New Apple album on the way in 2012, so is this a way to introduce it?
Fiona Apple hasn't done many high-profile gigs in the last five years, but the Los Angeles-based songwriter is stepping out this spring at South By Southwest. The 34-year-old has been confirmed for Pitchfork's SXSW showcase at the Central Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas on March 15.
The space holds around 400 people, reserved only for badgeholders during the music conference -- that's not a lot of people to witness what may be Apple's first new songs since 2005's "Extraordinary Machine."
Epic's LA Reed Tweeted earlier this year that fans could expect her next album in a "few weeks," causing a spokesperson to reel that claim in. “It’ll absolutely be this year,” said the spokeswoman. "But timing wise, I don’t know exactly when.”
Every year breeds talk that it will be the year Apple releases new music, but even Apple herself mentioned that an album was finished -- and has been finished for more than a year. During a rare appearance at Largo in L.A. with frequent collaborator Jon Brion, Apple declined singing any of her new songs. "I can't remember [how to play] any of my new songs because they've been done for a f*cking year."
Apple has sung jazz and traditional tunes live in years after she was finished touring off of "Machines," and contributed some help to new recordings like the Buddy Holly cover "Everyday" for 2011's "Rave On Buddy Holly" tribute comp and "Hey Big Dog" on Margaret Cho's 2010 comedy album "Cho Independent."
SXSW may be Apple's larger-scale introduction to her new music.
Are you ready to have her back?
Former White Stripes frontman set solo dates in conjunction with 'Blunderbuss'
Nothing says Valentine's Day like the line "I want love / to murder my own mother."
Jack White has released the accompanying music video to his single "Love Interruption," and you can be assured by his baller status because he surrounds himself with beautiful women. Duetting singer Ruby Amanfu, singer-songwriter Brooke Waggoner on wurlitzer and classical performer Emily Bowland on bass clarinet round out the band on this sparse track, their beehives cast into the blue, blue air of the clip.
OH! And there's a dog. There's a widdle wuv for you. White directed the clip himself.
EP due in April, full-length in May or June
"I am no vulture, this is my culture," John Lydon warns -- or is it a declaration?
Whatever he's portraying, it's in Public Image Ltd.'s first new song in 20 years, off their first studio effort since 1992's "That What Is Not." Defiant "One Drop" utilizes reggae rhythms and layers upon layers of guitars and processed noise, all with the former Sex Pistol's penchant vibrato and prrroper brrrah-brrrahing consonant rolls.
The chorus reminds me a little of LCD Soundsystem's "One Touch" -- one drop, after all, is rarely ever enough."We are the ageless, we are teenagers," he sing-says, the vocals mixed way up front. It's got a lot of character, though Lydon's certainly no teenager and the wear on his voice shows.
The song is from a new vinyl-only EP 'One Drop' out on April 21 for Record Store Day. It precedes PiL's first full-length in two decades, "This Is PiL," due in May or June.
Newest track from new album 'Noctourniquet'
It's a little hard to believe this is Mars Volta.
"The Malking Jewel" is a murky garage growler with a dash of late '70s jam, not the psych space journey we've all come to know and love. This is like inviting your weed-selling neighbor over to party, and instead his scuzzy-but-awesome cousin shows up, borrows your bowl and asks too many weird questions about your turntable.
Was Justin Vernon's band asked to perform with the Beach Boys?
LOS ANGELES - Justin Vernon felt out of place at the Grammy Awards, and not just because of the brown, slightly oversized suit.
The Bon Iver frontman himself expressed different versions of discomfort, confusion and nervousness about the 54th annual ceremony, despite a very hospitable bounty of two top-tier wins, for Best New Artist and Best Alternative Album. His apprehension didn't emanate from the glut of industry heavy-hitters attending the show, but rather from those who were absent.
"When I started to make songs I did it for the inherant reward of making songs, so im a little bit uncomfortable up here. But with that discomfort I do have a sense of gratitude," he said during his acceptance speech for Best New Artist, a top-tier, telecasted honor. He indicated thanks to his fellow nominees and "all the non-nominees that have never been here and never will be here."
As Vernon held his two statues backstage at the ceremony, he mentioned similar notions. I had the chance to ask him if he was ever considered actually skipping the Grammys.
"I was like, 'I dont know if I can go.' I was pretty nervous, there was a lot of emotions, feeling like maybe i didnt deserve to go or i wasn't ready to be in front of y'all, in front of all those people or something," he replied. "It's also just a slice of the industry. It's such a big slice, it's the biggest night in music, but there's so much music out there that can't be represented in this one night. I had a lot of confusion going in, but im glad i came and i feel really honored and stuff."
Vernon also further explained the circumstances around the performance invite, hinting that the band's collaboration could have been with the newly reunited Beach Boys. "It turned out with the Beach Boys coming back, it's kind of a big deal," he said, purposefully understating. "I decided I wanted to do something with my band and play our song, but there wasn't really time for that tonight."
As previously reported, the Jagjaguwar artist revealed that Bon Iver had been offered to perform at the Grammys ceremony and declined on principle. They wanted to play one of their own compositions and, were they required to collaborate with other artists on the show as so many artists do, that they wanted collaborate with friends or artists of their choosing.
Despite his concerns, Vernon couldn't shake at least some positive feeling, telling attendees during his Best Alternative Album acceptance that it "feels pretty special."
And it is pretty unique for an independent label artist to even be nominated at the Grammys -- let alone win -- Vernon's uneasiness was in part a reflection of the slim chances other indie artists have at getting wide-scale recognition. As Jagjag label head Chris Swanson told me in January, Bon Iver's appeal naturally unfurled into the larger landscape.
"It was great to participate in a record as far-reaching as “Bon Iver.” It was a nice shock but it still feels like a really natural sequence of events. He’s reaching so many people."
Perhaps when you're is so deeply committed to songcraft, nothing feels natural.
Watch: Catholicism, 'The Exorcist,' 'West Side Story' and what Nicki did on her Christmas vacation
What the hell was that?
Nicki MInaj's Grammy Awards show performance of "Roman Holiday" was hell, in so many ways. Most notably, it was a theatrical interpretation of hell, though viewers were indiscriminately and unknowingly cast there within the first few notes.
The jumbled, faltering, brain-deleting insanity of the stage presentation wasn't made any more tolerable by Nicki's singing voice, bending around the tracked vocals in caterwauling notes and nonsense. Until there is a fully edited music video to accompany this song, it will be forever burned into memory as a vortex of blistering shame and confusion.
Nobody -- especially Minaj -- was ready for this. But there were some clues as to what she was going for, references to pop culture flotsam and bedlam that could one day parse into a central theme or idea.
Below, I outline five of many influencers on Minaj's Roman trainwreck. If you relax your eyes long enough, you'll see a dolphin or perhaps a man with a funny hat emerging from this image:
Revised lyrics to new 'Teenage Dream' re-release single reflect on singer's divorce
Heartache is never convenient, but Katy Perry's emotional malady may work in her favor.
The pop star bowed "Part of Me" at the Grammy Awards last night (Feb. 12), psyching out the audience at first with opening strains of "E.T." She then unfurled into a wrenching, sour-faced bearer of bad news to a former lover, repeating her refrain "This is the part of me / That you're never gonna ever take away from me" as she aggressively weaved her way around her band and symbolically struggled with wrist straps inside a person-sized see-through box. And you can tell things are rough, y'know, because there's fire and her hair's crimped.
This performance came on the heels of a week highlighted by Perry's signed divorce papers -- legally dunzo with her husband Russell Brand -- on top of the announcement that her highly successful album "Teenage Dream" was getting the re-issue treatment. With the re-release comes the promise of three new songs, and "Part of Me" was selected to be the new single.
In the middle of 2011, Katy Perry tied Michael Jackson for the most No. 1 singles from the same album. I estimate by late winter of 2012, she will have set a new high-water mark.
Neil Portnow says NARAS members' focus is on music alone
Award-winning songwriter and producer says conversation on diva’s next move ‘litererally just happened’
Mitch Winehouse name-checks Whitney Houston and Etta James in rememberence
LOS ANGELES -- Tony Bennett's win was a reminder of loss for Mitch and Janis Winehouse.
The parents of late singer Amy Winehouse took to the stage with the legendary singer as he accepted his award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, earned for his performance with Winehouse on classic "Body and Soul." The presentation came during the 54th annual Grammy Awards pre-telecast show, for honors not given during the Staples Center ceremony.
Bennett -- a 16-time award winner -- graciously handed the mic over to Mitch and Janis for the majority of the allotted speech time. From here, Mitch kept it together in accepting the award on his daughter's behalf, with a little choke behind his voice.
"I can't tell you what it was like. It was like lift-off. Tony's collaboration meant so much to her," he said, speaking of "Body and Soul." "And she was so excited, because it was my favorite song. I said 'Do you know the words, darlin'?' She said 'You've been singing that song to me for 25 years, of course I know the words."