February 8, 2016
by Bill Pearis
As if not content with movies, Blu-Ray, videogames, books, comics, and trading cards, the Star Wars universe is now officially expanding into dance music. Executive produced by Rick Rubin, Star Wars Headspace is an album featuring Royksopp, Flying Lotus, Rustie, Shlohmo, Breakbot, Baauer and more contributing songs that incorporate Star Wars clips and sound effects. Zane Lowe premiere Flying Lotus, Baauer and Rubin's own contributions to the album on his Beats 1 radio show and you can listen to those, and check out the full track list, below.
Not on the album: Meco, whose disco-fied version of John Williams' Star Wars theme (mashed up with the "Cantina Band" song) was a number one hit in 1977. If you've never heard that, you can stream that below too.
photo: Down at Best Buy Theater in 2012 (more by Greg Cristman)
The fallout from Phil Anselmo's racist actions at Dimebash continues, and now the French government is getting involved. Down are scheduled to appear at Hellfest in Clisson, France, a huge metal festival which relies on a certain amount of funding from the local government. Now, according to Metal Injection, the government, led by senator Bruno Retailleau who represents the region of the country that hosts Hellfest, are threatening to pull that funding if Down is allowed to stay on the bill, claiming that their presence would constitute a violation of French anti-hate speech laws.
Festival promotor Ben Barbaud has refused to pull Down, offering the following explanation via Le Huffington Post:
Anselmo apologized repeatedly. He even offered to leave the band to do no harm to his comrades, who must also be disgusted with what happens. Everyone agrees that this is unacceptable and that the metal scene is neither racist nor anti-Semitic. I know Phil Anselmo very well, who came many times to Clisson. And I am convinced that his apologies are sincere. Hellfest, we never had this kind of behavior, no one has ever seen or wear distinctive sign or speech, both live and in houses. I deeply believe that he is a good person. He is a provocateur who plays the big guys and loses foot when he's drunk. He made a huge mistake. But people who make populist shortcuts and say horrors when they have three grams of alcohol, one can find many, including Vendee.Barbaud did add that it's still possible Down could cancel the appearance on their own. Stay tuned for any updates.
Meanwhile, Anselmo recently made another public appearance that was maybe (?) intended as an extension of his apology. He joined the black R&B group The A League on stage at the Atlanta karaoke event Scaryokee when they sang Boyz II Men's "End Of The Road." He didn't sing with them (he ended up doing a Smiths song on his own) but he danced and put his arm around the members and led the crowd in cheering for them. Make of it what you will. The video is below.
by Rob Sperry-Fromm
We all know that metal-themed holiday sweaters are the best gifts one can give. But in the case of the above Anthrax sweater, which the metal band sold last year, it apparently wasn't band's gift to give. In news that combines three of our favorite things (lawsuits, Jewish holidays and online metal writing), Anthrax are being sued for $1 million by a man, Aaron Cummins, who claims they appropriated the design of his Happy Hanukkah sweater (minus the Anthrax part) he created in 2012. Cummins is also suing Rockabilia (who sold the sweater), and the company that manufactured it, for copyright infringement.
The funny part about this is that sweater design actually came from a joke post on Metal Sucks by writer Axl Rosenberg, who jokingly headlined that the band was selling Hanukkah sweaters and photoshopped an Anthrax logo onto an existing hanukkah sweater. The band actually ended up making and selling some of the sweaters, and he we are. Be careful what you photoshop!
photo: Power Trip at Hammerstein Ballroom in January (more by Nick Karp)
Thrash revivalists Power Trip are currently on tour with Lamb of God, Anthrax and Deafheaven (pics from NYC), and after that they'll be playing some headlining shows in the US and in Europe (they haven't yet announced all tour dates). One of those will be in NYC at the Acheron on April 16 with Vanity, Aggression Pact, Razorheads and Outskirts.
The night before, the Acheron will play host to a related show featuring Ajax, Impalers, S.H.I.T., Mirrors and Triage on April 15. The singer for Impalers is Power Trip drummer Chris Ulsh, and both shows are definitely worth catching. Tickets for the Impalers show and the Power Trip show go on sale Wednesday (2/10) at noon.
Check out music from both bands below, along with all currently known dates...
by Klaus Kinski
Mainstay of British television, radio, and stand-up Jimmy Carr has a staggering 147 live dates currently on his itinerary for 2016 and 2017. 106 of these dates will take place all over the United Kingdom and are billed as The Best Of, Ultimate, Gold, Greatest Hits Tour wherein he will thrill audiences with a vast selection of his best-loved material as well as a good deal of new material. His other 41 dates are being billed as Funny Business and span the globe, including stops in South Africa, Sweden, Austria, The Czech Republic, and more. Among his 'international' dates are a handful of shows happening in the United States including three shows at NYC's Gramercy Theatre on March 25 & 26. There is an early show and a late show on 3/25 and one show on 3/26. The early 3/25 show is sold out but tickets are still available for the other two.
Stateside, he's also got shows at Boston's Wilbur Theater on March 24, LA's Largo on April 20, San Francisco's Cobb's Comedy Club on April 24 and 25, as well as a slot on Austin's Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival on April 22. This is an unbelievable opportunity to see one of Britain's most prolific and well-known comedians in the flesh. Some Carr videos below.
And don't forget to catch Scottish comedian Daniel Sloss this week in NYC!
by Andrew Sacher
photo: Big Freedia at FFF Fest 2015 (more)
Fresh off an appearance on Beyonce's instantly-beloved New Orleans-inspired song "Formation," New Orleans bounce queen Big Freedia has expanded her upcoming tour schedule. For one of her shows, she'll be the special guest with NOLA brass band The Soul Rebels on February 25 at Brooklyn Bowl in NYC. That's the first of a three-night stand for The Soul Rebels at that venue. Natasha Diggs opens.
The other two Soul Rebels shows are with Talib Kweli, with Buckshot, Smif N Wessun and Kirk Knight joining on 2/26 and Rakim and Nigel Hall joining on 2/27. Special guests are also promised both of those nights. Tickets for all three shows, including a three-night pass, are available.
Freedia is also set to drop her new single, "I Heard," on February 23. While you wait for that, revisit "Formation" and check out her list of tour dates, below...
Nardwuar has just released a video interview with Ty Segall -- it's the first the Canadian icon has released since his stroke last year. Happy to report Nardwuar is in typical chipper and obsessive form, pulling out obscure facts from Ty's past and showering him with a variety of gifts. We learn about Ty's connection to Carol King, The Surfaris, and Laguna Beach, plus an anecdote about playing frisbee while on mushrooms. Glad to see you're doing well, Nardwuar! Watch the video below.
Ty, who just released a short film and is a producer on the upcoming Death By Audio documentary, will be in NYC soon when his tour with The Muggers hits Webster Hall for two shows at the end of the month.
photo: Nails at Saint Vitus in 2015 (more by Mathieu Bredeau)
Grindcore monsters Nails don't really tour anymore, but they do have a couple of shows coming up for interested parties. In addition to that previously-announced Decibel show in Philadelphia with Noisem, Horrendous, Misery Index, Dying Fetus and others, they'll be playing on Long Island at Amityville Music Hall on April 15. That show will also include black metal rippers Black Anvil along with Barge and NYC Headhunters. The band is saying that these are their only two East Coast shows coming up any time soon. Tickets for LI are on sale now.
Stream the (great) most recent Nails LP Abandon All Life below...
by Bill Pearis
More '90s reunion news: Belly, Tanya Donelly's post-Throwing-Muses band, are reforming. It's the original lineup of the band, including brothers Tom and Chris Gorman plus bassist Gail Greenwood (who joined around the time of the first album's release). There will be UK shows in July followed by a North American tour in August and September. Belly are also promising new songs. Stay tuned.
Belly made two albums in their original era: 1993's terrific Star which spawned the hit "Feed the Tree," and 1995's King. Check out a few videos from those 120 Minutes days, below...
To honor DJ Kool Herc and the Bronx's contributions to hip hop in general, a section of Sedgwick Avenue in the South Bronx will be co-named Hip Hop Boulevard, NY1 reports. That section includes 1520 Sedgwick Avenue -- the location where Herc and his sister threw their first hip hop party on August 11, 1973 and it's widely considered the birthplace of hip hop. The article mentions that City Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson "says the renaming is meant to honor both Herc and the contributions that the Bronx has made towards creating hip-hop over the years."
Watch a DJ Kool Herc video below...