Last week when I decided to call my inaugural music news feature the Weekly* Music Fix, I emailed Riese to warn her that despite the title, I had no real intention of delivering the feature on a weekly basis. Misleading, I know. But not this week, because look! Here it is! Less than one week later! Now I’m going to stop being so self-congratulatory and just give you the damn music news:
AN HORSE & KAKI KING TO TOUR THE USA
If you’ve ever paid any attention to Audiostraddle or my tweets then you have picked up my mild obsession with Kaki King and An Horse. So when the news broke a few days that these two acts are going to tour the USA together, my heart skipped a few beats and damn near stopped. Unfortunately I don’t live on the right side of the Pacific Ocean, but if you do then I recommend you check out their dates.
HOPE FOR HAITI
George Clooney’s ‘Hope For Haiti’ fundraising concert and telethon line up keeps growing, with Bono, Alicia Keys, Justin Timberlate, Christina Aguilera and Sting the big names so far. The event is on Jan 22 – if you can spare a donation then please do.
If you haven’t read Haitian-born Arcade Fire singer Régine Chassagne’s moving editorial in The Observer about the destruction in Haiti, prepare to be moved to tears. Somewhere in my heart, it’s the end of the world…
KE$HA BOOT$ $USAN BOYLE FROM THE #1 $POT
Last week, Ke$ha did the unthinkable and knocked Susan Boyle from the #1 chart position with her debut record Animal. I’ve become quickly infatuated with Ke$ha, despite the ridiculous dollar sign in her name. I truly believe she’s going to give Lady Gaga a run for her money. Yeah, I just said that. Animal is still in the mail, and so I will reserve further judgment for when I hear the entire record.
Speaking of Susan Boyle, she didn’t receive any nominations for the 2010 BRIT awards, despite selling millions of records and being the UK’s highest selling artist right now. Now Susan isn’t exactly my jam, but WHAT? The popular opinion is that this snub is the industry’s way of saying f*ck you to Simon Cowell.
VAMPIRE WEEKEND’S “CONTRA” IS NEXT
Vampire Weekend’s sophomore album Contra has left radio DJs and music journalists salivating. Since its Jan. 12 release, the record has shot up to #1 on the U.S. iTunes charts, and I suspect the Billboard #1 spot isn’t far behind. [UPDATE: This happened overnight - Ke$ha has been bumped!] To check out what all the fuss is about, head on over to Vampire Weekend’s myspace. Oh and just when I thought it wasn’t possible for VW to get any cooler? They’ve been signed up to appear at Glastonbury, and the deal was done via Twitter.
The official line up for Coachella has been announced! In addition to the Vampire Weekend, there’s Muse, Jay-Z, Phoenix, Pavement, Gorrilaz, Them Crooked Vultures, The Dead Weather, Devo (!), The xx, Gossip, Corrine Bailey Rae, Florence and the Machine, Sia and moew. It’s a dream line up, except there’s maybe not as many females at the top of the bill as I would have liked to have seen.
HEY SPEAKING OF COACHELLA…
New music! I’ve been meaning to tell you all to listen to The Middle East, an Australian indie band that’s been making huge waves locally and overseas. As evidenced by being added to the Coachella line up. Their EP is available on iTunes, this’s a band that’s really worth checking out.
ORIANTHI VIDEO PREMIERE
Some of you might recognize Aussie musician Orianthi as the smokin’ hot and extremely talented guitarist who was tearing up the stage beside Michael Jackson in his concert footage for This Is It. Well Spinner have just premiered her music new video, “Highly Strung”, in which she trades riffs with my guitar hero Steve Vai. There’s also some behind the scenes footage, check it out.
AMANDA F*CKING PALMER TO WED
Sorry ladies, your dream woman is gettin’ hitched.
PEREZ AND SIMON FULLER TO CREATE NEW BOY BAND
I’ve been waiting with bated breath for this to be shot down as rumor, but sadly it’s really happening: Simon Fuller and Perez Hilton are creating a reality TV show that will form the next boy band. The show is actually titled Boy Band. If this news has left you feeling a little depressed, read this excellent article from The Guardian that offers up Perez Hilton as a cautionary tale for mixing music and branding without understanding your audience. It’s spot on.
BEHIND THE SCENES WITH BEIBER
This one’s for Intern Hot Laura, who introduced us to a shiny-haired hoodie-wearing tween pop sensation named Justin Beiber in our 2009 music year in review. If you’re a fan, you might want to check out Rolling Stone’s behind the scenes video of the music clip for “Never Let You Go”. He also has a feature in the current RS issue.
VIVIAN GIRLS NEW SINGLE AND TOUR
Quick to follow on from 2009’s Everything Goes Wrong, the Vivian Girls have announced a Feb. 16 release of their brand new single titled “You Will Follow Me.” It’ll be released on vinyl as well, backed by a near-a cappella cover of the Chantels’ “He’s Gone.” Pitchfork has the full details on the release and tour.
NEW RECORD FROM KATE NASH
Speaking to NME about her highly-anticipated forthcoming album, London singer/songwriter Kate Nash revealed that it has been influenced by her dislike of seagulls and groupies. If you want to find out more (I do!), you’ll have to read the full interview in NME’s Albums of 2010 issue which is out now.
RIP KATE McGARRIGLE
The music world lost a number of great musicians this week, including Canadian folk musician Kate McGarrigle, who lost her battle to cancer. Kate made a significant contribution to music in the ’70s and beyond as one half of the McGarrigle Sisters and influenced the work of her children Martha Wainwright and Rufus Wainwright.
I have Electroqueer to thank for introducing me to all-female Korean pop outfit 2NE1 (twenty one), a group of seriously fly girls whose songs and outfits are rather fun. I’m gonna leave you with one of their tracks, “Fire”.