It's time once again for Weekly Roundup, a place to recap some of the week's interesting and important news and share some of the great songs and videos we dug over the past seven days.
Some of the week's interesting and important music news:
-Yeah, it was kind of neat that Arcade Fire took home the Album of the Year award, but the best part of this story is the vitriolic bafflement of many Eminem, Lady Gaga, and Justin Bieber fans, documented at this tumblr site. Yes, that includes Rosie O'Donnell, arbiter of all things cool.
-There's this band called Radiohead, ever heard of them? This is already old news, but Monday they announced they'd be releasing a new album, The King of Limbs, digitally today. Well, it came out yesterday. If for some reason you haven't ordered the album yet, you can here.
-The Bonnaroo Music Festival lineup was revealed, featuring a whole boat load of artists that will be playing June 9 to 12 in Tennessee.
–Atmosphere announced an album release of April 12 and Death Cab for Cutie announced a release of May 31.
-February is the month in which musicians try to complete an album start-to-finish in 28 days. It's called the RPM Challenge, and NPR's All Songs Considered blog has updates from one participant, Ryan Lott, aka Son Lux. Click here for his updates thus far. It's definitely worth a read if you ever wondered how songs develop over time. I like how he shares the iterations of each track – and really dig Sketch 10D from Day 15.
Some music we dug this week:
-Because 2/3 of the Digster's are in Erie, PA, we can relate to anyone who describes their hometown with the phrase "industrial decay." The band the Barettas taps into the gritty spirit of their hometown Hamilton, Ontario (Great Lakes port cities, represent!) in their debut 7" single "Touche" and its b-side "Black Sheep." These three ladies have a catchy element to their music as well. It's energetic, it rocks, and is definitely worth a listen. Click here to download and here to see the video for "Touche," an interesting black-and-white clip of performance and nautical scenes.
-A really great psych-pop nugget from Los Angeles via Northern Italy from the band Dumbo Gets Mad has been a major dig this week. The song is called "Eclectic Prawn" and it's definitely a little wacky lyrically. But musically it really hits the spot, especially at the chorus; the song has lots of fuzzy guitars, keyboards, and synths, along with male and female vocals. This band's album Elephant's at the Door is going to be Italian record label Bad Panda Records first physical release, but you can get it free digitally with a tweet. Details here. (This label is doing cool things, such as all their releases having creative commons licensing, I encourage you to explore their site).
-Finally, here's my pick for video of the week (non-Rihanna division) and a tune to keep in reserve for next Valentine's Day. This R&B / neo-soul jam from Hundred Strong with Pete Simpson is about those moments when you just can't stop thinking about that special someone and you want to let them know it. The instrumentation, vocals, and lyrics come together to achieve that elusive blend of heartfelt and sexy. And the video for it is really great, it has a unique visual style and a cool narrative. The singer goes to a movie and then an art museum and everything he sees quickly turns into an image of his lady, which reinforces the song's message in a clever way. I always dig cultural references, and there are many here, ranging from Vermeer to Warhol and King Kong to Pulp Fiction. Watch it below and you can get the album here http://bit.ly/hcGSYH:
Quick hits (aka "Valentine's Day leftovers I would have posted here if my computer would have let me" edition):
-The duo of Amadou and Miriam is as inspiring as they are talented. These two Malaian musicians have both been blind from a young age, but that did not stop them from a lifetime of performing. Check out the remix of their song "Je Pense a toi" (I Think of You) by the DJ iamxl. It nicely blends global folk sounds with an understated yet propulsive beat.
–Cheyenne Marie Mize decided to cover fellow Louisvillian Will Oldham's (under his Bonnie Prince Billy moniker) "I Called You Back." It's pretty much just her, a guitar and some looped background harmonies, but it's the kind of simple and pure performance that stays with you. Ms. Mize is one I plan to keep an ear on, and if you aren't acquainted with the music of Will Oldham, I strongly suggest you change that.