Watch: Willow Smith builds something from nothing in '21st Century Girl'

Watch: Willow Smith builds something from nothing in '21st Century Girl'

Getting all Rihanna on the desert genre

Hey, do you wanna feel old today? Yeah, because Willow Smith was born in the year 2000. That's right. Put that cigarette down, stop drinking coffee.

And her year of birth may have a little to do with why her new single "21st Century girl" came into existence, and there's some video to prove it.

The Def Jam signee and Will Smith's prodigy endeavors into the desert genre of music video-making with the track. She rises from the ground after a bit of witchcraft transforms her into a fashion abomination and rocks the f out. You can tell she's rocking because she "plays" a guitar for about two seconds. Her little friends come out to play and build a city in the abyss of sand and then they dance on top of cars and stuff.

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<p>Animal Collective</p>

Animal Collective

Pitchfork Fest announces initial lineup: How many are a 10.0?

Animal Collective, Fleet Foxes, TVOTR, Dismemberment Plan and more

Pitchfork’s Music Festival is back this summer, and the initial lineup has been announced, with headliners including Animal Collective, Fleet Foxes, TV on the Radio and the reunited Dismemberment Plan.

PFMF (nobody calls it that, but I will) runs Jul 15-17 in Chicago’s Union Park, same as 2010. Tickets go on sale, well, now (1 p.m. EST) for three-day passes and single day, which fans should note: this puppy sold out FAST last year, and that was before event the full schedule was out.

Other acts include HitFix faves Cut Copy, Deerhunter, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Destroyer and all of indie’s favorite fellated object James Blake.

Out of morbid curiousity, I did some searches.

Animal Collective’s last three albums were given a 9.6, 9.3 and 9.0 on the site.

Fleet Foxes’ sole full-length Sub Pop release, the self-titled 2008 set, got a 9.0.

TV on the Radio: 9.2, 9.1 and 7.8 (!!). (The band’s most-superior EP “Young Liars” back in 2003 got a 8.9, phew.)

Dismemberment Plan’s “Emergency & I” reissue got a brain-melting 10.0, curiously after a reviewer famously issued a great big goose-egg to its frontman Travis Morrison’s solo effort in 2004.

By and large, the other acts that aren’t these headlining names have lower average scores on the whole.

I don’t think I have conclusions about this, though it does draw my attention back to an excellent interview Jim DeRogatis did with Pitchfork founder Ryan Schreiber, about the integrity of the site and music criticism in accordance with its entertainment offshoots.

Q. Wait a minute, Ryan: Pitchfork has gotten to a position over the last 12 years where it has a lot of power now; I think you’re aware of that, and you and I have talked about that before. If Pitchfork champions a band, that 9.4 rating means something -- it means a lot. Now, what band is going to deny you the right to videotape them and show that content for free on if it’s worried about not getting a good review on the Web site? What band is going to say no to playing the festival, even if it has a better offer somewhere else, and what band is going to reject letting you include them on a videogame soundtrack?

A. I don’t know; I guess there are potential… You can see potential conflicts of interest in a lot of different things. Any time one kind of company starts another kind of company or something like that, there is always this sort of potential for it being a slippery slope. I mean, I have a lot of faith in our integrity to sort of not necessarily succumb to any of that kind of stuff. Like I always say, we’re very honest and straightforward about the way that we approach things, and we try to be very above the table about anything like that. I guess people can read into it… If you wanted to read into it like that, I supposed there are always things people could find…


Q. O.K. But what if Animal Collective was a headliner of the Pitchfork Music Festival, and they said, “No, we don’t want you to film any of our concerts.” And whoever was chosen to review their next EP gave it a 1 out of 10 on your rating scale. Would you have any problem with those three things overlapping?

A. I mean, they would have to be completely… Two of those things would never occur as a result of one or the other. You know? Because again, as I said, it’s very separate. People are always going to try and theorize about these things. But the fact is we do take these things into account and everything that is up on our site is very genuinely sincere. You can use the same argument for, “If X record label doesn’t advertise and suddenly you give their records a 0” -- that’s the same thing. It’s a matter of just defining things and separating things from one another so that they don’t interfere.

Organizers of the festival seem to maintain the event’s independence, and Pitchfork doesn’t exactly issue number ratings for live shows. Plus, availability factors in, and the fest is still curating to the site’s readers’ interest.

So maybe the fest curators have the same opinion of those artists as the site's curators do. And it could be that it’s a little bit of the kingmaking echo chamber, that the headlining bands are the best bands because their albums are better than others’ because we say so.

I haven’t been to Pitchfork yet, and I hear it’s a blast and somewhat up my alley. It will sell out, and the promise alone of Odd Future and Das Racist antics may be enough. With names still left to be revealed, I give it a 6.4 9.1 7.8.

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<p>Tyler the Creator</p>

Tyler the Creator

Credit: XL

Watch: Odd Future's Tyler The Creator's vicious 'Yonkers' music video

Watch out for this triceratops, B.o.B. and Bruno Mars: vomit and nooses

And look at that. A couple days after we deigned to discuss the present and future of rapey rap troupe Odd Future, crew leader Tyler The Creator's ears must've been burning, and the music video to his solo track "Yonkers" showed up in the ol' inbox.

And that's not the only thing on fire. The rhyme, featured on his forthcoming "Goblin" in April from XL, is gonna sting for a few.

Do take this as a warning: the rap is NSFW and the video ain't either.

But do catch how easily those verses trickle out, that hard-paced venom that no radio edit was built for. Dropping Fishbone, and then threatening the very lives (and not just livelihoods) of B.o.B. and Bruno Mars, all the while he's eating a cockroach and hangs himself.

As implied by the original piece, the heady style (but not necessarily its content) from Tyler is just my kind of crazy, and it's easy to see why his may be one of the most anticipated solo rap efforts this year. His mixtape "Bastard" may more than a few friends' year-end 2010 lists.

What say you?

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<p>My Morning Jacket live</p>

My Morning Jacket live

My Morning Jacket announce new album, ‘Circuital’

Sign up: Rock act offers free live downloads up until new track release
It’s been three years since My Morning Jacket was feeling its “Evil Urges”; fans in waiting now are rewarded with a new studio effort from the rock act, “Circuital.”
And in a move that will perhaps bring Louisville-born some desired metrics and data, they’re kicking off six weeks of giveaways as they collect first-born children email addresses and tease their first new track.
Starting today, fans can sign up to receive live tracks, recorded at New York’s Terminal 5 during MMJ’s’ week-long run in October last year.
Oh, but logistically? The album will be released sometime this “spring,” and the name of the new song is unknown. But the set was recorded in part in their Kentucky hometown out of a church gymnasium. The other hours were logged in Nashville. Frontman Jim James produced alongside Tucker Martine, who put in some time last year to help on the Decemberists’ newest “The King Is Dead.”
And not to spoil what’s at the bottom of your Cracker Jack box, but My Morning Jackets’ “Butch Cassidy” (Live at T5) is the first track to drop this week. It was the first song they played during their run.
James has been busy over the last year and a half or so in promoting his super-collabo Monsters Of Folk.
[More after the jump...]
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<p>Lil Wayne</p>

Lil Wayne

Credit: AP Photo

Watch: Lil Wayne channels 'Inception' for music video to '6 Foot 7 Foot'

Green screen magic, lasagna and candy apples, with blazing Cory Gunz

Lil' Kim can accuse Lil Wayne and his Young Money crew of being a big bunch of weirdos, but at least they're entertaining.

Tunechi has unleashed his clip to his Harry Belafonte-sampling single "6 Foot 7 foot," and it's torn a couple pages from Christopher Nolan's blockbuster "Inception." Besides that an a prominent product placement, it's mostly hot girls in shiny dresses, a plate of lasagna, a female dog, an invisi-podium, Weezy and Cory Gunz clones and a candy apple.

It's fun to see Gunz put his up.

The music video was helmed by a very busy Hype Williams, who directed last week's Kanye West "All of the Lights" featuring Rihanna and Kid Cudi.

"6 Foot 7 Foot" will be on "Tha Carter 4," which will apparently drop this spring sometime. When will they get around to it?

[Video after the jump...]

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<p>Adam Levine in Sara Bareilles' &quot;Uncharted&quot; music video</p>

Adam Levine in Sara Bareilles' "Uncharted" music video

Watch: Josh Groban, Ben Folds, more help on Sara Bareilles' 'Uncharted'

Adam Levine from Maroon 5, Tegan and Sara and other famous friends help on clip

In the future, "Internet Classics" will be taught as an entry-level college class: YouTube history, its various successful styles and flops will be on the syllabus.

Sara Bareilles' video for "Uncharted" may not be great enough to make the schdeule, but it's viral, crowd-sourced style certainly will be on there. Only instead of plucking out her most enthusiastic fans (read: unfamous), she's gone with some big names for the clip.

Josh Groban, Pharrell, Ben Folds, Maroon's Adam Levine, Tegan and Sara, a very sleepy Jennifer Nettles and others show up to give us a history lesson, eat a banana and flounder around under water. Lip-syncing sensation Keenan Cahill shows how the pros do it. Ryan Tedder appears to remind us how cute he is.

And like Scar-Jo said in "Lost in Translation," girls have a particular affinity to shooting their feet when it comes to photography (and, apparently, in video): the singer-songwriter herself has artful shots in black and white throughout.

It's all very dorky, but glad that everyone played teh game. After Groban's TV theme-song mashup at the Emmys in 2008, he's continually endeared himself... and will help that meme into that Internet Classic class.

[Video after the jump...]

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Watch: The Strokes' 'Under the Cover of Darkness' music video

Watch: The Strokes' 'Under the Cover of Darkness' music video

My, my, aren't we posh

Two days straight of Strokes coverage. I'm sorry. And you're welcome.

The New York-based rock act has posted the music video to their first "Angles" single, "Under the Cover of Darkness" and they took a tip from great new wave acts of the '80s: it doesn't matter what the hell you do in your video, it's all about location, location, location.

The band got all dressed up and did some rehearsin' in a nice little mansion. They lit some candles to get you all comfy-like, and then invited you to a private recital, wherein it seems music stands and black tie is required.

Julian Casablancas doesn't show a desire to dress up as much as his cohorts in the first half, not even with one of those cartoony tuxedo t-shirts. He is rocking his shades, though, and is looking healthier than Rhett Miller at a spa weekend. Albert Hammond Jr. also get his hazy '80s throwback moment, with a soft lens on his solo, smoke machine puffing.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Odd Future</p>

Odd Future

Watch: Wherein we talk about Odd Future

Funny or Die video, 'Fallon' and MTV: Whatever

So now that Odd Future is closely associated with an MTV venture, it may be time to talk about them.

This L.A.-based, teenaged rap crew numbers just shy of a dozen and is spearheaded by main rhymer Tyler the Creator, who is signed independently to XL. He released the mixtape "Bastard" last year.

More of a cult than a Clan, Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All will likely be remembered as those kids with songs about rape, anal sex, standard juvenile mischief and boorish violence. That doesn't seem to be a reputation that bothers them, either.

Funny Or Die! has posted a NSFW comedy video of the group, which gives some handle to this ride. Check that out, plus other music sideshows from the group, below.

The possibility (and probability) that Odd Future has been approached by squares at the majors is itself a satire -- of the beige-suited has-beens in A&R trying to convince them to make songs "less rapey" paints a sad picture of very real extremes. And, indeed, in this very galaxy, it's happening, like when Interscope struck that hot iron as everybody still thought Die Antwoord was a joke.

This is the part when Odd Future goes from full-frontal subversion to crackpot water cooler chat. The group made for quite a performance on "Jimmy Fallon" last month. They're on slate to perform at the mtvU Woodie Awards this spring. They've arrived on Funny Or f***ing Die.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Broken Bells</p>

Broken Bells

Broken Bells releasing more new material in 4-song EP

What does this mean for a new Shins effort?

After a 2010 with loads of critical acclaim, Broken Bells have a start into 2011 with another new effort.

The Grammy-nominated duo will be releasing "Meyrin Fields," a four-song EP, on March 29. It contains two previously unreleased tunes"Windows" and "Heartless Empire," plus two tracks that were already at digital retailers. The title track was the B-side to "The Ghost Inside" single, released in the fall last year, and "An Easy Life," which was off of the iTunes LP of the self-titled full-length.

It seems James Mercer and Brian Burton (aka Danger Mouse) are sticking with Columbia, and "will continue to record  and tour together for the foreseeable future." So this is no one-off or side-project?

Mercer had said in 2008/2009 that his other main squeeze The Shins were leaving their home Sub Pop for the green pastures of the frontman's own label. That, after a blood-letting within the band, a couple new hires and then static.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Julian Casablancas</p>

Julian Casablancas

Credit: AP Photo

Listen: Are The Strokes channeling Radiohead on new tune 'You're So Right?'

Or is it just a leftover from Julian Casablancas' solo effort

The race is on for The Strokes to get the word out on their new album "Angles," but the message is a little mixed.

And by mixed, I mean that their new track "You're So Right" sounds wildly different from their other output, especially from the new set's first single "Under Cover of Darkness."

In fact, it sounds a bit like Radiohead, circa "OK Computer," but with the bass much removed and Julian Casablancas making staccatos where Thom Yorke would just ahhhhhhhhh.

It seems to have the lasting influence, too, of the Strokes frontman's solo effort, which was heavy on  programmed beats and veering away from rock 'n' roll.

"Angles" is out March 22 and, as previously reported, the rock outfit will be at South By Southwest (SXSW), Bonnaroo, New Orleans Jazz Fest, Madison Square Garden and, surely, other forthcoming big-name fests and gigs.

NME has a stream of the track: Click here to check it out (scroll to the bottom of the story).

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