this machine kills artists


V.23 No.17 | 4/24/2014

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.

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.

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!

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.

V.23 No.13 | 3/27/2014

I'd like to take a quick moment to honor the memory of Scott “Rock Action” Asheton, drummer and one of the founding members of The Stooges, who passed away this week at the age of 64. We'll miss you. And here's a tune from The Stooges eponymous debut as a little send-off to the man. R.I.P.

Wu-Tang fans rejoice! The legendary hip-hop group has come out with a new single (“Keep Watch”), which comes off their upcoming LP A Better Tomorrow. The track features Method Man, GZA, Cappadonna, Inspectah Deck and Nathaniel. You can head to MissInfo to hear the tune.

I like a powerful pop tune as much as the next guy and that's what Lykke Li has delivered with her new track “No Rest For The Wicked.” Unfortunately most of what I know about Li has been that song where she calls herself a prostitute or some such … and I didn't dig it at all. Thank Urban Outfitters for overplaying that one. But the track comes off her upcoming LP I Never Learn, which hits stores and online markets on May 5. So keep your eyes and ears out for that. You can hear the track below.

This is one that bears repeating. 'Member a few weeks (or months) ago when I mentioned that Veruca Salt might be getting back together. Well the band has announced that they are, in fact, reuniting with the original lineup (including Louise Post, Nina Gordon, Steve Lack and Jim Shapiro), and they're scheduled to come out with new material for Record Store Day. It's a good day, indeed.

It's another sad one, folks, and I found out about this one too late to include in last week's column. Gary Burger, lead singer/guitarist of garage rock band The Monks died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 72 on March 14. The band was formed in the '60s by five American soldiers who were stationed in Germany, and they only came out with one album (the excellent Black Monk Time). It is a sad day for rock and roll. R.I.P. Gary. And as a salute to the contributions he made to music, here's the band playing my favorite Monks tune.

I don't know much about BANKS. Nothing, in fact. The only reason I'm sharing this next bit is because I was, and still am, a fan of the late Aaliyah. Her music just has that capability of taking you back to when times were simpler (considering I was a kid when she came to prominence). But the aforementioned artist BANKS did a cover of Aaliyah's track “Are You That Somebody?” for BBC Live Lounge. It's a pretty great acoustic cover, and her voice is pretty stellar. You can hear that (as well as her track “Brain”) over at Stereogum.

And the good news just keeps on comin'. The fantastic Kim Deal (of The Breeders and former bass player for Pixies) is coming out with a fourth installation of her 7” series. The upcoming release will be available for purchase on April 1, and it will include the tracks “The Root” and “Range on Castle.” You can view the official video for “The Root” below.

There's not really a whole lot you can say about Joy Division that hasn't already been said before, so I'm just gonna get right to it. Their debut EP An Ideal for Living is getting reissued for Record Store Day, and the release features notable tracks like “Warsaw,” “Leaders of Men” and my personal favorite “No Love Lost.” You can read more about it over on Facebook, and save them pennies for this illustrious event.

I'm not that into the Melvins, but the band is an institution, considering they've been playing for over two decades and were a favorite of the late Kurt Cobain. I also got to interview frontman Buzz Osborne via phone before a show in Austin, Texas, and he was funny as all hell ... comparing listening to your own records to looking at yourself in a mirror while masturbating. I digress ... now Buzz Osborne is coming out with an acoustic solo LP, titled This Machine Kills Artists, and he's shared a track off the album. And Judging from the song, this release is something I could get on board with.

Seaking of Kurt Cobain, who died nearly 20 years ago, I should mention that Seattle police are looking at four rolls of 35mm film that investigators found in Cobain’s home at the time of his suicide in 1994. The film was recently developed, and police report that “they depict the scene more clearly than the earlier Polaroid photos taken by investigators.” You can read more about that over at CBS News.