Ah, Sweden. You good Scandinavian people just keep cranking out the classics. Whether your tastes in the arts run more towards the Runestone (it makes a reference to Ostrogothic king Theodoric the Great! OMG!) or towards breathy female pop vocalists, Sweden has something for everything. And it has recently been revealed that Lykke Li, one of this beautiful northern nation's finest indie exports, will be embarking on a North American tour this winter in support of her debut full-length Youth Novels (TMT Review). This is great news, not only because "Little Bit" and "I'm Good, I'm Gone" are stone-cold killer jams, but also because this tour is largely above the Mason-Dixon line, and for those of us living in the wintry Midwest, any artist who goes on tours in February is basically considered some sort of entertainment-bringing demigod who must be revered and celebrated for breaking up our frost-bitten, boring, sozzled monotony.
So, cheers to you, Lykke Li, and your cold-enduring, Walpurgis Night-celebrating compatriots for bringing a little joy into the freezing desolation of middle America. And thank you for this wonderful opportunity to look up your homeland on Wikipedia in order to scrape up even the slightest of content for this story. Without your upcoming tour, I never would've learned about the delightful (and gross) summer tradition of kräftskivor or crayfish dinner parties. Tasty!
Rapper MC Breed, who became famous for his sing-along collaboration with Tupac, “Gotta Get Mine” and "Ain't No Future in Yo' Frontin,’” has died today [November 22]. He was 36.
Born Eric Breed, the Flint, Michigan rapper was found dead at a friend’s house in Ypsilanti Michigan, the Detroit News reports. His manager, Darryl Morris, confirmed his death, but the exact cause is still pending.
In September, Breed collapsed while playing basketball in his stomping ground of Atlanta, and was placed on life support for kidney failure. Friends got together to throw a benefit concert to raise money for his medical bills, but cancelled plans after his health bounced back.
Never fully reaching mainstream status, Breed rhymed proudly about the desolate town of Flint, an urban area usually masked under the wide belly of Detroit. His hit 1991 song, "Ain't No Future in Yo' Frontin'” sampled Zapp's "More Bounce to the Ounce" and the Ohio Players' "Funky Worm.” On “Gotta Get Mine” off his 1993 album The New Breed, he hooked up with a young, thirsty Tupac, and spit the famous line, “They hate to see a young nigga, come up.”
Breed’s career spans 20-years, and 13 albums.
ATP New York Announces Partial Lineup And New 2009 Dates; Animal Collective/Panda Bear/Suicide Lineup So Hot Even The Ladies Sprout Boners
ATP New York, the festival hipsters young and old can enjoy together, is back. The 2nd annual fest is now scheduled for September 11-13, 2009 (instead of Labor Day as previously announced), taking place again at Kutshers Country Club in Monticello, New York. Although the co-curator will be announced in the coming weeks (hey, maybe it's us!), the first seven bands have already been announced:
- Friday, September 11 – Don’t Look Back/Comedy:
Dirty Three Performing Ocean Songs
Suicide Performing Suicide
David Cross – Hosting Comedy Stage
- Saturday, September 12 – Curated By ATP:
- Sunday, September 13 – Co-curator TBA
Tickets are $235 plus a $12 booking fee. Accommodations are available at Kutshers and the nearby Raleigh Resort and are on sale starting today. Go to the ATP website for more information.
Georgia Rapper Sentenced to 20 Years After Confessing to a Shooting in a Song, Biggest Admission of Guilt in a Hip-Hop Track Since Biz Markie’s “Pickin’ Boogers”
In September 2006, Georgia native Chad Blue was shot in the groin and buttocks but unfortunately could not identity his shooter. That is, until recently, when a friend played Blue a track off of Hitting Licks For a Living, an album by aspiring rapper Rico Wright, who claimed, “Ask Chad Blue/ He knows I can shoot.” Well, first of all Rico, you shot a dude in his junk and his trunk. It’s not like you’re gonna hear from the Navy Seals about a sniping job anytime soon. Secondly, you forgot one of the cardinal rules of hip hop: “If a rhyme seems conspicuous/ Keep that shit ambiguous!”
As a result of the unintentional confession, Wright was convicted of aggravated assault. Already serving jail time for selling cocaine, Wright was sentenced to an additional 20 years of incarceration and 20 years of probation. Yikes.
So remember, kids, don’t shoot dudes in the butt, and if you do, don’t fucking rap about it! Did NWA ever name names in their songs? Hell no! Well, except for Strawberry, the Neighborhood Ho. Man, I really hope Strawberry the Neighborhood Ho turned her life around. I think of that every time I listen to “Dopeman.”
Dangerously unbridled energy no doubt accounts for the speed in Los Campesinos!'s latest full-length album, We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed. Retaining the same urgency, the band is already making headlines again with the announcement of a 2009 tour. The tour takes Los Campesinos! across the country with openers Titus Andronicus, a Jersey indie rock outfit who also has a senselessly energetic sound, concluding with two dates in New York City (the band's U.S. home away from Wales).
Be sure to rock some caffeine before you go out.
All marriages are happy. It's the living together afterwards that is difficult. It seems that every time your head has finally healed from the aftermath of toasting and celebrating one marriage, another has dissolved like so much “special day” champagne that once introduced the newly christened bride and groom. Sigh.
The same thing happens all the time in "the industry," but, thankfully, here is a union that seems charmed and that has the potential of being long-lasting and meaningful from the onset: Polyvinyl has signed the immensely talented home recording whiz Loney Dear to its roster! Loney Dear, the pseudonym for Jönköping, Sweden’s Emil Svanängan, will release his new album January 27. Dear John will be the fifth album for Svanängan and third to be released in North America (2007 saw the re-release of 2005’s Loney, Noir by Sub Pop and 2006’s Sologne by Rebel Group).
Here’s to the happy couple, and remember: a honeymoon should be like a table -- four bare legs and no drawers! Bah, my efforts are spent on all you wasted wedding crashers!
Dear John’s dear songs sear dongs:
1. Airport Surroundings
2. Everything Turns to You
3. I Was Only Going Out
4. Harsh Words
5. Under a Silent Sea
6. I Got Lost
11. Dear John
Svanängan practices polyamory, or group marriage, as well. But only when he plays live. Here is the list of upcoming Loney Dear “group” shows, including two December dates in New York and a just-announced 2009 American tour. Many gigs we be opening for confirmed swinger Andrew Bird
12.08.08 - London, England - Old Blue Last
12.10.08 - New York, NY - Mercury Lounge
12.12.08 - Brooklyn, NY - Union Hall
12.28.08 - London, England - St. Giles Church
01.29.09 - Northampton, MA - Iron Horse
01.30.09 - Boston, MA - Orpheum Theatre #
02.03.09 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club #
02.04.09 - Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse #
02.06.09 - Orlando, FL - Plaza Theater #
02.07.09 - New Orleans, LA - House of Blues #
02.09.09 - Baton Rouge, LA - Spanish Moon
02.10.09 - Houston, TX - Rudyard’s British Pub
02.11.09 - Denton, TX - Hailey’s
02.12.09 - Austin, TX - Paramount Theater #
02.13.09 - Albuquerque, NM - Historic El Rey Theater #
02.14.09 - Tucson, AZ - Rialto Theater #
02.17.09 - Visalia, CA - Howie and Sons Pizza
02.18.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Orpheum Theatre #
02.19.09 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore #
02.20.09 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore #
02.21.09 - Portland, OR - Roseland Theater #
02.23.09 - Seattle, WA - Moore Theater #
02.24.09 - Boise, ID - Knitting Factory Concert House#
02.25.09 - Murray, UT - Murray Theater #
02.26.09 - Denver, CO - Ogden Theater #
02.27.09 - Omaha, NE - Slowdown #
03.01.09 - Chicago, IL - Schuba’s Tavern
# Andrew Bird
Robert Lucas, a former frontman of Canned Heat, died of an apparent drug overdose Nov. 23 at a friend's home in Long Beach, Calif., according to his former manager Skip Taylor.
Lucas, 46, recently left Canned Heat to pursue a solo career. The singer, harmonica and bottleneck guitar player had two stints with the band between 1994 and 2006.
Canned Heat, whose hits include "Goin' Up The Country" and "On The Road Again," has had four frontmen in its more than 40-year history.
Lucas also performed with artists including Big Joe Turner, George Smith, Pee Wee Crayton, Lowell Fulsom, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson and Percy Mayfield.
Steve Martin and John Candy they ain’t. You certainly won’t find Brian Eno traveling with David “The Next-Hardest Working Man in Show Business” Byrne this holiday season. It seems he had “other plans.” But I sure can tell you where you’ll find Byrne: the open roads of North America, where he belongs.
Apparently not content whatsoever with the notion of finishing up his 2008 tourdates and then going home to hang out and enjoy the fact that he’s, you know, “David Byrne” for a while, the talking and singing head has announced that he will add another string of dates to his tour of the U.S. and Canada that will carry him well into the new year. Totally oblivious to the fact that we at TMT already wasted some clever prose on what we thought was a complete tour (TMT News), Byrne will resume his 2-fast, 2-furious pace November 28 with a kick-off show in Buffalo, NY. The subsequent run will wrap up temporarily on December 13 in Miami, FL (looks like someone convinced him to at least try to see his loved ones this holiday season) before resuming again on February 18 in Seattle, WA. The tour will ultimately culminate with a show at New York’s legendary Radio City Music Hall on February 27. THEN THERE IS EVEN MORE TOURING (thanks Terry).
Byrne is, of course, not out there hocking shower curtain rings, exactly. Rather, he’s manically crisscrossing the country like this to support the recent release of that modest little old Brian Eno collaboration Everything That Happens Will Happen Today (TMT Review), released in August. So where exactly is Eno, then, you ask? Umm, my guess is probably somewhere a whole lot warmer... potentially tanning himself with sunlight reflected off of solid gold bars. Yeah. That’s my guess.
See? Not everything that happens will happen today:
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.