As you may have heard, 2014's breakout star Sam Smith has a hit called "Stay With Me" that, yesterday, he was forced to list Tom Petty's name on as a songwriter. That's because, as a few people have noticed, "Stay With Me" bears more than a passing resemblance to Petty's "I Won't Back Down." Generally in these cases, there's a bit of ambiguity—plagiarism accusations rested on songs that share resemblance without being exactly identical. But in this case, it's pretty cut and dry. This YouTube video—which actually came out last year but is getting a lot of buzz following Monday's decision—makes a pretty compelling argument. Petty's been surprisingly amiable about the whole thing, but it's just one more thread in Smith's untold web of lies ... Discuss
Death Cab for Cutie is back, without guitarist Chris Walla for the first time since they got together in 1997. Their new album, Kintsugi, is due March 31, and now we've got our first idea of what it might sound like. "Black Sun" is a little psychedelic and a little slow and brooding, but definitely picks up towards the end. They also announced a new North America tour that'll kick off on April 10 (what is it about April 10?). Check out the full dates here ... Discuss
Sufjan Stevens' first album since 2010's Age of Adz is mere months from a release (not many people have heard it, but The Guardian has, and they call it "The Best Record Sufjan Stevens Has Ever Made.") and where there is a new, epic album, there must be new, epic concerts. Suf is delivering on that with a massive, nationwide tour that'll kick off in Philadelphia on April 10 and cap (tentatively) in Seattle on June 10. Check out the full tour schedule here.
By the way, Ticketmaster will begin a special pre-sale for tickets at 10am local time on Tuesday, January 26 (password: EUGENE) and you can get those tickets here. Don't say we never did nothing nice for you ... Discuss
Noted senior citizen Bob Dylan gave his first interview in three years to AARP Magazine of all place—a magazine that caters to the 50+ demographic. Probably a smart move, given that Bob Dylan's upcoming release is entirely Frank Sinatra covers (you can listen to the very pretty first single here). But subscribing to AARP is pretty smart move too—it turns out he'll be giving away copies of his new album, called Shadows In the Night, to 50,000 randomly selected AARP subscribers.
Senior citizen Dylan may be, but it hasn't slowed him down much. He's spent the past few years working out a truly grueling tour schedule, and Shadows In the Night will be his fifth album in 10 years, which isn't bad for a 73-year-old. It makes sense, really. You know what they say about rolling stones ... Discuss
Few bands are as underrated as the Mountain Goats. John Darnielle is one of his generation's finest songwriters—a phenomenally gifted storyteller who mostly writes songs that are short stories in turns funny, acerbic, heartbreaking and deeply insightful. (Last year, he actually published a novel called Wolf In White Van, and it's 100% excellent.) The Mountain Goats haven't released an album in two years but now, a new one is nearly done. It's called Beat the Champ, and it's a concept album about professional wrestling. So far, so fantastic. Pro wrestling was apparently an important part of Darnielle's childhood, as he writes.
You had to bring your imagination to the proceedings and you got paid back double. I wrote these songs to re-immerse myself in the blood and fire of the visions that spoke to me as a child, and to see what more there might be in them now that I’m grown.
The album will release on April 7. If the first single is any indication, it'll be terrific ... Discuss
Mew was one of the better bands of the '00s: a Danish trio (sometimes quartet) with a knack for some truly bonkers prog rock in the vain of Yes or Styx. It's pretty weird, but it's a lot of fun too—and surprisingly accessible, given how bananas it all was. They've been pretty quiet since 2009's No More Stories Are Told Today, I'm Sorry They Washed Away // No More Stories, The World Is Grey, I'm Tired, Let's Wash Away (told you they were weird), but they've just announced a new album. It's called +-, which is just about the most normal album title they've ever had. The first single is streaming on their home page, and it's definitely worth a listen ... Discuss