RZA Raises Motherfucking Ruckus at Celebrity Chess Tournament; Wu-Tang CANCELS Tour

Fuck the new Wu-Tang album, fuck the new Ghostface album, and fuck the noise regarding the release dates. It's time for RZA to shine! The Hip-Hop Chess Foundation (HHCF) has just announced RZA as the winner of the 1st Annual Chess Kings Invitational Champion Belt. Part of an effort to raise money for the HHCF Education Scholarship Fund, RZA beat out eight other participants, including GZA, Sunspot Jonz (Living Legends), Ralek Gracie, Paris, Amir Sulaiman, and Casual (Hieroglyphics). The final match was between GZA and fellow Wu-Tang member Monk.

Combined, the volunteering artists helped the HHCF raise $10,000 in educational scholarships, which were awarded to the participants from Oakland's Unity High, Youth Uprising, San Francisco's O'Connell High and Muhammad University of Islam. Fucking awesome!

Random chess tip: The best way to play aggressively is start with 1.e4 as white and play an open game. As black, defend 1.e4 with 1....e5 and defend the Ruy Lopez. Against 1.d4 play 1...d5 2. c4 d:c4 the Queen's Gambit Accepted.

UPDATE: Wu-Tang have canceled their upcoming tour!! Ghostface Killah's dates are still on though. Raise the motherfucking ruckus, indeed.

There Will Be Music: Jonny Greenwood’s Soundtrack to There Will Be Blood (There Will Be Movie) Coming Soon

I ran to the train today. I don’t like to run, I don’t like to be rushed. I don’t like to humble myself to the schedule of a disgusting can that moves fast. But I did, and as I made my way down the steps onto the platform, I swore, as it passed deeper into the tunnel, leaving me behind. If trains could talk, this one most certainly would’ve laughed, and why not? It sees me every day and must know my feelings on time and schedules and all that. If it were educated, it would most certainly ask me why it should wait, why it should humble itself before me. Trains can’t talk though, and they aren’t educated, and it is times like this, watching them run away into tunnels, that make us all glad they can’t point out our flaws as we can theirs.

So I sat. A man was playing a guitar and singing. I hated this man. Platforms are for people who have places to be, and this man was trying to make money by staying put. I watched my fellow victims of schedules pull out newspapers and books and homework and job-work and phones and headphones and video iPods and music iPods and the usual fare that people occupy themselves with besides experiencing their surroundings. I sat and waited. Stop and smell the roses, a common utterance that has no bearing anymore. Instead, everyone should sit and wait on a train platform and watch and listen to everyone else.

I listened to the man playing guitar, the man I once hated. I mellowed as I listened to it echo through the underground station, bouncing off people and their words. He was great, and I felt like I was hearing something, really hearing something. It’s my new favorite thing, this “found music.” No more packages, no more music as product (though it almost always is when you really think about it) -- just unrecorded, unedited music that you stumble upon. There’s something purer and instantly personal in some odd way when you find it. When I first moved to my new apartment, I opened the windows and found my neighbors’ band practicing. They are awesome, and after hearing them in this messy, muffled, life-filtered way, I almost never want to hear a studio album. I don’t even want to hear them live if it means not stumbling across it from across a field.

The messy things are what grab me these days. I’m reading unpolished writing from my peers (and my own), watching unpolished movies, and now listening to unpolished music, and it just feels that much more honest. Life is messy, why shouldn’t art be? Which makes me all that much more sad to read about Paul Thomas Anderson’s new movie, There Will Be Blood, scored by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood. Admittedly, this movie looks fucking good, but until now, Paul Thomas Anderson has been mostly dishonest, rehashing Robert Altman’s work in a very marketable, polished way. I have high hopes for There Will Be Blood, and it is my experience that the personal story, the personal art, is the one that is felt the most by everyone -- the uglier, the more truthful it sometimes can be. Sometimes nothing is more offensive than life, clean.

And as I get ready to see this movie on December 26, backed by J. Greenwood’s efforts released on December 18, I’ll hope that there’s room for something ugly in Hollywood that isn’t the latest mass-market romantic comedy. If not, I’ll keep waiting, because it’s there. It’s out there. I just need to miss my train more often, open my window more often, let life filter out art rather than the other way around.

There Will Be Blood tracklist:

Tara Jane O’Neil to Tour… Just a Lil’ Bit Here and There

Looks like TJO had a little extra time and was feeling like getting out more. What better way to use up that time and leave the house then a quick jaunt around the country? She just has time to stop by Chicago, a little smattering around in the Northwest, a quick jaunt into Canada, and then over to New York, then back to drawing. Those of you living in and/or near these places should go because:

Sometimes she covers The Boss.

Sometimes she has a loop pedal.

Sometimes she reminds me of Neil Young (whose new album just came out). Not sure why though. Maybe it was the hat she was wearing last time I saw her.

Tourdates:

Tied to Terrorism: Chris Walla Claims Innocence, Death Cab Lyrics Beg to Differ

Unfortunately for Death Cab for Cutie lead guitarist Chris Walla, his four-years-in-the-making solo album Field Manual hit a snag on the home stretch. Speaking to MTV, after finishing recording:

"Barsuk Records hired a courier to bring the album back from Canada. And he got to the border and he had all his paperwork, only they turned him away, and they confiscated the drive and gave it to the computer-forensics division of Homeland Security …And now I couldn't even venture a guess as to where it is, or what it's doing there… I don't know if we can hire an attorney. Is there a black-hole attorney? You can't take a black hole to court."

You know who can take a black hole to court? Chuck Norris. In an effort to settle the dispute, I've turned to an impartial source of evidence: the lyrics from Walla's main band. Sure, he didn't write them, but he still could have, at any time, stopped the release of immoral subject matter. But did he? No.

Number of DCFC songs mentioning:

- death: 8
- dismemberment: 5
- things burning: 3
- booze: 11
- Jesus: 0

Not to mention the fact that the "rocks left in both of our shoes" line from "Soul Meets Body" are clearly explosives.

Such incriminating evidence makes me happy that our tax dollars are hard at work catching terrorists working under the guise of independent recording artists. Good job, Homeland Security. I feel a lot safer at night, now that you've stopped this imminent threat to our nation's welfare.

Frog Eyes to Tour Europe; Hooray for Hollywood!

In today’s “Star Talk” feature, four megastars from the critically-adored (really?) and commercial feel-good monster hit of the summer, Ocean's 13 -- George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Don Cheadle, and Matt Damon -- show off their human sides as they answer questions from the press about the music they relax with while kicking back at home.

----

Serious journalist: So guys. What kind of music do you find yourselves listening to lately?

Clooney: Tony Bennett. Tony Roma. Tony Robooomba, Tony Toni Toné... Dean Martin, Martin Short, Sinatras, both senior and junior. Hey, did you know that people refer to us as the new “Rat Pack”? Hey Sammy! [shouting at Cheadle] Grab us a couple of Rob Roys, will ya?

Cheadle [muttering under his breath]: Oh shut the fuck up, you ass... you’ll get yours soon enough...

TMT hump (crawling from beneath the makeshift bar wearing underwear overtop of jeans): Hic... Do any of you like Frog Eyes?

Pitt: Frog Eyes? I was getting some of those from a chick at the Paris premiere!

Clooney (grabbing Pitt around the shoulders): Ha, ha, ha, ha... I love this guy! THIS IS THE GUY!

TMT hack (urinating into flowerpot): Um, anyway... Frog Eyes. Yeah, the ass-punching Victoria band will be playing a bunch of shows in Europe.

[Your trusty TMT newsie then passes around a list of Frog Eyes’ European tourdates scribbled out on bar napkins to everyone except Clooney, who recoils and claims to be deathly afraid of catching “averageness” from a “commoner.”]

Damon: Great. I may just check one of those shows out if I’m around. I really liked their last album Tears of the Valedictorian (TMT Review).

Cheadle: Yes, thanks for the head’s up. I’ve been a Frog Eyes fan since for years and just picked up the expanded reissues of The Golden River and The Bloody Hand. They are a wonderful live band.

Pitt: Why can’t everybody just bumble be, instead of bumble do?

Clooney: Yes! Yes! YEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSS!

[Damon and Cheadle look puzzled and uncomfortable. Pitt sits with an idiotic grin like he just won the Nobel Prize for “Quips.” Clooney is collapsed and convulsing in a pool of drool.]

Serious journalist: How has George been to work with since his big Oscar win.

Damon [jovially]: Well, he's been a bit more of a taskmaster since he won that Oscar -- he, he....

Clooney [shooting daggers at Damon]: WELL, AT LEAST I’VE WON ONE FOR MY ACTING... WHAT HAVE YOU EVER DONE YOU PIECE OF PISS?!?!

Pitt [pretends to strip]: “Yikes, it's getting hott in herre... so take off all my clothes....”

Clooney: You are gold, my friend. Gold! Where's Sammy with a song and dance when I need one!? Get over here “Candyman!”

[Cheadle takes out revolver, blows away Clooney, pistol-whips Pitt, leaves the press conference, and walks into the moonlight holding Damon’s hand. They share a kiss as E.T. and Elliott fly overhead on a BMX.]

Tours of the Valedictorians:

* Deerhunter

Hyperdub Sets Release Date For Burial’s Sophmore LP, Untrue, and The Crowd Goes Wild

Burial's music has been compared to everyone from Massive Attack (the forthcoming album Untrue was described as a "Blue Lines for the '00s") to Joy Division, as seen in K-Punk and TMT's own glowing five-star review of his first, self-titled effort. Both Wire and The Guardian voted the anonymous producer's debut as the number one album of the year in 2006, and it's considered to be the flagship album of the entire dubstep movement, which has since born much fruit and expanded globally in the 18 months since Burial's first album was previewed on BBC Radio 1's Mary Anne Hobbes show.

It now occurs to me that there is absolutely no way to cover this story objectively and without sounding like a total fanboy, so here are a few links regarding anticipation for the album, as well as a Mary Anne Hobbes quote from her intro to Kode 9's preview mix of Untrue, broadcast late Tuesday evening/Wednesday morning on Radio One (an irritatingly short 15-minute tease -- killer marketing, of course):

- Link 1 - Link 2 - Link 3

- "...This mix is a work of art in itself. I have to say I think it's the most wonderful mosaic of sound I've ever heard in my whole life, it doesn't even sound like it was made on this Earth, it could be a transmission from a star in a galaxy far far away... and I don't know about you, but this excites senses deep in my soul that I didn't even know I had, and it makes me feel like I'm falling in love with music at a completely different and way deeper level."

You can listen to the show, provided you allow Real Player to be installed on your computer, through Radio One's website.

Untrue is being released via Hyperdub in the UK November 5; shoppers outside of Britain can head to any one of the five online retailers listed at the very bottom of Hyperdub's website to pay money for the following 13 tracks:

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