Ten Records We're Looking Forward To in 2015: Bjork, Earl Sweatshirt & Other Delights

Photo courtesy Wikimedia user rodrigoferrari

2015 looks to be a stellar year for new music releases. What follows are ten releases we feel deserve special mention (and five others we couldn't shake). Legendary personalities, hip-hop game-changers, pop visionaries, and ambitious experimentalists all figure in to the mix. Note: Release dates and other specific details are subject to change.

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Five Hip-Hop Albums We're Excited For in 2013

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A$AP Rocky
The new year is right around the corner, and while we're sure you're squeezing every last bit of new music you can from the few remaining "Best of 2012" lists, it's important to look toward the future and keep in mind all of the great music still to come. While we've all but given up hope that 2013 will be the year we see Detox on store shelves, there's still plenty of releases either officially announced or alluded to that have us excited. It's with the boom-bap baby new year in mind we bring you five hip-hop albums we're excited for in 2013.

The Ten Best Reissues of 2012
The Ten Best Noise Tracks of 2012
The Ten Best Metal Albums of 2012
The Ten Best Country Albums of 2012
The Ten Best New York City Rap Albums of 2012

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Bob Dylan's "Early Roman Kings" Debuts In Trailer For Cinemax Action (No, Not That Type Of Action) Show

Bob Dylan's Tempest comes out Sept. 11, and the first public airing of one of its tracks isn't on NPR or a similarly demographic-appropriate outlet—instead, the stompy bit of blooze "Early Roman Kings" got its debut in a commercial for the Cinemax original series Strike Back, which according to the party line is "a high-octane, globe-spanning thriller with storylines ripped from today's headlines." Hey, any port in a marketing storm! The trailer is below.

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2 Chainz Brings His T.R.U. Story To The 40/40 Club

Last night at the 40/40 Club, during the listening session for 2 Chainz's debut Based On A T.R.U. Story (Def Jam), it became apparent that the Atlanta MC grew up watching What's Happening?—he kept insisting that he could feel someone recording his album in the crowd a la Rerun's run-in with the Doobie Brothers. As a result he said he wouldn't play the entire album for the assembled; he played enough of it to give the fiends in the crowd a breeze, but not enough to catch a real vibe.

Chainz packed the house with "a lot of black card holders," as he put it. DJ Enuff, Ebro and Angie Martinez repped for Hot 97. Def Jam was heavy with their fairly newly appointed president Joie Manda, as well as Universal Republic/ Island Def Jam chairman Barry Weiss. Even Memphis Bleek (!!!), sporting his trademark white tee and Yankee fitted, stepped off the back of a milk carton to be there.

All the screens in the glamorized sports bar played 2 Chainz videos with the sound off while staff handed out 2 Chainz fans with a graphic of his album cover. Behind the bar, the bartenders doled out free Ciroc while cocktail waitresses carried trays of 40/40 Club patron Jay-Z's new cognac, D'Ussé.

After two hours of DJ SNS spinning MMG, YMCMB and G.O.O.D. (a lot initials in today's rap) a waft of weed filled the sports bar; Tity Boi and his entourage had arrived. Chainz, wearing some tie-dyed spandexish shirt with splashes of animal print that everyone immediately commented on, wasted no time getting on the mic to introduce the songs to NYC. "I know the songs aren't familiar... yet," he explained. "But you might as well start getting used to them." Here's what was played.

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Seven Important Takeaways From The Listening Session For Big Boi's Vicious Lies And Dangerous Rumors

Andre 3000 might be spending his summer dressing up as Jimi Hendrix, but his Outkast pal Big Boi has been busy putting together a new album. Titled Vicious Lies And Dangerous Rumors, the project will be released on November 13; yesterday, Big Boi holed up in a Manhattan recording studio to host a listening session. Here are seven nuggets SOTC gleaned from the playback—one of which is a startling revelation about Big Boi's cheese habit.

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Drake's Album Gets The Push-Back (But It's All For You, Baby)

Let's hope this delay doesn't change the album cover.
Over the weekend the sad-sack MC Drake put up a sad blog post announcing that Take Care, his long-in-the-works second album, would be coming out on November 15, and not in time for his 25th birthday on October 24. "So I have completed 19 songs (17 on physical and 2 on bonus), and have run into a roadblock of clearing 3 samples in time to make the October 24th date," he wrote. "My options were to take the songs off and make the birthday release happen, or to take an extra couple weeks to get the paper work right and give you the album they way I NEED you to hear it. The choice was clear as day for me. November 15th you will get Take Care the exact way I created it with no trimmings. This music means too much to me to get attached to dates and I do apologize for the delay but I promise that it is only for the benefit of our experience together." You can almost hear the pride of Ontario appending a ", baby," to that last sentence, no?

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Korn's New Answer To "Y'All Want A Single?": "Well, Here's A Dubstep 12-Inch"

The Korn dubstep record is nigh. The nu-metal stalwarts' 10th (!) studio album, The Path To Totality, comes out on December 6 and will be made up entirely of collaborations with producers specializing in that genre's scraped-metallics squeals and intestine-rattling basslines, because, well, why not. (Frontman Jonathan Davis has a more cosmically minded explanation: "The title The Path Of Totality refers to the fact that in order to see the sun in a full solar eclipse, you must be in the exact right place in the exact right time. That's how this album came together. I think all the producers feel the same way. I'm not sure it could ever happen again." I feel like the publicist left Davis saying "It was the best senior year ever!" off that quote.) A preview track, the Skrillex-assisted "Get Up," below.

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Stream The-Dream's New Song, Get Ready For His New "Free Album"

Because, apparently, Terius Nash doesn't make mixtapes. If you head over to the Radio Killa Records homepage, you'll be greeted with the bronze-on-black tracklisting of 1977, The-Dream's new free album, which will be released at the same location in approximately 12 1/2 hours. All track names also work as links, so if you click on the record's opener, "Wake Me When It's Over," you'll be able to stream the track, and if you click on, say, "Wedding Crasher," you'll be able to read the lyrics, which include the refrain (caps lock his and, I assume, totally appropriate) "BABY THIS MY DRUNK SONG/ I HATE TO HAVE TO CRASH YOUR WEDDING/ WITH THIS SHIT/ THIS MY MOTHER FUCKIN ANTHEM."

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The Jesus And Mary Chain Reissue Entire Catalog, Tack On Bonus Tracks Galore


Today in reissue news: Glasgow's Jesus and Mary Chain are re-releasing (or really, re-re-releasing, since they did this once in 2006) all six of their albums as double-CD, single-DVD sets. In other words, if you elect to purchase Psychocandy, their stoned, "Be My Baby"-aping debut, you'll also get, in order of appearance: six B-sides (including "Boyfriend's Dead," another girl-pop-in-hell style number), the "Upside Down"/"Vegetable Man" single that preceded the album, 11 songs recorded over three radio sessions with John Peel, nine demos, two outtakes (including the often bootlegged "Jesus Fuck") and a DVD with three music videos and six television appearances. The complete set might cost you a good portion of your next paycheck, yes, but it's also a lot cheaper than moving to Seattle or Scotland or wherever else you're going to find this much gloom.

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Listen To Two Unreleased Neutral Milk Hotel Tracks And Pre-Order Their Fancy Box Set


We interrupt the creation of the forthcoming Sound of the City hurricane playlist to inform you that on November 22, a Neutral Milk Hotel box set will be released. The set includes the band's two full-lengths, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea and On Avery Island, on 12-inch vinyl and a remastered version of their 1994 EP, Everything Is, fitted with four unreleased bonus tracks. Then—here comes the stuff you don't already have—you get the Ferris Wheel on Fire EP with seven unreleased acoustic tracks and an eighth that I assume is already on the hard drives of some super-fans, and 7-inch singles for "Holland, 1945," "You've Passed," and "Little Birds," with a pair of posters thrown in for good measure.

For a sample of what you're getting, they've also begun streaming "Oh Sister" and "Ferris Wheel on Fire" at the same place where you can find info on tour dates and NMH leader Jeff Mangum's half-hour radio show. So take a hammer to your piggy bank marked "Funds for '90s Indie Rock Reunions/Box Sets" and hope there are still 88 dollars remaining. If not (that piggy bank has definitely been taking a beating recently) the unreleased songs will also be posted on Bandcamp as pay-what-you-wish downloads, also on November 22.

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