The Least Likely Music Headlines of 2013

Categories: News Roundup

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For the last six months, the Sound of the City Supercomputer (a 1998 Compaq Presario) has been analyzing the structure and content of every pop news headline in the world in order to create a highly detailed predictive model of the music industry. While this project has important practical uses, such as predicting the exact date of Paul Simon's death to 99.6% certainty, we also like to comb the data for a few hot giggles once in a while. This weekend, we reversed some parameters to make it output a brief list of the least likely headlines; for science, we share them now.

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News Roundup: R.I.P. Brendan Mullen, Kia Motors Hearts Girl Talk, Daniel Johnston, Chris Taylor

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--R.I.P. Brendan Mullen, who was one of the first DIY promoters of punk and independent rock and the first regular booker of punk bands in Los Angeles. The Masque, a venue that became home base for all that is first-wave L.A. punk--including the Germs and the Weirdos--was in essence his baby and brainchild. The venue's Monster Island-like proportions (10k square feet) became famous as a cheap place to have shows and rent out rehearsal space until it was shut down by local authorities in 1978. Mullen, an otherwise completely healthy 60-year old, died of a sudden stroke. "Sometimes, your number is just up," said one of his neurologists.

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News Roundup: Kanye a No-Show at the BET Awards, Roc Raida Tribute Set for CMJ, Lightning Bolt Premiere "Flooded Chamber"

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-- Kanye West did not manage to appear at last night's BET Awards, despite being nominated for nine awards. Is this news? More so, apparently, than any of the awards themselves, which went to some people, who rap. Allegedly. Meanwhile, Hip Hop Wired comes through with the bold theory that Yeezy's in India, claiming that the rapper "is taking some time out now for a religious retreat to reassess his life at a Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, a small coastal town in South India." As always, true or not, this is man who is three joke-moves ahead of you at all times.

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News Roundup: Animal Collective's Fall Be Kind EP Details, Converge's Axe to Fall Leak, New Arcade Fire?

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--Animal Collective's Fall Be Kind EP turns out to be very real: AC's Avey Tare confirms and previews the record over at Pitchfork, where he specifies a tracklist and explains: "The vibe is a little bit darker, I'd say-- not in terms of the sound, maybe. Well, the melodies are definitely darker. It's not abrasive dark or anything, but I think the mood of it has just a little bit more of a nighttime, kind of dark, sad vibe... It's a little bit more washy and kind of orchestral." Jon Dolan once had a great riff on interviews like this one. Anyway, the record's due on Domino in December, and Gorilla Vs. Bear has mp3s of the BBC versions of EP tracks "What Would I Want? Sky" and "On A Highway."

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News Roundup: The Sonic Youth Gossip Girl Single, Clipse Manager Pleads Guilty, Arthur Russell at NYU

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--That Sonic Youth Gossip Girl cameo is approaching, and since SY evidently take this responsibility very seriously, they're releasing a single of their performance on the show--an acoustic version of EVOL's "Star Power" is the word--on Tuesday, October 13, the day after the show airs. It will be available through iTunes with The Eternal's "Antenna" as a B-side, or through Sonic Youth's own site, where options include "a limited edition hand printed and numbered 'Star Power' poster" (that's it there on the left) and a shirt of the same design.

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News Roundup: Method Man Tax Evasion, Slumberland Anniversary, Thurston Moore, Momus

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--Oops. Not much came of Method Man allegedly shooting a fan in the face with an air gun, or a friend in the leg with a BB, but evading those $32,799 in income taxes over three years landed the Staten Island rapper at the 120 Police Precinct stationhouse this morning. "Taxes are the burden that all citizens share in a civil society, whether you are an 'average Joe' on the street or a high-profile rap artist," said the Staten Island District Attorney in a statement excoriating the rapper known in real life as Clifford Smith. "Because of the alleged action of people like Mr. Smith, law abiding citizens face higher taxes and reduced government services. Failure to properly report and pay your taxes is a crime against all citizens and will be aggressively investigated and prosecuted." To the tune of up to four years in prison, apparently. Get an accountant, Meth.

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News Roundup: Thom Yorke Announces LA Shows with Lucky Dragons, Weezer Tap Matt & Kim for Halloween, Daniel Johnston's iPhone App, Springsteen at Giants Stadium

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--Some will say we have this news item exactly backwards, but, uh--Lucky Dragons are opening for Thom Yorke's newly formed band, a Mad Libsy affair consisting of Yorke, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, Radiohead's longtime producer Nigel Godrich, R.E.M.- and Beck-affiliated drummer Joey Waronker, and the percussionist Mauro Refosco. To reiterate: Lucky Dragons, a two person, man-woman operation whose sets generally take place in the midst of the crowd as various communal electronics are thumbed and petted, whose micropointillist laptop clicks and cuts are pretty much the opposite of arena- or club-anything, who will probably play the Cake Shop (if not the Whitney, or someone's house) when they next come back to town, will perform at both of Yorke's October 4th and 5th shows in Los Angeles at the Orpheum. For presumably thousands of befuddled people. Lucky Dragons!

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News Roundup: The Life and Legacy of Arthur Russell, 1.6 Band Live on WFMU, Free Energy's "Something In Common"

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--The Arthur Russell revival that began somewhere around the 2004 issues/reissues of Calling Out of Context and The World of Arthur Russell and seemingly peaked with the release of Matt Wolf's tremendous 2008 documentary Wild Combination continues, in all places, at NYU, who will host a conference on Russell's life in October. Kiss Me Again: The Life and Legacy of Arthur Russell will take place Saturday, October 10th at NYU's Tisch Performance Studies school and features old collaborators Peter Zummo and Ernie Brooks alongside critics Simon Reynolds and Tim Lawrence, who wrote Hold on To Your Dreams: Arthur Russell and the Downtown Music Scene. Somewhere in there Wolf's doc will be screened, and the likes of Nick Hallett will play at Housing Works and Public Assembly. More info at Reynolds' blog and at the symposium's official site.


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News Roundup: Mackenzie Phillips Ug, Michael Jackson's "This Is It," Real Estate, Ted Leo

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--Today's nomination for 'sentence that never should have had to be written': "I woke up that night from a blackout to find myself having sex with my own father." "I" being Mackenzie Phillips, memoirist daughter of champion scumbag John Phillips, who once made music as part of the Mommas and the Papas, and thus contractually forces us to mention this bit of humanity-taxing news. At least no one at SOTC wrote the headline someone did over at our sister blog.

--There's a new Michael Jackson song on the way. Sony will release "This Is It" next month as part of a double-disc set of the same name. This Is It will also include, according to the Times, a spoken-word poem by Mr. Jackson called "Planet Earth." Alright then! This won't be sad at all. The record comes out October 27th, a day before the MJ rehearsal footage doc Michael Jackson: This Is It hits theaters.

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News Roundup: Chris Taylor Unveils Terrible Records, Dream House Reopens, and Lily Allen Goes to War

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--Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor has started a new label. It's called Terrible Records, and so far, the label's two-release slate looks pretty impressive. October 13 will see a split single from Taylor and departed avant-disco downtown icon Arthur Russell. And, a couple weeks later, on October 28, Terrible will release the 10" debut of Brooklyn softies Acrylics--a record that Taylor also produced. That's not a bad month for any label, brand-new or otherwise.

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