It's back to the usual grind for Rocks Off after last night's late-night Austin City Limits Festival lineup announcement. Sadly, we will not be seeing the Foo Fighters play songs from Wasting Light in Austin come September. And yes, still playing it, along with a steady diet of Guns N' Roses.
But we will be seeing them in a few days hence in Alabama at the Hangout Music Festival. With Paul Simon, Motorhead and the Flaming Lips. So that's a consolation.
As for this week's new releases in regard to ACL, it would have been cool to see Danger Mouse do Rome with Norah Jones and Jack White, while Nick Cave and Moby would have been fun early-evening gigs.
Next week is all Lady Gaga, as the singer finally releases her second proper LP, Born This Way. The first four singles have been iffy, and we are still hoping that maybe, just maybe, they were cons leading up to a better collection. We'll see, though.
Sophomore slumps happen to everyone, even Mama Monster.
Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi, Rome : The latest masterwork from the unhinged genius mind of Danger Mouse with special guest collaborator Daniele Luppi, Rome is an atmospheric rubdown of strings that swell and voices that slide like butter down the melodies. It's ruggedly romantic at times, like a good Ennio Morricone film soundtrack. Jack White and Norah act as your vocal guides. If only we could see the movie inside Danger Mouse's head while making this album.
Moby, Destroyed : Moby gets his Brian Eno drag on for Destroyed, his follow-up to 2009's Wait For Me. If you have been ignoring Moby for the past decade, snap out of it.
Ben Harper, Give Till It's Gone : Underrated roots-rocker Ben Harper shines on his 11th album, getting all the more stalwartly hooky and earthy as the years go by. We were surprised as anybody to not see him on the ACL lineup this year too.
Kidz Bop Sings Monster Ballads: Yeah, we know.
Levon Helm, Ramble At The Ryman : John Hiatt, Sheryl Crow, Buddy Miller, George Receli, Sam Bush, and Billy Bob Thornton come by to help The Band's Levon Helm rock out at the Ryman Auditorium, bringing the spirit of his Woodstock Ramble jams to Nashville's hallowed hall. Closer "The Weight" is fun stuff, with an assist from Hiatt.
Queens of the Stone Age, Queens of the Stone Age: As our devotion to Queens of the Stone Age enters its second decade, Josh Homme re-releases his band's first self-titled album from 1998. We saw QOTSA Version 2011 perform this album in its entirety the first full night of SXSW in March, and our pants were soiled with awesome. As the years pass, the album only gets better.
Nick Cave: You like Nick Cave? Well, 1994's Let Love In, 1996's Murder Ballads, 1997's The Boatman's Call and 2001's No More Shall We Part have been reissued with bonus tracks and other goodies. Don't know what to buy? Let Love In features "Red Right Hand."
Queen: For the band's 40th anniversary, the legendary band is reissuing Queen, Queen II, Shear Heart Attack, A Night At The Opera, and A Day At The Races. Of course, you will want to hear the remastered Opera, but don't forget their first two progged-out albums either.
Iggy Pop, Roadkill Rising: Four discs of Iggy Pop bootlegs from the past four decades? Sign us up. If you don't fall in love with the Pop man after these four discs, then you are beyond help.
Also Out Today...
Thee Oh Sees, Castlemania
Parachute, The Way It Was
Face To Face, Laugh Now, Laugh Later
Hank III, Hillbilly Joker:
Various Artists, Paint It Black: Alternative Country Tribute to The Rolling Stones
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And lastly, here is our favorite album cover of the year so far, for Holy Shit's Living With Lions. Right???