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The Week In Pop: Shawn Mendes, TerRio, And Vine’s Six-Second Stars

9 hours agoMusic / Indie Music : Stereogum

Whether busking, mailing out demo tapes, or uploading to MySpace or YouTube, conventional wisdom says you have less than one minute to catch the attention of music industry execs. Shawn Mendes did it in six seconds. The 15-year-old Toronto pop singer made his name on Vine, Google’s quick-hit video service, riding looped snippets of Katy [...]

Watch Vin Diesel Cover Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me”

16 hours agoMusic / Indie Music : Stereogum

Vin Diesel’s gravelly, marblemouthed voice is an absolute natural wonder, which is presumably the reason he’s playing the voice of the walking alien tree Groot in the new Marvel movie Guardians Of The Galaxy. Last year, a video of Diesel singing a weirdly emotional cover of Rihanna’s “Stay” went viral, and someone at the British [...]

Dustin Wong & Takako Minekawa – “She He See Feel” (Stereogum Premiere)

Last year, Dustin Wong (guitarist of the wonderful, defunct band Ponytail) released a solo album that explored the full range of his dazzling, loop-based guitar work. Now, he’s returning as part of an interesting pairing: He’s teamed up with Japanese singer Takako Minekawa, and the duo is set to release the collaborative album Savage Imagination. [...]

JJ – “Dean & Me”

JJ have shared a new track from their upcoming album V following lead single “All White Everything.” “Dean & Me” is another ethereal track from the Swedish art-pop duo that sounds like it was recorded during the shimmering twilight hours. The typically pop-literate group references Lesley Gore’s ’60s classic “It’s My Party” in the lyrics, [...]

Watch Tokyo Police Club Cover Wheatus’ “Teenage Dirtbag”

Remember Wheatus’ “Teenage Dirtbag”? You may not think you do, but the second you hit play on the track and get roundhouse-kicked with some major nostalgia, you will. That hook, the placement in the movie Loser (back when Jason Biggs was a likable romantic lead and Orange Is The New Black hadn’t made us all [...]

Watch The 8-Bit Grunge Medley You Didn’t Know You Wanted

What if all the angst and aggression of grunge were filtered through the sound chips of the very same video-game systems those artists grew up on? It’s a question we’ve asked ourselves many, many times, but finally someone has done something about it. The Youtube channel Filthy Frackers has crafted an animated medley of grunge’s [...]

Sufjan Stevens – “A Little Lost” (Arthur Russell Cover)

Six months ago we heard about a pending Sufjan Stevens contribution to Red Hot’s long-gestating Arthur Russell tribute comp, which also includes covers by Robyn, Hot Chip, Blood Orange, Phosphorescent, Jose Gonzalez, and many more. The comp has been renamed Master Mix: Red Hot + Arthur Russell, and Sufjan’s take on Russell’s “A Little Lost” [...]

Beck – “Heart Is A Drum” Video

Today, Beck releases the guest-heavy recorded version of Song Reader, his sheet-music album. That’s the second LP Beck has followed this year, following the elegantly bummed comeback album Morning Phase. And one of the many beautifully downcast songs on that album, “Heart Is A Drum,” now has a video from music-video hall-of-famer Sophie Muller. In [...]

Walt From Lost Is In That Pop Group You’ve Been Hearing On The Radio All Month

Waaaaaaaaaaaaalt! Turns out Malcolm David Kelly, who played Walt on Lost, is the MK half of the pop duo MKTO alongside Tony Ortiz. Their song “Classic” has been getting major top 40 airplay this summer. It’s the song that compares the object of the singers’ affections to classic pop music and old-school movie pinups — [...]

Childish Gambino Thinks He’s Better Than Drake, Kendrick

Kendrick Lamar dropped a nuclear bomb on what had become a peaceful rap climate last summer with his instantly legendary verse on Big Sean’s “Control.” Rappers boast all the time, but Kendrick caused a stir because he called out competing rappers by name, openly stating that he was aiming to destroy them all. It was [...]

Book Notes - Lance Olsen "[[ there. ]]"

In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book. Previous contributors include Bret Easton Ellis, Kate Christensen, Kevin Brockmeier, George Pelecanos, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee...

A Sunny Day In Glasgow – “Bye Bye Big Ocean (Ice Choir Remix)”

A Sunny Day In Glasgow came back out of nowhere earlier this year with Sea When Absent, and it’s their best album. Now the group will release the 5-song No Death EP, which comes with a remix of the opening track “Bye Bye Big Ocean.” The remix is done by Ice Choir, the current moniker [...]

Lil Wayne Is Launching A Sports Management Company And Cristiano Ronaldo Is His First Client

Jay Z famously had to sell his minuscule share of the Brooklyn Nets in order to launch a sports management company and represent athletes such as baseball star Robinson Canó. Now TMZ reports that noted sports fanatic (and fellow Mr. Carter) Lil Wayne is launching a sports management company of his own, and Portuguese soccer [...]

Watch Tori Amos Play “Wild Way” On Conan

We have a couple of decades of evidence that good things happen when you point TV cameras at Tori Amos; witness, for instance, this video of Amos playing “Winter” on The Tonight Show is 1993 and reducing Jay Leno to a stuttering mess. Last night, she did it again, performing entirely solo (just her and [...]

Phantogram – “Never Going Home (Thom alt-j Remix)”

Earlier this week, Phantogram recruited Future Islands to remix “Black Out Days,” a song from their new album Voices. And now, Phantogram have solicited another remix, this one from another more-popular-than-you’d-expected festival-mainstay band. Show More Summary

The Week In Pop: La Roux’s Trouble In Paradise Finds Breezy Ways To Brood

Trouble In Paradise is the sound of Elly Jackson letting her hair down. The La Roux singer’s aggressive upward spike of hair has been combed into a gentle waterslide-like swoop, and her second album — and first without behind-the-scenes bandmate Ben Langmaid — is accordingly looser and less brusque. She has styled herself less like [...]

Watch Diplo Show Off His Madonna Dubplate

Diplo has lately been putting in some studio work with Madonna, which is a pretty cool thing to have on your resume. During one of those sessions, he apparently convinced her to record a new version of “La Isla Bonita,” the 1987 hit that’s right up there with “Open Your Heart” and “Burning Up” and [...]

Hear Beyoncé’s New Version Of “Crazy in Love” In The Fifty Shades Of Grey Trailer

Today the trailer for Fifty Shades Of Grey was released and comes soundtracked by a new version of “Crazy In Love” by Beyoncé. While the original is one of the most explosively positive pop songs ever recorded, this new one is dark, ominous, and a really strange inversion. It’s a big enough deal that the [...]

Low – “I’m On Fire” (Bruce Springsteen Cover) (Stereogum Premiere)

Bruce Springsteen’s 1984 blockbuster Born In The U.S.A. is the Boss’s biggest, synthiest, least rootsy LP, but it’s arguably just as packed with amazing songs as anything the man ever recorded. And on the new tribute compilation Dead Man’s Town, a series of artists from the indie rock and alt-country spheres take on songs from [...]

Nightbringer – “Et Nox Illuminatio Mea In Deliciis Meis” (Stereogum Premiere)

The term “black metal” can mean almost anything these days — sublime post-rock (with screaming), bracing post-punk (with croaking), experimental sound collage (with portentous spoken word), and, occasionally, wordless cosmic twaddle (with synths and not much else). All of these things borrow from black metal, but none really embodies the true spirit of black metal [...]

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