<p>Q-Tip in 2011</p>

Q-Tip in 2011

Credit: AP Photo

Q-Tip signs with Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music label

A Tribe Called Quest founding member releasing new album in 2013

Right as kanye-west" class="autolink">Kanye West has signaled new music from his G.O.O.D. Music label, Q-Tip has been added to that Def Jam imprint's roster.

The hip-hop artist plans to drop his next album, tentatively titled "The Last Zulu," in 2013. A source told me that Q-Tip and Kanye West are working in New York on new music this week.

Tip has been working on wildly different projects since his last solo album, 2009's "Kamaal/The Abstract," an experience that undoubtedly left a bad taste in his mouth: his former label Arista had shelved that album until it leaked in the softest of soft releases, under his own label name with its distribution from RED.

Q-Tip obviously would want some stability out of his label home, and he may just have that with G.O.O.D., a label that's on the upswing. It also returns him into the fold of Universal Republic/Island Def Jam head Barry Weiss, who was at Jive when Q-Tip's former group A Tribe Called Quest released music there in the '90s.

"I am thrilled to be working with Q-Tip once again,” said Weiss in a statement. "He is a respected voice in the music community as shown by his acclaimed solo albums and countless contributions to the work of other artists. His creativity continues to surpass all boundaries of hip-hop, R&B, pop, and jazz."

Q-Tip's "creativity" has known few bounds in the last three years, as he's produced and written for artists like Rico Love, Marsha Ambrosius, Kendrick Lamar, Fiona Apple and Esperanza Spalding. He was also on tap for West's "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy," a collaboration that likely helped seal the deal in bringing Tip into the company.

This way, G.O.O.D. Music may continue to grow out as a collective, instead of a label of several disparate solo acts. It seems Q-Tip will be able to work easily with other Def Jam artists in other capacities, regardless of genre.

One of those capacities that ISN'T likely is returning to work in A Tribe Called Quest. The group was highlighted in Michael Rappaport's outstanding 2011 documentary "Beats, Rhymes and Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest," which also happened to reiterate why the group broke up to begin with (and, frankly, should have stayed that way, without one-off reunions along the way).

Meanwhile, G.O.O.D. Music released the first single from its eponymous collaboration album: "Mercy" features Big Sean, Pusha T, 2 Chainz and West himself. No word when the next song will arrive, or when the compilation will be released. Perhaps Q-Tip will be showing up on the album?

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<p>Fran Kranz as Marty in &quot;Cabin in the Woods&quot;</p>

Fran Kranz as Marty in "Cabin in the Woods"

Credit: Lionsgate

Interview: 'Cabin in the Woods' star Fran Kranz talks endless delays and 3D

'Dollhouse' actor talks reuniting with Joss Whedon: Can the film be spoiled?

PHILADELPHIA -- Like anybody involved in a horror film, “Cabin in the Woods” star Fran Kranz doesn’t want any of his movie’s secrets spoiled before it goes wide to theaters on Friday. In a way, though, it’d be impossible to fully spoil the twists and turns of Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard’s thriller, which is as much a love letter to past cinema as it is a fulfilling way to reinvent it. 

At a HitFix-hosted early fan screening last night in Philly, Kranz was on hand to talk about his “Cabin” character Marty, the endless delays in release and how a film of such abundant in a post-internet, rumor-mongering era can still find success.
 
“I have a lot of faith that the movie can’t be completely ruined. There’s no one twist or one spoiler. Maybe it is important… to make a film like this so full and so dense. Even if I tried, it’d just end up sounding insane,” Kranz said. “We have a lot of layers of defense."
 
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<p>Feist</p>

Feist

Watch: Feist unleashes 'Bittersweet Melodies,' going back to the future

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Plus, Feistodon Record Store Day art revealed

Feist tapped into the photographic work of Argentinian artist Irina Werning for an effective music video for "Bittersweet Melodies."

Old photos of the solo subjects are placed side-by-side with new photos, with the same poses, clothes and setting. And of course there's a dog. Of course. It's entertaining, then funny, then pensive as the viewer him/herself begins to muse what their own photo would look like. Bittersweet.

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<p>Admiral Fallow</p>

Admiral Fallow

Credit: Nettwerk

EXCLUSIVE Song Of The Day Premiere: Admiral Fallow's 'The Paper Trench'

Single from Scottish band's 'Tree Bursts in Snow' will have you singing 'holy Moses'

Prepare for the revival of the phrase "holy Moses." Scottish quintet Admiral Fallow makes regular use of the exclamation in their new single "The Paper Trench," arriving ahead of their Nettwerk debut "Tree Bursts in Snow."

There's a positive charge between lead singer Louis Abbott's wordy brogue and Sarah Hayes' pure, buoyant vocals; half the song is met with a third harmony and powerful rhythmic guitars, banging in time with the fours, Abbott's narratives weaving easily like a thread meeting needle. The single is an accurate taster for "Tree Bursts," which has its darker moments too. Overall, the term "indie-folk" doesn't begin to describe the band's fullness of sound, which allows in punctuation like that of multi-instrumentalist Kevin Brolly's clarinet, or Hayes on flute. They're rounded out by a stacked rhythm section of bassist Joe Rattray and drummer Phil Hague.

It's appropriate that Admiral Fallow produced this set and their initial album "Boots Met My Face" with fellow countryman Paul Savage of the Delgados, a band whose own pop sound whirred with a similar energy and blender of folk-influenced rock sounds. "Tree Bursts in Snow" was also mixed by mastering master Greg Calbi, who's left his signature on albums from The National, Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver.

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<p>Brendan Benson</p>

Brendan Benson

Credit: Jo McCaughey

Interview: Brendan Benson on his new 'World,' his own label and the Raconteurs

EXCLUSIVE: Singer-songwriter helping release Raconteurs 7" on Jack White's Third Man Records

“I’m tired of the underdog mentality. I’m older and I am not cool.“

Hey, Brendan Benson has done his time. He’s been making solo albums for more than a dozen years, and already spent his years drinking too late, touring too hard, handing his royalties over to labels that have dropped him, or folded, or in one-offs deals. He’s married now, has a two-year-old kid and – in a new change of scenery – has his own label. Which is sort of like having a kid, he said.
 
His new album, “What Kind of World” (out April 21), is his first set for Readymade, which is now putting out other artists like The Lost Brothers, Young Hines, Leah Mason and Cory Chisel, all artists Benson has also produced. His Readymade label and publishing partners -- Thirty Tigers, Downtown Music Publishing, Terrorbird, Big Hassle, Hard Boiled Inc., Toolshed, and Music Alternatives -- also seem ready to tangle, themselves “underdogs” on a completely independent mission.
 
This new period in his career feels like the time he made “Lapalco,” from 2002.
 
“I started out thinking I wasn’t sure if I had a label anymore, which proved to be the case halfway through. The other part of it was not even know if I wanted to continue in the music business,” he explained, now further into the bowels of the music business. “People thought I was in a rut, and Virgin kept me on two or three years, telling me, ‘We don’t hear a chorus.’ That was a f*cking hard time in my life… I was left liberated and wandering.”
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<p>Kanye West</p>

Kanye West

Credit: AP Photo

Listen: Kanye West, 2 Chainz, Pusha T and Big Sean's showing 'Mercy'

G.O.O.D. Music kicks off on Good Friday... are you excited for more?

Kanye West, 2 Chainz, Pusha T and Big Sean all showed up for the first-showing of "G.O.O.D. Music," Ye's label collection of original tracks from its artists. "Mercy" is a taking-turns kind of tune, as you'd expect, but of course Kanye made sure to write in a little something special for himself.

Listen to the song at Kanye West's website (re-done for very high resolution screens, apparently).

The straight-forward beat gives way to an Other World dark dance, led by a rip from the "Scarface" score. There's no guns or drugs here, though, with exception to his mention of "Molly," the same substance name-drop that put Madonna in time out, albeit briefly, a couple weeks ago.

After another weird diversion into suicide (which figured prominently into his "Power" single), Yeezy's all sorts of chest-puffery: "I step in the Def Jam building like I'm the sh*t / tell them give me $50 million or I'm going to quit / Most rappers taste level ain't even at my waist level / Turn up the bass level till it's at your face level." Good to know that his ability to divulge his talents has a price tag.

Meanwhile, 2 Chainz ups his profile with a verse that follows in the same vein. But it was Big Sean who opened up the door on this decent track, putting his "swerve" on the sort of rhymes he loves the best: extolling the virtues of strip clubs and their inhabitants.

The song, overall, isn't much of a conversation piece, but a conversation starter. The "G.O.O.D. Music" comp is guaranteed to be bursting with big names, let's just hope they're not all showing up, on every track, all at once.

No word yet if there will be new track every single Friday, but Ye has never been shy about that gimmick.

Yesterday, his track with DJ Khaled, "Theraflu," also broke out. Check out The Beat Goes On's thoughts on that here.

 

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<p>From &quot;Sixteen Saltines&quot;</p>

From "Sixteen Saltines"

Watch: Jack White is all tied up in alternate-universe 'Sixteen Saltines'

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The modern-day children of 'Lord of the Flies' plus: a VERY trippy 12" release

Jack White performs as the sole grown-up in the hypnotically disturbing music video for "Sixteen Saltines," but the real stars are the kids. Doing weird kid stuff, like playing hopscotch with their own severed fingers and Robo-tripping.

Leave it to the mind of the former White Stripes evil genius White to make a "Lord of the Rings" gangland of terrible juvenile behavior, because now I have all sorts of ideas having to do with putting liquor in my coffee maker. Dancers fly whimsically into the sky, pre-teens tattoo each other in the dark, slushies are consumed and spat out as part of a bizarre cheerleader mating ritual. And then the solo man of the hour is left to die in the back seat of a car about to be lit on fire, with a choreographed dance of BMXes to close the show.

The story boards must have been entertaining. I would frame them and sell them.

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<p>Beth Ditto from Gossip in &quot;Perfect World&quot;</p>

Beth Ditto from Gossip in "Perfect World"

Credit: VEVO

Watch: Gossip rock a 'Perfect World' in a church

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Beth Ditto, the holy one

There's always been something so delightfully self-aware disco-camp about Gossip, which makes their fashionable videos all the more joyful to watch. The band's 's newest single "Perfect World" goes into deeper, shark-jumpier territory as the trio dons sepia tones in a church, and I'm OK with that.

Frontwoman Beth Ditto has fun with her vocal runs all over the amp-cranking tune. Her styling goes between nun-chic to goth-chick, vampiric baby bangs and stupid-long wigs. It starts dark, but gets a big splash of dorky color by the end.

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<p>Jordin Sparks and Whitney Houston in &quot;Sparkle&quot;</p>

Jordin Sparks and Whitney Houston in "Sparkle"

Credit: Sony

Q&A: Jordin Sparks on Whitney Houston, R. Kelly and taking lead in 'Sparkle'

The 'American Idol' star's thought on the remake, before superstar Houston passed away

DETROIT -- There is a lot of pressure on Jordin Sparks, according to Jordin Sparks. Back when I visited the set of the “Sparkle” remake in early November last year, the singer spoke on the nail-biting audition process and gaining the film’s title role. It’s her first film, period, let alone her first lead character in a movie, and the “American Idol” star expressed some first-timer jitters.

But since then, the public slant on the film has changed. It’s longtime executive producer and one of its principal actresses, Whitney Houston, died in February, resetting it with tone of finality, a “could we have seen this coming?” and anticipation to see what becomes of it when it finally hits theaters in August. The pressure continues to rise.
 
In her interview with just a handful of us journalists this winter, Sparks only had the highest of praises for the singer-superstar, who was then still alive and shining off the final two weeks of shooting “Sparkle.” Houston plays Sparkle’s mom, Emma Williams, a former singer with her own past.
 
“[Houston] has millions upon millions of fans and I think they’re going to be very happy to see how she is in this movie. As well as the people who doubt that she’ll be able to do it -- I think they’ll be pleasantly surprised as well,” she said during her Q&A.
 
Below is a complete interview from November with Sparks, who talked about the new and old songs of the 1976 redux, her own connection to the character of Sparkle Williams and acting on Broadway, her thoughts on R. Kelly’s contributions and on what Whitney Houston was like on set.
 
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<p>Soundgarden's Chris Cornell during tour last summer</p>

Soundgarden's Chris Cornell during tour last summer

Credit: AP Photo

Listen to Soundgarden's first new song in 15 years, for the 'Avengers' soundtrack

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The whole movie song list is bro-rific

It's been long in the works, long touted, hyped to the point of saturation. Are we talking about "The Avengers" or the recording return of Soundgarden?

I'll let you be the judge. The '90s rockers have officially been back on the road and back in the studio, this song "Live to Rise" the first fruits of those efforts. It's undeniably Chris Cornell, all meat and long hair on a memorable hook. The guitars have their share of flangers, the drums now have an updated "pop." The guitar lines go in one ear and out the other, but thematically, the song will be a hit for movie-goers, who will enjoy this midtempo testosterone fuel.

CLICK HERE for the stream, on KISW.

"Like the sun, we will live to rise again," goes the refrain. Appropriate for all involved. It is Soundgarden's first newly recorded song in 15 years, since the release of their last album "Down on the Upside"; as you'll remember, they also dropped "Black Rain" for "Guitar Hero" a couple years ago, but that was simply a previously unreleased tune from former sessions.

The whole soundtrack tracklist is very bro-dude, with names like Bush, Papa Roach, Shinedown, Five Finger Death Punch and Buckcherry contributing. Stone Temple Pilots' Scott Weiland shows up, thankfully with something other than a Christmas song.

"The Avengers" soundtrack will be out on iTunes first, on May 1. The film hits theaters nationwide on May 4.

Soundgarden are expected to release a new full-length album some time in 2012. They have several tour dates listed for 2012, all overseas, with a couple of high profile festival-headlining gigs for the Download Festival in Donington, England and Hard Rock Calling in London.

Here is "The Avengers" soundtrack tracklist:

1. "Live to Rise" - Soundgarden
2.  "I'm Alive" - Shinedown
3.  "Dirt and Roses" - Rise Against
4.  "Even If I Could" - Papa Roach 
5.  "Unbroken" - Black Veil Brides 
6.  "Breath" - Scott Weiland
7.  "Comeback" - Redlight King 
8.  "Into the Blue" - Bush
9.  "A New Way to Bleed (Photek Remix)" - Evanescence
10. "Count Me Out" - PUSHERJONES
11. "Shoot to Thrill" - Theory of a Deadman
12. "Wherever I Go" - Buckcherry 
13. "From Out of Nowhere" - Five Finger Death Punch 
14. "Shake the Ground" - Cherri Bomb

Additional track on the international release:
15. "Pistols At Dawn" - Kasabian

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