Scott & Charlene’s Wedding have released a video for “Distracted” off of their recent album Mid Thirties Singles Scene that speaks for a whole mess of people we can really understand. As Raven Sings the Blues writes, “The band’s pop hides a wealth of insight to the kind of restless energy that crops up in a generation lost to debt, dead-end jobs and armed only with guitars and some jangles to dig them out.” Watch the video after the jump and buy the record here....more
The Nobel Prize in Literature went to Bob Dylan this year, sparking debate around the songwriter’s legacy and whether song lyrics should be considered poetry. Those in the pro camp attribute the win to the persistent singularity of Dylan’s songwriting, in combination with the depth of material he drew from....more
Surprise, surprise, another horrible Trump story has surfaced: Lil Jon has spoken out about the time that the presidential candidate kept calling him “Uncle Tom” on Celebrity Apprentice.
Apparently, even after a series of people explained why the term “Uncle Tom” is entirely offensive, the Donald Trump decided he was correct in using the term, persevered in using it, and generally made everyone feel really insulted and perplexed....more
Vince Staples appeared on Hot 97 recently to deliver a freestyle, challenging #BlackLivesMatter protestors to make the future brighter through positive community action, among many other things. (He also would be happy if his girlfriend looked like M.I.A., for instance.) Listen to the full rap after the jump....more
Dawes is one of a handful of groups, including peers like Wilco and Broken Social Scene, who have undergone personnel changes without losing the essential heart and soul that make them who they are. Their first manifestation in 2006 as the post-punk group Simon Dawes included the multi-talented guitarist and producer Blake Mills....more
Following the series of reports of clowns terrorizing America, TIME thought it prudent to open the discussion to the clowns who are blamed for a whole range of things, from spreading ignorance about magnets to just plain inspiring millions of people to dress like masses of terrifying, drunk clowns: the Insane Clown Posse....more
A new jazz documentary is making its way around the festival circuit. Directed by Kasper Collin, I Called Him Morgan traces the career of trumpet player Lee Morgan, who worked with greats like Art Blakey and Dizzy Gillespie before being murdered—shot dead on stage mid-performance—by his wife....more
Despite the number of artists who have explicitly requested their songs never again be used by the Republican candidate, who apparently does not believe in obtaining permission to use artistic work, Trump keeps upping the ante. Most recently, a campaign ad used “Seven Nation Army,” much to the chagrin of The White Stripes....more
Given the anarchic, traumatic, and deeply worrying events of recent months, some might begin to lose hope. However, music—and especially jazz, the most particularly American music—never seems to lose its power to soothe and calm us. Louis Armstrong, in a special song that might sound deceptively typical to the hasty listener, made a groundbreaking statement on race relations in his recording of the 1929 Fats Waller tune, “Black and Blue.” Rather than making a misguided apology for his own racial identity, as some have interpreted it, Armstrong’s incomparable dignity transforms the bluesy song into an ageless lament that rivals monumental recordings like Nina Simone’s “Strange Fruit.” Maybe we are all feeling a little black and blue today....more
Michael Collins’s latest project has an enviable list of collaborators, including Weyes Blood, Ariel Pink, Mild High Club, Sheer Agony, and members of Mac DeMarco’s band. While some reviews seem preoccupied with the tongue-in-cheek names Collins gives to each of his projects, it seems to us that the more important thing to notice is that these songs are pleasingly jammy, with modulating trippy pacing at times and exactly the kind of throwback pop sound we’d expect from its collaborators....more
The radio personality has put together a tribute to his favorite Beatles album, featuring a wide array of artists covering Revolver’s track list. According to Rolling Stone, the episode features:
Cheap Trick tackling “She Said She Said,” James Taylor performing “Here, There and Everywhere” and Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats covering “Got to Get You Into My Life”….[also performing are] Dinosaur Jr.’s J.
The White House has really been stepping up its music game these days, organizing festivals and now inviting Chance the Rapper to perform at the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. Because if you’re on your way out and can’t do much, you might as well use holidays you’re forced to celebrate as opportunities to invite your favorite artists to perform at your house....more
It’s either a testament to the general belief held in director Grant Singer or a confirmation that buzz determines award nominations above all else, depending on how you look at it: The Weeknd and Daft Punk collaboration “Starboy” has received an MTV VMA nomination before its formal release....more
Everyone knows funk music reached its heyday in the 1970s, but even legends like James Brown and George Clinton were hard pressed to compete with funk powerhouse The Isley Brothers in 1975. The title track “The Heat Is On (Part 1 & 2),” from their record of the same name, is a hard-driving, wall-shaking revelation that takes this oft-underestimated genre to new heights....more
The Caretaker’s Leyland Kirby will be chronicling through music the changes wrought by dementia on his own newly diagnosed mind. Kirby released a statement outlining the project:
The series aims to enlighten our understanding of dementia by breaking it down into a series of stages that provide a haunting guide to its progression, deterioration, and disintegration and the way that people experience it according to a range of impending factors.
In an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert promoting his new book, Born to Run, the Boss listed his favorite songs by the Boss. Also, he explained why he puts the E Street Band through four-hour long marathon shows, and the chafing that comes with them, saying: “I’m here to take you out of time… I’m here to alter time and space and play with it myself and help you move in and out of things on any given evening.” Watch the Boss open up to Stephen Colbert after the jump....more
Yo La Tengo is releasing another series of totally destroyed versions of covers from their annual performances at WFMU’s fundraiser. The compilation, Murder in the Second Degree, is a follow-up to the band’s 2006 release Yo La Tengo Is Murdering the Classics, and like its predecessor the liner notes are vague, replaced by a promise that “there are endless ways to ruin a song”:
For the last 20 years (and counting), Yo La Tengo, accompanied by cub reporter Bruce Bennett, have performed live on WFMU during their fundraising Marathon, and in return for listeners’ pledges of support, we have attempted to play their requests, with no prior knowledge of what those requests will be, and without utilizing any of the many web sites that provide lyrics and chords.
Michel’le’s upcoming biopic Surviving Compton creates a dialogue with the story told by Straight Outta Compton, which notably failed to portray the roles of the women who helped grow N.W.A. and Ruthless Records. When asked why she believes her story was omitted from the Straight Outta Compton narrative, Michel’le indicated she felt no surprise: “Why would Dre put me in it… If they start from where they start from, I was just a quiet girlfriend who got beat up and told to sit down and shut up.”
Surviving Compton deals heavily with the abusive relationship between Dr....more
Radiohead is no stranger to anxiety. A tense tone—like a taut cord reverberating—runs through the high-energy opener “Burn the Witch,” from their latest record, A Moon Shaped Pool. Thom Yorke’s delicate wail floats over the brazen guitar and strings as the tempo speeds up and the anxiety mounts....more