<p>Louis CK</p>

Louis CK

Credit: AP Photo

Louis CK, The Roots and the Afghan Whigs lead U.S. All Tomorrow's Parties fest

Jersey City hosting indie fest for a second year, with the Make-Up, Jose Gonzalez and more

The U.S. version of the All Tomorrow's Parties festival is fully emphasizing their comedy programming with one major headliner this year: Louis C.K.

The ATP event -- dubbed I'll Be Your Mirror USA 2012 in full -- features the legendary comedian sharing the marquee with newly reunited The Afghan Whigs, "Jimmy Fallon" house band and vet hip-hop troupe The Roots, reformed Dischord post-rockers The Make-Up, Jose Gonzalez and the Dirty Three.

ATP USA, founded in 2008, returns to Jersey City, N.J. for a second year, running over the weekend of Sept. 21-23. Pre-sale for weekend passes has already begun, while general onsale for single-day and weekend passes starts on Monday (Feb. 27). More info on ticket-buying can be had here.

Greg Dulli of the Afghan Whigs was curator for part of the line-up and, while rock remains the running theme of the fest, his selections were pretty diverse. Louis CK, Dulli's own band and the Roots made his cut; Gonzalez -- who I interviewed last year about returning to solo songwriting -- will be likely performing lots of new material. Acts like Gutter Twins member Lanegan, Sharon Van Etten and the Dirty Three all have new albums from 2012 to work off of; the Dirtbombs will be playing their soul and Motown covers set "Ultraglide in Black" (2001) in its entirety. Soul will certainly be the them of Charles Bradley's spot.

The Make-Up have reformed especially for I'll Be Your Mirror; Louis CK makes very, very rare festival appearances these days. The Criterion Collection will be in charge of the movie programming again this year.

See you in the Mirror.

Chosen By Greg Dulli:

The Afghan Whigs
Louis C.K.
The Roots
Jose Gonzalez
Mark Lanegan Band
Dirty Three
The Antlers
The Dirtbombs performing "Ultraglide In Black"
Scrawl
Sharon Van Etten
Emeralds
Vetiver
Quintron And Miss Pussycat
Charles Bradley And The Extraordinaires
Dj Questlove
Reigning Sound
+ More To Be Confirmed

Chosen By ATP:

The Make-Up (Reforming for I'll Be Your Mirror)
Hot Snakes
The Magic Band
Autolux
Thee Oh Sees
Factory Floor
Death Grips
I Break Horses
+ More To Be Confirmed

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Listen: Justin Bieber joins Far East Movement's new 'Live My Life'

Listen: Justin Bieber joins Far East Movement's new 'Live My Life'

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With all the subtelty of a G6

I warned you yesterday about the imminent arrival of two Justin Bieber singles. This is one of them.

The 17-year-old singer is all over the hook on Far East Movement's new "Live My Life," produced by RedOne It sounds like one long radio station bumper.

"Live My Life" will be available to digital retail starting Feb. 28, with a "Party Rock" remix by LMFAO's Redfoo on the way.

Far East Movement, who made their mark with "Like a G6," have a new album on the way: "Dirty Bass." It will feature "Live My Life" plus "Jello," which made its bow earlier this month. Producers like Bangladesh, Dallas Austin, the Stereotypes and Cherry Cherry Boom Boom will feature.

A music video for this single will be shot in the coming weeks. I'm sure it will be... arty.

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<p>Kraftwerk</p>

Kraftwerk

Ticket company apologizes for Kraftwerk concert on-sale 'debacle'

Will buying tickets for intimate performances always suck? Probably

Kraftwerk's forthcoming retrospective eight-night residency at New York's Museum of Modern Art is a dream for fans -- partly because of the appeal of the group playing their last eight albums start to finish, and partly because of the venue. The Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium is around a 700-capacity, extremely intimate considering Kraftwerk's worldwide appeal, rare tours and the promise of a one-of-a-kind 3-D visualization for each night.

It's also a dream because actually acquiring tickets for any of the April shows was nothing but a nightmare. A huge percentage of people who "queued up" at exactly noon yesterday (Feb. 22) were kept there eternally. And according to MoMA's ticket seller ShowClix, only about 1.2% of those who tried got tickets.

It comes with the territory. Pretend that 700 tickets were actually made available for each night, times eight is 5,600 tickets total. Imagine that fans were going after their favorite or most popular albums -- "Autobahn," "The Man-Machine" or "Computer World," maybe -- and that's some serious competition, especially with a two-ticket maximum per customer.

That would explain the hundreds of tiresome Kraftwerk puns that erupted on Twitter and Facebook yesterday.

What was infuriating fans in this instance was not just being unable to win a lottery that seemingly lasted a minute, but dealing with a ticket-buying system that buckled under the demand, and kept interested parties in a queue for sometimes longer than an hour. I didn't try to buy Kraftwerk tickets yesterday, but I do know the frustration of not getting tickets I want, and seeing them go instantly into the hands of a secondary ticket marketplace. Ticketmaster may screw you with fees and competitive concert ticket-buying experiences, but at least they let you know you're screwed pretty quick.

ShowClix has issued an apology to fans in an open letter today, and have vowed "to work hard to prevent such a debacle from happening again in the future." Not much solace for fans today, but not scoring the tickets you want is never any fun. With all the innovations in online buying, so-called "safeguards" from scalpers and the appeal of seeing an intimate show when artists so often prefer the cash of a large venue take-in, it's another lesson learned: ticket buying still, and probably always will, suck. ShowClix probably knew their demand -- such metrics are easily had -- and should've prepared. Here is the text from the post:


Dear Kraftwerk fans,

Sorry it took me a day to write this, but it was important for me to first understand all of the facts so they could be properly communicated. First and foremost, we are deeply sorry for the frustration and massive inconvenience that yesterday's on-sale for Kraftwerk caused for many of their great fans around the world. I recognize that so many of you spent hours in front of your computer watching a spinning wheel—or watching the page go blank. Please allow me to explain what happened and what we'll do to correct this for the future:

MoMA has been a really great partner of ShowClix for over a year now, and we've worked with them to move tens of thousands of tickets successfully. They leaned on us to help them with this on-sale, which was a special event for them, and we let them (and you) down. ShowClix has successfully executed many very large, high-demand on-sales over the past five years that we've been in business. Most of these on-sales have a high demand, with a great deal of inventory to sell. Kraftwerk's eight-night performance on-sale was a very unique situation. While we're not able to disclose the number of tickets that were available for these performances, what I will say is that of the tens and tens of thousands of die-hard Kraftwerk fans from around the world that logged on at exactly noon EST yesterday to get these tickets, the venue capacity restrictions would only ever allow approximately 1.20% of them to actually be reserved. As you might imagine, this is an extremely large technical hurdle, particularly because of the tiny fraction of supply versus the demand.

Still, this is no excuse. We should have never advised MoMA to allow the tickets to be sold in the fashion in which they were, because in the end—even if everything were to go smoothly—many people would have been very disappointed. ShowClix didn't set the proper expectations from the beginning, nor did we properly prepare our load balancing servers in order to prevent the queue from timing out. Ultimately, we failed many of you.

Since yesterday, we have discovered that a single setting within one of the lower levels of our queuing system's middleware bubbled-up under the heavy load and caused frequent timeouts. There were also some issues with the broadcast system which allows us to communicate with ticket buyers while they're waiting in the queue. We should have both of these problems resolved by the end of this week. However, even with these problems resolved, it is my belief moving forward that we should not perform an on-sale all at once for an event or venue that has such small capacity restrictions versus potential demand. Instead, we will advise our clients on various alternative methods to fairly sell tickets to an event that has such a small fraction of inventory available versus the potential demand.

There were certainly technical problems around this event. Contrary to some reports, however, our servers never crashed or went offline, and none of our other clients or their events experienced a problem during the Kraftwerk on-sale. We always keep high-demand on-sales separate from all of the other activity happening on our server. It's also important to note that there were online sales successfully processing the entire time, and all eight of the events sold-out in approximately 60 minutes.

In closing, regardless of what the technical problem was—or how we plan to solve it in the future—we haven't overlooked the incredible amount of frustration many people felt from the on-sale. We take full responsibility. This company was founded and continues to be run by a big team of live entertainment and technology addicts. We feel for you, the fans, and our partner, MoMA, and vow to work hard to prevent such a debacle from happening again in the future.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Joshua Dziabiak
CEO
ShowClix, Inc.

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<p>The Shins</p>

The Shins

Credit: Annie Beedy

Watch: The Shins drop 'Simple Song' video, confirmed for 'Saturday Night Live'

Jonah Hill back for seconds on 'SNL,' too

What parent wouldn't want their parting sentiment to their children to be "You'll be sorry when I'm dead?"

James Mercer has that kind of vision for his once and future kin in "Simple Song," which sends his "children" -- played partly by his Shins bandmates -- on an adventure through their old house and memories for a little closure on Mercer's last will and testament. Entertainingly macabre.

The Shins are releasing their next album "Port of Morrow" on March 20, and in promoting it, they've been invited back to "Saturday Night Live" for a second time. They'll be joined by Jonah Hill -- for his second time on the show, too -- on March 10.

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<p>Jamie Hewlett's interpretation of Gorillaz, James Murphy and Andre 3000</p>

Jamie Hewlett's interpretation of Gorillaz, James Murphy and Andre 3000

Listen: Gorillaz, James Murphy and Andre 3000 combine for 'DoYaThing'

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LCD Soundsystem's frontman meets the boing-boing of Outkast

The combination of Gorillaz, James Murphy and Andre 3000 sounds exactly like what you'd think it'd sound like: boing-boing, beep beep, bounce bounce.

This funky collaboration was created in the name of Converse, for their Three Artists, One Song series. It bowed on BBC radio today and will be available through the company's website tomorrow.

The track is another good origin of the query: Why isn't Andre 3000 rapping on everything ever in the whole world ever? Murphy might as well have been filing his nails or cleaning the bathroom when he wrote the mindless refrain "You want to do it, but you don't know what you're doing, baby," but that doesn't mean I won't remember it.

And Albarn sounds thankfully better here than he did at the Brits last night with Blur. Haters: hating. Keep your eyes peeled for the music video.

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<p>Metric</p>

Metric

Credit: Justin Broadbent

Can Metric's new album 'Synthetica' set new records for the band?

Rock band's last 'Fantasies' wrote a new page on independent releases

Metric's last album, 2009's "Fantasies," quietly sold millions of album worldwide, and those profits -- more than any other album in the Canadian band's history -- went largely and directly into their pocket. In fact, they grossed more for themselves from its sale than all their other their other records combined.

That's because the band went the independent route when it came to releasing "Fantasies" outside of their home country; their own label Metric Music International got distribution from indie groups like PIAS. The acclaim they earned for songs like "Help I'm Alive" helped propel them onto film soundtracks and movie works like "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" and "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World." They were also among the bands to prove that an artist without a traditional label deal can make it into the top 20 of U.S. rock radio's spin lists: songs like "Help," "Gimme Sympathy" and "Gold Guns Girls" all made it into regular rotation in 2009 and 2010.

"Fantasies" topped out at No. 76 on the Billboard 200, but also managed to tap into success on the web: right around the time Spotify picked up, the band put "Fantasies" up for $.99 and found new fans and buyers quickly that way. They also utilized TopSpin's innovations to maximum capacities, with all downloads, data and word-of-mouth going straight to the band, and not to their label. They let their pool of fans, then, remix their tracks for a revamped "Fantasies" release, which dropped last year, which gave the album longer legs.

And undoubtedly, Metric will be using all that data and cash to go even wider this year, as they prepare to drop their brand new album "Synthetica" on June 12. This time, the album will go out via MMI in conjunction with Mom + Pop, who (as I previously mentioned) is on freaking fire (Andrew Bird, Sleigh Bells, Ingrid Michaelson). This deal will give them the added benefit of distro indie RED, and, undoubtedly, since the band was doing just fine on their own thankyouverymuch, you can imagine that striking any deal will be on their terms as far as profit share is concerned.

"Synthetica" was produced by Metric's guitarist Jimmy Shaw, partly out of Shaw's Toronto-based Giant Studio (co-owned by gnarly genius Sebastien Grainger of Death From Above 1979) and partly out of the legendary Electric Lady studios in New York. The band started work on "Synthetica" the day after they shined off their Fantasies tour in November 2010.

Frontwoman Emily Haines says that the title was inspired by the "skin jobs" out of "Blade Runner."

"If you imagine a nightmarishly fake version of me as a pop star, that's her," she says.  "And this record was about me saying, I'm going to give more to the music than ever, but there's no way I'm going to turn into someone like that."

Tour dates are to be announced.

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<p>Odd Future's Tyler, the Creator (as centaur)</p>

Odd Future's Tyler, the Creator (as centaur)

Credit: YouTube

Odd Future's new 'Rella': This is the vid that the Web hath made

Tracklist for 'OF Tape Vol. 2' revealed; 'Loiter Squad' gets a drop date

At the end of Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All's music video for brand new "Rella," Tyler, the Creator mouths the phrase "What the f*ck?" That is a proper response to the whole rest of the music video.

Jizz jokes, humans turning into cats, a hot Asian girl, porn, furries, male-on-female violence, drug-taking voyeurism and a centaur are among the amenities of this clip, seemingly made for and by the Internet. (Perhaps its no coincidence that a OFWGKTA side project is named The Internet.)

The lyrics are about as juvenile -- Hodgy Beats, Domo Genesis and Tyler, the Creator all have their boasts of b*tches and "dicks," carving girls up, rhyming "MC Lyte" with "dykes," all the stuff that purposefully agitates the LGBT and feminist groups already miffed at these guys. It's like Nicki Minaj pissing off the Catholic church by performing a piece with the specific aim of pissing off the Catholic church.

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<p>Sleigh Bells' &quot;Reign of Terror&quot;</p>

Sleigh Bells' "Reign of Terror"

Credit: Mom + Pop

Album Review: Sleigh Bells, 'Reign of Terror'

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Def Leppard, Atari and Alexis Krauss' cheerleading: A winning team?

Sleigh Bells’ “Reign of Terror” opens with the sound of a roaring crowd, a time-honored trick and tradition of heralding your own hype on the record, for the record. Alexis Krauss barks out to her band’s invisible fans as co-founder Derek Miller begins to peel back layers of break-neck guitar shreds on aptly named opener “True Shred Guitar.” It evaporates into “Born to Lose,” a sour-noted spin on well well-trod titles like “Born to Run,” “Born to Be Wild” and “Born to Fly” (and, not to ignore a recent No. 2-seller, Lana Del Rey’s “Born to Die”). “End of the Line” is like a slow dance sequence from a lost John Hughes teen drama, put to the rhythm of a double kick drum. 

For all the pop-influenced weird rock contemporaries in Sleigh Bells’ league – acts like M.I.A., Liars, Crystal Castles and Bonde do Rolê – the duo owes just as much to Atari 8-bit video games, Def Leppard and Dokken. The ‘80s, metal and ‘80s metal influence is laid bare on the gnarly riff and screams on “Demons,” the guitar harmonies on “Road to Hell” and the chug-chug of “D.O.A.”

Listen to "Reign of Terror" in its entirety here.
 
Krauss’ voice doesn’t temper the nostalgia, she just updates it. The multi-octave vocal runs are replaced by flinty cheerleader shouts and girly gang vocals, trading places with glinting dream pop sing-songing. Outmoded descriptions of hot girls and fast cars is revised with lyrics on what happens when they crash and burn, just as the title implies. “Leader of the Pack” – another familiar title – even starts off with a bomb’s kaboom, and Krauss asking “Do you remember when / you used to sleep at night…”
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<p>Santigold</p>

Santigold

Listen: Santigold's new 'Disparate Youth'; singer opening for Red Hot Chili Peppers

Little Dragon and Sleigh Bells also on tap for RHCP dates

Santigold has a hell of a way of announcing her spring tour. The rhythm-loving singer has been tapped to open for Red Hot Chili Peppers, along with Sleigh Bells and Little Dragon.

To celebrate, she's dropped her second song from forthcoming and tentatively titled "Master Of My Make-Believe," available below. It proceeds her first single from the fresh effort, "Big Mouth."

"Disparate Youth" actually sounds a little more grown up and a little more chilled out. Santigold's voice just flows over a hazy, bassy drive.

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<p>Your author with Ice-T at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival</p>

Your author with Ice-T at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival

Credit: HitFix

Interview: Ice-T talks Lil Wayne, reality TV and making-of 'Something from Nothing'

As 'The Art of Rap' earns a release date, the 'Law & Order' actor goes back to rhyming roots

For a man so well-versed in reality television, Ice-T didn't want his directorial debut to look anything like "what's on MTV." The actor/rapper has co-starred in "Law & Order: SVU" since 2000 as Detective Tutuola; the second season of "Ice Loves Coco," his reality television show with wife Coco on E!, just premiered this week.

And yet documentary "Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap" had no drama, no competitions or current events cut in to the narrative to create arc. In fact, there was no narrative; there's only a couple cinematic structures in place -- of artists talking, artists rapping and then a sweeping aerial view of rappers' hometowns of Los Angeles, Detroit or New York.

That also means there was no archival footage or old music videos, or even much of a hip-hop history lesson -- just some well-loved songs and the hip-hop royalty that made them. Repetition is the hitch of this style of documentary, but it was also a rapper roundup that only somebody like Ice-T could muster. Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, Mos Def, Q-Tip, Eminem, Nas, Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Caz, Chuck D, KRS-One, Run-DMC, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and more engage in spirited, intimate conversations about the literal art of rapping over a beat, and then each spitting a favorite verse from another rapper.

Because all of the footage was fresh for this film's can, that makes for a lot of rare and singular moments for rappers to tip their hat at one another.

Ice-T and "Something from Nothing" co-director Andy Baybutt wanted to "keep everything unique," the rapper told me during an interview at the Sundance Film Festival this January. The doc made its bow there.

"If I’m making a film, I wanna shoot everything with frames -- no [still] pictures or old film, no nothing. What we did was we shot them cinematically, and then we'd let it breathe, with shots of New York or whatever."
 
The result, he said, is like a big long list of everybody's legends, with more than 100 artists interviewed, around five dozen making it into the film and even more waiting in the wings to be included.
 
"All you can say is, 'I didn’t see my favorite artist,' but that'd be impossible to include everybody. When I got the nod for Sundance, I had a three-hour film. I had to cut it to two hours," he said. "Everybody’s doing the movie to be in the movie."
 
Of course, to see contemporary chart-topping acts like Em and Kanye getting sentimental about their art is a stunning insight. I asked Ice if anybody from the Young Money crew was invited in.
 
"Wayne was moving around, I was shooting 'Law & Order,' the camera crew was in London... Getting people in the same place at the same time was really, really difficult. We called Wayne and they'd be like 'OK, we can do it at 3,' and then I’d get my camera crew and they go 'Now it's at 9,'" Ice-T explained. "We’re not paying [Wayne], it’s a favor. So then it’d be like, 'Let’s do it tomorrow...' We got what we could."
 
Rap fans will be able to check out the film large-scale when it bows this summer on June 8, via The Indomina Group.

 

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