<p>From Soundgarden's &quot;Been Away Too Long&quot;</p>

From Soundgarden's "Been Away Too Long"

Watch: Soundgarden's chilling 'Been Away Too Long'; announces 2013 tour dates

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Clip right in line with 'King Animal' cover art

For Soundgarden fans, the rock band has, indeed, "Been Away Too Long." Thankfully, the group has unleashed an uneasy music video for that track to ease their mind.

The impressive clip is almost entirely in slow-motion, with a mental patient making her way through a ward that's between "Session 9" and "Shutter Island." The wintry setting also hosts German shepherds and gas-masked military guards and she flees through a maze of snow and skulls. It's actually pretty awesome, her attempt to escape and the shattering finale. The creepy director-genius Josh Graham helmed; the art director has also worked with Neurosis, so that makes some sense.

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<p>The Weeknd in &quot;The Zone&quot;</p>

The Weeknd in "The Zone"

Watch: Drake and the Weeknd's 'The Zone' is a haunted House of Balloons

Hand-in-hand with other miseries 'Wicked Girl' and 'Rolling Stone'

The Weeknd's first mixtape "House of Balloons" has its name incorporated into the set of "The Zone," the tracks that features the singer's collaboration with Canadian kinsman Drake. I take the Zone, then, to mean that House of Balloons is closer to a haunted house of ex-girlfriends, sad and echoing of the horrors of empty sex. And "The Zone" itself is its soundtrack.

In the clip for recently released "Wicked Games," a beautiful girl hangs around -- again -- in lingerie, appearing as an apparition or a memory, just as the teenaged-dreamy one does in "The Zone." The same could be said of austere "Rolling Stone." They all seem to represent different women, or the "experience" of each woman, as if sex and love were happening to the Weeknd, not as a relationship or a participatory event in which he plays a part. It seems very isolating, which goes hand-in-hand with that haunted sound.

He and Drake, then, make natural partners. You've seen the cover of "Take Care," right?

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<p>Lady Gaga and Kendrick Lamar pose for a Tweet pic back in July</p>

Lady Gaga and Kendrick Lamar pose for a Tweet pic back in July

Lady Gaga leaks her Kendrick Lamar collaboration on 'B*tch Don't Kill My Vibe'

'Partynausous' still M.I.A.

It was clear by the end of the summer that Lady Gaga and rapper Kendrick Lamar were gonna be friends. However, their collaborations in the studio on his stunning "good kid m.A.A.d. city" have never surfaced, until now.

Gaga has "leaked" her own unreleased contribution on his song "B*tch Don't Kill My Vibe," a track that ultimately landed on the set but with Lamar himself speak-singing the hook. Her version makes the chorus a much more feminine and purposefully hooky feel, with the subject matter folling right in line with the Gaga we knwo and love: "I am a sinner who's probably gonna sin again / Lord forgive me, Lord forgive me... I got my drink, I got my music / I would share it but today I'm yelling / Bitch don't kill my vibe."

It sounds like a singer trying to "vibe" like a an R&B singer when they're not used to doing so, which seems a bit affected. But this is Gaga we're talking about, as affectation is the signature on all songs. Plus, it could be given a better mix, a little too pointy.

Gaga reportedly worked on another song with Lamar, the unreleased "Partynausous," but that may be supressed in part maybe because Gaga hadn't time to finish a take she was happy with, or because her vocals may not have been treated to taste, or both. According to a post to a post on her website last month, there were some power factors in play:

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<p>Ke$ha in &quot;Die Young&quot;</p>

Ke$ha in "Die Young"

Watch: Ke$ha is the leader of a sex compound in 'Die Young'

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Britney should be in there somewhere...

Ke$ha channels a number of pop divas in her music video for "Die Young," but none so closely as "Slave 4 U"-era Britney Spears. Sex and death have always been bedfellows, but the arcing, aching, sumptuous, dirty eventualities of a video like this seem to be nodding at that youthful peak era, where something so ridiculously indulgent and over-the-top proved to be the norm and nasty.

However, the chasm between the fun-bop of the song and the So Serious nature of the debauched clip that can't quite bridge. Ke$ha's mug flashes in tasteful black-and-white, then in early-'90s neon and in the leathery sepia tones of her semi-religious desert sex compound (a girl can dream); she's carried in as a idolatrous prop (a la Gaga), contorting in tribal furs (Shakira), introducing anarchy to a place of religious worship (Madonna) in a sea of triagles (Geometry 101). All together, this video and the Ke$ha brand hasn't a clue what it is, beyond blipping animal rule into a big pile of gropers till the world ends...

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<p>That's heart, giving the finger</p>

That's heart, giving the finger

Watch: Green Day's 'Stray Heart' warns the womanizer

Stream the band's entire album

We already exclaimed the positives to acts like Green Day releasing their new sets -- including forthcoming "¡Dos!" -- on vinyl. In the music video for single "Stray Heart," though, not even the gift of a record can help solve one womanizer's stray heart problem.

In the silly vid, a man's most powerful organ has departed from it's holding cavity (his chest, guttermind) and has gone around to the bars and strip clubs where it frequently serves others beyond his true love. This, in a world where he is surrounded by nothing but attractive women. The lost and devestated man goes on a hunt for his own heart, finding it has ultimately returned to its regular coop.

Maybe she just didn't have a record player?

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<p>Kid Cudi</p>

Kid Cudi

Credit: AP Photo

Watch: Kid Cudi and King Chip need to smoke in 'Just What I Am'

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Lead single from Cudder's third rap album

"Just What I Am" is the lead single from Kid Cudi's new hip-hop album. And just what is Kid Cudi about?

"F*ck yes, I'm so odd... I need to smoke," he raps, with co-partier King Chip on the track. From there, it's all red solo cups, pretty firls and puffs, as the guest rapper (formerly Chip tha Ripper) rolls regular smoke-blowing and Cudi brings something a little more real.

Any way you toke it, it's an easy song to listen to, and a good sample of what might be off of "Indicud," which follows Cudder's rap-rock record WZRD. The new set will be out some time in 2013 via Universal/G.O.O.D. Kanye's imprint also feature Cudi on a some "Cruel Summer" tracks as it was released last month.

Kid Cudi's last rap album was 2010's "Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager."

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<p>Thom Yorke</p>

Thom Yorke

Credit: AP Photo

Thom Yorke's supergroup Atoms For Peace set debut album release date

Listen to a cut: Radiohead frontman talks how everything is... screwed

Growing out of live band performances of Thom Yorke's solo album, the members of electro experiment group Atoms For Peace have finished a nine-song album "AMOK" (XL) and will release it at long-last on Jan. 28.

Songs have been trickled out all this fall, of remixes and teaser bits, with excellent "Default" leading the way. You can hear it below. Yorke is joined by longtime Radiohead cohort Nigel Godrich, drummer Joey Waronker and Red Hot Chili Peppers players Flea and Mauro Refosco on the solo-project-ish thing, which was recorded out of New York's Electric Lady Studios.

According to a tidy interview with Rolling Stones' David Fricke, Yorke essentially wanted to make a dance record with the crew, but knew he needed to throw his vocals on top for it to get any traction.

"But you also have to give people something that moves," Godrich said. "This is the eternal battle with Thom. He's like 'I really want to make a dance record. But I have to sing on it, or nobody's going to f*cking care."

"[T]he best tunes I dance to always have at least one good vocal idea." Yorke continued. "There's no such thing, to me, as a good tune with no vocals."

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<p>Idris Elba in &quot;Lover of the Light&quot;</p>

Idris Elba in "Lover of the Light"

Credit: Glassnote

Watch: Mumford & Sons' 'Lover of the Light' video with Idris Elba

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'The Wire' star runs blindly; more tour dates announced

One can be blind and still be a "Lover of the Light": that seems to be the moral to the story in the Mumford & Sons' video of the same name, which features the directing and acting talents of "The Wire" star Idris Elba.

Co-directed with Dan Cadan, "Lover" sends a man who cannot see into the stunning landscapes of Pembrokeshire, Wales without his dog or cane. I'm moved by the details and pauses inside the man's house, as he converses with himself, and selects a tie to wear as he takes himself on a date to the forests, cliffs and the beach. 

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<p>Kanye West is like &quot;no.&quot;</p>

Kanye West is like "no."

Kanye West 'Cruel Winter' trailer was a fake

Austin Christianson says it wasn't meant for distribution

Maybe we only wanted George Bush to narrate a Kanye West concept album.

The trailer to "Cruel Winter" that was widely distributed last week -- purportedly for a short film by Austin Christianson via West -- was merely a concept pitch from Christianson. The director told Fuse of the vague plan.

"Without getting into many details, I will say that the trailer was independently made and the video is essentially a concept trailer," he said. "It's used for pitching an idea and/or concept to a client. With that said, the video was being used for pitching purposes and it's naturally intended only for the client to see."

The sample used in the trailer is from George W. Bush's "Address to the Nation Announcing Allied Military Action in the Persian Gulf," which has an easy-going apocalyptic feel.

And so how does something like that end up into mainstream circulation via YouTube, huh? Just sounds like Christianson had good intentions as a professional, and even used the copyright attribution to DONDA (West's creative/film component to his empire) and maybe is a little embarrassed especially after Def Jam claimed no ownership and the clip was pulled down.

The existence of a "Cruel Winter" album is still in question. Something called "Cruel Winter" -- perhaps a companion to "Cruel Summer" -- is in the works. Waiting, however, is still cruel. Is West soliciting pitches for such a thing? Because I hear that George Lucas is interested in making little films now.

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<p>Dave Stewart's &quot;The Ringmaster General&quot;</p>

Dave Stewart's "The Ringmaster General"

HitFix Interview: Dave Stewart talks 'Ringmaster' sensibilities and 'Zombie Broadway'

'Malibu Country' and his album-making film make TV premieres tonight

Dave Stewart is an artist whose livelihood thrives off of collaboration. The former Eurythmics founder these days splits his time between his guest-heavy rock albums, producing other artists’ work – frequently with acts who also show on his records – and managing film and TV projects via his company Weapons of Mass Entertainment. He was just one part of a five-person supergroup SuperHeavy, with Joss Stone, Mick Jagger, A.R. Rahman and Damian Marley, and they released their first full-length last year. He produced Stevie Nicks’ new album “In Your Dreams,” and the doc of the same name, which made its bow at the Hamptons Film Festival last month.

He is also a songwriter, producer and musician that savors his own eccentricities. In album-making documentary “The Ringmaster General,” he chronicles the making-of the 2012 album of the same name plus last year’s “The Blackbird Diaries” through songmaking vignettes, but also shots of him brainstorming in the bathtub with his sunglasses on. He pressures martinis in Nashville’s Blackbird studios at any given moment, with off-handed references to friends like Annie (Lennox), Bob (Dylan) and Reese (Witherspoon). Re-created “footage” has managers exclaiming budget emergencies and his wife confused as to where the hell he is, as Stewart enthusiastically recalls his new guitar’s origins and candy-stores a costume shop catering to all his showman’s cravings. Meanwhile, famous females like Alison Krauss, Martina McBride, Colbie Caillat, The Secret Sisters, Joss Stone, Stevie Nicks, Jessie Baylin, Diane Birch and Orianthi all come by to take their turn at the mic on his country-inspired tunes.
 
“The Ringmaster General” – the film – makes it’s broadcast premiere tonight on Palladia. The pilot for his ABC show “Malibu Country” starring Reba McEntire also makes its bow tonight. Below is my abridged phone interview with Stewart, on what it is to be damned busy.
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