Well, here we are again, engaged and engrossed in another year of academic betterment and persona-rounding wellness. In this, the first installment of Music News for the fall term, I will forgo much that occurred over the summer, hoping and praying that all of you kept yourselves informed. And truthfully, I can’t cover everything that happened.
I will give you this, though: Amy Winehouse died. Consider that tidbit your summer catch-up.
Kings of Leon return
Yes, the Tennessee-based good-ol’-boys have returned (after cancelling their U.S. tour), saying that brother and lead-singer Caleb is well rested and ready to go again. After a July 29 meltdown in Dallas that prompted fellow band members to tweet about “inner conflicts” that took a not-so-tongue-in-cheek approach referring to Caleb’s excessive drinking, the Followills have returned to the stage, playing a recent show in Vancouver, B.C.
Bassist Jared Followill tweeted, “The Kings are back in business.”
I don’t know about you all, but I was just waiting for that news brief stating that Caleb had landed himself in rehab and the band was kaput.
God bless the Followill’s for resuming their blistering tour schedule while, no doubt, continuing their excessive partying and general debauchery.
Radiohead play NY and announce 2012 tour
The British kings-of-all-things-awesome recently played Saturday Night Live, appearing on the show for the first time since 2000, when they played songs from their seemingly-in-the-distant-past album “Kid A.”
The band rocked out “Lotus Flower” and non-“King of Limbs” track “Staircase.” One surprising element was the addition of a second drummer, Clive Deamer, whose glaringly-bald head closely resembles regular drummer Phil Selway’s pate. The two fit superbly together.
You can check out video of the performances over at twentyfourbit.com.
The band will start an international tour in 2012, and Thom Yorke says that his side project, Atoms for Peace, will be releasing an album soon.
Pink Floyd hit “Fallon”
Well, not really. But a host of great bands recently appeared on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” to pay tribute to the legendary rockers, including Pearl Jam, The Shins and MGMT.
Check out twentyfourbit.com for The Shins’ faithful remake of “Breathe,” and head on over to spin.com to watch MGMT, Pearl Jam and Foo Fighters (featuring Roger Waters) pay tribute.
Flaming Lips unveil new 6-hour song
Got time to spare? Then check out the Flaming Lips’ new six-hour epic titled “I Found a Star on the Ground” at spin.com.
As if that wasn’t bad-ass enough, Lips’ frontman Wayne Coyne unveiled the song at none other than Portland’s own Jackpot Records on Sept. 20. Jackpot has exclusive rights to the sale of the song, which comes with a toy called Strobo Trip.
R.E.M. finally have had enough
The Athens, Georgia-rockers have officially called it quits, saying they are walking away “with a great sense of gratitude, of finality, and of astonishment at all we have accomplished.”
The surprising move comes after their recent release of “Collapse Into Now,” a successfully album which sounded fresh and new.
Michael Stipe expounded on the breakup, saying, “A wise man once said, ‘The skill at attending a party is knowing when it’s time to leave.’”
Tom Waits releases new album
Tom Waits, the one, the only, the inimitable, the ever-irascible, has released a new album titled “Back in the Crowd,” and it is a pleaser, to say the least.
The album is the first after 2004’s “Real Gone,” and Waits shows no sign of stopping. You can hear tracks from the album over at twentyfourbit.com.
Wilco play hour-long Letterman set
The Chicago rockers recently appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman for an hour-long performance in celebration of the release of their new album “The Whole Love.”
The set featured new songs as well as favorites from their albums “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot,” “Sky Blue Sky,” “Summerteath” and “A Ghost is Born.”
Watch the entire set over at twentyfourbit.com.
You can also listen to the entire new album over at npr.org.
Guns ‘N’ Roses will tour this fall
Axl Rose has announced that the band will be playing 61 concerts in more than 30 countries.
Speaking, with all due respect, as a fan of the original Guns ‘N’ Roses… does anyone still care?
Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic talk Nirvana with Jon Stewart
In recognition of the 20th Anniversary of the release of Nirvana’s “Nevermind,” former band members Grohl and Novoselic sat down with The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart for an hour-long interview on SiriusXM’s Nirvana station.
The anniversary is being celebrated with a 20th Anniversary edition of “Nevermind,” which includes extra tracks and expanded liner notes.
The entire interview can be heard at twentyfourbit.com.
The Cure and Guns ‘N’ Roses nominated to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
It’s about damn time The Cure got big-scale recognition! Too often viewed as makeup-wearing, depressive weirdos, The Cure are receiving a big-up from the music community by being nominated for the induction.
Also nominated are Donna Summer, Donovan, War and blues legend Freddie King.
Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks release new album
One of the things about Portland I love most is the fact that Stephen Malkmus, Isaac Brock (Modest Mouse) and James Mercer (The Shins) all live with a mile of each other.
In his post-Pavement days, Stephen Malkmus has released some truly stellar albums, but none of them may sound as much like Pavement as the latest release, “Mirror Traffic.”
To listen to the album in its entirety, head on over to npr.org and search for Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks.