• Jay-Z, Madonna, Justin Bieber / Photo: Getty Images

    Madonna, Jay-Z, Justin Bieber Sued for Insult, Noisiness, Copyright Dramas

    Following up on threats made when the Queen of Pop debuted a video featuring ultra-conservative French party leader Marine Le Pen with a swastika emblazoned on her forehead in Tel Aviv in May, Le Pen's camp announced today that the politician will file a lawsuit for "public insult" after Madge brought the same video to Paris' Le Stade de France Saturday night. The video, which also visually criticized leaders like Pope Benedict, Chinese leader Hu Jintao, and (because who can resist) Sarah Palin, backed the song "Nobody Knows Me" and highlighted the "Nazi-sympathizing image," reports the Guardian, that Le Pen attempted to clean up after she took over the party from her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen.

  • Ben Folds

    Ben Folds Five's First Album in 13 Years Due in September

    The Five returneth! After over a decade filled with solo projects, collegiate a cappella recording sessions, ill-fated singing competitions, and collaborations with authors and Internet-savvy cohorts keeping them apart, Ben Folds Five are finally getting the gang back together again. On September 18, the band will keep the promise they made in January and release their first album in 13 years (since 1999's Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner) via ImaVeePee Records/Sony Music. Precociously (as is the Ben Folds Five way) titled The Sound of the Life of the Mind, the record was born out of a Kickstarter-esque campaign on charity-based direct-to-fan site PledgeMusic, which allowed fans to literally fork over $2,500 to get their names in a Ben Folds Five song.

  • Bruce Springsteen onstage at Denmark's Roskilde Festival, 11 July 2012 / Photo by Jo Lopez

    Watch Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney's Truncated 10-Minute Jam

    Folks watching Bruce Springsteen's headlining slot at the Hard Rock Calling festival at London's Hyde Park were dealt two surprises Saturday night. The first was the appearance of Paul McCartney onstage to perform "I Saw Her Standing There" and "Twist and Shout" with the Boss, and the second was the fest cutting off the superstar collaboration midway through the second song. The MusiCares People of the Year's performance, which already featured guest appearances by John Fogerty and Tom Morello, went quiet when organizers cut shut down the power a little before 11 p.m., 30 minutes after the local 10:30 p.m. noise curfew.

  • The cover art for 'Coexist'

    The xx Deliver Dreamy New Lullaby 'Angels'

    The studio recording for the xx's first Coexist single "Angels" has arrived with a quick note from the band: "It's been a long time since we've played you anything new. This song is called 'Angels,' it is the first single from our new album, Coexist. We've been playing this song live recently, so it feels good to share with you the version we've been working on for so long. We hope you like it. xx The xx" This is indeed the track the group has been playing at a few of their live gigs recently, and it will be available on Spotify and via iTunes at midnight tonight. It's a pensive, echo-laden lullaby filled with the kind of heart-stopping moments that defined the band's self-titled debut.

  • Warped Tour / Photo courtesy Warped Tour

    3 Stabbed at Swedish House Mafia Show, 1 Dead at Warped Tour

    In what's becoming a troubling trend, for the second time this month there's been a stabbing at a Swedish House Mafia concert. Three fans were hospitalized after being attacked at the group's Milton Keynes Bowl performance in Buckinghamshire, England, on Saturday night. A 23-year-old suffered a punctured lung and is still being treated; another 23-year-old received treatment on-site, and a 24-year-old was treated for minor arm and head cuts at a hospital and has since been discharged. The assailant, described by police as a white man in his early 20s in a blue Nike tee and "black jogging bottoms," has yet to be apprehended by authorities. Three additional people were arrested at the concert on suspicion of possession with intent to supply class-A drugs. Per U.K.law, that classification covers Ecstasy, LSD, heroin, cocaine, crack, mushrooms, and injection-prepared amphetamines.

  • Mumford / Photo by Andrew Herrold

    Mumford & Sons Promise Darkness But No Craziness on Fall LP 'Babel'

    Last month, Mumford & Sons dropped a twee 36-second trailer that hinted via maritime flag signals that the their follow-up to the ridiculously successful debut Sigh No More would be called Babel. Now, they've confirmed the sophomore album's title and have announced that the record will be released on September 25 via Glassnote. "You might hear a little bit more of a slight flavor of darkness on a couple songs," bassist Ted Dwane told Rolling Stone, confirming what Babel's track listing implies with song titles like "Whispers in the Dark" and "Ghosts That We Knew" (which the band premiered on Philadelphia's Radio 104.5 last fall). He added that an Odyssean being-away-from-home theme (the kind that perpetually on-tour musicians experience) will also be a big factor.

  • Hear Ava Luna's Luxurious 'Water Duct,' See How It Was Made

    Hear Ava Luna's Luxurious 'Water Duct,' See How It Was Made

    SPIN really dug Brooklyn sextet Ava Luna's full-length February debut, Ice Level. Its crisp, R&B-inflected soul-punk manages to groove perfectly and excite intellectually, not only because the songs are so beautifully layered, but also, as singer/guitarist/keyboardist Carlos Hernandez puts it, because "the rules are simple… unless we can play it live… no overdubs, basically." It's no surprise then that the band's first post-Ice offering, "Water Duct," is a product of opposites, too, even though it's the first time the band has laid down a track without exhaustive rehearsals. Recorded in May for Philadelphia-based non-profit Weathervane Music's Shaking Through series, which challenges "rising star" artists to record a song on-camera in two days, it's a luxurious yet minimal number that occasionally descends into chaos.

  • Kendrick Lamar

    Hear Kendrick Lamar's Ominous 'Swimming Pools (Drank)'

    Just before Kendrick Lamar took off for Chicago's Pitchfork festival, where Lady Gaga popped up solely to see his set, the Interscope signee unleashed a sludgy new single off his forthcoming debut good kid, m.A.A.d. city. Produced by T-Minus (whose recent work includes tracks on T.I., Rick Ross, and Slaughterhouse's new LPs), "Swimming Pools (Drank)" liberally combines sonic ooze and boozy lyrics with the brilliant, rapid-fire flow that helped earn his section.80 the No. 6 spot on our Best Rap Albums of 2011 list. As the murky backing track implies, this isn't necessarily a jaunty take on a nonstop summer party — you'll want to check out his summery collab with Dr. Dre earlier this year to grab a bit more of that vibe. good kid, m.A.A.d. city drops October 2 via Interscope/Top Dawg/Aftermath.

  • Vampire Weekend / Photo by Napoleon Habeica

    Hear Vampire Weekend Debut a Fresh Track in Cleveland

    During Vampire Weekend's nearly two-year absence from the stage, its four members have pursued projects both musical and journalistic in nature. And in the lead-up to their forthcoming headlining slot at this weekend's Pitchfork Music Festival, the foursome booked a handful of warm-up dates between New York and Chicago, returning to the stage last night at Cleveland's House of Blues with new songs at the ready (via CoS). One new song, deemed "New Song #2" by the YouTube user who posted it, falls nicely in line with the band's early defining work, West African guitar and harmonies included. When frontman Ezra Koenig interviewed the Walkmen's Hamilton Leithauser for SPIN last month, he mentioned that the NYC natives "have 80 percent of the songs" completed. They did, however, debut a 100 percent ready, 100 percent awesome new shirt at last night's show.

  • Jennifer Lopez

    Jennifer Lopez's 'American Idol' Exit Not Nearly As Amusing as Steven Tyler's

    Jennifer Lopez is now the second American Idol judge to quit the job in less than 24 hours. After waffling a bit on the topic yesterday following her costar Steven Tyler's ridiculous ERMAHGERD sign-off, she gave up trying to come up with an even funnier way to announce it and just told Ryan Seacrest on the radio this morning. "I honestly feel like the time has come that I have to get back to doing the other things that I do," she told Seacrest over the phone, after calling the decision "heartbreaking" on the Today show yesterday. Those things likely include staying the hell away from the Bronx and maybe making an album better/more confident/less cluttered by Idol performances than last year's Love?. Things are looking pretty bleak in Idol world ever since The X Factor scooped up Britney Spears and Demi Lovato for its upcoming season.

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