Welcome to the BroBible New Music Round-Up, where I’ve spent so much time with my dog recently, she’s asked for a raise or at the very least college credit. For more follow me on Twitter: @ryanoconnell79
Today seems like a wonderful day to check in on the Best of 2020 Playlist.
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This Week’s Releases
Fiona Apple Fetch The Bolt Cutters
Let’s start with this: Fetch The Bolt Cutters is an awesome album title. It’s so good.
It could be a dope band name, a grimy ass thriller or a juicy crime novel if it wanted too.
But it’s not. It’s the name of the new Fiona Apple album, also known as the album your favorite rock critic/writer is tweeting about today. It’s her first album since 2012 when she released The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do.
That title is not as good as Fetch The Bolt Cutters, but it’s still pretty good.
Fetch The Bolt Cutters was slated to come out later this year, but unlike other artists who are delaying their new releases due to the Coronavirus, Apple elected to do the opposite. In related news, WHY AREN’T MORE ARTISTS DOING THIS??? I can understand projects that are in the works being delayed, but if your joint is in the can, why wouldn’t you get that out there? Ugh, I just don’t get it.
Anyway, as was previously alluded to, critics love themselves some Fetch The Bolt Cutters.
The notoriously tough graders over at Pitchfork gave the album a 10, saying that it is “a symphony of the everyday, an unyielding masterpiece. No music has ever sounded quite like it.”
At Stereogum, they say that the album “plays as a wild, feverish attempt to mirror the chaos that goes on in the human mind when it’s at its most overheated. It’s a freewheeling and explosive brain-chemistry record — a beautiful and terrifying thing.” While Vulture calls it the album “she deserved to make all along.”
I call it wild, thrashing, methodically manic, percussive, interesting, enlightening, intriguing, and challenging and that’s just after two initial listens.
For more about Apple, check out a recent interview she did with Vulture.
Kid Cudi “Leader of the Delinquents”
Kid Cudi is back with a new song, his first new solo effort since 2018’s The Rage. Cudi dropped KIDS SEE GHOSTS with Kanye West also in 2018.
Entergalactic will be Cudi’s first release on Republic Records after leaving Kanye’s G.O.O.D. Music label last year.
Cudi is set to be appearing in the upcoming Bill & Ted Face the Music and can currently be seen mainly in flashbacks in season three of Westworld. Or at least I think it’s him. It might be him, but also Aaron Paul. Or neither of them and someone else. Or part of them and the mind of someone else.
I don’t know, man. Westworld is confusing.
Loving this season, though! It helps if you like, just don’t really think about it and just watch it. You know, like the news.
Brittany Howard “You And Your Folks, Me And My Folks”
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Brittany Howard of the Alabama Shakes had one of 2019’s best albums with Jaime and earlier this year, she stopped by the Spotify studios in Los Angeles where she played that album’s standout track “Stay High” as well as the Funkadelic classic “You And Your Folks, Me And My Folks.”
Both songs were released as part of the Spotify Singles collection.
The Funkadelic tune comes from their legendary 1971 album Maggot Brain.
From Rolling Stone:
“Howard delivers a timely, refreshing update on the funk band’s 1971 song about people helping each other in need: “But if in our fears, we don’t learn to trust each other,” Howard belts in her signature voice, “And if in our tears, we don’t learn to share with your brother/ You know that hate is gonna keep on multiplying/ And you know that man is gonna keep right on dying.”
You can check out the original version here.
Incubus Trust Fall (Side B)
2015 literally feels like it was ten years ago.
Maybe it was. Maybe we’re at the point of being quarantined where we no longer just don’t know what day or week it is, we don’t know what year it is or how much time has passed. It’s very possible.
Either way, this new EP is Incubus’ first new release since their last full length, 8, came out in 2017.
I wouldn’t feel great about that tour still happening, though.
You know, because of this whole global pandemic thing.
The Weeknd “Blinding Lights (Major Lazer Remix)”
Remixes tend to go one of two ways. They are either great or terrible. Rarely does one land somewhere in the middle.
I’d say that this remix by Major Lazer of The Weeknd’s banger “Blinding Lights” falls in the “great” category.
Diplo and company slow the tune down, give it a spacey island vibe, but don’t manage to lose any of the drive found in the original. It’s one of those times where both the remix and the original can stand on their own or together. Both could find a home on a top songs of the year playlist.
The Weeknd also recently dropped a remix of “Heartless” featuring Lil Uzi Vert.
And it just dawned on me that if social distancing and stay-at-home rules continue throughout the summer, we are in for so many remixes. What else are DJs and producers going to do?
Yeah, think about it.
It’s bound to happen. Best prepare yourself now.
RJD2 The Fun Ones
Speaking of producers, RJD2 has released his first new release since 2016’s Dame Fortune.
The new album is largely instrumental, put still finds time for guest spots by STS, Khari Mateen, Phonte Coleman, Homeboy Sandman, J-Zone, Kid Koala, Mr. Lif, and Son Little.
“The Fun Ones is a collection of tunes that were made with the intention of making songs that got me excited and happy about music,” RJD2 recently told HipHopDX. “I threw all focus on proving my diversity as a producer out the window and worked from a ‘gut feeling’ place.”
I too work from a ‘gut feeling’ place. Crazy, huh?
Car Seat Headrest “Hollywood”
Before your favorite music critics and writers were talking about the Fiona Apple album, they were talking about the new Car Seat Headrest song that was released this week. The song is their latest to come from their upcoming album Making a Door Less Open.
The new album will be their first release of new material since 2016’s Teens of Denial.
“Hollywood” is raw and gritty with singer Will Toldeo seemingly screaming out in rage and disgust directed squarely at Hollywood.
“Hollywood makes me wanna puke,” he screams.
I thought it was fine when I visited, but that could just be me.
Elsewhere in Music…
You Should Probably Get Used To These Live Streams…
One of the subplots in the ongoing drama/horror surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic is people wondering when live events will be able to resume, whether its sports or concerts and/or festivals. Before this week, there was still hope that some shows and games could happen this summer, albeit a little hope, but hope nonetheless.
Now at the end of the week it’s becoming clear that hoping for that summer tour to happen might not be doing the trick.
From Consequence of Sound:
“Large-scale gatherings such as conferences, sport events, and live concerts won’t be safe to attend until “fall 2021 at the earliest,” according to Zeke Emanuel, director of the Healthcare Transformation Institute at the University of Pennsylvania.
Emanuel was part of an expert panel assembled by the New York Times on life after the COVID-19 pandemic. The problem, according to Emanuel, is “You can’t just flip a switch and open the whole of society up. It’s just not going to work. It’s too much. The virus will definitely flare back to the worst levels.”
Yes, fall of 2021, as in after this summer and this fall and this winter and next spring and then next summer.
The reason for predicting that live events can return then and not sooner has to do with the vaccine, which as of now, does not exist, meaning that it needs to be created, manufactured on an incredibly large scale and then administered.
So yeah, fall 2021.
For a full breakdown of how COVID-19 is impacting the music business, check out Rolling Stone’s full coverage.
Pink Floyd Live (Kind Of)
In recent weeks and in response to trying to keep fans entertained and engaged while they are stuck at home, several acts have opened up their faults and started streaming concerts on YouTube. The most recent band to get in on this is Pink Floyd who this week announced that they also would be launching a YouTube concert series.
“We’d like to wish you all the best, and hope that you and your families are staying safe and well in these difficult times,” Pink Floyd said in a statement posted to Facebook. “We will continue to post as normal to hopefully give you some interesting and diverting images, music and video to help us all get through this.”
The series kicks off on Pink Floyd’s YouTube channel Friday, April 17th at 12:00 p.m. EDT. The first concert will be Pulse, the band’s 1995 concert film, a 22-song set which notably includes a full-version of The Dark Side of the Moon.
So, see? It’s not all bad news, right?
This Week in Nailed It
Did Your Kids Force You To Watch Trolls World Tour?
If so, you might have some thoughts about the message it sends and the debate it engages in, specifically about pop music dominance and the single-mindness of certain genres (i.e. rock.)
I know I did.
I also know Rob Harvilla of The Ringer did because he wrote an incredibly entertaining piece about the movie and the questions it raises and tries to answer.
Now if none of this makes sense to you or matters to you, congratulations. You’re not missing anything.
The movie is awful.
Hey, In Case You Missed It…
My favorite part might be the beginning, where RZA struggles getting things up and running. It’s incredibly relatable.
Anyone who has participated in any kind of video meeting in recent weeks knows all too well that the first few minutes usually consists of one or two people trying to figure out how to un-mute themselves.
A Tribe Called Quest’s Debut Album Turns 30
As I’ve said several times before, I love anniversaries. I also love A Tribe Called Quest.
Today marks the 30th anniversary of A Tribe Called Quest’s debut album People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm. It was released on April 17, 1990.
The album features tracks such as “Luck of Lucien,” “Bonita Applebum,” “Can I Kick It?,” “Ham ‘N’ Eggs” and more.
Check out Rolling Stone‘s review of the album here.
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This Week In ‘Thanks, I Needed That’
This performance comes from the band’s performance at Coachella in 2003. Their set was featured recently in a new documentary called Coachella: 20 Years in the Desert.
And We’ll End Here
See you next week!