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House Playlist: Grizzly Bear, Frank Ocean, Peaking Lights, & Recloose

Grizzly Bear has finally emerged to bring us the first cut off Veckatimest’s long-awaited and still nameless follow-up.

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Grizzly Bear
Photo: Warp Records

Grizzly Bear, “Sleeping Ute.” After three years of hibernation (and a spate of solo projects), Grizzly Bear has finally emerged to bring us the first cut off Veckatimest’s long-awaited and still nameless follow-up. “Sleeping Ute,” a sinuous Daniel Rossen composition, begins with a muscular riff that momentarily tricks its listeners into thinking the band has suddenly remade themselves into a swampy blues outfit. A few measures later, though, that notion is laid to rest when the band conjures up a myriad of other sounds, as if they’d ransacked a special-effects room. The real pleasure comes about three minutes in, when all that cacophony drops out except for a classical guitar and Rossen pleads, “I can’t help myself.” Indeed. Manan Desai

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hk3tURx8a2Q



Frank Ocean, “Pyramids.” I’m sure there are more opulent musical tributes to prostitution throughout music history. “La Traviata,” I guess, and maybe the Moulin Rouge version of “Roxanne.” But few go to such pains to glorify both the come-on and the debasement as Frank Ocean does with his nine-minute, bifurcated sob story about a pimp and the one who got away. The song’s uptempo seduction suite, which compares our central hooker with Cleopatra, Queen of Tease, is cute, but then the track slows down (disintegrates, more like) into a deceptively seductive slow jam through which ego-shattered hints of The Blue Angel snake. Whether or not he turns out to be the next big thing, he’s at least managed one of the most heart-stopping mid-track gear shifts since Stevie Wonder halted “Superwoman.” Eric Henderson

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DC7DmLsQN7s



Peaking Lights, “Beautiful Boy.” Peaking Lights’ “Lo Hi” has been called the euphoric dub-style wonder twin of Jay-Z’s “Glory.” Like Jigga’s tribute to his newborn daughter, Wisconsin husband-and-wife psychedelic-pop duo Indra Dunis and Aaron Coyes incorporate the ethereal babble of their infant son into their song, resulting in a dreamy maternity-ward aria that could likely calm the cries of most nurslings. “Beautiful Boy” is even better than “Lo Hi,” a sincere, graceful expression of gratitude for the presence of their son that builds on the expert songcraft exhibited throughout last year’s 936. Dunis’s sugary, halcyon vocals and homophones (“son” and “sun” are interchangeable here, both being told to shine) mingle with a wavy backbeat and fidgety tempo that could easily be the lead-in to an afternoon nap in some kind of low-fidelity daycare center. Mike LeChevallier

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HINIs3Sp5Lk



Recloose featuring B. Slade, “Feels Like Magic.” Pleasantly broken without flying off into whirling incoherence, “Feels Like Magic” is the sort of hopeful dance anthem that ends up leaning just a little too hard on the unresolved “tension” chords and forgets to actually release. Sometimes the effect is tantric, as with Inner City’s “Good Life” or, more recently, Tony Lionni’s “Found a Place”—to which “Feels Like Magic” bears more than just passing resemblance, minus the four-on-the-floor whomp. Which is to say, the all-build strategy here has its limitations (it’s a song that tells you it feels great more so than helping you to feel the same), but it’s got a solid foundation. EH

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GE1uabboJo
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Watch: Two Episode Trailers for Jordan Peele’s The Twilight Zone Reboot

Ahead of next week’s premiere of the series, CBS All Access has released trailers for the first two episodes.

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The Twilight Zone
Photo: CBS All Access

Jordan Peele is sitting on top of the world—or, at least, at the top of the box office, with his sophomore film, Us, having delivered (and then some) on the promise of his Get Out. Next up for the filmmaker is the much-anticipated reboot of Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone, which the filmmaker executive produced and hosts. Ahead of next week’s premiere of the series, CBS All Access has released trailers for the first two episodes, “The Comedian” and “Nightmare at 30,000 Feet.” In the former, Kumail Nanjiani stars as the eponymous comedian, who agonizingly wrestles with how far he will go for a laugh. And in the other, a spin on the classic “Nightmare at 20,0000 Feet” episode of the original series starring William Shatner, Adam Scott plays a man locked in a battle with his paranoid psyche. Watch both trailers below:

The Twilight Zone premieres on April 1.

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Scott Walker Dead at 76

Walker’s solo work moved away from the pop leanings of the Walker Brothers and increasingly toward the avant-garde.

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Scott Walker
Photo: 4AD

American-born British singer-songwriter, composer, and record producer Scott Walker, who began his career as a 1950s-style chanteur in an old-fashioned vocal trio, has died at 76. In a statement from his label 4AD, the musician, born Noel Scott Engel, is celebrated for having “enriched the lives of thousands, first as one third of the Walker Brothers, and later as a solo artist, producer and composer of uncompromising originality.”

Walker was born in Hamilton, Ohio on January 9, 1943 and earned his reputation very early on for his distinctive baritone. He changed his name after joining the Walker Brothers in the early 1960s, during which time the pop group enjoyed much success with such number one chart hits as “Make It Easy on Yourself” and “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore).”

The reclusive Walker’s solo work moved away from the pop leanings of the Walker Brothers and increasingly toward the avant-garde. Walker, who was making music until his death, received much critical acclaim with 2006’s Drift and 2012’s Bish Bosch, as well as with 2014’s Soused, his collaboration with Sunn O))). He also produced the soundtrack to Leos Carax’s 1999 romantic drama Pola X and composed the scores for Brady Corbet’s first two films as a director, 2016’s The Childhood of a Leader and last year’s Vox Lux.

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Watch: The Long-Awaited Deadwood Movie Gets Teaser Trailer and Premiere Date

Welcome to fucking Deadwood!

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Deadwood
Photo: HBO

At long last, we’re finally going to see more of Deadwood. Very soon after the HBO series’s cancellation in 2006, creator David Milch announced that he agreed to produce a pair of two-hour films to tie up the loose ends left after the third season. It’s been a long road since, and after many false starts over the years, production on one standalone film started in fall 2018. And today we have a glorious teaser for the film, which releases on HBO on May 31. Below is the official description of the film:

The Deadwood film follows the indelible characters of the series, who are reunited after ten years to celebrate South Dakota’s statehood. Former rivalries are reignited, alliances are tested and old wounds are reopened, as all are left to navigate the inevitable changes that modernity and time have wrought.

And below is the teaser trailer:

Deadwood: The Movie airs on HBO on May 31.

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