News, new music, videos, and other fun stuff to help you get through the week…
After months of waiting, Run The Jewels finally released their highly-anticipated Meow The Jewels, a joke-remix album for charity that had several producers and musicians recreating the brilliant record Run The Jewels 2 using only cat noises. If you want to take a listen, a free download is available through the RTJ website, and yes, it is about as ridiculous as you would expect. As you enjoy such great remixes as “Paw Due Respect”, be sure to read El-P’s interview with Deadspin discussing the project.
Of course, if you want to listen to a more traditional version of Run The Jewels, we highly recommend that you check out their electrifying performance with TV on the Radio for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, if you have not done so already. Speaking of Mr. Colbert, he had a busy week last week, with the highlight probably being his vocal assistance on Pearl Jam’s cover of Neil Young’s “Rockin’ In The Free World” to close out one of his shows.
The team-up between Colbert and Pearl Jam was part of a promotion for Saturday’s Global Citizen Festival, with Stephen helping to host and Pearl Jam closing out the festivities. One of the highlights of Pearl Jam’s set had to have been Eddie Vedder’s performance with the one and only Beyonce of Bob Marley’s classic song “Redemption Song”, though you may have to search for the video yourself as different versions keep getting deleted.
In other news, The Strokes informed announced to the crowd at their recent D.C. show that the band will soon be recording a new album, which we personally hope will be better than Comedown Machine.
Broken Bells premiered a new concert film over the weekend entitled Live at the Orpheum, and the group shared a new track to help promote the movie, an upbeat track with a jittery disco beat called “It’s That Talk Again”.
Don Cheadle has a new film about Miles Davis coming out next month, and Vulture has a brief primer on the legendary musician for those who would appreciate some background before seeing the movie.
And finally, be sure to set your DVRs or plan your schedules accordingly, because Austin City Limits announced that they will be taping shows with Kendrick Lamar as well as D’Angelo and the Vanguard in the next few weeks. Both of those should be memorable performances.
On Wednesday night, America will say goodbye to David Letterman, a comedic genius who has been revolutionizing late night television longer than I have been alive. I missed out on the NBC years, so I learned about all his most memorable bits secondhand. Instead, for me he was always the guy on CBS facing off against the Leno juggernaut. As a kid, I appreciated Leno’s easy humor more, but over the years I began to appreciate Letterman’s sarcastic wit and his ironic take on comedic conventions, and eventually fully embraced his approach. In my mind, “Is This Anything?” is the pinnacle late night achievement.
An underrated part of Letterman’s legacy was his willingness to book unconventional musical acts. In our brief run so far, we have spotlighted performances from favorite bands on the show several times, and we probably should have shared several more. Over the years, the Late Show has provided several great groups with their first major exposure on a network, and it was always a joy to see Dave himself get a kick out of many of the bands that performed. Of course, let us not forget the contributions from the brilliant Paul Shaffer and the CBS orchestra; there were few things cooler to watch than seeing Paul join in when he was digging what he heard, like he did with Red Fang a few months back.
So, thank you Dave. You will sorely be missed. And I hope you finally get a sweet drumset for yourself.
New videos perfect for a lazy summer day and more…
Karen O released a video for “Rapt” from her upcoming solo release, Crush Songs. The song is a delicate lo-fi bitter ode to love, while the video sees Karen O floating underwater. That should be enough to intrigue you.
This weekend saw an unexpected collaboration, as Jack White popped up at a Beck concert, and White joined in for classics like “Loser”, “Pay No Mind”, and “Where It’s At”. The video at Pitchfork gives an incomplete view of what happened, but the glimpses that we see make it seem like a fantastic partnership. Their respective tours mirror each other a bit, so perhaps this we’ll be only the first example of a possible union.
And we’re sure most of you saw how the internet had fun with Jack White enjoying himself at a Cubs game last week, and SPIN did their part by comparing how much fun Eddie Vedder had with the Cubs last week as well.
Check out this solo acoustic performance from Adam Granduciel of The War On Drugs, performing “An Ocean In Between The Waves.” The performance shows that even without all the gauzy synths and hazy atmospherics of the album recording, it’s a damn good song that’s still extremely powerful.
The group clipping. has gotten a lot of attention for its experimental take on rap and for being one of the few hip-hop acts on Sub Pop, and they had the music world buzzing last week with their latest video, for “Story 2”. The song is a harrowing tale of a father’s returning home to find a tragedy has occurred at his house, with the style and flow changing as the terror increases once the father realizes what happened. The video follows the same storyline, though it’s shot to show only the father’s lower body, which makes it all the more unsettling. It’s probably one of the best videos you’ll see this year.
And last week saw the 25th anniversary of the seminal album Paul’s Boutique by the Beastie Boys, and Uproxx celebrated with the video of their performance on “Soul Train”. Not only that, but Rolling Stone reported that a mural dedicated to the guys will be shown at the location memorialized by the album cover. The RS article now includes a link showing the mural.
Some #longreads as you kick back and sit by the pool this weekend…
This is the week of Weird Al Yankovic, everybody, as our foremost parodist delighted the internet with a new music video each day from his new album, Mandatory Fun. You should be able to find tons of features on him this week, but I’m going to highlight this piece from Deadspin in particular. AV Club has had a whole series of articles on him, including a quick interview where Weird Al answers 11 questions. And SPIN has taken the opportunity to rank every music video Weird Al has done.
The New Pornographers are gearing up for the release of their new album, Brill Bruisers, and The Vancouver Sun talks with Carl Newman on how the band was able to record despite the fact that the various solo projects pull the band members every which way. After reading that, be sure to enjoy the band’s take on mid-90’s BritPop one-shot videos with the Dan Bejar-sung “War on the East Coast”.
Pitchfork has a piece looking at the evolution of “futuristic” music over the past fifty years, and its commentary on society as we’ve progressed over the years. We didn’t mention it before, but also check out this other Pitchfork article that looks the validity of various dubious musical theories.
Earlier this week, Eddie Vedder caught some flack for off-the-cuff remarks he made in-between songs at a Pearl Jam show, which is something that Pearl Jam fans should be used to by now. However, Vedder’s remarks pleading for peace was taken to be anti-Israel by some because of current events, most notably the Jerusalem Post, despite the fact there was no specific party mentioned. Eddie took the time to post a response, clarifying once again that he’s anti-war, and that should come as no surprise.
And sadly, Johnny Winter passed away earlier this week, and the AV Club pays its respects. This comes on the heels of last week’s death of Tommy Ramone, which has prompted more remembrances, including this one from Henry Rollins, being published that comment on the lasting influence of the Ramones.
Some videos and news as you begin your week thinking about how dumb Penalty Kicks are…
Spoon played Jimmy Kimmel Live last week, with tracks from their upcoming album They Want My Soul. We had previously heard “Rent I Pay”, but the band also debuted “Rainy Taxi” at the performance. The first is a ragged, stilted rocker that Spoon has perfected over the years, but the second is a groovy, uptempo number that fits in some of the dissonant touches that the band does so well, and should be a live favorite.
Fans in Oslo were treated to a Pearl Jam rarity, as the band performed “Strangest Tribe” for the first time. It’s a beautiful, somber song that can be found on the Lost Dogs compilation, and was originally released as one of the fanclub Christmas singles. A hearty thanks to the fan that filmed this special occasion.
Speaking of Pearl Jam, Eddie Vedder recently received an invitation to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (you know, the Oscars folks). Maybe he’ll help clear up the mess that is the nominations process for the music categories.
Rolling Stone has Jack White’s entire Glastonbury set on its site, which included a quick cover of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” (a specific choice that the article has details about), and also a link to a previous performance with some choice covers including a take on The Stooges’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog”.
And we didn’t get a chance to post this in our traditional Friday #longreads roundup, but here’s a link to an extended interview with Dennis Lyxzen, frontman of the legendary Refused and The (International) Noise Conspiracy, who is now working in a new band called INVSN.