Jack White effectively effed up a whole bunch of “most anticipated in 2014” lists when, in a chat with fans this weekend, he casually announced that he’s almost finished recording a new album. This is why it pays to procrastinate, people — get those lists in late! Since we here at OurStage are huge fans of waiting until the last possible minute to get stuff done, we’d like to take this opportunity to tell you that we’re all anticipating the new Jack White record. So hard.
And, uh, it’s probably time that we tell you about some of the other albums slated for release this year that have us really excited. You can only put these things off for so long. Without further ado, here are 10 more records we’re super pumped to get our ears on in 2014.
1. Against Me!
When Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace, formerly known as Tom Gabel, announced her transition back in 2012, some fans wondered if a female-fronted iteration of the band would have the same intensity and infectiousness as its predecessor. The answer: Yes, of course. Last year’s acoustic True Trans EP was beautiful, and if the first few singles from the upcoming Transgender Dysphoria Blues are any indication, that record will absolutely rip as well.
With a loving, “Thanks jerks, we’re out,” The Gay Blades officially announced their breakup via Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram (because it’s hard to get closure without fancy photo filters) earlier this week. The goofy trash-pop duo will certainly be missed, but they’re just one of a score of bands who gave up the ghost this year. And so, as 2013 comes to a close, we’d like to bid adieu to some of the other acts who called it quits during these past 12 months. RIP.
The Mars Volta
In a series of tweets that started out somewhat sane and turned into an increasingly bitter and somewhat incomprehensible rant, Mars Volta frontman Cedric Zavala announced the band’s end through his personal Twitter account. Zavala vacillated between genuine gratitude (“Thank u a million times over for ever giving a fuck about our band”), passive-aggressive gratitude, (“SPECIAL SHOUT OUT TO ALL THE VOLTA FANS WHO FLOODED WARNER BROS FACEBOOK PAGE AND GOT NOTHING IN RETURN!”), and utterly confusing analogies (“What am I suppose to do be some progressive house wife that’s cool with watching their partner go fuck other bands? We owe it 2 fans to tour”). It’s probably good that he’s moved on to something else.
There are two super important pieces of information that you may have missed as you frantically finished buying, wrapping and trading your presents this holiday season. First: The Powerpuff Girls is getting a reboot in 2014, returning to Cartoon Network for a one-night special on January 14th. AWESOME. Second: Ringo Starr will make an appearance in the show as a character named Fibonacci Sequins, “Townsville’s most famous flamboyant mathematician.”
Bubbles, Blossom, Buttercup, and Beaucoups of Blues? Ringo Starr? Math puns? CGI?! The creators of this special thought of literally everything. But really, putting any beloved musician behind an animated character is a recipe for success and at least somewhat decent ratings, which is why showrunners are doing it all the time. Here are five other artists who lent their voices to cartoons “ either as a fictional character or as a stylized version of themselves.
1. Busta Rhymes as Reptar
While he wasn’t the man behind Reptar in the animated series, Busta Rhymes voiced the Reptar Wagon the precocious tots take to run away from their parents in the first full-length Rugrats movie. The rapper also recorded a song for the film’s soundtrack called “On Your Marks, Get Set, Ready, Go.” It’s no “Break Ya Neck,” but it is pretty adorable.
Katy Perry was crowned the Queen of Twitter earlier this week, after figures released by the site showed that she gained more than 15 million followers in 2013. Which is good, because while KP has already received numerous accolades “ Billboard Music Awards, American Music Awards, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame “ we all know that when it comes to determining popularity (and self worth), it’s all a matter of how many Twitter followers you have.
Perry may have narrowly beat out fellow pop superstars like Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber to take home the title of most beloved on the interwebz, but her timeline isn’t nearly as funny, thought-provoking, or all-around enjoyable as some of the musicians who truly rule the social network. For tweets that are full of lulz and aren’t purely written for self promotion, try following these unsung heroes.
John Darnielle “ @mountain_goats
The Mountain Goats frontman is already well known for being a prolific songwriter, but he’s equally active on Twitter. Follow if you like: jokes, death metal, bad movies, progressive politics
fyi my criteria for movies is 100% not “are they any good and do people like them” and 100% “do they have names like ‘relic of cthulhu'”
” The Mountain Goats (@mountain_goats) December 17, 2013
don’t wanna play amateur sociologist but maybe the real black friday…is in our hearts
” The Mountain Goats (@mountain_goats) November 29, 2013
owing to humanity’s collective failure to reject MS Word God has announced everybody goes to Hell. no exceptions
” The Mountain Goats (@mountain_goats) November 8, 2013
While Donald Glover listed a slew of personal worries in a headline-grabbing series of Instagram notes earlier this year, his greatest fear must be stagnating. The 30 Rock writer turned Community star turned showrunner of a new FX sitcom, Atlanta, has also been making infectious hip-hop under the moniker Childish Gambino since 2008. And even with that project, Glover refuses to stand still for too long.
Over the course of the last half-decade, the artist has completely revamped both his attitude towards the music he creates as well as his approach in making it. The project started as a lark, with Glover adopting his stage name after plugging his own into a Wu-Tang rap name generator online, and early Gambino tracks have a carefree, this-is-just-a-side-project sort of vibe. But because he’s spent the last several years bouncing around from writer’s room to television studio and back to the writer’s room again, his hip-hop career is the one thing that has offered any sort of stability. It’s also the reason that he’s been able to hone his once-goofy sound into something more lasting. Glover’s studio LP debut “ 2009’s Camp “ found the rapper discussing race and class issues over dazzling electro beats and was hardly the stuff of joke rap. That’s not to say Camp was lacking in wordplay “ my personal favorite line was always, I love pussy, I love bitches, dude, I should be runnin’ PETA,” “ but the record was a definite move in a more serious direction.
Tim Kinsella, the Chicago-based musician who accidentally helped invent what we know as emo while cutting his teeth in bands like Cap’n Jazz and Joan of Arc, just released one of the more interesting collaborations he’s done since the ’90s. Tim Kinsella Sings The Songs Of Marvin Tate By LeRoy Bach Featuring Angel Olsen finds Kinsella and ex-Wilco member LeRoy Bach setting the poems of fellow Chicago native Marvin Tate to music. And fear not, emo kids, they’re all pretty damn sad.
Kinsella and Bach aren’t the first musicians to lend their talents to preexisting poems. In fact, we could have compiled a list featuring hundreds of singers who have quoted writers, but we tried to reel it in. For time’s sake, you can check out four of our favorite music and poetry connections after the jump. And while you’re at it, pick up a copy of TKSTSOMTBLBFAO. Its title may be a mouthful, but its tracks are beautifully short, simple, and sparse, perfectly complimenting Tate’s stark and sometimes abrasive words.
1. Vladimir Nabokov and The Menzingers
Russian novelist Vladimir Nabokov may be most famous for penning Lolita, but it’s Pale Fire, his 1962 novel/999-line poem, that featured what is likely Nabokov’s most well-known couplet:
I was the shadow of the waxwing slain
By the false azure in the window pane
Definitely the most beautiful thing that anyone has ever written about birds flying into windows. Anyway, Scranton, PA’s The Menzingers quoted those lines almost verbatim during the bridge of “The Obituaries,” and while the rest of the song’s lyrical content has little to do with Pale Fire, the emotional impact of Nabokov’s words aren’t lessened at all. In fact, they compliment the track so well, it seems that the writer may have missed out on his calling as a punk lyricist.
We’ve all been there before: It’s mid-October and you’re walking around Wal-Mart, halfheartedly looking for a costume and mostly using the trip as an excuse to scour the aisles for cheap Halloween candy, when suddenly your ears detect something amiss.
Is that…? It can’t be. But it is! That superhuman wail is unmistakable! Mariah Carey‘s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” is playing over the crackling Super Center speakers! A wave of disgust washes over you (Seriously, Christmas songs already?), which is quickly overtaken by panic (“I haven’t bought a single present yet!”), which then turns into joy (I’m going to get SO MANY PRESENTS!). Or, at the very least, the feeling becomes a sort of numbness to all things Santa-related that lasts until December 25th rolls around and you’re promised another ten months that are free from Michael Bublé and his stupid, charming face.
Just thinking about the sheer number of times you’ll have to hear “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” before the year is out is enough to make anyone nauseous, regardless of how much egg nog you’ve had to drink. But the real bummer here is that Thanksgiving songs get totally overlooked in all the hubbub. One minute, you’re getting your spooky on with the help of “Werewolf Bar Mitzvah,” and then suddenly you find yourself humming along to “The 12 Days of Christmas,” almost against your will.
But here at OurStage, we don’t stand for that. We like autumn, we love turkey, and we can’t live without music, so we compiled a playlist of some of the very best Thanksgiving-themed tracks. Check out this collection of songs about stepping on crunchy leaves, being grateful for what you have, and how much food rules* on our very special Thanksgiving playlist.
*Disclaimer: We included at least one tune about how much autumn kind of sucks, actually. But, like… there’s so little daylight, you guys. And it’s so cold.