Now is the perfect time for Mastodon’s “The Hunter” arrival. This month has been a running log of grunge and ‘90s rock revisits, in addition to the speculation that the Lou Reed and Metallica collaboration album will equal a worst-case scenario. Plus, somehow, Mastodon has spent the last three records as the metal band added to the playlists of people who don’t typically listen to metal.
While we’re talking about the arbitrary, 5- or 10-year incremental celebrations of albums, let’s prepare for impending decade anniversary of Wilco’s “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.” That seminal effort dropped in April 2002; pick through reviews of the Chicago-based band’s last three albums – 2009’s “Wilco (The Album),” 2007’s “Sky Blue Sky” and 2004’s “A Ghost Is Born” -- and see critics reaching and plucking out what they can of some semblance to “YHF.”
Nirvana thrived in contradiction: quiet and loud, passion and disassociation, melody and dissonance, clarity and obliqueness, pop-unfriendly and radio-baiting. Like their breakthrough single “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” the grunge pioneers headed a revolution and simultaneously made a cruel farce of it.
It's been one hell of a week for '90s/rock-era news. R.E.M. split, Nirvana's "Nevermind" 20th anniversary is on Saturday, Guns N' Roses is touring America, Pearl Jam's rock doc and subsequent soundtrack is out and Radiohead is acting like Radiohead.
On a smaller scale -- but significantly -- Guided By Voices have taken their reunion to the next step and are releasing the first album of new material from its "classic" lineup for the first time since 1996. (The band's final lineup split on New Year's Eve in 2004).
Robert Pollard, Tobin Sprout, Greg Demos, Mitch Mitchell and Kevin Fennell (circa ~1992-1996) got back together last year for Matador Records' 21st birthday, and then hit the road in a full tour. Now, a 21-track set is on the way, "Let's Go Eat the Factory," and will be ready for a January 1, 2012 release. For those playing along at home -- in the words of another band celebrating a major anniversary soon -- that's "on New Year's Day."
Twenty-one tracks is about on par with GBV releases (average number of tracks: 2,389), but it'd be shocking if the rockers have just one album in their back pocket.
Radiohead is continuing to show renewed interest in actually promoting "King of Limbs" -- or simply their own legacy -- with plans to tour in 2012.
Frontman Thom Yorke was guest DJing on BBC's Radio 1 this week and revealed to host Gille Peterson that the British band will be on the road "on and off during the year" next year, though not specifying if they'd be returning to America after the quick spate of dates at the end of this month.
Were the 2012 tour to be in support of their latest album from February, Radiohead are a bit behind the ball; however, it seems more than just "KoL" and forthcoming remix album "KOL 12345657" are slated for promotion.
Yorke also said during the program that he's continuing to pursue efforts with his side project Atoms of Peace, which features Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea and longtime Radiohead collaborator Nigel Godrich. The band did a handful of dates last year, which “sparked something off, it was really exciting … It had really good energy.” Thus, he's currently "finishing" an AFP album with Godrich, drop date to be determined.
Rihanna has "found love in a hopeless place," and that place is squarely in the middle of a busy, arena-sized dance floor. The Bajan singer dropped her new single "We Found Love" (featuring Calvin Harris) at 9 a.m. EST this morning (Sept. 22), simultaneously detailing her next, as-yet-untitled album. And throwing a trump card at Lady Gaga.
"We Found Love" was "unlocked" once Ri-Ri's Facebook fans reached 45 million, which is a few hundred thousand more than Mother Monster's 43.7 million. Thus, Rihanna becomes the most popular solo female artist on Facebook (for the moment). Ain't nothing wrong with a little friendly competition.
The great unveiling sent this song straight to all the usual outlets, and, in all likelihood, straight to the top of my heart. Er, charts. Ugh, did I just say that?
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.
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.
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.