Bummed I didn’t see you at Coachella…plus the (MUSIC) news and a playlist! by Tom Stillwagon
First off, let’s talk about the 14th annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which rocked Indio, California the past two weekends. The headliners for the 2013 lineup included the Red Hot Chili Peppers as well as a reunited Wu Tang Clan on Sunday, Sigur Ros, Phoenix (featuring R. Kelly) and New Order on Saturday. Headlining Friday was a one-two punch from England’s yesteryear, Blur and the Stone Roses. The Stone Roses closed the first weekend, and then the order of the two bands were flip-flopped the second weekend to allow Blur to close the main stage. Coachella organizer-in-chief Paul Tollett claims this was planned all along. Others say that very few concertgoers stuck around the first weekend to see the Stone Roses play after Blur performed. I can report that there were surprisingly low numbers attending both sets during weekend two. I guess the hipsters just didn’t care that much.
My personal highlights this year included Tame Impala, Alt-J, Diiv, IO Echo, Dirtyphonics, and of course, the return of the Wu (four of six are included on this weeks playlist, found below.)
Speaking of Wu Tang Clan…while waiting in the crowd for them to take the stage Sunday night, I noticed a group of young men nearby shouting slogans (“Wu Tang Clan ain’t nothin’ to fuck wit!”) and throwing the “W” up in the air with their hands. I asked one of them how old he was; he told me he was 21. I noted to him that he was one year old when Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) was released (the reunion shows are to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the album.) His response was simple: good music is timeless and ageless. A special thank you goes out to him, for reminding me why I attend this festival annually.
Okay, without further ado, here’s this weeks music news:
Singer Lauryn Hill was granted a temporary reprieve for federal tax evasion this week. Hill pleaded guilty to $1.8 million worth of tax evasion. She was expected to pay back $554,000 prior to her hearing, but failed to do so. The extension gave her two extra weeks to pay.
Shortly after news of the extension hit the internet, and almost certainly a coincidence, Hill announced via Tumblr that she had signed a deal with Sony Music to record new material. The release will be her first studio album since 1998’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.
Read her totally humble and completely coincidental announcement here:
The new Daft Punk single Get Lucky broke Spotify records for the most streams in a single day this week globally, passing the previous record holders (Macklemore’s Thrift Shop in the U.S. and Bastille’s Pompeii in the U.K.)
The new single, the duo’s first in eight years, features Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers. If you haven’t heard this yet, get to know it, because you’re going to hear it a lot this summer. It is included in my playlist of the week (the link can be found below.)
The new Daft Punk album, titled Random Access Memories, will be released on May 20th in the U.K., and on May 21st in the U.S. It will be their first on the Columbia Records imprint, and their first release since the 2010 Tron soundtrack.
Beyonce chose a new H&M campaign to unveil her new song Standing On The Sun to the world. The 90 second commercial features the singer on the beach, modeling the new line of H&M swimwear. Previously this year, Beyonce premiered the song Grown Woman in a Pepsi ad as well. Krusty the Clown would be proud.
Word on the street is that the superstar’s album is far from completion, and the first single has not been chosen. No word on a release date.
Snoop Dogg’s 12th album, and the first as Snoop Lion, is now available. Reincarnated finds Snoop trading in his “West Coast G-funk” style for a new, non-violent reggae sound. Largely produced by Diplo / Major Lazer, the album features guest appearances by Drake, Miley Cyrus, Chris Brown, Akon, and many more. Is it great? No, but it isn’t nearly as bad as you’re thinking it is.
R.I.P. to Richie Havens, who was 72. Havens opened the original Woodstock Festival, and ended up performing a two hour set including 6 impromptu encores because of the traffic jam holding the rest of the artists up outside the festival.
And, R.I.P. to George Jones, who also died this week. Jones was a powerhouse traditional country artist, charting 143 records on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart between 1955 and 2005. He was 81 years old.
And now for your weekly Fierce And Nerdy Music Playlist…enjoy!