Dispatch is going to be very brief today, because I’m still learning how to type while wearing this shark costume.
Also because, beginning this week, we will be posting daily Music Dispatches! So prepare yourself for a near constant deluge of music news (but in more digestible servings). Today, we bring you D’Angelo on SNL, artwork for a new Gorillaz project, and word of a Chili Peppers/Danger Mouse collaboration. But first, can we talk about those dancing sharks some more? Check out Katy Perry’s extravagant Super Bowl Halftime Show below and then dig into the rest of our first of many daily dispatches.
We are all just going through life as the left shark in Katy Perry’s performance. But seriously her performance was one of the more entertaining half time shows we’ve seen in the past ten years and we do not say that lightly.
D’Angelo, backed by The Vanguard, made his first ever appearance on SNL this weekend, performing new tracks, “The Charade” and “Really Love”. The performance also marked the reclusive musician’s first television appearance since the surprise release of his new album, Black Messiah. For “The Charade”, D’Angelo wore a hoodie, while his backup singers wore “Black lives matter” and “I can’t breathe” shirts, reminding the audience that, for all it’s neo-soul grooviness, Black Messiah is first and foremost a socially conscious, politically charged album.
SNL also took a hilarious, indirect jab at Lifetime’s recent string of R&B biopics, with a “100% accurate” Jay Z story, with writer/performer Mike O’Brien playing the titular role. Give it a watch on Clarke’s SNL recap. With lines like, “Why are we eating these huge salads? Let’s go practice rapping,” it definitely sounds 100% accurate.
Recognizing the threat of irrelevancy that comes with being a 30+ year-old rock band that still doing the same old thing, Red Hot Chili Peppers have enlisted super-producer (and Gnarls Barkley alum) Danger Mouse to handle their upcoming LP. As drummer/Will Ferrell doppelgänger Chad Smith recently told Rolling Stone, ““We’ve done the ‘guys get in the room and jam out songs, everybody playing together all at once’ thing. And we wrote a bunch of songs that way. And we’re now going to try another method that will be really challenging for us and will bring new, exciting results for the band.” [Consequence of Sound]
Giorgio Moroder (you know, the influential, electronic music producer glorified by Daft Punk in a track on Random Access Memories) has released a video for his clubby dance track, “Right Here, Right Now (feat. Kylie Minogue)”. The ageless pop queen dances in a kaleidoscope of graphics, while the aged producer, shown mostly in silhouette, gets to work behind the turntables. Just two pros, doing what they been doing for decades. [SPIN]
Taylor Swift and HAIM had so much fun yachting around Hawaii last month, they will now be touring across the US together, too. Swift took to Twitter to announce HAIM would be joining her 1989 tour for eight shows between July and late September. [Rolling Stone]
NPR’s First Listen has come out of the blocks sprinting in February, with five new albums just begging to be streamed: The Districts’ A Flourish and a Spoil; JD McPherson’s Let The Good Times Roll; Quarterbacks’ Quarterbacks (surely Tom Brady’s pick of the lot); Paperhaus’ Paperhaus; and Rhiannon Giddens’ Tomorrow Is My Turn.
Seriously burying the lead here: After nearly a year of Damon Albarn hinting at a having a stash of new Gorillaz material, collaborator and artist, Jamie Hewlett, confirmed the rumor of the animated band’s reunion, by posting beautiful, retro-airbrush images of cartoon members, Murdoc and Noodle, on Instagram. When pressed by eager fans, Hewlett stated simply: “Yes. Gorillaz Returns.” The new project (an album, we hope), will be the first official Gorillaz release since 2010’s The Fall, itself a collection of b-sides for Plastic Beach. [The Verge]