She & Him will release their Classics covers album in a few weeks, and they’ve just shared a video for their take on Dusty Springfield’s “Stay Awhile.” M. Ward does a pretty impressive job pantomiming guitar playing, and Zooey Deschanel dances around with a ghost and gets carried off into the clouds. The whole video is set in a fancy retro-chic home. Watch below.
Quarterbacks got their start in the New Paltz scene, building a name for themselves on sickly sweet and wry love songs that never travel over two minutes in length. Home recordings of these tracks were put out by songwriter and vocalist Dean Engle on a series of tape releases for Double Double Whammy, including the marvelous Quarterboy, one of my favorite releases of the past year and what comes pretty close to serving as a definitive testament to the lo-fi pop charms of the group. They’ve just announced their first full-band effort: a self-titled full-length that squeezes 19 songs into just over twenty minutes, and includes rerecorded versions of tracks from their past releases, including highlights like “Sportscenter,” “Pool,” and the effortlessly charismatic “Center.” Their new amped-up sound gives “Center” a razor-sharp edge, and make the anxiety that permeates the song more prominent. The lyrics are deeply personal and poignant — take the second verse, for example: “I had waited two years to talk to you/ helped you move into your new house/ left hand prints in the closet before we moved you out/ Looking up at that room now, still half hoping that you’ll come down.” And then there’s that killer last line: “I recognize that love is mostly situational,” which carries so much pathos that it physically hurts. Engle’s mellow vocals lead the song along with a gentle hand, and he sounds really great backed by more robust instrumentation. It’s really magical to hear the band come together in such a strong way, and you can listen below.
Billboard has announced that they will start to incorporate streaming services and individual track downloads into their formula for Billboard 200 top albums chart. Billboard chart director Silvio Pietroluongo told The New York Times that by working with this new data they will be able to “gauge the popularity of an album over time.” The charts will count 1,500 song streams as one album sale and count “track equivalent albums” — at least 10 downloads of individual songs from the same album — as one sale as part of the new formula.
Foo Fighters stopped by The Ellen Show today to perform “In The Clear” from their new record Sonic Highways. The performance was as polished as you would expect from the veteran rockers, and Dave Grohl got pretty into it with some intense headbanging. You can watch the performance below.
Freddie Gibbs teamed up with frequent Kanye West collaborator and producer Mike Dean on a new track for the next-gen release of Grand Theft Auto V. “Sellin’ Dope” — like FlyLo’s “Medication Meditation,” another GTAV exclusive — seems like a pretty good fit for the game: it’s dark and propulsive, and probably really fun to listen to while cruising around town and shooting people. (That’s what GTA is about, right?) You can listen below.
This morning we posted Hiss Golden Messenger’s Letterman appearance. M.C. Taylor’s band must be making the rounds in support of this year’s great Lateness Of Dancers; long before they visited The Late Show, the band played a four-song set on NPR’s long-running roots-rock program Mountain Stage, and as of today the whole 23-minute recording is streaming here.
On “Pancake,” from their new Just Call It 7″, jangly L.A. garage rockers SUSAN manage to make the sourest words sound sweet. The melodious touch they apply to the song’s big finish — “Fuck you! I hate you! I don’t need you! I hope you die, I hope you die alone!” — is something to be treasured, so treasure it below.
Teengirl Fantasy released their new EP Thermal today, and you can stream it now on an interactive website. A few months ago, James pointed out that the group has a “witch-house-once-removed vibe,” which is going strong on Thermal. On the website, the EP’s four tracks are individually showcased in their own futuristic video game landscape, the coolest of which is for the track “7:30 A.M.” Check out the interactive videos below, and click here for the full experience.