Erykah Badu Digs In, Lights All Night Returns and Robbie D. Love Gets Some Hate.
Back on April 24, Erykah Badu sang “Happy Birthday” to Swaziland's King Mswati III, a rather piece of shit dictator who enjoys his billions as most of his subjects struggle to make ends meet on fewer than $2 a day while living in a country suffering the world's worst HIV/AIDS epidemic.
For her part, Badu has since admitted to The Dallas Morning News that she was unaware of the country's chronic poverty or of the violent, oppressive history of its tyrant ruler.
Through it all, however, Badu has remained wholly unrepentant, telling The Morning News: “I want to address the people, not a group or a government agency. The people know I was not endorsing the king or helping to further his political agenda. I have no agenda. I went into a situation not completely knowing the political climate of the kingdom. I can't be held responsible for the situation in the kingdom because I signed up as an artist, not as a political activist. I don't belong to anyone or to anything. Anything I do is because I am a human being, and I am for the people.”
That, of course, hasn't sat well with human rights organizations, who claim that Badu's appearance at the party itself was inherently an endorsement of the king and his practices, thus providing legitimacy to his monarchy.
Never mind the fact that pop stars like Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Usher, Jennifer Lopez, Kanye West, 50 Cent and Nelly Furtado have been raking in big bucks performing at private events for dictators and their family members for years.
In any case, expect the imbroglio to continue for at least another week as Badu is currently scheduled to perform for yet another African dictator this Saturday when she performs in The Gambia at The International Roots Festival. Maybe someone should go ahead and tell Ms. Badu in advance this time that The Gambia's president, Yahya Jammeh, is currently on a mission to put every homosexual in his country to death.
Another international scandal of sorts involves onetime Dallas guitar wanker Robbie D. Love, who formerly played with faux-blues rockers The Red 100's. Last month, Love attempted to throw a festival — his first — in Germany. Not only was his Berlin Psych Festival a huge bust, but Love managed to severely piss off several European bands in the process — many of which claim that their names were used to promote the fest despite never being asked to perform.
One band in particular — longtime English noise-rockers The Telescopes — claimed in in this interview that, when Love, who had still not booked the band transportation to the festival, became unresponsive to its attempts to reach him a week prior the festival, the band decided to pull the plug on its “scheduled” appearance. Love's response to this, the band said, was to send the band a photograph of a German Sheppard with an erection.
While the fest eventually did happen, four of the five scheduled headliners cancelled their performances, and the event was moved to a much smaller venue due to poor ticket sales. The few fans that showed up were reportedly pretty irritated that they paid €60 (about $83) for their tickets in advance, and that Love was selling them for just €10 (about $14) at the door.
It's fair to assume that this is one festival that won't be happening again next year.
Speaking of cancelled gigs: Country revivalist — and noted motorcycle enthusiast — Wayne “The Train” Hancock was recently forced to cancel the rest of his scheduled May performances after getting into a serious motorcycle accident near his Denton home. Though Hancock remains in the ICU after suffering a collapsed lung, multiple broken ribs and a fractured elbow in the accident, the latest report from the Hancock camp says that he may be released from the hospital as early as this Friday. In the meantime, get-well cards can be sent to 4937 Stuart Road #181, Denton, TX 76207.
On the other hand, the show will indeed go on for one of the globe's largest electronic dance festivals, as word came down this morning that Lights All Night will return for its fifth year on December 26 and 27. Of course, with 40,000 attendees from all over the world descending upon the Dallas Convention Center for this massive EDM festival last year, that was probably a pretty safe assumption. While no performers have yet been confirmed, early bird tickets to the event will go on sale on Tuesday, May 13, at noon.
Moving on, a number of artists with local ties were spotted on the small screen this week.
First up was the Denton ex-pats in Parquet Courts, who debuted a new song, “Black and White,” via Late Night With Seth Meyers. The band's new LP will earn its official release on June 3, when the band performs at Dada. That live Late Night version of the track is notable, however, for the fact that Late Night bandleader Fred Armisen can be seen in the video playing guitar along with the band. Check it out:
Then there was the Dallas-sprung Lisa Loeb, who helped former The Daily Show correspondent John Oliver poke fun of Oregon in a segment during his own new late-night program for HBO:
Meanwhile, we can confirm that The Relatives' “Say it Loud (It's Coming Up Again)” will be featured on tonight's episode of Fargo on FX.
Then there's the roots rockers in Goodnight Ned, who just released the following clip for its “Wolves and Crows” single from its upcoming self-titled, sophomore LP, which the band says should be out in June. The band will perform at this weekend's Homegrown Festival, as well as our next Sound Select show later this month. You can RSVP to the latter event and secure a $3 ticket (rather than pay $10 at the door) by heading right here.
Similarly, Buffalo Black released the below video for the song “Bad Seed” from his RedPillWondrLand EP, which is slated to be released next Tuesday.
Lastly, Air Review finally debuted the video for its song “Young” — y'know, the one the band teased during its Last Call With Cardson Daly appearance — via NPR.
Elsewhere: The Outfit, TX continued to earn national praise this week as it was named in Spin's list of the “Five Best New Artists for May” list; Rhett Miller confirmed via an AMA on Reddit that the new Old 97's song “Wheels Off” is indeed a nod to his pals at local radio station 1310 The Ticket; and both Sarah Jaffe and Son of Stan confirmed that they'd release a new LP and EP, respectively, this summer.
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