Underworld Underworld… Olym picks

News Cruise: Blur, Jay-Z/Kanye, Air, Animal Collective, Spiritualized, of Montreal

Published on December 13th, 2011 | Jonny Abrams

Rocksucker prowls the online music media majestically, as a lion stalks the grassy plains of the Serengeti, and rounds up the most exciting bits of news in a conveniently alphamabetical format. Join us in getting decidedly hot and bothered over the following tidbits…

Air – The Versailles duo release their seventh album Le Voyage Dans La Lune, which takes its inspiration from the 1902 Georges Méliès film of the same name, on 6th February. Click here to pre-order it.

Andrew Bird – The Chicago singer/songwriter releases Break it Yourself, his seventh solo album, on 6th March. Purchase a ticket for one of the dates on his forthcoming US tour and you’ll get two free live EPs and a digital download for the album upon release. Click here for tour dates and more information about the offer.

Animal Collective – Baltimore’s foremost exponents of experimental psych-pop have started work on the follow up to 2009’s hugely popular Merriweather Post Pavilion album. Avey Tare told Madison.com: “We’re really excited about this record. We just finished another two weeks of writing sessions and put together five [more] new songs. It’s been really fun jamming with those guys again.” In July, he told the Baltimore Sun that the new album will be “more immediate” than its predecessor, and “informed more by being in a wooded setting, by the nature in Maryland”. Having sat out Merriweather, founder member Deakin has returned to the fold for this new project.

Ariel Pink/Daft Punk – The LA psych-pop hero guests on the French duo’s remix of “Solar Sailer” from their score for Tron: Legacy. Have a listen, why not…

Daft Punk, TRS-80, & Ariel Pink – Sky Sailor (Float Away) by ErnestimesBlog

Ash – Fresh from releasing a splendid Christmas album with his girlfriend Emmy the Great, Ash front man Tim Wheeler hinted to Rocksucker that the Norther Irish power-poppers will revert to a normal album format for their follow-up to the A-Z Series. He said: “I’m really glad that we experimented with the whole singles thing. I think it was a great success, but it was so much work. It was crazy, the most we’ve ever worked in our lives! So maybe we’ll do something simpler next time.” Click here to read our interview with Tim Wheeler in full.

Blur – Messrs Albarn, Coxon, James and Rowntree shall be awarded the Oustanding Contribution to Music gong at the 2012 Brit Awards, which take place on 21st February at the O2. Graham Coxon, who plays London’s HMV Apollo on 20th December, said: “Being in a band this long is like a kind of time travel: we’re the same gang we ever were, we’ve just landed in a different era. Or possibly we’re a totally different Blur still playing the old tunes in 1991…forever. I haven’t decided. But it’s always nice to get a Brit award.”

Damon Albarn/Bobby Womack – Meanwhile, yer man Albarn is co-producing the new album by soul legend and one-time Gorrillaz guest vocalist Bobby Womack alongside XL Records head honcho Richard Russell. Said Russell: “I think it sounds like a very modern soul record, really. His voice is amazing and I think if people have been listening to things like Frank Ocean and The Weeknd [then they’ll like it]. I think those artists are very influenced by Bobby and you can join a lot of the dots.”

Ghostface Killah/DOOM – The long-awaited DOOMSTARKS collaboration album Swift & Changeable is being held up by DOOM (formerly MF DOOM), said Ghostface to MuchMusic: “We did a lot of songs. I’m still waiting for him to send me more songs. I tell him, ‘The people want the album, yo.’ Everywhere I go, they want it. But the ball’s in his corner. I’m just waiting on him, because I’ve been pressing the issue. It’s gonna happen.”

Goldfrapp – Career-spanning Goldfrapp collection The Singles is released 6th February. Click here to pre-order your copy.

Guided By Voices – The legends of lo-fi, now back to the “classic line-up” that yielded the albums Bee Thousand and Alien Lanes, release brand new studio album Go Eat the Factory on January 16th, and are currently working on another – the brilliantly titled Class Clown Spots a UFO – to be released later in the year. What’s more, a Robert Pollard solo album titled Mouseman Cloud shall be released in March. Whew!

Half Japanese – Fire Records shall reissue all fourteen Half Japanese albums between February 2012 and sometime in 2013, with front man Jad Fair telling Rocksucker that he is working on another one, as well as on a collaboration with his brother and fellow Half Japanese founder member David. Click here to read our interview with Jad Fair in full, in which he also states that he would love to work with Teenage Fanclub again.

Jay-Z/Kanye West – Beyonce’s fella told MTV that 2012 might see not only new solo albums from himself and Kanye West, but also a follow-up to their Watch the Throne collaboration of this year. He said: “[We’re] in a great place, creatively. You might see a Jay, a Kanye, and a Throne album next year,” he said. “We really found our zone.”

Jonny Greenwood – The Radiohead guitarist is reportedly set to provide the score for another film, this time Thomas Anderson’s The Master, starring Amy Adams, Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Laura Dern.

Matthew Dear – Beams, the follow-up to Dear’s 2010 album Black City, will be released sometime next year, to be preceded the Headcage EP on January 17th. Listen to the EP’s title track right here…

Matthew Dear – Headcage by ghostly

of Montreal – The odd-pop heroes from Athens, Georgia release their eleventh studio album Paralytic Stalks on 7th February. Main-man-almost-to-the-point-of-being-of-Montreal Kevin Barnes told Pitchfork: “There are some moments on this record that are very different from anything I’ve ever done before. It’s a bit more esoteric, and it’s probably not something everybody’s going to like. I can see a lot of people having problems with it, but I can also see a lot of people loving it. I feel like so many records nowadays are disposable; you’re not really expected to listen to the whole album, and no one does. With this record, I wanted something that was more of an experience that you would listen to from start to finish and have a very deep personal connection to. The songs are way more intimate and confessional.”

Oneohtrix Point Never – The electronic soundscapist is teaming up with visual artist Nate Boyce for a multimedia project named Reliquary House, to be premiered at New York’s Museum of Modern Art this Saturday. Click here for more information.

Placebo – On the 7th December 2008, Brian Molko and co. kicked off their 2 year Battle For The Sun tour with a semi-acoustic show for MTV EXIT at the UNESCO world heritage site of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, becoming the first rock band to play at the 12th Century temple in the process. You can now download this Placebo – Live at Angkor Wat from www.itunes.com/placebo. Please show your support MTV Exit’s campaign for freedom at www.mtvexit.org

Pulp – Fire Records will reissue Jarvis and co.’s first three albums – namely It (1983), Freaks (1987) and Separations (1992) – on 20th February. Each one will come packaged with bonus material. Click here for more information.

Saigon/Just Blaze – Mere months on from the release of his acclaimed debut album The Greatest Story Never Told, Saigon will release Warning Shots 3: One Foot in the Grave, his latest mixtape with New Jersey producer Just Blaze, on 24th January.

Spiritualized – Jason Pierce’s epically inclined space-rock troupe release their seventh album Sweet Heart Sweet Light on 19th March. Says Mr Spaceman himself: “When you make a record, it has to be the single most important thing in your world. This time around, I wanted to do something that encompassed all I love in rock ‘n’ rollmusic. It’s got everything from Brötzmann and Berry right through to Dennis and Brian Wilson. I’m obsessed with music and the way you put it together and I don’t believe there are any rules.”

The Charlatans – Following on from their 2010 live performances of debut album Some Friendly, The Charlatans have lined up a couple of Tellin’ Stories shows at London’s HMV Hammersmith (June 8th) Apollo and Glasgow Barrowlands (June 9th). Tellin’ Stories was their first album to be released after the death of keyboardist Rob Collins and went on to claim iconic status off the back of songs like “North Country Boy” and “How High”. Click here to buy tickets.

The Chemical Brothers – Ed and Tom’s performance at Japan’s Fuji Rock Festival in July was filmed on twenty cameras and turned into a film by Adam Smith, the duo’s main visuals collaborator. The film, titled Don’t Think, will be released in twenty cities around the world on February 1st, with advance screenings on January 26th. Said Smith: “I wanted to capture what it is like to experience the show from right in the middle of the crowd as well as showing and combining the visuals featured in the show with the footage we captured on this one night; to see how the music and visuals emotionally affect and connect with the audience.” For more information, please visit Dontthinkmovie.com.

The Flaming Lips/Plastic Ono Band – The Lips’ new year’s eve show in Oklahoma City, New Year’s Freak Out No. 5, shall feature a duet of ‘’Happy Xmas [War Is Over]’’ with Yoko Ono and her Plastic Ono band. Furthermore, it will be at midnight. They will also record a version of “Atlas Eets Christmas”, from their “secret 2007 Christmas” album that Rocksucker had no idea existed and turns out was released under the name Imagene Peise. Erm…take a listen for yourselves…

Wayne Coyne has also said that the Lips are recording an EP with Nick Cave, while Deerhoof’s Greg Saunier recently told Rocksucker in our interview with him that they are likely to also collaborate with Oklahoma’s finest and most eminent loons.

And in response to a recent comment left on Rocksucker: yes, we will be finishing our series of Flaming Lips 2011 reviews, and all that that entails!

The King Blues – Here is the video for “Does Anybody Care About Us?”, the fourth single to be released from the band’s Punk & Poetry album released earlier this year.

Click here to read our interview with The King Blues’ guitarist Jamie Jazz.

The National – Click here to listen to the band performing two brand new songs – “Rylan” and “I Need My Girl” – on Q LIVE in Toronto. 

Tindersticks – Stuart A. Staples and co. release new album The Something Rain on 21st February and embark on a European tour from 3rd March. Check out this new video for a taster of what’s to come…

Underworld – The legendary electronic duo have been chosen as music directors for the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, with Karl Hyde telling Billboard.com to “expect the unexpected”. Rocksucker would like to commend whoever it was who made this appointment on a really rather excellent decision.

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About the Author

Editor of Rocksucker and the website's founder, Jonny is passionate about the music he listens to, both good and bad, as well as interviewing his favourite musicians.

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