Sunday, October 23, 2011

Why I can’t hate Coldplay anymore

October 23, 2011

Salon Home

This past June, in front of tens of thousands of fans at Britain’s annual Glastonbury Festival, Chris Martin balked. About halfway into a new song titled “Us Against the World,” the Coldplay frontman abruptly stopped singing or playing his guitar. “Will, can you do that verse again?” he asked drummer Will Champion with a broad grin. “I fucked that one up … We’re supposed to be professional headliners.” Luckily, they’re supposed to be the sort of professional headliners who also connect with listeners on a human level. They finished the song.

Five albums in, the British band has found an uncanny equilibrium between swooping, arena-ready pop and cheesy, down-to-earth humility. “Mylo Xyloto,” which arrives Tuesday, is the most sonically expansive record yet by Martin, Champion, guitarist Jonny Buckland and bass player Guy Berryman. But it’s also their most focused, without the overblown “anthems for anthems’ sake” of 2005′s “X&Y,” or the inarticulate self-importance of 2008′s “Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends,” their first collaboration with Brian Eno (the ambient musician who magicked U2 to multi-platinum status). If Coldplay specialize in creating the illusion of intimacy on an arena scale, then their latest effort succeeds by being bigger and smaller at the same time. Familiarity has bred admiration, however grudging.

Love them or loathe them, Coldplay are indisputably one of the biggest rock bands in the world. They’ve won seven Grammy Awards. “Viva La Vida” was the best-selling 2008 album on the planet. “Paradise” and “Every Teardrop a Waterfall,” the first two singles from “Mylo Xyloto,” had already sold more than a million downloads as of an Oct. 13 profile in the New York Times. “They’ve found a way, identity-wise, to be from everywhere,” John Mayer told SPIN in 2004, “whereas most bands come to America with ‘British’ written all over them.” Glastonbury wasn’t exactly Coldplay’s only festival headlining gig this year. Lollapalooza in Chicago? Fuji Rocks in Japan? Splendour in the Grass in Australia? These guys topped bills everywhere.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Foo Fighters Protest Hate-Filled Church Group

News Article
September 19, 2011

A religious group known for picketing U.S. soldiers' funerals got a taste of its own medicine on Friday afternoon. The Foo Fighters stood atop a flatbed before their Kansas City show that night and sardonically treated the protesters from Westboro Baptist Church to a live performance, in a counter-protest of the Topeka, KS-based church's anti-gay views. (via NBC Action News)

Dressed in trucker costumes from their recent "Hot Buns" video, the band members hit back at the protesters with a message of tolerance and American pride. "Land of the free, home of the brave," frontman Dave Grohl declared at the end of the song, in an exaggerated drawl. "I don't care if you're black or white or purple or green, whether you're Pennsylvanian or Transylvanian, Lady Gaga or Lady Antebellum. It takes all kinds."

The Foo Fighters posted additional video of the counter-protest on their website, receiving more than 400,000 views over the weekend. The band kicked off a 27-date North American tour earlier last week in St. Paul, MN, in support of latest studio album Wasting Light. The "Hot Buns" song itself is a twangy country spoof with goofy lyrics about "hot man muffins," in the grand faux-trucker tradition of mid-1990s Blur B-side "Rednecks."

In addition to military funerals, the Westboro church has also picketed funerals of well-known figures, such as that of Elizabeth Edwards, the late wife of former presidential candidate John Edwards. Missouri and other states have passed laws trying to limit the church's protests, but have been repeatedly overruled by the Supreme Court on free-speech grounds.
WATCH: Foo Fighters, "Keep It Clean (Hot Buns)"

New ODB Box Set Includes Food Stamp Replica

News Article
September 16, 2011

Wu-Tang Clan fans can now walk around with their own Ol' Dirty Bastard food stamp card. ODB's Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version, is returning as a box set on November 22 via boutique imprint Get On Down, the label has announced.

The box set will included a remastered version of the late Wu-Tang member's gold-selling 1995 solo debut album, plus a 12-track bonus disc featuring various remixes, a cappellas, and instrumentals. The reissue also comes with a poster, additional artwork, extensive liner notes, and a billfold wallet, where buyers can display a laminated reproduction of the ODB food stamp card depicted in the album's cover art, according to Get On Down.

You can pre-order ODB's Return to the Chambers: The Dirty Version Wallet Box Set at Get On Down promises more information on its website.

According to Okayplayer, which reportedly got its hands on the box set, the tracklist features previously 12"-only tracks such as "Brooklyn Zoo (Lord Digga Remix)."

ODB's Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version
WATCH: Ol' Dirty Bastard, "Brooklyn Zoo (Lord Digga Remix)"

WATCH: Ol' Dirty Bastard getting his food stamps

Interscope Records Entangled in U.S. Drug Probe

News Article
September 16, 2011

Interscope Records -- a major label with a roster that includes U2, Eminem, and Lady Gaga -- has found itself caught up in a year-long federal drug-trafficking investigation. According to documents first reported in The Smoking Gun, Department of Justice prosecutors say members of a cocaine ring used the label's Los Angeles-area offices to transfer packages containing drugs and cash.

Prosecutors included the allegations in a letter laying out evidence against Czar Entertainment CEO James "Jimmy Henchman" Rosemond, a music-industry manager whose clients include Interscope rapper the Game. Rosemond, who was indicted in June on felony drug-trafficking charges, is reportedly being held in custody. His lawyer, Jeffrey Lichtman, told The Wall Street Journal he hadn't gone over the Sept. 12 letter, which prosecutors filed in federal court in Brooklyn, NY.

The letter says prosecutors were turning over, among other evidence, 65 pages of shipping records from Rock-It Cargo, a freight forwarding company that handles music tours and other live events. In the letter, prosecutor Todd Kaminsky points out that the records were "specifically referencing pickups and deliveries at...Interscope Records" and a New York City recording studio.

The letter contains no allegations that Interscope employees had any involvement in or knowledge of the alleged drug transfers. A spokesman for corporate parent Vivendi SA's Universal Music Group had no immediate comment for the Journal.
According to the reports, prosecutors say Rosemond's organization sent hundreds of kilograms of cocaine from Los Angeles to New York in road cases for musical equipment, and the cases would go back filled with hundreds of thousands of dollars in vacuum-sealed $20 bills.

Left unclear in the letter was how prosecutors think Rosemond and his associates got access to the Interscope facilities to pick up and unload the shipments, the Journal notes.

The Smoking Gun reports that the shipping records have also implicated a road manager for the Game. The L.A. rapper recently released his fourth LP, The R.E.D. Album.

Arctic Monkeys' Drummer Stars in NSFW Video

News Article
September 16, 2011

Ultramagnetic MCs famously offered to "Give the Drummer Some" -- and that's exactly what Arctic Monkeys have done in their video for the title track off the British rockers' fourth album, Suck It and See.

In the clip, drummer Matt Helders stars as a musclebound biker dude who has a tempestuous relationship with his scantily (and sometimes un-) clad girlfriend. They take to the open road, make out atop the Union Jack, wield guns, and more, while Alex Turner intones his finely wrought, quintessentially English lyrics on this jangling, patient tune. "That's not a skirt, girl, that's a sawn-off shotgun  / And I can only hope you've got it aimed at me," he sings.

The song that SPIN's review said "may be the loveliest thing they've ever recorded," doesn't clear up much about the album's title -- supposedly British slang meaning you should try something to find out what happens.

There's brief semi-nudity and a handcuff-wielding sex scene, so be warned if your workplace frowns on that sort of thing. The video was directed by Focus Creeps, whose previous work includes videos for Neon Indian, Morning Benders, and Girls.

The SPIN July cover subjects will release "Suck It and See" as a U.K. single on October 31, backed by new song "Evil Twin." The band kicks off three U.S. co-headlining shows with TV on the Radio later this month, followed by their own North American headlining tour. Check out the tour dates here.

And to see this lovely tune in a completely different light, watch Alex Turner's unplugged take on "Suck It and See," filmed at SPIN's cover shoot, here.

Watch: Arctic Monkeys, "Suck It and See"

Moby, New Order's Peter Hook Play Joy Division

News Article
September 16, 2011

An ongoing feud between co-founding members of two hugely influential British bands-- Joy Division and New Order-- has taken a new turn. Peter Hook, who played bass in both groups, held a Joy Division tribute show this week in Los Angeles, just days after New Order said they would play a set of concerts without him. Longtime Joy Division fan Moby jumped on the stage to join Hook and his current band, the Light; via Slicing Up Eyeballs and YouTube user kalavinka1, watch fan-made videos showing their performances of "Transmission" and "A Means to an End" below.

Earlier this month, New Order announced plans to play a pair of benefit shows in Europe without Hook, who left the band amid highly public in-fighting in 2007. Hook issued a statement September 9 about the two New Order gigs, saying, "Everyone knows that New Order without Peter Hook is like Queen without Freddie Mercury, U2 without the Edge."

Hook's live tribute to Closer, Joy Division's second and final album before the death of singer Ian Curtis, was already long planned before the New Order news. It follows his nine-date tour last year revisiting Joy Division's 1979 debut LP, Unknown Pleasures, which he's also scheduled to perform tonight at L.A. venue the El Rey. According to SPIN's review of one of the 2010 Unknown Pleasure shows, Hook and the Light bring machine-like precision to the performances, eschewing bells and whistles while at times turning these often-funereal songs into celebrations.

Though Hook criticizes his former bandmates for touring as New Order without him, he has also taken some guff from fans for playing Joy Division songs without the rest of the group. "The criticism has been aimed at me, saying I'm cashing in on Joy Division and Ian Curtis," Hook told SPIN last year. "But it took 30 years to cash in. So does that count? Usually you cash in after waiting 30 minutes."

At the Music Box in L.A. on Wednesday night, Hook and the Light played Closer in its entirety, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "It's been an interesting week," Hook is quoted as saying. Along with Moby, Jane Addiction's Perry Farrell also joined Hook on stage. Farrell sang "Isolation," while Moby sang on "Colony," "A Means to an End," and an encore performance of non-Closer single "Transmission."

WATCH: Peter Hook and the Light (feat. Moby), "Transmission"

WATCH: Peter Hook and the Light (feat. Moby), "A Means to an End"

WATCH: Peter Hook and the Light (feat. Perry Farrell), "Isolation"

Stills, Broken Social Members Form Eight and a Half

News Article
September 16, 2011

In April, the Stills announced they were splitting up, after three albums that saw the Canadian rockers gradually move from post-punk revivalism to a looser, rootsier approach. In the wake of the breakup, former members Dave Hamelin and Liam O'Neil have teamed up with Broken Social Scene drummer Justin Peroff for a new band called Eight and a Half. Check out their first song here.

Hamelin sang, wrote songs, and played drums and guitars for the Stills, and O'Neil provided keyboard, percussion, and backing vocals, so a spin-off isn't exactly a stretch for them. Still, new track "Scissors" does represent a bit of a change for the trio, who now share a name with the acclaimed 1963 film by director Federico Fellini. Lush and layered, the song is moody, synth-based pop, with a galloping drum beat beneath wounded vocals that plead for someone to "hold me, like an old friend ... like an omen."

As Canada's Exclaim reports, Eight and a Half have an album on the way in 2012 via Arts & Crafts. The self-produced collection is reportedly being mixed by Metric producer John O'Mahony. "It's very synth-driven, but not in a 2007 electro way," Broken Social Scene's Peroff told Exclaim. "It's pretty heavy."
Hear It: Eight and a Half, "Scissors"

Thom Yorke Debuts Glitchy Solo Track on Radio

News Article
September 16, 2011

A mix by Thom Yorke aired on British radio station XFM, and it featured a first glimpse of a new solo track by the Radiohead frontman called "The Twist." Hear it now over at OneThirtyBPM, or check out the entire mix below. Click the play button, and Thom's song will stream first.

Yorke's "MoneyBack mix" appeared on British radio DJ and music journalist Mary Anne Hobbs' "Music Response" program. The 25-minute compilation mostly consists of fairly opaque, dub-inflected electronic blips and beats, including Yorke's own remix of a track by forward-thinking U.K. composers John Matthias and Nick Ryan. Music by Modeselektor, with whom Yorke recently collaborated.

The mix also includes a pair of remixes of tracks from Radiohead's The King of Limbs. By London producer Blawan and fellow knob-twiddler Thriller Houseghost, the reworkings are set to appear on the band's forthcoming remix collection, TKOL RMX 1234567, due out October 11.

Meanwhile, as Consequence of Sound points out, the drumbeat has begun to have Radiohead play at next year's Coachella. In fact, according to music trade publication Hits Daily Double, event organizers already booked Radiohead and No Doubt as headliners for the 2012 festival, and are "very close to finalizing a deal" with the Rolling Stones. The report has yet to be independently confirmed.

Hear It: Thom Yorke, "MoneyBack mix"

New Splashy Dance Clips From Cut Copy, SBTRKT

News Article
September 15, 2011

New videos from two of electronic pop's big hopes make for a study in contrasts. Australian dance-rockers Cut Copy beam their dismembered heads to a planet of the apes in the elaborately conceived, effects-wielding clip for their "Blink and You'll Miss a Revolution," from this year's Zonoscope. Masked London beatmaker SBTRKT, meanwhile, keeps it relatively simple, letting guest vocalist Roses Gabor stay in the foreground in the clean, no-frills video for his self-titled debut's "Pharaohs."

Cut Copy's members show up in pieces in the "Blink and You'll Miss a Revolution" video: heads singing without torsos, forearms playing the drums without the rest of the arm, and so on. It's hard to say what the lithe synth-pop song has to do with all these body parts winding up in the clutches of highly intelligent apes in monk garb -- "We're on the path to eternity," frontman Dan Whitford sings on the chorus, perhaps providing a clue -- but there's plenty to watch, as the computer effects set the stage for a full-on ape-man concert.

The clip for SBTRKT's "Pharaohs" is no less sharply executed, but despite the SPIN "Breaking Out" subject's forward-thinking productions, the approach here is of a more streamlined variety. SBTRKT can occasionally be glimpsed in the background behind his African-style mask, but the focus is -- literally -- on Gabor, who dances and sings in a shadowy room filled with cameras. "I need me a golden crown," she coos atop SBTRKT's rubbery electro-R&B, in this fitting follow-up to his Little Dragon-featuring hit "Wildfire."

WATCH: Cut Copy, "Blink and You'll Miss a Revolution"

WATCH: SBTRKT (feat. Roses Gabor), "Pharaohs"

Hear MGMT's Trippy Bauhaus Cover

News Article
September 15, 2011

MGMT have covered goth icons Bauhaus for the psychedelic rockers' entry in the LateNightTales compilation series. Hear the East Coast band's spaced-out take on The Sky's Gone Out slow-burner "All We Ever Wanted Was Everything" below (via Pitchfork).

This one's for the fans who preferred MGMT's zonked-out sophomore album, Congratulations, to synth-toting 2008 breakthrough Oracular Spectacular. Bauhaus' 1982 original already had plenty of neo-hippie tendencies, whatever the band's spooky image -- airy acoustic plucks, impressionistic lyrics, anti-industrial theme -- and MGMT go even more warped and pastoral with their trippy, effects-heavy take.

LateNightTales is a U.K. compilation series that asks artists to curate their own mixes. Previous contributors have included the Flaming Lips, Belle & Sebastian, Air, Four Tet, and Snow Patrol. MGMT's installment, which features tracks from the likes of the Velvet Underground, Spacemen 3, and Suicide, is available for streaming here; check out the tracklist below.
Hear It: MGMT, "All We Ever Wanted Was Everything"

MGMT's LateNightTales tracklist,
1. Disco Inferno, "Can't See Through It"
2. The Great Society, "Love You Girl"
3. Suicide, "Cheree"
4. Television Personalities, "Stop and Smell the Roses"
5. The Velvet Underground, "Ocean"
6. Felt, "Red Indians"
7. Julian Cope, "Laughing Boy"
8. Durutti Column, "For Belgium Friends"
9. Charlie Feathers, "Mound of Clay"
10. Mark Fry, "For Wilde"
11. MGMT, "All We Ever Wanted Was Everything" (Bauhaus Cover)
12. Cheval Sombre, "Troubled Mind"
13. Dave Bixby, "Drug Song"
14. The Jacobites, "Hearts Are Like Flowers"
15. The Chills, "Pink Frost"
16. Martin Rev, "Sparks"
17 The Wake, "Melancholy Man"
18. Spacemen 3, "Lord Can You Hear Me?"
19. Pauline Anna Strom, "Morning Splendor"
20. Paul Morley, "Lost for Words Part 2"

Reports Shed Light on DJ Mehdi Death

News Article
September 15, 2011

As artists continue to pay their respects to DJ Mehdi, more facts are coming to the surface about the French electro producer's death Tuesday at age 34.

Born Mehdi Favéris-Essadi, the genre-crossing beatmaker was fatally injured after a skylight in his Paris apartment's Plexiglas floor broke into pieces, sending Mehdi and three friends on a drop of seven meters (about 23 feet), MTV reports, citing French magazine Liberation Next. No further details have emerged on the three friends, who were reportedly hospitalized, too. MTV also points out a report in French newspaper France Soir saying Mehdi was hosting a birthday party for friend DJ Riton. The two recorded together as Carte Blanche.

As Billboard notes, Riton reassured fans via Twitter. "Just want everyone to know that we were all laughing our asses off 1/2 second before the accident and simon alegia and louise are all well," he wrote.

Mehdi's label, Ed Banger, reportedly issued a brief statement confirming Mehdi's death. "It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our friend DJ Mehdi," they said, according to multiple reports. "Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones." The label's website and all social media outlets have gone to black.

From the world of hip-hop and from the world of electronic music, from the United States and from Europe, condolences for Mehdi continued to roll in. Canadian electro-funk duo Chromeo pushed back a Dallas gig to travel to Paris, Billboard reports. "I have no words," fellow Canadian producerA-Trak wrote on Twitter. "My heart is completely shattered. Not this." Among other artists paying Mehdi tribute were Drake, Kid Sister, Miike Snow, Murs, and RJD2.

You can download Mehdi's Tunisian Summer Mix here, via Discobelle, which has the tracklist, and check out some of his videos below.

WATCH: DJ Mehdi, "Signature" (Thomas Bangalter Edit)

WATCH: DJ Mehdi (feat. Chromeo), "I Am Somebody

WATCH: Carte Blanche (feat. Kid Sister), "Do! Do! Do!"

Download Pretty Lights' Soul-Tinged Banger

News Article
September 15, 2011

The temperature may be dropping, the days starting to get shorter, but Pretty Lights is extending that summer feeling a bit longer into September. The Colorado electronic musician has posted a free, high-quality download of his just-released single, "I Know the Truth," which he debuted live at Bonnaroo back in those halcyon days of June. Get it at Pretty Lights' website in an exchange for an e-mail address.

The latest from Fort Collins-based Derek Vincent Smith is a blippy dubstep track with hints of '60s soul represents a new approach for the sample-happy beatmaker. Recalling the production methods used on trip-hop innovators Portishead's 1997 self-titled album, Smith pressed analog recordings of his own studio session to vinyl, then sampled that to create the single.

"It's my first attempt at producing in a new style I like to call analog electronica," the Pretty Lights maestro says in a news release. "It's modern electronic music production created with an approach based on techniques from 40-50 years ago."

Pretty Lights is also in the midst of a U.S. tour that will stop by Austin City Limits Music Festival tomorrow. Check out the tour dates below, and watch the video for "Pretty Lights vs. Led Zeppelin," which samples seven Zep tunes and refracts them through Pretty Lights' big-beat electronic style. Read SPIN's review of Pretty Lights' Lollapalooza set here.

WATCH: Pretty Lights, "Pretty Lights vs. Led Zeppelin"

Pretty Lights Tour Dates:

9/15, Austin, TX (Austin Music Hall) #

9/16, Austin, TX (Austin City Limits Music Festival)

9/17, New Orleans, LA (The Sugar Mill)

9/20, Asheville, NC (Thomas Wolfe Auditorium)

9/21, Charlottesville, VA (Telos Wireless Pavilion)

9/22, Binghamtom, NY (Events Center)

9/23, Boston, MA (Bank of America Pavilion)

9/24, Philadelphia, PA (Popped! Festival @ FDR Park)

9/25, Lewiston, ME (The Colisee)

9/27, Burlington, VT (Burlington Memorial Auditorium)

9/28, Wallingford, CT (The Dome at Oakdale)

9/29, Silver Spring, MD (The Fillmore D.C.)

9/30, Columbus, OH (The LC Pavilion)

10/1, Detroit, MI (The Fillmore Detroit)

10/4, Pittsburgh, PA (Stage AE)

10/5, South Bend, IN (Morris Center)

10/6, Dekalb, IL (NIU Convocation Center)

10/7, Milwaukee, WI (Eagles Ballroom)

10/8, St. Paul, MN (Myth)

10/9, Des Moines, IA (Val Air Ballroom)

10/11, Oxford, MS (Lyric Theatre)

10/12, Oxford, MS (Lyric Theatre)

10/13, Tuscaloosa, AL (Tuscaloosa Amphitheater)%

10/14, Alpharetta, GA (Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre)*

10/15, Alpharetta, GA (Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre)*

10/27, Lincoln, NE (Pershing Center)

10/28, Tulsa, OK (The Brady Theater)

10/29, Little Rock, AR (Verizon Arena)

10/31, Nashville, TN (Nashville Municipal Auditorium)

# w/ Nas opening

* w/ co-headlining with Bassnectar

% benefit for Tuscaloosa Disaster Relief Fund

Jay-Z Goes Hard on J. Cole's "Mr. Nice Watch"

News Article
September 15, 2011

Jay-Z has been all about collaborations lately. First he teamed up with Kanye West for their chart-topping album Watch the Throne; then came news at the MTV Video Music Awards that he and Beyoncé were expecting a baby. Now Jay has added a supremely scornful verse to a new track by North Carolina rapper J. Cole, who previously appeared on Hova's own 2009 LP, The Blueprint 3. Hear it here, via Consequence of Sound.

"Mr. Nice Watch," from Cole's long-delayed debut album, is dubstep-tinged electro-rap built around a pun on expensive male wrist jewelery: "If we ever go broke, then time is all we got," Cole sings on the chorus, his plainspoken half-croon more T.I. than, say, Drake. Jay balances the track with some needed arrogance, giving his Roc Nation signee a breathless, foul-mouthed verse with some fittingly Southern references to college football. "No Mr. Nice Guy, hello Mr. Nice Watch," Jay exhorts, paraphrasing Cole.

Cole's Cole World: The Sideline Story, due out September 27 via Roc Nation/Columbia, has been in the works for some time. After getting the nod to rap on Hova's own "A Star Is Born," Cole landed on SPIN's list of albums that matter most -- for the winter of 2010-11 -- for his then-untitled debut LP. Check out SPIN's review of J. Cole's 2010 mixtape Friday Night Lights.

Hear It: J. Cole (feat. Jay-Z), "Mr. Nice Watch"

Florence and the Machine Share Second New Song

News Article
September 14, 2011

Powerhouse British vocalist Florence Welch and her band the Machine, one of SPIN's 2010 Artists of the Year, have offered up a second taste of their second album, which follows last year's Lungs. Check out "Shake It Out" here.
Florence and the Machine, "Shake It Out"

In keeping with previously unveiled track "What the Water Gave Me," the four-and-a-half-minute song is swelling, gospel-flavored pop, with churchy organ and pounding drums setting a cathartic scene for Welch's fiery singing. "It's hard to dance with the devil on your back," she roars. "So shake him off!"

Florence and the Machine have also provided details on their new album. According to iTunes UK, the LP will be called Ceremonials, and it will be out in Britain on October 31, which typically means a U.S. release a day later.

As previously reported, the band worked on the album at London's famed Abbey Road Studios with producer Paul Epworth (Adele, Bloc Party). Epworth was also behind the boards on Lungs' "Cosmic Love" and "Blinding." The full Ceremonials tracklist is below.
Ceremonials tracklist:

1. Only If for Night

2. Shake It Out

3. What The Water Gave Me

4. Never Let Me Go

5. Breaking Down

6. Lover to Lover

7. No Light No Light

8. Seven Devils

9. Heartline

10. Spectrum

11. All This and Heaven Too

12. Leave My Body

Lil Wayne: GOP Is "Never Going to Like Us"

News Article
September 14, 2011

While he didn't exactly pull a Kanye West, and say that the Republican party doesn't care about black people, Lil Wayne took the current crop of Republican presidential candidates to task in an interview with VIBE.

"You learn from what the right wing is doing and you take something from it," Wayne told VIBE. "I feel like as a people the most we can do is better ourselves and learn. Then look at yourself and ask 'Am I the person they’re talking about or am I not?' You have to make the most of who you are because the Republicans are never going to like us."

The rapper also said that while taking the president to task over the economy may be fair, the intensity of conservative outrage has less to do with policies than with Obama's race. "I don't think I have to say that for everybody to know that," Wayne told VIBE.

Wayne vaulted to the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 albums chart last week for his album Tha Carter IV. His first-week sales of 964,000 copies were the year's second-biggest, behind behind Lady Gaga's 1.1 million for Born This Way.

WATCH: Lil Wayne, "How to Love"

FREE ALBUM: Lil B Posts New 21-Song Mixtape

News Article
September 14, 2011

Lil B isn't slowing down. Without warning, the ever-prolific rapper has released a new mixtape, Black Flame. Hear it below, and download it free over at DatPiff.

Internet downloads like this one have helped Lil B generate an obsessive cult following, making him one of the most closely watched figures in hip-hop. He was previously best known as a member of San Francisco Bay Area skate-rap outfit the Pack, who scored a 2006 hit with shoe ode "Vans." Read Brandon Soderberg's article on the MC, from SPIN's July 2011 Success Issue, here.

Lil B's current 21-song offering follows closely on the heels of a 12-track mixtape the self-proclaimed Based God put on the Web last month, I Forgive You; in fact, the two releases even share some songs. On July 16, the rapper dropped his hotly debated album, I'm Gay (I'm Happy).

Lil B commented on the latest release, in all-caps fashion, on his bustling Twitter feed. "NEW LIL B MIXTAPE 'BLACK FLAME' WORLD WIDE TRENDING TOPIC," he wrote. "ITS A CLASSSSICC COLLECT THIS RARE HISTORY."

Black Flame features more of the Based God's spaced-out, free-associative rhymes, over instrumentals that range from the laid-back piano of "Ms Woman" to the heavily distorted clamor of "Bitch Fuck With Me."

Hear It: Lil B, Black Flame (download here)

Girls Bring "Honey Bunny," "My Ma" to 'Fallon'

News Article
September 14, 2011

Girls made their TV debut last night, and the San Francisco band that Late Night With Jimmy Fallon viewers saw was anything but lo-fi. Supported by not only an additional guitarist and drummer, but also three shimmying back-up singers, the core duo of frontman Christopher Owens and bassist-producer JR White performed "Honey Bunny," from their just-released sophomore album, Father, Son, Holy Ghost. As an online exclusive, Girls also played the album's "My Ma." Watch them both below, via the Audio Perv and Matador Records' Matablog.

Live as on the record, "Honey Bunny" sets a galloping, surf-rock groove to lyrics that may not be as sweet as they seem: "I need a woman who loves me me me," Owens murmurs. "My Ma," meanwhile, is a swaying, lighter-aloft indie-pop power ballad, with slide guitar and more loneliness.

On Friday, Girls will play what Matador bills as "the first-ever nationwide in-store." Specifically, the band is set to give an in-store performance at Nashville record store Grimey's that will also be streaming live on the websites of more record stores than you can shake a stick at. A limited-edition Girls vinyl release will come out later this year, only at stores participating in this event.

WATCH: Girls, "Honey Bunny"

WATCH: Girls, "My Ma

LISTEN: Girls, Father, Son, Holy Ghost

Watch Amy Winehouse's Duet With Tony Bennett

News Article
September 14, 2011

Amy Winehouse would have been 28 years old today. On the late singer's birthday, Columbia Records is releasing her duet with Tony Bennett performing jazz standard "Body and Soul," which her website calls "the final recording" Winehouse made before she was found dead in London on July 23. Video of Winehouse and Bennett's studio session -- a clip of which played during last month's MTV VMAs -- has been released. Watch it below.

The Amy Winehouse Foundation, which also launched today, will receive all proceeds from the single (available for purchase on iTunes). The charity, set up by Winehouse's family and friends, will aid organizations that support vulnerable youth, such as those with addiction problems, the singer's father told the Associated Press.

The "Body And Soul" video shows Bennett and Winehouse in the studio, with Winehouse swaying and smiling in the iconic "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" crooner's direction. She looks up to skies after her first verse, as the two continue to exchange buttery, smoothly quavering vocals on the song, originally written in 1930. "I gladly surrender myself to you," they sing, backed by piano and strings.

A separate interview clip on the foundation's website shows Winehouse discussing her duet with Bennett -- "Can I call him Tone?" she asks.

The two recorded "Body and Soul" for Bennett's Duets II LP, out September 20. Other guests on the release include Lady Gaga, John Mayer, Aretha Franklin, Queen Latifah, and Willie Nelson.

Watch It: Amy Winehouse and Tony Bennett, "Body and Soul"

UBS Board in the Hot Seat as CEO Resigns

News Analysis
September 26, 2011
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Board Pay at Midsize Companies; Will CEO Comp Rise Again?

News Analysis
September 26, 2011
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New CEO at HP; Green Light for Cincinnati Bell Suit ...

News Analysis
September 26, 2011
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Survey Finds Gaps in Boards’ IT Security

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September 26, 2011
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Press Mentions

"Goes over the top and stays there to very nice effect."
-- David Carr, The New York Times

"I wasn't fully convinced. But I was interested."
-- Rob Walker, The New York Times

" Marc Hogan wrote in Spin..."
-- Maureen Dowd, The New York Times

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