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    WATCH: Hot SXSW Band -- Young the Giant

    SoCal rockers Young the Giant are one of SPIN's must-hear bands at next month's SXSW festival in Austin. Get a taste of what they're all about in this beautifully-shot acoustic video for "Islands." Watch below!The twentysomethings perform the song in South Laguna Beach as the sun sets in the background. "We all enjoy playing these songs stripped down, because it is truest to the songwriting," frontman Sameer Gadhia tells SPIN. "You can't hide behind the arrangements, and in that way, the song is expressed more honestly."Gadhia's earnest vocals about love's complexities shine through. "The song captures the fear and anticipation of two ex-lovers reuniting," Gadhia says. "Everything feels almost renewed and clear. Perhaps the two are just no good for each other, but there is still love between them."What do you think of Young the Giant?

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    Bat for Lashes Covers Depeche Mode

    It's been two years since we've heard from cosmic British singer-songwriter Bat for Lashes, a.k.a. Natasha Khan, whose sophomore album, Two Suns, landed in the No. 6 spot on SPIN's list of the best albums of 2009. But now she's back with a cover of Depeche Mode's "Strangelove" to promote Gucci's new fragrance, "Guilty." Listen below -- and download the track here! Her version maintains the original's shimmery melody, but Khan's vocal transforms the 1987 hit into something all her own. Her atmospheric sound -- especially the pulsing-heart synths -- lends the track a hypnotic quality. Gucci Creative Director Frida Giannini explains why she picked Khan for the project. "Natasha's voice is bewitching and her music is dark yet fascinating." Khan is currently working on her third full-length LP now. What do you think of her take on "Strangelove"?

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    David Fincher's Fave New Band Drop Trippy Video

    San Francisco-based duo Exray's broke out last year when an instrumental version of their slow-building electro-pop anthem "Hesitation" was featured in David Fincher's Oscar-nominated movie The Social Network. Now the California electro-pop band - who were hand-picked by Fincher when the movie's sound designer (and mutual friend) Ren Klyce passed along their music to the director - have prepped a video of their own, which you can watch below."Hesitation" is one amazing mind-flip of a video: The clip lays out trippy, intergalactic visual effects on top of footage of Cold War-era PSAs, when American fears about nuclear attack were at a fever pitch.Exray's member Michael Falsetto-Mapp (who directed and edited the video) says that sort of cultural paranoia still has resonance in today's era of constant social networking.

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    Queens of the Stone Age Plan Spring Tour

    Queens of the Stone Age will reissue an expanded edition of their landmark 1998 self-titled debut on March 1, and Josh Homme's band is planning a blowout celebratory tour for the occasion. QOTSA will hit the road for a 20-date trek this spring, where the group will play the album in its entirety, along with other "nightly surprises," the band announced on their website today. Tickets go on sale Friday at Ticketmaster, with a pre-sale available on Thursday. Check out dates below, and head to the band's Facebook page for details about the pre-sale. In addition, Homme's imprint Rekords Rekords (through Domino) will also put out a limited edition 7-inch of the album cut "How to Handle a Rope (A Lesson in Lariat)," with "Avon" on the B-side, on February 28.

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    Hot Songstress Lia Ices' Mythical Video

    Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Lia Ices recently released her ethereal and moving second album Grown Unknown -- scoring an 8-out-of-10 review from SPIN. Now she's premiering the official music video for "Daphne," an album standout featuring a duet with Bon Iver's Justin Vernon. Watch below! The clip -- directed by Aaron Brown (Girls, Smith Westerns, Los Campesinos!) -- is a metaphorical interpretation of the song, which recounts the ancient Greek myth of Daphne, a woman who transforms into a tree. "It is a story that challenges our concepts of flight and attachment, transformation and rootedness, desire and captivity," Ices tells SPIN. "It was important to Aaron and I that these images and themes be revealed symbolically, without the need to adhere to formal narrative."The clip begins with a young boy wandering through a forest, collecting branches while Ices observes from afar.

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    EXCLUSIVE: Cloud Nothings Premiere Wild Video

    Cleveland-based Cloud Nothings, the power-pop creation of 19-year-old whiz kid Dylan Baldi, just released their self-titled debut album -- and are premiering the official music video to their fidgety-fun single "Understand At All" right here. Since they're likely to create a big buzz at next month's SXSW festival, get a jump on your friends by checking it out below!In the comically psychedelic clip -- directed by filmmaker Allen Cordell -- a red-faced ghoul magically transforms into a blinged-out skinny grandpa who gets into a punching match with a bloody bearded man who then turns into... a chair. Add in acid-soaked, cartoonish graphics and voila! It's one very random music video.But that was exactly the point. "I really wanted to subvert viewer expectations," Cordell tells SPIN.

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    EXCLUSIVE: Catchy Indie-Pop From Generationals

    After building steam with their 2009 debut album, New Orleans indie pop duo Generationals are poised for a breakout 2011, with their solid sophomore set, Actor-Caster, set for a March 29 release. Download an exclusive song, "Greenleaf," below. LISTEN: Generationals, "Greenleaf" Click to Download! Co-frontmen Ted Joyner and Grant Widmer have been pals since they were 13, and their desire to be in a band is about as old as their friendship. "It was probably a combination of two childhood experiences: Seeing the Ninja Turtles perform on their 'Coming Out of Their Shells Tour' when I was about nine," Joyner tells SPIN.

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