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Refused Are Back With Their First New Song in 17 Years

After a 17-year-long break from music, Refused will release their fourth album, Freedom, this June. And we already have its first headbanging new single, "Elektra," produced by none other than Taylor Swift fave (and fellow Swede) Shellback.

But in case the name Refused isn't ringing any bells — after all, the last time they were musically relevant was 1998 — here's a quick refresher. You might remember Refused for their bloodcurdling hit "New Noise" (especially that bonkers video). It's a song from 1998's The Shape of Punk to Come, an album that cemented their status as the quasi-godfathers of screamo. Though their influence may have had staying power, the band itself didn't. They broke up not long after that album's release due to internal bickering. They reunited for some shows (most memorably Coachella) in 2012, but then broke up again.

Fast-forward to 2015, and it appears they're back for good? Or at least long enough to release an album. "It’s not a reunion anymore. This is one of the most radical things we’ve ever done, both musically and lyrically," front man Dennis Lyxzén says. Just tell me one thing: Can I scream?!

Mariah Carey’s ‘Infinity’ Takes Us Back to the ’90s

Mariah Carey has had a rough time lately: She was struggling in concert, filed for divorce from her husband Nick Cannon in January, and has to fend off comparisons from these little whippersnappers. So why not remember the good times — i.e., the '90s? Enter "Infinity," the (only) new track off her compilation album, #1 to Infinity, which has all 18 of her No. 1 singles, plus this single. It's a throwback in the best way: empowering lyrics, soaring vocals, and a chorus with multisyllabic words (and French!) that you can mangle at karaoke. Take that, Nick Cannon!

Justin Bieber Crashes a Prom, Makes People’s Heads Explode

Justin Bieber crashed Chatsworth Charter High School's prom this weekend and stayed just long enough to do some half-assed dance moves. Nothing says #memories like the Biebs showing up and dancing with your date, so obviously there's footage of the singer throwing up his ones and kind of twirling around. Actually, it almost looks like he was about to break into this, but then he skedaddles. (Maybe because he was pretending he was at Stagecoach ... and then realized what he was doing.) Anyway, this is what true happiness looks (and sounds) like in 2015.

  • Posted 4/26/15 at 11:50 PM
  • Drama

Amy Winehouse Documentary Is ‘Unbalanced’ and ‘Misleading,’ According to Her Family

Amy Winehouse's relatives are already not fans of the upcoming documentary about the late Grammy Award–winning singer. Winehouse's family has issued a statement to People that calls the movie, which will debut at Cannes next month, unbalanced and incorrect. "It is both misleading and contains some basic untruths," the statement says. "The narrative is formed by the testimony of a narrow sample of Amy's associates, many of whom had nothing to do with her in the last years of her life. Counter views expressed to the filmmakers did not make the final cut." Winehouse's relatives also reportedly want to distance themselves from Asif Kapadia's project because they believe it ignores how they and medical professionals tried to help Winehouse. Legal action could be on the table.

A spokesperson for the film said otherwise. »

Replacements Play a New Song About Whole Foods

The Replacements, which currently consists of longtime members Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson, have been playing a new track called “Whole Foods Blues” at recent shows. The song is now streaming in a pretty decent fan-shot video (isn't technology wonderful?). The slow, bluesy song details a sad trip to the grocery store, where Westerberg gets “A protein shake/ To keep [his] girlish figure.”

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Jay Z Issues ‘Stream of Consciousness’ Defense of Tidal

Tidal may not be the Illuminati, but it's proven to be extremely controversial. With not so many users, a recent changing of the guard, and some less-than-kind words from the legendary Steve Albini, the celebrity-backed music-streaming service has had a turbulent first month. But Jay Z, who is preparing to release an album with Beyoncé on Tidal, is not ready to stop fighting. On Sunday, he took to Twitter (where else?) to defend the project. Read his tweets below:

  • Posted 4/24/15 at 4:50 PM
  • Covers

Britney Spears’s Cover of ‘Tom’s Diner’ Sounds Like a Haunting, Futuristic Diner (That Still Serves Grilled Cheese)

Anyone ever put Suzanne Vega and Britney Spears together? Not until this very moment, when a leaked track from Giorgio Moroder's upcoming album featured Spears doing a cover of the '90s classic. How does it sound? Well, both offensively blasphemous and undeniably catchy: 

  • Posted 4/24/15 at 10:54 AM

Montage of Heck and the Impossible Kurt Cobain

About a half hour into Brett Morgen’s new documentary Montage of Heck, the camera lingers on a note written in the slanted, scratchy handwriting of a teenage Kurt Cobain. It’s intended for his first girlfriend, Tracy Marander, with whom he lived for a little while in Olympia, Washington, while he was first putting together a band he briefly thought of calling Man Bug or Fecal Matter before finally settling on Nirvana. “Don’t read my diary when I’m gone,” the note says. Then, just below it, in the same script: “When you wake up, please read my diary. Look through my things, and figure me out.” What are we to make of this contradiction? What is its tone? Sarcastic? Playful? Needy? Marander hints that it might be all of the above, but the only person who can really tell us for sure has been gone now for 21 years. 

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Fallon’s Steve Higgins Tries to Out-Shaggy Shaggy, Nearly Does

Human spirit animal Steve Higgins, the dapper announcer on Jimmy Fallon's Tonight Show, does a pretty stellar Shaggy impression — to the point where he almost makes Shaggy look like a poser. Okay, not really, but he can roll his Rs really well and is great at rat-tailing the air with the Jamaican flag.

Chemical Brothers Return With New Banger After 5-Year Album Hiatus

It's been five years since the last full-scale release from Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons, the English duo behind the electronic outfit Chemical Brothers, but the wait is over. Born in the Echoes is due in July, and its first single, "Sometimes I Feel So Deserted," is laced with so many heavy beat-drops and seamless techno progressions that it's damn near impossible to listen to without busting some serious dance moves. Joining the Chemical Bros. on the new LP are heavy-hitting contemporaries including Beck and Q-Tip, as well as relative newcomers like St. Vincent and Cat Le Bon. The Chemical Brothers will be hitting the festival circuit this summer, though Simons won't be a part of it, citing conflicts with his "academic pursuits." Stream the new song below.

Chet Faker Has a ‘No Diggity’ Problem

Chet Faker, the hirsute Australian electronic musician whose silky, soulful single “Gold” was recently used in an ad for the new Apple laptop, didn’t know that his first release, a minimalist, unexpectedly charming cover of Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” back in 2011, would lead him to so much success. The throwback '90s R&B jam, included on his debut EP Thinking in Textures, has become a staple during live shows, including, recently, a packed house at Manhattan’s Terminal 5, where the mostly white, mostly 20-something crowd went nuts for it during the set. “That song was taken with a sense of irony [that] seemed obvious to me,” he says. “But irony gets lost, especially in the public eye.”

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Heidi Klum and Oberyn Martell Act Like Weirdos in a Lingerie Ad Set to Sia's Music [Corrected]

Sia's new music video "Fire and Gasoline" is weird, but not the kind of weird we've come to love about Sia. Instead, we have Heidi Klum and Oberyn Martell Pedro Pascal in what is part-lingerie-ad, part-murder-mystery, part-how-to-guide for collecting insurance on the house. There are lots of sexy, romantic poses (sell the garment!) and some bewildering narrative that maybe involves murder and definitely involves arson. We have no idea what's going on, but what we do know is that we miss Sia's pirouetting stand-in Maddie Ziegler.*

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  • Posted 4/23/15 at 8:00 AM
  • Profile

The Post-Gender, Post-Genre Charm of Indie Music’s Newest Star

Midway through lunch at a divey Williamsburg Mexican joint, Shamir Bailey turned into a puppet. Well, on the internet, anyway — at some moment between the chips and guac and the lengua chimichangas, the video for his bouncy new “Call It Off” premiered online, kicking up a flurry of faves, reblogs, and a few WTFs. The clip features the charismatic 20-year-old singer undergoing a transformation from man to puppet; as he leans over the table to show me a few pictures, he brags, “I know I look good in felt.”

He doesn’t relate to the terms ‘male’ or ‘female’ — he’s “just Shamir.” »

  • Posted 4/22/15 at 10:38 PM
  • Music

Report: That Rumored Jay Z–Beyoncé Album Is Coming to Tidal

Tidal has seen better days — well, that's not true ... but maybe it's about to see better days? DJ Skee's beautiful hearsay from last year has an update, courtesy of none other than DJ Skee and his "sources." When discussing the seemingly elitist streaming service on his show, Skee casually said that his sources claim Bey and Jay's joint album is nearing completion and will be released exclusively on Tidal. (Exclusively on Tidal. This is like Halo for Xbox all over again, SOS.) The producer known as Detail coyly confirmed the album's existence for Billboard earlier this year, and Bey and Jay have already dropped some exclusives on Tidal, so it's not totally far-fetched. But if it's true, there will totally be riots. Or, as Skee says, it'll just leak everywhere but Tidal. Here's hoping this rumored risk pays off.

Don’t Sound the Death Knell for Tidal Just Yet

Tidal is awful. Tidal is a flop. Tidal launched with the weirdest press conference in history. Tidal is for out-of-touch pop stars who, in spite of their unfathomable wealth, want more money from us. There’s no shortage of criticism and vitriol being lobbed at the Jay Z–fronted nascent streaming service, and if you believe the reports, the whole thing is already dead in the water. It’s easy to make that assessment; after three weeks, no one is downloading the app.

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Kurt and Courtney’s Old L.A. Apartment Is Available on Airbnb

With Brett Morgen’s documentary Montage of Heck playing at the Tribeca Film Festival and on HBO on May 4, the intimate details of Kurt Cobain’s life are getting a fresh look. And now fans of the late musician have a new, even more intense way to experience the Nirvana icon's life: the Los Angeles apartment he shared with Courtney Love from 1991 to 1992 is currently an Airbnb rental.

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Lana Del Rey Teases ‘Life Is Beautiful’ in New Age of Adaline Trailer

Ahead of its weekend release, Age of Adaline is giving us a double whammy: a new trailer and a preview of a new Lana Del Rey song. Nary a frame in this trailer is actually new, compared to the much longer one released last year; the biggest differences are the narrator has been replaced by Rey's ethereal voice, and the movie's vignettes have been chopped up in a much more surreal fashion. You'll be able to hear more of the song, titled "Life Is Beautiful," on Friday, when the film's released. For what it's worth, Rey has called the movie "magical" and "beautiful" — both of which, as it turns out, are fitting words for her latest track.

10 Best New Songs of the Week

Every week, members of the Vulture staff highlight the best new music of 2015. We do not discriminate; as long as the song is worthy of your ears and attention, you will find it here. Read our picks below, share yours in the comments, and subscribe to the Vulture 2015 Playlist for a comprehensive guide to the year's best new tunes.

Ryan Adams, “Oh Sweet Carolina” (live from Carnegie Hall)
I practically cried when I heard that Ryan Adams was planning to release a 42-track album of his two performances at New York’s Carnegie Hall. This is because I know that the best Ryan Adams is the one onstage, all vulnerable, bantering about beating the final level in Angry Birds and then segueing right into “My Sweet Carolina.” Go pick him up. (Just making that reference caused tears.) —Lindsey Weber (@LindseyWeber)

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Rihanna Got So High Yesterday, She Dropped a New Song for 4/20 a Day Late

When you're Rihanna, 4/20 is every day. So it's possible she just lost track of time — ransacking a Duane Reade for snacks when you have the munchies is time-consuming — and forgot to drop her new weed-themed song on the actual national day of ganja. Whatever the reason, it's here today, and while it's merely a brief mellowed-out, R&B-flavored interlude called "James Joint" from her upcoming album, it'll have to do until we finally get our hands on R8. We'd rather be smoking weed with you, too, RiRi.

Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck Director Brett Morgen on Humanizing a Music Legend

When Courtney Love gave director Brett Morgen, who was known for his sharply focused documentaries like The Kid Stays in the Picture, access to a storage room full of Kurt Cobain memorabilia to use as raw source material for his new documentary Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, she told him he could do whatever he wanted with what he found; she didn't want to micromanage and hadn't been through the material herself. "I trusted him," she told a crowd after a recent screening during the Tribeca Film Festival. To Morgen's delight, tucked away in the storage facility was a box of unheard cassette tapes recorded by Cobain, including the 1988 sound collage he titled Montage of HeckMorgen's one instruction from Love and executive producer Frances Bean Cobain was to humanize the son, brother, husband, and father who unwittingly became the voice of a generation. As one of the most mythologized figures in rock and roll, he says, it was not easy. Morgen set about his work by using the wealth of original art, diaries, home movies, cassette tapes, and other materials found in the storage facility as guide posts for what he describes as a "family origin story." It starts with Cobain's childhood in Aberdeen, Washington, and ends abruptly on the eve of his suicide in 1994.

Morgen has been working on Montage (at the Tribeca Film Festival this week, in theaters April 24, and coming to HBO May 4) since 2007. During that time, a protracted legal battle between Love and her daughter kept the film in limbo. "There was a tsunami of shit in between," said Love. "I caused most of it, but it's all smooth now." After he screened the film for the two of them for the first time, Morgen says he went into a bathroom and wept for 25 minutes. "It had to do with the fact that from that moment on, I was going to be drifting away from Kurt," he confesses. "That for years, he was the central focus of my work, and I felt like I spent more time with him than anyone outside of my immediate family." Vulture spoke with Morgen while he was in Amsterdam during the final night of a European promotional tour and on his way back to New York for the film's U.S. release, about making the documentary, developing an intimate relationship with Kurt, and the film's reception. 

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