Negativland’s Mark Hosler Fights for Your Right to Party… As a Lobbyist

Even if the extent of your political involvement consists largely of tuning into The Daily Show every night, you probably know all about LOBBYISTS. Whether they're the butt of a satirical news program joke, or the "icky" concept a candidate uses to distance himself from "Washington Insiders" and big-money legislation, lobbyists just wanna have fun. After all, why would so many of their ilk take senators on all those fishing trips to Alaska or help congressional buddies refurbish their $5 million dream kitchen? Because they're nice, giving dudes who love nothing more than havin' a good time!

And it's for that very reason that the Digital Freedom Campaign has asked legendary cut-n-paste guy Mark Hosler of San Francisco's Negativland to join the party. But there will be no deep sea fishing or home improvement projects for this guy, because he's going to Washington to work. Yes, to fight for your right to party.

- The issue: sampling in collage music.
- The background: America's new favorite "citizen lobbyist" Hosler knows all about legal ramifications to making art due to his run-in with U2 as a result of Negativland's no-holds-barred U2 samplestravaganza on their 1991 U2 EP.
- The reason: the success of 2 fast 2 illegal acts like Girl Talk have reopened the dialogue with concerned members of Congress who probably rarely throw their hands in the air like they just don't care OH MY GOD THEY COMBINED ALICIA KEYS WITH NIRVANA????
- The who: Digital Freedom Campaign is a group interested in preserving the right of artists and fans to make and listen to the collage tracks that confuse my dear mom so much.

Now that's hard-hitting. But it's not just on C-SPAN where you can get a dose of new Negativland crunk. They've revamped their website with radio broadcasts of their "Over the Edge" radio show and have a handful of live dates coming up.

Negativland tourdates:
12.02.08 - Boulder, CO - Old Man Theater
12.03.08 - Boulder, CO - Old Man Theater

Negativland screening/lecture with Mark Hosler:
11.03.08 - New York, NY - NYU
11.06.08 - Purchase, NY - Suny Purchase
11.12.08 - Knoxville, TN - Museum Of Art

Joe The Plumber Stretches His Irrelevant 15 Minutes in an Effort to Worsen Country Music

Apparently sensing that his moment of seemed relevancy was quickly coming to an end, faux-famed Samuel Wurzelbacher joined forces with The Press Office on October 28.

Better known to America as "Joe the Plumber," Wurzelbacher signed on with the Nashville-based PR representation offices to handle his booming media requests. Yes, it's apparent now that the whole "Joe the Plumber" election trend is pretty out of control, despite some key discrepancies. FACT: This man's first name ISN'T EVEN JOE. This much is obvious. Worse yet, FACT 2: Wurzelbacher is an unlicensed plumbing technician. He ISN'T EVEN A PLUMBER.

He also isn't a country singer, but apparently technicalities aren't important in the frivilous news sector of presidential elections, and that's the reality in which we're operating here. What started as some (incorrect) name-dropping on Sen. John McCain's part has turned into a possible record deal with a major label for our Holland, Ohio everyman.

According to The Press Office's Jim Della Croce, Wurzelbacher doesn't even have any notable musical talent. He is a country music fan who can sing and "knocks around on guitar," Croce told Politico. But hey, with a "(name) the (noun)" setup this catchy, a guy can make do. Such a moniker has done wonders for Larry the Cable Guy, right?

It's done enough for Wurzelbacher to put him in touch with country music artist and producer Aaron Tippin.

And if his knocking around doesn't put Wurzelbacher on the radio airwaves, maybe we can at least watch for him in any upcoming sequels to Larry the Cable Guy, Health Inspector. But with any luck, after November 4, everyone will fully realize the insignificance of non-Joe the non-plumber.

RIP: Shakir Stewart, Def Jam Executive VP

From Billboard:

Def Jam executive VP Shakir Stewart reportedly committed suicide today (Nov. 1) in Atlanta, according to sources. No other details were available at deadline.

"L.A. Reid and all of us at Island Def Jam Music Group are deeply saddened by the passing of our dear friend and colleague Shakir Stewart," read a statement sent from the label today. "Shakir was an amazing man in every sense of the word. A truly incredible friend and father who was an inspiration to not only our artists and employees, but to his family and the many people that had the privilege of counting him as a friend. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family at this very difficult time."

Stewart succeeded Jay-Z at the top of the Def Jam ladder in June and also retained his duties as senior VP of A&R at Island Def Jam. The Oakland, Calif., native signed such artists as Rick Ross, Young Jeezy and newcomer Karina Pasian.

- Def Jam
- Huffington Post article: "Shakir Stewart, Jay-Z's Successor At Def Jam, Dies"

Henry Hey Trio Gets Press for Awesome McCain/Palin YouTube Videos, But Their Jazz Is Whiter Than Ted Stevens’ Pubes

Henry Hay, your soon-to-be favorite jazz man, has been getting attention lately for his YouTube videos. But why should you care about his decidedly white jazz? It's easy to appreciate late-’50s hard bop, partly because the sound is so damn good, but what about the era's aesthetic? Whenever I hear modern jazz simply mining those old sensibilities (call it lounge jazz, I guess) I vomit in my throat. Why? Well, since the popularization of jazz, emerging from ‘sophisticated’ classical music's migration to the Southern USA, the art form has never stood still for very long. You could even go so far as saying jazz as a genre is an illusion -- based on certain harmonic principles, yes, but never relevant without progression.

Some would say that the likes of Henry Hey and his brand of jazz are simply aping a sense of nostalgia long forgotten by the public at large. Others would say like-minded musicians are just keeping the dream alive... and you know... I couldnt agree with them more.... I couldnt disagree... with you... I couldnt agree... with you more, than the fact that--

Just watch the videos:

*These videos were solely responsible for this article being written.

RIP: Frank Navetta, Founding Descendents Guitarist

From Descendents' official website:

We're very sorry to announce that founding member of The DESCENDENTS, and close friend Frank Navetta passed away on October 31, 2008 after becoming ill over the course of a few days. This is obviously a huge loss for the DESCENDENTS family. His contribution to the band, and to music in general can not be overstated. Frank will be truly missed. We will share information about memorial services when we find out.

- Frank Navetta Wikipedia entry
- Descendents official website
- Descendents Wikipedia entry
- BlastingRoom Studios
- YouTube video: "Descendents Live Early 80's in color"

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).