RIP: Heavy D

RIP: Heavy D

From Rolling Stone:

Heavy D, the former leader of the hip-hop group Heavy D and the Boyz, has died at the age of 44. The rapper was rushed to a hospital in Los Angeles earlier this afternoon and was pronounced dead at 1 p.m. PT. Police are investigating his death but there are no signs of foul play.

Heavy D, born Dwight Arrington Myers, broke into the music industry with Living Large, his first record with the Boyz, in 1987. He went on to even greater success with the hit “Now That We Found Love” in 1991, and recorded theme songs for the television series In Loving Color and MADtv. In recent years, D recorded a series of reggae fusion albums.

• Heavy D:

C. Spencer Yeh releases new album 1975 on Intransitive, sneezes as an album preview

C. Spencer Yeh — violinist, vocal contortionist, and avant-garde mastermind behind Burning Star Core — has a new CD coming out, unsurprisingly for an artist with such a deep and constant discography. 1975 is finally officially released this month in an edition of 500 through Intransitive Recordings, and the prolific Yeh describes the album as like nothing anyone has heard from him before.

According to Yeh, “One thing is I really wanted to focus on a certain feeling of stasis. So much of what else I do just kinda pushes and pushes forward. 1975 is more vertical than horizontal, even though one can’t escape the horizontal completely.”

1975 is unlike the noisy cacophony of Burning Star Core, unlike his previous violin improvisations, and far from his recent foray into pop music on De Stijl. The record achieves a new sensual sense of ambience unheard on Yeh’s other projects while still maintaining some recognizable trademark elements. For those of you that follow Yeh’s many live performances throughout New York, much of this material will sound properly in place to his recent directions. And of course, the album features some incredible tracks of Yeh’s signature voice manipulations. Look for it soon.

• C. Spencer Yeh:
• Intransitive:

Akron/Family celebrate the launching of their new label by touring the US in January

As previously reported, the experimental folk group Akron/Family have just formed their own record label, Family Tree Records. And wouldn’t you know it, establishing and maintaining an independent record label is so totally not as easy as choosing a relevant/endearingly hip name and having artists sign improvised contracts that you wrote in pencil during the commute to your now-dilapidated warehouse-turned-office space. No, as Akron/Family appear keenly aware, you actually have to work. Such is the inspiration for their upcoming tour alongside recent signees Bad Weather California.

Looking at some of the dates on their schedule, it seems Akron/Family were careful to avoid cities that are typically prone to apocalyptic snowstorms. Apparently, since they’re already on good terms with Bad Weather California, they saw no need to pursue acquaintances with Bad Weather Michigan or Bad Weather Massachusetts. …I’m sorry.

In related news, Akron/Family have also just released a rather beautiful new video for “Cast a Net,” from the album S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT (TMT Review) released earlier this year. Check it out if you’re eager to have your heartstrings tugged.


01.06.12 - Washington DC - Rock and Roll Hotel *
01.07.12 - Raleigh, NC - Pour House Music Hall *
01.08.12 - Asheville, NC - Grey Eagle *
01.10.12 - Tampa, FL - Crowbar *
01.11.12 - Gainesville, FL - Double Down *
01.12.12 - Orlando, FL - Backbooth *
01.13.12 - Tallahassee, FL - Club Downunder *
01.14.12 - Atlanta, GA - Drunken Unicorn *
01.15.12 - Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge *
01.17.12 - Chicago, IL - Hideout *
01.18.12 - South Bend, IN - Subkirke *
01.19.12 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom *
01. 20.12 - Philadelphia, PA - Blockley Pourhouse *

* Bad Weather California

• Akron/Family:
• Family Tree:

Craig Finn announces release date of new solo LP, dispels rumors of his “secret illiteracy”

Good news, hoodrat, meth-addict, sexually-excited-by-Jesus assholes! Craig Finn, the hyper-literate-but-not-in-that-cloying-Decemberists-way talk-singer of The Hold Steady, has just confirmed a release date for his debut solo album. Due January 24 on Vagrant, the album’s called Clear Heart Full Eyes. I know, seems lame right? But it’s cool; it’s probably some next-level reference from Dante or Kerouac or something. Let’s go to the press release: “It’s a juxtaposed reference to ‘Friday Night Lights,’ a TV show that excited and moved me and also happened in Texas.” D’oh!

But wait, there’s more. The album consists of songs Finn wrote in his Brooklyn apartment earlier this year. See? Brooklyn. This shit’s probably experimental as hell! Hook me up, press release: “I had written a bunch of songs that were outside of the norm for The Hold Steady, a little quieter and perhaps more narrative.” DAMNIT.

Okay, okay. But still, the studio lore behind this has to be cool, right? I mean, Finn’s a pretty infamous partier. Let’s consult his first-hand account of the recording porcess. Let’s see… looks like he recorded the album in Austin with Spoon and …Trail of Dead producer Mike McCarthy this past July because he wanted to “gain some experience and insight into the process of making a record by working with new people.” Aw, come on, man! At least give me something about reciting Pound’s Cantos while sniffing coke off of some college girl’s Chi Rho-tatooed tits! It’s not like being a 40-year-old man who still pretends like he’s 18 for the sake of keeping up appearances in a cool rock band is too much to ask, Craig.

Clear Heart Full Eyes tracklisting:

01. Apollo Bay
02. When No One’s Watching
03. No Future
04. New Friend Jesus
05. Jackson
06. Terrified Eyes
07. Western Pier
08. Honolulu Blues
09. Rented Room
10. Balcony
11. Not Much Left of Us

• Craig Finn:
• Vagrant:
• The Hold Steady:

Common announces release date for The Dreamer, The Believer while acting like a slave for AMC

While Common’s upcoming The Dreamer, The Believer has been pushed back from its original November 22 date, it’s not like the multitalented workhorse hasn’t stayed busy. He stopped through West Michigan’s 1045 SNX to promote the Confederate flag waving AMC drama Hell on Wheels on Monday. As a freed slave, Common’s character no doubt must function as both a dreamer and a believer in order to readjust to life as a free man. What a handy tie-in, that is!

You can watch the trailer for the original series, which premieres on Sunday, if you’re here for the television news, but what’s really G.O.O.D. is Common also took the time to let us all in on the new release date for his next full-length. December 20 is the new date, and so long as he doesn’t get run out of town by Confederates we’re thinking this will stick. It should be noted that the album art of his first single, “Blue Sky,” is very Causers of This-era Toro Y Moi. So big ups for such a nice touch; some might call it Common sense.

Oh, and if you don’t believe us, go here to listen to the clips from Common’s radio appearance, in which he also confirms his Nas collabo and a spring 2012 release for the Yeezy-owned G.O.O.D. label’s album-length effort. Maybach Music, look out.

• Common:
• G.O.O.D. Music:

The Black Heart Procession join up with Chelsea Wolfe for a tour made in sad heaven

From the murkiest depths of sunny California, comes the winter season’s darkest West Coast tour! Long-running sad band The Black Heart Procession are shaking out their gloomiest monk robes and blazing a trail of melancholic indie pop all the way from San Diego on up to Vancouver. Along the way, they’ll be picking up much-buzzed-about Los Angeles-based doomfolk songstress Chelsea Wolfe, and then together these two critical darlings will hit clubs along the West Coast and into the Southwest. It’s the ultimate in summer fun!!!!! But like, if you put summer fun in a freezer alone with just a skeletal tree and a Bauhaus record for company.

So basically this is like a match made in Sad Heaven. (I know, I know — while both group’s aesthetic sensibilities lean toward the spooky, neither one produces particularly gothtacular music.) Wolfe’s Apokalypsis has been lighting music journalists’ hearts afire since it was released late this summer on Pendu Sound Recordings. The boys in Black Heart Procession toured earlier this year with J. Mascis, but haven’t had a studio release out since last year’s Blood Bunny/Black Rabbit EP (TMT Review) for Temporary Residence. So what kind of wacky hijinks will these crazy kids get up to once they all get on the bus? The only thing we can say for sure is MAGICK. MAGICK for all.


12.02.11 - San Diego, CA - Casbah
12.03.11 - Los Angeles, CA - Satellite Club
12.04.11 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill
12.06.11 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
12.07.11 - Vancouver, BC - Rickshaw Theatre
12.08.11 - Seattle, WA - Tractor Tavern
12.10.11 - Boise, ID - Neurolux
12.11.11 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
12.12.11 - Denver, CO - Hi Dive
12.13.11 - Albuquerque, NM - Low Spirits
12.14.11 - Phoenix, AZ - The Crescent Ballroom

• The Black Heart Procession:
• Temporary Residence Ltd.: