In news that's sure to be great for another industry that's circling the drain, the Recording Industry Association of America has decided to join in with the times and include song streams as part of their certification process for gold and platinum records.
The last time the RIAA altered its methodology was in 2006, when it added master ringtones. Two years before that, the organization began counting digital downloads. And prior to that, CDs and cassette tapes were added to the mix. Otherwise, the formula for Gold and Platinum certifications remained largely untouched — 500,000 unit sales for Gold, 1 million for Platinum and 10 million for Diamond.
Among the on-demand streaming services the RIAA will accept are MOG, Muve Music, Rdio, Rhapsody, Slacker, Spotify, Xbox Music and others. In addition, video streams from MTV.com, VEVO, Yahoo! Music and YouTube will also count. Under the new formula, the RIAA will distribute awards to 56 new titles, including 30 Seconds To Mars’s “This Is War,” Emeli Sandé's "Next To Me," and Cher Lloyd's "Oath," Thursday night at the National Association of Recording Merchandisers' annual Musiz Biz conference in Los Angeles.
So, if you really dig hip-hop, you might be familiar with Jay Electronica (also known as Jay ElecHanukkah, or Jay ElecYarmulke, or Jay ElectRamadaan Muhammad Asalaamica RasoulAllah Subhanahu wa ta'ala — if you're taking stock in his verse from "Exhibit C") — either because he exploded your mind with "Eternal Sunshine," "Exhibit A" and/or "Exhibit C"; because he's got a kid with Erykah Badu; or because his debut album will never come out, no matter how bad you want it to.
Well, now he's got a new claim to fame: breaking up the marriage of British bank heiress and record mogul Kate Rothschild to British bank heir Ben Goldsmith.
From The Telegraph:
Today, nine months after splitting from Ben Goldsmith and blaming it on the fact that they were “children” when they met, Miss Rothschild has finally admitted she was unfaithful.
Their eight year marriage was one of 25 ended in just under a minute at London’s High Court, with no mention made of how they would split their multi million pound fortune.
Mr Goldsmith, son of billionaire financier Sir James Goldsmith, found it “intolerable” to live with his wife after the affair, which formed the grounds for the divorce, the papers reveal.
In a later tweet relating to rumours surrounding her relationship with the New Orleans rapper the heiress wrote: “As for Jay Electronica…he saved my life in many ways and I am eternally grateful to him.”
Miss Rothschild also claimed in an interview that her love for the hip-hop star —with whom she “just connected” - was not the reason her marriage hit the rocks, instead blaming the fact they were “children” when they got together.
Draaamaaaaa — and also, vaguely weird that someone who lives on the periphery of hip-hop culture (while still being insanely recognizable for no discernable reason) has become a minor figure in British celebrity culture. So, I guess Jay's movin' on up. Good for him — at this point though, I hope he finds a way to pull Pippa Middleton and cozies his way into the good graces of British royalty.
Also, who remembers watching BET Uncut? Anyone who will admit to it? Well, at-least-part-time Tucson rapper Murs put together a video with Fashawn for the hidden track off of last year's This Generation, "Tuition" — which is, in wholly awkward fashion, an ode to thoughtless strip-club bangers that cut off before the song gets good and before you get your money's worth for your dance.
Uh, from...from what I understand, anyway.
Unfortunately(?) the video isn't embeddable, as it's hosted at World Star Hip-Hop Uncut, purveyors of all things relating to stupid street fights and women clapping their booties in their bedrooms to poorly mixed Southern Hip-Hop.
Still, check it out because it decently satirizes strip-clubbin' while paying tribute to it (the cash they're throwing around is literally Monopoly money); it has Murs and Fashawn; and it vaguely recalls the somewhat dirty feeling of watching a hip-hop video with scantily clad women writhing on poles at 1 a.m. on basic cable.
Also, there's scantily clad women. Just make sure you get home from work before you click to check it out.
Following Jeff Mangum's Rialto show in March, Neutral Milk Hotel has announced that they're bringing the band back together for a reunion tour.
So far, no Tucson dates have been confirmed, though considering how vehement NMH fans are about defending their band's honor, they may want to consider playing here—if only because there appear to be people champing at the bit to see them in person, regardless of how poorly received Mangum's show was by Weekly writer Joshua Levine—or how poorly received his review was. A taste of that review [emphasis added]:
The recent announcement of Neutral Milk Hotel's upcoming fall reunion tour revealed Jeff Mangum to be a crass businessman, expanding his profit margin by selling out his fans. If he were Britney Spears doing a comeback tour, the scenario would be perfectly logical. But Mangum is not a pop singer; he is an artiste whose music changed and shaped many lives under the guise of honesty and integrity. He desecrated his own parables by turning his work into a 45-minute advertisement for his upcoming Neutral Milk Hotel tour. If he needed the money, he could have licensed his songs for Target or Volkswagen commercials. But he didn't. He disrespectfully pimped out his music to the people to whom it holds untold worth, belittling his audience and reducing them to common johns, impersonally serviced in place of the implicit promise of enlightenment.
That line drew a heated response from a number of people who were all-too-willing to jump down Levine's (and the Weekly's) throat, such as TucsonWeekly.com anonymous commenter george22:
This was the first article I've read in the Weekly in quite some time. I'm glad to say I haven't missed anything. Not only does this article structure its asinine opinion around completely false information, it paints one of the most gifted songwriters of the generation in an absoulutely unnecessarily negative light. God, to let such filth be published in your magazine is inexcusable. I don't even blame the writer; shame on you Tucson Weekly.
Levine was right. You were wrong. Deal with it, haters.
For more information and updates on Neutral Milk Hotel's reunion tour, check http://www.groundcontroltouring.com/artists/neutral-milk-hotel
As someone whose recent concert experiences have been so marred by idiots holding up cameras during performances (I may have bruised a few peoples' ribs at the Childish Gambino show last April, for instance), this sign that the Yeah Yeah Yeahs introduced at their Webster Hall show this weekend is now the reason I'd go check out them in concert:
Its full text:
"PLEASE DO NOT WATCH THE SHOW THROUGH A SCREEN ON YOUR SMART DEVICE/CAMERA.
PUT THAT SHIT AWAY as a courtesy to the person behind you and to Nick, Karen and Brian.
MUCH LOVE AND MANY THANKS!
YEAH YEAH YEAHS"
Karen O reiterated the band's request at the top of the second song (an incredible rendition of Show Your Bones' "Gold Lion"), telling the crowd to snap away as much as they liked for the next few minutes, but then "put those motherfuckers away," mining as though she was holstering a phone on the side of her banana-yellow "Violent Fuzz" suit. SPIN spotted a few violators on the floor of the venue throughout the 16-song set — which featured the live debuts of two Mosquito tracks, "Slave" and "Wedding Song" — but for the most part, the crowd respected the band's wishes.
Good. Because this "recording shows with cell phones" bulllshit has become an epidemic, and I'm sick of it — and the worst part is, it's happening the most with my generation, who is apparently too enamored with uploading shitty cell phone video and audio to realize that they paid good damn money to enjoy a musician plying their trade.
Good on you, Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Let's hope this becomes a trend.
I'm not sure how this came about, but college-rock legends Dinosaur Jr. (playing Exile on Congress Street Apr. 20) have "remixed" (or so they say, it sounds more like a cover to me) the new Phoenix (playing AVA Apr. 9) single, "Entertainment". Apparently, Phoenix's Thomas Mars is a fan, so there you go. As strange as this development is, it's an enjoyable version of a song I liked already, so why ask questions, right?
Services for Jesus Acedo, the guitarist for Black Sun Ensemble who passed away on March 4, have been announced.
There is also a new online tribute page here, where you can leave your thought and memories about Jesus and which has all the details. From that page:
10:00 AM, Thursday, March 14, 2013
2550 N Tucson Blvd Tucson, AZ 85716
Click Here to view a map.
The service will start at 10:00 AM and we will be going in a procession when the service ends to Holy Hope Cemetery for burial.
Concluding Service and Interment
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Holy Hope Cemetery
3555 N Oracle Road Tucson, AZ 85705 Service Schedule
It saddens us to report that local musician Jesus Acedo passed away on Sunday, March 3. No cause of death is known at this time.
Acedo, a masterful and unique guitarist, performed with his on-and-off psychedelic rock band Black Sun Ensemble (or Black Sun Legion, as it was sometimes called) since its formation in the mid-1980s. Black Sun Ensemble's releases received fervent praise in magazines such as Rolling Stone and by tastemakers like famed music critic and musicologist Byron Coley, who wrote the liner notes for the 2001 reissue of the band's 1985 self-titled debut album. The band opened for Camper Van Beethoven on its Key Lime Pie tour in 1989 and performed at showcases at South by Southwest several times.
But, despite his band's innovative music and the loyal cult-fandom it inspired, Acedo — who often identified himself by an ever-changing list of monikers: Bolt of Apollo, Psycho Master El, Prince Master Blaster, Dada Gaga, etc. — suffered from mental illness that led to substance abuse and landed him in and out of jail and psych wards repeatedly, all of which was difficult to witness for anyone who knew him to be the kind, sensitive soul he was.
These episodes were largely responsible for the on/off nature of Black Sun Ensemble, but longtime fans were encouraged by a recent band reunion. On Saturday, Feb. 23, Black Sun Ensemble performed its last show as part of an art opening at Solar Culture Gallery. Steven Eye, the arts space's proprietor, who describes Acedo as "a true visionary," says it was "a magical night" and recounted that one attendee, who was seeing the band for the first time, asked him, "Do these guys know how good they are?!"
Reportedly, Black Sun Ensemble had also recently been working on a new song for which Acedo had already finished his parts. The band plans to finish the recording.
Service arrangements are currently being conducted, and there will, no doubt, be benefits held for the family. We'll keep you posted about these details as we get them.
In the meantime, at the request of his family, a Facebook page called Jesus Acedo Memorial has been set up for his friends and loved ones to leave their thoughts and memories about Jesus. Please do so, as his family can use the support right now.
We at the Tucson Weekly offer his family our sincerest condolences at this difficult time.
Several links to articles and videos are below the jump.
Fresh off a Grammy win for his studio debut Channel Orange, Frank Ocean is already “10 or 11 songs” into an as-yet-untitled follow-up to what many critics pegged as one of the best albums of 2012.
Ocean, who was in the UK to appear at the BRIT Awards (where he won the Best International Male Solo award) spent time in the hot seat with Zane Lowe of BBC Radio 1. The interview is one of several that Ocean’s consented to this year, which is rare for the artist: he expects more than the modicum of privacy most celebrities tolerate, and journalists aren’t exactly his high on his list (as he disclosed early - and rather bluntly - into a recent profile by the New York Times).