Sunday, May 14, 2017

Paul McCartney, The Who, Neil Young Desert Trip Will Not Return in 2017

Desert Trip Will Not Return in 2017:

The classic rock festival Desert Trip – which featured Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, The Who, Neil Young and Roger Waters in its inaugural weekends last year –will not take place in 2017, Billboard reports.

"We're not doing Desert Trip this year," concert promoter Goldenvoice CEO Paul Tollett told Billboard.

Goldenvoice also produces Coachella and Stagecoach, which are both held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, CA, where Desert Trip took place. FYF, Firefly, Hangout Music Fest and Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival, are among its other festivals.

Tollett did not disclose the reasoning behind skipping Desert Trip this year, but he left the door open for a similar event at a later date. "We loved 2016 Desert Trip – that was a special moment in time. Maybe someday in the future we'll do something similar," Tollett told Billboard.

Held over two weekends last October, Desert Trip sold 150,000 tickets and grossed $160 million, a new industry world record.

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Hear Calvin Harris, Future, Khalid's Smooth New Song 'Rollin'

Hear Calvin Harris, Future, Khalid's Smooth New Song 'Rollin':

Calvin Harris unveiled another new throwback single with the funky, Daft Punk-ian "Rollin" featuring Future and Khalid. Harris' album Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1 will be released on June 30th.

The syncopated jam is an ode to highway cruising. A piano, clap-track and tootling synth set the song's steady cadence while Khalid and Future trade off verses. The singer (Khalid) and rapper (Future) have distinctly different styles that complement each other, with Khalid's soulful voice punctuating Future's Auto-Tuned staccato. The odd combination surprisingly highlights each artists' strengths.

Harris has released two other singles from his forthcoming album already, including "Slide" featuring Frank Ocean and Migos as well as "Heatstroke" featuring Young Thug, Pharrell and Ariana Grande. In a teaser clip for the album featuring a preview of "Rollin," he revealed that other guests on the album include Travis Scott, Kehlani, Katy Perry, Big Sean, John Legend, Schoolboy Q, D.R.A.M., Nicki Minaj, Lil Yachty, Jessie Reyez, PartyNextDoor and Snoop Dogg.

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Bryson Tiller Announces 'True to Self' Album, Releases Three New Songs

Bryson Tiller Announces 'True to Self' Album, Releases Three New Songs:

R&B singer Bryson Tiller has detailed his upcoming album and previewed the LP with three new songs. True to Self will be released on June 23rd.

On the tracks, Tiller perfects the many sides he showcased on his debut album Trapsoul. "Get Mine," featuring Young Thug, shows Tiller at his most Drake-influenced, rapping about betrayal and trying to protect his young daughter. He slows it down for both "Somethin Tells Me" and "Honey," the latter a smooth and sultry highlight of the trio.

Tiller announced that he completed his sophomore LP last month on Instagram. "I always feel like I got more to say whenever I'm 'done' but I'll save it for the next one I guess," he wrote.

The singer released his debut album Trapsoul in 2015 after releasing massive attention online for his SoundCloud released songs like "Don't." The single peaked at Number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 with the album charting at Number 11. He toured extensively in support of the LP, and joined the Weeknd earlier this year for the European dates of his Starboy: Legend of the Fall tour. He'll rejoin the Weeknd's trek in July for a few dates in Europe.

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Jimi Hendrix's 'Are You Experienced': 10 Things You Didn't Know

Jimi Hendrix's 'Are You Experienced': 10 Things You Didn't Know:

Few debut albums have altered the course of rock to the extent that Are You Experienced, the full-length bow from the Jimi Hendrix Experience, did in the spring of 1967. Released 50 years ago today in the U.K. – a version with a different track selection and running order would be issued in the U.S. three months later – the LP not only showcased Hendrix's remarkably inventive guitar playing, but also combined R&B, blues, psychedelia, pop, heavy rock and even jazz in a way that no one had ever done (or even imagined) before. Are You Experienced also revealed Hendrix (a veteran of the "chitlin' circuit" who'd been all but unknown to rock fans a year earlier) as a songwriter with a uniquely whimsical and imaginative lyrical vision, one which could leap from earthy lust to futuristic fantasy with just a handful of words.

Featuring such immortal tracks as "Foxy Lady," "Fire," "Love or Confusion," "Are You Experienced?" and "Manic Depression," the album – especially the U.S. edition, which also included the U.K. singles "Hey Joe," "Purple Haze," and "The Wind Cries Mary" – is practically a greatest-hits record unto itself. Hendrix, however, was just getting started; on his next two albums, 1967's Axis: Bold As Love and 1968's Electric Ladyland, he would paint sonic canvases so colorful and detailed as to make Are You Experienced seem raw and primitive by comparison. "Are You Experienced was one of the most direct records we've done," he told Hit Parader magazine in January 1969. "What it was saying was, 'Let us through the wall, man, we want you to dig it.'" And dig it, they did: Are You Experienced went on to spend 106 weeks on the Billboard 200, eventually selling more than 5 million copies in the U.S. alone.

To celebrate the album's milestone anniversary, here are some lesser-known facts about Are You Experienced.

1. The Jimi Hendrix Experience had only been together for a few weeks before recording.On October 23rd, 1966, Hendrix, Redding and Mitchell entered London's De Lane Lea studios to record a soulful cover of Billy Roberts' folk-rock standard "Hey Joe" with manager Chas Chandler producing. Released seven weeks later as a single, the recording – which would be included on the U.S. version of Are You Experienced – climbed all the way to Number Six on the U.K. charts, establishing Hendrix as a rising star in Britain and Europe. Incredibly, Hendrix had only just arrived in London on September 24th, hooked up with Redding on the 29th, and auditioned Mitchell on October 4th; nine days after Mitchell joined the band, the Jimi Hendrix Experience played their first-ever gig at the Novelty cinema in Évreux, France, kicking off a four-date tour opening for French pop singer Johnny Hallyday.

Given their recent formation, the "Hey Joe" session was a challenging one for the musicians, but it effectively set the sonic template for what would become Are You Experienced. "'Hey Joe' is a very difficult song to do right and it took forever," Redding recalled in his autobiography, Are You Experienced. "The Marshalls were too much for the mikes and Chas and Jimi rowed over recording volume. That 'loud,' full, live sound was nearly impossible to obtain (especially for the bass) without the distortion, which funnily enough became part of our sound."

2. Despite its cohesive sound, Are You Experienced was actually recorded in bits and pieces over a five-month period.Perpetually strapped for cash, Chandler booked recording sessions for the Experience during brief breaks between live dates, though the band's preference for recording at blistering volumes often made it difficult to secure studio time. "There was a bank above [De Lane Lea Studios]," Chandler told author John McDermott, "and it was at the time when computers were just coming in. Every time we went in, we would play so loud that it would foul up the computers upstairs. As a result, we would always have trouble getting in there when we wanted."

Ultimately, with "Hey Joe" surging up the U.K. charts, Chandler convinced Polydor (the parent company of Track Records) to open up an account in his name at Olympic Studios, where the band was able to complete the tracks for what would become Are You Experienced with the help of engineer Eddie Kramer. In all, though, it took 16 different (and rather often rushed) sessions between October 23rd, 1966, and April 4th, 1967, to get everything in the can for the album.

3. Mitch Mitchell was almost fired during the early stages of the album.With his swinging "lead drums" attack, Mitch Mitchell's playing on Are You Experienced was nearly as much of a revelation for drummers as Hendrix's was for guitarists. But in December 1966, his cavalier approach to real-life time-keeping almost got him sacked from the Experience. "He used to be late all the time," Noel Redding recalled in Sean Egan's Jimi Hendrix and the Making of Are You Experienced. "When times were tight, recording, Mitchell was always late."

When Mitchell blew off a December 15th session at London's CBS Studios, Hendrix actually went so far as to offer the gig to former Merseybeats drummer John Banks. "Hendrix loved him," Redding explained. "He wasn't as flamboyant as Mitchell, but he fitted in well with what we were doing." But when Banks declined the offer, citing his fear of flying, Hendrix and manager Chas Chandler decided to stick with Mitchell. "Chandler at some point docked him his wages for that week," Redding recalled, "and he was never late again."

Jimi Hendrix, Noel Redding, Mitch Mitchell
4. None of the album's original songs were performed live by the Experience before they were recorded – and many were rehearsed for the first time right before the tape rolled.While most bands' debut albums typically consist of original material honed over countless gigs, Hendrix preferred to teach his new songs to Redding and Mitchell right before they recorded them. "There were no rules on that stuff," Mitchell remembered in a 1998 interview. "There are many things that were just done in the studio, created in the studio, written in the studio, played once, and never played again – onstage or anywhere else."

The Experience's uncanny ability to cook up a classic track on the spot is evidenced by "The Wind Cries Mary," a Curtis Mayfield–influenced ballad that Hendrix had written shortly before the band's recording session at De Lane Lea on January 11th, 1967. "That was recorded at the tail end of the session for 'Fire,' Chandler told McDermott. "We had about twenty minutes or so left. I suggested we cut a demo of 'The Wind Cries Mary.' Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding hadn't heard it, so they were going about it without a rehearsal. They played it once through [and Hendrix then suggested overdubs]. In all he put on four or five more overdubs, but the whole things was done in twenty minutes. That was our third single."

5. The Octavia pedal, an octave-doubling guitar effect, made its debut on "Purple Haze."The opening track of the U.S. edition of Are You Experienced, "Purple Haze" was originally released as a U.K. single on March 17th, 1967. In addition to its radical mixture of blues, Eastern and psychedelic elements, the hard-rock anthem introduced the world to the Octavia, a new guitar effect that added a higher-octave overtone to each note of Hendrix's guitar solos.

Designed by English electronics whiz Roger Mayer – who had previously designed fuzz boxes for Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page – the effect would later be heard on such classic Hendrix tracks as "Fire," "Little Wing" and "Machine Gun." As a result, octave pedals became enormously popular with electric guitarists everywhere, with numerous manufacturers copying or building upon Mayer's original design. At the time, however, the sounds it produced were considered unusual enough that, when Track Records sent the master tapes for "Purple Haze" to Reprise Records for remastering in the U.S., they felt compelled to include the following instructions: "Deliberate distortion. Do not correct."

6. "Purple Haze" isn't really about an acid trip.Thanks to its lyrical themes of mental and physical disorientation (and the immortal line, "'Scuse me while I kiss the sky"), "Purple Haze" is often thought to be a description of a psychedelic experience. But plenty of people close to Hendrix (including Noel Redding) believe that he hadn't yet tried LSD when he wrote the song; and while Hendrix offered several conflicting explanations of the song's lyrics to interviewers and colleagues, none of them had anything to do with drugs.

"I dream a lot and I put my dreams down as songs," he said in a January 1967 interview, while he was still working on the song. "I wrote one called 'First Look Around the Corner' and another called 'The Purple Haze,' which was about a dream I had that I was walking under the sea." An avid science-fiction fan, Hendrix originally wrote a much longer version of the song, whose lyrics were partly inspired by an excerpt of Philip José Farmer's sci-fi novel Night of Light: Day of Dreams, in which a "purplish haze" disorients and transforms the inhabitants of a distant planet.

7. Hendrix hated the U.K. cover of Are You Experienced, and wanted the U.S. version to look more like a Hollies album cover.With its spherical fisheye image and strangely saturated colors, the U.S. cover of Are You Experienced remains one of the most iconic album covers of the psychedelic era. But it wouldn't exist if Hendrix hadn't absolutely loathed the cover of the earlier U.K. release, which featured a drab photo of the guitarist spreading a cape, Dracula-style, behind the heads of his bandmates.

"He was not happy with its U.K. cover which, he said, 'made him look like a fairy,'" recalled photographer Karl Ferris in 2008. Ferris had recently shot and designed the trippy cover of the Hollies' Evolution LP, and Hendrix wanted something similar for his album's U.S. release. Using a special fisheye lens and a self-invented "infrared" technique, Ferris (who also consulted on the band's wardrobe and hairstyles for the shoot) shot the band against the leafy backdrop of London's Kew Gardens. Hendrix was delighted with the results, telling Ferris, "You are the only photographer that is doing with photography what I am doing with music – knocking down the barriers and going far out beyond the limits."

Jimi Hendrix Experience
The Jimi Hendrix Experience live at Golden Gate Park; June 25th, 1967 Warner Bros./Photofest

8. "Hey Joe" and "Purple Haze" both stiffed as singles in the U.S.Though they were both Top 10 smashes in the U.K., neither "Hey Joe" nor "Purple Haze" found much favor with AM radio or pop consumers in the US. Released on May 1st, 1967 via Reprise Records, "Hey Joe" failed to even dent the U.S. singles charts, while "Purple Haze" – released June 19th, the day after Hendrix's legendary performance at the Monterey Pop Festival – only made it to Number 65 on the Billboard Hot 100. However, underground FM deejays in major markets like San Francisco and New York put both songs in steady rotation, which helped boost the sales of Are You Experienced considerably. Like many other Hendrix songs, they remain staples of classic-rock radio to this day.

9. Are You Experienced was a hit with black listeners as well as white ones.Despite his deep blues and R&B roots, Hendrix received significantly more airplay from underground FM radio (which was primarily geared towards white rock fans) during his lifetime than he did from black radio stations, and he was often frustrated by accusations that he was pandering to a white audience. "Sometimes when I come up here [to Harlem], people say, 'He plays white rock for white people, what's he doing up here?'" he told the New York Times in August 1969. "I want to show them that music is universal – that there is no white rock or black rock."

But while his influence upon black music wouldn't become apparent until the early Seventies – via acts like Funkadelic, the Ohio Players and the Isley Brothers, who drew heavily upon his freaky legacy – the oft-repeated claim that Hendrix didn't have a black fan base during the late Sixties is far from correct. Are You Experienced not only peaked at Number Five on the Billboard 200 in the fall of 1967, but it also made it to Number 10 on the Billboard R&B chart, which was compiled from reports filed by record stores with a primarily black customer base. Hendrix would ultimately land five albums in the R&B Top 10, so it clearly wasn't just white hippies who were buying his records.

10. Rolling Stone gave the album a less-than-favorable write-up.Are You Experienced had already been out for two and a half months by the time the debut issue of Rolling Stone hit the streets. But since Hendrix's success was one of the year's biggest musical stories, Jon Landau offered his take on the album for the issue. His impressions were decidedly mixed.

"Despite Jimi's musical brilliance and the group's total precision," he wrote, "the poor quality of the songs and the inanity of the lyrics too often get in the way." Though he praised the band's instrumental virtuosity, Landau slammed their brash attack, concluding that "the sum total of all this is pure violence. Above all this record is unrelentingly violent, and lyrically, inartistically violent at that. Dig it if you can," he concluded, "but as for me, I'd rather hear Jimi play the blues."

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Watch Paramore's Sprightly Live Cover of the Strokes' 'Someday'

Watch Paramore's Sprightly Live Cover of the Strokes' 'Someday':

Paramore performed a high-energy live version of the Strokes' classic single "Someday" Thursday in Nashville, Pitchfork reports.

In the fan-shot clip, Hayley Williams swoops to her lower register, parading around the stage in comically large pink glasses. Her bandmates recreate the swinging, open hi-hats and chugging, high-octave guitar riffs from the Strokes' original track, featured on their acclaimed debut LP, 2001's Is This It.

Paramore's fifth LP, After Laughter, is out today, May 12th. The album, which marks the return of original drummer Zac Farro, features previously issued singles "Told You So" and "Hard Times."

The band will mark the release with a CD-signing event tonight at Nashville's staple record store, Grimey's. Their May itinerary also includes a Jimmy Kimmel Live! performance on the 17th and a spot three days later at the KROQ Weenie Roast y Fiesta in Carson, California. On June 15th, the band will launch a European tour in Dublin, Ireland, followed by a string of U.S. festival dates, including the Chicago installment of this year's Riot Fest.

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Hear Prince's Unreleased 'Our Destiny/Roadhouse Garden'

Hear Prince's Unreleased 'Our Destiny/Roadhouse Garden':

Prince's vaults have unleashed two more unreleased tracks with "Our Destiny/Roadhouse Garden," a medley found on the upcoming Purple Rain reissue.

The bones of both tracks were recorded at a June 7th, 1984 gig at Minneapolis' First Avenue, a show that occurred on Prince's 26th birthday just weeks before the release of Purple Rain.

This cleaned-up version of the oft-bootlegged "Our Destiny" features lead vocals by keyboardist Lisa Coleman. "Our love, it's written in the sky above / Our destiny is to fall in love," Coleman coos on the tender track.

The song deftly segues into Prince's "Roadhouse Garden," an upbeat track that sports a gentle synth melody, a simple programmed beat and a call-and-response chorus with Prince singing alongside the Revolution's Coleman and Matt "Dr." Fink.

"Our Destiny/Roadhouse Garden" is among a heavy dose of unreleased songs featured on the upcoming Purple Rain reissue, which includes the debut of the studio version of "Electric Intercourse," a finished master of "Katrina's Paper Dolls," a 10-minute take on "We Can Fuck" (later reworked as Graffiti Bridge's "We Can Funk" with George Clinton) and more.

The Purple Rain set also includes single edits, remixes, B-sides and a Blu-ray featuring a March 1985 concert from the Purple Rain Tour.

The Purple Rain reissue is due out June 23rd.

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Watch Fleet Foxes' Disturbing, Wolf-Starring 'Fool's Errand' Video

Watch Fleet Foxes' Disturbing, Wolf-Starring 'Fool's Errand' Video:

Fleet Foxes conjure an eerie atmosphere on their new "Fool's Errand" video. Director Sean Pecknold, older brother of Fleet Foxes singer Robin Pecknold, has collaborated with the band previously.

In the clip, a woman wearing all black contorts as if possessed while standing near an ocean. Meanwhile, groups of people wearing red, white, brown and yellow garments join in intricate choreography while walking toward a hillside. In the finale, which recalls the disturbing surrealism of Lars von Trier, the camera zooms in on a dark forest to reveal a wolf in the backseat of a car.

Like "Third of May," "Fool's Errand" is a progressive-folk track highlighted by multiple mood/tempo shifts and anchored by Pecknold's trademark vocal harmonies.

Both new tracks appear on Fleet Foxes' upcoming third LP, Crack-Up, out June 16th. The band will kick off a massive international tour on May 15th in Missoula, Montana.

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Madonna Announces 'Rebel Heart Tour' Concert Film/Live Album Date

Madonna Announces 'Rebel Heart Tour' Concert Film/Live Album Date:

Madonna announced her new concert film, Rebel Heart Tour, will be released September 15th. The live film originally premiered on Showtime in December 2016 and was taped during Madonna's Sydney, Australia concerts in March 2016.

The film includes bonus content such as live and behind-the-scenes unreleased footage. The career-spanning set list featured hits from throughout Madonna's discography, as well as reinterpreted renditions of classic tracks, acoustic versions of "Like A Prayer," "Secret" and "Don't Tell Me" and her first ever in-concert performances of "Take a Bow."

Madonna fan Aldo Diaz designed Rebel Heart Tour's cover art, while the singer's frequent collaborators Danny Tull and Nathan Rissman co-directed the film. Rebel Heart Tour will be released as a digital download, DVD/Blu-ray and a standalone CD featuring highlights from the concert.

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See DNCE, Nicki Minaj Play Spin the Bottle in 'Kissing Strangers' Video

See DNCE, Nicki Minaj Play Spin the Bottle in 'Kissing Strangers' Video:

DNCE and Nicki Minaj join forces for the playful "Kissing Strangers" video. Marc Klasfeld directed the Seventies-set clip.

The video opens up on lead singer Joe Jonas who is sitting back and putting on his headphones. He is then seemingly transported to the Seventies where he is biking around a suburb handing out fliers for a party. At a convenience store, he meets up with bassist Cole Whittle who does exactly as the song implies — kisses a stranger in a photobooth. At the party, the rest of the band joins in on the fun, playing spin the bottle and seven minutes in Heaven. As the band performs in a bar, Nicki Minaj joins the party and pulls Jonas in for an almost-kiss.

DNCE released their self-titled debut album in November 2016. "Kissing Strangers" is the funk-pop group's first non-album single since the LP's release. The band has yet to reveal if the new track is off a forthcoming sophomore album.

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Paramore Settle Lawsuit With Former Bassist

Paramore Settle Lawsuit With Former Bassist:

A day before Paramore released their new LP After Laughter, the band tidied up some legal matters after reaching a settlement with their former bassist and founding member Jeremy Davis.

In December 2015, Paramore announced that Davis had parted ways with the group, leaving – at the time – Hayley Williams as the band's lone original member. Three months later, Davis sued his former bandmates, with the bassist arguing that he had been omitted from songwriting credits and their respective royalties from the band's self-titled album, which included the 2013 hit "Ain't It Fun."

Davis also claimed he was a partner in Paramore's Varoom Whoa, the band's business entity owned by Williams. The band, however, argued that Davis was simply an employee and not eligible for royalties from sales, merchandising and touring, the Tennessean reports.

Prior to Paramore's tour-opening hometown gig in Nashville Thursday, the band's lawyer said that "everything has been resolved and settled" with regard to the lawsuit. Terms of the settlement were not revealed and a rep for the band did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Davis' exit marked the second time band members have left Paramore under less-than-cordial terms; in interviews following his departure, Davis accused Williams of "backstabbing" him.

In 2010, brothers Josh and Zac Farro acrimoniously left Paramore. However, seven years healed old wounds as Zac rejoined the band for After Laughter.

In other Paramore news, the Strokes-covering band announced their third annual Parahoy! Festival aboard a cruise ship will take place April 6th to 10th, 2018. The cruise will feature an acoustic mini-set, a Q&A session, karaoke with the band and more.

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Harry Styles, Paramore, Zac Brown Band and 18 More Albums to Hear Now

Harry Styles, Paramore, Zac Brown Band and 18 More Albums to Hear Now:

Rolling Stone Recommends:

Harry Styles, Harry StylesThe searching solo debut from One Direction's rakish heartthrob "digs so deep into classic California mellow gold, you might suspect his enigmatic new tattoos that say 'Jackson' and 'Arlo' refer to Browne and Guthrie. ... The whole album has the personal yet witty spirit of the cover photo, where a topless Harry has a moment of doubt and pain in a bathtub full of pink unicorn tears," writes Rob Sheffield in our four-star review.
Read Our Cover Story: Harry Styles' New Direction
Read Our Review: Harry Styles Is a True Rock Star on Superb Solo Debut 
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Paramore, After Laughter
With drummer Zac Farro back in the fold, Paramore "embrace 'pop' as a musical vibe with a record that's so sunshine-bright it gives off a glare at times," writes Maura Johnston. The album's big hooks, fleet basslines and intricate detailing – which includes highlife guitar arpeggios and ice-cream-truck-inspired countermelodies – contrasts, however, with the lyrics sung by Hayley Williams, which possess "a weariness that makes the music's brightness seem garishly empty."
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Juanes, Mis Planes Son Amarte
The heady concept album by this Colombian rock legend combines "the blues of loneliness with the funk of desire and tripping-rock vibrations in a stark deep-soul music – Juanes channeling the prime solo George Michael and my favorite Seventies records by the American R&B icon Donny Hathaway while facing forward with self-assurance," writes David Fricke.
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Colter Wall, Colter WallIt’s a boom time for inspired renegade country acts, but this twentysomething from Saskatchewan is something else. Namechecking Jimmie Rodgers' "Blue Yodel #9" and a laundry list of abusable substances in a boomy baritone pitched between Johnny Cash and a smoke-cured Kris Kristofferson, he unspools vivid story-songs about "loners and no-account stoners," guided by little more than foot-stomp percussion and Travis-picked acoustic guitar. Producer Dave Cobb shows his mastery by mostly staying out of the path of this talented freight train. One helluva debut. Will Hermes
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Pwr Bttm, PageantFinally: a great punk-pop anthem with the chorus "answer my text, you dick!" – how did it take so long? The second LP by the upstate New York duo ups the ante on their debut's genderqueer playfulness with a new sense of mission, right on time for the Trump era. It also varies their sonic palette: The title track is a tender, gender-dysphoric acoustic ballad; "New Trick" is a come-on that crunches like Nirvana. Will HermesHear: Amazon Music Unlimited / Apple Music / BandcampSpotify / Tidal

Various Artists, The Bob's Burgers Music Album
Fox's animated delight Bob's Burgers derives a lot of its joy from music – whether its characters are throwing down pitch-perfect homages to sleaze-adjacent Quiet Storm ("Lifting Up the Skirt of the Night") and strummy boy-band balladry ("Coal Mine") or putting on dueling musical adaptations of Working Girl and Die Hard. This omnibus of songs from the show's first six seasons has cameos by the likes of St. Vincent and Magnetic Fields mastermind Stephin Merritt, but for the most part the spotlight rightfully shines on the greasy spoon-themed sitcom's superlative cast, who take to their roles with an affectionate gusto that gives even the most absurd situations an extra side of heart. And, as befitting a show featuring Dan Mintz's eternally rear-obsessed Tina Belcher, there are lots of butts, too. Maura Johnston
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Also of Note:

B.o.B, Ether
The Atlanta MC's indie debut features cameos from fellow Georgians Young Thug and Young Dro as well as "Big Kids," a swirling ballad with assists from CeeLo Green and Usher.  
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Zac Brown Band, Welcome HomeThe fifth album by the genre-melding, stadium-filling country act is a "back-to-basics collection of odes to the band's musically humble roots" that at times comes off "as an anxious defense of fame and fortune, a reactionary right-turn in response to the mixed reviews the band received for their most recent global pop-grab," writes Jonathan Bernstein.
Read Our Review: Zac Brown Band Anxiously Return to Their Roots on "Welcome Home"
Read Our Feature:
Zac Brown Talks New Album, Dance Project: "I've Figured Out a Formula"
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Don Bryant, Don't Give Up On LoveThe songwriter behind Ann Peebles' soul classic "Can't Stand the Rain" releases his second solo album. "It's really a joy to have the opportunity to do it again," Bryant told Rolling Stone. "It feels just as good now as it did then."
Read Our Feature: How Southern-Soul Survivor Don Bryant Finally Got His Second Chance
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Dreamcar Steve Erle

Dreamcar, DreamcarNo Doubt's Tony Kanal, Tom Dumont and Adrian Young hook up with AFI frontman Davey Havok for a full-length that straddles the 1980s and the 2010s. "There are a lot of things on the album that are Eighties-influenced," Kanal told Rolling Stone, "but I feel like what we've created is something very fresh and new, too. You have to find that balance, and I think we've achieved that."
Read Our Feature: No Doubt's Tony Kanal on "Rebirth" With New Supergroup Dreamcar
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Girlpool, PowerplantOn their second album (and first for Anti-), Los Angeles duo Girlpool shakes the plainspoken Polaroids and innocent melodies of their 2015 debut. They've instead evolved into a taut, breezy, mildly shoegaze-y indie rock band in the vein of Throwing Muses, Blake Babies or Gish-era Smashing Pumpkins – with drums and all! Growing up and expanding their palette has ultimately dulled their impact a bit, but their emotion-examining lyrics are still remarkable avant-twee: "1-2-3, will you list it off to me?/How you're sorry you feel weird in a jubilation dream." Christopher R. Weingarten
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LeToya Luckett, Back 2 Life
The diva and ex-Destiny's Child member releases her third album.
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Machine Gun Kelly, BloomThe third album by the Cleveland-born MC includes the Fastball-interpolating Camilla Cabello collaboration "Bad Things" and cameos from Hailee Steinfeld, Quavo of Migos and Ty Dolla $ign.
Read Our Feature: Machine Gun Kelly Talks Nirvana, Fatherhood, Working at Chipotle
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Amber Mark, 3:33am
This New York-based SoundCloud sensation possesses a velvety alto and a wide-ranging take on R&B.
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New Kids on the Block, Thankful
Released just in time for their Total Package Tour with Paula Abdul and Boyz II Men, this EP's highlights include "Hard (Not Lovin U)," a slick R&B come-on that puts Jordan Knight's falsetto front and center, and the "99 Luftballoons"-interpolating salute to the Eighties "Still Sounds Good."
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R5, New AddictionsThe Los Angeles family band's first release since 2015's Sometime Last Night is full of sharply constructed pop confections that ride galloping basslines.
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Todd Rundgren
Todd Rundgren Rich Fury/Getty

Todd Rundgren, White KnightThe pop wizard's latest LP has a guest list as long and varied as his career – Swedish pop upstart Robyn, alt-industrial titan Trent Reznor, and funk omnivore Dâm-Funk are only a few of its guests. "He seems to work best with Seventies peers like Joe Walsh, Daryl Hall and Donald Fagen, whose smooth Donald Trump parody 'Tin Foil Hat' is a timely highlight," writes Jon Dolan.
Read Our Review: Todd Rundgren's All-Star LP "White Knight" Is Predictably Odd
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Seether, Poison the Parish
Vocalist-guitarist Shaun Morgan handled production duties for the South African hard rockers' seventh album, which includes the churning rock-radio hit "Let You Down."
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Son Lux, Remedy
Son Lux founder Ryan Lott's cacophonous compositions have made him a favorite among new-music appreciators and pop aficionados, with his roster of admirers including heavy hitters like Lorde (who appeared on Son Lux's 2014 EP Alternate Worlds) and Fall Out Boy (who interpolated his jittery "Lost It to Trying" on their 2015 cut "Fourth of July"). The EP, which benefits the Southern Poverty Law Center, buries gorgeous details in its twisty, tension-filled songs; synth blooms on "Dangerous," bouncing-ball bass on "Part of This." The closing title track resolves its instrumental chaos with a choir of more than 300 fans singing the openhearted, optimistic refrain, "Find your voice/In the sea of surging bodies and breath/To form a melody/To find a remedy" – a full-throated vote in favor of conquering the darkness. Maura Johnston
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Various Artists, American Epic: The Soundtrack
The soundtrack to the T-Bone Burnett/Robert Redford/Jack White-produced documentary series about American music comes in single-CD and 100-song box set form, with both sets including original 1920s and 1930s recordings of musical pioneers like Mississippi John Hurt and the Carter Family.
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Paul Weller, A Kind Revolution
Four decades after his power-punk-pop band the Jam debuted, the Godfather of Mod releases a solo album full of crisply constructed guitar pop that includes cameos from Boy George and Robert Wyatt.
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Review: Paramore's 'After Laughter' Triumphs Via Shiny Pop, Moody Lyrics

Review: Paramore's 'After Laughter' Triumphs Via Shiny Pop, Moody Lyrics:

Paramore's giant hooks and soaring vocals have often been accompanied by a withering worldview – their rip-roaring breakthrough single "Misery Business" was a poison-pen letter to a romantic rival, while "Ain't It Fun," the Top Ten single from their 2013 self-titled album, blended the gospel-assisted bounce of "Like a Prayer" with a firm trust-no-one stance. The tension between sugar-spun pop hooks, the acrobatic soprano of lead singer Hayley Williams and an arm's-length take on the world has placed Paramore at the head of music's post-millennial class. They simmer on After Laughter, their first album since that 2013 offering and their reunion with drummer Zac Farro, whose acrimonious departure from the band in 2010 presaged their fuller turn from the rock world into pop.

What "pop" can be in 2017 is open to question, and on After Laughter Paramore thankfully decides to junk large chunks of the concept as it's currently practiced. ("I can't imagine getting up there and playing a Max Martin song – at that point we might as well just stop," guitarist Taylor York told The New York Times in April, shortly after the album was announced.) Instead, they embrace "pop" as a musical vibe, with a record that's so sunshine-bright it gives off a glare at times, rooted in fleet basslines and beats made for open-road drives and solo bedroom dance parties. The hooks are big and the detailing is sublime, at times borrowing from unexpected sources. York's highlife-inspired arpeggios add bursts of color to the manic "Told You So" and the freestyle-jam-in-disguise "Hard Times"; "Rose-Colored Boy" nicks its swinging synthpop from Scritti Politti's Cupid & Psyche 85 arsenal; "Pool" shimmers like a mirage on a blazing day, its countermelody recalling a Doppler-ed ice-cream truck's chime. The ballad "26" sighs into its lush strings, an older-and-wiser version of the twangy 2009 track "The Only Exception." "No Friend," the menacing second-to-last track that lets Williams off the hook on vocal duties and hands the mic to MeWithoutYou frontman Aaron Weiss before burying him in a cacophony of rumbling bass and frantic guitars, has a persistent lightness.

But while the surfaces of After Laughter might glint, Hayley Williams' lyrics evince a weariness that makes that brightness seem garishly empty. "All that I want/Is to wake up fine," she sings on the opening salvo "Hard Times," a track that also shouts out "My little rain cloud/Hanging over my head." Things don't get much sunnier from there – fake friends abound; "26" pivots on a vision of love that's assuming eventual doom; "Idle Worship" rides its titular homonym to comment on fame. Williams' voice is in gorgeous form, providing even more of a contrast to the stunning acridity of lyrics like "I'm gonna draw my lipstick wider than my mouth/And if the lights are low they'll never see me frown," from the gently rolling "Fake Happy."

After "No Friend," where Weiss shouts doom-and-gloom metaphors from beneath the band's noisy rubble, After Laughter comes down with "Tell Me How," a stutter-step ballad that allows Williams' voice to curl around and into expressions of anxiety that sound impossible to quiet. It's a fitting closer for After Laughter, a gorgeously produced, hook-studded record with cocked-eyebrow trepidation adding a jittery edge – a combination that's very of-the-moment in 2017, even if it veers outside of pop's rigid lines.

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Watch Phoenix Play Fake Italian TV Show in Wild 'J-Boy' Video

Watch Phoenix Play Fake Italian TV Show in Wild 'J-Boy' Video:

Phoenix stage a faux TV show performance in their new video for "J-Boy," the first single off the French rock act's upcoming LP Ti Amo.

In the video, the band serves as musical guest on a fictional Italian show Ti Amo Special. Following a minute-long Italian language introduction – where the band are compared to the Velvet Underground and Kraftwerk – Phoenix launch into their new song, providing a preview for fans who will see the band on their summer tour.

Following the performance, Phoenix and Ti Amo Special's hosts sit down for a celebratory glass of wine. Phoenix also recently performed "J-Boy" on an actual television program, The Tonight Show. Ti Amo is due out June 9th.

On Thursday, it was revealed that Phoenix would replace Frank Ocean at the Hangout Music Festival after that singer canceled his headlining gig due to "production delays." Ocean similarly canceled his Sasquatch appearance the following weekend; he was replaced by LCD Soundsystem.

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The Last Word: Bonnie Raitt on Blues Heroes, Father John Misty, Trump 'Dismay'

The Last Word: Bonnie Raitt on Blues Heroes, Father John Misty, Trump 'Dismay':

"I needed to take some time to sit down and fall apart," Bonnie Raitt told Rolling Stone last year of the period leading up to her latest LP, Dig in Deep, inspired in part by the deaths of her mother, father and brother in close succession. These days, the veteran singer-songwriter has other things on her mind, from how to stay vigilant in the Trump era to a burgeoning musician crush on Father John Misty. In advance of a North American tour that runs from May 31st through the fall, Raitt also discussed her connection to nature, her blues idols and more in a candid Last Word interview.

How do you relax when you're at home in California?
Usually I spend the afternoon hiking. I love Marin County because there are a couple of dozen beautiful hikes within 30 minutes. Then I usually do an hour-and-a-half yoga class with one of my girlfriends – either Skyping or at one of our houses. That's been really keeping me in shape the last five years. I also like having friends over to watch Netflix at night. I try not to watch anything too political in the evening – I don't want to get too upset right before bed.

What did you take away from growing up Quaker?It's part of the reason I'm drawn to spending so much time in nature. Unlike being in a cathedral or having to look at icons – not to put anyone else's religious practices down – being in nature is a spiritual connection for me. God – right now there's a little squirrel in the tree looking right at me! Growing up, we worked hard to figure out what we could do to give back and to find peaceful ways to resolve conflicts around the world. A lot of my values come from that.

Your dad, John Raitt, was a legendary Broadway actor. What advice did he give you?"Make every night opening night." It doesn't matter whether you're playing Topeka, Kansas, or you're playing on Broadway – that audience deserves the very best you have.

You dropped out of Harvard to play with several classic blues artists. What did you learn from them?By my junior year I was opening for Mississippi Fred McDowell and John Hammond Jr. I was friends with the guy who booked a lot of my blues heroes. I fit on the bill because I was different and I could play a little bit of everything. I learned how to put a set together.
 I learned from Mississippi Fred McDowell in particular – playfulness, and passion, how to go back and forth between rock and something mournful.

What's the most indulgent purchase that you've ever made?I love taking my friends out 
to restaurants and putting together interesting groups of people. While some might say, "That's too many people," it's an extravagance and I'm happy to do it. When I go out here, it's more with activists. But in New York or L.A., I hang out with a lot of musicians.

What do you like about hanging out with musicians?They get the joke. We call everyone else "civilians." There's a certain twisted sense of humor that comes with rock & roll musicians. A lot of them are professional partiers. We don't have to go to bed if we don't want to. So it's constantly like going to never-never land in some ways. Even though we're older, we still feel like we're getting away with something.

"Not only is Father John Misty handsome, but he's talented and hilarious." 
You were dropped from Warner Bros. in the early Eighties. What did that experience teach you?Be with a company that really likes you! [Laughs] I've been a pretty savvy businesswoman since the beginning – I admit that I'm probably more of a businesswoman than I am an artist. I learned by watching people get ripped off. When I got involved with the Rhythm & Blues Foundation, I found out that all my record collection – my favorite artists – had never really received royalties.

Which young artists inspire you?I'm really digging Father John Misty. I caught a couple of his late-night performances that he did recently, and I think he's really smart and the kind of satire we really need right now. It took me a minute to realize that he's playing a deliberate character – but the more I see him, the more I like him. Not only is he handsome, but he's talented and hilarious. I was knocked out.

Did you have a favorite book as a kid?To Kill a Mockingbird. When you're a kid, you don't know so much about the history: how the "First World" took over the rest of the world, the horrifying reality of slavery, what we did to Native Americans and how we took California and Texas. To Kill a Mockingbird was key in my awakening about the way the world really works.

You're a longtime activist for causes like safe energy and getting money out of politics. How do you keep hope alive in the Trump era?It's a daily challenge to keep the fight going. There's an expression that I first heard from Black Lives Matter, which is that people are "woke." The election woke people up that we can't be complacent. Election Day was my birthday, the last night of a nine-month tour. I'd gotten birthday cards saying, "For your present I'm giving you the first female president." I came offstage and saw the faces of the people backstage reacting to the results. Then I went back out and sang "I Can't Make You Love Me." It was good to be able to do an extremely sad song. It was hard to contain my shock and dismay. But I'm encouraged by how upset people are.

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