Saturday, May 2, 2020

My Favorite Things of the Week

The future of live music seems uncertain right now. While numerous tours and festivals are being canceled or postponed and we're dealing with massive companies refusing to refund tickets already purchased, a new type of live concert seems to be emerging, the video game concert. Travis Scott recently performed on Fortnite, and Massive Attack, HEALTH, and Pussy Riot are set for the Block by Blockwest virtual concert sponsored by Minecraft in May.

There are a lot of artists still planning album releases for this year, we'll have to keep an eye out whether any more of them opt for the virtual model for promoting the records.

Self-isolation has continued to be a boon for new covers performed from the comfort of the artists' homes, including more home shows from Ben Gibbard, an entire Nirvana tribute concert from Post Malone, and a variety of karaoke-style covers from Rosalía. My favorite recently came from Bedouine, who covered an artist that I was previously unfamiliar with. The folk artist posted a cover of "The Hum," from Margo Guryan.

Self-isolation has also meant that a lot of new music videos are being filmed and produced by artists at home. There have been quite a few duds, including the video for a John Legend and Kane Brown collaboration, but one recent really stood out for its creative use of web-conferencing software. Thao & The Get Down Stay Down's "Phenom" takes advantage of the grid-view of Zoom to present a cohesive choreographed product.

It's not a brand new song, but Deerhoof's latest single has stuck around in my head since it was released a couple of weeks ago. I've listened to Deerhoof for a number of years, but can sometimes find their music hard to really get into. Occasionally, they make a song that finds the perfect balance of their experimental music and a pop groove. "Future Teenage Cave Artists," from their upcoming album of the same name (out May 29), is just that song!

And finally, here are some albums announced over the past week that I'm looking forward to!

Absolutely Free - Two Cares Due None (April 29)
Brain - The World EP (May 15)
Esther Rose - My Favorite Mistakes (May 29)
GUM - Go Out in the World (June 12)
Kali Uchis - To Feel Alive (out now)
Kehlani - It Was Good Until It Wasn’t (May 8)
Sam Prekop - Comma (July 10)
Thomas Wesley Pentz - Diplo Presents Thomas Wesley Pentz Chapter 1: Snake Oil (May 29)

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