Roll the Ledes | Music News: January 31, 2014

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Minor Alps, the where-have-you-been-all-my-life collaboration between Matthew Caws and Juliana Hatfield, have released a video for what just may be the best track on their amazing debut album, Get There. (It was absolutely the best part of their live show, giving many listeners goose bumps). Filmed in the Bastille area of Paris, “Waiting For You” charts the path of two people (Julie Gayet and Phillippe Robbot) who just miss each other until, finally, their paths intertwine. It’s adorable, in that way Parisian romance stories inevitably are.


Bryce Dessner of The National and Radiohead‘s Johnny Greenwood are set to soon release an album of classical music. Which, is not remotely surprising given that the two are both classically trained musicians who have previously dabbled somewhat extensively in the genre.


— San Francisco’s Silver Swans have unleashed their twist on The Smiths’ “How Soon is Now.” Safe to say: it’s quite a dramatic twist.


— Is rock and roll dead? The debate has intensified in recent years, and now there’s some data to back claims that it is in a death spiral, if not dead and buried. The Guardian took data from Australian radio station Triple J, and if you click your way through some pretty impressive graphs, you’ll see the decline of guitar-driven rock…in Australia.


New music has emerged from Damon Albarn, the creative force behind Blur and Gorillaz, who is set to release a solo album in late April. If you can get past the annoying audio watermarks in “Heavy Seas of Love,” you’ll hear sounds that strongly reference his earlier work.


Evan Dando, (our <– #FridayFollow suggestion), the formerly creative force behind The Lemonheads, has been on a video tweeting binge lately while spending time in Los Angeles (What would you do when escaping the cold back east — stay inside and watch videos, naturally!). Buried within that binge: a reminder for the masses (and new information for most) that one of the best songs in The Lemonheads’ catalog was actually first written / performed by an Australian band called Smudge. The origins of “The Outdoor Type” may come as a surprise, because Dando himself wrote some pretty great songs of similar ilk. The connection? Australian musician Nic Dalton, the bassist in Dando’s band during its heydey who was also affiliated with Smudge’s Tom Morgan. As with any great cover…it adds something to the original…but you can judge that for yourself.



Henry Rollins is one of our favorite artists for many reasons, and he just may be the Richard Sherman of music. He knows exactly what he’s doing, and has a unique ability to say controversial (and perhaps even contradictory) things that draw attention (and a ton of corresponding virtual ink). Like, in this interview with Rolling Stone where he tells his interviewer that Rolling Stone is irrelevant to his musical life. Not that the statement itself is surprising — the magazine is pretty worthless these days — but few people would put it out there. Rollins — and we love him for this — embraces the meta irony in the statement and still views things as black and white, even while surrounded by acres of grey.


— In yet-another-festival-that-looks-like-fun news, the Savannah Stopover Music Festival has finalized its indie-centric lineup, with headliners including the always enjoyable Wye Oak and the other WE favorites that include Oberhofer, Small Black, Caitlin Rose, and Ex-Hex. Taking place March 6th – 8th, you could hardly find a more charming location than downtown Savannah, Georgia, surrounded by lovely turn of the century architecture and without the burdens of open container laws.


— New music from Dum Dum Girls (Too True, released January 28th) includes tracks written with epically prolific songwriter Sune Rose Wagner of The Raveonettes. Which, is a natural pairing of talents given the similar themes they have explored separately. Following-up the genius of their 2012 EP, End of Daze, isn’t an easy chore, but as they show playing “Rimbaud Eyes” on Late Show with David Letterman, they’re up to the task. And, they look pretty good doing it, too.


Justin Timberlake is 33 today, and Johnny Lydon of The Sex Pistols is 58. Happy birthday to two guys who could hardly be less alike and still in the same business. Other than, you know, having both worn skinny suits and ties on stage.


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Behrnsie has a love for music that dare not speak its name. He attends many shows and can often be found counting out the beats for no discernible reason. He played alto saxophone in his middle school jazz band, where he was best known for infuriating his instructor when it was revealed that he played everything by ear, and could not in fact read music. He takes great pride that this is the same talent/affliction that got Tori Amos kicked out of the Peabody Academy. He does not live in his parents’ basement….except during the holidays.