“They would do that” was an inescapable sentiment on the web this week, as band after band announced plans to do something that makes perfect sense. Los Campesinos!, after years of supporting real-life, tactile fandom and D.I.Y. culture, will release a quarterly zine. John Darnielle has written a book (and multiple songs) about heavy-metal fandom, and this week announced that he’d recorded the upcoming Mountain Goats album with metal super-star Erik Rutan. The Decemberists — a band that it’s pretty much impossible to talk about without using the word “theatrical” — may be working on a Broadway musical. Titus Andronicus, direct musical descendants of The Pogues, will tour with them in the spring. And Keith Richards seemingly killed some poor librarian’s orchid with his secondhand smoke.
Richards may be immortal, but John Lennon — artistic rival and contempoary — was anything but: This week marked the 30th anniversary of Lennon’s death, which Rolling Stone commemorated by publishing his final interview. Rolling Stone also published its albums-of-the-year list, which Kanye West topped. The “what a surprise” theme carried through to most of the other year-end lists we saw this week, with West getting the No. 1 spot at Stereogum, The A.V. Club, and Spin.
The Kanye hype (and its dizzying afterglow) can obscure the fact that tons of other, non-Yeezy related material hit shelves and Mediafires this year. Over the last few days we’ve posted clips by acts whose ’10 offerings might not have been top 10 material (and, in these list-crazy last few weeks of December, it can sometimes seem like that’s all that matters), but are nonetheless notable. There’s Nicki Minaj on that other late-night TBS talk-show, Frightened Rabbit live on KEXP, and new music videos by Perfume Genius and Gorillaz.
And if you’re aching for a real surprise, by the way, then Das Racist popping up in Anthony Bourdain’s fridge should do the job.