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 title listed below will go on sale beginning Tuesday, December 6, 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. The week's most noteworthy releases are starred.
- Bassnectar, Divergent Spectrum - CD release
- The Black Keys, El Camino LISTEN (3voor12)
The Black Keys, the Grammy-winning Ohio duo of Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney, are blowing up right now, and rightfully so. Last year's album, Brothers 82, earned the band the best reviews of their career, and this week's El Camino looks like it may score even higher with critics. Like its predecessor, the new album is produced by Danger Mouse, and exhibits a loose, fun approach to blues rock on tracks like the lead single "Lonely Boy."
- Blink-182, DVD Collector's Box [2xDVD]
- Boris, New Album LISTEN (Spin)
- Chevelle, Hats Off To The Bull LISTEN
- Cormorant, Dwellings LISTEN (NPR; Monday only)
- Elvis Costello, The Return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook [Box set] - Limited edition; includes a CD, DVD, and vinyl EP all containing live performances from 2011
- The Cure, Bestival Live 2011 [2xCD]
- The Dead Milkmen, The King in Yellow
- Deardarkhead, Oceanside: 1991-1993 - Remastered album with bonus tracks
- Alexandre Desplat, Ides of March OST
- Neil Diamond, The Very Best of Neil Diamond LISTEN
- Michael Feinstein, The Sinatra Legacy [DVD/Blu-ray]
- Fennesz + Sakamoto, Flumina [2xCD]
- Fleetwood Mac, Preaching the Blues - Live album
- Dia Frampton, Red
- Glee Cast, Glee: The Music 7 LISTEN
- Jacaszek, Glimmer LISTEN (NPR; Monday only)
- Johnny Foreigner, Johnny Foreigner vs Everything
- Korn, The Path Of Totality - Special edition also includes a 2-hour live DVD LISTEN (Hype Machine)
- Nils Lofgren, Old School
- Merzbow, Lop Lop
- The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, The Magic Of Youth
- Aidan Moffat, Oh! What A Not So Silent Night Before Christmas EP - Available at Bandcamp
- Gary Numan, Dead Son Rising
- Lee "Scratch" Perry, On-U Sound Presents Lee Scratch Perry Nu Sound & Version - Remix album
- Phish, Hampton/Winston-Salem '97 [Box set] - 7 discs of live performances
- PJ Harvey, Let England Shake: 12 Short Films by Seamus Murphy [DVD] - Videos for all 12 songs on Harvey's recent Let England Shake album.
- Primal Scream + MC5, Black to Comm [2CD + DVD] - Live 2008 performance by both bands at The Royal Festival Hall London; available as a stand-alone DVD or a 2CD + DVD box set
- Rammstein, Made In Germany 1995-2011 - Greatest hits; also available in a 2xCD+3xDVD+book super deluxe box set edition
- DEC. 9 Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo OST - Digital only; CD coming Dec. 27
- The Roots, undun LISTEN (NPR; Monday only)
Despite serving as Jimmy Fallon's house band for the past three years, The Roots keep finding time to record new albums, and undun is their 13th LP to date. It might also be one of their best. A concept album that chronicles the life of a fictitious street hustler named Redford Stephens, undun (which includes a contribution from Sufjan Stevens) is scoring stellar reviews so far.
- Shakira, En Vivo Desde Paris [DVD/Blu-Ray]
- Should, A Folding Sieve - Remastered 1995 album (originally released under the name shiFt) with bonus tracks
- Sweet Exorcist, RetroActivity [2xCD] - 23-song compilation for side project of Richard H. Kirk (Cabaret Voltaire) includes all of 1991's CCEP/CCCD (the very first Warp Records release), five previously unreleased tracks, and more. LISTEN (NPR; Monday only)
- T-Pain, Revolver
- Carl Thomas, Conquer
- Various, Free Music: A Carpark Record - Free 8-song label compilation available at indie record stores
- Various, Polyvinyl: A Brief History in Moving Pictures [DVD] - 15th anniversary label compilation with 60 music videos by Polyvinyl artists
- Various, Shame OST
- Amy Winehouse, Lioness: Hidden Treasures
Lioness is the first of what will surely be several posthumous releases for the late singer, who died from an accidental alcohol overdose earlier this year at the age of 27. The dozen tracks here include new, stripped-down versions of previously released Winehouse songs and a handful of covers in addition to two new tracks, representing the final music she recorded. The Roots' ?uestlove guests.
More streaming and downloadable new music
- NPR is streaming Anthony Hamilton's new album Back to Love, which is out next week.
- Stream Trent Reznor and Karen O's cover of "Immigrant Song," taken from the soundtrack to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, at Soundcloud.
- VCMG, the new Vince Clarke/Martin Gore collaboration we told you about last week, has released its first track to the internet. Listen to "Spock" at Pitchfork.
- Stream "Paradisco," a previously unreleased Charlotte Gainsbourg/Beck collaboration, at Pitchfork.
- Listen to an upcoming Cass McCombs single called "Bradley Manning" at Soundcloud.
- Download the new Heartless Bastards single "Parted Ways" at Rolling Stone.
- Stream or download a new track by the Mark Lanegan Band called "The Gravedigger's Song" at One Thirty BPM.
- Download the Fucked Up track "I Hate Summer" at Stereogum.
- Lana Del Rey's debut album Born to Die now has a January 31 release date; listen to the title track at Pitchfork.
- Download Anna Calvi's cover of TV on the Radio's "Wolf Like Me" at Stereogum.
- Stereogum also has an MP3 of Woods performing a cover of Vince Guaraldi's "Christmas Time Is Here."
- Stream "When I Fall Asleep" by The Head and the Heart at Spin.
- "This Is Not A Song" is indeed a song, by Islands; stream it at One Thirty BPM.
On TV this week (new episodes only)
- Monday: Ryan Adams (Letterman), The Black Keys (Live In NYC streaming live at MTVhive.com at 9p ET), Jack's Mannequin (Kimmel), Alison Krauss & Union Station (Leno), Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa (Fallon), Yelawolf (Conan)
- Tuesday: Black Dub (Craig Ferguson), The Black Keys (Colbert Report), Taio Cruz (Leno), Shelby Lynne (Letterman), The Roots (Fallon), T-Pain (Kimmel)
- Wednesday: The Black Keys (Letterman), Coldplay (Fallon), Neil Diamond (Leno), Lenny Kravitz (Ellen)
- Thursday: Blink-182 (Conan), Blitzen Trapper (Letterman), Chevelle (Kimmel), Gym Class Heroes (Fallon), Matisyahu (Leno)
- Friday: Aretha Franklin (Fallon), Lady Gaga (Ellen), Young Jeezy (Letterman)
- Saturday: Robyn (Saturday Night Live)
Recent artist and industry news
- Nominations for the 54th Grammy Awards were announced last week. Kanye West topped the pack with seven nominations, while singer Adele was right behind him with six, including nominations in the key categories of record, album and song of the year. However, West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (last year's best-reviewed album) was unexpectedly shut out of the album of the year category; joining Adele's 21 there instead were Wasting Light by Foo Fighters, Born This Way by Lady Gaga, Doo-Wops & Hooligans by Bruno Mars, and Loud by Rihanna. Get a full list of the year's nominees at the official Grammy site, or a summary of the key categories at One Thirty BPM. Winners will be named on February 12, 2012.
- Don't Think is the name of a new concert film featuring The Chemical Brothers. The movie will screen in theaters around the world on January 26, 2012; get details at the official movie site.
- Also moving to the big screen is LCD Soundsystem; Shut Up and Play the Hits, a documentary about their final concert performance, will screen at Sundance in January. - Pitchfork.
- Bruce Springsteen will be the keynote speaker at next year's South by Southwest festival. - Stereogum
- It's the re-rebirth of slick: 1990s outfit Digable Planets have reformed, and next year could see them release a new album as well as tour. - HipHop DX
- Were you aware that Napster still existed? Well, until last week, that is; the service has now been merged into Rhapsody, and the Napster name and logo will be retired for good. - CNNMoney
- Also shutting down, after two decades, is indie record mail-order company Parasol. - Pitchfork
- A Hanson-branded beer called "MmmHops"? Yes, it's a thing. - Billboard
- What was long rumored has now been officially confirmed: Madonna will perform at halftime of Super Bowl XLVI on February 5.
The latest music videos
In addition to the videos below, watch a video for every song from Bon Iver's album Bon Iver at the artist's official YouTube channel.
Lou Reed and Metallica, "The View" [directed by Darren Aronofsky]:
The Killers, "Cowboys' Christmas Ball":
Shabazz Palaces, Black Up [sampler]:
They Might Be Giants, "Electronic Istanbul (Not Constantinople)":
Dr. Dog, "That Old Black Hole":
Yacht, "I Walked Alone":
Handsome Furs, "Serve The People":
Kings of Convenience, "Me in You":
Cymbals Eat Guitars, "Keep Me Waiting":
The Raveonettes, "The Christmas Song":
The Polyphonic Spree, "It's Christmas" [lost 2003 track]:
Still Corners, "Into the Trees":
Yelle, "Comme Un Enfant":
The Felice Brothers, "Millionaire":
Lady Gaga, "Marry the Night":
Primus, "Tragedy's a' Comin'":
In the studio / coming soon
- Animal Collective have begun writing material for their next album, which the group hopes to record in January. Sounds like another album to look forward to in 2012. - Pitchfork
- We now know that the soundtrack to David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross will be released digitally this Friday and on CD December 27. Actually, make that three CDs; at three hours, the soundtrack is longer than the actual film. You can listen to some of the tracks now at Reznor's website.
- Sleigh Bells have announced that their sophomore album will be called Reign of Terror; presumably, it will surface in 2012. For now, at least, there's a new album website.
- Paralytic Stalks is the name of the next Of Montreal album, which is scheduled for a February 7 release on Polyvinyl. - Pitchfork
- Loops of Your Heart is the name of the new side project for The Field's Axel Willner, and January 30 will bring his first LP release under that name, And Never Ending Nights. Pitchfork has more details and a stream of one of the album's tracks.
- Dead Oceans will release a new Bowerbirds record, The Clearing, on March 6; Pitchfork has details and some audio.
- Delta Spirit will release their self-titled third album on March 13 on Rounder Records. - One Thirty BPM
- Released a few weeks ago, Snow Patrol's sixth album Fallen Empires is already a hit in the UK; now, American fans will get a chance to hear the album as well when it is released in the States on January 10. - Billboard
- Seattle's Perfume Genius will return with Put Your Back N 2 It, out February 21 on Matador. The Matador blog has more details and an MP3 from the new album for your listening pleasure.
- Public Image Ltd. will release a new album called This Is PiL in 2012. - NME
- Sub Pop-signed dream pop duo Memoryhouse will release their first official LP, The Slideshow Effect, on February 28.
- Blondes will make their full-length debut with a self-titled album on February 7. -Prefix
- Plants And Animals return with a third album, The End of That, on February 28; details and a song at One Thirty BPM.
- Taylor Swift talks to Billboard about plans for her next album, which could surface in late 2012.
Visit Metacritic's Album Release Calendar for a full listing of upcoming release dates, updated daily.
Tours and festivals
- The Black Keys have announced their first arena headlining tour, which will begin in March and feature the Arctic Monkeys as the opening act. Billboard has the dates.
- Real Estate will be returning to North America in January; get the dates at One Thirty BPM.
- South Africa's Die Antwoord are making the long trip to North America in February; Pitchfork has the details.
- The Mountain Goats have added even more U.S. dates in January and beyond, with opening support from Nurses. - Pitchfork
- Kasabian has a North American tour set for March and April; get the details at Billboard.
- Ryan Adams will continue touring into 2012; Pollstar has the newly added January and February dates.
- Deerhunter's Bradford Cox will be touring his Atlas Sound project on the East Coast in December; Pitchfork has the dates.
- Pitchfork also has spring dates for Bowerbirds.
- Los Campesinos! are headed across the pond to North America in January. - One Thirty BPM
- Mötley Crüe has lined up a residency at Las Vegas' Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in February. - Spin
- Bob Mould has dates lined up early next year that will find him DJing, performing, and/or reading, depending on the evening. - Rolling Stone
- The xx, Spiritualized, Wilco, Beach House, and Death Cab for Cutie are among the acts just added to the already impressive lineup for the Primavera Sound 2012 festival in Barcelona. - One Thirty BPM