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Afro-Punk Fest arriving in August

Kristi Kates - August 1st, 2011
Afro-Punk Fest Arriving in August
The seventh annual Afro-Punk fest will take place this year on August 28 and 29 in Brooklyn, and they’re bringing back the Battle for the Streets Skate and BMX Competition for the second time this year; making its debut at the event will be the Afro-Punk Bites and Beats, which will include food vendor trucks from around the world. But let’s get to the music - the lineup’s been announced, too, and will include sets from Ninjasonik, Jay Electronica, Rocky Business, Reggie Watts, and Toro Y Moi, among others, all rocking out in Brooklyn’s Commodore Barry Park…
Longstanding Los Angeles indie band Rilo Kiley has reportedly broken up “for good” - although no details have yet been given on the precise reasons for the band’s demise, years of conflict between lead singer Jenny Lewis and guitarist Blake Sennett, who went through much turmoil in their personal relationship, is being speculated as one of the causes. Lewis’ solo success has been thought of as another factor, but, again, there’s been no confirmation, so it’ll remain up to fans to ponder. Rumors are also rampant as to whether the band’s 2007 release Under the Backlight will be their final album, or if they’ll go ahead as planned to release three dozen tracks of as-yet-unreleased tunes…
Retro rockers Cheap Trick had a scary experience during their recent performance at the Ottawa Bluesfest when a forecasted storm arrived much more abruptly than expected, slamming the stage with 100-mile-an-hour winds, injuring a dozen people as well as Cheap Trick’s truck driver, and smashing up the band’s equipment, which was effectively ruined…
Singer-songwriter Jason Mraz will be embarking on a special international tour with pal percussionist Noel Rivera this month. The tour will take Mraz and Rivera through North America, Australia, Asia, Africa, and Europe, and will kick off with a set at the Musicians United for Safe Energy benefit show on August 7 in California. Proceeds from that event will help promote safe, alternative, non-nuclear energy as well as benefiting Japan disaster relief efforts; Mraz will be joined at the event by a host of other musicians, from Crosby Stills and Nash to Tom Morello…

MODERN ROCK LINK OF THE WEEK:
The Beastie Boys have just debuted a new music video for their track “Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win” from their album Hot Sauce Committee Part 2; directed by the band’s pal Spike Jonze, the clip features the Beasties as plastic action figures. Check out the full version (11 minutes!) on the band’s official website, www.beastieboys.com…

MINI MODERN BUZZ:
R.E.M., The Dixie Chicks, and Maroon 5 are among the artists signed up to be part of America’s Fans First Coalition, a new organization whose aim is to safeguard fans rights to get concert tickets at face value, as opposed to the scalpers snagging and reselling them…
Neutral Milk Hotel’s Jeff Mangum’s solo tour dates were sold out earlier this year, so the band’s songwriter has added more shows to his schedule, including stops in Burlington VT (8/8), Montreal (8/10), and Baltimore, Maryland (9/26)…
Oregon alt-rockers Blitzen Trapper will release their sixth album, American Goldwing, on Sub Pop Records on September 13…
Cobra Starship will be releasing their new album, Night Shades, on August 30, complete with a range of collaborators from The Plasticines to Ryan Tedder…
The Decemberists’ iTunes Session EP is now confirmed for release on iTunes on August 2; the EP will consist of eight songs, mostly new versions of songs that span The Decemberists’ decade-long career to date…
The day before, you’ll be able to pick up the digital release of Jay-Z and Kanye West’s new collaborative album, Watch the Throne, which also includes guest performances from Frank Ocean, Mr. Hudson, and Beyonce…
And this week’s new album releases include Rival Sons’ Pressure and Time… The Horrors’ Skying… Heartsounds’ Drifter… City Lights’ In It to Win It… and that’s the buzz for this week’s Modern Rock.

Questions, comments, rants, raves, suggestions on this column? Send ‘em to Kristi at modernrocker@gmail.com
 
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