<p>Britney Spears in &quot;I Wanna Go&quot;</p>

Britney Spears in "I Wanna Go"

Watch: Britney Spears pokes fun at paparazzi, self in 'I Wanna Go' video

HitFix
A-
Readers
B+
Chris Marrs Piliero strikes again with another bizarre clip

Video director Chris Marrs Piliero knows how to use low-brow, absurdist and the spotted use of cameo, as is apparent by one of his brightest, the Black Keys' "Howlin for You." Now he's been paired up with America's sweetheart and punching bag Britney Spears, and together they strike back and break hearts with "I Wanna Go."

And the result is fun for fans. There's little Easter eggs throughout the clip of Britney's past and present, and of course, the recurring theme of death-to-the-paparazzi. The former Mouseketeer dons a cutoff tee with a Mickey Mouse skull, and a polka dot bikini underneath like Minnie. Her "Got Milk?" campaign gets turned around on her cameo cohort Guillermo Diaz ("Weeds"). A marquee at a movie theater touts the fictional sequel to Spears' movie bomb "Crossroads" with "Crossroads 2: Cross Harder."

The video starts out with Brit-Brit addressing The Media head-on, fielding stupid questions about "love children" and the various arbitrary bans at her concerts. Ultimately the (literally) spiky diva flips the bird at her tormenters and takes the street in Hot Topic wear that would turn Avril Lavigne red. Her field hockey skirts of Old has been replaced with safety pins and tears in a jet-black mini, her argyle with punky stripes. She grabs the proverbial package of an adoring fan and turns the heads of mere babies. She flashes the street, then gets a full-body search from a cop (and returns the favor). Then she breaks the camera of the pap, who then turn into evil cyborgs from the "Terminator" franchise, before she is swept away in a convertible by Diaz.

But it was all a dream! Or was it?! End scene with a tip of the hat to "Thriller."

[Jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>Cover for J. Cole's &quot;Work Out&quot;</p>

Cover for J. Cole's "Work Out"

Listen: J. Cole has a 'Work Out' before long-awaited debut album release

'Cole World: The Sideline Story' gets a release date, single

Like I said in my Bonnaroo review of his set, J. Cole is an earner. And it's about time he's earned a debut album, release date and title.

"Cole World: The Sideline Story" will finally drop on Sept. 27 on Jay-Z's Roc Nation imprint. It comes on the heels of other game-themed mixtape titles like "The Warm Up" and the impressive collection "Friday Night Lights." And it's only natural, then, that his first single is called "Work Out."

The single dropped last week and it's a shame it didn't arrive in time for our 2010 summer jams list. This party track borrows from Paula Abdul's "Straight Up" and tips its hat (ball?) to Kanye West's "The New Workout Plan" off of "The College Dropout." We'll just have to wait and see if the video has just as many celebrity cameos as that track.

Hov is skedded to appear on one of "Cole World's" tracks, and producers like West collaborator No I.D., Danjahandz and Brian Kidd are helming.

The North Carolinian MC Tweeted much of the news above, so if you're a convert like me, I'd recommend a quick follow. Another new track, "Cheer Up" has been making the rounds, but it may warn against my former advice. "You lookin' for a man like you need somebody / get your *ss off Twitter, you could be somebody." Whoops. Either way, proceed with caution.

[Jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks</p>

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks

Song Of The Day: Stephen Malkmus teams with Beck and the 'Senator'

The elegant singing of 'blow job'

Oh hey speaking of Domino Record Co.... the label has dibs on Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks' next full-length album, "Mirror Traffic," due Aug. 22.

And the Pavement frontman has claimed another famed name for production: Beck.

Before we talk about Mr. Hansen, let's talk about what the "Senator" wants. And what the Senator wants, says Malkmus in the first song to arise from the set, is a blow job. It's apparently what we all want.

This political little firecracker of a skeletal rock track is a little heavy on the populism imagery -- cattle prods and all that -- but it couldn't have come at a better time in our stupid news cycle, where House Rep Anthony Weiner has been holding down headlines with his, erm, head lines and is leaving office today.

Malkmus, in the meantime, beats that line to death, but in his special, pretty little stoner way that ever made me lackadaisically pick up his first, self-titled solo album but then enthusiastically play it over and over.

Janet Weiss (Quasi, former Sleater-Kinney) is not back with the Jicks this time, as she's too busy being awesome in awesome new group Wild Flag (listen to a song here).

After a brief reunion tour run last year, Pavement have not scheduled any shows for 2011. There are no signs of new music from the '90s post-rock frontrunners.

Beck, in the meantime, seems to be poking out and waving at us. If you'll remember, his last album, "Modern Guilt" -- though good -- didn't lift him up where he belongs, back in large venues and on the radio. So it seems he's on hiatus from making his own music with exception to his Record Club one-offs. However, he's made a mark on Charlotte Gainsbourg's career, certainly, and produced Tobacco and Jamie Lidell's weird one last year. He's also behind the decks for Sonic Youth frontman Thurston Moore's dozenth solo set, "Demolished Thoughts."

[Jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>Laura Marling</p>

Laura Marling

Listen: Laura Marling announces new 'Creature' album with a preview

British songwriter combines with Ethan Johns again

Want to feel old today? Laura Marling just turned 21 in February, and she's about to put out her third full-length album.

"A Creautre I Don't Know" has the British songwriter back with producer Ethan Johns, with the set due Sept. 13 in the 'States. It will be her first album for Ribbon Music, a label and publisher that's apparently an offshoot of Domino. Which means at least she'll be in good hands. John Maus is the only other label signee.

Marling has previewed one of the album's new songs in a two-minute clip, a sparse vinyl-stringed take on a song fans have called "Night After Night." It started making an appearance at live shows in Q4 last year; she also brought it to Housing Works in New York last week, and that clip is below. And it makes me very excited to hear the rest of the effort.

Of course, that is an easy feat, since her last album "I Speak Because I Can" topped my 2010 Albums list; Johns produced that one as well. Her set "Alas, I Cannot Swim" put her on the map for its Mercury Prize nomination.

[Jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>Thom Yorke during Radiohead's performance of &quot;Stairway&quot;</p>

Thom Yorke during Radiohead's performance of "Stairway"

Watch: Radiohead debut new song 'Staircase' live (HQ)

'Live from the Basement'

Radiohead is finally bringing "King of Limbs" to television, but they're taking the opportunity to introduce a little new material too.

As previously reported, the British band took to Nigel Godrich's "Live from the Basement" series to play their new album, but a "Staircase" has ascended during the taping. The slow-burner never boils over and and features dotted vocals from a typically wiry Thom Yorke. However, the double-drum attack works especially well, considering the band let in a special guest for the performance: Clive Dreamer, who has played with Robert Plant and Portishead, sat beside Radiohead's own Phil Selway for a solid, thumping effect.

The "Live" part from "The Basement" has already come and gone, but BBC scored a license to the material and is broadcasting it in full on July 1.

A representative has not responded yet since being asked if "Stairway" will be part of a larger effort or will have an official studio release.

However, Radiohead's music from "King of Limbs" will be getting a new spin all summer, due to their new 12" single remix series.

[Jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>Andrew Bird</p>

Andrew Bird

Watch: Andrew Bird plays new song 'Give It Away' live (HQ)

Will this be on a 'Noble Beast' follow-up? Plus tour dates

Dream-machine Andrew Bird played right around the corner from me in Brooklyn this past weekend, and the Chicagoan kindly brought some new material with him.

"Give It Away" features the songsmith's typical violin loops and repetitions, with three distinct sections of the track. No whistling, however. He also gives the crowd a chuckle somewhere close to the 3:40 mark, because he's obviously trying to obliterate my heart. Video comes courtesy of Celebrate Brooklyn. Celebrate!

No word yet what will come of "Away," if it will be included on the follow-up album to 2009's "Noble Beast." Management is mum so far on when to expect a new release, actually, but the singer-songwriter will be on tour on and off now through the end of October. Tour dates below.

What do you think of the track?

[Jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>Wild Flag (also: love this picture)</p>

Wild Flag (also: love this picture)

Song Of The Day: Wild Flag preview 'Romance' ahead of debut album

Supergroup features members from Sleater-Kinney, Helium, The Minders

Wild Flag delighted me during the Merge showcase at SXSW earlier this year, and I have a feeling they'll delight you, too, with "Romance."

The rock track is culled from the band's forthcoming self-titled debut, due Sept. 12. But these women are no strangers to the indie-rock world.

The group is comprised of Carrie Brownstein, Mary Timony, Rebecca Cole and Janet Weiss; the first and last of those were one-third of now-defunct Sleater-Kinney. Mary Timony, of course, helped head up Helium. Cole was in The Minders. They initially came together for music to Sundance pick "!Women Art Revolution" and continued to write, for this album.

[Jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>Weird Al as Lady Gaga</p>

Weird Al as Lady Gaga

Watch: 'Weird Al' Yankovic parodies Lady Gaga in 'Perform This Way'

'Madonna' makes a cameo in this 'Born This Way' revamp

After a brief snafu with Lady Gaga and her handlers, "Weird Al" Yankovic was able to secure his right to pull his famous parody work on Mother Monster's "Born This Way." "Perform This Way" is the result, and now the video is out.

Madonna, er "Madonna," makes a cameo in the wild clip, further drawing out the argument that Gaga's album title track was an "Express Yourself" spin-off (as I concluded in my initial review of the track). But for Gaga defenders, take heed: Weird Al has had Madge in his crosshairs before, so call it even.

However, it's ultimately Yankovic and his "body double's" show, as he shows off the many costume change ideas for the "Famed" singer. I think the peacock is my favorite.

This, after Gaga started donning turquoise body hair.

Al is dropping his 13th album, "Alpocalypse," tomorrow (June 21).

[Jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>Bon Iver's Justin Vernon</p>

Bon Iver's Justin Vernon

Credit: Jagjaguwar

Review: Bon Iver's new album 'Bon Iver'

HitFix
A-
Readers
A
Does this sophomore set sink or swim in all the natural imagery?

Where Bon Iver’s magnificent first album “For Emma, Forever Ago” chronicled a very particular low time and a place for mastermind Justin Vernon, this sophomore set is a fleshier recollection of what happens when he stepped back into the light.

Granted, “Bon Iver” is no summer picnic, but it contains less ache, and more stretching out, and into natural habitats. Fire, ice, soil, lakes, valleys, the moon and stars make up this 10-track map, adorned with city names, which then turns its focus on the rise of a chest, or pools in the eyes of his subjects. These location-specific songs each are little vignettes and moments of Vernon’s shaped into odd poetry and romantics, like mundane daily details turned into outright whoppers.
 
[Jump...]
Read Full Post
<p>Elbow (Garvey seen laughing)</p>

Elbow (Garvey seen laughing)

Interview: Elbow's frontman on U.S. tour, collab with Doves, stage fright

'It'd be cool to say that awards don’t matter, but they f***ing do.'

It was around 5 p.m. U.K. time when Elbow frontman Guy Garvey was pouring himself a drink. He was about to head out for some dinner with his girlfriend and friends, and he seemed much more relaxed than excitable when we talked. It was easy going stuff for a man whose band would be co-headlining one of England’s biggest festivals -- Glastonbury next week, warming up for Coldplay. 

I interviewed Garvey at New York’s Hiro Ballroom back in 2005, three years before the rock troupe would earn the Mercury Prize for “The Seldom Seen Kid.” Garvey remembers the giant dragon that graces that medium-sized room. I remember the sheer number of Scotches he drank just to “get my arse on stage.”
 
[Jump...]
Read Full Post