Folky quintet's first since 2009's 'I and Love and You'
- Critic's Rating B-
- Readers' Rating A-
The Avett Brothers are returning with their first album since 2009's "I and Love and You," with "The Carpenter" out on Sept. 11 this year.
The set has been preceded by the first single "Live and Die," which is available for streaming via NPR as of today. The tune goes up for purchase on July 9; it's a style familiar to fans of the band, which has steadily stepped away from rockabilly elements and bluegrass toward more middle-of-the-road, pleasant, folk-inspired pop tunes with their penchant harmonies. This one starts out with a trotting banjo and ends with a chorus that can only be dislodged from your mind with a crowbar.
New music video and... another 'G6'
A group with a No. 1 hit song is a tough act to follow, particularly if you’re in that group. Far East Movement earned the top spot with their song “Like a G6” in 2010, and made some headway on radio, too, with “Rocketeer.” Now the hip-hop-loving dance quartet is back with their album “Dirty Bass,” with the hope to achieve some of the same widespread success. Cameos from artists like Tyga, Cassie and freakishly popular Justin Bieber should, y’know, help.
Jimmy Shaw talks about independent freedoms and Terry Gilliam's 'Brazil'
Below is my interview with Shaw, on purposeful dichotomies, sci-fi and "Twilight" soundtracks.
Careful, ladies: the rapper's good at chess
Rick Ross has love on the mind -- and some mysterious gentlemen -- for the music video to "Touch 'N You," his collaboration with Usher.
The singer and rapper both star in the clip, which also features Rozay's pretty girlfriend who is partial to the high-heels-and-swimsuit look, because such a trend is incredibly practical and easy to
pull off sport. It's a very romantic scene, even circa 2:14, when his lady love perceives an inevitable loss at a chess game. (Three of her pieces have been taken by Rozay, and it appears he pulled his queen out early and claimed a pawn and rook in quick succession, though why would he pull the queen back? And no that's not a euphamism, but I digress.)
Near the end, there's a mysterious meeting of men and the girlfriend walking in and looking pissed. I don't understand this, and perhaps it will be more fully explained in the "Touch 'N You" sequel, "Touch 'N Two." Wake me when it's here.
Ross and Usher's "Touch 'N You" -- which I actually really like -- is off of the rapper's forthcoming, long-awaited "God Forgives I Don't," due on July 31.
Six-year wait for songwriter's masterful anxiety is totally worthwhile
- Critic's Rating A-
- Readers' Rating A+
It’s taken Fiona Apple six years to get down the masterful anxiety of “The Idler Wheel…” The full title itself – “The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do” -- must’ve taken at least a couple of weeks and a few sleepless nights. The songwriter has proven over and over again to be both a slave and master to her own carefully selected words, with this current slate aching with the weight of sage, savage and self-effacing confessionals.
A travel song, post-break-up
- Critic's Rating B+
- Readers' Rating n/a
"Ruin" bops along to the sounds of the various countries to which Marshall's travel -- not the native styles of music, mind you, but the actual names of the countries. Can't say I'm wild about the silly over-pronunciations of said countries, like Meh-heeko and Great Breht-ahn, but it's a driving, cool-eyed song with a undeniable refrain.
Cat Power played all the instruments on "Sun," and produced it herself too. Which is always impressive. She and her mixer kinda pulls the whole thing on "Ruin" back a bit much (around the 2:15 mark) but damn if she didn't do a nice job driving the whole jangly, piano-rocking thing.
"Sun," as previously reported, arrives on Sept. 4 via Matador. It's the follow-up to 2008's covers set "Jukebox" and the first set of originals since 2006's "The Greatest." Marshall explained to the Stool Pigeon recently that the wait was because she was working hard at making her relationship with her boyfriend -- now ex-boyfriend and actor Giovanni Ribisi -- work. But a woman who changes her hair changes her life: after years of also dabbling on the record, she split, three days later cut her hair mad short, and then went to France to finish this album.
'Fjögur píanó' next in line for experimental short film series
You've probably never seen actor Shia LaBeouf like this.
The "Transformers" star co-leads the music video to Sigur Ros' new "Fjögur píanó," the third song to get an experimental music video treatment from their album "Valtari." LaBeouf and actress/dancer Denna Thompson perform as “a man and woman locked in a never-ending cycle of addiction and desire,” forcing them through some high-stress, abstract dream sequences during which both stars appearing completely in the nude.
It is emotional and also very beautiful. I found it kind of hard to watch more than once, with all its lacerations and breaking glass and the weirdo car scene -- with the actors kidnapped and licking insect-filled lollipops -- with all its sharks. But the performances are worth while and the styling is absolutely breathtaking. The track didn't stand out much from the album for me, but now it doesn't seem as interstitial.
Also, Shia should stick to the ponytail. It's kinda working for me. Reminds me of Milo Ventimiglia on Fergie's "Good Girls Don't Cry" music video.
Oh, the things I'm finding myself say today.
Boggy garage rocker arrives ahead of as-yet-untitled solo set
Since R.E.M. split, it sounds like guitarist Peter Buck has been spending time in the garage.
The rocker is stepping out solo with a new album and now has "10 Million BC" to show for it. The boggy, Jon Spencer-styled track made its bow on WFMU this week, with Buck's collaborator in The Baseball Project, Steve Wynn, introducing it.
R.E.M. called it quits last September. And I've really enjoyed Michael Stipe's cameos on "Colbert."
Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij puts Carly Rae Jepsen's and Annie Lennox together
"This one is strictly for the lulz," Batmanglij posted. And here I thought it was for a Grammy.
Jepsen's track has also been mashed-up with other big pop tracks with equally sunny dispositions, like Third Eye Blind's "Semi-Charmed Life."
Exactly what you'd think a Best Coast music video would look like
For the budget of hamburgers, three dozen bottles of hot sauce, watermelons, a broken drum kit, a gorgeous car rental and some pastel wear, Best Coast completed the video to their new track "The Only Place."
Much like the sound of Best Coast, the clip is harmlessly mischievous, adorable, bright and all about the drive.
"The Only Place" is culled from the band's latest album by the same name, released on May 15 via Mexican Summer. They're currently on tour with dates below the vid, including their stops at Metallica's Orion Music + More festival and Bumbershoot.