New Mexico wildfire update from fire officials: Thompson Ridge is 80 percent contained. Tres Lagunas is 90 percent contained. Jaroso is zero percent contained. White's Peak is 25 percent contained, and Silver Fire is five percent contained.
Who the hell is Kathleen Hanna ... other than a feminist punk poet with an affinity for zine writing workmanship? Who is this woman who dwells in the netherworld of alternative culture, plotting and demonstrating? Who is this transformative post-whatever icon who keeps pushing the waistband on the pants of pop-rock aesthetics to fit her angry, rabble-rousing agendas? Well, she's just a writer. At least that's how I've pegged her since I first started listening to Bikini Kill and Le Tigre during my formative years as a gay outcast in high school. Granted, her music scorched the silly side of a grounded movement at times. I never took her stances too seriously—at least not as seriously as those who deem themselves riot grrrls—but I always appreciated her mediums. On hearing that she’s resurrected the Julie Ruin moniker to release new material, I was psyched, and I still am.
Putting the word “The” in front of the name—thus making it The Julie Ruin, y'all—Hanna has resurrected not only a name, but an idea and a good one at that. If you haven't heard her post-Bikini Kill bedroom recordings, you should take a listen. They're not groundbreaking, but they were a solid precursor to the “Deceptacon”-era Hanna who would make her mark on the music industry. Maybe she wasn't a chart-topper, but she maintains a loyal fanbase that is keen on hearing her wild vocals inundate them with a little radical mystique—Feminist Sweepstakes, anyone? I digress … Hanna has announced that The Julie Ruin's debut album, titled Run Fast, is set to hit the streets on the 3rd of September (you know ... the day we’ll always remember). So be on the lookout for that, and while you're waiting for that illustrious morn to approach, you still have the old basement recordings of the original incarnation to tide you over. And if Le Tigre's This Island and The Julie Ruin’s first single, “Oh Come On,” are anything to go by, then you know Hanna delivers the goods when she has the proper studio treatment to rely on. Just sayin'.
Yeah, you know ‘em. John Fogerty and company. The men that shaped the southern bayou swamp sound for mass consumption, but not in a contrived, overdone fashion. Seeing as how I’ve been replaying their “Greatest Hits” record nonstop for the past few days, it was only appropriate to share my musical forays with Alibi Music and Managing Editor Samantha Anne Carrillo, who informed me that this is the Second Annual Year of CCR. Is this made up? Probably, but who cares?! It’s Creedence, man! (Editor’s note: I made this up, but it’s a damn fine idea, right?) This is a band that came to prominence in the late-’60s, when rock and roll was taking multiple turns toward the psychedelic—leaving little in the way of rootsy rhythms—but CCR was there to deliver it, and they did so with a gusto and magic that is rarely seen in bands playing today.
Listening to “Have You Ever Seen The Rain” or “Bad Moon Rising” still evokes feelings of nostalgia—the kind that exists from knowing music that once made a mark still has the ability to break on through, so to speak. “Up Around the Bend” is still one of my favorite road trip songs. Have you heard that opening guitar riff? If you’re not a fan or (God forbid!) you’ve never heard of Creedence Clearwater Revival, do yourself a favor and pick up a cassette/LP/CD or head over to YouTube for some good ol’ concert footage and get crackin’. At least this way you’ll be ready for the Third Annual Year of CCR ... and yes, it’s coming.
Who doesn’t love free music? Now, like a lot of purists in the music-listening realm, I always prefer a physical copy—be it a CD, cassette and LP—but every so often, bands decide to share music by delivering free content to the masses via download. Who are we to say no? In keeping with the notion of giving, David Byrne and St. Vincent are bestowing a free download of the “Brass Tactics” EP online, which you can download simply by providing an email address and well ... clicking “download.”
You may know David Byrne from his name-making reputation as an innovative avant-pop specialist (known mostly for his work with Talking Heads), and you may know St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark) by her hypnotic voice, righteous (or riotous?) guitar rhythms and interesting songwriting. But together, they released an album, Love This Giant, last year that touched on each of their strengths; the album showcased funkadelic pop arrangements with brass accompaniment and Clark’s signature guitar work. According to various news sources, the EP contains a track that didn’t make it on to Love This Giant, a couple of remixes and two live tracks (“Marrow” by St. Vincent and “Road to Nowhere” by David Byrne). So, what are you waiting for? It’s free, yo!
Upon reading that Jermaine Jackson was on a quest to find five Australian artists to turn into a modern-day Jackson 5, I was a little perplexed, maybe a little befuddled. Jackson 5 were one of my favorite groups as a youngster because they encapsulated the joy and freedom that many associate with childhood. In other words, they’ve always been a perfect soundtrack to anything resembling happiness (in my humble opinion). C’mon, who doesn’t love “I Want You Back”? Just take a listen to their greatest hits if you’re a skeptic. So, what exactly is Jackson trying to accomplish? Is he trying to revive the soul-group aesthetic of a past generation? Or is he simply trying to realign himself with pop culture to give his name some longevity and weight?
Your guess is as good as mine, but in an interview with UnderCover, Jackson states that “you just don’t see the kind of band or that kind of mania that the Jacksons created any more.” Jackson is even wrangling the kids online by using the Internet to give his endeavor an extra boost. Using online social media and a website, JJ5TV.com, where users and viewers can give their opinions and feedback, Jackson can pick the top five people to take JJ5 to the brink of stardom. (Oh yeah, JJ5 is the name of the group). So, keep your eyes peeled, your mouse in hand, and you could be one of the voices that decides who and what JJ5 will be—assuming you care, of course.
Leave it to your trusty copy editor to place blame on the blameless. Cat Power, aka Chan Marshall, released a statement/rant on her Instagram page (with the Statue of Liberty as the backdrop), criticizing the state of America and claiming she’s leaving the country until things change. In the public statement, she claims the illusion of liberty has become a symbolism of entrapment, fostering hope in Americans in an effort to make them prisoners of false ideas. In the all-caps statement—chill out gurl; you don’t gotta yell—she claims that the powers that be have used said symbolism “AS FALSE CURRENCY TO RAPE THIS EARTH WITH IT’S[sic] LIES, PROTECTION OF WEALTH, AND VICIOUS SLAYINGS & INHUMANE PRIVATE CONTRACTED MILITARIES WORLDWIDE FOR DOMINATION ...”
She goes on to demand a tri-partisan government as well as a Native American vote. Preach on, Chan! But like I said, as a copy editor, I can’t help but twitch at the errors, considering it’s my job to make sure that all text entering the public domain is free of grammatical/factual errors so it reads smoothly. Now, I can attest to the fact that when something is written with passion, integrity, and a pressing need to completely reiterate certain feelings without censorship or too much thought, it’s important to throw the rules out the window and say what you gotta say. And I guess Ms. Marshall has ... she even went to the extent of tagging several well-known Twitter users like: Diplo, U2, Dave Chapelle, Madonna, The New York Times and more. Some good words, Chan, but if you need a copy editor, let me know. But then again, I may be making a moot point because a statement like this isn’t just meant to be typed/transcribed, but also meant to be spoken. As Marshall says, “HOW DO YOU FIGHT WITH JUST A WORD IN TEXT, SPEAK IT.”
Think what you will about Kanye West. Personally, I’ve always appreciated his music, but his personality always got in the way of me finding him likable. So, I just tend not to focus on him outside of his righteous rhymes. Sure, the rapper has garnered himself some controversy. (Remember that whole Taylor Swift speech interruption? Way to steal a young girl’s spotlight, K-Dubs). But music blogs are going nuts today over the announcement that West’s upcoming record, titled Yeezus, is dropping on June 18 and is already available to preorder on iTunes.
West performed two new tracks from his forthcoming LP on “Saturday Night Live” this past weekend, giving fans a taste of what’s to come. And Kim Kardashian posted a photo on Instragram, which has already been confirmed to be the cover art for the album. You know ... because they gotta keep it in the family (but only if it’s in front of the entire world). So, be on the lookout for what will no doubt be another interesting and thought-provoking record from one of hip-hop’s most notable figures.