Roundup: New: Craig Finn, Nada Surf, Skrillex, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Joe Cocker, Ting Tings

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It’s hard to believe Nada Surf have been around for over 20 years. It seems like only yesterday that “Popular” was staking out its claim as an early 90’s hit. The New York trio are releasing their seventh album today, The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy. Singer/Guitarist Matthew Caws says of the new album, “We made a conscious decision to preserve what it felt like in the practice room, when you play with that new-song energy. Just embrace it and not worry whether we’re overdoing it.” The band kick off their U.S. tour tonight at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City.

Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn releases his debut solo album Clear Heart Full Eyes today. He says the title is a nod to the television show “Friday Night Lights”.  Finn kicks off his U.S tour February 1st in Dallas and then heads to Europe this Spring opening for The Felice Brothers.  On his solo material Finn says “I think the Hold Steady is bigger, grander, more celebratory music, and this seem more intimate and vulnerable.”

American electronic guru Skrillex releases his fourth EP today. Although it’s been out earlier for download, today marks the CD release of Bangarang. Skrillex is on the West Coast this week playing a series of dates in Los Angeles. He’s also been nominated for five Grammys although he will not appear at the ceremony on February 12th as he’ll be performing that night in Manchester, England.

Although it came out in the Fall of 2010, Joe Cocker‘s twenty first album, Hard Knocks, is finally getting its U.S. release today. Cocker said this time around he wanted to modernize his sound without compromising his character and felt he achieved that goal with the help of producer Matt Serletic, known for his work with Matchbox 20 and Santana.

Folk/Flamenco metal influenced  duo Rodrigo Y Gabriela release their fifth album today, Area 52, features nine tracks and shows the band continuing to push their boundaries, this time they’re joined by  a 13 piece Cuban orchestra.  The band spends February and March in Europe before beginning their U.S. tour in Seattle on  April 3rd.

Under the category, out but not officially released, The Ting Tings were set to put out their sophomore album, Songs from Nowwheresville, in early March in the U.S. but now it has leaked online with much response from fans on Twitter.

The album is the follow up to the two million selling We Started Nothing. Jules De Martino, of the duo tweeted: Ok all, thx (sic) for support. Whoever hit the button (to leak the album) will feel the weight. Gonna go get a real drink! come on Columbia, let it go!!! He added :We should be pissed & outraged but what good would it do? .

The duo  are best known for their hits “That’s Not My Name” and “Shut Up and Let Me Go”

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Pat Ferrise grew up loving ”the punk rock” and “new wave.” His years at one of the nation’s top college radio stations ultimately led him to a 15-year run as music director of alternative music icon WHFS Washington/Baltimore. Rolling Stone magazine named him of the most influential programmers of the 90s. He’s recorded two albums under the moniker Trampoline for the now defunct SpinArt label. He lives in Baltimore and takes no credit for writing this bio.