RIP: Jim Carroll, punk rocker and author of The Basketball Diaries

From The New York Times:

Jim Carroll, the poet and punk rocker in the outlaw tradition of Rimbaud and Burroughs who chronicled his wild youth in “The Basketball Diaries,” died on Friday at his home in Manhattan. He was 60.

The cause was a heart attack, said Rosemary Carroll, his former wife.

As a teenage basketball star in the 1960s at Trinity, an elite private school on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Mr. Carroll led a chaotic life that combined sports, drugs and poetry. This highly unusual combination lent a lurid appeal to “The Basketball Diaries,” the journal he kept during high school and published in 1978, by which time his poetry had already won him a cult reputation as the new Bob Dylan.

“I met him in 1970, and already he was pretty much universally recognized as the best poet of his generation,” the singer Patti Smith said in a telephone interview on Sunday. “The work was sophisticated and elegant. He had beauty.”

- Jim Carroll Wikipedia entry

Malaysian Government Reverses Decision: Muslims Not Banned from Black Eyed Peas Kuala Lumpur Concert (“So, No Need to Convert Now?” Asks Every Other Religion)

In a heartwarming display of gubernatorial good taste, Muslims are now allowed to go and see an upcoming Guinness-sponsored concert by the Black Eyed Peas at a Kuala Lumpur theme park on September 25, after being at first banned from attending by that country's government. Ethnic Malays comprise approximately 55-60% of Malaysia's citizenship and, as Muslims, are subject to shariah law, thus prohibiting them from the partaking of alcohol. There was no official explanation as to why the ban was lifted, but a number of government delegates were seen walking around in a dazed state warbling "Money Money Money" by ABBA (currently sitting at #4 after spending over 1,700 weeks atop the Malay "Hot 30" chart).

[Note: other high-ranking officials of the Malaysian government were spotted singing "Mony Mony" (the Vital Idol version) as they ran through their daily routines. This was not a mistake nor a coincidence and had absolutely nothing to do with the B.E.P. concert announcement; "Mony Mony" (the Idol Songs version) is the unofficial national anthem and workers playsong of Malaysia. It is kinda like how people in the state of Maryland "Whistle While They Work" or hum "Mr. Roboto" (the Jingle Cats version) as they fastidiously pluck thistles from their yards.]

The original Black Eyed Peas forbiddance was not the first instance of this type of prohibitive religious restriction for public behavior in Malaysia, but it garnered a great deal of national and worldwide media exposure. This recent attempt at banning citizens comes after a general increase in native Malays flouting shariah law and, in particular, a cracking down on alcohol consumption after a Malaysian Islamic court sentenced a Muslim woman named Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarnor to a caning after being found guilty of drinking beer at a hotel. The sentence is now being upheld as it was considered too harsh at the time (ya think?).

The Black Eyed Peas show is part of Guinness' 250th anniversary celebrations. Normally, alcohol companies are not allowed to sponsor or organize music events, but an exception was given by the Information, Communication and Culture Ministry of Malaysia due to the historic anniversary and the potential boost to the tourism economy. Guinness will not be allowed to sell its products or display its logo in publicity material for the September 25 show.

Apart from this suds-sponsored shindig, concerts of some shapes and sizes (mostly large-scale shows by female-fronted acts) are often up against stiff resistance in Malaysia. Since 2007, the Pan Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), Malaysia's second strongest political party, has protested scheduled performances by scantily-clad hip-swingers like Beyoncé, Rihanna, Gwen Stefani, and Avril Lavigne. And to show that it is not just young hot women that are being targeted, as recently the PAS party attempted to ban a concert by "big in Malaysia" Danish man-band Michael Learns to Rock on issues of immorality. The squeaky clean group were unavailable for comment, as they were holed up in the Chelsea Hotel snorting coke off porn bellies, eating babies, and defecating on the Jalur Gemilang while getting plastercasted.

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, 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.