New Noel Gallagher video: Holy Mountain

Video: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – “Holy Mountain”

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Holy Mountain

From Who Built The Moon?, out November 24 on Sour Mash/UMG.

Big brothers are a pain in the ass, it’s their birthright. I know, I’m one. But there’s maybe nobody who relishes the role more than Noel Gallagher, who continues to assault and annoy his little brother Liam with musical and rhetorical noogies, long after the break-up of Oasis. For years in interviews he would laugh off the attention Liam got as the front man for the most 90s Brit Pop machine ever built by getting to stake a claim as its chief engineer. To borrow from their most obvious influence, Liam got to be “The Cute One” while Noel got to be “The Rich One.”

And so, true to form and on the heels of Liam’s solo debut (As You Where), Noel readies his follow up to 2015’s Chasing Yesterday with this year’s Who Built the Moon? and a trippy lead-off single/video, “Holy Mountain.” The track is a charger with big horns, a choog-a-loo rhythm, Paul Weller on organ and some BJM refugee in a poncho playing penny whistle!

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New Anna Burch video: 2 Cool 2 Care

Video: Anna Burch – “2 Cool 2 Care”

Anna Burch – 2 Cool 2 Care [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO]

Single out now on Polyvinyl.

It’s important to know how to hula hoop. It seems impossible at first, but keep trying. You’ll get it. Don’t try to go too fast or else you’ll just look like spaz. Another tip: learn on a good quality, heavier hoop. You can still buy it at the grocery store but just don’t get the super cheap lightest ones, because they’re harder to do. The heft of the hoop helps keep the momentum, and that’s key.

Anna Burch is a solid hula hooper and this video is evidence of that. She grew up in St. Joe (West Michigan, represent!) and lives in Detroit. She’s been in a bunch of bands I’ve never heard, but now she’s gone solo. Back in January she told the Metro Times that her solo debut (working title: Quit the Curse) had been “all recorded” but she was frustrated with the results and intended to “lay down new tracks” with producer Collin Dupuis in February. The full-length results are due in early 2018.

Burch sings “2 Cool 2 Care” as if it doesn’t bother her that her boyfriend is an asshole.

Slamming all your drinks, you don’t have to think about me
You’ve got all your friends, used up all their meds, honey

She says, “I like you best when you’re a mess.” But the extended bridge reveals she knows the deal.

I don’t even fantasize about what life would be like
If I were to find a one true love
The kind they said I should be dreaming of

Dare to dream, Anna! Ditch that prick and go find yourself a grownup who knows how to treat you properly.

This is a great song, and it would be just as good if its video didn’t feature hula hooping. But it does, so how lucky are we?

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New Neil Young video: Hitchhiker

Video: Neil Young – “Hitchhiker”

Neil Young – Hitchhiker (Black Balloon version)

From Hitchhiker, out now on Reprise Records.

This is the second animated video Neil has released to promote Hitchhiker. We already covered the first one, but this album is really holding up as one of the greatest gems from the Neil Young Archives. It’s such an immediate, intimate, intense collection.

The song itself, Neil’s “drug chronicles,” has been fairly legendary among Rusties. He played it live during his 1992 solo acoustic shows, causing fans to speculate about which came first, “Hitchhiker” or 1982’s “Like an Inca,” since they share some lyrics. Neil finally recorded it with Daniel Lanois on the 2010 solo electric album, Le Noise, but not before adding a couple of extra verses.

How many years have come and gone
Like friends and enemies
I tried to leave my past behind
But it’s catching up with me

I don’t know how I’m standing here
Living my life
Thankful for my children
And my faithful wife

“Finishing was important,” Young told American Songwriter in 2010. “The song never could have been done without those verses.” I guess that explains why it sat unreleased for so long despite the fact that it’s awesome.

In that same interview he said, “So I have recordings of ‘Hitchhiker’ from the ’70s but there was never any reason to put it out. I felt like, ‘Whoa, that’s not really a good idea.'” Glad he changed his mind! Finally releasing the Hitchhiker album is one of the best ideas he’s had in decades.

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Number One Records: Rockstar

Audio: Post Malone – “Rockstar” (ft. 21 Savage)

After three weeks with the number one single, Cardi B has been dethroned. Post Malone and 21 Savage knocked her out with their mumble rap hit, “Rockstar.” Is this the first #1 song in 2017 that inarguably sucks?

The lyrics are inane, equating being a rock star with “fuckin’ hoes and poppin’ pillies.” The delivery is lazy and the beat is boring. It’s like these dingleberries based their idea of what it means to be a rock star entirely on Spinal Tap.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with rappers glomming on to “rock” signifiers. See Run-DMC’s “King of Rock” as a perfect example, or more recently, Rae Sremmurd’s “Black Beatles,” which at least managed to highlight the fun and excitement of rock and roll. But Post Malone just sounds like he’s zonked out on ludes.

Switch my whip, came back in black
I’m startin’ sayin’, “Rest in peace to Bon Scott”
Close that door, we blowin’ smoke
She ask me light a fire like I’m Morrison

Uh huh, okay. That doesn’t make a lick of sense and it doesn’t even come close to rhyming. Maybe I’m just old, but this song blows. The kids, however, seem to like it.

“Rockstar” had 51.3 million U.S. streams and sold 48,000 downloads in the week ending Oct. 12, and 35 million all-format radio audience impressions in the week ending Oct. 15. But still…yuck. The world is going to hell, and we’ve got these bozos bragging about assaulting “bad bitches.”

Hit her from the back, pullin’ on her tracks
And now she screamin’ out, “no mas” (yeah, yeah, yeah)

No gracias.

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New First Aid Kit video: It’s a Shame

Video: First Aid Kit – “It’s a Shame”

First Aid Kit – It's a Shame

Single out now on Columbia Records/Sony.

I’ve loved First Aid Kit since I first heard “Emmylou” five years ago with its references to Gram Parsons and Johnny Cash. When I finally got to see them live — at Lollapalooza 2015 — they were even more impressive. Lead singer Klara was intense and kind of brooding like Buffalo Springfield-era Neil Young, while her sister Johanna was an easy-breezy ray of smiles and flowing sleeves.

The video for “It’s a Shame” parodies that dichotomy with a split-screen stroll through the streets of Stockholm where the two sisters have opposite experiences. Klara told W magazine, “We like the idea of us not being together in the video. In all of our videos we’re always together, holding hands.” Not this time!

The song features the lovely sibling harmonies we’ve come to expect and sad lyrics about just needing a little hookup after a devastating breakup and then feeling bad about it.

Tell me it’s okay
If I ask you to stay
Sometimes the night cuts through me like a knife
I know it’s a shame

They say it’s about “How you want someone to numb the pain. Being alone with all your thoughts is too scary. There is something so sad in wanting someone else to tell you that you’re okay and that you’re not lost when in fact you are.”

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New Last Leaves video: The Hinterland

Video: Last Leaves – “The Hinterland”

Last Leaves – The Hinterland (Official Video)

From Other Towns Than Ours, out October 20 on Lost And Lonesome (Aus) and Matinée Recordings (USA).

Earlier this summer Last Leaves released their first official single, and now here’s the second single from the former members of the Lucksmiths along with an updated release date for their debut album, Other Towns Than Ours. Their label has received “the scouts’ honour from the vinyl pressing plant” that it will be ready.

“The Hinterland” is another slice of perfect guitar pop that grabs your attention immediately with “All this was years ago / the accident, the summer spent indoors,” and goes on to describe the “dull dilaudid dream” of our protagonist’s time of recovery.

All those indistinguishable days
From an upstairs window at your parents’ place
You saw the sun set where the highway cuts across the hinterland
Taillights fading in the twilight
It was more than you could stand

A couple of Australianisms in case you were wondering: 1. A “skirting board” is what they call a baseboard, i.e., the piece of trim at the bottom of a wall.[1] 2. The hinterland is an area off the Sunshine Coast of Queensland with lots of rainforests, lookouts, and national parks [2] as well as historic villages, antique shopping, and day spas.[3] So there you go; saved you a click.

The video stars Shannon Dowling from Melbourne band Spit (who apparently knows a thing or two about accidents) and was filmed in the Dandenong Ranges. I appreciate the “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now” poster on the wall.

The single, out now, contains an exclusive b-side, “Nora Creina.”

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New Sharon Jones video: Matter of Time

Video: Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings – “Matter of Time”

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings "Matter of Time" OFFICIAL VIDEO

From Soul of a Woman, due November 17 on Daptone.

We were first turned on to Sharon Jones in 2007 when I (mistakenly, and which was debated at length in the comments) called Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black the best soul record in decades. Commenter “Matt” told me to go listen to Miss Jones and I’ve been forever in debt since.

I first saw Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings shortly after that article posted. It was revelatory. In the era of beard-stroking indie rock was this band of crack musicians fronted by a firecracker of a performer who took their jobs as entertainer seriously. Deadly seriously, as it turns out.

Sharon Jones was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and documented her fight against it, while trying to also return to her passion and career fronting the Dap Kings, in the film Miss Sharon Jones! It’s a careful, honest look at the struggle and triumphs of serious illness. Jones, who was the personification of energy and strength on the stage, struggles throughout the film with the physical, emotional and financial strains of her illness and shows her vulnerability throughout and fights her way back to the stage and the road shows that pay her bills–and the bills of her bandmates, road crew and label staff. To know how the story ends, despite where the film ends, is heartbreaking.

Daptone Records announced Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings’ final studio album, Soul of a Woman will be released on November 17, 2017. Just typing those words, “final studio album” makes me sad. I hate that we’ll never see her perform again and that she won’t be creating new music. It’s hard to embrace the adage that we should “not be sad that it’s over, but be happy that it happened” when such a talented and big hearted woman has been taken away. But I’ll do my best and I’ll dance in my living room with as much vigor as I can muster. It’s what she would have done.

Post-script: Another Daptone flame was snuffed out by cancer recently when Charles Bradley died on September 23, aged 68. He was a James Brown impersonator in his past and used that time as a sort of apprenticeship that made his own live shows absolutely spellbinding. Seeing the clips of Sharon Jones talking shop and dancing with him brought an actual tear to my eye. The world has a little less soul and a lot less heart in it now. Fuck cancer.

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New Rentals video: Elon Musk Is Making Me Sad

Video: The Rentals – “Elon Musk Is Making Me Sad”

The Rentals – Elon Musk Is Making Me Sad [OFFICIAL LYRIC VIDEO]

From the Rentals’ fourth album (title, TBA), due sometime in 2018.

It’s rarely healthy to compare yourself to extremely successful people. Unless you wanna feel terrible about yourself. I remember when I found out Mary Shelley was only like 20 when she wrote Frankenstein; that made me feel like a loser. You gotta let that stuff go. We’re all on our own path, and we all end up in the same spot. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

The Rentals’ Matt Sharp descended into this kind of head game when he realized he’s pretty much the same age as Elon Musk, the inventor and investor behind Tesla and SpaceX. They both grew up around the same time, in similar circumstances, and they even received similar gifts as kids:

In nineteen eighty-two, on Christmas day
Santa gave us each a brand-new Commodore
I used mine to make fake IDs and buy beer in junior high
While my foe studied every bit of that 8-bit whore

We all know what happened next. Musk became one of the word’s most powerful people, and Sharp played bass for Weezer for a couple of albums and then left to start his own band.

But for a second, there’s no question I had the lead in ninety-five
But the small ambitions of a musician, I could not keep my eye on the prize

It ends up being a song of hope, not bitterness, with Sharp volunteering to help Musk in his plan to colonize Mars:

Make me the first one out of that door
First boots out on the Martian floor to proclaim…
Oh, that Elon sent me all the way, son,
A hundred thirty-nine million miles away!

“Elon Musk Is Making Me Sad” is a collaboration between Sharp, Nick Zinner, and Dave Fridmann. It doesn’t appear that anybody who’s ever been a Rental before is involved. So no Cherielynn Westrich, Rod Cervera, Petra Haden, Maya Rudolph, Rachel Haden, et al. But it retains the melancholy, synthy vibe of all the best Rentals material.

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New Breeders videos: Wait in the Car

Video: The Breeders – “Wait in the Car”

The Breeders – Wait in the Car (Official Video)

New single, out now on 4AD.

Good morning!

The Breeders are back with their Last Splash lineup (the Deal twins, Jim Macpherson, and Josephine Wiggs). Pretty exciting. Last Splash is still a great album and its production is so weird and trippy. Not much evidence that any new stuff is going to be that freaky sounding, judging by the new single, but “Wait in the Car” rocks and still has that classic Breeders vibe of fun mayhem.

Meow meow meow meow meow.

They’re releasing three variants of the single with different art and b-sides, and the one I’m most excited about features a cover of Mike Nesmith’s “Joanne.” Should be awesome. Can’t wait to hear it. (The other two b-sides are Devo’s “Gates of Steel” and Amon Düül II’s “Archangel Thunderbird.”

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New Spoon video: I Ain’t The One

Video: Spoon – “I Ain’t The One”

Spoon – I Ain't The One (Official Video)

From Hot Thoughts, out now on Matador.

Spoon ain’t the one, the one to get played like a poop butt. See, they’re from the street so they know what’s up.

Wait wait, wrong song. As much as I’d love to hear Spoon cover N.W.A, this is an original and the real star of the show is Alex Fischel’s electric piano. Sometimes you forget that there are other people in the band besides Britt Daniel, but there are and “I Ain’t The One” is a good reminder. When Jim Eno’s drums kick in two solid minutes into the song, you’re like, “Oh yeah, rock and roll!”

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Rock and roll can change your life.