MTV will be releasing REMTV, a six-disc retrospective chronicling R.E.M.’s legacy on the channel, later this month. One of the discs is the documentary R.E.M. By MTV, and today the band shared a five-minute clip from the film that discusses the succession of health problems that befell the band during their tour for 1994′s Monster. The documentary airs tomorrow on VH1 Classic and Palladia, but you can watch drummer Bill Berry, Mike Mills, and Michael Stipe discuss what sounds like a fairly horrific tour below.
Japanese pop artists rarely come to the US. So when Perfume — the female vocal trio who’ve spent the last decade embodying a unique and amazing techno-pop sound and visual presentation, rising to J-pop prominence in the process — announced that they’d be playing Hammerstein Ballroom (as well as L.A.’s Hollywood Palladium), the response from their US fan base was, basically, hysteria.
Vitalogy was the dividing line between one understanding of Pearl Jam, the version that made them famous, and a different one. There are lots of schisms and permutations within the Pearl Jam fanbase. There are those fans that like everything, of course. There are those who were teens when Ten and Vs. became huge, and still maintain a proclivity for the earlier, epically arena-sized version of the band. There are those who welcomed the band’s return of sorts to the basic, classic-ish rock formula of their last three albums (the self-titled/Avocado, Backspacer, and last year’s Lightning Bolt). And there are those of us who find Pearl Jam’s mid-’90s output to be amongst the more underrated material of their catalog, critically speaking, let alone in the grand scheme of ’90s music. That is, those of us who prefer the experimental, yearning Pearl Jam of No Code and argue for the Pearl Jam who once more reached for the rafters on Yield but with more clarity and maturity than on their earliest works. The paradox of Vitalogy is that it’s at once the album that started the version of Pearl Jam that allowed all these schisms to develop, and also the album on which we can all seemingly agree.
The former Those Dancing Days guitarist Rebecka Rolfart now makes dark, churning synthpop as the Hanged Man. Along with directors Sheila Johansson and Michelle Claesson Eismann, she filmed her video for her great single “The Island” on an actual Island in Sweden. It’s a stark, ominous black-and-white clip in which Rolfart wanders an abandoned landscape and encounters what appears to be a doppelganger of herself. The directors go to great lengths to never quite show Rolfart’s face. Watch it below.
Earlier this month we heard “Daffodils,” Mark Ronson’s collaboration with Tame Impala frontman Kevin Parker, who is credited on three of the tracks on Ronson’s new album Uptown Special. The Australian psych-rock band’s hugely successful breakout record Lonerism came out over two years ago, and up until now we haven’t heard much about its follow-up. In an interview with Faster Louder, Tame Impala keyboardist Jay Watson (pictured) hinted that the band’s new material will sound “less rock and more electronic,” so maybe Ronson’s influence is rubbing off. Watson is admittedly not as involved with the band as he was during the making of Lonerism, commenting that, “I got to hear a lot of [Lonerism] as it was happening last time. But this time I don’t think anyone’s really heard it [all] except [Kevin Parker] and his girlfriend.”
The former Walkmen frontman Hamilton Leithauser released his debonair, lived-in solo debut Black Hours earlier this year, and it was really, really good. This morning, Leithauser shared a new non-album song called “Room For Forgiveness,” previously available on a tour-only 7″. It’s an emotional, sozzled number, with backing vocals that push it into straight-up drinking-song territory. Leithauser’s voice remains an absolute wonder, and he really uncorks it toward the end of this one. It’s a really good song, and you can listen to it below.
Last night, Metallica played the fourth night of their five-night residency on Craig Ferguson’s not-long-for-this-world Late Late Show. They’d been busy the three previous three nights, running through “Hit The Lights,” “Fuel,” and the great “For Whom The Bell Tolls.” Last night, they trotted out arguably their best-known song, the 1991 anthem “Enter Sandman.” That is a pretty rude song to play to a bunch of television viewers who are trying not to fall asleep! But the performance pretty much ruled, and it’s still fun to watch James Hetfield doing the evil-laughter thing a couple of decades later. Watch it below.
Joyce Manor’s Never Hungover Again is a riotously fun record that deals with some insanely depressing shit, and that carries over to “Tame,” a heartily improved version of “See How Tame I Can Be,” an older track that first appeared on their sophomore album Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired. It’s a rip-roaring track that burns out just as soon as it kicks in and contains some great cutting lyrics like, “See how tame I can be; in the reflection I watch myself watching TV/ And it’s too much to take and so I say to myself, ’I never told you that I loved you because I don’t.’” The track is on a new split 7″ with San Pedro punks Toys That Kill. Listen below.