Brother Ali & BK-One with Kevin Cole and Cheryl Waters
photo by Michele Meyers
A great big thanks to Brother Ali, who along with BK-One, gave a stellar in-studio performance yesterday. If you missed it or want to hear it again, you can go back and check out on our Streaming Archive for the next two weeks.
Brother Ali, an albino and devout Muslim, has faced a bit of strife and controversy in his life, and his video for “Uncle Sam Goddamn” has been turned away some corporate tour sponsors, but the Minneapolis rapper’s lastest album, The Undisputed Truth, is one of this year’s highlights. Here’s a track from the album:
Brother Ali – The Truth Is (MP3)
The White Stripes have also been involved in a bit of controversy lately. Chicago radio station Q101 played the entire album Icky Thump well before its release date, causing Jack White to phone in his ire to the station. DJ Electra, the supposed Queen of Snark, spun the album in what she thought was a “was an hour-long lovefest for him and his band” but discovered it to be quite the opposite when White called from Spain, where he was touring, and blamed her for being part of the “messed up” music industry. While Electra maintains, ” I don’t think I did anything wrong, and I don’t think I am helping to ruin the music industry,” the pot has been stirred.
Some blogs, like The Modern Age and Three Imaginary Girls, question the DJ’s decision to share the album, while many fans of the station support her, calling Jack White “arrogant” and “unprofessional.” Electra, who opens her blog by saying that “Q101 became the first station in the world to play the new White Stripes album,” now claims to not “be able to listen to it without feeling like crap for a good long while.”
Other bloggers are feeling a harding sting of label protection. Product Shop NYC was shut down after posting two songs from the new album. After Jason received a cease-and-desist notice, he removed the songs, but the website was still subsequently shut down. Certainly other blogs have received similar notices as the songs are swirling around the blogosphere.
Not even Meg White is getting a fair shake from the media. BlackBook magazine published an interview with the band but reported the “wistful, sylphlike” half of The White Stripes to be 39 rather than 33 years of age.
You could probably argue for hours whether the album’s leak is “free advertising,” as one DJ defender says, or “willful disregard” as at least one critic has said, but the fact is that artists today must somehow deal with pre-release downloads and broadcasts. Regardless of whether they might see leaks as blessings or threats, other bands are working to get their music out:
Happy Mondays – Jelly Bean (MP3)
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