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    Leonard Cohen Chats With Jarvis Cocker, Says 'Buffet Table' Amazingly

    In advance of his new Old Ideas, out January 31, Leonard Cohen sat down with Jarvis Cocker to chat about the album for a BBC radio interview. The erstwhile Pulp frontman talked about the conversation in a five-minute promo snatch online now. The full interview will air on the January 29 edition of Cocker's Sunday Service radio show. Highlights: Cohen claiming he was always "scraping the bottom of the barrel" to get a song together (he says the words "buffet table" amazingly); the lovely sound of Cohen's deep, sonorous speaking voice; and Cocker not knowing what time his own show is on! For a taste of the album to come, give a listen to first single Show Me the Place.

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    First Spin: Hear Miike Snow's 'Paddling Out'

    Synth-pop trio Miike Snow's self-titled debut was one of SPIN's favorite albums of 2009, so expectations are high for the follow-up, Happy to You. First single "Paddling Out" is an auspicious preview, as Andrew Wyatt's vaguely androgynous, compellingly moody vocal cuts melodically through Swedish pop-genii Bloodshy & Avant's gleaming and ecstatic house-influenced production. The album is out March 27 on Downtown Records/Universal Republic.

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    Die Antwoord Keep 'TEN$ION' High on New Album

    The new single from South African rave-rap oddballs Die Antwoord might be called "I Fink You Freeky" but, with the possible exception of their beloved Celine Dion, they'll never find anyone else as freaky as they are. In talking about the group's upcoming new album TEN$ION, MC Ninja explained that, "We tried to work with other people over and over but they couldn't deal with our hardcore style." Indeed, Die Antwoord struggled with their old label, Interscope, about the direction of the new album. (TEN$ION is being released on DA's own ZEF imprint.) The main problem? "[Interscope] kept pushing us to be more generic," says his co-MC Yo-Landi Vi$$ER. And, really, who wants a generic Die Antwoord? The group's desire to maintain the freaky-freshness of their 2010 debut, $O$ fueled the making of TEN$ION.

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    Download Oberhofer's 'HEART,' Learn Everything You Need to Know About His Debut LP

    Indie-rock wunderkind Brad Oberhofer won notice over the last 18 months or so for a series of spiky, lo-fi guitar-led singles. Ah, the young change so quickly. "HEART," from Oberhofer's March 27 debut LP Time Capsules II is a radical — and lovely — step forward. Produced by Steve Lillywhite (U2, Peter Gabriel), the track is a kaleidoscopic piece of chamber-pop, featuring pianos, harp, strings, and whirring keyboards, with Brad's heartfelt vocal floating over the circus below.

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    First Spin: Hear Indie-Rock Supergroup Diamond Rugs' 'Gimme a Beer'

    Even if you couldn't understand a word John McCauley sings on "Gimme a Beer," the song's boozy bonhomie would give you a clue as to its title. The horn-abetted rocker is the ragged-but-right first official single from Diamond Rugs, an indie-rock supergroup consisting of Deer Tick frontman McCauley, his DT keyboardist-saxophonist bandmate Robbie Crowell, Black Lips guitarist Ian Saint Pé, Los Lobos sax-man Steve Berlin, singer-guitarist Hardy Morris of Dead Confederate, and drummer Bryan Dufresne of Rhode Island synth-punks Six Finger Satellite. "Gimme a Beer" is probably closer to Deer Tick's exuberant country-rock than the rest of Diamond Rugs' constituent parts, though fans of each should find something to like on the band's rowdy self-titled debut, due April 24 on Partisan records.

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    First Spin: Stream Imperial Teen's Full 'Feel the Sound'

    Feel the Sound is Imperial Teen's first new album in five years, but you wouldn't know it from the sterling collection of beautifully arranged, melody-rich pop songs on display. The San Francisco-based band led by former Faith No More keyboardist Roddy Bottum shows no signs of rust on its fifth studio album, which we've got streaming for you in its entirety. Tracks like "Runaway" and "All the Same" are pocket epics — reminiscent of the New Pornographers or the music ELO was making in its mid-to-late-'70s heyday — brimming over with lush vocal harmonies, lovely instrumental counterpoint, vintage-sounding keyboards, and perfectly-deployed crunchy guitar. Feel the Sound is out January 31 on Merge, just in time to help overcome a case of the February blahs.

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    First Spin: Hear Prinzhorn Dance School's 'Usurper'

    No one does propulsive agit-pop quite like the British. In the tradition of Gang of Four and the Fall, Prinzhorn Dance School set fierce lyrical jeremiads to jittery guitar and compellingly herky-jerk drum and bass patterns. Clay Class, Tobin Prinz and Suzi Horn's undiluted follow-up to their self-titled 2007 debut, is out January 31 on DFA, and the album's "Usurper" fits perfectly alongside the rest of that label's rhythmically charged roster. Get mad. Get funky.

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    Bill O'Reilly Minds His Ice Ts and Cubes

    On Monday night's typically trenchant installment of The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly dropped some keenly insightful hip-hop knowledge on conservative commentator Bernard Goldberg. See, the two were talking about a New York Times column that called Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney "the whitest white man to run for President in recent memory." And during the dialog, O'Reilly ribbed Goldberg for being whiter than white. Goldberg protested by showing a photo of himself with Ice Cube — only he said it was Ice-T. O'Reilly pounced. "That's Ice Cube, Bernie! That's how white you are! ... I'm a brother, man. You can't be doing that to me! I know the Cubes from the Ts." Hopefully O'Reilly finds a way to test his rap knowledge against Sarah Palin, who believes hip-hop fell off after 1979.

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    First Spin: Download Matthew Dear's 'In the Middle (I Met You There)'

    Avant-pop maestro Matthew Dear raised his profile considerably with 2010's excellent Black City. "In the Middle (I Met You There)" from Dear's new EP, Headcage, out January 17 via Ghostly, displays much of its predecessor's spooky R&B vibe, as Dear sings in a decadent Bowie-esque yowl over ghostly vocal samples, glassy keyboard lines, and a hard art-funk beat.

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    Hear Sleigh Bells' Favorite New Track: 'Comeback Kid'

    Right at the tail end of 2011, Sleigh Bells shared "Born to Lose," the first single from their upcoming new album Reign of Terror. Today, the Brooklyn duo have released another track, the perfectly poppy, devastatingly heavy "Comeback Kid." According to Pitchfork, if you pre-order the LP on iTunes, you'll get a download of "Comeback Kid" right away. "To me, the 'Comeback Kid' melodies are straight R&B," says singer Alexis Krauss about the song, which finds her voice deployed in a clearer, less aggressive, and more radio-friendly fashion than was generally the case on 2010's Treats.

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