Oh Jeez, John Lydon Wants Me to Like Him Again: Public Image Ltd Reunites

Like every other “larger-than-life” cultural entity before him, John “Johnny Rotten” Lydon means many things to many people. To a blissfully ignorant few, he is punk rock’s progenitor, the man whose brief tenure with a band called The Sex Pistols almost singlehandedly devised the genre’s entire ethos. To a wiser majority, he is a devastating asshole, a racist, butter shilling jerk-off who isn’t afraid to stake his illustrious CV on slew of inane, publicity-bating provocations.

But to the rest of us sorry pop music nerds, he is the man responsible for this fucking unmatched record. And this one. And this single. And good fucking Lord, this fucking goddamn motherfucking single, too. For as much as we geeks try to hate on the opportunistic shitbag John Lydon is/has become/has always been, Public Image Ltd are nigh untouchable, and while the band’s joyfully nihilistic legacy has certainly not justified Lydon’s recent racist/butter lovin’ antics, reminders of PiL’s past work have at least saved me from innumerable fits of retching whenever I read stories about John Lydon’s recent racist/butter lovin’ antics.

Which is why I’m pretty sure Lydon chose to reunite PiL right now. With all the hate crimes and Judge Judys and crumpet-spread douchebaggery levied against the dude’s name, I’d imagine being John Lydon’s reputation is a pretty rough gig at the moment. So in an effort to please the “hip” set that still chooses to see the former Mr. Rotten as something of a hero, Lydon is bringing back his “first love” to the stage, albeit without such seminal members as bassist Jah Wobble and guitarist Keith Levene. Instead, the newly formed PiL will be playing five UK dates with previous members Lu Edmonds (formerly of The Damned) and Bruce Smith (formerly of The Pop Group) as well as new meat Scott Firth. Is this new tour just another bullshit cash-in by the notoriously notoriety-starved John Lydon? Hell yes, of course it is! But then again, he made this fucking song and you didn’t, so you can shut your fucking mouth, you fucking fuck!
12.15.09 - Birmingham, England - O2 Academy
12.16.09 - Leeds, England - O2 Academy
12.18.09 - Glasgow, Scotland - O2 Academy
12.19.09 - Manchester, England - Academy
12.21.09 - London, England - Brixton O2 Academy

Ghostface Killah Announces Tour in Support of Ghostdini: The Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City; Yes, the Full Title Is Ghostdini: The Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City

In a recent video for OnSmash.com, Ghostface Killah dispenses the following relationship advice with respect to women who might be creeping with other dudes: “Girls is real good liars.” His upcoming R&B-themed album, Ghostdini: The Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City (Island Def Jam), should dispense more of Ghostface’s cautionary tales when the album, his eighth, drops on September 29. Or, at least based on a trailer for “Stapleton Sex,” listeners can expect lyrics worthy of a snuff film soundtrack. You can check out new single “Baby (feat. Raheem DeVaughn),” presumably sponsored by Auto-Tune, over at Ghostface’s MySpace page.

Ghostface will be hitting the road for a 28-date U.S. tour, including a stop in Salt Lake City, the Mecca of hip-hop:
10.02.09 - Albany, NY - Northern Lights
10.03.09 - Philadelphia, PA - Trocadero
10.04.09 - Carrboro, NY - Cat's Cradle
10.05.09 - Charleston, SC - Music Farm
10.07.09 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL - Revolution
10.09.09 - Oxford, MS - Lyric
10.10.09 - Baton Rouge, LA - Spanish Moon
10.11.09 - Austin, TX - Emo's
10.13.09 - Tucson, AZ - The Rock
10.14.09 - Tempe, AZ - The Clubhouse
10.15.09 - San Diego, CA - Canes
10.16.09 - Los Angeles, CA Key Club
10.17.09 - Santa Barbara, CA - Velvet Jones
10.19.09 - Reno, NV - Club Underground
10.20.09 - San Francisco, CA - Slim's
10.21.09 - Arcata, CA - Arcata Theatre
10.22.09 - Portland, OR - Berbati’s Pan
10.23.09 - Eugene, OR - WOW Hall
10.24.09 - Seattle, WA - Showbox
10.25.09 - Bellingham, WA - Nightlight
10.28.09 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
10.29.09 - Aspen, CO - Belly Up
10.30.09 - Denver, CO - Bluebird
10.31.09 - Boulder, CO – Fox
11.04.09 - Chicago, IL - House Of Blues
11.08.09 - Bloomington, IN - Bluebird Nightclub
11.11.09 - New York, NY - B.B. King Blues Club
11.13.09 - Boston, MA - Paradise Rock Club

Denver’s Monolith Festival Brings About Questions of Size and the Methodology Used to Equate Various Denominations of Said Measurement

Hi, my name Franz. I have qvestion fvor joo. Vhat makes somesing beeg? Like huuuge? Izz ett length, or vidth, or maybe heighten?

I only ask because zee Monolith Festival (circa Denver, CO, on September 12 and 13) claimz to be beeeeeeg, SOOPER-BEEG. Zey claim ze festival vil be so beeg yoo von’t know vhere to beegin. Vhat is one to deux?

Vell, if yoo ask Franz -- aund yoo should -- I say zee Valkmen, zee Yah Yah Yahs and M. Vard are thee bands to vitness on Saturday, September 12. Sunday, September 13 eezn’t so eazy; still, I jav preference for Marz Voltah, Ze Dandy Varhols, and Health.

But a festival is a festival, no? Zere are zeveral ozers to vatch, just loook at ze full listink below. Back in ________, ve love American indie-rock, yah! Berzerker!

Full Monolith Festival Lineup:

Saturday, September 12

Yeah Yeah Yeahs / Girl Talk / of Montreal / M. Ward / DOOM / The Walkmen
OK Go / Ida Maria / The Pains of Being Pure at Heart / Frightened Rabbit / Thao with the Get Down Stay Down / Hollywood Holt + Million $ Mano / Starf*cker / Thunderheist / Woodhands / These United States / Cymbals Eat Guitars / The Antlers / Cotton Jones / Gregory Alan Isakov / Lydia / Generationals / Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros / The Answering Machine / Roadside Graves / Danielle Ate the Sandwich / Speakeasy Tiger / Autovaughn / Avi Buffalo / Wendy Darling / Boulder Acoustic Society / Caitlin Rose

Sunday, September 13

The Mars Volta / MSTRKRFT / Method Man & Redman / Phoenix / The Dandy Warhols / Chromeo / The Glitch Mob / Passion Pit / WALE / The Thermals / Harlem Shakes / Monotonix / The Grates / HEALTH / Deer Tick / The Twilight Sad / The Features / Spindrift / Savoy / Bad Veins / We Were Promised Jetpacks / Beats Antique / Tigercity / French Horn Rebellion / The Pirate Signal / Neon Indian / The Knew / A Shoreline Dream / The Royal Bangs / Red Wire Black Wire / Jim McTurnan & the Kids That Killed the Man / Rachel Goodrich

Minneapolis Venue Cancels Buju Banton Appearance Due To Said Artists’ Controversial Support of “Hating Gay People”

Legendary Minneapolis venue First Avenue appears to have cancelled an October 4 show by popular reggae artist Buju Banton after realizing that “this dude really doesn’t like gay guys” and that “they in no way wish to support the machine-gunning or burning-by-acid of gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgendered, or queer individuals.”*

Banton first came under fire from LGBTQ organizations after his alleged involvement in a 2004 beating of six gay men in Kingston, Jamaica. The singer was later acquitted in 2006 due to “lack of evidence,” although human rights activists are quick to point out that Jamaican authorities tend to de-prioritize violent crimes directed at homosexuals.

The new round of controversy, and a wave of cancelled appearances, stems from Banton’s lyrics, which proclaim the virtues of killing and maiming gay men. Take, for example, the song “Boom Boom Bye”:

Two man a hug up on an’ kiss up on an’ lay down inna bed, hug up on another anna rub dung leg/ Send fi di matic an’ di Uzi instead/ Shoot di batty boy come if we shot dem.

Wow. He really doesn’t beat around the bush does he? (Though, I'm guessing he does like bush.)

The song continues with Banton elaborating on his physical disgust if a gay man were even to approach him: “Guy come near we, then his skin must peel/ Burn him up bad like an old tire wheel.” Jesus Christ! Fuck this guy! And I can say that with complete objectivity!

Banton has had shows cancelled in cities like Chicago and Los Angeles by AEG and Live Nation, after pressure (and outrage) from advocacy groups. However, even with seven cancelled shows, twenty more remain. So, if being a jerk and hating people is, like, your thing, feel free to go. But, seriously, fuck you if you do.

* Not an actual quote, but you know that’s what they were thinking.

Activision Responds to Courtney Love’s Denial of Authorizing Kurt Cobain’s “Likeness” for Guitar Hero 5; What? Something wrong with Kurt singing Bon Jovi beneath a Coca-Cola ad?

The gripe: Kurt Cobain's "likeness" is used in the recently released Guitar Hero 5.

- Courtney Love's eloquent position (via Twitter): "FOR THE RECORD I DID NOT APPROVE KURTS AVATAR FOR GUYITARHERO5. i think Kurt would despise this game alone let alone this avatar" and "WE are going to sue the shit out of ACtivision we being the Trust the Estate the LLC the various LLCs Cobain Enterprises"

- Activision's response: "Guitar Hero secured the necessary licensing rights from the Cobain estate in a written agreement signed by Courtney Love to use Kurt Cobain's likeness as a fully playable character in Guitar Hero® 5."

- TMT's position: This is the best avatar in existence.



- Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl have responded too: "We want people to know that we are dismayed and very disappointed in the way a facsimile of Kurt is used in the Guitar Hero game. The name and likeness of Kurt Cobain are the sole property of his estate - we have no control whatsoever in that area.

"While we were aware of Kurt's image being used with two Nirvana songs, we didn't know players have the ability to unlock the character. This feature allows the character to be used with any kind of song the player wants. We urge Activision to do the right thing in "re-locking" Kurt's character so that this won't continue in the future.

"It's hard to watch an image of Kurt pantomiming other artists' music alongside cartoon characters. Kurt Cobain wrote songs that hold a lot of meaning to people all over the world. We feel he deserves better."

Lee Ranaldo Injured; Sonic Youth Cancel Dates; Stephen Malkmus and Nels Cline Wait at Home by Their Telephones Anyway, Just in Case

Although the members of seminal New York downtown, art-rock, such and suchers Sonic Youth do indeed seem to remain mysteriously youthful sonically, there doesn’t seem to be as much of a guarantee in that same youth department, you know, physically.

Case in point: SY’s young and hip new home Matador announced yesterday on the Matablog that the badass guitarist and proprietor of middle-aged-done-right hair Lee Ranaldo has unfortunately fractured his middle-aged left wrist while playing the young man’s game that is tennis, thus requiring the band to reschedule their upcoming West Coast tour just a bit.

Two of the band’s dates have been canceled (September 26 in Santa Barbara and October 4 at the Austin City Limits Festival), and another five of them have been rescheduled for this coming January. According to Matador, tickets for the original dates will be honored in those applicable cases, and, where necessary, refunds will be available at the point of purchase (seems like you’re out of luck for the Austin City Limits Festival though; you’ll just have to slog through the fest anyway, feeling all youthless).

And sure, yeah, playing tennis may not seeeeeeem like a particularly “cool” way to injure yourself when you’re in fucking Sonic Youth... but hey, knowing Lee, this was no ordinary tennis game. He was probably playing Experimental Underground Art Tennis. And I hear that that’s a much harder sport.

Sonic Youth Cancelled/Postponed Dates:
09.25.09 - Pomona, CA - Fox Theater
09.26.09 - Santa Barbara, CA - Arlington Theatre
09.28.09- San Diego, CA - House of Blues
09.29.09 - Los Angeles, CA - The Wiltern
10.01.09 - Phoenix, AZ - Marquee Theater
10.02.09 - Tucson, AZ - Rialto Theatre
10.04.09 - Austin, TX - Austin City Limits

New List O’ Dates:
10.21.09 - Berlin, Germany - Columbiahalle
10.22.09 - Brussels, Belgium - Ancienne Belgique
10.23.09 - London, England - The Forum
10.25.09 - Paris, France - Palais des Congrés
11.07.09 - Sao Paulo, Brazil - Planeta Terra Festival
11.21.09 - New York, NY - Terminal 5
11.22.09 - Boston, MA - Wilbur Theatre
11.23.09 - Boston, MA - Wilbur Theatre
12.05.09 - Minehead, England - ATP Nightmare Before Christmas
12.06.09 - Dublin, Ireland - Vicar Street
01.04.10 - Tucson, AZ - Rialto Theatre (rescheduled)
01.05.10 - Phoenix, AZ - Marquee Theatre (rescheduled)
01.07.10 - San Diego, CA - House of Blues (rescheduled)
01.08.10 - Pomona, CA - Fox Theatre (rescheduled)
01.09.10 - Los Angeles, CA - The Wiltern (rescheduled)