<p>Sufjan Stevens</p>

Sufjan Stevens

Sufjan Stevens teams with Anticon label mates Serengeti and Son Lux

Trio will release 'Beak & Claw' EP as s/s/s

Enigmatic indie rock icon Sufjan Stevens has a history of doing the unexpected, whether it's planning (somewhat jokingly) to release an album dedicated to each of the fifty states (he's done two so far), recording multiple Christmas tunes, or composing a multimedia extravaganza celebrating the history of New York's BQE. Now the Detroit native is teaming with experimentalist Son Lux and rapper Serengeti (both on the revered underground hip hop label Anticon) for the new group s/s/s.

They'll release their debut EP, "Beak & Claw" on March 20.

The four-song release will include guest appearances by My Brightest Diamond's Shara Worden on "If This Is Real" and Anticon fixture Doseone (Subtle, cLOUDDEAD, Themselves) on the likely hilarious "Octomom."

Stevens, mostly known for the hushed, folk-inflected orchestral pop found on "Illinois" and "Seven Swans," has always had an ear for the experimental, and his last full-length, "The Age of Adz," delved deep into dark, electronic territory.

Stevens and Serengeti previously teamed on a Buck 65 remix of Steven's "You Are the Blood" (which was a cover of a Castanets tune).

Here's the track listing for the "Beak & Claw" EP:

1. Museum Day
2. Beyond Any Doubt
3. If This Is Real
4. Octomom

<p>Thom Yorke performing with Radiohead at Glastonbury 2011</p>

Thom Yorke performing with Radiohead at Glastonbury 2011

Credit: AP Photo

Watch: Radiohead performs two new songs live as U.S. tour kicks off

What do the critics have to say about the opening show? What was the setlist?

Didn't nab a ticket to Radiohead's U.S. tour? Here's what you might be missing. The British rock act started their American sojourn last night (Feb. 27) and bowed two brand new songs, on top of playing "OK Computer" B-Side "Meeting in the Aisle."

Thom Yorke introduced "Identikit" and "Cut a Hole/Skirting on the Surface," two fresh tracks; the first features two vocal counter-melodies, with Yorke's opposite struggling with the pitch. But it's mesmerizing nonetheless. The latter is a little more aaaaaaahhhhhhhhmbbbbeeeeeient, as the frontman meanders through some long vowels to a slow, dirge-like rhythm section. It's also led by a synth line, feeling much less organic.

Then there's "Meeting in the Aisle," which was recorded much closer to the stage. Thus, we get to see a Yorke-y silly dance.

The band played two encores, ended with "Karma Police" and performed from different time-spans in their catalog, though they stuck with a lot of current and recent work, with seven of the eight tracks from latest "The King of Limbs" plus recent outtake/singles "The Daily Mail" and "Staircase."

Below are some pull-quotes from reviews of the kick-off show, held at Miami's American Airlines Arena.

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<p>Vampire Weekend</p>

Vampire Weekend

Credit: XL

Pitchfork announces festival lineup: Feist, Vampire Weekend, Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Hot Chip, A$AP Rocky, Kendrick Lamar, AraabMuzik, plus more to be announced

The Pitchfork Music Festival is back for a seventh year, and one of its headliners may be signalling new music on the way. Feist, Vampire Weekend and Godspeed You! Black Emperor are among the biggest names in this initial lineup announcement, in addition to Hot Chip, AraabMuzik, A$AP Rocky, The Field, Liturgy, Kendrick Lamar, Grimes, Cloud Nothings, Tim Hecker and Willis Earl Beal.

The Chicago-bound event runs July 13-15, with single-day and weekend tickets going up on March 9 at noon CST. Organizers' "goal has always been to create an affordable atmosphere with music at its focus," so ticket prices will not increase over last year's sum, with single-day going for $45 a piece and weekend at $110.

Pitchfork also says that 30 more acts are TBA, so we may not even be looking at the biggest names yet.

But confirming Vampire Weekend is at least somewhat informative: the band only scheduled five concerts in 2011, and the only U.S. stop, the Music To Know festival, was canceled. This new date may signal that the group has more U.S. touring action planned, if not offering ample opportunity for Ezra Koenig & Co. to bow some new material.

Also, interestingly, Lamar and A$AP Rocky are Drake's Club Paradise tour openers -- will they be bring any, uh, friends along?

Last year, I pointed out some of the Pitchfork batting averages of the artists that were performing at the fest, a parallel of what their rating on the site was prior to the lineup announcement. For this year:

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<p>We Are Augustines</p>

We Are Augustines

Credit: HitFix

Interview: We Are Augustines talk new album, late night TV debut tonight

Watch our interview with the Brooklyn band ahead 'Letterman' appearance

Tonight, We Are Augustines are getting a big television introduction. In many ways, the trio has been through a number of those -- introductions and reintroductions, that is.

Billy McCarthy and Eric Sanderson originally played together in Brooklyn band Pela. One of the group's EPs was released by Brassland, founded by the guys in The National (and, for fans, the similarities between the two bands is quite striking). That business relationship floundered. Then Pela shacked up with Great Society, the shambolic spin-off label of the World's Fair management company founded by Flaming Lips manager Scott Booker. The release of full-length "Anytime Graffiti" was a weirdly soft release, with a leg in 2007 and 2008, and the band ultimately severed ties there, too.

Even having toured and opened for the aforementioned artists, plus those like Sonic Youth and the Decemberists, there was always this feeling that Pela petered on the edge of totally eating it or getting really, really big. Business just never went their way.

Instead, Pela dissolved in 2009, with Sanderson and McCarthy going on to We Are Augustines.

"Over the past 2 years we’ve faced tremendous obstacles. We recorded an album twice, had a falling out/legal battle with our old label, fired 2 managers, had a big record deal fall through," read part of the wrap-up on Pela's site.

The Augustinian transition was even marked with tragedy: McCarthy's brother, who was mentally ill, committed suicide after having spent years in solitary confinement in a California prison. The emotional impact of that, plus the exhausting traditional label system having had its way with the band previously, made for a very new and different band.

In 2011, We Are Augustines released their first album "Rise Ye Sunken Ships," a set that consisted partly of songs McCarthy had written for Pela's second full-length outing. Taking on drummer Rob Allen, the group then released the album themselves through their own Oxcart label, backed by devotees like KEXP's John Richards. "Sunken Ships" was amped by single "Chapel Song," which has just the right amount of poison and sugar, with an impactful music video to match (below).

Last year, the band also toured in the U.K. five or six times, with the help from band fans like the Boxer Rebellion. Like The National did prior to "Boxer," We Are Augustines are enjoying even greater success overseas than they are here in the U.S. For now.

Because it appears that the trio are about ready for another reintroduction.

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<p>Andre 3000</p>

Andre 3000

Outkast and At The Drive-In: No new albums in the works

Andrew 3000 and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez are surprisingly candid

I don't want to read another story about how and if an "Arrested Development" movie is going to be made. I'll purposely avoid reports on another, "rumored" Smiths reunion. Some news just needs to be put to bed, and only brought back up if there's something solid to go on.

This is why I appreciate Andre 3000 and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez' recent candor about "new projects" from their respective bands, OutKast and At The Drive-In.

The former told GQ that, contrary to "talk on the Internet," there isn't another record from him and 'mate Big Boi.

"I have to say that as of now, there are no plans for another OutKast album," he said, adding that he is plotting another solo album and has been concentrating on collaborations (like those with Beyonce on "Party" and with Damon Albarn and James Murphy on "DoYaThing).

"There's a lot of music on the horizon. I've been living off the excitement of new artists. I've been privileged to have these new artists kind of reach out and grab back and say, 'Hey, Andre, we want you on this song'," he said. "So these new artists have kind of been keeping me alive. I've just really been feeding off of that and this year I think I'm planning to do a solo project. I don't know when it will come out, but hopefully it'll come out this year .As far as OutKast, I really don't know if or when that will happen.

Rodriguez-Lopez is busy promoting The Mars Volta's next album "Nocturniquet," but also the reformation of ATDI for the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival and for Spain's Benicassim Festival. He told Karrang! magazine* that getting back together with ATDI was strictly for nostalgia ($$$), and that the group wasn't going to pursue making new material.

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<p>Louis CK</p>

Louis CK

Credit: AP Photo

Louis CK, The Roots and the Afghan Whigs lead U.S. All Tomorrow's Parties fest

Jersey City hosting indie fest for a second year, with the Make-Up, Jose Gonzalez and more

The U.S. version of the All Tomorrow's Parties festival is fully emphasizing their comedy programming with one major headliner this year: Louis C.K.

The ATP event -- dubbed I'll Be Your Mirror USA 2012 in full -- features the legendary comedian sharing the marquee with newly reunited The Afghan Whigs, "Jimmy Fallon" house band and vet hip-hop troupe The Roots, reformed Dischord post-rockers The Make-Up, Jose Gonzalez and the Dirty Three.

ATP USA, founded in 2008, returns to Jersey City, N.J. for a second year, running over the weekend of Sept. 21-23. Pre-sale for weekend passes has already begun, while general onsale for single-day and weekend passes starts on Monday (Feb. 27). More info on ticket-buying can be had here.

Greg Dulli of the Afghan Whigs was curator for part of the line-up and, while rock remains the running theme of the fest, his selections were pretty diverse. Louis CK, Dulli's own band and the Roots made his cut; Gonzalez -- who I interviewed last year about returning to solo songwriting -- will be likely performing lots of new material. Acts like Gutter Twins member Lanegan, Sharon Van Etten and the Dirty Three all have new albums from 2012 to work off of; the Dirtbombs will be playing their soul and Motown covers set "Ultraglide in Black" (2001) in its entirety. Soul will certainly be the them of Charles Bradley's spot.

The Make-Up have reformed especially for I'll Be Your Mirror; Louis CK makes very, very rare festival appearances these days. The Criterion Collection will be in charge of the movie programming again this year.

See you in the Mirror.

Chosen By Greg Dulli:

The Afghan Whigs
Louis C.K.
The Roots
Jose Gonzalez
Mark Lanegan Band
Dirty Three
The Antlers
The Dirtbombs performing "Ultraglide In Black"
Scrawl
Sharon Van Etten
Emeralds
Vetiver
Quintron And Miss Pussycat
Charles Bradley And The Extraordinaires
Dj Questlove
Reigning Sound
+ More To Be Confirmed

Chosen By ATP:

The Make-Up (Reforming for I'll Be Your Mirror)
Hot Snakes
The Magic Band
Autolux
Thee Oh Sees
Factory Floor
Death Grips
I Break Horses
+ More To Be Confirmed

Listen: Justin Bieber joins Far East Movement's new 'Live My Life'

Listen: Justin Bieber joins Far East Movement's new 'Live My Life'

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With all the subtelty of a G6

I warned you yesterday about the imminent arrival of two Justin Bieber singles. This is one of them.

The 17-year-old singer is all over the hook on Far East Movement's new "Live My Life," produced by RedOne It sounds like one long radio station bumper.

"Live My Life" will be available to digital retail starting Feb. 28, with a "Party Rock" remix by LMFAO's Redfoo on the way.

Far East Movement, who made their mark with "Like a G6," have a new album on the way: "Dirty Bass." It will feature "Live My Life" plus "Jello," which made its bow earlier this month. Producers like Bangladesh, Dallas Austin, the Stereotypes and Cherry Cherry Boom Boom will feature.

A music video for this single will be shot in the coming weeks. I'm sure it will be... arty.

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<p>Kraftwerk</p>

Kraftwerk

Ticket company apologizes for Kraftwerk concert on-sale 'debacle'

Will buying tickets for intimate performances always suck? Probably

Kraftwerk's forthcoming retrospective eight-night residency at New York's Museum of Modern Art is a dream for fans -- partly because of the appeal of the group playing their last eight albums start to finish, and partly because of the venue. The Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium is around a 700-capacity, extremely intimate considering Kraftwerk's worldwide appeal, rare tours and the promise of a one-of-a-kind 3-D visualization for each night.

It's also a dream because actually acquiring tickets for any of the April shows was nothing but a nightmare. A huge percentage of people who "queued up" at exactly noon yesterday (Feb. 22) were kept there eternally. And according to MoMA's ticket seller ShowClix, only about 1.2% of those who tried got tickets.

It comes with the territory. Pretend that 700 tickets were actually made available for each night, times eight is 5,600 tickets total. Imagine that fans were going after their favorite or most popular albums -- "Autobahn," "The Man-Machine" or "Computer World," maybe -- and that's some serious competition, especially with a two-ticket maximum per customer.

That would explain the hundreds of tiresome Kraftwerk puns that erupted on Twitter and Facebook yesterday.

What was infuriating fans in this instance was not just being unable to win a lottery that seemingly lasted a minute, but dealing with a ticket-buying system that buckled under the demand, and kept interested parties in a queue for sometimes longer than an hour. I didn't try to buy Kraftwerk tickets yesterday, but I do know the frustration of not getting tickets I want, and seeing them go instantly into the hands of a secondary ticket marketplace. Ticketmaster may screw you with fees and competitive concert ticket-buying experiences, but at least they let you know you're screwed pretty quick.

ShowClix has issued an apology to fans in an open letter today, and have vowed "to work hard to prevent such a debacle from happening again in the future." Not much solace for fans today, but not scoring the tickets you want is never any fun. With all the innovations in online buying, so-called "safeguards" from scalpers and the appeal of seeing an intimate show when artists so often prefer the cash of a large venue take-in, it's another lesson learned: ticket buying still, and probably always will, suck. ShowClix probably knew their demand -- such metrics are easily had -- and should've prepared. Here is the text from the post:


Dear Kraftwerk fans,

Sorry it took me a day to write this, but it was important for me to first understand all of the facts so they could be properly communicated. First and foremost, we are deeply sorry for the frustration and massive inconvenience that yesterday's on-sale for Kraftwerk caused for many of their great fans around the world. I recognize that so many of you spent hours in front of your computer watching a spinning wheel—or watching the page go blank. Please allow me to explain what happened and what we'll do to correct this for the future:

MoMA has been a really great partner of ShowClix for over a year now, and we've worked with them to move tens of thousands of tickets successfully. They leaned on us to help them with this on-sale, which was a special event for them, and we let them (and you) down. ShowClix has successfully executed many very large, high-demand on-sales over the past five years that we've been in business. Most of these on-sales have a high demand, with a great deal of inventory to sell. Kraftwerk's eight-night performance on-sale was a very unique situation. While we're not able to disclose the number of tickets that were available for these performances, what I will say is that of the tens and tens of thousands of die-hard Kraftwerk fans from around the world that logged on at exactly noon EST yesterday to get these tickets, the venue capacity restrictions would only ever allow approximately 1.20% of them to actually be reserved. As you might imagine, this is an extremely large technical hurdle, particularly because of the tiny fraction of supply versus the demand.

Still, this is no excuse. We should have never advised MoMA to allow the tickets to be sold in the fashion in which they were, because in the end—even if everything were to go smoothly—many people would have been very disappointed. ShowClix didn't set the proper expectations from the beginning, nor did we properly prepare our load balancing servers in order to prevent the queue from timing out. Ultimately, we failed many of you.

Since yesterday, we have discovered that a single setting within one of the lower levels of our queuing system's middleware bubbled-up under the heavy load and caused frequent timeouts. There were also some issues with the broadcast system which allows us to communicate with ticket buyers while they're waiting in the queue. We should have both of these problems resolved by the end of this week. However, even with these problems resolved, it is my belief moving forward that we should not perform an on-sale all at once for an event or venue that has such small capacity restrictions versus potential demand. Instead, we will advise our clients on various alternative methods to fairly sell tickets to an event that has such a small fraction of inventory available versus the potential demand.

There were certainly technical problems around this event. Contrary to some reports, however, our servers never crashed or went offline, and none of our other clients or their events experienced a problem during the Kraftwerk on-sale. We always keep high-demand on-sales separate from all of the other activity happening on our server. It's also important to note that there were online sales successfully processing the entire time, and all eight of the events sold-out in approximately 60 minutes.

In closing, regardless of what the technical problem was—or how we plan to solve it in the future—we haven't overlooked the incredible amount of frustration many people felt from the on-sale. We take full responsibility. This company was founded and continues to be run by a big team of live entertainment and technology addicts. We feel for you, the fans, and our partner, MoMA, and vow to work hard to prevent such a debacle from happening again in the future.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Joshua Dziabiak
CEO
ShowClix, Inc.

<p>The Shins</p>

The Shins

Credit: Annie Beedy

Watch: The Shins drop 'Simple Song' video, confirmed for 'Saturday Night Live'

Jonah Hill back for seconds on 'SNL,' too

What parent wouldn't want their parting sentiment to their children to be "You'll be sorry when I'm dead?"

James Mercer has that kind of vision for his once and future kin in "Simple Song," which sends his "children" -- played partly by his Shins bandmates -- on an adventure through their old house and memories for a little closure on Mercer's last will and testament. Entertainingly macabre.

The Shins are releasing their next album "Port of Morrow" on March 20, and in promoting it, they've been invited back to "Saturday Night Live" for a second time. They'll be joined by Jonah Hill -- for his second time on the show, too -- on March 10.

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<p>Jamie Hewlett's interpretation of Gorillaz, James Murphy and Andre 3000</p>

Jamie Hewlett's interpretation of Gorillaz, James Murphy and Andre 3000

Listen: Gorillaz, James Murphy and Andre 3000 combine for 'DoYaThing'

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LCD Soundsystem's frontman meets the boing-boing of Outkast

The combination of Gorillaz, James Murphy and Andre 3000 sounds exactly like what you'd think it'd sound like: boing-boing, beep beep, bounce bounce.

This funky collaboration was created in the name of Converse, for their Three Artists, One Song series. It bowed on BBC radio today and will be available through the company's website tomorrow.

The track is another good origin of the query: Why isn't Andre 3000 rapping on everything ever in the whole world ever? Murphy might as well have been filing his nails or cleaning the bathroom when he wrote the mindless refrain "You want to do it, but you don't know what you're doing, baby," but that doesn't mean I won't remember it.

And Albarn sounds thankfully better here than he did at the Brits last night with Blur. Haters: hating. Keep your eyes peeled for the music video.

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