Welcome to the New Music Round-Up, where we see what new music has been released this week or in the case of Kanye West, what has yet to be released. Follow me @ryanoconnell79
Weezer released a new single on Thursday, a single that could possibly be the urban myth that is The Black Album, the rumored follow-up to their 2017 album Pacific Daydream. In 2017, <Cuomo said that “if Pacific Daydream was one big step away from Weezer’s history, then The Black Album is ten of those.” At the time, he was looking for a producer. Now I don’t know if Dave Sitek of TV on the Radio is producing the whole album, but he did produce this new track, “Can’t Knock the Hustle.” And hey, that’s Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy in the video. Here’s something you should know about Weezer: their best albums are the ones with colors in the unofficial titles, with the one exception being their second album Pinkerton. So while we don’t know much about The Black Album, the fact that it’s even called that should be viewed as a positive.
Oooooh boy, we have some new Run the Jewels. On Thursday, the dynamic duo unveiled “Let’s Go (The Royal We)” on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 show on Apple Music. The song appears after the credits of Venom, but according to El-P, the song was originally intended for Blade Runner 2049. It didn’t make the cut though. But then the Venom people came calling. “We got a call that they wanted us to write a record for it, and we were like abso-damn-lutely we will write a record for Venom,” Killer Mike added.
For the record, abso-damn-lutely is also what I say whenever someone asks if I want more coffee.
Drake knows Spanish. Or Drake knows how to sing in Spanish, as evidenced by his bars in the new Bad Bunny track “MIA.” I barely passed Spanish I. Drake and I don’t have much in common. This is not the first time I’ve realized this, in case you were wondering.
Philly’s own Kurt Vile dropped his seventh studio album Bottle It In on Friday. It’s Vile’s first release since 2017, when he recorded an album with his friend Courtney Barnett called Whole Lotta Sea Lice. Since leaving the Philly band War on Drugs in 2009, Vile has become somewhat of a indie rock icon, as well as someone who routinely writes songs that sound great when you are driving. Bottle It In was originally slated to be released last spring, but was delayed due to Vile feeling a little burnt out. In a recent interview, Vile elaborated some, saying “I was prepared to have a serious breakdown. Pretty normal.” Vile sounds pretty relaxed on Bottle It In and as someone who lived in Philly for a spell, his song “Loading Zones” speaks to me in ways I can’t even begin to explain.
Man, it’s only a matter of time before we start talking about Migos in the past tense. First Offset is out there dropping solo joints and now it’s Quavo’s turn. All that’s left is for Takeoff to release a solo album of his own. Or star in a cooking competition. It’s 2018, anything is possible. But back to our dude Quavo, he finally released Quavo Huncho, which was supposed to come out in September. Wow, seems to be kind of a theme of delayed releases so far. Quavo took to Instagram last week, listing off the people potentially appearing on Quavo Huncho and the list is pretty damn fierce, with Drake, Travis Scott, Cardi B and Kid Cudi all on the list. The list also features his Migos bros Offset and Takeoff. Migos is currently on tour with Drake, a tour that has it’s fair share of problems since it launched.
Tom Morello, formerly of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave and currently of Prophets of Rage, released a new solo album, The Atlas Underground. Sorry, it’s not an album. It’s a “sonic conspiracy.” I don’t know what that means, but whatever, I’m into it. This isn’t Morello’s first stab at dropping a solo album, having released a handful of albums under the moniker Tom Morello: the Nightwatchman. Those were folk jams though. This time around Morello is flexing his guitar hero muscles, as well as embracing EDM, because why not? Morello worked with everyone from Steve Aoki and Bassnectar to Big Boi and Marcus Mumford of Mumford and Sons on the album. Dave Grohl could have been included as well, but Tim McIlrath of Rise Against returned Morello’s texts first. I don’t know about you, but I picture Grohl only using all caps in text messages. It’s just one of those things that just makes sense to me.
In more Morello news, his old band Rage Against the Machine was recently nominated to the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame. If you’re like me and you remember Rage first coming out and rocking your socks off, congratulations. You are now officially old.
St. Vincent released MassEducation, a stripped down and re-purposed take on her 2017 album MASSEDUCATION, which was one of the better received albums of last year, getting four stars in Rolling Stone and a 7.6 out of 10 from Pitchfork. MassEducation was recorded at the same time as MASSEDUCATION, with most of the songs getting the piano-only treatment. In a letter that accompanies the album, St. Vincent says that the recording “was fast” and “intuitive.” St. Vincent (whose real name is Annie Clark) recently headlined the premiere of the 44th season of Austin City Limits.
Have you ever found yourself drawn to a band because of their band name? Like, you know nothing about them, but when wandering the vast tracts of land that is Spotify, you see their name and something about the name piques your interest. Such is the case with BRONCHO. That right there is a fun word. It sounds like the nickname of someone you wish you were friends with in college. BRONCHO the band sounds like the soundtrack to a daydream you once had. The Oklahoma-based band plays blissed out and restained pop rock, something that they continue to do on their new release, Bad Behavior. Lead singer Ryan Lindsey says the album is “a blurry mirror image of the times from where we sit.” One of the songs on the new album, “Get In My Car,” was actually released last year, with NPR saying that with a few tweaks, “it could easily be an arena-ready album.” That’s funny. My bands in high school felt the same way about our albums.
Are you ready for the memory lane section of the rundown? ‘Cause it’s happening. It’s happening right now. We’re going back to the 1990’s buddy and it’s going to be fantastic.
First, there’s Blues Traveler. The idea of Blues Traveler being a thing might have become long forgotten, but there was a period where they were everywhere and the ferocious, tornado-sounding harmonica stylings of John Popper hammered it’s way into all of our eardrums on a regular basis. But that was then and this is now and Blues Traveler are still around. On Friday they released their 13th studio album, Hurry Up & Hang Around. Thirteen studio albums! If you’re keeping track, that’s a lot. Did you know Dave Matthews Band only has nine? It’s true. Look it up.
The same year that Blues Traveler dropped their breakthrough album Four, Live released theirs, Throwing Copper. Yet the years since haven’t been as kind to Live, as the band went through a pretty nasty public falling out in 2009. But you can’t just shut the door on years of friendship and when I say years, I mean years. Live formed in middle school, which for all of us, was a long freaking time ago. Those dudes had some history built up, so it was only a matter of time before they got back together. The band initially reformed in 2016, spent 2017 touring with Guns N’ Roses, and this past summer they co-headlined a tour with Counting Crows because even fond memories like to travel in pairs. Now they are making the reunion official by releasing new music. Local 717 is the band’s first release with singer Ed Kowalczyk since 2006. Now all we can do is wait for the Seven Mary Three reunion and everything will be just like it was, perfect.
Recent cancer scare be damned, Elvis Costello is still out in these streets making great music and it’s his first time dropping a new album since he teamed up with The Roots for Wise Up Ghost in 2013. Now he’s again backed up by The Imposters for Look Now, his first new album with them since 2008. I wonder who his favorite backing band is? I don’t really care. I’m more curious than anything else. Either way, I’m happy Costello is still making music. See? Not everything is terrible in the world right now.
File under: For Serious David Bowie Fans Only. Parlophone Records has released their fourth David Bowie box set, David Bowie Loving the Alien (1983-1988.) Eleven CDs from Bowie’s mid-80’s run that include remastered versions of Let’s Dance and Tonight and a truck load of previously unreleased material. The CD box set also features a 128 page book. CDs and books. It’s almost like it’s 1988 all over again.
Finally, I know it’s not even Halloween yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a jump on the endless joy that is Christmas music. Eric Clapton is making your Christmas favorites all bluesy, while the Monkees (yes, the Monkees) are trying to introduce some new Christmas songs into your life; songs co-written by Rivers Cuomo of Weezer and Peter Buck of R.E.M.. New Christmas songs. Come on now, the Monkees. Who is looking for new Christmas music?
Also, let’s save those releases for November! Target doesn’t even have Christmas stuff out yet.