Rick Ross in a wheelchair: OK?
"This game is a b*tch / I got my hand up her skirt," raps Lil Wayne on his newest street single, "(John) If I Die Today." It seems the cameraman to the track's music video actually could have used a hand.
The track is from forthcoming "Tha Carter IV," apparently due on May 16 (and I WANT to believe that date's firm). It'll be a joy to move on from this Rick Ross "I'm Not a Star" rip to whatever else is up Tunechi's sleeve.
I mean, for one, Lil Wayne is one of the most popular rap artists today: you'd think there'd be funding for more than just a zero-fun location scout. Two, it looks like somebody took tips from Mary J. Blige's lightning (not just lighting) expert. Three, for reasons unavailable, guest Ross appears in the video in a wheelchair.
Actually, that last one's pretty awesome. (Thanks to Vulture for my new avatar.)
[More after the jump...]
Check out some details on 'Bon Iver,' out in June
Don't say we didn't warn you.
Bon Iver is finally prepared to release the follow-up to 2008's "For Emma, Forever Ago" on June 21. The 10-track set seems to include an awful lot of location-centered songs, including "Lisbon, OH," "Calgary" and "Hinnom, TX." And one of those 10 will include the noise we heard in the snippet the band released last week.
The painterly album cover seems to be location-specific, too, focused on a serene lake and boats and all the things your childhood memories should have.
[More after the jump...]
'Drums Between the Bells' out in July
For about eight years, on and off, Brian Eno has been collaborating with poet/writer Rick Holland. On July 5 this year, fanc can finally hear the product of that experience, on "Drums Between the Bells."
The Warp Records release will feature 15 tracks (and a long bit of silence) of various artists reading and singing Holland's work, including a few with Eno and Holland himself.
Below is "Glitch," the second track from the set, and it sounds just like you'd think a song called "Glitch" would sound. The sound-master mixes up signatures and textures for a very woolly, intense track. I'd highly recommend hearing this one on headphones, or something better than those laptop speakers of yours.
A traditional CD and digital release is planned, though a super-insane deluxe-o-matic version will include a 44-page book and a hardback double-CD or double-vinyl version, with extra minutes filled with the instrumental version of the album.
The visual design of the album is by Nick Robertson, who has done the cover art and concept work on several other Eno efforts.
Austin performance focuses on heart-hurt of 'Love Notes/Letter Bombs'
Stealing hearts, losing hearts, falling in love: we use some awfully tragic language when it comes to the health of our strongest muscle. The Submarines have a full album full of such analogies. The duo’s latest album “Love Notes/Letter Bombs” has a title sweet enough to give you a cavity, but strong enough to just knock the tooth out, rightly insinuating there a little calamity in these robustly charming pop songs.
Blake Hazard and John Dragonetti were armed a silk flower-lined glockenspiel and a pair of guitars at the South By Southwest Music Conference this year, recording the following video for On-Airstreaming.com. Outside the trailer, there were drunk kids tattering around 6th Street in Austin, eating tacos and watching bad bands playing the drag. Inside, this married pair smiled though their own kiddish love, sunshine pouring in through their melodies.
OK, now even I have a toothache.
12" single culled from "King of Limbs" sessions
"The Butcher" and "Supercollider" can be heard in full, streaming, below. According to guitarist Ed O'Brien, both were recorded during the "King of Limbs" sessions, though the latter was finished only after the album was done.
"Supercollider" is a pretty, easy-to-listen track, with Thom Yorke's yawp evened out with a dance-floor synth pounding on-beat throughout. It's a song to get spaced-out on, like seeing the same flat scenery from a fast-moving train.
"The Butcher" on the other hand is a little more troubled, with a tribal drum beat and shuffling vocal treatments swirling around an unpenetrable ozone of atmosphere. Plus Yorke call his enemy "a little bitch," which is sort of startling when you catch it.
The British band hasn't been trying too hard to promote "Limbs," considering these tracks aren't officially part of the release. The was the respectable, limited run of the "Universal Sigh" newspaper, but no tour dates have been announced, nor much of a push to radio or online social networking sites. There have been scant interviews with O'Brien, for instance, but it looks like Radiohead are already primed for whatever's next in their career arch.
Unless Yorke would like to show us some more of his moves, a la "Lotus Flower." Because that was kind of dope.
[Tracks after the jump...]
This is how we fight over a can of tuna; also, tour dates
The music video to The Decemberist's "This Is Why We Fight" looks like a combination of "Braveheart" and what people imagine my childhood to be when I tell them I grew up in Kansas.
The song is sticky, gummy and catchy as hell, and the clip is equally pro with exceptional casting of kids just turning mustache age. It features two outfits of poor scamps at war with each other, and an evil overlord who may just happen to ring reminiscent of Ezra Koenig. (I would pay money to witness a throwdown between Colin Meloy and the Vampire Weekend frontman.) I think it's no coincidence this debuted over tax weekend.
The Aaron Stewart-helmed video is beautifully shot, and the location scout deserves a bonus, y'know, to help out after-taxes.
"This Is Why We Fight" is from the Decemberists' latest "The King Is Dead." They have since announced a tour, with dates below, with excellent openers like Justin Townes Earle, The Head and the Heart and Best Coast on tap.
[Video and dates after the jump...]
Is the singer-songwriter trying to cull a viral hit?
Bruno Mars has posted a single-shot music video to his soft-rock single "The Lazy Song," and it features grown men with monkey masks on dropping their pants, putting their hands down their pants and otherwise making gestures indicating their monkey privates.
It's all the stuff that "viral" videos are made of today, as opposed to just plain viral; OK Go started something when they prance between a set of treadmills, but now its just getting silly. It's like combining the humiliating panda-hilarity of "Drunk Girls" with the droopy headed funk of Jason Mraz, which at the end of the day makes for entertainment, and enough for other lazy folks to click: it's garnered around 1.5 million clicks on YouTube in the three days its been available.
The track certainly was far from my favorite off of "Doo-Wops & Hooligans," but "the kids" are gonna love that line about having "really nice sex."
[Video after the jump...]
Happy Holy Week
Lady Gaga's next single "Judas" has leaked four days early, but either way, it was no mistake it dropped in time for the Christian Holy Week.
The track is Mother Monster's most lyrically unguarded yet on matters of faith and religion, all within the usual trappings of producer RedOne's dance-flooring stompers.
The early lyrics Gaga revealed during her Google chat are barked with the same trademark "ehs" that Rihanna uses. "When he comes to me, I am ready / I'll was his feet with my hair if he needs / forgive him when his tongue lies through his brain, even if after three times he betrays me," goes the first verse, under a murky, transgressive beat.
Later, her big confession: "Jesus is my virtue / and Judas is the demon I cling to,” clunks the bridge. It's perhaps the best analogy for what's occuring sonically, as two worlds seem to collide. Swirls of dark industrial clash with the dusty, uplifting '90s Euro-techno of the choruses, where a gang of punching synths, lasers and a billion other sounds coalesce into what sounds like an early Sega videogame. It's like she's calling all to a revival, but the party's in two different tents. There's just too much going on.
And then there's the sin of laziness of using the word “baby” as a lyrical filler four times for each chorus; for a Song That's So Serious, there was plenty of opportunity to clear the clutter. Though not completely unexpected, it's still cartoonish. (And that's besides the "cultural" misrepresentations of the Biblical narrative, such as: it was Peter who betrayed Jesus three times not Judas; and continued misleading that Mary Magdalene was a "prostitute wench." BUT ANYWAY.)
I don’t find her desire to express or even explain her (obviously) complex faith as such as galling, and in fact I think it's -- her favorite word -- brave. But as a track, it's not the bag of silver she was hoping for. "Judas" and "Born This Way" (with a "capital H-I-M") both address the idiosyncrasies and spiritual battles of Gaga's own post-Catholic faith and America's gripped battles over moral ambiguities, but "Judas" misses the mark as a single. The forthcoming music video, at least, guarantees a wild boat ride with her Savior.
Gaga's album "Born This Way" is due May 23.
What do you think of "Judas?"
New Interpol remix by Salem, Twin Shadow, Tinie Tempah, Cults, Gayngs and more
Coachella may have expanded its lineup more and more over the years, but the desert is still an awfully good place to go dance and/or freak out.
Much of the emphasis at the Indio, Calif.-fest is still on electronic music, sometimes put through the filter of rock, hip-hop, pop, new wave and even folk. We've got a little mix of all of that, seven new songs and some new artists you should check out, even if you're not going to the three-day event this weekend (April 15-17).
First up is Twin Shadow, who's really just one dude: Dominican-born George Lewis Jr.'s track "Slow" may have you pining for your Police records, but its cooled down further by his croon and icy, icy beats. He released his debut album last year through Terrible Records, run by Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear, and 4AD. His next set will be out later this year. He's currently touring with Pains of Being Pure at Heart (sorry, just, meh) and, sometimes, Florence + the Machine.
Francis & the Lights, on the other hand, remind me of Phil Collins meeting Chromeo. You guessed it: man's got a lot of soul. The latest album is "It'll Be Better," which dropped last year; he's since toured with artists from Ke$ha to MGMT to Oh Land.
Upon hearing the name Cults, I didn't think it'd sound like this. With a slow groove on "Go Outside," that girlie voice and glaring layer of atmosphere, I expected something darker, and maybe it is a little. You should check out their Record Store Day release, with A-side "Abduction" for a touch more of that. The debut album will be out in May.
Of course, Interpol's been around for a long time, but you've never heard them like this. Real-life cult-ish band Salem gave "Try It On" a good remix. It, too, is part of Record Store Day's new releases.
Tinie Tempah is a strong new artist on EMI's roster, and has been tearing it up in his native U.K. His album "Disc-Overy" (whatever) is making its way to these shores in May also, and he'll find some sweet success if his current single "Written in the Stars" makes a strong impression on radio by this summer. "Pass Out" is another mega-catchy, grimy tune.
Fat Possum signees The Felice Brothers have expanded on their weird, rootsy music and let it wander into sludgy, unexplored new territories for forthcoming album "Celebration, Florida," due May 10. "Ponzi" is on sale now at digi retailers.
Gayngs is a collective of members from Bon Iver (who's had a notable day), Megafaun, The Rosebuds, Solid Gold and Doomtree. Songs from their album "Relayted" were deconstructed into stems then remixed by a number of producers for "regrinded" EP "Affiliyated," downloadable on the whole here.
Here is the tracklist for Immaculate Noise's 2011 Coachella Podcast:
Twin Shadow, "Slow"
Francis & the Lights, "Knees to the Floor"
Cults, "Go Outside"
Interpol, "Try It On" (Salem Remix)
Tinie Tempah, "Pass Out"
The Felice Brothers, "Ponzi"
Gayngs, "Fight, F*ck, Fall Asleep" (Cecil Otter Regrind feat. SIMS)
Listen to a new Shins track, performed live
Two days after the initial announcement went out, Outside Lands has another major addition to its festival lineup. The Shins will be performing sometime over the weekend of Aug. 12-14 in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, their first live full-band show out since 2009.
Meanwhile, Modest Mouse has announced a scant few North Americanshows for the month of May, leading up to their appearance at Northwest-centric Sasquatch music festival in Seattle. Those are below. They also recently confirmed a stop in Australia for the Splendour in the Grass music festival
There's some overlap in the fandom of these two acts, but also importantly, there seems to be some crossover of one member, Joe Plummer.
The drummer has been working on side project Mister Heavenly (aka Michael Cera's band, sorry), but it seems he's now drummer for both The Shins and Modest Mouse. (Fun fact: Mister Heavenly is on Sub Pop, The Shins' old label, before James Mercer decided the next effort would be out on his own imprint.) He can be seen supporting Shin-man James Mercer when he broke out a new song live last month, posted below (via 24bit).
As I previously reported, Mercer has been hard at work on Broken Bells with Danger Mouse over the past year, most recently with their "Meyrin Fields" EP. It's a collaboration that "will continue to record and tour together for the foreseeable future," as said in a release. But like Beyonce and Glastonbury, the Outside Lands gig may signal the start of something new with that long-awaited Shins record.
A spokesperson for Modest Mouse indicated "there is no official info on a new album" at the time, but I wouldn't put it past Isaac Brock et al. to preview some new material live this Spring. (And for what it's worth, Modest Mouse also used to be on a prominent indie, Matador.)
And not to force it, but "Inception" score guitarist Johnny Marr did just quit The Cribs and may have some hours opening up (besides, y'know, two planned solo albums and movie soundtrack work)... The former Smiths guitarist toured with Modest Mouse toward the end of the '00s.
Both the Shins' and Modest Mouse's last proper studio releases were out in 2007.
Here are Modest Mouse's tour dates:
May 26 Boise, ID Knitting Factory
May 27 Missoula, MT Big Sky Brewery
May 28 Spokane, WA Knitting Factory
May 29 George, WA Sasquatch Music Festival (SOLD OUT)