Thursday, January 28, 2010

The National

The National have a new album coming out in May on 4AD.

As of yet, no title has been announced and the exact release date has not been specified, but an album is coming. This unnamed album is one of the most anticipated releases of 2010, and it kind of feels right to have so much mystery and hype surrounding a band that creates shadowy, cinematic rock songs.

In an interview with Stereogum, The National frontman Matt Berninger said that they "started out trying to make a fun pop record" but that they "veered off that course immediately." I guess this is bad news for those who were hoping to the band would get "happy" and make a dance record but good news for those of us who like The National just the way they are.

Speaking of good news, The National have already announced spring tour dates in support of this mysterious album, none of which are in Ohio, but one is at the Radio City Music Hall. Wow, boys. I guess you've hit the big time.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Joanna Newsom

My favorite harp player-- first in a category that otherwise only includes Harpo Marx-- has a lot in the works.

Joanna's new album is due February 23. Have One on Me is a peculiar album title from a harpist and songwriter who sings about cockles and cowries and sawdust and diamonds, but nonetheless, this is the confirmed title. Nothing but loveliness can be expected, as that is Joanna's specialty, but the album title, which only conjures images of bar room flirtations, does seem like a bizarre choice.

Joanna will be playing multiple shows in Ohio in support of Have One on Me. She will be at Columbus' Southern Theatre on March 29 (tickets are on sale now, so snatch them up while you can), and she will be playing the MusicNOW Festival in Cincinnati on March 30.

Don't miss an opportunity to see Joanna. How many times a year do you have the chance to catch an indie harp concert? Few, indeed.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Karen O

The holiday season was full of award nominations -- and disqualifications -- for Karen O.

The good news: Yeah Yeah Yeahs' album It's Blitz! is nominated for the Best Alternative Music Album Grammy award.

Also, the Where the Wild Things Are score that Karen composed with prolific movie score composer Carter Burwell has garnered a healthy collection of nominations. "All Is Love," -- the idealistically sweet song that Karen sings backed by a group of youngsters known on the soundtrack as The Kids -- is nominated for a Grammy in the Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television, or Other Visual Media category. The Golden Globes have graced the score with a Best Original Score - Motion Picture nomination, and the Critics' Choice Awards have also nominated the score and "All Is Love" for Best Score and Best Song.

But there is bad news, of course.

The above-mentioned disqualification comes from the Academy Awards. Although the nominations have yet to be announced, the Academy Awards have already announced that the Where the Wild Things Are score has been thrown out of the running in the Best Original Score category for not satisfying their rules. These rules seem far too difficult to even attempt to decode, so I won't try. All I know is Karen has been robbed.

"All Is Love," however, still remains on the Academy Awards' Best Original Song shortlist that has yet to be dwindled down to the finalized nominations. I can only hope and pray that Karen will have a reason to show up on the Oscar red carpet because I am sure she would be wearing something marvelous. And a Karen O performance during the Oscar ceremony would be much appreciated.