This week's new releases
Each title listed below will go on sale beginning Tuesday, February 7 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.
- Air, Le Voyage Dans La Lune LISTEN
The French duo's seventh studio album is inspired by the 1902 sci-fi classic of the same name (A Trip to the Moon) directed by Georges Méliès, after Air were drafted to soundtrack the film for a presentation at last year's Cannes Film Festival. Beach House singer Victoria Legrand and Au Revoir Simone provide vocals on a few tracks, and some versions come with a bonus DVD containing a restored version of Méliès's film.
- Tony Bennett, Isn't It Romantic?
- Dierks Bentley, Home
- Terence Blanchard, Red Tails OST
- Blondes, Blondes LISTEN (Spin)
- Lindsey Buckingham, Live with Special Guest Stevie Nicks [DVD/Blu-ray]
- deadmau5, Meowingtons Hax 2K11 [DVD]
- Die Antwoord, TEN$ION LISTEN (3voor12)
- DJ Food, The Search Engine LISTEN (3voor12)
- Dr. Dog, Be the Void LISTEN
- The Duke Spirit, Bruiser - U.S. CD release
- Roberta Flack, Let It Be Roberta - Roberta Flack Sings The Beatles LISTEN
- The Fray, Scars & Stories
- Goldfrapp, The Singles - Singles comp with 2 new songs LISTEN
- Ben Kweller, Go Fly a Kite LISTEN (Rolling Stone)
- Mark Lanegan Band, Blues Funeral
Former Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan returns with his first solo album in eight years, following a trio of collaborations with Isobel Campbell and a stint in Queens of the Stone Age. Produced by Alain Johannes, Blues Funeral features contributions by Greg Dulli (who plays with Lanegan in their side project The Gutter Twins) and QOTSA's Josh Homme.
- Lindstrøm, Six Cups of Rebel
- Paul McCartney, Kisses on the Bottom LISTEN
The Beatle's first rock album in five years is a collection of covers of classic tracks that have inspired McCartney over the years, including songs made popular by Ella Fitzgerald, Sam Cooke, and Danny Kaye. Diana Krall co-produced the 14-song set (16 on the deluxe edition), which features collaborations with Stevie Wonder and Eric Clapton.
- Moon Taxi, Cabaret
- Mux Mool, Planet High School
- Of Montreal, Paralytic Stalks
The ever-prolific Kevin Barnes returns with his 11th Of Montreal album with a spring tour to follow. While recent efforts have found Barnes becoming increasingly accessible and poppy, Paralytic Stalks marks a shift in the opposite direction, featuring songs with much longer running times and a more experimental approach, at least in the album's second half. Unfortunately, some critics seem to be missing the old Of Montreal; early reviews suggest a subpar effort.
- Patrice O'Neal, Mr. P - Comedy album
- Owl City, Live From Los Angeles [DVD/Blu-ray]
- A Place to Bury Strangers, Onwards to the Wall EP
- Chuck Prophet, Temple Beautiful LISTEN
- Psycroptic, The Inherited Repression
- Shaggy, Summer in Kingston LISTEN
- Silverstein, Short Songs LISTEN
- Trailer Trash Tracys, Ester LISTEN (Spin)
- The Twilight Sad, No One Can Ever Know LISTEN (Spin)
- Steve Tyrell, I'll Take Romance LISTEN
- The Unthanks, The Songs of Robert Wyatt and Antony & the Johnsons: Live at the Union Chapel (Diversions Vol. 1)
- Sharon Van Etten, Tramp LISTEN
Folky singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten's sophomore set Epic emerged as one of the best under-the-radar albums of 2010. Her third album, Tramp, should elevate her profile even more, judging from early reviews, which are full of praise. Recorded with The National's Aaron Dessner, the diverse Tramp also includes collaborations with Julianna Barwick, Zach Condon, and members of Wye Oak and The Walkmen.
- Van Halen, A Different Kind of Truth
It's true; Van Halen will be jumping back into the album game next month when they release their first album of new material in 14 years—and first LP with original frontman David Lee Roth since 1984's 1984—for new label Interscope. Of course, it's not exactly the original lineup; Eddie's son Wolfgang Van Halen is now the band's bassist, replacing longtime member Michael Anthony. But fans will probably just be glad to be rid of Sammy Hagar.
- Various, Now 41: That's What I Call Music
- Wire, The Black Session: Paris, 10 May 2011 - Live album LISTEN (Soundcloud)
More streaming and downloadable new music
- Stream Shearwater's upcoming album Animal Joy at NPR.
- NPR is also streaming Plumb, the upcoming LP by Field Music.
- Heartless Bastards' new album Arrow can also be heard this week at NPR.
- Stream the new Band of Skulls album Sweet Sour ahead of its release (next week) at Spin.
- Stream the upcoming Young Magic debut album Melt this week at Hype Machine.
- Listen to Jack White's mellow new single "Love Interruption" at Rolling Stone.
- Stream Animal Collective's poppy new single "Strange Attractor" at Soundcloud.
- Fucked Up release their annual Chinese New Year-themed 12" single this week; listen to it and the four previous installments at Matador.
- The first track from the Wedding Present's upcoming album Valentina (due in March) has hit the web; stream "You're Dead"—which sounds like it could have come from any of the band's 1990s LPs—at Spin.
- The Flaming Lips have a new song that features Erykah Badu, Biz Markie, and the iPhone 4S's Siri; listen to "Now I Understand" at Pitchfork.
- Hear the new Big K.R.I.T. cut "Boobie Miles" at Stereogum.
- Stream a new Orbital track, "New France" (featuring vocals by Zola Jesus), at Pitchfork.
- Listen to M.I.A.'s new single "Bad Girls" (a re-recorded version of a previously released track) at Pitchfork, or watch the video below.
- Download five free live tracks by Eleanor Friedberger at Stereogum.
- Hear a new Frank Ocean track, "Voodoo," at Spin.
- Grab a copy of the new Prinzhorn Dance School single "Happy in Bits" at Pitchfork.
- Stream "Silent Song," a new solo track by Grizzly Bear's Daniel Rossen, at Rolling Stone.
- Montreal electronica artist CFCF has a new EP, Exercises, coming April 24 on Paper Bag; get a copy of the track "Exercise #3 (Building)" at Soundcloud.
- New Build is a new group featuring members of LCD Soundsystem and Hot Chip; listen to four tracks taken from their upcoming debut album Yesterday Was Lived and Lost (due April 3 in the US and March 5 in the UK) at Soundcloud.
- Get yourself a free copy of the new Cursive track "Wowowow" at Stereogum.
- Stereogum also has a free download of the new Big Pink track "Give It Up."
- Download an MP3 of "Museum of Flight," a track from Damien Jurado's upcoming album, at Soundcloud.
- Download a new Here We Go Magic track, "Make Up Your Mind," at Pitchfork.
- Listen to R. Kelly's new single "Share My Love" at Billboard.
- Download the new Apparatjik track "Do It Myself," featuring Pharrell Williams, at Stereogum.
- Listen to the title cut from Frankie Rose's upcoming album Interstellar at BPM.
- Stream "Curve," a new instrumental Deerhunter track, at Pitchfork.
- Download the A-side to Beach Fossils' upcoming single "Shallow" at Spin.
- Stereogum has a download of "In the Yard" by Bowerbirds, from their upcoming March album The Clearing.
- Download the new THEESatisfaction cut "QueenS" at Pitchfork.
- Grab a free copy of the Perfume Genius track "Hood" at Matador.
On TV this week (new episodes only)
- Monday: Die Antwoord (Letterman), Pitbull (Kimmel)
- Tuesday: 2 Cellos (Leno), 50 Cent (Kimmel), Alabama Shakes (Conan), Jessie Baylin (Carson Daly), The Cranberries (Fallon), The Fray (Letterman)
- Wednesday: Dierks Bentley (Letterman), Danny Brown (Carson Daly), Dr. Dog (Conan), Far East Movement (Kimmel), Anthony Hamilton (Leno), Of Montreal (Fallon)
- Thursday: Tony Bennett (Kimmel), Estelle (Leno), The Kills (Letterman), Milow (Carson Daly), Primus (Fallon), "Weird Al" Yankovic (Craig Ferguson)
- Friday: Cee-Lo Green (Leno), Alice Smith (Carson Daly), Betty Wright (Letterman)
- Saturday: Karmin (Saturday Night Live)
Recent artist and industry news
- The Spice Girls may reunite to perform for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee this summer in England. - Rolling Stone
- Soul Train creator (and former host) Don Cornelius died last week, from an apparent suicide, at the age of 75. - Billboard
- Iconic New York City record store Bleecker Bob's will shutter in April after over 40 years in business. - The New York Times
The latest music videos
Madonna feat. M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj, "Give Me All Your Luvin'":
M.I.A., "Bad Girls":
The Magnetic Fields, "Andrew in Drag" [NSFW-ish]:
Coldplay, "Charlie Brown":
Feist, "The Bad in Each Other":
The Weeknd, "Montreal":
Shabazz Palaces, "Are You... Can You... Were You? (Felt)":
Neon Indian, "Fallout":
Drake, "Practice" [NSFW]:
M. Ward, "The First Time I Ran Away":
Nada Surf, "When I Was Young":
The Darkness, "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us":
Eleanor Friedberger, "Heaven":
David Guetta feat. Nicki Minaj, "Turn Me On":
The Phenomenal Handclap Band, "The Right One":
Puscifer, "Telling Ghosts":
Nicolas Jaar, "Materials":
Father John Misty, "Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings" [starring Aubrey Plaza]:
In the studio / coming soon
- Former White Stripes frontman Jack White will release his first solo album, Blunderbuss, on April 24 on his own Third Man Records. Debut single "Love Interruption" is out this week. - Pitchfork
- Garbage's long-in-the-works comeback album (their first in seven years) will finally surface on May 15; Not Your Kind of People will be self-released by the band. - Rolling Stone
- Speaking of long-in-the-works, yet another person has dared to claim that The Avalanches' sophomore album (possibly called On A Saturday or Friday Night Fever) will definitely be out before the end of 2012, but she may be a credible voice: it's Jennifer Herrema (of Royal Trux and Black Bananas), who guests on one track on the album. She also reports that Danny Brown is another collaborator on the LP. - Pitchfork
- Rufus Wainwright's Mark Ronson-produced album Out of the Game has been given a May 1st release date in the U.S.; it'll arrive one week earlier in the U.K.
- While we're still waiting for his debut LP to arrive, Big K.R.I.T. will drop a new mixtape, 4evaNaDay, on February 20. - Prefix
- Comedy-rock duo Tenacious D will release their first LP in six years, Rize of the Fenix, in May. - Billboard
- The Cult will release their ninth studio album Choice of Weapon on May 22. - Rolling Stone
- Greg Laswell's new album, Landline, will be released April 24 on Vanguard; Ingrid Michaelson, Sia, and Sara Bareilles are among the guests.
- Black Eyed Peas leader will.i.am has a solo album, #willpower, in the works; guests will include Mick Jagger, LFMAO, Alicia Keys, Britney Spears, and Busta Rhymes. - Billboard
- The Vaccines have enlisted Ethan Johns to produce their second album, which they will begin recording next month and hope to release late this year. - NME
- Here We Go Magic will release the Nigel Godrich-produced A Different Ship on Secretly Canadian on May 8. - Pitchfork
- Fleet Foxes drummer J. Tillman will release his solo debut (under the name Father John Misty), Fear Fun, May 1st on Sub Pop. - Billboard
- Obie Trice has delayed his new album Bottoms Up from February to April 3rd. - The Source
- According to his Facebook page, Snoop Dogg has a new album and a documentary—both with the title Reincarnated—in the works. - Prefix
- Dan Deacon talks to Stereogum about his next album, which could arrive this year.
- Hair is a collaborative LP from Ty Segall and White Fence; expect it in late April. - Spin
- Interpol frontman Paul Banks will release a second solo album in 2012, possibly under the Julian Plenti name used for his 2009 debut. - Pitchfork
Visit Metacritic's Album Release Calendar for a full listing of upcoming release dates, updated daily.
Tours and festivals
- This year's Sasquatch Music Festival will take place from May 25-28 in George, Wash.; the lineup includes Beck, Bon Iver, Jack White, The Shins, Spiritualized, Feist, the good folks from Portlandia, Wild Flag, St. Vincent, Mogwai, and more. Get the full roster and tickets at the official festival site.
- Shabazz Palaces have live dates scheduled for the next few months; get them at Pitchfork.
- Always a terrific live act, Spiritualized will tour North America this May in support of their upcoming album Sweet Heart Sweet Light. - Pitchfork
- Mastodon will be on the road for most of the next four months; many of their North American dates will also feature Opeth and Ghost. - Pitchfork
- Mogwai has finally rescheduled a canceled North American tour, which will now kick off at the end of May. - Prefix
- Get more spring tour dates for Real Estate at Pitchfork.
- Feist has filled her calendar for much of the first half of 2012, including new North American dates in April and May. - BPM
- Lambchop has announced new U.S. tour dates beginning in mid-April; get them at Pitchfork.
- Young Jeezy's Hustlerz Ambition Tour kicks off March 3rd in D.C. - Billboard
- James Taylor has a U.S. tour planned for the summer months. - Pollstar
- Mike Doughty has new dates set for the spring. - Pollstar
- Active Child begins a North American tour in late April, with support from Balam Acab. - Prefix
- Matador artist Ceremony has dates scheduled for March and April. - Matador Blog