It’s been a weird year for Neill Jameson, aka Imperial, the man behind the seminal American black metal project Krieg. If you follow the guy on Facebook, you know he’s constantly dealing with bullshit, and that has increased exponentially over the last few weeks. He works in this record store in New Jersey, whose customers are a source of endless frustration. His occasional (current) musical collaborator Thurston Moore has been in the news for saying “Black Metal is music made by pussies of the lowest order.” His occasional (former) musical collaborator Blake Judd (of Nachtmystium) has been in the news for allegedly ripping off a bunch of fans and distributors, after pulling similar scams last year. And every time more news is made, Jameson — an outpost of acerbic, sarcastic pragmatism in a world of hyperbole and panic — finds himself inundated with requests for comments and clarifications. Wrote Jameson on Facebook in one such exchange (of many):
When you drive through Tampa’s Seminole Heights neighborhood, you will pass an endless collection of gas stations and strip malls, the latter seeming to surrender their final delayed breath into the aqueous Florida air. You will pass a laundromat whose wan teal sign looks as if it hasn’t been touched since the 1950s. You will pass rows of Florida bungalows and ranch houses, some occupied by artsy faux-hemians, some by the sort of Floridians who have three rusted-out vintage cars on their lawn and a Confederate flag hanging from the garage. Seedy motels are omnipresent. Nestled amongst this is the house where all five members of Merchandise currently live, the same house where they recorded their new album After The End. When you arrive, the thought is hard to escape: Unconventional as it is today, this is the sort of thing that could be — and, perhaps, will be — read in hindsight as the beginning of a rock ’n’ roll myth.
The gothy, dreamy, doomy British sister act 2:54 are coming back this fall with their new album The Other I, and that’s good news, since their rich and retro sound is about as autumnal as it gets. We’ve already posted the majestic first single “Orion,” and now they’ve shared the heavy, churning follow-up “In The Mirror,” which has melody to burn. Listen to it below.
It was only a matter of time before PC Music began seeping into the major-label world, and now SOPHIE and A. G. Cook’s collaborative project QT has made its debut via XL Recordings. The song was debuted during a show at the Boiler Room in Los Angeles last Friday (which included live sets from Oneohtrix Point Never, Hudson Mohawke, and a solo SOPHIE performance). If you’ve been a fan of this style of music throughout the year, then this will be special for you. Finally bringing together the two figureheads of this sound, it melds the cartoon vocals of SOPHIE’s best tracks, “Lemonade” and “BIPP,” with the bright bubblegummy production of Cook’s best work, such as Hannah Diamond’s “Attachment” and “Pink And Blue.” This is one of the best songs to come from either of these producers. Listen to it and read a typically cryptic statement from them below.
Atlanta drug-rap motivational speaker Jeezy has now made five proper studio albums, as well as a neverending string of mixtapes. As far as the album-albums go, all of them are good, and a couple of them are great. Seen It All, Jeezy’s latest, is more in the “good” column than in the “great” one, but it finds Jeezy transitioning to vaguely-introspective elder-statesman status with surprising ease. The album includes contributions from people like Jay-Z, Future, Rick Ross, Lil Boosie, and the Game, and we’ve posted a bunch of its songs: “Me OK,” the title track, “Beautiful,” “Holy Ghost,” and “No Tears.” And now you can stream the full album at iTunes Radio.
Seen It All is out 9/2 on Def Jam. And in other Jeezy news, Jeezy was arrested at an Irvine, California tour stop on Sunday for assault rifle possession. As CNN reports, police had a warrant to search tour buses after a shooting death at the show. Everything about this story sucks.var chartbeat_zone = "misc";
The past few weeks have been tumultuous as any other for Morrissey: after releasing his new album, he was accused of and denied asking his security guard to hurt the webmaster of one of his fansites, and dissed and later got dropped by the label that took a chance on him. Now a string of European tour dates has been announced that start in October, which should go on as planned as long as he doesn’t postpone or cancel them. In the announcement on quasi-official site True To You, a note at the end reads: “Morrissey is urgently seeking a label to issue World Peace Is None of Your Business, which is now withdrawn from the Capitol-Harvest Records catalogue.” Check out the dates below.
We were kind of close when we speculated last week that Weird Al would perform at an awards show. We thought it would be the VMAs because, you know, music, but it turns out that he was preparing for a surprise appearance at tonight’s Emmy Awards. He performed in a segment where he made up words to the theme songs for some of television’s biggest hits, including Game Of Thrones, Mad Men, Scandal, and Homeland. Watch video of the performance below, which also features Lena Headey, Andy Samberg dressed up as King Joffery from GOT, and one of Grimes’ backup dancers. Weird Al comes in at the 4-minute mark.
The Blood Brothers announced their reunion back in May when the lineup for FYF Fest was released. Recently, they expanded their reunion tour a bit with shows in Seattle, New York, Brooklyn, and at Fun Fun Fun Fest later this year. You can watch video of the band playing “Ambulance Vs. Ambulance” and “Crimes” below and check out a setlist from the show.
“Strong” is one of the highlights from last year’s London Grammar debut, If You Wait, centered around a characteristically strong vocal performance from Hannah Reid, diffuse drumming, and xx-style guitar licks. The song serves as their next single and is highlighted with a remix EP featuring remixes by Evian Christ and Claude VonStroke. Both of them do wildly different things with the song: the Kanye collaborator goes for a Yeezus-like maximalist approach while VonStroke opts to turn it into a nu-disco jam. Listen to both below.
People have been confusing the militant band of terrorists ISIS for musical band of musicians Isis. The post-metal band, who called it quits back in 2010, has been getting comments on their Facebook page in the past few weeks since the Islamic group came into public consciousness for claiming responsibility for the beheading of journalist James Foley. (Side note: The prime suspect in the beheading, Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, was a rapper who performed under the name L Jinny.) The music group went so far as to change their Facebook name from plain old “Isis” to “Isis the band” to differentiate itself for people who can’t figure out that an terrorist organization probably wouldn’t maintain a public Facebook presence.
Earlier this month, after his new album World Peace Is None Of Your Business had only been out for a few weeks, Morrissey more or less went to war with Harvest, his label, first claiming he’d been dropped from the label and then writing an online screed about everything that, from Morrissey’s perspective, the label did wrong. That statement included an ominous, vaguely mysterious note: “I might be wrong, but I think World peace is none of your business will instantly disappear from iTunes and record stores and every download-upload-offload outlet on the planet, because Harvest technically have no right to sell it.” Sure enough, the album soon disappeared from iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and Rdio. But now Harvest is saying that it pulled the album at Moz’s request. So who the hell knows.
Miley Cyrus Knew In Advance She Was Gonna Win Video Of The Year According To This VMA Red Carpet Interview
Last night at the MTV Video Music Awards, Miley Cyrus won Video Of The Year for “Wrecking Ball.” Instead of accepting the award herself, however, in a nod to Sacheen Littlefeather accepting Marlon Brando’s Oscar in ’73, Cyrus sent a young homeless man (since identified as Jesse Helt of Salem, OR) to the stage. He spoke briefly about youth homelessness, urging fans to go to Cyrus’ Facebook page where she outlined a fundraising campaign.
Ty Dolla $ign’s debut album Free TC is due later this year, and today he teased it with the free $ign Language mixtape. The Big Sean collab that opens the tape reminds me of one of Drake’s more laid-back Take Care-era tracks, which Ty$ (and especially Sean) should consider high praise. From there things ramp up and remain star-studded, with appearances by Rick Ross, Juicy J, Rich Homie Quan, YG, Wiz Khalifa, T.I., and Yo Gotti over a laundry list of today’s leading producers. At times it feels more like a hip-hop record than Ty$’s R&B-driven Beach House mixtapes, but there’s still that distinct R. Kelly influence in the mix. Stream or download the whole thing below via Hot New Hip Hop.
Aphex Twin interviews are rare beasts, but with Richard D. James about to return with SYRO, his first proper studio album in 13 years, they’re suddenly a little thicker on the ground. Both FADER and Pitchfork have recently spoken with James, and both publications have unveiled a few highlights from their conversations before publishing those interviews. Some highlights: James has a few more albums in the work, he has a ton of older music like Caustic Window waiting around to see release if he can get organized enough to do it, and he’s been enjoying playing small, anonymous DJ gigs lately. The most interesting bit, however, is the part where he talks about Kanye West sampling his piano composition “Avril 14th” for the My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy highlight “Blame Game.” Here’s what he says:
The ex-Sonic Youth co-leader Thurston Moore’s got a new album called The Best Day on the way and a new backing band that includes Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelly and My Bloody Valentine’s Debbie Googe. (I’m a little disappointed Moore is still recording with them under his own name rather than using “Pussies Of The Lowest Order” as a band name.) We’ve posted the new album’s title track, as well as footage of the band debuting new song “Detonation” in London. Over the weekend, Moore and his band played Belgium’s Pukkelpop festival, where they played another new one from the forthcoming album. “Forevermore” is a feebacky, krautrock-esque staring-into-infinity mostly-instrumental groove, and at least in its live incarnation, it lasts 13 and a half minutes. Watch pro footage of the band playing the song at Pukkelpop.
Los Angeles’ FYF Fest was one of the more stylistically diverse festivals of the year. Its lineup blended major headliners (Phoenix, the Strokes, HAIM) with some of the best electronic musicians in the world (Flying Lotus, Todd Terje, Four Tet), and managed to throw in some choice heavier stuff (Boris, Deafheaven), hip-hop (Earl Sweatshirt, Run The Jewels), reunions (Slowdive, the Blood Brothers), and more (Grimes, Mac DeMarco, Angel Olsen, Real Estate, etc). Like the great California burrito, it is a hodgepodge of different ingredients, and once wrapped up into a single package, it goes down real easy. Check out our nine favorite sets from this year’s festival in the gallery above.var chartbeat_zone = "misc";
After a long hiatus, the Canadian duo formerly known as the King Khan & BBQ Show, composed of King Khan and Mark Sultan (aka BBQ), have now reformed under the name Bad News Boys. They’ve got a new album slated for early 2015, and they’ve shared the scrappy garage-rock gem “We Are The Champion,” which comes with an endearingly low-budget video following a homeless guy who becomes a cigar-smoking big shot in a cold medicine-induced dream or something. You can watch it below.
Stevie Nicks has a new album coming out called 24 Karat Gold: Songs From The Vault, and it’s comprised entirely of unreleased tracks, most of them decades old. We already posted the swirling “The Dealer,” the album’s first single. Nicks has followed that up by sharing a lovely solo-piano ballad called “Lady,” which, as it happens, is a different version of an old Nicks/Lindsey Buckingham demo called “Knockin’ On Doors,” which you can find here. (Shout out to Scott Lapatine, the only person I know who has an encyclopedic knowledge of unreleased Fleetwood Mac-related demos.) Listen to “Lady” below.
Every Sinkane album is a world unto itself. Mean Love is no different in that it is very different. A conglomeration of everything from Sade to Radiohead to Alvino Rey to Fela Kuti, it marks the latest evolution by one of music’s most fascinating figures. Bandleader Ahmed Gallab was born in Sudan, grew up in Utah and Ohio, and has come to prominence while based in Brooklyn, where he took time off from Sinkane to raise his profile as a sideman for Caribou, Of Montreal, and Yeasayer. His travels have become an inextricable part of his biography because they shine through so clearly in his unique pool of worldwide influences. (Full disclosure: He’s also been a friend of mine since his days playing post-hardcore and experimental electronica in Columbus.)
Last week, Henry Rollins brought a shitstorm of controversy down on himself when, in an L.A. Weekly column, he castigated Robin Williams and others who have committed suicide, writing that when someone commits suicide, “I can no longer take this person seriously. I may be able to appreciate what he or she did artistically but it’s impossible to feel bad for them.” A few days ago, he categorically apologized for the column, and now he’s expanded on that apology and pledged to do better.