Hey, everyone! The new Nickelback album is streaming on iTunes! What’s that? You couldn’t possibly care less if you tried? Excellent — you’ve come to the right place. After the jump, our regular Monday roundup of albums that are streaming for free across the web this week brings together five records that a) aren’t Nickelback and b) are really rather good in their own right. There’s the new Blitzen Trapper album and an exhaustive retrospective on iconic New Zealand label Flying Nun, along with new albums from Mr. Oizo and Hubble… and that weird posthumous Michael Jackson Cirque du Soleil thing. Click through to listen.
Various Artists — Tally Ho! Flying Nun’s Greatest Bits
This month marks the 30th anniversary of legendary New Zealand indie label Flying Nun, which is best known on this side of the Pacific for being home to a slew of bands from the Dunedin scene, some of whom you may know as college rock staples from the 1980s and early 1990s (particularly The Clean, Tall Dwarfs, and Straightjacket Fits). In any case, Flying Nun have put out a wealth of fantastic music over the years, so we’re delighted to report that the exhaustive 38-track compilation that’s being released to celebrate the label’s anniversary is streaming in full via the New Zealand Herald‘s website. Listen here.
Blitzen Trapper — American Goldwing
Meanwhile, Sub Pop seem to be pioneering the idea of taking advantage of YouTube’s now-unlimited video-length allotment by streaming entire albums there — you can now listen to Blitzen Trapper’s entire new record American Goldwing via Google’s video behemoth, accompanied by different videos for every song (mostly time-lapse footage of dramatic cloudy skies, for some reason). The album itself will please fans of the Seattle institution’s recent folk rock direction — and happily, despite YouTube’s generally questionable sound quality, it sounds good, too. Check it out here.
Mr. Oizo — Stade 2
If your experience of Mr. Oizo is still limited to “Flat Beat” (y’know the one from that 1999 Levi’s commercial), you might find yourself pleasantly surprised by the Ed Banger stalwart’s new record, which is streaming at Spinner this week — it’s basically what the Justice record should have been, all squelching synths, metallic beats, and arch self-referentialism. It also contains a song called “Douche Beat,” which involves the repeated refrain “a beat for the douches” and will no doubt be appreciated (ironically, of course) by the entire population of Williamsburg. Listen here.
Hubble — Hubble Drums
If we hadn’t been disgraceful homebodies this weekend, we totally would have gone to see the launch of Hubble’s debut album. Hubble is the latest pseudonym for Ben Greenberg, who’s also worked with Pygmy Shrews and Zs, amongst others — his debut album under this moniker is Hubble Drums, and it comprises three lengthy, spaced-out soundscapes that involve lots of atmospheric noise and lots of dextrous guitar playing. There’s a stream of the album, along with a typically VICE-esque interview, at the VICE website.
Michael Jackson — Immortal
The unfortunately named Michael Jackson: Immortal is a Cirque du Soleil production based around Jackson’s songs and life story. As NPR’s write-up on the album points out, “Jackson is the third pop star to earn his own Cirque du Soleil production… but probably should have been the first. No contemporary pop star identified more with the flash and magic of old-time entertainment, which Cirque has so artfully brought into the age of new technologies. And none have been as open as Jackson was to the dark side of the circus arts — to the pomp and tomfoolery, the weirdness of the freak show, the god-defying hubris of the acrobats.” Well, quite. Anyway, NPR’s streaming the soundtrack to the whole shebang this week. Listen here.