Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes Sues Rape Accuser for Defamation, Issues Statement

Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes

In December 2013, an individual left a series of posts in the comments section of an XOJane article suggesting that she had been raped by Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes 10 years ago. Oberst’s publicist called the accusations ”absolutely, unequivocally false,” and now, Oberst is suing for defamation.

The woman claimed to have been 16 years old at the time and allegedly wrote, “Conor took a lot from me including my virginity, my dignity, and self-esteem.”

Oberst says he has never met her, and that she had written positive things online about Oberst and Bright Eyes as recently as January 2013. He’s reportedly suing for more than $1 million and claims his reputation has been damaged by her accusations.

The statement from Oberst’s camp is below:

Today Conor Oberst filed a libel lawsuit in a New York federal court against Joanie Faircloth, a resident of North Carolina, who falsely accused him of rape in the comments section of the xoJane website in December of 2013 and again, some days later, on her Tumblr page. The suit counters Faircloth’s baseless allegations and states that Oberst never had any physical contact with her, either at the concert in Durham, NC at which she claims the attack took place, or at any other time. The only connection between Oberst and Faircloth was one of artist and fan – a fan who has posted laudatory comments about Oberst elsewhere online, including describing attending his band’s concert as the “Best memory ever!”

The lawsuit filed today outlines Faircloth’s history of inventing stories and personalities online in order to gain attention. Although her false statements about Oberst have since been deleted from the locations where they were initially posted online, Oberst’s suit alleges that her malicious lies spread across the Internet and are archived by multiple blogs. Through his attorneys, Oberst requested that Faircloth recant her false accusations, but she ignored the requests. Oberst has thus been forced to proceed with this libel suit in order to set the record straight and to clear his name.

Oberst is seeking to promote the truth and repair the distress this has brought upon him and his family. Oberst intends to donate the proceeds of this suit to charities benefitting the victims of violence against women.

(via TMZ, P4k)

Devo Guitarist/Keyboard Player and Founding Member Bob Casale Dies at Age 61

Bob Casale of Devo performing at Punk Rock Bowling 2013 - photo by Shahab Zargari

Bob Casale of Devo performing at Punk Rock Bowling 2013 – photo by Shahab Zargari

Devo has posted some sad news on their Facebook page today: founding member Bob Casale died on February 17, 2014 at the age of 61. Here is the news as it appears on the band’s announcement:

As an original member of Devo, Bob Casale was there in the trenches with me from the beginning. He was my level-headed brother, a solid performer and talented audio engineer, always giving more than he got. He was excited about the possibility of Mark Mothersbaugh allowing Devo to play shows again. His sudden death from conditions that lead to heart failure came as a total shock to us all.

In 2013, a former drummer of Devo, Alan Myers, passed away due to cancer.

Robert Galbraith (AKA J.K. Rowling) to Release New Novel “The Silkwork” on June 24, 2014

"The Silkworm" by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling)

The Cuckoo’s Calling, the novel released by Harry Potter author JK Rowling under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith, is getting a sequel. According to the publisher, the next novel in the Cormoran Strike mystery series will be released on June 24, 2014. The description released by the publisher gives a summary of the newest mystery:

Private investigator Cormoran Strike returns in a new mystery from Robert Galbraith, author of the #1 international bestseller The Cuckoo’s Calling.

When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days–as he has done before–and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.

But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine’s disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were to be published, it would ruin lives–meaning that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced.

When Quine is found brutally murdered under bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any Strike has encountered before…
A compulsively readable crime novel with twists at every turn, THE SILKWORM is the second in the highly acclaimed series featuring Cormoran Strike and his determined young assistant, Robin Ellacott.

Cover art is below:

"The Silkworm" by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling)

(via Leaky News)

Puppeteer John Henson, Son of Muppets Creator Jim Henson, Dies at Age 48


John Henson, right, in Sweetums costume

John Henson, right, in Sweetums costume

Puppeteer John Henson, son of the late Muppets creator Jim Henson, has died at his home in Saugerties, New York at the age of 48. Cheryl Henson says her brother died of a “massive heart attack” on Friday, February 14, 2014 after he had been building an igloo in the snow with his daughter.

Henson followed in his father’s footsteps as a puppeteer, performing as Sweetums in several films, including Muppet Treasure Island and It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie. Henson was a shareholder and board member of The Jim Henson Company.

His mother, Jane Henson, died in April 2013 at the age of 78. Jim Henson died in 1990 after a sudden illness.

John Henson is survived by his wife Gyongyi and two daughters, ages 10 and 15. (via ABC, AP)

Top 10 Punk Rock Love Songs

Heroin Bob <3's Trish

Do kids still make mix tapes today? No? Well, that’s too bad. Because if you did, I’d have suggested that you include these 10 songs on your next tape to impress that girl with the Ramones shirt who sits in the back of your English class and is really cute but you’re too shy to talk to. But if you don’t make mix tapes anymore, well, you’re on your own, pal.

Green Day “At the Library”

Twenty-plus years ago, Green Day played amazing music and sang odes to high school love. Now they play horrible music and dress like high schoolers. Ah well. We’ll always have the memories (and the old records).

The Soviettes “Love Song”

That’s one hell of a love triangle they’re singing about here.

Dead Boys “What Love Is”

My definition of “love” is slightly less violent and stabby than the Dead Boys‘. But hey, to each his own.

7 Seconds “Best Friend”

If you want a relationship to work, your spouse or partner should not just be your lover, but also your best friend. Take it from Kevin Seconds. The guy has been touring and recording since the dawn of punk rock, and he’s been married to his wife Allyson for almost the entire time.

The Clash “Lover’s Rock”

The 15th track on The Clash’s epic London Calling encourages safe sex and self-control, and is one of their all-time best tunes.

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Former Avail Hype Man “Beau Beau” Butler Announces Candidacy for Mayor of Richmond, Virginia

Beau Beau Butler - past member of Avail, future mayor of Richmond

Beau Butler (aka “Beau Beau”), the former hype man for hardcore punk band Avail, has announced his candidacy for mayor of his hometown, Richmond, Virginia. He may be a bartender with no past political experience, but his platform sounds rather appealing — and I have a feeling he’s a politician who could live up to his promises:

Well now it’s official I guess? Clay Aiken is running for Congress!!! Cause where else should a quasi famous singer (I use the word singer lightly) who also happens to be gay have the best chance of winning? The South of course, where else!? I mean he’s following a long line of great people like Ronald Reagan, Sonny Bono, Ben Jones aka Cooter from the Dukes of Hazard, Jesse Ventura and Arnold into politics. With all that being said, I’m going to announce that I’m officially running the the Mayor of Richmond!!! Who wants to start the petition??? 2016 is gonna be my year I can feel it.

As part of my platform, I submit the following things that I may or may not do. It will be legal for women to be able to bare their chest the same way men do. Whenever/wherever they want because I believe in equal rights.

I would make it a priority to harass people who make it their business to fuck with restaurants with frivolous lawsuits about whatever they can think of, such as the recent article on the RVA Mag website and people that are Yelpers, cause no one likes a Yelper. Also, I will have a website to post pictures of shitty tippers and their tips to be able to reference them, sorta like the sex offender website.

I will continue $2 highballs… and a DJ.

Other things I might ban or not: wearing crocs or flip flops in public, tiny women in huge SUVs driving in The Fan, and I will make Carytown a no car area. All students will have to pay an annoyance tax cause they are annoying as shit and their dumb ass parents dropping them off will also be assessed a dips hit tax. I will outlaw sports bras and flannel shirts will be banned if you live in The Fan. I will open the GRTC back to the public. All gastropubs will have to remove that word from their signage.

(via RVA Magazine)

Maggie Estep, Slam Poetry Performer, Dies at Age 50

Maggie Estep

The New York Times reports that Maggie Estep, a novelist and spoken-word poet who helped popularize slam poetry in the 1990s, died on Wednesday in Albany at the age of 50.

Estep died two days after having a heart attack at her home in Hudson, New York.

In the ’90s, Estep became a regular at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, a center of the slam poetry movement. Estep’s poetry was characterized by “gritty honesty, black humor and a post-punk brand of feminism.” She became one of the form’s breakout stars, performing in showcases like MTV’s “Unplugged,” the “Free Your Mind” spoken-word tour in 1993 and, at Lollapalooza and Woodstock ’94.

She is survived by her mother, Nancy Murray; two half-brothers, Jon and Chris Murray; and a half-sister, Ellen Murray.

For more information, visit The New York Times. Estep’s blog can be viewed here.

15 Crazy Reactions to Stories From “The Onion” That Facebook Users Think Are Real


There are multitudes of shitty, quasi-satire fake news websites popping up all over the internet. Sites such as The Daily Currant, The National Report, and ChristWire constantly post bogus news stories that are, occasionally, almost believable. At least, they’re believable enough to stoke the outrage of gullible social media users.

And that’s what they’re designed for — I mean, they’re certainly not going for laughs with titles like “Man Responsible For Olympic Ring Mishap Found Dead In Sochi.” Satire is pointed, humorous, and makes us examine our follies and inherent ridiculousness — hoaxes, on the other hand, do little more than further blur the lines between fact and fiction, and I think that line is already obscure enough.

But then there are those people who fall for the most obvious, most ridiculous satirical news. And when it comes courtesy of the most world-renowned satire publication on the planet — The Onion, which has been publishing for more than a quarter-century now — it is especially hilarious.

The website Literally Unbelievable has picked up on this, and compiles screen caps of people who have taken the most absurd, most unbelievable stories from The Onion to be real. Here are 15 of the best:

Literally Unbelievable - Reactions to "The Onion" Stories

Literally Unbelievable - Reactions to "The Onion" Stories

Literally Unbelievable - Reactions to "The Onion" Stories

Literally Unbelievable - Reactions to "The Onion" Stories

Literally Unbelievable - Reactions to "The Onion" Stories

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Shirley Temple’s Daughter, Lori “Lorax” Black, Was in the Melvins

Melvins with Kurt Cobain

Melvins with Kurt Cobain – Lori Black in foreground

On February 11, 2014, famed child actor Shirley Temple Black died at the age of 85. Somewhere amid the swirl of online media coverage, someone unearthed an interesting factoid: Shirley Temple’s daughter, Lori (aka “Lorax”) Black, was a bass play for the Melvins.

According to Metal Insider, Black began dating Buzz Osborne and joined the Melvins in 1987, shortly after they relocated to San Francisco from Seattle. Black remained in the band until 1991, appearing on the band’s albums Ozma and Bullhead. She briefly rejoined the band in 1993, and is credited on that year’s Melvins album Houdini, though Osborne has claimed that she actually didn’t play on it.

Above is a photo of the band in the late ’80s, with Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain.

Government Issue to Play Reunion Show in April 2014 Featuring Songs From “Legless Bull”

Government Issue

John Stabb of the Washington, DC punk band Government Issue has announced via Facebook that members of the original 1980 lineup of GI will be reuniting for a show. The show will take place at the Damaged City Festival on April 11, 2014, and the lineup (featuring original members Stabb, John Barry, and Brian Gay, joined by Karl Hill) will be performing material from their debut EP, 1981′s Legless Bull, and original 1980 demo songs.

Stabb was the only constant member throughout GI’s 10-year run, which stretched from 1980 to 1989. The band last reunited in December 2012 for a show to celebrate the release of the documentary film Salad Days: The Birth of Punk in the Nation’s CapitalPrevious to that, the band’s final 1989-era line (Stabb, Tom Lyle, J. Robbins, and Peter Moffett) played a benefit show in 2010, and a lineup of Stabb, Lyle, Brian Baker, and drummer William Knapp performed in 2007 to help Stabb pay for medical expenses.

Listen to the Legless Bull EP below.

OFF! Announce Spring 2014 Tour Dates


OFF!, who recently announced a new album entitled Wasted Years to be released in April, will follow up that release with a US tour. All the dates will be with Cerebral Ballzy and NASA Space Universe. The tour will wrap up in Las Vegas at Punk Rock Bowling. Full dates are below.

OFF! on Tour
4/09 Oakland, CA @ Metro Operahouse
4/11 Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre
4/12 Vancouver, BC @ Fortune Sound Club
4/13 Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
4/15 Boise, ID @ Neurolux
4/16 Salt Lake City, UT @ The Loading Dock
4/18 Colorado Springs, CO @ Black Sheep
4/19 Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater
4/21 Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress
4/22 Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom
4/23 Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy
5/07 Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock
5/08 Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge
5/09 Detroit, MI @ Small’s Bar
5/10 Toronto, ON @ Mod Club
5/12 Asbury Park, NJ @ Asbury Lanes
5/15 Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar
5/16 Philadelphia, PA First Unitarian Church
5/17 New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
5/18 Boston, MA @ Middle East
5/26 Las Vegas, NV @ Punk Rock Bowling

Former Child Star Shirley Temple Dies at Age 85

Shirley Temple

Shirley Temple Black, who rose to Hollywood stardom in the 1930s as a young child, died on Monday night at her home in Woodside, California at the age of 85. Her publicist, Cheryl Kagan, confirmed her death.

From 1935 to 1939, she was the most popular movie star in America, with Clark Gable a distant second. She received more mail than Greta Garbo and was photographed more often than President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

She retired from the screen at age 22, and entered a second career in the 1960s as a diplomat political fundraiser for the Republican Party.

For more info, visit The New York Times.

Top 12 Movies That Need Sequels

words by Kevin Munley

Nobody asked for movies like Blues Brothers 2000, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, or Son of the Mask. But sometimes, movie execs have to strike while the iron is hot, and if they can milk several million dollars more out of an established film franchise, then it shall be done.

But what about those potentially amazing movie sequels that go unmade? Here are a dozen movies that deserve to be followed up.

Short Circuit and Short Circuit 2

Short Circuit

Trilogies are so nice. From vampires to space invaders, every movie needs to fit into a succinct three-part arc. I would prefer if even porn came bundled in narratives of three parts, each lasting five minutes.

Johnny 5’s journey to be a real boy was never sufficiently tied up. True, he became a gold-plated US citizen, but Johnny 5 was originally created as war technology — his ability to be a smart-talking, ass-kicking GoBot needs to be fully realized in Short Circuit 3.

Forrest Gump

Forrest Gump

I’m sure Hollywood has considered this already: Tom Hanks could return as Forrest, who would offer his special views on all the technological updates and historical happenings of the past two decades. He could go to war with Al-Qaeda, sell his stock in Apple before the release of the first iPad, and hang out with Bubba’s daughter in the Superdome during Hurricane Katrina. After surviving this disaster, Gump meets George W. Bush at the White House, and an unlikely friendship develops.

This movie writes itself. Do I envision another Oscar for Hanks?

Schindler’s List

Schindler's List

Why is every Holocaust movie about World War II? Why can’t there be Nazis in space? Plus, Spielberg’s sci-fi films kick ass: Minority Report, A.I., and Amistad are all classics.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Considering the popularity of “CSI” and modern detective shows, I say bring back Bob Hoskins and the rabbit. Add in the capabilities of modern DNA evidence collection and a hardened and dirty cop played by Ice Cube, and you’ve got another family classic on your hands.

Tommy Boy

Tommy Boy

This one would be difficult, but I don’t think you need Chris Farley to pull this off. I mean, everyone loves David Spade, and I have full confidence in him to carry this movie himself. Also, you could cast the Toronto mayor if worse comes to worst, and make the movie about Detroit’s recent auto industry/heroin problems.

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The George Zimmerman – DMX Boxing Match Has Been Canceled

George Zimmerman and DMX

Recently, it was announced that rapper DMX would fight murderer George Zimmerman in a boxing match on March 1, 2014. However, fight promoter Damon Feldman has announced on Twitter that he is calling it off:

The George Zimmerman fight is canceled I’m sorry for anyone I hurt with this but this was a very big opportunity thank you

— Damon Feldman (@hollywoodbox11) February 8, 2014

DMX had announced that “I am going to beat the living fuck out of him. I am breaking every rule in boxing to make sure I fuck him up right.” Now he won’t get that opportunity. Oh well. (via Think Progress)

See also: Trayvon Martin vs. George Zimmerman – Justice in America Is Still Black and White