This Week’s Playlist
In honor of Soundgarden being nominated for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, here is a playlist of the New Music Round-Up’s 20 favorite Soundgarden tunes.
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This Week’s Releases
Beck “Hyperlife,” “Uneventful Days”
Last week I expressed amazement at the fact that some two decades later, Green Day were still chugging along, despite them showing all the signs of being a one-hit wonder when they broke out in the early 1990’s. I would now like to echo that amazement when it comes to Beck,
Beck is a little different though.
Whereas Green Day have mainly stayed true to their punk/pop core, Beck is much more of a moving target. One minute his music is something you can dance to, the next, it’s music to contemplate life to. As someone who is typically a fan of consistency, my first inclination is to ask him to pick a damn side already. Yet having Beck out here keeping us guessing is kind of nice.
You do you, Beck. I’ll be fine.
Earlier this week, Beck released two new songs from his upcoming album, Hyperspace. Both are examples of reflective Beck. “Hyperlife” isn’t even two minutes long, but is so sparse and trance-inducing, you can pack a lot of soul-searching into that short amount of time.
Don’t be fooled into thinking this new Beck jawn is 100% reflective, though. Earlier this year he dropped “Saw Lighting,” one of seven tracks on the album that was co-produced and co-written by Pharrell Williams. In addition to working with Williams, Beck also sought out help from Chris Martin from Coldplay and Sky Ferreira.
Up until this point, Beck albums have either veered one way or the other, making them easier to digest and understand. If he were to go out and drop an album that just threw both elements of his style side by side, that would definitely be interesting, if not somewhat confusing. Am I dancing? Am I thinking? Am I thinking while dancing?
We’ll find out when Hyperspace comes out on November 22nd.
Ghetto Sage “Häagen Dazs”
What can I say, I’m a sucker for a good team-up.
Ghetto Sage consists of Noname, Saba and Smino and earlier this week, after teasing it for a few days, they dropped their first track, “Häagen Dazs.” The Midwest-based trio have worked together before, jumping in on each other’s projects, but this is their first offering under the same name.
The trio performed on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon last year.
Kanye West Jesus Is King
Wait, we have a release date!
At a Jesus Is King listening session in Washington D.C. on October 12, Kanye told the crowd that the new album would be released on October 25.
Hold on, there’s more.
“If he likes it by then,” he added.
Stay tuned I guess.
In the meantime, Kanye released a trailer for his upcoming IMAX film Jesus Is King.
The film comes out on October 25.
Beach Slang “Bang “
Beach Slang is back. The band’s frontman James Alex took a little break and gave Quiet Slang a run, but now he’s back in the saddle with Beach Slang, playing loud, fast rock ‘n roll and there was much joy across this great nation of ours.
Earlier this week they released “Bam Rang Rang,” the lead single off of their upcoming album The Deadbeat Bang Of Heartbreak City. It’s a blistering throwback of a rock tune if there ever was one.
Talking to Kerrang recently, Alex said that he “was listening to an interview with Paul Westerberg about the way he went at writing songs for a particular record — Come Feel Me Tremble maybe? I don’t know… My head loses stuff easily. But, yeah, he called the way he’d hit his guitar as ‘just going bam, rang, rang.’ I heard that and it shot me good. I knew, straight away, I wanted to write a real dirty burner and call it Bam Rang Rang, something that made you want to buy a motorcycle, smoke a cigarette and land a hangover.”
He kind of nailed it.
The band heads out on tour later this month.
The Free Nationals & Chronixx “Eternal Light”
The Free Nationals, Anderson .Paak’s dynamite backing band, have finally stepped out on their own. They’ve been teasing the move for a while now, but then earlier this week they dropped “Eternal Light” featuring Chronixx. It’s the latest tune they’ve released, following “On Sight” featuring J.I.D., Kadhja Bonet and MIKNNA and “Time,” which features the late Mac Miller.
Last year, the group released “Beauty & Essex” featuring Daniel Caesar and Unknown Mortal Orchestra.
It’s kind of nice, because the band isn’t straying too far from what they do with .Paak, which is straight up grooves. It’d be kind of jarring if they were dropping something more in line with Beach Slang.
No word yet on an album.
Jim James, Teddy Abrams & the Louisville Orchestra The Order of Nature
Jim James is kind of an odd duck and has proven to be somewhat unpredictable when it comes to trying to nail down what he was up to outside of his main gig with My Morning Jacket. His latest project is a collaboration with composer Teddy Abrams and the Louisville Orchestra. The material is mostly new, but also includes new takes on previous James’ solo tunes.
The new album was recorded live back in April during the second night of the Louisville Orchestra’s annual Festival of American Music.
“We’re really looking at addressing things head on,” Abrams said in a statement. “That was an interest of mine in working with Jim because he has a way of taking on challenging and divisive issues and presenting them in ways that everybody can relate to, even if you’re from different political backgrounds.”
In addition to the new album, there will also be a three-part documentary about the making of the album.
Hootie & the Blowfish “Hold On”
Hey, new Hootie and the Blowfish music. How about that?
“Hold On” is the third song they’ve released from their upcoming album Imperfect Circle. It’s their first album since 2005’s Looking for Lucky.
The uplighting new tune was by co-written by Chris Stapleton and Jim Beavers. Other collaborators on the new album include Ed Sheeran and Adam Doleac.
Imperfect Circle comes out on November 1st.
Elsewhere in Music…
Biggie, DMB and Whitney Houston Walk Into a Bar…
When nominations for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame are announced, it’s a fun way to realize that holy shit, you’re getting old. This goes for any Hall of Fame really. Once people that were folks you grew up with get nominated, the passage of time becomes all too real.
The Rock Hall announced nominees for the 2020 class earlier this week and as per usual, it’s a collection of slam dunks, definite maybes and those just happy to be nominated. First-time nominees include the Notorious B.I.G., Whitney Houston, Soundgarden, Dave Matthews Band, Motörhead and T. Rex.
Nine Inch Nails, MC5, Depeche Mode and Judas Priest are among those acts who have been nominated again.
Oasis, Weezer, Daft Punk, Elliot Smith and Wilco were all eligible to be nominated, but missed out. Better luck next year.
Fans can vote for who they think is deserving on the Hall’s website. Inductees will be announced in January.
This Week’s Friendly Dose of Nostalgia
Did you know that you wanted to read a oral history about Airheads, the 1994 movie starring Brendan Fraser, Steve Buscemi and Adam Sandler? Yeah, probably not. But thankfully the good folks of the Internet have you covered.
Earlier this week Consequence of Sound unveiled an exaustive look back the cult favorite and it’s fantastic.
Somehow the movie only lasted two weeks in theaters.
People just don’t understand art I guess.
Yeah, That Sounds About Right
This Week in Thanks YouTube
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Brittany Howard stopping by NPR recently to perform a Tiny Desk Concert and the end result is just straight up wonderful. Howard performed four songs from her new album, Jaime, backed by an eight-piece band.
I’m not sure if that’s the most people to ever fit behind the tiny desk, but it has to be close.
Lady Gaga: Not a Gamer
Oysterhead Are Back (Kind Of)
Back in the first few years of this century, one of the more interesting supergroups ever assembled, came together. Oysterhead, featuring Les Claypool of Primus, Trey Anastasio of Phish and Stewart Copeland of The Police, formed for a New Orleans Jazz Fest gig, released an album, played some shows and then pretty much disappeared from our lives.
The last we heard from the band was back in 2006 when they played their last show. Copeland talked about them getting back together in 2014, but that was like, so long ago and not much came of it.
Now the time has come. Oysterhead are back, albeit briefly.
The band is returning to play two shows in Broomfield, Colorado in February.
Yes, just two shows.
Maybe they’ll announce some more, who the hell knows?
In the meantime, you can relive the magic of Oysterhead via this video of a show of theirs in 2001.
It’s effin’ intense, man.
And We’ll End Here
See you next week!