Watch Fred Armisen's infomercial for Queens of the Stone Age's new album flash drive

Watch Fred Armisen's infomercial for Queens of the Stone Age's new album flash drive

CDs? What are those for?

"Remember the compact disc?" Myself and HitFix cohort Liana Maeby only barely do, so that's why you may want to jump on the USB bandwagon. Or at least that's what Fred Armisen's latest character Ricky Chism is trying to get you to do.

Queens of the Stone Age are putting their new album "... Like Clockwork" on a special USB Flash Drive that contains extra goodies like all of the music videos, lyrics and hi-rez photos, plus there's the rest of that 8 gig to spare (and it doubles as a bottle opener). Ricky's infomercial gets the benefit of uplifting stock rock in the mean time. The band gets its own awkward moment. Hi Josh.

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Watch: Franz Ferdinand's new single 'Right Action' gets an instructional video

Watch: Franz Ferdinand's new single 'Right Action' gets an instructional video

HitFix
B-
Readers
n/a
Remember the 2000s

Do you remember Franz Ferdinand's 2004 breakout single "Take Me Out?" Their new music video for fresh single "Right Action" should jog your memory.

The slick animated clip features a similar style of instructional-manual-meets-lyric-video, as the band mugs old-school. The quartet rocks through their cool chorus and lead singer's Alex Kapranos allows his wry sarcasm over lines like "Sometimes I wish you were here / weather permitting."

The instrumentals feel a bit forced, which is why the video helps it to work a bit better, smoothing its odd angles.

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<p>Ellie Goulding</p>

Ellie Goulding

Watch Ellie Goulding's new music video for 'Burn'

HitFix
B
Readers
n/a
Four minutes of lens flare

A lot of music videos send their stars out into the country, to walk on train tracks for no good reason. Or send them to abandoned warehouses to suffer. Ellie Goulding went out to an airfield, but her MO was to start a dance party.

The British singer and dance artist gets stunning styling in her new music video for "Burn," a song burdened by repetition but makes up for it because Goulding's at least an authoritative and unique vocalist.

For the clip, she also benefits from an apparent co-sponsorship from J.J. Abrams, because it's five minutes of lens flare.

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Watch Miguel and Mariah Carey's video for 'Hermosa,' the half-Spanish 'Beautiful'

Watch Miguel and Mariah Carey's video for 'Hermosa,' the half-Spanish 'Beautiful'

What's 'mega-fine' en español?

HitFix has already crowned Mariah Carey and Miguel's "Beautiful" among the songs of the summer for 2013; but the two together are trying to push its popularity up over the top with five new remixes, including a part-Spanish version "Hermosa."

So if you weren't convinced that single is "f*ckin' beautiful," then head to a nameless resort, go down to the pristine waters, and splash around a bit en español. Both singers know their way around Spanish singing (and she's released previous Spanish versions of "Hero," "Open Arms" and "My All").

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Watch Ciara and Nicki Minaj's new video for 'I'm Out'

Watch Ciara and Nicki Minaj's new video for 'I'm Out'

Singer and dancer now has two certifiable bangers

Ciara already had a certifiable summer hit in 2013 with "Body Party," out in March this year. Now she's got a bangin' follow-up with Nicki Minaj on "I'm Out," with an equally charged music video.

The two R&B and hip-hop stars start out in all-white (is it bad when I'm like, for once, "Wow, look at Minaj wearing a full outfit complete with shirt and pants?") and then diverge into underground dance party, where Ciara dances better than you'd ever dream of dancing. Minaj indulges in her slow flow before launching into warp speed, while Ciara's kiss-off coverage is topped with product placements. Minaj then throws on her Lil Wayne style around 3:30 and here you are dialing the salon for a head of hair like that.

The siren means start clapping, and that text from your old beau means bad news. Easy to follow, easy to toast.

"I'm Out" is on Ciara's self-titled album, due on Friday (!), July 5.

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<p>Pink</p>

Pink

Watch: Pink and Lily Allen tear through colorful 'True Love' music video

Love hurts, so get off your bike

Pink's new video for "True Love" features Lily Allen, footage from her latest concert tour, some backstage with her family and some strong and colorful new footage of her beating up on her husband with handfuls of confetti.

It's that age-old conscript: the greatest love also sometimes brings out the hate in you. In "True Love," Pink draws straight from her own life with husband Carey Hart, their daughter Willow and her rambunctious career on the road. I've always appreciated Pink's candor in interviews, where she describes the hardships of making a relationship with a professional motocross star, and making time for her daughter. In "True Love," the viewer gets an actual sense of how annoying -- and blissful -- such unions can be.

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<p>Kanye West: Your own personal Yeezus</p>

Kanye West: Your own personal Yeezus

Listen to a mash-up of Kanye's 'Black Skinhead' and Depeche Mode's 'Personal Jesus'

Your angriest dance

Mash-ups aren't over. Not yet.

As I noted in my review of "Yeezus," Kanye West's "Black Skinhead" is the rap/producer's one (1) allotted Gary Glitter song. It also reminded Dan Chamberlain of a another very popular song, and thus, that song plus Depeche Mode's intensely popular "Personal Jesus" combined DNA for "Personal Yeezus." Or, rather, it was immaculately conceived.

Chamberlain is a comedy and mash-up producer, and you can hear the potent Jesus-Yeezus mix here.

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UPDATED: Listen to Janelle Monae's new song in the cutest Apocalypse ever

UPDATED: Listen to Janelle Monae's new song in the cutest Apocalypse ever

'The Electric Lady' gets a September release date

In the most adorable end-of-the-world scenario every, Janelle Monae reveals new song "Dance Apocalyptic" with the news of her "Electric Lady" release date.

"Dance Apocalyptic" is yet another example of how hard it is to pin down Monae's sound, which may have plagued sales of her last album "The ArchAndroid." The hap-clappy nostalgic feel is dissimilar to her current single "Q.U.E.E.N.", as funky-soul is replaced by '60s pop and uptempo rock, like Fitz & The Tantrums with Parliament's tinfoil-hatted lyrics. Monae warns of the zombies in your front yard as she does the Watusi, it seems, which works for her until the weird digression at the end, about your food.

My food tastes just fine, as it happens. Wait, what just happened?

UPDATE: Maybe "Apocalyptic" sounds so different because it IS different -- it is one of four bonus tracks on on Target's forthcoming exclusive deluxe release.

I still have good feels about "The Electric Lady," which has the newly announced release date of September 10. Pitchfork will premiere the video for "Dance Apocalyptic" next week, on July 2; see the video teaser below. She'll be performing this Sunday, June 30, at the BET Awards, which was also home to one of her best performances to date, her honorific tribute to Prince in 2010.

Fast-forward, and Prince is confirmed to guest on Monae's "Electric Lady." Have you heard his remix to "Q.U.E.E.N." yet? You should.

Here is Janelle Monae's original "Q.U.E.E.N." video, featuring Erykah Badu.

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Watch: Nine Inch Nails' 'Came Back Haunted' music video by David Lynch

Watch: Nine Inch Nails' 'Came Back Haunted' music video by David Lynch

Cloudy rooms, seizure warnings

Nine Inch Nails' new music video for "Came Back Haunted" starts with a warning for those who suffer seizures. There should have also been one for those who suffer nightmares.

The David Lynch-directed clip doesn't so much have a story, but hazy, shaky, blurred and disturbing shots of puffy monster faces, negatives of a ghoulish bug, clouds forming in the corners of rooms, and of course Trent Reznor's pale mug pinkly reciting its jagged little lyrics.

It's just what you wanted this comeback effort to be. That whole previous "Lost Highway" collaboration proves Lynch and Reznor make good partners.

"Came Back Haunted" is the lead single from NIN's new album "Hesitation Marks," due Sept. 3 on Columbia. As previously reported, the album features Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham, King Crimson’s Adrian Belew (who had joined the band but only recently exited). Alessandro Cortini, Ilan Rubin and Joshua Eustis round out Reznor's lineup.


Here is the tracklist for "Hesitation Marks":

1. "The Eater of Dreams"
2. "Copy of A"
3. "Came Back Haunted"
4. "Find My Way"
5. "All Time Low"
6. "Disappointed"
7. "Everything"
8. "Satellite"
9. "Various Methods of Escape"
10. "Running"
11. "I Would for You"
12. "In Two"
13. "While I'm Still Here"
14. "Black Noise"


Here are Nine Inch Nails' tour dates:

07/26 - Niigata, Japan @ Fuji Rocks Festival
07/28 - Ansan, South Korea @ Ansan Valley Festival
08/2-4 - Chicago, IL @ Lollapalooza
08/9-11 - San Francisco, CA @ Outside Lands
08/15 - Hasselt, Belgium @ Pukkelpop
08/16 - Biddinghuizen, Holland @ Lowlands Festival
08/18 - Hockenheim, Germany @ Rock 'n' Heim
08/21 - Belfast, Northern Ireland @ Belsonic Festival
08/23 - Leeds, England @ Leeds Festival
08/24 - Paris, France @ Rock en Seine
08/25 - Reading, England @ Reading Festival
08/28 - Milan, Italy @ Mediolanum Forum
08/31 - 09/1 - Philadelphia, PA @ Made in America Festival
09/28 - St. Paul, MN @ Xcel Energy Center
09/30 - Kansas City, MO @ Sprint Center
10/01 - St. Louis, MO @ Chaifetz Arena
10/03 - Montreal, QC @ Centre Bell
10/04 - Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Centre
10/05 - Cleveland, OH @ Wolstein Center
10/07 - Auburn Hill, MI @ The Palace of Auburn Hills
10/08 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Petersen Events Center
10/11 - Boston, MA @ TD Garden
10/14 - Brooklyn, NY @ Barclays Center
10/15 - Newark, NJ @ Prudential Center
10/18 - Washington, D.C. @ Verizon Center
10/19 - University Park, PA @ Bryce Jordan Center
10/21 - Raleigh, NC @ PNC Arena
10/22 - Nashville, TN @ Bridgestone Arena
10/24 - Atlanta, GA @ Philips Arena
10/25-27 - Asheville, NC @ Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit
10/30 - Sunrise, FL @ BB&T Center
10/31 - Orlando, FL @ Amway Center
11/1-3 - New Orleans, LA @ Voodoo Music Experience
11/05 - San Antonio, TX @ AT&T Center
11/08 - Los Angeles, CA @ Staples Center
11/09 - Phoenix, AZ @ US Airways Center
11/11 - El Paso, TX @ Don Haskins Center
11/13 - Broomfield, CO @ 1st Bank Center
11/15 - Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint
11/16 - Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint
11/18 - Portland, OR @ Rose Garden Arena
11/19 - Spokane, WA @ Spokane Arena
11/21 - Vancouver, British Columbia @ Rogers Arena
11/22 - Seattle, WA @ KeyArena
11/24 - Edmonton, AB @ Rexall Place
11/25 - Calgary, AB @ Scotiabank Saddledome

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<p>Sigur Ros, &quot;Kveikur&quot;</p>

Sigur Ros, "Kveikur"

Credit: XL

Review: Sigur Ros' new album 'Kveikur'

HitFix
B
Readers
n/a
Tighter melodies, three-piece power

 

Sigur Ros’ new album “Kveikur,” track-wise, is the Icelandic band’s second-shortest set. It’s also among their most focused, a turn from the surreal restraint of last “Valtari” and their first in 15 years without arranger/keyboardist Kjartan Sveinsson.
 
That personnel reduction has the post-rock trio shifting into what you could call and offensive rather than defensive sound. Guitars are more pointed and the tempos are ballsier, like on moody and melodic first track “Brenninstein,” which shares its clanking call-to-arms with aggressive rhythmic objects with follow-up “Hrafntinna.” The vocals on “Stormur” sound like a wild animal call, breaking up its chugging pop structures. The title track is ground up in infernal, dark grinding sounds like an earthquake, its finale like stringed instruments being obliterated into fluttering feedback experiments. “Rafstraumur” has a glassy coolness in its echoes and clean drum sound, as the whole set finishes off with the atmostpheric dust of instrumental “Var.”
 
These aren’t alien sounds from Sigur Ros. “Kveikur” still carries an earthy, gorgeously organic weight to it, as (translated) song titles like "Iceberg," "Storm" and "Kindle" insinuate. As a result, “Kveikur” is much more focused on energizing central melodies, Jonsi Birgisson continuing to use his high voice as a lead instrument. If it’s not a largely important album for the longstanding band, “Kveikur” is at least an indication that, should they remain a mere three-piece in the future, they’ll be just fine.

 

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