Congratulations, dear readers; we have arrived at the end of the first full week of the new year. If you’re like me, you really hustled the last few days, stuck to your resolutions, and can now pat yourself on the back, relax, and coast through to 2016. Heck, why not get a head start by blowing the rest of the day watching videos and reading about music? We have a new track from iLoveMakonnen, Lil Jon’s opinion about the 2015 Coachella lineup, a documentary from Sufjan Stevens, and music from the upcoming SpongeBob Squarepants movie by Pharrell‘s band N.E.R.D.
Festival line-ups dominated the airwaves this week, as Coachella’s announcement was swiftly followed by Governor’s Ball’s respectable collection of acts. Drake has the special honor of headlining on both coasts, while Tame Impala, St. Vincent, Florence & The Machine and Ryan Adams round out the bigger attractions shared by both festivals. This year, Gov Ball will also feature Black Keys, Deadmau5, Lana Del Rey, Bjork, My Morning Jacket, Ratatat, Bjork, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Chromeo, Flume, The Decemberists, The War On Drugs, Hot Chip, Sharon Van Etten, Little Dragon, Flying Lotus, Charli XCX and our pal Weird Al, among many others. Tickets for the June 5-7 event are on sale now. And, in case anyone was misled by the “Humans of New York“-esque video above, no, Florence + The Machine is not a middle-aged male boxer.
Also out of New York, Jack White has tapped Run the Jewels to open his January 30th show at Madison Square Garden. As RTJ’s El-P summed it up on Twitter, “when you get asked to open for jack white at MSG you say yes. its in the bible.” [Diffuser]
Not to be outdone by their coastal counterparts, Bonnaroo has announced that it will announce it’s lineup a month early. But, instead of going the traditional route of blasting out a list of performers, Bonaroo is arranging a toll-free number (1-844-ROO-2015), where callers will get a name of a performer and then be asked to share it via social media with the hashtag #bonnaroo. The number will be active from 5-8pm on Tuesday. [The Tennessean]
Meanwhile, Lil Jon stopped by the Funny Or Die offices to give his snarky take on the Coachella lineup (or at least on the Coachella line-up’s band names). “St. Vincent? Sh**, are they playing the whole movie?!” Okay, on to non-festival news…
Noisey has premiered the dreamy, new Phantom Power-produced, iLoveMakonnen track, “Super Clean”, off Mak’s upcoming Drink More Water 5. No release date is yet set for the EP, but this is one we are keeping our eagle-eyes on. [Noisey]
Conceptual musician Sufjan Stevens has co-directed and scored a documentary on the Pendleton Round-Up, a 100-year-old rodeo in Oregon, which he stumbled across while traveling. In an interview with IndieWire, Stevens describes the film as “part of a much bigger argument about the domestication of plants and animals and man’s relationship to the earth. It’s an existential issue that I think is crucial to have conversation about: man in modern society. We live in a world that is cruel to the earth itself,” adding, “Man is a biological terrorist.” Huh, so 8 Seconds, this is not. Stevens, along with collaborators Yarn/Wire, will be on hand at the Brooklyn Academy of Music to perform live scorings between January 20th and 25th.
Sufjan is not the only folksy rocker getting into the doc game this year. Iron & Wine has released the trailer to his short film, Dreamers and Makers are my Favorite People, which is half a concert video and half a documentary on the story of his chosen venue, the quaint and legendary Jerry Run Summer Theater in backwoodsy West Virginia. The short comes alongside the February 24 release of the first volume of Iron & Wine’s Archive Series, which features 16 home recordings from his 2002 debut album The Creek Drank the Cradle. [Pitchfork]
February 24 will be a good day to hang out at the record shop. Also being released that day will be the latest reissue from Led Zeppelin, their 40-year-old fifth album, Physical Graffiti. Like the previous reissues, this Graffiti has been remastered by Jimmy Page and includes a second disc of different mixes and versions of tracks off the original. [Pitchfork]
A couple days ago we featured Sia’s artsy, new video for “Elastic Heart”, featuring mini-Sia Maddie Ziegler and actual human cannibal Shia LaBeouf (here it is again, because the more music videos, the better). The two interact in a choreographed dance representing, as Sia explains, “two warring ‘sia’ self states,” and also harkened back to LaBeouf’s (nsfw) performance in Sigur Rós‘ “Fjogur Piano”. Because people always have to be angry about something, almost immediately, a knee-jerk controversy erupted around the video for it’s “pedophilia overtones”. Sia apologized on Twitter, saying that her intention “was to create some emotional content, not upset anybody,” and Maddie and Shia were the only two actors she felt could portray the roles. [Stereogum]
Austin native, Spoon, will be featured in the January 10th episode of the PBS music series, Austin City Limits, in which they will perform six songs. In the above clip, exclusive for web, they perform “The Beast And Dragon, Adored”. The title track of their record, They Want My Soul, is also only available online, and you can watch it HERE. [Stereogum]
While appearing on a number of other musician’s tracks, Akon has not released an album of his own since 2008’s Freedom. Now, the hip-hop artist is ready to share what he’s been working on in the interim: a five-album concept album, each rooted in a different genre. Each of Akon’s Stadium albums will be subtitled hinting at their focus: Euro, Pop, Urban, Island and World. A track from each album is now available for a listen on his website. [Billboard]
Pharrell and Chad Hugo (The Neptunes) have reunited N.E.R.D. to help soundtrack the upcoming SpongeBob movie with three new songs, and you can check out the first, “Squeeze Me”, below. After the success of “Happy”, which originally appeared on the soundtrack for Despicable Me 2, Pharrell appears to be hoping that lightning will strike twice for the Billboard viability of his animated film compositions. This is the first original material N.E.R.D. have released since 2010.
Have an excellent weekend. See you back here on Monday!