Damon Albarn & Jamie Hewlett Make A "Monkey Bee" Video

That previously reported Monkey: Journey To The West project, involving Gorillaz collaborators Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett in the classic tale of a Monkey King approaching monkey enlightenment one monkey day at a time, has become a pretty big deal. First there were the classy openings at opera houses around the world, followed by the BBC commissioning a Hewlett/Albarn reprise (Journey To The East) for their 2008 Summer Olympics Coverage. But this is the pinnacle for this Simian Mobile Opera: a YouTube homepage takeover. Shrimp and white wine for all.

Damon and Jamie sat to talk about it, and also chose the occasion to premiere the video for the Monkey project soundtrack's first single, "Monkey Bee." It's part Gorillaz backbeats, part Chinese folk/modal melodies, part Lord Of The Ringsy epic battle-sequence art direction, with some tail-end post-punk and unhelpful subtitles just in case you need more things to pay attention to. - Source

New Flaming Lips - "Once Beyond Hopelessness" (Stereogum Premiere)

Last week "Space Bible With Volume Lumps" put us in the proper mindset for Christmas On Mars, the seven-years-in-the-making science-fiction film written and directed by guitar hero Wayne Coyne. The DVD's out in two weeks, and in its deluxe form includes a Lips score of almost all-new instrumental material. One such song, "Once Beyond Hopelessness," soundtracks a scene in which Major Syrtis has to convince Santa Claus to appear in the colonists' Yuletide pageant before they run out of oxygen. I'm guessing. I haven't seen it. - Source

Phil Spector murder retrial set to begin in LA

A date for the opening statements in the murder retrial of famed music producer Phil Spector has been set. - Source

Bjork and Radiohead's Thom Yorke release single

Bjork has confirmed that Radiohead's Thom Yorke has collaborated with her on a one-off single. - Source

Jane's Addiction Reunite In LA

Dave Navarro, Stephen Perkins, Eric Avery, and Count Farrell performed together last night for the first time since ... well, the first time since April when they were hailed as godlike by NME. Last night's gig at downtown bar La Cita was longer, more intimate, and cost to attend. has some nice photos. We have videos of "Ocean Size" and "Whores." - Source

The Stills, Oceans Will Rise

Still successfully managed to put their own youthful stamp on the rock-pop genre. - Source

The Smiths definitely not reuniting for Coachella 2009

The Smiths are not set to reunite despite reports, NME.COM understands. - Source

Jane's Addiction to play reunion show tonight in LA

Jane's Addiction will play their first reunion show tonight (October 23) since reforming at the NME Awards USA in Los Angeles in April. - Source

Johnny Marr turns university lecturer

Johnny Marr is to make his debut as a university lecturer next month. - Source

New Verve Video - "Rather Be"

When we weighed in on the Verve's fourth album Forth we made note that "'Rather Be' doesn't do much to justify its existence, but its piano-lined gospel-tinged backup vocals have a certain appeal." Harsh? Maybe. The new video for the meandering track finds Richard Ashcroft, his crucifix necklace, and his cheekbones wandering through a forest, closing his eyes, singing, and closing his eyes some more. - Source