Friday Music News

photo by Josh Bis

  • Former R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck has been mostly quiet since the legendary alternative rock pioneers disbanded last year, but he’s broken that silence in a loud way this morning. “10 Million BC”, the first taste of his forthcoming solo album, was premiered this morning, and it sounds like nothing Buck has ever done, R.E.M. or otherwise. Stream the track below while you wait for any official release information.

  • Update to our news yesterday about David Byrne and St. Vincent coming to Seattle: They’ve just been announced as the first headliner so far for the 2012 Heineken City Arts Fest, running October 17–20 throughout Seattle. David Byrne and St. Vincent will perform at Seattle’s historic Fifth Avenue Theatre on October 17, and the rest of the festival line up will be announced in late July.

  • Although the future of Britpop icons Blur seems to be uncertain at best, frontman Damon Albarn played a new, untitled Blur song at the Poetry Olympics in London last night. After “Under The Westway”, this is the second song Albarn has previewed before the band’s massive Olympics gig. The singer stated that the song, which you can hear below, was recorded last week and will be released “in a few weeks.”

  • Justin Vernon is nearing the end of Bon Iver‘s victory lap behind last year’s self-titled album, but he’ll finish the end of the campaign with the release of an iTunes Session EP on June 19. The seven-track EP will feature songs from last year’s album and a cover of Bjork’s “Who Is It?” that the band sporadically played on its supporting tour.
  • The longlist for the Polaris Music Prize, an award given to the best Canadian album of the year, has been revealed, and it’s (unsurprisingly) bursting with great names. Feist, Leonard Cohen, The Weeknd, Japandroids, Handsome Furs, Kathleen Edwards, and Grimes are all featured alongside many others. The shortlist will be announced on July 17th, and on September 24th, the winner will receive $30,000. Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs won last year’s prize, and past winners include Final Fantasy, Caribou and Karkwa. Check out the full list here.
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