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Friday, May 14, 2010
by PopMatters Staff

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Mojo
(Reprise)
Releasing: 15 June


Tom Petty releases his first album with the Heartbreakers since 2002’s The Last DJ. The veteran rocker is going to back to his musical roots on this one, recording the tracks live with no overdubs to achieve a real rock ‘n’ roll immediacy. The album will be supported by a massive tour extending into the fall where the band will be supported along the way by major acts such as Joe Cocker, Drive-by Truckers, ZZ Top and Buddy Guy, Crosby, Stills & Nash, and My Morning Jacket. This should be one of the summer’s big money-making tours. “First Flash of Freedom” is streaming now over at tompetty.com and below.


As a bonus for buying a concert ticket, you can get a free copy of the new album. Here are the details: “When you purchase a ticket online, you’ll get an email with codes entitling you to download two tracks from Mojo (“First Flash of Freedom” and “Good Enough”.) Then, on release date (June 15) you’ll be sent a download of the entire album. And later in the summer, after the tour, you’ll get a selection of live tracks recorded during the tour.”


SONG LIST
01 Jefferson Jericho Blues
02 First Flash of Freedom
03 Running Man’s Bible
04 The Trip to Pirate’s Cove
05 Candy
06 No Reason to Cry
07 I Should Have Known It
08 U.S. 41
09 Takin’ My Time
10 Let Yourself Go
11 Don’t Pull Me Over
12 Lover’s Touch
13 High in the Morning
14 Something Good Coming
15 Good Enough







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Thursday, May 13, 2010

So it may have been only two weeks ago that M.I.A.‘s graphic, cinematic, and social critiquing video “Born Free” was posted in Mixed Media, but that’s old news already. Time must move at a different pace for Maya Arulpragasam, since a lot has happened on the M.I.A. front in the interim: Not only has M.I.A. announced that her long-awaited new album /\/\/\Y/\—yes, that’s supposed to look like “MAYA”—will be released on July 13, but she has promoted it and herself in ways only she could come up with, teeing off on Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber alike, while plastering political messages via guerilla billboards in London. Then there’s this NME interview where she slags newly minted Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron, while somehow getting in a few digs on the Obama 08 campaign, too.


And, oh yeah, she’s dropped another new track from /\/\/\Y/\, “XXXO”, which premiered on BBC Radio 1 earlier in the week. What’s surprising here is that the music is the least shocking thing about M.I.A., since “XXXO” sounds like catchy, relatively straightforward dance pop, shedding the Technicolor excesses and world-music hybridity you’ve come to expect from her. Both “XXXO” and “Born Free” are now available for purchase at iTunes.



Tagged as: m.i.a.
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Friday, May 7, 2010

Not sure when summer officially begins, but the Pains of Being Pure at Heart have already kicked off what they’re declaring as “The Summer of Say No to Love” by announcing a new 7” and a short June jaunt of the east coast and south with one of this year’s most hyped newcomers, Surfer Blood. The new single “Say No to Love”, steaming over at Pitchfork, is just what you’d expect from the Brooklyn band, a perfectly sunny, strummy, breathy number that gets you even more in the mood for a vacation. Slumberland releases the single proper on June 8, while the tour begins in Milford, CT on June 3.


TOUR DATES
Thu June 3, 2010—Milford, CT—Daniel Street
Fri June 4, 2010—Rochester, NY—The German House
Sat June 5, 2010—Buffalo, NY—Tralf 

Sun June 6, 2010—Cleveland, OH—Beachland Ballroom 

Tue June 8, 2010—Memphis, TN—Hi Tone Cafe
Wed June 9, 2010—Birmingham, AL—Bottletree Cafe
Thu June 10, 2010—Tallahassee, FL—The Engine Room
Fri June 11, 2010—Orlando, FL—Club at Firestone
Sat June 12, 2010—Miami, FL—Grand Central
Sun June 13, 2010—Jacksonville, FL—Jack Rabbits
Tue June 15, 2010—Carrboro, NC—Cat’s Cradle 

Wed June 16, 2010—Washington, DC—Black Cat


All dates with Surfer Blood and Hooray for Earth


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Thursday, May 6, 2010
by PopMatters Staff

Perennial PopMatters favorite Talib Kweli returns 18 May in a new Reflection Eternal release with his cohort Hi-Tek. Kweli’s patented smooth and clever flow and rhymes are fine form on this collaboration with UK soul singer Estelle.




TOUR DATES
5/10 - Kansas City, MO - Midland Theatre  
5/11 - Tulsa, OK - Cain’s  
5/12 - Houston, TX - Warehouse  
5/13 - Dallas, TX - Granada Theatre  
5/15 - Boulder, CO - Fox Theatre  
5/16 - Denver, CO - Bluebird  
5/19 - Los Angeles, CA - House of Blues  
5/20 - Anaheim, CA - The Grove  
5/21 - Phoenix, AZ - The Clubhouse  
5/22 - Tucson, AZ - DV8  
5/23 - Ventura, CA - Ventura Theatre  
5/24 - San Francisco, CA - Fillmore  
5/25 - San Diego, CA - House of Blues  
5/26 - Santa Cruz, CA - Catalyst Nightclub  
5/28 - Portland, OR - Aladdin Theatre  
5/29 - Seattle, WA - ShowBox at the Market


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Wednesday, May 5, 2010
by M.T. Richards

In 2009, Eminem—a poor, scrawny, trailer dwelling kid from the outskirts of Detroit with a liquid flow and acute sense of humor—alienated just about everyone with Relapse, an album that abrasively belied the everyman appeal he oozed on older records. He was a strange, secluded sadist, hundreds of millions of dollars removed from the menial jobs he rapped about on “Rock Bottom”, and new, overbearing tracks like the cereal-rapist narrative “Stay Wide Awake” hinted at a dubious relationship with reality.


Then, something clicked. Eminem dropped the pretenses and decided to simply rap his ass off. He delivered the best verses on Alchemist’s Chemical Warfare, 50 Cent’s Before I Self Destruct, and Lil Wayne’s Rebirth. He made three very serviceable MCs look positively sophomoric on Drake’s “Forever.” He out-freestyled Mos Def and Black Thought. (Think about that. Mos Def and Black Thought.) He upstaged a glowingly thoughtful B.o.B. on “Airplanes (Part II)”. This past Tuesday, he released the astonishing “Despicable”, his take on Drake’s “Over” and Lloyd Banks’ “Beamer Benz or Bentley”, attacking those instrumentals with heady, syllable-twisting glee: “Keep blogging, while I’m mind boggling / Flow’s so wet, I’ll take this beat tobogganing.”


Em’s recent run has been historic, comparable to the exhilarating string of cameos Andre 3000 dropped in 2007. While it remains to be seen if this jolt of energy will translate into a gripping album, “Not Afraid” reveals great intentions. It’s the first single from Recovery, as well as a bracing departure from the shock-jock tiredness of past washouts like “We Made You” and “Just Lose It”.  There are no Jennifer Aniston or Blake Fielder disses here. Instead, we get three candid, fervent verses: “I promise to focus solely on handling my responsibilities as a father / So I solemnly swear to treat this roof like my daughters / And raise it.”


“Not Afraid” isn’t altogether great. The beat is waver thin, the hook maudlin, and rhymes about “gazing up at the stars” are rarely welcome. But, for Eminem, the track is also a welcome entrance into foreign territory. It’s refreshing. It’s positive. We need more of it.



Tagged as: eminem, song review
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