Larry Fitzmaurice

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    Exclusive: Vampire Weekend in PSA for Amnesty International's Small Places Tour

    As you've probably read on our site over the last week, human rights organization Amnesty International has gathered together a slew of excellent bands -- such as R.E.M., the National, Cat Power, and Justice -- for the Small Places Tour, which marks the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The concerts, which are to take place from Sept. 10 - Dec. 10, are intended to bring attention to urgent global human rights concerns, as well as to raise funds for future Amnesty campaigns. To promote the string of concerts, acclaimed Catalan filmmaker Lluis Danes shot public service announcements with more than 30 participating bands. SPIN.com has already premiered spots from R.E.M., Justice, and Cat Power, and below, you can check Ezra Koenig and Chris Baio (no relation to Scott, folks) of recent Spin cover boys Vampire Weekend, who make a short but powerful statement.

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    From the Eastsport Cafe at Lollapalooza '08: the Black Lips

    This past weekend (Aug. 1-3), the masses congregated at Chicago, IL's Grant Park for the mighty Lollapalooza festival. Thousands of avid music fans were able to catch top-notch sets by bands such as Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, Wilco, Kanye West, and Rage Against the Machine, among others. SPIN.com caught an intimate acoustic performance by flower-punks the Black Lips' drummer/vocalist Joe Bradley; watch video of Bradley offering a bluesy take of Los Valientes Del Mundo Nuevo cut "Buried Alive" from the Eastsport Café at the Hard Rock Hotel. And don't forget to check out Spin Editor Doug Brod's blog wrap-ups from all three days of the event.

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    Get Free Gutter Twins Tickets for SPIN's Lollapalooza Afterparty

    After the mighty Radiohead plays their final notes on Friday night at this coming weekend's Lollapalooza festival at Chicago's Grant Park, the party will have just begun. On Aug. 1, Spin and Dell Lounge are teaming up to throw an afterparty to remember, featuring performances from dark duo the Gutter Twins (comprised of ex-Screaming Tree/Queen of the Stone Age Mark Lanegan and ex-Afghan Whig/current Twilight Singer Greg Dulli) and British electro-punks Does it Offend You, Yeah? Admission to the party is free, but an RSVP is necessary; click here for more information.If Lollapalooza fever is getting to you though, whet your festival appetite with this exclusive interview with Lollapalooza founder Perry Farrell.

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    New the Streets MP3: "The Escapist"

    Every party has to end at some point; on "The Escapist," off one-of-a-kind MC the Streets' upcoming full-length, Everything is Borrowed, it sounds like there was never a bash to begin with. "All these walls were never really there/Nor the ceiling/Or the chair," Mike Skinner begins in a sparse, defeatist tone that's far removed from the somewhat self-pitying pop of 2006's The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living. To be sure, "The Escapist" continues the Streets' departure from the 8-bit grime sonics of his 2002 debut, Original Pirate Material, by featuring sparkling production and sighing, slightly dub-flecked orchestral instrumentation that wouldn't be out of place on the next Lily Allen longplayer.

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    Turn Up the Vote: Gym Class Heroes

    As we travel around the country this summer from festival to festival, one of the topics at the forefront of everyone's mind from roadie to fan, journalist to musician is the upcoming presidential election. And with this new feature, SPIN.com chats with artists backstage, gathering their opinions on the most important issues in '08. Today's clip: Gym Class Heroes, whose frontman Travis McCoy chatted backstage at the Warped Tour about his opinions on the election and future of our country (and for more Warped interview footage, click here). And to do your part, head to Headcount.org, a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization devoted to voter registration and participation in democracy. Click the button here to visit their site, and register to vote! Now Watch This: Gym Class Heroes sounding off on the election

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    Exclusive: Cat Power PSA for Amnesty International's Small Places Tour

    As we reported yesterday, human rights organization Amnesty International has gathered together a slew of excellent bands -- such as R.E.M., the National, Vampire Weekend, and Justice -- to film public service announcements in support of their Small Places Tour, which marks the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.The concerts, which are to take place from Sept. 10 - Dec. 10, are intended to bring attention to urgent global human rights concerns, as well as to raise funds for future Amnesty campaigns. To promote the string of concerts, acclaimed Catalan filmmaker Lluis Danes shot PSAs with more than 30 bands. SPIN.com began premiering the PSAs two days ago with one from Michael Stipe; below, check out the spot featuring indie songstress Chan Marshall (a.k.a. Cat Power), who looks like she's enjoying herself a lot more here than she used to on stage.

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    Brazilian Girls

    What? No, they're not Brazilian, and only one of the members is actually female, but then again, NYC's schizo-phonic Brazilian Girls have always strove to be anything but themselves. Between the down-tempo lounge excursions of 2005's self-titled debut and the threatening house-driven atmospheres of 2006's Talk to La Bomb, the Girls' sonic designs are as interchangeably -- and irresistibly -- garish as their stage getups can often be. And this week, the trio return with the simplistically titled but no less daring New York City, which dips its feet into dark tropicalia, overcast soundscapes, and old-fashioned cabaret -- and that's not even half the record. Download the pop-psychedelia of single "Good Time" below. More on SPIN.com: >> New Brazilian Girls Album Due Aug.

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    Anberlin's Stephen Christian Takes Break from Warped Tour Duties, Talks About SPIN.com's Book Club

    As we recently reported, Tegan and Sara's Tegan Quin and author Augusten Burroughs will co-headline the SPIN.com Book Club's Liner Notes event at New York City's Housing Works Bookstore Caf&eacute on Sept. 4. The event will raise funds for Housing Works, Inc., the nation's largest minority-controlled AIDS-service provider, and will also promote the cross-pollinating of music and literature through a reading by Anberlin's Stephen Christian and a performance by Circa Survive's Colin Frangicetto. SPIN.com's Peter Gaston went to the Warped Tour in Englishtown, NJ yesterday, July 28, to speak to a number of artists (come back tomorrow for a shoutout from Gym Class Heroes' Travis McCoy about HeadCount, the non-partisan voter registration organization).

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    Grand Prize Winner of SPIN's Hot Pursuit to be Announced Thursday!

    After months of voting by both this year's celebrity judges -- songwriter Butch Walker, Peter Bjorn & John's Peter Moren, the Dresden Dolls' Amanda Palmer, comedian Michael Showalter, and Spin Editor Doug Brod -- and you, the readers, the second annual installment of the Hot Pursuit talent search (presented by Spin, Hennessy, and Music Nation), has almost reached its end.The winning band -- selected from more than 500 finalists -- that's been deemed worthy of rocking out will be announced Thursday, here on SPIN.com.The victors will receive a record deal with Original Signal/Epic Records, a brand-new Gibson SG guitar and bass, national press coverage in Spin, and a performance slot at Spin's Year in Music party. So check back here Thursday to find out which artist or band has been selected to make it big.And to hold you over, Spin Editor Doug Brod has given his top five personal pick

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    New Bob Dylan Rarities Set Announced; SPIN.com Unearths Other Artists in Need of Archive-Digging

    Clear some space on your record shelves (or your iPod, for that matter): folk/rock/everything icon Bob Dylan plans to release a new three-disc rarities compilation, Tell Tale Signs, Oct. 7 via Columbia. The set will largely focus on the last 20 years of the man legally known as Robert Zimmerman's career, including soundtrack contributions, live cuts, and previously unreleased session material. Tell Tale Signs marks the eighth release in Dylan's Bootleg Series, which has previously featured hard-to-find live sets and even more exclusive rarities from various points in his career. Undoubtedly, Dylan is one of the more generous musicians when it comes to unloading his vaults. But it makes us wish that others were more forthcoming with never-released material.

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