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Geeneus relaunches grime alias Wizzbit, shares unreleased tracks on Soundcloud
Dec 19, 2014 4:31pm | Fact Magazine

The Rinse founder turns back the clock.

Earlier this year, Geeneus tweeted, “I’m going home to make 20 grime tracks. Time for the return of [W]izzbit,” the alias he used for Triton rack grime productions in the early aughts. Now, it looks like he’s getting closer to fulfilling that promise.

The producer has launched a Wizzbit Soundcloud, and while no new grime tracks have surfaced, he has shared a few notable productions, including both throwbacks (‘Jam Hot’, ‘Grand Theft Firefly’) and previously-unreleased tracks (‘Blow’, a remix of Macabre Unit’s ‘It’s All About’).

Stream the unreleased tracks below. Earlier this year, Geeneus joined Flowdan, Jammer and DJ Spyro to give a comprehensive grime history lesson.

Update: Mr. Mitch points us to P Money’s ’2 Decks And A Mixer’, which is also a new Wizzbit production.

Sky Ferreira shares Omanko music video, directed by DIIVs Zachary Cole Smith watch
Dec 19, 2014 4:29pm | Cosequence Of Sound

Last month, we saw Sky Ferreira and her boyfriend, DIIV frontman Zachary Cole Smith, team up to cover the Hole/Kurt Cobain track “Asking For It”. This week, the couple has combined its talents yet again on Ferreira’s new visuals for Night Time, My Time highlight “Omanko”. Directed by Smith, it’s a grainy home video-style clip featuring live concert footage as well as more personal snapshots of the lovebirds.

Watch it below.

Youll be dead of a heart attack in a year: Azealia Banks and Action Bronson tear into each other on Twitter
Dec 19, 2014 4:26pm | Fact Magazine

This one’s been a long time coming.

Azealia Banks has been on a mission lately – more than usual, that is – calling out what she believes is awkward appropriation by white artists (such as Iggy Azalea, aka Igloo Australia). Banks broke down on an interview on NYC radio station Hot97′s Ebro In The Morning, citing the popularity of Macklemore and Iggy Azalea as her main problem.

Now, goaded by a tweet from Twitter user Beth Kushner, Banks laid into indie rap titan Action Bronson. It started with a simple question – what did Banks think of Action Bronson – but after Bronson quickly replied “DONT EVER IN LIFES HISTORY MENTION MY NAME IN A SLANDEROUS MANNNER,” Banks began her usual tirade of barbs, which Bronson replied to in kind.

Banks called Bronson out for being “a bootleg ghost face [sic]” continuing “i think you can rap, you’re just not as good as the black man you stole your flow from” and saying “you’ll be dead of a heart attack in a year.”


You can rea...

Sky Ferreira OMANKO DIIV Home Video
Dec 19, 2014 4:04pm | StereoGum

Sky Ferreira’s Night Time, My Time promotional cycle just wrapped up, but her boyfriend made a video for one of the songs anyway. The boyfriend in question, DIIV’s Zachary Cole Smith, posted a lovingly assembled “home video” for album track “OMANKO” (the one about Japanese Christmas) and tweeted it out today. It seems to be a compilation of footage he shot throughout their travels together. See his tweet and watch the video below.


Run the Jewels topped Complex's list (and a bunch of others), toured w/ Ratking who play NYC tonight (Chicago pics)
Dec 19, 2014 3:36pm | Brooklyn Vegan

photos by James Richards IV

As far as their live show, whether it's quirky dance moves, getting the crowd to do silly shit, or damn-near inciting a riot, these guys put on a clinic as far as what a live hip-hop show is supposed to be. What helps that even more is how live their songs are, which are perfect for the live show, spinning classes, or both at the same damn time.

Despite both artists having a more-than-solid body of solo work to their name, they never stray from their RTJ material. Don't expect "Deep Space 9mm" or anything off the I Pledge Allegiance series. El-P and Killer Mike came strictly to run the jewels and after an hour-plus of one of the best live shows I've seen, it's safe to say the jewels got run. [Profile Wild]

El-P and Killer Mike, aka Run the Jewels, recently wrapped up their tour with Ratking, which included a "Suck My Dick Sun Kil Moon!" chant at Fun Fun Fun Fest, an impassioned speech in St. Louis, two NYC shows, two Chicago shows and more. The pictures in this post are from one of the Chicago shows.

Run the Jewels have been making a bunch of Best of 2014 album lists, and coming in at #1 on a few like Pitchfork, Stereogum, and the recently posted Complex list. Complex also didn't hesitate to throw 2014's big December releases on there that were left out of a lot of lists that came out already, including Nicki Minaj, J. Cole, D'Angelo and Charli XCX...

The King Khan & BBQ Show Alone Again
Dec 19, 2014 3:32pm | StereoGum

Last year, King Khan & The Shrines gave us their Idle No More album. But it’s been more than six years since the King Khan & BBQ Show, Khan’s duo with fellow Montreal garage rock lifer Mark Sultan, last gave us an album. (They also broke up onstage in Australia in 2010, before returning with a new song called “We Are The Champion” in August.) Early next year, they’ll finally follow up 2009′s Invisible Girl with a new LP called Bad News Boys. First single “Alone Again” is a stripped-down, hooky, extremely likable garage-rock tune with a serious doo-wop undertow. Give it a listen below.


Ardent Studios/Records founder John Fry, RIP
Dec 19, 2014 3:30pm | Brooklyn Vegan

Producer and engineer John Fry, who founded Memphis' Ardent Studios and Ardent Records and worked on all three Big Star albums, died yesterday (12/18). Fry had been diagnosed with cancer earlier this year and suffered a "cardiac event." He was 69:

It was Fry who once said that, "Your moods are affected by your surroundings. I think there is something that operates in Memphis...and at Ardent. I can't explain what it is. You come record here, something good happens to you."

That indeed happened for scores of artists over the 40-plus years since Fry -- who died on Thursday in Memphis -- opened his doors. Ardent hosted sessions by the likes of Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, James Taylor, ZZ Top, R.E.M., Stevie Ray Vaughan, Al Green, the Allman Brothers Band, B.B. King, the White Stripes, the Replacements, Three 6 Mafia, scores of Stax Records artists, Cat Power, M.I.A. and, of course, Big Star, who Fry mentored and made three albums with, and whose members used Ardent "kind of like a school" according to the group's drummer Jody Stephens, who's now general manager of Ardent Music LLC. -[Billboard]

Rest in peace, John.

Continue reading "Ardent Studios/Records founder John Fry, RIP" at brooklynvegan

Mark Hamill went to the Dark Side for one-night only adaptation of Empire Strikes Back
Dec 19, 2014 3:24pm | Cosequence Of Sound

As previously reported, Jason Reitman organized a one-night only live reading of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back featuring Aaron Paul as Luke Skywalker, J.K. Simmons as Darth Vader, Stephen Merchant as CP30, Dennis Haysbert as Lando Calrissian, and Kevin Pollak as Yoda. It all went down at the Los Angeles Ace Hotel and we have some photos from the event (via Uproxx).

Other cast members included Rainn Wilson as Chewbacca, Reitman as R2-D2, Ellen Page as Han Solo, Jessica Alba as Princess Leia, and Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill, was pulled into the Dark Side as Emperor Palpatine and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Uproxx highlights a particularly noteworthy moment in the reading:

Our favorite part came from an inspired bit of casting. Ellen Page played Han Solo to Jessica Albas Princess Leia, which led to arguably the best scene of the night, the I love you / I know exchange. When Reitman reads the stage directions about them kissing, one audience member shouted what we were all thinking

… Another great moment came from Jason Reitmans reaction to some of the other stage directions: Han Solo is in one scene described as kiss[ing Leia] with slow, hot lips. Reitman interjected, Oh, George.

It’s unclear if any video or audio from last night will be released, but fingers crossed. In the meantime, check out a few candid photos below.

The 5 Best Videos Of The Week
Dec 19, 2014 3:02pm | StereoGum

Earlier today, I published my list of the 40 best music videos of 2014. It’s always a bit dangerous to publish a year-end list before the year is actually over, especially in this new surprise-release universe where we now live. But it sure looks like the music-video universe has slowed down for the holiday season, and nothing on this list presented much of a threat to make it onto the year-end list. This week’s five picks are all good videos, but make sure you’ve seen everything on the year-end list before you bother with any of them. This week’s picks are below.


David Fincher working on series for HBO about the world of '80s music videos
Dec 19, 2014 2:58pm | Brooklyn Vegan

by Bill Pearis

David Fincher

We recently posted about the new HBO series that's going to be about '70s-era music biz in NYC that being made by Terrence Winter (The Sopranos), Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger. Turns out it's not the only music-related show on the network's upcoming slate. Deadline reports that David Fincher, who will likely be up for an Oscar this year for Gone Girl, is behind a new series currently titled Livng On Video, set in the world of MTV:

Set in 1983 Los Angeles, Living On Video centers on Bobby, a wide-eyed guy who drops out of college and drives to Hollywood with dreams of directing a sci-fi epic. He lands a job as a PA for a company making music videos. In the vein of HBO's Entourage, the series revolves around the players of the then-exploding music video industry -- directors, record executives and crew members, many of them dabbling in drugs -- through the eyes of the newcomer.
Fincher has a lot of firsthand knowlege on this subject, having come up through this world, and directed such MTV classics as Madonna's "Express Yourself," Paula Abdul's "Straight Up," Aerosmith's "Janie's Got a Gun" and Billy Idol's "Rock the Cradle of Love." He made his first music video in eight years in 2013 for buddy Justin Timberlake's "Suit and Tie" with Jay Z.

The plot also sounds a little like the underrated 1988 John Cusack / Tim Robbi...

Listen: Jennie Abrahamson - Snowstorm [Premiere]
Dec 19, 2014 2:56pm | The Line Of Best Fit
We were recently pretty enamoured with a track called "The War" by Swedish indie-pop chanteuse Jennie Abrahamson, so imagine our grins when we got wind of another new track.>

Download a free synth specifically designed for donk sounds
Dec 19, 2014 2:47pm | Fact Magazine

You know what you want for Christmas – a whopping great donk.

Well it seems that Santa was listening, his elves (or more correctly the tech bods over at Hinton and Fairchild) have put together a softsynth that has one purpose – to make the fattest, most gruesome donks this side of Bolton.

Called Donk Machine 2 (obviously), the freebie can be downloaded over at Hinton and Fairchild’s website, and “can be used in various sub genres of house music.” Those genres include “Russian Pumping,” which got us so excited that we had to hit YouTube to see what it was all about. You can hear an example below, and yeah it sounds exactly how you’d expect.

Tyler, The Creator & Erykah Badu To Guest In Black Dynamites Police Brutality Musical
Dec 19, 2014 2:27pm | StereoGum

The 2009 movie Black Dynamite was a pretty great blaxploitation parody/homage, and since then, it’s become the basis for an Adult Swim cartoon that, I’m told, is also pretty great. Next month, the show will air a special hour-long musical episode about police brutality. The episode titled “The Wizard Of Watts” concerns what happens when Michael Jai White’s Black Dynamite character gets hit in the head with a brick during a Watts riot and dreams that he’s in an Oz-like magical land. Erykah Badu and Tyler, The Creator will make appearances, as will actor Tim Blake Nelson and comedian J.B. Smoove. The episode airs 1/10 at 10:30PM eastern. Set your DVR.

Mikey Hodges aka Pop Zeus killed in motorcyle accident (Rest in Peace Michael)
Dec 19, 2014 2:02pm | Brooklyn Vegan
A motorcyclist was killed Thursday in a crash with another vehicle in downtown Los Angeles.

The crash occurred about 2:50 p.m. at the intersection of Cesar Chavez Avenue and Broadway, said Sgt. S. Bailey of the Los Angeles Police Department's Central Traffic Division.

The victim, a 29-year-old Los Angeles man, was riding on Broadway when a 78-year-old Los Angeles woman attempting to turn her vehicle left onto Cesar Chavez Avenue drove into the path of the motorcycle, Bailey said.

The man was thrown onto the street and died after being taken to a hospital, he said.

The woman stayed at the scene and cooperated investigators, Bailey said.

She was not immediately cited or arrested, but the case is under active investigation and the findings will be referred to prosecutors, he said.
- [My News LA]

We're very sad to learn that the victim referenced in that news story is Michael Hodges who performed and recorded power pop under the name Pop Zeus. While he'd moved to LA, he was a familiar face in the NYC/Brooklyn indie rock scene and in addition to Pop Zeus (who had records out on Burger), he also drummed on and off for The Memories and played in Boom! You may also know Hodges from working behind the bar at both Knitting Factory and The Commodore, and for a while at record labels Partisan Records and Secretly Canadian. Rest in peace, Mikey, you'll be missed.

There are two fundraiser campai...

Smith Westerns have officially broken up
Dec 19, 2014 1:57pm | Cosequence Of Sound

Over the weekend, Smith Westerns frontman Cullen Omori announced the bands indefinite hiatus, noting that its two upcoming shows Chicago on December 23rd and a “News Year Eve surprise” in New York would be its last for the foreseeable future. Now, in a new interview with Chicago Reader, Omori confirms that the band has, in fact, officially split up.

In the lengthy and revealing Q&A, Omori details the specifics behind Smith Westerns dissolution, namely the sudden departure of guitarist Max Kakacek. Omori also touches on how their extensive touring impacted the group, the possibility of a solo career, and much more. Check out a few choice quotes from the interview below, and read the full piece here.

On why they’ve been quiet for a majority of 2014 and how it foreshadowed Kakacek’s decision to leave the band:

In 2014 we didn’t really do anything. In 2013 we released Soft Will, and the Sky [Ferreira] tour was the last tour we did. We kind of took it easy in 2014. We hadn’t really taken it easy or stopped since we started or since the ball started rolling on our band in 2009, when we were like 19. We just toured nonstop, or if we weren’t touring we were spending a lot of time working on music and writing. So we decided we were going to take some time off with the intention that we would possibly revisit putting out more Smith Westerns music. And as the ...

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