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    EXCLUSIVE: Bloc Party Bassist Debuts Heavy Band

    It's still up in the air whether British dance rock outfit Bloc Party will come back from hiatus, but for now most of the guys have started side projects of their own -- including bassist Gordon Moakes, with his hard-rocking three piece Young Legionnaire. The band's debut album, Crisis Works, will drop on May 10, and the video for "Numbers" premieres exclusively on SPIN.com!Moakes formed the band in 2009 with singer-guitarist Paul Mullen, who previously fronted experimental rock act yourcodenameis:milo, and drummer Will Bowerman, formerly of I Was a Cub Scout. After recording some demos in 2009, Bowerman left to join La Roux's touring band, but Moakes and Mullen soldiered on, enlisting new sticksman Dean Pearson to help flesh out the trio's aggressive, noisy sound.

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    Liz Phair Talks Tour, Defends 'Funstyle'

    Liz Phair has been out on the road promoting her self-released album Funstyle -- and what the songstress liked most about this year's SXSW was that it marked the celebratory end of her tour trek. "It's a nice way to be like 'Done! Let's Party!'" she told SPIN.Phair thinks some critics missed the mark in attacking her record. "It has been really fun and funny to watch people's reactions to Funstyle," she said. "It was very experimental and just fun for me to put out. Obviously in the title itself, it lets you know what you're gonna get -- the lack of humor shown by a bunch of the reviewers is really kind of funny because they took it very seriously."Overall, though, Phair says she enjoyed making music for the point of, well, making music: "We all have a different sense than we did before, where there was huge amounts of money being put into record-making.

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    Black Lips Defend Their Southern Pride

    Rowdy Atlanta rockers the Black Lips have a new record coming out on June 7 titled Arabia Mountain, and guitarist Ian St. Pé tells SPIN that the Mark Ronson-produced album "is hot!"But, as is the band's wont, there's a ton of tongue-in-cheek comedy as well: One of the songs, "Spidey's Curse," tells the story of Spider-Man being molested. "People don't know that happened," says frontman Cole Alexander. "It's kind of a dark comic."But the big topic of conversation in the SPIN Shed at SXSW was the band's love for the Dirty South. "I didn't want to leave the South, so I moved to Atlanta and met these guys." says St. Pé, a New Orleans native. "In L.A. and New York, you gotta work so hard for a little something.

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    Rob Zombie, Slayer Team for Summer Tour

    Hardcore metal rockers Rob Zombie and Slayer are joining forces for a North American tour, aptly dubbed "Hell On Earth." The 12-date trek -- the two bands' first time playing together since 1999's OzzFest -- will kick off July 20 in Reading, PA. Check out the complete dates below! "You can expect no less than 'hell on earth,'" Slayer guitarist Kerry King said. "Total sonic annihilation and a visual bludgeoning.Bring your own body bag..." Sweet! Added Zombie: "Total destruction on stage and off is what this combination promises. Seriously, how much more Hell could you ask for? The answer is none more Hell." Tickets go on sale on Friday, April 1, at 10 A.M.

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    Little Dragon Team with Kids Choir for Chilling Ballad

    For years, the children's choir of Staten Island's PS22 have been delivering choral versions of pop and indie songs by Phoenix, Jay-Z, and Lady Gaga. But it's rare that the actual artist drops by to perform alongside the kids -- Kylie Minogue was a recent guest -- although when they do, they can help the choir deliver of their finest performances. Tuesday, Swedish electro-pop quartet Little Dragon dropped by the school to collaborate for a rendition of "Twice," and the resulting cover is downright hair-raising: Little Dragon lay out a chilling ballad with nothing more than twinkling piano, but it soon brightens into a soaring, cherubic hymnal thanks to the kids' cheery vocals. The PS22 choir recently had mainstream attention when they performed on this year's Oscars, so these kids are old-pros by now: it turns out they learned this song in just one afternoon.

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    Preview: Panic! at the Disco Plot Spring Tour

    With a comeback album Vices & Virtues due out March 22, Panic! at the Disco have announced a 28-date Spring tour, marking the first time remaining members Brendon Urie and drummer Spencer Smith will hit the road for a proper trek since guitarist Ryan Ross and Jon Walker split in 2009. The tour kicks off on May 20 in Philadelphia and wraps on June 29 in Omaha, NE; the band will also warm up their tour with a March 19 show at SXSW. Panic! may be forging ahead without two founding members, but Urie and Smith (along with touring guitarist Ian Crawford and bassist Dallon Weekes) promise plenty of electric, over-the-top theatricality — and perhaps a few Tesla coils. "I really miss wearing costumes and makeup," Urie told SPIN recently. "I love throwing a big production.

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    EXCLUSIVE: Noah & the Whale Live in Studio

    London-based Noah & the Whale's solid new full length, Last Night on Earth, is about to make a top 10 chart debut in the UK, and while the album doesn't officially drop in the States until March 15, get a sneak preview with this video of the folk rock quartet performing "Give It All Back" live in the studio. Recorded at London's RAK Studios, the performance spotlights frontman Charlie Fink's nostalgic vocals and the band's sunny pop accompaniment. Think LCD Soundsystem's iconic "All My Friends" but with a hopeful, indie sensibility. In the song, Fink sings about forming a band with great pals: "Well I'd give it all back just to do it again.

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    EXCLUSIVE: Cage The Elephant's Insane Live Clip

    Kentucky rockers Cage the Elephant are touring the heck out of their sophomore album Thank You Happy Birthday -- which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard charts -- and will continue their romp into the summer when they open for recent SPIN cover stars the Black Keys. During a stop in Nashville, the raucous quintet, known for their high-energy live shows, played a balls-out version of the new track "Indy Kidz," which we're premiering here. Check it out below and make sure to crank up the volume.They performed in the packed basement of music city's favorite record shop, Grimey's. The best thing about the venue? It reminded the band of when they first started out.

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    EXCLUSIVE: Verve's Ashcroft Premieres Solo Song

    On-again, off-again Britpop outfit the Verve broke up, for the third time, in 2009, following their excellent comeback album Forth. Bummer. But the split is bittersweet: The band's talented frontman Richard Ashcroft has seized the opportunity to release a genre-blending solo album under the nom de tune United Nations of Sound! Richard Ashcroft -- his collabo with hip-hop producer No I.D. (Kanye West, Jay-Z, Drake) -- drops March 22, but SPIN scored an exclusive sneak peek with the premiere of "America." Listen below! The track mixes synths and electric guitar flourishes with a pumping hip-hop beat and swelling strings courtesy of arranger Benjamin Wright (Gladys Knight, Barry White). While the music veers into new territory for Ashcroft, his lyrics maintain a mystical world-weariness.

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    WATCH: Patrick Stump's Empowering Video

    Ex-Fall Out Boy rocker Patrick Stump reminds us that Lady Gaga isn't pop music's only motivational speaker. The 26-year-old Chicago native just dropped his music video for "Spotlight (Oh Nostalgia)" -- and it's a visual pat on the back, pairing Stump's encouraging words with footage of regular people showing off their talents, including a young girl shredding on a skateboard and a dude showing off his really, really long tongue. "You could be your own spotlight / You could be the star / You can shine so bright," Stump sings. Watch below! The shimmery pop anthem is from Stump's debut EP, Truant Wave (out now), which teases his debut full-length, Soul Punk, expected this summer. Read more about the upcoming LP in a Q&A with Stump. What do you think of Stump's new video? Tell us in the comment section. WATCH: Patrick Stump, "Spotlight (Oh Nostaliga)"

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