Larry Fitzmaurice

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    Jean Grae

    What? After toiling in obscurity for nearly a decade, indie hip-hop B-girl Jean Grae is ready for her close-up with Jeanius, her long-delayed fourth full-length and fifth release overall, set to drop next week via Talib Kweli's Blacksmith Records. With the help of beat wizard 9th Wonder on production duties, Grae creates her most accessible release to date; the MC's unstoppable flow and packed cadences are combined with Wonder's heavenly soul soundscapes, as on the stuttering, Wu-Tang-esque "#8" and the ghostly "Love Thirst." Who? Born Tsidi Ibrahim in Cape Town, South Africa and raised in New York City,Grae began her hip-hop career in the little-known collective Natural Resource under the stage name What? What? After Natural Resource split in 1998, the rapper adopted her current moniker and released her solo debut, Attack of the Attacking Things, in 2002.

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    New Beck Tracks Streaming Online

    Can't wait two more weeks to hear alt-guru Beck's latest record, Modern Guilt, when it drops on July 8?Luckily, the man known to his mother as Beck Hansen has made two tracks from the hotly anticipated record available to stream on his MySpace and iLike pages."Orphans" and "Gamma Ray" join the deliriously trippy (but no longer streaming on imeem) "Chemtrails" as tracks offered to fans as tantalizing teasers for what's to come. Still not enough Beck for your brain?Check out a special video trailer for Modern Guilt, made by Mr. Hansen himself, over at Amazon. More on Beck Album Out July 8New Stream: Beck, "Chemtrails"

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    Jesse Malin & Friends Serve NYC Slice of Punk

    It might be true that the landscape of New York City isn't lacking in pizza shops -- both decent and, well, not so decent -- but the official grand opening of rock'n'roll pie palace the Pizza Shop on Wednesday night, June 25, was far removed from the usual slice stop. Musicians and close friends Jesse Malin, Johnny T (who runs the neighboring bar Niagara with Malin), and chef Kevin Cole (previously of NYC's renowned Two Boots pizzeria) renovated and re-designed the Pizza Shop in an East Village space that's been serving up slices since the '60s. The three rockers have added a truly unique touch to the establishment, from hanging records on the wall to projections of kung fu and surf movies in the back. What makes the Pizza Shop truly unique, however, is its rotating series of limited-edition boxes in which the (quite delicious) pies are peddled.

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    New Jesus and Mary Chain Boxed Set Due September 30

    No, it's not a new album, but it's almost as good: Noise-pop pioneers the Jesus & Mary Chain are set to release a four-CD box set, The Power of Negative Thinking: B-Sides and Rarities, on September 30 via Rhino. The package will include tracks featured on the Reid brothers' 1988 rarities collection, Barbed Wire Kisses, as well as various gems and curios taken from the band's initial 25-year run.And just like honey to JAMC obsessives' ears will be the box's opening track, "Up Too High," a previously unheard song that Jim and William self-recorded to cassette in 1983. And should that trip down memory lane not satiate your Jesus jones, you can catch them live at the West Coast dates of this year's Download Festival, a SPIN experience, which they will headline on July 19 and 20, in San Francisco and Los Angeles, respectively.

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    What? Since the lo-fi eclecticism of 2003's breakthrough effort Everyone Down Here, Los Angeles-based outfit Earlimart have developed a gloriously depressing sound that has become more polished with each successive release. And Hymn and Her, their latest full-length set to drop July 1, continues in the same vein: "For the Birds" features Motown-esque drumbeats and dreamy cooing, while "God Loves You the Best" is the closest lead singer Aaron Espinoza has come to sounding like the late Elliott Smith yet. Who? Earlimart is comprised of core members and multi-instrumentalists Aaron Espinoza and Ariana Murray, who recruit musically-inclined pals to contribute to their records and play on tour.

  • Stars Announce U.S. Tour

    Stars Announce U.S. Tour

    Who? Montreal's Broken Social Scene-affiliated, five-piece indie-popsters Stars, whose songs concern make-outs, break-ups, and all the drama in between.The band's last record, In Our Bedroom After the War, dropped in 2007. What? A 14-date tour kicking off Sept. 16 in Boston, MA. From there, the quintet will stop into Philadelphia, New York City, and Chicago before cutting across the Midwest, including a stop at the Austin City Limits Sept. 28. After a jaunt up the West Coast, the band's tour will cap in Seattle Oct. 9Should I Go? Yes. From their charmingly low-rent stage designs (including various living room furniture pieces and lighting fixtures) to the dynamic live chemistry between co-singers Amy Milan and Torquil Campbell, Stars are bona fide live performers, first and foremost.

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    New Nine Inch Nails Album Out on CD July 22

    After originally dropping as only a free download, Trent Reznor and his industrial/alt-rock act Nine Inch Nails' new record The Slip will arrive July 22 as a limited-edition CD/DVD. Limited to 250,000 copies worldwide, the package will include the new record, which is currently available as a free download via Nine Inch Nails' website, as well as a 24-page booklet, exclusive sticker pack, and DVD with video footage of the band rehearsing for their Lights in the Sky summer tour extravaganza. In addition, a gatefold vinyl edition of The Slip will be issued Aug. 5.

  • Silver Jews Unveil Fall Tour

    Silver Jews Unveil Fall Tour

    Who? Seasoned country-and-classic-rock outfit Silver Jews, fronted by occasionally hermetic singer/songwriter David Berman. Since 1994's debut full-length Starlite Walker, Berman has remained the only constant member in a revolving door of lineups that have featured Pavement's Stephen Malkmus and Bob Nastanovich, folky Will Oldham, and Berman's wife, Cassie. Label Drag City just released the Jews' latest record, the excellent set Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea. What? A massive 37-date North American tour, supported on select dates by Israeli hellraisers Monotonix. As only the second American outing in Berman's 20-year career, the tour, set to kick off Aug. 28 in Columbus, OH, will hit cities nationwide before capping with a final show Oct. 12 in Berman's hometown, Nashville, TN. Should I Go? Absolutely.

  • Reggie and the Full Effect Map Final Tour

    Reggie and the Full Effect Map Final Tour

    Who? Former Get Up Kids and Coalesce member James Dewees' eclectic outfit, Reggie and the Full Effect, which in the last eight years of its existence has touched upon metal, hardcore, and synth-pop while staying true to Dewees' emo tendencies. Reggie and the Full Effect's fifth record, Last Stop: Crappy Town, dropped June 17 via Vagrant. What? A 22-date outing serving as Reggie and the Full Effect's farewell tour, with supporting slots by Warship and My Chemical Romance's Frank Lero-led Leathermouth. Kicking off Aug. 20 in Orlando, FL, the tour will then lead Dewees and co. along the southern U.S. border into California, before crossing Middle America in a bid for the East Coast. Reggie and the Full Effect will bid the live the circuit adieu with a final show Sept. 14 in Philadelphia, PA. Should I Go? Yes.

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    Bruce Springsteen, Liars, Spiritualized Cover Suicide

    Happy birthday indeed! Bruce Springsteen, Primal Scream, Spiritualized, Liars, Klaxons, and Nick Cave's Grinderman, among others, will honor the 70th birthday of Suicide frontman and punk godfather Alan Vega -- featured in Spin's October issue -- by covering his band's tunes in a series of 10" EPs to be released via UK-based label blastfirstpetite. Each of the 12 monthly singles, in addition to featuring covers from the aforementioned artists plus scores of up-and-coming bands, will also deliver previously unreleased Suicide/Alan Vega tracks. What's more is that a six-disc box set culling 13 full live sets from Suicide, aptly entitled Live 1977/78, is planned for release this summer, though a specific date has yet to be announced. Suicide fans, be advised: Only 3,000 copies of the box set will go to presses, ensuring that they'll get snatched up quickly.

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