<p>Win Butler</p>

Win Butler

Watch: Arcade Fire's Win Butler joins Mavis Staples on 'The Weight' cover

One thing you missed from Outside Lands

Two of my favorite things from 2011 Bonnaroo combined for a cool moment at the Outside Lands music festival in San Francisco this weekend: Mavis Staples' cover of "The Weight" and Arcade Fire.

AF frontman Win Butler joined up with the gospel and soul mainstay during her set, on The Band original. Sporting a stripey top and a colorful guitar, he sang during that well-known chorus. This fan-made video was just too cute to pass up.

Read Full Post
<p>David Lynch</p>

David Lynch

Listen: David Lynch releases debut solo album details, drops 'Good Day'

'Crazy Clown Time' to feature track with Karen O

David Lynch has been woven in and out of the music industry for a long, long time. One of his most notable contributions was his collaboration with Danger Mouse and late Sparklehorse mastermind Mark Linkous on cult-ish collabo album "Dark Night of the Soul."

Now the video and film director is stepping out full force with his debut solo album, a seemingly dance/electronic set called "Crazy Clown Time." We must wait to see why we endure such a silly name, but the lead single "Good Day Today" is fun enough.

While Lynch's work is often heady, this is a fairly straightforward, upbeat pop track. His voice is heavily modified with auto-tune and pitch-shift, as he reports from the minor to the major, "Send me an angel."

"Good Day Today" already dropped earlier this year, but it's one of 14 (!) tracks due from the rest of the set. "I Know," another track, appeared very late last year. It's much less house-pop, more "Dark Night," melancholy. Both are below.

Read Full Post


Listen: Feist releses first single from new album 'Metals'

'How Come You Never Go There' goes there with electric guitar, slow rock

Feist's new album 'Metals' is out the block with something a little softer than the album title implies.

"How Come You Never Go There" may sound grammatically incorrect, but this love song in context connects through its small, slow beat, Feist's typical stacked vocals and a second verse that will just kill you.

What I love about Leslie Feist is that all of her vocal takes sound like they were recorded with her lips just so up against the hood of the mic, like she was somewhere dark and intimate for even the fleshiest of full-band encounters. It sounds sexy because it is. This is one of those sexy songs, despite the evident loneliness.

Read Full Post
<p>Kanye West and Jay-Z in 'Otis'</p>

Kanye West and Jay-Z in 'Otis'

Watch: Kanye West, Jay-Z bust up a car with Spike Jonze in 'Otis' video

Sort of like 'Bellflower,' without all the paramount heartache

Hey Eminem, are you paying attention? Y'know how you forgot to smile, or, like Ebenezer, how to even loff?

Let Kanye West and Jay-Z remind you how. The hip-hop superstar duo -- who are attempting to go under the name The Throne right now -- have released the first official video from their new album "Watch the Throne." And "Otis," like the song, is a blast, literally and figuratively.

The pair paired up with acclaimed director Spike Jonze for some flames, a chopped and screwed Maybach and a quartet of panty-flashing girls just wanting to have fun. Hov lip-syncs the track's inspiration Otis Redding, Ye pretends to rap like his cohort and they goof on each other in a giant parking lot. It's sort of like "Bellflower" (HAVE YOU SEEN IT YET) only without the paramount heartache and subsequent death-courting rampage.

The narrative is non-existent, but it's a cute clip overall. It's nice to get away from the dark hues and booty shorts and on to what everybody really wants: something beautifully expensive torn to bits with electric saws and blow-torches. I'd love to see its equivalent done to their other brand name drops.

Read Full Post


Radiohead releasing double-disc 'King of Limbs' remix album

'TKOL RMX 1234567' includes contributions from Caribou, Four Tet, Jamie xx

Radiohead are giving "The King of Limbs" and extra, erm, leg of life.

The British band has been releasing 12" singles all summer of remixed tracks from their latest album, with contributions from artists like Caribou and Four Tet. Now, all of those reduxes are being compiled into a 19-track, double-disc and download package, "TLOL RMX 1234567."

Radiohead chose their collaborators out of a crew of "electronic artists and producers who have been exciting and inspiring the members of the band." That would be you, Jamie xx, SBTRKT, Jacques Greene, Modeselektor...


Read Full Post
<p>&quot;Watch the Throne&quot;</p>

"Watch the Throne"


Album Review: Jay-Z and Kanye West's 'Watch the Throne'

Is this shine just shy of gold?

Kanye West shouldn’t have started hyping “Watch the Throne” last year. Undoubtedly, the full-length collaboration with Jay-Z wouldn’t have gone unnoticed all these months, but we could have at least overlooked misstep H.A.M. in January; more would have been made of near-perfect “Otis.”

And expectations could have been curbed and formed more precisely. This album is a capsule and not a grand statement, which one would assume from hip-hop’s royalty and from an album that may as well have been named “Watch This Space.” West and Jay-Z are only seven years apart in age, but a generation apart in the history of hip-hop. Hov’s strengths are in his narrative and sparring, Ye’s in his brand of swagger and navigation around a beat/sample. They can interchange, bump off of each other’s language, and that is “Throne’s” strength.
Its divorce is in the potential for a conversation and not just a pair of talking heads. This is a long-form project of almost unprecedented proportions and yet it feels downscaled.
That’s not to say it’s a bad album. It’s quite good, one of the best hip-hop albums to come out this year.
Take for instance “Made in America.” The theme is men and women of color getting their slice of American Pie, whether as a martyr or a trailblazer or an entertainer. But it feels cheapened with Frank Ocean’s repeated refrain “sweet baby Jesus” and Kanye’s digression on blogging, like the song needed catch-phrases to cut Hov’s verse on rags-to-riches for the American Black Man.
Read Full Post
<p>Coldplay's Chris Martin at Lollapalooza on Friday</p>

Coldplay's Chris Martin at Lollapalooza on Friday

Credit: Katie Hasty

What you missed at Lollapalooza 2011: Coldplay, Eminem, Foo Fighters

Bests and worsts, plus photos: Cee Lo, MMJ, A Perfect Circle, Nas

Lollapalooza 2011 ran over this past weekend, starting Friday (Aug. 7) through Sunday (Aug. 9), taking over Chicago’s Grant Park. The previously roving festival celebrated its 20th anniversary.

Friday’s headliners:
Coldplay paid tribute to Amy Winehouse, and gave some new songs their U.S. debut. Read a full recap here.
Muse also played, about which Time Out wrote: “But tonight, as serious and ominously political as a Muse album can be, the band (technically presented as a trio, but featuring a shadowy keyboardist throughout most of the set tonight) also had a way of injecting a looseness in their hour and half plus encore set.” Read more.
Saturday’s headliners:
Eminem brought out a small parade of guests, including Bruno Mars, Skylar Grey and Royce da 5’9”. Read a full recap here.
My Morning Jacket took to the other end of the field, with a crowd Paste called “unjustly small. Those who did opt to see Jim James and company over Eminem, however, were rewarded with a strong set by a band whose live act only seems to be getting better.” Read more here.
Sunday’s headliners:
The Foo Fighters battled the rain for an epic two-hour soaked set, with fest organizer Perry Farrell taking a bow. Read a full recap here.
Deadmau5 put on a very different show, albeit still high-octane. The Chicago Tribune even said the DJ started 20 minutes early. More here.
Check out Day One photos of Coldplay, A Perfect Circle, Tinie Tempah, Foster the People, Reptar, White Lies and OK Go.
Check out Day Two photos of My Morning Jacket, Skylar Grey, Cee Lo Green, Fitz & the Tantrums, Mayer Hawthorne, Death From Above 1979, Deftones, Local Natives and Atmosphere.
Check out Day Three photos of Noah and the Whale, Explosions in the Sky, Arctic Monkeys, The Cars, City and Colour, Portugal. The Man, little hurricane, Cold War Kids and Nas.
Perry Farrell announced that not only was Lollapalooza returning to Chile in 2012, Brazil will be getting its own version of the festival in April as well.
Interviews to come include Bright Eyes, Deftones, Maps & Atlases, OK Go and more.
Best in show: Death From Above 1979 made a wreck out of SXSW earlier this year during its reunion go-round, but at Lolla, the band had the whole North end of Grant Park to wile away. The duo frequently played off of tracked samplers, but easily filled in the gaps with crunchy, grungy bass and Sebastien Grainger’s inhuman yowl, as he thudded and pounded each turn of phrase into a statement behind his monstrous drum kit.
“I think we scared the rain away,” he said, Saturday’s forecast tentative but obviously contingent on the decibels of rock.
I’d still nominate Grainger for “worst haircut/facial hair combination,” but there’s something so cheeky about the whole getup. He digressed at one point into an incredible take on AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck,” but seemed too self-deprecating to let out the full load on a song he obviously grew up with and perhaps even learned on. Behind them, a backdrop banner declaring the band dead, a tombstone touting “DFA1979, 2001-2006.” He even got the crowd feeling the self-consciousness.
“How many of you were at the Metro show on Thursday?” Cheering. “How many of you were at the Empty Bottle six years ago?” Laughter and cheering. “Do you guys know what the Empty Bottle is?”
Delta Spirit brought a lot of noise with them, too, affected wild-man Matthew Vasquez burning through choice cuts of latest “History from Below.” I can’t help a Kings of Leon comparison, with the volume and the pacing of their modern rock, but Delta Spirit also heralds Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bob Seger and even Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, and they were capable carriers of such torches. “Just Tear It Up” was especially solid.
Read Full Post
<p>Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl</p>

Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl

Credit: AP Photo

Foo Fighters finale brings Lollapalooza to a rain-soaked close

Dave Grohl, Chicago festival celebrates 'alternative' roots in its 20th anniversary closer

CHICAGO – It cannot be helped that the Foo Fighters’ Lollapalooza finale set includes, in part, a weather report.

 The 16-year-old band shined off the three-day festival with less shine and more rain, as the two-hour set featured buckets and sheets of bad weather for 20 minutes, only half an hour in.
“You stinky f*ckers finally got a bath,” Foos frontman Dave Grohl laughed. Despite the downpour, there was no interruption in the encore-less hit parade, from opener “Bridges Burning” to final “Everlong.”
Grant Park’s southernmost field had already been torn into a muddy stew by 30 minutes of rain and retreating attendees around 6 p.m. That front interrupted Arctic Monkeys’ set, which then pushed the Foos’ thunderous warm-up, Explosions In The Sky (apt, no?), to finish their set in record time. They forced “an hour-and-a-half of rock into 45 minutes,” said one Explosions guitarist, before they wordlessly pummeled through their loud-quite-loud instrumental dreamscapes and nightmares.
For Grohl & Co., it was about keeping the show upbeat and moving along with 20 songs total for those fans that stuck it out in the mud and the cooling temperatures. Skies broke in time for “Arlandria,” which the singer and guitarist noted as he riffed on the well-loved “rain, rain” rhyme: “Shame, shame go away / come again some other day.”
Grohl was chock-full of lively banter, too, and shared the spotlight on and off with Taylor Hawkins – two adept barrel beaters getting their flop-sweat on.
“It’s like Freddie Mercury is my drummer,” Grohl said.
Hawkins had his own say too.
“In 1988, Jane’s Addiction saved my life,” he said from behind the kit, in thanks to festival founder Perry Farrell. He then took the lead on “Cold Day in the Sun,” from 2005’s “In Your Honor,” Hawkins’ first Foos song to ever take lead vocals. Farrell came out on stage briefly, later in the set, to bow in thanks to the mop-haired masses.
Other highlights included intimate “Times Like These” and “These Days” from Grohl, who, earlier, threw himself into the front row of the crowd, guitar in hand, during an extended solo for “Long Road to Ruin.” The band also took on one of their well-loved covers, Mose Allison’s “Young Man Blues,” made popular by the Who.
Grohl waxed nostalgic, briefly, on this Lolla 20th anniversary weekend; remembering in the ‘90s when his old band Nirvana played to a 20,000 cap instead of the 90,000 that had tickets for this past weekend. With the Foo Fighters as one of the weekend’s tentpoles, it seems that “alternative” rock is still alive and well, and even a little bit wet.


Read Full Post
<p>Eminem at Lollapalooza</p>

Eminem at Lollapalooza

Eminem joined by Bruno Mars, Skylar Grey, Royce da 5’9” at Lollapalooza

Recovering addict pulls a prank on party people

CHICAGO - “I couldn’t think of a better motherf*cking place to ‘Relapse,’” Eminem told Lollapalooza attendees after a brief costume change into a thick black hoodie, and invoking the name of his 2009 full-length. “Chicago, can I relapse with you tonight?”

People cheered but then the rapper insisted, “I’m not joking. I’m gonna take a drink for you.” Em’s hype-man Mr. Porter kinda started reeling around his recovering addict and cohort, like, naw man you ain’t gonna do it. Out came a handle of what looked like vodka from the wings. A couple of boos interlaced the noise. Eminem very magnificently put the bottle to his lips, and drank for four seconds.

 And that’s when water comically gushed out of a half-dozen holes poked into the sweatshirt.
“I guess I’m not built for that sh*t, am I?” he shrugged, still unsmiling and straight-man as ever. “Now I’m gonna take you back to when I used to get f*cked up.”
And he burst into his old-school medley of crazy-eyed “My Name Is,” “The Real Slim Shady” and almost all of “Without Me.”

Read Full Post
<p>Jonny Buckland and Chris Martin</p>

Jonny Buckland and Chris Martin

Credit: Katie Hasty

Coldplay debuts new music, honors Amy Winehouse at Lollapalooza

Several new songs make their American premiere at Chicago festival

CHICAGO – Chris Martin’s signature bounce is adjusting to a whole new setlist, if Coldplay’s show last night is a testament.

The British band made a live concert return to the U.S. headlining Lollapalooza day one (Aug. 5), and brought a graffiti-spattered pocketful of fresh tracks, many of which made their American debut.
Leaving their rustic French Revolution “Viva La Vida” days behind, the four-piece band opted instead for a slicker and, at times, more colorful stage show. Frontman Chris Martin acoustic guitar had scratches and characters etched into it’s slate façade, like a blackboard, while guitarist Jonny Buckland’s electric axe was tagged by colorful marker all over the body. The organ and piano were painted up with various geometric designs, a reflection of the multi-colored laser light pattern that shot out from the back of the stage whenever the band performed a new song. Otherwise, it was all basic and bold colors that shone in monochrome on the stage, like a bath of spray paint. The giant, high-flying balloons in the audience still abounded.
It’s right in line with what the band has said was the inspiration for their new, forthcoming album, which will likely include the single (and show-closer) “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall.” That track’s music video brandishes one of the biggest nods, to American graffiti and street art. And while this pop-rock band may have little urban influence about it, they nonetheless have made some new tracks that reflect the rainbow.
Read Full Post