18 years later, we have a new A Tribe Called Quest album, the hip-hop pioneers released their final studio album today and it was oozing at the seems with special guests: Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Jack White, André 3000, Elton John, Busta Rhymes and more. The album features all of the original members, even the late Phife Dawg, making it a most spectacular send off for the hip-hop group.
The album stands at 16 tracks long, meaning there’s plenty to pick at – through first listen to second listen and beyond, the tribe have definitely saved the best til’ last, can they kick it? They definitely can.
I’d personally like the thank them 4 their service and you can stream the album below.
Donald Glover has announced upcoming Childish Gambino Album Awaken, My Love!, premiering the first single ‘Me and Your Mama’ yesterday. The album artwork for Awaken, My Love! was also tucked away as a little easter egg, in his critically acclaimed tv show Atlanta, which has just finished it’s first season.
Awaken, My Love! will release on the 2nd of December, listen to ‘Me and Your Mama’ and view the tracklist for the album below.
Despite heavy hints that his short run of September 2015 gigs would be his last UK shows ever (or at least until he secures a recording deal), Morrissey has announced a huge homecoming show at Manchester Arena on August 20th. In honour of this occasion, The Black Wax evaluates the best of his (solo) live releases to date.
Live in Dallas (1992)
Recorded during Morrissey’s first solo tour in 1991, one which broke box-office records across America, Live in Dallas is a rough and ready document which perfectly conveys the atmosphere of these rowdy early gigs. Morrissey was reportedly charmed by the footage, which was taken from the venue’s security cameras and not originally intended for release. The setlist is made up of songs from his first two studio albums (Viva Hate and Kill Uncle), the compilation Bona Drag and carefully chosen covers, including The Jam’s That’s Entertainment. The band, Morrissey’s first touring group since leaving The Smiths, infuse the material with a rockabilly flavour, meaning the renditions here are often superior to the original songs (especially the Kill Uncle material). That being said, Morrissey’s voice is often wildly out of tune, or absent completely due to stage invasions, which culminate in the band having to flee the stage part-way during an encore performance of Everyday is Like Sunday, due to fears for their safety.
Beethoven Was Deaf (1993)
Morrissey and his band put in a much stronger performance two years after Dallas on this superbly titled live album, culled from shows in Paris and London. The rockabilly stylings of Dallas are toned down in favour of a glam rock assault, in line with Your Arsenal, the Mick Ronson-produced studio album which Beethoven Was Deaf is associated with. The former album makes up the bulk of the songs performed here, although earlier tracks such as Suedehead are also given a run out. Morrissey’s voice here is dynamic and versatile, ranging from yelps and growls to heartfelt crooning. Although now out of print, Beethoven Was Deaf is worth hunting down, if only for the fantastic rendition of the fan-favourite B-side, Jack the Ripper, generally considered to be the definitive version.
Who put the ‘M’ in Manchester / Live at Earls Court (2004)
2004 was Morrissey’s annus mirabilis. After returning from the wilderness with the superb You Are the Quarry, Moz capitalised on his renewed popularity with a live DVD and CD from his tours that year. Who Put the ‘M’… is the souvenir of Morrissey’s 45th birthday homecoming concert, an emotional performance in front of a rabid Manchester crowd. Songs from both Moz’s solo career and Smiths days are aired here, with highlights including a gorgeous encore performance of There Is a Light That Never Goes Out. Live at Earls Court is less of a retrospective, wheeling out Quarry tracks and B-sides, as well as a cover of Patti Smith’s Redondo Beach, a sweet tribute to one of Morrissey’s heroes. Both of these releases benefit from the fact that by 2004, Moz’s live vocals had improved dramatically compared to a decade earlier and the fact that his band now included a keyboard player, allowing faithful renditions of songs such as A Rush and a Push and the Land is Ours to be performed.
Live at the Hollywood Bowl (unreleased)
The scheduled release of the recording of this 2007 show was cancelled, but Live at the Hollywood Bowl is arguably more comprehensive than any of Morrissey’s official live releases and deserves to be mentioned alongside them. Opening with the ferocious one-two punch of The Queen is Dead and The Last of the Famous International Playboys, Morrissey and his band thoroughly explore his vast catalogue, tearing through singles, B-sides, then-unreleased material and Smiths numbers. Moz himself is in fine voice and fettle, prowling the stage in a white suit and whipping his microphone cord with abandon. His band tastefully complement his performance with their best arrangements to date – see the crashing crescendo of Life is a Pigsty for the best evidence of this.
Morrissey: 25 Live (2013)
Much more intimate than either Who Put the ‘M’… or Live at the Hollywood Bowl, 25 Live gained mixed reviews upon release, mostly because of the fact that despite Morrissey’s performance is almost flawless, this is a release which is geared towards hardcore Moz devotees. 25 Live can at times be cringe-inducing, such as when front-row fans are handed the microphone in order to heap praise upon their idol. It can also be touching – a very young fan is crowdsurfed to the stage during the encore, then picked up and held by Moz himself. The cinematography is somewhat standard for a concert film, but catches Moz at his designer shirted, matinee-idol best, his every gesture and facial expression recorded for posterity. Although 25 Live would benefit from giving more of an insight into the man himself, it succeeds in its aim of showing Morrissey as one of the best live performers of his generation. As he states during the show: ‘the microphone is [his] tombstone’.
Brighton surfdoom trio The Wytches are back with short seven song EP ‘Home Recordings’.
The EP is on sale as digital download here, with a pre-order of limited edition cassettes, you can also stream the album on Spotify (see below).
The lead song ‘Who Rides’ has also been accompanied by a music video full of calcium.
With this EP being so short, I would still expect to see their second album later this year, which we know has been produced by Bad Seed Jim Sclavunos. Other than that though, there isn’t much we know about the album, or even if it has a name yet. Although there are a handful of songs the band have been playing live that did not appear on this EP and have not surfaced yet in any tangible format, leading me to conclude there is definitely more Wytches on the way.
Radiohead have been busy recently sending fans mysterious ‘Burn The Witch’ leaflets; erasing all of their online presence, only to then return to the internet after two days to share a photo of a bird, and now today after another two days (conspiracy maybe) they have finally given us what we’ve all been waiting for, and it has come in the form a stop-motion video for a song aptly named ‘Burn The Witch’.
The video was directed by Chris Hopewell and when pieced together with the song is actually rather sinister. Also, a giant wooden statue is revealed just like in ‘The Wicker Man’, and what’s not scary about being burned alive in a huge wooden man? The song will be available for sale on May 4th and is currently accessible to stream on Spotify and Tidal.
A tribute to David Bowie is set to take place at this year’s Glastonbury Festival, confirmed Michael Eavis whilst speaking to Radio X at the NME awards this Wednesday.
Asked by Radio X if there were any plans to honour David at this year’s festival, Eavis replied with “yes, we’re doing a film of his set from the year 2000”. He went on to add that “It’s going to be shown on one of the screens when the stages are shut down. We’ll show the entire set”.
David Bowie previously headlined the festival on Worthy Farm in 2000, playing a career spanning set with all the songs you’d expect him to pull out for the special occasion, such as ‘Starman’, ‘Life on Mars’ and ‘Heroes’.
The news comes following Twitter account @BowieGlasto2016 that was recently set up by a Bowie fan following the musician’s passing, with the hope of organising a ‘mass sing along’ by the Pyramid Stage on the Wednesday evening at this year’s festival to honour the star. Hopefully these mass sing alongs will still take place as well as the official tribute, or even during the showing of the set as well. I’ll be attending the festival myself so it’ll be exciting to see how it all unfolds.
Emily Eavis also confirmed on Twitter yesterday that PJ Harvey will be making a return to Glastonbury this year (her first appearance there since 2004) playing The Other Stage on the Sunday. This follows the news that Coldplay will be the festival’s first headliners, also playing alongside ELO on the Sunday.
“Hallelujah! Allah be praised! It’s finally fucking happening! And no ones died yet(touch wood)!” is how Fat White Family announced their new album on Facebook, which is rather fitting actually as after seeing them four times, I was beginning to worry that I may not get to hear their next album or see them again due to one of them overdosing on heroin. They are one of the best live bands I have ever seen and now that they’ve announced a new album I literally couldn’t be more excited.
New album means new tour and means me getting to bump up my Fat Whites view counter. I saw them twice in one day earlier on this year by sneaking into their show at the BBC Radio 6 music festival and then seeing them again in the evening at the NME Awards Tour, needless to say it was a good day. I then saw them twice at Glastonbury, with one of their sets being at 4am and whether or not Lias is too fucked up to sing or is being sick on stage just all adds to the Fat Whites experience for me to be honest.
They are doing some gigs running up the end of this year and I might try and catch one, but if not their new album is dropping in January which I’m sure they will follow swiftly with a tour. You can read the article Fat White Family posted on their Facebook here: