I love Led Zeppelin, but I’d say there’s a good third of their catalog that I can’t hear anymore. I don’t mean I don’t want to listen to it; I mean I cannot hear it — I’ve heard it so much that it’s just white noise, like the sounds of midtown traffic outside Stereogum’s offices. And for me, no song has been worn thinner than “Rock And Roll,” from “Led Zep IV,” which might as well be “Happy Birthday” by this point. So I love hearing alternate versions of these tracks, because if even one aspect of the mix is different, it can change my entire listening experience. Next Monday, Zep will release re-mastered, expanded versions of both “IV” and Houses Of The Holy, and those reissues will include a bunch of alternate takes, including this one, of “Rock And Roll.” Frankly, this take hews too close to the album version to actually reinvigorate the song for me, but according to Pagey, it offers a “different perspective.” Read his explanation and watch the lyric video for the track below.
Morrissey’s latest True To You monologue includes a takedown of the venues he played on tour in Rome and Milan (“both abysmal — Milan quite shockingly abysmal”), but it’s more positive than your average Moz bitch-sesh. He also expresses an “over-emotional thanks” for those who attended his shows in Italy, Spain, and Portugal: “It has been fantastic for us, and it brings a new sense of accomplishment for which, again and again, we thank you.” He has kind words for the press in Spain and Italy and seems very excited that somebody finally invited him on TV to promote World Peace Is None Of Your Business.
Yesterday was a disgusting day in New York, and this is coming from someone whose favorite season is winter: wet coldness due to the obnoxiously persistent rain, and a particularly bone-cutting kind of wind (especially if you were, like me, near the East River). Given that, spending the day indoors, at an afternoon showcase at Rough Trade’s Williamsburg outpost, was a solid refuge for a Thursday.
Klaxons have been kicking around the music world since 2005, at the height of something called New Rave, when every young band in Britain seemed to be playing spunky, angular, dance-infused indie rock. Along with Bloc Party and the Arctic Monkeys, Klaxons were one of the best of them. They’ve accumulated a strong discography over the years, but their moment has come and gone, and they seem to realize it: Today on Facebook and Twitter the band announced that their upcoming tour dates will be their last. Here’s the message:
Johnny Marr just released a new album, Playland, and Noel Gallagher just announced that he’s got a new album due out in March 2015, Chasing Yesterday, on which Marr will appear. So it doesn’t come as a huge surprise that Noel showed up at London’s Brixton Academy to join Marr onstage for a pair of songs: covers of Iggy Pop’s “Lust For Life,” and the Smiths’ “How Soon Is Now.” I’ve long been harboring an idle observation that Noel and Marr are physically morphing into two separate versions of the same exact person, the way old married couples do, and seeing them on stage together does little to dispute this observation. I like to imagine them sitting back with a cup of tea and bitching about their respective exes (ex-singers, I mean). “Thank god we don’t have to deal with all that anymore,” they must say. It must be nice. Anyway, you can watch footage of both “Lust For Life” and “How Soon Is Now” below.
It’s been nearly four years since the Decemberists released The King Is Dead, their last album. The band debuted a couple of new songs at the Boston Calling festival over the summer, and now frontman Colin Meloy is building anticipation for the next record in the most ground-level way imaginable: Street busking. He’s in New York for CMJ, and he is currently, right now, as I’m reading this, standing on the corner of Bedford and 7th in Williamsburg, playing Decemberists songs old and new. If the mural he’s standing in front of is any indication, the new album might be called What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World, which is a very Decemberists album title. Below, watch a fan-made video of him singing “The Engine Driver.”
Among many other big names, XL Recordings has released music by understated indie staples the xx and superstar diva Adele, and the label’s latest signing, Låpsley, is something like the halfway point between those two talents. Holly Fletcher, the woman otherwise known as Låpsley, plays intimate, soulful singer-songwriter music with a tasteful digital fringe. “Falling Short,” a piano ballad from her upcoming Understudy EP, is absolutely lovely. It’s one of those songs that sounds like everything and nothing, borrowing elements from lots of classic material but filtering them into a singular artistic voice. Let it wash over you below.
She & Him, the duo of Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward, signed with Columbia earlier this year, and they posted a teaser for a new album back in August. Today, we finally learn the whole deal. The band’s new LP is called Classics, and it’s a collection of covers of old standards. The band recorded the album live with a 20-piece orchestra, and they’ve shared their version of “Stay Awhile,” Dusty Springfield’s 1964 pop nugget. As Pitchfork points out, you can hear it by heading to their website and tuning the fake radio to 1202 AM. It’s also played in the teaser below.