Once Again, J Dilla Posthumously Puts Every Other Hip-Hop Producer to Shame with Jay Stay Paid

This one time, I was at a party, right? And there were big, gorgeous hardwood floors in this gigantic house just begging to be danced on, so of course, everyone was outside smoking cigarettes. I decided this would not do, so I threw on a copy of J Dilla's Donuts, and what do you know? Mood lighting appeared, a disco ball descended and began rotating sensuously, and... okay, this is a load of shit, honestly. I really did put on a J Dilla album at a party, and maybe I had a bit of whiskey confidence going on, but I swear on my copy of After the Gold Rush that the entire room relaxed.

Dilla's life was cut short in 2006 at age 32 when he died from lupus-related complications, leaving behind scores of unreleased mixes and material, some of which surfaced in 2008 when his unreleased album for MCA, Pay Jay, was leaked. Luckily, the rest of this treasure trove is in the best hands possible: those of his mother, Maureen Yancey (a.k.a. Ma Dukes). Acting as executive producer, Yancey called on producer/DJ/rapper Pete Rock, Dilla's only real-deal idol, to pull together another collection of unreleased material from the vaults.

Jay Stay Paid runs like a radio show with Rock at the helm, guiding the listener through the brand-new tracks. "It wasn't rushed and it wasn't haphazard," Yancey explains. "This album combines what he did in the beginning of his career, what he did in some of our early hospital stays, which was very deep, and some stuff pulled from old floppy disks & DATs. It's mind blowing... this is like the missing links to Dilla's legacy."

Jay Stay Paid is due June 2 on Nature Sounds, with guest spittin' from Black Thought of The Roots, DOOM, Havoc of Mobb Deep, Pharoahe Monch, Blu, Pacific Division, and M.O.P. Let's hope this is not the last we hear from The Dee.

[Photo: Mpozi Tolbert]

Hey, It’s Been About a Year… Time for Another Fiery Furnaces Record (And Also for a Good Long Look in the Mirror, Mr. “I’m Going Back to School Soon, I Swear”!)

Man, I don’t know about you, but by the time Matthew and Eleanor Friedberger released their EIGHTH album, I kinda thought that I’d be a little further along in life. I still remember skipping down to the record store as a youngster, happening upon an unassuming-yet-generally-rewarding Gallowbird’s Bark by a young Fiery Furnaces in the pop/rock rack, and plunking down some odd change and a few crumpled dollar bills from my paper route to purchase said record on the now-defunct medium of “Compact Disc.” My whole future was ahead of me, there were these guys called “republicans” in Washington, and hamburgers cost 35¢ each at the McDonald’s, which was right next door to this curious old building that said “Washington Mutual” on the front of it. Ahh, those were the salad days, I tell you...

Hey! Wait a minute! That wasn’t 17 years ago... come to think of it, that was only 6 freakin’ years ago when their debut came out! I forgot -- The Fiery Furnaces just tend to put our a record every 10 months or so. And this one, their newest studio effort I’m Going Away, is set to be released July 21 on Thrill Jockey Records. Described as an album of “70’s sunshine-glazed piano pop, filled with cascading note slides, head-nodding grooves and some of the sweetest melodies in their seemingly endless arsenal of musical ideas,” this new effort promises to sound, well, probably mostly like all of their other records; which is to say: nothing like any of their other records?

Um, anyway, the affair was produced by Matthew, with drums and percussion by the returning Robert D’Amico, plus bass and mixing by the returning Jason Loewenstein. As usual, song were written by Friedberger and Friedberger (save for the title track, which is traditional, natch). And hey, since its only 6 years later, we’ve all got some time on our hands before we really need to grow up and get our shit together, after all! I swear, by album #9, I’ll be somebody.

I’m Going Away tracklist:

1. I’m Going Away
2. Drive to Dallas
3. The End is Near
4. Charmaine Champagne
5. Cut the Cake
6. Even in the Rain
7. Staring at the Steeple
8. Ray Bouvier
9. Keep Me in the Dark
10. Lost At Sea
11. Cups and Punches
12. Take Me Round Again

Once Again, J Dilla Posthumously Puts Every Other Hip-Hop Producer to Shame with Jay Stay Paid

This one time, I was at a party, right? And there were big, gorgeous hardwood floors in this gigantic house just begging to be danced on, so of course, everyone was outside smoking cigarettes. I decided this would not do, so I threw on a copy of J Dilla's Donuts, and what do you know? Mood lighting appeared, a disco ball descended and began rotating sensuously, and... okay, this is a load of shit, honestly. I really did put on a J Dilla album at a party, and maybe I had a bit of whiskey confidence going on, but I swear on my copy of After the Gold Rush that the entire room relaxed.

Dilla's life was cut short in 2006 at age 32 when he died from lupus-related complications, leaving behind scores of unreleased mixes and material, some of which surfaced in 2008 when his unreleased album for MCA, Pay Jay, was leaked. Luckily, the rest of this treasure trove is in the best hands possible: those of his mother, Maureen Yancey (a.k.a. Ma Dukes). Acting as executive producer, Yancey called on producer/DJ/rapper Pete Rock, Dilla's only real-deal idol, to pull together another collection of unreleased material from the vaults.

Jay Stay Paid runs like a radio show with Rock at the helm, guiding the listener through the brand-new tracks. "It wasn't rushed and it wasn't haphazard," Yancey explains. "This album combines what he did in the beginning of his career, what he did in some of our early hospital stays, which was very deep, and some stuff pulled from old floppy disks & DATs. It's mind blowing... this is like the missing links to Dilla's legacy."

Jay Stay Paid is due June 2 on Nature Sounds, with guest spittin' from Black Thought of The Roots, DOOM, Havoc of Mobb Deep, Pharoahe Monch, Blu, Pacific Division, and M.O.P. Let's hope this is not the last we hear from The Dee.

[Photo: Mpozi Tolbert]

Xasthur to Release New Record; Decides to Skip This Reissue Bullshit That Will Happen Ten Years from Now and Go Ahead and Release the Bonus Tracks Too

Nothing is worse than having to buy a record twice. No matter how great a record or awesome the bonus material, I always somehow feel cheated. What are you supposed to do with your old copy -- just throw it away? The record store probably won't take it because they already have, like, five copies, since everyone else is now returning their original copy.

Well, this time Xasthur has beaten that idea into the ground: Hydra Head Records will be releasing a new Xasthur record, All Reflections Drained, on May 26 with a special second disc of bonus material. If that's not enough, there are also three different vinyl versions, one being "red mist"-colored with an exclusive slipmat, and one being a picture disc with an exclusive backpatch.

On All Reflections Drained, Xasthur -- usually comprised of only one dude, Melefic -- is joined by guest vocalist M. H. It includes the "usual symphonic contempt bordering on blurred beauty and solitary misery."

So, who's going to pay up and get the 2xLP with the backpatch?

All Reflections Drained tracklist:

1. Dirge Forsaken
2. Maze of Oppression
3. Achieve Emptiness Part II
4. Masquerade of Incisions
5. Damage Your Soul
6. Inner Sanctum Surveillance
7. Obfuscated in Oblivion
8. All Reflections Drained

Grab Your Glowsticks, The Crystal Method Are Going On Tour This Spring

When you’re at a dance show, the music and/or groping from people on E can get a bit repetitive after the first five hours. Here is a handy time-killing game you can play with a friend when you see The Crystal Method this summer:

One point for spotting:
- Someone waving a glowstick
- Someone wearing these pants
- Someone sucking on a pacifier

Ten points for spotting:
- Vicks VapoRub being applied to a naked chest
- Sunglasses being worn indoors
- A Crystal Method-themed tattoo

Fifty points for spotting:
- Your dignity

The Crystal Method will be touring in support of their new album, Divided by Night, due May 12 on Tiny E Records.
05.06.09 - Boston, MA - House of Blues
05.07.09 - Montreal, QC - Metropolis
05.08.09 - Toronto, ON - Guvernment
05.09.09 - New York, NY - Webster Hall
05.10.09 - Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of Living Arts
05.11.09 - Cleveland, OH - House of Blues
05.12.09 - Baltimore, MD - Ram’s Head
05.14.09 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL - Revolution
05.15.09 - Orlando, FL - House of Blues
05.16.09 - Atlanta, GA - Tabernacle
05.17.09 - New Orleans, LA - House of Blues
05.18.09 - Houston, TX - House of Blues
05.19.09 - Austin, TX - La Zona Rosa
05.20.09 - Dallas, TX - House of Blues
05.22.09 - Las Vegas, NV - House of Blues
05.23.09 - Tempe, AZ - Marquee
05.24.09 - Tucson, AZ - Rialto Theatre
05.25.09 - San Diego, CA - House of Blues
05.29.09 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom
05.30.09 - Seattle, WA - WaMu Theatre (USC Anniv. Party)
06.01.09 - Vancouver, BC - Commodore
06.03.09 - Calgary, AB - Whiskey Nightclub

Flaming Lips Win Oklahoma State Song Battle, Despite State’s Suspicion They Are That Kind of Flaming

First Iowa legalizes same-sex marriage, and now Oklahoma has chosen The Flaming Lips' “Do You Realize??” (the single from their 2002 album Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots) as their official state rock song. Methinks the rest of the United States need to get on this cool horse.

Of course, the Lips were initially met with a bit of controversy from “religious wackos” in the Oklahoma house of representatives, who were upset when band member Michael Ivins wore a sickle and hammer t-shirt (which, of course, is common attire worn by a commie pinko bastard, dadgum it), but this saga ends well and gives the state of Oklahoma some much-appreciated scene points. First off, The Flaming Lips beat out the All-American Rejects, Leon Russell and The Call in the state rock song contest, which is living proof that a significant chunk of Oklahomans have "good taste." What's more, Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry vetoed the representatives' rejection of the contest results, which with 21,000 votes, named “Do You Realize??” as the winner.

Showing home state pride, frontman Wayne Coyne says: “... I think everybody's knee-jerk reaction in the beginning was, ‘Ah, we knew it was too good to be true. That's more of the Oklahoma we thought we were dealing with.’ But it's not true, and I think that's the main reason I wanted to make sure I got to say something about it. For the governor to stand up and veto it and be on our side, it's such a great story in the end."

According to Billboard, Henry will sign an executive order today, April 28, giving the song its official status in Oklahoma rockdom. Meanwhile, Coyne plans to print up some hammer-and-sickle t-shirts for the the occasion, which will undoubtedly send certain members of the house of representatives running for their Snuggies.