Music News Monday: Arcade Fire in the studio, Daft Punk teaser, festival announcements and more!

Arcade Fire is currently working on a new album and while there is not even a hint of a release date, word is that the Montreal indie super group is recording at James Murphy’s DFA Studio in New York City. Will Murphy appear on the album too? Only time will tell, but until then watch LCD Soundsystem and Arcade Fire playing “North American Scum” to satiate your thirst.

Daft Punk delighted (and surprised) fans by debuting a short spot on this week’s SNL in advance of their new album Random Access Memories. Set to be released May 21, and currently up for pre-order on iTunes, this will be Daft Punk’s first release since 2010 and details remain scant. If rumours are to be believed, the album will feature Giorgio Moroder, Nile Rodgers, and Panda Bear.

Festival season continues to be just out of reach, but many more artists continue to announce spots on festivals across the country. Amnesia Rockfest will rattle eardrums in Montebello, QC with Rise Against, The Offspring, Alice Cooper, Marilyn Manson and many more. Montreal's Osheaga Festival announced their line-up and alongside the expected festival circuit of Vampire Weekend, Mumford and Sons, New Order and Macklemore and Lewis – Canadian pop-wow/hip hop boogie machines A Tribe Called Red and Toronto’s sultry Diamond Rings are both on the Island. Ottawa Explosion will blow off the stuffy suits on Parliament Hill by throwing quite the shindig. Featuring acts from across the country, Needles//Pins, Pregnancy Scares, Roberta Bondar, Silver Dapple and the Yips are some of the 52 bands well worth the measly $60 ticket price. All the way to the other coast, Victoria’s Rock the Shores festival features The Sheepdogs, Weezer, 54-40 and Matthew Good. Sounds perfectly dead-on for Victoria.

Around the world: Drake guests on Snoop Lion’s newest track “No Guns Allowed”, recounting the shocking Toronto shooting at an east-end block party in 2012 that left two people dead and more than 20 wounded. Richard Hell, one of the few who made it through the punk rock way of life of the seventies, has come out with an autobiography recounting his time moving in and around the loud, proud and all too often self-destructive “blank generation.” Not surprisingly – Bowie’s newest release The Next Day debuts to critical acclaim and to top off good news for the Thin White Duke, as savvy culture freaks flock to the V & A for their landmark exhibition David Bowie is.

Finally, and with great sadness, I would like to end with a goodbye to Jason Molina, the force behind Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co. Ending a long battle with alcoholism and related health issues, the songwriting and lasting musical inspiration passed on Saturday, March 16 at age 39. If you haven’t already – take a moment to stream his entire discography. An incredible talent that was lost to a deep addiction. 

– Jenn Prosser

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