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    Live-Blogging Neil Young's 37-Minute Crazy Horse Jam

    Neil Young has released a recording on his website of what we assume is a recent jam session with his longtime backing band, Crazy Horse. The track is 37 minutes long. What are the odds you're going to listen to the whole thing? Small! So we listened for you. Here's what happens: 0:01 to 4:21 Over Ralph Molina's deliberate, thumping drum beat and Billy Talbot's simple, repetitive bass-part, rhythm guitarist Frank Sampedro plays slow, crackling chords while Young ventures forth some furtive lead lines. It's pretty much your standard middle-of-"Cowgirl-In-the-Sand" explora-jam. If you were tripping, you'd be seeing vast sun-baked vistas, soaring eagles, the wise visage of a coyote, and so on and so forth. 4:22 to 6:04 As if he realized lead guitar is supposed to, you know, lead, Young plays some forceful lines in that distinctive herky-jerky style of his.

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    First Spin: Stream Blondes' Danceable, Trippy Self-Titled Debut

    The duo of Sam Haar and Zach Steinman don't make much in the way of distinctions between music for the body and music for the mind. The Brooklyn-based electronic musicians' 2010 Touched EP drew deeply from other heady ravers like the Orb and, going further back, pioneering German maestro Manuel Gottsching. Now, Blondes' self-titled debut full-length, out February 7 on RVNG, finds the outfit staying wonderfully within that trippy tradition, with its blend of starry synth ripples and gut-level rhythm patterns. If you've ever wondered what music would be best to play during a dance party inside eternity's womb, well, wonder no more. Listen exclusively here:

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    Jack White's First Solo Single Is Surprisingly Mellow

    Well, it's not jazz fusion, but it's still surprising. This afternoon, "Love Interruption," the first single from Jack White's upcoming solo debut, Blunderbuss, was posted on jackwhiteiii.com and the song — built on a mellow, warm keyboard part and chunky acoustic guitar chording — is a nice departure from the thunderous rock that is Mr. White's trademark. As far as Jack White projects go, "Love Interruption" is maybe closest to the groovy classic-rock steeze of the Raconteurs (in their milder moments) than it is to the minimalism of the White Stripes or gothic blues psychodrama of Dead Weather.

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    First Spin: The Big Pink Remix Ladyhawke's 'Black White & Blue'

    There's truth in the title of Ladyhawke's new album. "It's called Anxiety because it came from a really difficult place," explains the New Zealand pop-rock singer, born Phillipa "Pip" Brown. "I'd been living in this touring bubble for two years after releasing my first album [2008's Ladyhawke] and then suddenly I had to write a second album. I was under a lot of strain." Not that anyone's second album is supposed to come easily. "Of course I know that," says Brown, laughing, "especially because people kept telling me!" "Black White & Blue," the first single from Anxiety, suggests that Ladyhawke does well with pressure. Fans of her first album will recognize singer-multi-instrumentalist's flair for dramatic, catchy pop melodies and breathy, delivery.

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    M.I.A. Unleashes Reworked Single 'Bad Girls'

    "Live fast / Die young / Bad girls do it well" — now there's a line Lana Del Rey wished she'd written. Too bad M.I.A. got there first. The irresistibly sassy lyric provides the hook on "Bad Girls," the first single (via Pitchfork) from M.I.A.'s forthcoming as-yet-untitled album, her first for new label Mercury and first since 2010's divisive Maya. The new effort is due for release later this year. The single is a reworked version of a track originally found on M.I.A.'s 2010 Vicki Leekx mixtape. Some background bleeps and blorps have been mixed down and some percussion turned up, but to these ears, "Bad Girls" is pretty similar to its original incarnation as a mid-tempo, vaguely sinister rhythm slither, carried along by Ms.

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    First Spin: Hear Cheap Girls' Tom Gabel-Produced 'Communication Blues'

    Sometimes a band needs a helping hand. And if you're a heart-on-sleeve garage-punk outfit like Lansing, Michigan's Cheap Girls, there are few better folks to lend some support than Tom Gabel. The Against Me! mainman produced the Girls' upcoming third album, Giant Orange, which is out February 21 on Rise records. The album is actually the first Gabel has produced, and you can hear his own band's penchant for ragged, soaring choruses, and sharp guitars all over the humbly anthemic "Communication Blues." Cheap Girls will be airing the song, and others from the muscular, melodic Giant Orange on a headlining tour that kicks off March 1 in Cleveland.

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    How Spiritualized's Jason Pierce Fooled Reviewers

    Spiritualized's Sweet Heart Sweet Light was originally announced with a March 19 release date, but according to band mastermind Jason Pierce, the recent news that the English space-rock veterans' seventh album would be delayed a few weeks — despite advance copies already being sent out — is simply the result of a long-planned bait-and-switch. "I had the rather foolish idea last November that I could deliver the record that's been sent out and keep working on the real version," says Pierce, speaking on the phone from his Manhattan hotel room. "I'd meet the delivery date they need for reviews and things like that and nobody would be any the wiser that I'd be carrying on with the mixing." So, erm, the version of the (very good) album that we've been listening to is not the version that fans will eventually hear? "I think it's quite different," explains Pierce.

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    Video Premiere: This Will Destroy You's 'Black Dunes'

    Don't watch this one alone. The deeply atmospheric video for This Will Destroy You's creeping, explosive "Black Dunes," from the instrumental post-rock quartet's Tunnel Blanket, available now, is disturbing as all get out. The clip shows a young woman wandering through a forlorn empty house, ghostly apparitions, and eerie visual abstractions that seriously give us the creeps."This video was conceived while driving through mist in rural Sweden," explains Malcolm Elijah, who directed the disturbing eight-and-a-half-minute spot. "It centers around the fracturing of a young woman's mind and her descent into self-induced, self-absorbed delirium." Well, as you'll see, they pretty much nailed that vibe.The band kicks off a 17-date tour January 28 in Denton, Texas.

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    Don't Hold Your Breath for a New Neil Young Album

    Last weekend at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, Neil Young, there to promote his Journeys concert movie, said he was recording a new album with his old pals in Crazy Horse. The band's drummer, Ralph Molina, replied "Yes" on his Facebook wall in response to queries about whether or not the news was true. The album would be Neil's first with his longtime, and arguably best, collaborators since 2003's Greendale. But I have some advice for you, oh devoted fans of Neil. It might be a while before we hear the fruits of this particular labor. Not to be a Debbie Downer, but Neil Young fan-sites have entire pages devoted to their hero's shelved releases. If anyone out there has a copy of Homegrown, which was supposed to come out back in 1975, lemme know. Same goes for Toast, a Crazy Horse joint that's been rumored since 2008.

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    Guns'n'Guitars: Watch Sleigh Bells Get Wild in 'Comeback Kid' Video

    Last week Sleigh Bells dropped their new single, the fizzy and ferocious Reign of Terror single "Comeback Kid." Today, they add to their already stellar collection of ominous videos with the clip for the song, which starts in nicely Freudian fashion with singer Alexis Krauss jumping around on a bed in a red bathrobe while clutching a large gun, ends with guitarist Derek Miller doing a Breakfast Club style fist-pump freeze-frame, and gets even more compellingly kooky in between. Also: Nice Nirvana T-shirt! As the band told us in our exclusive in the studio interview, Reign of Terror is all about the guitars. "With Treats, it was less clear to me whether Sleigh Bells was going to be a guitar band or if we were going to do more sample-heavy stuff," guitarist-producer Derek Miller said. "With this record I had to pick sides.

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