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Friday Coda: Fly Lo, Aphex Twin, Tracey Thorn, U2, Apple and more

Friday Coda: Fly Lo, Aphex Twin, Tracey Thorn, U2, Apple and more
A screen shot from the clip for "Never Catch Me," a new track from Flying Lotus' forthcoming album. (Flying Lotus / Warp Records)

Booty, beauty, beats and Kate Bush. Below, a rundown of some of what happened this week in popular music. 

-- A few decades from now, when music historians are writing the tome of Los Angeles in the early part of the century, two names will be at the top of the list: Rapper Kendrick Lamar and beat producer Flying Lotus.

One sentence in that book will read: "In 2014, the two finally teamed to record, and did so with a genre-bending track called 'Never Catch Me.' It confirmed kindred spirits in the midst of creative peaks." Or something like that. Just released, the new song from Lotus' forthcoming full length 'You're Dead!" is now available. Listen to "Never Catch Me."

-- Taylor Swift's insidiously catchy new single "Shake It Off" debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Better news? America's long musical nightmare is coming to an end: Magic's "Rude," though still in the top 10, has fallen from the top spot down to No. 8. By the end of September it should be gone for good. Right? This week's Billboard Hot 100.

-- Brits are lining up to wax on about their pop queen, Kate Bush, and much of the writing that has accompanied the artist's recent return to live performance is so effusive as to be redundant.

Then there's Tracey Thorn's take. Thorn, best known for her candlelit work with Everything but the Girl, is a fantastic writer, and details the mixed emotions that came when Bush announced her first string of live shows in decades.

Thorn seldom performs live, and has always had a solid response to those who wonder on the decision.

"When I’m backed into a corner I pull out my handy list of fellow refuseniks," she writes. "'David Bowie, Liz Fraser, Linda Thompson,' I’ll shout triumphantly. 'Scott Walker, Paddy McAloon, Paul Buchanan.' And my trump card has always been Kate Bush, who beats the rest of us into a cocked hat, having toured once in 35 years." 

The whole piece is worth a read, especially to the baffled Americans who can't wrap their heads around England's devotion to Bush. Read it at the New Statesman. 

-- Look, out yonder! Is that a coming U2 media typhoon on the horizon? We'll know soon! Rumors are that the Irish band is getting ready to drop fresh music, executive produced by Dangermouse! News enough, yes?

But some sources are linking the impending frenzy to another tempest-to-come: the release of Apple's new iPhone 6! Will the Internet be able to handle the chaos? We'll find out on Tuesday, when Apple announces! Oh, but is it true? According to Business Insider, probably not!

-- The world's a little quieter this week: Comedian Joan Rivers died. Amid the deserved appreciations, a clip of Rivers and some teenage Beastie Boys has been going around, and it's worth a watch.

Rivers opens by introducing -- and misstating -- the Beastie Boys' debut album "Licensed to Ill" during a performance on her late night show: "That's a stupid name for an album," she hollers at them while they're getting ready to perform. "It should have been called 'Licensed to Kill.' It would have gone platinum in four weeks." Watch 10 minutes of Rivers squaring off with three young upstarts on YouTube.

-- Aphex Twin, the mercurial British electronic music composer, is returning to the spotlight, releasing his first new music since the lukewarmly received 2001 album "Drukqs." Teasing his upcoming new album "SYRO," the artist born Richard D. James has released the first track from it. A typically obtuse title, it's called "minipops 67 [120.2][source field mix]," and showcases the artist's melodic side. The full album comes out Sept. 23.

-- There are trailers for upcoming music videos, which is weird. The most high-profile one released this week features a woman celebrating her booty. Her name is Jennifer Lopez, and she seems very proud of her butt in the teaser for "Booty." She slaps it, rubs it. Iggy Azalea is featured, to boot. Watch on YouTube.

-- The obsessives at Los Angeles' great music portal Dublab, celebrating 15 years in the middle of the city's thriving electronic music scene, has unveiled its new website. It offers quicker, easier access to its voluminous library of mixes and DJ sessions. The reboot should serve as a reminder of Dublab's continuing influence on the city's art scene. Check out Dublab.

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-- The outspoken EDM artist Deadmau5 has a new windmill to tilt against: The Walt Disney Corp. When performing, the musician wears a jumbo mouse head with prominent round ears very suggestive of Minnie and/or Mickey Mouse. He's trying to trademark that head, but guess what? Disney has a problem with this, and is opposing the application with a 171-page brief.

Deadmau5's response, via Twitter: "Lawyer up, Mickey," he wrote, followed by another. "Disney thinks you might confuse an established electronic musician/performer with a cartoon mouse. That's how stupid they think you are.

You know what else is ill-advised? Telling a billion-dollar corporation to lawyer up. Read at the Guardian.

-- Elvis Costello with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Hell yes. See you there. 

Follow Randall Roberts on Twitter @liledit. Listen to his fave tracks of 2014 on the regularly updated Spotify playlist, Jamz of 2014.

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