A man was arrested on Saturday at Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware on charges of misdemeanor criminal mischief, the Associated Press reports. Here’s what that means in this particular instance: An unnamed 21-year-old man reportedly stripped naked, streaked around the festival, and knocked over sound and DJ equipment. He was reportedly taken to a medical tent because he was very intoxicated.
It unclear exactly whose equipment was affected in the incident, but the festival’s lineup on Saturday included Travis Scott, Kygo, Passion Pit, Death Cab for Cutie, Snail Mail, BROCKHAMPTON, and more.
Hip-hop fans searching for a place to live, look no further. Notorious B.I.G.’s childhood home is currently available to rent in Brooklyn. As Brooklyn Vegan points out, the late legend’s 972-square-foot Clinton Hill apartment is up for grabs at a steal of $4,000 a month.
Although Biggie called it a “shack” in his hit single “Juicy”, the space has since been refurbished with new floors, appliances, and countertops.
“It’s so calm and residential now,” real estate agent Fabienne Lecole told the New York Post, “It’s hard to imagine it’s the same street that he sang about with all the drugs and gunfire. It couldn’t be more different.”
Amazing three-bedroom home with additional den/office and separate dining room with best light is now available for rent in the desired neighborhood of Clinton Hill historic district. The limestone eight-unit condominium prewar building was recently renovated and maintains gorgeous pre-war details, like hardwood floors and high ceilings.
The kitchen has been has granite countertops, stainless appliances and lots of storage. This home also features a windowed dining room and a spacious southeast facing living room with an additional office. The building offers laundry, bike storage, and a common garden with plantings and barbecue area. One block from the subway and convenient to shops, restaurants and all Clinton Hill has to offer.
Sorry, no pet.
The apartment is located at 226 St. James Place between Gates Avenue and Fulton Street. Earlier this month, this particular section was renamed Christopher ‘Notorious B.I.G.’ Wallace Way, so imagine dropping that name to your friends and family.
Since a hidden-camera prank (or ten) never goes out of style, here’s the trailer for Bad Trip, an upcoming comedy written by longtime Jackass director/ringleader Jeff Tremaine.
In the tradition of Bad Grandpa, Bad Trip has a loose plot to tie together its series of increasingly ridiculous pranks, pratfalls, and stunts. Eric André and Lil Rel Howery star as friends who decide to take off on a cross-country adventure, using a car stolen from André’s incarcerated sister (Tiffany Haddish). As she gives pursuit, the three work their way from one group of shocked everyday strangers to the next, with André appearing to take the brunt of the punishment.
Kitao Sakurai directs the hidden-camera outing, which if its NSFW red-band trailer is any indication, will feature its fair share of nudity, frightened middle-aged folks, and Howery grimacing at the sight of his pal’s body being destroyed. And look, we’re not going to sit here and pretend we won’t watch. Adult men have been getting pantsed and hit in the genitals since the earliest days of cinema as a medium, and the tradition remains alive as long as new generations are invited to partake in these lowbrow joys.
Bad Trip will stumble, crash, and scream its way into theaters on October 25th.
Nicki Minaj and Trina have collaborated on a new track called “BAPS.” Listen to it below.
“BAPS” is taken from Trina’s forthcoming album The One, which is out this Friday, June 21. Other guests on The One include 2 Chainz, DJ Khaled, K. Michelle, Kelly Price, and Lil Wayne. Find the tracklist and cover art below.
Nicki Minaj released Queen last year. She’s recently teased that a new single “Megatron” will arrive this Friday.
The Lowdown: New Jersey punk outfit Titus Andronicus catapulted to greater heights in the indie circuit following the release of 2010’s The Monitor, an album that received unanimous praise and made the “End of Year” lists of publications such as this one. The success of this LP, however, was as much a curse as it was a blessing. Every subsequent full-length, from 2012’s Local Business to last year’s A Productive Cough, failed to meet the lofty expectations that have been set by what many consider the band’s crowning achievement.
This is not for lack of merit. Titus Andronicus have maintained an impressive batting average with each release and, as evidenced by their 2015 rock opera, The Most Lamentable Tragedy, have been far from creatively stagnant. Still, their heartland rock-infused punk style has been one of their core-defining characteristics, and with the production chops of Hüsker Dü co-founder Bob Mould, they tread that familiar ground on their sixth studio effort, An Obelisk.
The Good: While Titus Andronicus have been able to achieve grandiosity without the bombastic self-importance that lesser artists would gravitate towards, An Obelisk is easily their most digestible and contained album yet.
Some of the lyrics are campy and abstract (“Just Like Ringing a Bell” is perhaps the best example of this), but there are times when the band removes all subtlety while still penning profound and eloquent lines. The meaning of the song “(I Blame) Society” is self-explanatory, but in an interesting twist, vocalist Patrick Stickles shifts the blame with the passage, “We’re all complicit/ Our fingerprints all bleed.” Tracks such as this, “Within the Gravitron”, and “Tumult Around the World” capture the feeling of the hopelessness, fear, and confusion that is prevalent in the era of Donald Trump, and rather than attempting to be this self-appointed voice of dissent, Stickles is singing as someone who doesn’t have the answers and is just as clueless as the rest of us.
The heartland rock and punk influences are predictably present, but there are decipherable traces of Meat Puppets on songs such as “Troubleman Unlimited”. Meanwhile, “Tumult Around the World” has this choppy, distorted rhythm guitar instrumental that helps end the album on a dynamic and resolved note.
The Bad: The album’s momentum starts to peter out at “Beneath the Boot”, and Stickles’ sandpaper vocals lose their luster much sooner. “My Body and Me” takes on this blues rhythm and chord progression, and it sounds like Titus Andronicus is about to transition into George Thorogood’s “Bad to the Bone”. “Hey Ma” has a guitar solo towards the end that sounds like something from a Dropkick Murphys’ song, and it’s left to its own devices as it derails the pacing of the track.
The Verdict: Titus Andronicus have spent the better part of a decade oscillating between theatrical and unassuming. They have explored the “punk banger” vs “heartland ballad” spectrum to the point of exhaustion. Amid these ventures, the band has been given ample opportunity to assess what works and what doesn’t, and minor blemishes aside, An Obelisk shows them excelling at the former. Titus Andronicus didn’t need to further prove themselves with this album, but they did anyway.
Essential Tracks: “(I Blame) Society”, “On the Street”, and “Tumult Around the World”
“I haven’t been keeping up to date with them for, I guess, the last four years,” Tarantino admitted, acting as if he hasn’t been busy making movies himself. “I think the only comic book movies I saw last year at theaters were Wonder Woman and Black Panther.”
He shared that he started bingeing the series “a couple of weeks ago” with the intent to finally see Endgame. He added, “I just finished Captain America: Civil War, so next up is Doctor Strange.”
So, far his top pick involves everyone’s favorite Norse god. “Actually, the last one I saw was [Thor:] Ragnarok,” Tarantino insisted. “I loved it. It was my favorite one of the series since The Avengers – drastically my favorite.”
He’s not alone. Taika Waititi’s has quickly become a favorite among many MCU fans, namely for its ability to feel like a filmmaker’s film. That aspect likely appealed to Tarantino, who certainly has a thing for signature and style.
YG Entertainment is one of the biggest music companies in the K-pop industry, one of the institutions considered a part of the “Big Three” label groups in South Korea (which also includes SM Entertainment and JYP Entertainment). Today, it’s been announced that founder Yang Hyun-suk and his brother, CEO Yang Min-suk, have resigned from the company following sustained allegations of the company’s involvement in drug scandals involving artists that were signed to their roster, as Billboard reports.
“I’ve dedicated the past 23 years of my life to YG Entertainment. It was my greatest joy to support the best music and the best artists,” Yang Hyun-suk wrote in a statement posted to the YG Entertainment website earlier today. “From today onward, however, I have decided to step down from my responsibilities and positions at YG.”
Founded in 1996, YG has served the label home for various notable K-pop acts including Big Bang, Psy, and recently, BLACKPINK. The company came under scrutiny earlier this year after the “Burning Sun” scandal, in which reports emerged that drug use and sexual abuse had taken place at the Burning Sun nightclub, owned by Big Bang member Seungri. On Tuesday, June 11, a whistleblower filed a report with South Korea’s Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission regarding alleged collusion by the label to cover up a drug offense by another artist, the rapper and singer-songwriter B.I of iKON, as Korea Herald reports. This development led to Yang Hyun-suk’s resignation earlier today.
A member of the seminal K-pop group Seo Taiji & Boys in the 1990s, Yang became a household name in Korea through YG and his tenure as a judge on various South Korean singing competition shows in the 2010s. In concluding his resignation statement, Yang wrote: “Finally—through thorough investigation of the media reports and the facts, I believe that the truth will come to light.”
Of the 15 tracks on the Sucker follow-up, we’ve already heard “1999” featuring Sivan — one of our favorites of 2018 — and the Christine and Queens-assisted “Gone”. Additionally, the new album includes the previously released joint track with Lizzo, “Blame It on Your Love”. The single’s video, directed by Bradley & Pablo, is also expected to arrive today.
According to a statement, Charli XCX worked with AR makeup artist Ines Alpha on the record’s artwork. The goal of the piece is to “dismantle classic beauty ideals.”
Charli Tracklist: 01. Next Level Charli 02. Gone feat. Christine and the Queens 03. Cross You Out (feat. Sky Ferreira) 04. 1999 (feat. Troye Sivan) 05. Click (feat. Kim Petras and Tommy Cash) 06. Warm (feat. HAIM) 07. Thoughts 08. Blame It On Your Love (feat. Lizzo) 09. White Mercedes 10. Silver Cross 11. I Don’t Wanna Know 12. Official 13. Shake It (feat. Big Freedia, CupcakKe, Brooke Candy and Pabllo Vittar) 14. February 2017 (feat. Clairo and Yaeji) 15. 2099 (feat. Troye Sivan)
Next month, Charli XCX will launch her massive “Charli LIVE Tour”, comprised of dates all across North America, Europe, and the UK. Tickets go on sale June 21st and can be purchased here.
Charli XCX 2019 Tour Dates: 07/21 – Chicago, IL @ Pitchfork Music Festival 08/17 – Saint Polten, AT @ Frequency Festival 08/18 – Hasselt, BE @ Pukkelpop Festival 08/21 – Zurich, CH @ Open Air Festival 08/23 – Reading, UK @ Reading Festival 08/24 – Leeds, UK @ Leeds Festival 08/31 – Stradbally, IE @ Electric Picnic 09/20 – Atlanta, GA @ Buckhead Theatre + 09/21 – Nashville, TN @ Marathon Music Works + 09/23 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall + 09/24 – Austin, TX @ Emo’s + 09/25 – Dallas, TX @ House of Blues + 09/27 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Marquee # 09/28 – San Diego, CA @ House of Blues # 10/01 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern #* 10/02 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theatre # 10/04 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox Market # 10/05 – Vancouver, BC @ Commodore # 10/06 – Portland, OR @ Roseland Ballroom # 10/08 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Union * 10/09 – Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre * 10/11 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue * 10/14 – Toronto, ON @ Rebel 10/15 – Montreal, QC @ Corona Theatre % 10/17 – Boston, MA @ House of Blues % 10/18 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club 10/19 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer * 10/22 – New York, NY @ Terminal 5 % 10/27 – Glasgow, UK @ SWG3 Galvanisers 10/28 – Birmingham, UK @ O2 Institute 10/30 – Manchester, UK @ Albert Hall 10/31 – London,UK @ O2 Brixton Academy 11/04 – Stockholm, SE @ Berns 11/05 – Oslo, NO @ Sentrum Scene 11/07 – Copenhagen, DK @ Vega 11/09 – Berlin, DE @ Astra Kulturhaus 11/10 – Hamburg, DE @ Docks 11/12 – Warsaw, PL @ Stodola 11/14 – Prague, CZ @ Roxy 11/15 – Cologne, DE @ Live Music Hall 11/17 – Lyon, FR @ Transbordeur 11/18 – Milan, IT @ Fabrique 11/20 – Madrid, ES @ Sala La Riviera 11/22 – Barcelona, ES @ Razzmatazz Room 2 11/24 – Luxembourg, LU @ Den Atelier 11/25 – Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso 11/26 – Brussels, BE @ AB Main Hall 11/28 – Moscow, RU @ Izvestia Hall
+ = w/ Tommy Genesis # = w/ Brooke Candy * = w/ Dorian Electra % = w/ Allie X
I discovered record charts in junior high school. Trying, yet again, to be cool, I started listening to Z-100, the local New York City Top 40 station. I was shocked to learn that all of pop music could be reduced to 40 songs. It seemed way too small. At the time, it felt like Madonna must have had 50 top-10 hits all by herself.
I eventually found my way off of Top 40 into the heavy metal parking lot that was suburban Queens in 1988, but I remained fascinated by the idea of record charts and how something as personal and as expansive as music could be distilled to a chart position. It’s why I read with interest about Rolling Stone delaying the launch of their own music chart, which was supposed to use an algorithm to figure out and weight what people are actually listening to nowadays.
Music charts used to be simple things. (And they sure as hell didn’t get sued by pissed-off DJs.) People either bought a single/album, or they listened to it on the radio. Now, as Rolling Stone has learned, it’s gotten more complicated. There’s streaming. There are online radio stations. There are podcasts. And while there are rules and laws that govern the use of music, including who collects the royalties, there are so many podcasts and streams that it’s impossible to police. And that means usage metrics are hard to track. There’s also the issue of bots and how much streamed music is heard by an actual human and how much someone is gaming the system.
Adding to the complexity of all of this, there’s just a ton of music released every day across genres. A quick look at the Billboard chart page shows more charts than you might have known existed: The Hot 100, The Billboard 200, Latin, Holiday, Blues, Country. And as segmented as it is, many music fans will look at the list and be upset that their genre isn’t represented.
Just to oversimplify the problem, there’s way too much music to track and there’s no good way to track how many people are listening to it. And not to put this on the kids, who are always doing crazy things we can’t account for, but the kids are always doing crazy things we can’t account for. We’re lucky someone stumbled upon their use of Google Docs as a communication/bullying tool, but for all we know, they’re using empty Amazon shopping carts to listen to music or abandoned Blackboard course shells to create playlists. As Rolling Stone has seemingly learned, there are simply too many unknowns to accurately track music-listening patterns.
Music charts are potentially influential because they not only reflect what’s popular but drive it as well. Radio stations use various charts to create their own playlists. It was a recurring theme on the classic WKRP in Cincinnati, with the DJs often pushing back against being told what to play. So, like Dr. Johnny Fever eating his own tail, popular songs receive airplay because they’re popular. And as Bruce Iglauer, the founder of the Alligator Records blues label, says in Bitten by the Blues, his autobiography, “subtlety is the enemy of commercial radio.” Numbered lists are anything but subtle.
But many people believe in music charts. While charts have never been scientific, even in simpler times, there’s something about a numbered list that seems official: Of course “Crocodile Rock” is a better song than “We’re an American Band”. “Crocodile” was No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and “American Band” was 23. “Crocodile” won by 16.
All music fans know music is much more interesting and complex than a number on a list. The record store employees in the 2000 film High Fidelity constantly make lists, not because there’s an empiricism behind them but as a form of mental exercise. There’s no larger truth in their lists so much as their lists capture a moment. But numbers, even used ironically, create a veneer of science. Music’s personal and numbered lists, like record charts, are a way to validate our own views. Some people take great pride in their music not charting. As a college DJ in the 1990s, I instantly suspected anything that appeared on any chart, concerned that the artist was somehow more interested in popularity than their craft. Conversely, some people like to see music they listen to on the charts as proof of their taste-making skills.
Lists and unreliable numbers aren’t just a music problem, either. Take, for example, American politics. The media now covers elections by using poll results as a proxy for the underlying campaign issues. It’s not about the candidates, their platforms, and their ideas so much as it’s about their numbers. So rather than readers, viewers, and listeners becoming educated about candidates and issues, we’re constantly bombarded with information about who’s winning. Read any coverage of the Democratic primaries and the thrust of the article will be about polling numbers with, if you’re reading a good source, just a few sentences dedicated to what the candidates, also known as the poll subjects, are about. Suffice it to say, this process isn’t working out for lots of people in this country. Or democracy. Polls and music charts both allow ideas to be discussed without delving into quality; they’re reductive.
One of the few things everyone agrees upon is that the music industry is broken. Artists make little to no money from their music (unless you’re Taylor Swift). Labels maintain they’re not making any money either. The unreliability of charts aren’t the disease but rather a symptom of the disease, which, at the risk of sounding like Ted Kaczynski, is technology. Technology made it possible to have almost unlimited access to music without ever having to pay for it, and that killed all the ways we track musical popularity.
Which is why it’s time to give up on charts. They’re not accurate. And more importantly, normal people don’t care about them. Sure, back in the day we all listened to “American Top 40,” either to mock it, to check in on the decline of pop music, or hoping for a long-distance dedication. I’m sure charts are useful as an industry tool. But as a way to discover music? Or as a way to assign value? It makes no sense. They’re poll numbers when we need conversation and thoughtful analysis.
Charts worked when we all listen to the same music in the same way. But music, like the United States, is simply too fractured for that now. There are popular artists who are slipping through the cracks of charts. These are vital, important artists with small niche audiences. By walking away from charts, we can figure out other metrics to gauge artist popularity. One of those metrics might be how much they are written or read about. But maybe it’ll be based on NSA surveillance data. Or perhaps someone will convince Siri and Alexa to wear a wire. Right now, we only know what doesn’t work and that the algorithms won’t rescue us.
However, we can save ourselves by using human judgment to figure out what’s good, what’s popular, and what’s important. It won’t have the same ring as “number one with a bullet” (perhaps the most American of all idioms), but maybe that’s yet another reason to say goodbye to the old chart system.
The Flaming Lips’ frontman Wayne Coyne and his wife Katy have welcomed their first child together—a baby boy named Bloom. Coyne announced Bloom’s birth in an Instagram post yesterday (June 7). He shared a picture of his newborn son, with a caption reading “Yay!!!!!!! Bloom is finally here ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️.”
Earlier today, Coyne posted another photo of Baby Bloom (wearing a Flaming Lips onesie). “Yesssss!!! Baby Bloom is ready to rock!!” Coyne wrote. “Soooo grateful to the most badass smart and loving baby delivery squad evva!! Thank you Mercy Hospital!!!” Find his posts below.
Coyne and his wife were married in early January in Oklahoma City. The couple said “I do” inside of a giant plastic bubble.
The Flaming Lips’ last studio LP was 2017’s Oczy Mlody. The band will release their new record King’s Mouthon streaming platforms July 19 (a vinyl version of the LP was released in limited quantities for this year’s Record Store Day). Revisit Pitchfork’s 2013 interview with the Flaming Lips.