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Week in Re-Foo: Foo Fighters take over Letterman

The Foo Fighters have transformed the release of their album/documentary hybrid Sonic Highways into an event. The eight-part series premieres on HBO tonight, followed by a live performance of the band’s lead single, “Something from Nothing.” To prep for that debut, Dave Grohl and the gang have spent the week collaborating with other musicians on CBS’ Late Show with David Letterman.

While the Foos will have one final performance tonight, they have already banked five impressive outings. Here they are, ranked from least to most rockin’, based on actual quality, the guest musician, and the level of Grohl in each song.

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Grab a free download of Boundary's chilled-out, bass-happy 'Rosemont'

When Ghislain Poirier first appeared on the dance music scene a few years ago, he made a splash with gleefully noisy, jarringly frenetic tracks built out of wailing synthesizers and choppy beats. His songs offered the best parts of dancehall, techno, club rap, and pretty much everything else that’s made to get people acting rowdy on a dance floor. At the time, this sort of genre agnosticism hadn’t yet become as firmly entrenched in dance music as it is now—which meant that fans scrambled to figure out what to even call Poirier’s music. New Yorker pop critic Sasha Frere-Jones came closest to nailing the music’s highly focused vibrancy when he coined the term “lazer bass.”

When he’s not lighting dance floors on fire, Poirier records stuff under the name Boundary that does pretty much the exact opposite. His new album Still Life is richly textured chill-out music that’s calming and conducive to meditative states—but still delivers enough bass to keep beat junkies happy. Each track is a skillfully uncluttered arrangement of meticulously well-designed tones, and each spin is like entering a perfectly manicured Zen garden of sound. For a sample of its habit-forming vibes, try this free download of Still Life‘s standout track “Rosemont.”

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Hear the Afghan Whigs demo of 'Debonair,' an exclusive premiere from 'Gentlemen at 21'

The Afghan Whigs’ Gentlemen, originally released in 1993, not only represents the band’s major-label debut, but it’s also the platonic ideal of the group’s sound. Over the course of 11 tracks, the Whigs melded the sultry slink of R&B with the jagged crunch of indie rock, all fueled by frontman Greg Dulli’s sly, savage take on relationships.

On October 27, Rhino will release Gentlemen at 21, a deluxe reissue of the album celebrating the fact that it has finally reached drinking age. In addition to the original remastered album, there are 17 bonus tracks that include a bunch of b-sides, live performances, and the original Gentlemen demos.  READ FULL STORY

This Week in Diplo: Will you rap for me?

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Diplo needs you. Us. Everyone. On Wednesday, he put a new song, “Everyday,” up on Soundcloud and asked that someone rap on it.

The downbeat and atmospheric track is not what we’ve come to expect from the Mad Decent label head, but echoes the sentiment Big Gigantic recently expressed to us: Turning down is the new turning up. I can’t tell if he’s serious about harvesting submissions, because there are actually vocals on the track, but all they say is “Who wants to rap for me?” So, there’s only one way to find out: Download the track and give it a whirl. READ FULL STORY

Hear Foo Fighters' 'Sonic Highways' lead single, 'Something from Nothing'

We’ve arrived at the first stop of Foo FightersSonic Highways  with a lead single straight out of Chicago.

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Pink and Dallas Green talk their new collaboration, 'You + Me'

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Alecia Moore may be known for crafting cheeky kiss-off anthems and glitzy, acrobatics-heavy performances, but for her latest project, the woman we know as Pink is slowing down. You+Me, which finds Moore teaming up with City and Colour’s Dallas Green, just released the folk-leaning rose ave., out now via RCA Records. EW talked to Pink and Green (rolls right off the tongue, right?) to find out how they found each other, the creative process behind rose ave., and Pink’s dream collaborations.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did you two meet?
Pink: Mutual friends.
Dallas Green: She came to a show years ago in LA.
Pink: Carey [Hart, her husband] and you did Warped Tour together.
Green: During the war years. We met—I mean obviously, I knew who she was. We met that day after my show. That’s really how it started, the conversation about singing together. Not making a record; [we] just wanted to sit by the campfire and sing. Over the years we kept talking about it, and sort of just had a break in our all-encompassing lives, and it just happened. I know it sounds like a made-up story. I didn’t even know that she had gotten a studio rented ’til the night before. READ FULL STORY

Genre-blending German pop duo Milky Chance shares a playlist

“I don’t think we did it consciously,” Milky Chance beat-maker Philip Dausch says of the mix of pop, folk, and house music that’s helped put their “Stolen Dance” on the pop charts in more than a dozen countries. “I think it’s something that we always do instinctually. We are not the persons to kind of have a favorite song or play only one certain genre.”

The German duo, made up of Dausch and songwriter/vocalist/instrumentalist Clemens Rehbein, are flexible musicians—they previously played together in a jazz group—and even more flexible listeners. “We have a good education in music,” says Dausch, “and we always love to play all tunes. We are always interested in a lot of exotic music. We like rap, we like classical, we like jazz, we like pop. We don’t have favorites. We like to put things together.”

Their adventurous listening habits are apparent on their genre-hopping debut LP Sadnecessary, which came out earlier this week. They also come through loud and clear on the exclusive playlist that they created for EW, which includes South African vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, wiggy former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante, and shadowy post-dubstep singer-songwriter James Blake.

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Mary Lambert on moving on from Macklemore, crying with Madonna, and finding her own voice on her new album

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Not too long ago, Mary Lambert was tending bar in Seattle and following her muse as a spoken word artist in her spare time. A friend asked her to craft a hook for the independent hip-hop album he was working on—and then everything changed.

After the success of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s “Same Love,” Lambert found herself being courted by record labels, dueting with Madonna on stage at the Grammys, and moving to Los Angeles to record her full-length debut. READ FULL STORY

Rap duo Moors go spacey and slow-motion with 'Smoke'

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At the moment, the rap duo Moors is best known for being the musical project of actor Keith Stanfield, who appeared in last year’s critically acclaimed Short Term 12 and will play a young Snoop Dogg in the upcoming N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton. But the spaced-out, slow-motion hip-hop that he makes with producer HH, which finds a rich groove somewhere in between Tricky-style trip-hop and Common-style bohemian rap, is easily strong enough to stand on its own.

Moors drop their self-titled debut EP (which features remixes by Postal Service member Dntel and avant-hip-hop producer Daedelus) on Oct. 28 on the Haven Sounds label, and the pair will spend most of November on the road. For now, enjoy an early look at the single “Smoke.”

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Afroman praises legal marijuana in new version of 'Because I Got High'

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Afroman extols the virtues of legalizing marijuana in a positive remix for his classic weed anthem, “Because I Got High.”

In collaboration with medical marijuana dispensary locator Weedmaps and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), Afroman rerecorded “Because I Got High” in time for the Smoke the Vote campaign. The campaign seeks to legalize marijuana in Oregon, Alaska, and D.C. and legalize medical marijuana in Florida in the upcoming elections. READ FULL STORY

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