Who's more hardcore?
- A guy who was shot nine times, sold crack, owned a significant share of Vitamin Water, and has to deal regularly with a bunch of fame-hungry MTV reality show idiots on The Money and the Power?
- A fast-food restaurant chain started by a former Marine, hyped by a talking Chihuahua, with a menu consisting largely of beef and cheese items with the suffixes "ito" or "ita" tacked on at the end to denote the alleged "South of the Border" quality of the products?
The answer may at first seem obvious, but after some recent legal issues between rapper 50 Cent and 7-layer cheese-aholic crunchwrap meat surprise gordita purveyors Taco Bell, things get a little murkier.
A recent rather-short, kinda barebones report from Billboard revealed that a legal catfight between the two entities is getting just a little crazy. It seems that 50 is miffed about a fake letter/advertising scheme dreamed up by our taco-loving friends, in which the rapper is entreated to change his name to 79 Cent, 89 Cent, or possibly 99 Cent (presumably this would have been at 50's discretion) for one day only to promote the restaurant chain's value menu. Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson would've then received a $10,000 donation to the charity of his choice if he had accepted the name changin' challenge. Instead, he is suing for trademark infringement.
Taco Bell lawyeritos are decrying the lawsuit as an attempt to rack up the restaurant-hatin' street cred and "burnish his gangsta rapper persona by distorting beyond all recognition a bona fide, good faith offer." No word yet as to 50's feelings concerning that commercial where the two drive-through customers try to rap about their food.
Ah, Ah, Ah, Ah, Table Five! Table Five! Scientists Say “Stayin’ Alive” Provides a Perfect Beat For Performing CPR
When was the last time you watched Saturday Night Fever? Like two years ago on VH1, you say? It looks like you got some work to do, my friend! First of all, you should really watch Travolta’s positively spiritual dance moves every couple months just to recharge your chakra or center your chi or whatever method of metaphysical recalibration you prefer. Seriously, every thrust of those skinny disco hips is like a poem from the Book of Psalms. But along with saving your soul, researchers at the University of Illinois have found that the ’70s camp classic’s musical centerpiece “Stayin’ Alive” by The Bee Gees could save your life, too!
According to the Chicago Tribune, “Stayin’ Alive” works as the perfect metronome for CPR. At 103 beats per second, the tune worked as an ideal guide for rhythmically challenged test subjects practicing CPR on mannequins. When the song was playing, subjects were able to produce acceptable compression rates near the recommended 100-beats-per-second mark. When the subjects performed CPR in silence, however, most of them pushed and released too quickly at a speed of 150 beats per minute, which would cause the heart to expand and fill with blood. Yikes! So grab the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack from your parents’ record collection and start practicing, America! We’ve got lives to save! Oh yeah, you may want to learn CPR first, too.
From the BBC:
Missing Manic Street Preachers guitarist and lyricist Richey Edwards has been declared as presumed dead, a spokeswoman for the band has said.
The musician from Blackwood, south Wales, disappeared nearly 14 years ago.
Despite alleged sightings all over the world many believe Edwards, whose car was found near the Severn Bridge, took his own life at the age of 27.
As of Montreal continues to promote Skeletal Lamping (TMT Review) in the U.S. with bizarre, elaborate live shows during the holiday season, the band has announced additional tourdates that will take them overseas in early 2009. This means not only packing up band members and equipment, but also stage performers, costumes, multiple drum sets, set pieces, a stage partition, a noose, body paint, multiple cans of shaving cream, a fanny pack full of condoms, body suits, frilly shirts, toy guns, video footage, and a coffin. Expect long lines at the international airport in January.
For now, the band wraps up the year on the East Coast, hitting their home state at the very end of 2008.
& Fiery Furnaces
Belgian illustrator and cartoonist Guy Peellaert died of heart failure at the age of 74 on November 17. Pellaert had a surrealist, Pop-art style; he mixed painting, drawing, photography, and comics in his work. He designed numerous well-known album covers, including for David Bowie's Diamond Dogs and the Rolling Stones' It's Only Rock 'n' Roll. He designed posters for countless films, such as Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver, and produced an acclaimed and much-imitated comic, Pravda.
Dan Deacon Does What He Does Best: Adds More Tourdates Bringing Shenanigans to Make Audiences Look Silly to the Masses
Hot off his raging success as a crayon commercial star, (one of) Baltimore’s finest Dan Deacon will be hitting the road for a sporadic tour (not sure he ever left the road actually). Anyone who has ever been witness to the fantastical events that transpire at a Dan Deacon show can assure you it's always worth the price of entry. Not only does Deacon play in the audience, but he also sets up games that make the audience feel like they're in elementary school recess all over again.
Now, at this point, we all know Spiderman of the Rings is a really great record, but the itch for new music by Deacon is becoming insurmountable. Hopefully those who make it to these shows hear something new to keep our anticipation high for the likely awesome next record.
Dan Deacon tourdates:
Colbert’s Next Publicity Plug Helps Contribute To The Growing Problem Of Christmas Festivities Starting Way Too Goddamn Early, Release EP to Coincide with His Christmas Special
With the presidential election now past, Stephen Colbert is moving onto national holidays. While his television special/album combo focuses on Christmas, Colbert jumps the gun a bit, debuting his special today, November 23, and making the DVD and digital EP available for purchase November 25. This way, the event overshadows Thanksgiving AND allows fans to purchase the DVD as a Christmas gift. What a clever man.
Colbert's parody of a Christmas Special seems not unlike his show: obviously a farce, but legitimate in enough of the details to make it work quite well. Guests will include Toby Keith (for authenticity's sake), John Legend (for irony's sake), Jon Stewart (because, well, of course), and Willie Nelson (because who doesn't like Willie Nelson?).
Most of the songs are written by Daily Show executive producer David Javerbaum. Proceeds from DVD sales go to hunger relief charity Feeding America.
Tracklisting for A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift Of All! EP, available November 25 via iTunes.
1. "Another Christmas Song" - Stephen Colbert
2. "Have I Got A Present For You" - Toby Keith
3. "The Little Dealer Boy" - Stephen Colbert and Willie Nelson
4. "Can I Interest You In Hannukah" - Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart
5. "Nutmeg" - Stephen Colbert and John Legend
6. "Please Be Patient" - Feist
7. "There Are Much Worse Things to Believe In" - Stephen Colbert and Elvis Costello
8. "(What's So Funny 'bout) Peace, Love And Understanding" - Stephen Colbert, Elvis Costello, Feist, Toby Keith, John Legend and Willie Nelson
Crystal Antlers and Crystal Stilts Tour (Separately) to Promote Replacing “Wolf” With “Crystal” for Title of “Most Overused Indie-Band-Naming Device”
Those goddamn hipsters are at it again! Back in the good ol’ days, their bands had nice, easy-to-swallow names like The Pixies and Wilco and Pavement. They started getting on my nerves when they took random words and strung them together – Neutral Milk Hotel? What the fuck is that shit supposed to be about? Or Modest Mouse? Mice don’t have feelings! If anything, they’re just dicks. Why else would they keep pooping in my cereal?
And then for the last five years everything’s been about wolves! Wolf Parade (those animals would eat everyone in sight if let out in mass quantities), AIDS Wolf (they have STDs now?), Sea Wolf (that’s just a dead wolf in the ocean), and just when I think I’m safe, they start bombarding me with wolves in other languages! Did you know that Le Loup actually means “The Wolf” in French? Fuckin’ commies just won’t leave me alone. It got better for a while, but now look what those scruffy American Apparel-wearing kids have gotten themselves into -- it’s “Crystal” now! Crystal Castles, Crystal Antlers, Crystal Stilts… why don’t they just admit what they’re getting at and call the next band Crystal Meth? I’d buy that album. And now two of them are going on tour to make this blasphemy even more apparent. This has got to end. They’re infringing on my rights here, and I won’t stand for it. I’ll be at every single one of these shows with protest signs. Join me and you’ll be spared when the Rapture comes.
Crystal Antlers tourdates:
# Love is All
Mario Speedwagon’s Under The Radar News Roundup: Quarterstick Sign Some Bitches, Beatles Documentary, Emo Dudes Help the Kids, Record Store Day Returns, New Order Reissues Sound Like Shit
- Quarterstick Records, partner of Touch & Go, signed some bands. The first was San Francisco drum punk band Mi Ami. The band features two dudes from one of my favorite DC bands, Black Eyes — Daniel Martin-McCormick and Jacob Long. The second signing is another San Francisco-based band, Sholi, an avant-rock three-piece comprised of Payam Bavaf (guitarist, songwriter), Eric Ruud (bass), and Jonathon Bafus (drums). Both bands have LPs due February 17, 2009.
- As if there wasn’t enough Beatles memorabilia, biographies, and tons of other bullshit out there, we are now getting an independent documentary entitled Beatles – Composing The Beatles Song Book: Lennon and McCartney 1966-1970. The film explores the partnership between Lennon and McCartney and the songwriting process through “rare footage, classic performances” and testimonials from their friends. There are some other bitches on there too, like Anthony De Curtis (Rolling Stone), Robert Christgau (Village Voice), Alan Moore, etc. Sounds like a snooze-fest. Shit comes out November 25, 2008.
- Dustin Kensrue (Thrice), Jon Foreman (Switchfoot), Chris Conley (Saves The Day), and Jim Ward (Sparta/At The Drive In) will perform a special acoustic show Friday, December 19, 2008 at the Troubador in Hollywood, CA to benefit Invisible Children. Invisible Children is a non-profit with the goal of providing education and economic relief to those living in Uganda. The event is sponsored by MySpace, Jedidiah Clothing, and SocialVibe, and kicks off around 7 PM. You can buy tickets through Ticketmaster.
- Record Store Day is making a return in 2009. This year's event falls on April 18, 2009 and was organized by the National Association of Recording Merchandisers... basically, an alliance of grumpy dudes who work at record stores.
- Rhino Records reissued New Order’s first five records, Movement, Power, Corruption & Lies, Low-Life, Brotherhood, and Technique and fucked ’em up. The records were reissued last Tuesday (11/11/08) and fans quickly started bitching about the ubiquitous sound errors on the discs. Apparently, the tracks sound like they were transferred directly from the vinyl recordings instead the master tapes. Rhino plans to fix the mess and reissue the reissues and allow customers to exchange their shitty CDs for new ones.
Okay, I’m done. Hope you have a happy Thanksgiving, chumps.
I first came across Mr. Oizo's "Flat Beat" in England in 1999. It was entering its third week atop the UK single charts; hence, its all-too-familiar solid house thumps and unsettling fuzzy pulse confronted you at every pub and club (I wasn't privy to any worlds outside those which dispensed alcohol). Mr. Oizo, or Quentin Dupieux, became a household name for creating “Flat Beat,” but he may be even more well-known for creating its accompanying video, which finally introduced Flat Eric -- a flat-topped, headbanging yellow puppet made by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop -- to the world. Flat Eric was further embraced by UK pop culture junkies for his ice cold shilling of Levi's "Sta-Prest" denims in a series of unforgettable ads. Mr. Oizo himself seems to have moved on, if the teaser video clip for his new album on his MySpace page is anything to go by. Taking a page out of the Buñuel/Dali "Un chien andalou" reference book, the Lamb's Anger promo ad does to Flat Eric what the world couldn't do back in 1999: put him out of his misery. Or does it?
Of course, Dupieux has hardly been tethered to "Flat Beat" since its release and widespread adoration, but he hasn't been forthcoming with as many Mr. Oizo full-length albums as we would have liked either. Since his debut, Analog Worms Attack, almost 10 years ago, he's released only two other albums and a number of singles and EPs. Although Mr. Oizo is always an in-demand remixer and live-draw, we still need more of that warped experimental electro on wax. His forthcoming Lamb’s Anger album should quell our appetites but, unfortunately, not until the new year. Dupieux's latest was released on November 17 in Europe but will not be available in L’Amerique du Nord until January 26 through Ed Banger Records. That seems like a long time for us to wait, but in Flat Eric time, it's only a couple of headbangs away.
Lamb's Anger, fan's joy:
2. Pourriture 2
4. Cut Dick
5. Two Takes It (featuring Carmen Castro)
7. Bruce Willis Is Dead
10. Lamb's Anger
11. Erreur Jean (featuring Errorsmith)
12. Steroids (featuring Uffie)
13. Gay Dentists
14. Pourriture 7
16. Lars Von Sen
Upcoming Mr. Oizo gigs:
11.21.08 - Venice, Italy - Belli Dentro Notte
11.29.08 - Neufchatel, France - Annulato
01.26.09 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Paradiso