Could someone explain to me why the Arctic Monkeys are still a big deal? Don’t get me wrong, they are one of the better mainstream rock acts in Britain at the moment, but I can’t be the only person to express disappointment over the band’s creative direction since their much-lauded debut. Whatever People Say I Am… is a masterpiece. So far, they’ve struggled to match it, let alone top it. Their fourth studio album is due for release next Monday. It’s called Suck It and See, and you can listen to the whole thing online right now. It’s decent, but didn’t leave much of an impression…it left me pining for “When the Sun Goes Down”. It goes on sale 6th June.
On the subject of streaming albums, Frank Turner’s latest, England Keep My Bones, is also online via NME. The follow-up to 2009’s Poetry of the Dead was produced by Tristan Ivemy (The Holloways), and features the singles “Peggy Sang the Blues” and “I Still Believe”. It’s typical Turner – you’ll either love it or hate it. It goes on sale next Monday through Epitaph Records. The former Million Dead frontman will also be playing this year’s Reading and Leeds festival.
Do you like “Immigrant Song” by Led Zeppelin? Of course you do. It has been covered by Trent Reznor and Karen O for the impending US remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo…and it’s brilliant. It marks the second collaboration between Director David Fincher and Reznor, who scored 2010’s The Social Network (and won an Oscar in the process). As for the film itself, it looks bloody good. It could be superior to the Swedish-language original. You can check-out the bootlegged red band trailer below, for a sample of the track. The film goes on release in December.
Next, some potentially upsetting news: Roger Waters has hinted that he may not be reuniting with his Pink Floyd bandmates for future shows. Earlier in the month, he took to the 02 Arena stage with Floyd cohorts David Gilmour and Nick Mason for his “The Wall Live” tour. It was the first time they’d played together in six years. The event reignited interest in a reunion show, which has been rumoured for a while now. However, during an interview on BBC4’s Desert Island Discs, he dropped the following bombshell:
“I’m really glad that I was in that band for the 20 years that I was in it and I really enjoyed it. I think we did some great work together but I have no wish to do it ever again.”
There’s every chance this quote could be taken out of context, as Waters has never outright denied a reunion. While a proper tour isn’t on the cards, a few shows in the UK remain a possibility. EMI will release remastered versions of the band’s back catalogue on September 26th.
Finally, a shout-out to music legend Bob Dylan, who turned 70 last week (24th). The reclusive folk hero has influenced countless musicians, and it’s comforting to know that even at his age he can still draw massive crowds. The following quote from Barack Obama (after Dylan performed at the White House in 2010), is perhaps my favourite summation of the singer’s unique presence:
“Here’s what I love about Dylan – he was exactly as you’d expect he would be. He wouldn’t come to the rehearsal. He didn’t want to take a picture with me; usually all the talent is dying to take a picture with me and Michelle before the show, but he didn’t show up to that. He played The Times They Are a-Changin’. A beautiful rendition. The guy is so steeped in this stuff he can come up with a new arrangement and the song sounds completely different. Finishes the song, steps off the stage…comes up, shakes my hand, sort of tips his head, gives me just a little grin and then leaves. That was our only interaction with him. That’s how you want Bob Dylan, right?”