Down And Out In West Texas – The Terror Of Sierra Blanca Checkpoint

October 12

Fiona Apple After Hash Bust

It’s hard to know how close a friend Brian Keith Jones was to Nelly last week.  Or if he was a friend at all.  What it is possible to glean from reports however, is that he’s a damn good friend now.  And that he knows how to party.  After Nelly’s tour bus was boarded at Sierra Blanca, Jones took responsibility for ten pounds of weed, a handgun, and a little over a half ounce of horse that was broken up into easily distributable (and indictable) packets.  Nelly was detained, questioned, and subsequently released while Jones was booked on a likely harrowing list of charges.

Welcome to Sierra Blanca, Texas.  Population: Your ass.

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Up Jumped The New World Order – The New Rules of Satanism In Pop Music

August 24

Finding Forever cover art.

Before we get too far into this, I want everybody to remember that there was a time when the members of Mötley Crüe were presumed to be dangerous servants of the Devil.

I should also say that I’m relatively new to the notion of Illuminati Satanism, and that anything you read herein has been out there in some form or another for ten or more years.  If you’re pressed for time, I can save you the trouble of reading on and just tell you right now that I think the whole notion of selling one’s soul to the Devil for a few years of fame is a load of horseshit.

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Top Zombie Songs: Foot-chomping Tunes from Beyond the Grave

September 21

walking dead

It’s nearly October, and the dead are getting restless.  The Z’s are coming, signaling not only the end of the alphabet, but also the end of the world.  Shambling their way into our hearts and viscera,  they’ll arrive in a variety of feral forms, from the October 4th release of my own undead detective, Hessius Mann:  Dead Mann Walking to the long-awaited October 16th premiere of the second season of The Walking Dead, all the way to December’s World War Z, with a veritable undead legion, good, bad and definitely ugly, arriving in between.

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Selena Gomez – A Year Without Rain video

September 4

year without rain selena gomez

Now it’s time for Selena Gomez’s ‘A Year Without Rain’, which earlier today we mentioned that the video debuted last night with the Miley Cyrus (as Hannah Montana) new single ‘Que Sera’, both revealed after last night’s Camp Rock2 : The Final Jam on the Disney channel. ‘A Year Without Rain’ is the title track of Selena’s upcoming album, set to be released on September 21st (according to Amazon, I’ve seen the 28th as well). Earlier this month we brought you the word on two options of Album cover art (for the deluxe and standard versions), which included a full track listing.

In recent Selena news, make sure you check out myRMX on iPhone and iPod so you can download an remix Selena’s “I Don’t Miss You At All” and “I Won’t Apologize”. As I noted in Miley post before, for all things Selena Gomez make sure you check out our sister site BSCkids.

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Shakira – Waka Waka (World Cup video)

June 8

shakira world cup

Shakira has revealed her contribution to the several World Cup theme songs being released by major musical act. Kicking off on June 11th, the world-wide activity that takes place every four years will be watched by everyone on the globe who doesn’t have a sports-related Fantasy Football draft to plan for. Now, Shakira, she’s interesting for sure, and here ‘Waka Waka’ (“This Time For Africa”) was recently released with Cup-themed video. I only wish they didn’t flash so much to all that jogging around a football field and instead focused on the always welcome visage of the Colombian singer, who is joined by the African fusion band, Freshlyground.

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Justin Bieber and Jaden Smith – ‘Never Say Never’ Video

May 31

bieber jaden

Justin Bieber hit up twitter to let his fans know that his latest video, “Never Say Never”, is now out. It also features Jaden Smith, and will be one of the theme songs on the Smith and Jackie Chan starring film, “The Karate Kid” (though I’d take the “The” out–there is only one the Karate Kid and his name is Ralph Macchio–not the Marvel comics guy either!). The film his theaters on June 11th.

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Justin Bieber and Soulja Boy – ‘Rich Girl’

May 24

justin-bieberThe recording world often sees interesting pairings. The latest newsworthy duet comes via a song called “Rich Girl”. Who sings it? Why the baby-faced Justin Bieber and rapper Soulja Boy. They might come from different musical genres, but the pair reportedly met on iChat, then decided a collaboration was in order. He reminds me of myself,” Soulja Boy told Billboard.

“Rich Girl” is slated to be released as a track on Dr. Dre’s upcoming studio album entitled “Dre”, which should be released sometime in July. Kanye West and Lil Wayne are also expected to contribute to Dre’s album, while powerhouses Beyonce, Eminiem, and Jay-Z are also being sought.

This news comes just one week after Justin Beiber’s appearance on the American Idol stage. We’ve got the video in case you missed it.

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Miley Cyrus – ‘Can’t be Tamed’ Video

May 5

miley cyrus

Over at BSCkids we’ve been keeping up with lead up to ‘Can’t be Tamed’, the latest Miley Cyrus song getting a music video. Just yesterday we posted some images from the video that debuted fully yesterday on E! News. ‘Can’t Be Tamed’ is also the title of Miley’s next album, which will drop digitally on May 18th, and in stores on June 22nd.


I would never be called or mistaken for a historian when it comes to the mini-Cyrus career (Damon is the one with all of the Hannah posters–only Storm Shadow for me), but this seems like it would be a bit of a career divergence? I know that comments over at BSCkids are definitely ruthless. I sense a Gaga effect on several recent big-name video releases.

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Movies & TV | Music

Justin Bieber – American Idol Gives Back

April 16

american idol

BSCkids told you this early last month, and to not get too hyped by Justin Bieber’s appearance last month, and that we’d see a performance later down the road. We now know that Justin Bieber will be on next week (April 21st), adding his substantial following to the a good cause, in the show’s annual “Idol Gives Back” charity event.

Bieber will not be the only musical guest, as a line-up of the Black Eyed Peas, Annie Lennox, Carrie Underwood, Alicia Keys, Jeff Beck and Elton John have also been announced, in an effort to support the Children’s Health Fund, Feeding America, Malaria No More, Save the Children’s U.S. Programs and the United Nations Foundation. We’ve seen a lot of Justin Bieber recently, even escaping the coverage at BSCkids and leaking over here at BSC-throne world.

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Movies & TV | Music

Justin Bieber ‘Baby’ on Saturday Night Live

April 13

justin bieber

This is just for completionists’ sake as it rounds out the entire Justin Bieber invasion of SNL over the weekend. Yesterday we posted the two skits that Bieber participated in with Tina Fey, which was proceeded by our posting of his performance of his single “U Smile” and the preview for the episode. Like the previous song, “Baby” is introduced by Tina Fey who co-hosted the episode.

Both songs are from Bieber’s new album (released last month), My World 2.0. As we told you over at BSCkids last month, Bieber is about to hit the road this summer on a North American tour to promote the album. It kicks off on June 23rd at Hartford, Connecticut.

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Ted Leo Keeps the Dream Alive

March 4

The dream is always the same. We keep thinking that music can save our soul, that we can hear that one damn song that makes us break down and cry, that a killer album can be the umbrella on our rainiest day, that one great rock show can change the world, and we keep getting proven wrong–

Well, except that sometimes all these hoary clichés come true. Ted Leo is a firm believer in all that nonsense, and he makes records like Hell will crack open if he doesn’t put his whole heart and soul into every single line of every single song. And with The Brutalist Bricks (Matador), he’s left it all on the court again; this is a work of passion, of intelligence, and of true faith that music can mean something in this effed-up ineffable world.

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Untied States, ‘Instant Everything, Constant Nothing’ | review

February 19

Let’s start with the name: Untied States is a pretty brilliant sort of moniker for a post-punk group, isn’t it? It’s silly and evocative at the same time, a joke and a threat, the kind of name that gets bands noticed. Not as fond of the album’s title, which seems kind of the opposite of all that, and might actually be the title of a song by Live or Bush or one of those bands, but anon.

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Vampire Weekend ‘Contra’ | review

January 14

So here’s the deal with Vampire Weekend: we didn’t like their first album very much. But NOT because we were hating on them for “stealing” African music. Sure, we tend to favor actual Africans playing their own music, not Columbia grads in pastels and Polo shirts…but hey, why SHOULDN’T a band of eager young people be influenced by some of the best music in the world?

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Best Albums of the Decade, 9-1

January 7

We’re almost there! Before you read any further, make sure you’ve caught up with the rest of the countdown. Click to see 19-10.

Okay, here we go. I have ten albums in my top nine spots because we’ve got a tie at number 1. Let’s get there and get this thing sewn up, shall we?

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Best Albums of the Decade, 29-20

January 1

Before you read any further, make sure you check out the first two thirds of the countdown! Click to see 101-90 and 89-80 and 79-70 and 69-60 and 59-50 and 49-40 and 39-29.5.

Okay, we’re up to the top echelon here, and things are getting crazy. Albums are getting tossed right and left, substituted for others that we thought were locks, and we are going to end up leaving out tons of stuff that deserved to be on the list. Ugh. Anyway, we press on…


29. Superaquello, Bien Gorgeous (2004)
Our favorite underrated Puerto Rican avant-pop group was tearing it up under the radar with three great records before breaking up, then coming back to record two more excellent things by the end of the decade. This one won the coin flip because it’s the most psychedelic and fractured thing they have done…at least so far. We can hope, can’t we?
Other albums that could have gone here: Mu Psiqui Ta (2002), La Emergencia (2005), Presenta La Tarde (2009).



28. Over the Rhine, Ohio (2003)
We have a deep affection for this highly literate and sensitive duo from Cincinnati; their well-crafted songs often skirt pretention but are saved by their sincerity, and by Karin Bergquist’s insanely sensuous vocal delivery. This is their best set of songs, each better than the last. Standouts: the riveting title track, “Jesus in New Orleans.” See them live if you can, like we do. 



27. Gomez, Out West (2005)
We are the only critical authority to recognize the awesomeness of Gomez, a very British band that does songs about hating Britain and how unknowable we all are. But we don’t care because we are right and everyone else is wrong. Choosing this one is provocative but right, as it shows all sides of a great group that will always be underrated…except in our hearts.
Other albums that could have gone here: Abandoned Shopping Trolley Hotline (2000), In Our Gun (2002), Split the Difference (2004), How We Operate (2006), A New Tide (2009).



26. Baaba Maal, Mi Yeewnii (Missing You) (2001)
Severely conflicted choosing this instead of Salif Keita’s Moffou from 2002, which I should have on the list somewhere, too. Both are lovely acoustic albums by romantic Malian singers who embrace beauty and delicacy as well as power. But we heard Maal first, and saw him and his otherworldly band in one of the most thrilling concerts ever, so he’s in. Consider it an official tie.
Other albums that could have gone here: Television (2009).



25. Mannie Fresh, The Mind of Mannie Fresh (2004)
This is simply one of the most hilarious and creative hip-hop records in that genre’s history, high praise for a guy who was considered a gifted but limited producer before this album dropped. Wild love/hate songs like “Conversation,” sneakily deep stuff like “Nothing Compares to Love,” best skits ever, and Lil Wayne killing it in a parody of himself.



24. Tabla Beat Science, Live in San Francisco at Stern Grove (2002)
This band is a supergroup made up of a lot of our favorite world music artists: Karsh Kale on percussion and drums, the stunning Ethiopian singer Gigi, MIDIval PunditZ on electronics and turntables, Bill Laswell on bass, Ustad Sultan Khan on sarangi, and the incomparable Zakir Hussein on tablas. They cook like a whole bunch of Iron Chefs in this live setting. Better, now I can shoehorn a bunch of their albums into the space below:
Other albums that could have gone here: Karsh Kale: Realize (2001), Liberation (2003), Broken English (2006), Breathing Under Water w/Anoushka Shankar (2007); Gigi: Gigi (2001), Illuminated Audio (2003), Abyssinia Infinite (2003), Gold and Wax (2006); MIDIval PunditZ: MIDIval Times (2005), Hello Hello (2009); absolutely anything by Khan and Hussein.



23. Norah Jones, Not Too Late (2007)
Scoff if you must at her success, her low-key delivery, her good looks, or her refusal to choose between country and soul and pop and rock and jazz. But please don’t sell her short as a singer or as a songwriter, because she’s grown into a complete original. This one contains her best and most cutting songs, as well as a mordant political wit (“Sinking Soon”) and real intelligence. Don’t hate on her, she’ll put out four more classics every decade.
Other albums that could have gone here: Come Away With Me (2002), Feels Like Home (2004), The Fall (2009).



22. The Flaming Lips, Embryonic (2009)
Not sure if there was a more disappointing record than At War With the Mystics, because these guys were on such a roll after Yoshimi killed it. But this record brought them back to their anarchist core while managing to thrill even jaded hipsters with their new updated sound and the ferocity of a lot of their lyrics. So what if it’s not as good as Clouds Taste Metallic? We’ll take new great material any day, even if it’s harsh & crazy.
Other albums that could have gone here: Yoshimi Vs. the Pink Robots.



21. Cornershop, Handcream for a Generation (2002)
Another example of an eclectic-minded British group that has been almost completely abandoned by everyone. This was a huge gamble for Tjinder Singh, who here embraced blues and psych-rock and disco in addition to the group’s niche market in Indian-inflected pop weirdness. He might have done his job too well, as this record caused fans to run fleeing from the armadillo in his trousers. But a more lovable album might not exist.
Other albums that might have gone here: Judy Sucks a Lemon For Breakfast (2009).



20. Anthony Hamilton, The Point of It All (2008)
There is not enough space here for us to express our deep love and admiration for Mr. Anthony Hamilton. If he just sang the way he does, like a low-rent angel steeped in gospel and country and hip-hop…dayenu. If he just wrote shockingly well-constructed songs the way he does, often with steel-trap subtexts or wild turns of phrase…dayenu. But to do both as easily as he seems to? An embarrassment of riches. This one keeps rising up the chart and might end up top ten eventually.
Other albums that could have gone here: Comin’ From Where I’m From (2003), Ain’t Nobody Worryin’ (2005).

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Best Albums of the Decade, 101-90

December 17

This was a big funky decade for music; walls crumbled all over the place, meaning that we could listen to anything in the whole world we wanted at just about any time, if we were smart or sneaky enough. It also meant that everyone could share their CDs — or their opinions — just by touching a few buttons. Pretty cool, in most ways, but kind of crappy in others. Hey, it’s a tradeoff.

It was also pretty clearly the last decade where THE ALBUM really meant anything. I’m not saying people won’t make albums in the future, I’m just saying…well, I don’t know what I’m saying. We’ll see how it all shakes out.

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