Rooster Roundabout: This week’s music highlights
It's not exactly professional footage, but I guess it'll do. 'Member how I mentioned that Babes in Toyland were reuniting for a show in California? Well it happened, y'all. And the folks at Stereogum compiled videos of them playing all the songs on the setlist. They played awesome tunes like “Bluebell,” “He's My Thing,” “Handsome and Gretel” and a whole lot more. They're fan-made videos, so the quality isn't stellar, but it's still cool to see these ladies back in action after 13 years of being broken up. You can view them playing “Bluebell” below, and head over to Stereogum to see more footage from the show.
I have a back-and-forth relationship with Record Store Day. I appreciate the sentiment of supporting your local record stores by flocking (even if for only one day a year) to the stacks and seeing if they've gotten anything good in. But sometimes the selections don't seem to have the new releases that are promised. Granted, not every store can carry every new release from your favorite bands, it's still disheartening when you can't find that new 7” single that was promised by some such group. Regardless, Dave Grohl (oh, we love him) has been named this year's Record Store Day Ambassador, and he's even shared a video talking about his love of record stores. Head to Rolling Stone to give that a looksie.
Florence + The Machine are back with a new song and a new record. After 2011's Ceremonials, I'm sure a lot of fans were desperate to see if the band would come out with a new album. Not that I'm surprised; Ceremonials was a pretty good LP. And now they've shared a video for the track “What Kind of Man,” which comes off the forthcoming record How Big How Blue How Beautiful. That gets released on June 2, so you still have some time to dig into their previous releases to remind yourself why you're excited. View the video below.
If you've not yet heard Karen O's Crush Songs LP, it's worth a listen. It's quieter, more solemn, but still carries traces of O's inimitable prowess as a singer. Now O has come out with a new release, in the form of a live record (titled Live From Crush Palace), which was recorded during a series of shows she performed in LA in September. It contains tunes from her Crush Songs album, as well as a song she recorded for Where the Wild Things Are and “The Moon Song,” which she performed for the film Her. So if you wanna get lost in the aether, check that one out. It's currently streaming over at Spotify, but since we lack the capacity to embed such a thing, head to Pitchfork for a teentsy preview.
Didn't think I'd read something like this: Jack White has recently shared a cover of Harry Connick Jr.'s “Blue Light, Red Light (Someone's There).” Not saying Connick Jr. is bad by any means; the man has some pipes. It's just a little unexpected. The track comes as a B-side to a new 7” single of the track “The Black Bat Licorice,” which comes of White's latest LP Lazaretto. For you digital junkies, you'll be able to get that on Feb. 17. But for those of you who want a physical copy, you can start looking at stores and online markets on Feb. 23.
Say what you want about Courtney Love. Sure, she's a little crazy, but who isn't? And regardless of how you feel about her artistry as a musician (have you not heard Live Through This?!), she's actually a pretty good actress (see: The People vs. Larry Flynt). And she's getting right back on that acting horse by making an appearance on the hit show “Empire,” which aired this past week. In the show, she plays a washed-up singer looking to make a comeback. And she also takes on Al Green's “Take Me to the River,” which you can hear over at Stereogum. Does the woman still have it? I dunno; see for yourself.
While I'm not that big of a Dan Deacon fan, one of the things I've always appreciated about his music is the somewhat punk-tastic remnants that linger along the surface. So they never just seem like electronic soundscapes (though one could argue that's all they are). Now Mr. Deacon has come out with a new track from his forthcoming release Gliss Riffer (out on Feb. 25), titled “Learning to Relax.” Have a listen to the glitchy ditty below.
I'm sure there are a lot of folks who are chomping at the bit for the new season of “Game of Thrones,” which airs on April 12. But in the meantime, HBO's got a nice little surprise for you. They're coming out with a second volume of the Catch the Throne Mixtape, which will feature new tunes from the likes of Snoop Dogg, Method Man, Anthrax, Killswitch Engage and more. According to A/V Club, that'll get released “for free” some time in March, so keep an eye out.