Monday News Roundup

photo by Chad Syrne

  • Bon Iver‘s self-titled sophomore release has been the subject of much anticipation, and now we can finally get the first taste. The minimal, electronic-leaning lead single is “Calgary,” listenable and downloadable (in exchange for an email address) below.

  • The incredibly controversial and wildly hyped Tyler, the Creator finally got called out on his racist, homophobic, and bigoted lyrical content, by none other than queer artist and activist Sara Quin of indie rock duo Tegan and Sara. More than that, Sara criticizes the fan and critical response to Tyler’s material. From a post on the band’s website entitled A Call For Change, Sara writes:

As journalists and colleagues defend, excuse and congratulate ‘Tyler, the Creator,’ I find it impossible not to comment. In any other industry would I be expected to tolerate, overlook and find deeper meaning in this kid’s sickening rhetoric? Why should I care about this music or its “brilliance” when the message is so repulsive and irresponsible? … the more I think about it, the more I think people don’t actually want to go up against this particular bully because he’s popular. Who sticks up for women and gay people now? It seems entirely uncool to do so in the indie rock world … in this case I don’t think race or class actually has anything to do with his hateful message but has EVERYTHING to do with why everyone refuses to admonish him for that message.

    Tyler saw fit to respond via his Twitter, with the unsurprisingly reprehensible proclamation “If Tegan And Sara Need Some Hard Dick, Hit Me Up!”
  • Indie folk-rockers Freelance Whales have lent their song “Generator ^ 1st Floor” to a video in hopes to raise awareness melanoma, a dangerous form of skin cancer more common in young people. The video’s entitled “Dear 16 Year Old Me” and you can watch it below. Summer’s coming ’round (though you might not believe it, looking outside in Seattle), investing in sunscreen is cheaper than chemotherapy. For more information on melanoma and how you can contribute, visit the David Cornfield Melanoma Fund.

  • Dance-thrash duo Sleigh Bells recently sat down with Rolling Stone in a video interview, where they talk about touring and their forthcoming record. They promise their follow-up to be more emotionally heavy and less of a “party” record while still promising “lots of punches in the face.” Watch them never take off their sunglasses below.

  • Last December, hip-hop MC Mr. Lif and Balkan band Brass Menazeri formed an unlikely collaboration that culminated with an in-studio at KEXP’s own studios. Now, the collaborators have started a Kickstarter project to fund the production of their joint new album, and are approaching their goal. Find out more about the project and donate here.
  • Sonic Youth frontman Thurston Moore has his new Beck-produced album up for streaming over at NPR’s website. Far from Youth’s noise freakouts and pop experimentation, Moore’s Demolished Thoughts is a stripped-down exercise in introspective balladry.
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