Beyoncé And Diplo Load Up On Accessories

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After leaking in demo form last night, Beyoncé's "Girls (Who Run The World)," the first single from her imminent album, has appeared in fuller form. The Diplo-produced track, which samples Major Lazer's "Pon de Floor," is a bit overstuffed, but fairly enjoyable. It starts off sounding like a Willow Smith song, thanks to its schoolyard chants about "girls" over a militaristic beat--here we might remind you, also, that B turns 30 this September--but then Beyoncé's sideways approach to melody comes in when she starts singing, and the song's pretty unmistakably hers from that point on.

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2010: The Year In Music Photos

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The year in music, circa 2010, started at the Cake Shop, with a shred-down to the New Year courtesy of Siren Festival MVP-to-be Marissa Paternoster and her band Screaming Females. After a tour through the NYE fetes of the Lower East Side and Williamsburg, that night ended amidst a marathon show at Bushwick's Shea Stadium, right around the time the Blastoids' drummer poured paint on his kit and started splattering away.

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Live: Scantily Clad Antics Aplenty As Major Lazer And Boys Noize Headline The Hard Festival At Terminal 5

This weekend ushered in both spring and the return of NY-via-L.A. super-party Hardfest, holding a packed, sweaty fete Saturday night at Terminal 5, one part enormous dance-music showcase (featuring Boys Noize, Major Lazer, and Buraka Som Sistema this round) and one part general mayhem. T5 held an incredible (and incredibly overwhelming) number of teenagers with Mom and Dad in tow, along with colorfully beaded and spaced-out rave fiends, several people who'd forgotten or lost their clothes, and graying men hellbent on pushing their way to the edge of the stage rather than hanging back by the bar. It's time to get weird.

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The Badgeless Scenes of SXSW:Levi's/Fader Fort, Blue Sky Studio, French Legation Museum and More

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Major Lazer with Skerrit Bwoy at Jelly's Carniville

Our resident ninja photog Rebecca Smeyne spent her time at South By Southwest exploring the festival's badgeless margins--the shows anybody with a little creativity and a lot of patience could attend. From the party for Death + Taxes Magazine where No Age and Japandroids played, to the Cinders Gallery installation at OK Mountain to a random show on a random porch, she managed to catch things even the rest of us who were there didn't experience. Her photos from Austin, which aren't quite like anything else we've seen from the festival, are below.

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Jimmy Kimmel Exposes the Aziz Ansari/Major Lazer Connection

Never in my life did I think I'd witness a late night TV bit that turned on explaining to a national audience who exactly Skeritt Bwoy is, and why you might see him at a Major Lazer concert. You've got to give it to Aziz Ansari--from Kanye to R. Kelly to Diplo and Switch, he keeps music-related jokes extremely au courant. And hilarious--even to an extremely confused Kate Walsh, whose scandalized laughter basically makes this worth it all by itself. The anecdote involves Skeritt Bwoy inciting Aziz to create a new dance for an increasingly baffled Australian audience but whatever, just watch it.


See Diplo, Nina Sky, Hopefully "Keep It Goin' Louder" at Ella Tonight

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We pass this along because the presence of Diplo and Nina Sky in the same place should hopefully guarantee "Keep It Goin' Louder," Major Lazer's dizzy and unabashed and furiously out-of-character house anthem, which we've seen them do before, to monster effect. It's August, and while this song never became the absurd jeep-melting summer jam it could've easily been, our guess is it'll sound pretty right over at Ella come midnight on a day as miserably hot as this one's been. Ricky Blaze is not otherwise engaged, right? Where else could he possibly be? [Diplo]

Streaking Past Viacom Offices in Times Square Now Legitimate Path to MTV Video Music Award Nominations

Hey, so the downy elf with the dilated pupils who dwells inside the padded confines of MTV's viral marketing campaign closet did good today! The MTV Video Music Award Nominations are out, and boy, look at that Breakthrough Video category: the ninja-filled, Underworld-vibing video to Bat For Lash's "Daniel"; the high-tech clip to Chairlift's "Utensil" that forced Kanye to self-destruct his vaguely similar "Welcome to Heartbreak"; an honest-to-goodness Major Lazer video, although not the daggering one from yesterday; and of course, Matt & Kim streaking through Times Square, among other nominations of songs by Cold War Kids, Passion Pit, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Death Cab for Cutie, and Anjulie. Surely this category will restore other categories like Best Director, featuring Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi," and Best Hip-Hop Video, featuring Flo Rida's "Right Round," to dignity. Not to mention healthy, alternative, digital respect. Vote now; the Twitter-politicking has already begun.

On Major Lazer's Disconcertingly Dry-Humping-Centric Video for "Pon De Floor"

So this is basically ToeJam & Earl + Donnie Darko + The Sims + a Japanese game show + straight-up pornography. It's not really safe for work unless you work at The Fader, in which case, well, actually, this is what I imagine working at The Fader is like.

Photos: Mazor Lazer, The Virgins, Amazing Baby, Conor Oberst, Public Enemy at Japan's Fuji Rock Festival

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all photos by Rebecca Smeyne

While you were busy shrieking at the East River stormclouds this past weekend, some of our locals were overseas for Fuji Rock, a gorgeously run three-day Japanese music festival. There were approximately 130,000 attendees, Oasis, Weezer, and Franz Ferdinand as headliners, and barely any trash left behind each day, "which is amazing for that number of people," points out photographer Rebecca Smeyne, who was there on her way back from traveling around China with These Are Powers. Certainly a better outcome than the first Fuji Rock ever, which took place in 1997 and got cancelled in the middle of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' headlining set due to an ensuing typhoon. Take that, Sunday lightning storm. Other performers this year at Fuji Rock included Major Lazer, Amazing Baby, the Virgins, Patti Smith, Conor Oberst, and Bad Brains. Sweet photos are below.

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Live: Major Lazer Don't Exist

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S.O.B.'s
Saturday, June 13

At 2AM, as you wait, making listless small talk, for the belated arrival of a band that may or may not even really exist, it suddenly becomes very easy to believe that someone is fucking with you--cosmically, or maybe even out-and-out personally. Major Lazer, the ontologically vague dancehall pastiche project by--depending on who you believe--a one-armed Jamaican commando zombie or the human DJ duo of Diplo and Switch, is taking a long time to manifest itself, whatever it is. We are long past a scheduled 1AM start time and, short of a brief and confused bout of emo shouting by Brooklyn's lil'est toaster, Ricky Blaze, the stage is graced only by a floor-to-ceiling video of an unspecified country's Carnaval, year and date unknown.

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