Grimes photo by Eli Russell Linnetz

So, About Grimes…

Where to begin? Claire Boucher (who turned 31 on Sunday and now prefers to be addressed as the italicized, lowercase letter ‘c‘) gave an interview to the Wall Street Journal; between the very odd conversation and her recent Instagram posts, it seems like she’ll be appearing in our News Roundups for a while, so buckle up.

First of all, she’s officially announced a new Grimes record. It’s called Miss_Anthropocene, and revolves around the concept of  the “anthropomorphic goddess of climate change,” according to her own Insta post. She describes the character thusly: “A psychedelic, space-dwelling demon/ beauty-Queen who relishes the end of the world. She’s composed of Ivory and Oil” and continues, “Each song will be a different embodiment of human extinction as depicted through a Pop star Demonology. The first song ‘we appreciate power’, introduced the pro-AI-propaganda girl group who embody our potential enslavement/destruction at the hands of Artificial General intelligence.”

In the same post, she also hinted that there might be an EP coming soon as well, which would ostensibly contain some of the stand-alone stuff she’s been working on while putting the LP together, like “Pretty Dark.”

On to the interview, which is behind a paywall I can’t afford and don’t want to pay to a conservative pub, so bear with me. c wants to “kill off” Grimes in a “public execution” because she feels limited by the branding she created back in 2009; her vision of herself as an artist is much more expansive, necessitating a Game of Thrones-esque book that will create a “lore” around her art and music. “It’s super, super pretentious,” she notes.

Reiterating her Instagram post, she says that she aims to make climate change “fun” with the new record, feeling that people ignore it largely because it makes them sad. Her solution to this dilemma is a series of “apocalyptic PSAs” in which she sits nude at a Last Supper-style dining table eating species on the brink of extinction, like a big bloody elephant head. You know, fun.

The album features an epic love ballad called “So Heavy I Fell Through The Earth” which Grimes says was inspired by the Assassin’s Creed movie trailer rather than her relationship with Elon Musk, whom she all but refused to talk about. She did say she “loves him” but was “simply unprepared” for the attention/criticism that dating him has brought her. WSJ did quote an email Musk sent to them about Grimes, saying, “I love c’s wild fae artistic creativity and hyper intense work ethic.”

Grimes tweeted that she was mostly pleased with the interview, but that generally she hates doing them because “it’s like fighting a battle with a fake version of urself to see who the public believes more.”

Red Bull’s NYC Music Academy Lineup is Here

Taking place across NYC throughout May every year, Red Bull Music Academy has become one of our favorite non-festivals – the lineup is always diverse and well-curated, with an eye on slightly more obscure avant-garde acts playing off-the-beaten path venues. Now in its 16th year, the programming for 2019 has been announced, and there’s a lot to be excited about.

For one thing, RBMA will host breakout Spanish singer-songwriter Rosalía for her first live appearances stateside. Her stunning 2018 album El Mal Querer flips Flamenco on its head, and the elaborate visuals that characterized her gorgeous visuals will likely make their way into the two performances scheduled for the newly-reopened Webster Hall.

Also performing over two nights, FKA Twigs returns to NYC for her first shows here since 2015, when Red Bull staged her vogue-opera Congregata in an abandoned hangar. This time, she’ll take over the Park Avenue Armory’s similarly cavernous drill hall. She hasn’t released new music in a while, so we’re curious to see what form these shows will take.

Four more women will bring immersive shows to the fest: Harlem’s own Teyana Taylor presents House of Petunia, a “spectacular audio-visual experience spearheaded by her all-female production company, The Aunties, featuring provocative stage design and mesmerizing choreography from a world-class team of dancers;” Tierra Whack headlines New York for the first time at the iconic Rainbow Room with “quirky and surreal stage design” that mirrors her surreal “Whack World” project; composer and sound artist Holly Herndon premieres the live iteration of her forthcoming album PROTO, “incorporating a fluid ensemble of eight vocalists, Spawn (a nascent machine intelligence), machine learning specialists, choreographers, and visual artists;” and Moor Mother weaves sound and history together with a “large-scale performance” she’s curated alongside an installation by Black Quantum Futurism, both of which are based on the race riots that engulfed America in the “Red Summer” of 1919.

More from RBMA’s press release:

Additional Red Bull Music Festival New York shows include: Rapper/producer JPEGMAFIA, who will showcase his gritty and abrasive beats with a dynamic live show in-the-round; NYC’s Onyx Collective bringing together their notable friends from the worlds of jazz, hip-hop, soul, and R&B for a free and unreplicable performance of intense, genre-expanding jazz at one of New York City’s beautiful parks; and the festival closes with Nyege Nyege Night featuring a propulsive and bass-heavy set from Ugandan DJKampire who – after laying the bedrock for the creation of safe party spaces for women and the LGBTQ+ community at home – will  make her US debut, co-headlining with rising singeli duo MCZO & Duke.

Tickets are sold for individual events and can be purchased here.

That New New

Speaking of Red Bull, break out that Hennessy – it’s Jenny Lewis Day, bitches.

Fresh off her Tim Presley collab DRINKS’ sophomore LP and tour, Cate Le Bon has announced her next solo album, Reward, out May 24 via Mexican Summer, with lead single “Daylight Matters.”

Nearly fifteen years after the release of their collaborative EP In The Reins, Calexico and Iron & Wine have reunited to record a full-length, Years to Burn. “Father Mountain” is the first single from the LP, out June 14 via City Slang.

Damien Jurado shared a new song from his stripped-down acoustic record In The Shape of a Storm, out April 12.

Juan Wauters has released the first single from Introducing Juan Pablo, out May 31. “Letter” was written in 2015; the record as a whole is something of a companion piece/prequel to his recently released La Onda de Juan Pablo LP.

Surprising no one, there’s a second volume to Broken Social Scene’s recent Let’s Try the After Vol. 1 EP on the way. Vol. 2 is out April 12 and its first single is “Can’t Find My Heart.”

Papercuts released a new three song EP, Kathleen Says, this week.

Lizzo and Missy Elliott have collaborated on a track, so music is basically over. Lizzo’s Cuz I Love You is out April 19.

Building on the momentum of recent single “Not What I Thought,” Somalia-born, Toronto-based vocalist Amaal brings the heat with another scorcher, “Coming & Going.”

Czarface, a hip-hop and comics collective featuring Inspectah Deck, has just released a collab LP with old Wu-Tang buddy Ghostface Killah. Czarface Meets Ghostface is out now, and so is this rad video for “Powers and Stuff,” seen from the POV of a very good boy.

Obliques are back with their first single since 2017’s “Instant Pleasure.”

Reptaliens’ sophomore LP VALIS arrives on April 26 – on cassette and limited edition pink vinyl. Watch the video for “Venetian Blinds” below.

Kero Kero Bonito released a video for “Swimming,” from last year’s Time ‘n’ Place.

Fat White Family return with a new video directed by Roisin Murphy. “Tastes Good With The Money” will appear on their third studio album, Serfs Up!, out April 19.

Plague Vendor unleash their new John Congleton-produced Epitaph Records LP By Night on June 7, and have shared a rowdy video for the raucous first track “New Comedown.”

Ibibio Sound Machine have a new album, Doko Mien, out today, and have shared a video for “Wanna Come Down.”

The latest video from Colombian breakout “Artist on the Rise” Elsa y Elmar is a journey, fam – and “Ojos Noche” is the Spanish-language alt-country bop you didn’t know you needed. Her next LP Eres Diamante arrives May 17.

Analogue special effects make for some gorgeous visuals in the dreamy new single from Heather Woods Broderick, who releases her newest album Invitation April 19. She’ll open for longtime collaborator and bandmate Sharon Van Etten at Webster Hall May 4.

Following the official announcement of her April 5 release Titanic Rising (and a video for “Everyday“) Weyes Blood shares a video for the album’s next single, “Movies.”

Tame Impala has released a new stand-alone single, “Patience,” to promote a headlining Coachella spot, numerous other festival appearances, and Saturday Night Live debut on March 30.

Honeyblood, now the solo project of Stina Tweeddale, releases their third LP In Plain Sight May 24, and have released a lyric video for “Glimmer.”

Here’s a ripper from new Queens-based band WIVES, who drop a two-part seven inch on City Slang in May.

Wes Miles unironically sings “Got the crew back together/Feels like it’s been forever” on “Bad To Worse,” the first song from Ra Ra Riot since the 2016 release of the LP Need Your Light; it’s produced and co-written by Discovery cohort Rostam Batmanglij.

End Notes

  • Iconic surf guitarist Dick Dale, best known as the man behind “Miserlou,” passed away on Saturday at the age of 81.
  • Myspace deleted your shit.
  • Did you know that Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst hosts a jazz night at Los Angeles club The Black Rabbit Rose every Thursday? Lady Gaga does – she showed up last week to perform some Frank Sinatra covers.
  • San Francisco’s Outside Lands have announced the semi-retired Paul Simon as a headliner and reveal the rest of the lineup on Tuesday.
  • Woodstock 50 has official released their previously leaked lineup.
  • The Lollapalooza lineup has been announced; we’d save you a click thru and tell you who’s playing except that it’s literally the same bands playing every other festival, but in Chicago.
  • Justin Vernon and The National’s Aaron Dessner will bring a topsy-turvy version of Berlin event PEOPLE called 37d03d (get it? good, because it’s annoying to type) to Red Hook’s Pioneer Works; it’s a five-day residency featuring experimental-ish musicians like Vernon, Dessner, Sinkane, Boys Noize, Greg Fox, Shahzad Ismaily, and others, culminating in two performances on May 3 and 4.
  • The David Lynch Foundation, which brings transcendental meditation to sufferers of PTSD, have also announced a lineup for their benefit showcase on May 17 and 18 at Brooklyn Steel, featuring Wye Oak, Garbage, Phoebe Bridgers, Nancy Whang of LCD Soundsystem, and more.
  • Presumably riding high on Pepsi’s Super Bowl endorsement, Cardi B has filed paperwork to trademark “Okurrr.”
  • In other Cardi B news, she’s been announced as part of the ensemble cast for Hustlers, a movie about vengeful strippers based on this New York Times article.
  • The Wyld Stallyns have announced a most excellent reunion.
  • Madlib squashed some rumors that his collab EP with the late Mac Miller (dubbed “Maclib”) will see ever the light of day.
  • Questlove is teaming up with SF-based vegetarian “meat” purveyor Impossible Burger to created a Questlove Cheesteak sold at sports stadiums nationwide.
  • Democratic Hot but actually pretty centrist presidential candidate hopeful Beto O’Rourke has unveiled a unique platform: reuniting the Mars Volta.