Rooster Roundabout: This week’s music highlights
Here's the thing about Ty Segall. The dude is absolutely relentless. If he's not touring, he's constantly writing and recording. Segall is nothing, if not prolific. Adding to his already expanded catalogue of material, the garage-psych-fuzz wunderkind is gearing up to release a new record this year (Manipulator). And starting in August (well, he's doing one show in June), he's going to tour the shit out of that LP 'til the end of the year. The album drops on Aug. 26, but you can head over to NME for tour dates, tracklisting and whatnot. Also, you can view an album teaser below. Enjoy ...
Even though I don't consider myself a fan of The New Pornographers, I did have the privilege to interview band member A.C. Newman for my college paper. He proved to be kind and thoroughly interesting, which is basically all you want out of an interview. So it's nice to see the band still going strong. At least strong enough that they're coming out with a new record (Brill Bruisers) Aug. 26, and to give people a taste of what that LP will entail, they've made an album track available. So to hear that, and to read more info on said record, head over to Billboard.
Spoon was one of those rock bands that completely went over my head. But living in Austin, Texas, it was hard not to hear about them. Upon getting the chance to see them at ACL a few years back, I opted to see Gnarls Barkley instead, and I've never regretted it. Now the Texan group are releasing a new record (They Want My Soul), and they've shared a snippet in the form of the song “Rent I Pay,” which you can hear below via an unofficial video. Don't know if officiality is a priority to you, but there you have it. As for the release date: Buy it on Aug. 5.
Like most people, my only tidbit of knowledge surrounding Kimbra was her guest vox on the hit track “Somebody That I Used to Know,” as made famous by the probably-über-rich Gotye. But Kimbra has her own solo career, her own songs, her own identity, y'all. And if you haven't listened to her yet, her upcoming record (The Golden Echo) might be a good place to start. Some guest musicians include Van Dyke Parks (!), Omar Rodríguez López (from now-defunct Mars Volta) and John Legend, among others. That drops Aug. 19, but for more deets, head over to Pitchfork.
Here's another new album to look forward to, folks: It's Weezer's upcoming record Everything Will be Alright in the End. Produced by the Cars' Ric Ocasek, no release date has been announced. But what does that matter? You should just get excited that the group is coming out with some new material. View an album teaser below.
Former Burqueño Willis Earl Beal has decided to leave XL Recordings. In an interview with Under the Radar, Beal basically said the direction he's going and the direction of the label were like two separate roads, one road wandering toward a more “trendy” atmosphere, while he wants his music to walk the road less traveled, to be its own entity. Mind you, those are my interpretations, not actual pieces of the interview. But he's coming out with a new record (Experiments in Time) on Aug. 8, and that will be released independently. Read more about it here.
A friend of mine introduced me to the song “Ferris Wheel” by Possessed By Paul James years ago. And that's really the only thing I've heard, and the only thing I've ever cared about when his name is brought up. It's beautiful. It's heartbreaking. It's songwriting at its finest. And Konrad Wert, the man behind the moniker, is playing Low Spirits on Wednesday, June 25. And why am I so jazzed about this? Because I'll get to hear this song from the man himself. From his own lips. Listen to that below, and see why it's essential for me to attend this concert.
It's no secret that punk bands haven't exactly been chart-toppers. I mean, isn't that one of the requirements of being a successful punk band … no success? So it's a nice fact that the Ramones first record, their classic self-titled opus that carried a soaring energy, a gritty, yet upbeat mentality and a fun dynamic, has been certified gold after 38 years. That's right, they're officially über-famous. Not just famous. Congratulations dudes.
It's happening, motherfuckers! There'd been some talk about The Unicorns reforming, but that's all it was: talk. Now the band has confirmed that they are, in fact, reuniting, and not just that: They're also going to open for Arcade Fire for a few shows. The band has no touring or recording plans yet, but I’m sure new material will probably trickle out within the next year or so. One can only hope. Listen to my favorite Unicorns track below.
For all of you nostalgic folks who are still in the know (or would like to be) about Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys ... it looks like he's working on some new material. And some folks that might get featured on the record include Lana Del Rey, Frank Ocean and Zooey Deschanel. A lot of this is speculation, so fingers crossed that these assumptions bear fruit. Ya dig? Head over to Stereogum to read more about it.
Ty Segall Band Put Their Finger On It
It took a moment to realize the guy drinking Coca-Cola in front of a van on Central Avenue was Ty Segall. By the time I snapped it would have been awkward to say "Ty Segall!" I did, however, notice that one of his fellow band members had a choice Gram Parsons record at his feet. My girlfriend remarked that Ty was much younger looking than his music sounded. In other words, the show last night was young, beautiful, older than its years—and in good taste.
The excellent Launchpad sound could have been a hundred times louder for my taste, but it was pretty loud. There were a couple complaints that Emily the drummer wasn't hitting her kit hard enough, but I have to disagree. All around groovy fuzz and beats with harmonies on top. The band played tunes from the Castle Face record to Melted, Sleeper and beyond. Please come back to 'Burque soon, Ty Segall.
Rooster Roundabout: This week’s music highlights
Damon Albarn, of Blur and Gorillaz fame, has announced that he's coming out with a solo LP, titled Everyday Robots. The album comes out on April 29, which is still a little down the road, so that gives you time to save some pennies. But Albarn has made the title track and video available, so you can check that out below.
Amnesty International is putting together a Human Rights Concert (well, putting it back on, so to speak), and they've gotten some good names to provide the tunes, like Flaming Lips, Lauryn Hill, Cold War Kids, etc. But most importantly, they're gonna have Pussy Riot at the festivities … or at least the two members who were formerly imprisoned, but released about a month ago. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina will make an appearance on Feb. 5 at the Bringing Human Rights Home concert at Brooklyn's Barclay's Center. So pack those bags and get to steppin'!
I've probably said this before, but I don't mind saying it again. I hate Kanye West. No. Hate is a strong word. I severely dislike Kanye West. Is the man talented? Yes. Does he need to shut his mouth if he's not spitting fierce rhymes over intricate beats? Yes. But he doesn't. That's the problem. Regardless, when Kanye isn't on a soap-box, he's actually an extremely talented individual. So I guess it's fitting that Interview Magazine paired him with innovative filmmaker Steve McQueen (Shame, 12 Years a Slave) for a print interview. You can read that here.
When you see a music project simply called Miserable, you have to take a listen. So it was a leap that I took when Stereogum highlighted a new track by Miserable, or Kristina Esfandiari (formerly of Whirr). Granted, I've never listened to her former band; this dark, brooding track immediately drew me in. The wall of sound existing within the short expanse of time it takes to get through it is immediately apparent, the thundering drums that quietly linger in the background before becoming a full force all their own. It's a nice treat. The track (titled “Bell Jar”) comes off her Halloween Dreams 7-inch, which hits the streets on Feb. 18. But you can hear the track below.
According to NME, in 1992 Columbia Records threw a special 30th anniversary concert for Bob Dylan at Madison Square Garden, which featured performances by numerous legends, from Johnny Cash to George Harrison, from Tracy Chapman to Lou Reed. And now that special concert is going to be released on CD and DVD on March 4. You can click here to get a full tracklisting of the CD and see a trailer for the DVD release.
I'm a huge Beck fan, just in case that's not already been made painfully obvious. Whether I'm listening to the gutter-soaked ramblings of a “loser” on Mellow Gold, or the electronic intonations of a veteran on The Information, the man just doesn't stop. And now Beck has released the audio of a track (“Blue Moon”) off his upcoming record Morning Phase. The album comes out on Feb. 25, which is right around the corner, so just bear with me while I try to contain my excitement. You can hear the track below.
Nicki Minaj and Drake have proven to be ubiquitous entities in the music-sphere. Good for them. It's a hard business, ain't it? So then it must be time to celebrate. I guess that's why their label is releasing Young Money: Rise of an Empire, which features tracks from Lil Wayne, the aforementioned Drake and Minaj, Birdman, Tyga and others. You can hear the Lil Wayne's track (“We Alright”) with Birdman and Euro, and read more about the compilation here.
Doesn't retiring from the music business mean not releasing any more albums? Or does it just mean releasing music but not making a public statement over it? In Tina Turner's case, it's the latter. The 74-year-old rock and soul icon has announced an album of love songs, titled Love Songs, to be released on Feb. 4. According to Billboard, the album will have some Turner classics like “What's Love Got to Do With It?” and “Private Dancer,” and some unreleased tracks. So get ready for that one.
I've only sporadically heard songs from Gary Clark Jr., but the amount of praise that's been thrown his way has been hefty. I remember reading a glowing story about the blues musician in Texas Monthly, and that made me curious about him. Of course, I forgot his name and never looked back. That won't happen twice. Now Gary Clark Jr. is coming out with Blak and Blu: The Mixtape, which features unreleased tracks and remixes featuring such names as Big K.R.I.T., Erykah Badu, Talib Kweli and more. You can hear the Big K.R.I.T. Remix of “Blak and Blu” over at Consequence of Sound. Apparently the mixtape doesn't have a release date yet. So keep your eyes and ears open.
Bet you never thought Patti Smith would cover a Rihanna track. Well, she did. A video recently surfaced of a concert performance from December that features Smith singing the somber ballad “Stay.” You can view that below.
Drag City, a record label hosting such contemporaries as Joanna Newsom (one of my all-time favorites), Bill Callahan and Ty Segall, has teamed up with Fred Armisen to release a series of 7” records of … wait for it … “Saturday Night Live” songs from Armisen's time on the show. You can head over to Stereogum to read more about that.
Uh-oh, someone's trying to bring the roof down in a big way. English electro duo Disclosure released their debut LP (Settle) last year. Now they've redone their track “F For You,” but they've added Mary J. Blige to the mix. This version of the bombastic club jam will definitely hit some turntables in the coming months (if it hasn't already). You can see the video for the track below.
My first introduction to YACHT was when a friend played their song “The Afterlife” in his car. I liked the dark, '80s vibe emanating from his speakers, and the lyrics immediately grabbed me, what with singer Claire L. Evans deadpanning “We know how to make life go on.” Their show at Emo's in Austin, Texas was a pretty dynamic affair. People danced whether they wanted to or not. Now the band has shared a new single, “Plastic Soul,” and an accompanying video. You can watch that below.
I know … I know … It must get tiresome with all this love in the air and Valentine's day looming ahead like an unstoppable force coming to claim your hard-earned cash and whatnot. But the Sweetheart compilation I've been plugging for the past few weeks (posting tracks by Beck and Jim James) has shared a new track. This time it's Fiona Apple and her cabaret-singing sister Maude Maggart singing Anton Karas' “I'm in the Middle of a Riddle.” You can check that out at the Wall Street Journal. PS: You can also hear Ben Harper covering Mazzy Star for this compilation over at Consequence of Sound. And the compilation is out on Feb. 4.
While I've already ruminated over the music of the hit HBO series “Girls,” it's always nice when the good music keeps a-flowin'. And now we've got a new track by Jenny Lewis, titled “Completely Not Me.” The song was produced by Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij, which I'm assuming is supposed to be impressive. But you can hear the track below, and check out the Girls Volume 2: All Adventurous Women Do… over at Entertainment Weekly.
I've always appreciated Kevin Drew's atmospheric musicality in Broken Social Scene. I never really followed his solo work, but I guess it's better late than never. Now Drew is coming out with a new record (titled Darlings), slated to hit stores on March 18. And he's shared a track off said album (“Good Sex”), which you can listen to below.
While it's probably completely out of left field, Led Zeppelin themselves always had sort of an unpredictably whimsical quality about them. I mean, come on … they made medieval stories sound ridiculously cool. Regardless, John Paul Jones has teamed up with electronic artist Deathprod, and together they are Minibus Pimps. You can read more about 'em over at Pitchfork.
A friend first introduced me to Neutral Milk Hotel my sophomore year of high school, and (no joke!) my life was changed. I understood what it meant to make music an actual art form. Poetry and rock and roll had melted together into these seamless barrage of sound, all of it surrounding Jeff Mangum and his vibrant guitar. And now (after never thinking it was possible), I'll get to see them live because the band has added some more dates to their tour, and they'll be stopping at Albuquerque's Kiva Auditorium on April 17. Tickets went on sale this morning, so go get 'em before they sell out (if they haven't already). You can also hear my all-time favorite NMH track (“Two Headed Boy, Pt. 2) below.
Alibi Managing Editor and Music Editor Samantha Anne Carrillo covered Syracuse punk outfit Perfect Pussy in one of her Four Up's and noted how Captured Tracks had enough confidence in the band to sign them … Well, you can see why with their track “Driver” off their upcoming full-length debut (Say Yes To Love), which hits online and physical stores on March 18. It looks like the noise is headed our way.
Let those withering clouds part and the sonic sun descend upon the masses. It's been “confirmed” that Jack White and Neil Young have recorded an album of covers (apparently with Jack White handling production duties). According to music journalist Michael Goldberg, a source close to the project has confirmed it, but you know how that stuff goes. I say speculation until a physical copy is in my hands. It looks like I need to hit up Third Man Records for an advanced copy, what what!
For the past few weeks, music blogs have been abuzz over the long-lost Johnny Cash album (Out Among the Stars), which was recorded in the early '80s. The record will get a proper release, thanks to his son John Carter Cash. And now Cash's son has picked the album's lead single (“She Used to Love Me a Lot”). The album hits the music-sphere on March 25, but you can hear the aforementioned track below.
I've mentioned before that I like Ty Segall. I like his thrashy, disgusting, melted face approach to garage rock. It's supposed to be that way. And now his side project FUZZ has released a cover of The Kinks' track “Till The End Of The Day.” You can hear that below.
I don't know what it is with me and losing interest after a band's first album. It's a curse. That's how it went with The Mars Volta. De-Loused in the Comatorium was a fantastic album that highlighted my sophomore year of high school. (Or was it junior year?) Either way, now former member Omar Rodríguez-López and former Red Hot Chili Peppers member John Frusciante have started a new collaboration. The project is called Kimono Kult, and they're fixing to release a debut EP (Hiding in the Light) on March 4. But you can hear a new track from this group over at Rolling Stone.
It's always exciting when two powerhouse divas get together for a collaboration. (Britney and Madonna, anyone?) So I'm sure Shakira's collaboration with Rihanna will be no different. And the thing about Shakira (besides her being this pop sensation) was that she used to be this cool, alternative, Latin musician. Check out Dónde Están Los Ladrones? or her MTV Unplugged version of “Ciega, Sordomuda” if you don't believe me. That album is fantastic. Either way, I'm sure most people will go nuts over this track, so here's “Can't Remember to Forget You.”
7 Days of Funk (composed of Snoopzilla and Dam-Funk) have unleashed the video to their first single “Faden Away.” We shared the track a couple weeks ago, but now this old-school throwback visual should further cement it into your subconscious. Cause why not?
After releasing The Big Dream earlier this year, David Lynch has decided to release a 12” LP for a song titled “Bad the John Boy.” According to the avant-director and sometimes musician, the track was recorded during the Big Dream sessions but was never intended for the album. Looks like Lynch had other plans. The single hits stores and online markets on Nov. 12.
The Killers have always been hit-or-miss with me. Sam's Town had some great tracks, but I pretty much boycotted everything they've done after that album. Now the band is coming out with a compilation of their hits (titled Direct Hits). The release will also have two new songs, one of which is “Just Another Girl,” which recently became available online. You can hear that below.
Girl power! Apparently, due to complaints of a lack of women at music festivals, HARD Events co-founder Gary Richards has decided to curate an all-female electronic music festival for 2014. It may not be as big as Coachella or Austin City Limits, but given time, this could be a huge and extraordinary thing. So keep an eye out for that in the new year.
Am I the only one that ever wondered what happened to Busta Rhymes. It's not like he withered into the wasteland of one-hit wanderers, but more that he hasn't had a hit in some time, or at least one that I can name off the top of my head. But now Busta has released a new track from his forthcoming album (E.L.E. 2), and I think I smell a hit. The track, “Thank You,” also features Q-Tip.
The entire world was saddened by the death of Lou Reed. And fans were somewhat a little territorial or at least flabbergasted at the fact that his album sales and digital downloads sky-rocketed. It's not really a surprise when you think about it. But now, Laurie Anderson, Reed's widow, has shared a touching and heartfelt goodbye to Reed, which you can read at Rolling Stone. You can also read Patti Smith's elegiac remembrance of a generation's most prized poet in the New Yorker.
Ty Segall's album Sleeper, which was released earlier this year, had more of a folk bent rather than the garage antics that had permeated his earlier releases (and probably his future releases). But that didn't stop music critics from fawning over his slight change of sound. Now Segall has shared a video for album track “The Man Man,” which you can see below.
Granted I like older punk music (no name-dropping here), but Black Flag was one of those bands that just swooped by me. It wasn't an intentional detour away from their particular sound, but more like I just fell asleep when their set came on. But now the band has released its first album (with original member Greg Ginn) in 28 years, titled What The..., and it's streaming online for those who are too excited to get in the car and go buy it.
Again, you gotta love NPR's “First Listen” for the albums they choose to give advanced listens to. Now they've shared the soundtrack to the Coen brothers’ upcoming flick Inside Llewin Davis. You can head to their website to hear the soundtrack, which features Justin Timberlake, Carey Mulligan, Marcus Mumford, Oscar Isaac and more. Or grab a physical copy on Nov. 11. Or you can get it now on vinyl for a mere $5.98.
After weeks of teasing and enticing fans, Arcade Fire have now unleashed their first single from their upcoming double LP, Reflektor (out Oct. 29). The title track is given an extended treat as it has gotten not one, but two videos. One is an interactive video where the viewer can take part in the visual experience, while the other is a traditional video (no interaction there) that contains a lot of reflective surfaces. But I'm sure you knew that.
Did you know that Elvis Costello and The Roots were collaborating? I didn't! Now that I do, this is definitely something worth looking into, and if you head over to NPR, you can hear the fruits of their labor, titled Wise Up Ghost, in its entirety. Or you can wait for it to hit stores on Sept. 17.
Just in case you were feeling that lingering spirit, that beckoning call of All Hallows Eve, that grotesque curiosity of the macabre … Franz Ferdinand's got you covered. Probably NSFW.
If you live in the Brooklyn area and have a baby that you think might be the next big DJ to hit the airwaves, contact Natalie Elizabeth Weiss. She runs a baby DJ school. No joke.
Judging from Janelle Monáe's performance on David Letterman, if she ever comes to Albuquerque, there's no way in hell I'm missing that show. Monáe's latest effort, The Electric Lady, hit the music-sphere this past week, and you can catch her performance below:
It looks like some more Beatles memorabilia can now be added to your collection in the form of their widely lauded performance/
Sky Ferreira has finally given a release date for her debut full-length effort, titled Night Time, My Time, and it'll hit the streets on Oct. 29. I became obsessed with her single “Lost In My Bedroom.” It's that sort of infectious pop that just grabs hold and can be listened to over and over again. But you don't have to take my word for it. Give it a listen.
Ty Segall is relentless. If he's not releasing multiple albums in a year or starting various projects with other musicians, he's, well … starting another project called FUZZ. They're coming out with a self-titled album on Oct. 1 via In The Red, and they've released another snippet from said upcoming album. You can hear “What's In My Head” over at Consequence of Sound.
Has it really been 14 years since TLC had a Billboard Top 10 hit? Regardless of longevity, these women (who have been performing as a duo since Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes died in 2002) are still working and recording. According to Billboard, we should be seeing some new material from them on Oct. 15. Speculation, people. But listen to their latest chart-topper, as they feature on J. Cole's “Crooked Smile.”