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    FREE MP3: Mates of State Cover Girls!

    Indie-pop husband-wife team Mates of State will join a growing legion of bands releasing cover albums -- see Nada Surf, the Bird & the Bee -- with this summer's Crushes (The Covers Mixtape), a 10-song set of other people's music. The album's infectiously adorable take on "Laura," a track from Girls' excellent debut Album, is available for free download below. The bands covered on Crushes, the first output from Jason Hammel and Kori Gardner since 2008's SPIN-approved Re-Arrange Us, represent a very wide range of styles, from noise rockers the Mars Volta to twee sentimentalists Belle & Sebastian to '70s radio faves Fleetwood Mac. "We've been talking about doing a covers record for a long time," the Connecticut-based duo said. "We'd hear a great song at 2 A.M.

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    LISTEN: Cypress Hill Featuring Linkin Park's Shinoda

    Hip-hop legends Cypress Hill have unleashed the latest track from their forthcoming album Rise Up (due April 20) -- and it stars Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda on vocals. Shinoda belts out "Carry Me Away" over Linkin Park-esque airy tones, a melodic bassline, and a sparse beat. Recently, Cypress Hill posted the politically-themed video for the album's title track, which features ex-Rage at the Machine guitarist Tom Morello. In related news, Linkin Park fans are eagerly awaiting word on the band's new album, which is still in the works. As Shinoda told SPIN late last year, "We really want to do something special and unique for the next record -- we want to redefine the band." Tell us what you think of the new track in the comment section. LISTEN: Cypress Hill, "Carry Me Away" Ft. Mike Shinoda

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    EXCLUSIVE MP3: Canadian Rockers Danko Jones

    Jack White's a fan -- and the Raconteurs have even covered one of their songs. Now, see for yourself why Toronto's Danko Jones, unsung heroes of the late-'90s garage rock revival, are so beloved by downloading their new single, "Full of Regret," below! The song, off the forthcoming Below the Belt (out May 18), is monstrous and catchy, punctuated by massive bass lines and crunchy wall-of-sound guitar. Over this, frontman Danko Jones (yes, both the band and frontman share the same name) unleashes a corker of a chorus: "Regrets, I've had mine / Lonely nights and a whole lot of wasted time." Below the Belt follows Danko's 2008 release, Never Too Loud. Since then, the band has shared the stage with Motorhead and opened for Guns N' Roses' Canadian tour. They're currently supporting Clutch through April 18 on their U.S.

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    WATCH: Big Boi Guests on New Janelle Monae Clip

    While the world waits for another OutKast album -- it's been four years since Idlewild, and seven since Speakerboxxx/The Love Below -- Big Boi is keeping himself busy with an upcoming solo album and by big-upping one of his musical discoveries, the innovative R&B upstart Janelle Monae. Watch her fancy footwork, and a Big Boi cameo, in the just-released video for "Tightrope" below. The song, off her upcoming album The ArchAndroid (out May 18, with production credits from Sean "Diddy" Combs and Big Boi, among others), draws inspiration from the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, both in its skittish rhythm and through Monae's slip-sliding dance moves.

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    Newport Folk: Jim James, Sharon Jones, Andrew Bird

    The lineup for the 51st annual Newport Folk Festival has been announced, and like last year, it's shaping up to be an excellent weekend: My Morning Jacket's Jim James (a.k.a. Yim Yames), Andrew Bird, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Calexico, the Avett Brothers, the Felice Brothers, the Swell Season and more will perform July 31-August 1 at Newport, RI's Fort Adams State Park. Other performing acts include SPIN-approved crooner Nneka, New York folk-punk band O'Death, California psychedelic group Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, John Prine, and, of course, Pete Seeger. Steve Martin & the Steep Canyon Rangers will play a pre-show at Newport's International Tennis Hall of Fame Friday night. Newport Folk Fest, best known as the place where Bob Dylan first went electric in 1965, was co-founded in 1959 by George Wein.

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    Metallica to Play 'Mind-Blowing' Gigs in 2011

    Metallica will play megashows in 10 cities in 2011 that will "blow your mind," band manager Peter Mensch tells Classic Rock Magazine. "It will be Metallica's equivalent of'The Wall.'" So can fans expect a literal 40-foot wall or the huge animated projections and inflatable puppets that were trademarks of Pink Floyd's epic tour? Mensch won't say, but he suggests there'll be at least a nod to rock's past: "Between you and me, some of it is recycling stuff that people did 25 years ago but no one's smart enough to know that we recycled it." As if Metallica's live shows aren't already dramatic enough. In the past two months, the band's tour for their chart-topping album Death Magnetic has caused riots in Chile and Colombia, resulting in hundreds of arrests.

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    Lady Gaga Headed to 'Rock Band'!

    Strap on your pouffy wigs, grab your glowing scepters, and apply your glittery makeup, gamers -- Lady Gaga is coming to Rock Band! Rock Band creator Harmonix has just announced that a handful of Lady Gaga tunes will be released next week, GameSpy reports. "Bad Romance," "Just Dance," "Monster," and "Poker Face" will all be available for download, as well as a version of "Poker Face" sung by South Park's Eric Cartman. The new songs will be available March 16 for the XBox 360 and Wii; March 18 for the PS3. Meanwhile, anticipation continues to build for Gaga's "Telephone" video, which debuts Thursday night on E! News. Photos from the video show Gaga wrapped in crime scene tape (among other outfits) and Beyonce staring at a bright red telephone.

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    Vampire Weekend's Guitarist on Homosexuality & Music

    Vampire Weekend guitarist, keyboardist, and producer Rostam Batmanglij has opened up about how his homosexuality has affected his music, including the New York band's chart-topping new album Contra. As pointed out by Perez Hilton, the Ivy Leaguer recently spoke to Out Magazine about "Diplomat's Son," a track from Contra featuring the lyrics, "That night I smoked a joint / With my best friend / We found ourselves in bed / When I woke up he was gone." Batmanglij described the track as "a six-minute dancehall song about a gay relationship." He also discussed Discovery, his side project with Ra Ra Riot's Wes Miles, and the song "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" from their 2009 debut, LP. "I was disappointed when it didn't become a gay anthem," said Batmanglij, "but, you know, it's not too late." Vampire Weekend have certainly been keeping things interesting lately.

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    Conviction in Ramones Manager's Murder

    More than two and a half years after the murder of Linda Stein, former Ramones co-manager and ex-wife of Sire Records founder Seymour Stein, her assistant Natavia Lowery, 28, has been convicted in Oct. 30, 2007, slaying, the New York Times reports. Tuesday, in a New York City courtroom, Lowery was found guilty of second-degree murder for beating Stein to death with a piece of exercise equipment in her upscale Fifth Avenue apartment. The jury took just five hours to convict. According to NY Daily News, she was also convicted for stealing more than $30,000 from Stein. Lowery, who will be sentenced March 22, faces 25 years to life in prison. The Bronx-born Stein left her job as a fifth-grade schoolteacher to co-manage the Ramones with Danny Fields in the mid 1970s.

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