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, October 11, 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.
- Ryan Adams, Ashes and Fire LISTEN
Following a detour into heavy metal (2010's Orion), as well as a pair of records with his group The Cardinals, Ryan Adams returns with his first solo studio album under his own name in four years. Norah Jones provides piano and backing vocals, and Benmont Tench (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) also guests on the Glyn Johns-produced country-rocker Ashes & Fire, Adams' first LP on Capitol Records (via his own label, PAX AM).
- Lauren Alaina, Wildflower
- Bella Novela, The Archeress - Digital only LISTEN (Bandcamp)
- Scott H Biram, Bad Ingredients
- Andrew Bird, Norman OST LISTEN (Facebook)
- Bjork, Biophilia
The Icelandic artist hasn't released a studio album since 2007's Volta, and hasn't released any album with reviews this good since 2004's Medulla. But critics are already loving Biophilia, Bjork's latest work of experimental pop, which was both partially recorded on an iPad and also released as an app for the same. (You can also find it in more conventional CD and vinyl versions.) The songs, which also incorporate new, custom-made instruments, are loosely connected by an overriding science theme.
- Casiokids, Aabenbaringen Over Aaskammen LISTEN (Paste)
- Cream, Live at the Royal Albert Hall 2005 [Blu-ray]
- Crooked Fingers, Breaks in the Armor LISTEN (Spin)
- David Crosby & Graham Nash, Crosby-Nash: In Concert [DVD]
- Cymbals Eat Guitars, Lenses Alien
- Electric Six, Heartbeats and Brainwaves
- Evanescence, Evanescence LISTEN (Spin)
It has been five full years since multiple Grammy winners Evanescence last checked in with The Open Door 61, and eight years since the breakthrough success of their septuple-platinum debut Fallen. Adding to the delay was a troubled recording process that included sessions recorded in early 2010 with producer Steve Lillywhite that had to be scrapped when the band didn't like the outcome. Ultimately, Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters) produced the tracks that are found on Evanescence, including lead single "What You Want." It's the band's first album to feature touring drummer Will Hunt, who replaces the departed Rocky Gray, while Amy Lee remains the sole original member still with the group.
- The Field, Looping State of Mind LISTEN (3VOOR12)
Swedish minimal techno artist Axel Willner, who records as The Field, hasn't shown any progression in album cover design since 2007's From Here We Go Sublime 90. Fortunately, his quality level has remained almost that consistent as well, with critics admiring his considerable composition skills on this third album, which should re-convert fans who were disappointed in Willner's second LP.
- Fishbone, Crazy Glue
- Five Finger Death Punch, American Capitalist
- Ben Folds, The Best Imitation of Myself: A Retrospective [3xCD] - Career-spanning box set; includes greatest hits, live tracks, and rarities, plus three new Ben Folds Five tracks LISTEN
- Future Islands, On the Water LISTEN (3VOOR12)
- Peter Gabriel, New Blood [2xCD] - New orchestral recordings of Gabriel's classic songs LISTEN
- Gross Magic, Teen Jamz
- John Wesley Harding, The Sound of His Own Voice LISTEN
- Mayer Hawthorne, How Do You Do LISTEN (3VOOR12)
- Tim Hecker, Dropped Pianos - Piano-based "sketches" from Ravedeath, 1972 sessions
- Joe Henry, Reverie
- Matthew Herbert, One Pig
- High Places, Original Colors
- Icebird, The Abandoned Lullaby LISTEN
- Marketa Irglova, Anar - Solo debut for Swell Season member LISTEN
- Joe Jonas, Fastlife
- Ben Lee, Deeper Into Dreams LISTEN
- Jeffrey Lewis, A Turn in the Dream-Songs LISTEN (Guardian)
- Cliff Martinez/Various, Drive OST
- Martina McBride, Eleven
- Paley & Francis, Paley & Francis - Collaboration between Reid Paley and Black Francis LISTEN
- Radiohead, TKOL RMX 1234567 - Remixes of tracks from The King of Limbs LISTEN
- The Rifles, Freedom Run
- Rich Robinson, Through a Crooked Sun - Second solo album from Black Crowes member
- Rustie, Glass Swords LISTEN (Guardian)
- William Shatner, Seeking Major Tom [2xCD] - Covers; guests include Sheryl Crow, Peter Frampton, and Brad Paisley
- Paul Simon, Graceland [Original recording remastered]
- Star Fucking Hipsters, From the Dumpster to the Grave LISTEN
- Still Corners, Creatures of an Hour LISTEN (Paste)
- Taylor Swift, Taylor Swift: Journey To Fearless [DVD]
- Various, Factory Dance - Factory Records 12" Mixes & Rarities 1980 - 1987 INFO
- Various, Soma Records: 20 Years [3xCD]
- Various, ZZ Top: A Tribute From Friends
- Rachael Yamagata, Chesapeake LISTEN
- Yes, Live on Air - Recording of a 1985 concert
- Neil Young, Live On Air: Lost Tapes Vol. 2 - Recording of a 1991 concert
More streaming and downloadable new music
- Stream the upcoming My Brightest Diamond album All Things Will Unwind at NPR.
- NPR also has the new Real Estate album Days for you to listen to.
- M83 releases the double album Hurry Up We're Dreaming next week; listen to both Disc 1 and Disc 2 at 3VOOR12.
- Download the ultra rare 1981 R.E.M. six-track cassette demo Cassette Set at the blog The Power of Independent Trucking. It includes alternate versions of "Sitting Still," "White Tornado," and "Radio Free Europe" produced by Mitch Easter.
- Stream all of James Blake's new EP Enough Thunder at Gorilla vs. Bear.
- One Thirty BPM has a new MP3 from Phantogram; "Don't Move" is taken from their forthcoming EP Nightlife, due November 1.
- David Lynch has released the title track from his upcoming album Crazy Clown Time, and it's as weird as you'd expect. Download a free copy at Consequence of Sound.
- The new Kate Bush single "Wild Man" has made its way to the internet; listen to it at disconaivite.
- Listen to Jack White perform "You Know That I Know," a previously unrecorded track written by Hank Williams, at Rolling Stone.
- Preview Justice's upcoming sophomore album through a four-minute megamix of album tracks at Consequence of Sound. Or listen to the full tracks "Newlands" and "Canon" at One Thirty BPM.
- Stream "Amplifiers," from the upcoming Atlas Sound release Parallax, at Fluxblog.
- Pitchfork has a stream of a new 12-minute collaborative track, "4 Walls," by Massive Attack and Burial.
- Download a 23-minute mix containing new Memory Tapes music at Stereogum.
- "A Christmas Waltz" is the first cut to emerge from She & Him's upcoming holiday album A Very She & Him Christmas; listen at Soundcloud.
- Stream full sets from the recent All Tomorrow's Parties festival in New Jersey, including performances by Public Enemy, The Horrors, Battles, and Swans, at NPR.
- "Initiation" is a new track by The Weeknd; stream it at Prefix.
- Stream "Todd Barry Is An Idiot" by the trio of Tim Heidecker, Aimee Mann, and Michael Penn, at Heidecker's tumblr.
- Get the new Casiokids track "Golden Years" at Rolling Stone.
- Stream "Life's A Beach" by Kurt Vile, another track taken from the upcoming EP So Outta Reach, at Stereogum.
- Stereogum also has a new Boris track, "Spoon," taken from their new album New Album. (Really.)
- Stream the Iceage bonus track "IIIIIIII" at Soundcloud.
On TV this week (new episodes only)
- Monday: Ryan Adams (Conan), Amos Lee (Leno), Two Door Cinema Club (Kimmel)
- Tuesday: Merle Haggard (Conan), Hunter Hayes (Letterman), The Joy Formidable (Carson Daly), Imelda May (Leno), Peter Bjorn & John (Kimmel), Ra Ra Riot (Fallon)
- Wednesday: Cake (Craig Ferguson), Chavez (Fallon), Chris Cornell (Kimmel), Deer Tick (Letterman), Fountains of Wayne (Leno), Portugal. The Man (Carson Daly)
- Thursday: Dropkick Murphys (Conan), Gloria Estefan (Leno), Evanescence (Kimmel), The Kills (Carson Daly), Martina McBride (Letterman), The Moody Blues (Fallon)
- Friday: Beirut (Letterman), Foster the People (Carson Daly), Game (Leno)
- Saturday: Drake (Saturday Night Live)
Recent artist and industry news
- The Arista, Jive and J Records labels have been shut down by parent company RCA. Artists under contract with those labels will have future releases issued directly on RCA Records. Arista dates back to 1974, while Jive was founded in 1977. - The Hollywood Reporter
- Madonna is in talks to be the featured halftime performer at February's Super Bowl XLVI. - Billboard
- Anton Corbijn will direct a concert webcast by Coldplay, to be broadcast live on YouTube/VEVO on October 26 at 4pm ET. - The New York Times
- The Academy Is... isn't; the Chicago emo band have broken up, reports Rolling Stone.
- Named one of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time by Rolling Stone, Scottish folk musician Bert Jansch died last week at the age of 67. Billboard has an obituary.
- The Los Angeles County coroner's office has confirmed that late Warrant singer Jani Lane died of alcohol poisoning. Lane was found dead in his L.A. motel room in August. - Rolling Stone
- Former Weezer bassist Mikey Welsh, 40, was found dead in his Chicago hotel room on Sunday. - Billboard
- Rhapsody has acquired competitor Napster (from current owner Best Buy) in a merger of once-relevant streaming music services. - TechCrunch
The latest music videos
Florence + The Machine, "Shake It Out":
They Might Be Giants, "Can't Keep Johnny Down" [starring Rip Torn]:
Tony Bennett feat. Lady Gaga, "The Lady Is a Tramp":
Junior Boys, "Banana Ripple":
Marketa Irglova, "Go Back":
Portishead, "Chase the Tear" [live on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon]:
Black Star, "Fix Up" [live on The Colbert Report]:
Zola Jesus, "Vessel":
DRC Music feat. Tout Puissant Mukalo and Nelly Liyemge, "Hallo":
Portugal. The Man, "So American":
Mayer Hawthorne, "The Walk":
Julian Lynch, "Back":
In the studio / coming soon
- Drake's new album Take Care has been delayed from October 24 to November 15, the result of a few sample clearance issues that have yet to be resolved.
- Emily Haines tells Spin that Metric have recorded 13 songs for their next album, which is tentatively scheduled for a spring release.
- Rihanna's upcoming sixth album now has a title: Talk That Talk will be in stores on November 21.
- Radioactive, the debut album by Yelawolf, has been delayed once again, to November 21. - Rap Radar
- The Roots will return with a concept album, Undun, on December 6. James Blake will guest on the album, though other details (like the actual concept) have yet to be announced.
- Badly Drawn Boy has been picked by director Paul Weitz (About a Boy) to provide the score to his upcoming film adaptation of Another Bullshit Night In Suck City. - The Playlist
- Though J. Cole released his debut album Cole World: The Sideline Story 74 only two weeks ago (and it immediately claimed the #1 slot on Billboard's album chart), he tells Billboard that he hopes to follow that up with a sophomore set in just nine months.
- Rick Ross will release his next album, God Forgives, I Don't, on December 13. - Rolling Stone
- November 29 will bring a Gorillaz greatest hits album; get the tracklist for The Singles Collection: 2001-2011 at Pitchfork.
- Best Coast will be heading to the studio in a few weeks to record their second album with producer Jon Brion. - Pitchfork
- On February 14, 2012, The Cranberries will release the Stephen Street-produced Roses, their first album since 2001. - Billboard
- Yeasayer tells Spin that they hope to release two new albums in 2012. The first, to arrive in late spring or early summer, will be "a demented R&B record ... like an Aaliyah album if you played it backwards and slowed it down. Or David Bowie's Lodger." A second, less conventional, album would likely be distributed over the internet.
- This Mortal Coil has a box set due November 8. The 4AD release HDCD Box Set includes the group's three studio albums plus a singles collection. More details at 4AD.
- New major label signees The Gaslight Anthem will release their first LP for Mercury Records (and fourth album overall) in 2012. They also have an iTunes Sessions EP coming on December 13. - Punknews
- Pusha T (of Clipse) drops Fear of God II: Let Us Pray on November 8; Pitchfork has the details.
- Garbage is apparently making more progress on their long-in-the-works fifth album, which now is targeted for a spring release. - Spin
- You asked for it, you got it: Billboard has the tracklist for Justin Bieber's upcoming holiday album Under The Mistletoe, due November 1st. [Correction: You didn't actually ask for it.]
Visit Metacritic's Album Release Calendar for a full listing of upcoming release dates, updated daily.
Tours and festivals
- The Electric Daisy Carnival is returning to Las Vegas on the weekend of June 8, 2012. Tickets go on sale November 1.
- Maynard James Keenan is taking Puscifer on tour this fall to celebrate their new LP Conditions of My Parole; The Audio Perv has the dates.
- Though Bon Iver is about to head out to Europe, they'll return to North America in December for a few more performances; get the dates at Pitchfork.
- Drake has a half dozen November dates lined up, with support from Kendrick Lamar and ASAP Rocky. - Prefix
- Odd Future's Frank Ocean has some solo shows (his first ever) lined up for November; Consequence of Sound has the details.
- Cass McCombs kicks off a West Coast tour at the end of November. - Pitchfork
- Later in October, Neon Indian and Kreayshawn are embarking on a joint 10-date college tour. - Pitchfork
- Damon Albarn's The Good, the Bad, and the Queen will reunite for a one-off concert at London's Coronet on November 10.
- Javelin begins a short tour with Future Islands later this month. - Prefix
- Demi Lovato is heading on a 10-date tour this fall; get the dates at Pollstar.
- Pollstar also has new fall tour dates for Puddle of Mudd.
- Medical issues have once again forced Adele to cancel her upcoming U.S. tour dates, this time because of a hemorrhage on a vocal cord. Pop & Hiss has the story.