Pussy Riot releases Eric Garner tribute, I Can’t Breathe

First English song by the Russian group. Eric Garner died in July, 2014, after NYPD — going against policy — put him in a fatal chokehold on a Staten Island sidewalk. Garner repeated the phrase “I can’t breathe” 11 times before losing consciousness.

From a statement: “This song is for Eric and for all those from Russia to America and around the globe who suffer from state terror — killed, choked, perished because of war and state sponsored violence of all kinds — for political prisoners and those on the streets fighting for change. We stand in solidarity.”

Lou Reed dies at 71

From Rolling Stone:

Lou Reed, a massively influential songwriter and guitarist who helped shape nearly fifty years of rock music, died today. The cause of his death has not yet been released, but Reed underwent a liver transplant in May

With the Velvet Underground in the late Sixties, Reed fused street-level urgency with elements of European avant-garde music, marrying beauty and noise, while bringing a whole new lyrical honesty to rock & roll poetry. As a restlessly inventive solo artist, from the Seventies into the 2010s, he was chameleonic, thorny and unpredictable, challenging his fans at every turn. Glam, punk and alternative rock are all unthinkable without his revelatory example. “One chord is fine,” he once said, alluding to his bare-bones guitar style. “Two chords are pushing it. Three chords and you’re into jazz.”

Lewis Allan “Lou” Reed was born in Brooklyn, in 1942. A fan of doo-wop and early rock & roll (he movingly inducted Dion into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989), Reed also took formative inspiration during his studies at Syracuse University with the poet Delmore Schwartz. After college, he worked as a staff songwriter for the novelty label Pickwick Records (where he had a minor hit in 1964 with a dance-song parody called “The Ostrich”). In the mid-Sixties, Reed befriended Welsh musician John Cale, a classically trained violist who had performed with groundbreaking minimalist composer La Monte Young. Reed and Cale formed a band called the Primitives, then changed their name to the Warlocks. After meeting guitarist Sterling Morrison and drummer Maureen Tucker, they became the Velvet Underground. With a stark sound and ominous look, the band caught the attention of Andy Warhol, who incorporated the Velvets into his Exploding Plastic Inevitable. “Andy would show his movies on us,” Reed said. “We wore black so you could see the movie. But we were all wearing black anyway.”

Continue reading at Rolling Stone.

Biggie died 16 years ago today


The kids starting out now — whose idea of “hustlin'” is spamming Twitter and posting crappily photoshopped photos of on Facebook of themselves lookin’ “hard” — should watch this video of him freestyling at age 17. And then quit. And then read a book. He was better then than most out today:

Here’s Baby Yu’s excellent tribute to Biggie:


Click to stream on Podomatic

“This is dedicated to one of my favorite artists, The Notorious B.I.G. When I started out as a DJ, his single “Juicy” was one of the first records I ever bought. This is a compilation of his greatest hits, and samples.” – DJ Baby Yu

Download here.

1. Diddy Introduction
2. Bob Marley – Johnny Was
3. The Notorious B.I.G. feat. Bob Marley – Hold Your Head
4. The Notorious B.I.G. – Dead Wrong
5. Al Green – I’m Glad You’re Mine
6. The Isley Brothers – Between The Sheets
7. The Notorious B.I.G. – Big Poppa
8. Supercat feat. The Notorious B.I.G. – Dolly My Baby (Remix)
9. Herbie Hancock – Watermelon Man
10. The Notorious B.I.G. – Me And My Bitch (Live)
11. Zapp & Roger – Computer Love
12. Isaac Hayes – Walk On By
13. The Notorious B.I.G. – Warning
14. Edgar Winter – Dying To Live
15. The Notorious B.I.G. & 2 Pac – Runnin’
16. Diana Ross – Missing You
17. The Notorious B.I.G. feat. 112 – Miss U
18. The Notorious B.I.G. feat. Method Man – The What
19. Junior M.A.F.I.A. feat. The Notorious B.I.G. – Player’s Anthem (Remix)
20. Minnie Riperton – Memory Lane
21. Junior M.A.F.I.A. feat. The Notorious B.I.G. – Get Money
22. Sylvia Striplin – You Cant Turn Me Away
23. The Notorious B.I.G. feat. R. Kelly – Loving You Tonight
24. The Notorious B.I.G. feat. 112 – Sky’s The Limit
25. Bobby Caldwell – My Flame
26. DeBarge – Stay With Me
27. The Notorious B.I.G. – One More Chance
28. Lou Donaldson – Who’s Making Love
29. Craig Mack feat. The Notorious B.I.G., Busta Rhymes, LL Cool J & Rampage – Flava In Ya Ear (Remix)
30. Les McCann – Valantra
31. The Notorious B.I.G. – Ten Crack Commandments
32. The Honey Drippers vs. R. Kelly – Impeach The President with My Body
33. The Notorious B.I.G. – Unbelievable
34. Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – I Put A Spell On You
35. The Notorious B.I.G. – Kick In The Door
36. The Notorious B.I.G. feat. Diddy & Busta Rhymes – Victory
37. Bill Conti – Going The Distance
38. Black Heat – Something Extra
39. Lords Of The Underground – Chief Rocka
40. The Notorious B.I.G. – Machine Gun Funk
41. David Porter – The Masquerade Is Over
42. The Notorious B.I.G. – Who Shot Ya?
43. The Notorious B.I.G. – I Got A Story To Tell
44. Lil’ Kim – Crush On You
45. Jeff Lorber Fusion – Rain Dance
46. The Notorious B.I.G. – Gimme The Loot
47. James Brown – Coldblooded
48. James Brown – Blues & Pants
49. The Notorious B.I.G. – I’m Jus Playin’
50. Betty Wright – Clean Up Woman
51. Mary J. Blige feat. The Notorious B.I.G. – Real Love
52. Total feat. The Notorious B.I.G. – Can’t You See
53. James Brown – The Payback
54. Mtume – Juicy Fruit
55. The Notorious B.I.G. – Juicy
56. The Notorious B.I.G. – Hypnotize
57. Herb Alpert – Rise
58. Jay-Z feat. The Notorious B.I.G. – Brooklyn’s Finest
59. Ohio Players – Ecstacy
60. The Notorious B.I.G. feat. Luke – Big Booty Hoes
61. Idris Muhammed – Crab Apple
62. Puff Daddy & The Family – It’s All About The Benjamins
63. The Jackson 5 – It’s Great To Be Here
64. Last Poets – When The Revolution Comes
65. The Notorious B.I.G. – Party & Bullshit
66. Deodato – Skatin’
67. The Notorious B.I.G. – Nasty Boy
68. Diana Ross – I’m Coming Out
69. The Notorious B.I.G. feat. Puff Daddy & Mase – Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems
70. The Notorious B.I.G. – Going Back To Cali
71. Zapp & Roger – More Bounce To The Ounce
72. Diddy Outro