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All Songs Considered

"It's really easy to throw in the kitchen sink," says Seattle producer Jeff McIlwain, who's made music under the moniker Lusine (or permutations thereof) since 1999. "It's a lot more difficult to take away."

We're talking about the role self-editing, or subtraction, plays in McIlwain's creative process. While Lusine's catalog is too varied and too open to genre wanderlust to allow for sweeping description, there is a through-line of crystalline restraint across the breadth of his discography.

Fire-Toolz's hyper-digitalia sounds like a row of belching slot machines expectorating into a pachinko machine in Hades. The glowstick noise that Angel Marcloid makes as Fire-Toolz is an oblong step past The Soft Pink Truth's electronic black-metal covers project in 2014, but far more unhinged — and that's saying something — and far more fluid in how it simultaneously dismantles and celebrates its own click-and-drag melange.

Though Byron Blaylock made his recorded debut as Byron The Aquarius only a year ago, by most standards his musical journey had already been long and fruitful. Born and raised in Birmingham, Ala., Blaylock had been a keyboard and hip-hop production prodigy during the golden Myspace days of the late-Aughts.

Update: You can now stream Future's album in full on Spotify, Apple and other streaming services.

Future woke fans up Tuesday with a surprise announcement via Twitter: "I was preparing the feast. U walked away from the table too soon," he posted.

Pharmakon's industrial noise is a pus boil cauterized into a scar. For over 10 years Margaret Chardiet has left a permanently disfigured mark on the New York City experimental music scene and beyond, hammering her deeply tumulted noise into grueling punk structures. Contact is Pharmakon's third LP made available to a larger audience — at least, those not already combusted by her previous work — following two earlier full-lengths and intermittent releases on limited cassettes and CD-Rs.

Prince's music is a guide to this thing called life. Over the course of his impossibly fruitful career, the Minneapolis maestro fleshed out a philosophy grounded in the belief that humanity's purpose is to realize the unity of body and spirit, through pleasure, relationships and music itself. It's all laid out musically in his manifesto "D.M.S.R.," from 1999: "Take a deeper breath and sing along with me," Prince exhorts, "Dance music sex romance!"

Sincerity, community and beauty is how I think of Lowland Hum; the sounds of Lauren and Daniel Goans. Thin is the husband and wife duo's third album since their 2013 debut, further refining their hushed harmonies and aural paintings. It's a sound that makes them a quiet Sunday-morning favorite. Some of the imagery comes from the beauty they see in the landscapes and locales they traverse and visit all over this country; art centers, cafes, nightclubs, house shows, racking up something like 45,000 miles in a Toyota Sienna between 2014 and 2015.

When the Los Angeles-based rock group Giant Drag released it's debut full-length, Hearts And Unicorns, in 2005, fans were immediately taken by frontwoman Annie Hardy's playful and fearless crush of the innocent into the profane. She intentionally subverted her image - pigtails with large, bashful eyes and an almost childlike voice - with brawny guitar noise and provocative songs like "You're Full of S*** (Check Out My Sweet Riffs)" and "YFLMD." (I'll let you look up that second one).

February isn't exactly the best month, what with all the cold weather, limited daylight, copious awards shows, New England Patriots Super Bowl victories, and Valentine's Day. So you'd be forgiven for thinking, "The only thing that could truly articulate my pain is a band in which puppets sport eyeliner and sing a song called "I Am Sad And So Am I."

Everything about the long-running Rockabye Baby! music series sparks a smile. On its surface alone the project, which turns hits by Black Sabbath, Prince and other pop and rock artists into tinkling lullabies, is pure comedy, mining the gulf between Iron Maiden and a pacifier. But it's also notable for how fully realized and deftly orchestrated these cover songs are.

Japan's current psychedelic scene honors its roots – from the motorcycle guitar-rock of Les Rallizes Dénudés and High Rise to the still-running and unpinnable Acid Mothers Temple – but also puts a premium on meditative transcendence.

Nick Bairatchnyi and Jackson Mansfield have been making music together since they were teenagers, which wasn't too long ago. After graduating high school and a move to Philadelphia from Washington, D.C., they locked into The Obsessives' sound, informed by the yelping and dexterous emo of Braid with a touch of Pixies.

When Jens Lekman sings a song, it often seems to me like we're friends chatting on the couch, its twists and turns like the stream of a consciousness.

At Babak's school there is a 3D printer,

and he prints out a model of the tumor,

that was surgically removed from his back this winter,

in it's rugged grey plastic it looks lunar.

He puts the tumor in his breastpocket,

as we head out for a beer.

Ahead of a long string of dates with Kilo Kish — dubbed The Life Aquatic Tour — the Long Beach rapper Vince Staples has released a new track. "BagBak" is punchy piece of Detroit club music with gritty beats that sound like DJ Assault mining Kraftwerk for dirt.

On the internet, we can be anonymous, hitting up a dating site as "smooth0perator1" in hopes of a hook-up, or subtweeting frenemies under the comfort of an inscrutable avatar.

It may seem like a trivial thought, but one of the purposes of art is to make sense of the times that we live in — usually, though not always, by reflecting them back at the audience, as though through a prism. But great art — and music most definitely applies as a great art — can add a layer of meaning regardless of circumstance.

Grails could never be accused of staying in its lane. The instrumental rock band plays with its far-reaching influences like a world-building card game, adding and taking away sounds with thoughtful strategy.

There's an electric thrill to Caddywhompus not heard in too many guitar and drum duos. Where others examine the extremes of the spare or the loud, Chris Rehm (guitar, vocals) and Sean Hart (drums) mine math-rock, frenetic punk and the bombastic end of pop to generate a signature, euphoric sonic boom.

The syrupy and grand "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me," originally written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin (the man behind many of John's lyrics) and released in 1974, wouldn't be a bona fide success until 17 years later, thanks to George Michael.

There's been some changes for Real Estate — most notably, the departure of guitarist Matt Mondanile. Yet the more things change, the more they seem to stay the same. And that's just fine.

Well, you can't deny the title. Blondie has announced its 11th album, Pollinator, with lead single "Fun," a disco-heavy new wave track that recalls the Blondie of yesteryear, which was written by TV On The Radio's Dave Sitek.

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