What a blustery, rainy day it is for many of us on the West Coast! But that just means it is the perfect opportunity to cozy up next to fireplace/space heater and enjoy to all the new music that came out in the last 24 hours, including new videos from Sam Smith, Stephen Spielberg’s kids (for real), Hurray for the Riff Raff, and Hudson Mohawke Dig in below!
In glistening black and white, Sam Smith and his veritable army of penguin-suited Rat Packers gallivant about Brooklyn, throwing their best Blue Steels at one-another’s cameras, stopping in an alley for some brief choreographed dancing, possibly under the impression they are filming a Men’s Wearhouse commercial. You’re going to “Like I Can” the way you look. I guarantee it. Also, happy birthday Frank! [Consequence of Sound]
Hurray for the Riff Raff (not to be confused with their rapper antithesis of a similar name, Riff Raff) have been cleaning up the year’s end “Best Of” lists with their debut album Small Town Heroes. One of the highlights of the album is their call-to-arms against a culture of violence track, “The Body Electric”, which NPR is hailing as the “political folk song of the year.” Now, the song has a powerful, crowdfunded music video, and an accompanying The Body Electric Fund, which will support organizations that promote peace and build communities, including Third Wave and The Trayvon Martin Foundation. [NPR]
Scottish producer Hudson Mohawke was on BBC Radio 1 to promote his upcoming album and share some new tracks, including this absorbing remix of Four Tet’s “Parallel Jalebi”. Head over to Pigeons and Planes for the complete session or to hear each of the tracks separately.
Folksy Ian Coss employs some intricate and whimsical shadow puppetry and some soothing, Mississippi John Hurt-inspired finger picking in his music video for “One Night”. His new album, An Act of Imagination, is available now. [The Artery]
The bar for making a music video must be set pretty high when your father is Steven Spielberg. Such is the case with siblings Sasha and Theo of indie-pop duo Wardell. Their music video for “Funny Thing” brings their filmmaking pedigree to the forefront, playing out in a reverse, split-screen, behind-the-scenes build up to the music-video-within-the-music-video. [NY Times]
The Colbert Report is entering it’s final week, and Kendrick Lamar will be among Stephen Colbert’s final guests. Also on the short list are Seth Rogen and National Book Award winner and author of Redeployment, Phil Klay. Lamar’s appearance is scheduled for December 16th. [Pitchfork]
Coming on the heels of the news that Grooveshark will be entering the streaming radio market to directly compete with Pandora, Sony/ATV publishing group CEO, Marty Bandier, penned a widely shared letter to Sony/ATV employees with the startling calculation that one million plays on Spotify equated to approximately only $60 in royalties to the song’s writers and publishers. Streaming services, once purported to be the savior of the flailing music industry, are under fire from all directions, as influential musicians like Taylor Swift publicly air their grievances, and financial reports show heavyweight Spotify is yet to be profitable. But what’s the alternative? Asking listeners to pay for music? That option increasingly becoming a tough sell. [Digital Public News]
According to D’angelo’s management, the long-absent R&B star will release new material for the first time since 2000’s iconic Voodoo. According to the above trailer, the new album will be called Black Messiah, and it will more than likely feature Questlove on drums and various other instruments. If you are a lucky soul (heh) and live in New York, you can RSVP to the coolest listening part of the year right here. Very jealous of New Yorkers right now, but also too excited to care.
Dr. Dre has found the elusive secret to making money in music, being noted by Forbes Magazine as having earned the single-year biggest payday of any musician in history. His $620 million earnings in 2014, mostly on account of selling Beats to Apple, is more than five times that of this year’s runner up, Beyoncé, who only earned a measly $115 million. [Stereogum]
Have a great weekend and we will see you back here on Monday with more Music Dispatch.