The Wrap-Up: This Week in Music + 12 Cuts
The Wrap-Up brings you the 10 largest music news stories of the week as well as information about new album and music video releases.
HEADLINES OF THE WEEK
1. Bono’s brush with death
On Wednesday afternoon Bono and four friends were on the U2 frontman’s private jet headed to Berlin when, just off the German coast, they heard a loud thud. The plane continued on to the Berlin airport, where they landed only to discover that the jet’s rear compartment had ripped completely off, leaving everyone luggage-less but thankful that the incident hadn’t turn out worse. German aviation authorities are looking into what caused the mishap but say that everyone aboard was incredibly lucky to survive. Had the malfunction affected the pressurized cabin it could have been a much more tragic story.
2. Kanye West’s new “Yellow Flicker Beat” rework
This week Lorde leaked another track off the soon-to-be-released soundtrack for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 that she curated. This time it was a Kanye West rework of her hit “Yellow Flicker Beat.” The much-hyped soundtrack will include collaborations and contributions by artists like HAIM, Stromae, Charli XCX and Chvrches, among others. Just reading the full track list will have you quivering with excitement until the November 17 release date.
And in other Lorde news… The New Zealander covered Jeremih’s “Don’t Tell Them” on BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge Show.
3. Alt-j releases “Left Hand Free” video
The group’s hit song “Left Hand Free,” off of their most recent album This Is All Yours, now has an awesome visual counterpart: 2:54 minutes of slo-mo beautiful youths at a pool party…but just wait for the ending.
4. Brand new Bob Dylan cover on The Tonight Show
On Monday, Marcus Mumford (of Mumford and Songs), Elvis Costello and Jim James (of My Morning Jacket) performing the never-before-heard Bob Dylan track “Lost on the River” on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon. The track is off the previously-unreleased lyrics album Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes, born from the 1967 “Basement Tapes” sessions. The full album, which comes out this week, will be accompanied by a Sam Jones documentary, entitled Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued.
5. Big Ears Festival lineup to include tUnE-yArDs, Perfume Genius, and more!
Knoxville’s Big Ears Festival has just announced their initial 2015 lineup for the March 27-29 weekend! The Kronos Quartet takes the spotlight as this year’s artists-in-residence but the festival will also feature many-a well loved alternative artist: Swans, tUnE-yArDs, Perfume Genius, Ben Frost, Clark, Jamie xx, Grouper, Steve Gunn, Amen Dunes, to name a few. For all you Exposure fans out there, this lineup is golden.
For more info on the festival check out their beautiful website.
6. New music video: David Bowie – “Sue (or in a season of crime)”
Leading up to the release of David Bowie’s extensive retrospective album Nothing Has Changed, he has released the music video for the single “Sue (or in a season of crime),” also out on 10-inch vinyl the same day as the full album–November 17. The video’s greatest strength is its setting: abandoned subway stations in New York and London that give the clip an undeniably noir affect. It brilliantly used the surfaces of the space as canvas for the projected lyrics while an ominous silhouette of Bowie in a trench coat and fedora drifts through the tunnels.
7. Chvrches and Bleachers cover Fleetwood Mac
As part of VH1’s “You Oughta Know” concert in NYC last night Lauren Mayberry of Chvrches and Jack Antonoff of Bleachers performed together a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way.” Other acts at the included Tove Lo and Sam Smith. Check out the You Oughta Know site for more interviews and videos from bands like Vance Joy, Lorde, Kongos, Passenger and others.
8. Julian Casablancas elaborated on his upcoming collaboration with Daft Punk
“Weird” was the buzzword as Julian Casablancas, who’s band The Voidz just released Tyranny in September, described his second collaboration track with the French electronic duo Daft Punk in an interview this week:
“It’s cool, weird. It’s definitely not one tenth as pop-u-licious as “Instant Crush,” but it’s just really weird. It’s like a song that just goes up. It’s like four half-steps up, moving as that on cycle, on repeat. And it’s super bizarre. And it sounds like jazz modern weird. It’s weirder than any song on the record that I know of.” via
Casablancas hopes to work on releasing the unnamed track in the near future, as it got abandoned during recording sessions last year for Random Access Memories when the artists collaborated on the song “Instant Crush.” For now though, we’ll just have to be patient as both Daft Punk and The Voidz are in full tour mode.
P.S. In case you feel like reminiscing a bit, here is the touchingly romantic music video for “Instant Crush.”
9. YouTube launches new subscription service: Music Key
This week YouTube announced their new subscription service called YouTube Music Key, which launches November 17 and will be linked to Google Play. The $9.99/month service will provide users with ad-free and offline streaming of songs and videos. YouTube is beefing up its musical content in general as well: they are better organizing full albums, introducing and option for continuous listening and improving search capabilities specifically for music. The site has also teamed with major labels to provide more official audio and videos. However, this will likely mean the removal of unauthorized uploads that are very much the norm for most people when listening to music on YouTube. Check out the promotional video below:
10. James Franco’s new album inspired by The Smiths
James Franco and art school buddy Tom O’Keefe (together they make the band Daddy) have announced an album and film based on the work of The Smiths. It is called This Charming Man.
Earlier this year James Franco published a book of poetry called Directing Herbert White: Poems with one section entitled “Poems Based on Smiths’ Songs.” These poems served as inspiration for “This Charming Man,” making it a song, based on a poem, based on a song. Whoa James. Meta.
In addition to the album, the duo’s concept is to create a music video for every song that collectively tell a complete narrative. Franco will also do a painting to go with each track. And here’s a treat: former Smiths basist Andy Rourke will actually play bass on the tracks!
Check out the music video below: