Joseph Coscarelli

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    88-Keys

    What? Hip-hop superstar Kanye West may have stretched sonic boundaries on his latest record, 808s and Heartbreak, but there was one small problem -- he forgot to rap. Enter New York indie hip-hop producer/rapper 88-Keys, whose debut, The Death of Adam, was executive produced by his buddy West and features a healthy mix of melodic hooks, distorted vocal effects, and killer rhyming skills. Adam tells the story of a man's suspicious death that may or may not have been caused by his main vice -- sex. The record features some truly nasty rhyming -- but always with a giggle instead of a snarl -- and the beats are top-notch, ranging from the soulful ("Handcuff 'Em") to the sexy (the Wings-sampling "Dirty Peaches"). Who? Long Island, NY, native Charles Misodi Njapa earned the moniker 88-Keys after legendary hip-hop producer Large Professor witnessed his prowess on an Ensoniq ASR-10 keyboard.

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    Pearl Jam: New Songs on 'Ten' Reissue

    Pearl Jam will reissue their 12x-platinum debut album, Ten, on March 24, 2009, in four different packages with options for the fan, super-fan, obsessive, and SPIN.com's fanatical Pearl Jam blogger Zack Newman.

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    New PJ Harvey Album Coming Soon

    In a new post to her website, always provocative Brit songstress PJ Harvey announced that she will return March 30 with A Woman A Man Walked By, her new collaboration with solo musician/indie producer John Parish. Recorded in Bristol and Dorset, England, the forthcoming album is the second effort from Harvey and Parish, following the 1996 release of Dance Hall at Louse Point. Parish also co-produced Harvey's legendary 1995 tour de force To Bring You My Love as well as her most recent release, last year's White Chalk. As previously noted, recording for the new LP kicked off early this year with guests like Eric Drew Feldman (Pixies, Polyphonic Spree), Autolux's Carla Azar, and Italian rocker Giovanni Ferrario.

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    Exclusive: Fall Out Boy Live!

    Last week, Fall Out Boy played a special hometown show at the Chicago Theatre, which was filmed to air on FUSE December 16 to celebrate the release date of the band's third major label album, Folie à Deux. And if you just can't wait for the TV special, you're in luck -- we have an exclusive sneak peek below!Check out two never-before-seen clips featuring the band discussing their new album and giving a spirited performance of "A Little Less Sixteen Candles, a Little More 'Touch Me" from 2005's From Under the Cork Tree.Watch: Fall Out Boy, "A Little Less Sixteen Candles, a Little More 'Touch Me"Interview

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    Howlies

    What? Drawing influence from rock'n'roll's greats -- from the Velvet Underground's loose jangle and the Stooges' brashpunk to Chuck Berry's '50s teen boogie and Sam Cooke's candy-coated doo-wop -- Atlanta, GA, quartet Howlies' upcoming debut, Trippin' with Howlies, is like a rock history textbook written by the classroom's smart alecs. "Sea Level" bounces on ascending group chants and double-time California surf rock; "Chimera" is full of twinkling pop-rock guitars and catchy vocal harmonies (listen below); and the '60s rock/doo-wop of "Aluminum Baseball Bat" would recall Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons if not for the deliciously cheeky lyrics about beating an ex-lover's new squeeze with a baseball bat. In their sonic hop-scotching, one things remains constant -- light-hearted fun. Who?

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    Exclusive Stream: Mark Ronson & Mary J. Blige Remix Maroon 5

    Between sessions producing new tunes for the likes Slash and Amy Winehouse, sought after knob-twister Mark Ronson worked his magic on this soulful remix of Maroon 5's "Wake Up Call," off the band's new album, Call and Response: The Remix Album, due Dec. 9. "Wake Up Call"'s original foot-tapping, head-nodding groove is replaced with an old school rhythm and soul romp, led by horns and keys in a staccato march. The tune's tale of infidelity and resulting violence had a vintage feel to begin with, but Mary J. Blige's vocals add welcome oomphf to Adam Levine's subdued white boy soul.

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    'Twilight' Actress Kristen Stewart to Play Joan Jett

    Twilight is a hit, and so is the film's female lead Kristen Stewart, who has signed to play legendary frontwoman Joan Jett in The Runaways, an upcoming biopic on the seminal 1970s rock quintet of the same name. [Via Billboard.com] The group, originally formed in 1975, was one of the first successful entirely female rock'n'roll acts and is best known for barroom classics like "Cherry Bomb." The movie will center around Jett -- who went on to a successful career as both a solo act and as the leader of the Blackhearts -- and singer/keyboardist Cherie Currie, and will follow the band's tumultuous four-year career. Floria Sigismondi, who wrote the screenplay, will direct, while Jett will executive produce. Though Stewart will have to work around filming two Twilight sequels, The Runaways is slated for a 2009 release. The Runaways, "Cherry Bomb"

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    Kanye Tops GNR and Killers on Album Chart

    Maybe next decade, Axl. Auto-tune loving MC Kanye West scored his third consecutive chart-topping release, moving 450,000 copies of 808s and Heartbreak in the first week to beat Guns N' Roses' Chinese Democracy and the Killers' Day and Age to the top of the Billboard Album Chart.Though it was West's weakest first-week sales since his 2004 debut, The College Dropout, which sold 441,000 copies, it was more than enough to crush Chinese Democracy; the 15-year-in-the-making album moved only 261,000 copies (exclusively via Best Buy, iTunes, and the band's website) to land in the No. 3 spot, behind 18-year-old (92 pound) country star Taylor Swift, whose Fearless sold 267,000 units to take No. 2.Hey, we at SPIN.com knew there wasn't exactly a crowd awaiting Democracy's release.

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    Mascott

    What? From the Carly Simon School of Confessional Songwriting comes Mascott, a tender indie rock project helmed by New York's Kendall Jane Meade that combines soft piano and guitar pop with diary-like lyrical intimacy. Her new album's title, Art Project, refers to the four years since Mascott's last release, 2004's Dreamer's Book, during which her music became an on-the-side artistic escape from her Manhattan day job. The release has a laid-back feel. On "Press Play (And Then Repeat)" Meade's sweet la la melody rides a cheery, slowly sauntering '60s pop groove. "I want to make it all / all right...," she sings on the tune's chorus. Mission accomplished.Who? Meade, a Detroit native, began her music career with '90s pop rockers Juicy, before she turned solo in 1998 and began crafting gentle lullabies as Mascott.

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    Stream: Strokes Bassist's Solo Project, Nickel Eye

    As the bassist for New York rockers the Strokes, Nikolai Fraiture appears to be the strong, silent type, standing solemnly behind his bandmates as he lays down deep-toned riffs. But for his solo project, Nickel Eye (a variation on his given name), Fraiture strapped on a six-string guitar and stepped up to the mic. Nickel Eye's debut album, The Time Of The Assassins, out January 27 via Rykodisc, is a "pretty stripped down" collection of guitar, bass, drums, and a touch of mellotron. And its standout track, "Providence, RI," sees Fraiture's songwriting chops surface as he recalls childhood memories to a head-bobbing melody. "Years and years ago, my grandfather bought a place in the middle of the woods [in Rhode Island] and every now and then we'd go and visit him up there," he tells SPIN.com.

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