BlackBook Tracks #47: Sleepwalking

Isn’t it great how sometimes you stay up way past your bedtime even when you know you shouldn’t, and then you can’t sleep when you try to catch up? It’s been that kind of week. Here’s a tribute to various forms of nocturnal distress, though it does not involve any REM songs.

Radiohead – “Melatonin”
Does taking melatonin actually help you sleep? I can’t tell anymore. A few years ago, I would listen to “Videotape” by Radiohead every night before going to bed, but maybe I should have chosen “Melatonin” instead. Taken from the 1998 EP Airbag/How Am I Driving?, it’ll put you completely at peace in just over two minutes.

Flume ft. Jezzabell Doran – “Sleepless”
Australia’s vibrant dance scene has been getting more and more attention, thanks in part to the talents of 22-year-old producer Flume. His self-titled album is one of the sharpest debut albums of this year, and “Sleepless” is half dreamscape, half insistent insomnia. Next week, Flume will release a collaborative EP with Chet Faker entitled Lockjaw.

Young Galaxy – “Sleepwalk With Me”
There are way too many bands whose names involve some form of the word “Young,” but fortunately, Young Galaxy’s worth remembering. The Montreal indie pop quintet put out the LP Aquamarine earlier this year, and “Sleepwalk With Me” is its charming closer. The track layers frontwoman Catherine McCandless’ gently soaring vocals over cozy, synth-laden production, like throwing another blanket on your bed before going to sleep.


Safety Scissors – “Somnambulance”
New York-via-San Francisco electronic producer Safety Scissors called his latest record In A Manner Of Sleeping, so of course there’s a tribute to sleepwalking on it. While the track is called “Somnambulance,” it sounds more like insomnia, glitchy and meandering. This may be for the kind of sleepwalker that goes some strange places and maybe starts eating a bar of soap with a knife and fork.

Beastie Boys – “No Sleep Till Brooklyn”
It’s the weekend, so who needs sleep anyways? Even if you’re not partying eight days a week like the Beastie Boys in 1986, “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” will make you feel like you can. You probably already know that this song is the equivalent of one of those adrenaline rushes that makes people lift up cars.


Beastie Boy Mike D Helps Out Sandy Victims With Free Food Truck

And here, you, you thought that food trucks were just for the festival set. But leave it to restaurateur Rob McKinley and Mike D of the Beastie Boys to find a more noble purpose for mobile meals. Although Hurricane Sandy is a memory for many, for residents of many parts of the New York area, including the Rockaways, the storm’s impact is still affecting daily lives. So Mike D and McKinley, with the help of teams from popular local restaurants like the Breslin and Fat Radish, created the Rockaway Plate Lunch food truck to bring residents warm meals.  

As Mike D explains in the interview below, the post-Sandy landscape in Rockaway has been changing every day, so a food truck was the best way to access lots of people. He and McKinley have served more than 19,000 meals to the people of the Rockaways, primarily of chicken, vegetables, beans and rice.

Mike D told the folks at GOODthat Rockaway Plate Lunch is continuing to work in the area, but on fewer hours, but want to use it now as a means of sparking the local economy. As he explains:

“There’s still the need for warm food out there, but our real goal for this summer is to help revitalize the local economy. So we’re trying to switch the truck over from giving away food, to charging for food but having it become staffed, run and operated on every level by citizens of the Rockaways. We’ll keep the same restaurants that have been involved, but in a mentoring capacity.”

He says they’ve been working with involving young people, local clergy and elected officials to find resources to see how the truck can best benefit the people of the Rockaways. You can hear from the duo about their efforts to continue helping after Sandy in the video below. 

[via GOOD]

Listen to This Flaming Lips Song Before It’s a Commercial

The Flaming Lips are poised to release The Terror, their thirteenth album—though at times it feels they’ve put out twice that many—on April 2, much to the delight of the thousands of college freshman potheads just discovering them for the first time. Today, however, they’re premiering a new video for “Sun Blows Up Today,” a so-called “exclusive non-album track.”

While not exactly as good as a theoretical mashup of earlier songs “Ego Tripping (Self-Admiration With Blow-Up Mix)” and “Assassination Of The Sun,” this new cut does nail the effect of a punk Beach Boys cover band recording underwater. And the beepy 8-bit breakdown should excite whoever’s into that sort of thing, assuming those people are still out there.

“Sun Blows Up Today” is a freebie if you pre-order The Terror, starting tomorrow. That gives you about five days before it crops up as the soundtrack of a Hyundai Super Bowl commercial that stars The Flaming Lips themselves. At which point anyone still playing this becomes a poser. Alas.  

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Remaining Beastie Boys Sue Monster Energy Drink Over Megamix

New Yorkers, hip-hop heads and appreciative fans of things that are good have all been careful about honoring the legacy of gone-too-soon Beastie Boy Adam "MCA" Yauch, saluting the rapper and artist through every means from a Senator giving him official recognition to a superfan giving fellow enthusiasts a "life tour" to kids on a corner somewhere blasting "Sabotage." Now, MCA’s fellow bandmates are paying respect to him in a different way. 

Earlier this week, it was revealed that MCA stipulated in his will that even in the wake of his passing, companies would be unable to use his music, art or likeness for commercial means. Given that an artist’s death will often lead to exploitation of said artist’s image and work for profit, this measure makes sense. At first, it was unclear whether or not that meant songs the Beasties wrote as a collaborative effort, but given the suit Mike D, Ad-Rock and Dechen Yauch have filed against Monster Energy Drink over a 26-song Beasties promotional megamix used as part of a web advertising campaign for Monster’s "Ruckus in the Rockies," as well alleging the company used misleading language implying the Beasties consented to the project. Although the terms of MCA’s will are not explicitly cited in the grounds for the suit, the timing is pretty apt. The suit accuses Monster of being in violation of the Lanham Act, which regulates trademark infringement; and they will seek $150,000 in damages.. 

SPIN has the original court complaint, which you can view here. Or, you can remember the good times, with some of the songs featured in the megamix: 

See New York Through the Eyes of a Beastie Boys Superfan

The passing of Beastie Boy Adam “MCA” Yauch left holes in the hearts of hip-hop heads and New Yorkers of many stripes, but in the wake of his passing last spring, there have been more acts of celebration of MCA and the Beasties than of mourning. There was MCA Day in May, observed with a giant party in Union Square, and a resolution passed in the New York State Senate honoring his life.

Because, as everyone knows, the Beasties can’t, they won’t and they don’t stop, one megafan is inviting all of his friends (134 are marked as attending on Facebook) to a Beasties fan celebration and tour this Saturday, the eve of what would (and let’s be real, should) have been Yauch’s 48th birthday. Beginning at Frederick Douglass Playground, Palk will take fellow Beastie pilgrims on a walking/subway tour of sites important to the growth and impact of the hip-hop trio, beginning with the site of John Berry’s loft, where Michael “Mike D” Diamond played in The Young Aborigines and met MCA at one of their gigs, laying the groundwork for what would be the Beasties. Other key landmarks include iconic punk performance space 171A, Oscilloscope Laboratories and the site of the Paul’s Boutique album cover. A complete lineup of destinations can be found here. The celebration continues with a party at the Overlook Grill. In terms of ways to spend your weekend, you could do a whole lot worse than this.

Linkage: The Shocking Price of a Break-Up, Jay-Z Thinks Gay Is OK

One of BlackBook‘s favorite funny gals Julie Klausner shares the lessons she learned from creating her hilarious podcast, How Was Your Week? [FastCoCreate]

"It was hard, very hard," says Chloe Sevigney of the prosthetic penis she had to wear on her new show, Hit & Miss, on which she plays a pre-op transgendered hit-man. [Telegraph]

Breaking-up is hard to do, but when your boyfriend suddenly leaves you for another country, the resulting anxiety can be pretty pricey. [The Billfold]

Jay-Z comes out in support of President Obama’s support for marriage equality, calling it "the right thing to do." [NewNowNext]

Still mourning MCA? Cheer up with this adorable video of kids re-enacting the "Sabotage" video. [Sound of the City]

Carrie: The Musical, the play based on the Stephen King novel and which recently saw an Off-Broadway run earlier this year, will be licensed for regional productions. Anyone want to start up a theater group and/or get jobs running high school musical theater departments? [Playbill]

Speaking of Carries, Julianne Moore has signed on to play the evil Margaret White in Kimberly Peirce’s remake of the Brian DePalma film. [Deadline]

"I lost my limbs after five years of butt injections!" We are so sorry! [Hypervocal]

Bummed about last night’s season finale of Smash? Need your fix for the insane plotlines, ridiculous Broadway scheming, and Debra Messing’s dumb son? Fear not: I suggest you go back and read the brilliant Rachel Shukert’s recaps of the first season. [Vulture]

Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino celebrates her sophomore album’s release today, but did you know she’s a budding fashion designer? [Death & Taxes]

Alright, we admit it: we’re stupid as hell. [Jake Fogelnest]

A Brief History of Sampling Lawsuits, Now With More Beastie Boys

MCA’s family and friends have hardly had time to grieve for the recently deceased rapper, and already the Beastie Boys, the group that brought him, along with Ad-Rock and Mike D., to fame, are back in hot water.

Hip-hop label Tuf America filed suit against the Beasties, claiming that the group improperly sampled the 1982 Trouble Funk song “Drop The Bomb” among others on cuts from albums including Paul’s Boutique and Licensed to Ill.

According to All Hip-Hop, “Tuf America said they did a thorough sound analysis of the tracks in question and concluded that the Beastie Boys illegally incorporated elements of the songs without permission. To complicate the matter, Tuf America claims The Beasties and Capitol Records continue to profit off the album, by way of anniversary and commemorative releases of Licensed To Ill and Paul’s Boutique, which was released in 1989.”  

Sound analysis? Yikes! But the surviving Beasties might not want to worry too much about this, after all lawsuits over sampling are a dime a dozen these days.

Last year superstar producer Timbaland was sued not once but twice for sampling—once involving Nelly Furtado’s “Do It,” below—with both cases going in his favor (albeit because the works weren’t properly copyrighted in the U.S.). Of one of the lawsuits, Tim said, ““It makes me laugh. The part I don’t understand, the dude is trying to act like I went to his house and took it from his computer. I don’t know him from a can of paint. I’m 15 years deep. That’s how you attack a king? You attack moi?”

Also last year, litigious soul singer Syl Johnson, who once took Cypress Hill to court, sued Jay-Z and Kanye West for what he considered use of part of a song of his, “Different Strokes,” for the song “The Joy.” He claimed that after he denied West permission to use his music, West just went ahead and did so anyway. Kanye and Jay released a statement saying it wasn’t the case, but the duo ended up settling with Johnson after all.

Throughout the ages, Lil Wayne has had plenty of trouble with the law. But in 2008, it wasn’t guns or cars or drugs that got him in trouble, but sampling. South African-born musician Karma-Ann Swanepoel took Wayne to court, saying he had illegally sampled her track “Once”—and only approached her with a contract for the right to do so after the song was released. In turn, Weezy turned around and sued the track’s producers.

Linkage: Rick Backs Mitt, Beasties Speak, and the Return of CBGBs

Last night, former Republican Presidential candidate (and Google problem extraordinaire) Rick Santorum emailed his supporters to let them know he’s endorsing Mitt Romney in the upcoming race to the White House. "Above all else, we both agree that President Obama must be defeated," Santorum wrote about his new crush Romney, who was until recently his bitter foe. [Politico]

The owners of the assets of infamous rock club CBGBs say they’re planning a festival in New York City for this summer, and that they hope to buy a Lower Manhattan building in which to open a new version of the venue. [NYT

Actor John Travolta is being sued by a masseur for an alleged series of unwanted sexual advances that took place during a massage and burger-eating session at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Reps for Travolta, who has long dealt with rumors about his sexuality, say he wasn’t even in town on the date in question. [TMZ

Surviving Beastie Boys Mike D and Ad-Rock have broken their silence surrounding the death of Adam Yauch. The rappers shared memories and photos of their recently deceased cohort Yauch on the band’s Facebook page, and wrote, “We should have tweeted and instagrammed every sad, happy and inspired thought, smile or tear by now. But honestly the last few days have just been a blur of deep emotions for our closest friend, band mate and really brother. I miss Adam so much.” [Facebook

Watch Coldplay’s Tribute to Beastie Boy Adam Yauch

After a long battle with cancer, Beastie Boys co-founder Adam Yauch, aka "MCA," died yesterday at the age of 47. Yauch’s passing elicited tributes from all over the music world, including one from Coldplay–and its frontman, Chris Martin–during the band’s concert last night at the Hollywood Bowl. After the jump, watch Martin and Co’s acoustic rendition of the seminal Beastie Boys classic, "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!) [via ONTD]