Light the Fire with Dawn Richard’s Woozy New Track, ‘Serpentine Fire’

As part of Adult Swim’s Singles Program, DΔWN (Dawn Richard) shared today the series’ third installment, “Serpentine Fire,” which brings us deeper into the genre-defying RED*empt*ion era. The new track, produced by Clark, sees the Danity Kane alumnus experimenting with various vocal effects, from more spacey echoing reverb to cyborg-sounding distortion. “Light the fire,” she repeats above a bouncy fluttering instrumental.

Sonically, this is a fitting move for the singer, who previously told BlackBook she loves playing with the vast genderless potential of a human voice: “I have a fanbase that’s transgender, that’s gay, that’s everything, so my music plays on falsetto and tenor vocals. Whether you listen to one record and see how high my falsetto can get or you listen to a record like, ‘Billie Jean,’ and hear these heavy tenor tones, it takes away the idea that I have to be a woman and gives me the opportunity to just be a voice—not a gender.”

Listen, below:

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Get Excited for Tim and Eric’s New Show With Their Top 5 Moments

In honor of their new series Tim and Eric’s Bedtime Stories, which premieres tonight at 12:15am on Adult Swim, I compiled my Top 5 Tim and Eric moments below. Enjoy.

Sweetberry Wine!”
DR. STEVE BRULE (John C. Reilly)

Absolut on Ice”
A VODKA MOVIE (Zach Galifianakis)




Listen to Fatima Al Qadiri’s Eerie July 4th Anthem from Adult Swim

Adult Swim’s Single Program is always a highlight of the summer season, offering up free music downloads every week from our favorite underground icons and up-and-coming musicians. The newest single comes from multidisciplinary artist and producer Fatima Al Qadiri, who recently released her debut album Asiatisch on Kode9’s Hyperdub imprint. Her contribution to the Adult Swim series is titled “Star-Spangled” and will be available for download starting July 4th.

Al Qadiri did not take the release date for granted when she produced the track, dissecting the mythos of the national anthem through stirring synths. “‘Star-Spangled’ is dedicated to American national nightmares. On one hand, dark dreams of suburban serial killers and mangled hitchhike heads. On the other, a false hope of national greatness cooked by covert agendas,” she says in a statement on Wired. “Star-Spangled” is not zealous dribble in the vein of Toby Keith. The track is the perfect alternative for those who want a shock of realism while they kick back a Bud this July 4th weekend.


By The Way, The Season Premiere Of ‘The Venture Brothers’ Is On YouTube

Every now and then you run across an adult human being who, for one reason or another, tells you that they “just aren’t into cartoons.” Everyone’s entitled to an opinion, unless it’s this one, which is just flat-out wrong. From Archer to Bob’s Burgers and even some shows H. Jon Benjamin isn’t on, cartoons represent some of the best grown-up sitcoms on the air. Or would you prefer something with three cameras and a laugh track? Anyway, The Venture Brothers, arguably the best cartoon going today, is back—and Adult Swim went and uploaded the triumphant return on YouTube.

For the uninitiated, The Venture Brothers is a brilliant satire of Johnny Quest and countless other adventure shows out of the Hanna-Barbera universe. Unlike, say, Space Ghost, it doesn’t use stock clips—instead it’s an independently illustrated, twisted world of bitter mad scientists, ridiculous villains and over-exotic locales, a series that reveals the violent, seamy underbelly of all those seemingly innocent Saturday mornings.

I daren’t spoil what transpires in last night’s season five kickoff, a double-length episode that hurls us back into this darkly hilarious alternative universe where magic and superpowers are a mundane fact of life. And viewers should be cautioned that each installment tends to assume a familiarity with the densely detailed story up to that point—we’re talking the Arrested Development of animated set. Still, they’re just as often on to the next thing, so jumping right in isn’t a bad call either. You’ll get your bearings soon enough, and by then you’ll be hooked.   

Follow Miles on Twitter here

Boards Of Canada Gunning For ‘Most Buzzed-About Surprise Album Of 2013’

Everyone is coming out of the woodwork this year: Godspeed You Black Emperor, The Knife, and My Bloody Valentine have all reemerged in almost totally unanticipated ways after long hiatuses, and each has delivered a huge, haunting record that reaffirmed what we loved about the band. Now, in an era where “BoC” more likely means Blue Oyster Cult, Scottish electronica duo Boards of Canada are teasing a new release with wildly complicated clues, whipping fans into a frenzied scavenger hunt.

But let us save you the viral-underground PR theatrics: after all, the nerds are on the case. It begins with the appearance of some 12” vinyl singles that surfaced on Record Store Day, which contained odd snippets of what had to be new material. (One of those first clues is now selling on eBay for an asking price of $565.00, so get bidding.) Then there was an Adult Swim bumper spot and a strange, password-protected website that a fan cracked, leading us to this spooky but alluring video.

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Now it’s official: the new album, Tomorrow’s Harvest, is out on June 11 from Warp Records. Will anyone be able to resist, given that so much buzz has built up around it already? Will you need a World War II-era decryption device to even listen to the damn thing? Will the new Daft Punk album this year be delivered via hot air balloon? For the moment, nothing seems impossible. 

Oh, and here’s the tracklist, in case there’s some kind of a clue in there, too:

01. Gemini

02. Reach For The Dead

03. White Cyclosa

04. Jacquard Causeway

05. Telepath

06. Cold Earth

07. Transmisiones Ferox

08. Sick Times

09. Collapse

10. Palace Posy

11. Split Your Infinities

12. Uritual

13. Nothing Is Real

14. Sundown

15. New Seeds

16. Come To Dust

17. Semena Mertvykh

Follow Miles on Twitter here.

Black Dynamite Finds Hisself

Shortly after its premiere at Sundance in 2009 and critical praise from many mainstream critics, a number of hilarious trailers for the Blaxploitation action parody Black Dynamite were released and instantly went viral, exciting film fans everywhere. And then? Well, jack shit, as Black Dynamite would say. While the comedy was briefly released in theaters, the majority of online followers who actually saw the film had to wait until it hit Netflix many months later. “The studios loved it, but they said it was too smart for our audience,” explains the creator and star of the film, Michael Jai White. “Like they know our audience. That’s when I learned that I had to do what Tyler Perry does—have your own marketing campaign.”

Success on home media and with the graphic novel Black Dynamite: Slave Island revived the badass character and helped it find an incarnation as an Adult Swim series animated by the same team behind the acclaimed series The Boondocks. This edgier, animated ’70s universe may be the perfect balance for White’s fantastic throwback character, as the series can go places a mock Blaxploitation flick could never afford, allowing the humor to bloom and evolve. In other words, it’s a funny motherfucker, you dig?

Black Dynamite himself took some time out of his busy schedule of ass-whoopin’ to talk about what makes him laugh, his new animated incarnation, and his goal in our world.

Before we begin, should I call you Black, which makes me feel a little uncomfortable? Or Dynamite? Or BD? What would you prefer?
Call me Mr. Black Dynamite till I know you’re cool.

Where did you come from, Black Dynamite? Give me your backstory.
Well brother, I’m from every dark alley and every oppressed tenement in this country, Jack. I’m from places where gunshots and babies crying are the ghetto equivalent of crickets chirpin’ in the night, brother.

Some people have claimed you actually came from the mind of Michael Jai White. What’s the story behind that?
Well, that’s really a chicken-and-egg type of thing. Did I come from the mind of Michael Jai White or did I enter his mind of his own volition? If a tree fell on your ass in the woods and no one was around to hear, would it hurt?

Do you think this guy White was obsessed with Blaxploitation movies or something? Why the fascination with movies from that time period?
I wouldn’t call it an obsession. I just think he knew what was cool and hip and sexy. Even in your day if you saw something cool and sexy, you got ’70s music playing and some fake-ass Barry White talkin’. Even today, is there anything more sexy then Pam Grier or Billy Dee Williams?

Why was it so difficult to get distribution on the feature film, which was the first time we saw you in the public eye?
Because studios are run by The Man. And The Man don’t dig taking chances with something new. Because studio execs thought it was smart enough for them to buy, but they didn’t think the audience would get it. You dig?

I dig. A.O. Scott of The New York Times said Black Dynamite would be a better “five minute clip on YouTube.” What’s your response to that?
Well, obviously A.O. stands for “asshole’s opinion,” ‘cause we here talking about it right now. Damn movie’s been tweeted about every two minutes since 2009.

How does it feel to go from real-life in the flesh Black Dynamite to graphic novel Black Dynamite and now to animated Black Dynamite?
I feel once you’ve conquered all three of those orifices, you control that bitch.

Which one do you like the most? Which, uh, orifice I suppose, do you like the most?
Well, hmm, I’m kinda partial to the movie.

Is there a live action sequel in the future?
Well see, Black Dynamite, he can do a couple different things. Black Dynamite is very much like Jim Brown, Fred Williamson—they played in different movies, but they played different characters. You might see the cat who played Black Dynamite in another movie that’s not called Black Dynamite.

What makes you laugh, Black Dynamite? What do you do when you wanna have a good time?
Well, I’d say that picture of Irish Jesus, you know, from the Middle East. Talk about a miracle. That gets me every time. [laughs]

What makes you cry, Black Dynamite?
Would Superman offer up kryptonite? There it is. Black Dynamite can’t say kryptonite too well.

What scares you more then anything else?
The fact that you’re stupid enough to give you Black Dynamite’s kryptonite…

What do you think about how quickly everything is moving these days? Do you have a Facebook account or cell phone? What vast change has happened since the ’60s, er, ’70s rather?
Well, I don’t dig it at all. Women are trying to be men and men are turnin’ into bitches. Kids are on leashes physically and mentally. They get pushed to act like adults and they get drugged if they act like kids. In the ’70s, we hid our society’s dumbest motherfuckers, but y’all give them their own TV show. And no, Black Dynamite don’t have a Tweet or a Facebook. That’s even hard for Black Dynamite to say. You can’t say tweet and Facebook and maintain masculinity. Honestly, the bitch-assness has run amuck.

What’s it like on a day-to-day basis at the Whorephanage where you work? Seems like there is never a dull moment.
You seen Harry Potter?

A few times, yeah.
Well, the Whorephanage is pretty much like Hogwarts with hoes. The hoes teach the kids about life—you know how if you’re multi-talented you can expect a high return, things like that. And the kids provide the maternal satisfaction that hoes miss otherwise. It’s a win-win. That’s what we call it: a win-win.

What’s your dream, Black Dynamite? What’s a perfect world to you?
I think we should bring back ass-whippin’. The way I look at it, it’s my duty to bring about a world balance through handing out ass-whippin’s. Think about how great the world would be if Bernie Madoff, Bin Laden, George W. Bush, and Rush Limbaugh were to receive the essential ass-whippin’ that they should have had before they fucked up the world. That’s what Black Dynamite’s whole goal is—to balance it out through essential ass whoopins.

Chromatics, Flying Lotus, More to Play Pitchfork After-Shows

In addition to insane humidity and mediocre baseball, for many Chicago residents, summer also means meticulously planning an itinerary of which of the far-too-many neighborhood and music festivals to attend. One that’s on everyone’s radar and coming up pretty quickly is the diverse and heavily-anticpated Pitchfork Music Festival in Union Park on July 13-15, featuring Feist, Grimes, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Danny Brown, Japandroids and many, many more. Today, festival organizers announced a pretty exciting crop of aftershows, beginning Thursday night the 12th with a celebration of the weird and brilliant in visual arts. The Show ‘n’ Tell Show at Lincoln Hall, in partnership with the Flatstock poster art festival and the American Poster Institute, features some of the finest poster artists in the country swapping stories, making you laugh and overloading your senses, including Silent Giants and Sonnenzimmer, as well as an appearance from Burlesque of North America. The same venue will paly home to an aftershow on the 14th featuring festival acts Chromatics and Baio, a.k.a. Chris Baio of Vampire Weekend.

The most insane (and probably the most entertaining) late-night talk and variety show on television, Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show, goes live at the Bottom Lounge to round out the festival shenanigans Sunday night the 15th. Eric Andre and his less-than-enthusiastic co-host, Hannibal Buress,  will bring their antics to the audience with interviews, surprised guests, and lord-knows-what-else, along with musical co-headliners Flying Lotus. 
If sweating in Union Park for a weekend doesn’t sound like your bag, many of the fest’s biggest acts are also playing aftershows around town, including Father John Misty (J. Tillman of Fleet Foxes), Liturgy, BlackBook favorites Purity Ring, Hot Chip (who released a great new album last month) doing a DJ set and Ty Segall playing two shows, one with The Men and one with Japandroids. One of the most exciting aftershows is a comedy-type arrangement, featuring hilarious former Saturday Night Live writer Hannibal Buress and another Chicagoland native, Kyle Kinane, alongside Anticon rapper Serengeti. Rad. Here’s the rest so you can start planning now. 
Thursday, July 12:
Beat Connection, Teen Daze, White Arrows – Schubas
Delicate Steve – Subterranean
Death Cab for Cutie, Calexico – Grant Park (Taste of Chicago)
Japandroids, Ty Segall – Lincoln Hall
Friday, July 13:
Lower Dens, No Joy – Empty Bottle
Hannibal Burress, Kyle Kinane, Serengeti – Lincoln Hall
Lotus Plaza, Dent May – Subterranean
The Psychic Paramount, Human Eye – Cobra Lounge
Purity Ring – Schubas
Simian Mobile Disco – The Mid
Saturday, July 14:
The Coathangers, White Mystery, Heavy Cream – Cobra Lounge
Dawnbringer – Reggie’s Rock Club
Father John Misty – Schubas
Hot Chip (DJ set) – Beauty Bar
Liturgy – Hideout
Ty Segall, the Men – Empty Bottle
The Atlas Moth – Ultra Lounge
Sunday, July 15:
King Tuff, Jaill, Natural Child – Cobra Lounge
Tanlines – Lincoln Hall
The Olivia Tremor Control – Reggies Rock Club
Thee Oh Sees – Empty Bottle
Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Dirty Beaches, A Lull – Schubas
Multi-day passes for the festival are sold out, but you can still get single-day tickets at $45 each here. If you don’t want to shell out or are too far away, you can host a viewing party in the comfort of your home when streams the festival on YouTube. 

Tanlines Rock a Dive Bar in ‘All of Me’ Video

Tanlines may have the best Twitter in indie rock, but their music isn’t exactly a consolation prize. The band’s debut album, Mixed Emotions, just came out yesterday — if you need a little bit of convincing to check it out, watch the video for "All of Me," which they released today. Directed by The Mighty Boosh‘s Julian Barratt, it shows a crowd of downbeat middle management types watching the Brooklyn duo on some grainy VHS tape, running through the song in a sort of melancholy way.

That mix of dynamics — introspective lyrics matched to pliable, poppy music — has become Tanlines’ calling card, as the band’s Jesse Cohen told Vulture. "That’s our thing. That’s our sound. That’s the winky-sad," he said. "That’s just generally how I would describe our music, and that’s why I think it’s a grown-up record. It’s complicated in that way. When you make something that’s difficult to categorize, you can get lost. " It’s kind of a lovely song, no?

Jon Glaser Raises a Few Glasses to Toast St. Patrick’s Day

Perhaps regular old acting was just too easy for Jon Glaser. How else to explain his choice to perform in his sitcom entirely while wearing a black balaclava and using a vocal pitch shifter to disguise his voice? Yet, despite these Harrison Bergeron–style impediments—or perhaps because of them—his performance as a flawed family man who doesn’t let being in witness protection keep him from starring in a reality show is truly inspired.

Delocated, which recently began its third season on Adult Swim, follows “Jon” as he tries to make a life in New York while avoiding getting rubbed out by the Russian mafia for testifying against them. In the process, his wife walks out on him, leaving him foundering in a world of awkward moments with his bodyguard, the sudden death of Paul Rudd, and a small business called the Rage Cage. It’s weird late-night TV at its finest, and Glaser, a comedy world veteran who was on the writing staff of Late Night with Conan O’Brien, seems perfectly suited to the role, which draws inspiration from countless sources.

"There are a lot of elements of my dad in that character,” Glaser says as he settles into a booth at Lilium, a sleek new bar beneath New York’s W Union Square hotel adorned with sculptural black steel lilies and a rock ‘n’ roll soundtrack. “He came to visit the set last spring while I was in character, and I could see the resemblance.” We’re here to sample a series of cocktails that embrace the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day while elevating it beyond green beer and Irish car bombs, hoping to add a touch of class to a holiday often associated with debauchery and loutish behavior. Our bartender this evening is Michelle Romano, a fetching, raven-haired lass with a mastery of flavor, balance, and presentation and the admirable ability to suffer fools gladly. Throughout the course of the night, we sample seven sublime cocktails that capture the essence of the holiday while encouraging us to stay on our best behavior—sort of.


Grassy Kroll

Muddle 3 pieces of fresh ginger and 5 stalks of lemongrass in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and 2 oz Żubrówka bison grass vodka, .5 oz simple syrup, and .5 oz fresh lemon juice. Shake and strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Top with soda water and garnish with a stalk of lemongrass.

"It’s very good; clean and not too tart, like a mojito but lighter. I’m going to have to make an effort to not drink it all. It’s a bookend drink—it could work at the beginning or the end of the night. A strong start.”

Jameson & Ginger All Grown Up

Muddle 5 pieces of fresh ginger in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and 1.5 oz Jameson Gold Irish Whiskey. Shake and strain into a highball glass filled with fresh ice. Top with ginger beer and garnish with skewered ginger.

"It’s smooth. The ginger really complements the whiskey. It seems impressive, the kind of drink some young Wall Street dude who flirts with the bartender would order. ‘Gimme a Jameson Gold and ginger beer, babe!’”

Red Breasted Lady

Combine 2 oz Redbreast 12 Year Old Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey, .5 oz pure maple syrup, and .75 oz fresh lemon juice in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a lemon peel.

"I’m surprised I like it as much as I do, but the maple syrup and lemon blend really well. It’s a good combination of flavors and very easy to drink. This seems like it should be the official drink of the band Hot Hot Heat.”

The Whiskey

Combine 2 oz Bushmills Irish Whiskey, .5 oz antica liqueur, .5 oz Cherry Heering, and 2 dashes bitters in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into an absinthe-washed rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Rub the rim and garnish with a freshly peeled orange twist.

“This is delicious. I love the deep red color. It’s so well mixed—this Michelle is a great bartender. It reminds me of the kind of drink my grandfather on my mom’s side, Sol Stein, would drink. He drove an orange Stingray convertible. This drink says ‘This is who I am!’ In the future, cocktails are going to have little legs, and if you don’t like them they’ll walk back to the bar and kill themselves.”

Blond Manhattan

Combine 1.75 oz Original Moonshine Clear Corn Whiskey, .5 oz Cointreau, .75 oz antica liqueur, and 3 dashes orange bitters in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Rub the rim and garnish with a freshly peeled lemon twist.

“This is tasty, and it’s also the strongest drink we’ve had. With every sip it becomes more delicious. Michelle clearly rubbed the rim on this one. I’d imagine some character named Cool Joe, who wears a brown turtleneck and a mustard yellow cardigan, would drink this drink. He doesn’t even like it that much, he just thinks it’s going to make him look good.”

Irish Iced Coffee Martini

Combine 2 oz Jameson 18 Year Old Limited Reserve Irish Whiskey, 1 oz fresh-brewed espresso, and 1 oz simple syrup in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with 3 coffee beans.

“This is a nightcap to get you to your daycap. The coffee taste is just too strong for me right now. It reminds me of the time I forced myself to drink Stroh’s in an attic. Some post-frat/sorority couple drinks this in Aspen on a ski trip after they had anal sex for the first time and they’re trying to work out their relationship. This might have messed things up for them.”

Kilbeggan 18 Year Old Irish Whiskey

Serve neat in whiskey tumbler.

“It’s smooth, soft, and fluffy, like drinking a glass of kittens. There’s a good balance between the throat burn and the satisfaction. With every sip it feels like you’re conquering fear, and then you look forward and see the blue sky. I imagine that this whiskey is made in some distillery built into the cliffs of Kilbeggan, where there’s an 89–degree drop, and the only way you can get there is by rappelling—or you can take these egg elevators like they have in the St. Louis arch.”

[Related Story: A Collection of Sublime Irish Whiskeys For Your St. Patrick’s Weekend Enjoyment]