Beach House — “Bloom”: “Bloom” is a record of expansiveness and growth, but there’s also a sense of restraint at work, too. The work presented here feels completely effortless and organic, as though the songs simply unspooled themselves. There’s not one blemish on the entire record, and the group has matured to a point where they don’t feel that they have to ride a certain feel or emotion for a good five minutes: the members of Beach House have learned and realized the delectability of the foundational nature of a great verse followed by an astounding and astonishing chorus. Its impact is one that is profoundly mesmerizing. “Bloom” should be to the year 2012 what “Loveless” was to 1991, or “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” was to 2002, or “Funeral” was to 2004: a landmark release. — Zachary Houle
Best Coast — “The Only Place”: When the word first got out that Best Coast was working with uber-producer Jon Brion for its sophomore effort “The Only Place,” more than a few eyebrows were raised over the incongruous pairing of the L.A. duo’s flaky lo-fi approach and the symphonic-pop impresario’s slick aesthetic. But really, anyone who’s been tracking the stratospheric rise of Bethany Cosentino shouldn’t have been surprised, since making a big pop statement would be the final bullet point to tick off a to-do list of attention-grabbing moves that’s been growing since Best Coast’s charming 2010 debut “Crazy for You” bubbled up from the underground and into the mainstream. — Arnold Pan
Tenacious D — “Rize of the Fenix”: “Rize of the Fenix” is an attempt to attach Tenacious D to a new myth — that of the disgraced band emerging from failure and winning back its supremacy. Six years is a long time to wait to respond to an embarrassing career step, but Tenacious D has traditionally moved at a slow pace, releasing only three albums in its 18-year tenure. So timing isn’t what makes “Rize of the Fenix” such a colossal disappointment. Tenacious D’s album number three fails to capture the comic energy of the band’s prior musical output and pales in comparison to other, much funnier rock music moments by the band’s contemporaries. — Thomas Britt
Various Artists — “Occupy this Album”: Containing 99 songs in its digital version and 78 in the physical CD release, “Occupy this Album” has something for everyone who wants to listen to the message of the movement. In this way, this musical kaleidoscope captures the very essence of Occupy: the diversity of its people, its desires, and its beliefs. This may not be the mixtape to change all mixtapes, but it’s the mixtape for our time and place. It’s the sound of a hundred flowers blooming in your ears. — Brice Ezell
Other notable releases this week:
- The Avengers — “The Avengers”
- Cornershop — “Urban Turban”
- Cribs — “In the Belly of the Brazen Bull”
- Godsmack — “Live & Inspired”
- Killer Mike — “R.A.P. Music”
- Adam Lambert — “Trespassing”
- Mewithoutyou — “Ten Stories”
- Willie Nelson — “Heroes”
- Pantera — “Vulgar Display of Power”
- John Pizzarelli — “Double Exposure”
- Lisa Marie Presley — “Storm & Grace”
- Santana — “Shape Shifter”
- Simian Mobile Disco — “Unpatterns”
- Tu Fawning — “A Monument”
- White Fence — “Family Perfume”
- Andre Williams & The Sadies — “Night & Day”
TUNES ON THE TUBE ... MUSIC ON TV THIS WEEK
“Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC): Silversun Pickups (T), Rita Wilson (W), Delta Spirit (Th), The Cult (F).
“Late Show with David Letterman” (CBS): El-P (T), Best Coast (W), Regina Spektor and John Mayer (Th), Beach House (F).
“The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” (NBC): Santana (T), Bobby Brown (W), Tenacious D (F).
“Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” (NBC): Tenacious D (T), Paul Weller (Th), Garbage (F).
“Last Call With Carson Daly” (NBC): The Glitch Mob (T), Dr. Dog (W), Young the Giant (Th), Dr. Dog (F).
“Saturday Night Live” (NBC): Mick Jagger (Sa).
“Austin City Limits” (PBS): The Avett Brothers / Heartless Bastards (Sa).
“Conan” (TBS): Gregg Allman (T), Rufus Wainwright (Th).
NOW HEAR THIS
Battleme shows big love for the Flaming Lips and Beck on new album
The former frontman of Austin’s Lions, Matt Drenik aka Battleme, recently released his self-titled debut album. In 2009, Drenik was diagnosed with uvetis, an autoimmune disease of the eye, and he lived in Portland for a while and recorded more than 40 tunes in his girlfriend’s basement and got medical help at a renowned eye clinic in the area. The illness made him re-evaluate his life and music and, as a result, he fell back in love with old favorites, such as the Flaming Lips’ “Clouds Taste Metallic,” Beck’s “Mellow Gold,” and the Rolling Stones’ “Sticky Fingers.” That in turn influenced his songwriting and he decided to work under the new name Battleme to celebrate his new artistic direction. — Sarah Zupko
Antibalas plan first release in five years on Daptone Records
The 12-piece Brooklyn-based Afrobeat ensemble Antibalas is finally back with a new album, their first since 2007’s “Security.” They have been busy in the meantime with several members working on the hit musical “FELA!.” For this go-around, the band lured back Gabe Roth as producer, who worked with them on their first three albums. “Antibalas” will release Aug. 7 and will be accompanied by a world tour. Below you can sample a tune from the upcoming record. — Sarah Zupko
Watch Adam Yauch’s “Fight For Your Right Revisited”
Perhaps the question didn’t need to be asked, but that doesn’t mean the answer isn’t worth a half-hour of your time. In 2011, the Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch (who passed away from cancer on May 4th at age 47) premiered the 30-minute film “Fight for Your Right Revisited,” which shows what happens in the aftermath of their apartment-demolishing video for that epochal party anthem. In short, the Boys — played by Seth Rogen, Danny McBride and Elijah Wood — get chewed out by an elderly couple (Stanley Tucci and Susan Sarandon), go on a beer-hurling rampage, and eventually pay the price for their misdeeds.
It’s the video-short equivalent of name-dropping, but still contains much of what was best about the Beasties and Yauch. There’s the hep self-consciousness that plays on a high level of irony without losing its intrinsic humor, and also the culture-blender mashup of cheap gags and period-specific retro-nods which was their signature video-and-music style before the rest of the world caught on.
The film might play like an overextended Funny or Die piece at times, but the absurdist tone and clean directorial style are reminders of how deeply involved Yauch was in the film world. Going beyond directing videos for the Beasties (under the name Nathanial Hornblower), in 2008 he co-founded Oscilloscope Pictures, which has since released some of the greater American indies of recent years, from “The Messenger” to “We Need to Talk About Kevin.” — Chris Barsanti
Dr. Michael White keeps true to the traditions of New Orleans jazz
Dr. Michael White is a something of a professional historian when it comes to jazz. With perfect clarity and tune in his clarinet playing, he resurrects and revitalizes the traditional sounds of New Orleans jazz that first arose in the early part of the 20th century. That’s not to say he treats music as a museum piece though. Keeping the past alive, while collaborating on recordings with the likes of Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, Wynton Marsalis and Marianne Faithfull keeps White’s music fresh and alive. White’s sixth album, “Adventures in New Orleans Jazz, Part 2,” releases June 19 via the NOLA-based Basing Street Records and features intriguing covers of some rock and country classics, including this take on Kris Kristofferson’s “Me and Bobby McGee,” made famous by Janis Joplin. — Sarah Zupko
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