When Jack White etched his signature on the tombstone of The White Stripes last year, the rock world, as it’s been taught to do, took it with a grain of salt. There aren’t many bands that call it quits and don’t return to the stage together at some point in their lives. That is, if they all manage to stay alive. White, though, speaking to NME is double-etching that tombstone with an “absolutely no chance” denouncement. Ah, but he laced it with a cash clause, teasing the “sad” possibility of it if he “went bankrupt.” Meanwhile, the solo Blunderbuss is almost a-cruise to a record store near you, come April 23.
Dinosaur Jr.‘s wooly shredsville hero J. Mascis is readying (May 8) a wily side project with some apparent teenage-era friends, Johnny Pancake and Pete Cougar, two chums with a “who gives a shit attitude” of which Mascis hasn’t connected with since they were “kicked out of marching band for smoking weed out of a tuba,” or so the band’s label Outer Battery is explaining in bio form. Dubbed Heavy Blanket, the crew put together six tracks, that will lyriclessly shred Mascis’ original teenage ethos: “To shed the pretentiousness and elitism that had risen around him – to slow things down and turn the volume way, way up.”
Shut Down Future:
Odd Future are two-for-two in Boston the way of show kiboshes, following Wednesday night’s Earl Sweatshirt live return to the collective tour at the House of Blues. Pitchfork is reporting that the police showed up following a crew member’s arrest outside of the venue and cut the divisive hip-hop collective’s set short, while Tyler, The Creator, on the mic at the time, took a moment to chastise the owner of the venue and explain why the tuneage ceased to be in this crowd-shot video.
Madge To The Rescue:
One day shy of Madonna‘s 12th effort MDNA‘s launch date, the outspoken queen of pop is vying to defy a law against homosexual “propaganda” in Russia while touring said album this summer. Signed into law this month in Vladimir Putin’s hometown of St. Petersburg, spreaders of pro-gay ephemera can be fined up to 500,000 roubles ($17,100) for “[damaging] the health, moral and spiritual development of the underaged.” Madonna, known for her favor and advocacy among the LGBT community called herself a “freedom fighter” and the legislation a “ridiculous atrocity” on her Facebook page, promising “to support the gay community and to give strength and inspiration to anyone who is or feels oppressed” (via Reuters).
Bob Dylan hit record number five with Bringing It All Back Home on this day back in 1965. His first foray into electric, he both pissed off legions of folkies and blew the minds of people willing to accept folk rock could be something so much more. Third track “Maggie’s Farm” is a bigger middle-finger in the name of that sentiment, but the lead-off, “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” is arguably one of Dylan’s and rock’s most resonating opening statements, and considered one of the precursors to hip-hop. Even just reading one of the verses, without Dylan’s cue-card video is a rhythmic treat:
Ah get born, keep warm
Short pants, romance, learn to dance
Get dressed, get blessed
Try to be a success
Please her, please him, buy gifts
Don’t steal, don’t lift
Twenty years of schoolin’
And they put you on the day shift
Look out kid
They keep it all hid
Better jump down a manhole
Light yourself a candle
Don’t wear sandals
Try to avoid the scandals
Don’t wanna be a bum
You better chew gum
The pump don’t work
‘Cause the vandals took the handles.