Rooster Roundabout: This week’s music highlights
Though it was sort of announced a while back, feminist grunge band L7 are reuniting for some tour dates, and not only that, they've released a short clip (titled “A Night at the Morgue”), during which actor and magician Rob Zabrecky works in a morgue and unearths a box containing what appears to be L7 memorabilia. At the end, a dead corpse starts to move its toe as the band's famous track “Pretend We're Dead” starts to play. The group is also currently involved in a Kickstarter campaign to finish the documentary L7: Pretend We're Dead. Both of the tour dates they've announced are in June and in Europe, which isn't that exciting for us mere Americans, but they've apparently announced that more dates will follow. Watch that video clip below, and read more about the documentary and such at NME.
Like a lot of folks, my introduction to The Jesus and Mary Chain's oeuvre came with discovering their seminal recording Psychocandy. I can still recall getting it in the mail during my junior year of college and having a friend notice me reading the liner notes before nodding and saying “good choice.” Thanks for the approval, Chet, but not quite necessary. Anywho ... the album celebrates its 30th birthday this year, so the group has decided to take it on the road. They'll have their first tour date on Feb. 16 in Liverpool, but they'll eventually touch down on North American soil on May 1. Sadly, they won't be dropping by Albuquerque on said trip, but they are stopping in Denver on May 11. Do I smell a road trip? For more tour dates and info, head to AV Club.
It was announced a while back that Swedish singer-songwriter José González is coming out with a new LP (Vestiges & Claws). That's still happening, people; you'll be able to locate said disc at a store near you or via online markets on Feb. 17. But González is ready to get people psyched for the record by sharing the video for album track “Leaf Off / The Cave.” Have a looksie below.
My only introduction to the work of the Arizona group Calexico was their fourth studio album Feast of Wire. That album featured some excellent tracks, including my favorite tune “Not Even Stevie Nicks...” Though they've steadily been releasing material since the band's inception in the early 90s, that album is pretty much my only indicator of their particular aesthetic, mixing Mexican influences with indie rock and Americana. Now the group is coming out with a new record (titled Edge of the Sun), and they've already shared one of the songs from said release. Have a listen to “Cumbia de Donde” below, and look for the album on April 14.
The back of Sia's head has become quite ubiquitous since the release of her latest LP 1000 Forms of Fear. The album has garnered her many accolades and singles, so it's no surprise that the folks handling the soundtrack to 50 Shades of Grey tapped the singer/songwriter to contribute a track for the film. That's called “Salted Wound,” which can be heard over at SPIN. And if you're so inclined, check out the film, which hits theaters on Feb. 13.
One of the things I like about Stereogum are their “Band to Watch” lists. And while skimming the blogs this week, they highlighted punk group Jawbreaker Reunion, whose debut full-length LP (Lutheran Sisterhood Gun Club) is getting released via cassette on Miscreant Records. I'm not gonna lie: The only reason I even bothered to read about them is because I took their record title to be a reference to the 1999 film Drop Dead Gorgeous. Even if it isn't, I'm glad I clicked the link, watched their vid and checked out their Bandcamp page. Have a looksie at the official video to album track “My Own” below, and look for their record now.
It's hard to tell right off the top of my head which member of Arcade Fire this is ... Will Butler I mean. Mostly because that band has 20 members. Okay, not that many. But Will Butler (the brother of Win Butler, Arcade Fire's lead singer) is coming out with his own record, titled Policy, on March 10. And though he's already released one tune from the album, he's decided to share a video for album track “Anna,” which you can view below. The LP is available for preorder, but where's the fun in that? Head to Pitchfork to give that a looksie.
I know I've mentioned Lady Lamb the Beekeeper several times in the past. Hell, Aly Spaltro's musical project even made my Top 5 Albums of 2014 with her 2013 release Ripely Pine. But the Maine-based singer/songwriter is gearing up for the release of her second record After, which hits stores and online markets on March 3. Now she's shared a lyric video for one of the record's ditties (“Spat Out Spit”). If this song is any indication, it's that her songwriting has grown. She's dealing in more intricate structures, and she's grown a deep fascination with trains. Have a listen to the song below, which features footage from the 1971 documentary Let's Make a Film.