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, September 20, 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.
- Tori Amos, Night of Hunters LISTEN (NPR; 9/19 only)
While Tori Amos hasn't received major critical acclaim for an LP since 2002's Scarlet's Walk 76, the veteran singer-songwriter is still reliably turning out new albums every few years. But 12th album Night of Hunters is a departure from her usual M.O.: it's far more classical than pop. Ditching her usual touring band, Amos has enlisted an orchestra of strings and woodwinds for what she bills as a "21st century song cycle inspired by classical music themes," and it arrives on classical label Deutsche Grammophon.
- Meg Baird, Seasons on Earth - Solo album from Espers singer/songwriter
- Tony Bennett, Duets II LISTEN
An 85-year-old Tony Bennett teams up with another group of pop stars for this follow-up to his hit 2006 album Duets: An American Classic. Once again, the source material is the Great American Songbook, and Bennett will be joined by Lady Gaga (on "The Lady is a Tramp," naturally), Queen Latifah, Norah Jones, John Mayer, Mariah Carey, Michael Bublé, Willie Nelson, Josh Groban, and more. The song that's certain to attract the most attention, however, is "Body and Soul," Bennett's duet with Amy Winehouse; it was the final track recorded by Winehouse before her death this summer.
- Boots Electric, Honkey Kong - Project from Eagles Of Death Metal frontman Jesse Hughes LISTEN
- Celtic Thunder, Storm
- Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Hysterical LISTEN
While CYHSY's self-titled 2005 debut album was a landmark release in the past decade of indie rock, their follow-up, Some Loud Thunder 63, couldn't help but be a disappointment (though muddy production and a lack of hooks didn't help matters). Will the band's poppy and accessible third album restore the group to favorites of the blogosphere? The first few tracks leaked from the self-released, John Congleton-produced Hysterical point to a step in the right direction, at least, but anyone hoping for something on the level of the debut will likely need to keep waiting.
- Miles Davis, Live in Europe 1967: The Bootleg Series Vol. 1 [3xCD + DVD]
- Gavin DeGraw, Sweeter LISTEN
- The Grateful Dead, Europe 72 Vol. 2 [2xCD] - With 2+ hours of previously unreleased material
- Lisa Hannigan, Passenger
- Ivy, All Hours LISTEN
- The Jayhawks, Mockingbird Time - First album with original lineup since 1995 LISTEN (RS)
- Jens Lekman, An Argument with Myself EP LISTEN (Vulture)
- Demi Lovato, Unbroken
- Megafaun, Megafaun LISTEN
- Miguel Migs, Outside the Skyline
- Mindless Behavior, #1 Girl
- Never Shout Never, Time Travel
- Nurses, Dracula LISTEN
- Opeth, Heritage
- Patton Oswalt, Finest Hour - Comedy album
- Pearl Jam, Pearl Jam Twenty OST [2xCD] LISTEN
Eddie Vedder & co. are celebrating their 20th anniversary in style, with a Cameron Crowe-directed documentary, an accompanying book, and this soundtrack album. Though calling Pearl Jam Twenty a mere soundtrack is understating things; the hardbound, two-disc set collects 29 rare and unreleased demo and live tracks selected by Crowe.
- Steve Reich and Kronos Quartet, WTC 9/11
- Richmond Fontaine, The High Country
- Social Climbers, Social Climbers - Expanded and remastered 1980 album
- SuperHeavy, SuperHeavy
What do you get when you mix rock legend Mick Jagger, singer Joss Stone, producer and former Eurythmics member Dave Stewart, reggae artist Damian Marley, and Indian film composer A. R. Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire)? Either the world's worst basketball team, or a new supergroup. Indeed, it's the latter, and, befitting their diverse backgrounds, SuperHeavy's new record (whittled down to 16 tracks after they recorded 35 hours of music) showcases a wide range of musical styles. You can even catch Jagger singing in Urdu on one of them.
- Tammar, Visits
- Thrice, Major/Minor LISTEN
- Tropics, Parodia Flare LISTEN (Hype Machine)
- Various, Machine Gun Preacher OST
- Veronica Falls, Veronica Falls
- Waters, Out in the Light LISTEN
More streaming and downloadable new music
- Wilco releases The Whole Love next week, but you can hear the whole album now at NPR.
- NPR is also streaming the new Apparat album Devil's Walk, which also has a September 27 release date.
- Another album arriving on that date is Kasabian's Velociraptor!, which is now streaming in its entirety at The Guardian.
- Rolling Stone has a full album stream of Matthew Sweet's Modern Art ahead of its September 27 release date.
- And Stereogum has another 9/27 release in full: the Twin Sister album In Heaven.
- Indie label Polyvinyl is celebrating its 15th anniversary with a free 30-track sampler featuring artists like Of Montreal, Deerhoof, and Xiu Xiu; download the whole thing at the official label site.
- John Cale has a five-song EP, Extra Playful, due next week; stream the whole thing at The Guardian.
- "Helix" is another cut from the upcoming Justice album Audio, Video, Disco; stream it at Stereogum.
- The previously unreleased 1994 Daft Punk track "Drive" will be included in the upcoming label retrospective box set Soma Records: 20 Years; you can listen to it now at Pitchfork.
- Listen to "Invisible Riverside" by Ryan Adams (from the upcoming Ashes & Fire) at Soundcloud.
- A second track has leaked from the upcoming Florence & The Machine album Ceremonials; stream "Shake It Out" at Soundcloud.
- New Arts & Crafts signees Eight and a Half, featuring members of The Stills and Broken Social Scene, are working on a debut album for 2012; meanwhile, hear their first track, "Scissors," at Soundcloud.
- That one-song collaboration between Jack White and Insane Clown Posse is now a two-song collaboration; listen to "Mountain Girl" at YouTube (audio only). It's even odder than you'd expect.
- Download an MP3 of "Te Amo," a track from the upcoming Atlas Sound album Parallax, at Pitchfork.
- Download the Juan MacLean track "Everybody Get Close," taken from the band's November 8 digital-only compilation album of the same name, at Pitchfork.
- Wavves and Fucked Up collaborate on "Destroy," which is streamable at One Thirty BPM.
- Download an excerpt of a glitchy new Thom Yorke track, "Twist," at Stereogum.
On TV this week (new episodes only)
- Monday: Harry Connick Jr. (Ellen), Selena Gomez (Leno), Switchfoot (Kimmel)
- Tuesday: Tori Amos (Tavis Smiley), Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (Fallon), Kelly Clarkson (Leno), Coldplay (Letterman), Harry Connick Jr. (Craig Ferguson), The Decemberists (Carson Daly), Gavin DeGraw (Kimmel), Demi Lovato (Ellen)
- Wednesday: Tony Bennett with k.d. lang (The View), Death Cab for Cutie (Carson Daly), Elbow (Fallon), Grouplove (Conan), The Kooks (Leno), Maroon 5 (Ellen), Pitbull (Kimmel), Wilco (Letterman)
- Thursday: Atmosphere (Carson Daly), Bush (Leno), Kelly Clarkson (Ellen), Chris Cornell (Letterman), Daryl Hall (Kimmel), Telekinesis (Fallon)
- Friday: Tony Bennett (Leno), Beyonce (Fallon), The Jayhawks (Letterman), Nirvana (Nirvana Live at the Paramount, VH1/Palladia, 11p), Sonny Rollins (Tavis Smiley), Thievery Corporation (Carson Daly)
- Saturday: MGMT (MTV World Stage on Palladia, 6p), Radiohead (Saturday Night Live)
Recent artist and industry news
- French electronica producer DJ Mehdi died last week at the age of 34 when he fell from the roof of his Paris home after a skylight shattered. MTV has more details.
- Rapper Nas already has a title for his memoir (It Ain't Hard To Tell), though it won't arrive in stores for another year. - Rap Radar
- OutKast are reportedly close to signing a record deal with Epic. Hopefully, that means that the OutKast album tentatively scheduled for 2012 is getting closer to actually happening. - HipHop DX
- The New York Times is challenging you to test your grunge knowledge.
- Speaking of grunge, if you happen to be in Toronto on October 1, you can watch members of Fucked Up, Tokyo Police Club, and more perform Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" a mere 144 times in a row in an all-night event. - Exclaim!
- Are you interested in becoming a member of M83? If you can play guitar, bass and keyboards, the band is now soliciting applications. - Pitchfork
- John Mayer has delayed the release of his new album and a fall tour after being diagnosed with granuloma, a throat condition. - Billboard
The latest music videos
Cut Copy, "Blink and You'll Miss a Revolution":
Tony Bennett feat. Amy Winehouse, "Body and Soul":
The Big Pink, "Stay Gold":
Arctic Monkeys, "Suck It and See" [NSFW]:
Bonnie Prince Billy, "Quail and Dumplings":
Neon Indian, "Polish Girl":
Avey Tare, "Oliver Twist":
Frank Ocean, "Thinking About You":
Active Child feat. How to Dress Well, "Playing House":
Salem, "King Night":
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., "Simple Girl":
In the studio / coming soon
- Florence and the Machine's second album now has a title and release date: Ceremonials arrives in stores November 1.
- UK act The Big Pink have announced that their sophomore set, Future This, will be out on 4AD in January. You can catch a video for the new album's first single "Stay Gold" above, though the single won't be out until November 7.
- Rihanna is currently prepping her next album for a release this fall. Originally rumored to be an expanded reissue of Loud, the still-untitled new disc will instead feature all new material. - Pop and Hiss
- Inni is both a concert film and live album by Sigur Rós; the CD and DVD arrive in the U.S. on November 15. Pitchfork has details, or check the band's official site to see when the movie will be playing in a theater near you.
- Brian Eno and poet Rick Holland collaborated earlier this year on Drums Between the Bells 68, but not all the material they recorded could fit on that album. The result is a new six-song EP, Panic of Looking, out on Warp on November 8. More details and a stream of the title cut at Eno's official site.
- On November 22, ODB stands for Ol' Dirty Boxset; arriving that day is Ol' Dirty Bastard's Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version, which includes a remastered version of the 1995 album, a 12-song bonus disc, and a laminated version of the food stamp card depicted on the album cover, among other things. Spin has more details.
- Rolling Stone reports that Best Coast will head into the studio in October to record their second album. The group already has 14 new songs written, and they hope to get the new LP recorded and released quickly.
- Singer R. Kelly has apparently recovered from his recent throat surgery; he's at work on his next album, Black Panties, which he likens to his classic LP 12 Play. There's no release date, but MTV reports that the album's first single, "10 Minutes," is coming "soon."
- Now, there is no absolutely doubt that No Doubt's comeback album will be pushed back into 2012; the band confirmed the delay on its official website.
- The Rolling Stones will release a remastered version of their 1978 album Some Girls on November 21. - Rolling Stone
- Lloyd Banks tells MTV that he has already recorded "18 to 20" tracks for his next album.
- The Los Angeles Times reports that Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell are working on a duets album, on which they'll be backed by Harris' original Hot Band.
- Daughtry's still-untitled third album is due November 21. - HitFix
- Break out your old Walkman; Of Montreal will release a box set consisting of cassette versions of all 10 of their albums on October 25. Pitchfork has the details and a conversation with Kevin Barnes. Oh, and something else: a brand new Of Montreal album called Paralytic Stalks is coming in early 2012.
- Pop and Hiss talks to The Walkmen about the recording process for their next album, which they hope to finish by early 2012.
- Game's next album will be called Soundtrack to Chaos, and will be refreshingly short on guests. - Prefix
- Lyle Lovett has a covers album, Please Release Me, set for February; Rolling Stone reports that will include many tracks familiar from Lovett's live sets.
Visit Metacritic's Album Release Calendar for a full listing of upcoming release dates, updated daily.
Tours and festivals
- Radiohead have added a pair of last-minute dates at Roseland Ballroom in New York for September 28 and 29; tickets go on sale next Monday. No other American dates are on the schedule for the band, though they will perform on SNL this weekend and will be the guests on the first-ever hour-long episode of The Colbert Report on September 26.
- Dinosaur Jr. will play their album Bug in full during a December tour of the West Coast. - One Thirty BPM
- After a string of European dates in November, My Morning Jacket will return home for a short U.S. tour in December. - Pitchfork
- Sting will celebrate the release of his upcoming box set with his "Back To Bass Tour," kicking off October 21 in Boston. - Pollstar
- Mali musicians Tinariwen launch a U.S. tour on October 29 in Los Angeles. Prefix has the dates.
- The National have scheduled even more international dates—including nine new shows in the U.S.—for November and December. - Pitchfork
- Mastodon's fall tour kicks off October 25 in Austin; get the full schedule at Pitchfork.
- Stephen Stills as a solo tour planned for October and November; Pollstar has the dates.
- X will kick off their annual holiday trek in Phoenix on December 9. - Pollstar
- More details have emerged for the Weezer Cruise, which departs Miami on January 19, 2012. The four-night event will include multiple performances by Weezer and groups such as Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh, The Antlers, and more. Get a summary at Pollstar or full details at the official cruise site.
- Paul Simon has added dates to his fall tour. - Pollstar
- Let the 2012 Coachella rumors begin: Radiohead? No Doubt? - Stereogum
- Big Sean is heading out on his first solo tour in October; MTV has the dates.
- On October 15, Lady Gaga, Bono, and Usher will be among the performers at the Hollywood Bowl for a concert honoring the tenth anniversary of former President Bill Clinton's foundation. The show will be broadcast live on Yahoo. - Billboard
- Stone Temple Pilots have canceled all remaining dates on their current tour so that singer Scott Weiland can go on vocal rest at the request of his physician. - Rolling Stone