Wednesday, January 22, 2014

What's New(s)?

Built to Spill cover Bob Dylan
For all of the respect Bob Dylan receives and all the covers he inspires, little if any of those has anything to do with the 1980s. Where Lennon had his infamous "Lost Weekend", Dylan had the "Lost Decade", when Grateful Dead collaborations and new-wave influences ran wild. Perhaps not surprisingly it was his least successful stretch both commercially and critically, and it took 1997's inscrutable Time Out of Mind to end the "dry-spell."

Bob Dylan in the 80s, an upcoming release from ATO Records is revisiting that Dust-Bowl era of Dylan's career and cultivating incredible talent for the effort. Craig Finn of the Hold Steady is tackling Infidels cut "Sweetheart Like You", Gene Ween and Slash (yes Slash) are improbably teaming up for the reviled "Wiggle Wiggle", and comedian Reggie Watts stands in the unenviable position of recreating the 11-minute epic "Brownsville Girl". On paper though, one of the most intriguing covers is Built to Spill taking on "Jokerman" from the aforementioned Infidels. A finger-wagging, reggae-influenced tale the song regularly appears on best-of Dylan lists. Doug Martsch and company forgo the grounded island vibes for their tradition skyward guitar scrawl. It's simultaneously world-weary and gorgeous, proving the 80s were far from a lost-cause for rock's poet laureate.

Bob Dylan in the 80s is out March 25 via ATO Records. You can view the tracklist below and hear Built to Spill's cover here.

1. "Got My Mind Made Up"- Langhorne Slim & the Law
2. "Jokerman"- Built to Spill
3. "Brownsville Girl (Reprise)"- Reggie Watts
4. "Sweetheart Like You"- Craig Finn
5. "You Changed My Life"- Ivan & Alyosha 
6. "Night After Night"- Deer Tick
7. "Dark Eyes"- Dawn Landes & Bonnie "Prince" Billy
8. "Waiting to Get Beat"- Tea Leaf Green
9. "Wiggle Wiggle"- Aaron Freeman (Gene Ween) & Slash
10. "Congratulations"- Elvis Perkins
11. "Covenant Woman"- Hannah Cohen
12. "Every Grain of Sand"- Marco Benevento
13. "Series of Dreams"- Yellowbirds
14. "Unbelievable"- Blitzen Trapper
15. "When the Night Comes Falling From the Sky"- Lucius
16. "Pressing On"- Glen Hansard
17. "Death is Not the End"- Carl Broemel

Patti Smith covers Rihanna

No you're not reading that headline wrong and this isn't some sort of hoax. While playing at NYC's Webster Hall on December 30, punk luminary Patti Smith dove into her own cover of Rihanna's gargantuan piano-ballad "Stay". As Stereogum writer Tom Breihan astutely pointed out, "Stay" once and for all proved "that she can actually sing." 

Smith's own performance doesn't stray far from the starkly expressive vocals of the original, aside from the piano Smith's essentially alone on stage. Virtually none of the power her voice rang out with in the 70s has dissipated, every line rings with agony. And if you catch a glimpse of Smith in the grainy-clip, it's clear that even though the number isn't her own she can still relate.


The Black Lips debut completely NSFW video for "Boys in the Wood"

Anyone who has ever had the fortune of seeing Atlanta garage-rockers the Black Lips live knows they aren't exactly tame. Stage-diving, beer-swilling, and vomiting are all fixtures of the band's shows and those register as some of the tamer elements. With that in mind, it's still hard to stomach the skin-crawling video for "Boys in the Wood" from their upcoming 7th LP Underneath the Rainbow. The clip, directed by Atlanta-duo the ATL-Twins, slithers through a dark Georgia night where illicit drugs are done out in the open and individuals are beaten to within an inch of their life. Spring Breakers director Harmony Korine would smile with delighted approval if he saw the slow-burner, which is only missing animal cruelty to complete the "perfect recipe."

The Black Lips album Underneath the Rainbow is out March 18 through Vice.

Check back in tomorrow for more of the newest in new(s) and follow @AllFreshSounds on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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