Hip-hop troupe sets tracklist, release date for 'How I Got Over'
Monsters of Folk's original "Dear God (Sincerely, MOF)" already had a pretty solid beat and the voice of Jim James sounding like a soul sample from a different era, so it's not any surprise that a hip-hop troupe would pick it up for their own uses.
The Roots are preparing their ninth album "How I Got Over," and have unleashed their own "Dear God 2.0." The result? Essentially the same guts of the song, with raps over the verses. It's like a bizarro version of the jam, already otherworldly and kind of a downer in its own right.
"Dear God, I see your face in all I do / Sometimes it's so hard to believe in / But God I know you have your reasons," goes the original choruse, James' delicate palatte mashing into the rhymes on disasters of the manmade and natural in the world. "Why's the world so ugly if you made it in your image?" the Roots shout at the man from above, then whip it back to their own situation of just carving out their own place in the entertainment world, on the "Def Jam payment plan."
While the release has been pushed back and back and back, the group -- who happens to be moonlighting as house band on "Jimmy Fallon," or vice-versa -- announced a June 22 release and a tracklist which will surely change before them. Proof? Right around the same time as the announcement last week, ?uestlove Tweeted that he was in the studio with three of the gals from 2009 darlings Dirty Projectors, making interludes.
As previously reported, The Roots are working with a number of other guests for the set, from sampling Joanna Newsom to adding guest vocalist John Legend. They much of the album to a small set of reporters last week, a gathering to which I had no invite, so I will pretend I was washing my hair instead.
Here is the tracklist to "How I Got Over":
1. Walk Alone (Truck North, Porn, Dice Raw, Mercedes Martinez)
2. Dear God 2.0 (feat. Jim James, MOF)
3. Radio Daze (feat. Blu, Porn, Dice Raw, Mercedes Martinez)
4. Now Or Never (feat. Phonte Coleman, Dice Raw)
5. How I Got Over (feat. Dice Raw)
6. The Day (feat. Blu, Phonte Coleman, Patty Crash)
7. Right On (feat. Joanna Newsom, Sugar Tongue Slim)
8. Doin It Again (feat. John Legend)
9. The Fire (feat. John Legend, Rick Friedrich)
Does this make your summer jams list?
Robyn's "Dancing on My Own" started streaming around the web a couple of weeks ago, but the impact of this standout club track is best experienced in tandem with its Max Vitali-directed music video, below.
First: I love the styling of this clip. The Swedish singer is looking pretty, tough and pretty tough to look away from. The single-earring ensembles, the eye-catching but anti-outlandish outfit choices and the parallels between the set pieces and the angular, tight rhythms of the song itself are beyond agreeable. Those puffs of smoke around the 1:48 mark just kill me.
"Inspired by her love of inherently sad, gay disco anthems," as it's described on her website, "Dancing on My Own" really is a tragedy, while simultaneously pronouncing triumph in solitude. Or, rather, Robyn is on fire with "stilletos and broken bottles," in spite and because of that frustrating former lover.
"Yeah I know it's stupid / I just gotta see it for myself," words I know I've grumbled in my head before, a clunky, self-conscious and totally believable sentiment that says so much even outside the four walls of a club. Her face shows it, her voice wins it. She beats the air like an impetuous rave kid and busting out some 'floor moves that even a novice could follow as she concedes: "I'm giving it my all / but I'm not the girl you're taking home."
Well, whoever he is, Robyn, he's the big loser here. This track is slamming, one of my favorite dance tracks this year so far; she has me with every heartbeat.
"Dancing on My Own" will be available June 1 in the U.S. as part of her "Body Talk Pt. 1" EP/record, the first of three parts due this year. Check out my thoughts on the slow-burning first track made available from that set, "None of Dem, here. I personally look forward to "Don’t F*cking Tell Me What To Do."
British singer-songwriter continues to impress, now on One Little Indian
It was a little over 10 years ago that I picked up on Kathryn Williams' trail, when I heard her track "Jasmine Hoop," pouring over a CMJ magzine when it wasn't pamphlet-sized.
The song was from her distractingly beautiful "Little Black Numbers," a record which got her nominated for a Mercury in 2000. When I lived in Scotland, I remember being dumbstruck by the way she lunged her way around her guitar, and the power and emotion her tiny voice can cull from even the stoniest of hearts. Damien Rice was opening those shows then, though at the time she and her delicate orchestra of players blew the night away.
Williams has for years been working toward earning an audience in America, with no distribution, at first, then no label home until "Two" last year on hard-working indie Cheap Lullaby. And now, the big news is that she's signed with One Little Indian, who's getting her new album "The Quickening" out in North America on July 6.
One Little Indian has been home to some of the most innovative and unique voices in experimental, roots-based and electronic music, from Bjork to the Pernice Brothers to one of my personal faves, The Twilight Singers (no, not that "Twilight"). It's a great home to this impressive folk singer, who has been incorporating samples and loops into her finger-picking and lightly-arranged compositions.
Her business plan has been simple, and hopefully will carry on here in the States. "I'm just used to people buying the record and liking it and buying more," she told me in 2005. Hint: It's working.
Below is "Little Lesson," which has a bassline and refrain eager to stick.
One Little Indian is also re-releasing "Relatives," a collection of covers Williams did of her favorite influencers, on the same day.
Watch: Newest cheeseball press conference from Jerry Casale, Mark Mothersbaugh
Coming back from a 20-year absence isn’t easy, and doesn’t Jerry Casale know it.
From well-titled forthcoming album 'Champ'
Tokyo Police Club want to take you on the road with their new music video for "Breakneck Speed," culled from forthcoming album "Champ" due June 8.
The track has a good-feeling chorus that leaves you mindlessly repeating to yourself: "It's good to be back." It's a refrain that heralds the new set, as well as a big, messily executed lyrical bear hug to coming home from tour.
But the young band doesn't make the road seem as bad as it can boringly be. Featured are several scenarios of goofing off, of hugging oversized mascots at festival grounds to staring into space as rainbows or planes fly by. Little vignettes of shows and the aftershows peep through the sunny harmonies as the bonds grow between band members and band with its audience.
OK, it's just cute.Â The track itself has a little Frank Blackness to it, with the matter-of-fact vocals that made the Weakerthans special. They've made it out alive.
Is there free pot or something?
The folks over at Austin City Limits must have noticed that all the tickets for this year's fest were already sold out by time they formally sat down at the headliner brainstorming table.
"Eagles?" one organizer may have quipped.Â
"Yeah, the Eagles!" another may have retorted, with a little too much excitement, making the room uncomfortable for nay-sayers.
Hell, there may have been no nay-sayers. I mean, 100 million people in the world own Eagles' "Greatest Hits." They're safe, everybody knows the songs, and they just happen to be doing some shows this year! Alright!
Muse has already headlined a fest this summer -- and they're great, but good for non-fans? So has Flaming Lips, which always does with Flaming Lips always does only this time with the "Dark Side of the Moon" novelty batted about for the year. Phish toured like crazy last year, partly in support of their pretty lame "Joy" set and were Bonnaroo's babies for eternity. The Strokes have not yet proven themselves worthy of a 2010 return, with no new music for us to hear and the nostalgia of 2002 still not set in our muscles in happy rigor mortis.
Exceptions to the "meh" hue of this palette: while IÂ haven't seen LCD Soundsystem on this go-'round, word from Coachella is that they're solid, with a killer record to boot; and M.I.A. promises to be batsh*t bonkers (I look forward to posting the pics from that ish).
But you're still left with those big names, the ones that aren't necessarily playing your smaller or secondary markets. You're left with the Eagles, who to me are aural wallpaper, wallpaper that sings "Hotel California" for the encore.
Is there free pot or something? Are the Eagles supposed to be the prestige, the big reveal -- furthermore, shouldn't people who love the Eagles just get tickets to that show, instead of major festival organizers merely trusting that enough people won't be pissed off by the choice?
"But," says my straw man, "what of great album artists like Spoon, Sonic Youth, Monsters of Folk? Sleigh Bells is off the hook, Lucero can jam and Matt & Kim has a girl in it, I think."
Ugh, says I, why would you go to an expensive festival just see those?
Folks who love music or love drinking or love both go to music festivals. Festivals are crazy, expensive, crowded. It's hard to see everything you want but they make great stories for when you go home; they're for the young, and the young at heart (and the lesser-jaded). ACL, hosted in one of the best cities ever to see live music, is like Jazz Fest, often with safer acts, often with alt-country, country, roots and blues music to boot.
ACL is kind of a pet-fest for dad-rock, older white dudes. (It's OK for me to say that, IÂ have white dudes in my family.) Which is fine and everything except there doesn't seem to be anything special about this particular festival except in its plainness -- and goers should be more demanding of their wildly expensive, tiring weekend events.
Wasn't this effort supposed to be 'just for laughs?'
Ryan Adams is releasing a new album. Rather, a new-old effort.
Between 2000 and 2008, the singer-songwriter released a new album a year -- and in 2005's case, three of them -- but 2006 stared out like a lost, scared child with no effort to call it's own.
But now we see there was "Orion" all along. In a post on Adams' website, it says that "Orion is Ryan Adams' first fully realized sci-fi metal concept album." It won't be released on CD, but instead in a vinyl + download format for and "extremely" limited pressing.
The personnel boasts Adams (under the moniker Dra), former Cardinal Jamie Candiloro on drums and synths and Dale Nixon on bass. Candiloro produced the set. It's up for $25, out May 24.
While Adams is better known for his folk- and country-infused solo tracks and for his stint as Whiskeytown frontman, he's been a long-lover of hard rock. In fact, back in 2006 as he was sobering up, he started slapping up webcasts of metal licks and 11 albums worth of heavy rock, jokey hip-hop and other wild mental meanderings.
"It was musical blogging, and I was just ripping on s**t," Adams told me back then. "It's not very good and wasn't meant to be anything more than just a laugh."
Liar. Looks like enough was cobbled together for what sounds like a pretty sweet set, 13 tracks with titles like "Ghoron, Master of War" and "Victims of the Ice Brigade." Sounds like good fun, which is precisely what Adams' last two efforts, "Easy Tiger" and "Cardinology" lacked: fun. Sorry race car fans.
Can Mariqueen prove herself in the song, clip?
Do you think you're having a rough week so far? It's still probably got nothing on How To Destroy Angels', at least in their video form.
In a mysterious, gory clip for "The Space In Between," the viewer walks in on the scene of a crime, in which the band's Trent Reznor and Mariqueen Maandig have already been murder. Though Reznor lays motionless on the floor, the frontlady lifelessly "sings" from the floor, blood dripping down her face.
Soon the bed is on fire, roses are set on fire (of course they are), the whole room and the pair are up in flames. The perps sit across from them, emotionless, as one makes a phone call while the other unblinkinly watches TV.
Maybe this is a metaphor for something. Or maybe its just a murder fetish -- I mean, the thing is kind of beautiful and disgustingly watchable. The song is still that burning, churning electronic hard stuff that "A Drowning" was made of, and again, Mariqueen still comes up short as a distinctive voice in what's essentially an all-Reznor comp, though admittedly the clip sets the mood despite its abrupt end (pun intended).
"A Drowning" is up for sale digitally now; an EP is expected to be released this summer.
What do you think of the video? Push your buttons or are you totally in bed with it?
To Tweet is to take home a little piece of James Murphy
**** This contest is officially closed. Congrats to @jonwiththewind, who has won our poster! ****
This week, LCD Soundsystem celebrates its sonically diverse -- and what may be its last -- album "This Is Happening." For fans of the man and the band, there's some decorative pleasure to be had in this achievement, at least for one lucky HitFix / Immaculate Noise reader.
In the next 48 hours, I will be giving away a limited edition poster for "This Is Happening" -- pictured below -- which comes with a copy of the CD.
To Tweet is to enter:
+ Then send a Tweet including "@HitFix @katieaprincess #LCDposter" somewhere in your text.
That's it. Seems pretty black and white -- which is precisely the color palette for this minimalist, block-rocking print. (The little cassette tape reads, "THIS IS HAPPENING.") The winner will be chosen at random, I swear.
"This Is Happening" was released today (May 18) and includes nine tracks of mastermind James Murphy's meandering emotive states, through the humor of single "Drunk Girls" to the breathless promise of "I Can Change." Click here to check it all out and click here to just buy the darn thing.
Maybe this is why Adam Lambert didn't make the cut
Part of it may be the compression of the track that's out there, but, take for instance the piano accompaniment: dripping cheese. The guitar solo is like the soft edges on a hair metal haircut. Lyrically, Matthew Bellamy mayÂ have been laughing at himself as he wrote this middle school poetry down.
Or maybe not. According to the BBC, the British singer was inspired not by the melancholy of "Twilight" Edward and Bella's oft-difficult romance, but of his own breakup with a girlfriend.
"I might as well just bung it in there and get it out there because this song represents a bit of a difficult period for me in my life. It's the kind of song that by the time we get to the next album might not be relevant any more. My life might have changed and moved on."
Oops, sorry brother.
"It's kind of like a cheesy love sentiment I suppose. When I wrote the song, it was quite a heavy thing.." Relief! He agrees.Â
Muse does extreme well: they're loud, dramatic, intergalactic and cinematic. But this doesn't strike me as a song I'll want to hear over and over again, like so many of their other tracks. It seems fake, a bit -- no offense -- like the manufactured glam of Adam Lambert. Looks like he didn't have to "apply" to be on the soundtrack after all.