Last night the Strokes dropped by Saturday Night Live to promote their upcoming new album, Angles. The band played the new single “Under the Cover of Darkness”, and another new tune “Life is Simple in the Moonlight”. Despite what felt like a pretty anemic performance, the more I hear “Under the Cover of Darkness”, the more it sounds like a bit hit for. A little twist in last night’s performance was a post flub F-bomb from Julian Casablancas at the end of “Darkness”. Check out both videos below.
Since our last Strokes related post, the boys have made a bit of news. Much to the chagrin of the band’s publicist, we decided to lump three so/so Strokes news bites into one slightly above average update post. So here it goes, a new Strokes video, the second lead single and a preview of the new album in 30 second snippets. Have at it.
It doesn’t seem like that long ago when we wrote about last year’s most anticipate albums and here we are again anxiously awaiting another round of great new releases. Last year’s bunch turned out seven really solid albums, and three other discs who have yet come to fruition. Let’s start with the holdovers and then get to a fresh batch of new albums we can’t wait to hear.
The Strokes – Angles – RELEASED
It might have taken a little longer than expected, but the new Strokes disc is right around the corner. Make no mistake this is a big studio album, and could go either way but I for one am hoping Julian, Al Jr. and co. can recapture some old magic.
Radiohead – RELEASED – Click Here for Review
Just last week after spending some time with Thom Yorke BBC 1′s Giles Peterson said “And there’s a new Radiohead album if you’re wondering. Just done I believe.” Hey he’s British, he must be right. Right?
U2 – Songs of Ascent – Mid 2011
Who knows for sure what the Irish foursome are up to as reports are scattered about different producers, material sources and even the possible inclusion of the ridiculous Spider Man broadway tunes. At the end of the day 2009′s NLOTH wasn’t terrible but lifelong U2 fans like myself are certainly hoping this next one is the grand finale.
Wilco – TBD
Fresh off of the news of Wilco’s newly formed dBpm Records comes a report from 24bit that Wilco is back in the loft working on the followup to 09′s Wilco (The Album). As the lead release for their very own record label, hopes are high for something really special.
Pete & The Pirates – One Thousand Pictures – May 23
According to their website the British indie rockers have finished recording and are in the final stages of their follow up to 2008′s Little Death, which NME referred to as “”perfect pop without the pretense”. A rarity with British bands these days.
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit – Here We Rest – RELEASED – Click Here for Review
Following up 2009′s excellent Seven Mile Island, and some killer session work with Justin Townes Earle, Jason Isbell is back with a new full length this spring. The Muscle Shoals recording studio should make him feel right at home, so hopefully we can look forward to more rich Southern rock classics from the 400 Unit.
The Avett Brothers – TBD
Just last week, Paste magazine reported that the Avett Brothers were back in the studio with one Richard Rubin. And not just any studio, Echo Mountain studio in Asheville NC – which also happens to be the primary recording home of MOR fave Band of Horses. The band says they hope to have “something done” by mid 2011.
Robbie Robertson – How to Become Clairvoyant – RELEASED – Click Here for Review
The chief songwriting force behind The Band says he is dropping a new album we listen. When he puts out a really good lead single we get excited. The cherry on top are the reported guest spots from Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Robert Randolph and Trent Reznor.
My Morning Jacket – TBD
It’s been two and a half years since we last heard from what we hope is still Jim James’ day job, but all signs are pointing to a new disc in 2011. The band brought out a few new tracks during their last tour, and the band is currently posting daily “In The Studio Pics” to their facebook page. LP6 here we come.
The Cars – Move Like This – 5/11
First there came the rumors, then the facebook picture of the four surviving members in the studio and then the teaser of “Blue Tip,” which showcased the classic Cars sound and now it’s official. After a 23 year hiatus The Cars have reunited and their album is scheduled to be released this year. Fingers crossed it lives up to expectations.
The Jealous Sound – TBD – TBD
It’s been a while since their 2003 debut album “Kill Them With Kindness” and after a few canceled tour dates, one mediocre EP and rumors about lead singer Blair Shehan “going crazy and disappearing”, the band is officially back together again and in the studio recording tracks for their sophomore release.
Today, The Strokes have released the first single to their upcoming album Angles as a free download. The band posted the new song “Under Cover of Darkness” on their website this afternoon as a free stream and download for the next 48 Hours. After that, the tune makes it’s way to the Itunes store for a whopping 99 cent download. Go ahead and grab it now while it’s still free over at http://www.thestrokes.com .
This morning the Austin City Limits festival announced their 2010 lineup. This year’s festival will take place October 8 – 10th, and will include headliners The Eagles, Muse, Phish, The Strokes and The Flaming Lips. There are plenty of really good bands on the lineup to get excited about including Austin natives Spoon, Monsters of Folk, Band of Horses, Yeasayer, Broken Bells, The Black Keys, Gaslight Anthem, and The National. The full lineup is listed below. 3 day festival passes are sold out, but there are still tickets for each day available. For ticket information or more information, check out the festival’s website.
The Flaming Lips
Band of Horses
Monsters of Folk
Robert Earl Keen
The Black Keys
Matt and Kim
Portugal. The Man
The Temper Trap
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Ryan Bingham and Dead Horses
Devendra Banhart and the Grogs
THe Soft Pack
Robert Randolph and the Family Band
The Almighty Defenders
Miike Snow, Mountain Goats, Bear in Heaven, Mayer Hawthorne, Midlake, Foals, Switchfoot, Cage the Elephant, JJ Grey and Mofro, Kinky, Angus and Julia Stone, The Morning Benders, Hockey, White Rabbits, David Bazan, Asleep at the Wheel, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, Nortec Collective, The Very Best, Beats Antique, Henry Clay People, Blind Pilot, Givers, Dawes, Band of Heathens, Charlie Mars, Two Door Cinema Club, Lissie, Sarah Harmer, The Constellations, T. Bird and the Breaks, Chief, Frank Turner, Those Darlins, Carolyn Wonderland, TEACHERS, Kings Go Forth, The Relatives, The Ettes, Qbeta, The Dough Rollers, MyNameIsJohnMichael, Basia Bulat, Balmorhea, Dan Black, The Jane Shermans, The Kicks, Ponderosa, Two Tons of Steel, Caitlin Rose, SPEAK, Run With Bulls, Maxim Ludwig, Gospel Stars, Heavenly Voices, Wesley Bray & The Disciples of Joy, Jones Family Singers, Ashley Cleveland and Kenny Greenberg, Buddy and the Straight
Last night on Saturday Night Live, the Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas was featured in a Andy Samberg/Lonely Island digital short. Casablancas provides the hook, while a rather ridiculous Andy Samberg drops the verse. The result is completely out of control, but it is pretty funny and worth a watch. Here you go.
We are hoping for a big year of good music in 2010. With a few great releases already behind us, here’s looking forward to the rest of the year. Some albums on this list are confirmed, recorded, and ready to go, while others are still in the rumor mill. Either way, it doesn’t hurt to start looking forward to some great new music. Here are the albums that we are most eager to check out in the coming year.
Arcade Fire – TBD – May
Win Butler and Co. sold over a million copies with their first two records, can they follow up the success on their as-yet-untitled 2010 album. “Funeral” was great, “Neon Bible” was well, not as great, but we are pretty amped for the next episode.
Dr. Dog – Shame, Shame – 4/6
Dr. Dog is on a roll with back to back great albums, “We all Belong” and “Fate”, will this one follow suit? The band has hinted towards something more upbeat and akin to their live shows. Sounds good to me. The first single from the album, “Shadow People” is streaming for free, and available for The band recently talked with Paste Magazine in detail about the new album.
Drive By Truckers – The Big To Do – 3/16
Their first release for ATO Records (owned by Dave Matthews), and second release since the departure of Jason Isbell. “It’s very much a rock album,” Headman Patterson Hood said. “Very melodic and more rocking than anything we’ve done since disc 2 of Southern Rock Opera.” Two tracks from this album are currently available for free download at the Drive By Truckers Website.
Josh Ritter – So Runs the World Away – 5/4
Josh Ritter’s new album will be released this Spring, and with a little over 3 years since his last album it’s just in time. The first single “Change of Time” seems to be right in line with what we’ve come to love about Ritter and it only makes us hope for Spring that much more. The single is available for a free download on Josh’s website.
The National – TBD – May
If my ipod was a walkmen, The National’s last album “Boxer” would be worn pretty thin. To say I am “looking forward” to their upcoming release is a bit of an understatement as I am pretty much freaking out to hear new material from the best band in NYC. The band discussed the new album last month with Paste Magazine.
Radiohead - TBD
First, guitarist Ed O’Brien told UK Magazine, NME last Fall that a new Radiohead album was in the works, and now comes the report from LA Times writer Jia-Rui Cook that the band recently held a “wrap party” after three weeks recording their new album with Nigel Godrich. Things are shaping up nicely for a 2010 Radiohead album.
She and Him – Volume 2 – 5/23
She & Him is following up their incredibly promising first album with Volume two, out on May 23rd, and the duo say the new record is better, smoother, brighter, darker, and all together more intricate than the first. They have already released the first single “In The Sun” (download free here) and it certainly does whet the appetite.
The Strokes – TBD
While rumors of a new Stroke’s record have surfaced pretty much every year since their last record in 2006, a release actually seems real this time. The band’s website confirmed on 1/31 they will be Headlining the Isle of Wight festival this summer(first gig since 2006), and a new post on 2/1 stated they are in the studio recording. Also, a new video of the strokes in the studio has surfaced on Youtube. Looks like we are in luck for a 2010 release.
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers – TBD
Coming off the success of the Documentary/Super Bowl Performance/Live Anthology things are good in Heartbreaker land. The band has been hard at work in their San Fernando Valley warehouse/practice space for what is rumored to be a summer/fall release.
U2 – Songs of Ascent - TBD
Both Bono and The Edge have thrown around with a 2010 album in several interviews over the past month but you never know. Whether it’s leftover material from No Line or something completely new, it’s hard to be sure. The Irish rockers go back on the road in May so we’ll look to see if they have anything new in their arsenal.
Lock a guy in a room with some keyboards and drum machines and I guess this is what you get. A harebrained collection of 8 uneventful songs with no real heart of backbone. This album is a mess and just goes to show why lead singers are supposed to play with a band. Julian Casablancas could really use Albert Hammond Jr. looking over his shoulder because he’s got songs on here that sound like background tracks for Debbie Gibson. Which doesn’t mix well with Jim Morrison-lite on vocals. This “techno with a leather jacket” theme is evident on most tracks and borders on the verge of ridiculous. It gets so bad that on “Left and Right In The Dark” JC pretty much rips off synthesizer riffs from Dire Straits and Flocking Seagulls like 1985 never happened.
This album reminds me of when my parents gave me a deluxe Casio keyboard with over 100 “built-in” instruments. I’m no musician but after a while I could throw together a few quirky beats with a beep here and some high-hats there. Loop it all together and I had a few interesting jingles. The only problem is that I was 10 years old and not the lead singer in a band Rolling Stone Magazine dubbed having “one of the greatest albums of the last decade”. Don’t get my wrong I appreciate the effort and I’m sure this will make him a better musician in the long run, but let’s all be honest here, this album’s pretty much a dud. While “Out of the Blue” and “11th Dimension” are decent tunes, it’s no surprise they’re the ones that sound most like The Strokes.