The week in Pop (& Hiss) and more: Tom Morello, Airborne Toxic Event, Steve Martin, Ghost Face Killah the Beer and much more
Pop & Hiss strives to provide the best, most relevant and entertaining music coverage of the week. Hey, it's a goal, be nice. Sometimes we have some posts that hit the mark. Sometimes we don't. Here's a quick look at some of the best of what Pop & Hiss and The Times had to offer this week.
From the ol' Pop & Hiss:
Self-promotion alert! L.A. Times Festival of Books: The music of the written word. This weekend at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, there are plenty of panels available to satiate those who revel in all the links between words and music: poetic, analytic or otherwise. There will also be performances from bands to, you know, cut through all the yammering that'll be going on. To name two, our friends at Brand X will be presenting Young Hunting on Saturday and Hi Ho Silver Oh on Sunday.
Tom Morello lets pro-labor flag fly in new "Union Town" EP. There’s nothing like a big political rally to get the creative juices flowing for a politically progressive rocker. That’s just what happened after guitarist, singer and songwriter Tom Morello took part in demonstrations at the state Capitol in Madison, Wis., recently to protest Gov. Scott Walker’s efforts to strip the state’s public workers of the ability to engage in collective bargaining.
Ghostface Killah: Famous rapper -- also a limited-release beer. Billed as "the hottest beer this side of hell," Twisted Pine's Ghost Face Killah lands with the kind of bold proclamation that the rapper of the almost identical name can effortlessly toss off at a moment's notice. While the Wu-Tang vet spells Ghostface as one word, the brewers at the Boulder, Colo.-based Twisted Pine likely wouldn't quibble with the star over grammar.
Inside the banjo players' studio: Ed Helms and Steve Martin talk frailing, fingering and timing. This Sunday, Steve Martin headlines the final night of the Bluegrass Situation, a four-night festival curated by fellow actor and fellow banjo enthusiast Ed Helms. If it’s anything like the concert Martin did at the same festival last year, you can expect Helms to get on stage with Martin for at least one number and partake in… you know… banjos that duel.
Why Robert Johnson is the top blues legend. Neil Young, Keith Richards, T Bone Burnett, Robbie Robertson, Eric Clapton and Bonnie Raitt explain.
Poly Styrene, influential singer for X-Ray Spex, has died. Poly Styrene, whose clarion call, "Oh bondage, up yours!" became the rallying cry of punk feminists everywhere and foretold the Riot Grrrl movement, died Monday at the age of 53 after a long battle with cancer.
Low End Theory meets Super Mario Bros. Local producer Shlohmo recently described Jonwayne's debut as "intelligent castle music." The joke was clear, but the truth in jest even more crystalline. With Wayne's Alpha Pup debut, "Bowser, he makes his homage obvious. Taking its title from the spike-braceleted villain of the Super Mario series, Wayne even titles a song "Mario Is Missing."