Listen and learn: 2CD+1DVD deluxe drops due this fall
There doesn't seem to be a new album on the way from reunited Jesus and Mary Chain (yet), but while you hold your breath, there's some new reissues.
In fact, all six of the Scottish noise-pop band's studio sets are getting a 2-disc and DVD facelift. "Psychocandy" (1985) and "Darklands" (1987) will drop on Sept. 19; "Automatic" (1989) and "Honey's Dead" (1992) are due Sept. 26; and "Stoned & Dethroned" (1994) and "Munki" (1998) will be released on Oct. 3.
In conjunction with the Demon Music Group, the band has posted a 3D "tour" of the releases via their newly revamped Facebook page. Check out the module below... each album preview includes the tracklisting. For instance, the "Honey's Dead" set includes the original album, the "Rollercoaster" EP, an outtake of "Why'd You Want Me," live tracks from Sheffield Arena, interviews and B-Sides. The DVD features promotional videos and the band's TV appearances from the era. Just, oh my, bliss out, give your shoes a good long gaze.
Weezy's an original; how does this sequel fare?
- Critic's Rating C
- Readers' Rating C+
It’s been 10 months since Lil Wayne was released from prison, and he spent an expected eight in there. Over the last two years, the rapper yielded his rock-rap crossover album “Rebirth,” a tide-you-over “I Am Not a Human Being,” a “Sorry 4 The Wait” mixtape and dropped a number of music videos. In interviews, he not only alluded to inspired hours spent writing in his cell, but also signs of his future, that “Tha Carter IV” may be his last solo album, and that his 30s will look nothing like his very productive 20s.
Cheetah hair, a plane crash and inexplicable ninajs
Nicki Minaj is talking up a storm about how she's the voice of a generation in "Fly," but it seems a storm was literally at work in the music video to the Rihanna-featuring pop track.
Showcased is a plane downed in the middle of a what looks like a suburban subdivision. Minaj and Ri-Ri slink around the wreckage in various gear, or rather, Minaj shows off her softer side in a fairy gown, then a catsuit and then some cheetah-spotted hair, to take the point home. It's one of Minaj's easier tunes, hardly a twist of the tongue to be heard; but she gets her kicks on during a brief fight with some inexplicable ninjas that show up in the clip's latter half.
Does it sound like a bit of a mess? It is, but it's the smoother, less-spazzy version of the Queens-born rhymer, which may help encourage pop-lovers on the fence to convert to her side.
And not much else
I like Leona Lewis, at least I want to like Leona Lewis. I loved "Bleeding Love" and "Happy," the ilk, I was even tempted to be won over by that cheesy "Avatar" tune.
She's a good singer given boring material that fell under some legal issues for "Collide," her newest. The video isn't helping her much.
In it, she revels in the sun with friends, there's some leaping into waves and she urges her lover to "crash into me." Not very revealing.
Though what is revealed is what was probably part of the copyright lawsuit settlement: "Collide" is now dubbed performed by Leona Lewis and Avicii. Well, that was exciting.
Jay-Z and Avril Lavigne make little cameos in the party track
Road videos. Everybody's got one. Rihanna now has her own, and like others', it's a testament to her true personality, or at least the one she's trying to uphold.
"Cheers (Drink to That)" is a bubbly, high-energy, big-movement visual for a kicked-back pop pick from the Bajan singer's latest "Loud." All the usual tour highlights make the cut: taking shots, taking photos, feet descending from a black SUV, people jumping into pools with all their clothes on. It's California the world over. It almost makes you think that Ri-Ri has always lived this charmed life.
But it also may have you checking for Ticketmaster. While early reports of slow ticket sales plagued the pop star's touring plans, this is as tasty a treat to tease people into seats for a set. It's not redefining a genre, but the single will do well and these well-crafted visuals will help give it legs as long as Rihanna's.
Oh what's that you said? Rihanna's done touring the U.S. and has extensive dates overseas only? Guess they're the ones who get to clink glasses the most.
Songwriter returns with another 'Strange' new album
St. Vincent has already appeared on a "Twilight" soundtrack, but her newest video has me thinking about a different bit of American pop culture rubble.
"Cruel," more specifically, could be what "Mad Men" character Betty Draper has going on in her head: beautiful, morose, macabre deterioration, where everybody's out to get her. And ultimately she's dead inside. But stunning to the end, of course.
I generally only have one foot on the St. Vincent Train, mostly because I find her to be an inventive and entertaining guitarist. Vocally, she spans between angelic and sleep-aid. But her 2009 album "Actor" didn't get a free pass just because she's so goddamn pretty; "Cruel" may be closer to a pop song, but it certainly is part of her steady growth.
Hopefully, there's more of it on St. Vincent's forthcoming studio set, "Strange Mercy," due Sept. 13. It's a collaboration with producer John Congleton, who frequently and delicately freaks me out with his own band Paper Chase. Another song "Surgeon" has already arrived.
St. Vincent plays a one-off on the roof of the MoMA in New York, and good luck with that considering the rain. Then she tours in October, dates below.
Here are St. Vincent's tour dates:
08-25 New York, NY - Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
10-02 Minneapolis, MN - McGuire Theatre
10-03 Milwaukee, WI - Pabst Theater
10-05 Chicago, IL - Metro
10-06 St. Louis, MO - Old Rock House
10-07 Lawrence, KS - Liberty Hall
10-08 Boulder, CO - Boulder Theater
10-10 Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
10-12 Vancouver, British Columbia - Commodore Ballroom
10-13 Seattle, WA - Neptune Theatre
10-14 Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom
10-18 Los Angeles, CA - Music Box
10-20 Phoenix, AZ - Crescent Ballroom
10-23 Dallas, TX - Kessler Theater
10-24 Austin, TX - Moody Theater at ACL Live
10-25 Houston, TX - Fitzgerald's
10-26 New Orleans, LA - TBA
10-28 Atlanta, GA - The Earl
10-30 Charlottesville, VA - Jefferson Theater
11-01 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
11-02 Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer
11-03 New York, NY - Webster Hall
11-04 Boston, MA - Royale
'Nevermind' anniversary gets anther spotlight
NEW YORK (AP) — Comedy Central's Jon Stewart will host a Q&A session with the surviving members of rock band Nirvana to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its album "Nevermind."
Stewart will host the event on SiriusXM for two hours on Sept. 24. It will feature fans, Nirvana band members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, and Butch Vig, the producer behind "Nevermind." Kurt Cobain, the band's lead singer, committed suicide in 1994.
"Nevermind" was the band's second album and has sold 10 million units in the United States. It features Nirvana's biggest hit, "Smells Like Teen Spirit."
Grohl is now the lead singer of the Foo Fighters.
SiriusXM will also launch the all-Nirvana channel, Nevermind Radio, on Sept. 23 until Sept. 28.
Copyright (2011) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
A meeting of the minds at SXSW
I promptly and mysteriously fell asleep, and I only just now awoke to say something about it. And it is that.
"Boys Choir" is the first of what could be many songs to come out of the pairing, a project that began when Bon Iver's Justin Vernon met Blake at what should and could be a regular meeting-of-the-minds.
According to a release, "Over the past year James has cited Justin as a key influence and it was via a chance meeting at this years SXSW festival in Austin, Texas that the seed was sown for a future collaboration."
On the song's YouTube page, there's an insinuation that there's another song due soon: "Enough Thunder - Oct 2011."
How's this emo garbage treating in lieu of Weezy's feminist stance?
Lil Wayne's "How to Love" from forthcoming "Tha Carter IV" is the rapper at his most emo. And now Weezy's launched an official music video that matches.
The slow-jammer is a lamentation that a "beautiful" girl has never known love; and because she hasn't, our protagonist in the video endures abuse and rape; signs up for an abortion and then skips out; she "dates" evil men, becomes a stripper and then has sex for money. SPOILER ALERT: she gets HIV.
Then the scenario gets a rewind. It begins again and ends in rainbows.
It's a moral tale, one hardly even approachable in under five minutes, and I'd argue it's one that Weezy is unfit to present.
My problem with this patronizing garbage is that simplifies the cycle of abuses toward women into one aching, arching worst-case scenario. And at the center: if the woman had originally learned "how to love" from her mother (read: had a healthy marriage to a man), none of this would have ever happened. The central character's self-worth was regularly degraded by her departed father, her abusive boyfriends and by men who only view her as a sex object.
And in the alternate scenario, you can tell the woman's become a good girl because she gets an education, gets married and has a baby (note: sex for reproduction).
It's offensive not because I don't thing people can't see past the pageantry, but because it's simple pandering and to detrimental effect. Serial objectification and a ritual tearing-down of women is a regular feature in pop culture, and there are many, many Lil Wayn songs that treat women as mere sex objects (hell, I like Lil Wayne songs, and that's for another day...). But the moralizing would have been more honest if Wayne "sang" his little song from the front row of that fateful strip club -- considering that's where he's localized his other tracks -- as opposed to his sad-sacking from a dark hallway next to a guitar.
'Ashes & Fire' out in October; features Norah Jones and Benmont Tench
One of my favorite perennial sad bastards Ryan Adams is releasing a new album this fall. "Ashes & Fire" is out Oct. 11, sans the Cardinals name, and we have our first official taste.
"Lucky Now" its the songwriter more stripped, as a result, and with an undeniable melody.
What more, "Ashes" will feature Norah Jones on vocals and piano, and Benmont Tench of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers fame. Furthermore, it was produced by legend Glyn Johns; his son Ethan Johns helmed some of Adams' other sets like "Heartbreaker" and "Gold."
Adams' own small-time PAX AM imprint has made a deal with EMI -- Capitol, more specifically -- to put this one out.