MUSIC: New Music From Bob Mould, Azealia Banks, Zebra Katz, And More!

The lead single from Bob Mould’s new album, Silver Age, may be called “The Descent,” but it’s hard to imagine the venerable alt-rocker going down any time soon: It’s a powerful, 90s-tinged rock track, full of hooks and gutsy guitars. People have been claiming that rock is dead since before Britney was even a thing. Rest assured, rock isn’t dead—It may be graying a little, but as long as musicians like Mould—the original out rock star—are around, it’s still alive and kicking.  
Out balladeer Patrick Wolf is celebrating ten years of recording, performing and releasing music with a double  acoustic album, coming your way in September. Sundark and Riverlight features re-recordings of songs from all five of Wolf’s previous albums, and the video for “Overture” leads the way. Wolf directed the video with photographer Saga Sig. This version of the first track on The Magic Position is a gentle, reflective take on the soaring, crunching original. Sundark and Riverlight joins Tori Amos’ orchestral Gold Dust this fall—both featuring re-recordings of songs from the artists’ back catalogues. These acoustic and orchestral re-imaginings serve as refreshingly creative alternatives to the standard greatest-hits packagings.  
  While most gay rappers specialize in inane party tracks and videos packed with go-go boys, Zebra Katz is doing something entirely different: His brand of trippy hip-hop is light-years beyond the kitschy, camp nonsense we see so often. But it’s also a refreshing contrast to mainstream hip-hop, with more in common with Tricky and the strange, rough-hewn soundscapes of “witch house” bands like S4lem. “W8WTF,” Katz’s follow-up to the mind-blowing “Ima Read,” is another slow burner, with a hypnotic, druggy quality enhanced by a Kubric-inspired video. Oh, and the guy has one hell of a stylist: all that PETA-be-damned fur paired with the gimp masks and studded Prada shirts? Zebra Fuckin’ Katz, indeed!  
Azealia Banks is takin’ it back in time with the video for the title single to her new EP, 1991. That retro influence is apparent on a lot of Banks’ material, particularly on the Fantasea mixtape, but here it’s more than just that house beat. The video’s imagery is total ’90s overload: That pantsuit! Those backup dancers! The raindrops on the blue glass and the vintage mic! The song rounds out the tracks on 1991, and, even with 19 songs on Fantasea, we can’t wait for music from this lady. Photos of Tori Amos shooting…something around New York started popping up on fan sites this past spring. At the time, the singer’s often-obsessive fans didn’t know what to make of it. Was this a photo shoot—for a magazine? For album art? Was it a video shoot for that long-delayed American Doll Posse tour doc/live DVD? Turns out, Amos was filming the video for her new version of “Flavor,” from her new collection of orchestral re-recordings, Gold Dust. The video finds Amos all glammed-the-shit-up, skulking around Williamsburg—homegirl takes the JMZ!—the Village, and the Christopher Street Pier. It is a pretty random video to say the least, not to mention kind of an odd choice for a single: a fairly recent from 2009’s Abnormally Attracted to Sin. But most surprising is the amount of shade the gays are throwing Tori’s way. Her wardrobe is a little OTT in this video, and we’re not sure what’s going on with her face, but the general consensus on the Interwebs is that she needs to lay off the Botox. Personally, we’re not sure we’ve seen her real hair since 2005.  
  Apparently Cue had a big hit in the ’90s, but we don’t seem to recall it. That was before singer Niklas Hjulström went off to be an actor, appearing in the original Swedish version of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy. Now Cue is back, and their latest video follows L.A. party boy Jonny Makeup—he’s the guy responsible for a lot of American Apparel’s more Pat Field/Jeremy Scott-esque t-shirts—for a fun day in the City of Angels. The song, “Don’t Wanna Lie,” is catchy, with soaring vocals, bleeding-heart sentiment and a beat you could totally cardio-Krav Maga to.    

It’s just September but it’s already starting to feel like, sigh, “October.” The debut video from New York queer-folk trio Kings sets their lilting, Lilith-ready ballad in a stark loft haunted by the specters of old friends, good times, and past loves. Who’d have thought that three big city kids could have so much earthy, alt-country soul.




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One Comment*

  • journey91

    “most gay rappers specialize in inane party tracks and videos packed with go-go boys”

    And by most you mean Cazwell.

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