The boys are back in town! Here’s the first single off of The Futureheads‘ upcoming album News and Tributes. I’ve been waiting a long-ass time for this, especially after how great “Area” was…

[MP3] The FutureheadsSkip To The End
Wait wait wait….seriously? I mean…it’s a good song I guess, and it will probably get better with each subsequent listen, but it’s not really what I expected. It just sounds a little too “normal.” The F-heads are so great because they’re not really like anything else out there music-wise (to a certain extent), but this song sounds like it could have been laid down by any band with about 2 hours of free time on their hands. But “so what” you’ll say…who cares if it’s not too original! Well, that’s where a lot of bands’ sophomore efforts fail…they look at what worked in the past and streamline it. I really hope the album is better than this teaser suggests.

More (older) Futureheads here.

In other news, thanks so much for the tremendous response for the most recent contest! I didn’t realize how much work it would be, checking out like 90 bands, but it was pretty enjoyable for the most part. I’ve narrowed it down to about 5 bands, and will announce a winner probably by Monday…so stay tuned!

Liverpool should be England’s Mecca when it comes to British bands. I’ve read/listened to more bands out of Liverpool than any other city in England. Not being from England, I would assume the comparisons between cities may be somewhat like Chicago and New York City?! Help me out Englanders!

Whatever the comparison, another great Brit band, The Zutons, are prepping their followup album to their 2004 (hit) debut album Who Killed The Zutons?

My ears have been soaking in the sounds of The Zutons latest, Tired Of Hangin’ Around, for the last few hours. Their sophomore album, slated to launch on April 17, is a blend of catchy British pop rock meets American indie rock. If I had to compare their sound to another artist, I would say a mix between We Are Scientists and Franz Ferdinand, with a dash of B&S.

With their use of a cool saxophone, Zutons sound blends that of pop rock and melodic jazz. Originally a four-piece, one of the member’s girlfriend Abi began joining The Zutons on stage for a couple of songs mid-set, playing simple saxophone lines and adding backing vocals. Ultimately, she became very popular with the crowd and the band by becoming a full-time member, adding that extra zing the band needed for their debut album to hit #9 on the UK Album Charts. Check out what they have in store on their next release. It’s highly addictive.

[MP3] The ZutonsWhy Won’t You Give Me Your Love (New Single!)
[MP3] The ZutonsHello Conscience
[MP3] The ZutonsSecrets

[VIDEO] The ZutonsWhy Won’t You Give Me Your Love (Street Dancing!)

I am hoping to catch them on tour when they hit the states, but until then, you can check out their MySpace for their UK-Friendly touring gigs.

April 1st had a lot more grandeur when I was younger. Simplicity is a word that I would associate with the prank filled holiday.
“Your shoes are untied!”
“HAHA! April Fools!”

Anymore, you have to be the master of pranks to get a really good April Fools going. I’m still holding my breath for when Kurt Cobain pops outta Seattle and says, “APRIL FOOLS, BITCHES!!” Of course, the lack of oxygen to my head is starting to have their effects. Here are some fool related tunes for you.

[MP3] Rufus WainwrightApril Fools
[MP3] Inara GeorgeFools In Love
[MP3] Bonnie Prince BillyRudy Foolish
[MP3] Jack JohnsonFortunate Fool (Live @ Boulder, CO)
[MP3] The BeatlesThe Fool On The Hill

Yes, “fool” related music is great. However, a prank related holiday is usually related to a comical overtone. So, how about some funny comedians?

[LOL] Mitch HedbergFrogs vs. Bears
[LOL] Dane CookStruck By A Vehicle

Hope you think of a some great pranks!

My internet died today.
Before the resurrection, I checked my mailbox to be surprised by a CD.
My internet came back to life.
Now you get to check out the inbox friendly band Bump.

I was talking about Bonnaroo today with someone, which brought up memories of summer and jamming music. Well, right now it is pretty damp and gloomy outside, so I was relying on music to combat the negative effects of Mother Nature. You know.. That music you might listen to with the windows down on a summer day? Bump could easily become that type of music. When I put in Bump’s latest album, Incredible Consequence, I found myself in one of those Corona commercials on a white beach thinking… “Miles away from ordinary.” Perhaps that’s the best description for their music. A hodgepodge of jamming rock and psychedelic indie make their music a perfect blend of beach side bar meets a rock and roll festival meets (their hometown) Detroit Rock City.

[MP3] BumpDon’t Be The Sunrise
[MP3] BumpI Must Say
[MP3] BumpLast Chance

Check out their MySpace and be ready for their debut album that releases on May 2!

Completely off topic to anything musically related, I found myself using the word “hodgepodge” in the above description. I’m not sure how many of you have seen the hilarious Honda Element commercials, but there is one with a platypus that cracks me up. As soon as I typed the word “hodgepodge”, I knew I had to expose you to this bit of humor.

It’s been awhile since I did one of these. Absence makes the ears grow fonder, eh? Anyways, on with the show!

[MP3] Xiu XiuFast Car
I love this song. It’s hard not to enjoy the original version of this song by Tracy Chapman. I’ll go ahead and say that Tracy Chapman is one of the most talented female artists.. ever! Xiu Xiu‘s version is one lined with simple guitar and even simpler vocals. The cover only gets better and better as the song progresses.

[MP3] AriaClocks
Here is a tribute to my diversity in the field of music. It’s a good thing one of my good friends loves the hardcore stint, because I sure as hell don’t enjoy words that I can’t distinguish from primal mating calls. Regardless, this song is actually pretty clever in the fact it’s a Coldplay piano ballad played to roaring guitar and vocals, for that matter.

[MP3] Cat PowerWonderwall
I’m sure this is one of the most covered songs of all time, no doubt. Enter the eerie vocals of Chan Marshall and exit the angst laden voice of Liam Gallagher. Result = sdfkghiwfkgh!! I liked this cover a ton when I first stumbled upon it a few years back and had recently lost it amongst various HDs. Now it’s found and I am very very happy.

Enjoy the covers…when they’ll be back…nobody knows. Literally, I don’t even know.