the roots


V.23 No.19 | 5/8/2014

Music

Rooster Roundabout: This week’s music highlights

Talk about a boy-band super duo: Nick Carter (of Backstreet Boys) and Jordan Knight (of New Kids on the Block) have decided to join forces and take over the music world as Nick & Knight. No joke. Their debut LP drops on September 2, and shortly after they're going on tour so people can see this pop extravaganza in person. It's just as well. Interested folks can view a promotional video for the project below, and in it you can hear a snippet of their single “Just the Two of Us.” PS: The album is already available for pre-order. So have at it if you must.

'Member that little Steven Spielberg gem known as Jurassic Park? I know I do. Seeing that in theaters was one of my greatest movie-going experiences as a youngster. And if you were a fan of the music, this is your lucky day. The film’s score is getting a nice reissue on multi-colored vinyl, and it'll be available to the public on June 11. Head to Consequence of Sound for more info.

Coldplay has been steadily giving glimpses of their upcoming record Ghost Stories, which hits the music-sphere on May 19. And now they're providing listeners with another fragment in the form of “A Sky Full of Stars,” which features a collaboration with electronic, club aficionado Avicii. Basically you need to be high as a kite in a black-lit dance party to experience the full effect of the song. Other than that, what's the point? But you can give the tune a listen below.

The dream of the '90s is alive in super-Earth. According to the Portland Mercury, Corin Tucker (formerly of Sleater-Kinney) and Peter Buck (of R.E.M.) have joined forces to deliver new music to the masses in the form of the aforementioned band name: super-Earth. Not sure when they'll deliver the goods, but someone somewhere is jumping with joy, or at least digging into those old mixtapes, you know … from when people used to make them.

A couple weeks ago, I mentioned that a documentary about the late, great Elliott Smith (Heaven Adores You) is scheduled to premiere at the San Francisco International Film Festival. Now you can view a teaser of the film, which provides a glimpse of Smith's legendary status and why he was (and still is) loved and admired by his peers.

Let the album streamage commence: Last week, Lily Allen gave the visual accompaniment of her upcoming record's title track (“Sheezus”), and now she's streaming the album in its entirety. You can hear that via iTunes Radio, which confuses me, so I'll just wait for it to come out, assuming I want to hear it. And while we're on the topic of pop diva streaming, you can head to NPR to stream Lykke Li's I Never Learn. Oh, and you since everyone's giving it away for free (at least momentarily), head to Consequence of Sound to hear The Horrors' new record Luminous.

I'm gonna save you the introduction and spare you talk of my love of Christopher Owens, the former frontman for rock group Girls. I've gone there time and time again, so I'll just get right to it ... Owens has posted a new track (gospel-tinged rocker “Stephen”), and it's fucking great. Not sure if this is going to be on some future release, but one can hope. Have a listen below.

Music lovers young and old have shared thoughts about the internet's influence on music culture: how record labels don't make as much money; therefore, artists don't make as much money, yadda yadda. Steve Albini (noted producer, musician and engineer who has worked with The Breeders, Nirvana, Pixies, Veruca Salt and many more) has been pretty vocal about his views on record labels sucking artists dry to make a buck. And now, contrary to what many people would have considered him to believe, he says album streaming and the internet in general have solved “the problem with music.” He goes on to say “You can literally have a worldwide audience for your music … with no corporate participation, which is tremendous.” You can read more at Quartz.

The Roots shared a track from their forthcoming record ...And Then You Shoot Your Cousin a few weeks ago (and maybe another one in between), who can keep track? Either way, they've come out with another one (titled “Tomorrow”), which you can listen to below. Their album hits stores on May 13, which is right around the corner, so save them pennies.

Most folks know David Lynch from his eerie, avant-visual stylings in films like Eraserhead, Blue Velvet and Mulholland Drive. But the filmmaker has also been making music for a while now, and his new video, which was directed by Moby and features vocals by Mindy Jones, is available for visual and aural consumption. The vid is for the title track from last year's The Big Dream, his second full-length effort. You can watch that below.

V.23 No.16 | 4/17/2014

I got a lot of homework to do listening-wise. Like listening to The Men's latest LP Tomorrow's Hits, which has already been out for a few weeks? Months? See … I've lost track of time; total nightmare. But back to the topic at hand: 'Member I posted The Men's track “Different Days” a while back in anticipation for the record? I liked it so much that I thought I'd go ahead and share their recent video of said track with y'all. You can watch it below. Cheers!

Kim Deal's latest 7-inch hit the online markets on April 1, and there's a review by yours truly in the current edition of the Alibi. But Deal recently did an interview with Stereogum about the 7-inch releases (which, if you haven't heard them, are fantastic), working on new material with the Last Splash lineup of The Breeders after their extensive 20 year anniversary tour and much more. Why would you want to read this interview, you might ask. Because it's Kim fucking Deal. And she's always hilarious, humble and just plain cool in her interviews … and well, in life, I guess.

Is there some kind of rule that says you're supposed to change band names every few years? If that's the case, then Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Cedric Bixler-Zavala are right on time with their new band Antemasque. First there was At The Drive-In, then there was The Mars Volta, and now we have Antemasque. And judging from the two in-studio videos the band has already put out (as well as debut single “4AM”), it sounds like this could be something good. Head over to Consequence of Sound to read more about the project and the studio vids, and listen to their new track below. Oh and Flea (from Red Hot Chili Peppers) is also in the band.

Not only is “Shameless” one of the most daring shows on television, it's one of the most compelling. Though it's based off a British television series of the same name, the American version is way better (in my honest opinion). Watching the lives of the Gallaghers unfold as alcoholic family patriarch Frank hustles, does drugs and pretty much becomes the most awful human being imaginable is a roller coaster ride in and of itself. Now the music of the show (which stars William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum) is finally getting the soundtrack treatment … after only four seasons. You can read more about the indie-centric soundtrack at Billboard.

I mentioned some time back that Brody Dalle (formerly of The Distillers and Spinnerette) was coming out with a solo album (Diploid Love, out April 29). Now Ms. Dalle has graced listeners with another snippet from that forthcoming record. The track (“Blood In Gutters”) has somewhat of a grunge feel, already making me like it more than her first solo track (“Meet the Foetus/Oh the Joy”). Here's hoping the rest of the album has this same sinister intensity. You can hear the track below.

Not sure if I mentioned this before … but oh well … Bikini Kill have been broken up for what? 17 years? But the band is preparing to come out with some unreleased material in the form of their Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah reissue. And they've posted an unreleased tune from the release (out next week). The track is called “Girl Soldier.” So listen over at Soundcloud, and feast on some Riot Grrrl goodness.

Don't you just love when musicians up and surprise you with new music? Former Burqueño Willis Earl Beal recently released a surprise album online a few months ago, and to top it off, he's just released another surprise album, titled Curious Cool. Don't know where the songs came from (probably just demos he cut during his downtime), but when there's new material, you don't question it. You listen. So have at it.

Talk about jumping the gun … 'member how last week I wrote about the mid-'90s lineup of Hole reuniting. Well, apparently the band wasn't too happy with Love making those comments. So in a new interview with The Telegraph, Courtney states “It’s very frail, nothing might happen, and now the band are all flipping out with me.” Looks like we'll just have to wait and see.

Most of America knows The Roots as Jimmy Fallon's house band on “The Tonight Show.” But these guys have been making hip-hop tunes since the '80s. And now they're gearing up to release a new record, titled ...And Then You Shoot Your Cousin. In anticipation for the album (out May 13), the group has graced us with a song from the forthcoming release. You can hear “When the People Cheer” below.

I always like pop songs that have some sense of theater to them. You know … those bombastic, dramatic ones. That's probably why I like Lykke Li's “No Rest For the Wicked” so much. I posted the track a week or two ago, but now LL has come out with a video for the track. The ditty comes off her upcoming record I Never Learn, which hits the music-sphere on May 6. You can watch the video below.

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).

V.22 No.37 | 9/12/2013

After weeks of teasing and enticing fans, Arcade Fire have now unleashed their first single from their upcoming double LP, Reflektor (out Oct. 29). The title track is given an extended treat as it has gotten not one, but two videos. One is an interactive video where the viewer can take part in the visual experience, while the other is a traditional video (no interaction there) that contains a lot of reflective surfaces. But I'm sure you knew that.

Did you know that Elvis Costello and The Roots were collaborating? I didn't! Now that I do, this is definitely something worth looking into, and if you head over to NPR, you can hear the fruits of their labor, titled Wise Up Ghost, in its entirety. Or you can wait for it to hit stores on Sept. 17.

Just in case you were feeling that lingering spirit, that beckoning call of All Hallows Eve, that grotesque curiosity of the macabre … Franz Ferdinand's got you covered. Probably NSFW.

If you live in the Brooklyn area and have a baby that you think might be the next big DJ to hit the airwaves, contact Natalie Elizabeth Weiss. She runs a baby DJ school. No joke.

Judging from Janelle Monáe's performance on David Letterman, if she ever comes to Albuquerque, there's no way in hell I'm missing that show. Monáe's latest effort, The Electric Lady, hit the music-sphere this past week, and you can catch her performance below:

It looks like some more Beatles memorabilia can now be added to your collection in the form of their widely lauded performance/interview on BBC. On Air – Live at the BBC Volume 2 hits web and flea markets alike on Nov. 11 and features 37 performances and unreleased recordings of the band talking to the BBC hosts. Looks like the holidays are gonna be even sweeter.

Sky Ferreira has finally given a release date for her debut full-length effort, titled Night Time, My Time, and it'll hit the streets on Oct. 29. I became obsessed with her single “Lost In My Bedroom.” It's that sort of infectious pop that just grabs hold and can be listened to over and over again. But you don't have to take my word for it. Give it a listen.

Ty Segall is relentless. If he's not releasing multiple albums in a year or starting various projects with other musicians, he's, well … starting another project called FUZZ. They're coming out with a self-titled album on Oct. 1 via In The Red, and they've released another snippet from said upcoming album. You can hear “What's In My Head” over at Consequence of Sound.

Has it really been 14 years since TLC had a Billboard Top 10 hit? Regardless of longevity, these women (who have been performing as a duo since Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes died in 2002) are still working and recording. According to Billboard, we should be seeing some new material from them on Oct. 15. Speculation, people. But listen to their latest chart-topper, as they feature on J. Cole's “Crooked Smile.”

V.22 No.36 | 9/5/2013

MGMT are some weird dudes. While I was a fan of Oracular Spectacular, 2010's Congratulations just flew by without really sticking, and I don't regret that. But the third time's a charm? They have an upcoming self-titled album coming out on Sept. 17 via Columbia, and the band has shared a short film/trailer featuring some tracks from the soon-to-be-released record.

Sonic Youth-alum Kim Gordon has a new project to add to her wide array of artistic pursuits. Together with Bill Nace, they are Body/Head, and their new album, Coming Apart, gets released next week. But thanks to the folks over at Pitchfork, you can stream the album now.

If you've been following Pixies for the past few months, you may have already known that they're planning on releasing new material slowly but surely over the next year or so. For those who've been waiting, the wait is over. The band has released a 4-song EP, titled EP-1. It's available for purchase digitally and also as a limited edition 10” vinyl, which you can buy on their website. Sadly Kim Deal's not involved in these tracks, but you can hear new song “Indie Cindy” below:

Apparently music blogs were iterating that Fiona Apple had another “meltdown” onstage at an event in Tokyo (remember Roseland?), in which she stormed off stage. But a friend of Apple's, ?uestlove of The Roots, received an email from the singer/songwriter, asking that he publish her statement because, you know, she likes to stay somewhat under the radar and all. But you can read the statement via Okayplayer.

I can admit when I've made a mistake. Or when I've mistakenly avoided a band. Savages is that band, and judging from their new video for the track “I Am Here,” that was definitely my bad. You can also read about the band's re-recording process while making the video via Pitchfork. Now I have to go buy Silence Yourself.

What the hell are Arcade Fire up to? Whatever it is, they're planning something for Sept. 9 at 9pm, and they've released a video trailer for whatever is expected to go down. It could be their title single, “Reflektor,” which supposedly gets out to the public on Monday. Oh, and their follow-up to 2010's The Surburbs hits the streets on Oct. 29. It's called Reflektor, obviously.

I don't get Reddit. I'm just not tech-savvy enough to fully comprehend everything that Reddit has to offer, but I am a fan of their “AMA (Ask Me Anything” series where fans can post comments and receive answers to questions they've been dying to ask. And Big Boi is one of the latest artists to take part, wherein he talks about his work with Modest Mouse, sheds light on a possible Outkast reunion and new stuff he's working on.

Loretta Lynn's collaboration with Jack White, 2004's Van Lear Rose, was a masterpiece. I won't go into it again; I already have. But in an interview with Billboard, Lynn expressed her desire to work with White again. Though she's a busy woman; she says she's “got a Christmas album done, a religious album done, a CD of mountain songs with Shawn Camp,” so it'd be safe to assume we're going to be hearing some great stuff from one of country music's most loved and iconic performers. Also, White was recently named an honorary dean of Fermatta Music Academy in Mexico City.

If you haven't heard of Fred Stobaugh, it's okay. Even though he's 96, he's relatively new, having only written one song (a poetic ode to his wife of 72 years, who passed away in April). The song, titled “Oh Sweet Lorraine,” was entered in a songwriting contest by Green Shoe Studio, and it made such an impression that musician Jacob Colgan and Green Shoe Studio recorded the track and gave Stobaugh writing credit. And now Fred is the oldest artist to appear on Billboard's Hot 100. Not bad, Fred.

Neko Case's latest album, The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You, hit the music-sphere this week, and the singer/songwriter did an interview for A.V. Club's “Set List” where she talks about songs on the album, including her single, “Man,” and some of her noted previous work.

I have mixed feelings about Coldplay. While I like A Rush of Blood to the Head, I’ve had a stagnant relationship with everything they’ve done after, minus “Speed of Sound.” But now Chris Martin and company have shared a new track, titled “Atlas,” which is going to be featured on the soundtrack for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which hits multiplexes on Nov. 22. Somewhere out there, some teenage girls just cried.