Pop & Hiss

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Post-holiday pop headlines: Soundgarden, Kanye return, and Lenny Kravitz speaks on Michael Jackson leak

January 4, 2010 |  1:06 pm

Let the Coachella speculation begin.
After the universe rejected Chris Cornell's attempts at joining forces with Timbaland, the alt-rock survivor announced over the holiday weekend that Soundgarden would be getting back together. No major details, but there was a Twitter message.

Wrote Cornell, "The 12 year break is over & school is back in session. Sign up now. Knights of the Soundtable ride again!" Billboard reports that the band has been fielding offers from "major U.S. and international" festivals, and Coachella would seem to be a prime landing spot. One complicating factor: Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron also works behind the kit with Pearl Jam, and the latter band has some touring commitments for 2010, including some summer dates at major European festivals.

Kanye is back. One of the biggest disappointments of 2009 -- at least for those who had designs on witnessing a pop spectacle -- was the collapse of Kanye West's attempted tour with Lady Gaga. Now the controversial hip-hop star says he's  back in the studio.

Writing an ALL-CAPS mission statement on his blog today, West promised to "bring you the best I have to offer with the same dedication that Kobe has on the court." But if you prefer your art with non-Lakers references, the Chicago-bred star also name-checks poets and artists Maya Angelou, Gil Scott-Heron and Nina Simone, noting, even if he can't spell all their names correctly, that "their work improved with time. They documented what was happening in culture. That is our responsibility."

West goes on, writing that "you can always look at our works and find truth and sincerity in a world of processed information." As far as Pop & Hiss is concerned, this is all good news, and evidence that Kanye won't be toning down the ambition, the grandiosity and the outspokenness that made him one of the decade's most defining artists.

The Michael Jackson vaults are unlocked and leaking. Over the weekend, a previously unheard snippet of  a Jackson song leaked, supposedly entitled "Another Day." The song is a cover, more or less, of Lenny Kravitz's 2004 cut "Storm." Idolator has the cuts side-by-side for your listening pleasure. Jackson fans can likely expect an arsenal of heretofore unearthed songs from the King of Pop surfacing over the next decade.

On Facebook and YouTube this morning, Kravitz posted a video explaining the song. "A part of the song leaked, not by me, since mine has been locked up in a vault since we recorded it," Kravitz says. According to the artist, this version of the track is "not mixed," and he doesn't know the identity of the DJ speaking over the leaked snippet, adding, "that person has nothing to do with the track."

Kravitz, speaking from an unknown tropical-looking locale, says he wrote and produced the song, plus played all the instruments on it. He adds that he would "like to see this thing get straightened out as soon as possible," and have an official version of the song released via proper channels.

If you missed Nine Inch Nails' farewell shows, you apparently won't have too long to wait for some new music from Trent Reznor, including tunes to be released under the NIN moniker. Reznor posted an early Christmas gift for fans on his official site, writing that "2010 has a number of things planned including new material from nine inch nails and something else that isn't nine inch nails." 

More to come, and Happy New Year

-- Todd Martens

Photo: Chris Cornell. Credit: Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times