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KCRW Launches Spotify App

KCRW is set to become the first American radio station to broadcast on Spotify. The station is taking its Music Mine iPad app and recreating it on Spotify. Instead of simply listening to KCRW music and having it disappear into the void, the Spotify app will allow fans to keep track of the music they hear and play it again whenever they please. The daily playlists of KCRW’s DJs will be available on demand, online.

“Spotify’s musical offerings are tremendous and as music consumers adapt this technology into their listening habit, KCRW will be right there offering a curated list of the best music from around the world,” says KCRW director of new media Anil Dewan.

KCRW would be the first station in the world to land on Spotify, but, we’re told,  ze Germans beat them to it a few months ago.

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Los Angeles Editor Throws Musicians Down a Hill… In the Name of Fashion!

We all know musicians can be a pain in the ass. So if you’re an editor trying to shoot a band for a high-end fashion package, you can’t fuck around. You do whatever you need to do. Tasked with just such an endeavor for Los Angeles‘ May issue, senior editor Linda Immediato took the LA band Silversun Pickups, dressed them up in Prada and threw them down a hill.

“I’ll be the first to admit it wasn’t easy, they put up quite a fight,” Immediato tells us. “I had to pull out a few weight leveraging moves I learned in karate classes. I hit them with a Chuck Norris roundhouse kick to the back of the knees and they just tumbled over, both of them, like bowling pins. I felt proud at first, but then the tears started. It was their pride I think that hurt the most. But we hugged it out over some Dos Equis and I convinced them it was all done in the great name of fashion.”

Nice to see you’re fitting in well over at Los Angeles, Linda. Here’s hoping they put you in charge of political coverage soon, because we can think of a few (thousand) politicians we’d like to see get the hill (volcano!) photo-shoot treatment.

Behind-the-scenes video of Immediato and Silversun Pickups in action after the jump.

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KCRW Launches Music Channel ‘The Cue’ on YouTube

KCRW has launched a new YouTube channel it’s calling “The Cue.” The channel will feature various KCRW DJs curating playlists of their choosing. Looks like they plan to start with two shows per week.

According to the release, shows will include “criminally overlooked gems from DJ Eric J Lawrence, a dip into LA’s club scene with DJ Valida, quintessential California songs from DJ Anne Litt, visually inspiring sounds from Anthony Valadez and music that makes you want to dance – and cry – from DJ Mario Cotto.”

KCRW has already posted four shows on its YouTube page. Looks like a mixture of live music recorded in-house at KCRW, and music videos culled from YouTube. Plus, lots of Jason Bentley wearing sweaters.

Mariachi El Bronx Makes Its Funny or Die Debut

Funny or Die appears to be getting into the music video business. LA punk mariachi band Mariachi El Bronx just debuted the video for its song “48 Roses” on the site. The effort was directed by Funny Or Die’s Josh Martin and Ryan McNeely. Definitely an interesting collaboration, especially since MTV basically stopped featuring music a decade ago. Is this a harbinger of a new music video resurgence?

KCRW Cuts ‘Are Friends Eclectic?’ Benefit Concert to One Night

KCRW announced over the weekend that it is cutting its ambitious “Are Friends Eclectic?” benefit series from two nights to one. Jimmy Cliff was originally supposed to headline a December 2 show at the Orpheum Theatre while Iron and Wine would headline the following night. Instead, the two will combine forces for a lone December 3 event.

“Early ticket sales for the first night were slow,” says KCRW music director Jason Bentley, “so we decided to make it one blockbuster night of KCRW music that will blow your mind.”

The remainder of the mind-blowing lineup has yet to be announced. Fool’s Gold, Mia Doi Todd, Belle Brigade and Anna Calvi were among those originally schedule to play.

We take Bentley for his word that the new lineup will be solid. KCRW has proven it knows how to throw a party. Its recent Halloween “Masquerade” party raised $60,000 for the station.

Jello Biafra in the Holy Land

Punk legend Jello Biafra recently returned from a trip to Israel/Palestine after his band Guantanamo School Of Medicine pulled out of a July show in Tel Aviv–due to their solidarity with the Boycott Divestment & Sanctions movement against Israel. Biafra had mixed emotions about his participation in the boycott, given the recent cries for social justice in the streets of Israel. So he decided to visit the country in person to see if his stance was justified. He penned a lengthy account of his travels and posted his effort on the Alternative Tentacles website.

He proves himself to be quite the travel writer. His account is one of the more measured and reasonable descriptions of the current Palestinian/Israeli conflict we have read in quite some time. Obviously, given his support of the boycott, his political starting point sides with social justice for Palestine. But he is not unsympathetic to Israelis and his account is quite nuanced–a far different cry from your typical shrill activist report that portrays all of Israel as a homogeneous bastion of fascism.

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Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone Showing at the Laemmle Sunset

FishbowlLA was lucky enough to check out a VIP screening of Lev Anderson and Chris Metzler‘s film Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone last night at the Bootleg Theater. The film made its debut last year at the LA Film Festival, but since Anderson and Metzler are releasing it themselves, it’s only making its way to a general audience a year later. The film opens tonight in LA at the Laemmle Sunset 5.

Everyday Sunshine, if you haven’t heard, is the story of the great LA band Fishbone–of their stunted rise and multiple near collapses over their 25-year history. The filmmakers followed the band for nearly three years, and were even able to land interviews with former guitarist Kendall Jones--who left the band in 1993 to join an alleged religious cult and hadn’t been seen or heard from since.

The band’s two surviving original members Angelo Moore and Norwood Fisher were in attendance last night for a Q&A after the film. Front man Moore had by far the best line of the night: “I’ve tried to sell out a bunch of times. It didn’t work. It doesn’t work. So you might as well just be yourself.”

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Napster Is Dead: Big Layoffs Coming In Los Angeles and San Diego

Napster is officially dead. The seminal music sharing company was just sold to competing music service Rhapsody, who will siphon off Napster’s subscribers into their own service. Napster’s LA and San Diego offices will be shuttered, leaving nearly 120 people out of work. The layoffs apparently won’t be immediate. They’ll come right before Christmas. Isn’t holiday season in America wonderful these days?

Many of you out there probably didn’t realize Napster was still around. Best Buy purchased the service three years ago for nearly $121 million. Over that time the site lost nearly 500,000 subscribers. At the time of its demise it was down to around 200,000.

RIP

Chuck Philips Involved With New Suge Knight Documentary

LA’s scariest music producer Suge Knight will be the subject of a new documentary produced by Showtime. Knight and his new music company Black Kapital will be handling the film’s soundtrack, which obviously means Knight is onboard with the film.

Tentatively titled…Suge Knight…the film will be helmed by Training Day director Antoine Fuqua. Interestingly, Pulitzer Prize-winning former LA Times reporter Chuck Philips will co-produce the film. Philips, you probably remember, took a voluntary buyout from the Times shortly after his story on the death of Tupac was found to contain info from forged FBI documents. Over the summer he demanded a retraction to the Times‘ retraction of his story. He didn’t get one. Looks like he got a movie deal instead.

Press release after the jump.

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LA Rapper Piggybacks on 9/11 Anniversary

First-generation Egyptian-American and LA native Pharaoh MC has waded into some very questionable PR waters. He plans to officially release his debut CD “Terrorism Era” at 9:11 a.m. on Sunday, so as to double-coincide with the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

Compounding matters is the fact that Pharaoh is a conspiracy theorist, convinced that “six laws of nature” needed to be violated in order for the official government line on the attacks to be accurate. Equally objectionable is the artist’s chosen storytelling device:

The album begins with the rapper impersonating a terrorist about to commit the heinous crime on 9/11/01 under the pretense that the story, as it is told by the US government, is true. The album then takes a turn as the artist makes a mockery of said story and takes us on a journey of truth; presenting facts and information that might make even the most skeptical minds ask questions about our Global climate and the current state of affairs in the United States.

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