Into The Great Wide Open peaked at #13. Wildflowers made it to #8. Full Moon Fever, one of the most iconic rock albums of its day, stalled out at #3. Damn The Torpedoes was stuck at #2 for seven weeks in 1979, unable to overcome Pink Floyd’s The Wall. Even 1993′s Greatest Hits collection, an album that just about everyone owned, only made it to #5. Somehow, in a career that’s lasted nearly four decades, Tom Petty has never had a #1 album, but that’s about to change. That headline up there is a bit harsh; Tom Petty is incapable of writing a bad song, and Hypnotic Eye, Petty’s new album with his Heartbreakers, has its moments. But Hypnotic Eye is never going to be anyone’s favorite Tom Petty album. It is, however, going to be his first #1. Billboard projects that the album could sell as many as 100,000 copies in its first week. Barring something crazy happening, that’ll be good enough to land at the top of next week’s charts. (If you really want Shabazz Palaces to get recognition, Stereogum comments section, buy every copy of Lese Majesty in existence and see if you can’t snatch that #1 spot away.)
Vin Diesel’s gravelly, marblemouthed voice is an absolute natural wonder, which is presumably the reason he’s playing the voice of the walking alien tree Groot in the new Marvel movie Guardians Of The Galaxy. Last year, a video of Diesel singing a weirdly emotional cover of Rihanna’s “Stay” went viral, and someone at the British radio station Capital FM clearly realized that Diesel should sing a cover of every pop song with “Stay” in the title. So on a recent visit to the station, Diesel ended up singing Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me,” moving from operatic basso to deeply painful falsetto without any warning whatsoever. The cover is a thing of absolute majesty, and you can watch it below.
Yesterday, Tom Petty was in the news because he said some not-so-nice things about the entire nature of the EDM festival: “Watch people play records? That’s stupid. You couldn’t pay me to go. I’m not oversimplifying it. That’s what’s going on. I don’t think it would be any fun without the drugs. It’s a drug party.” (Here in central Virginia, Petty will soon headline a festival that also features String Cheese Incident and various surviving Grateful Dead members, so it seems safe to assume that it’s the “playing records” part Petty doesn’t like, rather than the “drug party” part.) But I can imagine Petty getting a chuckle out of the video below: French pop-house cheesemonger, playing a set at Belgium’s Tomorrowland festival, being caught on video spacing out heavily during one of his own buildups. With that flashing light behind him, Guetta looks like he’s living out a heroin-addiction montage from a low-budget movie. Observe:
“Promise,” one of the songs on Tori Amos’ new album Unrepentant Geraldines, is a duet with Amos’ 13-year-old daughter Natashya, who, it turns out, can really sing. She also shows up in the song’s brand-new video, which follows Amos’ video for “Trouble’s Lament” as the second one from the album. There’s not much going on in the video — it’s just two of them singing in a room together and doing the hug-from-behind-sway-together thing — but as a person with a daughter, it’s more than enough to get me feeling pretty emotional. Natashya, it seems, has mastered the staring-intently-into-the-camera thing, and she already appears to be taller than her mom. Also of note: Amos has been getting weird with her setlists on her recent tour, playing songs she hasn’t played in years (including songs from her Richard Marxist pre-Little Earthquakes band Y Kant Tori Read!) and a whole lot of ’80s covers. Below, check out the “Promise” video, as well as video of Amos covering Rihanna’s “We Found Love” during a recent Oakland show, completely turning it into a Tori Amos song.
Sibylle Baier is a little-known German folk singer who, according to this, recorded a handful of songs in her home on a reel-to-reel tape recorder in the ’70s but never released any of them. That is, until her son put together a CD of her old songs to give out to family and friends and passed one along to Dinosaur Jr. frontman J Mascis. He liked them so much that he put her son in touch with label Orange Twin, who would put out the collection of tracks under the name Colour Green in 2006. Speedy Ortiz is drawing attention to that album of sparse folk songs with their beefed up cover of “Lost Something In The Hills,” which they did for Rookie Magazine. “It’s got this really honest sadness to it,” frontwoman Sadie Dupuis told Rookie. “It’s about losing yourself in the woods, but it takes that idea in two very different directions: first, that the woods are the only thing that can restore this sadness, and, second, that this sadness is unbearable and you need to be exploring beyond the hills in order to get over feeling miserable.” Listen to the cover, which was recorded with Ben Scherer from Palehound, and the original below.
Banks is upset after UK girl-group Neon Jungle included a cover of her song “Waiting Game” on their debut album without asking her permission. The song is set to appear on Banks’ album Goddess, which comes out in September, but Neon Jungle’s album just came out this week. The LA singer posted a statement on Facebook to address the issue: “I was as shocked as you to see this song made up of my own heartbeats on their album. A song that was born from my real life, my real heartache, my real fingertips when I was at one of the most confusing times in my life. How strange it is to see it used on someone else’s album before it even comes out on mine.”
Chance The Rapper has been trotting out his cover of the Arthur theme song during his live show for a while now and he’s finally posted a studio version of the track. It features a whole chorus of vocals from Wyclef Jean, Jessie Ware, Francis And The Lights, Elle Varner, Eryn Allen Kane, The O’my’s, Peter Cottontale, and Donnie Trumpet. It’s a whole lot of fun for anyone that was born in the ’90s (and pretty beautiful and cinematic on its own) and you can listen to it below.
Alvvays don’t reinvent the wheel on their self-titled debut and they don’t do anything outrageous for the “Archie, Marry Me,” video, but everything they do is so charming and well-executed that it doesn’t really matter. When a band plays into tropes as well as they do, it just elevates them as a highlight of the blissed-out pop genre. The video features grainy footage of the Toronto band on the beach and at sea, with frontwoman Molly Rankin’s striking platinum blonde hair always at the forefront. Watch below.