James Blake has been playing a lot of new material on his BBC Radio 1 program over the past few months — including tracks like “200 Press” and “Building It Still” — which demonstrates that he’s hard at work on a follow-up to 2013′s Overgrown. In a recent interview with The Miami New Times, he’s revealed that he’s “probably about seventy percent done” with the new record, which he said should come out in “about five months.” (So around March or April of next year.) “I’m working hard and doing my best — I’m aware that people want to hear this record, so I’m not being complacent,” he said. “I should hope that [the new album] will be a step on, as much as the second one was to the first. I guess I’ve taken a focus on the songwriting again, even more closely, and I’m dabbling in some different production techniques, things I’ve developed.”
Mark Ronson was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live last night and he brought out Bruno Mars and Mystikal to perform their respective songs from his upcoming new album, Uptown Special. Mars sang their lead single “Uptown Funk” in his first SNL appearance since 2012 (when he performed “Locked Out Of Heaven,” which Ronson co-produced), and Mystikal came out in a surprise appearance to rap over “Feel Right” while Mars was relegated to background singing. Ronson’s staging had an impressive retro-funk feel, complete with bright lights, backup singers, and a horn section. Watch below.
Another new Charli XCX song has surfaced from her upcoming sophomore album Sucker. “Breaking Up” is another punk-inspired song more in the vein of the recently released (and pretty great) “Gold Coins” rather than the sugary sweetness of her solo hit “Boom Clap.” The chorus is pretty damn great: “You say you love me/ Okay, let’s rock.” Listen below.
Recent Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame inductee Peter Gabriel debuted a new song at a show in Torino, Italy on Thursday night. It’s apparently called “What Lies Ahead” and it opened the acoustic portion of his Back To Front tour. This is Gabriel’s first original song since the Oscar-nominated WALL•E theme “Down To Earth” in 2008, though he has released many covers in that time. Watch the performance below.
All through November, Red Bull Sound Select is running the event 30 Days In LA, during which they schedule a show a night, always at a different venue, bundling some of their own RBSS artists with artists like Run The Jewels, Phosphorescent, Cut Copy, and a bunch of others. Last night, it was Air Review, Little Tybee, and Kurt Vile & the Violators at the First Unitarian Church in LA. It was a unique setting for these kinds of things — this is actually a functioning church, with a courtyard between the main building and a large meeting room that served as a bar. Inside, the vibe was more intimate than your typical club show, with seating and chandeliers and the bands playing on a low, small stage. A Red Bull logo hung behind them, while #30DaysInLA was projected onto the walls on either side of the stage.
Jon Hopkins did a BBC Essential mix last night featuring music from Dan Deacon, Panda Bear, Joy Orbison, and an unreleased track of his own. The track is called “Interlude” and shows up a few minutes into the mix. “It feels amazing to be part of a mix series that has been going for 20 years, and to join a line up that has included so many people whose music i admire,” he wrote. “I put a lot of work into this, trying to showcase the tracks that have influenced my recent album and live shows, and trying to build a real musical structure and journey over the 2 hours. I really hope everyone enjoys it.” You can listen to the whole mix here — the unreleased track comes in around the 9 minute mark.
TV On The Radio just put out their new album Seeds — which we think is pretty good — and they stopped by Letterman to perform “Happy Idiot” for the show. Tunde Adebimpe looks stylish in what appears to be a one-piece jumpsuit and the rockers give it their all for the performance. Letterman seems pretty impressed with them. Watch below.
Metallica rounded out their residency on Ferguson with a performance of “Sad But True” from their 1991 self-titled record. The band has been on the show all week and have played some of their best songs, including “Hit The Lights,”" Fuel,” “For Whom The Bell Tolls,” and “Enter The Sandman.” After all these years, Metallica are still pretty badass. Watch below.