While the rest of the Internet-observing world expressed their enthrallment over appearances by Grumpy Cat at South By Southwest, another popular and ultimately lovable Internet cat was making some quality jams. Snacks the Cat, the fluffy, orange feline belonging to Best Coast’s Bethany Consentino, was featured on his cat-mama’s newest recording, a relaxed and easy-fitting cover of Roy Orbison’s “Crying.”
Like Consentino’s other cover work, most notably the recent totally excellent cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Storms,” Best Coast’s “Crying” is a delight, but what really makes the whole thing is Snacks’ meowing at the end. That’s exactly how Roy would have done it, too. Listen to the whole thing below.
It’s freezing and gross in a considerable chunk of the country, which means it’s time to start thinking about summer, and with it, the crowded, drunken, heavily-Instagrammed bacchanalia that is the summer music festival. Your first major festival lineup announcement of 2013 happened today, in this case the third-annual Governors Ball Music Festival, which returns to its home on Randall’s Island June 7th, 8th and 9th. The biggest names on the flyer are Kanye West and Kings of Leon, as well as one blacked-out name to be revealed later (let the speculation begin!). The bulk of the bill features people whose albums you really liked last year, or whose albums you didn’t really like but maybe read about a lot on music blogs, including Japandroids, Kendrick Lamar, Grizzly Bear, the xx, Nas, Dirty Projectors, Best Coast, The Lumineers, Gary Clark Jr., Beach House, Azealia Banks and dozens of other year-end list luminaries. Like musical confetti made from cut-up Pazz & Jop ballots.
Other notable names on the lineup include one of BlackBook’s Stars of 2013, HAIM, Swedish party starters Icona Pop, Erykah Badu, Feist, festival regular Pretty Lights, Wild Nothing, Fucked Up and Dillon Francis. Those less inclined to care about the music can find food courtesy of a few familiar trucks, including Asia Dog, Mexicue and Pie for the People. There is also ping-pong, croquet and bocce and something called a "Silent Disco," which seems to be on the bill at a lot of festivals and the impetus for some half-baked thinkpiece somewhere about the way we live and share music now. Tickets for the big festival thing go on sale this Friday at noon.
Several top-rated tracks of 2012, including Kendrick Lamar’s "Backseat Freestyle" and Japandroids’ "The House That Heaven Built," soundtrack the Austin Peters-helmed lineup video, which features Jonathan Sollis and Fabrizio Goldstein strolling around New York in tuxes and dark sunglasses, on a neverending quest to make it rain. Watch.
Are you tired of us talking about ThatFleetwood MacTribute Album yet? No? Probably? If you are, that’s okay. But now you can hear the whole damn album of Just Tell Me That You Want Me via SoundCloud a week before the official release. In addition to the tracks that have gradually been released over the past several months, from The New Pornographers’ joyous "Think About Me" to Karen Elson’s mostly-true-to-the-original "Gold Dust Woman" to Best Coast’s far more upbeat and less mysterious take on "Rhiannon," a host of artists of different styles and eras take a crack at some of Fleetwood’s greatest hits.
Highlights include a haunting, distorted "Sisters of the Moon" from Craig Wedren and St. Vincent, The Kills’ sultry "Dreams," Antony Hegarty’s goes-down-smooth "Landslide" and perhaps best of all, Marianne Faithfull’s "Angel," which might just make you whip out a lighter and start waving it. Give it a listen below before it drops next Tuesday, complete with an online listening party, trivia and prizes via Shaker.
HBO’s hit vampire drama True Blood has seen some changes in Season 5—new developments and even new cast members, most notably the arrival of Detective Eliot Stabler himself, Christopher Meloni, as Authority leader Roman—and it’s had its on and off spells, but since its start, one aspect of the show has stayed consistently great, and that is music supervisor Gary Calamar’s soundtrack. Everyone from swamp-rock house-trashers Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers to New Orleans legends like Dr. John and Allen Toussaint to Neko Case and Damien Rice have been featured on the show’s haunting and irresistible soundtrack, and now the show can add Iggy Pop and Bethany Consentino of Best Coast to its ever-growing stable of featured musicians.
The two recorded an original song, written by Calamar and James Combs, called "Let’s Boot and Rally," a driving garage-blues track that’s equal parts bayou boat and muscle car. And for what it’s worth, the combination of Iggy and Bethany Consentino is pretty close to what we’d imagine Sookie and Bill sounding like if they recorded a song together.
Calamar told KCRW that the song, based on the title of an episode, "wrote itself," and finding the performers was pretty serendipitous too. Iggy Pop, as it turns out, is a pretty big True Blood fan, and when Calamar sent him the demo of the track, it turned out to be a good fit. He sought out Consentino, he says, after listening to his "favorite song of the summer," Best Coast’s "The Only Place."
The episode airs July 8th and in the meantime, you can listen to the track via SoundCloud here.
Yesterday was the Fourth of July, sure, but why not carry on the party through the rest of the week? Let’s hear it for a five-day weekend, everyone! With that in mind, here’s a loosely patriotic playlist to pair with your upcoming weekend’s woeful lack of a fireworks display.
Primal Scream – “Country Girl”
Sure, Primal Scream are Scottish, but their take on Americana still sounds pretty good.
The Hold Steady – “Atlantic City” (Bruce Springsteen cover)
The Brooklyn band looks to Jersey in this spirited take on the Boss.
The Black Keys – “Dearest” (Buddy Holly cover)
Dan Auerbach may not sound as charming as Buddy Holly, but the Black Keys’ offering was a highlight of last year’s Rave On covers collection.
The Apache Relay – “State Trooper” (Bruce Springsteen cover)
This Springsteen cover from rising Nashvillians the Apache Relay starts off minimalist and slowly builds, showcasing Michael Ford, Jr.’s earnest vocals.
Yelawolf – “Made In The USA” (ft. Priscilla Renea)
According to my sources, Yelawolf is popular abroad because the Alabama rapper is seen as being really good at representing America. Exhibit A.
These United States – “Let The River In”
The band name alone says it all, but this cut from These United States’ self-titled new album will hold up well while you’re throwing some burgers on the grill tomorrow.
Fleetwood Mac, everyone’s favorite incestuous pop band from the ’70s, have several albums in their multi-line-up career, although it’s probably their albums from the Me Decade that featured the band’s most recognizable tunes, from the oft-covered "Landslide" to the witchy "Rhiannon". And that’s why the band is long-due for a cool indie-rock tribute album, right?
Featuring Marianne Faithfull, The Kills, Antony, recent Fleetwood Mac coverer Best Coast, and Lykke Li, among others, the album has a pretty stellar tracklisting. It’s going to be hard to wait until August 14, which is when the record drops. I mean, look at this heavy list of wannabe Stevies and Lindseys!
“Albatross” – Lee Ranaldo Band Featuring J Mascis
“Landslide” – Antony
“Before The Beginning” – Trixie Whitley
“Oh Well” – Billy Gibbons & Co.
“Rhiannon” – Best Coast
"Think About Me” – The New Pornographers
“Angel” – Marianne Faithfull
“Silver Springs” – Lykke Li
“Gold Dust Woman” – Karen Elson
“Storms” – Matt Sweeney And Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy
“Straight Back” – Washed Out
“That’s All For Everyone” – Tame Impala
“Sisters Of The Moon” – Craig Wedren with St. Vincent
“Dreams” – The Kills
“Gypsy” – Gardens & Villa
“Tusk” – The Crystal Ark
“Future Games” – MGMT
Jeeeez, who tapped into my brain and created the tribute album of my dreams? Christopher Nolan, is this your handiwork?
If you are also salivating at the idea of very Fleetwood Mac-y band New Pornagraphers (well, without the fucking, I guess) covering the song from the fantastic Tusk, you’re in luck! Pitchfork posted a recording of the song today, which I will now proceed to listen to on a loop for the rest of the day. Join me, won’t you?
Rather than just singing about it, here’s a way to really convince the world that California is the best place: Record a sun-dappled video in which you traverse the Golden State’s beaches, backyard pools and basketball courts, having fun where you please. In the clip for Best Coast’s "The Only Place," Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno do exactly that, vibing outrageous in a way that distracts you from how puerile, though admittedly catchy, those lyrics are. That said, I’m still pretty sure California can’t be the only place until they fix that damn budget crisis.
Expect to see this used in a tourism campaign sooner rather than later. Best Coast’s most recent album, The Only Place (go figure!) is out right now.
You may be stuck in the office for a few more hours before the three-day weekend. These are the last few hours before the Summer of 2012 starts. It’s gonna be awesome, dudez! Chances are no one is doing any work. You shouldn’t be, either. Instead, you should be listening to new songs that are about summer or summer-appropriate. We’ve curated just such a list of hot new acts. So sit back, relax and contemplate that soon your back, sticky with sweat, adhere to that vinyl seat cushion.
Electric Guest – "The Head I Hold" BlackBook favorite Electric Guest’s syncopated single from their new album Mondo, produced by Danger Mouse, combined Asa Taccone’s falestto with a Waiting For Guffman talent competition and hallucinations!
Best Coast – "The Only Place" The first single from Best Coast’s sophomore effort is as summery as it gets: it’s an ode to the sunshine state and all the babes and surf within.
Kylie Minogue – "Timebomb" If you plan on spending your summer doing poppers, may we suggest this track from the agelesss sylph Kylie Minogue. Released today, the track is part of her year-long K25 series, celebrating her quarter of a century in pop music.
Dynasty Electric – "Eye Wide Open" If you plan on spending your summer in a white loft on Zoloft reading Lacan, a book plucked off your Vitra shelving unit, this track from Brooklyn dup Dynasty Electric is proper sonic accompaniment.
Eternal Summers – "Millions" The lead single off Virginia duo-turned-trio’s upcoming album Correct Behavior is a stellar expansion of the hazy sound they perfected on their debut, Silver. Plus, "summer" is in their name. Duh!
Janka Nabay & the Bubu Gang – "Feba" The new track from the upcoming album En Yah Sehfrom Sierra Leone master Janka Nabay plus members of Outer Borough favorites Gang Gang Dance, the Skeletens, and Zs drops August 7th on David Byrne’s Luaka Bop
Summer Camp – "Life" A downer duo but a beautiful one, this song comes from the upcoming album Always, out July 10. This is, I suppose, what life is like in the summers of England.
Saint Motel – "1997" Every summer needs an anthem and this one, from the album, Voyeur out July 10th, is the perfect slightly epic slightly moving anthem for 2012.
Pavement – "Summer Babe" I’d like to close with two gems from the collection. The first needs no introduction.
The Drums, "Let’s Go Surfing" Does anyone remember the summer of 2009, when The Drums were kings of the world? I do. It was nice.
“We never really do acoustic or unplugged things,” says Bethany Cosentino, the mastermind behind Best Coast. So it’s all the most exciting that an acoustic clip of the band, which just released its sophomore album, The Only Place, has surfaced.
Part of a Rhapsody session that included the songs “How They Want Me To Be” and “Last Year,” the just-released “No One Like You” video shows Cosentino and musical partner Bobb Bruno playing the heartbreaker of a tune outside of a park and completely acoustic, but without losing any of the intensity of the album version.
It’s not the first time a band has surprised us with an unplugged session, however. Here are some of our all-time favorites.