Emmylou and Rodney on Rolling Stone; Wick-It on Vibe; Mikky Ekko on Spin; Ke$ha on Rolling Stone [Media Bits + Fresh Tracks]


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* Once upon the 1970s, noted songwriter Rodney Crowell served as Emmylou Harris' guitar player. Four decades later, the duo has joined up again for a release called Old Yellow Moon, which is due out Feb. 26 via Nonesuch (pre-order link here). Moon will feature four Crowell-penned originals and eight covers, and Rolling Stone debuted the lead-off track, "Hanging up My Heart," just yesterday. "Heart" is an upbeat but lovelorn trad-country number written by steel guitarist Hank DeVito (and originally featured on Sissy Spacek's Crowell-produced country album of the same name, as my boss, the talented Mr. Ridley, informs me), and you can hear it via this link (caution: that's one of RS's pop-out-player links, so you may want to just get at it via the article link).

* Music City EDM king DJ Wick-It the Instigator recently produced a track for Microsoft's latest Windows 8 TV ad. He's reworked the tune and dubbed it (yes, "dub" pun totally intended) "We Have Arrived (Re-Spliffed)." The track debuted yesterday via Vibe, where it was called "a dubbed-out moomba mash-up that would make Bob Marley happy, Bassnectar proud and Bone Thugs give props." Thats, um ... that's a lot of ideas going on there, but I detect Nappy Roots and OutKast samples (among others), so that's rad. Stream "We Have Arrived (Re-Spliffed)" after the jump, or download it for free via Wick-It's Soundcloud page.

* Nashvillian alt-R&B crooner (as he's being called) Mikky Ekko has obviously had an enormous year, culminating with his co-write credit and vocal contributions to a song from Rihanna's latest, Unapologetic. Spin Magazine took notice, naming Ekko one of their "Five Best New Artists for December '12." "Ekko's off-kilter approach to R&B balladry," says Spin when talking of the singer's recent collab with Clams Casino, "imagines Thom Yorke in arean shadow, proudly overpowering the histrionic build-ups and bliss-outs of the Lil B and the Weeknd beatmaker's instrumental." You can say that again! No seriously, please say that again ... I'm not sure I follow.

* And finally, GUESS WHO'S ON HER ALBUM GRIND. The always-entertaining Rob Sheffield reviewed Ke$ha's brand-new Warrior for Rolling Stone, awarding the glitter queen's latest effort three-and-a-half stars. "When she brings on Iggy Pop himself for 'Dirty Love,'" says Sheffield, "her lust for life is unquestionable." I can't say I agree with that at all, but I do get a kick out of this bit: "Really, the one way Ke$ha could fail to rock is to get sensitive, turn spiritual and start doing acoustic ballads about past lives. This only happens for about a third of Warrior, so it's safe to say the great Ke$ha sincerity crisis of 2012 has been narrowly averted for now." Also, Sheffield seems to enjoy "Gold Trans Am," which, as we all know, is about Ke#ha's "hoo-ha." Anyway, you can stream all of Warrior at RS now, so go for it.


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