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    MySpace, Major Labels Unite on Revamped MySpace Music Site

    MySpace, the world's largest online community, unveiled MySpace Music today (April 3), an initiative launched in cooperation with Universal Music, Sony BMG, and Warner Music Group, set to offer users DRM-free downloads, ad-supported streams, concert tickets, and much, much more. As MySpace CEO Chris DeWolfe told SPIN.com, MySpace Music is a "360 degree music experience," and a "new chapter in the story of modern music." Set to launch in the U.S. beginning next week and gradually spread internationally over the next few months, the new venture is highlighted by an unprecedented collection of services allowing MySpace users to "define their own experience," DeWolfe said.

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    Report: Jay-Z Closing $150 Million Deal with Live Nation

    All is on the up and up for Jigga Man: The New York City-based rapper, better known as Jay-Z, is finalizing a $150 million dollar contract with enterprising touring heavyweight Live Nation, The New York Times reports (via Pitchfork). The deal, said to be for ten years and three albums, encompasses Jay-Z's tours, music, endorsements, and other business ventures, including Hova's own brand new,multi-faceted music imprint, set to fall under the newfound Roc Nation title. The future career path of Jay-Z, who recently left his position atop Def Jam (he owes one more album to the label, due in 2008), has been the subject of many rumors, including one that had him in talks with Apple CEO Steve Jobs about spearheading an iTunes record label.

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    New Dr. Dog Album Due July 22

    Dr. Dog will follow up 2006's acclaimed set We All Belong with the July 22 release of Fate, the harmonious, hippy dippy rockers' fifth record, which, according to a Billboard.com interview with band co-founder Scott McMicken, will "in a way, be the first true Dr. Dog record." Recorded over six whirlwind weeks in the quintet's Philly studio, and mixed over just two -- "it's the fastest we've ever made a record," McMicken said -- the new album, uncharacteristically, features the use of ProTools for some effects. But with modest yet artistic ambitions, a sequencing blending each track to resemble one long album-length song, and an "anything goes" approach, the digital equipment may have been necessary. "We've always made what we'd call concept records. It's only recently that I haven't been embracing the term 'concept' as much," said McMicken.

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    French Kicks Go 'Swimming' with NYC Fans

    As fans found solace from the torrential downpour outside New York City's Mercury Lounge last night (April 1), wringing out clothing, tousling soaked hair, and wiping off faces, a dry towel felt more in order than another plunge in the urban dunk tank. But French Kicks, saddling up for the first night of a three-week residency at the downtown venue, had other plans, dousing the crowd with an hour-plus set that unveiled pieces of their new record, Swimming, which hit digital markets yesterday. The glossy, ethereal and sugar-coated pop of new tracks like set opener "Abandon" proved the band's lavish sound translated live, even stripped to a quartet, though the album's wall-o-vocals sound experienced a few shortcomings.

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    Video Vault: Modest Mouse's Isaac Brock

    You may have noticed that SPIN.com is entirely brand new this month. One of the big differences: our on-demand video section. With this new regular feature, we'll be dipping into our vast, growing video vault to show off some of our best clips. Today's clip recalls the steamy August weekend spent backstage at Chicago's Grant Park for Lollapalooza 2007, during which Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock stopped by for an exclusive chat with SPIN.com. Watch video of Brock discussing his band's newest members, including axeman Johnny Marr, plus the eclectic, Northwest-bred rockers' impending return to the studio, and Glacial Pace, Brock's record label, and its recent roster addition, Love as Laughter. Check back for more picks from the video vault!

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    Ousted Scott Weiland Responds to Velvet Revolver

    Following the recent war of words between drummer Matt Sorum and frontman Scott Weiland, and axeman Slash's recent affirmation that Velvet Revolver would continue on with or without their singer, Weiland has been officially booted from the hard rock outfit. "This band is all about its fans and its music and Scott Weiland isn't 100 percent committed to either," Slash said yesterday in a statement to Billboard.com. "Among other things, his increasingly erratic onstage behavior and personal problems have forced us to move on." Weiland, never one to back away from a scrap, released a statement this morning to address to his former bandmates -- and it's heated! "After reading the comment by Duff [McKagan, bassist], Matt [Sorum, drummer], Dave [Kushner, guitarist] and the illustrious Guitar Hero, Saul Hudson, a.k.a.

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    New Video: Björk, "Wanderlust"

    Newsflash: Icelandic-bred, gnome-like songstress Björk is, um, slightly eccentric. And for this, we are thankful, for only Björk's oddball, imaginative mind could conjure the alternate-reality story line of her latest music video, the cornea-stimulating epic for "Wanderlust," a tune off 2007's Volta. Filmed by San Francisco-based duo Encyclopedia Pictura in both 2D and 3D with a custom-made stereoscopic rig, "Wanderlust" is a part animated, part in-the-flesh video featuring puppets, elaborate sets, and the work of over 40 artists. Here, Björk, clad in historically traditional central Asian wear, rides a herd of shaggy yak-like creatures (who feel a bit pilfered from Where the Wild Things Are) down a mountain river while toting a creepy, clay doppelganger of sorts on her back.

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    Kanye West, Foo Fighters Headline Baltimore's Virgin Fest

    The American installation of Virgin Mobile Fest will return to Pimlico Race Course Aug. 9-10, and the lineup has five big reasons to mark your calendars and purchase tickets ASAP: Kanye West, Foo Fighters, Nine Inch Nails, Jack Johnson, and reunited alt-rockers Stone Temple Pilots are on the bill for the fest's third annual installation. Foo Fighters, the busy boys they are, will also headline Canada's V-Fest, scheduled to hit Toronto's Island Park Sept. 6-7, alongside Oasis, Bloc Party, and Paul Weller. A complete bill for Baltimore's V-Fest has yet to be announced, but more acts will be revealed in the coming weeks. Check out SPIN.com's coverage of last year's Virgin Fest, including interviews with Panic at the Disco, Bad Brains, Girl Talk, Incubus, and more.

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    April Fools! Ben Gibbard Unveils Side Project Just Jazzin'

    First it was the Postal Service, frontman Ben Gibbard's departure into techno-esque emoting and glitchy, Atari-like beats, then, more recently, Death Cab for Cutie's "really weird" and "way more lunar" direction with forthcoming album Narrow Stairs. But with latest project Just Jazzin', the bespectacled rocker has truly dove off the deep end. In a hilarious April Fool's Day YouTube video, Gibbard deadpans about Just Jazzin', jams on the vibes, and divulges the motivation behind his newfound sonic course: "There's this side of me and my music that desires a lack of structure, and Just Jazzin' does that for me because I am allowed to just play whatever note comes into my head." Keep streaming to watch Ben talk about Jason McGerr, Death Cab for Cutie's drummer, and his seven unsuccessful auditions for Just Jazzin'.

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    Radiohead Invite Fans to Remix 'Nude'

    Attention Radiohead heads and mixmasters alike! The eccentric Brit rockers, known to flock to the computer from time to time, have teamed with iTunes and GarageBand to give fans the opportunity to remix "Nude," off their latest album, In Rainbows. Right now, fans can purchase five separate "stems" from the song -- bass, voice, guitar, strings/sound effects, and drums -- via iTunes; all five stems are compatible with numerous music software programs, including Apple's GarageBand. Once fans have scratched, manipulated, or added music to the tune's stems, they can upload the final product to radioheadremix.com. The public, as well as Radiohead themselves, will then listen to the tracks and vote for their favorite remix via the website; voting ends May 1. For more information, head to radioheadremix.com.

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