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Hear the leaked Nicki Minaj-Beyonce collaboration 'Feeling Myself'

As Beyoncé so succinctly puts it, “World stop… carry on”: “Feeling Myself,” probably one of the most exciting tracks off of Nicki Minaj’s new album The Pinkprint, has leaked online.

The song, which you can hear here, features Beyoncé singing about when she dropped her self-titled album last year to the surprise of just about everyone, saying she “stopped the world” with her now Grammy-nominated record. READ FULL STORY

Your unexpectedly good Christmas carol of the day is Shelby Earl's 'We Three Kings'

Sometime in the past few years, people have figured out how dreary and boring most Christmas music is, judging by the surprising number of tolerable–or even enjoyable–holiday recordings that have come out this season. (The timing could have been related to the recent entry of “All I Want for Christmas is You” into the yuletide canon.)

Amazon’s recently helped raise the bar a notch with a compilation of Christmas songs recorded by hipster-friendly acts like Escort, Beth Orton, and the Flaming Lips with Yoko Ono, as well as a handful of new compositions, including one by Liz PhairAll is Bright is exclusive to Amazon Prime members using the Amazon Music platform, but the company’s let a few tracks out into the wild, including Seattle troubadour Shelby Earl doing a rootsy and unexpectedly dark rendition of “We Three Kings” that makes the 150-year-old carol pop to life.


The Dead Ships head outdoors in their new 'Canyon' video

For the new video for their single “Canyon,” garage trio the Dead Ships takes a rather literal route, juxtaposing shots of some of L.A.’s less scenic aspects with the band playing in the craggy nature that surrounds the city, where an out-of-place-looking hipster pays penance for getting into some romantic shenanigans. Somehow it’s a fitting visual accompaniment to a punchy, affably ragged song that sounds like the Strokes if they’d reinvented themselves as a folk punk band.

“Canyon” will appear on an as-yet-untitled EP produced by Broken Social Scene’s Brendan Canning, due out next spring.


Murder by Death shares triumphant psych jam 'Strange Eyes'

Over the course of a nearly 15-year career, the band Murder by Death has taken a leading role in a growing effort to unite indie rock with country and folk. But they’ve also released plenty of music that defies their reputation as just twangy roots rockers. On Feb. 3 they’ll release their seventh LP, Big Dark Love, featuring the song “Strange Eyes,” in which they tap into the same reserve of acid-fried energy that powers psych-rock bands like Spiritualized and the Black Angels, adding some intriguing drone to the mix before exploding the whole thing with some rousingly triumphant guitar heroics.

The band will hit the road at the end of the month with an itinerary that’ll include three nights at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, better known as the hotel from The Shining.


There's an unreleased Radiohead song in 'Inherent Vice' (sort of)

When Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice opens Friday, it will include a bunch new recordings by Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood, who has a pretty successful side hustle writing for soundtracks, alongside classic tracks by Can and Neil Young. One of them is a previously unreleased Radiohead composition called “Spooks.”

Radiohead heads may recognize it as the uncharacteristically spunky number channeling ’60s surf rock via the Pixies’ Bossanova that the band played during a 2006 tour. With help from two members of the defunct Britpop outfit Supergrass, Greenwood has given the song a dramatic makeover, slowing it down to a Doors-y tempo and turning it into the psychedelic bed of sound to back up a spoken word passage by narrator Joanna Newsom.

You can check out Greenwood’s reworked version at Stereogum, and check out a fan video of the Radiohead original below.


The 5 best music videos of 2014


Over the past few decades, music videos have gone from promotional larks to a nascent cable network’s cornerstones to relics of an old promotional strategy to perhaps the single most important element of an artist’s rollout plan. A good music video can completely make an artist, or turn a song from a mild hit into a phenomenon. And since most of the Billboard charts now take streaming numbers into account when making calculations, a well-watched clip can be the difference between a write-off on your business expenses and chart dominance.

This was a pretty excellent year for music videos. Though there are only five picks below, they were culled from a list of several dozen, many of which served not only as vessels for excellent songs but also as gripping short films.  READ FULL STORY

Jessie J works on her 'Masterpiece' in new music video

Jessie J works so hard that she starts singing and dancing as soon as she wakes up—or at least that’s what her latest music video for “Masterpiece” tells us.

The video is a mix of Jessie J doing everyday things—getting up, getting dressed—shot in documentary style and Jessie J doing not-so-everyday things, like taking selfies with dozens of adoring fans. Much like Beyonce’s “XO,” she later joins those fans for a number of gleeful shots featuring them all singing the uplifting track together. READ FULL STORY

Sir Christopher Lee releases heavy metal Christmas single

Sir Christopher Lee released his newest heavy metal Christmas singles for this year, adding to the canon of Christmas heavy metal that the 92-year old actor has been releasing yearly since 2012.


Bob Dylan shares tracklist for Frank Sinatra covers album


Frank Sinatra’s swanky brand of swing is about to get a growly makeover courtesy of Bob Dylan. READ FULL STORY

Sam Smith sings a not-so-merry 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas'

Sam Smith wants you to have a merry little Christmasbut he doesn’t sound too merry while delivering that message in a just-released cover of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”

Smith’s version begins with the singer going a capella before a piano joins in to accompany him in what turns out to be a beautifulof courseand slightly sad performance of the Christmas classic, originally sung by Judy Garland in 1944’s Meet Me in St. Louis.

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