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The 12 Best Songs of 2015 (So Far)

A roundup to help on the way to this year's best albums lists. Read More

Justin Bieber visited The Tonight Show this week, and for the second time, went one-on-one with Questlove in a drum battle. As far as drum-offs go, this one is pretty darn impressive. Maybe Quest was just being nice to the show guest, but Biebs seems to have handily won this round. Discuss

With their powers combined, The National's Matt Berninger and Menomena/Ramona Falls' Brent Knopf became EL VY. The band’s first act of heroism? Proving that hanging out with your friends is every bit as cool as you think it is. They do just that in the video for “I’m The Man to Be,” goofing off in Venice Beach and Santa Monica.

“There’s this great Schoolboy Q song ‘There He Go’ which samples Menomena’s ‘Wet and Rusting.'” Says Berninger of the track. “I thought it would be funny to re-sample the same sample and do it from the perspective of a pathetic self-aggrandizing rocker alone in a hotel room. Something I know a lot about. That’s how it started but then Brent took the sample out and we wrote an entirely new song.”

Check out the clip below. Their debut album Return to the Moon is due out October 30.

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Last year, SXSW, the Austin festival/music conference, hosted a meeting of musical minds, as Spoon's Britt Daniel, Arcade Fire's Will Butler, and Superchunk's Mac McCaughan joined up during a panel to discuss songwriting. Each of music’s coolest dudes also performed during the hour-long event—as though simply hearing their thoughts on the creative process wasn’t enough. (Easter Egg for the super indie fans: Big Star’s Jody Stephens just “happens” to be in the audience, and joins in on the fun.) Check out footage from the full event below.

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Hip-hop star T-Pain sang the National Anthem to open a Dodgers game this week—without the use of his signature Auto-Tune voice modulation—and the video serves as further evidence that T-Pain is actually an amazing singer. Watch the video below, and wonder why he’d ever use Auto-Tune in the first place. Discuss

Indie rock band Destroyer’s video for Poison Season cut “Times Square” is a cartoon romp through the forest. Sure, the titular New York location makes a cameo, as does frontman Dan Bejar. But the real stars here are stop-motion creatures. Warning: their creepy cuteness might make you think twice before going out into the woods. Check out the Shayne Ehman directed clip below. Poison Season is out tomorrow on Merge Records.

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