Welcome to the BroBible New Music Round-Up, where we see what new music has been released this week and despite our best efforts, can’t get (expletive deleted) Maroon 5 songs out of our head. For updates, follow me on Twitter for more: @ryanoconnell79
For a glimpse into the not-so-distant future, check out our rundown of some of the music releases we are most looking forward to in 2019.
LCD Soundsystem Electric Lady Sessions
Let’s go back in time. Let’s go all the way back to 2014. Nope. 2011, specifically April 2, 2011. On that night, LCD Soundsystem performed what was to be their final show. There were many emotions and even more songs. The show went on for four hours, which by all accounts is a long effin’ time. The show was subsequently immortalized in documentary form (Shut Up and Play the Hits) in 2012 and then on wax in 2014 with The Long Goodbye: LCD Soundsystem Live at Madison Square Garden. And then, poof. Goodbye LCD Soundsystem.
Sometimes goodbyes are forever. In music, that is more often that not, not the case. So now fast forward to 2017 and LCD Soundsystem released American Dream. Now the fun thing about LCD Soundsystem is that there are essentially two versions of them in existence: the studio version consisting mainly of James Murphy and the live version that is Murphy and the gang of musicians he takes on the road with him to tour. On their latest release, Electric Lady Sessions, it’s the live incarnation of the band. Murphy and company holed up in New York City’s Electric Lady studios after touring American Dream, and banged out some songs together, much like they did for the 2010 album, London Sessions. In Pitchfork’s review of the album, they say the album “captures a moment of arresting chemistry among longtime collaborators who sound excited to be playing together again.” In other words, it’s like when a gang of crooks talk about getting the band back together to pull one last job and then they do. It’s literally just like that.
The bulk of the album comes from American Dream, although there are also songs from This Is Happening and Sound of Silver. There are also a couple covers included, with the band tackling songs by Human League, Chic and Heaven 17.
Ariana Grande Thank U, Next
It’s been a funky week or so for Ms. Ariana Grande.
There was the Soulja Boy thing and then the tattoo thing, but now all of that is the past. The tattoo has been fixed (it no longer says “small charcoal grill finger,” which could be seen as a bummer because I guess if you’re going to get a tattoo of anything, getting a completely random phrase as a tattoo is actually kind of a boss move) and while things remain unresolved with Soulja Boy, Grande has at least cleared things up with 2 Chainz, who also had an issue with her song “7 Rings.” The song’s video may or may not have shared a few too many similarities with the rapper’s pink trap house. Oh, and the chorus of “7 Rings” possibly sounded a little too close to 2 Chainz’ “Spend It.” So many beefs, so little time. It’s hard out there for a pop megastar. Believe me, I know.
Wait, Grande also recently bailed on Sunday night’s Grammys because she felt “insulted” by the show’s producers. Just wait until they announce winners, Ariana. Then we’ll all feel insulted.
But we’re moving on because Grande’s Thank U, Next has finally come out. It’s only been a year since she released an album, but during that time her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller died, she had a super public relationship with Pete Davidson and then closed out 2018 with “thank u, next,” which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 100 and had a video that briefly broke the damn Internet. It’s hard to say who ended 2018 on a higher note, Grande or Gritty, the Flyers’ mascot. The final verdict was too close to call and we’re currently waiting out the recount.
Migos “Position to Win”
If a Mountain Dew commercial is what it takes these days to get Migos together and for us to get a new Migos’ song, I’m all for it. I haven’t touched Mountain Dew in at least twenty years and probably won’t for the rest of my life, but today I salute them for their service.
Hey, remember when Offset was going to release an album?
Beck feat. Robyn & The Lonely Island “Super Cool”
In last week’s Round-Up, we talked about Beck’s new song “Tarantula,” which appears on the soundtrack to Roma. That song was from serious Beck. But just like how there are two versions of LCD Soundsystem out there, there are multiple versions of Beck in this wonderful world of ours.
This week we get a new song from another version of Beck: funky, weird Beck. “Super Cool” is from The Lego Movie: The Second Part and has Beck teaming up with Robyn and the Lonely Island. I guess we could say that if you like “Tarantula” Beck, you might not like “Super Cool” Beck and vice versa. But at the same time, if you just like all things Beck, than you my friend are having a heck of a two week run here.
Gary Clark Jr. “Pearl Cadillac”
Clark Jr.’s latest single from his upcoming record This Land is a tricky, little number. It starts out softly, almost ethereal and you couldn’t be blamed for thinking this was going to somewhat of a mellow track from the Texas guitar-slinger. This lights low vibe continues through the first verse and just when you start to lower your guard the chorus kicks in and shit gets big and loud with the road being cleared by some serious arena-ready guitar screams. After “This Land” and “Walk Alone” it’s becoming increasingly clear that Clark Jr.’s new album is going to be all over the place in the best way possible.
For more on his new album and the influences behind it, check out this excellent profile from the latest Rolling Stone.
A$AP Rocky “Kids Turned Out Fine”
This song actually came out last year, appearing on Rocky’s album Testing. HOWEVER, the video just came out this week so it technically still falls under the purview of the New Music Round-Up. If you don’t think so, take it up with the committee.
The song itself is just okay, but the video is pretty wild. Directed by Dexter Navy, the video is full of smeared colors and flashing images, presumably ones Rocky experiences while under the influence. Who among us hasn’t sat in a field and had a conversation with a butterfly before?
Flight of the Conchords Live in London
Flight of the Conchords’ brilliant HBO show left us back in 2009 after only two seasons, yet the memories remain of how amazing the show was, Bret and Jermaine were and the music was. It’s a testament to them that they have been able to live on as long as they have, despite only being in our lives for such a short time. Greatness has that ability. Greatness has staying power, which is why even to this day, when my wife and I see a baguette in the grocery store, we respond in the same way.
Lucky for us and other Conchord fans out there, “Foux Da FaFa” is one of a handful of classics the duo dusted off when they played in London for a HBO special, Flight of the Conchords: Live at the London Apollo, last fall. They played some new songs, some old songs, but thankfully, also participated in some stage banter, which is where the duo is at their best.
In a visual medium, the special did feel a little flat at times, especially once the novelty had worn off. The hope now is that it would translate better when listening to it, which oddly enough, you can now do as it came out today. Weird how that works out, huh?
Cass McCombs Tip of the Sphere
Cass McCombs is a singer/songwriter from California, who according to NPR, has a “well-documented (and all-too-easy) characterization as a cagey curmudgeon.” Without reading into it too much, I’m just going to assume that McCombs might not be all that great of a hang. Fine. I’m not looking for a great hang currently, but I’m always looking for some interesting guitar rock, which is what you get from him on his latest album, his ninth, Tip of the Sphere. It sometimes sounds as if Kurt Vile was fronting a Grateful Dead cover band, which for the record, is something I would totally be into.
The album, which has been available to stream on NPR for the past week, really smells like a classic Dead album, complete with rambling, spaced out guitars and road-weary tales. Yet while it does have the vibe of a Dead record, McCombs is able to create enough distance between himself and the iconic band and make the songs his own, something that can be low key tough to do for musicians. The hardest part about having influences is separating yourself from them. McCombs is able to do that, whereas there have been plenty of people out there who have not.
Galactic Already Ready Already
On their tenth studio album, New Orleans very own Galactic keep things relatively simple. Whereas their last album, 2015’s Into the Deep was full of some big swings, done with the assist of some serious heavy hitters on vocals like Mavis Staples, Macy Gray, Ryan Montableau, David Shaw of the Revivalists and J.J. Grey, their new LP has them sticking closer to home. Although to be fair, when your home is New Orleans, that’s still pretty sweet. It’d be a much different story if they were sticking closer to home and home was a small town in rural Arkansas.
The band, instrumental by nature, routinely brings in ringers to handle vocals and on Already Ready Already, they again tap Shaw, who’s profile has raised significantly since 2015, thanks to The Revivalists surge in popularity. But besides Shaw, the guests are pretty under radar, which is kind of fresh and exciting, two things I have always considered Galactic to be. Galactic also continues to incorporate the wild sounds of New Orleans into their albums, something they did in full on their 2010 album Ya-Ka-May and then in 2012 on Carnivale Electricos. The result is massive and rowdy horn lines, thundering percussion and infectious call and response vocals.
For a proper introduction to Galactic, check out this playlist.
Galactic, as per usual, is on the road touring, but at the end of May they will hitch their wagon to George Clinton’s final tour with Parliament Funkadelic. That tour will also feature opening sets by Fishbone, Dumpstaphunk and more.
The Heavy “Heavy for You”
The Heavy are best known for “How You Like Me Now,” a song that’s appeared in a boat load of movies including The Fighter and the first Horrible Bosses. But the British band are also known for nearly perfecting the unknown art of garage funk. Not sure what that is? Listen to The Heavy and it’ll make sense. Or it won’t. I don’t know, man. Sometimes things just need to work themselves out by themselves. Either way, this song rocks.
Colin Linden & Luther Dickinson Amour
For you kids out there asking for more sweet Americana music to get you through the day, here is Amour, a new album from Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars and Linden of Blackie and the Rodeo Kings. Linden produced the album, which touches “on a wide range of genres while still serving as an Americana record.”
And speaking of Americana, the February 9th episode of Austin City Limits will feature performances from the 2018 Americana Honors & Awards, which were held last September in Nashville. The episode will feature songs by New Music Round-Up Twitter God Jason Isbell, as well as Margo Price, Brandi Carlile, John Prine and more. It also includes a killer rendition of Creedance Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son” by Nathaniel Rateliff, Fantastic Negrito and Lukas Nelson.
The episode caps of the 44th season of one of the best live music series on television (of which there aren’t nearly as many as there should be.)
Elsewhere in Music…
President Cardi B Has Something to Say
Two LCD Soundsystems? Two Becks? Two American presidents?
Yeah, it’s true. While one of those presidents spent Tuesday night once again wasting our time with lies and baseless accusations, our other president, Cardi B was taking time out of her busy schedule to address taxes. In a tweet that has since been deleted (possibly because it was too true and Twitter is where truth dies,) Cardi started off by defending buying expensive things, something I don’t have personal experience doing, but I could someday hope to experience.
“You know what I hate? I hate when celebrities do something very extravagant, buy something very luxurious and there are people in the comments like ‘Oh, you could have donated that’ or ‘We going backwards. You could have done this and that with your money.’ It’s like, who are you to tell people what to do with their hardworking ass money?”
She then dove into specifics (again, something Twitter is allergic too.)
“First of all, do you know that artists, celebrities, the IRS out of every check that you make, they automatically take 45% of your check? That means, in order to spend $500,000, you gotta make at least a million,” she continued. “A lot of artists like me and a lot of rappers I know, they literally take care of their whole family and that’s not tax deductible because the IRS don’t consider that a ‘business.’”
The IRS not considering music a business is literally the least surprising thing I’ve heard all week.
These latest comments come on the heels of Cardi destroying last month’s government shutdown and pledging her support for 21 Savage, who was recently detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
You Do You, Paul Rudd
Last Saturday night, one night before we were all reminded that defense (and Tom Brady) wins championships, the Foo Fighters and Run the Jewels performed. If you haven’t watched it, I would definitely recommend checking it out, especially if the halftime show is still hurting your brain.
You know who did watch it, though? Paul Rudd. And you know who effin’ loved it?
It’s not Rush, but it’s close enough.
For You Led Zeppelin Fans Out There
2019 may be a lot of things to a lot of people, but to Zeppelin fans 2019 is the 50 year anniversary of the band debuting and changing rock forever. Back in 1969, the band had just released their first album (which critics now infamously hated) and had set out on their first tour of North America. It wasn’t a long tour; only 36 dates between December 1968 and February 1969, but it would become one of their most influential tours. One show in particular, according to Zeppelin-lore, was especially important to the band.
On January 23, 24, and 25, the band was booked to play The Boston Tea Party in Boston and because of demand, a fourth show was added. The band allegedly played for over four hours, performing a set that was full of covers by the Beatles, Elvis and more, as they only had one album of material under their belt. In 1973, John Paul Jones, the band’s bassist, said the show was “the key Zeppelin gig, the one that put everything into focus.”
To read more about the show, check out this piece from Brielle Schiavone at Consequence of Sound.
Twitter Jokes Explained
First, the joke:
Now, some context:
This Week in The Truth Hurts
And Let’s Just End Here
See you next week!