It’s Friday, which means we basically can’t wait to get into bed and sleep all weekend, and also that in the meantime we’re rounding up the best songs we’ve heard this week. The past several days were curious, largely devoid of big-name releases, etc., but there’s still notable new work from These New Puritans, The-Dream, Sharon Jones, and Eric Burdon (with help from Jenny Lewis.) Elsewhere, there’s pleasantly spaced-out electronic music from Airbird/Napolian and Stellar Om Source, an unreleased Arthur Russell track, wacky Ethiopian dubstep, and more! All this goodness is streaming now, and it all awaits you after the jump. … Read More
Who could resist the opportunity to color in our favorite rock ’n’ roll gals while supporting a great cause? The non-profit Girls Rock! Rhode Island recently published a killer coloring book loaded with pictures of women musicians who kick butt. Illustrated by a slew of local artists — including Marissa Paternoster of Screaming Females — who donated their work, the coloring book is loaded with 22 ready-to-color drawings featuring the lady pioneers of rock present and past like Nico, Patti Smith, Kim Gordon, Bethany Cosentino, and Sharon Jones. Every copy sold supports programs Girls Rock! Rhode Island provides, including empowerment workshops and camps where young girls and women to learn to play instruments, form bands, and perform original songs for a live audience. Have a peak at thecoloring book below, and purchase it on Etsy. … Read More
You couldn’t have a VH1 Divas special in the second half of 2011 without paying tribute to one of the 21st century’s greatest divas, Amy Winehouse. That goes double for an installment devoted to soul music. Last night’s Divas assembled some of the best pipes in the business, including Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Chaka Khan, and Mavis Staples, with the ubiquitous Roots serving as house band. But the segment that pushed us to the verge of tears was a celebration of Winehouse’s career, including a personal remembrance from her friend Nas and performances of “Back to Black” by Florence Welch and “You Know I’m No Good” by Sharon Jones and Wanda Jackson (who also covered the song for her latest, Jack White-produced album, The Party Ain’t Over). Watch Divas’ Amy Winehouse tribute after the jump, and see more clips from the special at Prefix. … Read More
The Occupy movement is famous for welcoming anyone who wants to join. But you can’t help but wonder if, for campers who’ve endured taunts and snow and pepper spray, some musical guests are more welcome than others. Yes, it’s a thrill to see Philip Glass using the people’s mic at Lincoln Center, but too many of the celebrities who visit OWS seem (at the risk of being uncharitable) to be using its fame for their own good instead of vice-versa. One wonders, for instance, how many impassioned discussions of banking regulations and foreclosure statistics were ever interrupted by the comment, “You know who I’d love to hear right now? Third Eye Blind.”
With that in mind, we offer ten dream concerts for OWS — double bills of music that’s relevant and rousing, from artists (unlike these movement-friendly newcomers) with enough name recognition to draw both fans and media attention to Zuccotti Park, or anywhere else the 99 percent are trying to make themselves heard. … Read More
A little earlier this year, we ran an article about the things we felt were wrong with indie music in 2011. One of the points we mentioned was that a lot of music (indie or otherwise) has become a sort of endless spin cycle of recurring trends that come around in metronomic 20-year phases. We stand behind this observation, but in retrospect, we feel we could have argued the point a wee bit better (as Simon Reynolds does in his must-read book, Retromania) — we don’t mean to imply that all bands who take their cues from the past are terrible, because there’s clearly a fine line between inspiration and pastiche, and there are many excellent bands who fall on the right side of that line. With the release of Amy Winehouse’s posthumous compilation this week, we thought we’d look back at her career, and also some other fine throwback artists who’ve adorned the last decade. … Read More
We were excited to see the conversation our female punk icons post generated, finding relief in the fact that while Rolling Stone may have overlooked these women, our readers certainly haven’t. Unfortunately, punk rock isn’t the only genre in which women have been notoriously sidelined — often, a funk album’s only female presence is its scantily clad cover model. When pressed, true funk aficionados can name a few women who brought the funk but, more often than not, Chaka Khan is the only artist who gets credit for her contribution. While we love our Chaka, there are plenty of other ladies who tore the roof off the sucker, so we’ve compiled a list of 10 women who should be in every funk fan’s collection. As always, this is in no way a definitive list, merely a launching pad for further investigation. … Read More
David Byrne and Fatboy Slim’s star-studded collaborative concept album about the life of Imelda Marcos may sound strange, but it’s no less stunning for it.
Featuring a staggering list of guest vocalists that includes Santigold, Tori Amos, Nellie McKay, Florence Welch, St. Vincent, Cyndi Lauper, Róisín Murphy, Sia, and Sharon Jones, the double-disc set plays like a stage show minus the stage, telling the story of the former Filipino first lady’s rise and fall — often through lyrics based on her own words. … Read More
Talking Heads alum David Byrne and dance beat guru Fatboy Slim are finally releasing “Here Lies Love,” their disco-influenced concept album based on the life of ex-Philippine first lady/shoe-hoarding diva Imelda Marcos and her life-long servant, Estrella Cumpas. If your first reaction is to rub your eyeballs and re-read what you just read, then… Read More
Remember those pics I wanted to see of Heidi and Spencer in their honeymoon swine flu masks? Bam! [via Gawker]
Listen to a leak of the Causes 2 Compilation featuring Decemberists, LCD Soundsystem, Sharon Jones, and Black Moth Super Rainbow. [via MTV]
1oo Days of FOX News Hatin’ (video) [via BuzzFeed]
Drawdio:… Read More
As the voice behind one of the hottest record labels in Brooklyn, soul revivalist Sharon Jones has seen it all. Born in Georgia in 1956, she served as a corrections officer at Rikers Island prison for years, sneaking in talent shows and session work after hours. As such, Jones is one of a few select stars whose fame came late – she was in her 40s – but that doesn’t seem to bother the diva. After all, she got here the hard way, channeling the fighting spirit that lifted Sam Cooke and Aretha Franklin from the church and the Chitlin’ Circuit to the bigger stages of Broadway. Her devotion to old-school soul icons like James Brown and Otis Redding is matched by her electric energy and tight arrangements.
After the jump, Jones explains about what Obama means for African American music, backs Etta James in her battle with Beyoncé, and runs rap’s bling fixation through the wringer. … Read More