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    Exclusive: Raveonettes Preview New Album, Unplugged

    When one listens closely to the shoegaze-laced noise-pop of Denmark's Raveonettes, typically bands like the Jesus and Mary Chain or the Velvet Underground come to mind -- with a tinge of classic '50s rock'n'roll tossed in for good measure. But according to the duo's guitarist Sune Rose Wagner, their influences extend a bit further than meets the ear.For "Breaking Into Cars," a track from the duo's forthcoming fifth album, In and Out of Control (out Oct. 6 on Vice), Wagner explains that he and bassist Sharin Foo (the other half of the band) were culling from a very specific touchstone: Wu Tang Clan's classic track "Bring da Ruckus.""We were trying to find sort of like a RZA type of snare sound that he has in that song," says Wagner.

  • The Rumble Strips, 'Welcome to the Walk Alone' (Island)

    This English foursome adopt a moodier blend of soul, rock, and chamber pop on their second record, largely due to outsourcing: Producer Mark Ronson's knack for Spector-ish grandiosity dominates album highlights like "London" (a dead ringer for his '60s throwbacks with Amy Winehouse), while sweeping string arrangements from Arcade Fire's Owen Pallett complement the band's spry tunes without overwhelming them. But beneath the glitzy production, the songwriting lacks luster -- catchier tunes like "Daniel" and "Dem Girls" offer jaunty bouts of melodicism, but the vast majority of this elegant Brit jangle feels a bit recycled. BUY: iTunesAmazon

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    VIDEO: Heath Ledger's Final Film Features Tom Waits

    The final installment in Heath Ledger's engrossing career, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, won't make it to U.S. theatres until Christmas, but you can score a peek at the trailer for director Terry Gilliam's hotly-anticipated film below. Judging from the lurid, exotic landscapes of the preview, the film looks like a demented amalgamation of Moulin Rouge and Lord of the Rings, but with an added touch of cartoons. Ledger appears flitting about in a white mask with a long snout, while Tom Waits (who plays the Devil) looks, well, a lot like himself in a characteristic bowler hat and suit. Though Ledger's death halted production in early 2008, Gilliam was able to recruit Colin Farrell, Jude Law, and Johnny Depp to help fill in the gaps.

  • Throw Me the Statue, 'Creaturesque' (Secretly Canadian)

    This Seattle-based band's second album represents an accomplished progression for singer-songwriter Scott Reitherman, with highlights "Tag" and "The Outer Folds" showcasing robust, filled-out arrangements that aspire to the dramatic grandeur of the National. And while Reitherman hasn't abandoned the project's indie-pop nucleus, he still cycles through one too many genres (twee, Casiotone pop, indie rock, et al.). The eclecticism is refreshing on the jammy, Built to Spill-like "Hi-Fi Goon," but enjoying the sum of Creaturesque's shifting parts can be a taxing proposition. BUY: iTunesAmazon

  • Cale Parks, 'To Swift Mars' (Polyvinyl)

    The third solo release by multi-instrumentalist Cale Parks (who's drummed for indie notables Aloha and White Williams) is a breezy mix of pop, electronica, and ethereal minimalism that suggests a handful of touchstones -- opener "Eyes Won't Shut" channels Junior Boys' seductive electro-pop while the organ-heavy "Knight Conversation" evokes Beach House's languid balladry. And ultimately, it's Parks' ability to slip so deftly between stylistic approaches -- tightroping from dancefloor churners to bedroom reveries -- that gives To Swift Mars its distinctive, energetic flow. BUY: iTunesAmazon

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