As a service to readers who may need up-to-date music news and in-the-know talking points for the weekend -- who knows what Tinder may deliver? -- below are a few talking points to impress your date, dinner guests and/or parents, along with tips for possible soundtracks.
-- Jack White went to a Cubs game, morphed into a miserable Cubs fan. (Go Cardinals!) He also covered "Royals," Lorde's ode to the middling Kansas City "baseball" team.
-- To build the groove-heavy new mix for the website Africa in Your Earbuds, Hot Chip singer and cofounder Alexis Taylor dug into his archives. He ended up selecting music that he got "from market stalls in Marrakech, and from street musicians selling their own CDs, as well as my own field recordings of dawn and dusk prayer sounds and general Medina music/noise." It's a good exercise and/or meditation mix, available for streaming and download.
-- While out on the town, The Times' Randy Lewis learned through councilman Tom LaBonge of the sad fate of one particular tree in Griffith Park. The George Harrison memorial tree was killed ... by beetles!
-- Ted Danson and Zach Galifianakis contemplated adapting for the stage the National's documentary "Mistaken for Strangers."
-- The chorus is growing louder for "Girl in a Country Song," the bubbling-under Maddie & Tae gem that addresses the bounty of male country vocalists objectifying the other gender in hit singles.
Written and performed by young singers and songwriters Maddie Marlowe and Tae Dye (along with Aaron Scherz), the defiant rebuttal makes a simple demand. "If you love us as much as you say you do, shouldn't you know our name?" Marlowe told NPR this week, "We want to give this girl that these guys love singing about a voice."
-- Los Angeles beat producer Flying Lotus has been teasing new music for the last few months -- when isn't he? -- and the rumors were confirmed with a release date and a great title for his new full-length. It's called, "You're Dead," to arrive for potential Halloween soundtracks on Oct. 7. As part of the rollout, Lotus requested that fans send their favorite "you're dead references," and tweeted his own.
The record comes out in September, and the producer will tour in support. One notable absence on the itinerary is an L.A. date. Not to worry. Lotus announced via Twitter that "there's no LA date on the tour announcement because there's something extra special planned for home."
-- In a wide-ranging interview with Complex, Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar discussed work on his follow-up to his breakout, "Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City." He hinted that the highly anticipated record might even see release at the end of 2014. Writes Complex's Insanul Ahmed: "He's been working primarily with TDE's in-house producers, Tae Beast and Sounwave of Digi+Phonics, but has also gotten in the studio with Dr. Dre. He's still just getting his ideas down, but so far Kendrick's recorded 30 to 40 new songs for the album (he recorded 60 to 70 songs for GKMC)."
-- This new Japanese girl-ninja video/ad for some thirst-quencher is crazy on its own; toss in that the drummer is best known for his frantic work with the Boredoms, and everybody wins.
-- The seductive Los Angeles-based smooth operators Rhye took some time off after their "Woman" became one of 2013's most acclaimed pop albums. The team of Mike Milosh and Robin Hannibal are reuniting for a string of shows, though, including an L.A. date at the Cathedral Sanctuary at Immanual Presbyterian in early November. Pitchfork offered the dates.