Friday, November 19, 2010

Music news from this past week

The Beatles on iTunes
In news that neither shocked nor amazed anyone, the Beatles' catalog is now available on iTunes. With all the fanfare that Apple put into the announcement, I was expecting something bigger, perhaps related to iTunes' features or format. I do, however, enjoy reading the responses from the Twitterverse about Apple's announcement. Both NPR and The Huffington Post have posted lists of "who cares?" tweets, and they're really quite funny. My personal favorite: "Hey Mom, congrats! You know all those Beatles albums you already own on vinyl, cassette, AND CD? Now you can buy them on iTunes, too!" I can't imagine that anyone who was interested in the Beatles' music was waiting with baited breath for the albums to become available on iTunes, but sales my indicate otherwise, they are currently among the top sellers on iTunes (though that figure is relative, we may never know absolute sales). Personally, I've acquired all of the albums by either borrowing them from the library or buying physical CDs. Like some have said, though, this may be more important to Steve Jobs than it is to anyone else.

Upcoming album releases
There have been several news stories this week regarding upcoming releases from various artists. Iron & Wine released the cover art for Kiss Each Other Clean, due out January 25. The artwork reminds me of the "art" I would do as a kid where you would draw all over a white sheet of paper of various colored pencils, cover it all with black crayon, then scratch the crayon away. It's nice artwork, but I agree with Pitchfork, it would have been nice to have a picture of two people literally kissing each other clean.

Although this news is apparently already several weeks old, I missed it when it was first reported. Indie pop band Girls is releasing a new EP this coming Tuesday. Their debut album was amazing, one of my favorite releases of the past year or so. If what I have read about the new EP so far is to be believed, their new work will be even better, I can't wait!

Also announcing a new album this week is Talib Kweli, who is, in my opinion, one of the best rappers out there. He will be releasing Gutter Rainbows, a solo album, on January 25 (already turning out to be a good day for me!)

Lykke Li has released some more information about her upcoming album, Wounded Rhymes. Although we still don't have a release date, she's revealed a bit more about her inspirations, partnerships and released a track listing.

Fun collaborations
The Morning Benders and Twin Sister have come together to record a cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams." The combined cover was performed at Webster Hall in NYC. No offense to Andrea Estella of Twin Sister, but the performance was going just fine until she showed up. I love her band, but she does not sound good here.

Fever Ray, of The Knife, has contributed music to the new Red Riding Hood movie. Initially, the story was that she was to be in the film itself, but she has stated that that is not the case. In any case, her overall aesthetic and style fits really well with the dark nature of the film.

A tribute album to Joanna Newsom will be released next month and will feature covers by M. Ward, Billy Bragg and Owen Pallett (Final Fantasy), just to name a few.

Signed to record labels
Indie folk band Frightened Rabbit has been signed to Atlantic Records after three years on indie label Fat Cat.

Fairly new indie rock band Cults has also been signed to another major label, Columbia. I had the opportunity to see them when they came to Rachael's Cafe a few month ago. I liked their sound and am excited to hear that they're working towards releasing their first full release.

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