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Author: Aly Semigran (1-10 of 44)

The Swell Season (those cute 'Once' stars) release new single 'Low Rising: Worth the wait

It’s felt like forever waiting to hear new music from the Oscar-winning duo Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. Now the pair are back with a new song, continuing their musical partnership even though they ended their romantic relationship earlier this year. Their new album, Strict Joy, is slated for late October. has the track, “Low Rising,” available for a first listen. The tune, which has a more jazzy, up-tempo sound than Once fans might expect, is a welcome return. Our only gripe? More Marketa, please! The singer almost fades into the background here.

Take a listen and tell us what you think. Are you enjoying The Swell Season’s new sound. How does it compare to “Falling Slowly” (which you can watch them perform on Letterman below)?

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Charlie Watts not quitting Rolling Stones
New Basement Jaxx ft. Sam Sparro video, ‘Feelings Gone’: Watch it here
Beatles reissues sold out at Amazon: Are fans screwed?
Jay-Z, Beyonce attend Grizzly Bear concert

Pearl Jam's Cameron Crowe-directed video: Are live videos awesome, or a cop-out?

If there’s one thing Pearl Jam is known for (besides, of course, all that ’90s grunge/flannel shirt business), it’s their live shows.

So it’s only fitting that the band’s latest video features a live performance, directed by a guy who has something of a soft spot for rock & roll, Cameron Crowe. The video is for the song “The Fixer” (watch below), a track off their upcoming album Backspacer, which they performed live at a secret show at Seattle’s Showbox in May.Granted, the clip is a little dizzying, but it is one of few music videos that actually captures the feel of a band when they perform live.

What about you, MusicMixers? Are you a fan of Pearl Jam’s live videos or do you think they’re a cop out? Does the video get you excited for the new album or are your days of deciphering Eddie Vedder’s every move long since passed?

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TLC’s T-Boz and Chilli to reunite at Justin Timberlake show
Animal Collective’s Panda Bear on new album, ATP fest and more: An exclusive Music Mix Q and A
Don Was on his new ‘Outlaw Country’ radio show, having Brando for a neighbor, and touring with Paula Abdul. An EW Exclusive!

David Gray: A Music Mix Q and A

British singer-songwriter David Gray is drawing a line in the sand, quite literally, to distinguish himself from the success story of his breakout 2000 album White Ladder.

His latest effort, Draw the Line, hits stores September 21, and Gray chatted with the Music Mix to discuss his new musical direction, the upcoming fall tour and why he hopes certain tunes won’t make you gouge any eyes out.

Entertainment Weekly: You have two immediate standout tracks on Draw the Line — duets with Annie Lennox [“Full Steam Ahead”] and Jolie Holland [“Kathleen”]. How did those collaborations come about?

David Gray: Well, with the Jolie track, I already had the vocals all worked out. It sounded so country to me that I needed someone who just had that Southern music in their blood. Dolly Parton was the first thing that came into my head, but Jolie was playing in London and someone rang me up and said, “Dave, are you going?” And, it was like the penny dropped: “Jolie is the person to sing this.” I’m such a huge fan of hers. She’s got music in her blood, that Southern twang, the jazziness, the blues, it’s like as natural as honey suckle climbing up a wall. Most people are just aping that style, albeit aping it well — Tom Waits, the Rolling Stones, you name it — but she’s just got it in her. So, I went to her show and saw her afterward and asked her if there was any way she could find an extra day to come in.

I think that song, “Kathleen”, it’s like the sleeper song on the record. And then we weren’t finished yet; there’s Annie Lennox on this stupendous album-closing track, which cost us about an album’s worth of effort to make, actually. It was all finished, except for the vocals, and it was obvious it needed to be a duet. I thought it should have been another man, like a Righteous Brothers sort of thing, but it was my manager who suggested Annie. Now I can’t imagine anyone else on that track. There’s a dark sentiment to the song and the lyrics are quite harrowing, but she makes a line like, “Bullied, cornered, pimped, and patronized” sound like fun. The duets provided such a treat. Obviously I love the sound of my own voice (laughs) but it’s nice to have somebody else involved.


Spoon surprise fans with a brand new EP

Indie rockers and Austin City Limits perennials Spoon are releasing a brand new EP, delightfully titled Got Nuffin, this Tuesday. So what's the big deal, you ask? Well, fans didn't know it was coming.

The band (check them out below in this 2007 clip on Letterman) will release three new tunes, titled "Got Nuffin", "Tweakers," and "Stroke Their Brains"(trippy!) on both CD and for download. Spoon released an EP in 2008 titled Don't You Evah (featuring "All I Got is Me" and six, yes, count 'em six, remixes of "Don't You Evah"), but hasn't released a full-length album since 2007's Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga.

While the news hasn't quite made its way to the band's website, their record label Merge has confirmed the upcoming release. So, Spoon fans, are you over the moon with the surprise news? Or would you rather it be a full-length CD? What about you, fellow MusicMixers? Will you give Got Nuffin a listen?

The Killers plan release of all-covers album

Flowers-diamond_l Words seldom seem to fail the always-chatty Brandon Flowers, but now the Killers frontman is opting to put other people's in his mouth. Well, their lyrics, really. 

Flowers and his fellow bandmate Ronnie Vanucci announced to that they are planning to record a covers album sometime this year. So who will boys give their synth-rock sound a tweaking to?

The duo cited The Cars, Fleet Foxes, Cyndi Lauper, Iggy Pop, Tom Waits, Genesis, and — believe it — Neil Diamond as possibilities.

Flowers, whose band is set to headline today's Hard Rock Calling in London, said of narrowing down the options of who to cover, "It's difficult for each of us to pick songs that represent us as individuals. I mean, I have a lot of personalities myself!" What do you think of this idea, MusicMixers? Should, and can, The Killers pull of a covers album? If so, which songs and artists would you love to hear them take on?

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Michael Jackson's musical legacy: Tell us how you remember him
Kanye West and Spike Jonze's 'We Were Once a Fairytale': Sex, knives, and a 'small, furry rodent'
Jeff Buckley: previously unreleased track featured on 'My Sister's Keeper' soundtrack
The Roots debut 'How I Got Over' on 'Jimmy Fallon': Watch it here

Jeff Buckley: previously unreleased track featured on 'My Sister's Keeper' soundtrack

The folks at New Line Cinema are really going out of their way to bum us out with their upcoming Cameron Diaz weepfest My Sister's Keeper. First, all those "It's nothing, I just have something caught in my eye" trailers bombarded us, and now an equally heart-tugging soundtrack will accompany the Jodi Picoult adaptation — including a previously unreleased song from the late Jeff Buckley entitled "We All Fall in Love Sometimes", which is already available for listen on the official website.

Buckley, who drowned accidentally in the Mississippi River at age 30 in 1997, had posthumous success with his cover of "Hallelujah," which reached a sort of cultural saturation over the last decade or so with notable appearances on American Idol and The O.C., among others. So will this track see the same bittersweet achievement?

The song, written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, is most certainly a downer (sample lyric: "It's so strange this feeling/notions that were childish/simple tunes that tried to hide it.") Though considering the subject matter at hand, I suppose it's rather apropos.

Fans of Buckley will be far from disappointed to hear more of his understated elegance here, both vocally and on the guitar. It may not pack the same punch, or gain the same draw that "Hallelujah" did, but it certainly does showcase Buckley's talent for the mainstream once more.

What do you think of the Buckley track, Music Mixers? Does it make you want to see the movie more? Buy the soundtrack (which also features the likes of Pete Yorn, Regina Spektor and James Blunt)? Or is it all just too much of a bummer for you?

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Prince's Purple Rain: 25th anniversary today
Zooey Deschanel introduces an exclusive, never-before-seen clip from (500) Days of Summer
Apples in Stereo prep #1 Hits Explosion compilation for September release
Mika shines at intimate NYC show, despite having a cold

Mika shines at intimate NYC show, despite having a cold

Mika_l Despite feeling a little under the weather, the ever-charismatic Mika put on an intimate acoustic show last night that would put even the healthiest pop stars to shame. The singer played to New York City's Le Poisson Rouge, a small-ish downtown club, with a full orchestra whose members donned some very festive glitter hats on a stage that was even sparklier. The whole thing shimmered more than Edward Cullen sunbathing, really. But it wasn't just the stage setup that shined, it was Mika's roughly hour-and-a-half show. Click through to the jump for a full concert review.


Caitlin Crosby: Can Zach Levi's singing ladyfriend boost 'Chuck' awareness?

Perhaps you've seen Caitlin Crosby's cutesy/cheesy video for her single "Still Have My Heart" (in case you haven't, it's posted below) with real-life boyfriend Zachary Levi — yes, the main man from TV's Chuck – that's been floating around on the internets for a few months now.

Now, the the L.A. singer-songwriters' debut album Flawz (already available on iTunes) will be in stores this Tuesday, June 23. While Crosby has yet to make an appearance on Levi's show (though, now that there's a new season, things could be looking up for that prospect) it has featured the likes of Gogol Bordello, Band of Horses, and Foreign Born.

If Crosby's record hits a nerve, could Zachary Levi be the next Zach Braff? Let's take look at the evidence, shall we? Cult TV show? Check. Puppy-dog brunette cuteness? Check. Fondess for alt-y music? Chickety-check.

Why, I do believe we've got ourselves a battle of the Zachs underway! So will Levi's singer-songwriter gal pal help boost Chuck's music popularity to the ranks of say, Grey's Anatomy or Gossip Girl? What current TV shows do you think expose you to the best new music?

More from EW's Music Mix:
New David Gray album due in September; the Music Mix gets a first listen
Gavin Rossdale live on 'The Tonight Show': Mommy, it hurts
Bjork's live cut of 'Earth Intruders': Stream it exclusively here!

Beck working on cover albums with MGMT, Devendra Banhart, Jamie Lidell, and more

Beck is one busy man. The indie star, once saddled with the clearly-no-longer-accurate "slacker" tag, will cover an entire album in a one-day recording session! And he'll recruit the likes of his recent tour openers MGMT, Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, freak-folkie Devendra Banhart, and British retro-soul maestro Jamie Lidell to do it with him! And he'll upload it for all the world to hear!

Each week on Beck's website, a track from these off-the-cuff, unrehearsed recording sessions will be found under Future Record Clubs (which will be up and running next month.) Beck will kick things off with the 1969 classic The Velvet Underground and Nico, with more to follow.

There's no voting button on the site (yet!), but what other albums would you like to see him try this little experiment with, Music Mixers?  Does this seem like too tall of an order for Beck to pull off, or are anxious to hear how the quickly-recorded tracks will sound?

Watch Beck and MGMT jamming on the latter's "Electric Feel" last year, for a hint of things to come:

Update: The VU covers are up now at — check them out!

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Gavin Rossdale on 'The Tonight Show'

Courtney Love says she's reforming Hole (kind of? Not really!)
Spotlight on Here We Go Magic

Gym Class Heroes, Rascall Flatts join Denny's Rock Star Menu; take that, Moons Over My Hammy!

Regina Spektor and Moby's new albums to stream on NPR before release dates

Moby-regina-spektor_l Since we already know that NPR rocks ("All Things Considered," what, what) it's only fitting that NPR Music would stream new albums from Regina Spektor and Moby days before their respective releases. For free, no less!

As part of their "Exclusive First Listen" (which has previously streamed the likes of Bruce Springsteen and the Dirty Projectors) series, Spektor's Far (due June 23) will begin streaming on from June 18-30 (MySpace will have it up too, from the 16th-17th), while Moby's Wait for Me can be heard here from June 15th right up to the album's release (June 30).

What do you think, Music Mixers? Will you stream the new albums from Spektor and Moby? Has NPR taken over the ranks for MySpace in terms of worthwhile music streaming? Or will you just wait for the albums to come out?

More from EW's Music Mix:
Moby talks about his new CD and why he'd like to make a metal album with Susan Boyle
Regina Spektor: Stream her new single, then read her thoughts on her adventurous new album

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