austin city limits


V.23 No.18 | 5/1/2014

Music

Rooster Roundabout: This week’s music highlights

'Member how I mentioned that Veruca Salt was getting back together? Well guitarists/vocalists Nina Gordon and Louise Post have had their first joint interview in … oh … 17 years? Yes, it's definitely worth reading. Head over to Stereogum to see what these women have been up to and what the future holds for one of the most welcomed reunions ever. Oh, and you can also hear their excellent new track, “The Museum of Broken Relationships,” below.

Nothing like a 40th anniversary to inspire new material. Rock band Blondie has decided to come out with a new double LP that will feature new songs as well as their greatest hits. The album, titled Blondie 4(0) Ever, will contain their 10th studio album (Ghosts of Download) as the first disc; the second portion will be a compilation of their most famous tracks. That hits stores on May 13, but in the meantime, you can head over to Billboard to read more.

Most people know of punk band Death from watching A Band Called Death (a documentary by Mark Christopher Covino and Jeff Howlett). While the band didn't see much mainstream success in their heyday (early to late '70s), they're now regarded as precursors to later punk sounds and revolutionary for being an all-black trio of brothers who created wild and uncompromising tunes. The group recently played on “Arsenio,” and you can view that performance below. Also, look out for III, a Drag City reissue of unreleased material, which is out now.

In case you haven't been keeping tabs on Pixies, they've released three EPs in the past year (EP-1, EP-2 and EP-3). And you'd think that with a steady stream of new material, they'd hop back in the studio to record what I would consider to be an appopriate full-length. But I guess laziness prevailed, as they've compiled all three releases into one album (titled Indie Cindy) that comes out on April 29. You don't need me (or want me) to comment on the recordings themselves; rather, you should provide your own educated analysis of the band's material post-Kim Deal's departure. Head over to The Guardian to give that a listen.

Music: the gift that keeps on giving. Jack White broke records this past Saturday by recording and distributing the “world's fastest released record.” And on top of that, he's also given fans another taste of his upcoming LP (after sharing “High Ball Stepper” a week or two ago) in the form of the album's title track. The record comes out on June 10, so keep your eyes and ears open for that. You can give “Lazaretto” a listen below and view some recaps of his record-breaking record making over at Pitchfork. Enjoy!

Austin City Limits is a festival always worth mentioning. Having gone three times, it's one of those experiences that can't be replicated. The only way to truly experience it is to go. And now the fest is two weekends instead of one (Oct. 3-5, 10-12), fancy that. Folks gracing the stage(s) include Beck, Lorde, Eminem, Outkast, Belle & Sebastian, St. Vincent, Juanes, Mac Demarco and many, many more. You can view the full lineup at the ACL website.

When I think of Courtney Love, the first thought that comes to mind is “bitch be crazy.” Granted, she's done little to prove otherwise, but feeding that particular beast has done well for her songwriting. Take her latest track “You Know My Name,” being released as a single with the tune “Wedding Day”; that's scheduled to hit stores on May 4. You can take a listen to the punk-inflected ditty below.

Ever so prolific, Neil Young surprised fans with a new album of covers (titled A Letter Home) via Jack White's Third Man Records. The LP contains covers of songs by Bob Dylan, Gordon Lightfoot, Willie Nelson, Bruce Springsteen and more. Rolling Stone reports that there was no official announcement, but you can order the album on Third Man's website. To add to that, the album is also getting the deluxe box set treatment, with the vinyl record, CD, singles, picture book, the works. So have at it!

Songwriter/composer and performer Owen Pallett first caught my attention when a friend sent me a recording of him covering Joanna Newsom's “Peach, Plum, Pear.” I liked his voice, but as far as delving into his sonic landscapes, there wasn't much in the way of follow-up. But I've heard several excited whispers about his upcoming LP In Conflict, which hits physical and online markets on May 27. And now Pallett has posted a video for his track “Song for Five & Six.” You can view that below.

When Lily Allen announced the title of her forthcoming record (Sheezus), many thought she was parodying Kanye West's last full-length effort Yeezus. However, Allen was quick to point out that it was an homage, rather than making fun of anyone. And now Allen has shared a video of the title track of said LP, wherein she compares herself to a fighter, while also name-checking various pop divas. You can hear the track below.

V.23 No.17 | 4/24/2014

Yup, watching Belle and Sebastian cover Journey's “Don't Stop Believin'” for a group of kids at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta might be the cutest thing in music this week. You can check that out below, but you might need to have a tissue handy.

A few weeks ago, I posted a track from Buzz Osborne's upcoming solo acoustic album This Machine Kills Artists. And now King Buzzo has posted another snippet from that forthcoming record, which, despite being acoustic, is pretty heavy and dark. But that's a good thing. You can hear his new song (“Drunken Baby”) by heading over to A.V. Club.

For those of you that think Lana Del Rey is all that and a bag of stale potato chips, the moment you've waited for is finally here. The singer-songwriter has come out with the first track from her upcoming sophomore LP Ultraviolence. Some blogs have already touted the tune as the “song of the summer.” Getting ahead of yourselves much? But I'll let y'all be the judge of that. You can listen to “West Coast” below.

I guess it’s only appropriate that I mention tomorrow is Record Store Day. Not only is it a way to promote shopping at your local record stores, it opens your horizons to new and exciting music emerging from the depths of post-Top 40-whatever. Meh ... political correctness aside, I’m not much of a fan of Record Store Day. Most record stores don’t carry the releases the peak my interests, and sometimes it makes me wonder whether it’s a trick to get you into the stores in the first place. Regardless, you’ll probably see me at Mecca tomorrow. But you can read Pitchfork’s top Record Store Day Releases by clicking here.

Hmmm... trippy sound effects, a slick guitar riff quietly sneaking around the bush and lush vocals … The Black Keys' new tune (the title track from their forthcoming Turn Blue) isn't half bad. I just may be tricked into hearing more. Could this be a change of heart or a momentary lapse of judgment? I don't know, but it's one good ditty. I'm impressed, Keys. The tune should tide fans over till May 13, when the album hits stores. Preach on!

I'll admit that the only reason I decided to write about this follow-up item is because Kelley Deal is involved. Sure, everyone knows about her sister Kim (Pixies, Breeders, Amps, etc.), but Kelley Deal is a good songwriter in her own right. Check out The Kelley Deal 6000 if you haven't yet. Now Deal is featured on a track by Motel Beds (“Tropics in The Sand”). It's supposed to be on a split 7-inch that'll be out on Record Store Day, but you can hear the track over at Stereogum if you don't plan on participating. Cause why would you do that anyways?

The only stuff I've heard from The Pains of Being Pure at Heart were tracks on a compilation album I got for free at Austin City Limits. And I don't even remember the names of the songs; that's how out of touch I am. But they've shared a new track via SoundCloud, and if I can describe it in one word: cute. It doesn't hit hard like Bass Drum of Death, but it's not overtly twee like She & Him. It holds a nice place in the middle. Let's call it cute without the “e.” Wait, that spells “cut.” That doesn't work. Just listen to the damn thing.

Well this just seems to be a good week for streaming albums in full ahead of their release dates. You can head over to NPR to listen to Kelis' new record Food. And you can head over to The New York Times to listen to Eels' The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett. And then head over to Consequence of Sound to listen to Nas' Illmatic XX reissue. Thank your kind publications for letting you get a sneak peak before you go purchase these albums … assuming you will actually purchase them.

If you ever wanted to see Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age play a disappointing gay man … here's your chance.

V.22 No.45 | 11/7/2013

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.

V.22 No.41 | 10/10/2013

Now that Lauryn Hill is a free woman (after having spent a little under three months in prison for tax evasion), she can get back to work! And Hill has wasted no time: She just released a new track, titled “Consumerism.” Her fast rhyming moves over a scattered beat … and a lot of ism's get thrown around, but hey, it's Lauryn Hill, man. Also, the track is said to be the first part of a collection titled Letters From Exile. Judging from this, I'm sure the second part will be interesting.

David Byrne (of Talking Heads fame) has written an editorial piece in which he asserts that economic inequality in New York has stunted creative culture.

Fiona Apple played a new song at a show in Portland, Ore., right before she asked a heckler to leave for allegedly telling her to “get healthy.” The sound quality isn't great considering it was recorded from a live show, but it's good to hear something new from what I consider one of our generation's most elusive and genius minds. You can also hear her duet with Blake Mills, titled “Tipple,” over at Consequence of Sound.

Don't you just love it when music awards season hits? Or at least a portion of it. For interested parties, the nominees for the 2013 American Music Awards have been announced. And the musical line-up for the 2013 Soul Train Awards has also been made public by the folks over at Billboard.

It seems that David Byrne isn't the only one who wanted to write about his artistic pursuits this past week. Madonna wrote an essay for Harper's Bazaar about her early work and her so-called “daring.” In the essay she talks about her expectations vs. the reality of moving to New York, being raped at knifepoint, her marriages and more.

I pretty much stopped paying attention to Interpol after Turn On The Bright Lights, and after hearing that Paul Banks had attempted a rap album earlier this year (Everybody on My Dick Like They Supposed To Be), that further cemented my disinterest. But now, Banks is collaborating with RZA (of Wu-Tang Clan) on a record, which they've been recording for the past six months. This should be interesting.

I'm sure them little monsters are jumping for joy this week. Lady Gaga revealed not only the cover art for her new album, ARTPOP, but she also shared the tracklist and a new track, “Aura.” She released the track as a lyric video, which also contains clips and pieces of the Robert Rodriguez flick Machete Kills. You can see that below.

A lot of people know Questlove from his work with The Roots. A lot of people see him every night on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.” A lot of people may not know who Questlove is, and for those who don't, there's always time. But now Questlove has written a book, titled Soul Train: The Music, Dance, and Style of a Generation, which hits shelves on Oct. 22. Thanks for the astute warning, man.

I first encountered Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings while wandering Austin City Limits in search of water or whiskey or my friends who had wandered away. They were playing lively funk, and Jones' voice was magnetic. Now Jones and company have shared a new video for their track “Retreat!” from their forthcoming album Give The People What They Want. The album doesn't come out 'til January, but you can listen to this snazzy track until that fateful day arrives.

I mentioned a few weeks back that Pixies had come out with a new release (EP-1). They've been slowly making the rounds on network television appearances, and now they've shared a video for their track “Andro Queen.” The video is directed by Ondi Timoner (Dig).