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Mandatory Music: Foo Fighters, Run the Jewels (feat. Zack de la Rocha) + More

Kevin Winter, Getty Images

No, your browser didn’t just travel back to 1998 — that really is Zack de la Rocha in that photo — and he’s got new music.

The former Rage Against the Machine frontman shows up on a ferocious new track from Run the Jewels — the rap supergroup who typically aren’t Diffuser fare but who are when they decide to collaborate with Zack de la freaking Rocha. The song is just one entry in a week of incredible new music released — not the least of which includes the long-awaited new track from a certain band of warriors eternally locked in a battle against foo.

If there isn’t anything in this far-reaching batch of Mandatory Music that speaks to you, maybe you need to re-evaluate whether or not your speakers are working properly.


‘Something From Nothing’ from ‘Sonic Highways’

Regardless of what level of music fan you might be, it’s possible you’re sick of seeing Dave Grohl right about now. The pre-album push for Foo Fighters‘ upcoming eighth album, ‘Sonic Highways,’ has been heavy — to say the least. From a documentary series on HBO to a residency on the ‘Late Show with David Letterman,’ it’s been difficult to avoid Grohl’s grinning face for months now. But after you hear the first track released from ‘Sonic Highways’ — the Steve Albini-produced rocker, ‘Something From Nothing’ — you’ll find yourself wishing for more.

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‘Close Your Eyes (and Count to F—)’ from ‘RTJ2′

Speaking of frontmen you can’t seem to escape, Zack de la Rocha definitely doesn’t fall into that category. He’s been more than elusive since Rage Against the Machine broke up in 2000 (aside from a period of sporadic live reunion gigs with the band between 2007 and 2011). He appeared on poet Saul Williams‘ 2004 album along with quick guest spots on countless others and also released an amazing EP in 2008 with former Mars Volta drummer Jon Theodore under the name One Day as a Lion. But he’s just resurfaced with Run the Jewels — the project of rappers El-P and Killer Mike — and as long as a parental guidance sticker wouldn’t dissuade you, it’s definitely worth a listen.


‘Born On the FM Waves of the Heart’ from ‘Other People’s Songs’

Despite the fact that Mike Kinsella (a.k.a. Owen) reunited with two of his former, critically beloved bands this year (Owls released their first album in 13 years and emo institution American Football just played New York’s Webster Hall last weekend), the singer-songwriter also found time to put together an album of covers featuring his stripped down, acoustic renditions of songs by Depeche Mode, the Promise Ring and more. One of the more noticeable change-ups he throws is his cover of the riotous Against Me! anthem, ‘Born On the FM Waves of the Heart.’


‘In the Heat of the Moment’ from ‘Chasing Yesterday’

Since we already checked in with one ’90s radio rocker (de la Rocha), why not see what one of Oasis‘ Gallagher brothers is up to? Noel Gallagher — the guitarist and slightly less belligerent of the two — is set to release the appropriately titled ‘Chasing Yesterday,’ his second album as ‘Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds,’ way down the line in March. But we’ve already got the lead single, ‘In the Heat of the Moment,’ (no, not the one Cartman sang to Congress on ‘South Park‘). If there’s anything else you’re wondering about Gallagher, don’t worry (like upcoming concert dates and whether or not you can pre-order the album) — the video below will fill you in.

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‘Uncast Shadow of a Southern Myth’ from ‘Content Nausea’

Depending on which continent you see Brooklyn indie rockers Parquet Courts on tour in the coming months, they might instead be going by the name ‘Parkay Quarts’ (it’ll reportedly be the former in the U.S. and the latter in Europe). It’s a nod to the fact that the band’s upcoming ‘Content Nausea‘ (following up the full-length, ‘Sunbathing Animal,’ just released in June) features mostly the work of two of the four members with guest collaborators. You can definitely sense the fact that the album was recorded and mastered on a four-track machine in less than two weeks on the moody album closer, ‘Uncast Shadow of a Southern Myth.’

Next: Diffuser Top 10 Video Countdown

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