<p>Tom Waits in 2011</p>

Tom Waits in 2011

Credit: AP Photo

Watch: Tom Waits releases title track from new album, 'Bad As Me'

Veteran songwriter is re-thinking the whole 'internet thing'

Tom Waits has announced a new album, and he's out the gate, teeth bared and hooves ready to put a hurt on.

At least that's what "Bad As Me" sounds like; that would be the title track from the set, due Oct. 25.

It sounds like a live, one-take affair, with all sorts of warts and scars, his wily voice bending around a series of proud nightmares. It's got all the ragged edges of "Temptation" from "Frank's Wild Years" or "All the Time" squarely from the Brawlers disc of "Orphans," with that barroom hollow-body line and Waits brrr of harmonica. He also throws in a few lines of lispy speak-singing and some enthusiastic "huhs!".

The song's up for sale through all the usual digital outlets now. The 13-track album -- or 16-track, if you're getting the deluxe -- has a presale going on now on iTunes. Tracklist below.

In a YouTube video on his website, Waits makes less of an announcement about the record itself than he addresses the rapid and rabid nature of internet dissemination, and how he can't just host a traditional listening party anymore. Preceded by a few clips of other songs, he puts a kabosh on his little event early.

"It's an internet thing," he explains, acting exasperated, comparing leaks to spoiling a birthday party and to the bile of gargling raw sewage during a root canal. Always one with words, that guy.

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<p>Bright Eyes (Conor Oberst center)</p>

Bright Eyes (Conor Oberst center)

Interview: Conor Oberst talks Bright Eyes’ future, New York state of mind

Is his rock band really done?

“I’m fortunate enough to move around a lot.”

That’s the truth in more ways than one for Conor Oberst, who’s lived in a number of cities, made records in even more of them, and bounced from project to project  with the same liquidity.

These days, the Nebraska-born singer-songwriter has made New York his physical home (he’ll be celebrating it soon with a headlining stint at the Brooklyn Waterfront on Aug. 31, next week). Everything else is up in the air.

The big news this year was that his band Bright Eyes’ album “The People’s Key” may be its swan song. Speaking to me from the road, though, Oberst played down any order of finality.

“I don’t think it’s anything official,” he said over the phone, mentioning that the Bright Eyes configuration is partly endangered because he, Mike Mogis and Nate Walcott currently live in different cities. And while there will not be another Bright Eyes album any time soon, Oberst isn’t counting another one out in the distant future. “I hope there is,” he said.

So the band continues to tour through the end of the year, with U.S. shows ending in September and a few scheduled international shows. Like Bright Eyes’ stop-off at Lollapalooza earlier this month, the setlists show-to-show have boasted tracks from more than a half-dozen studio albums, and even more singles and EPs. It’s been like a roving greatest hits collection from the crew, with Oberst, 31, still spewing his f-bombs from songs like “Lover I Don’t Have to Love” with the same gusto as the self-philosophizing of recent “Jejune Stars.”

“This year has been really good for us. When I was solo, we were playing smaller rooms, and that was perfect for [the Mystic Valley Band project],” he says. “I didn’t play a lot of big festivals in 2010. This has been the year for that.”

So if Bright Eyes isn’t on the docket, what does that mean for new output? Oberst said he has no definite plans for any single project, even for a solo record. As previously indicated, his other group Monsters of Folk is in stasis, according to M. Ward. He hasn’t had any idea yet what songs he’ll be writing next, whether it’d country-influenced, dance-loving or rocking.

Oberst has “gotten out of the music business” in regards to his former label ventures, with Saddle Creek and Team Love. Were he to release an album next year, he’s not even positive what label it’d be on.

“Will there even be records in a couple years?” he asked. When it comes to digital channels and pay models like newly launched Spotify, “It’s still sort of the Wild West.”

Here are Bright Eyes' current tour dates.

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Watch: Bon Iver's 'Holocene' music video takes a tour of Iceland

Watch: Bon Iver's 'Holocene' music video takes a tour of Iceland

Pack your bags

Hey, I know where your next vacation's gonna be.

Bon Iver's video for "Holocene" is as calming as the song itself, as a boy-child traipsing around the varied countrysides in Iceland. It's gorgeous. You're going now. I wish this kid's job was my job (sometimes).

The clip was directed by Nabil, aka Nabil Elderkin, who's showed up on this site before, for his work with Kanye West and Estelle. He was also behind Frank Ocean's recent vid for "Novacane," which is hot like sun.

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<p>Red Hot Chili Peppers</p>
<br />

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Watch: Red Hot Chili Peppers do a rooftop 'Rain Dance' for video

Venice, Calif. got a free show

U2 did it for "Where the Streets Have No Name." The Beatles promoted a whole album with it. Now, Red Hot Chili Peppers have taken their turn in a tradition of performing songs on a rooftop for a partly unsuspecting audience.

The official music video for "The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie" features the rock troupe on a roof, a crowd building below them on the streets of Venice, Calif. The short show took place in the early evening on July 30, just two weeks ago; it was cut and directed by Mark Klasfeld.

Flea thankfully wears pants and a wild hair color. I love a man in tails, too, which Anthony Kiedis sports for a while before shedding in favor of a frequently bare chest. The facial hair, while hip, is still a little creepy.

The music to the clip is the album/studio version, not of the actual live performance. This is all in promotion of RHCP's next "I'm With You," due Aug. 30. The group is plotting a live concert event for 450 movie theaters on the day of release, footage broadcast live from their gig in Cologne, Germany.

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<p>J. Cole in &quot;Work Out&quot;</p>

J. Cole in "Work Out"

Watch: J. Cole's official 'Work Out' music video

Remember the '90s?

J. Cole isn't the global superstar he deserves to be yet, which is probably why his music video for "Work Out" was budgeted only $16, for solo cups, lanterns and some masking tape. A certain liquor brand product placement likely paid for the rest.

I don't mean to be cruel. I'm a fan of this first single from his Roc Nation debut, "Cole World: The Sideline Story." But this clips certainly brings it back -- with the voice box sample and the basketball-in-the-yard, it's the '90s, and it looks the part. (He also rips from Paula Abdul's "Straight Up," but the '80s has no place here.)

Cole also looks a little stiff here, and a little hallow-eyed. Loosen up, guy, you've got a Sept. 27 drop date to promote.

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<p>Hi, Tom Waits! Hi!</p>
<br />

Hi, Tom Waits! Hi!

'Bad' new Tom Waits song due next week

Songwriter has something up his sleeve

Did you hear that thud? That was me falling out of my chair. In excitement. That's what happens.

Tom Waits has let his newsletter subscribers and Twitter followers know that he's aware of the "rumors," and that soon he'll be setting the record straight.

Amazon has posted a pre-order option for a little 3:10-clocked MP3 called "Bad As Me," which could very well be the title track from an upcoming album from the legendary singer-songwriter. The listed drop date: Aug. 23. That's next Tuesday, people.

The Anti- Records-signed artist also encouraged fans to head to his website on that date. This may be all the more entertaining, considering another time he "set the record straight" during a "press conference" in 2008. He's hiding something from the rest of us.

Waits' last studio release was "Real Gone" from 2004. He also dropped triple-disc compilation "Orphans" in 2006.


Tom Waits Bad as Me

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<p>Ben Folds</p>

Ben Folds

UPDATED: Ben Folds Five releases first new song in over a decade, 'House'

One of three new songs on career retrospective triple-disc threat

Not every band that makes great music is somebody's favorite band. It's one thing I liesten for whenever I spin a new artist: like, Yeah, it's good, but will this ever be somebody's favorite band?

Ben Folds Five was never my favorite band, but it's obvious why they were for so many fans. Folds' voice has such a purity, and while he often bordered on precious, his narratives were entertaining, witty and sometimes very emotional. There was a bouncy chemistry to trio. He also pumped out one of my favorite kiss-off lines of all time: "Give me my money back / give me my money back, you b*tch... / and don't forget to give me back my black tee shirt."

A career collection "The Best Imitation of Myself: A Retrospective" is due Oct. 11 via Legacy, three themed discs of hit, live cuts, collaborations and rarities. Included in the mix are three new songs, "House" being one of them.

[UPDATE: Stream has been restored, listen now over at NBC.com.]

Yup, all the things you loved are there. The triad reunited especially to record it and the other two tracks, so this is from recent times.

Speaking of new things from Folds, he's re-upped as a celebrity judge on NBC's "The Sing-Off"; he was probably partially responsible for roping in Sara Bareilles for the same duties, too, as he's producing her next EP.

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<p>Lady Gaga in &quot;You and I&quot;</p>

Lady Gaga in "You and I"

Watch: Lady Gaga is a mermaid in Nebraska in leaked 'Yoü and I' video

Mother monster makes out with herself

Lady Gaga may have tried to connect to the Heartland when she posted the country mix of "Born This Way," but now she's literally walking there in the new music video to "Yoü and I."

The Springfield, Neb.-based clip leaked a whole two days early, as the singer was waiting for Thursday to post her 1000th Tweet and celebrate with a premiere through all the normal channels.

She spent Tweets 997, 998 and 999 acknowledging the early drop, with a "F*CK" and "THURS" and "DAY"; No. 1000 conceded with a new YouTube link and the message, "You must love all + every part of me, as must I, for this complex + incomprehensible force to be true."

Speaking of complex, check out what Gaga goes through in the video, all in the name of love. The premise revolves around her walking from cosmopolitan New York all the way to field-strewn Nebraska, her couture heels cutting into her feet and legs. When she gets there, Gaga is apparently willing to be tortured in a barn and medical experiments are performed upon her; her alter-ego Yuyi, a mermaid, is made to flop in a water trough.

But it all works out: Stockholm Syndrome makes for great nuptials, multiple climaxes and hate sex. But mystery remains unsolved: just how do you make love to a mermaid?

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Listen: Lil Wayne taps Drake for new 'Carter IV' single 'She Will'

Listen: Lil Wayne taps Drake for new 'Carter IV' single 'She Will'

Finalized tracklist includes Young Money cohort, Nas, TechN9ne, T-Pain, John Legend, everyone

Y'know what's better than Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter IV" single "John," aka "If I Die Today?" A totally different, new single from the same album, "She Will." And a complete tracklist from the effort.

It's raining men on the new album with guest spots from Nas, TechN9ne, John Legend, Busta Rhymes, Rick Ross, Bun B, Jadakiss... add just a couple more, and you'd have yourself a Drake album! Bad-um-bum!

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<p>Reeve Carney as Jeff Buckley</p>

Reeve Carney as Jeff Buckley

'Spider-Man' Reeve Carney to play Jeff Buckley in as-yet-untitled biopic

Broadway musical man starring in 'Welcome to the Rileys' director's pic: how will he fare?

The star of Broadway's "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" is taking on another iconic  -- and musical -- role.

Reeve Carney has been cast as Jeff Buckley in the biopic based on the deceased singer's life. He will be led by director Jake Scott, who was behind "Welcome to the Rileys," and it has the backing of Buckley's estate: his mother and executive producer Mary Guibert and Jeff Buckley Music exec and associate producer Alison Raykovich.

"We are over the moon that Reeve has agreed to take on this challenging role. I've seen him perform several times...he's been getting ready for this all his life," said Guibert in a statement. "It certainly doesn't hurt that he looks so much like Jeff."

“We are excited to have found in Reeve the perfect combination of musical prodigy, impish charm, innate intelligence & sensitivity to play Jeff," Scott gushed.

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