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by PopMatters Staff

12 Apr 2012


Brendan Benson has been releasing solo records since 1996’s One Mississippi and What Kind of World, releasing 21 April via Benson’s own Readymade label, will make it his fifth. After 2005’s Alternative to Love, Benson took a break from going it alone by co-founding rock supergroup the Raconteurs with Jack White. Both Detroit artists have since made Nashville home and Benson has become a family man, hitching up and having his first child.

Of course, in Nashville has he has found a true musical family as well, as so many more have before him. On What Kind of World, these new friends joined in to lend a hand, including Jon Auer (The Posies, Big Star), Ken Stringfellow (The Posies, Big Star, R.E.M.), Brad Pemberton (Ryan Adam’s Cardinals), Mark Watrous (Loudermilk, Gosling), and Sam Farrar (Phantom Planet). The changes in his life have also led him to explore new themes in his songwriting in a more straightforward style. “I think on this record I’m saying a lot of things I never thought I would say,” says Benson. “Maybe I’m just getting older, but I don’t want to hide now in my songs, I just want to be truthful. And I’m realizing that the truth is really interesting—I’m more attracted to honesty these days than to convolution.”

Today on PopMatters we have the pleasure of premiering the title track from the new album, “What Kind of World”. Benson describes the tune as “one my favorites on the record. I think we captured an ‘80s, new wave sort of sound that I’ve always been obsessed with ala the Cars or Missing Persons.”

You can pre-order the album now via Benson’s website.

by Jessy Krupa

11 Apr 2012


Kelly Clarkson on American Idol (2002)

It may be hard to believe, but American Idol has been on air for a full decade. Debuting during the summer of 2002, the TV talent show became a surprise ratings hit, and almost single-handedly made FOX one of the top three television networks. Despite countless spin-offs and copycats (American Juniors, X Factor, Rock Star: INXS, Nashville Star, Can You Duet, The Voice, etc.), the original series still has a hold on pop culture even into its 11th season.

With its changing roster of celebrity guests and judges, one thing is clear: its all about the contestants. But what have all of those singers been up to lately? So, starting with season one, let’s look back at who made the top five and see what they’re doing now.

by PopMatters Staff

11 Apr 2012


Lollapalooza may as well be entitled “The Reunion Fest” this year. The re-united Black Sabbath, with all four original members including Ozzy Osbourne, will headline this year’s Lollapalooza. Meanwhile Red Hot Chili Peppers will return after a six-year festival absence and At the Drive-In will play their first live show in 11 years. And if that wasn’t enough, the Afghan Whigs will appear as part of their first tour in a decade.

Among other major rock talent, the highlights will be Jack White in solo form, the Black Keys, Bloc Party and Delta Spirit. It’s not all rock though, Lollapalooza will be stocked full of electronic artists like Justice, Avicii, Bassnectar, Kaskade and many more.

by PopMatters Staff

10 Apr 2012


Aesop Rock
Skelethon
(Rhymesayers)
Release date: 10 July 2012

Aesop Rock is returning on July 10th with his first solo album in five years and like all great hip-hoppers has a bevy of fine guests joining him on the new tunes, including Rob Sonic and Kimya Dawson among others. Promotion has already begun with a video EPK for the record as well as the first Soundcloud of a new song, “Zero Dark Thirty.” Full track list below the jump.

Listen to “Zero Dark Thirty” over at Soundcloud.

by PopMatters Staff

10 Apr 2012


Pulp have thankfully reunited for a big reunion tour that includes a high-profile Coachella performance. So, of course, they are making the late night rounds as well. Catch the Britpop band playing their classic “Common People”, one of the greatest songs of the ‘90s, as well as “Like a Friend”.

 

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