Music

Rooster Roundabout: This week’s music highlights

The redone Velvet

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that The Velvet Underground, one of my all-time favorite bands, are coming out with a reissue of their fantastic self-titled LP. And not only that, it's being remastered and redone into a 5-disc box set that features bonus tracks, live performances from a concert at San Francisco's The Matrix in 1969 and a previously unreleased album being named The 1969 Sessions. That's a whole lotta listenin', am I right? But now a recording of their classic rocker “Sweet Jane” from the aforementioned Matrix show has been posted online. Give that a listen below, and look for the box set next week, assuming you haven't already pre-ordered it.

The king of disco returns

Disco and electronic legend Giorgio Moroder has announced his first full-length LP in over 30 years. And if that doesn't get you excited, wait 'til you see who he's tapped to make appearances on the album: Britney Spears, Sia, Kylie Minogue and more. Basically the man likes working with powerful pop divas (if you couldn't already tell from his work with Donna Summer). That should come out around spring 2015, so mark them calendars.

They’re back, baby!

This is a big one, folks. Babes In Toyland ... the Minneapolis punk/grunge band that called it quits years ago ... is reuniting for a show. That's right, and not just the regular ol' band, but the members who were responsible for their awesome record Fontanelle: Kat Bjelland, Maureen Herman and Lori Barbero. They'll be playing The Roxy in Los Angeles on Feb. 12. Tickets for what's most likely going to be an epic night went on sale today. So if they're not sold out, purchase, purchase, purchase! And here's a little BIT tune from their last full-length Nemesisters to celebrate this illustrious occasion.

Babes in Toyland - “Sweet '69”

We say goodbye

We've lost another one, folks. Jimmy Ruffin, the older brother of David Ruffin (who was once the lead singer of The Temptations), died at the age of 78. No cause of death has been reported, but Ruffin was a notable singer on his own, scoring a hit for Motown Records in 1966 with his rendition of The Spinners' "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted?" To Mr. Jimmy Ruffin, we say RIP and hope your journey in the hereafter is one of music and magic.

Good Deal

Kim Deal is back with another installation of her 7” music series, which features the tracks “Biker Gone” and “Beautiful Moon.” This is the fifth single she's released within the past year or two, which means that we've got 10 new tracks from the former Pixies bassist. You know what that means ... it's practically a full album of material! So whether you own all five records or have used some form of illegal downloading, make a playlist and listen to it all at once. And if that doesn't sound appealing, then check out Deal's video for the track “Biker Gone” below.

Thoughts about music

Steve Albini has always been an outspoken proponent of the music industry. And recently, he gave a speech at Melbourne's Face the Music Conference, during which he talked about the state of the record industry today and why it's not that big of a deal that music is streamed online. In his speech he talks about how when the CD revolution overtook vinyl, artists didn't get paid that much from album sales (unless they were super duper famous), and he goes on to note that with the advancement of illegal downloading, online streaming, etc., bands now have more of an opportunity to be heard and can make music more easily, while getting it out to people without having to pay record label reps large sums of money to put it out there. You can read his speech in its entirety over at The Guardian.

Those good, ol’ fashioned Christmas tunes

Every time I think of Christmas, I always remember an Elvis Presley Christmas classics LP that my mom used to pull out when she'd decorate the house. It was always a good sign; it meant that the holidays were that much closer, and since I believed in Santa as a kid, it meant presents! For people who love the holidays, or more so, holiday music, Jingle Bell Rocks! is right up your alley. The documentary features “intense record-collector nerds who scour the earth for interesting Christmas novelty records.” The DVD gets released on Nov. 28, aka Black Friday. So look for it in a store near you, and view a trailer below.

Jingle Bell Rocks! Trailer

New ways, new sounds

Ben Chasny's project Six Organs of Admittance is a name that has crossed my listening path several times. The first time was while watching an interview with Devendra Banhart, during which he expressed a hint of anger that Chasny was holding off from releasing an unnamed record. But now Chasny is gearing up to release Hexadic on Feb. 17, and to give fans a taste as to what his latest sounds consist of, he's shared the track “Wax Chance,” which you can listen to below.

Not quite Paradise City

For those of you who were really into Guns N' Roses ... I'm sure you're out there somewhere ... you can get super excited at the fact that a biopic about the band is in development. Writer Marc Canter (who composed the tome Reckless Road: Guns N' Roses and the Making of Appetite for Destruction) announced that his book is being adapted into a full-length feature film. Apparently, it's already in progress, and Stereogum stated that Axl Rose is not involved.

A little bit of Dusty

I'm sure fans of the super cutesy She & Him have had their eye on Dec. 2, for that is the day that the duo comes out with their next LP Classics, which provides listeners with 13 covers of classic songs. To add to the cuteness mentioned before, the band, consisting of M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel, came out with a video for their cover of Dusty Springfield's “Stay Awhile.” Have a look below.

She & Him - “Stay Awhile”