<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.

 

Watch: Vampire Weekend's 'Diane Young' music video features Santigold, Chromeo

Watch: Vampire Weekend's 'Diane Young' music video features Santigold, Chromeo

Guests like the Dirty Projectors kids makes this the Best Last Supper Ever

I think of videos like Vampire Weekend's "Diane Young" as sharing the same vein as LCD Soundsystem's "Drunk Girls," with nothing particularly harmful, or overtly glorifying, but objectively silly, and God love 'em for it.

In the single-room vid, the band sits besides dance, rock and pop brethren Santigold, Chromeo, Sky Ferreira, Despot, David Longstreth (Dirty Projectors) and others at the Indiest Last Supper Ever. Odd shenanigans like smoking a sax bong and kissing an espresso-maker ensue. Conceptually, they plot their theater around the absurd, and here, perhaps by the lyrics "out of control but you’re playing a role."

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EXCLUSIVE: Go behind the scenes of OneRepublic's new 'Counting Stars' video
Credit: UMG

EXCLUSIVE: Go behind the scenes of OneRepublic's new 'Counting Stars' video

Band heads to church again... but with an alligator

Alligators, men falling from the ceiling and going to church: just another day in the life of OneRepublic.

The pop-rock band is about to premiere the new music video to "Counting Stars" tomorrow (May 31) and gave HitFix the exclusive look behind-the-scenes of the shoot.

British director James Lees -- who's worked on vids with Bloc Party and Two Door Cinema Club -- helms the clip, which was shot in the basement of an old church in New Orleans. The Colorado band describes wanting to bring on a Brit for their use of color, but they actually appear to end up under the cloud-cover of dust. Literally.

Watch the video below for the cameo by Bruce Willis' stunt double, chatter from all five band members and a taste of Ryan Tedder's continually improving dance abilities.

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<p>De La Soul</p>

De La Soul

De La Soul premieres trippy music video for 'Get Away (Feat. The Spirit of The Wu)'

Smoke in the Rubik's Cube

De La Soul have now added visuals to their comeback single "Get Away (Feat. The Spirit of the Wu)," as the three originators can be found deeply embedded in a Rubik's Cube.

"The feel is definitely gritty, hard and sounds like a Wu record, so out of inspirational respect, we included featuring 'The Spirit of the Wu' in the song title," Posdnuos told Rolling Stone of the track "Get Away."

Check out the cool clip below: the song is the first to arrive from "You're Welcome," their new album due this fall. As previously reported, De La Soul's "You're Welcome" will be the hip-hop crew's first album featuring all its members since 2004.

Their last album was 2004's "The Grind Date," though Dave and Posdnuos also combined forces for last year's "First Serve."

Review: Laura Marling's new album 'Once I Was An Eagle'

Review: Laura Marling's new album 'Once I Was An Eagle'

HitFix
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Readers
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Folk singer is back and into flight

 

Twenty-three, and already four excellent albums under her belt. To speak of Laura Marling’s youth is something to celebrated – not a record-selling ploy -- particularly when she’s got the blues equal to that of men and women three-times her age. “Once I Was an Eagle” showcases the English folk songwriter’s ever-better abilities on guitar, but also her joy in playing with others, as she’s set her stage to almost counter the noises and crescendos that battle her emotional play.
 
Marling starts her metaphorical mission on “Eagle,” naturally, on wings, giving some background on her character’s damaged state in a sensual vibrato. “Every little girl is so naïve… I will not be a victim of romance,” she sings on her “I Was an Eagle” before letting her defiance give way to absolute mourning. “You Know” poses the question to herself (and her listeners): am I a gallant animal or a vulnerable baby human? This anthropomorphizing comes to a head in “Master Hunter,” a title and sound that is as aggressive as Marling gets, in its harsh Dylan-esque cadences and a foreshadowing: “I am a master hunter / I cured my skin, now nothing gets in.”
 
Yes, thank God, she ultimately turns this march into the ocean (or, “Devil’s Resting Place”) around, with an actual “Interlude” and cheerier arrangements and uptempo rockers -- even as she admits somethings do get under her skin. Jaunty tune “Pray for Me” concludes “I cannot love, I want to be alone” even as there’s the instrumental and sonic promise of ascent and healing from love-burn. “Love Be Brave” waxes regret and change but sways like a James Taylor-meets-Joni beach song. “Where Can I Go” transitions from impeccable finger-picking to strong strumming as she churns on childhood and woman-ness. Like acoustic, left coast Pink Floyd, “Little Bird" has her back into flight and on closer “Saved These Words," she thanks “naivety for failing me again / he was my next verse.”
 
Yup, that’s the sound of a book being closed.
 
Marling brings this whopper full circle, though it runs too long. She takes her time on this collection of quiet burnings, full of her usual idiosyncrasies. There are not just some sophisticated truths of womanhood, but of the human, young, mistake-laden life cycle, something that’s dark and yet redemptive by its end. She keeps true to her character, too, as defiant and grand, beautifully so. Articulate with her voice, lyrics and guitar-playing, Marling can tell a good story with proof that age is nothing but a number.

 

<p>Will Smith and Jaden Smith</p>

Will Smith and Jaden Smith

Credit: AP Photo

Will Smith and son Jaden rap 'Fresh Prince' theme: Watch

DJ Jazzy Jeff and Carlton stop by the 'Graham Norton' show: Fabulous

Jaden Smith and his dad (or is he his best bud) Will Smith spent a good minute pretending they weren't about to do something zany on the Graham Norton's BBC show.

Then they got crazy, bopped around the stage with Jazzy Jeff and covered Smith's own "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" theme song. Then Alfonso Ribeiro -- aka Carlton -- shows up, and does the Carlton. It was the most delightful quasi-train-wreck of my 13-year-old ideals, and I couldn't stop watching.

Will Smith has apparently been in the studio with Kanye West recently. As previously reported, Smith said, “I’ve been messing around with Kanye. We were in the studio a couple of times... I might get the bug. I’m not going to do it unless I get truly inspired, but ‘Ye’s been pushing me a little bit.”

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Review: Daft Punk's new album 'Random Access Memories' with remix on the way

Review: Daft Punk's new album 'Random Access Memories' with remix on the way

HitFix
B+
Readers
A
A history lesson and a 'Lucky' start

Daft Punk are no strangers to homage, and their newest album "Random Access Memories" is an all-out history lesson -- and not just in genre. Of course, there's heapings of disco along with their house music, soul with their '70s soft rock and party-starting anthems along with the saddies. But the duo Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo go out of their way to introduce the influencers of their own brand of heart-beating beats, as well as collaborate with the new school of producers and music-makers that carry the banner. With that perspective, this album isn't just a spin of a globe or as "random" as the title insinuates.

Though, on first listen, it seems that way.

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Summer jam contender: Watch Dan Black and Kelis' 'Hearts' video

Summer jam contender: Watch Dan Black and Kelis' 'Hearts' video

Human time-lapse

We're approaching the longest days of the year, folks, and you'll need summer jams to fill those days. Add Dan Black and Kelis' "Hearts" to that playlist, why don't you?

The music video to the uplifting tune is a time lapse from a roof, with minimal movements to maximum effect. Gorgeous and hip-moving, I think this will for sure make my rotation.

The song was co-written by the two artists, and will be featured on Black as-yet-untitled sophomore album, due sometime this year.

 

Get More: www.mtvu.com

 

<p>Neko Case during Wits</p>

Neko Case during Wits

Credit: American Public Broadcasting

No joke: Listen to Neko Case's crazy cover of Iron Maiden's 'Number of the Beast'

Ball's in your court, Bruce Dickinson

Neko Case covered Iron Maiden's "Number of the Beast" for the Wits public radio show in St. Paul, Minn., and was eye-, ear- and all other orifice-opening.

Head here to hear it; fast-forward to 54:30 if you want to skip other Case and Kelly Hogan performances. The show also featured comedian Rob Delaney.

Feist and Mastodon got together to make a Feistodon split 7" for Record Store Day last year, so I ask: Is the ball not in your court now, Bruce Dickinson?

Neko Case helped out on the New Pornographers' last, 2010 album "Together" and guested on New Pornos frontman A.C. Newman's 2012 album "Shut Down the Streets." She and is working on her sixth full-length solo album in 2013; her last was 2009's "Middle Cyclone."