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A Super Heavy Supergroup

A new supergroup is on the horizon, but “new” isn’t really the right word— the band has been recording its debut album in secret for the past eighteen months. The seed was planted by Dave Stewart two years ago, when he called up Mick Jagger and proposed the idea of fusing several different genres together. After some brainstorming and a few phone calls, they picked up Joss Stone, Damian Marley and A.R. Rahman to complete the spectrum. We don’t have any doubt that people are intrigued by this illustrious medley of musicians, but let’s face it: Jagger isn’t exactly known for playing nice with others.

Mick and Dave

We could have called this article “When Egos Collide,” but then again, none of these guys are notorious egomaniacs with the exception of Jagger. Rahman, considered “the world’s most prominent and prolific film composer” by Time Magazine, has been quoted saying “[T]here is only one of the two that can reside in our heart: God or ego. If God is in, ego is out.” Jagger, on the other hand, has been quoted saying “Obviously I have this sort of strange animal magnetism. It’s very hard for me to take my eyes off myself.” Let’s not be too judgmental, though, because the quote’s taken out of context and there’s a good chance that he’s kidding around anyway. But what about his lifelong friend Keith Richards, who refers to Mick as “her majesty” and “unbearable”? You could chalk it up to jealousy, the nature of their relationship or even argue that Mick has earned the right to act the way he does, but come on, it’s pretty obvious that there’s some truth behind the words. Either way, it’s going to be interesting to see if he can share the stage with four other music heavyweights.

It’s still unclear if the supergroup, called “Super Heavy,” will have a definitive frontman or not. According to CNN, Jagger is excited about having four vocalists in the band because it gives him a chance to play other instruments, as well as alleviate some of the dependence on him as a singer. The issue probably won’t come up anyway, unless the band goes on tour, but touring certainly seems like a possibility. “I think if we’re rehearsing and it sounds great and people love the idea then nobody would rule out the possibility of it,” said Stewart. But it’s hard to picture Mick giving up his share of the limelight for the likes of Joss Stone, Damian Marley or anyone else for that matter. In the meantime, the album is recorded, as well as their first video, and it looks like they’re planning a release around September.

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Timberlake and Samberg edify audiences about “The Golden Rule”

What would a Justin Timberlake hosting gig on SNL be without a digital short with Andy Sandberg and some Cross Colours overalls? This latest masterwork introduces the helicopter technology into the art of lovemaking, and includes a very special musical guest. Oh, and if you stick around after the video is over, you’ll get to see Michael Bolton dressed as a pirate.

Mitch Winehouse resurrects music career

Mitch Winehouse, or Amy’s pop, is returning to a music career he left in the ‘70s in order to raise his children. The 61 year-old cab driver just released Rush of Love on Janey Records. The record features covers of jazz and lounge songs and four originals. None of which include the lyrics, “I tried to make her go to rehab and she said no, no, no.”

The Bad

Beyoncé takes a page from Lorella Cuccarini for BMAs

Beyoncé took some heat this week when it was discovered that her multimedia performance at the Billboard Music Awards was suspiciously similar to a performance by Italian pop star Lorella Cuccarini. Beyoncé responded tout suite, saying she had seen Cuccarini’s performance and contacted the producers to collaborate with her on her own interactive video. Personally, we like Beyoncé’s video piece more, but with a hook borrowed from Major Lazer and a performance borrowed from Cuccarini, you can hardly call her innovative on this one. You can watch the two videos side by side below, thanks to the magical powers of the Internet.

Taylor Swift releases video for “The Story of Us”

Awkward run-ins with an ex are a rite of passage, one that’s captured by Taylor Swift on her new video for “The Story of Us.” The track is rumored to be inspired by her messy break-up with John Mayer. Hang down your head, John. Voyeurs can check out the video below.

The Ugly

Joseph Brooks commits suicide

Oscar-winning singer-songwriter Joseph Brooks, famous for his perennial ballad “You Light Up My Life,” died this week in what has been ruled a suicide by asphyxiation. Brooks was set to go to trial for thirteen counts of rape at the time of his death. He was 73 years old.

Mick Jagger forms supergroup

What do you get when you put Mick Jagger, Dave Stewart, Damian Marley, Joss Stone and A.R. Rahman in a room? Urdu-reggae-soul? Rasta-Bolly-Brit? We’ll all find out soon enough when the supergroup, dubbed Super Heavy, drops their LP in September.


Smokeout Festival 2010: Music, Politics, Higher Learning

The San Bernardino hills were alive with the sound of music (and the smell of some serious ganja) for the eleventh annual Cypress Hill Smokeout Festival, presented by Guerilla Union, this past Saturday. Forty thousand fans turned out for a day of food, music and of course—marijuana. This marked the first year that certified medical marijuana users were able to consume pot at the show in designated smoking areas. The festival featured a Medical Marijuana Expo that included voter registration booths, product samples and speaking panels on related issues like cultivation, Prop 19 and other relevant issues.

Authors Shirley Halperin and Steve Bloom led a discussion of their new book, Reefer Movie Madness, and hosted a day of stoner movies including Dazed and Confused, Friday and Pulp Fiction. Jeff Dowd, the real-life “The Dude” himself was on-hand to introduce The Big Lebowski.

Despite all the Prop 19 propaganda, the real attraction of the day was the music. Over 26 acts performed on three stages including MGMT, Los Rakas, Slightly Stoopid, Paul Oakenfold and Living Legends.

Nas showed no signs of stress from his current label feud when he joined Damian Marley for a high-energy performance on the main stage, looking and sounding better than he has in years. Damian’s floor-length dreads swung behind as he commanded the crowd to light up during his set, yelling, “I heard this was a smokeout…Everybody SMOKE-OUT!!”

Legendary hip hop group, and the festival’s hosts, Cypress Hill hit the stage with Travis Barker on the drums, delivering a power-packed set of their hits “I Wanna Get High” and “Stoned Is The Way. ” B-Real and Sen Dog sounded as good as they did when the group burst onto the scene almost 20 years ago. After a beat battle between Barker and DJ Muggz, the crowd went wild for a rendition of their classic, “Insane In The Brain.”

New Amerykah, Pt. 2: Return of the Ankh

The real showstopper of the evening was Erykah Badu. The crowd waited with baited breath as Badu hit the stage in a blonde wig and plaid poncho that covered her from neck to knees, later revealing a seventies style shift dress. She opened her stellar set with her 2008 hit “The Healer”, emphasizing the politically peppered evening with a raised fist and animated delivery. After introducing her band, “The Cannabinoids”, she followed up with her throwback hit, “On And On” before performing mostly new material sprinkled with fan favorites like “Tyrone”.

By the end of the night, throngs of mellow music lovers gathered at the main stage to watch Incubus end their 18-month hiatus. Despite a lack of fresh material, save for the track “Surface To Air,” they wowed the crowd with classics like “Drive” and “Stellar” to close out the night on a high note.

As the first festival to formally blend fans’ love of music with their love of marijuana, only ten arrests were made (all misdemeanors such as public intoxication). Show sponsors and artists begged the question: Can pot smokers be united and assemble peacefully? Furthermore, is there a chance in hell Prop 19 supporters could see success on the November ballot? The answer, written across signs and t-shirts throughout the festival, was a resounding: “Yes We Cannabis.”

See fan video of Incubus, MGMT, Slightly Stoopid and Deadmau5 performances from Smokeout 2010 here.

By Cortney Wills

Cortney Wills is a pop culture journalist born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She has lived in LA, Chicago and NYC and enjoys all things entertainment.

Into The ‘Roo

Greetings from Tennessee! I hope you’ve all been following along on Twitter! Just wanted to share some photos from the first couple days of Bonnaroo with you, stay tuned for more!

Damian Marley and Nas

She and Him

Michael Franti

The Flaming Lips

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

iamamiwhoami artist revealed?


Maybe you’ve been following the enigmatic (and fairly disturbing) videos of mystery artist iamamiwhoami on YouTube. If not, do check them out. Most are one-minute vignettes set to alternately ambient and jarring electronic music, featuring a feral blonde woman with freakishly long eyelashes. First guess is Lady Gaga, naturally. Who else would wrap themselves in plastic to play the piano, or lick a tree? Well, looks like there may be another wildly eccentric pop performance artist out there. For the mystery reveal, click here. Check out the video here.

The Bad

Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” finally debuts

Lady Gaga's "Telephone"

(And by “bad” we mean Michael Jackson-style, you know, with dancing thugs, leather and snarls.)

The wait is over for the Lady Gaga and Beyoncé collaborative video for “Telephone.” For your patience, you get nine-plus minutes of women’s penitentiary sexy times, sandwich making, mass poisonings, multiple costume changes and good ol’ fashioned, Thelma and Louise-style, female camaraderie. (Sweet Beyoncé even swears!) Get an eyeful here… and lookout for cigarette sunglasses to become the next big thing.

Alex Chilton dies

Alex Chilton

The untimely deaths keep coming. This time it’s Alex Chilton, former front man of ’60s pop act the Box Tops and later, Big Star. Chilton died in New Orleans on Wednesday at the age of 59 from what appears to be a heart problem. If you’re unfamiliar with Chilton’s work, we suggest you go to your music source of choice and download “The Letter” by the Box Tops and “September Gurls” by Big Star. Another sad day for music.

The Ugly

Miley Cyrus says a bunch of dumb stuff in Teen Vogue

Miley Cyrus

Oh Miley. The soundbites from your latest interview are like potent little vitamins to fortify all your haters. When you’re not dissing the public at large by declaring you and your boyfriend’s superiority (“I think we’re both deeper than normal people, what they think and how they feel,”) then you’re contradicting yourself. Exhibit A: “The more I make music that doesn’t truly inspire me, the more I feel like I’m blending in with everyone else. So after this next album, I’m taking some time off.” Exhibit B: “I don’t really believe in breaks.” Once you figure it out, let us know. We’ll have to make do in the meantime with our shallow thoughts and feelings.



(L to R) Allen Aucoin, Alissa, Brownie, Kyle

Meeting The Disco Biscuits was amazing and Camp was one of the most fun times of my life!

-Alissa Miller

Last weekend I loaded up my ’97 Outback, now affectionately known as the “Biscomobile,” and boogied across I-90 to attend Camp BiscoThe Disco Biscuits‘ annual music festival in Mariaville, NY. I was on a mission: to make sure the band met their biggest fan. Mission accomplished, despite the ankle deep mud that destroyed my Pumas and the monsoon that totaled our camp site.

I had the chance to sit down and chat with The Disco Bisuits’ biggest fan Alissa Miller, and her boyfriend Kyle while waiting backstage for the meet and greet. If it wasn’t for entering the contest Alissa wouldn’t have been able to attend camp with her friends at all, let alone rub elbows with her favorite band. Once Alissa and Kyle saw the band it was nonstop, ear-to-ear smiles for both them and the band—bassist Marc “Brownie” Brownstein  appeared especially elated to meet the fan they chose as their biggest. Everyone was joking about the craziness of Camp and there were more than a few laughs describing the antics of fellow festival goers.

Helping The Disco Biscuits and their biggest fan meet one another was just one of the many highlights of this year’s Camp. The three days of non-stop musical fun left a lot of people wondering how next year’s line up could possibly top this year’s.

Marc Brownstein of The Disco Biscuits

Marc Brownstein of The Disco Biscuits

When I arrived on Thursday night, two nights prior to the meet and greet, The Disco Biscuits were ripping it up on the main stage. Biscuits fans in the crowd explained to me that the band started Camp Bisco in order to play longer sets in a festival atmosphere, and that with each passing year the festival gets bigger and better.  In fact, this was only the first of six Disco Biscuits sets over the course of the festival since the band was scheduled to headline every night—including multiple sets on Friday and Saturday. Talk about endurance!

After the Biscuits wrapped up their first performance, the crowd migrated over to the top of the hill for the Twisted All-Stars tent featuring the psychedelic synthesized sounds of Prometheus, Ott and Shpongle. Ott’s smooth dub tunes may have helped all the wearied road warriors in the crowd “chillax” after a long day of driving. However, they did little to quell the excitement that comes with seeing a rare US performance by Shpongle, especially one including the very groovy “Star Shpongled Banner.”

Toby Leaman (L) and Juston Stens (R) of Dr. Dog

Toby Leaman (L) and Juston Stens (R) of Dr. Dog

On Friday, the main stage kicked off at noon with one of my favorite Philly bands, Dr. Dog. With Beach Boy-like harmonies and energy to spare, it was the perfect wake-up call for festival goers camped out near the main stage. Set highlights included, “Worst Trip,” “The Rabbit, The Bat And The Reindeer” and “The Old Days”. After Dr. Dog, K’Naan serenaded the crowd with his unique brand of Somalian inspired hip hop. I knew that Camp Bisco was indeed a very special place for everyone to come together for a good time as I listened to the whole crowd singing his hit “Soobax.”



On Saturday after the meet and greet, I made my way through the mud to catch the rest of Sound Tribe Sector 9‘s (STS9) brilliant set on the main stage. Next was a double set by The Disco Biscuits with James Murphy from LCD Soundsystem sandwiched in between to give The Biscuits time to prepare for the most epic live show ever witnessed. I can only describe it as an eternity of mind-blowing jams plus inflatable walruses. The band was so into the groove that by the time their set was over, I wasn’t sure if anyone had enough energy for the festival-ending DFA Disco Tent.

All in all, I had an incredible time and I’m glad that Alissa did too. I’d like to thank The Disco Biscuits and the folks over at Meatcamp Productions for putting on one heck of a fest. I can’t wait to go again next year!


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