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Boy George cancels Culture Club reunion tour

The Culture Club reunion tour has come to a halt after Boy George discovered a polyp in his throat that may require surgery.


What YouTube's new music streaming service means for you


Yesterday, YouTube announced that it’s going to get into the highly competitive music streaming business. According to the L.A. Times, the Google-owned video service is getting ready to roll out YouTube Music Key, which will “give users access to tens of millions of songs, for about $10 a month”— by providing an ad-free way to enjoy all the music that’s currently licensed and available on the service.

Okay, great. Should you care?


Jack Cooper and James Hoare of Ultimate Painting discuss their quietly excellent debut

Standing outside Brooklyn’s Rough Trade after a late-afternoon CMJ set, Ultimate Painting’s Jack Cooper and James Hoare could easily pass as childhood pals. They casually crack jokes and finish each other’s sentences in a way that mirrors their self-titled debut’s loosely precise brand of slacker rock. Everything about Cooper and Hoare’s relationship—both musical and social—seems experienced. But the London-based musicians became friends less than two years ago, and recording partners even more recently.

“I once lent him some money for the bus,” Hoare says of Cooper. “That was about as far as our friendship went.”

Cooper feigns ignorance and Hoare rolls his eyes. “I’m still waiting for it back.” READ FULL STORY

Lorde covers Jeremih's 'Don't Tell 'Em' for BBC

On Thursday, Lorde took a break from promoting The Hunger Games to cover Jeremih’s “Don’t Tell ‘Em,” which came out this summer, for BBC.

The Kiwi singer stuck closely to the original for the most part, but did give the R&B track a soulful kick—and even danced along. “Dancing,” in this case, involves a lot of bouncing and some moves that suggest Lorde may or may not be about to fight someone. READ FULL STORY

Breaking Big: 'Riptide' singer-songwriter Vance Joy


With a hit single—the strummy, propulsive anthem “Riptide,” which spent five weeks atop the Billboard Alternative chart this fall—major festival gigs, and a North American headlining tour, Australian singer-songwriter Vance Joy was already set to finish out 2014 as one of the buzziest new-folk troubadours since Bon Iver. And that was before Taylor Swift (perhaps you’ve heard of her) tapped the former semiprofessional athlete born James Keough to open on her world tour kicking off May 20.

“There hasn’t been that kind of ‘big’ moment,” says Keough, who played his first proper gig only two years ago. “It’s been such a steady burn.” Odds are that things are about to get a lot hotter. READ FULL STORY

Azealia Banks' 'Broke With Expensive Taste' is a new kind of breakup album

As Azealia Banks made clear with her explosive lead single “212,” the Harlem-born rapper isn’t the type to mope around after a breakup. Like “212,” her new album Broke with Expensive Taste is a brash, bristly thing—heavy on the sex, light on the romance. The closest thing to sentimental is a song called “Soda”—but its successor, “Chasing Time,” dries its tears and seems to say, “I’m so much better than you.”

Broke with Expensive Taste isn’t a breakup album in the traditional (Taylor) Swiftian sense. Rather, it’s a breakup album of an entirely different sort: Azealia’s kiss-off not only to Universal—a relationship that ended this summer—but also to anything and anyone who tries to put her in a box and wrap her up for a wide audience. Released with independent label Prospect Park and A&Red entirely by her, Broke is all Banks—with not a Universal fingerprint to be found. READ FULL STORY

David Bowie goes black and white for 'Sue' video


David Bowie’s greatest hits collection doesn’t hit stores until Nov. 17, but the “Space Oddity” singer released a music video for “Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)” Thursday to hold fans over until then.

The song, a track released in October, kicks off Bowie’s upcoming album, Nothing Has Changed. It’s jazzy and the perfect soundtrack for an old-timey detective movie, with black-and-white visuals to match. Bowie’s lyrics project onto a dark alley wall as he sings them, and the whole video is cloaked in fog and dark shadows that together create an effectively creepy atmosphere. Just add this video to the list of reasons why Bowie deserves his own holiday.

The Budos Band reveals heavy metal roots with a new playlist


Brooklyn’s The Budos Band is signed to the soulful throwback label Daptone and makes a big, walloping, horn-driven sound that splits the difference between classic Afrobeat and old-school American funk, but its range of influences runs much deeper than that. The group’s recent LP Burnt Offering takes the Budos sound in a dark direction with a debt to vintage heavy metal and horror movies, resulting in songs that are both ass-shakingly funky and seriously spooky, as suitable for goths as for Sharon Jones fans.

The group recently sent EW a playlist designed to highlight some of these heavier influences, along with this note:

“These songs represent the attitude and aesthetic that the Budos Band strives to achieve. We may not play metal per se, but the darkness, heaviness and unabashed thrashing of these songs inspire us to new levels of Budos Mayhem.”


Taylor Swift vs. Spotify: A timeline

Taylor Swift’s 1989 dropped Oct. 27. Just a week later, all her music disappeared from Spotify.

This caused some confusion among fans—and caused Spotify to panic. Since Nov. 3, the two parties have gone back and forth about the whys behind Swift’s move. Swift says she believes art should have value, and she doesn’t think Spotify conveys this message; Spotify maintains that its goal from the beginning has been to help fans listen to music while also giving artists their due.

It’s messy, and, as Swift said in a Time interview, “really kind of an old story”—she first publicized her views about paying for music this past summer. But since her decision to yank her songs from the site made that story new again, here’s a complete rundown of who’s said what so far.


The M Machine streams new EP, makes EW a 'Beats and Babes' playlist


The M Machine, out of San Francisco and manned by Ben “Swardy” Swardlick, Eric Luttrell and Andy Coenen, has become famous for brooding, conceptual EPs. (Metropolis was inspired by Fritz Lang’s sci-fi, expressionist film of the same name and tells of the city’s dystopian existence.) Just Like, released Nov. 11 on OWSLA, while still a trip, is a bit of a switch-up. Still creative, still experimental, but less highfalutin—it’s a jump into deep house with an ’80s twinge.

To celebrate the release, we had the guys make us a playlist, which they themed “Beats and Babes: Amazing producers/songwriters working with our favorite lady voices.”

Stream the Just Like EP below and scroll on for their playlist.

SBTRKT – Wildfire (feat. Little Dragon)
“Little Dragon pretty much inspired this playlist. Yukimi collaborates like a boss. Gorillaz turned us on to her, she turned us on to SBTRKT, and the world goes round.”

Disclosure – “White Noise” (feat. AlunaGeorge)
“Before there was ‘Latch,’ there was ‘White Noise’—one of those songs that fit into everyone’s DJ set for a good while. Could listen to Aluna say the word ‘automatic’ (uh-oh-ma-it) all day.”

Chrome Sparks – “All There Is” (feat. Steffaloo)
“Chrome Sparks plus dreeeeamy Steffaloo. These two wrote beautiful music together for his EP, My <3.”

Miami Horror – “I Look To You” (feat. Kimbra)
“Got hooked on Kimbra’s maximal voice and production after Vows. But this song is especially good because it feels so laid back compared to her big, almost theatrical wheelhouse.”

Feist – “My Moom My Man” (Grizzly Bear Remix)
“Not technically a collaboration, this one’s here to celebrate discipline. Love that Grizzly Bear let Feist remain the star of this remix. That said, try not to smile at 4:23.”

Siriusmo – “Goldene Kugel” (feat. Dana)
“Really don’t know much about Dana, and although not credited on this one, that’s unmistakably her. Siriusmo (who we often refer to as the most underappreciated producer ever) has written a lot of our very favorite music with this German vocalist.”

Gorillaz – “To Binge” (feat. Little Dragon)
“Can anyone really claim to feature the way Damon Albarn features? Working with Little Dragon, he actively divided our attention from Plastic Beach (an all time favorite). Doubt he’d be bummed.”

Bonobo – “Walk In The Sky” (feat. Bajka)
“Nobody sounds like Bajka. This is a combo to see live. Do they still do that? Hope so…”

The Submarines – “1940″ (Amplive Remix)
“One more remix—Blake Hazard from the Submarines has this killer vibrato. Amplive speeds up her vocal and stumbles into one of the coolest throwback-y vocal sounds ever. Don’t sleep on the original!”

David Byrne & St. Vincent – “Who”
“This one feels a little out of place… but it’s just a damn good song. Byrne rides these almost sour harmonies—St. Vincent slides in and saves the day. Love the contrast.”

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