It doesn’t feel like the middle of the week when you have a handful of great songs sitting in the palm of your hand. They Might Be Giants covered Destiny’s Child, Mogwai shared a deep cut, Meek Mill secretly dropped a new rap song, and sadcore giants Low have a puncy new single. Plus Apple Music decided to pay indie acts after all, Smashing Pumpkins are bringing their original drummer on tour this summer, and Queen have officially announced a “Bohemian Rhapsody”-themed beer. Is this the real life? Is it just fantasy? Jump into today’s Music Dispatch to find out.
In conjunction with the band’s 40th anniversary, Queen have been making a shitload of proprietary hooch. First it was their “Killer Queen” vodka, and now they have a “golden hoppy” beer called “Bohemian Lager,” which as A.V. Club hilariously points out, is not the most imaginative name for a beer representing one of the best bands to have ever existed on earth. The crest on the label was designed by late lead singer Freddie Mercury while he was a student at Ealing Art College in London. Don’t know about you guys but we’re super in the market for some sweet, if poorly named, Queen-themed booze. We would even do the fandango for it.
Arguably the best part of A.V. Club is A.V. Undercover’s series. Now in its sixth season, the cover song game invites bands into their studio to choose a song off their handpicked list of tracks. They Might Be Giants stopped by for their second time. Unlike their cover of Chumbawamba’s massive hit “Tubthumping” in 2011, they went for a more soulful number this time: “Bills, Bills, Bills” by Destiny’s Child.
“Bills, Bills, Bills” still sounds just as good in 2015 as it did in 1999. Well, as long as it’s getting a weird, alt-rock twist thanks to They Might Be Giants. The left-field band take a truly left-field approach, getting hilariously punk halfway through when they grab the microphone and come slamming down on the staccato notes mid-chorus. Sure, they aren’t as seductive as Beyonce and the rest of the R&B trio, but singer John Linnell still makes his strange vocals sound like they were meant to sing the song all along. [A.V. Club]
Alas, after Taylor Swift’s Tumblr note, Apple Music has finally signed a deal with indie labels. Worldwide Independent Network, the group responsible for Beggars Group, 4AD, Matador, XL, and Rough Trade, has reached an agreement that sees rights holders paid during Apple’s new music streaming service’s three-month trial. Listen as you please and sleep soundly knowing the bands you love are getting paid for their fine work. [Billboard]
If you stopped buying physical copies of music several years ago, it’s time to remember what that feels like. Rock legend David Bowie will be releasing Five Years 1969-1973, the first in what will be a series of multiple box sets that will chronicle his entire career, on September 25 this year. With six studio albums, two live albums, and a compilation titled Re:Call 1, it’s worthy of that display spot in your living room. Did we mention Michael C. Hall is staring in a new David Bowie sci-fi musical, too? Yeah. Great Bowie news all around. [Nerdist]
When your band turns 20, you go big because you’ve clearly decided not to go home. That’s what post-rock legends Mogwai are doing. To celebrate their 20th year as a band this summer, they have announced a set of career highlights and rarities stuffed into a 6xLP set, titled Central Belters. It’s out October 9, but you can see a new video for 1997 non-album single “New Paths to Helicon, Pt. 1” above. [Noisey]
If you got tickets to see the Smashing Pumpkins on their upcoming summer tour with Marilyn Manson, count your lucky stars. The band’s original drummer, Jimmy Chamberlin, will be rejoining them for the first time since 2009. “Jimmy’s drum parts are so incredibly technical and nuanced that it’s a very rare class of people that can step in and play,” Billy Corgan told USA Today. Naturally, the only suitable Jimmy Chamberlain fill-in was the original drummer himself.
It’s time for hip-hop overload. Meek Mill‘s new album, Dreams Worth More Than Money, drops next week on June 29. It’s stuffed with guest spots from Nicki Minaj, Drake, the Weeknd, Future, Swizz Beatz, Rick Ross, Diddy, and Chris Brown. Because that’s too much to swallow in one take, he’s shared the cold cruising single “Check” in advance. [Pitchfork]
Sadcore giants Low are ready to bum us out again, and boy are we excited for it (even if that’s an oxymoron). Ones and Sixes is out September 11 via Sub Pop. To get that soft, tearful sound, they recorded it at April Base Studios in Wisconsin AKA Justin Vernon of Bon Iver’s studio. Their lead single, “No Comprende”, is streaming now, and it’s a punchy stomp with sultry vocals — just enough to tide us over until the weekend. [SPIN]
Come back on Friday for another roundup of news in Music Dispatch!