Welcome to weekly Rock Report, where we will be recalling some of the biggest and most unforgettable moments in the culture, starting off with the Billboard Charts, Living Things, Cake, Bad Religion, upcoming music festivals, Pearl Jam and more.
Billboard Charts Breakdown
There have been a couple of shake-ups in the Billboard 200, but the individual rock music and song charts have stayed relatively the same. The Beastie Boys top the Alternative and Rock Albums charts for a second consecutive week with “Hot Sauce Committee Part 2,” Helplessness Blues hangs onto the #1 spot on the Folk Albums Chart with their offering “Fleet Foxes” and, for the twelfth week in a row, Foo Fighters’ single “Rope” continues to reign supreme on the Rock and Alternative Songs chart. Additionally, their album “Wasting Light” has dethroned Sixx: AM to reclaim top position on the Hard Rock Albums chart.
Other Billboard Tidbits: The Cars’ “Move Like This” debuts at #7 on the Billboard 200, Manchester Orchestra’s “Simple Math” debuts at #21, and Sleeping With Sirens’ “Let’s Cheer To This” debuts at #78.
Los Angeles Rockers: Living Things
Living Things recently shot a short film for their dreary rock song “Pollen Path.” Directed by Floria Sigismonid (directed videos in the past for The White Stripes, The Cure and Interpol), the single was inspired by her and lead singer Lillian Berlin’s daughter, whom stars in the clip below. “Pollen Path” comes off the Los Angeles rockers’ mixtape, “Malocchio,” which can be downloaded for free on their website LivingThingsBand.com. Currently, Living Things are planning to release a triple album off their new label, Brotherly, for sometime this year.
The Federal Funding March
Cake is getting their school spirit on! The indie rockers are teaming up with the US Scholastic Band Association (USSBA) for a nationwide competition called “The Federal Funding March.” The idea is to have high school and college marching bands submit a video of their respective marching bands performing to “The Federal Funding March,” an upcoming single from their latest chart topping album “Showroom Of Compassion.” The winning school will perform in Cake’s official music video for “Federal Funding,” which will be shot later in the year in the winning school’s hometown.
Bad Religion Goes Back to School
Speaking of the education system, Bad Religion’s Greg Graffin is heading back to college, but you can call him Professor Graffin -- if you’re lucky, that is. The legendary punk rock vocalist will be teaching Evolution for the 2011 Fall semester at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.
It will be the first year of three where he will help develop the course. The class will be taught alongside fellow colleague, Richard Harrison, and lectures will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Oh, and, for those of you questioning if Graffin is a legit professor, perhaps his PhD in Zoology can answer that question.
The Static Jacks Signs with Fearless
Just weeks removed from announcing the signing of Eve 6, Fearless Records has officially added The Static Jacks to their roster. Formed in 2009, the New Jersey indie rock quartet, who blends punk with garage rock, released their EP “Laces” in 2009 to critical acclaim. Now, they are planning to follow that up with their full-length debut album “If You’re Young,” which is slated to drop on August 30. If you aren’t familiar with The Static Jacks yet, then preview their song “My Parents Lied.
Music Festivals Galore
European summers may be known for their many music festivals, but here in the States, we’re ushering in the autumn with style and pizzazz. The tenth annual Austin City Limits Music Festival will hold its three-day extravaganza at Zilker Park in Austin, Texas and so far, the talent is stacked!
Performers include Stevie Wonder, Kanye West, Coldplay, Arcade Fire, Bright Eyes, Pretty Lights, Social Distortion, Big Boi, Santigold, Smith Westerns Ray LaMontagne, Randy Newman, The Walkmen, The Airborne Toxic Event, My Morning Jacket, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Cee Lo Green, TV On The Radio, Fitz & The Tantrums, AWOLNATION, Fleet Foxes, Nas and Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley and many more!
For ticket information, head on over to ACLFestival.com.
20 Years of Pearl Jam
Pearl Jam is real wants to take over the world and let everybody know that their 20th Anniversary is serious business. As if having their own station, Pearl Jam Radio, on Sirius XM isn’t the enough, the legendary grunge rock outfit will be upping the ante with the “Pearl Jam Twenty Book” and the “Pearl Jam Twenty Soundtrack” to go along with the Cameron Crowe-directed film “Pearl Jam Twenty Film.”
But still, that isn’t enough for this band. The Eddie Vedder-fronted troupe is aiming even bigger! With that said, Pearl Jam will hold a two-day festival over Labor Day weekend at the Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wisconsin. More details to follow in the coming weeks.
Touch the Little Kitten
Kitten (not to be confused with all female Canadian metal quartet Kittie) is ready to claw their way into the public eye. Fronted by 16-year-old Chloe Chaidez, the Los Angeles indie rock quintet -- who comes across as a poppier rock version of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs-- are currently promoting their five-track EP entitled “Sunday School” and have just released the official video to their single “Chinatown.” It’s a fun, dance-flavored track that is simply addicting. Keep your eye on Kitten, as they are one of 2011’s breakout bands to watch.
For more from Bear Frazer, follow him on Twitter.