Kendrick Lamar

Catching Up On The Week (Mar. 20 Edition)

Some #longreads as you enjoy the first day of spring…

Most of the music world spent this week dissecting and analyzing Kendrick Lamar’s new album To Pimp A Butterfly, a record that will singlehandedly keep the thinkpiece industry afloat for the next several months.*  We are going to be judicious in our selection of Kendrick-related material to link to in the near-future, but we imagine that this piece from Stereogum highlighting the important contributors to the record should be worth your while.  We cannot offer the same judgment for Rolling Stone’s upcoming cover story, since the magazine has only released this short preview.

However, Rolling Stone does have an extensive interview with M.I.A., revolving mainly around the ten year anniversary of her debut album, Arular.  As is the case with most interviews with M.I.A., this feature goes all over the place and explores a variety of topics, in alternately entertaining and confounding ways.

Speaking of ten year anniversaries, Stereogum has a profile on Picaresque from The Decemberists.  It’s an uneven essay, with an oddly revisionist bent about the music scene from the previous decade, though it does take the time to acknowledge how this was the beginning of the influential band’s musical peak.

Earlier this week we shared one introductory course in understanding Modest Mouse, and today we have another courtesy of the AV Club.  Unlike the Consequence of Sound piece which focused on songs, Primer focuses on the essential Modest Mouse albums and examining them in context.

Over the Weekend (Mar. 16 Edition)

Some fun news and videos as you prepare/recover from St. Patrick’s Day celebrations…

The biggest news of the weekend is the sudden release of Kendrick Lamar’s new album, To Pimp A Butterfly.  The weekend began with the release of another track, “King Kunta”, before the whole album was released a week early last night on iTunes.  Physical copies are available for purchase through Amazon as of now, with record stores certain to get in on the action as quickly as possible.

Another group gearing up for an upcoming release is Death Grips, who after a couple of false starts are finally set to release the double-disc The Powers That B.  After practically taunting their fans with the free instrumental release Fashion Week (whose tracklist asked the question when the second disc of their final album would be released by spelling out “Jenny Death When”, the band has a physical release date for the album of March 31.  To help tide fans over, the band released the track “On GP” first with one video with the band, and then released a second “official” video.  Enjoy the strangely depressing single, with the help of some magic tricks, below.

If it weren’t for Kendrick moving everything up a week, most of the buzz would certainly be devoted to Modest Mouse’s first full-length album in nearly eight years finally seeing the light of day this week.  To prepare yourself for tomorrow’s release of Strangers to Ourselves, you can read an unconventional 10 song overview of the band from Consequence of Sound as well as reading the account of The Oregonian’s David Greenwald of what the band has been doing in the downtime since the release of We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank.  At the very least, we can all take comfort in Isaac Brock’s statement that the next album will not take nearly as long to reach the band’s fans.

As our readers are well aware, we here at Rust Is Just Right are big fans of Sharon Van Etten, so we were delighted to see this footage from New Zealand of a newscaster who was able to witness and was moved to tears by a surprise performance from the singer.

Over the Weekend (Mar. 9 Edition)

News, new music, and videos as you adjust to daylight at strange hours this week…

We had been passing along scraps of news and filtering through rumors for months, even relying on shaky fan-shot videos, but we finally have new music from My Morning Jacket.  Last week, the band released the joyous “Big Decisions” from their upcoming album The Waterfall, which is set to hit stores in early May and is the first of two planned releases from these recording sessions.

We probably could have fit the MMJ news into last week’s post, but we have no excuse for neglecting to share Built To Spill’s new song.  The multi-part guitar-centric “Living Zoo” from the upcoming Untethered Moon sounds like classic Built To Spill, which is undeniably a good thing.

The biggest news of the weekend however was probably the announcement of the release date for Kendrick Lamar’s follow-up to the brilliant good kid, m.A.A.d. city, and luckily it is only two short weeks away.

Our regular readers know how difficult it is to pass up on any Spoon news, so they shouldn’t be surprised that we’re linking to their performance from “The Takeaway Show”.  It is definitely worth watching this unique, intimate performance as Britt presents stripped-down versions of “Inside Out” and “I Just Don’t Understand”.

If there was any song that required a thirty-minute analysis of its musical structure, it’s probably “Total Eclipse of the Heart”.  Luckily, a video of such analysis exists.  There are probably worse ways to kill half an hour, but then again, the very fact that we mentioned the song means you’ll have it stuck in your head for at least that long anyway, so you should probably learn the reason why.  After the lesson, treat yourself to the “literal version” of the video.

Most cat owners are aware that their feline companions do not particularly care for music, and probably chalked up the reason as to the fickle nature of the cat.  However, The Atlantic has alerted its readers to some important research that has taken place that has determined that it is in fact possible for cats to enjoy music.  They just don’t like most human music.

And finally, enjoy the latest track from M.I.A.–after initially informing fans that she would release “All My People”, she switched gears and offered the groovy, mid-tempo “CanSeeCanDo” instead, a song that fans of Matangi should appreciate.

Catching Up On The Week (Feb. 13 Edition)

Some #longreads as you enjoy the most wonderful weekend of the year (NBA All-Star Weekend)…

It’s the tenth anniversary of the release of Silent Alarm, and as they are wont to do, Stereogum published a retrospective on Bloc Party’s debut album.  We recently provided a defense of the group’s underrated follow-up A Weekend In The City, but we cannot deny the power and excellence of Silent Alarm.

Over at Grantland, Rembert Browne analyzes the message in the lyrics of Kendrick Lamar’s new songs, including the just-released “The Blacker The Berry,” examining the philosophical conundrums posed by Kendrick as well as their broader cultural context.

Pitchfork talks to Rivers Cuomo for their 5-10-15-20 feature, and while there are some mentions of the influences you would expect from the frontman of Weezer (KISS, Madame Butterfly), take particular note of the last selection, which should give hope to the band’s early fans.

SPIN provides the conventional wisdom and adds a few hundred more words in explaining Beck’s surprising win at the Grammys.

The AV Club takes a look at the story behind the lyrics for the unlikely number one hit “Sex and Candy” by Marcy Playground and also recommends a classic Elliott Smith song if you’re not looking forward to Valentine’s Day tomorrow.

And finally, if you have the stomach for it, there’s this piece from Talking Points Memo that is a strong contender for dumbest fucking thing written on the internet, where the author argues against the merits of live music.  There’s a good chance we may offer a rebuttal in the future.

Over the Weekend (Feb. 9 Edition)

News and videos for you to watch as you contemplate the fact that people seem to actually care about the Grammys…

The Grammys were on last night, which prompts us to ask the question first posed by Eels, “Whatever happened to Soy Bomb?”

In general, we here at Rust Is Just Right do not particularly care about the Grammys, a position we will explain in more detail in a piece that will be published tomorrow, but we were glad to see that one of our favorite albums of the year took home that particular prize.  Morning Phase, while not our pick for top album, will certainly find its way onto our list when we publish it in April, and we’re perfectly content to see that the man who made OdelayMutationsSea Change, and Midnite Vultures (and also wrote the 90’s-defining song “Loser”) receive an award.  Kanye West’s antics at the show and subsequent explanation has generated its own series of stories and opinion pieces, of which this Billboard op-ed is probably the best.  At least Beck responded with humility to the whole affair.

In much more interesting news, Grammy Award-winner Kendrick Lamar released a new track this afternoon, the furious “The Blacker The Berry”.

For those who can’t wait for the release of I Love You, Honeybear tomorrow, here’s Father John Misty performing songs from the album for WFUV.

And finally, in probably the best news we’ll hear all month, The Replacements have announced that they’re hitting the road for what they call the “Back By Unpopular Demand” tour.  Of particular interest to us is their April 10th show at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland, because we can now look forward for the first time to a night of singing along to some of our favorite songs like “Bastards of Young” with one of the all-time greatest rock bands of all time.

Catching Up On The Week (Jan. 9 Edition)

Some #longreads for the moment you unthaw your internet-ready device…

This morning Billboard published their cover story interview with Kendrick Lamar, who gave few clues about his highly-anticipated new album (beyond a general look at his average day in the recording studio), but did provide a lot of insight into his philosophy and upbringing.  As illuminating as his answers are, my mind is still reeling from the fact that Taylor Swift apparently thinks that “Backseat Freestyle” is her personal theme song.

Marilyn Manson is preparing to release his tenth album, The Pale Emperor, and recently talked to Noisey in a wide-ranging interview.  Even if he’s just bullshitting, Manson is always an interesting interview.

Neil Young is putting the final touches on the official release of Pono, launching the website for the high-quality digital music files this week and announcing that the special player will be available for purchase in stores in a few weeks.  He sat down for an interview with Rolling Stone, who were kind enough to provide a video of the exchange.

The AV Club has a bizarre write-up on Men At Work’s “Who Can It Be Now?”, and it deserves a link because it at least has snippets of a conversation with Colin Hay.  You probably already have the saxophone line stuck in your head.

With the release of his latest solo album Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper today, now is the perfect opportunity to catch up with the most prolific member of Animal Collective and read Pitchfork’s voluminous cover story on Panda Bear.

And finally, if you’re looking for a few laughs this weekend, you should check out this compilation of Portlandia parodies provided by Billboard, many of which feature some of our favorite indie rock artists.

Over the Weekend (Dec. 8 Edition)

Lists, lists, and more lists.  Oh, and the most metal animal on the planet…

Once again, we have even more Best-Of lists for you to peruse, including Best Albums of the Year lists from The AV Club, Stereogum, and God Is In The TV (though they only have half their list published as of today).  You’ll see a lot of our favorites appear on these lists, but you can use these lists like we do and try to track down stuff that you may have missed the first time.  The AV Club helps out even more in this regard by listing all the authors’ ballots, including less-represented genres like metal (courtesy of the lists of Jason Heller and Sean O’Neal).  Also, kudos to Ryan Bray for having Tomorrow’s Hits at the top of his list, since we love that album from The Men so much and it hasn’t been getting the recognition we feel it deserves.

Run The Jewels, who is of course well-represented on these lists, released a new video for “Oh My Darling (Don’t Cry)”.  Though not as involved as their effort in “Blockbuster Night (Part 1)”, at least you get to see El-P and Killer Mike perform their verses on one of the highlights of Run The Jewels 2.

Speaking of music videos, we’ve got lists for those too, as Pitchfork rounds up a Top 20 and Consequence of Sound came up with a Top 5 (though they were more generous with their songs list, giving us a Top 50 that includes several RIJR favorites).  It’s no surprise that the Flying Lotus/Kendrick Lamar collaboration “Never Catch Me” is found on both lists (and probably others that we have yet to track down).  Though we featured it earlier this year, we present it to you once again for your convenience.

Considering the themes of that video and the Flying Lotus album in general, now is the time to note that today is the tenth anniversary of the murder of ‘Dimebag’ Darrell, and Billboard has a whole series of remembrances of the legendary guitarist that are worth taking some time to read.

We understand that not everyone can have taste in music that is as good as ours or our readers, and Noisey explains that despite this initial stumbling block, there are benefits to dating people with different musical tastes.

And finally, with a story that’s sure to generate some aww’s, metal salutes, and clicks, here’s the news about Slayer rescuing a homeless kitten.  No word on the condition of the homeless man in the story, but I guess we can at least take comfort that the kitty is safe.

Over the Weekend (Nov. 17 Edition)

New videos and other fun stuff to get your mind off the biting cold that has descended upon us…

Deerhoof recently came out with a new album (La Isla Bonita) that we’ve unfortunately neglected to cover.  That’s likely to change, since they’re coming to Portland’s Doug Fir Lounge on Thursday, but hopefully we can make up for it by sharing their latest music video.  “Exit Only” features actor Michael Shannon interrogating himself and engaging in all sorts of crazy behavior–in other words, what it’s probably like hanging around Michael Shannon on a regular basis.

Kendrick Lamar gave a thrilling performance on the Saturday Night Live stage this past weekend and I highly recommend watching it.  If you were disappointed by the initial single “i” (those ranks do not include myself, but I know the buzz was lacking when it first was leaked), then you definitely need to see it done live.

It’s been our duty to keep informing you about Radiohead drummer Philip Selway’s solo career, and as such, we’re sharing the fantastic, mind-bending video he did for “Around Again” from Weatherhouse.

It reminds me of another fantastic recent music video that we didn’t share when it first came out, but we’ll rectify that immediately.  “Inside Out” from clipping. also uses the concept of following a protagonist’s circular journey around the camera, except this time the character’s face is used to illustrate particular lyrics.  Pretty cool.

Death From Above 1979 would have to be among the last bands that you would imagine sitting down for an acoustic set, but they recently stopped by for such a performance thanks to 102.9 the Buzz in Nashville.  Not only did they perform “Crystal Ball”, “White Is Red”, and “Trainwreck 1979” off their fantastic new album, The Physical World, but they also sat down for an amusing interview, covering such things as proposed alternate band names and how much they listen to Nine Inch Nails and Queens of the Stone Age.

And finally, leave it to The Onion to cut to the chase when it comes to the standard indie rock career cycle.

Over the Weekend (Oct. 13 Edition)

News and video as you prepare for a week of facing the Pumpkin Spice onslaught

Thurston Moore has a new solo album coming out next week, and NPR has The Best Day available on their First Listen stream.  I loved his two most recent solo records, Trees Outside the Academy and Demolished Thoughts, which show a more sedate, folkier version of what one might expect from the Sonic Youth frontman.  If that worries you, take comfort in the fact that Moore throws on the distortion for this one.

On Friday we mentioned how Kendrick Lamar’s “i” was received with an underwhelming reaction; however, people were gushing over his appearance on Flying Lotus’s “Never Catch Me” off the latter’s new album, You’re Dead.  Enjoy the video, featuring some fantastic dancing by a couple of precocious dancers.

David Bowie released a new song this morning, the jazzy, seven-minute long “Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime)”.  It will be available on the upcoming compilation Nothing Has Changed, which aims to replace the version of Changesbowie which is now taking up space on your shelf.  At the very least, you can have a compilation which also includes “I’m Afraid of Americans”.

Consequence of Sound has the newest track from …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead, as well as an explanation of its inspiration.  “A Million Random Digits” is from IX, which will be released next month on the 11th.

Peter Matthew Bauer isn’t done releasing new material, as he offered up the new track “You Always Look For Someone Lost” on SoundCloud.  He also released a new video with an interview that helps explain the song as well.

Foo Fighters are being a bit more coy with their previews, offering only glimpses of tracks.  Alternative Press notes that you can hear clips of two new songs from this trailer for the upcoming Sonic Highways.

And last week, Ryan Adams was apparently inspired by the setting and performed a cover of Alice In Chains’s classic “Nutshell” in his show in Seattle.  Because “Nutshell” is one of the greatest songs of the last 20 years, you bet we’re going to pass a long a video like this.

Catching Up On The Week (Oct. 10 Edition)

Some #longreads to keep your mind off the fact that you’re missing out on the Austin City Limits Festival…

This week, the AV Club published multiple articles worth checking out.  First, Daft Punk’s debut album Homework is examined in their Permanent Records feature, which would be worth checking out if only to hear the earliest demo of the duo, a nearly-unrecognizable bit of alternative instrumental rock.  Then there’s this plea to listen to The Jam’s “Set The House Ablaze”, which coincidentally enough was published right around the time I was listening to Sound Affects.  I have a rule: if anyone writes something about The Jam, I’m going to share it, since they are one of the most underappreciated groups in rock history and are always worth a listen.  And finally, if you’re in the mood for something a bit more technical and business-related, there’s this piece discussing the role and motivations of BitTorrent in partnering with Thom Yorke for his recent release.

Readers of the site are well-aware of our love for The National, so it’s no surprise that we’re recommending this piece from PopMatters discussing their album Alligator and its role in the rise of indie rock in the mid-00’s.

When Kendrick Lamar released his new single “i”, it was met with a mixed reaction at best.  The FADER attempts to correct this by placing the song in a greater context in their Popping Off feature.  If necessary, familiarize yourself with the song by watching the lyric video which was just released today.

Dave Holmes uses his column at Vulture this week to take a look at the Top 40 chart from the week when Nevermind was released, and while the general shittiness is not surprising, the diversity of music at the time was pretty striking.

Finally, Chicago Reader has an in-depth look at the life of Jason Molina, the former leader of Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co. who unfortunately passed away last year after years of struggle with alcohol abuse and other issues.  The piece also examines his continued influence, both through his music and his development of the Secretly Canadian label, and talks to the musicians and friends that mourn his passing but remember his talents fondly.  But it also serves as a great introduction to a wonderful musician, with an extensive look at his development and history.