New Music Round-Up 11/22/19: Coldplay, Action Bronson, Mark Ronson/Anderson .Paak, Beck, Drive-By Truckers, Grammy Nominations and more

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Welcome to the BroBible New Music Round-Up, where we’re not the least bit surprised that Adam Duritz keeps his dreads in a plastic bag. He seems like a hoarder. For more follow me on Twitter:  @ryanoconnell79

This Week’s Playlist

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Just when you thought that we had all moved on from A Star Is Born, it’s back. The movie received a couple Grammy nominations this week and that’s wonderful. But I think this is as good as a time as any to highlight just how good the Jackson Maine songs are.

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This Week’s Releases

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Mark Ronson, Anderson .Paak “Then There Were Two”

If you were to ever get a copy of my dream journal (good luck, it’s locked in a safe buried underneath my house,) then you would know that a dream of mine is to have Mark Ronson work with Anderson .Paak because the two seem to be a perfect fit. I also have a dream where I own a private island but this Epstein mess has really soured the appeal of one owning a private island.

This week one of those dreams came true and don’t worry, it’s not the private island. Although should we really kill dreams of owning a private island just because one sick monster did? I think owning my own private island would be fantastic and I’m not wavering from that, Jeffrey Epstein be damned.

Ronson and .Paak dropped “Then There Were Two” this week, with the track coming off of the soundtrack for the upcoming Will Smith/Tom Holland animated movie Spies in Disguise. Ronson curated the soundtrack and has another song on it that given his track record, is most likely dope.

The track is short but does work. It has a seventies vibe to it and it makes sense the track is connected to a spy movie, as it has an air of mystery to it.

.Paak called the track “a match made in heaven,” while I called the track “what .Paak said.”

The soundtrack for the movie Mark Ronson Presents the Music of “Spies in Disguise” comes out on December 13.

Action Bronson Lamb Over Rice

Action Bronson has become a man who wears many hats.

In addition to the rapping he does, my dude also hosts a food show and also a show where he gets blazed and talks aliens. Bronson also has a part in Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman where he’s playing a coffin salesman.

But for Bronson, his meat and potatoes, or in this case, his lamb over rice, is music. He’s only a year removed from releasing his last album, White Bronco and two years from dropping Blue Chips 2000. Since then, he has participated in a Mac Miller tribute concert, covered Mary J. Blige and appeared on Alechmist’s latest release, Yacht Rock 2 which came out earlier this year.

Bronson and Alchemist have a long history together and the two are back in the saddle for Lamb Over Rice, with Alechmist producing the EP’s seven tracks. It’s their first collaboration since 2012’s Rare Chandeliers. The duo are also releasing a limited release, double vinyl version of that album on Friday.

Oh, Bronson is also a painter too. Homeboy painted the cover of the new LP.

So in closing, Action Bronson is an effin’ renaissance man.

Coldplay Everyday Life

Coldplay previewed two more songs from their new album Everyday Life earlier this week and man, I just don’t know how I feel about Coldplay anymore. I want to still like them or the very least, still appreciate them, but at this point, it feels forced.

Here, I even made a graph in an attempt to try to clarify where I stand with the band.

Now as you can see, I peaked with the band when they released their second album, A Rush of Blood to the Head. That album is very good and a solid follow-up to their understated debut. They started to lose me with their fourth album, Viva la Vida, which is a fine album, but not as good start-to-finish as their first three are.

I’m not sure I’ve ever listened to Ghost Stories. Their last album, A Head Full of Dreams, moved the needle in a positive direction mostly based on the track “Hymn for the Weekend,” which like their second album, is very good. I think it’s the closest they’ve come to meshing the sound of early Coldplay with the more worldly sound of late Coldplay. It also has Beyonce and that always helps.

If the above graph demonstrates anything, it’s that I’m just not sure what to make of anything new from the band. Prior to Everyday Life’s release, they had dropped five songs and I think I’ve liked one of them.

“Arabesque” is a legitimately cool and interesting song, which is not something you could say all that often about Coldplay lately.

Here is where I think I stand in regards to Coldplay:

  • I appreciate Coldplay
  • I really like Coldplay’s first three albums
  • I will listen to the new album at least once, but that might be it

I’m okay with that position and am certainly open to it changing.

As far as Everyday Life goes, it’s a double album, clocking in at 16 songs. The band’s frontman Chris Martin recently explained how “[the album] is our reaction to the perceived negativity that’s everywhere. And there is a lot of trouble, but there’s also so much positivity and so much great life happening. So in a way, it’s just trying to make sense of things, saying what we feel and what we see.”

To celebrate the release, the band performed a two-part concert in Jordan that was live-streamed on YouTube. If you happen to be in the neighborhood, it would be worth checking out because the band recently announced that they won’t be doing much touring in the near future, not until they can offer carbon-neutral concerts.

“Our next tour will be the best possible version of a tour like that environmentally,” Martin told BBC News. “We would be disappointed if it’s not carbon neutral. The hardest thing is the flying side of things. But, for example, our dream is to have a show with no single-use plastic, to have it largely solar-powered. We’ve done a lot of big tours at this point. How do we turn it around so it’s not so much taking as giving?”

The band’s last tour ran from 2016 to 2017 and saw them play 122 shows around the world.

So for now, we’ll always have memories, which I guess is something I care about, but I’m not entirely sure.

Antibalas “Fight Am Finish”

Antibalas consists of roughly 57 people.

Or less than that.

I don’t know. It’s close to that. It might just feel like 57 people because, over the course of two decades, they have routinely sounded gigantic.

The Afrobeat legends, who also incorporate jazz and funk into the sound, recently announced the release of their new album, Fu Chronicles. It comes out on February 7 on Daptone Records. The new album comes 20 years after the release of their debut, Liberation Afrobeat Vol. 1.

Maybe during a slow week, I’ll tell you the story about how my band once opened for Antibalas in Vermont and I’ve never been so intimidated in my life. There we so many of them.

They needed two vans!

Drive-By Truckers “Armaggedon’s Back In Town”

The Drive-By Truckers, southern rock vets, announced their 12th studio album earlier this week. The Unraveling is their first album since their excellent 2016 release American Band.

American Band was an album about a country in peril and apparently, The Unraveling goes even further down that road.

The band’s co-leader Patterson Hood explained further in a statement:

“The past three and a half years were among the most tumultuous our country has ever seen, and the duality between the generally positive state of affairs within our band while watching so many things we care about being decimated and destroyed all around us informed the writing of this album to the core…

If the last one was a warning shot hinting at a coming storm, this one was written in the wreckage and aftermath. I’ve always said that all of our records are political but I’ve also said that “politics is personal.” With that in mind, this album is especially personal.”

They have a song called “Babies In Cages,” so it seems like they’re really going for it on this album. Other song titles include “Thoughts And Prayers,” “Grievance Merchants” and “Rosemary With A Bible and A Gun.”

The Unraveling comes on January 31.

Grateful Dead Ready or Not

We will always have air to breathe, water to drink and Grateful Dead live albums.

Or at least I hope we always have air to breathe and water to drink. Sometimes I’m not so sure.

We’ll definitely have live Dead albums though.

The latest is Ready or Not, which is a collection of songs recorded by the band’s last lineup before Jerry Garcia’s death in 1995. The recordings come from shows the band played between 1992 and 1993 featuring singer-guitarist Jerry Garcia, drummer Mickey Hart, drummer Bill Kreutzmann, bassist Phil Lesh, singer-guitarist Bob Weir, and then-new keyboardist Vince Welnick.

David Lemieux, the band’s archivist, put the compilation together.

Ready Or Not has been a long time coming,” Lemieux said in a statement. “It’s an album we’ve been working on for many, many years. This batch of ‘new’ Grateful Dead songs has never been compiled in one place and given its proper due as a huge part of the Dead’s late-era legacy.

The nine songs on Ready Or Not exemplify how good the Dead could be in their later years of touring.”

He’s their archivist, so I believe him.

The new live album will be released on CD and vinyl, in addition to being available on streaming services.

Beck Hyperspace

Hey everyone!

Beck is back!

Yeah, but which Beck?

Uh, not sure. Please stand by.

Is it like, funky Beck?

I told you. I don’t know.

Or sad, mellow Beck?

I just said I don’t know.

Does anyone know?

Uh, maybe Beck.

Can you ask him?

He seems like a hard guy to get in touch with.

Well, we shall continue to stand by until you can provide us with some clarification.

Well in the meantime, here’s an interview Beck did with NME. Maybe that will clear some things up.

Elsewhere in Music…

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About Those Grammy Nominations…

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Grammy nominations were announced earlier this week and like, sure. Great.

The Grammys don’t make any sense to me, but seeing as how no one listens to me, they’re still happening. If someone were to listen to me, they’d know that I think should bag the awards part and just focus on fun live performances.

But again, no one listens to me.

Here’s what you need to know:

Lizzo has the most nominations. She has eight nominations and that includes Record of the Year, Album of the Year and Song of the Year. She’s also nominated for Best New Artist even though she’s not new, but whatever. The Grammys don’t make any sense.

Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X are both nominated for six Grammys but more importantly, I learned that Billie Eilish’s last name is O’Connell and my last name is O’Connell and I thought that was pretty cool. I don’t know what Lil Nas X’s last name is.

The Grammys should just stop doing anything with rock music because year after year they embarrass themselves. I don’t understand why The Black Keys album wasn’t nominated but The Cranberries’ album was.

Again though, the Grammys are dumb and we have bigger things we should be caring about.

Like literally anything else.

And We’re Back With Kanye News

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We took a little break from Kanye News because it seemed like it was for the best. But now we’re back and no, it’s not because he was at that dude’s megachurch or performed in a prison.

We’re back because of this:

I mean, that’s Kanye and Dr. Dre.

They’ve never worked together before, but I guess they’re working on Kanye’s next album together.

West had said that his next project is Jesus Is Born and it’d be coming on Christmas, but maybe he’s sliding another one in before then?

Or maybe this will be the only thing we ever heard about a Kanye/Dre collaboration.

Why?

Because Kanye sleeps on a throne of lies and has routinely gotten our hopes up, only to dash them, that’s why.

Cardi B Coming Through

 

And Now, Lil Nas X With His Thoughts on the Grammys

Or he could be talking about the Trump Impeachment Hearings or maybe season three of The Crown.

WE HAVE NO WAY OF KNOWING!

This Week in Hey, Thanks YouTube

 

And We’ll End Here

 

See you next week!

 

 

 

 

Ryan harbors a constant fear of losing his keys, prefers flip flops, and will always choose cereal if it's an option. He maintains his own blog, Giddy Up America, and has previously contributed work to UPROXX & Heavy. Ryan is on Twitter: @ryanoconnell79