The Week in Music: Steve Aoki, Cat Power, Carla Bruni, Black Mountain, the Whigs

Steve Aoki, DJ to the LA hipster-elite, releases his first mix album today, the obliquely named Pillowface and His Airplane Chronicles, a Cobrasnake soundtrack populated by the Pitchfork-crowned Justice, Klaxons, Bloc Party, MSTRKRFT, Peaches, and the like. Released in part by his own label, Dim Mak, the album will answer that long-held question, what does ironic ’80’s glam thrift chic sound like? Judge for yourself. Here’s a taste, part of a live performance where he mixes Justice and MSTRKRFT—dare I say it sounds fun?

 

Cat Power—ne Chan Marshall—follows up 2006’s The Greatest, which was received rapturously, with a covers album, her second, Jukebox. There doesn’t appear to be a throughline, aside from her own tastes (the album opens with “New York, New York” and ends with “Woman Left Lonely,” with songs by everyone from James Brown to Creedence Clearwater Revival to Hank Williams, in between). The album promises two original tracks, “Song to Bobby” and “Metal Heart.” But you won’t find any of it online, even though you can buy it today. Here she is in the studio working on the album—the song she’s singing, however, didn’t make the cut.

 

Is it too cynical to suggest that Carla Bruni’s escalating relationship with French President Nicolas Sarkozy was timed to the release of her new album, inspired by the poetry of W.B. Yeats, Emily Dickinson, W.H. Auden? What if you learned that the title was No Promises?

 

Vancouver’s Acid Rock quintet, Black Mountain, follows up its extremely promising eponymous debut with In the Future. According to allmusic.com, the new album, like the first, is full of “trippy neo-psych folk and rock tropes. But these are counterweighted with a drenched-in-prog-and-Sabbath bombast that makes the title seem ironic. If not laugh out loud funny.” And they liked it. Intrigued by the disconnect? Take a listen.

 

When their debut album, Give ‘Em All a Big Fat Lip came out in 2006, Rollingstone put The Whigs, from Athens, Georgia, on their ten artists to watch list. Their sound: “nineties indie rock with Sixties pop craftsmanship and Southern-rock twang.” Whoa. Miss anything? If anyone’s still paying attention, the trio will find out soon enough with their sophomore submission, Mission Control. The Week in Music: Steve Aoki, Cat Power, Carla Bruni, Black Mountain, the Whigs