Welcome to the BroBible New Music Round-Up, where we see what new music has been released this week and if we have to pick a side, I guess we side with Bieber. But we don’t feel great about it. For more follow me on Twitter: @ryanoconnell79
This Week’s Playlist
To celebrate the return of Vampire Weekend, here is a playlist of 15 of their best songs.
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Vampire Weekend Father Of The Bride
2013 was a long time ago.
Prince George was born, there was a 35 minute power outage at the Super Bowl and the first Sharknado was released. Prince George is driving now. Yeah, that’s how long it’s been. We’re also on like, the fourth or fifth Sharknado sequel now. A lot of time has passed since 2013, that’s for damn sure.
Something else happened in 2013. Vampire Weekend released Modern Vampires Of The City. It was their third album and at the time, probably their most anticipated release coming off of the success of their 2010 sophomore album, Contra. By the end of the year, Vampire Weekend were a legitimate, top-of-the-bill act. Surely they wouldn’t disappear for almost half of a decade afterwards, right?
Yeah, about that.
Now six years later, the band has finally released a follow-up album. Coming in strong at 18 songs deep, it feels like they’re making up for lost time. The album clocks in at just under an hour though, so they’re making up for lost time, but doing so casually. I respect that. No one has time for an album longer than an hour. (cough Drake cough)
Prior to the release of the album, the band had dropped six songs, some good (i.e. “This Life”) and some down right weird (“2021.”) But either way, it’s great to have Vampire Weekend back in our lives. With summer in our sights, the band’s style, which has always sounded like music made by Paul Simon Graceland-era enthusiasts, who also dig boat shoes and Internet trends, is just what we need.
According to Rolling Stone, the band’s new album “is so zealously detailed and meticulously contoured that you easily sink into its inventions: the whirl of country picking, surf-guitar twang and classical interlude in “Harmony Hall”; the loopy hip-hop of “Sunflower” with its creeping-vocal riff; the Soweto-like bounce and AutoTuned-Beach Boys-style chorale in “Flower Moon.”” Stereogum calls the new album the band’s “magnum opus.”
When Vampire Weekend emerged towards the end of the last decade, they found themselves lumped in with bands like Cold War Kids and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, bands that were decidedly more rock than they were. But they were always more than just a rock band and that versatility could be part of what has helped them survive whereas those other bands haven’t.
In his latest piece on The Ringer, Rob Harvilla calls them “the only living band in New York.”
Lukas Nelson & The Promise of the Real “Bad Case”
Lukas Nelson, the inspiration for Bradley Cooper’s character in A Star Is Born, and his band The Real dropped a new single today, the first off of their upcoming album Turn Off The News (Build A Garden.) Given what’s on the news these days, that sounds like the title of a best-selling self-help book that someone needs to get started writing today.
Nelson, the son of Willie Nelson, served as a consultant on A Star Is Born after meeting Cooper at the Desert Trip festival in 2016. He later did some writing with the film’s co-star Lady Gaga and Nelson and his band played the backing band for Cooper’s Jackson Maine character.
As for the new album, it was recorded straight to analog tape at Rick Rubin’s Shangri-La studio and includes a pretty legit slate of guests. Willie Nelson, Neil Young, Sheryl Crow, Margo Price, Kesha and Shooter Jennings are just a handful of those that contributed. The band has cited The Byrds, Tom Petty, Al Green, Neil Young, Little Feat and JJ Cale as inspirations for the album.
“We wanted these songs to be fun and upbeat, but we also wanted to have something to say,” Lukas Nelson stated. “Rock ‘n’ roll began as a countercultural movement, so in the true spirit of rock ‘n’ roll, we’re trying to encourage a lifestyle where people can be active in their local communities, rather than glued to a device.”
Turn Off The News (Build A Garden) comes out on June 14, but feel free to heed that advice as soon as possible.
Bad Religion Age of Unreason
If you want to talk about the passage of time, let’s talk about Bad Religion, who formed nearly forty years ago, back in 1980. 2013 laughs at the idea of you thinking that 2013 was a long time ago when you consider how long ago 1980 was.
They’re still at it though, having released their 17th album, Age of Unreason. The album follows up three singles they released in 2018, two of which, “My Sanity” and “The Profane Rights of Man,” appear on the new album.
Never ones to shy away from tackling social issues, you’d be surprised to learn that the band has an issue or two with our current president. They go after POTUS on “Candidate,” saying “I am your candidate/ I am bloody lips and makeup/ I’m your caliphate, opioids and mutilation/ a celebrity and my name is competition.”
In addition to Donald Trump, the band also addresses racism in America and former 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protests.
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds “Black Star Dancing”
File under: well, this is kind of surprising.
The former Oasis mastermind and guitarist is taking a break from arena-ready rock songs to scratch that 80’s dance rock itch he apparently has. It’s almost as if someone just introduced Gallagher to music from the decade and he really dug it.
Of the new song, Gallagher manages to name nearly every influential act from the period when describing his influences for the track.
“It manages to combine the influences of David Bowie, INXS, U2, Queen, Indeep AND ZZ Top FFS!… I might have been watching too much Top Of The Pops recently… anyway, it’s ‘dope’… not my words, but the words of Nile Rodgers who literally danced in the studio when he heard it!”
I can’t wait until he learns about the 1990’s. He’s going to love Oasis.
The new track will be included on an EP the band is releasing this summer, when they’ll be on the road with the Smashing Pumpkins.
Anderson East Alive in Tennessee
Anderson East, an Alabama native, is a true old school soul throwback with a voice that reminds you of Sam Cooke backed by music drenched in the always pleasing vibes of Muscle Shoals. He also has a little Van Morrison in him. Bottom line is the dude has a killer voice.
Alive in Tennessee is his first full length live album. In 2015 he released a fantastic live EP recorded at the aforementioned Muscle Shoals, an EP that served as the perfect introduction to East. He’s since gone on to release two studio albums, the most recent one, Encore, having come out in 2018.
The new live album was recorded at the famous Ryman Auditorium in Nashville and features songs from both of his albums, plus a Sam and Dave cover.
East is on tour this summer playing various festivals and select dates with Dispatch.
Tacocat This Mess Is A Place
Tacocat, you had me at Tacocat.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the front-runner for Best Band Name of 2019.
Does it matter that Tacocat have actually been around since 2007 when they got together out in Seattle?
I LOVE the name Tacocat. I love it so much I want to write a screenplay and call a character Tacocat. Or if that proves too difficult, I want to get myself a cat and name that cat Tacocat. My dog would be pissed, but I think she’d understand once she learned the cats’ name.
Somewhat related, the band just released This Mess Is A Place, the band’s fourth album, and it is a pop punk delight.
Angels & Airwaves “Rebel Girl”
You know, you can’t spend all of your time chasing UFOs. At best, it’s a part-time gig with the occasional busy stretches. Either way, it’s definitely going to leave you with some downtime.
So it would then make sense that noted UFO-enthusiast Tom DeLonge spend some of that downtime getting back to music. Is he reuniting with Blink-182? Nope. Well, what about Boxcar Racer? That band was great. Also no.
DeLonge is getting back into music via his third option (and least desirable one,) Angels & Airwaves, and the band has released their first new tune in three years, “Rebel Girl.” The song will be part of both an upcoming album and feature film. And hey guess what? It’s about aliens.
“’Rebel Girl’ is a space-age love song that combines my enduring obsession for New Wave, pop punk and anthemic rock and roll music,” says DeLonge in a statement. “As some of you might’ve heard, I recently took a brief minute to start up an aerospace company, so you never know – I may play this song from a satellite deep in space, beamed toward everyone’s house viciously on repeat.”
Uh, cool. But if you’re going to do that, can it be something like “First Date” instead.
Elsewhere in Music…
Wait, So Is Woodstock 50 Cancelled?
Good question. It’s actually such a good question that no one really knows the answer.
Earlier this week news started circulating that the massive festival, featuring Jay-Z, Chance the Rapper, the Killers, Miley Cyrus, the Black Keys and more, was cancelled after the festival’s organizers lost their financing. The news was then confirmed by officials in Schuyler County, New York.
So yes, it’s cancelled.
Or is it?
Festival organizers were quick to respond, saying that hold your phone, Woodstock 50 is still happening.
“Although our financial partner is withdrawing, we will of course be continuing with the planning of the festival and intend to bring on new partners. We would like to acknowledge the State of New York and Schuyler County for all of their hard work and support. The bottom line is, there is going to be a Woodstock 50th Anniversary Festival, as there must be, and it’s going to be a blast.”
Okay then. Game on.
Well, not so fast.
On Wednesday it was reported that Superfly, Woodstock 50’s production partner, was also bailing. This would seem like a big loss, especially with the event happening relatively soon. Apparently a lot of folks on social media had seen at least one of the FYRE Festival documentaries, because people were quick with the jokes.
Save your jokes clowns! This thing is still happening!
Yeah, I guess so. At least that’s what Michael Lang, one of the festival’s organizers and one of the organizer of the original festival, told Variety.
So like, maybe?
This Week in Hey, What’s Kanye Up To?
Not working on an album apparently.
First, Kanye wants to start a church, because sure, that makes sense. Kanye has been making noise in recent months with his Sunday Services and he’s been having such a blast doing them that he wants to make it a full-time thing.
“He has talked about starting his own church,” an unnamed source told People. “It wouldn’t be the traditional, 3-hymns-and-a-sermon thing. Instead, it would be a way to point people to Jesus through the arts and through a community of people who love and care for each other. He also wants his kids to be raised in faith, and the best way for him to do that is to live out his faith.”
I mean, sure. Why not?
Elsewhere in Kanye Land, Kanye is set to produce a new show for Showtime in which Jaden Smith will play “an alternate reality version” of Kanye. Omniverse, which will “[examine] the many doors of perception,” will also be produced by Smith and Kanye’s manager, Scooter Braun.
Remember when Kanye was supposed to drop an album at the end of last year and then at the beginning on this year?
The Best Responses to Taylor Swift’s BBMA Performance
On Wednesday night, Taylor Swift performed her new song “Me!” at the Billboard Music Awards. People were quick to notice some similarities between her performance and Beyonce’s legendary Coachella performance from last year.
Cue the Tweets!
I don’t know. I think drum lines are dope. The more the merrier.
In Case You Missed It
Gary Clark Jr. stopped by NPR a couple weeks ago to perform a set for their Tiny Desk Concert series. The three song set features songs from his excellent new album This Land.
This Week in Wait…What?
Pete Doherty, the former Libertines’ singer, was out for a stroll with his dogs when one of the dogs reportedly snagged itself a hedgehog. Doherty quickly tried to get the hedgehog out of his dog’s mouth and in the process, got part of the hedgehog’s spine in his hand. Bonus, the wound became infected.
And here you were, thinking the only hedgehog-related news you’d hear this week would have to do with the Sonic trailer.
Jokes on you!
See you next week!