With the holiday season now little more than a speck in the rearview mirror of MSL’s 2012 escape pod, currently speeding brakeless toward the fiscal cliff on its way back from popping the cherry on a shiny, new gym membership, it is officially time to launch the New Year’s first Trending. Welcome back friends, enemies, and mom. Welcome new friends, new enemies, and my girlfriend’s mom. It’s a whole new calendar and a same old Trending—meet the new boss, same as the old boss, as Roger Daltrey once babbled—which, if anticipated upcoming releases from bands like FIDLAR, Iceage, and Bleeding Rainbow are any indication, means a lot more noise and, consequently, gush-filled, multi-clause sentence structures from yours truly. So get your headphones on and lense-less reading glasses ready, because 2013 doesn’t start until the music does and the music starts now.
Arriving fashionably late to the 2012 party, A$AP Rocky’s much-hyped and mega-delayed major label debut Long.Live.A$AP, originally rumored to drop around Halloween (history so ancient that Gandalf is currently blowing dust off its scroll in some Middle Earth dungeon archive), debuts today on the back of some pretty mainstream acclaim/coverage. Featuring the golden fingertips of a few big-name knob-turners like Danger Mouse and Clams Casino, the Harlem-hailing, NYC MC’s new video for the Kid Cudi-ish title track clearly reveals that A$AP fancies himself the new high king of 2013. These determinations will have to wait until next January, but in the meantime check out the MTV-backed coronation above.
Keeping it close to home, New York yankee turned southern-transplant, James Jackson Toth, is also releasing a new album under his Wooden Wand moniker today. The revivalist-minded Blood Oaths of the New Blues finds Toth wandering sparse, barren, and beautiful bedroom-fi territories, with warmly distorted guitars, retrophilia, and nicotine melodies meeting at the collision point of Youth Lagoon and Blitzen Trapper. Spin, the miles long funeral march of its print counterpart concluded, has the full stream up as consolation for those of us who still feel the old ways are the best ways. Pour yourself a whiskey and check it out while changing the oil in your 1973 Ford or something.
With yet another New Year upon us, however, my personal and age-sensitive attentions (I’m going on 24, someone put me down already) are somehow less interested in up-and-coming opening salvos than old dogs’ new-ish, if only because forgotten, tricks. This week brings us a trio of such golf cart flipping, decaf-coffee sipping geriatric gems that, scarily enough, germinated in a decade I actually and vividly remember living through. First up on the Del Boca Vista buffet line are UK indie-imports Suede, who have a new track, “Barriers”, off their new album, Bloodsports, available for free download on the world wide whatever. Hot on the heels of their eight-volt electric scooters, are slowcore legends Codeine who, in support of record store day and in advance of their summer reunion tour, have announced a 2000 vinyl run of their live album What About the Lonely. The track list and savory details can be found here. Bringing up the rear, probably because he got distracted flirting with the ladies over in the physical therapy pool, is Nick Cave and his Bad Seed boys whose creep-tastic video for “We No Who U R”, a cut from their upcoming Push the Sky Away, offers a bit of necessary closure for those of you still rolling black skinny jeans in memoriam of Grinderman.
But enough about old men and guitars (if you want to talk more about that you can Gchat me at work or something), as Pantha Du Prince & The Bell Laboratory have the first truly good electronic album of 2013 streaming over at NPR. While dance dudes and dudettes may not find much Inception-indebted drops or spray-tanned fist pumps within—keep your mating rituals to the glowstick clubs, kiddies—Elements of Light is a haunting and hopeful piece of music that exercises patience as a chief virtue and wields chiming bells like a well-worn monkey wrench. Take 45 minutes of alone time with this, a window, and the yawn of January wasteland extending beyond it and you might actually come up with a resolution worth sticking to. Or stay the same, I don’t care, that’s your right as a citizen of the free fuckin’ world, after all.
And as long as we are on the subject of tired New Year’s tropes, Sufjan Stevens’s plunky piano indie-classic “Redford” is now officially slinging Red Bull in a cleavage-cut tank top on college campuses from Berkeley to Cambridge. “The only limit is the one you set yourself”, proclaims the pseudo-inspirational ad in an accent reminiscent of Schwarzenegger’s in that True Lies scene where he inexplicably asks Jamie Lee Curtis to get naked (anyone?), making me wish that perhaps Sufjan had been a little more discerning with his own parameters. Just cause Red Bull has “no limits” doesn’t mean you shouldn’t, Mr. Stevens.
So, with my angst ballasts now set to “DIVE, DIVE, DIVE!!” I figure we all could use a laugh and some lighthearted cat-fighting to end the day. It is with blushing embarrassment then, that I present this week’s newest chick-hop offerings, beginning with Kitty Pryde’s new video for “Dead Island”, which features the Lana Del Rey for the Minaj-set MC dropping lines like “bitch, draw your eyebrows on and then come talk to me” all over a song named after a zombie video game from an upcoming mixtape called D.A.I.S.Y Rage. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried but the here’s the proof all the same.
Oh and meanwhile the Azealia Banks/Angel Haze feud burns on, proving that in today’s hip hop world—with Biggie and Pac a two-decade-old memory, with Nas and Jay Z too rich to care, and with Andre 3000 and Big Boi now at Swiss-approved armistice—the wars are best waged by its leading ladies.
*Director’s Commentary* Notable absences are new tracks from Papa Gaga (aka David Bowie) and Iceage; our excitement for which simply couldn’t wait until lunchtime. Scroll through our blog for the additional coverage.
Thanks for listening.