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We raved for four days on the high seas with the Mad Decent Boat Party

Over the course of a decade-long career, the DJ/producer Diplo’s moved from pop music’s fringes to its very center, where he’s been working with A-listers like Madonna and Snoop Dogg—who look to tap into his talent for transforming eccentric sounds into hit songs. Along the way, he’s managed to keep one foot in the underground, with an indie label called Mad Decent and a cult following on the goofier, less bottle-service-centric end of the EDM scene.

Those fans have helped turn his annual Mad Decent Block Party, which he first started holding outside his house in Philly, into a touring festival that this year hit 22 cities in the U.S. and Canada.

Last week, he launched the first ever Mad Decent Boat Party, a four-day non-stop floating rave on a cruise ship touring the Caribbean. Over 2,700 people made the voyage—including an EW correspondent who was there to document the debauchery. Here’s what we saw.

Fifth Harmony becomes dancing silhouettes in 'Sledgehammer' video


Fifth Harmony goes full-on girl group in their “Sledgehammer” music video: The ladies wear white (not quite matching, but coordinated—like what your family wears on portrait day) as they sing into the camera and dance together.

When they’re not dancing, they’re wearing colorful gowns and swinging on swings as fans whirl behind them. Other highlights include some mysterious silhouette shots of the five dancing—and a random unicorn sculpture.


Stream AC/DC's new album 'Rock or Bust' on iTunes

Members of AC/DC have been making the news a lot recently, but this time it’s for something positive: Their latest album, Rock or Bust, is available to stream on iTunes.

Earlier this month, AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd was charged with drug possession and attempt to procure the murder of two people. “We’ve only become aware of Phil’s arrest as the news was breaking,” the rest of the band announced in a statement. “Phil’s absence will not affect the release of our new album Rock or Bust and upcoming tour next year.” READ FULL STORY

Hyperpop geniuses Kero Kero Bonito made us a playlist

Although so far they’ve only released one mixtape–the recent Intro Bonito, which is a hit around the EW office–the members of London hyperpop trio Kero Kero Bonito are already shaping up to be great artists. And you know what people say about those.

One big difference between KKB and other acts–apart from sounding like a PlayStation loaded to the gills with Adderall and bootleg J-pop remixes–is that they’ll gladly admit to stealing ideas from other musicians. In fact they made us a whole playlist called “Music That KKB Stole Ideas From For Intro Bonito.” Not only does it give some insight into one of the year’s more interesting releases (in retrospect you can clearly hear the Japanese twee pop, Jamaican dancehall, and Chicago house in their hyperkinetic audio collages), it’s also just a really good mix.


Idina Menzel announces world tour

On Monday, Idina Menzel announced that she will be embarking on a world tour starting next summer. The United States tour will begin July 7 in Richmond, Va. and continue until Oct. 3.

Menzel will announce international dates later, which will launch after the American leg of her tour. Menzel recently released her holiday classics album, Holiday Wishes, and has topped the charts with the Frozen anthem “Let It Go.” Take a look at the following dates from Menzel’s website, which will begin pre-sale tickets starting Dec. 3.


Hear Rachael Yamagata and John Medeski cover Robert Altman's 'Let's Begin Again'


Over the course of a long and illustrious career, Robert Altman managed to do pretty much every job that goes into making a movie, including writing songs for soundtracks. “Let’s Begin Again” is a song that he penned early on and used in several of his films. For Ron Mann’s upcoming documentary Altman, Rachael Yamagata and John Medeski contribute a smoky, languorous version that sounds like it was recorded at the kind of delightfully dingy basement jazz dive that these days only exist in the movies.

“It was an honor to be asked to record this classic song by Robert Altman for a documentary about his life,” Medeski emails. “Rachael really blew my mind with her performance. She’s a natural jazz singer. I hope we get to do more of this in the future.”

“Let’s Begin Again” will be released as a digital single on Dec. 2. Altman is playing on the festival circuit now, with a full theatrical release planned for 2015.


Killer Mike speaks about Ferguson decision at Run the Jewels concert

During a Run the Jewels show in St. Louis last night, rapper Killer Mike took time to reflect on a grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the death of teenager Michael Brown. READ FULL STORY

Gwen Stefani and Pharrell are at it again with 'Spark the Fire'


Gwen Stefani and Pharrell are no strangersmost memorably, they collaborated together on her 2005 hit “Hollaback Girl”and they’re at it again, this time for Stefani’s latest single, “Spark the Fire.”

Stefani hasn’t released a new album since 2006’s The Sweet Escape, and “Spark the Fire” is the second single she’s released since then. The first was “Baby Don’t Lie,” a track she released in October. READ FULL STORY

Synthpop auteur Harrison Scott shares retro-fied 'Silence Into Noise' video


New York-based Harrison Scott has a real knack for emulating the sounds of ’80s synthpop, but it’s the little tweaks that he throws into the proven formula–like the Auto Tune-esque vocoder–that make his new single “Silence Into Noise” stand out.

With its sticky melody, body-jacking beat, and whiff of haughty intellectualism (which is definitely not a bad thing in this case), the track would have worked well on club dance floors when Erasure first hit the scene—and it still works great now. The video continues the theme of slightly chilly aesthetics by putting Scott in a couture shorts set and a series of mannered poses, which reflect the aloofness that all serious synthesizer artistes should aspire to.


Nick Offerman gets a German accent in new Decemberists video


The Decemberists accomplish every person’s life goal in the new video for “Make You Better”: They hang out on a talk show hosted by Nick Offerman.

This isn’t the bacon-and-eggs-loving Offerman we know from Parks and Rec, but one with a German accent and a giggly disposition. He has an awkward conversation with Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy before the band takes the stage for a performance bathed in colorful lights. As they perform, Offerman makes eyes at a cute producer who he fears is more into their non-mustached co-worker — don’t worry though; things turn out well for him. READ FULL STORY

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