Nas and Ms. Lauryn Hill team up for America’s hip-hop dream (good or bad) tour

Nas and Ms. Lauryn Hill team up for America's hip-hop dream (good or bad) tour

Hip-hop gods Nas and Ms. Lauryn Hill have descended from their sprawling unicorn ranch on Mount Olympus to grace us mortals with the dream tour most of us never knew we had… until now. Nas has a few solo dates lined up — including stops at New Orleans’ Voodoo Festival and Asheville’s always fascinating Moog Festival — before he joins up with Ms. Hill in Dallas for the sure-to-be-legendary Life Is Good/Black Rage tour. And when such a tour exists, how could life be anything but?

The dual-sided name comes from Nas’ recent #1 album, Life Is Good, along with Ms. Lauryn Hill’s new track, “Black Rage,” about racial inequality. The track comes out this fall. As the tour press release puts it, Ms. Hill released the song “as a juxtaposition to the statement ‘life is good,’ which she believes can only be so when these long standing issues are addressed and resolved.”


10.06.12 - Columbia, MD - Merriweather Post Pavilion *
10.20.12 - Phoenix, AZ - Arizona State Fairgrounds *
10.26.12 - Asheville, NC - MOOG Festival *
10.27.12 - Nashville, TN - Riverfront Park *
10.28.12 - New Orleans, LA - Voodoo Festival *
10.29.12 - Dallas, TX - Palladium Ballroom
10.31.12 - Houston, TX - Bayou Music Center
11.02.12 - Atlanta, GA - Tabernacle
11.03.12 - Norfolk, VA - NorVa Theatre *
11.04.12 - Washington, DC - DAR Constitution Hall
11.07.12 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory
11.09.12 - Rochester, NY - Main Street Armory *
11.11.12 - Boston, MA - House of Blues
11.14.12 - Chicago, IL - Congress Theatre
11.16.12 - Denver, CO - Fillmore Auditorium
11.17.12 - Magna, UT - Salt Air
11.19.12 - Oakland, CA - Fox Oakland Theater
12.03.12 - New York, NY - Radio City Music Hall *

* Nas solo

• Nas:
• Lauryn Hill:

James Ferraro to release Rainstick Fizz Plus (or Shoop2DaDoop) in November; weighs 180 lbs naked, 186 lbs with virtual erection

We’ve got some new-album news via a new track, readers. From the mind that recently released tracks like “Rainstick Fizz Plus” and “SAVE THE PLANET ♲ 100% pure H Y D R A T I O N : O2 REMIXED” comes “SO N2U,” a new (bebe)tune by the mind that also brought you 2011’s ringtone symphony Far Side Virtual. The mind, depicted here, belongs to host body #20-0398-227030 a.k.a. James Ferraro, expert pattern-recognizer, symbol-masher, and value-creator, who dropped the track with the announcement of a new album called Rainstick Fizz Plus. (UPDATE: the album might be called Shoop2DaDoop.)

Aside from the possible album title and the possibility of it being released under “James Ferraro” (also possibly ☣ NEW AGE PLAYBOY ☣), all we know is that it’s due sometime in November via Hippos In Tanks. Stay (bebe)tuned for more info. In the meantime, we recommend that you calibrate your senses and hydrate daily in preparation.

Listen to “SO N2U,” the latest track preview from the new album, here:

• James Ferraro:

• Hippos In Tanks:

New term “Mega Labels” created as EU approves EMI/Universal merger

The first major hurdle in merging two of four major label players has been overcome! The European Union has announced that its regulators have officially given the green light to the coming-together of two heavyweights, Universal and EMI, with some required changes to the new company’s structure as caveats. In order to move forward, Universal will need to sell off approximately 30% of EMI’s holdings to attempt to even the playing field for competitors. This Billboard article has the full list of divestments Universal is planning on shedding as part of the merger, but with the expected buyers to be the other major players in the label game, it’s hard to see how this request on the part of the EU commission is helping the overall landscape of the music business… at all.

IMPALA, the trade group representing independent labels in Europe, has continually called for the Universal-EMI deal to be struck down, citing their concerns about the resulting power that Universal could potentially yield in the marketplace, compromising distribution networks and manipulating pricing. Universal, in an attempt to soften EU officials on the issue of the merger, proposed that the divested assets should be reserved for sale to independent entities, to spread the wealth around, but just as with the prior sale of EMI’s publishing rights to Sony, the likely recipients of the discarded assets are the other major and semi-major labels, with Warner, Sony, and BMG leading the pack. If BMG picks up the assets, estimated at just under $500 million, it would effectively take the place of EMI as the fourth major label. Out with the old and in with the new!

The EU decision, which most expected to result in approval, sets the stage for US regulators to make the same call on the merger. Here’s a handy timeline of the entire deal. Bottom line: you can shuffle a deck of cards any way you want, but it’ll still be comprised of 52 cards at the end of the day.

• EMI:
• Universal Music Group:

[Photo: Alex Wong]

Cloudland Canyon to release three 12-inch EPs on three different labels before the end of the year. The rest of you are bums.

Cloudland Canyon is not the name of a roller coaster in a Care Bears-themed amusement park.

Cloudland Canyon is not the title of a new fantasy-thriller movie about an astronaut who chases dust storms across Martian plateaus and catches comets with a butterfly net.

Cloudland Canyon is a state park in Georgia.

Cloudland Canyon is also an ambient-psych group fronted by Kip Uhlhorn, formerly of Panthers. The group hasn’t released much since Fin Eaves back in 2010 (TMT Review). Maybe they’ve been building that roller coaster or making that astronaut movie or maybe just watching episodes of Fraggle Rock on old VHS tapes. Either way, they’re planning to release three 12-inch EPs on three different labels before the end of the year. First is Aureliua (pictured above), a record that centers on the cosmic cycling of the 13-minute title track, out October 23 via UK label The Great Pop Supplement; check out that track below. Second is the disco groove of Prophetic Frequencies, out just a week later on October 30 via the Austin-based Monofonus Press. And finally, Born Blonde/Sea Cycles will be out on December 4 via Trensmat, an Irish label. Sonic Boom (a.k.a Peter Kember) of Spacemen 3 and Spectrum did all of the mastering at his New Atlantis Studios in Rugby, UK.

Now, how about a scavenger hunt to track down all these damn records?

Aureliua tracklist:

01. Closer
02. Aureliua
03. Light Falling

Prophetic Frequencies tracklist:

01. Prophetic Frequencies
02. Sundowners

Born Blonde/Sea Cycles tracklist:

01. Born Blonde
02. Sea Cycles

• Cloudland Canyon:
• The Great Pop Supplement:
• Trensmat:
• Monofonus Press:

Dirty Projectors are ABOUT TO DIE (on new EP!), just like the rest of us (in real life!)

Dirty Projectors understand the immensity of all life. Assuming all is well, the members of Dirty Projectors should be alive for decades to come. SO THEY ARE ALMOST DEAD ALREADY. In the grand scheme of things, 30, 40, 50 years? Ain’t nothing. Just a drop in the bucket. Like the rest of us, Dirty Projectors are… ABOUT TO DIE. Which just happens to be the name of their new EP! I was just joshing about everyone dying; you’ll live forever, champ.

Not joshing about the About to Die EP, though. That’s coming out November 6 through Domino in the form of 12-inch vinyl and MP3s. Like its title suggests/flat-out-says, the EP contains the Swing Lo Magellan track “About to Die,” which just happens to have a brand new video you can watch below. More importantly, though, the release features a trio of brand new tracks. That’s three more Dirty Projectors songs we can enjoy before our deaths!

While we’re still living, let’s go see Dirty Projectors on one of their many tourdates. Now, these dates are in Europe, Japan, and a select few New York cities. If you don’t live in one of these locations, please stay alive until the next time Dirty Projectors come to your town. If you die, you won’t be able to see them.

About to Die tracklist:

01. About to Die
02. While You’re Here
03. Here Til It Says I’m Not
04. Simple Request

Dirty Projectors dates:

09.25.12 - Port Chester, NY - The Capitol Theatre
09.27.12 - Cincinnati, OH - Midpoint Musical Festival
09.28.12 - Urbana, IL - Pygmalion Music Festival
09.29.12 - Madison, WI - Majestic Theatre
09.30.12 - Milwaukee, WI - Pabst Theater
10.09.12 - Tokyo, Japan - O-East
10.10.12 - Nagoya, Japan - Club Quattro Nagoya
10.11.12 - Osaka-Shi, Japan - Club Quattro Osaka
10.14.12 - Manchester, UK - Gorilla
10.15.12 - Glasgow, UK - The Arches
10.17.12 - London, UK - Roundhouse
10.18.12 - Paris, France - La Gaite Lyrique
10.20.12 - Brussels, Belgium - Ancienne Belgique
10.21.12 - Nijmegen, Netherlands - Doornroosje
10.23.12 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Melkweg
10.24.12 - Hamburg, Germany - Uebel & Gefahrlich
10.25.12 - Aarhus, Denmark - VOXHALL
10.27.12 - Goteborg, Sweden - Pustervik
10.28.12 - Oslo, Norway - Rockefeller
10.30.12 - Stockholm, Sweden - Debaser Medis
10.31.12 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Vega
11.01.12 - Berlin, Germany - Berghain
11.03.12 - Reykjavik, Iceland - Iceland Airwaves
01.11.13 - New York, NY - Carnegie Hall

• Dirty Projectors:
• Domino:

Best Coast will poop on stage before Green Day drops the headlining dookie

Best Coast a.k.a. Beast Coats will open for Green Day on a massive shit-infested stadium tour. You heard it here first — Best Coast singer Bethany Cosentino will “pinch one out” just before Green Day takes the stage.

According to Green Day’s official touring janitor Mike Fitz, the defecation ritual became a tradition once Franz Ferdinand shit simultaneously during their closer “Take Me Out.”

“Those guys must have had a lot of ethnic food that night. White American food doesn’t do that to you,” said Fitz. “But, their shit was real runny, so Billie Joe requested opening bands with real solid, American shit.”

Since Franz Ferdinand, the likes of The Bravery, Three Days Grace, My Chemical Romance, Kaiser Chiefs, and Jet have all gracefully laid dumps on stage, and now Best Coast will continue that tradition as Green Day supports their trilogy of albums: ¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, and ¡Tré!.

Best Coast tourdates:

09.21.12 - Hamburg, Germany - Reeperbahn Festival: Gruenspan
09.22.12 - Brussels, Belgium - Witloofbar (Botanique)
09.27.12 - Cincinnati, OH - Midpoint Music Festival
09.28.12 - Urbana, IL - Pygmalion Music Festival
10.05.12 - San Bernardino, CA - Coussoulis Arena
10.06.12 - Denver, CO - Cultivate Festival
10.13.12 - Santa Ana, CA - The Observatory
10.14.12 - San Francisco, CA - Treasure Island Festival
10.18.12 - Buenos Aires, Argentina - Hot Festival
10.20.12 - Sao Paolo, Brazil - Planeta Terra Festival
01.08.13 - Rosemont, IL - Allstate Arena *
01.10.13 - Wilkes Barre, PA - Mohegan Sun Arena *
01.11.13 - State College, PA - Bryce Jordan Center - Penn State University *
01.13.13 - Rochester, NY - Blue Cross Arena *
01.14.13 - Pittsburgh, PA - Consol Energy Center *
01.16.13 - Brooklyn, NY - Barclays Center *
01.18.13 - Manchester, NH - Verizon Wireless Arena *
01.19.13 - Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun Arena *
01.21.13 - Fairfax, VA - Patriot Center *
01.22.13 - Philadelphia, PA - Liacourias Center - Temple University *
01.24.13 - Providence, RI - Dunkin Donuts Center *
01.25.13 - Portland, ME - Cumberland Civic Center *
01.27.13 - Quebec City, QC - Colisee Pepsi Arena *
01.29.13 - Toronto, ON - Air Canada Centre *
01.30.13 - Cleveland, OH - Wolstein Center - Cleveland State Univ. *
02.01.13 - Moline, IL - I Wireless Center *
02.02.13 - Madison, WI - Alliant Energy Center Memorial Col *
02.04.13 - Omaha, NE - CenturyLink Arena *
02.06.13 - Broomfield, CO - 1STBANK Center *
02.08.13 - Las Vegas, NV - MGM Grand Garden Arena *

* Green Day

• Best Coast:
• Green Day: