Listen To DJ Red Alert's Farewell Mixes For Kiss-FM

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After 30 years of broadcasting at 98.7, Kiss-FM went dark over the weekend, shuttling a few of its personalities to its longtime rival WBLS-FM to make room for ESPN Radio's move to the FM band. To mark the occasion, DJ Red Alert—who served as an ambassador for hip-hop with his weekend mix show, put together two lengthy farewell mixes, which he played during the station's waning hours. Listen to them below.

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Patti Smith Moving Her New Year's Party Out Of Bowery Ballroom

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via YouTube
Patti Smith performs on New Year's Eve 2011.
Last week Patti Smith performed her annual series of year-end shows, and the Times reports that at the end of her Saturday-night gig she had an announcement: This year's New Year's residency would be her final one at the Bowery Ballroom. No word on where Smith's shows ringing out 2012 will be just yet (hey, she's got a couple of months to figure it out), but in the meantime, if you weren't one of the people who started 2011 on Delancey Street there's a clip of her performing "Wichita Lineman" with Michael Stipe on New Year's Eve below.

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Remembering Jesse Waters, the 24-Year-Old Found Dead at the Gathering of the Juggalos [UPDATED]

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courtesy Jason Wade, Unitus Arts & Entertainment Festival
Jesse Waters a/k/a "Scarab," photographed here on August 7, 2011, didn't necessarily identify as a Juggalo.

His name was Jesse, but he went by Scarab or Drake. He was 24, stood five-feet, nine-inches tall, and had reddish-brown shoulder-length hair. He'd driven to the 12th annual Gathering of the Juggalos this year with his girlfriend, a young woman named Melody, who'd been handcrafting boxes with Insane Clown Posse's Joker's Card figures to sell at the festival for five bucks a piece. And then on Friday, he vanished.

On Sunday evening, a barricade fence inexplicably went up by the Gathering's Main Stage, in a stage-left area adjacent to the Ohio River. Rumor was that the Coast Guard found a floating person in the water near the Kentucky-Illinois state lines, a fact confirmed Monday by Illinois' Hardin County police. Yesterday, Kentucky's Union County coroner identified the body found on nearby Sturgeon Island as Jesse Waters from Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

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The Great Grammy Cull: RIP, Best Hawaiian Music Album

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This morning NARAS--the outfit responsible for putting on the Grammy Awards every year--announced that next year, the awards show would have a leaner, tougher look, bringing the total number of categories down to 78 (from 109) and forcing each category to justify its existence by having 40 potential nominees within (up from 25). Not that this'll make the show any shorter--most of the affected categories are ones distributed during the pre-telecast--but it might result in competition getting a bit stiffer.

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Farewell, Rob Harvilla

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Photoshop assist courtesy of a very sad Jesus Diaz.
Once, he infiltrated Michael Bolton's house, where he proceeded to photograph the innocent singer's Scrabble board and College Dropout platinum plaque. At least one regular reader was moved to write an entire song in tribute, the first line of which was: "WHAT? HARVILLA PROMOTED ANOTHER MILLIONAIRE?" He called his long-running print column "Down in Front" because he was indeed tall and difficult to see over at shows, and felt bad about that fact. Da Capo gave him both awards and honorable mentions; a not insignificant number of pieces he edited went on to win more of the same. His office couch was comfortable, his kindness legendary, and now, five years after showing up here from the hinterlands of California, he's headed back. We'll miss you Rob. And since your fame is sure to be more enduring than MIMS', let's all just pretend you drafted this nifty graphic with yourself in mind and remember it forever. From left to right, all together now:

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Nate Dogg, R.I.P.: A Tribute And A Playlist

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Hip-hop legend Nathaniel Hale, a/k/a Nate Dogg, has passed away at the age of 41. The cause of death is still being investigated; he suffered a pair of strokes in recent years, reportedly paralyzing the left side of his body and severely impairing his speaking ability.

Hailing from Long Beach, California, Nate's work with Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Warren G was a major step in the evolution of singing on rap records -- his breezily delivered ("tunefully murderous," as Robert Christgau put it) singsong rhymes were arguably as integral to classic hip-hop as the sax breaks were to Leiber & Stoller records. His greatest and most famous collaboration found him playing Greek chorus to Warren G's murder tale on the smash "Regulate"; he debuted on Dre's landmark The Chronic, though he's equally revered for his work on the far less famous Mista Grimm's deeply funky 1993 hit "Indo Smoke." His solo albums (including the strong, playful Music & Me) never achieved the success of his long array of hit collaborations (with 2Pac, Ludacris, Eminem, Fabolous, and countless others), but retained that collaborative spirit -- he'd often relegate himself to just the smoothly delivered hooks on his own tracks. The man knew his strengths and played them to the fullest. Translating that hedonism into extraordinarily catchy G-funk fatalism earned the ex-Marine four Grammy nominations through his career, and he enjoyed himself, too, best exemplified by his proud epigram on Dr. Dre hit "The Next Episode": "Smoke weed everyday." And "Can't Deny It" was the fucking jam. Here's that one, and quite a few others.

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Phil Collins Says, "That's All"

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Phil Collins is calling it quits. Or, as CNN puts it, "Fans of Phil Collins may be begging for just 'One More Night' now that the singing legend has announced that he's ready to retire from music." You must be thinking, surely this must be some kind of "Misunderstanding," but no, the legendary Genesis frontman has shown his "True Colors."


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LCD Soundsystem Madison Square Garden Farewell Presale Set For Wednesday Morning

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We find ourselves ever more upset by the news that LCD Soundsystem will be calling it quits on April 2nd at Madison Square Garden. Consider this recently recirculating interview Murphy did with Fresh Air's Terry Gross last year: "I've been on a quest for almost the length of this band to just trust my taste even when it's pretty embarrassing," he told NPR. "Because embarrassment is kind of an untapped rock emotion. Usually people don't get too into embarrassment. They get into heartbreak, and cool, but they don't get too much into just being embarrassing." It's this kind of deft and self-aware take on his own music that we've learned to depend on Murphy for--he gives better interviews, puts on better live shows, and generally just gives a fuck more than the next guy onstage. And, evidently, he has the courage to go out on top. The MSG show will be LCD Soundsystem's last as a formal entity; tickets are on sale Friday, but the band has just announced a presale as well:

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LCD Soundsystem Will Play Their Last Show Ever at Madison Square Garden

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For our money: there have been few New York acts in the last decade as consistently exciting and rewarding as LCD Soundsystem. It was James Murphy who best chronicled the ecstatic rise and befuddling fall of the early aughts NYC creative class; and, with last year's This Is Happening, he helped point the way forward, too, making a severely personal record about coming to the end of a long professional and romantic daydream. The record's downer tone announced the end of the band long before Murphy made it official; the question was for how much longer we'd have them, and now we know. On April 2, the band will say farewell. And they'll do it in an unlikely but fitting location: Madison Square Garden. They announced the news over the weekend:

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Top 10 White Stripes Songs To Get You Through Their Breakup

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So the White Stripes officially announced their breakup today. You are understandably depressed. Not shocked or devastated, probably -- they hadn't put out a record in four years, nor toured in about as long, nor generally much resembled an active band. And yet it's now time to regard the staggering back catalog they left behind, and lament that they won't be adding to it anytime soon. Here are 10 songs to get you started.

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