<p>Neko Case</p>

Neko Case

Neko Case announces new album, teases 'Firey' new song

It's called 'The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight. The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You.'

Neko Case has announced her next new album, the title to which is a mouthful. "The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight. The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You." will be out some time later this year via Anti-, and the songwriter has begun its promotion with a video tease of the new song "Where Did I Leave That Fire."

"HEY, LOOK!!! IT'S FINALLY DONE!!" Case Tweeted last night. That revelation came a day after Minnesota Public Radio spun another new Neko Case song "Man" on-air; that song starts streaming on the regular on June 10.

As for "Where Did I Leave That Fire," Case features in the teaser video with mysterious scenes involving a bathtub, a theater, a house and a field over submarine sounds and lyrics indicating that, at some point, her character left his or her body.

I'm already in love with that snare sound, and I wonder how many incarnations that guitar amp went through to arrive at a sound that gets me ready for a fight.

"The Worse Things Get..." is the follow-up to 2009's "Middle Cyclone," which yielded Case's highest charting debut at No. 3.

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<p>The xx</p>

The xx

Watch: New music video for The xx's 'Fiction'

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Fireworks, booties, fast cars... just kidding

The new music video for The xx's "Fiction" boasts loads of neon, glistening booties and breasts, fast cars, DJ booths and hands in the air.

Just kidding, it's an xx song with Oliver Sims in the lead. Thusly, it's dark, in black and white and features the singer walking in solitude through his melancholy.

Production crew Young Replicant directed this clip; they were also behind the xx's "Chained" video.

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<p>Freddie Mercury and David Bowie</p>

Freddie Mercury and David Bowie

Just listen to the isolated vocals on Queen's 'Under Pressure' feat. David Bowie

No auto-tune here, folks

Drops mic.

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<p>For &quot;Epic&quot;</p>

For "Epic"

Credit: Twentieth Century Fox Animation

Listen to Beyonce's new song 'Rise Up' from animated film 'Epic'

Be good and help the world

"Be who you are."

But what if who I am is a resources-sucking, Earth-destroying consumerist monster?

"Be good and help the world."

Sigh. You are so right, Beyonce.

Beyonce sings out for the "little woman" of new animated feature film "Epic" in serious-minded pop song "Rise Up." The track -- which leaked a couple weeks ago -- is now officially out and fightin', opening with the guitars based nostalgia that rings like Switchfoot's "Dare You to Move" and then moves straight into power ballad territory with Hit-Boy's heavy beat. Great vocal performance, but a middling tune.

Mrs. Carter is also one of the featured voice-actors in the film "Epic," so maybe she can work on her "O" in EGOT in more than one way from this gig.

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Listen to Ellie Goulding's cover of Alt-J's 'Tessellate'

Listen to Ellie Goulding's cover of Alt-J's 'Tessellate'

Compare it to the original

Ellie Goulding has made a much slinkier version of British band Alt-J's "Tessellate."

Check out her new version, plus the original below. To subhead that ish, she notes this is "Une Nuit à Paris"-themed video. Oh la la, undies.

Alt-J won last year's Mercury Prize in the U.K. for their fresh album "An Awesome Wave." Goulding will be touring in the United States starting on July 1.

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<p>Beck</p>

Beck

Listen: Beck releases single 'Defriended' ahead of two new album releases

Is that pining we hear?

Beck apparently has two new albums in the works, and has preceded them with a mostly-electronic, non-album single "Defriended."

After it leaked a couple of days ago, the songwriter posted the song to his website, linking to a new Rolling Stone report: in it, a "source" says that Beck is working on not just one new, acoustic album as previously reported, but a second set as well, a "proper" follow-up to his last album "Modern Guilt" (2008).

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Nine Inch Nails will premiere a new single on Thursday

Nine Inch Nails will premiere a new single on Thursday

'Came Back Haunted' is a comeback from the Trent Reznor-fronted band

Nine Inch Nails will premiere "Came Back Haunted," the band's first song from forthcoming album, on Thursday (June 6) this week.

In a post from Las Vegas radio station X1075 and then confirmed by Los Angeles' KROQ, the track will make its way onto the airwaves at 2:30 p.m. EST. KROQ's program director said the song “harkens back to early Nine Inch Nails.”

Yes, we noticed those are radio stations reporting this. And there, folks, you may have at least one answer as to why Trent Reznor wanted his band back in a major label fold.

As previously reported, Reznor's other, more recent band How To Destroy Angels also ultimately went with Columbia, for their EP and then album. They didn't have much luck with radio, but then again, very few new bands (no matter what famous people are in them) have a hard time breaking into rock radio, and certainly mass distribuation helped with their sales.. As a former radio star, Nine Inch Nails has better luck getting back on the radio with a major label, and perhaps that's a priority to Reznor, who will spend much of the summer on tour with his new lineup.

And, furthermore, for the scale of what Reznor envisions this next single and album to be, he needs a bigger (prettier, hate-ier) machine for it to work.

Anyway, see you back here on Thursday.


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>Wu-Tang Clan at Summer Jam XX</p>

Wu-Tang Clan at Summer Jam XX

Credit: AP Photo

Wu-Tang Clan releases new song 'Family Reunion'

'Fresh lemonade' from Ghostface Killa, Method Man and Masta Killa

In the off-chance you can make your way through Peter Rosenberg's sound effects and ad-libs, Wu-Tang Clan has a brand new song "Family Reunion."

The soul sampling track features members Ghostface Killa, Method Man and Masta Killa, and was delivered into the hands of Hot 97 courtesy of RZA. The crew was present and accounted for at Hot 97's Summer Jam XX just this past weekend.

Wu-Tang also dropped fresh single "Execution in Autumn" last month on limited 7", and in drastically different style. Still, it's a good sign that the hip-hop vets are on track for a sixth full-length "A Better Tomorrow," a little celebration behind the 20th anniversary (!) of "36 Chambers." "A Better Tomorrow" is supposedly due in July.

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<p>Selena Gomez' &quot;Stars Dance&quot;</p>

Selena Gomez' "Stars Dance"

Credit: Hollywood

Selena Gomez premieres 'Slow Down' and details new album 'Stars Dance'

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July release will include this very J-Lo dance track from The Cataracs

There's all sorts of dance tracks that demand you hit the floor, live it up, don't stop what-have-you. Selena Gomez is asking you to, kindly, "Slow Down."

The former Disney star is back out the gate with another lively pop tune from her forthcoming album, the details to which she announced last night (June 3). "Stars Dance," her new record, will be released on July 23, the day after her 21st birthday.

"Slow Down" comes as an iTunes pre-sale goodie, which is only sort-of good-ish. The chorus -- I guarantee you -- will become the soundtrack to all banal things you do, including taking out the garbage, showering and cropping photos of Selena Gomez. It's gone under the generic club-thump beat that has dominated all of Jennifer Lopez' recent output, which is to say that it's nothing unique. Gomez actually has some vocal deliveries that are akin to Lopez' too, the big difference is that Lopez' soul now belongs to RedOne whereas Gomez now attends the church of production team The Cataracs, a name that she mentions in the song. Twice.

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Review: Queens Of The Stone Age's new album '...Like Clockwork'
Credit: Matador

Review: Queens Of The Stone Age's new album '...Like Clockwork'

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Josh Homme taps his inner David Bowie

More than ever, Queens Of The Stone Age sound like a glam rock band on their sixth full-length “… Like Clockwork.” That is to say, Josh Homme not only embraces an arching, aching, menacing sound, but also makes a whole theater out of those sonic dynamics, from bedraggled slow dances to ballroom thumpers and purpose-driven lyricism over rock music’s MVPs. 

Players like Dave Grohl, Trent Reznor and QOTSA’s prodigal bassist Nick Oliveri fill in the gaps of Homme’s black fever dreams. “… Like Clockwork” has all the big names of modern rock but without embracing all its latest and worst idiosyncrasies. Here, they avoid over-arranging, over-mastering and throwing synths into the mix for giggles. They keep the swinging drums tight like on the title track and “I Appear Missing,” the vocals working closely with the guitars like a Spoon song on “I Sat By the Ocean.”
 
But Homme makes for an even finer David Bowie on epics like pensive ”The Vampyre of Time and Memory”: “I want God to come / and take me home / cause I'm all alone / in this crowd,” he sings in a disquieted vibrato, before he threatens to spiral out in a fit of sarcasm. “I’m alive / hooray.”  The sinister Little Nemo that is “Kalopsia” amuses itself with the dreamy she-bop-she-bop melody line from “I Only Have Eyes For You” -- a song with a notion that, in itself, is a sort of kalopsia – prior to thrashing out with nonsensical guitar wails in Morse Code.
 
Homme here is pioneering beyond the jolting, muscle-bound rock of 2002’s “Songs for the Deaf” or even QOTSA’s last effort “Era Vulgaris.” It’s more of a construction, an open-shirted nihilistic, unanchored vibe that allows cameos from Elton John on “Fairweather Friends,” for instance, or the rallying cry “I wanna suck… lick… cry… spit” convincingly over a dance-rock boom-cha for “If I Had a Tail.” A lot of work (and not just play) went into these honed carnival rigs, and it ultimately pays off as a set that’s good on repeat. Solid for its singles starting with “My God Is The Sun” and the Jagger-swagger of "Smooth Sailing, "...Like Clockwork" is among the year’s best rock album crop so far.

 

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