Ronnie James Dio Diagnosed with Stomach Cancer

m/ Get better soon!


Sorry to bring some sad news at this hour, but a heavy metal icon needs our warm thoughts ASAP. Ronnie James Dio has revealed that he has been diagnosed with the early stages of stomach cancer and is beginning treatment at the Mayo Clinic. In a statement to Blabbermouth, Ronnie’s wife Wendy wrote:

After he kills this dragon, Ronnie will be back on stage, where he belongs, doing what he loves best, performing for his fans.

Long live rock and roll, long live Ronnie James Dio.

Dio, 67, was forced to abruptly cancel his planned European tour only one week ago due to an unspecified illness that we now know is quite serious.

Here’s wishing the former Black Sabbath, Elf, Rainbow, Heaven & Hell frontman, and  self-proclaimed inventor of the devil horns a speedy recovery. Slay that dragon, Dio!

Not sure how I feel about this.


Freshjive Calls Out Obama | URB.COM

Fair Use?

The immediate response is “Oh no he didn’t.” But if you know LA trailblazer Rick Klotz’s company, it’s no surprise that he took this approach. This is the same dude that brought you these gems:

The company press release on the “Hope is Fading…” T says the release will be the first without the Freshjive name on it. All part of an anti-re-branding effort for the 20-year-old pioneering label. Wait, that is, unless it’s just a clever ruse to avoid more protests.

As for the above sentiment, is it fair? That depends on where you’re at in the political/Obama spectrum—clearly it’s open to debate. But is its pulse-taking of some of the Obama constituency accurate—is hope fading for some? Of course. Rate your personal hope meter as you wish, but there is no doubt that the past 10 months have made you a little bit nostalgic for the good ol’ days of late 2008.

But hope is a slippery thing. Even Shepard Fairey—the revered artist behind the embellished image above—has fallen a bit from his election era grace. This came on top of another youth-for-Obama architect Yosi Sergant, who was chastised by Glenn Beck (and thrown under a D.C. bus by the Left) for his role in NEAgate.

Without over-examining this instantly controversial T-shirt graphic, are any of you having Kool-Aid drinker’s remorse? Maybe we’re just letting the naysayers (re: Conservatives and bitter Dems) get too much of our psyche? Or are we just smelling the stench of negativity that wafts out over the carcass of unrealistic optimism? For me, the jury is still out and I’m not sure I’d wear this shirt around town quite yet. But I’m getting one anyway. Just in case.

Where to buy

Rick Klotz speaks on his clothing line (video)

Trent Reznor, Tom Waits, My Morning Jacket & More on Bridge School Vol. 4

Not sure if this is true or not, but the story goes that when Trent was asked about performing at Bridge School in 2006 he was not aware that everyone had to play acoustic. Instead of pulling out, he got some friends together and played live acoustically for what I believe was his first and only time. I was there to witness it and was thoroughly moved. It’s probably one of my favorite moments from the Bridge School Benefits. This year was the first one I missed in 7 years, I think.


When a bearded Trent Reznor played his surprising unplugged set at Neil and Pegi Young’s annual Bridge School Benefit in 2006, many people, myself included, were hoping he would bring the string quartet and piano into the studio for a Nine Inch Nails record. Well that never happened, but two songs from his set, which wooed NIN fans and detractors alike, will be included on Bridge School Collection, Vol. 4, available Tuesday on iTunes.

Tegan and Sara, who also have two tracks on the live compilation, posted a news update on their site with the full track list and it looks like we have yet another charitable release to look forward to (Seattle GIVE, Preservation, etc.).

Also included on the album are Tom Waits & the Kronos Quartet’s “What Keeps Mankind Alive” and “The Part You Throw Away,” Regina Spektor, John Mayer, My Morning Jacket, Band of Horses, Norah Jones, Ministry, Jerry Lee Lewis, John Mellencamp, and one appearance by Neil Young himself, albeit jamming with Josh Groban for an operatic version of “Harvest Moon.”

Check out the full track list here.



Telefon Tel Aviv /// “Your Mouth” /// Immolate Yourself

Could be the ghost in the machine that makes good IDM so sad and haunting, but Immolate Yourself, especially given the strange, untimely and tragic death of Telfon Tel Aviv’s Charles Cooper earlier this year, is in a league of its own in that regard.  Its electronic sighs and moans are an aural complement to Gatsby’s untouchable green light, an aborted future itself borne back ceaselessly into the past once we lose all hope of attaining it.