Welcome to the BroBible New Music Round-Up, where I’m curious if you had heard Kanye West was running for president. Oh, you had? Cool, that means I don’t have to talk about it. For more follow me on Twitter.
A new album from My Morning Jacket is a cause for celebration. I was going to buy something but felt sharing a playlist of the 35 best My Morning Jacket songs would be better.
Some Beach Reads
Seeing as how it’s summer and it’s beach season, I thought I’d add a section to the Round-Up with some potential beach reads for you to check out.
Do you miss live music? Do you appreciate the Japandroids? Check out this piece at The Ringer from Justin Sayles about Japandroids’ blistering new live album and how the album is especially bittersweet in this new reality of ours, one devoid of live music.
Aaron Williams over at UPROXX wrote an interesting piece about Hamilton (have you seen it? Ugh, you have to see it. It’s fantastic)* and how the musical doesn’t just appreciate hip-hop but highlights it’s unique ability to tell stories.
*Having seen ‘Hamilton” recently, I’m now obligated to ask questions like ‘have you seen it?’ and then make statements like ‘you have to see it’ and ‘it’s amazing, really amazing.’
Here at BroBible, I did a deep dive into the many Songs of the Summer released since 2000, selected the best 32, and then pitted them against each other to determine a winner. Spoiler: it’s not “Call Me Maybe.”
This Week’s Releases
My Morning Jacket The Waterfall II
My Morning Jacket surprised folks earlier this week with the announcement of a new album, The Waterfall II. It’s their first new release since the original The Waterfall, which came out in 2015. The new album features songs recorded during the recording of The Waterfall and the existence of them has become somewhat of an urban myth since that album’s release.
The band had kicked around the idea of releasing a double or triple album back in 2015 but shelved both the idea and the tracks. The ten tracks on The Waterfall II were dusted off after Jim James was on a walk recently and one of the songs, “Spinning My Wheels,” started playing. James was struck by how the song’s subject matter, especially the line “hypnotized from doing the same old thing” related to life these days, i.e. #quarantinelife.
“As so many of us feel out of tune and long for the world to be a better place, we have to look to nature and the animals and learn from them: learn to love, accept, move on and respect each other,” James said in a statement. “We gotta work for it and change our ways before it’s too late, and get in harmony with love and equality for all of humanity and for nature too.”
In a situation such as this one, the album in question could either feel like a continuation of its predecessor or a collection of afterthoughts. The Waterfall II definitely feels like a continuation, with the songs having that same blissed-out vibe that typically comes with a band setting up shop near the beach in California to record. You know, like that new Tame Impala album.
I can only imagine what this column would be like if I started writing it while residing in some choice beach-front property. It should be noted that if you own such a location, I am definitely down to come house-sit. I can be there tomorrow.
And apparently, James and the band have more music lying in wait. James told Kyle Meredith of Consequence of Sound that the band has another album’s worth of material ready to go, saying that “the new album is done, but whenever we release it, we want to play shows for it. Obviously, it’s like we want to make it a thing because it’s so exciting to have these new songs and want to play them live.”
For what it’s worth, I’d like them to play shows too.
Kid Cudi & Eminem “The Adventures of Moon Man & Slim Shady”
Eminem’s flow has always been hypnotic. I remember thinking it was like jazz in that it was hard to concentrate on anything else when it was happening. All you could do when Em was rapping was just listen and absorb.
Now I hadn’t thought that in a while mainly because I really hadn’t thought of Eminem’s flow in a minute. But then I listened to “The Adventures of Moon Man & Slim Shady” and those thoughts came racing back because while the first half of the track featuring Kid Cudi is really good, the back end with Eminem is straight fire.
Em unloads on Drew Brees, people who refuse to wear masks, Donald Trump and his administration, police brutality, and violence among other things.
“Fuck’s going on, man?/Bunch of half-wits up in office/Half of us walking around like a zombie apocalypse/Other half are just pissed off and/Don’t wanna wear a mask and they’re just scoffing/And that’s how you end up catching the shit off ’em/I just used the same basket as you shopping/Now I’m in a fuckin’ casket from you coughin'”
Black Thought Streams of Thoughts, Vol. 3: Cain & Abel
Well, if we’re not getting anything new from The Roots, something new from their legendary frontman is definitely a solid consolation prize.
On Friday, Black Thought dropped the follow-up to the first two Streams of Thought EPs, which were both released in 2018. The third installment features guest spots by Killer Mike, Swizz Beats, Portugal. The Man, Pusha T, and Schoolboy Q. It was produced by Sean C, a producer who has done work with Jay-Z, Ghostface Killah, and Jadakiss.
Back in 2018, Black Thought talked about the pressures of his day job (you know, The Roots being Jimmy Fallon’s house band) and how it can make it hard to find time for side hustles, saying “We make time for the things that are important to us.”
“When I see my friends winning James Beard Awards and Pulitzer Prizes, it motivates me to get it. I feel like I’ve yet to achieve all that I set out to achieve at the beginning of my career. To be in a band with the other founding members that never sleep is inspiring. Questlove put out five books a year and deejays every night and still do the same day job that I do, only with more responsibility. It drives me to find a way to juggle it.”
I could see how Questlove’s schedule and productivity output could be seen as motivating. I get it. Questlove is probably doing a DJ set right now while also putting the finishing touches on a new book.
Shit. Maybe I should be doing more with my life too.
Dinner Party Dinner Party
The neo-soul supergroup Dinner Party, comprised of Kamasi Washington, Robert Glasper, Terrace Martin, and 9th Wonder, released their debut, self-titled album on Friday. This comes a couple of weeks after announcing the project with the tune “Freeze Tag.”
If for some reason you were expecting the album not to be full of groove-heavy, smooth-operating, head-bobbing jams, then I don’t know what to tell you. It most definitely is.
“Dinner Party is years of friendship, shows, dinners, conversations, laughs and life experience, all converging into one moment,” the band said in a statement. “Dinner Party is a metaphor — a group, a project, a spirit, an imprint of time — and also the name of the album… Dinner Party is invite only, but it’s for everyone.
Or it’s for no one because dinner parties are canceled.
You know, because of the pandemic.
The Ghost Of Paul Revere “Love At Your Convenience”
Man, convenience is a hard word to spell. It’s up there with rhythm and Khruangbin.
I’m just kidding. I can spell Khruangbin with my eyes closed. Check it out: khruangibn. See? Nailed it.
Anyway, “Love At Your Convenience” is the new single from Maine holler-folk band The Ghost Of Paul Revere. Since forming in 2011, the band has evolved from a Mumford and Sons style of power folk to a more wide-open sound that is less hard to pin down, but definitely more interesting.
This is their first new tune since the released the EP Field Notes, Vol. 2 in 2018. Their last full-length, Monarch, came out in 2018, and “Love At Your Convenience” is the first single off of the next full-length album. That album is slated to be released sometime soon.
Well, if there’s even a ‘sometime soon’. I just don’t think we can rule that out at this point.
Vampire Weekend Live In Florida
Here at The New Music Round-Up, a good live album is always appreciated. That and compliments. Compliments and live albums. Good stuff. Also, flip flops.
Flip flops are God’s gift to feet.
Earlier this week, Vampire Weekend released Live in Florida, an EP featuring six tracks recorded during shows in the Sunshine State in August of 2019. Ah, August of 2019. Life was simple back then. We more masks at Halloween and during weird Eyes Wide Shut parties and that was it.
Again, so simple.
Elsewhere in Music…
This Week In Are You Effin’ Kidding Me?
So a few weeks back, country trio Lady Antebellum announced that they were changing their name; changing it to something that unlike their previous name, did not have any connections with slavery. They changed it to Lady A and hey, they thought they were good to go.
But alas, there was already a Lady A out there and actually, Lady A had been out there for 20 years.
Damn it, Lady A (the band,) didn’t you Google your new name first? I thought that was Step 2 when it came to changing your band name?
A Helpful Guide to Coming Up With A Band Name
- Find something that at least two-thirds of the band likes
- Google that name, make sure there aren’t any other bands or acts who already are using it
- Test it in domain name, make sure you can get a domain close to your band’s new name
That’s it. It’s pretty simple. Well, getting to step 1 can be a real son of a bitch, but once you get past that, it’s pretty simple. Unless you’re Lady A (the band.) They apparently didn’t bother with Step 2.
Lady A (the singer) was not super cool with the trio’s name change. A few weeks passed where presumably, both parties tried to talk things through. Apparently, those talks did not go well because this week, Lady A (the band) sued Lady A (the singer) in an attempt to trademark the name.
They’re okay with Lady A (the singer) still going by Lady A, but they just want to be the Lady A who actually makes money off of the name Lady A. Super cool, right?
Yeah, exactly. I guess Lady A (the band) decided they had been sensitive enough to Black people.
In an interview, Lady A (the singer) basically shook her head at the lawsuit, saying it “had no substance” and “that we would coexist and that they would use their best efforts to assist me on social-media platforms, Amazon, iTunes, all that.”
“I had suggested on the Zoom call that they go by the Band Lady A, or Lady A the Band, and I could be Lady A the Artist,” Lady A (the singer) said. “But they didn’t want to do that.”
Of course not.
sooooo they changed their name but does the ‘A’ stand for antebellum or asshole 🤔 https://t.co/v9cRbDausE
— Margo Price (@MissMargoPrice) July 9, 2020
I think for the band, the “A” definitely stands for asshole.
So, Kanye Is Running For President, Huh?
The only thing stupider than Kanye running for President is people arguing about Kanye running for President
— michaelharriot (@michaelharriot) July 8, 2020
Coldplay Celebrates An Anniversary
Today, July 10th marks the 20th anniversary of Coldplay’s debut album Parachutes. Say what you will about Coldplay, but they had a heck of a solid running out of the gates. Their first few albums ranged from good to really good, which is more than you can say for a lot of bands.
The past few years have been weird ones for the band, (playing the Super Bowl halftime show was ill-advised,) but at times, they still produce some great music.
No really, playing the Super Bowl was a bad decision on their part.
Neil Young Versus Donald Trump
At his rally at the foot of Mount Rushmore, Donald Trump played “Rockin’ In The Free World” by Neil Young. And as with many musicians whose music has been used by the president, Young was not happy. Young responded with a strongly-worded letter because eff it man, strongly-worded letters rock.
In the letter, Young wrote that “because you are in charge of the COVID-19 response here in the USA, I will not sue you (as certainly is my right), potentially distracting from your important work at hand protecting and saving American lives.”
Young suggested Trump might also want to check out another song of his, the recently updated “Lookin for a Leader 2020,” saying that “I believe it would be an interesting addition to your next rally.”
Fun fact, the song features Young begging voters to elect Trump out of office.
This is not the first time Young has written to the president. He wrote to him earlier this year after becoming a U.S. citizen, calling Trump “a disgrace to my country.”
If you’re wondering, I’m a much bigger fan of this back-and-forth than the one between the Lady A’s.
R.I.P. Charlie Daniels
And We’ll End Here
See you next week!