Larry Fitzmaurice

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    New Arctic Monkeys Record in the Works

    The Arctic Monkeys' Alex Turner might be a busy man as of late with his bombastic side project, the Last Shadow Puppets, but just like Jennifer Lopez in "Jenny from the Block," he knows where he came from. Turner and the Monkeys (hey, hey) have returned to the studio to record the follow-up to 2007's ace Favorite Worst Nightmare, with Nightmare and Shadow Puppets producer (not to mention one-half of block-rockin'-beatmakers Simian Mobile Disco) James Ford manning the boards. Recording is still in the very early stages, but Ford dropped some tantalizing hints about the new jams to London's Daily Mail newspaper, saying, "It's much more psychedelic than their first album. I wouldn't rule out a bit of R&B either – the boys know their stuff." Psychedelia?

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    Catch the Buzz: Hotel Lights

    Who? As co-songwriter behind both of the now-defunct Ben Folds Five's radio hits -- the stark ballad "Brick" and the shambolic, misanthropic "Song for the Dumped" -- former Five drummer Darren Jessee has already displayed his wonderfully schizophrenic talents. And with his new project, Hotel Lights, Jessee reveals a more aching, hushed side to his craft that owes as much to Sparklehorse (which, coincidentally, shares a member in guitarist Alan Weatherhead) as it does the lonely landscapes of Being There-era Wilco. And even in Jessee's most introspective moments, the sparkling folk-pop arrangements of Hotel Lights conjure a breezy autumn whimsy. Their Latest: Sophomore record Firecracker People, scheduled to drop Aug. 19 via Bar/None. Recommended if You Like... Wilco, Sparklehorse, Nada Surf, Earlimart Now Hear This: "Firecracker People" (DOWNLOAD MP3)

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    Free Ice Cream… Coming to a Show Near You?

    They say the best things in life are free; you'd have to believe that the magnanimous Ice Cream Man, a.k.a. Matt Allen, would agree.For the last four summers, Allen has traveled across the country in a 1969 Chevrolet Step Van with one mission in mind: to give away as much free ice cream as possible. This summer, the Ice Cream Man has already been spotted slinging sweets at McCarren Park's Pool Parties in Brooklyn and at last weekend's Sub Pop 20th anniversary bash in Seattle, and has plans to stop at the Pitchfork Music Festival this coming weekend in Chicago. He was even nice enough to pay a visit to Spin HQ last week and treat us to some free, frozen treats. Keep an eye out for the Ice Cream Man at any of the shows or festivals you attend this summer -- after all, nobody wants to miss out on free food, especially something to help assuage the effects of the scorching sun.

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    Nas Unveils Summer Tour

    Who? Born Nasir Jones, Queensbridge, New York's hip-hop maven Nas -- a recent Spin interviewee and Artist of the Day subject -- is best known for his 1994 classic, Illmatic, as well as other career-defining records like God's Son and Street's Disciple. July 15 will see the release of his latest controversy-rife record, which is being released without a proper title. What?

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    Catch the Buzz: Dykeritz

    Who? We're not entirely sure what a "dykeritz" is; then again, there seems to be a lot of aural lo-fi mystery that surrounds Portland's glam-eccentric Dykeritz, aka Jordan Blum. On his third full-length under the moniker, Rearrangerologyistics, Blum combines the pan-sexual falsetto of Of Montreal's Kevin Barnes and MGMT's electro-psych odysseys while throwing in squelching vocoders, orchestral pomp, and as many multi-tracked vocals as his equipment can contain. Heady stuff, indeed – just don't spend too much time thinking about that band name. Their Latest:Rearrangerologyistics is out now courtesy of Lucky Madison. Recommended if You Like... Of Montreal, MGMT, T. Rex Now Hear This: "Look At My Hands, Look At My Knees" (DOWNLOAD MP3)

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    Exclusive: Premiere of Pretty Good Dance Moves Video, Starring 'Flight of the Conchords' Comedienne Kristen Schaal

    For those who are disappointed that they haven't received any musical mail from the Postal Service recently, Pretty Good Dance Moves are here to silence your longing. The somewhat-modestly-named lap-pop trio is preparing to self-release their debut, self-titled EP on July 17. With that imminent release comes the below video for the swirling, dreamy "Demons Dancing," starring Flight of the Conchords' delightfully awkward Kristen Schaal, whom PGDM frontman Jimmy Giannopoulos tells us"is super cool," and that,"The day of the video shoot it was about 100 degrees outside and she didn't even flinch. She is a true artist and actor, the kind of person you wantaround." In the clip, Schaal stands amidst a dreary cityscape – that is, until a mysterious bicycle-bound stranger arrives to (literally) clear the skies.

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    Coheed and Cambria to Play All Four Concept Albums Live

    As if basing an entire discography around a complex fantasy plot wasn't epic enough, sci-fi rockers Coheed and Cambria have detailed plans to perform their entire concept album oeuvre -- referred to as The Amory Wars -- in a pair of events in New York and Los Angeles, dubbed Neverender. In chronological order over four days -- Oct. 22-25 at New York's Terminal 5 and Nov.

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    New Jenny Lewis Album Due in September, Tour with Conor Oberst to Follow

    After wearing a particularly well-fitting Rabbit Fur Coat with folk duo the Watson Twins, Rilo Kiley siren -- and former Spin cover girl -- Jenny Lewis is readying her sophomore solo effort, Acid Tongue, for a September release on Warner Bros. Recorded over the course of three weeks in Van Nuys, CA's Sound City Studios – where such classic records as Nirvana's Nevermind and Neil Young's After the Gold Rush were tracked – the album features contributions by M. Ward, Zooey Deschanel, and – wait for it -- Elvis Costello, who shares a duet with Lewis on "Carpetbaggers." To support Acid Tongue, Jenny will play a run of shows with like-minded artist and former collaborator Conor Oberst in late September, delivering a double-dose of singer/songwriter goodness for all to love. Acid Tongue tracklisting: 1. "Black Sand"2. "Pretty Bird"3. "The Next Messiah"4. "Bad Man's World"5.

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    New I'm From Barcelona Album Due Oct. 14

    After the friendly handshake that was I'm From Barcelona's aptly titled 2006 debut Let Me Introduce My Friends, the sprawling Swedish pop collective are concerning themselves with slightly darker subject matters on LP two: namely, death and mystery. Indeed, the group's follow up, entitled Who Killed Harry Houdini? is set to hit stores Oct. 14 via Mute, with its first single, "Paper Planes," arriving to airwaves Aug. 19 (check back in with over the next couple of days for a stream of the tune). And the album's title references more than bandleader Emanuel Lundgren's interest with the legendary illusionist. It also recalls his own penchant for magic, and a failed attempt at pursuing it as a career.

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    Complete Bumbershoot '08 Lineup Unveiled

    Officials for the 2008 Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival have completed the festival's lineup, adding Death Cab For Cutie, Tapes 'n Tapes, Superchunk, Two Gallants, and the Weakerthans, among others, to a bill featuring Beck, the recently reunited Stone Temple Pilots, and Neko Case. The festival convenes at Seattle, WA's Seattle Center from Aug. 30-Sept. 1. Other acts scheduled to hit the stage at Bumbershoot include Paramore, Band of Horses, Nada Surf, the Black Keys, Jakob Dylan, Minus the Bear, and M. Ward. Three-day passes for the event are now available for purchase at Bumbershoot's official website, while single-day passes will be made available to the public starting tomorrow both at the festival's site and through Ticketmaster. And you can join's team at Bumbershoot '08! For more details click here.

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