Cooly G won’t be playing you, that’d be lame; debut album Playin Me set for July release on Hyperdub

Cooly G won't be playing you, that'd be lame; debut album Playin Me set for July release on Hyperdub

The official release (though you can stream the entire thing for free here) of Laurel Halo’s debut album Quarantine next week should temporarily satisfy our desire for experimental pop mixtures of the Hyperdub-ian variety. But while that album seems almost impossible to pin down stylistically (same goes for Dean Blunt & Inga Copeland’s Black Is Beautiful), what about Hyperdub’s more danceable roots? Besides Burial (who wouldn’t be tasked with so public a responsibility anyway), who else is carrying the flag for the label these days?

I knew I’d heard the name Cooly G before, and it wasn’t through an erroneous belief that she was the sister of a Sacha Baron Cohen character. She’s appeared on several acclaimed mixes, including the Kode9 edition of DJ-Kicks, Martyn’s Fabric 50, and the massive label undertaking 5: Five Years of Hyperdub, released in 2009. On July 17, Cooly G a.k.a. Merrisa Campbell will be releasing her debut album Playin Me on Hyperdub. Initial impressions suggest a unique and soulful take on the burgeoning UK funky sub-genre; as a press release notes, “[o]n Playin Me she displays the full spectrum of her sound, plummeting from her sometimes melancholy, sometimes romantic songs through to her more menacing, trackier sound.” Indeed, corroborating the “romantic” aspect of things is the inclusion of the track “Trouble,” a cover of the Coldplay song by the same name.

Despite the unavoidable tendency of myself and others to lump Campbell in with a particular scene, she has understandably shied away from that: “I don’t really want to call my music anything right now, but the album is much more melodic and… a bit girly. A bit more about me, Merrisa, rather than Cooly G. People probably think I’m hard because I make hard tunes, but I’m not really that hard!” Check out a preview of Campbell’s softer side below.

Playin Me tracklisting:

01. He Said I Said
02. What This World Needs Now
03. Come Into My Room
04. Landscapes (featuring Sinbad)
05. Good Times
06. Sunshine
07. Trying
08. Playin Me
09. Trouble
10. What Airtime
11. It’s Serious (featuring Karizma)
12. Is It Gone
13. Up In My Head

• Cooly G:
• Hyperdub:

Lawrence Arabia’s new album The Sparrow takes flight in late July

Sunshiney New Zealand crooner Lawrence Arabia is back with a third album of 60s-influenced pop on Bella Union. The Sparrow is the follow-up to 2009’s Chant Darling, which won the hearts of even the most charcoal-souled critics and put the fellow who toured as Okkervil River’s bassist and supported Feist on a jaunt or two front and center. Of course, James Milne (as Lawrence Arabia’s birth certificate calls him) has been doing the music thing for nearly a decade, so he knows his way around a stage, having been a member of both The Brunettes and Ruby Suns. Milne has also contributed to film soundtracks like Eagle vs. Shark and produced original tunes for TV, film, and theatre.

Recorded in late 2011, Arabia’s third album was the work of Milne, Elroy Finn, and Connan Mockasin, who all holed up together in a big house in Surrey, England that they called the Japanese Academy. (Such charming people. I call my house That F*$%ing Apartment Where Everything Breaks Down & Which Will Probably Collapse On Top of Me in an Earthquake. Mark my words, dear reader.) Although you may think from listening to the album that an entire orchestra was also bunking at the Japanese Academy, it is my journalistic duty to tell you that strings and horns were added later at Roundhead Studios in Auckland. Sorry to dispel any romantic orchestral notions. Arabia mixed and produced the album himself. The Sparrow takes flight (sorry, I had to, it’s just begging for it) on July 24, and Lawrence himself is flying around New Zealand just before then (with more US/EU tourdates coming soon). Check out the dates below the album trailer.


07.13.12 - Christchurch, New Zealand - St. Michael’s and All Angels
07.14.12 - Dunedin, New Zealand - Sammy’s
07.20.12 - Auckland, New Zealand - Auckland Town Hall
07.22.12 - Wellington, New Zealand - Wellington Opera House

• Lawrence Arabia:
• Bella Union:

Aesop Rock to tour North America this summer like it’s his freakin’ JOB. Oh wait…

It’s been nigh on five years since rapper/producer/my total bro-dog Aesop Rock has done the whole “make an album and tour on it” thing as a solo artist. Maybe that’s because doing all of that stuff totally sucks and the music industry is a soul-crushing, creativity-vaporizing, family-and-friends-alienating sham-machine whose sharp, rusty, metal implements are oiled by the hot blood of a declasse group of bound and gagged musical pack mules and all that stuff. Or maybe it’s just because he’s been busy working with other artists and chillaxing with some kombucha. Personally, I don’t really know or care which, as long as all music everywhere is always readily available, high quality, and free!

Speaking of which, dude’s putting out a new record on July 10 via Rhymesayers called Skelethon that I should probs totes find a good rip of somewhere. It features Kimya Dawson, Rob Sonic, DJ Big Wiz, Allyson Baker of Dirty Ghosts, Hanni El Khatib, and some other dudes, maybe. I don’t know. Who cares, right? Where’s the MP2’s for my Winamp? Oh, and then a few days later he’s hitting the old dusty trail to promote the thing, backed up by Rob Zombie and DJ Big Whig or whatever their names are (and p4k sayz the openers are Edison and Dark Time Sunshine). I’ll probs go to one of the shows and kick it with a beach ball and whatnot, if my buddy that works security at Chicago’s Metro can hook it up, of course. Anyway, here’s a vid for one of the new tunes. I’m out.

Skelethon tracklisting:

01. Leisureforce
02. ZZZ Top
03. Cycles to Gehenna
04. Zero Dark Thirty
05. Fryerstarter
06. Ruby ‘81
07. Crows 1
08. Crows 2
09. Racing Stripes
10. 1,000 O’Clock
11. Homemade Mummy
12. Grace
13. Saturn Missiles
14. Tetra
15. Gopher Guts


05.27.12 - Shakopee, MN - Soundset Festival
07.13.12 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey Theatre
07.15.12 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore
07.19.12 - Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom
07.20.12 - Vancouver, BC - Venue
07.21.12 - Seattle, WA - Seattle Block Party
07.23.12 - Salt Lake City, UT - In The Venue
07.24.12 - Denver, CO - Summit Music Hall
07.27.12 - Madison, WI - Barrymore Theatre
07.28.12 - Chicago, IL - Metro
07.30.12 - Toronto, ON - Mod Club
07.31.12 - Montreal, QC - Corona Theatre
08.02.12 - Boston, MA - Paradise Rock Club
08.03.12 - New York, NY - Irving Plaza
08.04.12 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer
08.05.12 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
08.07.12 - Atlanta, GA - The Loft
08.09.12 - Dallas, TX - Granada Theater
08.10.12 - Houston, TX - Fitzgerald’s
08.11.12 - Austin, TX - Mohawk
08.13.12 - Tucson, AZ - Rialto Theater
08.14.12 - Tempe, AZ - Marquee Theater
08.15.12 - San Diego, CA - Belly Up

• Aesop Rock:
• Rhymesayers:

Dylan Ettinger tours the United States; somewhere, a baby bird learns to fly

Sometimes you think about all the things that are going on in the world right now, as you live your everyday life. Things like… butterflies going extinct, Stephen Colbert making a cameraman laugh with boundless joy, a child in Uzbekistan putting the final stitches on your Urban Outfitters short shorts, a baby bird building a home with its mama bird. Beautiful things. Terrible things. And into the midst of all that worldly clamor comes psych/synth/dub mad genius Dylan Ettinger, merrily driving his tour van deep into the heart of tour land. (That’s from a nursery rhyme my roadie uncle Knifeface used to sing me to sleep with. What? You’ve never heard of it? Ha ha what are you, some kind of child laborer in the former Soviet Union?!?!) To keep things short, Dylan Ettinger was on tour yesterday, he’s on tour today, and if you live in the Eastern half of these great United States of ours, he’s probably coming on tour somewhere near you.

And in his mystical van, Mr. Ettinger has a magical record! (This is also part of the nursery rhyme. Try to stay with me.) It’s called Lifetime of Romance, and it came out on the always fabulous Not Not Fun label a few weeks ago. The critics have been lapping this thing up, so you might have to elbow Simon Reynolds to get to the merch table. But it’ll be worth it. You can check out the video for The Cure-inflected lead single “Wintermute” here. Just don’t do it at work. Unless, like, you work at a naughty Weimar Republic-era cabaret. Dylan Ettinger is on tour throughout the month of May.


05.17.12 - Madison, WI - Mickey’s Tavern
05.18.12 - Minneapolis, MN - Palmer’s
05.19.12 - Minneapolis, MN - Yeti Records
05.19.12 - Iowa City, IA - Public Space One
05.20.12 - Kansas City, KS - FOKL (Kansas City Psych Fest)
05.21.12 - St. Louis, MO - Negative Cold
05.22.12 - Knoxville, TN - TBA
05.23.12 - Atlanta, GA - Space 2
05.24.12 - Ashville, NC - Izzy’s Coffee Den
05.25.12 - Lexington, KY - Backlot
05.26.12 - Brooklyn, NY - Body Actualized Center
05.27.12 - TBA
05.29.12 - Columbus, OH - TBA

• Dylan Ettinger:
• Not Not Fun:

The Pirate Bay attacked, not by Anonymous, but by anonymous former member of Anonymous (anonymously?)

Earlier this week, FACT Magazine reported that Swedish site The Pirate Bay had been cyber-attacked, knocking the file sharing site offline for a full day. Originally, it was thought that the attack may have come from famed hacktivist group Anonymous, simply because the style of attack — a disturbed denial of service (DDoS) attack — had been previously used against Virgin Media by Anonymous after Virgin’s ISP began blocking The Pirate Bay in the UK following a court-ordered injunction.

Eventually, though, Anonymous came forward, anonymously, and declared that they were not responsible for the attack, noting that the DDoS form of attack in and of itself represented the type of censorship the group fights against. The Pirate Bay followed suit by posting on their Facebook timeline that Anonymous was not a suspect. Oh, but how the plot thickens!

A “former” Anonymous member going by the somewhat less anonymous name of “Nyre” has come forward to claim responsibility for the attacks, announcing, “The Pirate Bay was a press-release Website for Anonymous,” a group Nyre purportedly no longer cares for. As CNET reports, though, there are still reasons to be skeptical. Checking out Nyre’s Twitter account reveals some other issues he (or she… no, let’s be honest) had with the site, including a lack of his preferred type of pornography available for download. Nyre also seems to have some pretty strong racist and homophobic tendencies, so I think we’ll just stop talking about him now.

The Pirate Bay is now up and running again, so if you still use the site, you can stop worrying and get back to downloading your preferred type of pornography.

• The Pirate Bay:

RIP: Donna Summer

From TMZ:

Donna Summer — the Queen of Disco — died this morning after a battle with cancer … TMZ has learned.

We’re told Summer was in Florida at the time of her death. She was 63 years old.

Sources close to Summer tell us … the singer was trying to keep the extent of her illness under wraps. We spoke to someone who was with Summer a couple of weeks ago … who says she didn’t seem too bad.

In fact, we’re told she was focused on trying to finish up an album she had been working on.

Summer was a 5-time Grammy winner who shot to superstardom in the ’70s with iconic hits like “Last Dance,” “Hot Stuff” and “Bad Girls.”

• Donna Summer:


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