donna summer


V.23 No.27 | 7/3/2014

Good news for good news lovers

Man, them Swedish folks sure know how to craft a nice pop tune. This song may have some bubblegum-ness to it, but damn if it ain't catchy. Oh, I'm talking about Icona Pop's new song. In case you're unfamiliar with the Swedish pop duo, they hit it pretty big with their track “I Love It,” and now they've come out with a new tune that might not have the same edge of the aforementioned ditty, but it's for sure gonna snare them some new fans, if not keep the old ones steady until a full-length manifests. Have a listen to “Get Lost” below.

I'm sure there has been talk of this, but I wasn't aware. Aretha Franklin is recording a divas covers album. Ms. Franklin took the time to speak with Billboard about working with Andre 3000 (who is a co-producer on the record), the status of the album (she's “on it”) and named a few songs she's covering. Among them are Adele's “Rollin in the Deep,” Donna Summer's “Last Dance” and Tina Turner's “What's Love Got to Do With It.” Head to Billboard to read what one of the best vocalists ever had to say about what she's working on.

Some electronica-lovin' folks are 'bout to get super-duper excited. Grimes has come out with a new track (apparently her first in two years), and it was originally written to be performed by Rihanna ... who turned it down. So what was Grimes to do? Why, record it herself! The song (titled “Go”) is a lovely, atmospheric tune that's got a banging beat, background yelps and some smooth, slick production, and it also features Blood Diamonds. Have a listen below.

For fans of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, including myself, it's time to get excited: Karen O is coming out with her first solo effort (Crush Songs). Granted, she already recorded solo material with Native Korean Rock & the Fishnets, but that project only released rough demos, which you can still find on YouTube. But this is an actual full-length endeavor, y'all. That drops on Sept. 9, which isn't too far off, so keep scanning those headlines for more info in the coming months.

While I didn't listen to Robert Plant's last solo record (Band of Joy), I was a huge fan of his collaborative LP with Alison Krauss (Raising Sand). That record was phenomenal; all you have to do is listen and hear how their voices meld together to form a sound that can't be replicated, a sound that is pure magic. See “Stick With Me Baby.” Regardless, Plant is coming out with another solo effort, titled lullaby and... The Ceaseless Roar. That'll hit stores on Sept. 9, and you can have a listen to album track “Rainbow” below.

It's here people! Well, the announcement is here. Julian Casablancas + the Voidz have officially announced their debut record (or Casablancas' second solo record). The album (Tyranny) hits stores and online markets on Sept. 23 and will be sold through Casablancas' Cult Records, where it's on preorder now for the mere cost of $3.87. You read that right. Head over to Rolling Stone to read more about the album.

Get ready for the blasphemy because I'm gonna say it: I've never really listened to Radiohead. And it's not because of any disrespect, but mostly because they just haven't crossed my path as much as most. Wait ... does "Creep" count? Okay, back to the point. Radiohead drummer Philip Selway is coming out with a new solo record. There isn't too much info on the release, other than it's called Weatherhouse and comes out on Oct. 7. So keep an ear out for that.

Oh snap! Prince is back! Well, he never really went away, but you know what I mean. The pop diva (erm ... divo? What's the male term?) has announced another album is on the way (on top of his 3rdEyeGirl record, which still hasn't seen a proper release). Good news? Hell, you're getting two for the price of one, or maybe not the price of one, but you catch my drift, right? As for the album, there's no title or release date, but Prince did name a few tracks: “The Gold Standard” and “This Could Be Us.” Head to Pitchfork to read more ‘bout it.

Audio/Visual

If you've read this column, I'm sure you're tired of witnessing my excitement concerning Veruca Salt's reunion. But hey, it didn't end there, and it won’t end here. The band has now come out with a video to the b-side of their first single, “The Museum of Broken Relationships,” aka “It's Holy.” The video features band footage along with fans listening to the record in the comfort of their own homes. Scroll down a little further to view the little gem.

As Rolling Stone notes, Robin Thicke's new video for the song “Get Her Back” is kind of “awkward.” While I don't indulge in gossip, the track is supposedly a plea to his estranged wife, begging for her to come back. The awkward (and so 2014) parts of the video are the text messages that flash across the screen. I'm not sure if they're real, but either way, it's pretty uncomfortable. But I'll let you decide for yourself. Also, you can pick up the album (titled Paula, yes, after his wife) next week. Enjoy! Or don't.

V.22 No.43 | 10/24/2013

It's official. The Donna Summer remix album is set to come out on Oct. 22. This remembrance of a disco-pop icon (titled Love to Love You Donna) will feature various artists from Duke Dumont to Giorgio Moroder. In fact, SPIN is currently streaming an unreleased track, titled “La Dolce Vita,” by Moroder and Summer.

Who says there's a cap on how many alter-egos you can make for yourself? If there is, Snoop hasn't gotten that memo. Snoop Lion (now under the monicker Snoopzilla) has teamed up with Dam-Funk to create a project, titled 7 Days of Funk. They're releasing an eponymous album on Dec. 10, and you can hear a track from said release (“Faden Away”) over at Pitchfork. So if you dig what Snoop does, mark those calendars!

Try as she might, a friend urged me to like Saves The Day for years (years!). Granted they're not bad musicians, but after a while their music seems to get a little samey for my taste. However, when Chris Conley gets an acoustic guitar in his hands, magic happens (see “Take Our Cars Now!”). The band took some time to play at Billboard's Manhattan studio and talk about their new album, one of their most famous tracks (“Cars and Calories”) and more.

You say Creedence Clearwater Revival, and I'm there. One of my all-time favorite bands, it's no wonder that artists are attracted to the allure of these Louisiana-swamp-bayou-centric rockers, what with their fantastic riffs, John Fogerty's voice and their knack for soulful blues tendencies. I could gush all day, so let me get to the point. Social Distortion (that punk band) has covered their track “Up Around The Bend” for the upcoming animated feature Free Birds. You can hear that over at Rolling Stone.

Sufjan Stevens is one of those musicians who experiments and experiments to the point where processed jpegs leak out of the sound bytes he delivers to the masses, which is why I couldn't really come to grips with The Age of Adz. Having said that, sometimes Stevens can make electronic soundscapes sound almost mandatory in that they're so easy on the ears, why say no? He's shared an unreleased demo, titled “Take Me.” You can hear it below.

In my honest opinion, globe-trekking artists are the best kind for one reason and one reason only: They sometimes work with the locals. … which is what Damon Albarn is currently doing in Mali. Recording an album with the likes of Nick Zinner (of Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Idris Elba (of “Rocknrolla”) Brian Eno, aforementioned locals and UK hip-hop artists, Albarn's project is called Africa Express. And you can read more about it at The Guardian.

Screaming Females are one of those revivalist punk rock bands that maintains an air and attitude beyond the constraints of typical self-awareness. What I mean is that they don't give a shit, and it shows in their excellent psych/grunge twinged musicianship and wild rock mantras. Moving along … they've shared a new single that's split with fellow punkers Tenement. The track is is called “Ancient Civilization.”

Blues legend Blind Willie Johnson is just one of many stellar musicians that shaped an iconic sound that many artists still draw from, whether they're yowling blues sentiment over an acoustic guitar or simply touching on love lost. Producer Jeffrey Gaskill has initiated a Kickstarter campaign in an effort to raise money to record a Blind Willie Johnson covers album. Tom Waits, Lucinda Williams, Sinead O'Connor and more have already signed on to partake in the record (if and when the funding comes through).

I think Bruno Mars is a fresh face within the pop realm. His beats and inspirations convey sort of a whimsical throwback to the pop days of old, and I like that about him. Granted his music doesn't always hit the nail on the head, he's still worth looking into as far as top-40 pop is concerned. Now Mars has shared a video for his track, “Gorilla,” from his latest album Unorthodox Jukebox. You can watch that over at Rolling Stone.

If you've never heard The Kelley Deal 6000, they're definitely worth a listen. Kelley Deal (twin of Kim Deal) made an appearance this week on “Lil' BUB's Big SHOW” and even went so far as to have Lil' BUB help her produce a new single, titled “Shirtcrush.” The track is pretty up to par with Deal's earlier work, making it a nice addition to her repertoire and a nice reminder that she's still got some songwriting chops under her belt.

For those who are interested in hearing Katy Perry's new album (Prism) in full, head over to Consequence of Sound. Otherwise, you can wait 'til next week.