RIP: Scott McKenzie, best known for “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers In Your Hair)”

RIP: Scott McKenzie, best known for "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers In Your Hair)"

From the Scott McKenzie website:

It is with much sadness that we report the passing of Scott McKenzie in LA on 18th August, 2012. Scott had been very ill recently and passed away in his home after two weeks in hospital.

It has been our pleasure to maintain this web site over the past 15 years and this is the hardest update of them all. Farewell our much loved and wonderful friend.

• Scott McKenzie:

Silversun Pickups issue cease and desist letter to Romney campaign; Romney issues cease and desist letter to Obama campaign

Draw an equivalency between the two major American political parties all you want; only one of those two seems to have a serious immunity to cool. Why, it was just last week when Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello issued a scathing criticism of Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan, writing in Rolling Stone, “Don’t mistake me, I clearly see that Ryan has a whole lotta ‘rage’ in him: A rage against women, a rage against immigrants, a rage against workers, a rage against gays, a rage against the poor, a rage against the environment. Basically the only thing he’s not raging against is the privileged elite he’s groveling in front of for campaign contributions.” RATM is supposedly one of Ryan’s favorite bands too — or, maybe I should say, was one of his favorite bands. I can’t imagine recovery comes easy from that sort of verbal flogging.

Also last week (on Wednesday, to be exact), Silversun Pickups requested that the campaign of Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney discontinue use of the song “Panic Switch” during campaign stops around the country. The attorney for Silversun Pickups sent a cease and desist letter, while the band itself issued a statement that reads, in part, “We don’t like people going behind our backs, using our music without asking, and we don’t like the Romney campaign. We’re nice, approachable people. We won’t bite. Unless you’re Mitt Romney! We were very close to just letting this go because the irony was too good. While he is inadvertently playing a song that describes his whole campaign, we doubt that ‘Panic Switch’ really sends the message he intends.”

Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul responded thusly via The Huffington Post: “The song was inadvertently played during event set-up before Gov. Romney arrived at the location. As anyone who attends Gov. Romney’s events knows, this is not a song we would have played intentionally. That said, it was covered under the campaign’s regular blanket license, but we will not play it again.”

Is there a band out there that actually wants Republicans to use their music at campaign events? Maybe I should be more specific. Is there a non-country-or-bluegrass band, whose members don’t have mullets and wear shirts of American flag, that actually wants Republicans to use their music at campaign events?

• Silversun Pickups:

Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti gettin’ sued by former drummer for $1 million

Much like a totally stink-eyed Easter Bunny who brings eggs full of anger and frustration instead of delightful, teeth-rotting candy treats, the Drama Llama is wending his less-than-merry way across the loopy yet sorta poppy shores of Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffitiland. In layman’s terms, that means that s#!+’s getting raw. As in, Haunted Graffiti former drummer Aaron Sperske is suing the band for $1 million in punitive damages.

“Whhhhhhy?!?!?!? Why is this HAPPENING!?!?!?” you ask, alternately wringing your hands and balling your fists threateningly towards the sky. Well, according to The Entertainment Law Digest, Sperske is claiming he was “squeezed out” of an “oral partnership” agreement between the band members back in 2008. Sperske alleges that he and fellow band members Ariel Rosenberg, Tim Koh, and Kenny Gilmore wrote the band’s album Mature Themes together, and that he therefore should be awarded 1/4 of the album’s ownership, which means money from royalties and future shows.

Sperske has played with Beachwood Sparks, Lilys, The Pernice Brothers, and many more. The Drama Llama has performed in presidential elections, internet comments sections, and the UK teen drama Skins. Mature Themes comes out this week via 4AD. Read our review NOW.


09.07.12 - Austin, TX - Mohawk *$
09.08.12 - Dallas, TX - Granada Theatre *$
09.10.12 - Atlanta, GA - Goat Farm (Goodson Yard Room) *$
09.11.12 - Carrboro, NC - Cat’s Cradle *$
09.13.12 - Washington DC - 9:30 Club *$
09.14.12 - New York, NY - Webster Hall *!
09.15.12 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer *%
09.16.12 - Boston, MA - Paradise Rock Club *%
09.18.12 - Montreal, QC - Cabaret Du Mile End *%
09.19.12 - Toronto, ON - Lee’s Palace *%
09.20.12 - Oberlin, OH - Oberlin College *
09.21.12 - Chicago, IL - Metro *#
09.22.12 - Minneapolis, MN - Fine Line Music Cafe *#$
09.24.12 - Denver, CO - The Summit Music Hall *#
09.25.12 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge *#
09.27.12 - Vancouver, BC - The Rickshaw Theatre *
09.29.12 - Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom *
10.01.12 - San Francisco, CA - Bimbo’s 365 Club *#
10.05.12 - Los Angeles, CA - The Fonda Theatre *

* BODYGUARD (James Ferraro)
$ Moon Diagrams
% Phedre
# Dâm-Funk
$ Mr P

• Ariel Pink’s Haunted Grafitti:
• 4AD:

Adam Yauch’s will prohibits the use of his “artistic property” in ads (but not in ad-clogged internet news stories, unfortunately)

It’s been a few months since his passing, but I’m sure I speak for all fans when I say that it still smarts to think of the world without Beastie Boy Adam “MCA” Yauch walking around in it being awesome. But happily, a man as awesome as Yauch was bound to have built up so much residual awesomeness that some of that awesomeness is probably still rolling around out there, being residually awesome, even after his death. Yup, here’s some: according to a recent Rolling Stone report, Yauch’s will (which was filed this past week in Manhattan Surrogate Court) explicitly prohibits the use of his name, music, image, and general “artistic property” in connection with any and all advertisements. “Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, in no event may my image or name or any music or any artistic property created by me be used for advertising purposes,” the will reads. And, as Rolling Stone noted, that last phrase (“or any music or any artistic property created by me”) was added later… in handwriting… probably after he got a look at Guitar Hero 5.

I guess this means that the New York City tourism board won’t be getting their hands on “No Sleep ‘Till Brooklyn” anytime soon, and we won’t be seeing any creepy-as-fuck un-dead reanimations of the man selling popcorn, thank god. In addition to being smart and savvy enough to preemptively fight for his right not to party, Yauch’s will also names his wife Dechen as the executor of his estate and leaves his $6.4 million to Dechen and their daughter, Tenzin Losel. Take notes, folks; if we’ve all got to go some day, hopefully we can at least be as graceful and cool as Yauch was and use some of our last moments to tell all the corporate shills of the world to go fuck themselves.

• Beastie Boys:

Jason Lescalleet gathering up static electricity for his August US tour (which starts tonight)

Noisemaker Jason Lescalleet, whose most recent full-length on Erstwhile, Songs About Nothing (TMT Review), received our praise, is boarding his horse-drawn carriage and traveling to susceptible villages to sell his elixirs and potions, and then by the cloak of night, he’ll make his timely escape before the townsfolk all awake with sudden baldness. Be one of the privileged few to witness his staged miracles. It all begins this evening:

08.17.12 - Greenfield, MA - John Doe Jr
08.18.12 - Baltimore, MD - Red Room
08.19.12 - Pentress, WV - Voice of Valley Fest
08.20.12 - Richmond, VA - Hack-RVA
08.21.12 - Carrboro, NC - All Day Records
08.22.12 - West Columbia, SC - Conundrum
08.23.12 - Ashevile, NC - Black Effectors (above Forever Tattoo)
08.24.12 - Atlanta, GA - Beep Beep Gallery
08.25.12 - Nashville, TN - Brick Factory
08.26.12 - Lexington, KY - Institute 193
08.27.12 - Louisville, KY - Lisa’s Oak Street Lounge
08.28.12 - Columbus, OH - 400 W. Rich St.
08.29.12 - Cleveland, OH - Now That’s Class
08.30.12 - Rochester, NY - Carriage House
08.31.12 - Albany, NY - Upstate Artists Guild, 247 Lark Street

• Jason Lescalleet:
• Erstwhile:

Pussy Riot found guilty, sentenced to two years

The controversial court case of Pussy vs. Jesus came to a disappointing close today, as the verdict for the political punk activists Pussy Riot found the group guilty of acts of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred,” “and for wearing clothing that is not in keeping with the normal rules of dressing in church.” The Russian female trio had been obtained by police after a guerrilla protest of fascist President Vladimir Putin in the Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow. The five-month case that could have potentially convicted the three Pussy Riot members to a maximum of seven years resulted in a two-year sentence this morning.

The verdict is received, obviously, with much outcry over the injustice of the sentence. Members of the courtroom were reported to shout “Shame! Shame!” as the guilty verdict was delivered. Some such responses have led to additional arrests, with a number of people apprehended outside of the courtroom, including chess champion-turned-political activist Garry Kasparov, according to The Guardian.

Amnesty International declared Pussy Riot “prisoners of conscience” and expressed concern that they faced the danger of being sent to labor camps, where they would be at risk of physical and sexual abuse.

I tried to call Putin for comment, but he ain’t answering the phone today.

• Free Pussy Riot: