In the New Yorker this month, Sasha Frere-Jones previews "Show Your Bones," the forthcoming album from art punkers the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, as well providing a potted history for those who are new to the group. The band has recently added a fourth member, as Pitchfork reports; could Karen O and her boys be trying lose their reputation as "a noisy and idiosyncratic band that lacks a bass player and has a sound that is sometimes thin and spiky," and making a bid for the big time? Frere-Jones explains that the album "borrows liberally from R.E.M., Sonic Youth, and Nirvana, which is a sign of confidence; the Yeah Yeah Yeahs know that no one will mistake them for anyone else, however much they plunder the past." Decide for yourself -- the band's official Web site is streaming comeback single "Gold Lion" -- a slowly building rocker (look under "news"). Various blogs, meanwhile, including Central Village, have a remix of the track by M.I.A. collaborator Diplo -- a funky, speeded-up Alvin and the Chipmunks version, which is, dare I say it, a little bit better than the original.
Now, here at Audiofile we know the dangers of rap beefs -- the macho musical rivalries that can often get out of hand. We report on events like Cam'ron's recent dissing of Jay-Z as a public service, not to glorify such actions. It is with a heavy heart, therefore, that I feel I must point you toward the latest burgeoning hip-hop feud. Remember "Lazy Sunday," the hilarious "Narnia" rap from "Saturday Night Live" that stormed the Internet a while back? Well, a couple of jokers from Los Angeles have produced their own "West Coast" answer to the song: "Lazy Monday." "It just struck us that doing a West Coast rap in the same vein of rapping about things that were totally not hard-core might be a fun thing to do," one of the faux rappers tells CNET News. While not nearly as funny as the original, "Lazy Monday" is fairly well made and briefly diverting. (We just hope this doesn't mean every nerd with access to a video camera will take this as a cue to have a go himself.)
-- Matt Glazebrook