If you were snoozing in the summer sun this weekend, you may have missed a lot of music news. For starters, David Byrne wrote a letter asking for streaming transparency. Then comes word that Pavement’s lost songs are streaming, Frank Ocean is dropping something soon, Mos Def joined Kendrick Lamar at Osheaga, Paul McCartney sang with Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes at Lollapalooza, Motion City Soundtrack have a new album on the way, Mogwai is scoring a documentary, and Low has a gorgeous new song out.
Let’s catch up, shall we?
It’s no secret that streaming services have a lot more hidden up their sleeves than the public sees. Because of that, Talking Heads frontman David Byrne has penned an op-ed asking for more transparency between streaming services, record labels, and musicians for the New York Times. It “saved a record industry that piracy had gutted,” but “even as the musical audience [of streaming] has grown, ways have been found to siphon off a greater percentage than ever of the money that customers and music fans pay for recorded music.”
Pavement gets a lot of love, even 20 years after they were in their prime. Now the slacker rock icons are streaming a slew of rarities, titled The Secret History, Vol. 1, over at NPR. It’s 30 songs of B-sides, unreleased tracks, and more from the Slanted and Enchanted era of 1992. It’s pretty perfect — and just in time for summer. [NPR]
It’s been a while since Frank Ocean dropped new material, and his website is hinting it will be showing up very soon. The R&B crooner updated his site to include an image of his old Tumblr post promising two versions of the album and, for a brief moment, linked to a new site called “boysdontcry.co”, the supposed title of his upcoming album. The image shows what looks like zines, but the album was originally supposed to drop so it could very well be an LP. We’re not sure what to expect, but no matter what, something will be out soon. [Stereogum]
— Pigeons & Planes (@PigsAndPlans) August 2, 2015
This weekend was another of festival overload, and with that comes surprise guests. Kendrick Lamar played Osheaga over in Canada. During his set, he brought Mos Def onstage to freestyle over “Alright” off To Pimp a Butterfly. It’s a funky spin to an already powerful single, taking things up an extra notch. [Consequence of Sound]
Back in the US, another festival was taking place: Lollapalooza. Paul McCartney headlined the July 31st slot and brought out a special guest to help with some Beatles material: Brittany Howard. The Alabama Shakes frontwoman ripped through “Get Back” alongside McCartney, kicking up plenty of dust both on vocals and guitar. If that doesn’t bring a smile to your face, we don’t know what will. [Rolling Stone]
Motion City Soundtrack started writing new material in 2013 and now they finally have an album’s worth to share. Panic Stations, their sixth studio album, will drop on September 18th, but “Lose Control” is streaming now. It’s an anthemic number with stadium-ready drums, a slow-roll chorus, and the buzzing synth we’ve grown to love.
Does a documentary on Hiroshima sound cool? How about if Mogwai scores it? The post-rock luminaries are writing and performing new music for a BBC series called Storyville: Atomic – Living in Dread and Promise on the event’s anniversary. Check out your local listings to see when you can catch it on TV this summer. [Pitchfork]
Sadcore trio Low are going to drop their newest album, Ones and Sixes, on September 11th. In anticipation of that release, they have shared a gorgeous new single titled “What Part of Me”. Whispery vocals and a steady drumbeat see them lifting those frowns a bit for a soft, calming, optimistic number that remains mellow at its core. If Monday has been rough to you already, this is a perfect come down to re-grasp your sanity.
That’s it for today. Make sure to come back on Wednesday for another Music Dispatch!