<p>Adam &quot;MCA&quot; Yauch</p>

Adam "MCA" Yauch

Passing of a Beastie Boy: Remembering Adam 'MCA' Yauch beyond the five boroughs

Five music and video moments I love best

Growing up in suburban Kansas, I didn't know anybody who didn't own a Beastie Boys album.

Today, in consideration of the passing of Adam "MCA" Yauch, a lot of fans are saying the same things, with the same opening statement: "Growing up in..." "Living in..." "Moving to..."

It didn't matter where you lived. The Beastie Boys trailblazed everywhere. They made hip-hop safe for listeners from all walks, and it wasn't just because they were white, or that "Brass Monkey" was mercilessly catchy. They blended punk and hard rock in hip-hop early times, with a name sounded like a joke (and it was a joke). They were funny as hell.

It was unsafe too.

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<p>Tenacious D</p>

Tenacious D

Watch: Tenacious D's low-brow high-budget music video for 'Rize'

So that's what music critics look like...

Tenacious D have unleashed the dragons in their music video for "Rize of the Fenix," and they don't care if you can see their green screens.

The single is from the album of the same name, due May 15.

While their first video in promoting "Fenix" featured a huge crop of A-list celebrities, this one prominently highlights a guitar you wouldn't be able to take through airline security. It also brings to mind: have you ever seen Jack White, Kyle Gass and Tim & Eric in the same room at the same time?

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<p>Tegan and Sara</p>

Tegan and Sara

Credit: Lindsey Byrnes

Interview: New Tegan and Sara album to be ‘more radio-friendly'

Duo works with three different pop producers for new set, tentatively due this fall

Tegan Quin’s mind is on Bruce Springsteen and Katy Perry. 

“We want to reach as many people as possible. We’re always balancing how to take what we do on our own at home and put it out around the world and make it reach people,” said Quin of her duo with her twin sister Sara. “What about Bruce Springsteen, or Arcade Fire? They reach so many people. I spent the whole last year exploring a lot of popular music, and – you know – so many people listen to Katy Perry. There must be something that goes into reaching 20 million people.”
 
Maybe they’re not up to 20 million worldwide concert attendees or album sales, but Tegan and Sara have done pretty good on their own, even without records featuring Snoop Dogg or 40 years of history under their belts. Their 2009 album “Sainthood” made it to No. 21 on The Billboard 200, their best sales and charting period yet. Their strength is, in part, their fiercely loyal fan-base and the reliable nature of word-of-mouth. The other part is their recognizable voices, and their like-minded take on pop music, love songs, breakup anthems and good old-fashioned stage banter.
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<p>Santigold's &quot;Master of My Make-Believe&quot;</p>
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Santigold's "Master of My Make-Believe"


Credit: Atlantic/Downtown

Album review: Santigold 'Master of My Make-Believe'

HitFix
B+
Readers
n/a
Sophomore set from singer benefits from a variety of producers and masks

Santigold’s second set “Master of My Make-Believe” is varied, entertaining, produced well and feels firm, very final. The artist herself is unfortunately still lumped into this gob of musicians that began making their mark about six years ago, known for their vaguely or overtly “ethnic sounds,” from M.I.A. and her frequent collaborator Diplo, to the African beats of Yeasayer to dub- and Middle Eastern-borrowing Gwen Stefani. 

It’s more than half a decade on, and Santi White has still thwarted any traditional classification. “Make-Believe” moves easily between pop and dance to hip-hop and experimental rock. You can thank her collection of producers like Q-Tip, Diplo or Dave Sitek for the variety, but still the segues between songs indicate very much that its track order and choice deck-helmers were in the plan all along.
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<p>From &quot;The Avengers&quot;</p>

From "The Avengers"

Credit: Marvel/Paramount

Watch: Soundgarden's music video for 'The Avengers' song 'Live to Rise'

Could the track earn the band an Academy Award nomination?

"Academy Award nominated rock group Soundgarden." Is it possible?

The resurrected rock troupe has released the music video for "Live to Rise," their somewhat boring contribution to "The Avengers" soundtrack. The clip features the usual bevy of scenes from the film and Chris Cornell's nice, clean curly locks.

I was able to check out the blockbuster film earlier this week, and the song is the first to play over the end credits, a position that can qualify the band for an Oscar for best original song -- so long as the track is  "original and specifically written for a motion picture. There must be a clearly audible, intelligible, substantive rendition (not necessarily visually presented) of both lyrics and melody."

In an interview with the L.A. Times, frontman Cornell made it clear that this collaboration with the filmmakers was a specific "tie-in," and that it should be regarded as a thing very separate from what a Soundgarden album will sound like.

So maybe the band is already planning their Oscars ceremony "look." I suggest black, or a leather red-white-and-blue superhero suit.

<p>Kanye West</p>

Kanye West

Credit: AP Photo

Listen: Kanye's G.O.O.D. Music remixes Chief Keef's 'I Don't Like'

Original song's producer don't like it

Kanye West, Pusha T, Big Sean and Jadakiss all showed up for a G.O.O.D. Music's remix of Chicago rapper Chief Keef's "I Don't Like," but not everybody likes it.

The 16-year-old's track has additional verses and a new melody line over the beat, which the song's original producer Young Chop takes issue with.

"I’m mad as f*ck, for the simple fact that they did not ask me to change up sh*t in my beat. How the f*ck did they add another melody over the instrumental?" he told radio host DJ Moon Dog this week. "These motherf*ckers is playing me and I don’t give two f*cks, I will sue the shit out of Kanye West… I made a f*cking sound, so you supposed to stay with my f*cking sound. The beat is fucking hard by itself. That shit don’t sound the same, it don’t got the same feel."

So he'd agree with Yeezy's line, ""They steal your whole sound, that's a soundbite"?

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<p>Zeus</p>

Zeus

Credit: Derek Branscombe

Exclusive: Watch Zeus' live video version of 'Hello, Tender Love'

Rockers unfurl the blues for this morning-starter

Zeus have their own studio, III Eagle, and like any good showmen, the Canadian group like to show off their toys.

The quartet have recorded a "Live from III Eagle" version of every song from their newest album "Busting Visions," and today HitFix gets to unveil "Hello, Tender Love" from those sessions.

The rock act has been garnering comparisons to T Rex and The Who, but here they wring out a swaying bluesy ode like a heart-hurt Link Wray or contemporaries the Black Keys. Three-quarters of the band can sing, and sing they do, though here Mike O'Brien (who looks suspiciously like Gary Oldman) counters his own lead guitar with this striking melody.

"Busting Visions" was out at the end of March. You can sample it here.

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<p>2 Chainz' &quot;No Lie&quot; feat. Drake</p>

2 Chainz' "No Lie" feat. Drake

Credit: Def Jam/T.R.U.

Listen: 2 Chainz and Drake tell you 'No Lie'

HitFix
B
Readers
n/a
'T.R.U.' track arrives way ahead of an August album release

2 Chainz has been the hot name featured on a lot of tracks lately, like on Nicki Minaj's endlessly catchy "Beez in the Trap," Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music love-in "Mercy" and T.I.'s "Spend It." Now he's got a Drake on his side for his first single "No Lie" from his forthcoming full-length album debut.

And, weirdly, Drake seems to dominate much of "No Lie," as he carries the hook and takes up most of the first half. It's your typical Drizzy boasts with 2 Chainz' bobbing, choppy rhymes coming in later on, with his "Thug life, one wife, a mistress and a girlfriend," along with some fashionable name-drops. It's a good combo of talents, for where street meets the club.

2 Chainz, aka Tity Boi, seems to take a tip from Rick Ross on the synth lines, giving an impression a spaceship may touch-down in the middle of this seemingly sci-fi soundtrack. This "clean" version plays a lot with the foul English, so it might as well be alien tongue.

"No Lie" -- out on digital retailers on May 8 -- is the first single from 2 Chainz' Def Jam debut "Based on a T.R.U. Story," which goes on sale toward the end of the summer, on Aug. 14. Can't wait that long? Check out the half-a-dozen mixtapes the MC's put out over the last five years, or spin some Playaz Club, his duo with Dolla Boy.

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<p>Dot Hacker (Josh Klinghoffer second from left)</p>

Dot Hacker (Josh Klinghoffer second from left)

Credit: Geoff Moore

Interview: Josh Klinghoffer talks Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dot Hacker, Rock Hall of Fame

Exclusive premiere of Dot Hacker’s full 'Inhibition' album stream from Soundcloud

Josh Klinghoffer has toured with and recorded with an astounding array of critically and commercially renowned artists, from his current crew Red Hot Chili Peppers to Beck, PJ Harvey and Gnarls Barkley. But for the career musician, his most recent project has fulfilled a lifelong career fantasy: he wanted to start his own band, to plays his own songs, in a band of friends.

Sounds pretty attainable, right? Imagine, though, the guitarist and drummer has been in other people’s touring bands since he was in his teens. For years, he’s plotted song demos but rarely had the time and personnel to flesh them out. And in the last couple years, he joined RHCP to replace his friend, former collaborator and longtime guitarist John Frusciante.

“You’d think that [Red Hot Chili Peppers] is my main thing. And of course I love being in that band,” Klinghoffer said in our recent interview. “But since I was a teenager, I wanted to be in a band with my mates, my pure image of a band. My path in life has never led me to that until now.”

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<p>Usher</p>

Usher

Listen: Usher and Rick Ross combine for 'Lemme See'

HitFix
B+
Readers
n/a
Usher goes under the covers as Bawse name-drops Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman

While Usher's single "Scream" was generically top 40 rhythmic, he's gone much more urban/R&B for latest "Lemme See," yet another track from his forthcoming album "Looking for Myself."

In short: Usher wants to show you his chest, girl. Y'all explicit. And then Rick Ross loosely follows the theme by promising valet service and forcing some sort of comparison to Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman. It was weird.

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