Monday, September 21, 2009

Music News: A collaboration you might not have seen coming

Finally some "piss in my pants with excitement" music news. Let's be real here. Most of the music news I report here is ho-hum. This right here is mind-blowing. The Black Keys are producing and performing on a hip-hop album featuring Rza, Raekwon, Mos Def, Jim Jones, Pharoah Monch, Q-tip, Ludacris, ODB, Billy Danze of M.O.P., Noe and Nikki Wray. The album is called Blakroc and will be released on Friday November 27th. The album is supposedly being released on a label started by Damon Dash and The Black Keys management. You can register your e-mail address at to pre-order the album, view videos of how this project came to be and hear some snippets of the new music. I know the following clip has nothing to do with music news but the instant I heard the name Damon Dash I thought of this:

Chappelle's Show
Roca Pads
Buy Chappelle's Show DVDsBlack ComedyTrue Hollywood Story


Surprisingly, the notoriously interview-shy White Stripes have a documentary coming out about their tour of Canada in 2007. Called The White Stripes Under Great White Northern Lights (an unnecessarily long title if you ask me), the film debuted at the Toronto Film Festival this week. Apparently, the film (which is black and white, of course) plays on a lot of the ongoing jokes of the Stripes’ career, such as whether they’re siblings or ex-husband and wife and the fact that Meg almost never talks. No word yet on a wider release for the film, though I’m sure it’ll be on my DVD shelf eventually. -Christian H.

Last Tuesday marked the day that the Beastie Boys were supposed to release their new album, Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 1. Due to Adam "MCA" Yauch's cancer diagnosis a few months ago, the release date has been pushed back indefinitely. However, the Beasties re-released a digital version of Hello Nasty in its place. The album includes the original remastered album plus 21 bonus tracks, skits and rarities. A physical release will take place on Tuesday September 22nd. There are a multitude of packages you can choose, including a double vinyl and a collector's edition vinyl. All the add-ons can be viewed at the Beasties' website. -Felicia

In what I think is the coolest news of the week, Pavement has announced that they are getting back together! Well, for a tour…in 2010. They’ve only announced three shows so far, all in NYC, but they claim it’s going to be a full-on tour “around the world,” which has my jukebox jumbling. For those who are unaware, Pavement is basically the band that made indie garage rock cool in the ‘90s with albums like Slanted and Enchanted and Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain. They made a lot of music before they broke up in 1999, so they will have lots of material to choose from as they go out and play. They say this tour “isn’t prelude to a permanent reunion” and that it’ll probably just be this tour and that’s it. I’m usually very negative about reunion tours, especially for ‘90s bands, but basically, if they come to Minneapolis, I will get a ticket or die trying. –Christian H.

I've been a long time fan of Muse so it's kind of disturbing to think they're just now gaining popularity due to the use of their song "Supermassive Black Hole" in the Twilight movie. I admit I read all the books and even saw the movie twice (as our readership drops from ten to one after that revelation) but I hate the fact that they'll be known as "The Twilight Band" from here on out. In any case, Muse just released the video for their new single "Uprising." The song has grown on me, but their older stuff will always be closest to my heart. Oh, and they still haven't gotten credit for when that monster Adam Lambert sang their arrangement and cover of "Feeling Good" on American Idol, which is one of my favorite covers of all time.

As always, it's my pleasure to present your Monday Playlist.

Felicia: We have an MPR radio station here in Minneapolis called The Current and at 4:00 p.m. t they play a "No Apologies" track, meaning there are literally no apologies for the dissemination od a possibly hideous song. It's one of my favorite features on radio only because I usually really like the songs they play. It's normally a throwback or something so bad it's good, like a Meatloaf tune. Last week they played INXS's "Not Enough Time." It reminded me how much I love INXS and how hard my heart aches that I will never be able to see the original INXS live. It also reminded me what a fucking atrocity that reality show was where they were looking for a new lead singer. How dare they try to replace Michael Hutchence, and they should be ashamed for selling out like that. I was one of those people who refused to watch that garbage and was just short of staging a sit-in protest against it. Long live the real INXS in all its glory.

Sean: My contribution to an upcoming collaborative piece got me listening to one of my favorite albums from my post-college and performing years, Buchanan's All Understood. I don't think it's possible to place this record in any particular genre aside from the broad and true "independent" descriptor; it runs the gamut of styles, from rock to acoustic to soul, jazz and blues. The sultry groove of "Satan Is A Woman" behind Jay Buchanan's creamy, expressive voice paints a vivid picture of a man with absolutely no power over himself, and of the woman who just owns him.

Chris: "Cloudbank" by Julianna Barwick, from her new release Florine, is an instrumental song that only uses vocals. Wrap your head around that for a second. Using tons of delay, reverb, and looping techniques, Barwick creates an atmospheric soundscape that's at once enveloping and sparse, which is (or should be, anyway) the ultimate goal of quality ambient music. The wispy layers of her voice crescendo with ease and longing while the gulps of silence that intercede her experiment throb with pain and aching. It goes to show that music doesn't need to be crowded with sound to be impressive or sound big. And Barwick does it with the only instrument that doesn't cost a penny.

We hope you're enjoying what you're seeing around here. Thanks for reading. Have a good week. -Sean


Boo said...


I just realized that Between the Buried and Me named themselves after....

wait for it...

a fucking Counting Crows song lyric.

This can't be the original reference, can it?

I am soooooo confused. (And yes, 'confused' is a euphemism for 'drunk'. SO WHAT.)

Hanna said...

Why would you call Adam Lambert a monster? He sang the Muse song "Starlight" every night of the American Idols Live Tour this summer, telling the audience that the song was by Muse, one of his favorite bands. He's also built them up on Twitter and because of that his legions of fans have taken an interest in them. Many of us have bought the Muse album & attended their concerts because Adam introduced us to them. Adam is a generous entertainer who gives credit when credit is due. It's not his fault if American Idol failed to give credit on the show.