Culture (and TV)
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Karen O, "Rapt"

Here is a little preview of a full album coming in September, which Karen O describes as a soundtrack to her "ʟᴏᴠᴇ ᴄʀᴜsᴀᴅᴇ."

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Twin Peaks, "I Found A New Way"

A screamy and memorable addition to the under-served "walking around music" genre, from Chicago's Twin Peaks. [Via]

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Body Language, "4 Real"

Maybe a little too exuberant to play when it's not sunny outside, or, at night, before your guests have gotten to their second drink. Context gives music life, and so context can TAKE IT AWAY. [Via]

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Rome Fortune and Four Tet, "Lights Low"

(〜 ̄_ ̄)〜     \(^_^)/     〜( ̄_ ̄〜)

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Usher, Nicki Minaj & Pharrell, "She Came To Give It To You"

Would it be nice to have a better Song of the Summer than do-do-do, do-do FANCY, whodat, realest? Yes. Do we "deserve" a better Song of the Summer, as New York magazine suggests? Probably not. This track, a late contender, has as good a shot as any, but the fact that we're talking about this at all means it's probably far too late. Enjoy!

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Young Thug, Freddie Gibbs and A$AP Ferg, "Old English"

It's a hot day and the forecast is unhelpful. This is not a weekend for new music: It should probably be treated as a time to just play what you have, to listen to what keeps your temperature down, your mind soft, and your body afloat. And yet!

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Jhené Aiko, "To Love & Die"

The best song on Drake's last album, the one with the underwater piano sounds, featured a long and show-stealing visit from young LA R&B artist Jhené Aiko. Here's her new track; she's even better without Drake dragging her down. [Via]

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M.I.A., "Gold"

Just under two minutes of helpful forward propulsion for a deathly Friday. One foot in front of the other. Finger to the left, next finger to the right. Space, tap, tap tap, send. Start the song again.

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Weezer, "Back To The Shack"

There is an alleviating simplicity to this song, which goes mostly where you expect it to until Rivers Cuomo starts talking about "rocking out like it's '94" and then suddenly things become quite dark.

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Vashti Bunyan, "Across The Water"

Just another Diamond Day is 44 years old, and Vashti Bunyan has a new album coming out October. Time: Is it just a dumb lie???

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Lil Silva, "Mabel"

A breathy and beautiful track accompanied by a cool tribute to gray old England, where the Sun's light is missing like a quarter of the visible spectrum but everybody's too hardy to say anything about it. [Via]

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Preview: 'Lucy'

“The average person uses 10% of their brain capacity. Imagine what she could do with 100%,” is the tagline for Lucy, the new Scarlett Johansson speculative thriller, but isn't it just as likely that the reason our average brains max out at around one tenth of their dimensions is due to an abundance of caution? Given our transcendent abilities to do damage to ourselves and those around us with that mere sliver of cranial capacity it seems probable on an evolutionary standpoint that the other 90% of our head-stuffing chooses to remain fallow from the firm conviction that exercising even another couple percentage points would result in destruction on [...]

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Titus Andronicus, "Stranded (On My Own)"

It's a good sign, I think, that even as it becomes clear that every Titus Andronicus song is assembled from the same small bag of parts, they still work well. The fundamentals: they are strong! [Via]

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Watching "The Challenge" in the Presence of Gods

The whole day had been hot and sticky, in the high 70s and low 80s, one of the first truly gross New York summer days of the year, and yet Laurel and Devyn, two finalists on this season of The Challenge (formerly Real World/Road Rules Challenge) smelled fantastic. My friend wouldn’t stop talking about it. I couldn’t think of more than two questions to ask them, so eventually we asked Devyn what perfume she’s wearing. “Marc Jacobs Daisy!” she said, briefly looking up from her phone, where she was live-tweeting the finale.

This was the 25th season of The Challenge, which has been pitting former cast members of The [...]

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Low, "I'm on Fire"

Low covers Bruce Springsteen, 30 years later. Here, from the same upcoming tribute, are Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires with a rendition of "Born in the USA." [Via Stereogum]

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Sinkane, "How We Be"

Here is a new soul track from Ahmed Gallab, aka Sinkane, who has spent time with Yeasayer, Caribou and Of Montreal, to name a few, and whose solo work has been consistently excellent for years now. [Via]

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Sean O'Neill, "Vienna"

Gorgeous song, gorgeous video, familiar sound, unfamiliar name.

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Jerry Paper, “Real. Now. Love.”

Listen to this song from the other room, and over the sound of your fan, and you might hear a young Stephin Merritt fiddling around with a Casiotone. It's small and loose, and not to be turned up too loud. [Via]

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DOOM and Bishop Nehru, "Darkness"

There is something very old, and satisfying, running through this track by DOOM, the guy who is always wearing a mask, and Bishop Nehru, the teen. [Via]

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Zella Day, "East of Eden"

A track that takes little pieces of all the sounds that you hear everywhere right now, wraps them in a big heavy blanket, and tells them to relax for a few minutes. [Via]