New Music Tuesday

Let’s play Jeopardy

A: Nine Inch Nails, The Pretenders, Guns N’ Roses and The Shins.

Q: Name four bands that operate with one person as the sole full-time member of the group.

Yes, Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails), Chrissie Hynde (Pretenders), Axl Rose (Guns N’ roses) and now you can also add James Mercer (The Shins) to this list.  And finally after playing with Danger Mouse in Broken Bells and acting in independent films,  James Mercer is ready to resurrect his old band.   It’s been five years and what a welcome return it is!  The album Port Of Morrow offers reflections on love and life and the discovery of new love and life as in the closing lyrics to “Simple Life”

“Love’s such a delicate thing that we do , we’ve nothing to prove
Which I never knew”

James has also used his time well with Danger Mouse as the production compliments the nature of the lyrics with strings and bells added to acoustic guitars.  It’s simple and brilliant  and will probably be on my best of 2012 list.  Here’s the next single from the album “It’s Only Life”

It’s Only Life-The Shins

As anyone who steps foot in my household knows from talking to my 12 year old daughter, the Hunger Games movie is coming out this Friday and the soundtrack is also released today.  Judging by the artists on the album, they are going to the school of Twilight to up the hipster factor.  Just add big name artists like Taylor Swift and Adam Levine and a pinch of a new song by indie darlings, Arcade Fire and you’ve got the winning ingredients for a hit soundtrack.  I’m not interested in the film but I’ll definitely give the soundtrack a listen especially when you add in a new song from The Decemberists and my country faves, The Pistol Annies.

Here’s  Taylor Swift together with Civil Wars and the song “Safe & Sound

Taylor Swift – Safe & Sound (from The Hunger Games Soundtrack)

Sign of the times.  Kid sings a cover of a famous song on YouTube, it goes viral, she wins a singing competitition and now they’re famous without ever playing in front of an audience or creating their own music.  I’m not sure how this happened but a 15 year old girl is now signed to Warner Bros. and is getting played on seemingly hip radio stations like KCRW based on her cover of the Bon Iver song “Skinny Love” (19?!? million views and counting).  She also has managed to land a song on the aforementioned Hunger Games soundtrack.  Insane, right? If Lana Del Rey had problems, imagine being 15 and having to deal with this insanity.  I hope she holds up well to scrutiny.  Here’s another cover from her album.  It’s Phoenix’s “1901.


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