The Week in Music: Morrissey adds his velvet tones to the Lou Reed love-in


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The Independent Culture

We've had covers of songs by the late Lou Reed from My Morning Jacket, Pearl Jam, Arctic Monkeys and Twin Shadow (with a woozy version of “Perfect Day”).

Now Morrissey’s take on “Satellite of Love”, recorded live at the Chelsea Ballroom in Las Vegas in 2011, is to be released digitally on 2 December, three days before the audiobook of his autobiography, while the vinyl (with extra songs) will follow in January. Morrissey’s straight-up delivery fits the song perfectly.

Tis the season for quirky takes on Christmas

As Christmas albums start pouring onto my desk, with the compulsory punning titles - Kim Wilde’s Wilde Winter Songbook, Mary J Blige’s A Mary Christmas – there is one that stands out, with its sombre monochrome cover: Bright Eyes’ A Christmas Album. The 11 covers of traditional Christmas songs, performed and arranged by Conor Oberst and Azure Ray’s Maria Taylor, are some of the most bittersweet you’ll hear this season.

Indeed, Christmas albums are no longer just a novelty or the well-mined preserve of divas. Last year we had new material from Tracey Thorn, indie couple Tim Wheeler & Emmy the Great, Tom Smith & Andy Burrows and the Christmas Rules compilation, featuring The Shins and Rufus Wainwright. This year, Erasure join in with Snow Globe, which is out now.

Never fear: Lily’s back with a vengeance

No one in pop tells it like it is quite as blatantly as Lily Allen. So it’s good to see her tackle the woeful culture of sexism in the music industry, and one of the current examples of that – Robin Thicke – with typically cutting lyrics on her new single, "Hard Out Here”. Allen’s first single in three years is being released on Sunday. It’s much more inspiring than her insipid cover of Keane’s “Somewhere Only We Know” for John Lewis’s Christmas shopping advert.

Hot Tickets

Manic Street Preachers had rave reviews for their album Rewind the Film. They’re back on tour in Spring, starting 28 March in Leeds and culminating at Brixton Academy on 11 April. Tickets are on sale today. Also on sale today are tickets for Metronomy’s one-off show at Brighton’s The Old Market on 29 January.

Gig of the week

Sigur Ros shows are generally somewhere between classical and heavy rock, hair-raising and beautiful – and always thrilling. Their short tour opens tomorrow at Dublin and ends at Wembley Arena on Thursday.