Common Unveils Universal Mind Control, Hypnotizes Fans Into Wanting Album

Chicago-based rapper Common will be releasing his eighth full-length release December 9 via Geffen. The album will span a nice round 10 tracks and will feature the likes of Kanye West, Santogold, Pharrell Williams, and Cee-Lo Green. According to Billboard, one track even features the MC rapping over a Pat Benatar-inspired guitar riff. Production on the album will be split between The Neptunes and Outkast crony, Mr. DJ.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Common is a cool guy -- I loved 2005’s Be, (TMT Review) -- but I am really on edge to see the cover art on this bad boy. If it is anything like 2007’s Finding Forever or 2002’s Electric Circus, fans might have to prepare for total sensory overload.

Two new tracks from Universal Mind Control can be heard here for those interested.

Universal Mind Control tracklist:

From The Washington Post:

Yma Sumac, a Peruvian folk entertainer with an astonishing vocal range who surged to fame in the 1950s with an "Incan princess" mystique that captivated millions of record-buyers in search of exotic sounds, died of cancer Nov. 1 at an assisted living facility in the Silver Lake section of Los Angeles.

She was believed to be 86, according to personal assistant Damon Devine, who said he had seen the birth certificate.

- Yma Sumac official website
- Yma Sumac Wikipedia entry

Like Post-It Notes and White Out, it seemed so obvious, but took a while for someone to actually do it: Finally, a wide-release Punk Rock Karaoke DVD has dropped.

The original Punk Rock Karaoke is a touring cast of musicians from some very notable punk bands playing your favorites, allowing common folk, as well as some famous names, to take the stage and sing a ditty or two. These performances are recorded in the new Punk Rock Karaoke documentary, which was released this week via MVD. Better yet, each song features the words at the bottom of the screen so you can follow along at home! This is great news for me -- I'm tired of singing the same three Fleetwood Mac songs I know by heart, with an occasional Rickroll thrown in for good measure.

Punk Rock Karaoke features:

- The Dickies - "Manny, Moe and Jack" (featuring vocals by MxPx's Mike Herrera)
- The Circle Jerks - "Back Against the Wall" (Pennywise's Jim Lindberg)
- Black Flag's "Gimmie, Gimmie, Gimme" (Alkaline Trio's Matt Skiba)
- Buzzcocks - "What Do I Get?" (The Vandals' Warren Fitzgerald)
- Bad Religion's "Fuck Armegeddon ...This is Hell" (Flogging Molly's Dave King)
- Stiff Little Fingers - "Suspect Device" (Mighty Mighty Bosstones' Dicky Barrett)
- Minor Threat's "Minor Threat" (New Found Glory's Jordan Pundik)
- The Descendents - "Bikeage" (Lagwagon's Joey Cape)
- The Adolescents - "Amoeba" (Swingin' Utters' Spike Slawson)
- Dead Kennedys - "California Uber Alles" (Throw Rag's Sean Wheeler)

Get more info here.

Living on the West Coast? You're in luck, as you can witness the magic live:
11.02.08 - Los Angeles, CA - The Roxy
11.03.08 - Sacramento, CA - Blue Lamp
11.05.08 - San Francisco, CA - Thee Parkside

So it's time to grab the mic, mix up some Bacardi 151 with the free Dr. Pepper you're getting next month (TMT News), and American Idol-it up; tunefulness not necessary.

RIP: Danny Dill, Country Music Songwriter

From The Tennessean (via Idolator):

Horace Eldred “Danny” Dill, who co-wrote two of country music’s best-known songs, died Thursday at age 83.

Mr. Dill wrote “Long Black Veil” with Marijohn Wilkin, a that song has been recorded by Lefty Frizzell, Johnny Cash, Jerry Garcia and a slew of others. His “Detroit City,” written with Mel Tillis, became a standard when recorded by Bobby Bare. Largely on the strength of those songs, Mr. Dill was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1975.

“If all he’d done was help to write ‘Long Black Veil,’ he’d still go down as one of the all-time great country songwriters,” said Country Music Hall of Famer Bill Anderson.

- Danny Dill Wikipedia entry
- YouTube video: "Bobby Bare - Detroit City"
- YouTube video: "The Band - Long Black Veil"
- YouTube video: "Danny dill (hungry for your lovin')"

Mos Def Drop New Album in February, Rumored Production by Madlib, J Dilla, Kanye West; Will He “Go Rogue” on Slick Rick Track?

For now, 2009 seems to be looking up for hip-hop heads. The man himself, mighty Mos Def, is set to release his fourth studio LP, The Ecstatic, February 10 via Downtown Records. The Brooklyn-based rapper’s last album, 2006’s Tru3 Magic (TMT Review), was a critical success, but a commercial failure, only selling 93,000 copies. (This was partly due to poor promotion by his previous label, Geffen Records.)

If the hype is right, The Ecstatic is set to be a hip-hop heavyweight, perhaps close to the success of Def’s first solo album, 1999’s Black on Both Sides (TMT Review), or his collaboration with rap champion Talib Kweli, 1998’s Black Star? The Ecstatic will reportedly feature collaborations with Kweli and Slick Rick, as well as production from Madlib, the late J Dilla, Kanye West, and Chad Hugo from The Neptunes.

If you’re like me and just can’t wait, be sure to lookout for the album’s first single, “Life in Marvelous Times,” as an iTunes exclusive on November 4. And if that’s not enough -- and you’re feeling really ambitious -- you can catch Mos Def on the European half of the Rock the Bells tour with Nas and The Pharcyde (TMT News).

Hey Everybody, It’s National Ironic Beard Day! What Better Way To Celebrate Than Watch the Premiere of Tim Harrington’s Show Beardo on Pitchfork TV!

Did you know that, sometimes, musicians can be just as funny as real comedians? It’s true! Sammy Davis Jr., David Lee Roth... Bono? Anyway, it seems as though the Sammy Davis Jr. of our generation is none other than Les Savy Fav frontman Tim Harrington; just check out the premiere episode of his new Pitchfork.tv show, Beardo, for example.

Assisted by Daily Show/Flight of the Conchords comedian Kristen Schaal, Harrington describes his new show as "Sometimes we'll have music stuff in it, sometimes not. It's always supposed to be funny. It always wants to be. Celebrities, musical guest stars, minor music celebrities. Major music celebrities, in my mind.”

Possible music stuff and guaranteed beards; count me in!

High Places Tour to Explore Places of Varying Altitudes

High Places (warning: MySpace may induce seizures) have certainly had a strong 2008. But why stop when the year ends? Might as well keep the momentum going, right? According to their label Thrill Jockey, High Places will be embarking on a very, very long international tour beginning right after Election Day in Belgium and ending early April 2009 in Denmark. Hell, after a pretty solid collection of demos and an acclaimed self-titled album (TMT Review), the band has plenty of reason to proudly strut their stuff on stage throughout the world.

Neil Young Has Seen the Placards and the Damage Done, Cancels LA Show in Support of Stagehand Strike

Did you have plans to see Neil Young tonight at the Los Angeles Forum? Well, you don’t anymore. Unfortunately, Canada’s favorite singing caveman has canceled his performance in lieu of a strike by the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), Local 33. According to Billboard, union members are currently engaged in a contract dispute with the venue’s owner Faithful Central Bible Church and had planned to picket tonight’s show. Young, who is a lifelong honorary member of the IATSE, has placed his support with the workers and will honor the picket line.

“I am extremely disappointed to have to choose between satisfying my fans or backing my brothers and sisters of the IATSE,” Young said in a statement. “I will miss playing in Los Angeles and apologize to my fans for the inconvenience this has caused.”

The LA show will be rescheduled sometime in 2009, and ticket holders may receive refunds at points of purchase. But hey, even though you unlucky Angelenos don’t get to see Neil Young tonight, at least the season premiere of 30 Rock is on tonight! Plus I’m pretty sure It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is new, too! See? Every cloud has a silver lining, even when Neil Young is involved.

The Beatles Enter the Digital Age Through A Video Game

According to Wired's blog, MTV, Apple Corps, and Harmonix (developers of Rock Band) confirmed rumors today of an exclusive videogame based on the music of The Beatles. But it won't be part of the Rock Band series, as most people initially assumed. The game will still base its platform on a similar one to Rock Band, but will instead be designed as an interactive, "experiential journey" through The Beatles' musical career. Does that mean there'll be a plastic Maharishi included as a peripheral? Fucking hope so! No title or release date has been set, but they aim to have the game ready for the holiday season of 2009.

While The Beatles have thus far refused to digitize their music, it's surprising that their first major foray into the digital world is through a videogame. Wait, no it's not: ROCK BAND HAS EARNED GLOBAL REVENUES OF OVER $600 MILLION AND ROCK BAND 2 SOLD 363,000 COPIES ITS FIRST TWO WEEKS. HARMONIX IS OWNED BY MTV, AND MTV IS OWNED BY VIACOM, WHICH EARNED $13.423 BILLION IN 2007.

Beatles for Sale, indeed!

Punk Memorabilia Goes On Auction Block at Christie’s in NYC in First Historic Punk Memorabilia Auction; Kid Midnight Places $300 Bid On Sid Vicious’ Last Hypodermic Needle, Plans on Getting Real High

As reported by The Associated Press, Christie's in New York City will be hosting an auction titled Pop Culture: Punk/Rock, with the primary focus of getting even more money from the Punk Brand. With the music, lifestyle, and fashion already bought, sold, marketed, and distilled, why not start cashing in on useless relics of a bygone era? Personally, I love the idea of a “Punk Auction”; it’s a great chance for all those stodgy squares to get their minds blown by an anti-authoritarian youth culture. Yeah!

Some of the 300 items going on sale: a flier for one of The Clash’s first shows, publicity photos signed by The Sex Pistols, a rare poster for a 1976 Ramones show in London (which, as we all know, everyone involved in British Punk, ever, attended), a copy of the first press release for The Sex Pistols (!), and a press packet from 1966 wherein a young David Jones made it known that, from that point on, he would only respond to the name David Bowie.

The auction also features records, press materials, promotional junk, and photos for other “punk” bands, like Nirvana, The Velvet Underground, Patti Smith, The Ramones, David Bowie, New Kids on the Block*, Blondie, The Cure, and The Smiths. Most of the stuff is expected to earn anywhere from $300 to $6,000 apiece. That’s a small price to pay for “real life rock ‘n’ roll history,” though, right? Why not just own the records? Why not just listen to the music? Why do we value junk so much? Is anyone listening?

Christie's “pop culture chief” Simeon Lipman had this to say about the whole farce: “Ten years ago, punk memorabilia probably wouldn't be something we'd be auctioning here. But now, people of a certain age have a certain ability to splurge on this material." In other words: If people have money to spend, we’ll make something seem valuable, outlandishly valuable.

The auction is scheduled for November 24.

* Kidding