VIDEO: Elvis Costello & The Imposters “Mr. & Mrs. Hush”

Mr. Costello returned last fall from his brief cancer scare with his finest record in 15 years. Look Now! is a tour de force journey through the man’s kaleidoscopic musical songbook. The Burt Bacharach-isms mesh effortlessly with the storied yet always acerbic lyrics. As one of the finest backing bands in the business, The Imposters (who are the Attractions minus Bruce Thomas) are incredibly gifted musicians and confidently take risks amidst often complex arrangements. “Mr. & Mrs. Hush” is a standout on a stellar long-player. The band is on tour this summer with Blondie before embarking on a larger tour this fall.

STREAM: Silkworm “Dremate”

A definitive version of Silkworm’s 1994 classic In The West is forthcoming from Comedy Minus One records. It has been remixed from the original two-inch tape by Steve Albini, who also served as the engineer on the initial recording sessions. The physical release will be on double vinyl with re-imagined artwork and limited to 1500 copies. A bonus CD completes the package featuring 7″ b-sides and a live version of “Halloween.” This streaming version of album highlight “Dremate” is limited to the download accompaniment to the bundle.

Despite being released in the midst of college radio’s halcyon days, this record has never before been released on vinyl. Mindblowingly, Silkworm also released Libterine later that same year.

Tug Baker’s Top Albums of 2014

Tug Baker is an eater of things, and an arbiter of tunes. He has shared his best of list from About Today.

1. Run The Jewels, Run the Jewels 2 (Mass Appeal, Sony Red)

2. Hurray For The Riff Raff, Small Town Heroes (ATO)

3. Sturgill Simpson, Metamodern Sounds in Country Music (Loose Music)

4. Sharon Van Etten, Are We There (Jagjaguwar)

5. FKA twigs, LP1 (Young Turks)

6. Iceage, Plowing Into the Field of Love (Matador)

7. Cory Branan, The No-Hit Wonder (Bloodshot)

8. Cloud Nothings, Here and Nowhere Else (Carpark)

9. Alvvays, s/t (Polyvinyl)

10. Ryan Adams, 1984 (Pax AM)

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STREAM: Charli XCX “Kingdom” (Ft. Simon Le Bon)

As part of the Lorde-curated soundtrack for Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1, Charli XCX has teamed up with Duran Duran‘s Simon Le Bon for a dramatic piano ballad called “Kingdom.” She wrote the song with Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij after they spent a drunken night at a Miley Cyrus concert. She recently told Pitchfork that Lorde insisted on bringing in someone from a different era and that she was excited “to be working with someone who’s iconic and from a different time than me.” The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 soundtrack is out now via Republic.

VIDEO: Jawbreaker “Boxcar”

Well, this discovery made my day. Jawbreaker has released a video for “Boxcar” from its close to perfect pop-punk song cycle, 24-Hour Revenge Therapy, a mere 20 years too late. Drummer Adam Pfahler evidently found a bunch of Super 8 footage circa 1992, and thus we have a video for “Boxcar.” I suppose it’s not without its benefits considering the band just reissued 24-Hour Revenge Therapy on Pfahler’s own Blackball records.

TV on the Radio Play “Happy Idiot” on Letterman

At this point I don’t think you can call it luck that TV on the Radio has ridden a decade long wave of overwhelmingly adoring press. Must be doing something right. I’ve never been much more than a cursory admirer, following the band’s trajectory only loosely. I saw TVOTR open for Bauhaus and Nine Inch Nails in 2006, and I’ve got a few of their records. But I’ve yet to be blown away, despite all the accolades. I cringe at the concept of bands being “overrated” because it seems paradoxical to say so. I may be coming around, though. When I first heard “Happy Idiot” it instantly clicked with its unabashed new wave hooks, which is a first for any song by TVOTR and me. Seeds came out Tuesday, and I’ve had a hard time not keeping it on repeat.

LIVE: J Mascis Strips Down for NPR

Even though his de facto method of transmission with Dinosaur Jr. is at ear-splitting volume, J Mascis proves his chops are not merely a byproduct of noise with an acoustic performance for NPR. Mascis runs through a medley of songs off his latest solo record for Sub Pop, the unsurprisingly solid Tied to a Star, as well as the Dinosaur Jr. classic “Little Furry Things.” [via Spin]