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, November 1, 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.
- The Beach Boys, The SMiLE Sessions [Box set] LISTEN
It's not as polished as Brian Wilson's solo take (2004's SMiLE 97) on the same material, but that's not the point. One of the most legendary "lost" albums in rock history, SMiLE was originally recorded by the Beach Boys in 1966 and 1967 as the group's follow-up to Pet Sounds, but was never completed or released. Now, for the first time, the studio recordings from the original sessions are getting an official release, and a comprehensive one at that. Compiled from the 45-year-old master tapes with the participation of original band members Wilson, Al Jardine, and Mike Love, the SMiLE Sessions double-CD set is designed to approximate the album as it was originally intended (with plenty of bonus tracks), while a comprehensive 5-disc box set adds dozens of alternate takes and mixes and even studio chatter, offering hours of good vibrations (and literally over an hour of "Good Vibrations") for die-hard fans.
- Justin Bieber, Under the Mistletoe
- Blouse, Blouse
- Susan Boyle, Someone to Watch Over Me LISTEN
- The Dave Brubeck Quartet, Their Last Time Out [2xCD] - Previously unreleased 1967 concert
- Lindsey Buckingham, Songs From the Small Machine [DVD/Blu-ray] - Live 2011 performance
- The Decemberists, Long Live the King EP - Six mostly acoustic tracks LISTEN
- Alexandre Desplat, The Ides of March OST
- Danny Elfman, Real Steel OST
- Florence + The Machine, Ceremonials
Working exclusively with producer Paul Epworth, who produced some of the better tracks on their hit 2009 debut album Lungs 79, England's Florence and the Machine return Tuesday with their highly anticipated sophomore album Ceremonials. Fans of the previous album should find plenty to like this time around, with Florence Welch's soulful, richly arranged, and frequently epic songs influenced by painter Frida Kahlo and author Virginia Woolf.
- Frightened Rabbit, A Frightened Rabbit EP LISTEN (Drowned in Sound)
- Girl in a Coma, Exits & All the Rest LISTEN
- H20, Don't Forget Your Roots
- Idle Warship, Habits of the Heart
- Insane Clown Posse, Featuring Freshness [2xCD] - Compilation with 3 new tracks
- Journey, Greatest Hits Vol. 2 LISTEN
- Carole King, A Holiday Carole
- Kings of Leon, Talihina Sky: The Story of Kings of Leon [DVD]
- Miranda Lambert, Four the Record
- Major Lazer, Original Don EP - Digital only
- M.E.D., Classic LISTEN
- Megadeth, TH1RT3EN
- Panda Bear, Tomboy [4xLP] - Limited edition vinyl-only box set
- Phantogram, Nightlife EP LISTEN
- Pink Martini, A Retrospective - Greatest hits and previously unreleased tracks
- Placebo, We Come in Pieces [DVD/Blu-ray]
- Lou Reed & Metallica, Lulu LISTEN (Official Site)
What part of "Lou Reed and Metallica" do you not understand? (OK, all of it.) Certainly one of the year's odder musical pairings, Lulu is based on a pair of works by German expressionist playwright Frank Wedekind (the same plays which served as the source for the silent film classic Pandora's Box), and has its origins in a batch of songs the 69-year-old former Velvet Underground frontman penned for a Berlin theater production. (Heavy metal legends Metallica were brought in later after they met Reed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.) Of course, Reed has tried "metal" before; this, however, promises to be at least slightly listenable. But while Reed claims that this album is the best thing he ever recorded, early reviews suggest the opposite might be true.
- The Rolling Stones, 6 Ed Sullivan Shows Starring The Rolling Stones [2xDVD]
- The Soft Moon, Total Decay EP - Out 10/31 LISTEN (Spin)
- Steel Panther, Balls Out
- Tyrese, Open Invitation
- U2, Achtung Baby [Box set] - Deluxe reissue is 2 discs and includes remixes, B-sides, and more; Super Deluxe edition is 6 CDs and 4 DVDs, plus a book; Uber Deluxe edition adds even more collectibles
- Usher, OMG Tour - Live From London [DVD/Blu-ray]
- Various, The Best of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame + Museum Live [3xCD]
- Various, IOTDXI [2xCD] - R&S label compilation, includes recent and new tracks
- Wale, Ambition LISTEN
- Steve Winwood, Steve Winwood Live [DVD/Blu-ray]
More streaming and downloadable new music
- If you are reading this on Monday, you can stream the Flaming Lips' new 24-hour song, "7 Skies H3," already in progress (it started at midnight) at the official song site.
- NPR is streaming director David Lynch's new LP Crazy Clown Time, which is in stores next week. Though Lynch handles most of the vocals himself on his upcoming LP Crazy Clown Time, the lead track, "Pinky's Dream," is sung by Karen O. of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and you can download an MP3 of that track at Stereogum.
- Stream the new Meshell Ndegeocello album Weather at NPR.
- Also at NPR, listen to Laura Veirs' upcoming children's album Tumble Bee.
- Next week, duo Summer Camp releases a debut LP, Welcome to Condale. Stream it now at Soundcloud.
- Preview another release from next week, Humor Risk by Cass McCombs, at 3voor12.
- Last week we pointed you to a pair of tracks from The Vision, the upcoming debut LP by Joker. This week, stream the whole album at The Fader prior to its November 8 release.
- Download a brand new track by Orbital called "Never" at Soundcloud.
- Grab a brand new Guided By Voices track, "The Unsinkable Fats Domino," at the Matador blog. The track is the first one to be released from GbV's upcoming January 1 album Let's Go Eat the Factory, which was recorded by the newly reunited band's original lineup.
- Gonjasufi has a new, free EP called The Ninth Inning; The Fader has more info and the download link.
- For the price of an email address, download Nada Surf's new song "When I Was Young" at the band's official site.
- On November 15, garage rockers Thee Oh Sees return with their second album of the year, called Carrion Crawler/The Dream; grab a free copy of both title tracks at Stereogum.
- Listen to the new Oneohtrix Point Never cut "Nassau" at Soundcloud.
- "Everybody's on the Run" is another track from the self-titled debut for Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds; hear it at Soundcloud.
- The Hyundai-sponsored Re:Generation Music Project pairs unlikely musical collaborators (much like a similar ongoing project by Converse), who are asked to record a track in a specific genre; listen to Mark Ronson's jazzy "A La Modeliste," which pairs the producer with Erykah Badu, Mos Def, Trombone Shorty, and members of the Dap Kings, at YouTube.
- A new duo that includes Daniel Tjäder of Radio Dept., Sweden's Korallreven is set to release its debut album, An Album by Korallreven, next month. Download their new single "Sa Sa Samoa," featuring vocals by Julianna Barwick, at Soundcloud.
- Listen to the new Chris Cornell track "Cleaning My Gun," from his upcoming acoustic album Songbook, at Soundcloud.
- Stream a pair of new solo tracks by former Long Blondes singer Kate Jackson at Soundcloud.
- El-P has remixed his own new single, "drones over BKLYN", as "Rush Over BKLYN" (complete with Rush sample); listen at Soundcloud.
- Hear the newly surfaced Active Child outtake "Diamond Heart" at Soundcloud.
- Rolling Stone is offering a free download of "Better Off Dead" by The Sounds.
On TV this week (new episodes only)
- Monday: Lindsey Buckingham (Fallon), Lloyd (Leno), Megadeth (Kimmel), Puscifer (Letterman)
- Tuesday: Cobra Starship (Conan), Cold War Kids (Carson Daly), Robyn (Leno), Yo-Yo Ma (The Colbert Report)
- Wednesday: Daughtry (Leno), Manchester Orchestra (Carson Daly), Paul Simon (Conan), Dave Stewart (Fallon), Styx (Rosie)
- Thursday: Air Supply (Fallon), Chickenfoot (Kimmel), Jane's Addiction (Carson Daly), Joe Jonas (Leno), Brad Paisley (The Daily Show), Eli Young Band (Letterman)
- Friday: Childish Gambino (Fallon), Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit (Letterman), Mutemath (Leno), Weezer (Carson Daly)
- Saturday: Maroon 5 (Saturday Night Live)
Recent artist and industry news
- Last week, Bon Iver's self-titled sophomore LP was named the top album of 2011 in Q Magazine's annual Q Awards, while U2 was named the top act of the last 25 years and Coldplay was selected as the best act in the world today. Get the full list of winners at Q.
- The Grammy nominations will once again be announced in a live televised CBS concert special this year, with the festivities scheduled for November 30 at 10p (tape-delayed on the West Coast). Performing during the LL Cool J-hosted broadcast will be Lady Gaga and Jason Aldean.
- The ongoing auction for EMI's recorded music operation now has one less bidder; Billboard reports that Warner Music Group has pulled out. Universal also withdrew from bidding last week.
- A U.K. coroner's report has listed excessive alcohol consumption (the Brits call it "death by misadventure") as the official cause of death for Amy Winehouse. - Spin
- Adele's ongoing vocal cord issues will cause the chart-topping singer to have surgery to fix the problem; as a result, she has canceled all remaining 2011 tour dates. - The New York Times
- Steven Tyler has apparently fallen off something, but—he insists—not "the wagon." While on tour with Aerosmith in South America last week, the 63-year-old Tyler fell in his hotel bathroom and knocked out two teeth, forcing the postponement of one show. - Billboard
- The relationship between Jesus and Mary Chain brothers Jim and William Reid has improved to the point where a new JAMC album and/or tour are a possibility, Jim tells The Quietus.
- Madonna's rumored Super Bowl halftime gig has now expanded to include M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj, who also appear on what is likely to be Madonna's first single from her 2012 album. - Rolling Stone
- Want to create your own pop-up video? You can, on VH1's website.
The latest music videos
Duck Sauce, "Big Bad Wolf" [NSFW]:
The Black Keys, "Lonely Boy":
R.E.M., "We All Go Back to Where We Belong" [starring Kirsten Dunst]:
Arctic Monkeys, "Evil Twin":
Justin Timberlake, The Roots, and Jimmy Fallon, "History of Rap 3":
Pearl Jam, "Not For You" [directed by Cameron Crowe]:
Akron/Family, "Cast a Net":
Beyoncé feat. J. Cole, "Party":
Summer Camp, "Down":
Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit, "Alabama Pines":
Architecture in Helsinki, "W.O.W":
Modeselektor feat. Thom Yorke, "Shipwreck":
Pancho-san, "Kick the Fences Down":
I Break Horses, "Wired":
Fanzine, "Roman Holiday":
Man Man, "Piranhas Club":
In the studio / coming soon
- Island Records is rushing a new Amy Winehouse record to stores in early December. The 12-track Lioness: Hidden Treasures will contain "previously unreleased tracks, alternative versions of existing hits and brand new songs." - AP
- This year saw a new Little Dragon album; 2012 should bring a new album by OutKast's Big Boi. What do the two have to do with each other? Big Boi has recently recorded a pair of tracks with Little Dragon vocalist Yukimi Nagano for the upcoming album, which will be titled Daddy Fat Sax: The Soul Funk Crusader. Watch them discuss the recording process at One Thirty BPM.
- Veteran UK electronica duo Orbital have been in the studio recording their eighth album, which is tentatively scheduled for an April release and will be mixed by Flood. (Check above for a link to download one of their new tracks.) The brothers will also be performing live in support of the album, with a few UK dates announced so far at their official site. Keep up with the recording process on their YouTube channel.
- While Maynard James Keenan has been busy with his other bands Puscifer and A Perfect Circle (as well as his winemaking), he hasn't forgotten about his main gig, Tool. And that group is currently in the writing stage for a follow-up to Tool's last album, 2006's 10,000 Days. - Spin
- Nada Surf have a new album, The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy, arriving on Barsuk on January 24.
- The next LP from Islands will be called A Sleep & A Forgetting, and it will arrive on February 14 on Anti-. - Prefix
- The long-in-the-works collaboration between Damon Albarn and Flea (who are joined by drummer Tony Allen) now has a name: Rocketjuice and the Moon. Expect the mostly instrumental album next year. - NME
- You can't read a music blog these days without seeing the name Lana Del Rey pop up, and that should be the case again next year; the singer has singed to Interscope and will release her debut album in early 2012. - Pitchfork
- On November 29, Adele will release a live CD/DVD package, Live at the Royal Albert Hall. MTV has the details.
- Pitchfork interviews the Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne about his band's upcoming projects, which include an EP-length collaboration with Deerhoof that's due in December.
- Los Angeles rapper Busdriver has a new album called Beaus$Eros planned for a January 16 release; get the details at Prefix.
- Label Carpark will release a free sampler of music by its artists (including Memory Tapes, Toro Y Moi, and Class Actress) on December 6; get all the details at Pitchfork.
- Sparta has reunited and plans to record a new album (which will be its first since 2006) later this year, newly returned co-founder Jim Ward tells Billboard.
- On December 6, Phish will release a seven-disc box set (Hampton/Winston-Salem '97) containing three entire performances from their 1997 tour. - Rolling Stone
- In January, Chromatics will release Kill for Love, their first album in five years. Pitchfork has a tracklist, audio, and a video.
- One Thirty BPM has a few details about Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn's upcoming solo debut, which is due in 2012 and will be preceded by a single at the end of November.
- Elvis Costello fans can look forward to a limited edition box set arriving December 6. The Return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook includes a CD, DVD, and 10-inch EP containing live performances recorded at L.A.'s Wiltern Theater last May. - Pop & Hiss
- The first live album by The Twilight Singers will be released digitally on November 15, but fans can order the expanded deluxe edition of Live in New York on CD now at the band's official site. Get more details and an audio preview at Spin.
- Geddy Lee has confirmed to Rolling Stone that Rush's next album is still in the writing stage, though the band hopes to finish recording before the year is up and release the LP in 2012.
- Big K.R.I.T's delayed debut album Live from the Underground, originally scheduled for September, now looks set for a January release. - HipHop DX
Visit Metacritic's Album Release Calendar for a full listing of upcoming release dates, updated daily.
Tours and festivals
- Devo have announced a few December dates; get them at Prefix.
- In an interview with Billboard, Bryan Ferry reveals that he is looking at another U.S. tour in the spring, which will likely include cities he missed on his just-completed American visit.
- Woods have a mostly East Coast tour lined up for December; dates at Prefix.
- UK music fans can catch the recently Beavis and Butt-head-ed Skrillex on tour beginning February 10 in Leeds. - Pollstar
- AraabMuzik has kicked off a North American tour; Pitchfork has the details.