Each Monday, our weekly music news bulletin brings you the major developments in the music world from the past seven days, and looks ahead to the coming week's key new albums.
This week's new releases
Each album listed below will go on sale beginning Tuesday, August 9, unless otherwise indicated. Click on any LISTEN link to listen to a free, streaming version of the entire album (typically, available only during the week of release); streaming links go to AOL music unless otherwise indicated.
- Ace Hood, Blood, Sweat & Tears
- Barenaked Ladies, Snacktime! - Children's album
- Michael Ian Black, Very Famous - Comedy album
- Luke Bryan, Tailgates & Tanlines
- Gucci Mane & Waka Flocka Flame, Ferrari Boyz LISTEN
- The Horrors, Skying LISTEN (Official Site)
British buzz band The Horrors made a breakthrough in 2009 with their sophomore set Primary Colours, a critical hit produced by Portishead's Geoff Barrow and director Chris Cunningham. This time out, The Horrors are serving as their own producers for the first time, but the result is about the same: more critical acclaim.
- Marc Maron, This Has to Be Funny - Comedy album
- The Motels, Apocalypso - Previously unreleased 1981 album
- Pepper Rabbit, Red Velvet Snowball LISTEN
- Royce Da 5'9, Success Is Certain LISTEN
- Sainthood Reps, Monoculture LISTEN
- The Throne, Watch the Throne [iTunes today; CD Friday]LISTEN (Hypebeast)
The rap world's two biggest stars—Jay-Z and Kanye West—have united for summer's most anticipated hip hop album. Recording together as The Throne, the duo have enlisted producers ranging from the RZA to the Neptunes to Swizz Beatz and West himself. Does it live up to all of the advance hype? We'll know starting today. Expect the Spike Jonze-directed video for lead single "Otis" to surface in the near future.
- Trivium, In Waves
More streaming and downloadable new music
- The new Beirut album The Rip Tide (out August 30) is streaming in its entirety at NPR.
- "Virus" is the third track to be released from Bjork's upcoming album Biophilia. You can buy it online starting today; stream it first at Consequence of Sound.
- Out August 16 on Secretly Canadian, Slave Ambient by The War on Drugs is now streaming in its entirety at Urban Outfitters.
- "Irresistible Force" is the first single from Jane's Addiction's upcoming album The Great Escape Artist (due September 27). Listen at Stereogum.
- Merge Records has posted a trailer containing bits of tracks from Wild Flag's highly anticipated self-titled debut album, due September 13. Watch and listen.
- Four Tet has a new track, "Locked," that will be released as a single in September and appear on the artist's upcoming Fabriclive 59 compilation (due October 18). Stream it below or at Soundcloud.
- Rolling Stone is streaming an exclusive new track ("Starlight") from Rachael Yamagata's upcoming third album, due in the fall.
- Swedish electronica outfit Air France has a new track, "It Feels Good To Be Around You," available for downloading or streaming at One Thirty BPM.
- Male Bonding have released another track from their upcoming Sub Pop release Endless Now (out August 30). Download "Tame the Sun" at Pitchfork.
- Stream or download the new track "Definite Darkness" by Cymbals Eat Guitars, taken from their upcoming album Lenses Alien (out August 30), at One Thirty BPM.
- Das Racist has dropped the first single from their September 13 album Relax. Listen to "Michael Jackson," streaming at Soundcloud.
- The latest free track in the Adult Swim Singles Program is an unlikely collaboration between singer Ne-Yo and Swedish duo jj. Download "We Can't Stop" at Adult Swim.
- Another track has surfaced from Neon Indian's upcoming album Era Extraña (due September 13); stream "Polish Girl" at NPR.
- The third album from High Places, Original Colors, is out October 11 on Thrill Jockey; listen to album cut "Year Off" at Soundcloud.
- Best Coast are streaming a brand new song (albeit in a rough, demo-like form), "How They Want Me To Be," on their Soundcloud page.
- Download or stream the title track from Jens Lekman's upcoming EP An Argument With Myself at Stereogum.
- Pitchfork has an MP3 of a track called "Chevron" from Odd Future member Mike G.
On TV this week (new episodes only)
- Monday: Eric Church (Kimmel), Joe Jonas (Lopez Tonight), Imelda May (Conan), My Chemical Romance (Fallon), Panic! at the Disco (Leno)
- Tuesday: Luke Bryan (Kimmel), Cage the Elephant (Leno), The Cars (The Colbert Report), The Kills (Fallon)
- Wednesday: Incubus (Kimmel), Ximena Sarinana (Leno)
- Thursday: The Game (Leno), Kings of Leon (Fallon)
- Friday: Maná (Leno), Tame Impala (Fallon)
- Sunday: Ricky Martin (VH1 Behind the Music)
Recent artist and industry news
- Rapper Big Boi was arrested Sunday in Miami on drug possession charges. The OutKast member allegedly possessed ecstasy, MDMA, and Viagra when customs officials searched him as he exited a cruise ship. - TMZ
- Apple's upcoming cloud music service—which can be found at iCloud.com—is now in beta. Once it's live in a few months, you'll be able to store 5 GB for free (though iTunes purchases do not count against that limit), with various upgrades available: $20/year for an extra 10GB, $40/year for 20GB, and $100/year for 50GB. - Billboard
- The upcoming fourth album for The-Dream, The Love, IV (Diary of a Mad Man), was originally scheduled for a September 20 release, but is now on hold, thanks to a contract dispute between the singer and label Def Jam. He'll make it up to fans by releasing an entirely different new album—for free—on August 31. The ten-song LP 1977 will be released under The-Dream's given name, Terius Nash. - Pitchfork
- Tony Bennett will release "Body and Soul," his duet with the late Amy Winehouse, as the first single from his September 20 release Duets II, with proceeds from the single going benefitting a charitable foundation established by Winehouse's family. - Rolling Stone
- A Chicago singer has sued Lady Gaga, claiming that the pop star's song "Judas" illegally recycles her own 1999 track "Juda." Coincidentally (or not), the singer's former bassist is now a member of Gaga's songwriting team. - MTV
- You can now buy your very own set of fully poseable Beastie Boys action figures at the official BB site. While the limited edition set costs $750, the money does go to charity.
- Looking for something a little more pricey? Bjork's upcoming album Biophilia (due September 27) will also be available in a Ultimate Edition box set that comes in a lacquered oak case and, among other things, contains 10 chrome-plated tuning forks that correspond to the tones of the album's 10 tracks. Hypebeast has more details; note that orders for the £500.00 ($812) set must be placed by August 12.
- Breaking Benjamin appears to be breaking apart; Billboard reports that band leader Benjamin Burnley has fired his two bandmates in a dispute over an unauthorized remix.
- Also out of a job is Coheed and Cambria bassist Michael Todd. His crime was, well, an actual crime: an alleged armed robbery of a pharmacy. - Billboard
- Decemberists bassist Nate Query informed Billboard that rumors about the band's imminent breakup are false, though the group is planning a lengthy hiatus after their current tour ends. Query and bandmate Chris Funk plan to record together as Black Prairie in the interim.
- Not only will the Red Hot Chili Peppers release their new album (I'm With You) on August 30, but that day will also bring a broadcast of a live concert performance to over 450 cineplexes. Tickets are available at the official event site.
- Wilco's Jeff Tweedy has been busy. In addition to working on a new Wilco album (due September 27), Tweedy has formed a new band—The Raccoonists—with his two sons, and they have recorded a collaborative single with Deerhoof. The 7" for "Behold a Raccoon in the Darkness" won't be out until October 11, but you can stream it now at Pitchfork (or scroll down a bit to watch the video for the B-side).
- Need someone to design a scary Halloween maze for your amusement park? Alice Cooper is your man, reports Billboard.
- Cee-Lo Green will star as Raekwon's father in an upcoming biopic about the Wu-Tang member, which Rae is scripting himself. - XXL
- Singer Rihanna is also branching out into acting; get the first look at her and her giant gun in the 2012 summer blockbuster Battleship at Slashfilm.
- Prefix has uncovered a good use for all of your old CDs, courtesy of a French artist.
The latest music videos
Best Coast, "Our Deal" (directed by Drew Barrymore, starring Chloë Moretz):
The Raccoonists, "Own It" (new Jeff Tweedy project):
Holy Ghost! (feat. Michael McDonald), "Some Children":
Lykke Li, "Jerome (The Lost Session)":
My Morning Jacket, "Holdin On To Black Metal":
tUnE-yArDs with The Roots, "Gangsta" (live on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon):
Plaid, "35 Summers":
Toro Y Moi, "How I Know":
In the studio / coming soon
- Stereogum checks in with film director David Lynch, who is putting the finishing touches on his solo debut album, which he expects to release in October or November.
- Hot Chip is near completion of the first few tracks for their next album; The Quietus speaks with the band's Alexis Taylor to get a progress report.
- Producer RJD2 has formed a new duo, Icebird, with soul vocalist Aaron Livingston. Their debut LP The Abandoned Lullaby is out October 11; more information and an MP3 of the track "Going and Going. And Going" at Pitchfork.
- The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams, a Bob Dylan-curated compilation of never-before-heard lyrics by the country legend set to newly created music, has been announced for an October 4 release. Artists performing on the album include Jack White, Sheryl Crow, Norah Jones, and Lucinda Williams, in addition to Dylan himself. - Pop and Hiss
- Ryan Adams will release a solo studio album under his own name this fall for the first time in four years. Norah Jones guests on the Glyn Johns-produced Ashes & Fire, which could be released as soon as October 11. More details at TwentyFourBit.
- Apparently, Zooey Deschanel's day job starring in the new Fox sitcom New Girl isn't eating up all of her time (though she did write the theme song for the show as well). Her duo with M. Ward, She & Him, should have a new album out before the end of the year, but there's a catch: it's a holiday album. - Pitchfork
- If you are a fan of Warp recording artists Plaid, you may have noticed their new video above. That track is taken from their newly announced album Scintilli, the electronica duo's first LP since 2003's Spokes. The new album is due September 27. - Warp
- The Hold Steady's Craig Finn has been in Austin with producer Mike McCarthy to record what will likely be a solo album; Pitchfork talks to Finn about the project.
- Fresh out of prison, rapper DMX is hard at work on a new album, which he hopes to release before the end of the year. Billboard has the details.
- The Shins have signed to Columbia, and will have a new album out on that label in 2012, reports Pitchfork.
- Singer Kelly Clarkson has formed a new girl group, Already Famous, with her two backup singers. Idolator reports that the trio has already recorded four songs, with more on the way.
- The classic 1984 album by the Art of Noise, Who's Afraid of the Art of Noise?, is getting a deluxe and expanded CD/DVD reissue on September 5; Pitchfork has the tracklisting.
- The Streets' Mike Skinner has written 10 new tracks that will appear on the soundtrack to the upcoming movie based on the BBC comedy series The Inbetweeners. - NME
Visit Metacritic's Album Release Calendar for a full listing of upcoming release dates, updated daily.
Tours and festivals
- Jay-Z and Kanye West have delayed their joint tour in support of their new album Watch the Throne. Originally scheduled to begin September 22, the tour will now kick off October 29 in Atlanta. MTV has the new dates.
- Death Cab for Cutie are extending their tour in support of their recent release Codes and Keys; Pitchfork has the new North American dates.
- Austin's annual Fun Fun Fun Fest will be held November 4-6. Acts scheduled to perform include Passion Pit, Lykke Li, Public Enemy, The Damned, Major Lazer, Odd Future, Slayer, M83, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Henry Rollins, Four Tet, and comedian Brian Posehn. Get a full listing at the official festival site; tickets are on sale now.
- Das Racist begin a tour at the end of September in support of their upcoming release Relax; Pitchfork has dates.
- Taking a break from recording a collaborative album, Aesop Rock and Kimya Dawson are performing together in the western U.S. later this month; dates at Prefix.
- Beyonce will perform her album 4 in its entirety during a four-night stand at New York's Roseland Ballroom later this month. Details at Billboard.
- Blitzen Trapper and Dawes have a co-headlining tour beginning in October; dates at One Thirty BPM.
- Olivia Tremor Control have a September tour planned; Pitchfork has those dates as well as information on some upcoming reissues.
- SBTRKT has new American tour dates in addition to stops around the world over the next few months; more information at Pitchfork.
- Frontman Caleb Followill's "vocal issues and exhaustion" are to blame for the cancellation of Kings of Leon's 28-date U.S. tour following an aborted set in Dallas last weekend. Billboard notes that the dates will not be rescheduled, as the band plans to go ahead with its international tour beginning at the end of September. Meanwhile, US Weekly reports that the real cause for the trouble is Followill's alcoholism, and that his bandmates are trying to get him to enter rehab.
- Also forced to cancel shows recently was Spiritualized, due to the need for frontman Jason Pierce to undergo unspecified medical treatment. However, future live shows and a planned 2012 album are still on schedule. - Prefix