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Lollapalooza 2013 Day 1: The Killers and New Order bridge the gap, Nine Inch Nails challenges, Imagine Dragons blow up, and Icona Pop make it rain

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In the video for New Order’s “Crystal”—which opened the veteran Manchester dance-rockers’ twilight set on the first day of Lollapalooza—there is a fake band called the Killers that inspired the name of the real band known as the Killers, who headlined the southernmost stage in Chicago’s Grant Park on Friday night. Those who spent the evening parked in front of that stage were treated to four hours of blissful, rhythmic, guitar-based pop that tapped into Lollapalooza’s spirit of eclecticism and brotherhood.

Even in their first-album youth, the Killers have always played the role of a big rock band—they seem custom-built for festival headlining slots. They did not disappoint; their 90-minute Friday finale was a gimmick-free charge through their impressive, hook-filled back catalog.Frontman Brandon Flowers worked the tens of thousands in front of him like a Vegas lounge revue, strutting and pounding through neutron bombs like “Mr. Brightside” and “Somebody Told Me,” and in a charming bit of hero worship that brought the evening back around for a resolution, he welcomed New Order frontman Bernard Sumner to join the Killers for a cover of Joy Division’s “Shadowplay,” which they turned into a spry, jittery singalong.

In fact, the transformation of Joy Division songs might have been the highlight of Friday’s festivities. New Order finished their performance with three nods to the band they used to be, ripping through “Atmosphere,” “Transmission,” and “Love Will Tear Us Apart” as a tribute to late JD frontman Ian Curtis. In a remarkable bit of alchemy, Sumner (with a healthy assist from a game audience) turned “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” a downer of a song written by a guy who hanged himself, into a (pardon the pun) joyous anthem. Maybe that’s just the power of New Order, who ripped through a hit-filled set of effervescent synth-powered janglers like the dreamy “The Perfect Kiss” and a thudding “Blue Monday.” READ FULL STORY

Justin Timberlake dances, corrupts youth in 'Take Back the Night' video: Watch it here

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When Justin Timberlake and Jay Z played their big-ass show at Yankee Stadium two weekends ago, JT was pulling double duty: Not only was he entertaining the massive crowd as one half of the Legends of the Summer Tour, he was also providing fodder for the video for his totally-not-about-sexual-assault new single “Take Back the Night.”

The clip takes a healthy amount of footage from the Yankee Stadium shows, and really drives home just how gigantic the set-up is on this current run (the stage literally does take up the entirety of the Yankees’ outfield).

In between the performance footage, there’s a narrative about Timberlake heading down to Chinatown to dance with some kids, hit up an underground club, and generally start a party wherever he happens to be. Check it out below: READ FULL STORY

Frank Ocean tears vocal cord, cancels tour dates

Did the forces of Chris Brown karma put a hex on Frank Ocean’s pipes?

The Grammy-winning singer played the opening night of his first Australian tour with a sore throat, and a trip to the doctor revealed that he has actually torn a vocal cord, which has forced him to cancel the entirety of the run Down Under.

“After last night’s concert… it was necessary to seek medical advice due to vocal issues Frank Ocean experienced during the show,” Ocean’s tour promoter said in a statement. “It has subsequently been confirmed that Frank has suffered a small tear to one of his vocal cords and has received medical advice that he must rest his voice.”

The status of his shows next weekend (he’s due to play two Canadian festivals on August 3 and 4) are uncertain, though it’s highly unlikely Ocean will be able to perform. The severity of his vocal cord injury is unclear, but even the most mild tears require several weeks of vocal rest.

Ocean’s voice troubles came only a day after Ocean published a verse he added to Migos’ “Versace” on his Tumblr. The lyric sheet contains a reference to the incident at this year’s Grammy Awards, when Chris Brown notoriously stayed seated during Ocean’s standing ovation when he won.”You could stay seated I’m taking that Grammy/ Your music is sloppy,” Ocean wrote. Which seems a little petty considering he was already the good guy in that scenario but hey, that’s his prerogative. Your move, CB!

Read More on EW.com:
Frank Ocean unveils new music at live show in Munich: Watch video here
Frank Ocean, The Onion, ‘Burning Love’ among this year’s Webby winners — VIDEO
Adam Lambert and Frank Ocean are honored at GLAAD Media Awards
Frank Ocean tours the world in ‘Lost’ — VIDEO

Ariana Grande's new single 'Baby I': Hear it here

Ariana Grande came out of nowhere (well, nowhere if you weren’t a regular watcher of Victorious on Nickelodeon) to storm the Hot 100 with her Mac Miller-assisted, Big Pun-biting smash “The Way.” And while that song is still doing business, she has unleashed her second single “Baby I.”

In the current issue of Entertainment Weekly, we declared “The Way” the Best Mariah Carey Song of the Summer (narrowly edging out Mimi’s own “#Beautiful”), and “Baby I” really makes the argument for Grande as the new Mariah. Her range isn’t anywhere near Carey’s was as her peak (the runs at the end of “Baby I” sound like they push her to the limit), but her ability to shift between cooing and belting is pretty spot-on.

Also, it helps that “Baby I” has a real throwback production style to it –like it could have been an outtake from the Music Box sessions back in 1993. Listen below: READ FULL STORY

Vampire Weekend bangs out carefree cover of Robin Thicke's 'Blurred Lines': Listen here

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Looks like Robin Thicke and the indie world have a little back-and-forth brewing.

Recently, you may recall, the “Blurred Lines” singer took on the Swedish electro-pop duo Icona Pop by Thicke-ifying their hot single “I Love It.” Before that, Queens of the Stone Age took their own crack at “Blurred Lines” while performing for the BBC.

And now the latest volley comes from Vampire Weekend, who offer what’s probably the most fun, unbuttoned cover of Thicke’s No 1 hit. Check it out below:

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Justin Timberlake's new single 'Take Back the Night': Hear it here

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After spending half a decade not doing very much in the music world, Justin Timberlake has decided to make everyone’s cup runneth over in 2013.

With his tour with Jay-Z about to launch (they kick off their Legends of Summer run next Wednesday, July 17, in Toronto), JT has dropped his latest single “Take Back the Night,” which comes from the second volume of his album The 20/20 Experience scheduled for release on September 30 (the 11-track album will simply be called The 20/20 Experience — 2 of 2).

The new track continues on the path that Timberlake’s other singles have laid out: There’s a little bit of early MJ disco, some waka-waka guitars, sweeping strings, and bubbly bass pop underneath it all. Though in typical 20/20 Experience fashion, the song does get all its business out of the way in five minutes, then it keeps going for another two for no real reason.

Give “Take Back the Night” a spin below: READ FULL STORY

Willow Smith returns with 'Summer Fling' video: Watch it here

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While father Will and brother Jaden were off hanging with giant bird creatures and making choices about fear, Willow Smith got back to the business of her supposedly on-hiatus singing career.

Even though she’s only 12 years old and has yet to put out an album, Smith has already one legitimate hit (2010’s “Whip My Hair,” which peaked at no. 11 on the Hot 100) and several lesser singles (“21st Century Girl,” the Nicki Minaj-featuring “Fireball,” “I Am Me”).

Now, after dipping her toe in again with January’s “Sugar and Spice,”  she’s back with “Summer Fling.” The track, released under the name Melodic Chaotic (a duo consisting of Smith and a producer named MVSIC), is all Drake vibes and robo-bleats, and the video is full of questionable hair choices and trampolines. Watch it below.  READ FULL STORY

EW's Fourth of July 2013 playlist: Stream our Spotify playlist here

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Beers! Burgers! Boats! Babes! Bros! Blurred Lines!

That’s right, it’s Fourth of July eve, which means it’s time to get yo’ jubilee on. And to help celebrate the U.S. of A.’s 237th HBD, we’ve put together the ultimate Independence Day playlist to blast at your backyard/rooftop/beach party.

After combing through this year’s choicest summer jams, we’ve recruited a select team of songs from the likes of Kanye, Disclosure, Vampire Weekend, Joey Bada$$ and more — plus a few evergreen oldie-but-goodies. (And before you look askance at foreigners like Disclosure and Daft Punk making our list, remember that America is all about inclusion! Except for “Blurred Lines”; we actually left that one off.)

So, with the power vested in us by Spotify, we hereby present you with our official Fourth of July 2013 playlist. Stream responsibly!

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Tuesday roundup: Beck debuts single, Janelle Monae drops new video

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If you haven’t noticed, it’s been a pretty good day for new music.

In addition to a new single from Robin “I Know You Want It” Thicke, a snazzy music video from Les Phoenix, and a deep dive into Ciara’s shower-dancing technique, the ‘nets have yielded two more goodies thanks to Beck and Janelle Monae.

Titled “I Won’t Be Long,” Beck’s new track is his second standalone single of the summer and, like it’s predecessor “Defriended,” has an interestingly low-key but spacey Beta Band-ish vibe,  with a dash of Spoon thrown into the mix.

Which, perhaps, is a long way of saying it’s very Beck; take a listen below:

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Robin Thicke drops new single 'Give It 2 U': Hear it here

Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” is still the no. 1 song in the country—it’s about to spend its fourth week at the top of the Billboard Hot 100. But the Thicke Express stops for nobody, which is why he’s gone ahead and dropped the second single from his forthcoming Blurred Lines

The song, “Give It 2 U,” is produced by Dr. Luke and features Kendrick Lamar, and like most every Thicke track, it’s dance-ready and a little bit filthy: READ FULL STORY

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