Watch: Legendary Jazz Bassist Charlie Haden Plays “Little Man With a Gun In His Hand” With the Minutemen, 1984

Minutemen and Charlie Haden

This photo comes from Mike Watt’s website hootpage.com. Watt’s caption reads: “santa monica, ca – 1984 / (from left) d. boon, charlie haden and mike watt (behind) / at mc cabes’. charlie jammed w/us in the tune ‘little man w/a gun in his hand.’”

On July 11, 2014, legendary jazz bassist Charlie Haden passed away at the age of 76. During his career, which included receiving four Grammys, Haden played with many musicians, from Ornette Coleman and Keith Jarrett, to Ginger Baker, and Norah Jones.

Haden also played with pioneering DIYers the Minutemen, who he had become familiar with in the early ’80s (as well as bands such as the Meat Puppets and Black Flag) from his children. In 1984, Haden booked Minutemen as an opening act at McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Santa Monica, California. During the set, he joined the trio for “Little Man With a Gun in His Hand.”

The below video comes from the never-released SST video Corndogs!, the only copy of which was stolen out of a van before it could be sent to the duplication plant. Sadly, only bits and pieces of the video exist as poor-quality bootlegs.

(via Dangerous Minds)

The FCC Is Currently Accepting Comments Regarding Net Neutrality – Here Is What You Can Do (Email Template Provided)

Net Neutrality

Net neutrality is currently a hot topic in the United States, but it’s something that, if not protected, could very well affect internet users across the globe.

Now is the time for everyone — yes, you — to take action to help preserve the internet as we know it. This means contacting the FCC and your state representatives via email and/or via phone. It takes very little time to do so, and we will explain how below.

What Is Net Neutrality?

First, it’s important that you understand why this is an important issue. I suggest reading this basic primer on net neutrality at Business Insider – it explains the issue clearly, in plain language. If you have 13 minutes and like to laugh while you are educated on political matters, watch John Oliver’s excellent 13-minute take on net neutrality. Also, below, the explanation of a “fast lane” provides a pretty good idea of what is at the heart of this issue.

What Is the FCC Seeking Comment On?

Right now, the FCC is asking for comments on three basic questions. I am going to quote Reddit user NikkoE82, who has provided a great summary of what the FCC is looking for, as well as a simple explanation as to what these questions mean (which also generally addresses what net neutrality is all about):

1) Should fast lanes be banned?

2) Should broadband providers be classified as Title II Common Carriers?

3) Should these same rules apply to wireless (mobile) providers?

Your comment doesn’t need to be written in legalese or be a tome. Just speak what you feel. If you think personal experience is relevant, use it. Above all, be polite.

EDIT 2: A quick ELI5 on these three questions. I’m no expert, so please feel free to correct or modify these.

1) On the Internet, every website loads at the same rate as any other website. In principle, this let’s websites thrive based solely on the service/information they provide and not on how fast their content loads. ISPs (i.e., Comcast, Time Warner, AT&T) want to change that by charging websites for faster load times in a “fast lane.” This gives an edge to any website with deep pockets and hurts smaller, start-up websites. Not to mention the potential for abuse by slowing down undesirable information (i.e., websites that are pro-net neutrality).

2) A common carrier is a person or company that delivers goods to the public and is responsible for any loss of said goods on the way. Think water companies and electric companies. Title II common carriers are telecommunications providers. Your basic landline telephone service. This is why when you call someone on the phone, you get the same quality of signal as when you call anyone else. Because the telephone companies can’t favor anyone. Right now, ISPs aren’t classified this way. Doing so would make fast lanes illegal.

3) Take the above two and apply it to your smartphone.

How Can I Contact the FCC?

The easiest way to contact the FCC is via email: [email protected]. If you wish to call the FCC and speak to a live person, call 1-888-225-5322, and then press 1, 4, 0. The FCC opens at 8 am EST.

What Should I Say?

Here is the email I sent to the FCC today. I based it on various “scripts” I found online, and modified it slightly according to my own feelings on the matter. You can use it the same way if you wish:

Hello, I am writing to express my concern regarding net neutrality and the efforts currently being made to undermine this principle.

Internet Service Providers believe they have a lot to gain monetarily by destroying the internet as we now know it, and if they are given their way, the vast majority of Americans (and perhaps the rest of the world, which may follow suit), from users to small business entrepreneurs, will suffer. Service providers will suffer, especially those operated by communities, and the established under-performing, over-charging monopolies will grow in strength and cement their foothold.

Please fight against the “fast lane,” and please work to reclassify internet service providers as common carriers to protect our right to an open internet with equal access for all. The long-term effects of not doing so will be disastrous.

Thank you,


You can also use this as a basis for what to say if you call in. Remember to be polite. And again, use your own opinions. If you own a business that may be hurt by the destruction of net neutrality or the creation of fast lanes, mention it.

What Else Can I Do?

Call or email Congress in your state. Here is a link to find your representatives and here is a link to find your state senators.

Stay updated on the issue — as of July 15, 2014, a number of internet giants are pressing for net neutrality.

If you have any further ideas, corrections on what I’ve published here, or any other comments, please comment below!

“Harry Potter” Actor David Legeno Found Dead at Death Valley

David Legeno in "Harry Potter"

David Legeno, an actor best known for playing the werewolf villain Fenrir Greyback in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and both parts one and two of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, has died at the age of 50. The British actor died while hiking in Death Valley National Park in California.

Legeno’s body was discovered by two hikers on Sunday in a remote desert location west of Zabriskie Point and had to be removed by a helicopter, according to a press release from the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department.

“The remains have been identified as David Legeno, a 50-year-old United Kingdom man. It appears that Legeno died of heat related issues, but the Inyo County Coroner will determine the final cause of death. There are no signs of foul play.”

In addition to the Harry Potter films, Legeno’s other major film credits include Snow White and the Huntsman and Batman Begins. Recently, he finished production for The Last Knights starring Morgan Freeman and Clive Owen. He was also an MMA fighter and boxer and lived in southern England with his daughter. (via CNN)

Conor Oberst’s Rape Accuser Admits She Lied, Issues Public Apology

Conor Oberst

The woman who accused singer-songwriter Conor Oberst of raping her when she was 16 years old has offered a public apology for her claims. A note from a representative for Oberst says that Joanie Faircloth has issued an official statement admitting that she lied in a post on the xoJane comments section, blaming the accusation on a “difficult period in [her] life,” when she was trying to deal with the illness of her son. Oberst later filed a libel suit against Faircloth, and as of last week she had yet to appear in court. The full text of the statement from Oberst’s representative, including Faircloth’s apology, is below.

“North Carolina resident Joan Elizabeth Harris aka Joanie Faircloth has issued a public apology to Conor Oberst recanting her on-line accusations of being sexually assaulted by the musician. After seven months of attempts to reach Ms. Faircloth to request that she rescind the false accusations she made against Mr. Oberst in the comments section of the xoJane website in December 2013, and repeated elsewhere over the following months, Ms. Faircloth contacted Mr. Oberst’s lawyers and today issued a notarized statement. Her statement reads in full:

‘The statements I made and repeated online and elsewhere over the past six months accusing Conor Oberst of raping me are 100% false. I made up those lies about him to get attention while I was going through a difficult period in my life and trying to cope with my son’s illness. I publicly retract my statements about Conor Oberst, and sincerely apologize to him, his family, and his fans for writing such awful things about him. I realize that my actions were wrong and could undermine the claims of actual sexual assault victims and for that I also apologize. I’m truly sorry for all the pain that I caused.’

In February Mr. Oberst filed a libel complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York asserting that the only relationship between the two parties was one of artist and fan; Ms. Faircloth had no physical contact with Mr. Oberst at the Durham, NC show she claimed was the location of the alleged sexual assault.”

A copy of Joanie Faircloth's signed statement

(via Spin)

Top 10 Hip-Hop Releases of 2014 (So Far)

words by Nathan G. O’Brien

 1. Schoolboy Q – Oxymoron (Top Dawg / Interscope)

Schoolboy Q "Oxymoron"

Oxymoron is the first album out of the TDE/Black Hippy camp since good kid, m.A.A.d city catapulted Kendrick Lamar to stardom. And with its arrival, Schoolboy Q has emerged much in the same way: a conflicted individual whose rhyme scheme and subject matter is as varied as his beat selection.

He traverses through redundant clichés (“Hell of a Night,” “Man of the Year”) and deeply personal lyricism (“Hoover Street,” “Blind Threats”) with vigor and an unmatched attention to detail. On the trap-tinged “Prescription/Oxymoron,” his internal conflict raps are at their most obvious, as he addresses the crippling effects of taking prescription drugs and the allure of selling them in the street. He asks, “How can they say feeling good is an addiction?” while the hook goes, “I just stopped selling crack today.”

2. Timeless Truth – Dominican Diner EP (Self-Released)

Timeless Truth "Dominican Diner"

Following up on last year’s under-the-radar cassette the Brugal & Presidentes EP, Oprime39 and Solace, the largely unknown New York City-based duo that makeup Timeless Truth, have returned with a new EP. Destined to be criminally underrated, Dominican Diner is a perfect combination of laid-back summer-y hip-hop — perfect for barbecues and sunny bike rides through the city (“Trife,” “Crème Da La Crème,” “Glory”) — and traditional New York rap at its most authentic (“Out of the Loop,” “Bail Money in the Mattress,” “T.I.R.O.”).

3. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Piñata (Madlib Invazion)

Freddie Gibbs & Madlib "Piñata"

The latest in a string of collaborations between emcee Freddie Gibbs and super-producer Madlib, Piñata is on a straight-up gangster rap tip. Madlib’s beats — culled from old-school soul, funk, and blaxploitation — are the backdrop to Gangsta Gibbs signature misogyny, drug dealing, and pistol play. And although at large he’s unapologetically keeping it real, Gibbs isn’t afraid to show a little bit of remorse. While he’ll give the listener a glimpse of his softer side (“Deeper,” “Broken”) he always holds back enough as to not compromise his rugged ghetto-hardened exterior (“Thuggin’,” “Real,” “Knicks”).

4. Step Brothers – Lord Steppington (Rhymesayers Entertainment)

Step Brothers "Lord Steppington"

Continuing a partnership the dates back to the early ’00s when producer Alchemist made some beats for emcee Evidences’s group Dilated Peoples, the two have taken form as Step Brothers. Their debut album, Lord Steppington thrives in ‘90s boom-bap nostalgia, bong hits, and in-joking. A song like “Legendary Mesh” is evocative of the album as a whole: Evidence flexes his pay-attention-or-you’ll-miss-it cleverness (“I swear to drunk I’m not God, but getting closer”), while Alchemist’s psychedelic samples, hard drums, and deep bass drive the beat to neck-snapping heights. There are some notable guest spots from the likes of Domo Genesis and Scott Caan (“Bryon G”), Action Bronson (“Mums in the Garage”), and Alchemist’s Gangrene co-conspirator Oh No (“Draw Something”).

5. Atmosphere – Southsiders (Rhymesayers Entertainment)

Atmosphere "Southsiders"

Southsiders is the first Atmosphere album since 2011’s lackluster Family Sign. And while you can still find some leftover moroseness here (“I Love You Like a Brother”), Southsiders is as close to a return to form as we can expect from Slug and Ant, the emcee and producer combo that makes up the nucleus of Atmosphere.

Things have changed: babies were born, people died, and weight was gained. Once you reach a certain age, life becomes more about durability than it does going all out. Realizing that it’s more about finishing the race than it is winning it, on the title track Slug raps, “Life’s too short to fight the feeling /I get a little paranoid for no reason/When the jukebox plays don’t stop believing.” While there were several songs on The Family Sign that had people guessing that they were about the passing of Michael “Eyedea” Larson, “Flicker” leaves nothing to imagination. And there are a handful of tracks here (“Star Shaped Box,” “Bitter,” “Kanye West,” “January on Lake Street”) to appease those that hold the Overcast, Headshots:  Se7en, and Lucy Ford: The Atmosphere EP’s days in high regard.

6. Blu – Good To Be Home (New World Color/Nature Sounds)

Blu "Good To Be Home"

Good To Be Home is a lofty double-disc celebration of Blu’s hometown of Los Angeles. People who grew up listening to hip-hop around the same time Blu did will find plenty of moments to nod in agreement (“Boyz in the Hood,” “Dre Day,” “Bobby Brown”) and there’s enough guest spots (2 Mex, Prodigy, Phil Da Agony, Planet Asia, Krondon) to keep the would-be monotony of a 20-song album at bay.

As far as the production goes, it’s very similar — at times nearly indistinguishable — from track to track, but it’s that sameness that really adds to the overall cohesiveness of the album. Bombay’s beats are peculiar exercises in raw simplicity; at times reminiscent of Apollo Brown and at others seemingly haphazardly-assembled loops. Good To Be Home should be heard with a nice set of headphones to be fully appreciated.

7. Skyzoo & Torae – Barrel Brothers (First Generation Rich Inc./Internal Affairs Entertainment)

Skyzoo & Torae "Barrel Brothers"

After experiencing a modicum of success as solo artists, New York City emcees Skyzoo and Torae come together as Barrel Brothers. Traveling parallel career paths and having collaborated numerous times already, the rugged fluidity of Barrel Brothers comes as no surprise. The duo called upon a grip of producers (Illmind, Oh No, Black Milk, Khrysis, DJ Premier, Apollo Brown) to assemble a tapestry of hard-knocking beats.

Aside from a few select guest spots (Sean Price, Guilty Simpson, Blu) Skyzoo and Torae fully own the project, further cementing themselves as supreme rhyme-slingers. With a focus on skillful lyricism and head-nodding beats Barrel Brothers is boom-bap revivalism at its finest.

8. De La Soul & J. Dilla – Smell the Da.I.S.Y. (mixtape)

De La Soul & J. Dilla "Smell the Da.i.s.y."

Smell the Da.I.S.Y. (Da Inner Soul of Yancy) Is an 11-track mixtape that finds Posdnuos, Dave, and Maseo dropping reworked verses over some unreleased J. Dilla production. The beats will rattle your subs, while De La’s recognizable verses will transport you back to a time before trap and Autotune became the norm. Come on ya’ll, just clap your hands to the beat.

9. D.I.T.C. – The Remix Project (mixtape)

D.I.T.C. "The Remix Project"

Anyone well-versed in ‘90s rap music is already aware of the contributions Diggin In The Crates have made to hip-hop. The emcee/deejay/producer super-crew consisted of Showbiz & AG, Diamond D, OC, Lord Finesse, Fat Joe, Buckwild, and the highly revered Big L.

For the uninitiated and old heads alike, D.I.T.C. has done the rap world a solid in the form of a free download. The Remix Project is a 14-song collection of the crew’s back catalog that has been given the remix treatment. Some of the tracks were remixed in-house by Lord Finesse (“Thick Lord”), Showbiz (“Best Behavior”), Buckwild (“Casualties of the Dice Game”), and Diamond D (“Internationally Known”), but many of them were handed over to some of present day’s masterful beatsmiths. The Alchemist (“We All”), Apollo Brown (“All Love”), DJ Premier (“Diggin in the Crates”), 9th Wonder (“Time to Get Money”), and Marco Polo (“Way of Life”) all take turns breathing new life into songs, some of which are 20 years old.

10. Various Artists – Coalmine Records Presents: Unearthed Mixed by DJ Revolution (mixtape)


Like they did with the DJ Rhettmatic-mixed version of M-Phaze’s 2012 producer album Phazed Out, Coalmine Records dropped another mixtape in the true sense of the word. DJ Revolution mans a nonstop boom-bap party mix of tracks culled from the decade-old hip-hop preservation label’s back catalog. It features production from the likes of Marco Polo, Khrysis, Ayatollah, and more, and raps from Pharoahe Monch, Large Professor, Kool G Rap, Blu, Guilty Simpson, and Sean Price, among others.

Also of note: Army of Pharaohs – In Death Reborn, Onyx – Wakedafucup, Mobb Deep – The Infamous Mobb Deep, Freddie Gibbs & The World’s Freshest – The Tonite Show

Nathan G. O’Brien is an artist and writer living in Minneapolis with his wife, cat, and many bicycles. He sporadically publishes the zines HotDogDayz and The Soda Killers. You can find him on Twitter at @OMG_NOB.

Tommy Ramone, Final Surviving Founding Member of the Ramones, Dies at Age 65

Tommy Ramone

Tom Erdelyi, better known as Tommy Ramone, died of bile duct cancer on Friday at his home in Ridgewood, Queens. He was 65. Tommy Ramone was the founding drummer and last surviving original member of the Ramones, the influential New York City punk rock band.

He played only on the band’s first three albums, their self-titled debut in 1976 and Leave Home and Rocket to Russia, in 1977. He was also the primary author of several of the Ramones’ early classics, including “Blitzkrieg Bop.”

Joey Ramone died in 2001, Dee Dee died in 2002, and Johnny died in 2004.

(via New York Times)

Top 10 Most “Abandoned” Books That People Quit Reading Before They Reach the End

Marilyn Monroe reading James Joyce's "Ulysses"

Marilyn Monroe found time to read “Ulysses” — why haven’t you?

Goodreads has published a very interesting infographic showing which books people are most likely to give up reading partway through. Contemporary books listed include Fifty Shades of Grey and Eat, Pray, Love, and five of the classics most people abandon are, unsurprisingly, Moby Dick and Atlas Shrugged. The infographic goes onto explore other factors such as what makes people abandon books, what causes them to continue reading, and how far into a book they are when they decide they no longer wish to read it.

Interestingly, most people quit reading books after reading fewer than 100 pages. Personally the books I’ve abandoned are often much closer to the end (including On the Road, which I bailed on about 20 pages to the end).

Take a look below at the most abandoned books (click the infographic to see it in full size), and let us know which books you’ve quit reading before finishing.

Abandoned books

(via Goodreads)

Man Suffers Brain Injury From Headbanging to Motörhead


Recently, The Lancet published a case study that examined a 50-year-old patient who visited an ER after having a constant headache for two weeks. He had no signs of drug use or prior medical history indicating that he would be at risk — but he had been to a Motörhead show in the last month.

Surgeons removed a blood clot and the man has made a full recovery, but they linked his subdural hematoma to headbanging.

Doctors wrote in the study that “headbanging, with its brisk forward and backward acceleration and deceleration forces, led to rupturing of bridging veins causing haemorrhage…” and declared that the case “serves as evidence in support of Motörhead’s reputation as one of the most hardcore rock’n’roll acts on earth, if nothing else because of their contagious speed drive and the hazardous potential for headbanging fans to suffer brain injury.”

There you have it: evidence supported by medical doctors that Motörhead rocks.

(via The Daily Beast)

OFF! Announce Summer 2014 Tour Dates With Drummer Dale Crover of Melvins


OFF! have announced a new run of tour dates this August in support of their latest album Wasted Years. In place of the group’s usual drummerMario Rubalcaba is Dale Crover of Melvins (and a former member of Nirvana). Joining the band for the tour are California punkers Bad Antics and Arizona hardcore band Gay Kiss, with the Dwarves jumping on select Texas dates. Full dates are below.

OFF! on Tour
w/ Mario Rubalcaba:
7/11 Milton Keynes, UK @ Milton Keynes Bowl *
7/17 Mexico City, Mexico @ Indie Rocks! Forum

w/ Dale Crover (all dates with Bad Antics and Gay Kiss):
8/06 El Paso, TX @ Lowbrow Palace
8/08 San Antonio, TX  @ Korova+
8/09 Austin, TX  @ Mohawk+
8/10 New Orleans, LA @ Siberia
8/11 Baton Rouge, LA @ Spanish Moon
8/13 Orlando, FL @ Backbooth
8/14 Miami, FL @ Churchill’s Pub
8/15 St. Petersburg, FL @ Local 662
8/18 Atlanta, GA @ Drunken Unicorn
8/19 Raleigh, NC @ Kings Barcade
8/21 Washington, DC @ Rock and Roll Hotel
8/22 Brooklyn, NY @ Europa
8/23 Pittsburgh, PA @ Altar Bar
8/24 Cleveland Heights, OH @ Grog Shop

* with Pearl Jam
+ with The Dwarves

Six Writing Tips From John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck

If you’re a writer who’s looking to write better, then there is often no better place to turn to for advice and inspiration than a master of the craft. In addition to Kurt Vonnegut’s seven rules for great writing, we now present to you six writing tips from John Steinbeck, taken from his interview published in the Fall 1975 issue of The Paris Review, seven years after his death.

1. Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised.

2. Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down. Rewrite in process is usually found to be an excuse for not going on. It also interferes with flow and rhythm which can only come from a kind of unconscious association with the material.

3. Forget your generalized audience. In the first place, the nameless, faceless audience will scare you to death and in the second place, unlike the theater, it doesn’t exist. In writing, your audience is one single reader. I have found that sometimes it helps to pick out one person — a real person you know, or an imagined person and write to that one.

4. If a scene or a section gets the better of you and you still think you want it — bypass it and go on. When you have finished the whole you can come back to it and then you may find that the reason it gave trouble is because it didn’t belong there.

5. Beware of a scene that becomes too dear to you, dearer than the rest. It will usually be found that it is out of drawing.

6. If you are using dialogue — say it aloud as you write it. Only then will it have the sound of speech.


Click here for Kurt Vonnegut’s Rules for Great Writing



“Reading Rainbow” Kickstarter Passes $5 Million, Seth MacFarlane Donates an Extra $1 Million

Reading Rainbow

At the end of May 2014, LeVar Burton launched a Kickstarter aiming to raise $1 million to rejuvenate “Reading Rainbow,” the beloved PBS program that originally ran from 1983 through the mid-2000s. Within a day, they were able to surpass their goal, allowing them to broaden their aspirations and set their sights on raising $5 million.

The Kickstarter, which ended July 2nd, blew past the goal on the final day. As an added bonus, “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane pledged an additional $1 million, bringing the grand total raised to more than $6.4 million. Altogether, nearly 106,000 people donated to the campaign, which will bring “Reading Rainbow’s” library of interactive books and video field trips to more platforms, and will provide free access to classrooms in need.

Click here for Six Clips of Classic “Reading Rainbow” Episodes From the 1980s

Tina Fey to Produce “Hocus Pocus 2″

Hocus Pocus

A new report from The Tracking Board states that Tina Fey and her company, Little Stranger, will produce the long-awaited sequel to the 1993 film Hocus Pocus.

Fey is joining Allison Shearmur from Allison Shearmur Productions along with executives Bryan Oh and Stephen Meinen, who were attached to the project previously. And Disney is coming on board through executives Jessica Virtue and Tendo Nagenda.

No actors from the original movie have signed on or are even rumored to be a part of the Hocus Pocus sequel, and no director has been named either. Kenny Ortega  directed the original film.

Street Dogs Announce August 2014 European Tour Dates

Street Dogs performing at PRB 2012 | photo by Shahab Zargari

Street Dogs performing at PRB 2012 | photo by Shahab Zargari

Boston’s Street Dogs — featuring vocalist Mike McColgan — have announced a summer tour of Europe with Bishops Green. Full dates are below!

Street Dogs on Tour
8/06 London, England @ Underworld
8/07 Blackpool, England @ Rebellion Festival
8/08 Winchester, England @ Boomtown Fair
8/09 Torgau, Germany @ Endless Summer
8/10 Frankfurt, Germany @ 11er Club
8/11 -indau, Germany @ Club Vaudeville
8/12 Eindhoven, Netherlands @ Dynamo
8/13 Oberhausen, Germany @ Kulttempel
8/14 München, Germany @ Backstage
8/15 Portomaggiore/Ferrara, Italy @ What Is Rock? Festival*
8/16 Stemwede, Germany @ Stemweder Open Air Fest*

* – denotes no Bishops Green