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Bradford Cox Publicly Apologizes to Samara Lubelski
"I take total responsibility for what a dickhead I was."

If you read Pitchfork's interview with Deerhunter frontman Bradford Cox published in June, you may still have a bad taste in your mouth from a series of comments Cox made in reference to Samara Lubelski.

The NYC-based singer/songwriter/producer helmed some Cryptograms recording sessions, although the resulting material was subsequently scrapped. When asked about the shaky recording situation, Bradford, well, pretty much tore into Samara. We'll spare Mr. Cox the further embarrassment of reprinting those comments here; they're in the original interview, if you care to find them. Needless to say, they were nasty.

And anyway, Bradford has already gone and reprinted them himself-- along with a detailed, profuse apology to Samara-- in a recent Deerhunter blog entry.

"My single biggest regret [this year]," writes Cox, "is that I allowed what started as a simple nervous breakdown to [culminate] in a public defamation of a very talented musician, technician, and artist: Samara Lubelski.

"Unfortunately, due to my immaturity at the time, and my admittedly fucked up mental state I used the [interview] opportunity to fuck over someone who absolutely did not deserve it. What makes it worse is that I made statements that were not factual, or that were based on my completely warped perspectives.

"Make no mistake, I take total responsibility for what a dickhead I was...To Samara, I sincerely apologize for my bullshit."

Read Bradford's complete statement here, and please, if anyone ever starts a website that rates apologies based on their humility, give that one a 10.0.

The Deerhunter blog has, surprise surprise, seen a flurry of activity of late, including a year-end list of sorts, heaps of Atlas Sound mp3s, several mixtapes, and an interview Cox conducted with influential Athens act Pylon.

The Deerhunter band, meanwhile, is now officially in "hiatus" mode, though they'll reemerge for ATP vs. Pitchfork in May. Cox takes Atlas Sound for a whirl beginning February 19 and delivers the act's debut LP the very same day. Samara Lubelski's latest, Parallel Suns, is out now thanks to the Social Registry. [MORE...]
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Ghostface Unveils Big Doe Tracklist, Guests, Cover Art
Raekwon beefs with Wu-Tang Clan

With anticipation levels surrounding Ghostface Killah's forthcoming The Big Doe Rehab fast approaching a boiling point-- particularly since we no longer need divide our anticipation between Big Doe and the Wu-Tang's 8 Diagrams-- Ghost has gone and added some kindling to the fire. Album details, people! Have a look.

First, of course, is that classy cover art you see up there, set to adorn copies of Big Doe that Def Jam delivers on December 4.

Next, the tracklist, reprinted in full below. Of note: Kid Capri-featuring first single "We Celebrate" (not just "Celebrate", as reported prior), which samples Rare Earth's "I Just Want to Celebrate"; Raekwon-boosted "Yolanda's House" and "Shakey Dog Starring Lolita" (an epilogue to Fishscale standout "Shakey Dog"!); a pair of tracks featuring Ghostface's tourmates Rhythm Roots Allstars; a track called "I'll Die for You" and another called "!".

Then, naturally, there are the guests, including the aforementioned along with Ghost's Wu associates Method Man (as you know), U-God, Masta Killa, and Cappadonna, plus Ghost's posse and More Fish co-stars Theodore Unit, Beanie Sigel, Styles P, and more.

And while Ghostface and the Wu seem to have settled their beef, Ghost apparently isn't the only one upset with the way camp Wu is being run. Billboard.com points us to a MissInfo.tv interview with Raekwon, who revealed his own misgivings. "Bottom line," said Raekwon, "it's a lot of business that's fucking up the creativity." Is that why we haven't seen a second Cuban Linx yet? Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Finally, since Ghostface has been blowing up the Pitchfork news ticker in recent weeks, here's a quick, updated roundup of recent happenings:

* Ghostface doll: available now
* Ghostface book, The World According to Pretty Toney: due January 8 from MTV Press (moved from previously reported December 4 date)
* Ghostface's Walk Hard collaboration with Jewel, Lyle Lovett, and Jackson Browne: soundtrack in stores December 4, film in theaters December 21, collab's very notion still blowing minds
* Ghostface-boosted Beatles-interpolating track: set to appear on Wu-Tang Clan's 8 Diagrams, out December 11 via Loud/Universal/SRC/Wu Music Group
* Ghostface, Rakim, Brother Ali, and Rhythm Roots Allstars on the Hip Hop Live! tour: happening now, dates below

Phew! [MORE...]
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Trail of Dead's Keely Tears Interscope a New One
"They really helped us to grow. They've taught us about the worthlessness of A&R people, how to yell at idiots running an art department, and how to shake hands with smiling retailers who have no idea who you are."

Photo by © Rachael Warner

An amicable split this was not. As reported earlier this month, ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead have parted ways with Interscope Records after releasing three albums via the major label, including last year's So Divided. Never one to hold his tongue (nor pen), frontman Conrad Keely spoke out about the label shakeup this week on the band's website. The gist of Mr. Keely's words? Burrrrrrn.

UPDATE: THE MESSAGE HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM THE TRAIL OF DEAD WEBSITE

Interscope, naturally, took the brunt of Keely's barbs. Label chief Jimmy Iovine in particular: his work with John Lennon and Phil Spector was called into question by Keely, as were his alleged relationships with Stevie Nicks and "the lead singer guy of the Pussycat Dolls."

"He's had a great dating record," wrote Keely, "he just won't have the next TOD record." OK then.

As for the label itself? "At the expense of a massive debt to them of half a million dollars, they really helped us to grow. They've taught us about the worthlessness of A&R people, how to yell at idiots running an art department, and how to shake hands with smiling retailers who have no idea who you are." Furthermore, "their idea of marketing [was] keeping it a secret that we'd released a record."

Also caught up in the bilious crossfire: a recent set of Yahoo.com interview questions ("I was asked a bunch of dumb questions so I gave a bunch of what I thought were even less relevant answers."), Ratatat ("like a great band where they accidentally erased all the vocal tracks"), and an unnamed basketball video game ("which I hate").

Amidst all the animus and enmity, Keely did find at least one potential friend: "fictional guitarist Skwisgaar Skwigelf" of Trail of Dead's present tourmates, cartoon band Dethklok (dates below). "He and I will no doubt have many things to talk about."

Thoroughly amusing-- if a mite frightening (Happy Halloween, yo)-- the entirety of Mr. Keely's diatribe may be found here.

And speaking of outlets for pent-up aggression, how about roller derby? All girl roller derby, to be precise. Hell on Wheels is a documentary that explores the phenomenon, and it features original music from, you guessed it, ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead. The film has been playing at festivals from SXSW to CMJ this year; seek it out next time you yearn to burn someone or something. [MORE...]

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RZA Bumps Wu's 8 Diagrams Back to Please Ghostface

Last Tuesday, word (which, after all, is bond) came down that Ghostface had taken some umbrage with the perpetually shifting release date for the Wu-Tang Clan's eagerly anticipated 8 Diagrams LP, which had made its most recent move to December 4, the same date as Ghost's Big Dough Rehab LP.

Troubled by the possibility of diminishing sales returns for his own disc in light of the first new Wu-Tang album in six years, Ghost spoke, and the RZA-- slicing through the tension much as his nickname might suggest, and perhaps feeling generous after his recent chess conquests-- has worked out a new date for 8 Diagrams: December 11. Ahhh, that feels better.

In a video interview with MTV-- while perched next to a very giddy looking Common-- RZA explained that he was largely unaware of Big Dough Rehab when the December 4 date was set for 8 Diagrams. He detailed the tribulations that've gone into getting 8 Diagrams out there at all, then (sweetly) added: "Ghost is my brother, you know what I mean? I love him to death." And, that in mind, RZA moved the date back (a gesture also confirmed by the Wu's publicist), ensuring "mad cream" for all at the close of 2007.

Again, for enumeration purposes: Ghostface's The Big Dough Rehab will be out December 4 from Def Jam. Wu-Tang Clan's 8 Diagrams drops exactly seven days later (to the day!) on Loud/Universal/SRC/Wu Music Group. Let's let that be that, all right, fellas? I just wanna hear these things.

Ghostface, as you know, is touring with some of his fellow heavy hitters: though, sadly, none of them are named U-God. His next show is at this coming weekend's Vegoose Festival. [MORE...]
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Jay-Z Shares Stage With Chris Martin, Gwyneth

Jay-Z Before last night, the enormous hunk o' beef between hip hop mogul and megastar Shawn Carter, rap alias Jay-Z, and Chris Martin, little-known rap alias Chill Playa, was salmonella raw. Martin, as we all know, set it off back in '00 with the dis track "Yellow", ostensibly a sappy star-gazing love song but actually a dig on Jay-Z's cowardice. Jigga bit back with "Takeover", declaring Martin "had 'Sparks' when [he] started but now [he's] just rubbish." Who'd have thought these two arch nemeses would ever patch things up?

And then last night happened. According to NME.com, both Martin-- and wife Gwyneth Paltrow-- joined Jay-Z onstage at Hova's September 27 Royal Albert Hall gig in London. Martin sang on two Jigga tracks, "Dead Presidents II" (from Reasonable Doubt) and "Heart of the City (Ain't No Love)" (from The Blueprint), while Paltrow provided backup vocals on The Blueprint's "Song Cry" and several other tunes. As it happens, this was the illustrious Hall's first ever hip hop show.

Apparently some guy named Nas was there too.

Affirming the end of the their ocean-spanning feud, Chris Martin will guest produce a track on Jay-Z's forthcoming LP, Kingdom Come. As previously reported, Jay is not probably, but definitely coming out of his quasi-retirement to release the record in late November. He's also touring the world right now to raise water crisis awareness, but we can all finally sleep soundly, knowing the real crisis-- the epic Martin-Carter beef-- has been put to rest at last. [MORE...]
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