• Dilla, Questlove, Donuts

    Questlove Remembers J Dilla's Final Days in 'Donuts' Book

    In his 33 1/3 book, J Dilla's Donuts, author Jordan Ferguson explores one of the most quintessential hip-hop albums in recent history, interviewing dozens of sources who knew the man born James Yancey in order to discover that release's roots. Unfortunately the Detroit legend's landmark 2006 Stones Throw LP was tainted by an illness that was only getting worse — until it took the producer/MC from this world three days after Donuts' release.The effect of the disease on the 32-year-old is well-documented in a new excerpt from the book, which hit the shelves April 24. The Stones Throw-shared snippet features an emotional passage from Questlove. The Roots drummer, Tonight Show band-leader, and memoir author (etc.) visited the legendary producer in Los Angeles a month before Yancey passed away.

  • Vulfpeck, Spotify

    Spotify Shoots Down Band's Silent Album Fundraising Hack

    Vulfpeck wanted to go on tour this fall, but didn't want to charge their fans admission. So the funk group released Sleepify, a Spotify exclusive comprising 10 tracks filled with absolutely no sound (alternately, as band leader Jack Stratton describes it above: "the most silent album ever recorded"). The March LP was an ingenious back door into the streaming service's royalty system, designed to gather all of those precious half-cents into a pot large enough to send the Ann Arbor, Michigan crew on the road. But that won't be happening now. According to Hypebot, Spotify has removed Sleepify from its registry.The quartet was supposedly on track to raise $20,000 via the quiet release.

  • Karen O, NASA, I Shot the Sheriff

    Karen O Gets Animated in N.A.S.A.'s 'I Shot the Sheriff' Video

    When N.A.S.A. teased a cover of Bob Marley's "I Shot the Sheriff" featuring Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Karen O on vocals last January, we had to wonder if there'd be more to come from Sam Spiegel's kinda dormant production duo. The answer is ... sort of. We've now got an animated video for the full song, which initially premiered in a Sonos commercial during the Super Bowl. Directed and animated by San Charoenchai, the clip features Gorillaz-esque scenery as the lyrics about Sheriff John Brown's violent demise are brought to life via a western typefont and the dulcet intonations of the "Moon Song" singer. We still don't know if N.A.S.A. is back in the studio to follow up 2009's The Spirit of Apollo, which basically featured half of the music world, including David Byrne, Lykke Li, Kanye West, and, of course, Karen O.

  • Adam Yauch, MCA, Beastie Boys, MCA Day

    Honor Adam Yauch on Third Annual MCA Day

    With a hip-hop festival, a playground, a state senate resolution, and, most recently, a possible street co-naming effort as tributes, New York has not shied away from honoring the late, great Adam "MCA" Yauch of the Beastie Boys. And, as the two-year anniversary of his death approaches, this remembrance continues with the Third Annual "MCA Day" in Brooklyn on May 3. The event features music, art, and surprise guest performances, all of which are dedicated to the rapper's career and social activism.For sounds, old-school hip-hop sets will be provided by resident disc-jock Frank White, as well as DJ Eclipse, DJ DP One from the Heavy Hitters Crew, DJ K.O., and beloved rap A&R Dante Ross. While the list is sure to grow, a performance by St. Louis songwriter collective MME has also been confirmed.

  • The Libertines, Reunion

    The Libertines to Reunite at London's Hyde Park

    On July 5, the Libertines will reunite to play the Barclaycard British Summer Time festival at London's Hyde Park — nearly 10 years after the Pete Doherty and the British garage rock group called it quits. All had been quiet on the Libertines front since the band reunited for an impromptu 2010 gig in London, followed by headlining acts at the Reading and Leeds Festivals. But rumors flared up this past week, when Doherty dropped a hint to Israeli paper, Ynet. Guitarist Carl Barât then told fans, via NME, to "keep the 5th [of] July free."After releasing 2002's Up the Bracket and 2004's The Libertines — both albums integral to the British indie-invasion of the early '00s — the group soon splintered.

  • Sigur Ros, Jonsi

    Sigur Ros' Jonsi (& Alex) to Score 'Manhattan' TV Show

    Sigur Rós leader Jónsi and his Riceboy Sleeps partner, boyfriend Alex Somers, will score a forthcoming television series about the Manhattan Project dubbed, naturally, Manhattan. As The Hollywood Reporter explains, the show will launch in July on the newly relaunched WGN Network, and will be directed by Thomas Schlamme of West Wing fame. John Benjamin Hickey, Olivia Williams, and Daniel Stern will star in the '40s period piece.Jón(si) Birgisson previously scored Cameron Crowe's We Bought a Zoo in 2011. And not for nothing, Sigur Rós actually soundtracked an the season finale of The Simpsons last year. Near the release of Kveikur, SPIN spoke with Jónsi about his work wedding music to moving pictures:"It's very different from writing a Sigur Rós song," he said, "because you have to think about other things.

  • Coldplay, Oceans

    Coldplay Share Intimate 'Oceans,' Announce TV Special

    With six small shows around the world planned, Chris Martin and the rest of the guys in Coldplay should be busy enough. But as the May 16 release date for their sixth album, Ghost Stories, approaches, they give us ever more. Wednesday brings two developments: the premiere of a new song, "Oceans," and the announcement of an hour-long special entitled Coldplay: Ghost Stories, set to premiere on May 18 via NBC.Directed by Coldplay Live 2012 director Paul Dugdale, the feature finds London crew performing their new LP on a soundstage in Los Angeles for a crowd of around 800 people. "Oceans," as seen above, was captured in an even more intimate venue — recorded live for BBC Radio 1.

  • Chance the Rapper, Surgery

    Chance the Rapper Considers Surgery After Coachella Cancellation

    Chance the Rapper might need surgery. SPIN's 2013 Rapper of the Year had said he was "feeling better" after a hospitalization forced him to cancel his set at last weekend's Coachella. Now the Acid Rap MC has canceled all of this week' shows and revealed more details about his medical condition.Chance woke up Sunday morning with a 104-degree fever and an inflamed throat, according to a statement from his management. He was later hospitalized for a flu and tonsilitis, and hooked up for IV drip, as seen in a since-removed photograph on his Instagram account (caption: "Pray for my boy chance"). Per the statement, Chance is now home in Los Angeles and will be seeing a specialist this week "to determine whether or not surgery is necessary."The Chicago rapper and singer's next show, after the cancellations, is set for May 2 at the JMBLYA festival in Dallas.

  • Torres, New Skin

    Torres, Sharon Van Etten, the War On Drugs, and More Team for 'New Skin'

    Singer-songwriter Mackenzie Scott, formally known as Torres, ropes in some impressive names for her latest haunting folksy missive, "New Skin." The guest list includes: Sharon Van Etten of soon-to-be Are We There fame; Adam Granduciel and Dave Hartley of (occasional John Lennon cover band) the War on Drugs; and Chris Wilson from Ted Leo + Pharmacists. The 22-year-old, Nashville-based artist's somber serenade was made for Philadelphia non-profit Weathervane Music's Shaking Through web series. Stream "New Skin" below, and be watch this makeshift supergroup jam together above.

  • Bob Dylan, Hurricane

    Spotify Streams of Bob Dylan's 'Hurricane' Double After Rubin Carter's Death

    In 1975, Bob Dylan retold the story of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, the famous African-American boxer who was wrongfully convicted in 1966 of triple homicide. Carter passed away on Sunday, April 20. And on April 21, streams of the anthem written in his honor, "Hurricane," doubled on Spotify, pushing the nearly 40-year-old track to No. 8 on the service's Viral chart. When the song initially arrived, it hit the Billboard Top 40. More over, it continued the tradition of Dylan songs like "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll," connecting the artistry and rising popularity of folk music to a very fraught political landscape.

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