“Death is more universal than life; everyone dies but not everyone lives.” This quote, accredited to the mysterious A Sachs, could not be truer and more appropriate when talking about someone like Lance Hahn of J Church, who passed away Sunday at the way too young age of 40 due to complications associated with kidney disease.
Throughout his life, Hahn wore many hats: punk chronicler and freelance writer, record and video retail rat, Honey Bear Records kingpin, member of Cringer from 1984 to 1991, and since 1992, the lynchpin of J Church. But for all that Hahn had on his plate at any given time, his biggest role in life seemed to be “nice guy,” judging by the outpouring of kindness shown to him during setbacks in his life and from the reactions of friends and admirers upon news of his death.
With Hahn’s medical bills escalating this summer, a group of forward-thinking labels (No Idea, Cat Food Money, Vinehell, Jerk Off, and Tic Tac Totally) banded together to issue the J Church/Cringer tribute album Let’s Do It For Lance! to help him out financially. When Hahn and partner Liberty Lidz’ apartment and $40,000 worth of possessions were destroyed by a fire in 2002, benefit shows were quickly put on in Austin, New York, San Francisco, Japan, and England. He added, talking to the Austin American-Statesman in December that year, “There was something in Luxembourg also. I keep getting these checks in the mail from these shows. At first, I felt a little awkward about accepting cash, but people wanted to help.” The punk community has a stellar record of always helping friends in need, but Hahn’s status has sparked eager calls to arms whenever immediate action was needed.
A transplant from Hawaii (Lidz says, “He claimed to be the first person in Hawaii with a Mohawk.”), Hahn was a longtime fixture in San Francisco’s punk scene, where he cranked out (almost) innumerable releases with J Church, ran the Honey Bear label, and contributed regularly to Maximum Rock'n'Roll. At the beginning of this decade, Hahn and Lidz relocated to Austin where Lidz was attending graduate school. He continued to put out J Church albums (the band was then peppered with local Austin players), worked at a record store, managed a video store, and continued to write his book on the history of anarcho punk, which was nearing completion at the time of his passing.
No death is inconsequential, but there is something truly sad when the music community loses a vital mover and shaker. In a world where fashion unfortunately always eclipses passion, Hahn’s dedication to genuineness, in his life and music, will be sorely missed.
I don't know about you guys, but Squeo and I have been bummed all weekend. We reported last week the good news of RZA winning a chess tournament for charity, but also the bad news of Wu-Tang canceling their tour (TMT News). Whether confirmed or not, we couldn't help but feel the cancellation might have had something to do with Ghostface being pissed about how the release date of Wu-Tang's new album, 8 Diagrams, was moved to December 4, the same release date of Ghostface's forthcoming solo album, Big Dough Rehab.
Well, after countless hours of the best sex of our lives, followed by a serious discussion about Wu-Tang's market saturation, and finally a picnic in Grant Park, where we talked about the sex we had earlier, Squeo and I decided to push back the release date of Wu-Tang's 8 Diagrams to December 11 and leave Ghostface's Big Dough Rehab release date for December 4. And guess what? RZA thought our idea was fantastic. So, RZA's happy, Ghostface's happy, and consumers are happy. Now Squeo and I just have to have a serious discussion about getting those Wu-Tang shows back.
Don't worry. Squeo and I know exactly what to do first.
Step 1: Announce upcoming solo album several months before its release and unleash incredible excitement and anticipation among fans.
Step 2: Release album to great reviews and critical acclaim.
Step 3: Go on a five date mini-tour... No, wait, what?!
Oh, Thurston, why must you do this to us? You know, your faithful fans who have loved you from the beginning? (Well, not entirely, seeing as I wasn’t exactly born until four years after Sonic Youth formed.) Of all people, Thurston, you should know very well that a full U.S. tour should directly follow the release of one’s album (in your case, last month’s excellent solo effort, Trees Outside The Academy.)
But, no! Instead you throw five measly West Coast dates in our faces and expect us to like it?! Well, I’ll tell you what, Mr. Moore... aww, don’t give me that sadface, no, seriously, I was only joking! Yes, you know I still love you. What’s that, you’ll pay for my plane ticket to see one of your shows? Oh, you’re too much!
All delusional conversations aside, any Thurston Moore news is good news, am I right? Check him out at the following dates:
Why?, the Californian indielectronica flip-hop pioneers, are set to release a set of two four-track singles. A 12-inch will be released in Europe and the U.S. November 18 and 19, respectively. Each version is on track to be released with different tracks from the other, each featuring remixes and cover versions of released and unreleased Why? tracks, in addition to the track on the single cover, “The Hollows.” Ahem. The European version of the single was recently released through Tomlab and will feature “Good Friday,” as remixed by Boards of Canada, while the U.S. single release will be found on Anticon of which Why?’s Yoni Wolf is a founding member.
Why? Why?’s double single? Well, the trio will release an 11-song LP on March 11 in the U.S., entitled Alopecia (European release date and LP title explanation yet to be released). The LP will include “The Hollows,” as well as the un-remixed versions of “Good Friday” and “By Torpedo or Crohn’s.”
Prepare for the new release by listening to old, released songs on the Why? MySpace page.
The Hollows (European Version) tracklisting:
A1. The Hollows
A2. Good Friday (Boards of Canada remix)
B1. Yoyo Bye Bye (covered by Dump)
B2. Broken Crow (covered by Islands)
The Hollows (US Version) tracklisting:
A1. The Hollows
A2. By Torpedo or Crohn's (Dntel remix)
B1. Yoyo Bye Bye (covered by Xiu Xiu)
B2. Pre-teen Apocalyptic Film Acting [Medley] (covered by Half-Handed Cloud)
It's not like those times you find yourself watching Anthony Bourdain on the travel channel and think "oh, just one more episode," and then suddenly it's two days later. It's more like those times you're trying to share that sweet new Kanye track and you can't. Yeah.
Comcast, the second largest internet company in the country, has been caught totally blocking certain web traffics. Like, well, high-speed subscribers sharing files. What does that spell? Data discrimination, dude. Which totally runs up against ideas of net neutrality. Dude.
The discreet blocking is one of the most gnarly examples of data discrimination by a U.S. internet provider to date, even involving company computers pretending to be users. AND if these tactics were used by all U.S. internet providers, it would totally kill file-sharing networks. Like that.
Comcast's file-sharing blocks are part of a pretty lame way of controlling bandwidth, and it comes in the form of blocking uploads, not downloads. But if nobody is uploading anything, then there's nothing to download, right? Right.
So heres the process:
- go to upload something
- another "user" (a.k.a. Comcast company computer) sends a message to stop communications
- upload stops.
This could be seen as simply "traffic shaping," which is common, but what Comcast is doing involves overt trickery, only effects one type of traffic (file-sharing), and actually stops uploads, instead of just slowing them down. It's also completely random, so it could in fact be stopping legal OR illegal files. My assessment? Bullshit!
GameMaster: As you know from our last campaign, the iTunions freed the EMI Major Labelus songlings from the cursed Deearem, which prevented the songlings from being transferred, burnt, and copied under certain restrictions. This was annoying for the users and has sparked a flame within the capitol.
Indey Labelus: The capitol being the Music Industry?
GameMaster: Correct. Now let me set the scene. Indey, you are at the capitol and you are next in line for the freeing of the dreaded Deearem from your body. You step up to the throne and before you stands Emperor Stevus Jobes. He speaks to you.
Steveus Jobes: By all that is iHoly! It is so exciting to see you before me today! I know that not all of your brethren in iTunia will be joining you, but you represent a large chunk of Indyland, so most of you will be free of Deearem, and I will bless everyone with a ninety-nine centia price tag.
GameMaster: Steveus Jobes casts Deearemfreedomus; he rolls a 17. I need you to roll to absorb the spell.
[Indey Rolls a 20]
Indey Labelus: Fuck yes!
GameMaster: Dude, don't be lame -- stay in character, no meta-game thinking or speaking! Your character would not say "fuck yes."
Indey Labelus: Least I'm free of Deearem! Oh man, brb -- my mom just came downstairs and told me the pizza is here. I'm gonna go grab a slice.
[Indey Labelus is AFK]
Deearem - DRM, Digital Rights Management. Bullshit pieces of code that
prevent you from fully enjoying music you've legally purchased.
iTunion, iTunia - iTunes
Indey Labelus - Indie Labels
Stevus Jobes - Steve Jobs
GameMaster - Guy who runs Dungeons and Dragons campaigns. Sometimes known as a Dungeon Master.
Songlings - Songs
AFK - Away from keyboard. World of Warcrack players use this a lot.
"By all that is iHoly" - Typical expression when Apple addicts cream
themselves for shit like the iPhone. These same people whip out their
iPhone at every opportune time.
I shifted my weight in the pew, eyes downcast, restless hands folding and unfolding the Sunday bulletin. All around me, aging folk seeking redemption were trying desperately to stay awake. Little boys played with the laces of their dress shoes and teenage girls chewed gum with expressions of uttermost boredom. An old man next to me smiled contently, doing a crossword puzzle he hid between the pages of his hymnal.
My eyes followed the curve of the stained glass window toward the pulpit, when something I'd heard peaked my interest; I listened as the bespectacled priest began to read from a leather bound Bible of foreboding proportion.
"And the Apostle of Hustle shall tour the United States through the months of October and November in the year of our Lord 2007. And with him shall follow those who are honest and good in all that they Do Make Say Think--"
And that's when I offered my soul to the devil in exchange for a pair of tickets and a backstage pass.
* Do Make Say Think
I have no doubt the boys and girl of Yo La Tengo are cognizant of Judah the Maccabee’s miraculous revolt and victory against the Hellenistic Syrians around 165 B.C.E., and that, when the Temple was rededicated, the one cruse of sacramental oil miraculously burned for eight days. But methinks their decision to celebrate the “lesser” Jewish festival has less of a historical significance vibe to it and more of a gift-giving and pleasure-seeking motive. Yes, for the fifth time in seven years, Hoboken’s dearest will play eight days of shows at Maxwell’s in Hoboken at the beginning of December to celebrate the eight days of Hanukkah. The shows have become as much a holiday tradition as sitting around eating latkes and spinning the dreidel due to the motley nature of the band’s daily sets and the variety of the special guests that participate every night. Exactly who these guests will be this year will remain a mystery until they take to the stage. As the band explains on their website and MySpace page:
As in the past, each show will begin with an opening band, followed by some comedy, and then a Yo La Tengo set. And perhaps more. That’s all we’re going to tell you, so don’t ask who’s playing. We can guarantee that it’ll be great, and that no matter what night you’re there, you’ll wish you had come another night instead. That’s just the way you are; there’s nothing we can do about that.” Past musical and comedy acts have been heavy hitters (for example, 2005’s shows included sets by Tortoise, Sun Ra Arkestra, Half Japanese, Eugene Mirman, Demetri Martin, etc.) so if you don’t want to miss an historic concert just camp out in Maxwell’s dumpster and attend all eight days.
Yo La Tengo’s Hanukkah tenancy runs from the 24th of Kislev (December 4) to the 2nd of Tevet (December 11). Additionally, the band is playing the Manifest Festival in Mexico City this coming weekend, a one-off show in November with Broken Social Scene at Cornell University, and will play on stage with Buckwheat Zydeco on November 7 in New York in celebration of Todd Haynes’ forthcoming Dylan flick I’m Not There. And there’s also the “Freewheeling Yo La Tengo Tour” which continues in Philadelphia tonight. This tour is “a rare opportunity to see this ever-surprising band in a setting more intimate and interactive than any tour in their 23-year career. A little bit Storytellers, a little bit Unplugged, with a soupcon of their famously varied Hanukkah shows, it will feature the band playing an almost-acoustic set of songs from their entire catalog, with stories about their life as a band, and an encouraged back-and-forth with the audience. Already famous for never playing the same show twice, this fresh look at Yo La Tengo offers rare insight into one of the most important, unique, and beloved bands in American rock.
Couldn’t have said it better myself
10.22.07 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church Sanctuary *#
10.23.07 - Alexandria, VA - The Birchmere *#
10.27.07 - Mexico City, Mexico - Manifest Festival
10.29.07 - Portland, OR - The Aladdin Theater *
10.30.07 - Seattle, WA - Town Hall *$
11.01.07 - San Francisco, CA - Palace of Fine Arts *%
11.03.07 - Hollywood, CA - Ivar Theatre *
11.04.07 - La Jolla, CA - Museum of Contemporary Art, Sherwood Auditorium *
11.07.07 - New York, NY - Beacon Theatre (playing with Buckwheat Zydeco) +
11.10.07 - North Adams, MA - MASS MoCA, Hunter Center *
11.11.07 - Ithaca, NY - Cornell University, Barton Hall ^
11.15.07 - Boston, MA - Museum of Fine Arts (2 shows, 6:30 & 9:30) *
12.04-11.07 Hoboken, NJ - Maxwell’s
* “The Freewheeling Yo La Tengo Tour,”
# Jack Rose
$ Sir Richard Bishop
% Jonathan Richman
+ I’m Not There: In Concert w/Calexico, Cat Power, The Roots, My Morning Jacket, J Mascis, and many more
^ Broken Social Scene
by Octavia (written at age 8, now age 9) daughter of Azucar