Killer Mike

Over the Weekend (June 15 Edition)

New music, new videos, and news to kick off your week as we gloss over our unexplained absence…

Beck teased fans last year with hints that he would release a follow-up to the somber Morning Phase as soon as possible, and today we heard what is likely our first taste of his next release with the peppy and upbeat “Dreams”.  It may not be the hallowed “song of the summer”, but it will definitely put you in that pleasant summertime mood.

Father John Misty released the video for the title track of his brilliant new album today, with “I Love You, Honeybear” taking a melodramatic look at the frenetic life of a couple of paramedics, including comedian Brett Gelman.

The most clickbait-friendly news of the weekend took place in Colorado, as Smash Mouth attempted to perform at the Taste of Fort Collins Food Festival.  However, lead singer Steve Harwell was pelted with loaves of bread as the band attempted to play “All-Star”, prompting the singer to “freak the fuck out.”  As much as we hate that terrible song, we have to say we do not condone the throwing of any objects, wheat-based or otherwise, at any performing band.

On many occasions we have highlighted the brilliance of Killer Mike, and perhaps that will translate to political success.  There is a special election being held tomorrow in his district of the Georgia House of Representatives, and the rapper has announced a write-in campaign to take the spot.  We will see if the last-minute effort will pay off for Mr. Render.

Finally, Consequence of Sound has a video Q&A with the editor of the popular 33 1/3 series of books, which allow different authors to take a closer look at many of the iconic albums of the past half-century.  If you have any questions about the logistics behind the production of the series, they are certain to be answered by this video.

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Over the Weekend (Apr. 27 Edition)

New music, new videos, and news to help kickstart your week…

Even though they recently announced a string of tour dates this summer, we have to believe that no one was prepared for the news from this morning: Refused are coming out with a new album.  In addition to announcing that Freedom will be released on June 30, the band released their first new song in nearly two decades, the furious “Elektra”.  REFUSED ARE NOT FUCKING DEAD!

More good news this morning, as the Deftones gave more details about their follow-up to Koi No Yokan.  While the new album is not yet complete, the good news is that it should be released by the end of September.

Last week, Speedy Ortiz released their new album Foil Deer and on Friday we linked to an extensive interview with the band.  Today, we are sharing their video for “The Graduates”, featuring the band ingesting an interesting item, resulting in a bizarre karaoke session with a giant rabbit, among other escapades.

Speedy Ortiz is not the only band exploring psychedelic substances, as Death From Above 1979’s new video for “Virgins” features a group of Amish teens experimenting with mushrooms.  The results are rather unsettling.

And speaking of unsettling, electronic noise-rock band HEALTH are finally releasing a follow-up to Get Color in August, and they shared the video for lead single “New Coke” over the weekend.  Be warned, that is real vomit in the video; that is probably that is all that needs to be said in order to prepare you.

Killer Mike had a very busy weekend–on Friday, he gave a lecture at MIT on race and politics, and on Saturday he represented the Huffington Post at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, which explains this fantastic selfie with Arianna Huffington completing the Run The Jewels logo.

Proving that we here at Rust Is Just Right are trendsetters, the AV Club released a Best Of list from 2014 in April 2015.  This time it is their Band Names of the Year list, which runs down all the terrible band names they came across in the past year, which is always a good time.

And finally, for those looking for a quick time-waster at work, NME has a slideshow explaining the stories behind 50 iconic album covers of indie rock (though the term “indie” is stretched beyond its limits for this piece).

Catching Up On The Week (Mar. 27 Edition)

Some #longreads for those still in the throes of March Madness…

After a relative paucity of reading material in recent weeks, this week saw the publication of numerous worthwhile interviews and discussions.  For those who want insight into older music, there’s the Rhino interview with Big Star drummer Jody Stephens and The Guardian behind the scenes look with The Strokes on the making of Is This It.  As for those who are looking ahead, there is Nate Mendel of the Foo Fighters talking with Consequence of Sound about his upcoming solo album as “Lieutenant” and Death Cab For Cutie revealing to Radio.com the background behind the making of their new album.

For those who are looking for more weightier fare, there is a roundtable discussion about the social context of works like the recent albums from D’Angelo and Kendrick Lamar and a Vox op-ed about the prejudicial treatment of rappers and the double standard that is given to rap lyrics by legal authorities, co-authored by Killer Mike.

Finally, GQ has an extended profile of Adam Horovitz, providing a personal in-depth look at the man you probably know as Ad-Rock, as he transitions into his post-Beastie Boys life and looks back on his career.

 

Over the Weekend (Jan. 19 Edition)

Videos, news, and other fun music-related articles as you celebrate today’s holiday

In honor of today’s holiday, I hope you take some time to read Killer Mike’s excellent op-ed on how we should pay tribute to Dr. King’s true legacy.  Mike emphasizes the revolutionary ideals of Dr. King, and pushes us to do more than talk vaguely about his virtue but to take action.

Flying Lotus continues to deliver thought-provoking videos for his recent album, You’re Dead!,  with the latest being the dark and disturbing “Coronus, The Terminator”.  He writes in the comments, “For me, Coronus is one of the most important moments on You’re Dead! and holds ideas I’m planning to explore in my future work. I’m happy that the visual encapsulates the meaning of the record and this ambition[.]”

Modest Mouse also released their latest video this morning, with the fan site Interstate-8 providing the video for the track “Coyotes”.  The band had given a tease for the video this past weekend by posting a tweet of the video’s star, so at least those of us who were befuddled by the message now at least understand the meaning.

As a fan of Seattle bands (and the city in general) but not of their football team, it’s been a pretty difficult month.  First, I have to deal with Pearl Jam selling special “12th Man” t-shirts as well as Mike McCready raising a special 12th Man flag at the Space Needle, and then I have to see that Alice in Chains performed at halftime at the game on Sunday.  That said, it’s terrible for Fox not to have broadcast it, but kudos for the various fans who have been sharing footage from the show. (Update: The Seahawks are now sharing official footage of the performance.)

Most people know that bands often make ridiculous demands in their Tour Rider, but few make an actual game of it.  Enter the Foo Fighters, who included an activity book to help hammer home the important points and make sure that the various venues actually paid attention.

And finally, proof once again of the importance of music, with a recent study that shows that music training provides significant benefits to development in children’s brains.

Over the Weekend (Dec. 8 Edition)

Lists, lists, and more lists.  Oh, and the most metal animal on the planet…

Once again, we have even more Best-Of lists for you to peruse, including Best Albums of the Year lists from The AV Club, Stereogum, and God Is In The TV (though they only have half their list published as of today).  You’ll see a lot of our favorites appear on these lists, but you can use these lists like we do and try to track down stuff that you may have missed the first time.  The AV Club helps out even more in this regard by listing all the authors’ ballots, including less-represented genres like metal (courtesy of the lists of Jason Heller and Sean O’Neal).  Also, kudos to Ryan Bray for having Tomorrow’s Hits at the top of his list, since we love that album from The Men so much and it hasn’t been getting the recognition we feel it deserves.

Run The Jewels, who is of course well-represented on these lists, released a new video for “Oh My Darling (Don’t Cry)”.  Though not as involved as their effort in “Blockbuster Night (Part 1)”, at least you get to see El-P and Killer Mike perform their verses on one of the highlights of Run The Jewels 2.

Speaking of music videos, we’ve got lists for those too, as Pitchfork rounds up a Top 20 and Consequence of Sound came up with a Top 5 (though they were more generous with their songs list, giving us a Top 50 that includes several RIJR favorites).  It’s no surprise that the Flying Lotus/Kendrick Lamar collaboration “Never Catch Me” is found on both lists (and probably others that we have yet to track down).  Though we featured it earlier this year, we present it to you once again for your convenience.

Considering the themes of that video and the Flying Lotus album in general, now is the time to note that today is the tenth anniversary of the murder of ‘Dimebag’ Darrell, and Billboard has a whole series of remembrances of the legendary guitarist that are worth taking some time to read.

We understand that not everyone can have taste in music that is as good as ours or our readers, and Noisey explains that despite this initial stumbling block, there are benefits to dating people with different musical tastes.

And finally, with a story that’s sure to generate some aww’s, metal salutes, and clicks, here’s the news about Slayer rescuing a homeless kitten.  No word on the condition of the homeless man in the story, but I guess we can at least take comfort that the kitty is safe.

Over the Weekend (Dec. 1 Edition)

Various fun links to help you recover from the holiday weekend…

It’s that time of year again when all the different music publications begin their tally of the best albums of the year, and while we here at Rust Is Just Right hold out on releasing our list until the next year, that doesn’t mean we won’t share what others have deemed worthy.  Both MOJO and Paste have released their lists, and you’ll find that many of the albums we’ve praised this year have shown up on both countdowns.  If you feel we have been incomplete in our coverage so far, by all means take a look–we’ll be doing so as well to make sure we have covered all the bases.

The War On Drugs are high on both lists, and probably ours as well–we’ll see for certain next year.  Though their concert this Wednesday night might help nudge them up a bit.

Speaking of lists, The Village Voice was compelled to compile a list of the 60 Best Songs Ever Written About New York City.  I’m not sure what was the impetus or the reason why the cutoff was at 60, but frankly we’re just glad that Interpol’s “NYC” and Duke Ellington’s “Take the A Train” were fairly close to the top.

Not only is it List Time, it’s also the “Holiday Season.” While Holiday music is generally not the most thrilling genre out there, Los Campesinos! may be the band to avoid that pitfall.  You can hear for yourself, as Pitchfork is streaming their Christmas EP this week.

Noisey talks to two big 90’s bands who are still out there chugging along, posing the same questions to Everclear and Bush–though the interviews were clearly conducted separately, it’s interesting to see their answers side-by-side.  Also, it’s worth reading just to hear about Art Alexakis giving a midterm that day.

Elsewhere on Noisey, Killer Mike discusses his reaction to the grand jury decision in Ferguson in a heartfelt interview.  He’s a busy man these days, not only touring behind the incredible new Run The Jewels album, but also helping to write an Op-Ed on a Supreme Court case being heard today about rap lyrics and the First Amendment.  Billboard has some reporting on the case, including the fact that Eminem lyrics were quoted by Chief Justice Roberts.  Elonis v. United States is potentially a significant opinion for First Amendment caselaw, so it is worth following the arguments.

Review: Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels 2

“Run the Jewels” is the answer, your question is “What’s Poppin’?”

Since the announcement in late October that they had leaked the much-anticipated sequel to their thrilling debut album, Run The Jewels has been the talk of the music world.  And it’s with good reason: Run The Jewels 2 is even better than the original collaboration between El-P and Killer Mike.  Their self-titled debut was among the best-reviewed albums of last year, and found a spot on most year-end lists, including our own.  The sequel does an even better job of mining and improving upon the best trends in hip-hop from the past twenty years, and finds the connection between the duo stronger than ever.

So while the quoted lyric above is certainly not the most acerbic or clever line on the record, the closing line of opener “Jeopardy” does sum up RTJ’s place in music right now.  If you need a better sampler of the album, you should listen to the banging “Oh My Darling Don’t Cry”, which will fully abuse your car stereo’s subwoofers with its pulsing bass.  The two MC’s trade verses fast and furious, picking up their speed and intensity with each round as the music grows more chaotic around them.  Another highlight is “Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck) which builds a bouncy, stuttering beat off a guest appearance from Zach de la Rocha, recalling the era when turntablism reigned.

Run The Jewels 2 is a treasure-trove of brilliant beats and production from El-P, switching up styles and moods on the fly that accommodates the desire for variety while never sacrificing flow.  Grimy, serious material like “Angel Duster” and “Blockbuster Night Part 1” fits in easily with more fun tracks like “All Due Respect”, which takes the fun elements of rap-rock without the negative connotations that term has taken in more recent years, thanks to some excellent drumming from Travis Barker.  It’s a lean and efficient album too, clocking in at less than forty minutes, so it never wears out its welcome–but it’s likely that you’ll be putting the whole thing on repeat.

Note: there seems to be a difference between the free download version and the physical copy you can buy, with the former including an extra verse from Gangsta Boo to provide the female counter to the duo’s claims on “Love Again (Akinyele Back)” that’s missing from the purchased disc.

Catching Up On The Week (Oct. 24 Edition)

Some #longreads for your weekend as you keep pushing “repeat” on the new Run the Jewels album…

Last night, Run the Jewels surprised its fans with the release of their new album as a free download.  I’ve enjoyed it on the first two listens so far, but for the next one I’ll be sure to read Stereogum’s cover story interview with El-P and Killer Mike.  Meanwhile, we eagerly anticipate the release of Meow the Jewels.

Speaking of Stereogum, they have an interview with Radiohead drummer Philip Selway to discuss his second solo album.  Selway’s contributions to his main gig are sorely underrated, and his solo work is definitely worth checking out.

Josh Modell does an excellent job of capturing the essence of what makes the Pearl Jam live experience so special, and does so in a way that those committed to bashing the band should understand.  Considering the way The AV Club usually handles Pearl Jam, this is pretty great accomplishment.

In our commitment to continue providing you with every Death From Above 1979 story out there, here’s their feature in The Line of Best Fit.

Pitchfork catches up with Panda Bear, as he announces a new EP and is set to release an album next year.

Sure, they made a movie about him earlier this year, but it’s probably worth the time to check out PASTE’s oral history of James Brown, courtesy of his bandmates, in preparation for the new HBO documentary Mr. Dynamite.

And finally, it’s not often we delve into sports, but fresh off his appearance on Conan this week, The Oregonian has a feature on Damian Lillard and the development of his #4BarFriday videos, as well as discussing rap’s place in his childhood.  It’s a piece that’s well worth reading.