Kathleen Hanna made a welcome return with last year’s debut album from her solo project the Julie Ruin. Record Store Day will see the release of a new 7″ with two unreleased songs left over from the Run Fast recording sessions. One of those is “Brightside,” an upbeat song that’s propelled along by tambourines and Hanna’s trademark vocals on the hook: “It’s just my heart that’s beating/ The message keeps repeating.” Listen below.
Neil Young has quietly released an album featuring lo-fi covers of songs from Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nelson, and others. As first reported in January, A Letter Home was recorded at Jack White’s Third Man Records and was self-described as “retro-tech” because Young recorded each song directly to vinyl inside the label’s 1940s-style recording booth. You can order the 12″ vinyl now from Third Man and it will also be available at select stores on Record Store Day tomorrow. Check out the tracklist below.
Anyone excited for Record Store Day? I’m in line outside NYC’s Other Music* right now and in 14 hours that glow-in-the-dark Ray Parker, Jr. 10″ is mine. You can check out the full list of exclusive releases here or just listen to SoundClouds of all the new songs here. In all seriousness, though, good luck to all you vinyl fetishists and eBay flippers. Our (gif-free!) list of your best and worst comments of the week are below.
Last weekend we told you our top moments for the first week of Coachella from Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Today, before the second weekend of the festival begins, we’d like to share some of our intimate portraits of artists and bands at Coachella, including Future Islands, Blood Orange, Disclosure, Courtney Barnett, and Alexis Krauss of Sleigh Bells. They’ve all been shot beautifully on film by our own Pooneh Ghana and can be viewed in the gallery above.
Remember Supernatural, the smash hit 1999 album on which Santana recruited modern pop stars including Rob Thomas, Dave Matthews, and not one but two Fugees as guest vocalists? (I obviously didn’t remember it when I was writing about the Latin pop explosion of 1999.) You might also recall that since then Santana released the similarly guest-oriented LPs Shaman and All That I Am before reverting to classic Carlos style for 2012′s Shape Shifter. Well, he’s back to guest singers for next month’s Corazón, but this time the singers are all of Latino or Caribbean ancestry — Gloria Estefan, Pitbull, Romeo Santos, Juanes, etc. Corazón also features a contribution from our man Miguel, who lends his sultry come-ons to a romance ballad called “Indy.” The title is a reference to a terribly corny lyric Miguel shamelessly unfurls during the song: “Your body is a temple/ It just might be a temple of doom/ Got an Indiana jones for you, baby/ Ain’t no telling what I might do.” Miguel has the kind of voice that can make almost any line sound like poetry, but I’m not sure even he can sell that one. Pretty song otherwise, though. Listen below.
Last year, well before “Happy” became the inescapable 10-week reigning #1 single it is today, Pharrell released a star-studded, globetrotting 24-hour music video for the song. It inspired more than 1,000 remakes and became the kind of viral sensation that everybody saw. That included Anne Marsen, a 24-year-old Brooklyn actress and dancer who couldn’t help but notice some striking similarities between “24 Hours Of ’Happy’” and Girl Walk // All Day, a 71-minute film she made in 2011 in which she dances in locations around New York City to the sounds of Girl Talk’s mashup album All Day. So she made this video to point out the resemblance.
Atlanta garage-rock miscreants the Black Lips have a history of playing with random-ass famous people; one of the worst shows I ever saw was one where they backed up GZA at SXSW a few years ago. Things worked out a lot better earlier today in Philadelphia, where the band was playing one of WXPN’s Free At Noon concerts. During their set, the band brought Boy George to the stage to cover T. Rex’s glam-rock classic “Bang A Gong (Get It On).” It’s a loose, casual cover, and both the people onstage and the audience treat the set like it’s no big deal. Watch the whole thing unfold below.
There are times when it’s easy to determine the 5 Best Songs Of The Week, and others when it gets a little tougher for us to figure out what should go where, what belongs and what doesn’t. Then there are weeks like this, where debates about inclusion and placement stretch into long email chains over hours. That’s because across the board this was an unreasonably great week for music (Tuesday morning alone topped most entire weeks). We’re letting you know in advance: You’ll see some hard snubs this week, and some of those songs left on the cutting-room floor were ones that we really loved: Future’s “Benz Friends,” the Pains Of Being Pure At Heart’s “Eurydice,” and Crow Bait’s “The Ocean,” among others, could have made this list if it were a different week. That said, any of the five songs below could have topped this list under different circumstances. They’re all incredible; the only problem is they all came out within days of each other. Check them out below and let the debate continue in the comments.