The latest track to emerge from Stephen Malkmus's new album, Mirror Traffic – produced by Beck, made with the Jicks – ahead of its 22 August release is the upbeat jaunt "Senator".
The song contains the racy lyric, "I know what the senator wants – what the senator wants is a blow job." Hear it at whatdoesthesenatorwant.com, where it takes centre stage in a competition: Malkmus (below) and co are seeking suggestions for an alternative to "blow job" for what the senator might want, to be used on a radio-friendly version of the track. Online submissions close on 23 August and the winner will be announced on 15 September, when the new version will be recorded for the radio single. The winner gets their own 7" record featuring their version of "Senator" alongside the original.
Lucky 13 for a rap-rock mash
Just when you thought you never needed to hear more clever mash-ups of hip-hop and rock, another comes along. Tracks from the "Wugazi" mash-up project – mixing, you've guessed it, Wu-Tang Clan and Fugazi – by the producers Cecil Otter and Swiss Andy have been floating around for a couple of weeks. Last week, the 13-track record, 13 Chambers, was made available free at wugazi.com. Despite reservations about such mash-ups after all these years – the era-defining Grey Album is more than seven years old – this mixture of rap and post-hardcore punk make a good fit.
Smells like a free tribute
September marks 20 years since Nirvana released Nevermind, so get ready for lots of anniversary think-pieces and oral histories in the coming weeks. First out of the blocks is Spin magazine , whose August edition is dedicated to the record. To sweeten the deal, the magazine has a free tribute album to Nevermind, called Newermind, with cover versions of each track on the record by the likes of Jeff the Brotherhood, Surfer Blood and Titus Andronicus. It's free on Spin's Facebook page at ind.pn/nEqy2T – to get it you have to hit the "like" button.
Beastie Boys are go
A treat of any new Beastie Boys album is the inventive videos that come with it. To coincide with Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, we saw the star-studded "Fight for Your Right (Revisited)" video paying homage to the band's 1987 song and featuring the LP's lead single, "Make Some Noise". Now they follow with a video for "Don't Play No Games That I Can't Win", made with their long-time collaborator Spike Jonze. This time the band and the guest vocalist Santigold are recast as Thunderbirds-style action figures on an epic action adventure. It doesn't reach the heights of previous efforts with Jonze, such as the promo for "Sabotage", but it's still fun. See it at beastieboys.com.