Obsessive fans will do anything to get closer to their favorite artists. There is even a black-market for over enthusiastic fans to buy used pieces of clothing, half-eaten sandwiches and even snotty tissues so long as they were blown by “so-and-so.” The collector’s item that typically divides the true-blue fans from the shady stalkers is the lock of hair.
Which is exactly what certain fans of Fall Out Boy will receive if they preorder the band’s new album, Believers Never Die. The select group of superfans, known as the “Overcast Kids,” will receive a lock of bassist Pete Wentz’s hair along with a special gift package if they cough up the $130 for the special edition package of the band’s greatest hits album.
Michael Jackson’s, new hit “This Is It” isn’t as new as you think, nor is it as original if you ask singer Paul Anka, the co-writer behind the late pop star’s newest single. It turns out that the two collaborated on what was then titled “I Never Heard” for Jackson back in 1983. The song was ultimately orphaned, only to be revived seven years later for Puerto Rican singer Sa-fire.
Simon alleges that she was given no word when Hear Music, Starbucks’ record label, pulled their support for the singer’s upcoming album just days before it was scheduled to be released. As a result, 2008's This Kind of Love came out to more anemic sales than anticipated. Chances are, as you were ordering your grande macchiato at some point in April of last year, you should’ve seen Simon’s album somewhere near the register, as you have for releases by Joni Mitchell or Paul McCartney.
Whether he’s regarded as a civil-rights freedom fighter or an anti-establishment adversary, there’s no doubt that Fela Kuti has had a significant effect on music across the world, especially in his home in Africa. The pioneer of Afrobeat, a genre which blends funk, jazz, and African drums, Kuti was key to the development of establishing peoples' rights in opposition to the military-led, totalitarian rule that has stained many African countries since they forced their way into power during the past century.
In respect for his achievements as a musician and political leader, Knitting Factory Records, in association with Giant Step, has announced a nationwide “Felabration” that will take place in more than 15 U.S. cities. The festivities will feature current musicians who have been instrumental in keeping Kuti’s music and message alive. DJ’s, including DJ Sun, Rich Medina, DJ Spinna, J-Justice, and Frank Gossner, will all be spinning the classic Afrobeat tracks, and artists such as Roy Ayers, Ikebe Shakdown, Amon, and others will be performing live versions of some of Kuti’s best.
The BET Hip-Hop Awards took place last Saturday and talk of the night centered on the number of people who weren’t in attendance, including Kanye West, who was unexpectedly absent during the festivities, thereby eliminating any opportunity for acceptance speech interruptions.
The most talked about of the absent honorees was dirty-South lyricist, T.I., who is serving time in an Arkansas federal prison on a weapons conviction. The rapper had won two awards, one for Album of the Year for his work on the highly acclaimed Paper Trail and one for Best Collaboration with Rhianna on the song “Live Your Life.” T.I.’s fiancée, Tameka “Tiny” Cottle, accepted the awards on behalf of the incarcerated rapper and read a letter from T.I. to the audience,
For an independent label to last more than a few years takes a lot of effort. Therefore, Slumberland Records’ upcoming 20th birthday is something of a tremendous achievement. The label began making records in the Washington D.C. area during the late eighties when punk was on its way out of fashion and the “alternative” scene was only a pipedream. They took their inspiration from groups such as Creation, Postcard, K, and Bus Stop, as well as the cornucopia of independent zines that arose out of the d.i.y.-punk aesthetic that grew out of the D.C. scene. The label wanted to make music that broke away from the noise-rock of the time and focused more on making music that featured melodies in the developing indie-pop genre.
After an aggravating day of forced backtracking through the New York subway system on Saturday (thank you MTA construction), I finally made it to see Drummer play with the Royal Bangs at the Mercury Lounge on Houston Street. I guess I made the rookie mistake of showing up early and I was turned away from the door, and forced to catch a drink at one of the nearby pubs along the street. I made another attempt to get into the lounge at 9:00, when the show was scheduled, and had to wait again to get into the door. Feeling my patience growing even thinner, I opted to return later and began to wander aimlessly around the Lower East Side wondering why they wouldn’t just let me into the club so that I could have a drink before the show.
The uniquely experimental collaboration, Animal Collective, will no longer be coasting on the renowned success of their Merriweather Post Pavilion album released earlier this year. Rumors surfaced around the time of the album’s release that the group will be have another album for fans by the end of the year. Those rumors have turned out to be true.
The Collective will be releasing a five song EP called Fall Be Kind, a play on words referring to the daylight savings phrase “fall behind.” The disc is said to be a revelation of the “darker” side of the band. Band leader Avey Tare, a.k.a. Dave Portner, says that this is yet another “seasonal” album after feeling that the Merriweather album felt “really springy or summery.” The new album’s title and December 8 release date reinforce this idea.
David Archuleta Christmas From The Heart
Baroness Blue Record
Barzin Notes To An Absent Lover
Bowling For Soup Sorry For Partyin'
Michael Buble Crazy Love
Bucky Covington [Title TBA]
Dead By Sunrise [Chester Bennington project] Out Of Ashes
Bob Dylan Christmas In The Heart
Five For Fighting Slice
The Flaming Lips Embryonic
San Francisco based “freak folk” artist Devendra Banhart will be performing an eight gig North American tour to promote his new album What Will We Be, which hits stores on October 27. The new album will be a follow-up to his 2007 album Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon and maintains the indie-folk, Lo-Fi sound that Banhart has cultivated since he first hit the music scene in 2002. He also utilizes his unique style on the second Beck Record Club album, Songs of Leonard Cohen.