Monday Music News

photo by Kyle Johnson

  • New Zealand’s fourth most popular comedy folk duo Flight of the Conchords hadn’t produced any new material (visual, musical, or otherwise) since their 2009 hiatus, but this weekend, Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie teamed up to release a video for Red Nose Day: Comedy for Cure Kids. In the video (which you can watch below), the pair visit a New Zealand classroom where they test the students’ knowledge on subjects like health and banking before breaking out into a new song, “Feel Inside (and Stuff Like That)”. The proceeds for the song will go to Red Nose Day, rather than epileptic dogs, which was the duo’s favorite cause on their television show. Buy “Feel Inside (and Stuff Like That)” here.

  • Brooding rockers The National have been a band of a big enough stature to pick their openers (and some stellar ones to boot) for some time now, but they’ll be back in the front slot one more time next month when the open for President Barack Obama during a stop in Des Moines, IA. The band previously opened for him during a 2008 campaign stop and allowed the campaign to use their song “Fake Empire” for an advertisement that ran the same year. Details on the event (including whether or not singer Matt Berninger will clean up the lyrics to “Mr. November”).
  • Although a recent promotional campaign hinted at something bigger, Tom Waits‘ only activity in the last few months has consisted of a music video for the track “Hell Broke Luce” and a pair of late night appearances, it turns out the legendarily enigmatic singer has been working on another project behind the scenes: Waits will lend his voice to an upcoming episode of The Simpsons. According to producer Al Jean, Waits will play a “prepper” who is preparing to live off the grid in case of a catastrophe. (Naturally, Homer joins Waits.) The episode will air sometime in December.
  • Coming on the heels of their best received album since their 2006 reunion, Smashing Pumpkins will embark on a U.S. tour in October, beginning with a date in Seattle at the Comcast Arena on October 10th. Billy Corgan and company will be assisted by visual artist SEan Evans (who helped Roger Waters stage the 2011 version of The Wall), although his contributions have yet to be detailed further.
  • NPR’s First Listen series has been a staple of many a music fan for a few years now, and this week, they’re offering streams of Cat Power’s Sun, StarsThe North, and Deerhoof’s Breakup Song. Listen to the streams over at NPR until all three albums hit brick and mortar stores on September 4th.
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