Rooster Roundabout: This week’s music highlights
Who says there's a cap on how many alter-egos you can make for yourself? If there is, Snoop hasn't gotten that memo. Snoop Lion (now under the monicker Snoopzilla) has teamed up with Dam-Funk to create a project, titled 7 Days of Funk. They're releasing an eponymous album on Dec. 10, and you can hear a track from said release (“Faden Away”) over at Pitchfork. So if you dig what Snoop does, mark those calendars!
Try as she might, a friend urged me to like Saves The Day for years (years!). Granted they're not bad musicians, but after a while their music seems to get a little samey for my taste. However, when Chris Conley gets an acoustic guitar in his hands, magic happens (see “Take Our Cars Now!”). The band took some time to play at Billboard's Manhattan studio and talk about their new album, one of their most famous tracks (“Cars and Calories”) and more.
You say Creedence Clearwater Revival, and I'm there. One of my all-time favorite bands, it's no wonder that artists are attracted to the allure of these Louisiana-swamp-bayou-centric rockers, what with their fantastic riffs, John Fogerty's voice and their knack for soulful blues tendencies. I could gush all day, so let me get to the point. Social Distortion (that punk band) has covered their track “Up Around The Bend” for the upcoming animated feature Free Birds. You can hear that over at Rolling Stone.
Sufjan Stevens is one of those musicians who experiments and experiments to the point where processed jpegs leak out of the sound bytes he delivers to the masses, which is why I couldn't really come to grips with The Age of Adz. Having said that, sometimes Stevens can make electronic soundscapes sound almost mandatory in that they're so easy on the ears, why say no? He's shared an unreleased demo, titled “Take Me.” You can hear it below.
In my honest opinion, globe-trekking artists are the best kind for one reason and one reason only: They sometimes work with the locals. … which is what Damon Albarn is currently doing in Mali. Recording an album with the likes of Nick Zinner (of Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Idris Elba (of “Rocknrolla”) Brian Eno, aforementioned locals and UK hip-hop artists, Albarn's project is called Africa Express. And you can read more about it at The Guardian.
Screaming Females are one of those revivalist punk rock bands that maintains an air and attitude beyond the constraints of typical self-awareness. What I mean is that they don't give a shit, and it shows in their excellent psych/grunge twinged musicianship and wild rock mantras. Moving along … they've shared a new single that's split with fellow punkers Tenement. The track is is called “Ancient Civilization.”
Blues legend Blind Willie Johnson is just one of many stellar musicians that shaped an iconic sound that many artists still draw from, whether they're yowling blues sentiment over an acoustic guitar or simply touching on love lost. Producer Jeffrey Gaskill has initiated a Kickstarter campaign in an effort to raise money to record a Blind Willie Johnson covers album. Tom Waits, Lucinda Williams, Sinead O'Connor and more have already signed on to partake in the record (if and when the funding comes through).
I think Bruno Mars is a fresh face within the pop realm. His beats and inspirations convey sort of a whimsical throwback to the pop days of old, and I like that about him. Granted his music doesn't always hit the nail on the head, he's still worth looking into as far as top-40 pop is concerned. Now Mars has shared a video for his track, “Gorilla,” from his latest album Unorthodox Jukebox. You can watch that over at Rolling Stone.
If you've never heard The Kelley Deal 6000, they're definitely worth a listen. Kelley Deal (twin of Kim Deal) made an appearance this week on “Lil' BUB's Big SHOW” and even went so far as to have Lil' BUB help her produce a new single, titled “Shirtcrush.” The track is pretty up to par with Deal's earlier work, making it a nice addition to her repertoire and a nice reminder that she's still got some songwriting chops under her belt.
For those who are interested in hearing Katy Perry's new album (Prism) in full, head over to Consequence of Sound. Otherwise, you can wait 'til next week.