Lots of people have been playing around with the form of R&B music lately, twisting it up to arty ends. And a lot of that stuff is really, really great. But R&B, even in its poppiest and most accessible forms, can also be a wonderful thing when done straight-up, with vision and confidence. And Aquarius, the official debut from the L.A. singer Tinashe, is the best straight-up R&B album I’ve heard in some time. We’ve posted a few of its early tracks — the hit “2 On” with Schoolboy Q, “Pretend” with A$AP Rocky,” “Bet” with Dev Hynes, “Feels Like Vegas.” But the whole album rules, and now you can stream it all below.

The alluring “50 Cent” was the most recent single from Dean Blunt’s upcoming Black Metal, and before the album’s release date Blunt will issue the song as a 12″ single. Today Blunt unveiled the video for that record’s B-side, the eerie non-album track “Trident.” After a lengthy instrumental intro that matches frigid synth drones with warm guitar noodling, the song veers into dark territory reminiscent of the second half of Talking Heads’ Remain In Light, refracted through the lens of bizarre outsider hip-hop. The video is essentially footage from a crime scene until the song proper starts, at which point it kind of ceases to be a video. The experience will leave you feeling like you’re trapped in some extremely ominous 1980s true-crime television programming. Watch below.

Later this fall, Toro Y Moi’s Chaz Bundick will release Michael, the first full-length from his dance-music alter-ego Les Sins. We’ve already heard first single “Bother” and seen its great video, and now Bundick has shared “Why,” a song he did with the singer Nate Salman. It’s a slick, slippery piece of disco-funk, and it’s further evidence that Bundick is really good at this lush, sculpted dance-music thing. But I sort of wish Bundick was the one singing it; that dude’s voice is awesome. Listen below.

Next month, Weezer are coming to Boston to perform their new album Everything Will Be Alright In The End in full at the relatively small Sinclair. The $65 tickets sold out in an hour, and one enterprising buyer then took to Craigslist to sell his pair of tickets for $500. As reports, an area fan saw the Craigslist ad and got pissed off about it. After one fan Tweeted about it, the venue looked into it and then canceled the scalper’s ticket order, calling the inflated resale a breach of the ticket-buying contract. It’s unclear how he intended to sell the ticket, anyway, since it’s a will-call-only invite and you need to prove that you’re the buyer to get in. Either way, it’s gratifying to see such swift justice. It would be nice if someone could do the same thing to all of Stubhub.


Earlier this month, Chumped released a three-track collection called That’s The Thing Is Like…, the long-awaited followup to last year’s self-titled debut EP. Well, it turns out all that was just a tease for their first full-length, which is due out in November. Everything’s coming up Chumped! The new album features 11 new tracks (plus the fantastic “Hot 97 Summer Jam“), and they’ve just debuted a new one called “Songs About Boats.” As always, it’s effortlessly catchy and unbelievably fun, while still being about some pretty heavy things. (Choice lyrics: “Don’t you give me all those lines about hope/ we can’t spend any more time hoping/ underwater.”) Listen and check out the tracklist for the album (which contains awesome song titles like “Novella Ella Ella Eh” and “The Pains Of Being?”) below.

The first thing you think about when you encounter Angelo De Augustine’s music will probably be Elliott Smith, and understandably so: It’s whispery, gorgeously fragile lo-fi acoustic music from the West Coast. If you’re a fan of the gentler side of the loosely defined “freak folk” movement of 10 years ago — think Sufjan Stevens’ soft prayer Seven Swans, Devendra Banhart at his most trembling, or even José González circa Veneer — “How Past Begins” will probably transport you to some tingling bygone moment. And really, this sort of thing always leads back to Nick Drake, doesn’t it?

We’re at a time in the year where things are beginning to change. This fall doesn’t bring a whole lot of exciting prospects on TV, whether returning shows or new shows. And, of course, all the Oscar season extravaganzas are about to start up. Things do have a way of leveling out — where earlier in the year I directed most of my attention toward prestige (or aspiring-to-be prestige) shows with inventive uses of music, we’re now entering the part of year where there are a ton of movies worth seeing in New York, big and small, with their own broad range of music moments.

Slipknot’s Knotfest festival may or may not be the first music festival that’ll smell like burning camel shit; I honestly don’t know. However, I’m reasonably certain that it’s the first music festival to advertise the fact that it’ll smell like burning camel shit. Next month, the long-running masked Iowa metal band Slipknot will host and headline both days of the festival, sharing the bill with people like Danzig, Anthrax, Tech N9ne, and Hatebreed. But the music is only part of the draw. They’re also advertising on-brand attractions a Slipknot museum, a “Fire Area/Thuderdome,” a goat petting zoo, a junk car drum circle. And then there’s the smell.