Today my Twitter feed was rife with music stories. Tom Waits, Justin Timberlake and Mumford & Sons all made a splash, some even becoming trending topics. Also, the xx released another new song and Karmin’s Amy Heidemann won an appearance on Rolling Stone’s upcoming Women Who Rock issue. Here are my thoughts on these topics.
Let’s start with The Bad:
1. Karmin. If Rolling Stone was still the massively influential music publication it once was, then I might be more upset about voters choosing Amy Heidemann of Internet band Karmin to grace the Women Who Rock issue. But, it’s still plain ridiculous that she won.
- A. She doesn’t rock. For all the reasons on why she doesn’t rock, read Jon Caramanica’s piece in the New York Times.
- B. Every other candidate would have been a better choice. (See A).
- C. Alex Kandel of Sleeper Agent is clearly the only rocker and should have definitely won. Sleeper Agent’s debut album Celabrasion is a fun and fierce garage rock/punk-influenced/indie album. Kandel fronts the otherwise all-male band. She wears a T-shirt and jeans. She refuses to be an object or a gimmick. She has an awesome blog. She headbangs. She crashes tea parties. She beats piñatas. She rocks.
Now, after all my venting, The Good:
2. Tom Waits. I don’t think Tom Waits is a God like many people do, but I enjoy some of his music. I especially enjoyed his fun and foreshadowing flyers posted online these past few days to build publicity for the release of today’s music video, “Hell Broke Luce.” The video, directed by Matt Mahurin, pairs stunning visuals with the pounding music. One of the recurring visuals shows Soldier Waits dragging his house with rope pulled over his shoulder under a stormy sky. I love the intensity of the lyrics, the music and the scenes.
3. The xx. British band the xx released “Chained,” another song off its upcoming sophomore album, Coexist. I love the xx and cannot wait until this album is released. In addition to the dark, dream pop sound, one of my favorite characteristics of the xx is the duel male/female vocals, which shine on this release. Check it out:
4. Mumford & Sons. As anticipation builds for breakthrough band Mumford & Sons’ sophomore album Babel, the guys just released another new song. “I Will Wait” holds little back, opening with speedy banjo picking. At first I found the song a bit boring. It’s definitely a safe track that follows the exact formula of the band’s previous hits. But as I continued to listened to the song, I started to get into it more. Maybe I was just enjoying the familiarity. Nonetheless, it’s about time they release the second album.
And now, The Confusing:
5. Justin Timberlake. Is he or isn’t he? The Twitter rumor mill hit an all-time high today when reports surfaced that Timberlake was working on a follow-up to his acclaimed FutureSex/LoveSounds. But, alas, hearts broke throughout the digital universe when a publicist for the actor/singer denied the reports. According to Billboard.com, the publicist said Timberlake has been working with Timbaland on songs for Shock Value 3, but he has no plans for a third album. Also working with Timberlake and Timbaland is producer Jim Beanz, whose quotes regarding the project spurred the false headlines. I love film, but all I have to say to Timberlake these days is: less acting, more music making.