Personal blasts from the past
Mondays are always heavy on the new album announcement tip, but today been particularly fruitful for those who still nurture that little cigarette mark burned onto our hearts from rock at the turn of the century (OK, and Nick Lowe).
Of course, earlier this morning, alternative rockers (ha!) Red Hot Chili Peppers made their way into headlines for their forthcoming set.
And Primus, Lowe, Saves the Day and Thrice all have new albums about to drop this year. You could call some a comeback.
Below is a rundown...
First up are reduxes from Caribou and Jacques Greene
While I've given up some hope that Radiohead will be touring in support of "King of LImbs," the band hasn't apparently walked from all promotions.
The British rock and experimental troupe will be releasing a series of 12" singles this summer, of reduxes from their latest set.
First up is a remix of "Little By Little" by personal fave Caribou, and "Lotus Flower" from Jacques Greene. The latter is a lesser known, young electronic/DJ, also from Canada. Big break, huh? This limited edition run will be out on July 5.
Audio nerds (raise your hands) will be able to purchase WAV versions of the tracks through Boomkat and Radiohead's site; physical releases will be sold exclusively at independent record stores. Radiohead apparently feels Record Store Day should run all year.
No word yet what the other releases will be, who will be remixing them and when they will drop.
It's tough at this point to gauge Radiohead's own feelings on their record; as I mentioned in my review, they don't seem to interested in pleasing The People with the same album twice, and are intent on creating new sounds if just for themselves. Perhaps the intention was to always have remixers attached to the product.
Who would you like to see remix "King of Limbs" tracks?
Did either steal the show?
Jay-Z predicted it a couple years back: all-black everything. While MTV Movie Awards night was kept light with the hilariously high number of awards -- again -- going to the "Twilight" folks, Foo Fighters and Lupe Fiasco had a pair of fairly dark performances. Couldn't Generation Award winner Reese Witherspoon sung a happy tune? (Perhaps she's intent on not pulling a Gwyneth.)
Pop hits from Katy Perry, J-Lo and Kings of Leon were played as bumper music throughout the show, but the Foos went with a lesser-known, new single "Walk" [Corrected: was thinking so hard of Michael Douglas...] the music video to which premiered this week. While the clip featured Dave Grohl doing his best "Falling Down" impression, the mop-haired frontman was standing up straight for this loud performance.
What started out as the veteran act's best shot at a soft rock tune quickly turned into a battery of sound, a moment similar to that of Arcade Fire's first performance at the Grammys this year on "Month of May." Sudeikis, since when did this one-guitar song require three? I was confused, particularly since -- as host Jason Sudekis said -- the set looked like a Rainforest Cafe. Garbage from the "Alice In Wonderland" set. Eye-herpes.
I still don't get the "Walk" hook, and it won't touch the success of "Rope," but for a straight-up rock show, the band did good. But Lupe did better.
The rapper appeared in his best rock garb after a chorus of viewers cried, "Trey who?". Trey Songz people. No? Nothing? Yeah, I forget he's on "Outta My Head" too. Fiasco didn't stumble for a second, even as he transitioned to wirey, firey summer-hot "Show Goes On." The Modest Mouse-sampling track burned with all-red lighting, a violinist, a spotlight-stealing hook singer and too many shots at the audience members who didn't know the lyrics. There was just too much going on. But Lupe ripped off his sunglasses and it was like BOOM. He won. YOU'RE WELCOME, ATLANTIC.
+ Sudeikis further implicated that he and Ed Helms cannot be in the same room at the same room, by "playing the piano" and writing theme songs to the nominated films. This was funnier than the majority of the show. It also helped me remember who the hell Brooklyn Decker is. Such a dude moment.
+ I also wonder what Gomez though about her and "Monte Carlo" cohorts Leighton Meester and Katie Cassidy's presenter theme song "Drunk Girls." Is that slander or just very, very funny?
+ Nicki Minaj cannot get through a single public appearance without her trademark Crazy Eyes (TM) and making a character voice. I tire of the butt jokes, though, can we talk about something else now?
Chris Brown-penned track... sounds like Chris Brown
It's kinda been the truth always, but Chris Brown co-writes always inevitably sound like Chris Brown.
That's certainly the truth about Joe Jonas and his first solo single "See No More."
This Jonas brother is defintiely taking a dance/R&B tack outside of the group. Ironically, the tune reminds me most of Jordin Sparks' "No Air" featuring Brown, one that the latter did not write.
Jonas' trademark growl, thankfully, hasn't been buried underneath the legions and legions of high-mix rhythm track garbage. His falsetto carries the tune enough, does there need to be a half dozen laser sounds and a whole synthesized strings package? OneRepublic -- who does this type of track all the time -- often succeeds in scraping away some of the excesses, perhaps the Jonas, Brown and co-writer/producer Kennedy could've taken a less-is-more tip? Or just pull back on the mastering?
Kids these days.
No matter, I'm sure, as this is a certifiable earworm. I don't see but one of the three Jonas Brothers brothers excelling in a career outside the troupe, but if this hits a regular Top 40 radio rotation, I think we'll know who wins that race.
Tune drops on iTunes on June 13, and Joe Jonas' album arrives Sept. 6.
[More after the jump...] Do you like it?
The next edition of 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'
You can go ahead and add the new Coldplay to our already-bursting list of Top Summer Jams of 2011.
"Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall" is the first single from the British band's forthcoming album, details pending. And it continues a long line of Coldplay singles that utilize the four-and-the-floor crescendo, heavenly atmospheric underbelly and Chris Martin's stupidly effortless ability to pick out a memorable choral line. Look at "Lost" or especially "Viva La Vida": in other words, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
The Edge's Jon Buckland's jittery, flipping guitar line is reminiscent of the band's previous "Strawberry Swing" but mellows into U2's "Where the Streets Have No Name." The new element here is the swimming synths, normally carried by guitar with massive reverb, strings or Martin's simple, pulsing piano parts. Perhaps its an indicator that the band is integrating more than just an orchestra into their new material. Their very expensive-sounding new material.
[More after the jump...]
'Hammer Down' could lift you up
I first saw Matt Bauer at a tiny show in Portland, Maine a few years back. I spent most of the show as one big goosebump.
You needs to mic the living hell out of a singer like him, but that doesn't mean Bauer lacks boldness; the Brooklyn-based songwriter has a narrative that is sometimes daunting and others euphoric. It's a trademark that's spread all over his new album "The Jessamine County Book of the Living," out today. And bless him, this murmuring folkie's a mean banjo player too.
[More after the jump...]
Is this good romantic advice?
People just want to see other people dance, whether it's Thom Yorke or Beyonce. And, actually, Robyn is a little mix of those two in her new moves-heavy "Call Your Girlfriend" music video: the Swedish dance-pop singer treads that delicate line between jittery spazzdroid and a well-oiled machine.
The single-shot clip is in support of her new EP/single of the same name, a track culled, too, from her "Body Moves" album from last year. There are four remixes included in the digi-only release, including this one from Feed Me. She is also on solo tour through June 5, before she joins as the opener on Katy Perry's national stint, a hot summer trek.
Robyn's contribution to the new Teddybears single made our Top Summer Jams of 2011 list, and this vid continues my well-documented girl-crush on her. What's with all these awesome women making news today?
[Video and tour dates after the jump...]
'Sunset Sunrise' gets up, puts you to bed
Grace Jones hasn't put out an album in the U.S. for 22 years, but this summer, that run comes to an end. "Hurricane," previously released abroad in 2008/2009, found a home on PIAS and arrives on Sept. 6.
Included on the short, nine-track set is "Sunset Sunrise," streaming and available for download below.
For those who had the patience (or were out-of-the-know) to wait for the 'merican version, you are rewarded: a bonus disc will include a remixed dub version of the entire set.
A friend in the U.K. had sent me this album when she got it a couple years back, and, like the woman herself, it's sultry, weird and a little bit dangerous. It has the help of luminaries and icons like Brian Eno, Sly & Robbie and Tricky.
[More after the jump...]
Michel Gondry and viruses: Who better than to shirk the traditional album?
There are many artists who have a desire to shirk the traditional album release. Bjork, of course, is one of them.
The Icelandic singer/songwriter/artist is prepping the release of "Biophelia," her next music project, and it seems to eschew the normal song-and-song-and-song album standard. The set will get a conventional release, but it's intended to be more like a bundle of themed multi-media pieces, some to be experienced live.
"Where do music, nature and technology meet? Björk introduces Biophilia, her most ambitious and exciting work to date. A multimedia project encompassing music, apps, internet, installations and live shows, Biophilia celebrates how sound works in nature, exploring the infinite expanse of the universe, from planetary systems to atomic structure," reads a statement.
"Biophelia" will be partially made by Apple's iPad (taking a tip from Gorillaz?), and will include video pieces, including a music video by frequent collaborator Michel Gondry. For each of the 10 songs/compositions, there will be "coordinated apps": for example, the song "Virus" will feature a video of a literal virus attacking cells.
The relaunch of Bjork's website is also part of the whole package. The results are quite beautiful.
[More after the jump...]
A victim of abuse shoots back; is it a true conversation starter?
Rihanna released her new music video for "Man Down" yesterday, and not everybody likes the final product.
Watch it below.
Featured in the beginning is the singer taking aim in a crowded "central station," like in the song, and shooting a man down. Folks scatter, the guy lays dead with a pool of his own blood. Then it rewinds to the day before, in the same unnamed island town, and Rihanna struts and bounds around her city, happy, and ultimately ends up at a nightclub. A potential suitor sees her across the room, makes a few moves, they kiss and rub and then she pushes him away: game's over. She leaves, he follows her into an alley and he rapes her. The rape itself is obviously not shown in the video, but Rihanna's bright colors become muted and she crumples, ultimately going home, and finding her gun.
The Parents Television Council has already condemned what it views as a violent message.
[Lots more after the jump...]