Nas celebrated the eve of his album release on The Late Show With David Letterman. “Look at this cover, that’s me everynight,” Letterman laughed, poking fun at the Life Is Good album cover, which features a photo of the king of Queensbridge with his ex-wife Kelis‘ wedding dress draped over his lap. Chest puffed out with pride, perhaps for his 10th album, or maybe for precious little girl, Nas hit the stage in a pair of shades and glowing white pants and shoes. He performed his confessional “Daughters” with a live band behind him, and he sure sounded serious when he warned, “When she date, we wait behind the door with a sawed-off, because we think nobody is good enough for our own daughter.” Our hearts melted when, with a smile and a hand over his heart, he punctuated the performance with, “LOVE!” Aww!
50 CENT SHOWS SUPPORT FOR FRANK OCEAN
Haters be warned that, unless you want a taste of that famous 50 beef, you may want to give the Channel Orange artist a second chance, because 50 thinks that “Anyone that has an issue with Frank Ocean is an idiot.” [MTV]
ARETHA FRANKLIN WANTS TO BE AN IDOL JUDGE
Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler are both out, and so Aretha Franklin figures she and Patti LaBelle should have in at the Idol judging table. Why not! [CNN]
We’ve been waiting for this! The xx have finally debuted proper “Angels,” a pretty first single off their much anticipated sophomore effort Coexist. Much like their eponymous debut album — and even some of their blockbuster side projects since — the oh-so-delicate love song is a carefully crafted and coy affair. “The end comes to soon, like dreaming of angels,” sings a yearning Romy Madley Croft‘s, before adding a long few beats later, “and leaving without them.” Tantalizing in how spare it is, the song builds slowly to a cluster of drum rolls before it gently decrescendos like an exhale to the close.
Coexist is out September 11th in the U.S. via Young Turks. Enjoy “Angels” above, and check out the album’s cover and tracklist below.
As Passion Pit gears up from their upcoming Gossamer album dropping on July 24th, the group has some unfortunate news. Rolling Stone reports the band’s lead Michael Angelakos apologized for the six cancelled shows on the group’s website. Michael wrote, “In order for me to ensure that there will be no further disruptions, I am going to take the time to work on improving my mental health.” He thanks the fans for their support and looks forward to seeing “all of you very soon in a much different light.” Shows have been cancelled in Nashville, TN, Knoxville, TN, Charlotte, NC, Dover, DE, Norfolk, VA and New York, NY. Read more…
Heavy music fans the world over are mourning the death today of Deep Purple keyboardist Jon Lord. He died from a pulmonary embolism this morning after battling pancreatic cancer for several years and passed away surrounded by family at the London Clinic.
Lord was a founding member of the seminal hard rock band who are known as one of “The Big Three” of early heavy metal, alongside fellow countrymen Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. Formed in London in 1968, the band’s galloping rhythms and neo-classical flourishes expanded and forever influenced metal’s musical language. Their landmark 1972 release Machine Head is one of rock’s essential albums, containing such standards as “Smoke On The Water,” “Highway Star” and “Space Truckin.’” Throughout their discography, Lord’s virtuosic keyboard playing might be the bands most innovative aspect. In a genre primarily known for loud and distorted guitar riffs, his thick and aggressive keyboards gave many of Deep Purple’s heaviest songs their actual heft.
Since their 2007 debut, Mumford & Sons have exploded from London porch-stomping, You Oughta Know artists past into the Grammy nominated, chart-topping, Unplugged playing, movie star marrying, scene-leaders they are today. And all this with just one album, Sigh No More, to their name. To be sure, all these years later we still have those twelve tracks in regular rotation on our iPods. But it’s time that the “Dust Bowl Dance” goes on. Thankfully, the Mumford & Sons have at long last confirmed that a sophomore album is on the way. Babel will hit shelves September 25th and will include twelve new songs to take us into the fall.
Meek Mill’s recent dispute with local Philadelphia pastor over his song “Amen,” which Pastor Jomo Johnson believes to be blasphemous, didn’t phase Meek. Bright and early on Sunday morning he dropped the NSFW video to the controversial song featuring Drake. So, we’re assuming the Philly rapper wasn’t in church when he tweeted out the link to “Amen” followed by, “#amen? video is 100% real footage! Really my whips, really club liv, really my friends, really on a jet, really drake show! #mmg.” Everything is real footage, but we hypothesize the women passed out on the sofa and in the bathtub after a long night of partying isn’t “real.” But we get the drift. Read more…
Like No Doubt, Green Day, too, are back and doing the 90s proud. The pop-punk heroes have a trilogy of albums called ¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, and ¡Tre! lined-up for release beginning this fall (September 25th, November 13th, and January 15th, respectively), and today they debuted the first cut from the bunch. “Oh Love” finds the band back in fine form.
This Rob Cavallo-produced single is a bit more produced than some of the band’s earlier stuff, and the punchy-guitars might sound straight classic rock were it not for Billie Joe Armstrong‘s still distinctive — and at times almost pained sounding — voice and trademark angst. “Far away, far away/ waste away tonight/ I am wearing my heart on a noose,” goes the chorus, and you know that Green Day have still got it.
Living la dolce vita is the motto in Madonna’s “Turn Up the Radio” video. As one of the world’s biggest pop stars, life gets hectic. But when life hands Madonna lemons she doesn’t make lemonade, she rides through the countryside of Italy in a vintage convertible escorted by a young, hot chauffeur. She escapes the noise of the flashes from paparazzi, but picks up various interesting individuals on the way. Nobody is off limits for Madge’s joy ride– breakdancers, random guys at the gas station, prostitutes, hitchhikers– they all have a place in her whip for fun times. Read more…
No Doubt don’t want to “Settle Down,” and we are thankful for that! It’s been more than a decade since Rock Steady, but today the band is back with the first single off their upcoming album Push and Shove and they clearly have wasted no time getting back into their grove.
“I’m a rough and tough, and nothin’s gonna knock this girl down,” sings Gwen Stefani on the hook of “Settle Down,” declaring herself back. The bouncy, six-minute reggae-inflected jam should sound right at home on the radio this summer. Particularly so between songs like Maroon 5‘s “One More Night” and Santigold’s “The Riot’s Gone.” As Stereogum’s Tom Breihan wisely points out, “The track echoes Santigold in the same way that Santigold’s music echoes No Doubt.” This is probably so because, in the many years since we’ve last heard No Doubt, the music-scape has evolved to include their influence and their upbeat, dance-hall inspired sound has become popular in pop music. That doesn’t mean we haven’t missed Stefani’s own stylings, though. It’s hella nice to have the originals back on the scene, making fresh music again.
The video, directed by long time No Doubt collaborator Sophie Muller, drops later today. Until then, have a listen below and let us know what you think of No Doubt’s return.