Listening to indie rock these days, it's becoming increasingly difficult to figure out what decade it is. Just when every new group sounds like early-'80s dance punkers Gang of Four, the White Stripes' Jack White has channeled the spirit of the 1970s supergroup: teaming up with fellow Detroiter Brendan Benson and the rhythm section from highly touted the Greenhornes to form mega-indie-band the Raconteurs, as Stereogum and the Modern Age report. Making matters even more confusing, the band's Web site is a rather charming homage to 1980s computer graphics. When you've finished playing around with the old-school command keys ("press H for Home" -- how cute!), you can listen to both sides of the debut Raconteurs single, "Steady as She Goes"/"Store Bought Bones."
Following his foray into the world of sex-toy design, hip-hop entrepreneur 50 Cent is planning the next logical venture -- writing children's books, the Rap News Network reports. Says 50: "The stories will have a positive message, something that kids can learn from." Which is nice. Just so long as 50 doesn't plan to introduce readers to his candy shop or, for that matter, show them his lollipop.
One more reason to imagine it's not winter in wherever you are but springtime in Southern California: The (almost) full lineup of the Coachella Festival has been announced; Consumption Junction has the details here. Headliners Depeche Mode and Tool have got the Midwestern drama geek market covered, but for the rest of us there's a veritable panoply of indie rock's hippest young things (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, the Go! Team, Animal Collective) to get excited about, along with a decent sprinkling of interesting hip-hop and dance music acts (the Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse collaboration act known as Gnarls Barkley, as well as Lady Sovereign). Dave McCabe, frontman of the Zutons, tells the NME he's already looking forward to swapping gloomy Liverpool for sunny Indio, Calif.: "I've heard it's dead cool and that it's in the desert."
-- Matt Glazebrook