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    New Vampire Weekend Clip: "Cousins"

    Vampire Weekend's new video is out, and guess what? It sounds like Vampire Weekend. And by that, we mean the Vampire Weekend that landed them on the cover of SPIN as one of the hottest bands of 2008. "Cousins" re-establishes VW's signature afro-punk sound, featuring syncopated rhythms, power-packed drum-rolls, and descending dual guitar solos in the elliptical tale of family lineage, ("Dad was a risk-taker/ His was a shoemaker/ You, greatest hits, 2006, little list-maker"). Oh, and there are some plaid shirts and fancy fancy video work involved, too. The Ivy League grads will release the tune on a 7" December 15, followed by their highly anticipated sophomore album, Contra, due out January 12. This is the second song we've heard from new record. What do you think -- is it better than "Horchata?" WATCH: Vampire Weekend, "Cousins"

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    Hot New Band: Animal Kingdom

    Oasis might be finished, but fans of epic Britpop need not fret. The earnest if slightly melancholy British arena pop of South London newcomers Animal Kingdom has the grandiose aspirations of Snow Patrol and Coldplay, tinged with the edgy swagger of '90s bands like Gay Dad and Mansun. On top of entrancing dual guitar lines on "Two by Two," a cut off their debut album Signs and Wonders (just released digitally in the U.S.), frontman Richard Sauberlich's androgynous crooning chronicles a re-imagined version of Noah's Ark, where humans, not subjects of the, ahem, animal kingdom, are spared from divine wrath. "I found an old children's illustrated Bible ... with these great pictures of the animals going into the ark," Sauberlich tells SPIN.com.

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    WATCH: Jay-Z and Alicia Keys Rock the World Series

    Thursday night at Yankee's stadium, New York rapper Jay-Z kicked off Game 2 of the World Series with an ode to the home team: "Empire State of Mind," his Blueprint 3 hit with Alicia Keys. The duo's faster, pumped up rendition of the anthem worked: the Yanks beat the Phillies 3-1, evening the series at 1-1. Jay-Z came dressed to rally his team after their loss Wednesday, sporting a Yankees cap and matching jacket, rapping "I made the Yankees hat more famous than a Yankee can." Keys, meanwhile, hollered: "New Yooooorrrrrrkkkkkkkk." Though the excitement was palpable, none of the Yankees were moved to crash the stage à la Lil' Mama at the VMAs. Rather Derek Jeter, who uses the track as his batting intro music, bobbed along with teammate Joba Chamberlain, while Ramiro Peña recorded the performance on handheld video camera from the dugout.

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    Q&A: Andrew McMahon of Jack's Mannequin

    Andrew McMahon had been filming the recording sessions for Jack's Mannequin's first album, Everything In Transit, in 2005 when he was diagnosed with leukemia. Despite the grueling treatment ahead, the former Something Corporate singer felt compelled to keep the camera rolling during his fight with cancer.Four years later, the footage of his treatment and recovery has been compiled into a documentary called Dear Jack, directed by Cory Moss and Josh Morrisroe. The film takes audiences inside the hospital, into Andrew's permanently altered personal relationships, and the early days of his cancer research fund, the Dear Jack Foundation. The DVD will be released Nov.

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    LISTEN: Keenan of Tool's New Puscifer Song

    A brand new track from Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan's side project, Puscifer's demurely-titled new EP C Is For (Please Insert Sophomoric Genitalia Reference Here) is now streaming on their myspace. Called ""Polar Bear," it's a reassuring ode to the big furry arctic animal that is, in case you didn't know, losing its habitat due to climate change. "I know that look of fear, well aware / No need to brave it all alone / I'll be there," Maynard James Keenan sings in tender tones to the creature, envisioned isolated on its own "icicle island" with "no land in sight." Metaphorical or literal, the gradually building keyboards and industrial beat make Keenan's hope to "disappear into the white" sound increasingly sincere. Check out the chilled-out track below. Listen: Puscifer, "Polar Bear"

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    WATCH: Travis' Fran Healy Unplugged!

    Fran Healy, singer/songwriter for the Scottish alt-rock band Travis, recently stopped by SPIN's lower Manhattan office to preview his acoustic tour (which runs through November). The tour features stripped-down versions of Travis favorites and rarities. Travis -- who toured with and are often compared to Oasis -- are best known for their 1999 breakthrough album The Man Who.

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    Dead Weather Halfway Through Next Album

    It's only been three months since the release of the Dead Weather's debut Horehound, and frontwoman Alison Mosshart says they've already recorded half of their next album. The bloozy supergroup formed by Jack White have been working non-stop since their debut this spring, touring, recording and making music videos ("I Cut Like A Buffalo" debuted this month), and Mosshart foresees their new record's completion by the end of 2009. She told Radio 1, "In between now and Christmas I'm going to go back to [White's studio in] Nashville at some point. I think I'll spend most of December in America and finish the second record.

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    Lady Gaga Taps Kid Cudi for "Monster Ball" Tour

    Less than two weeks after the cancellation of her massive "Fame Kills" tour with Kanye West, Lady Gaga has stepped out on her own, announcing stops for a 22-date headlining tour of North America titled "The Monster Ball." Originally planned for 2010, the "Poker Face" singer has been working overtime to move up the dates to this fall. Opening each date will be Kid Cudi, a Cleveland-bred rapper often referred to as Kanye's protégé, who sampled Gaga's "Poker Face" on his hit tune "Make Her Say" earlier this year. The tour kicks off on November 27 in Montreal and fans should be prepared for quite the spectacle: "'The Monster Ball' is a multimedia artistic experience in the style of the first-ever 'pop electro opera,'" Gaga said in a statement.

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    Morrissey to Release Album, Tour U.S.

    For email-pal Johnny Marr's sake, let's hope Morrissey has a smart phone, because the King of Mope is hitting the road this fall/winter in support of his upcoming release: Swords, a new B-sides compilation out Nov. 3. The upcoming release was curated by the legendary singer himself, who collected the disc's eighteen songs from the singles released for his past four albums: Years of Refusal (2009), Greatest Hits (2008), Ringleader Of The Tormentors (2006), and You Are The Quarry (2004).

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Now Playing
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