Vampire Weekend - "Step"
With each passing year, Vampire Weekend seems less like obnoxious rich kids/cultural pillagers and more like one of the best bands in the world. This nifty little ballad (and to a lesser extent, the more spasmodic, percussive "Diane Young") has me amped for Modern Vampires of the City's May 7 release date.
Kendrick Lamar - "B---- Don't Kill My Vibe (Remix)" feat. Jay-Z
In which one of the best rap songs in recent memory gets repurposed as a victory lap. Supposedly a package "festival" tour with these two is coming to Columbus on May 7, though no specifics have been revealed yet. (Except word is Frank Ocean and Justin Timberlake are only doing the European dates, which is supremely unfortunate.)
Dinosaur Jr. - "Entertainment" (Phoenix cover)
This is billed as a "remix" of the lead single from Phoenix's forthcoming Bankrupt!, but J Mascis and his bros just re-recorded the thing in their own image. It's probably better this way, which doesn't bode super well for that Phoenix album. In fact, you know what beats Phoenix at its own game...
The Strokes - "Tap Out"
...The Strokes' new album Comedown Machine, which is streaming in full at Pitchforkv and is way better than I expected.
Justin Timberlake - "Mirrors"
Perhaps you've heard JT has a new album out this week. (In case you're wondering, I'm in the "eff the haters" camp; it's wonderful.) Floria Sigismondi's clip for the resplendent eight-minute romance jam "Mirrors" tells the story of Timberlake's grandparents, but the song is really all the beauty you need here. The 20/20 Experience is out now on WEG/RCA.
Danny Brown - "Kush Coma"
Every time Danny Brown releases a new song, I feel dumber and dumber for dismissing him at the Thrasher/Converse party at SXSW 2011, where he was slotted between Das Racist and Odd Future. The guy is a genius, and this preview from his upcoming Old is furiously entertaining even for somebody who has never been in a "Kush Coma."
Lil Wayne - "Rich as F---" feat. 2 Chainz
OK, so: Almost every Wayne verse in recent memory is absolute garbage, but we can work with this. I'm glad he's alive.
Fryars - "On Your Own"
This makes me miss Sparklehorse. Love those Sigur Ros ( )-style ethereal background wails. Fryars will have an album out this year on 679 Records. And as long as we're talking about Sigur Ros...
Sigur Ros - "Brennisteinn"
...that band (now a trio) has a new record coming out too, just a year after the last one, which is mighty fast by Sigur Ros standards. This song hits pretty hard by those standards too. Kveikur drops June 18 on XL.
Shlomo - "Bo Peep (Do U Right)" feat. Jeremih
We end on a down note, mood-wise, but an up note quality wise. Shlomo and Jeremih beat Abel Tesfaye at his own game here, no?