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Janice Headley
photo by Kristina Moravec

  • From a KEXP Song of the Day in 2013 to a Grammy nomination and Saturday Night Live in 2016 -- it's been fantastic watching the rise of our beloved Courtney Barnett! Over the weekend, the Aussie superstar made her first live TV appearance in the U.S. with "Nobody Really Cares If You Don’t Go to the Party" and "Pedestrian at Best," both off Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, KEXP listeners' #1 Album of 2015. Watch our girl kill it below, and watch her teach SNL cast member Bobby Moynihan some Australian slang. [Spin]

  • Speaking of Australian artists we love: Nicholas Allbrook, frontman for Pond and formerly of Tame Impala, releases his debut solo full-length Pure Gardiya later this month. Today, he shares a video for "A Fool There Was," which pays homage to the video for "Osez Josephine" by French singer/songwriter Alain Bashung. In a press release, Allbrook explains how it came together: "I'd just get a friend to replace the white stallion, cars as spotlights, Eva could play guitar in the middle etc. and make a hilarious dodgy rip-off on the cheap. Then, as always, Matt Sav floated in like a majestic pelican to make it all actually truly beautiful." Watch the beauty below. Pure Gardiya hits stores on May 27th via Spinning Top. [Pitchfork]

  • While I'd love to make this an all-Australian edition of KEXP's Music News, let's look to Staten Island for the first new music from Cymbals Eat Guitars since 2014. Their upcoming album, Pretty Years, was produced by the famed John Congleton, known for his work with St. Vincent, Sigur Rós, Modest Mouse, and well, this blog ain't big enough to list them all. Hear his work on the single "Wish" below. Bassist Matthew Whipple says "We wanted to make a more energetic record. I personally looked to artists like Springsteen, ’70s Bowie, The Smiths, The Cure, Neil Young as inspiration for —not really for sound as much as for that dichotomy of bands who were entertainers still making, at times, weird dark music and writing songs that seem totally over-the-top by today’s rock band standards." Pretty Years hits stores on October 2nd via Sinderlyn. [Stereogum]

  • And finally, here's a weird one: '60s TV-pop band The Monkees have a new album coming out this week, titled Good Times!, featuring songs written by Death Cab For Cutie's Ben Gibbard, Weezer's Rivers Cuomo, Oasis' Noel Gallagher, and Rogue Wave's Zach Rogue, and more. To top it off, Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne and defunct NYC trio Ivy produced the album. Hear Gibbard's track "Me & Magdalena" below, which features lead vocals from Mike Nesmith, aka the guy in the green knit hat. In fact, all original band members are aboard, with the exception of Davy Jones, who sadly passed away in 2012. Gibbard told NPR Music, "Before The Beatles, before The Velvet Underground and before punk and/or indie rock, The Monkees were the first band I truly loved. Their albums were always on in our home when I was a kid (especially Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd.), and I learned to sing alongside them. I spent countless hours in front of the TV in the '80s watching Monkees reruns wishing I could climb through the screen and be in the show with them. They made being in a band seem so fun -- and goddammit, it should be! For these reasons and a million others, I can say with absolutely zero hyperbole that contributing 'Me & Magdalena' to this album has been the greatest honor of my career." You guys, that means it even eclipses that Foo Fighters album. Good Times! hits stores May 27th via Rhino. [Under the Radar]

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