• Stuff of Dreams: During his final (4-hour-long marathon) show in his Austrailian tour, Bruce Springsteen led the E Street Band and the audience in a massive group twerk - file under: things I've always wanted to type. He then proceeded to play "Stayin' Alive" and "Highway to Hell" with Eddie Vedder.
• The Little Tour That Could: Despite everyone rooting for him to fail, Kanye West has premiered the trailer for his Yeezus tour film, directed by Hype Williams, that will be coming to theaters.
• Proof is in the Pizza: Math definitively proves what we've already known to be empirically true: you should always order a bigger pizza. Try to keep up, math.
• If You're Not Busy Today: You can live stream Billy Corgan's 8 to 9 hour ambient jam session of his interpretation of Hermann Hesse's 1922 novel Siddartha. Quick there's only six hours left to watch Corgan standing around poking at buttons and things!
• Freak Flag: FUZZ, Ty Segall's side project, has released a creepy video for their song "Raise" in which their guitar shredding transforms a little kid into a gross slime monster (not much of a stretch - ha!) because they are bad influences.
• She Said, He Said: Conor Oberst has filed a 1 million dollar libel suit against the woman who accused him of raping her in 2003. I'm unsure how to feel, although I know that I am anti-rape and anti-Bright Eyes.
• Come As You Are, Crying: Yesterday was Kurt Cobain day in Aberdeen, WA and it was celebrated with the unveiling of a weeping effigy wearing ripped jeans. Hoquiam will observe Kurt Cobain day on April 10th, as the two cities continue their never ending battle to out "flash" one another.
• Dying to be Dead: ?uestlove with be guest starring as a dead body on an upcoming episode of Law & Order: SVU, as evidenced by this tweeted picture from Ice T.
• Literally Whipped: Pussy Riot members were brutalized by the whip-wielding Cossack militia during a performance in Sochi and a guitar was smashed. The footage of the incident was appropriated for the upsetting music video for Putin Will Teach You How to Love the Motherland. Today also marks the two year anniversary of their Punk Rock Prayer performance—time sure flies when human rights are violated!
Lakutis and I are in New York City, just a few blocks from Times Square at Dave & Busters. Video games beep and ring and flash, soliciting money. Consoles emit chiptunes and radio pop blares loudly overhead. His new album Three Seashells will be released in the morning. I’ve been waiting for two months to hear it, but there’s been some delays in releasing the album, though neither of us know what those are.
"Wait, is this your album release party?" I ask.
“I was thinking that to myself earlier," he laughs. "My unofficial album release party at Dave & Busters.”
Lakutis and his closest friends all came down from Washington Heights looking for a new Korean video game that "pays you" to harpoon fish, but the American version isn’t the same. “The mechanics are all fucked up on this version,” he tells me. It must be true, it’s the one game nobody is crowded around. Meanwhile, his pal DVS—the only other rapper to feature on his new album—is absolutely killing it at trivia. I want to ask him what he’s been up to as well, but anytime someone speaks to him his wild eyes look back with a shut-the-hell-up-I’m-concentrating glare.
“I’ll get the new album to you, no wait, fuck it, you can download it tomorrow like everyone else.” We laugh. That’s Lakutis, he’s not even trying to be funny, he just is.
"I saw the 'Jesus Piece' video though," I say.
“I’m obsessed with the YouTube views on that right now. I don’t want it to have millions of views, I’m shooting for like Thug Waffle exposure, though,” Lakutis says. We check on my phone. “Thug Waffle” has 800,000 views, “Jesus Piece” has 8,000.
So: Drake called Macklemore's Instagrammed apology to Kendrick Lamar "wack as fuck"—and regardless of that being the homeboy, I wasn't feeling it, either. But really, Drake, the king of being-persecuted-for-having-messy-public-emotions, is policing how another male rapper expresses his feelings? You wild Alanis right now, doggie. The truth is: Drizzy resented that the popular wisdom was that Good Kid M.A.A.D. City was the rightful owner of that Grammy, as opposed to Nothing Was the Same—it's just the latest wrinkle in his and Kendrick's passive-aggressive competition. After Drake's story lost the Rolling Stone cover in lieu of a photo of the recently departed Philip Seymour Hoffman, however, he really got deep in his feelings (or "acting lightskin" as the kids would call it these days, which is actually wack as fuck), declaring that "the press was evil." Owh beybeh.
Yo, I don't know if it's exclusive to them, but rappers really tend to think the press is here to serve them. If you refuse to be somebody's personal PR, you might get pegged a hater. Most rappers are as deathly allergic to critical thought as your cousin is to peanuts and I am to work. Just try asking one, on the record, about something they said, on a record—about a line that might be considered dishonorable outside of their 16 bars. You'll get outrage! You'll get "Whatever happened to freedom of speech?" (a copout as popular as having an Akon hook was in the years 2005 to 2009), when really they mean "Whatever happened to my imaginary right to never be held accountable for my free speech?" Uh...whatever happened to what I was talking about?
And here's a list of all our recommended music events.
• The Magic Number is $0: In light of the 25th anniversary of 3 Feet High and Rising, De La Soul's entire discography (including remixes, intrumentals, and rarities) is available to download for free until tomorrow!
• Poetic Justice Part 2: John Singleton, director of Boyz n The Hood, has been named as director of the Tupac Shakur biopic.
• Some Damn Good Marketing: The soundtrack to the first season of Twin Peaks and the subsequent prequel film Fire Walk With Me will be re-released, this time on coffee-and-cherry-colored vinyl, whatever that looks like.
• The Nerve!: Drake has formally apologized for Tweeting some whiny little baby Tweets in regards to his Rolling Stone cover story being bumped in favor of a tribute to Phillip Seymour Hoffman.
• The Moment We've All Been Waiting For, Sort Of: The Pitchfork Music Festival lineup for 2014 has been announced, so you can stop wringing your hands and pacing the floor. Beck, Kendrick Lamar, Neutral Milk Hotel, Death Grips, Grimes, tUnE-yArDs, and the Julie Ruin, just to name the few that I recognize.
Isn't Spanish the language of love, or something? Maybe it's French. Regardless, here's the track "Escucho Mucho" off of Juan Wauters (of Queen's-based the Beets) debut solo album North American Poetry, released February 4th.
Happy Day Before Candy is Half-Off Day, bozos!
Dragon Fire & Ice: Somewhere amidst Ice-T's hectic schedule being a member of NYPD's elite, fronting the thrash metal band Body Count, and being married to that pomeranian, he's found the time to record a Dungeons and Dragons audiobook.
Non-Smokers Only: The D.C. home that Minor Threat played their first show in (with Bad Brains) is now on the market.
A Fat Check: Skinny Puppy is seeking reparations to the tune of $666,000 from the US military for allegedly using their music to torture detainees (?!?!).
Give it Away Now, to Charity: RHCP's Chad Smith is auctioning off his Super Bowl drum kit and three undoubtedly hella battered drum sticks. Proceeds will benefit the Make a Wish foundation.
Label founder David Dickenson has also been working on a beer with Astoria's Fort George Brewery, which distributes exclusively in the Northwest, but details are yet to come. For now, they're making the silvery-snake can design available. Looks good to me, though I've always been more of a spirits fan (sadly, Mogwai's single cask whiskey, which went on sale last week, is already sold out).
• Black Flag 4.0: The most recent reincarnation of Black Flag will now be fronted by Mike Vallely, the professional skateboarder and Tony Hawk Underground character that teaches you the Flamingo Trick!
• Satirizing Incarceration?: In strange pairing news, for their North American TV debut, Pussy Riot members Nadya and Masha will be appearing on the Colbert Report on February 4th.
• Stop the Presses!: Alex Kapranos (of Franz Ferdinand, duh) has directed an accusatory tweet at Pharrell, implying that Pharrell stole his riff from "Take Me Out" and used it for a new Paloma Faith single that he produced. Also: compulsory mention of Pharrell's gigantic hat at the Grammy's.
• Great Scott!: Set to coincide with the 30-year anniversary of Back to the Future, Robert Zemeckis has announced he is working on a stage musical of the film.
• And the Crowd Goes Wildish: The Red Hot Chili Peppers have announced they will be joining Bruno Mars for his halftime show at the Superbowl. Furthermore, this parody is funnier than it isn't.
• You Slay Me: Please enjoy this tumblr solely dedicated to metal albums with googly eyes pasted on them.
Attached to the announcement yesterday that the original members of Mötley Crüe are about to start their **FINAL TOUR** with Alice Cooper, the band signed an agreement that, after 2015, will bar members from using the Mötley Crüe trademark, and prevent any repeat farewell tours:
Mötley Crüe is the first-ever group to sign a legal and binding “Cessation Of Touring” agreement to prevent future, unauthorized touring, by any and all of it's members.
Well, THAT'S something... I know I've seen a few older bands, that should have stopped touring LONG before I paid for a ticket to see them play (ehm, cough... "Guns 'N' Roses" with Axl and Bucket Head).
What other bands do you think would benefit from such an agreement?
Mötley Crüe and Alice Cooper play the White River Amphitheater on Sunday, July 27, 2014. Tickets go on sale Friday, February 7 at 10 am.
It's true, band/couple Captain and Tennille are getting divorced after 39 years of soft, sensual, yacht-rockin' marriage.
High School Throwback: Eight tracks off of a lo-fi basement recording of Dave Grohl's high- school-era band, Dain Bramage, have recently resurfaced and been released by Antiquiet. Check out "Space Cat"!
Move Over, R. Kelly: You can now stream the world's longest echo in a man-made structure, because internet.
"I'll Burn it Down": Archer and FX will be digitally releasing a country album featuring Cheryl Tunt, the arson-inclined secretary whose pursuit of the spotlight in the country music scene is central in this season's absurd story arc.
The Boss Has Spoken: Bruce Springsteen confirms he is a big fan of Kanye West in an interview about his High Hopes album released on January 13th, thus fulfilling the mandatory mention of Kanye West in any and all news articles.
New OFF! is on the Way: Super punk supergroup OFF! have announced the impending release of their new album, Wasted Years, due out April 8 through Vice. If the tracklist is any indication, the album will be soul crushingly dark.
Last night while in bed watching Party Down, gorging on Tim's Salt & Vinegar potato chips, and surfing the triple-dub, I was thrilled to witness a number of inane teenagers attack Macklemore's Instagram photo post of a shiny jacket declaring "49ERS SUCK." While some of the comments supported the pro-Seahawks sentiment, most were bereft of much thought at all, summed up by emmypeach8: "#yourabitch #hater #judgementalrapper." Or perhaps by mogalybearbeck, "OMG and I totally THOUGHT you were awesome...change of heart. officially, with this post!"
Slowly, I considered what it would be like to have an enormous fan base of insipid teenagers, whose every empty thought changes with each banner ad seen on a torrent hosting website. I thought back to the 27-hour-old news report of Kanye West attacking an 18-year-old guy inside the waiting room of a chiropractor's office as I jammed another fist full of potato chips into my gaping maw. I rejoiced as I refreshed the comments on Macklemore's jacket picture, which had reached 66.8k "likes" during its two-hour life on the internet. 2lazy2bcreative18 chimed in, "WELL FUCK YOU TOO MACKLEMORE! Lol." Nearly all caps. I considered Googling how to tie a noose.
Eventually my fascination turned to boredom as I noticed that the comments adopted a cyclical repetition. A number of people threaten to unfollow Macklemore's account. dtab22 and others declared that they were no longer fans. Fair-weather followers turned their backs, not on a man who had urinated on under-aged girls, but a person who had posted a picture of a jacket. A number of controversial slurs emerge. 49ers209 chimes in with, "U suck fag ur shehawks are going down u see!" Another commenter offered the confusing, "I hate the 49ers but you gotta love this jacket." As what seemed a perfect finale, songbyrdsf claims, "My heart is breaking right now..." Followed by an emoticon of just that.
In haste I shut down all electronics and tugged every blanket on the bed well over my head. After a few minutes I wondered if the world is still full of people. I reached my arm out and grabbed the bag of Tim's Salt & Vinegar potato chips. Who even fucking cares if the world is still full of people?
The White Witch: American Horror Story: Coven has been brewing a Stevie Nicks' cameo basically since its second episode, and last night her guest appearance finally came to fruition when she performed a spellbinding rendition of 'Rihannon'.
If the Clown Makeup Fits...: The ACLU and ICP are suing the FBI for unfairly branding them and their numerous hatchet-logo-emblazoned followers as a gang.
What Time is It? Prison Time.: Wildly irresponsible driver and time expert Flavor Flav was arrested for driving with 16 suspensions on his license, but was released so he could attend his mothers funeral.
Thanks For Nothing: Mac Demarco posted a (probably fake) teaser video for his new album, and by "teaser" I mean a naked guy in a sparkly hat frolicking around while someone chants "gimme pussy" over and over.
Body Language: A collection of Kim Gordon's essays and reflections spanning the 1980s to the early '90s on art, music, and gender roles. Is It My Body? is scheduled for release this month, as an appetizer to her upcoming memoir Girl in a Band.
Movin' On Up to Prime Time: Parquet Courts appeared on Jimmy Fallon last night, christening their US TV debut with a spirited performance of their hit song and unfortunate affliction "Stoned and Starving."
No, for reals. Stay classy, Oregon Coast!
Steal This Episode: Judas Priest's Rob Halford will appear on The Simpsons this coming Sunday (the 5th) in an episode concerning illegal downloading - wouldn't Metallica have been more appropriate?
At Least One More, I Say: After the success of his autobiography, Autobiography, Morrissey is reportedly already penning a novel. Please, powers at be, let it be titled Novel!
A Dream? A Nightmare?: A 407-foot vinyl replica of The Eagles' "Hotel California" record is being assembled to perch atop the freshly renovated Forum in L.A. to celebrate the groups' six shows and the rehabilitation of the historic venue. The record will actually spin but no record needle will be manufactured.
Legally Ensnared No Longer: A judge has dismissed the lawsuit against Tommy Lee for "misappropriation of trade secrets" in regards to that roller-coaster drum set.
Mark Your Calendars: April 10th is now officially Nirvana Day in Hoquiam, Washington, four miles from Kurt Cobain's hometown of Aberdeen, where it is Nirvana Day everyday.
Tonight marks the millionth time The Spits have graced Seattle with their seasoned, powerhouse punk that always satisfies and last time left me with a black eye (courtesy of someone's overzealous elbow or knee, I'm not sure). Check it out and rough up your friends, but then pick them back up.
G'night, Sweet Princes of Rock: Thee Oh Sees are on "an indefinite hiatus" which is, with a little positivity and a heap of denial, just another way of saying they're taking a quick break with out a specified end date! So... any day now?
Hope You Weren't Holding Your Breath: Nirvana will at long last be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Also accepted: KISS! You finally did it, guys!
Justice, Sort Of: After being incarcerated since March of 2012, the two remaining jailed members of Pussy Riot will be released from prison this week. Their liberation is in part tied to the 20th anniversary of Russia's post-Soviet constitution but probably mostly due to Red Hot Chili Peppers' involvement.
Hot Holiday Tip: As a festive treat, The Flaming Lips will be streaming their kooky sci-fi film 'Christmas on Mars' on their YouTube channel on Monday the 23rd, once every two hours.
All(man) American Rejects: Tyson Ritter has been cast as a young Gregg Allman in the upcoming Allman Brothers biopic that is suddenly seeming more and more destined for failure.
The Season of Giving: Here's a medley of clips from Star Trek that form the only palatable version of "Let It Snow" that won't make you want to remove your helmet in space.
BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY quit boo-hooing over the melting snow and cheer up long enough to appreciate this Dancer and Prancer song! Dancer and Prancer play tomorrow night in The Grotto (the basement—sexy!) at the Rendezvous. Shake your jingle bells, you know?
Fight For Your Rights Or Whatever: The Beastie Boys are suing for copyright infringement over that dazzlingly progressive GoldieBlox commercial and subsequent viral video featuring girl power that uses an improved upon version of "Girls," or as the Boys are calling it: an illegal parody.
Christmas Came Early This Year: Beyonce startled the planet by dropping her first "visual album" this morning on iTunes without any warning or promotion. Containing 14 tracks and 17 music videos, the album is naturally titled Beyonce - the only word synonymous with audio and visuals working together harmoniously.
Henry Rollins Finally in The Spotlight: After years of living in the attention-less shadows, at the helm of Black Flag and the publishing house 2.13.61, Henry Rollins has announced he will play the lead role as a cannibal in the indie thriller He Never Died.
Nothing Compares 2 New: An upcoming episode of the blue-eyed-blunt-banged-Deschanel-montage AKA New Girl will feature the newly comedic Prince! The episode is rumored to pivot around one of Prince's all night pajama parties at his Paisley Park home and will appear after the Superbowl on February 2nd, 2014.
A Swift Rescue: Taylor Swift made the really unforgivably wretched Fall Out Boy song "My Song's Know What You Did In The Dark" almost tolerable with her brief appearance to sing a verse at the Victoria's Secret fashion show.
A Candy Crush Saga Alternative: The Thermals have released a pretty lo-fi video game titled "Sword by My Side" based on their hit track of the same name from their most recent album, Desperate Ground. Play the game here.
Now, please enjoy one of my favorite Dancer and Prancer songs and make sure to catch the most undeniably festive gents in town tonight at Arabica! Peruse their schedule here. Christmas comes but once a year, suckers.
Piano Man: Billy Joel now has his own franchise performing once a month at Madison Square Garden as long as there is breath in his lungs and mobility in those magic piano-slaying hands. Five dates have been announced so far, beginning January 27 and ending never.
Haven't They Seen Mannequin?: Horrifyingly, a Japanese company that primarily manufactures synthetic "love dolls" has released the prototype of life-sized Lady Gaga dolls inspired by her Artpop album. Let's hope they'll be available in time for Christmas, for the sicko Gaga fanatic in your life.
??!!: France (more specifically the Council of Croats) has charged Bob Dylan with inciting racial hatred, stemming from comments he made in an interview with the French version of Rolling Stone last year, allegedly likening Croatians to Nazis. In other news, up is down and down is up now.
R.I.P.: RZA has written and recorded a heartfelt tribute to the late great Paul Walker fittingly titled "Destiny Bends" (it totally does), featuring Will Wells. You never realize what you have until it's ripped from you in a fiery car accident—steeped in tragic irony, right?
Indie Flags at Half Mast: The supergroup Wild Flag has apparently disbanded. A moment of silence, please, for the sophomore album that could have been.
Pause Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Chistmas is You" long enough to listen to Natural Child's knee-slapping, piano-fueled "Saturday Night Blues" off of their upcoming album, Dancin' With Wolves, out in February! Then immediately continue listening to MC on repeat.
*I don’t really have a beef with this; I just think this headline’s a real eye-grabber.
Hiphop mogul/rapper Jay Z announced on his blog Dec. 3 that he and his wife/R&B superstar Beyoncé will eat a vegan diet for 22 days. Challenged by a friend to consume only plant-based meals, the veteran rapper—who just turned 44—decided to accept it and will eat no meat or dairy products until Christmas. After that they will consider whether to continue to live on the higher evolutionary plane where vegans exist.
I wish both musicians the best of luck and hope they find veganism to be beneficial to their physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. If nothing else, it will reduce the amount of mucus in their noses and throats, and that can only improve Jay and Bey’s vocal capabilities. Plus, if going vegan is good enough for André 3000, Morrissey, Moby, N.O.R.E., Robin Pecknold, Russell Simmons, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Geezer Butler, Berry Gordy, Chrissie Hynde, Jónsi (Sigur Rós), and Ian MacKaye, it should be good enough for the Roc-A-Fella Records/Brooklyn Nets boss and Sasha Fierce.
Let us hope that these vastly influential celebrities’ example spurs their millions of fans to follow suit, thereby setting humanity on a path to a more sustainable, eco-friendly, and potentially less obesity-plagued future. Let us hope they're not just doing this for the publicity.
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