You can’t talk about Sara Watkins without dropping some big names. The former Nickel Creek member produced her first, self-titled 2009 album with Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones. She’s spent the years between now and then as a touring fiddler and backing singer for the Decemberists, as performer and occasional guest host for “Prairie Home Companion” and continuing the foundations of the Watkins Family Hour at L.A. mainstay Largo with her brother and Nickel Creek cohort Sean.
Little by little, Animal Collective is making new noise.
Passion Pit's return is marked with their own "immigrant song."
The energetic first single "Take a Walk" from new album "Gossamer" is memorable in its jangly, repetitive chorus, but it's more marked after repeat listens for its lyrics. Michael Angelakos reports in on the recession in America, singing from the perspective of a foreigner who has moved to the U.S., tried to make a living for himself, and then a wife, and then a whole family. It addresses what happens when bad investments tank his pensions. It's actually pretty sad.
Gone are the ballerinas of "Runaway." Kanye West has recruited a different dancer crew for "Lost in the World."
After 18 months on the market, "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" has finally yielded another music video. "Lost" -- which features vocals from Bon Iver's Justin Vernon and a sample from the late, great Gil Scott-Heron -- is shot in all black and white, with nary a shot of Ye's full face. We do get an eyeful, however, of tortured and slick mirrors and skylines, with a well-placed dancer depicting the heaven and hell in which the rapper wallows.
This Ruth Hogben-directed clip plays out more like a fashion video, though the only style for the ladies here is an XL beefy tee. That makes sense, though. It's a gorgeous way to sell the song.
West has been in headlines lately for the relaunch of his G.O.O.D. music initiatives, including a new song "Mercy" with his cohorts and a controversial remix of Chief Keef's "I Don't Like."
Growing up in suburban Kansas, I didn't know anybody who didn't own a Beastie Boys album.
Today, in consideration of the passing of Adam "MCA" Yauch, a lot of fans are saying the same things, with the same opening statement: "Growing up in..." "Living in..." "Moving to..."
It didn't matter where you lived. The Beastie Boys trailblazed everywhere. They made hip-hop safe for listeners from all walks, and it wasn't just because they were white, or that "Brass Monkey" was mercilessly catchy. They blended punk and hard rock in hip-hop early times, with a name sounded like a joke (and it was a joke). They were funny as hell.
It was unsafe too.
Tenacious D have unleashed the dragons in their music video for "Rize of the Fenix," and they don't care if you can see their green screens.
The single is from the album of the same name, due May 15.
While their first video in promoting "Fenix" featured a huge crop of A-list celebrities, this one prominently highlights a guitar you wouldn't be able to take through airline security. It also brings to mind: have you ever seen Jack White, Kyle Gass and Tim & Eric in the same room at the same time?
Tegan Quin’s mind is on Bruce Springsteen and Katy Perry.
Santigold’s second set “Master of My Make-Believe” is varied, entertaining, produced well and feels firm, very final. The artist herself is unfortunately still lumped into this gob of musicians that began making their mark about six years ago, known for their vaguely or overtly “ethnic sounds,” from M.I.A. and her frequent collaborator Diplo, to the African beats of Yeasayer to dub- and Middle Eastern-borrowing Gwen Stefani.
"Academy Award nominated rock group Soundgarden." Is it possible?
The resurrected rock troupe has released the music video for "Live to Rise," their somewhat boring contribution to "The Avengers" soundtrack. The clip features the usual bevy of scenes from the film and Chris Cornell's nice, clean curly locks.
I was able to check out the blockbuster film earlier this week, and the song is the first to play over the end credits, a position that can qualify the band for an Oscar for best original song -- so long as the track is "original and specifically written for a motion picture. There must be a clearly audible, intelligible, substantive rendition (not necessarily visually presented) of both lyrics and melody."
In an interview with the L.A. Times, frontman Cornell made it clear that this collaboration with the filmmakers was a specific "tie-in," and that it should be regarded as a thing very separate from what a Soundgarden album will sound like.
So maybe the band is already planning their Oscars ceremony "look." I suggest black, or a leather red-white-and-blue superhero suit.
Kanye West, Pusha T, Big Sean and Jadakiss all showed up for a G.O.O.D. Music's remix of Chicago rapper Chief Keef's "I Don't Like," but not everybody likes it.
The 16-year-old's track has additional verses and a new melody line over the beat, which the song's original producer Young Chop takes issue with.
"I’m mad as f*ck, for the simple fact that they did not ask me to change up sh*t in my beat. How the f*ck did they add another melody over the instrumental?" he told radio host DJ Moon Dog this week. "These motherf*ckers is playing me and I don’t give two f*cks, I will sue the shit out of Kanye West… I made a f*cking sound, so you supposed to stay with my f*cking sound. The beat is fucking hard by itself. That shit don’t sound the same, it don’t got the same feel."
So he'd agree with Yeezy's line, ""They steal your whole sound, that's a soundbite"?