't have compared to the magnetic prowess that made the original so noticeable. But that's neither here nor there. Now Gonzalez has a few tracks on the soundtrack to the Ben Stiller flick The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. And Gonzalez has released a video for the track “Stay Alive,” which was written by Ryan Adams. You can watch that below.
I'm a fan of bare acoustic ditties. Maybe that's why it took me hearing A Sleep & A Forgetting to finally notice Islands, even though a friend had tried to get me to listen to them for years. Nick Thorburn (the front man, songwriter, extraordinaire) released Islands' latest opus, Ski Mask, earlier this year, and now he's shared an acoustic track that he recorded last Friday. You can hear it below.
Girls who were 16 circa 1998 are about to be very, very excited … and cry. For what, I don't know. But, Dave Matthews, Jakob Dylan and a host of other musicians have formed a new band (The Nauts). Apparently they got together at Brady Blade's Studios in Shreveport, La., to record some material, and now they've booked some live shows. Let the crying commence!
Country music legend Ray Price died at the age of 87 this past week. Though a lot of people (myself included) weren't too familiar with Price's repertoire, his indelible imprint in the music country sphere has been felt and ruminated over since his death to pancreatic cancer was announced. It's always hard to see a legend called home. So here's “Crazy Arms.”
I've said it once, and I'll say it again: If it's free, it's me. Texas group Okkervil River have released a third EP of '80s covers, titled Golden Opportunities 3. The mix features covers of artists ranging from Roseanne Cash to Don Henley. You can download or stream the EP (and get the two previous Golden Opportunities releases) here.
Every bit as dark and seductive as they were when they first started, the Dead Weather's latest song, “Open Up (That's Enough),” shows the group in a stylized light that further exemplifies their hard blues rock tendencies. Maybe the cigarettes are helping Mosshart's voice because it's working on this track. But enough of my gushing. You can hear the track below, and you can download it digitally on Jan. 14.
Sufjan Stevens has gotten together with Son Lux and Serengeti to form a trio of ideas (and music, obviously) called Sisyphus. And they're coming out with their eponymous debut on March 18, and they've shared a track, titled “Calm It Down.” Judging from the single alone, it could be interesting, or it could get old really fast. Let's see what happens.
The Daily Word in Bacon Sundae, black Jesus, North Korean nukes
Failed North Korean rocket launch evokes fears of nuclear testing.
Arrest made following five New Hampshire cops being shot, with one dead.
Jesus was a black Muslim, says Louis Farrakhan.
A take on how image dissemination has played into the Trayvon Martin case.
So long, Dixon’s Apple Orchard.
Man caught with 89 bags of various drugs tied to his penis.
Having a case of the Mondays?
Vietnamese cop goes for a ride on the front of a bus he was trying to pull over.
The mayor of Newark saved his neighbor from her burning house.
The Bacon Sundae at Burger King proves there is no end to American culinary shamelessness.
Sufjan with swagger
It seems like a lot of great Chicago rappers have been transplanting to Cali over the last ten years (Typical Cats and Serengeti come to mind). Bummer for the Windy City hip-hop scene, but sometimes it ends in fresh and unexpected collabos. The album Qwazaar and Batsauce recently dropped would be one example. Another would be an EP released yesterday by a project with the moniker s / s / s. It includes aforementioned witty, oddball indie rapper Serengeti, well-known mystical emo bard Sufjan Stevens, and singer and producer Son Lux. That EP, “Beak & Claw,” only includes four tracks. There’s a lot of spacey synth-and-auto-tuned stuff going on. And when it begins to seem a little diverted, Serengeti brings cohesion with solid, humorous raps that also have enough raw sincerity to match Stevens’ vocals. I’d skip the first track and check out “Beyond Any Doubt” if you want to get a good taste of what the project is all about. Sample lyric: "Are you in need of a breathing device?/ Lonely and depressed eating cold fried rice." It’s not the first time ’Geti and Stevens have collaborated, by the way.