Check out how their bizarre cover art and muse was crafted
When Mastodon drummer Brann Dailor told me earlier this year that the band was juggling who they wanted to produce their fifth full-length, I'll admit that I never thought they'd land on Mike Elizondo. It's not so much that I thought Elizondo incapable -- he's shocked with his propensity for variety, working with Eminem to Avenged Sevenfold to Fiona Apple. I thought of Dillinger collaborator Steve Evetts, or someone purely from the Hydra Head camp.
Elizondo's been a good fit so far, if new track "Black Tongue" is any testament.
The track is the first to arrive in full from "The Hunter," newly announced to arrive on Sept. 27. The tracklist to the set hasn't been finalized, but the first single has been confirmed, "Curl of the Burl," and fans who pre-order the fancy deluxe version of "The Hunter" will soon have first dibs on a digital download of it.
But "Black Tongue" is a also a pretty good gimme.
Animated clip is out of this world
The Icelandic singer's face is cast on the earth, as she overlooks the surface of the moon, which dances with stopmotion and drawn animations from the famed director. Actual crystals emerge from the crust and the dust and rock eminate vibrations like speaker heads.
Eventually, Bjork climbs down from our planet to bounce around in bubbles and the trip-hop breakdown and meteors shatter all the bio-glass.
It's exactly a premise appropriate from the singer/songwriter.
First set in four years includes contributions from Chilly Gonzales, Bjork collaborator
For the first time in four years, Feist is back with a new album.
"Metals" will be released on Oct. 4 and and includes contributions from longtime collaborators Mocky and Chilly Gonzales, plus Valgeir Sigurðsson who has helped out with Bjork and Bonnie "Prince" Billy.
The set will likely be 12 tracks long, as Cherrytree/Interscope has promised a dozen different video teasers in anticipation of the fall release. Two of these super-compressed, numerically titled snippets of music can be heard below.
'Back to Black' and back
In January 2007, I was at Amy Winehouse's debut live performance in America, hosted at Joe's Pub in New York. It had been a few months since she'd released "Back to Black" in the U.K., and the label was starting in on a formal introduction to the Mercury Prize-nominated singer here in the 'States.
She performed on an elevated stage over dinner tables, her tiny dress proving all the more scandalous. She took the stage with the Dap-Kings, each like props or toys around which she would weave, her knees like a foal's capping over her towering heels. Her body was thin, but that voice rattled out of it with a shambling boom. One hand held the mic as the other held a wine, almost perpetually, as if one were dropped she'd keel over like a tippled scale. When she wasn't holding a glass, she'd fuss with her short hemline, smooth her hand over her stomach or cup her breasts and bodice.
I thought she sounded magnificent. I remember the title track and how she bowed down over the chorus, "I died a hundred times," emphasis on the "hundred," and found it delicious that even after an early evening show, this raw-nerved rambler would be dragging her North London-drawled banter and throwback tunes into a second set, later after ours was done. I didn't know how she'd get there, but she did. ("Back to Black" turned out to be my No. 2 favorite record that year. She released two albums total.)
About a month after that show, Britney Spears was in the news because she shaved her head. It was in the middle of what seemed like an inevitable and heartbreaking descent for the pop star, a breaking point that wasn't altogether expected but also unsurprising. She had divorced only a couple months before, and bounded in and out of rehab treatment centers after. Spears was many, many moons into her fame. She was acting out, or acting up in rebellion, or shutting in, a coping.
Will you be dancing in this City's streets?
M83's album "Saturdays=Youth" went hand in hand with Cut Copy's "In Ghost Colours" when they came out in 2008, and both were on common rotation that spring and summer for me in New York.
The latter went ahead and already dropped another '80s, pop and house-influenced set earlier this year, so I'm pleased that the former has a follow-up as well. M83 -- also known as French mastermind Anthony Gonzalez -- will release a new album "Hurry Up, We're Dreaming" on Oct. 18. And how: this fifth studio set will be a double-disc, with 22 tracks total.
The first to arrive is the dreampop and shoegaze-influenced "Midnight City," for stream below and download for free on the M83 site.
Going forward, will the accompanying apps be required or simply extra credit?
Bjork's wiliest album adventure yet now has a release date for "proper" release: "Biophilia" will arrive on Sept. 27 via One Little Indian/Nonesuch, with all it's strings, pulleys, gadgets and bells intact.
Of course, I'm referring to one of its most novel concepts, that each of the 10 tracks will have an accompanying audio-visual application. The "Biophilia" application will be available for free download to all-Apple products -- iPod, iPod Touch and the iPad -- but it's within that gratis application, users are enabled to purchase in-app apps (you follow?) for the songs of their choice.
Today, that central app has been released, as has two songs to date: the previously discussed "Crystalline" and, now, "Cosmogeny."
Brooklyn rockers announce iTunes remixes
TV On The Radio want to take you on a magic carpet ride.
In their latest music video, the Brooklyn rockers take at least some advantage of a green screen and the Dancing Guy from your local cable access late-night sked and jumble it up with a bunch of their friends, one of whom is a video editor with a free weekend. "Caffeinate Consciousness" is mostly the former and barely the latter; it plays like an inside joke grafted in the early '90s.
But the dude at 0:37 is pretty much my favorite thing ever.
The track's from "Nine Types of Light," out earlier this year. Two of those tracks have gotten a remix breakdown for iTunes, including the aforementioned spazz fest and "Will Do." Mylo and Das Racist have at 'em, check out samples here.
Meanwhile, TVOTR is currently on tour, and are hitting up Virgin Mobile FreeFest and Austin City Limits.
Other contenders like Elbow, James Blake in U.K.'s album of the year contest
Just a couple weeks after Canada unveiled its Polaris Music Prize shortlist nominees for album of the year, the U.K. has echoed with its own impressively varied shortlist for the Mercury Prize.
The 12 sets have been chosen from more than 240 entrants from the U.K. and Ireland, according to a release, to highlight "the remarkable possibilities of what can be achieved with music the grand gesture and telling detail, albums that are dramatic, ambitious and artful, emotional and affectionate, funny and profound."
Not to be missed, Adele sits at the alphabetical tippy-top; her sales for "21" have been gangbusters overseas as much as they have here in the U.S. Two former Mercury winners -- recent Immaculate Noise Elbow and PJ Harvey -- are also on the list. Tinie Tempah and James Blake have made at least some headway on these shores.
And, most notably, solo females dominate with one-third of the nominations: that would be Harvey, Adele, dark-rocker-songwriter Anna Calv and pop singer Katy B. The Prize committee has normally done a pretty good job with even nominations toward female-fronted groups and solo artists lately, but this year is especially kind toward the latter.
Santigold, action figures dominate playful Funny Or Die clip
Beastie Boys as action heroes. Action heroes as action figures. It all makes sense now.
This rapping trio of crime-fighters duck fire from assassins in Spike Jonze-directed "Don't Play No Game That I Can't Win," featuring Barbie-dollish Santigold.
The subtitled adventure bowed last night on "Funny Or Die." And expect the B-grade satisaction of seeing actual hands holding the actual action figures. Stick hoist Mike-D mid-air. Model paint practically drips from the faces of action figure zombies.
These badass G.I. Jokers have been in the fingers of Jonze before: the famed director helmed clips for the Beastie Boys' "Sabotage" and "Sure Shot" before. Look out for the nods to those music videos on "No Game."
The track is culled from the Beasties' latest "Hot Sauce Committee Part Two"; it's the second or fourth single from the set, depending on how you feel about the album's release ("Too Many Rappers" with Nas and "Lee Majors Come Again" dropped all the way back in 2009).
The famed hip-hoppers have yet to set any tour dates, as Adam "MCA" Yauch continues treatment for cancer.
Ryan Gosling spotting, and paying homage to the Beatles and Wings career
- Critic's Rating A-
- Readers' Rating n/a
NEW YORK – Paul McCartney rocked Yankee Stadium two nights in a row this weekend, but only Saturday night featured a very special guest: Billy Joel.
July 26 Montreal QE Bell Center
July 27 Montreal QE Bell Center
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August 4 Cincinnati OH The Great American Ballpark