Reverb Week in Playlist: Weird Al, The UMS, Beyonce and more - Reverb

Reverb Week in Playlist: Weird Al, The UMS, Beyonce and more

With everything that happens in the music world on a weekly basis, you couldn’t possibly be expected to keep up with it all. But don’t worry, with the Reverb Week in Playlist we’ll keep our ears to the ground for the important music news and releases of the week and compile it into the most digestible form we know: a playlist.

Some weeks seem to be filled with way more releases than others, and this was definitely one of those weeks. Moz’s dropped his latest solo endeavor, Weird Al has brought some new parodies into our lives and Alt-J finally released a video for that song they sampled Miley Cyrus in. The heat is still raging on, and so is festival season so if you have been living a life of hermitude huddled against your AC as opposed to hitting packed venues, we have this week nicely summarized for you.

It’s still festival season; Pitchfork Music Festival kicks off today

It’s still summer, which means it is still festival season. This weekend takes music fans to Chicago for Pitchfork’s annual soiree. This year the lineup includes headliners Beck, Neutral Milk Hotel and Kendrick Lamar, as well as a whole slew of other acts. Notable bands to check out (if you have found yourself at the festival this year) are Chicago boys Twin Peaks, recently reunited shoegaze act Slowdive and ’90s indie-rock inspired Speedy Ortiz. Their latest song “Bigger Party”, which was released as a part of Adult Swim’s singles series and it just might be one of the best racks of 2014 so far. At the very least the chorus “I’m about the time that I made out with all your friends/I’m really a shithead” is a front runner for best lyrics.

Slow Club was slow to release its latest album, but it is finally here

English folk/indie duo Slow Club released its third full length album this week, “Complete Surrender.” Compared to 2009’s “Yeah So” the album is pretty different, with much more production and an expanded line-up. What was once a swirling combination of two-part harmonies and sunshine guitar riffs has been fleshed out and found a stronger footing. The basis of Slow Club is still there: vocals are shared by Charles Watson and Rebecca Taylor and the lyrics are still bitingly self-aware. With a new album comes a U.S. tour and the band will be hitting our shores this fall, however as of right now there are unfortunately no Colorado dates.

VMAs announce nominees and no one is surprised that Beyonce has the most nods

Let’s face it; it is Queen Bey’s world and we are just living in it. The MTV Video Music Awards announced their nominees this week and Bey has come out on top with eight nods. The VMAs are one of those award shows where it really ins’t about the awards at all and more about the performances (we are all still collectively trying to forget Miley’s little spectacle last year) and in some categories it isn’t even really about the video. Black Keys and Arctic Monkeys are facing off against Lorde, Imagine Dragons and….Linkin Park? For Best Rock Video. Because apparently Lorde is rock now. They don’t even broadcast this category live on TV. Lame. Avicii’s “Wake Me Up” is nominated for “Best Pop Video” even though it feels like that song has been out for three years now. Best of luck to Iggy Azalea’s video for “Fancy” though, the truly best video of the year.

Weird Al delivers the grammar lesson we have all been waiting for

All week you have probably seen the latest in Weird Al Yankovic’s parody videos. With the release of his latest album “Mandatory Fun” on Tuesday, we have been gifted gems such as “Tacky” (a parody of Pharrell’s “Happy”) and “Handy” (a take on I-G-G-Y’s “Fancy”.) “Mandatory Fun” marks the end of Yankovic’s recording contract, so this might be his last “traditional” album. If it is, then all we can do is thank him for giving us a much better version of “Blurred Lines” before he tries new comedic endeavors.

Are you ready for The UMS yet?

If you are a music fan in Colorado then you probably already have plans to attend the Underground Music Showcase next weekend, and if you don’t then you best get on that. With more than 400 performances from July 24-27, it is a chance for local acts to shine alongside bigger national acts (like Blonde Redhead.) Chances are your favorite Colorado band is playing the fest, but if not then you will definitely walk away with some new obsessions. Check out another track from “steal this track” artist Arliss Nancy above, and get ready for one of the best weekends in music Colorado has to offer.

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Erin Browne is a New York-based writer and a new contributor to Reverb. Follow her on Twitter.