Welcome to the BroBible New Music Round-Up, where everything is fine. I’m hunkered down with a shitload of rations and there’s a four-year-old climbing on my shoulders while I’m writing this, but yes, everything is fine. For more follow me on Twitter: @ryanoconnell79
So far 2020 is NOT GOING GREAT. We need to focus on the positives. Let’s see how the Best of 2020 Playlist is going.
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This Week’s Releases
The Weeknd After Hours
I’ve never understood why Abel Tesfaye spells “weekend” the way he does. There’s either a cool reason behind it or a laughably terrible reason. It’s one or the other.
Eh, but I’ve never really bothered to look into it. Maybe once this quarantine reaches week two that could change. Please stand by.
On Friday, The Weeknd dropped his highly anticipated new album, After Hours. This comes two weeks after he released a short film of the same name. His whole look with the blood, bruises, and bandages makes sense once you watch it. And kudos to my dude Abel, but he has been fiercely consistent with the look, even rocking it when he appeared on Saturday Night Live recently.
The Weeknd released the tracklist for the new album on Thursday and the lack of guest appearances and features definitely turned some heads. Who does that these days, especially when it comes to hip hop and R&B albums? I even do it. Thanks to being quarantined, my dog Lucy is contributing to this week’s column. She has some thoughts on Drake also being quarantined.
There are some guests though on the album, they just do their work behind the scenes. Producers Max Martin and Metro Boomin’ both contributed to After Hours, as did Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker.
The Avalanches “Running Red Lights”
The Avalanches, the two-man DJ group from Australia, are back with their second new tune of 2020. This is actually pretty amazing seeing as how nearly two decades spanned the releases of their first and second albums.
Previously, the group had released “We Will Always Love You,” a collaboration with Blood Orange’s Dev Hynes.
“Running Red Lights” features guest vocals from Weezer’s frontman Rivers Cuomo as well as additional vocals from up and coming rapper Pink Siifu. While Cuomo sings about his love for Los Angeles, the young rapper raps lyrics from the late David Berman’s Purple Mountains song “Darkness and Cold.”
In a statement, the group talked about how Cuomo’s vibe and choice of lyrics helped shape the song.
“”Running Red Lights” didn’t start out as a defining moment; ‘a single’ as it were. But Rivers responded to our fuzzed-out “Spaceman 3″ inspired jam with such openheartedness, that we soon dropped all pretense and got down to the heart of the matter… loss. We love that wide eyed, elated, almost evangelical Los Angeles sense of possibility that he tapped into. He captures that feeling that comes on the other side of the abyss, when you have lost everything and so then, there is nothing more to lose. The way life is so beautiful and overwhelming and heartbreaking all at the same time. Rivers, like us, is always chasing the melancholy, that space between the notes.”
Uh, I’m also chasing the melancholy in case anyone is wondering, especially during this whole quarantine situation.
In related news: HOW LONG IS THIS GOING TO GO ON???
Trey Anastasio “When The Words Goes Away”
Like a lot of us, Trey Anastasio is currently holed up inside.
Unlike a lot of us though, he’s Trey and he’s an amazing musician so whereas I’m sharing pictures of my dog being annoyed with me, Trey is sharing new material.
“When The Words Goes Away” was written by Trey along with longtime collaborators Tom Marshall and Scott Herman. The trio released another tune, “Lost In The Pack,” earlier this week.
Trey had been gearing up to play some shows with the recently reunited supergroup Oysterhead as well as shows with the Trey Anastasio Band, but you know, global pandemic.
Hey, at least there’s YouTube, right?
As of now, Trey’s late spring and summer shows with his band are still on but you know, I wouldn’t be holding my breath.
Mac Miller “Right,” “Floating”
The original version of Circles was released in January of this year. It was comprised of material that Mac had been working on with producer Jon Brion while recording his Grammy-nominated album Swimming.
Elsewhere in Music…
Bonnaroo, But Now With Foliage
Bonnaroo 2020 is the latest festival to have its plans altered courtesy of the coronavirus.
On Thursday, the Tennessee festival announced that it was postponing this year’s festival, moving it from June to the end of September. Bonnaroo is just the latest major festival to fall victim to the coronavirus with Coachella, SXSW, and Ultra all having previously announced either a new date or just said that it’ll happen eventually.
Coachella, which had been scheduled for two weekends in April, is now happening in October.
You can keep tabs on what’s going in with summer tours and festivals here or you can just admit that shit is nuts right now and if it was supposed to happen in the next couple months, then it probably isn’t.
This Week in Nailed It
4 Out Of 5 Doctors Say Some Springsteen Cures Cabin Fever
On Thursday, Bruce Springsteen did his part to help those of us stuck inside by making his 2009 show at London’s Hyde Park available on YouTube and Apple Music.
“Practice social distancing and stream ‘London Calling: Live In Hyde Park’ from the comfort of your own home, now on YouTube and Apple Music in its entirety for the first time!” reads a post on Springsteen’s official Twitter account. “Bruce and the E Street Band’s 2009 concert is an absolute powerhouse.”
Recorded in June of 2009 during the European leg of the Working on a Dream Tour, the show is a mix of songs from the Working on a Dream album, classics, rarities and covers, such as The Clash’s “London Calling” and “Trapped” by Jimmy Cliff.
The show was released as a Blu-ray/DVD in 2010, but this is the first time it’s been released digitally.
Can Bruce find a cure for the coronavirus next or is that asking too much?
You can also find a full list of live streams and concerts from a bunch of artists here.
And Now, A Word From Ariana “The Hammer” Grande
Your Weekly Harry Styles Appreciation Post
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“I was in Nashville on my day off and we went into the studio just to kind of play around a little bit,” he wades through this story. “We started some ideas and I was with the guys that I made the first album with. We had this chorus melody and it was pretty repetitive. The Richard Brautigan book In Watermelon Sugar was on the table and I was like ‘That’ll sound cool!’ So, this song became ‘Watermelon Sugar.’”
Works for me!
My Dog Lucy’s Thoughts On Drake Being Quarantined
Join the club.
I’d like to add that Drake being quarantined could easily result in an absolute banger of a new Drake album or the saddest Drake songs ever recorded.
This Week In ‘Thanks, I Needed That’
And We’ll End Here
See you next week!