New Music Round-Up 2/14/20: The Strokes, Tame Impala, Billie Eilish, Migos/Travis Scott/Young Thug, Nathaniel Rateliff and more

Welcome to the BroBible New Music Round-Up where we’re happy to report that everything is good now. Joey Kramer is back performing with Aerosmith. Our national nightmare is over and we can all rest easy. For more follow me on Twitter:  @ryanoconnell79

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We have more additions to the Best of 2020 Playlist. The playlist now features new tunes by Galactic, The 1975, Son Little, John Moreland, Future & Drake, The Dropkick Murphys and more.

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This Week’s Releases

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Tame Impala The Slow Rush

It’s been a few years now since Tame Impala released their breakthrough album Currents, which came out in 2015. Since then, Kevin Parker has been busy working with everyone from Kanye West to Lady Gaga and at the same time has watched the legend of the band grow.

Even when they weren’t around, Tame Impala loomed largely over modern rock music and questions about what their next album would sound like and how amazing it would most likely be found their way into numerous conversations.

Well, now the album’s out.

Is it amazing?

As is usually the case, it depends on who you ask. Rolling Stone gave it 3 1/2 stars out of five while The AV Club gave it a C-.

Chris DeVille of Stereogum says that “like the three (albums) that came before it, The Slow Rush is unmistakably a Tame Impala record and simultaneously very much its own thing. Experienced as a whole, that thing is extremely good.”

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that if you like Tame Impala, there’s a good chance you’ll like The Slow Rush and if you don’t like Tame Impala, you won’t. If you’re somewhere in between? Well, that right there is a delicious little mystery.

Ultimately if any artist takes nearly a half of a decade to release the follow-up to their breakthrough album there’s going to be some mystery involved. Oddly enough, the passage of time is a reoccurring theme on the album, with Parker telling Beats 1’s Zane Lowe that the album talks about “how we as humans are affected by time.”

“A lot of the songs carry this idea of time passing, of seeing your life flash before your eyes, being able to see clearly your life from this point onwards,” Parker told the New York Times last spring. “I’m being swept by this notion of time passing. There’s something really intoxicating about it.”

Intoxicating. Effin’ stressful. Annoying.

I’d venture to guess that we all have our own way of thinking about the passage of time.

Billie Eilish “No Time to Die”

In the past few weeks, Billie Eilish cleaned up at the Grammys, (wrongfully) pissed off the Hip Hop community, had people realize that they should read the full quote before reacting, and performed at the Oscars.

I’m not saying this to make you feel like you need to be more productive with your life. I’m just saying that our girl has been super busy and it’s mighty impressive.

And then on Friday, Eilish released her highly anticipated theme song to the upcoming James Bond movie No Time to Die. Eilish is the youngest artist ever to record a theme song for the legendary franchise and joins the likes of Adele, Alicia Keys, the late Chris Cornell, Madonna and Sir Paul McCartney as artists who have contributed to the franchise.

“It feels crazy to be a part of this in every way. To be able to score the theme song to a film that is part of such a legendary series is a huge honor. James Bond is the coolest film franchise ever to exist. I’m still in shock,” Eilish commented in a statement.

Eilish kicks off a massive arena tour in March, while No Time to Die comes out on April 6.

Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit “Be Afraid”

One of The New Music Round-Up’s favorite Twitter follows, Jason Isbell, released a new tune with his band The 400 Unit earlier this week. It’s the lead single of the band’s new album Reunions, which comes out this spring.

It’s a fun country-rock jam with a driving verse and a wide-open chorus. “We don’t take requests, we won’t shut up and sing,” Isbell sings in the bridge, “tell the truth enough you’ll find it rhymes with everything.”

The album’s lyrics are no-nonsense and confrontational, living up the song’s title.

“There are a lot of ghosts on this album,” Isbell stated. “Sometimes the songs are about the ghosts of people who aren’t around anymore, but they’re also about who I used to be, the ghost of myself. I found myself writing songs that I wanted to write 15 years ago, but in those days, I hadn’t written enough songs to know how to do it yet. Just now have I been able to pull it off to my own satisfaction. In that sense it’s a reunion with the me I was back then.”

Reunions will be the band’s first new album since 2017’s excellent The Nashville SoundIsbell and crew will be hitting the road at the end of February for a tour that runs through the fall.

The Strokes “At The Door”

The Strokes took a trip up to New Hampshire earlier this week where the performed at a rally for Vermont senator Bernie Sanders. While there, they confirmed rumors that had been kicking around for a few weeks. Yes, they had a new album coming out.

The New Abnormal, which is the band’s first new album in seven years, is set to be released on April 11. It was produced by Rick Rubin and recorded at Rubin’s Shangri-La Studios in California.

The band premiered their new song “At The Door” at the Sanders’ rally and it promptly appeared on streaming services because we are nothing if not for our carefully planned, well-timed roll-outs. It is in no way a hard-driving Strokes’ song of old, with Pitchfork going so far as to say that on the song “the Strokes are—once again—done trying to be a Strokes cover band.”

Instead, the track is a sparse tune, anchored by synth sounds and Julian Casablancas’ vocals. The band debuted another new tune from the album, “Ode to the Mets,” at their New Year’s Eve show in Brooklyn.

If you’re interested in reminding yourself how great The Strokes are (and this song doesn’t necessarily do it for you,) here’s a playlist of my favorite Strokes’ tunes.

Nathaniel Rateliff And It’s Still Alright

Despite being in the middle of a successful run with his band The Night Sweats, Nathaniel Rateliff found himself struggling with his personal life through much of 2018. The band had released their second album Tearing at the Seams, but at the same time, Rateliff’s marriage was falling apart.

He had been writing songs off and on since 2013, songs that were more mellow and introspective than ones he was doing with The Night Sweats. He started revisiting them in 2018 and while they helped him process his pain, he didn’t feel he could bring them to the band.

“I didn’t feel like I could safely talk about what I was going through,” he recently told Billboard, “Which is very hard for me to do, because I’m a wear-everything-on-my-sleeve kind of guy.”

When the band took some time off later that year, Rateliff hunkered down with his friend and fellow musician Richard Swift and began recording some of the tunes he had been working on. But then things took a tragic turn when Swift passed away in July 2018. Rateliff was understandably shaken, but given the circumstances, felt the best way to both cope and honor his friend was to keep working.

“I thought the best way to do that was to go back to his place and have that energy be a part of the record,” he says. “We only had eight days at Richard’s studio. In some ways, it was really cathartic; in some ways, there wasn’t really any time to think or feel about those things, either. We just kind of plowed through our time there, and then at the end, it was like, ‘It’s kind of heavy to be there and be there without Richard.’ I guess that’s the point of the whole record, though — acknowledging the heaviness of all of that and moving forward and still finding joy. That’s the theme.”

The result is a somber album that features Rateliff flirting with folk and country more than soul and R&B with Rolling Stone describing the album “as the heartening sound of music pulling him through his pain, and, hopefully, past it into something like solace.”

You can check out a playlist of twenty great Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats tunes here.

Migos, Young Thug & Travis Scott “Give No Fxk”

MIGOS ALERT! MIGOS ALERT! MIGOS ALERT!

The New Music Round-Up’s rap trio of choice are back with a new collaboration with Travis Scott and Young Thug. The crew debuted the song last year at Scott’s ASTROWORLD festival, so it’s not like, new new, but kind of new.

Whatever.

It’s Migos and Migos are fun. Giddy up.

Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real “Civilized Hell”

In 2019, Lukas Nelson & The Promise Of The Real told everyone to Turn Off The News (Build A Garden.) It was sound advice then and I say it’s still sound advice today.

It’s also a damn good album.

Now a year later the band is releasing Naked Garden, what we can only assume happens after one builds said garden. It’s cool. Tomatoes are overrated anyway.

The new album is a collection of alternate versions of songs recorded during sessions at Shangri-La Studios for their last album as well as tunes previously unreleased.

“When we walked out of Shangri-La recording studio on the sixth day, we knew we had captured something special,” the band said in a statement. “The process had been simple: we would gather around a coffee table on the lawn, Lukas would present a new song on an acoustic guitar, and then we’d go inside and roll tape. The atmosphere was joyful and mellow, yet intensely productive—we rarely spent more than two takes on a song before moving on to the next one. It was so productive, in fact, that there was simply no way to fit all the material on one release. So, think of this project as something of an epilogue to our previous album, Turn Off The News (Build A Garden).”

Naked Garden comes out on March 27.

On Friday, the band released an alternate version of “Civilized Hell,” one of the standout tracks from Turn Off The News.

Elsewhere in Music…

dave grohl drinking ritual

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Rage Against The Scalpers

Rage Against the Machine to reunite at Coachella and go on 2020 reunion tour.

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Rage Against The Machine announced dates for their reunion tour earlier this week, expanding on previously announced dates that included stops at Coachella and Firefly. The tour, which features Run the Jewels, kicks off with a few warm-up shows at the end of March before getting rolling after Coachella in mid-April.

All of the proceeds from those first three shows will go towards organizations fighting for immigrant rights while portions of ticket sales for the other dates will also go to various charities.

Tickets went on sale on Thursday and predictably, quickly sold out.

In advance of tickets going on sale, the band announced that they were doing their best to fight scalpers, saying that “we are doing everything we can to protect 90% of the RATM tickets from scalpers and then WE are holding in reserve 10% of the seating (random seats throughout each venue) to sell at a higher ticket price (but low enough to undercut the scalpers) We will donate 100% OF THE MONEY over the base ticket price to charities and activist organizations IN EACH CITY.”

Sure, there was some griping about ticket sales on Twitter on Thursday, but you know, it’s Twitter. Griping is what it was made for.

For more on the Rage tour, you can check five questions we have about it here.

Stewart Copeland Is A Lunatic And I Have Proof

This Week’s Late Night Highlight

Foo Fighters? More Like NEW Fighters

While closing out the Sziget Festival in Budapest on Tuesday, August 13, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl invited a fan in a wheelchair to join the band on stage during the last song

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Dave Grohl was a guest on the Bill Simmons Podcast earlier this week and confirmed that the new Foo Fighters’ album is finished.

“We just finished making a record. Some of those songs, the best ones happen in 45 minutes,” Grohl said. “Then there’s other songs — there’s a riff on the new record I’ve been working on for 25 years. The first time I demoed it was in my basement in Seattle.”

Also during the podcast, Grohl talked about a new documentary he’s working on which is focused on van touring, something almost every band does at some point in their career, even the biggest bands in the world.

“I’ve interviewed everybody… The Beatles toured in a van, Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, U2, everybody has had a van,” Grohl commented. “There’s something about that time, you wear it like a badge.”

Other topics covered during the interview include Billie Eilish, Foo Fighters nearly breaking up, who Grohl thinks is the baddest rock band out there and the struggles that come with keeping a band together.

It’s worth a listen.

This Week’s Solid Twitter Burn

 

Please Enjoy Five Complaints About This Year’s Halftime Show

Jennifer Lopez Blasts Critics Of Her Super Bowl Halftime Performance

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Hey, remember the Super Bowl? Remember the halftime show where Shakira and Jennifer Lopez performed?

I don’t know about you, but I thought it was fine. Actually, it was more than fine. I thought it was really good.

However, some people did not approve. The Federal Communications Committee (FCC) received more than 1,000 complaints about the performance.

Here are five of the best ones.

“This years show was extremely provocative in the female body moments and the simulated patting of J Lo’s derrière is not for family television.”

“The halftime show last night was beyond inappropriate. Shakira laying on her side gyrating like sex, Lopez on a stripper pole, Lopez bending over to expose her butt crack, both performers grabbing their vaginas, Shakira grinding her butt against some tinfoil wearing man’s penis. This was incredibly offensive. My children were watching.”

“What few community standards remain these days were stripped away (no pun intended) by “J Lo” (should be “J LOW”) at the half-time show shown on television for the Super Bowl on Sunday 2 FEB. My complaint is that this display is inappropriate on national television especially when children are watching. FIX IT.”

“The 2020 halftime show was replete with scantily dressed women and strip poles for our children’s viewing ‘pleasure’. With regret we now have to avoid watching the halftime shows due to their adult only content. When did football become an avenue for sexual content? Families are no longer safe viewing the game together. Drag queens are used to sell hummus and prolife ads are banned.”

“DISGUSTING. WILL NEVER EVER WATCH NFL OR BUY PEPSI AGAIN. JLO AND SHAK SHOULD BE ASHAMED. WHY IS THIS ALLOWED ON PRIME TIME NATIONAL TV??????????????????????NO WONDER KIDS ARE SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO SCREWED UP TIN THE HEAD????????AND GROWN MEN TOO???????????YES PEOPLE WATCHED, YES PEOPLE ARE TALKING??????AT WHAT PRICE ??????????THESE PEOPLE, ALL WHO PARTICIPATED OR ALLOWED THIS ARE THE LOWEST OF THE LOW . WE ARE A FINE COUNTRY AND HAVE SO MUCH BETTER THAN THIS EVIL. WE SHOULD BE PROUD OF THE SHOW NOT DISGUSTED???????PLEASE STOP THIS OUTRAGE AND DO SOMETHING THE WHOLE COUNTRY CAN BE PROUD OF AND LET THEIR CHILDREN WATCH. YOU ARE LOSERS. YOU HAVE LOST. PLEASE ASK YOURSELF WHY ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
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And We’ll End Here

 

See you next week!