Amazon.com has unveiled their list of the Top 100 Albums of 2009. At No. 1? Neko Case’s alt-country classic Middle Cyclone, followed by The Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ It’s Blitz!, Phoenix’s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart’s self-titled debut, and the Avett Brothers’ I And Love And You. Check out the other 95 selections here.
Now that the latest Twilight movie is out, it’s time to start talking about the next Twilight movie. Bauhaus singer Peter Murphy will make a cameo in the third installment of the vampire trilogy, it was announced today. Bauhaus are known for goth rock anthems like “Bela Lugosi’s Dead,” and can be seen in the 1983 David Bowie’s vampire film “The Hunger.” Death Cab for Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard stopped by KROQ to perform a rather affecting solo take on The Twilight Saga: New Moon track “Meet Me On The Equinox.” Watch the video below.
Speaking of vampires, celebrity chaser Perez Hilton has a new John Mayer track from the upcoming Battle Studies album (out November 17) streaming on his website. Titled “Half of My Heart,” it features Taylor Swift on backing vocals. Swift appears on Saturday Night Live this weekend, and has already started riffing on her infamous incident with Kanye West at the MTV Music Awards in the promos.
Watch an exclusive video from Monsters of Folk for “The Sandman, The Brakeman, and Me” over at EW. There’s also a short interview in which the band members (that’s M. Ward, Mike Mogis, Jim James, and Conor Oberst, in case you forgot) give each other props.
Here’s a sample:
Mike Mogis: “Matt is this transcendental songwriter. I’ve worked with him, mixing his own records, and just learning some of his sensibilities — the less is more sort of musical aesthetic. At times, you end up throwing stuff on when building a track and you lose a little perspective, and I think he can remind you what the most important things in songs are. Keep you humble. Primarily the songwriting, though. It’s f—ing top notch.”
The band dressed up as Kiss for Halloween this year. Check out a video below of the Monsters ripping up “Detroit Rock City” in Louisville.
Suzanne Vega is busy re-recording her old songs as stripped-down, acoustic versions, for a four album series she’ll release over the next two years. Vega tells The Hour: “The first group of songs I’ll be releasing are my love songs, which will come out in time for Valentine’s Day. After ‘love’ comes ‘people and places,’ with songs like Luka, Tom’s Diner and In Liverpool. The third theme will be ‘states of being,’ with Cracking and Blood Makes Noise, and the last will be ‘family.'”
On November 27, Bob Seger will release the 10- song LP Early Seger, Vol. 1 exclusively on his web site. The set features four unreleased tracks, “Gets Ya Pumpin’,” “Wildfire” “Days When the Rain Would Come,” and “Star Tonight,” which was once covered by former Miami Vice star Don Johnson. Each track on the album features new vocals and horns from Seger, which he recorded in Kid Rock’s Detroit studio. Listen to snippets at Bobseger.com.
John Fogerty talks to Billboard.com about the preparations for his next album, which he says will be a return to rock and roll form. “I play guitar everyday…about three hours. I’m always trying to get better,” says the Creedence Clearwater Revival great. “Having a guitar in your hands all the time triggers music. It triggers creativity and it helps me write songs. So at the appropriate time I’ll have enough songs to go in and make an album and you’ll hear from me again.” On November 10, he’ll play PBS’ “Live By Request.” Fans can ask for songs and pose questions for Fogerty via his web site, Facebook, and Twitter.
Need some audio stimulation? Listen to Robert Christgau’s insightful review of Loudon Wainwright III’s new album, a two-CD tribute to singer and banjoist Charlie Poole called High Wide & Handsome: The Charlie Poole Project, over at NPR.
Or check out the NY Times’ podcast interview with folk legend Geoff Muldaur, featuring a solo acoustic performance of a number from the new album Geoff Muldaur & The Texas Sheiks right here.