Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Wu-Tang Clan Reveal 8 Diagrams Tracklist, Add Dates

(Swiped from Pitchfork Media)
Now that Thanksgiving is over, the mad rush to whatever winter holiday you may celebrate has begun. Yet, in the midst of it all, Wu-Tang Clan are making it pretty hard to forget that their new album, 8 Diagrams, comes out December 11 via Loud/Universal/SRC/Wu Music Group.

The album now has an official tracklist on which our eyes can feast, so mind the jump and check it out. Guests include Erykah Badu, George Harrison spawn Dhani Harrison, and John Frusciante (as you know), plus George Clinton and others. There's also the December 4 release of Ghostface's The Big Doe Rehab to tide you over for the week before 8 Diagrams.
What's more, the Clan have added dates to their previously reported winter tour, and GZA has his four solo shows in December.

8 Diagrams:
01 Campfire
02 Take It Back
03 Get Them Out Ya Way Pa
04 Rushing Elephants
05 Unpredictable [ft. Dexter Wiggles]
06 The Heart Gently Weeps [ft. Erykah Badu, Dhani Harrison & John Frusciante]
07 Wolves [ft. George Clinton]
08 Gun Will Go [ft. Sunny Valentine]
09 Sunlight
10 Stick Me For My Riches [ft. Gerald Alston]
11 Starter [ft. Sunny Valentine & Tash Mahogany]
12 Windmill
13 Weak Spot
14 Life Changes

11-30 Oshawa, Ontario - The Big Sexy (Wu-Tang Super Show with Raekwon, U-God, GZA)
12-15 Chicago, IL - Metro
12-16 Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
12-20 Denver, CO - Fillmore Auditorium
12-23 Hollywood, CA - House of Blues Sunset Strip
12-30 Seattle, WA - Showbox SoDo
01-03 Las Vegas, NV - House of Blues
01-09 Baltimore, MD - Rams Head Live!
01-10 Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory
01-12 New York, NY - Hammerstein Ballroom
01-13 New Haven, CT - Toad's Place
01-18 Richmond, VA - Toad's Place
01-24 Orlando, FL - Club Firestone
01-25 Miami Beach, FL - The Fillmore Miami Beach at Jackie Gleason Theater
01-26 St. Petersburg, FL - Jannus Landing
12-07-09 Minehead, England - Butlins Holiday Park (ATP's Nightmare Before Christmas)
12-09 London, England - KOKO *
12-13 New York, NY - Knitting Factory *
12-14 New York, NY - Knitting Factory *

* performing Liquid Swords

Monday, November 26, 2007

DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist Join for "Hard Sell" Tour

(Swiped from Pitchfork Media)
Ever hear Brainfreeze? It was a mostly seamless, ultra-rare hour-long mix DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist crafted "live" around the turn of the millennium from their untold wealth of funk and soul vinyl. And it was amazing, a proto-Night Ripper all-jam-fricassee with a killer long-term memory.

They did it again (to slightly less revelatory effect) a few years later with Product Placement, but it's been a while. Still-- even after the recent, reasonably lackluster Outsider/Audience's Listening LPs Shadow and Chemist have respectively released on their own-- crate diggers the world over should unite for the joint tour these two old pals will embark on in the coming spring.

The tour kicks off January 18 in Austin, and each performance will be an "expanded" version of the "Hard Sell" show the two put on a bit earlier this year. Sounds like a pretty easy sell to me, fellas. Full dates after the jump.


01-18 Austin, TX - La Zona Rosa
01-19 Dallas, TX - House of Blues
01-21 Atlanta, GA - The Loft at Center Stage
01-23 Baltimore, MD - Sonar
01-24 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
01-25 Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of Living Arts
01-26 New York, NY - Irving Plaza
01-27 New York, NY - Irving Plaza
01-29 Montreal, Quebec - Metropolis
01-30 Toronto, Ontario - Phoenix Concert Theatre
01-31 Cleveland, OH - House of Blues
02-01 Chicago, IL - Park West
02-04 Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
02-05 Kansas City, MO - Harrah's Casino
02-07 Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre
02-10 Seattle, WA - Showbox
02-11 Vancouver, British Columbia - Commodore Ballroom
02-14 Anaheim, CA - House of Blues
02-15 Los Angeles, CA - Wiltern

Friday, November 23, 2007

Sly Stone makes his first NY stand in 32 years

NEW YORK (Reuters) - As the horns blare with a syncopated rhythm and singers call to the crowd of about 1,000 to dance, a hunched man hidden in the wings of the stage smiles broadly, watching his band like a proud father.

After decades away from the spotlight, Sly Stone has returned to the stage with his band Sly and The Family Stone, performing in Europe this summer and this week making his first New York appearance in 32 years.

Dressed in a white sweatsuit trimmed in silver, sunglasses and Mohawk hairstyle, Stone fills the club with his rich, mellifluous voice as the band spends an hour cycling through their greatest hits, including "Everyday People," "Family Affair" and "Stand."

For those who have followed the career of 64-year-old Stone -- who was born Sylvester Stewart -- the shock is not the fact that he can still sing but that he showed up at all.

For after reinventing rock and roll in the late 1960s as a pioneer of funk, rock and rhythm and blues, Stone disappeared into a haze of death threats, financial problems and drugs.

Stone, who declined to be interviewed for this article, began missing concerts in the early 1970s on a regular basis. He has not released an album of new material since 1982.

Between 1973 and 1989, there was a steady list of arrests on drug and gun charges -- but for the better part of the last 20 years, there's been little more than silence.

However after appearing at the 2006 Grammy Awards, Stone returned to the stage this summer for a European tour and his agent, Steve Green of Artists International Management, says he how has a stack of offers including for the Super Bowl in 2008.

"He can do it," Green told Reuters in a telephone interview, sounding part salesman and part motivational speaker. "But he's got to want to do it."


Sly and The Family Stone emerged out of the San Francisco scene in the late 1960s, with anthems that came to define both the free spirit and the political turmoil of the era, with the band containing blacks and whites and also men and women.

But after a string of hits from 1968 to 1970, Stone's behavior turned erratic. He'd show up hours late for gigs, if at all. Financial problems tore the band apart.

And his own obsessive nature delayed the next album "There's A Riot Goin' On." The album is now considered a landmark, laying the blueprint for the funk sound influencing many from the Temptations, the O'Jays, to Miles Davis.

Despite a couple of flirtations with chart success in the early 1970s, Sly slipped into seclusion in California.

The turning point came a few years ago when his youngest sister, Vaetta, who sang on the Family Stone albums, was sent by his parents to care for him. She had a tribute band that played the group's old hits and cajoled him into attending one of their Los Angeles shows in 2005.

"I looked up and I saw him dancing to his own music. Since then he's been showing interest in wanting to play gigs," she said in an interview.

She said the biggest challenge was convincing agents that Stone would meet his obligations but her persistence paid off and this year's European tour was booked.

"He did all 14 shows on time," she said proudly.

Green said Stone was the most difficult act he had handled, recalling a story of Stone buying a puppy while in Europe which ended up in quarantine in London, in danger of being destroyed. Green had to intervene and find the dog a home in England.

"Sly has an amazing mind. He still comes up with lyrics that are unbelievable. But the other side of Sly is 'me, me, me'," he said.

In the meantime, Vet says Stone has a treasure trove of new music he's worked on for years. Will it be released?

"I certainly hope so," she said. "But it's got to be his decision. No one can make him do it when they want it done."

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The best rapper alive this year. Don't even try to front.

Dude's got the hot fi-yah! (No Dylan).

Happy thanksgiving (thankstaking to some) to everyone.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Lupe Fiasco Reveals The Cool Tracklist

(Swiped from Pitchfork Media)

Lupe Fiasco has descended from the parapets of his mind and found his way out of the maze of all those tongue-twisting extended metaphors to deliver actual concrete info about his sophomore album, The Cool. Thanks to a report from Billboard.com that was confirmed by his publicist, we now know the Food & Liquor follow-up's tracklist.

Due December 18 via 1st & 15th/Atlantic, The Cool features production from Fall Out Boy singer Patrick Stump, UNKLE, Chris & Drop, and Soundtrakk, according to Billboard.

True to form, the report says Lupe has fashioned The Cool as a concept album of sorts, featuring recurring characters such as Michael Young History, the Game ("a male personification of a hustler's damaging influences," not the Compton rapper), and the Streets ("a female embodiment of an urban area's corrupt allure," not Mike Skinner). Billboard also says The Cool features two mentions from Lupe of his plan to quit music after releasing the album's follow-up, titled L.U.P.N.

And yet, out-wtf-ing every other detail related to The Cool in the article is this morsel: "Perhaps the oddest song is 'Gotta Eat', which is apparently written from the perspective of a cheeseburger and is rife with food/life metaphors."

The Cool:

01 Iesha Poem
02 Free Chilly
03 Go Go Gadget Flow
04 The Coolest
05 Superstar [ft. Mathew Santos]
06 Paris Tokyo
07 High Definition [ft. Snoop Dogg and Pooh Bear]
08 Little Weapons
09 Hip-Hop Saved My Life [ft. Nikki Jean]
10 Gold Watch
11 Street on Fire [ft. Matthew Santos]
12 Hello Goodbye
13 Gotta Eat
14 Dumb It Down [ft. Gemini and Graham Burris]
15 The Die [ft. Gemini]
16 Put You on Game
17 Fighters [ft. Matthew Santos]
18 Go Baby Go

Video: Lupe Fiasco [ft. Matthew Santos]: Superstar [from the forthcoming The Cool LP]

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

"Family" feud afoot for Fox cartoon

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Fox is producing fresh episodes of its animated comedy "Family Guy" without the participation of its striking creator Seth MacFarlane, who does many of the main voices, sources said.

The last episode completed before the Writers Guild of America strike began November 5 aired Sunday. Fox and sibling studio 20th Century Fox TV had the choice of going into reruns or continuing the show without MacFarlane, whose outspoken defiance of his employers has made him a cause celebre for striking writers.

After a large writers rally outside the Fox lot on Friday, where he was one of the speakers, MacFarlane said the studio could proceed without him, though he hoped it would not.
20th TV had no comment on the matter Tuesday but confirmed that it remains in production on new episodes. The first episode finished without MacFarlane's blessing has been delivered to Fox. Sources said it is one of three very close to completion, with others in various stages of production.

In addition to executive-producing the show, MacFarlane voices the characters of Peter, Brian and Stewis Griffin, the male members of the hapless Rhode Island family at the core of the domestic satire.

Paper Mail address only:
P.O. Box 900
Attn: FOX BROADCASTING Publicity Dept.
Beverly Hills, CA 90213-0900

Friday, November 09, 2007

Ghostface Unveils Big Doe Tracklist, Guests, Cover Art

(Swiped From Pitchfork Media)

With anticipation levels surrounding Ghostface Killah's forthcoming The Big Doe Rehab fast approaching a boiling point-- particularly since we no longer need divide our anticipation between Big Doe and the Wu-Tang's 8 Diagrams-- Ghost has gone and added some kindling to the fire. Album details, people! Have a look.

First, of course, is that classy cover art you see up there, set to adorn copies of Big Doe that Def Jam delivers on December 4.

Next, the tracklist, reprinted in full below. Of note: Kid Capri-featuring first single "We Celebrate" (not just "Celebrate", as reported prior), which samples Rare Earth's "I Just Want to Celebrate"; Raekwon-boosted "Yolanda's House" and "Shakey Dog Starring Lolita" (an epilogue to Fishscale standout "Shakey Dog"!); a pair of tracks featuring Ghostface's tourmates Rhythm Roots Allstars; a track called "I'll Die for You" and another called "!".

Then, naturally, there are the guests, including the aforementioned along with Ghost's Wu associates Method Man (as you know), U-God, Masta Killa, and Cappadonna, plus Ghost's posse and More Fish co-stars Theodore Unit, Beanie Sigel, Styles P, and more.

And while Ghostface and the Wu seem to have settled their beef, Ghost apparently isn't the only one upset with the way camp Wu is being run. Billboard.com points us to a MissInfo.tv interview with Raekwon, who revealed his own misgivings. "Bottom line," said Raekwon, "it's a lot of business that's fucking up the creativity." Is that why we haven't seen a second Cuban Linx yet? Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Finally, since Ghostface has been blowing up the Pitchfork news ticker in recent weeks, here's a quick, updated roundup of recent happenings:

* Ghostface doll: available now

* Ghostface book, The World According to Pretty Toney: due January 8 from MTV Press (moved from previously reported December 4 date)

* Ghostface's Walk Hard collaboration with Jewel, Lyle Lovett, and Jackson Browne: soundtrack in stores December 4, film in theaters December 21, collab's very notion still blowing minds

* Ghostface-boosted Beatles-interpolating track: set to appear on Wu-Tang Clan's 8 Diagrams, out December 11 via Loud/Universal/SRC/Wu Music Group

* Ghostface, Rakim, Brother Ali, and Rhythm Roots Allstars on the Hip Hop Live! tour: happening now, dates below


The Big Doe Rehab:

01 At the Cabana Skit [performed by Ghostface Killah and Rhythm Roots Allstars]

02 Toney Sigel a.k.a the Barrel Brothers [ft. Beanie Sigel and Styles P]

03 Yolanda's House [ft. Raekwon and Method Man]

04 We Celebrate [ft. Kid Capri]

05 Walk Around

06 Yapp City [ft. Trife Da God and Sun God]

07 White Linen Affair (Toney Awards) [ft. Shawn Wigs]

08 Supa GFK

09 Rec-Room Therapy [ft. Raekwon and U-God]

10 The Prayer [performed by Ox]

11 I'll Die for You

12 Paisley Darts [ft. Raekwon, Sun God, Trife Da God, Method Man, and Cappadonna]

13 Shakey Dog Starring Lolita [ft. Raekwon]

14 ! [performed by Ghostface Killah and Rhythm Roots Allstars]

15 Killa Lipstick [ft. Method Man and Masta Killa]

16 Slow Down [ft. Chrisette Michele]

Hip Hop Live! dates:

11-08 Denver, CO - Ogden Theater *

11-09 Aspen, CO - Belly Up *

11-10 Kansas City, MO - Beaumont *

11-11 Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue *

11-12 Chicago, IL - House of Blues *

11-13 Bloomington, IN - Bluebird Theater *

11-15 New Haven, CT - Toad's Place *

11-16 New York, NY - Nokia Theater *

11-17 Baltimore, MD - Sonar *

11-18 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club *

11-21 Philadelphia, PA - Trocadero *

* with Rakim, Brother Ali, Rhythm Roots Allstars

Stream: Ghostface Killah [ft. Kid Capri]: We Celebrate [from the forthcoming The Big Doe Rehab LP]

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Del the Funky Homosapien Signs to Def Jux for New LP

(Swiped from Pitchfork Media)

Because of his involvement in records like Deltron 3030 and the first Gorillaz album, it's easy to think of Del the Funky Homosapien (formerly Del tha Funkee Homosapien) as just a sci-fi rapper. But dig a little further back in his catalog (like back to his killer 1991 debut, I Wish My Brother George Was Here), and you find an MC geeked on making genuinely quirky everyman anthems-- like "Pissin' on Your Steps", "The Wacky World of Rapid Transit", and "Sleepin' on My Couch".

We're not sure which of the two Dels (or maybe an amalgamation of them both?) will appear on his forthcoming full-length, The 11th Hour, but we're psyched that it exists and is coming out via Definitive Jux on February 26.

Produced entirely by Del himself, The 11th Hour is the Hieroglyphics crew member's first solo record since 2000's Both Sides of the Brain. And while February is still a little ways away, Del is currently touring the U.S. in front of the album's release, alongside Devin the Dude and friends.

The tour's next stop is November 8, in Portland, Oregon.

Dates (all with Devin the Dude):

11-08 Portland, OR - Roseland

11-09 Seattle, WA - Showbox

11-10 Eugene, OR - WOW Hall

11-11 Chico, CA - Senator Theater

11-13 San Francisco, CA - Slim's

11-14 San Francisco, CA - Slim's

Stream: Del the Funky Homosapien: Various Tracks