Rooster Roundabout: This Week’s Music Highlights

Mark Lopez
6 min read
Rooster Roundabout: This weekÕs music highlights
(Jesse Schulz)
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Celeb-Vid party

It’s not completely uncommon for a band to seek video clips of fans jamming out to their tunes when they come out with new material. Veruca Salt did it. Yeah Yeah Yeahs did it. And now Sleater-Kinney have done it with visual accompaniment of the
title track off their excellent new record No Cities To Love. But instead of good ol’ civilians, they’ve tapped some celebs to make appearances and sing portions of the track. The video includes Andy Samberg, Brie Larson, Norman Reedus, Connie Britton, Ellen Page, Sarah Silverman, Natasha Lyonne, Miranda July and more. The record hits the music-sphere next week, but you can view the vid below. Cheers!

All up in our jazz

Just in case you’re without anything to do and you feel like listening to some live music by The Who, Elton John, Pitbull, No Doubt, John Legend or Chicago, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival has you covered. Happening April 24 through May 3, the festival obviously features an eclectic mix of jazz (well, maybe not all jazz) artists. Also included on the bill are T.I., Wilco, Jerry Lee Lewis and more. Yeah, that’s super jazzy. To read more ’bout the fest, click

Get it!

Dance-pop duo Matt and Kim have announced a new record (
New Glow) in the works. Well, at this point, it’s probably finished. But that’s coming out on April 17, and to get fans excited about the album, they’ve already released a lyric video for the album’s first single “Get It.” While I don’t normally like electronic/pop tunes, Matt and Kim have an infectious energy about them that always makes them worth a listen. Plus, this track has a nice little breakdown. So have a listen below.

On the horizon…

I never really know where I stand with Death Cab for Cutie. On one hand, I can recognize good musicians when I hear ’em; on the other hand, I always revert back to a more pessimistic mantra of “these guys need more rock in their blood” and thinking their sound is too, for lack of a better word, cute. Regardless, I can see why people love them. I just can’t say the same for myself. But the band is getting ready to release a new record (titled
Kintsugi). That’s scheduled to hit stores on March 31, which is pretty soon. I’m sure they’ll start releasing some tunes from the record in the near future, so be on the lookout.

A folky return

I became a fan of Sufjan Stevens some time in high school, when a friend showed me his
Illinoise album. I’m sure that’s when a lot of people realized the talent and grandeur of this whispery-vocaled singer-songwriter. However, with The Age of Adz, I was out. After one thorough listen, I couldn’t find anything in the album that I could cling to, nothing to make me say that it was worth $14.95. Regardless, Stevens has kept busy in the past few years, but now he’s decided to come out with another full-length LP (titled Carrie & Lowell). That hits record stores and online markets on March 31, and you can view an album trailer below for a little preview. If it’s anything to go by, the album seems to go back to Stevens’ more folky inspirations.

Silence that radio!

Apparently, the name of James Blake’s new record has been dropped (not the album itself, so don’t get too excited). During his residency on BBC Radio 1, Blake announced the album’s title, though it’s not clear when it’ll get released; however
Pitchfork points out rumors that Kanye West and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon have contributed to the record. We shall see … but in the meantime, the album’s title is Radio Silence. Keep an eye out for that one.

A rough trade indeed

If you’re a big fan of Rough Trade Records, you may be excited to know that the indie record label is coming out with a
compilation of their best tunes from a variety of musicians. Started in 1978, the label has gone through a hefty catalog of material to come up with some solid tracks to relay to the masses. Bands included are The Smiths, The Strokes, The Raincoats, Warpaint, The Libertines, Antony & The Johnsons, Belle and Sebastian and more. You can either get the 20-track, single disc option, or you can dig into that piggy bank and go for the 60-track, deluxe triple disc selection. Choice is yours. That gets released on March 23, so mark them calendars! And just for fun, listen to my favorite track from The Strokes, “The Modern Age,” below, which is included in the compilation.

Dream of the stream

Speaking of Belle and Sebastian, their latest record
Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance is now streaming over at NPR. My first impression of the record is that it’s somewhat of a continuation of the territory they covered on Write About Love. That’s not a bad thing at all. But don’t take my word for it; head over and give that a listen, or buy it on Jan. 20. Just a reminder that the stream is temporary, so apologies if it’s no longer available by the time you read this.

It may get weird

Here’s the thing about Bjork. I can only take the woman in doses. Her music verges on abstract weirdness that’s almost too much for me to handle at times. However, 2011’s
Biophilia was excellent. Having said that, news about Bjork working on an upcoming record has been circulating the blogs for the past few months, but nothing had been set in stone. Now Bjork has officially announced (via a handwritten note) that a new album (titled Vulnicura) is coming out some time in March. She even listed the names of the songs. Is this woman efficient or what? Head to Pitchfork to read more ’bout it. And listen to my favorite Biophilia track (“Cosmogony”) below.

The emperor’s return

I dropped the Marilyn Manson fan-craze around the time of
The Golden Age of Grotesque, but the man has never stopped recording new work. Whether it was vampiric in nature or just somewhat uncomfortable (see “Heart-Shaped Glasses”), he’s still at it, so he does deserve some credit. That doesn’t stop me from remembering the good ol’ days of Mechanical Animals, but one can dream, no? For those who still follow Manson’s career and output, his latest record (The Pale Emporer) is now available for streamage. So head to Stereogum to give that a listen (if you’re so inclined.) Or look for the album everywhere next week.
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