First News and Tracks of 2012

I have 63 tabs open in 3 different browsers, and my computer… is… officially… crawling.  So, here’s another installment of news and notes.  Actually, right before I hit publish, I decided that I should change the name to News and Tracks.  What’s that?  You don’t like that title?  Well, opinionated one, you are free to start your own blog.

Battle of the bands

Bigger than ever The Black Keys are getting lots of press as a follow up to their critically acclaimed LP El Camino, and you know it is just a matter of time before some statement gets spun out of context, and the media picks a fight.  In the January 19th issue of Rolling Stone, Black Keys’ drummer Patrick Carney is quoted with a shot at Canadian rockers Nickelback.  Here’s what he had to say:

Rock & roll is dying because people became OK with Nickelback being the biggest band in the world,” he says, blowing cigarette smoke out the window of his rented East Village loft a few days ­before the band heads to L.A. “So they became OK with the idea that the biggest rock band in the world is always going to be shit – therefore you should never try to be the biggest rock band in the world. Fuck that! Rock & roll is the music I feel the most passionately about, and I don’t like to see it fucking ruined and spoon-fed down our throats in this watered-down, post-grunge crap, horrendous shit. When people start lumping us into that kind of shit, it’s like, ‘Fuck you,’ honestly.

In response to this little shot, Nickelback responded by twitter with a real call to arms.

Ok, boys.  Play nice.  Pat get back to stomping out some of the best rock around right now.  Nickelback, you guys go back to playing baseball in your bathroom.

Kanye gets serious with us for a minute

I am not really that big of a fan of Kanye West.  I don’t know why.  I am a fan of good hip-hop, and my friends who really like hip-hop tell me that Kanye is breaking down barriers.  I don’t get it.  It just doesn’t sound that great to me.  So, I guess because I don’t have subjective love of Kanye’s music, I don’t have a respect for him as a mucisian?  Or maybe I got caught up in that Taylor Swift, MTV debacle a few years ago?  Regardless, I really enjoyed a series of very inspired messages from Mr. West about his struggles as an aspiring designer on his twitter feed a couple of nights ago.  He is one of the most powerful figures in music today, and he sounds so inspired to create something more than a mansion packed with gaudiness.  It’s worth 15 minutes of your time to read through the actual twitter feed (@KanyeWest), you’ll need to scroll down to start on January 4th at 11:30am.  You can also read a summary from the fine folks at the AV Club.

Late night TV is getting some great musical guests (WU LYF, tUnE-yArDs, and Sharon Van Etten)

A few nights ago, WU LYF played “Heavy Pop” on Letterman.  I loved, loved, loved their 2011 release Go Bring Fire To The Mountain, and it is easily in my top five records of 2011.  The performance was awesome, as was their exit “No time to chat, Dave”.  I really want them to play Nashville.  Who can make this happen for me (ahem, us)?


Merrill Garbus’ tUnE-yArDs performed two songs on Jimmy Kimmel the other night, and they were both absolutely awesome.  Her 2011 w h o k i l l was another of my favorite records of 2011, and her show at Exit/In back in September was one of my favorite shows this year.  She’s just such a talented multi-instrumentalist.  You can see her perform “Bizness” and “You Yes You” on Kimmel below, and I also added her performance of “Gangsta” with The Roots on Fallon last year just for your pleasure.





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New Jersey native Sharon Van Etten performed “Serpents” on Jimmy Fallon in anticipation of her third LP Tramp (due out on Jagjaguwar Feb 7th).  I can’t (read: don’t have the patience to) figure out how to embed that video in this blog, so you can swing over and check that out at The Audio Perv.


Speaking of performance videos

Canadian (I’m not talking about Nickelback anymore) musician Feist put out her newest solo record Metals in 2011, and it was another near the top of a lot of lists.  She also made news a couple months ago that she was planning on a split 7-inch  with heshers Mastodon where each will cover the other one.  That 7-inch is supposed to release on Record Store Day 2012, and should be interesting for sure.  In the meantime, you can see her get nuts on a piñata while a fake Slash performs “November Rain” with her band.  Maybe she is prepping herself for the upcoming journey into metal (though “November Rain” is not really that rocking, and Guns n’ Roses aren’t really that “metal” by today’s standards).  Regardless, it’s a fun watch.



Ms. Lana Del Rey

Do you know Lana Del Rey (a.k.a. Lizzy Grant)?  That’s okay.  In 2010, you probably didn’t know Adele either.  You may be looking at the next soulful voiced pop star with Ms. Lana Del Rey.  It doesn’t hurt that the self described “gangsta Nancy Sinatra” is easy on the eyes either (she just signed a modeling contract).  She hasn’t even released her debut album titled Born To Die (due out on Interscope January 27th), but her few singles are already making her an internet buzz-darling.  Her achingly soulful tracks “Blue Jeans”, “Born To Die”, and “Video Games” have been floating around the world wide webs for a while now.  You can head over to OhMyRock to hear two new tracks titled “National Anthem” and “This Is What Makes Us Girls”.  The site is in Portuguese, but just find the players and hit the button.  The previously released tracks are below via some YouTubes.






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