Costume department ran out of tuxedo jackets
- Critic's Rating C-
- Readers' Rating n/a
Today, A$AP Rocky released the video for his single "F**ckin' Problems," off of "LongLiveA$AP." It coincides with the announcement that the album is now due on Jan. 15.
Here are five points for clarification:
1) "F**ckin' Problems" does not refer to having difficulties fornicating. It's about problems that are more difficult than others, first and foremost, plus needing to have sex so much and ample reserve of game girls that such a lifestyle becomes an issue. Suspiciously, f*cking b*tches helps to solve said problems. SO DEEP.
'AMOK' now due a month later
Finally, a word directly from Thom Yorke on the future of his Atoms For Peace supercrew: the band has confirmed a new released date, some artwork and a tracklist for album "AMOK."
The full-length debut will be out via XL on Feb. 26, a month after initially reported, with the personnel as expected, featuring Radiohead frontman Yorke, longtime collaborator Nigel Godrich, Joey Waronker, Mauro Refosco and Flea. The set is only nine tracks long, which is actually unsurprising, considering Radiohead's last effort "The King of Limbs" was only eight.
Stanley Donwood, who has also worked with Yorke & Co. for stretches, is also behind artwork for the album. You can see the cover below.
Atoms For Peace have promised to post new material on their website soon; Yorke said in his statement that Atoms For Peace may play shows next year, and that the project is "ongoing."
"Atoms is a ongoing and open ended project, where it leads i know not for certain... which is what is nice about it."
The network has released a "special tease" video for the film, which debuts on Feb. 16. From the looks and sounds of it -- the title TBA -- Beyonce's doc is mostly about fear and hair.
"HBO has a history of pushing every boundary with class and authenticity," Beyonce said in a recent statement. "Some of my favorite shows are on HBO, so I am excited that my film will be part of its bold programming. This film was so personal to me, it had to have the right home."
Reworked tune has a live performance sheen
Ryan Adams' "Ashes & Fire" had a lot less production sheen on it than, say, "Easy Tiger." Well, consider his redux of "Shine Through the Dark" to have an even smaller amount of futzing.
The song has been reworked to fit into Judd Apatow's new film "This Is 40," and according to EW, you can expect to see and hear a little more from Adams in "40" than just a line in end credits.
"Shine Through the Dark" -- a live recording -- is another good reason why you'd want to live your life inside of pedal steel, with it's harumphs and sighs lining the sides of this uptempo tune. The track was originally recorded and released for "Live From Nowhere Near You: Volume 2," a charity comp released last year.
Fiona Apple's contribution to "This Is 40," "Dull Tool," has been leaked on and off. Keep your ears peeled.
Here is the tracklist for the "This is 40" soundtrack:
1. I’m Your Angel – Yoko Ono
2. Always Judging – Norah Jones
3. What Do You Like? – Graham Parker with Punch Brothers
4. Sick Of You – Lindsey Buckingham
5. Rewrite – Paul Simon
6. Shine Through The Dark (Live) – Ryan Adams
7. Lunch Box Odd Sox – Paul McCartney
8. Brother & Sister – Lindsey Buckingham Featuring Norah Jones
9. Theme 1 (Debbie & Oliver) – Jon Brion
10. Watch The Moon Come Down – Graham Parker & The Rumour
11. Days That We Die – Loudon Wainwright
12. She Acts Like You – Lindsey Buckingham
13. Dull Tool – Fiona Apple
14. Lucky Now (Live) – Ryan Adams
15. I Got You – Wilco
16. Live & Die – The Avett Brothers
Bonus track (digital only):
17. Protection (Live) – Graham Parker & The Rumour
'History of the Eagles' headed to Park City, too
In about six weeks, all the mysteries of Dave Grohl's "Sound City" documentary will be revealed, as it premieres at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. The Foo Fighters frontman is taking his directorial debut to Park City, Utah for the event running Jan. 17-27.
The film chronicles the good times had at Sound City Studios, the Van Nuys, Calif., recording palace, its history, and "then explores the human element of music in an age of technology, and features performances of new music created exclusively for the film." Acts like Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty, Cheap Trick, Guns 'N Roses, Rage Against the Machine, Nine Inch Nails and Metallica have all recorded at Sound City; Grohl's previous, tiny little band Nirvana also laid down their album "Nevermind" there.
Why you can't hear it yet
Arcade Fire are definitely on track to releasing new music in the coming year, especially since they're previewing even more of it at secret shows.
The Montreal-based rock crew performed a tiny show in their hometown this weekend according to fan site Arcade Fire Tube, and apparently the tunes are dance-worthy, if at the least upbeat. Only around 100 people were present for the show. The group were billed under the name Les Identiks.
So where's the blurry live video with some loud dude talking over the sound of the bar's clinking glasses? All those clued in to the performances swore to a no-phone, no-video, no-photo and no-recording policy.
Arcade Fire played a new song "Crucified Again" at a benefit show earlier this fall, you can see that here. Because those guys didn't have the same policy.
Arcade Fire's last album "The Suburbs" was released in August 2010.
Watch the trailer to 'Push the Sky Away'
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds are getting ready to bow their first album in five years when "Push the Sky Away" drops on Feb. 19. In between, Cave has been busy in Grinderman. In fact, two-thirds of the ensemble for "Sky" have been busy with the same thing.
Multi-instrumentalist Warren Ellis, bassist Martyn Casey and percussionist Jim Sclavunos, in addition to Cave, made up Grinderman in its last incarnation in 2011; Bad Seeds alumni Thomas Wydler (drums) and Conway Savage (vocals) return as well. Mick Harvey is still M.I.A. since he and Cave had a parting of ways after more than two dozen years in 2009.
But its Casey we hear from the most in the trailer for the album. That brrrring drone lays overtop studio jabber from Cave and his cohorts as they lay down their plans at La Fabrique in the south of France.
What the chatter won't tell you is the basic narrative that may make up most of "Push the Sky Away":
Whistle... oh no!
I think some artists thrive when they're given constraints, like writing for a film. I think of RZA with his various soundtracks, like his own "Man with the Iron Fists," or latter-day Trent Reznor who hasn't wholly succeeded with How to Destroy Angels but can write the hell out of a score for "The Social Network" or "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo."
Rick Ross is an interesting choice for Quentin Tarantino as promo season for "Django Unchained" goes into hyperdrive. Tarantino hasn't shocked with his musical choices before. And part of me wanted to be shocked at how Ross could be under constraints.
The trailer, with the Bawse, was pretty dope. This song "100 Black Coffins," on the whole, is kind of a dud.
The chorus has a strong center and a good delivery, with the whistling and the ominous beat (which I feel should be credited to producer and movie star Jamie Foxx). But outside of that, Ross sounds a bit lost when he can't be dropping watch brand names and various metaphor for T-and-A, forcing that verse in about Django and his strife against his bawse.
But the imagery of a hundred black bibles ("so we can send em all to hell") is good enough to sell a movie.
Do the numbers compare to the Beatles' or Led Zeppelin's?
AC/DC were among the last holdouts from digital retail of their music, but they should have perhaps thought about making more fanfare about their entry.
On Nov. 19, the evolving rock act finally unleashed its back catalog on iTunes, as well as two exclusive box sets (let's just call them bulk sets now, people). According to Billboard, combined, the 25 albums sold 48,000 downloads. The total number of songs sold were 696,000.
The best-selling album was "Back in Black" at 15,000 and "Thunderstruck" was the single best-seller with 85,000. Which surprises me. I would have thought "You Shook Me All Night Long" (64,000) would have been the winner there.
When the Beatles lifted the cold, hard curtain on their catalog to iTunes in 2010, they sold a combined 119,000 albums and 1.42 million songs.
When Led Zeppelin finally bowed, it was 47,000 albums and 300,000 songs. That was 2007.
What changes is the times, and how much promotion and marketing the catalog entities put into it. Unless you saw the timely article on HitFix.com (OK, OK, OK, and some other outlets) and checked out the iTunes shop homepage, you probably weren't entirely aware that AC/DC was now selling through iTunes. Meanwhile, consumers couldn't avoid the Beatles' launch if they tried back in 2010; and in 2007, you were still stealing all your music anyway, and iTunes, Amazon and other retailers weren't exactly in their selling prime yet.
AC/DC, of course, is still practically omnipresent. "Back and Black" is widely licensed, the band had a best-selling exclusive album through Wal-Mart recently and they still are on that first page of the karaoke catalog. But they were competing for the attentions of shoppers during Black Friday week, and digital tracks aren't necessarily the first item on everyone's wish list, as opposed to the physical product.
Do you think the so-so sales could have been better if they joined the bandwagon sooner? Or if consumers were more aware? Or both?
Who does it better?
But that's not to say the songwriter doesn't sing it better.
The Aussie performed "Diamonds" for an audience at the Norweigan-American Achievement Award ceremony (you heard me) last night, set to a simple and emotional backing track with help from Stargate. Her rasp and high notes fit the tune and "Diamonds" obviously sat right in her range.
Rihanna's version has her Bajan accent, a childish sound clap-trapping down on the chorus' vowels. I think coming from global superstar Rihanna the song is just fine. I get why it's a hit when it's coming from Sia, ho is better known at the moment for her guest spot and co-write on David Guetta's "Titanium." She, furthermore, co-wrote Ne-Yo's recent hit "Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love Yourself)."
"Diamonds" was produced by Stargate and frequent collaborator and "Diamonds" co-writer Benny Blanco. The latter told the Huffington Post of the song's fruition: "We're sitting there trying to make records, and we finally just said, "Let's just do something we like. Let's make a hip-hop record with some really cool chords on it." It didn't sound Rihanna at all... Then Sia heard the track and instantly gravitated towards it... she wrote this amazing song, and it just happened overnight."