<p>Lisa Hannigan</p>

Lisa Hannigan

Credit: Nicholas LaClair

Interview: Lisa Hannigan talks new album, Joe Henry, Ray Lamontagne collabs

Watch Irish songwriter covered in paint for ‘Knots’; finishes Dave Matthews Caravan stops

In the single-shot video for Lisa Hannigan’s “Knots,” the Irish singer-songwriter is bombarded by paint at all angles in the world’s easiest target practice. She’s a good sport, but she is solid, keeping her place.

In “Passenger,” her new album for ATO, she’s everywhere. The title itself refers to “what you take with you – love, heartbreak, friendships and all the problems – that you take across hundreds of miles and over a year. It’s all your passenger, moving on, moving along, meeting new people,” she told me in our recent interview.
And move it does. If you blinked, you could have missed Hannigan’s Mercury Prize-nominated solo debut “Sea Sew” from 2008: it excelled in subtlety, the calm of small-scale songs and melodies. It was beautiful. “Passenger” is bold, and in no small part due to Joe Henry.
The veteran songwriter and producer pushed instrumentation forward in the mix, as is evidenced in tracks like “Knots” and opener “Home.” Henry joined the project after hearing her sing during a tribute concert. He’d contacted Hannigan’s manager, “and with such a gentlemanly email style… and in classic lady style, when someone really want to talk to you, I’m like, ‘yeah whatever, blah blah.’ But then the moment I saw him… he was such an incredible spirit. I had a wonderful feeling about him.”
Read Full Post
My Morning Jacket slate December tour dates, with eye-catching openers

My Morning Jacket slate December tour dates, with eye-catching openers

Head and the Heart, Sharon Jones, Band of Horses, Delta Spirit on tap this fall/winter

My Morning Jacket have helped to headline music festivals all summer -- including at jam-happy Bonnaroo and at Austin City Limits just this past weekend. Now, the band has posted a spate of December U.S. tour dates, and have proved yet again that they have quite the eye for the perfect openers.

Immaculate Noise Lollapalooza favorite Delta Spirit are on for the majority, while eye-catching Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings are on for the first couple. Then, in reverb-drenched guitar heaven, MMJ is joined by Band of Horses at the newly renovated Madison Square Garden on Dec. 14. It'll be like a marathon of long vowel sounds.

And in case you missed it, the perennially awesome Neko Case has been on hand for shows this summer, and recent interviewees The Head and the Heart are helping the Jim James-helmed band overseas.

Read Full Post
<p>Metallica and Lou Reed</p>

Metallica and Lou Reed

Listen: Lou Reed and Metallica release 'The View' preview ahead of album

Is Loutallica ill-fated?

News continues to trickle out about the new Lou Reed and Metallica collaboration album "Lulu," and today brings with it the first listen.

Loutallica provide a 30-second, erm, preview into "The View," with the Velvets legend doing some spoken-word over Metallica just doing what Metallica does. It sounds like your drunk uncle talking about sex over a blasting radio and then everyone improvising a refrain when it looks like he's lost your interest.

Granted, the audio is ridiculously overly compressed, and it's only 30 seconds of verse with an inch of chorus. But my personal initial reaction: uh oh.

Read Full Post
<p>Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke performs at the Glastonbury music festival in June 2011</p>

Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke performs at the Glastonbury music festival in June 2011

Credit: AP Photo

Radiohead slates two New York shows, 'SNL,' 'Colbert' in sole U.S. concerts

Thom Yorke & Co. just kind of barely promoting 'King of Limbs' finally

Radiohead's slow-burning promotion of "The King of Limbs" has finally crossed the Atlantic, first with the announcement of a "Colbert Report" stop, "Saturday Night Live" and now a pair of shows later this month in New York.

The British band has announced Sept. 28 and 29 concerts at New York's Roseland Ballroom, with tickets going up just a couple days before at 10 a.m. on Sept. 26 via Ticketmaster. That room has the comparitively tiny capacity of ~3,200.

The last time Radiohead regularly gigged in the U.S. was in Aug. 2008. These mark the first concerts in support of newest album "The King of Limbs," released earlier this year.

In addition to these live shows, the band will initiate "The Colbert Report's" very first hour-long episode on Sept. 26; according to a release from Comedy Central, the group will play tracks from "TKoL" and "The Daily Mail," one of their unreleased tracks promoted during their "TKoL" stints overseas.

Additionally, Radiohead is scheduled for a stop on "Saturday Night Live" on Sept. 24, the comedy show's season premiere.

And at the moment, it doesn't look like they're going to stray far from the NYC area.

So why the comedy/variety shows? Perhaps those appearances will appeal to the widest swatch of people, and for a band so private, perhaps this is their way of showing more personality.

And why now? As we previously reported, "The King of Limbs" has been getting a remix makeover all summer long, culminating in double-disc release "TKOL 1234567" out on Oct. 11.

I'm a little surprised they're not promoting themselves in the U.S. closer to that release date, but maybe Colbert and "SNL" have scheduling ideas of their own around that release date, like AI's Lauren Alaina, the comeback of Evanescence or solo boy-brother band breakout Joe Jonas. But for a band that hasn't tried too terribly hard to push this latest album, any uptick is notable.

Listen: Jay-Z assists on J. Cole's single 'Mr. Nice Watch'

Listen: Jay-Z assists on J. Cole's single 'Mr. Nice Watch'

Tim Tebow timepieces

Big Sean declared earlier this summer that he's "Finally Famous," that despite fame's fickleness, "I'm a celebrity!" Drake spends much of his time boo-hooing his still-rising star's affinity for the camera's flashbulbs. Now J. Cole is musing his famous-ness with his new face: the face of a watch.

"No more Mr. Nice Guy," the Roc Nation signee warns on "Mr. Nice Watch," which features the very man responsible for Cole's expensive timepieces: Jay-Z. The space-aged electronic, beat-by-math production is more akin to a Justin Timberlake track were he still in the game, and it grows bigger and bigger...

And then lays low. Hov's contribution, despite his typical breathlessness, remains understated. But he's out the gate with a Tim Tebow reference, right in time for the first week of NFL regular season. "I got a Hublot, I call it Tebow/I strap that b*tch with a 'gator band," he raps, then parsing through some other watch references and letting that building beat just kinda sit there.

Read Full Post
Song Of The Day: Das Racist outsource most of their 'Power'

Song Of The Day: Das Racist outsource most of their 'Power'

Culled from hip-hop duo's latest 'Relax,' trippy track features Danny Brown, Despot

Das Racist have been carving out a home in hip-hop headlines for their brand of cheeky and socially conscious rap, but on "Power," they reserved their smarts for the beats.

Dash Speaks was behind the churning, mechanical production on this steel-toothed "big bad wolf," a lurching bevvy of good ideas. Each rhymers' lax sing-song verses playfully spar against each other in slow motion; while I find guest Danny Brown's contribution (see: hos, blow jobs) to be a bit archaic, Despot saves the day.

Don't get this "Power" mixed up with the Kanye West variety, even though they seem to share the same BPM. Das Racist are having fun and nodding to their forebears, with a "microphone check one, two..." -- not unlike their Sundance video pick "Who's That? Brooown!" -- on top of a very fresh bounce.

Read Full Post
<p>Reeve Carney</p>

Reeve Carney

Exclusive: Watch Reeve Carney talk U2's Bono, The Edge and 'Spider-Man'

Go behind the scenes in the 'Rise Above' music video

In this look behind the scenes of the "Rise Above" music video -- in which Bono, the Edge and Broadway star Reeve Carney come together -- there's a lot of hot topic.

U2 has been in the headlines over the last few days not only for their documentary "From the Sky Down," but for the frontman's announcement that a star-studded take on the band's 1991 album "Achtung Baby" is on the way. That set is getting a full boxed collection makeover this fall.

Then, Reeve Carney was formally announced as the lead in the as-yet-untitled Jeff Buckley biopic, which has the backing of Buckley's family and estate.

And, after overcoming months of mixed press and technical troubles, Broadway musical "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" is in full, erm, swing, and perhaps facing an uptick as the premiere date for the next cinematic take on Spidey's story, "The Amazing Spider-Man." The Andrew Garfield-starring version arrives in July 2012.

Check out the clip: Carney's featured speaking on how he got picked up for the role in "Turn Off the Dark," his standing over Manhattan's skyline in the musical's single "Rise Above" and working with the music born from Bono and guitarist The Edge's collaboration on the project.

While you're at it, check out the music video in whole here, and read up on "rising" star Carney.

<p>Kitty, Daisy &amp; Lewis</p>

Kitty, Daisy & Lewis

Exclusive: Kitty, Daisy & Lewis' urge 'Don't Make a Fool Out of Me' in new video

'Smoking in Heaven' drops in October; don't miss out on an old soul

Having an "old soul" has lost its meaning these days: it's something you say about your little nephew when he uses a big word, or when Anne Hathaway sits up straight at a fancy awards show.

So I'll say thus: Kitty, Daisy & Lewis don't have old souls, they're beyond that. This sibling trio is a home brew of veteran knack, acute grandeur and professional-grade showmanship. Their loose limbs don't seems to come from inexperience, but out of comfortability of self. And they're just now soaring out of their teens.

Take HitFix premiere video "Don't Make a Fool Out of Me," culled from "Smoking in Heaven," out today. The clip has the sisters thousand-yard-staring into the spiral abyss, Lewis and his prominently gapped-tooth convincing his lover as so many men have urged theirs: in an illustrious history of romantic follies, please, this time, don't make a fool out of me. As the black and white clip bounds along, listen for the tub thump of the kick, the snickering guitar line and the depth from which Lewis renders his argument.

Artists like Jimbo Mathus or Adele have taken audiences to whatever musical decade they choose; KD&L's "Smoking in Heaven" sticks largely to mid-century, from jump blues to Chuck Berry-style rock'n'roll, the soul of the '60s bowing into the California surf.

Read Full Post
<p>Mason Jennings</p>

Mason Jennings

Interview: Mason Jennings on Jason Schwartzman, 'Minnesota' collaborations

Solitude, trees and avoiding becoming an old-time rocker

Independence suits Mason Jennings. In his transplanted home of Minnesota, he crafted “Minnesota,” the album, out in his own wilderness, for the first time for his own label Stats & Brackets. Over the past year, he’s divided his time between raising his two kids with his wife of nine years, and then retreating to his private studio, recording most of mostly pop-rock album’s instruments himself.

"I make sure I have a space out in the woods, it's where I disappear and become very experimental. That’s been key for the last couple of records," Jennings said in our recent interview. "It's been really important to have trees, I love being around that sort of solitude."
But his independence doesn’t mean Jennings refuses help from his friends. Notably, on “Raindrops On…”, Jason Schwartzman makes a cameo on backing vocals and piano.
“I really like his music,” Jennings said of the actor, who also performs music under the name Coconut Records. “He sort of comes from a similar spot, in that he records most of his records himself… He has a great aesthetic. He gave [‘Raindrops On…’] a real magical feel.”
Read Full Post
<p>Bono at TIFF</p>

Bono at TIFF

Credit: AP Photo

U2 'Achtung' covers album features Jack White, Depeche Mode, Damien Rice

Damien Hirst completes work on 'Even Better Than the Real Thing' music video

On the heels of their "Achtung Baby" reissue announcement, U2 has gone further in celebrating that album's 20th anniversary.

Q Magazine has commissioned a covers set of that 1991 album, and Jack White, Depeche Mode, Damien Rice and Patti Smith are all on board. Bono made the announcement during his tenure at the Toronto International Film Festival this weekend, in support of U2 band documentary "From the Sky Down."

"Jack White does ‘Love Is Blindness,' Depeche Mode do ‘So Cruel,' Patti Smith did ‘Until the End of the World,' Damien Rice does ‘One.’ It just goes on," the frontman said at a press conference, according to Rolling Stone."And it’s strange, because when I hear the album, when U2 do it, all I hear is what’s wrong with it. But when I heard all these artists doing it, I thought, ‘It’s really good.'"

Read Full Post