ESPN Radio Moving To 98.7 FM; Kiss-FM And WBLS To Merge

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This morning ESPN Radio announced that its long-in-the-works move to New York's FM dial would happen as the clock struck midnight Sunday morning, and its landing place is a bit distressing: 98.7, the soon-to-be-former home of the Urban Adult Contemporary outlet WRKS, a.k.a. Kiss-FM. (The complex machinations behind the deal are outlined at Radio-Info.) The official statement cited changes in the way radio ratings are measured as a reason behind the move, even though Kiss-FM was tied for sixth in the New York market last month, according to Arbitron. (The absolute dominance of WLTW, a.k.a. "Lite FM," on that chart is pretty staggering, by the way. Is Delilah the most powerful woman in New York?)

As it turns out, Kiss-FM isn't totally going away: It's just getting shunted to 107.5 FM, to be exact, which is the current home of WBLS-FM. The two stations will apparently merge; all morning their programming has been simulcast on both Kiss-FM and WBLS, with commercials heralding the "future of black radio" being spliced in between songs. One could argue that this future being a consolidated and out-of-the-middle-of-the-dial one is not all that good of a thing, couldn't one?

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R. Kelly's Memoir Soula Coaster Is Not Coming Out Next Week. And Maybe Not At All? (Updated)

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The mysterious case of Soula Coaster's disappearance

This isn't a surprising development, but it's an unfortunate one. There seems to be some unexplained drama with the R. Kelly life-changer Soula Coaster: Diary of Me, the cover of which made the rounds this morning. Online bookseller Indigo has the title listed for pre-sale, along with the release date of next Tuesday, November 15. But Soula Coaster has been pulled off Amazon with the ominous "We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock" disclaimer. And the project's co-author David Ritz, a celebrity biographer who not only released books with Grandmaster Flash, Ray Charles, and Tavis Smiley (plus Snoop from The Wire!), but famously co-wrote "Sexual Healing" with Marvin Gaye, confirmed via email that the title wouldn't be released next week.

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Kim Kardashian Ruins A The-Dream Song: Behold the Sad Spectacle of "Jam (Turn It Up)"

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We had hopes for this song. We had such fucking hopes for this song. We had so many hopes and dreams for this song we wrote a whole musical about it. And instead it's come to this: a club trifle that in the hands of its creator, pop savant The-Dream, would probably look something a lot like a hit, or at least a charming bit of theme music, and in the mouth of its singer, Kim Kardashian, is nothing short of a disaster, a charmlessly robotic and atonal slog through a song that only requires the bare minimum of commitment and belief--commitment Kardashian inexplicably can't even begin to muster. (The last person to sound this bad on one of this guy's songs was Mariah Carey, and we're pretty sure that was his fault, not hers.) And to think we spent hours scrutinizing what we took to be the fireplace in this photo:

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The White Stripes Just Broke Up

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Thus it began
The most painful thing about the breakup letter the White Stripes just sent to an already distraught Internet is the red, white, and black border -- yet another example of the painstaking dedication and attention to detail that made Jack and Meg White megastars in the first place. The quick note, leading off with the declaration that the band "has officially ended and will make no further recordings or perform live," tries to cut off any immediate follow-up questions: no creative differences, no health issues, just a desire "to preserve what is beautiful and special about the band and have it stay that way." The band had been dormant for years as Jack indulged side project after side project; the 2009 documentary Under Great White Northern Lights freely alluded to what was clearly a fraught situation, "cataloging," as our own Zach Baron put it, "all the different ways two people can be lonely." They have been sorely missed for years, and will now be actively, emphatically mourned, as they'd be if the only song they'd ever released was "Ball and Biscuit," which is the raddest shit ever.

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Abraham Inc. At Le Poisson Rouge Is Your First Canceled Show Of The Day, And Probably Not The Last

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We wouldn't want the accordion player to injure himself
Perhaps you were unaware that famed James Brown trombonist cohort Fred Wesley has recently been dallying in a "klezmer funk" band called Abraham Inc.; your unfamiliarity will last a little longer, alas, as their scheduled gig at Le Poisson Rouge tonight has been canceled, due to their being stranded in the Midwest thanks to an ice storm that has basically made attempting to walk anywhere today look and feel like one giant unending Mr. Bean sketch, so maybe this was best for everyone involved. Godspeed getting to that Best Coast/Wavves show tonight and so forth; if you're not feeling up to braving the elements, just crank this up and bang your head against the wall until you've given yourself a concussion, and that will replicate the experience of trying to make it to this show pretty well.

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Tonight's Yuck Show At Mercury Lounge Is Canceled

Alas, per above, classic indie-guitar-crunch revivalists Yuck have axed their Mercury Lounge show tonight due to VISA issues, though tomorrow's gig at Glasslands is still on as of now. In the interim, please spell yourself by watching their ridiculous sexy-dog-washing video, which is a real thing:


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The Noche De Los Muertos Party At Santos Party House Friday Night Is Canceled

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Bad news for those who had their week in nightlife all planned out: Friday night's Noche de Los Muertos fete at Santos, to have featured Munchi, Maluca, DJ Comrade, DirtyFinger and Cobra Krames, has been canceled, (Not by any police action, though -- the MNDR show there will go as scheduled.) A particular bummer in the case of Munchi, the "moombahton maestro" (per our own Puja Patel, who's paid to know about these things) who was dropping in from his home in, uh, the Netherlands. Apparently they'll still looking for an alternate spot to do the show this weekend, so stay tuned; the MNDR-show flier is below, if you're looking for consolation. Which she'd be pretty great at providing, we reckon.


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More On Jeff Mangum's Bushwick Show: Co-Organizer Ben Goldberg Explains Why You Weren't There

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This is pretty much what it was like
So Jeff Mangum played a bunch of Neutral Milk Hotel songs in a Bushwick loft on Saturday night, for a crowd of around 75 people, you not among them. The show was partly set up by Ba Da Bing Records guru Ben Goldberg, who has a lot of explaining to do, so we thought we'd reach out and (politely!) inquire about his guest-list machinations, why he tried to keep everyone from documenting it (only a partial success), and how life-altering an experience it was, exactly. Here are his thoughts/apologies.

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Meet The One Man In New York Who Successfully Bought Tickets To Kanye West's Show at the Bowery Ballroom

Many tried but few succeeded when, at 11:58 a.m. or 11:59 a.m., we all started frantically hitting our refresh buttons, typing Captchas in as fast as we could, and generally doing everything in our power to get into tonight's "private" Kanye West show at the Bowery Ballroom. None of it worked, so we all settled for complaining bitterly about it on Twitter. All of us, that is, except one man, Myles Tanzer, intern to our sister blog, Runnin' Scared. He somehow got tickets. And so, in between pummeling him with our fists, we decided to ask him about it. And yes, it took two of us (it's not easy to hold Rob back when he gets it in his head to murder someone):

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Ray Davies' Beacon Theatre Show Wednesday Night Is Canceled

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Bad news for all you Kinks-obsessive pre-Thanksgiving revelers in the house: Ray Davies has canceled his remaining U.S. tour dates, effectively immediately, given that he was "ordered by his doctors not to fly or travel until his medical condition has stabilized to their satisfaction." That's as specific as they're gonna get about it. This includes, alas, his date Wednesday night at the Beacon Theatre doing "the Kinks Choral Collection." (Same with Friday's Wellmont Theatre gig in Jersey.) We are sorry for your loss, and hereby advise you instead to go home and be with your families. All axed dates below; we'll try this again sometime next year.


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