Phoenix‘s Bankrupt!, one of the year’s early frontrunners for our Best Albums of 2013 list, finally hits stores today. The album is their first since the 2009 release of Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, a record which contained two singles (“1901″ and “Lisztomania”) that propelled them from a well-respected band into international superstars. When we sat down with the band recently, the conversation turned towards the weight of expectations, which is reflected in both the title that the group chose for this album, as well as the punctuation mark attached to it.
Last night, Phoenix returned to Saturday Night Live and rocked 30 Rock out with their new singles, “Entertainment” and “Trying To Be Cool/Drakkar Noir”. The last time Phoenix played Studio 8H, they were asked to push out their set and play more songs, but as they told Entertainment Weekly, they didn’t want to. Last night, it seems two performances (of three new songs!) were more than enough to bring the house down.
With the one-two punch that was “Lisztomania” and “1901,” the first two tracks off of Phoenix‘s 2009 LP Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix turned them from a band that was well-respected in music geek circles into an international phenomenon. Released in May of that year, the band spent the next two years on the road, winning fans over with their propulsive live sets that doubled as all-out dance parties. The band has been quiet for the last two years or so, as they’ve been primarily holed up in the studio making Bankrupt! (out on April 23), but they’re starting to take their new material on the road. Last night, they were the musical guest on Saturday Night Live, and next weekend, they’ll be headlining Coachella.
Good things to come to those who wait, and finally, a first taste of one of our most anticipated releases of 2013 is being presented on a silver platter. Or, a lyric video, but tomato, tomahto. Phoneix‘s new song, “Entertainment,” has us tapping our toes and dancing in a field of daisies that currently exists only in our mind on this otherwise cold and blustery day. In other words, it’s a Phoenix song.
After lots of speculation and one cruise, the lineup for this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival has been announced. Blur, the Stone Roses, Phoenix and Red Hot Chili Peppers are set to headline the three-day fest that spans two weekends (April 12-14 and April 19-21) for the second consecutive year, which is very exciting but also a little underwhelming. Don’t get us wrong, the top of the lineup is an interesting combination of legendary acts and artists with upcoming release we can’t wait to hear, but after l2012’s even greater mix of genres closing out each sweltering day, we can’t help but feel this year’s fest is dominated by the WGWGs.
That’s not to say that the second and third (and fourth and fifth) tier acts aren’t fabulous: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Vampire Weekend, and, oh yeah, Wu-Tang Clan, plus the return of the Postal Service (!) and VH1 favorites like Tegan and Sara, Jessie Ware and our January You Oughta Know artist, Allen Stone. Well done, friends!
Now that we’re done with reflecting on 2011, it’s time to start projecting into 2012. With the reign of Adele perhaps taking a brief hiatus, and buzz building around several newcomers, some legendary reunions and highly anticipated sophomore albums, 2012 is already shaping up to be a year filled with some pretty amazing music. We’ve put together a list of 20 of our most anticipated albums for 2012 — what are you looking forward to in 2012?
Lana Del Rey – Born To Die (Expected Release Date: 01/27): Possibly the most hyped artist of 2011, we’re excited for the record to finally come out so we can stop judging the hype and start judging the material! She landed a highly coveted spot as the musical guest on the January 14th episode of Saturday Night Live, so expect the clamor to grow.
Van Halen – A Different Kind Of Truth (Expected Release Date: 02/07): Aside from a couple of songs that made it onto the band’s 1996 Best Of set, the band hasn’t cut any new material in the studio with original lead singer David Lee Roth since 1984, so anticipation for this project is through the roof. After a blistering reunion set at Cafe Wha? in New York City last night, there’s a good chance the boys still have it in ‘em.
Sleigh Bells – Reign Of Terror (Expected Release Date: 02/14): After Sleigh Bells’ killer debut with Treats, we’re biting our nails to find out whether their sophomore effort will be just as good. If the release of the first single off the new album, “Born To Lose”, is anything to go by, we won’t be disappointed.
Nicki Minaj – Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (Expected Release Date: 02/14): Since Nicki Minaj Tweeted that the new album will feature all new material (as opposed to a re-release), we’ve been painting everything pink in anticipation. Barbz at the ready!