Stephen McBean's New Black Mountain Offshoot, Jay-Z's "Open Letter" and Don Blackman's Passing in This Week's News Roundup

Stephen McBean's New Black Mountain Offshoot, Jay-Z's "Open Letter" and Don Blackman's Passing in This Week's News Roundup
Following another news-packed week, here we are again back making sense of it all. If you're looking to fill in any blanks, come dig into our ever-trusty news roundup.

First off, there was a lot to report on the Canadian music scene this week, especially concerning the Black Mountain crew. Not only did we get a new album announcement from Lightning Dust, featuring Black Mountain cohorts Amber Webber and Josh Wells, but head BM dude Stephen McBean launched a new heavy-leaning project called Obliterations, who, by the sounds of things, have a lot in store for us this year.

Also on the home front, we got a big pile of even more new-album reveals, including from the likes of Hooded Fang, A Tribe Called Red and Skinny Puppy. Born Ruffians spoke to Exclaim! as well all about their fast-approaching Birthmarks.

In other news, Queens of the Stone Age finally laid out all the details of their anticipated new full-length, Jay-Z addressed some controversy with his "Open Letter," Italians Do It Better rolled out plans for a bunch of new Chromatics records, and, sadly, jazz-funk hero Don Blackman passed away.

Finally, Wavves' gave us the scoop on his side gig as, um, a pop songwriter for artists like Big Boi and No Doubt.