R.I.P. Dick Gregory, pioneering standup comedian had died at 84

Dick Gregory, the pioneering standup comedian and vocal political activist, has died at the age of 84.

“It is with enormous sadness that the Gregory family confirms that their father, comedic legend and civil rights activist Mr. Dick Gregory departed this earth tonight in Washington, D.C.,” his son, Christian Gregory announced in a statement. “The family appreciates the outpouring of support and love and respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Gregory was hospitalized earlier this week. The cause of death is believed to be complications from heart disease.

This is a developing story.

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Father John Misty responds to Ryan Adams’ Twitter insults

Earlier today, Ryan Adams hurled some Twitter insults in the direction of Father John Misty. In response to FJM’s upcoming appearance on Austin City Limits, Adams tweeted, “It’s so wonderful you booked the most self-important asshole on Earth to ‘break it all down for us’ while he does his Nick Cave impression.” Adams went on to refer to FJM’s Josh Tillman as “Elton Josh” and “Sir Fuckhead,” adding, “He sounds like shit Elton John but if he was just sitting in a corner staring at his hands on LSD.”

Though Adams later deleted the tweets and posted an apology to Instagram, Father John Misty has now responded. In a short video published to Facebook, J. Tillman can be heard saying trolling, “Ryan Adams called me the most important asshole on Earth.”

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Portugal. The Man to donate all profits from upcoming Charlottesville concert

In a very cool move, Portugal. The Man has announced plans to donate 100% of the money from its upcoming show in Charlottesville to the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation in response to the recent tragedy there. The band released the following statement on Facebook:

“Charlottesville, we are devastated by what took place in your beautiful city last week. As you are aware we are due to play the Sprint Pavilion this Monday as part of a previously planned tour. In light of what occurred we are donating 100% of our income from this show to the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation. We will see you Monday.”

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This won’t be the first time Portugal. The Man has shown a charitable streak, as two years ago the band joined with The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation to help surprise a Portland middle school with $35,000 worth of musical instruments.Cheers once again to Portugal. The Man for stepping up for the city as it attempts to heal.

Check out the video for Portugal. The Man’s smash hit “Feel It Still” below—and it bears repeating: fuck Nazi scum. All of them. Forever.

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Not Even the Arts Can Help Heal a Nation This Wounded

Photo by Alex Wong

Music, Movies & Moods is a regular free-form column in which Matt Melis explores the cracks between where art and daily life meet. This time, he discusses what the president and first lady not attending the 40th Kennedy Center Honors reveals about America.

cos music movies moods 2 Not Even the Arts Can Help Heal a Nation This WoundedSome really good seats just became available for the 40th annual Kennedy Center Honors ceremony. Two in the presidential box.

This morning, a week after the hate-fueled tragedy in Charlottesville, Virginia, and a day after White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon took the increasingly more common West Wing walk of shame, Donald Trump fired off no head-scratching, incendiary tweets. The White House simply informed the media that Trump and the first lady would not be attending The Kennedy Center Honors in early December, a rare break with custom.

“The president and first lady have decided not to participate in this year’s activities to allow the honorees to celebrate without any political distraction. First lady Melania Trump, along with her husband President Donald J. Trump, extend their sincerest congratulations and well wishes to all of this year’s award recipients for their many accomplishments.”

After bandying about threats of nuclear “fire and fury” two weeks ago and this week’s bungled attempts to restore faith and help heal a pained nation gashed wide open by racial hatred – a series of embarrassing statements that lacked genuine love, sadness, and compassion and, to much of the nation, appeared to handle domestic terrorism and white supremacist ideologies with far too gentle a touch and none of that famous Trump outrage reserved for, say, the #fakenews media, Congressional war heroes, or Meryl Streep – a statement merely declining an invitation to an arts function felt like a much needed exhale.

For those not familiar with The Kennedy Center Honors, they take place each December in the Washington opera house of the same name and aim to honor artists for their lifetime contributions to American culture. The event, broadcast near Christmas, features moving tributes to several honorees and the unique sight of those artists wearing medallions hung around their necks with rainbow-colored ribbon, sitting alongside the president and first lady in the balcony. Memorable photo ops in recent years have included Barack and Michelle Obama beside the likes of legends Brian Wilson and Paul McCartney and a tearful President Obama moved by an Aretha Franklin performance dedicated to singer-songwriter Carole King. It’s not the Oscars or even the Grammys, but it’s an evening that reminds us that much of our nation’s strength stems from our humanity, as displayed in the art that sparks our imaginations and touches our hearts.

The controversy around this year’s ceremonies was by no means started by Trump, though you could argue that his campaign and first several months in office were the catalyst. The 2017 ceremony will honor groundbreaking television producer Norman Lear and actress Carmen de Lavallade alongside music artists Lionel Richie, LL Cool J, and Gloria Estefan, all of whom have expressed reticence about the occasion. Lear and de Lavallade cited Trump’s defunding of the arts and suspect moral compass, respectfully, for why they would attend the ceremony but not the customary pre-ceremony reception at the White House. Richie has talked about boycotting, LL Cool J has stated he’ll try to put politics aside for one night, and the Cuban-born Estefan has made it clear that while she would attend, she would also use the opportunity to relate her disappointment in the president’s policies towards immigration.

So, that’s five honorees, all of whom wish they had been honored a year ago by a president seen as a friend to the arts and, more importantly, as a man who shares their principles.

Now, to be fair, Trump isn’t the only president to skip or miss The Kennedy Center Honors. Both George W. Bush and Clinton have left empty seats before, as did Jimmy Carter during the 1979 hostage crisis. Trump holds no obligation to attend; it’s no different from him passing on this year’s White House Correspondents’ Association dinner. How you choose to interpret his declined invitation probably says a lot about how you interpret Donald Trump. For his base, he’s undoubtedly taking the high road or simply not wishing to spend a night with elites and Hollywood liberals who regularly tear him down. To his detractors, it’s a retaliatory snub. And really, both sides might have a ring of truth to their assessments. But what might also be true is simply this: at a time when all but his staunchest supporters are publicly parting ways with him, does the man really want to get all dressed up just to be shunned or sit in a balcony alone?

Does the self-proclaimed fighter, the fierce gladiator, fear the lions or an empty coliseum more?

For their part, The Kennedy Center Honors committee have given Trump the benefit of the doubt and thanked him for graciously not coming – I’m sure a sigh of relief or several followed. So, all’s good. Nobody’s in the wrong here. Trump isn’t obligated to go, nor are the honorees. And if a recipient wishes to make a political statement, it’d be no different than, say, an Oscars moment, only they might be played off by their own music in tribute to them. So, nobody’s wrong, but that doesn’t mean anybody necessarily wins either. In a time that our country is so divided by principle that those who have long stood by the president, giving him the benefit of the doubt, are now leaving in exodus; that Tolerance and Hatred are meeting in the streets of our nation with swastikas, tiki torches, and automobiles upending and flinging bodies like rag dolls; and that newspersons of all colors, genders, ages, and political affiliations are sobbing on air, not even the arts – the great unifier and communicator across all walks of life – can bring us together, not even for a night.

It’s a shame, really. All the recipients are pioneers who have touched and brought so many people together through their art and, in some cases, their journeys and activism. They, as well as anybody, know that art is not only capable of locating our deepest wounds, but also helping them to begin healing. Hopefully, the gala in December remains a night of celebration, as it’s intended to be. But I can’t help but think that when audience members see those two empty seats in the balcony, there won’t be sentiments of winning, losing, or snubbing. It’ll only be one more reminder of just how deep and ugly our country’s wounds truly are.

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Brand New’s new album Science Fiction is now available on streaming services

This week, Brand New surprise released their first album in eight years, Science Fiction. Initially available for purchase digitally, the full 12-track album is now available on streaming services, including Apple Music and Spotify. Listen below. . Physical copies of the album are expected to ship in October.

Science Fiction is Brand New’s first record since 2009’s Daisy.

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Science Fiction Artwork:

dhcp azxuauztep Brand News new album Science Fiction is now available on streaming services

Science Fiction Tracklist:
01. Lit Me Up
02. Can’t Get It Out
03. Waste
04. Could Never Be Heaven
05. Same Logic/Teeth
06. 137
07. Out of Mana
08. In the Water
09. Desert
010. No Control
11. 451
12. Batter Up

Brand New will tour behind the record this fall. Find their full itinerary here.

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Ryan Adams roasts Father John Misty: “The most self-important asshole on Earth”

Ryan Adams has made waves in recent months for not-so-nice comments about alt-J (“It’s like a mosquito bite — if you ignore it, it’ll go away”) and The Strokes (“I should’ve forced them to get addicted to writing better songs”). Now, he’s thrown a verbal head grenade in the direction of Father John Misty.

In response to FJM’s upcoming appearance on Austin City Limits, Adams tweeted, “It’s so wonderful you booked the most self-important asshole on Earth to ‘break it all down for us’ while he does his Nick Cave impression.” Adams went on to refer to FJM’s Josh Tillman as “Elton Josh” and “Sir Fuckhead,” adding, “He sounds like shit Elton John but if he was just sitting in a corner staring at his hands on LSD.”

Father John Misty famously spoofed Adams when he ironically covered Ryan Adams’ own covers album of Taylor Swift’s 1989. It seems like RA is still salty about the whole thing.

In other news involving music’s most self-important asshole, he’s penned a eulogy for Chuck E. Cheese’s animatronic band.

ryan adams fjm Ryan Adams roasts Father John Misty: The most self important asshole on Earth

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Fish Pie

Primal aviaryFish Pie is a classic English dish, probably one of those originally invented to use up fish that was less than fresh. Slathered in mashed potatoes, cheese, and a creamy white sauce, the idea was to cover up the fish, not make it the main focus.

This recipe for Primal fish pie takes a completely different approach. The dish is still covered in a buttery mashed potato crust, but underneath is a light and flavorful filling. Fresh salmon and cod are layered with leeks, zucchini and fresh herbs, and flavored with lemon and Dijon.

The potatoes are flavored with nothing more than creamy, salty, delicious butter. Just keep adding it until the potatoes taste like, well, butter. If you can, use salted grass-fed butter, which has incredible flavor plus a healthier fatty acid composition and higher vitamin content than regular butter.

Servings: 4 to 6

Time in the Kitchen: 1.5 hour

Ingredients

Primal

  • 1.5 pounds (about 4) russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch/25 mm chunks (680 g)
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter, divided (plus more to taste) (90 g)
  • 1 small leek, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 1 medium zucchini, grated (about 1 cup grated)
  • 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
  • 1.5 pounds fish, skin-off, bones removed cut into 1-inch/25 mm pieces (try half salmon, half cod) (680 g)
  • Zest of one small lemon
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley (60 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (30 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (30 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (15 ml)

Instructions

step 2

Preheat oven to 400 Fº/205 Cº.

Cover potatoes with salted water in a pot and boil until soft, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain. Mash the drained potatoes with 4 tablespoons butter, or more if you like. Season with salt if needed. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, melt remaining 2 tablespoons/30 g butter over medium heat. Add the leek and celery. Cook until soft, 5 minutes. Add zucchini and cook until the zucchini is soft, 5 minutes.

In a 2 or 3 quart baking dish (or deep pie plate) layer vegetables and fish, and sprinkle lemon zest and parsley on top. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil and Dijon mustard. Pour on top of the fish.

Smooth the mashed potatoes on top of the fish. Dot with small pieces of butter.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until lightly golden and crispy around the edges.
Fish pie can be served warm or at room temperature.

Primal

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Donald Trump to skip attending Kennedy Center Honors

Donald Trump will skip attending this year’s Kennedy Center Honors, the White House has announced.

The annual event celebrates the lifetime achievements of artists who’ve contributed greatly to American culture. This year’s honorees include musicians Lionel Richie, LL Cool J, and Gloria Estefan, television writer and producer Norman Lear, and actress Carmen de Lavallade.

The event is held at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, with the president and first lady usually in attendance. However, after Richie, Lear, and Carmen de Lavallade all threatened to boycott the event in protest of the current administration, Trump has opted to cancel his and Melania Trump’s own attendance.

In a statement, the White House said Trump will not participate in the event “to allow the honorees to celebrate without any political distraction.”

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Sehnsucht at 20: How Rammstein Stood up Against Hate

Dusting ‘Em Off is a rotating, free-form feature that revisits a classic album, film, or moment in pop-culture history. This week, Wren Graves looks at how the iconic German band stamped out false impressions of their music and politics.   

This is a story about communication — about what gets lost in translation and how the intended message can be so different from the one received. It’s about a group of provocateurs who tried to stay out of politics, but got caught up in the pressing political arguments of their time. When Rammstein released their second album, Sehnsucht (often translated as Longing), they were already well known in Germany; their first album, Herzeleid (Heartache) was on the German charts for 102 weeks. Critics were so excited by this aggressive new blend of American heavy metal and Continental electronica that they had to invent a new genre to describe it: “Neue Deutche Harte,” the New German Hardness.

Rammstein means “battering stone,” but that’s not the whole story. The band loves homophones, those slippery groups of words that have similar pronunciations but different meanings. And while Rammstein may be spelled like battering stone, it sounds exactly like Ramstein, the site of the 1988 Ramstein Air Show disaster. Held at an American Air Force Base in West Germany, 70 people were killed and hundreds more injured when two Italian pilots collided in mid-air and crashed into the crowd below. Early on, the band even toured under the name Ramstein-Flugschau (Ramstein Airshow). And so you hear Rammstein, and you’re meant to think of a battering stone, but also a fiery collision of American militarism and European aesthetics. There’s lots of this double-talk in the music, which made them a somewhat unlikely candidate for English-language crossover success.

But Rammstein has a flair for spectacles — costumes and pyrotechnics — that translates into every language. They give fire-breathing live performances, both figuratively and literally. During renditions of their first single off Sehnsucht, “Engel” (“Angel”), lead singer Till Lindermann would wear a pair of flaming angel wings while sparks shot out of Christoph Schneider’s drumsticks. Of course, all the fireworks in the world won’t sell a dull song, and “Engel” is anything but. It’s a study in contrasts: an angelic soprano paired with a brimstone baritone and thundering guitars supported by lonesome whistles and shimmering synths. 

The lyrics reflect on the afterlife, which the characters in the song seem to wish didn’t exist. The first three lines of the hook are sung by the German pop star Bobo. She coos: “First if the clouds have gone to sleep/ You can see us in the sky/ We are afraid and alone.” To close the couplet, Lindermann roars the final line: “God knows I don’t want to be an angel!”

But it was with their second American single, “Du hast”, that Rammstein crossed over from heavy metal stations to the much more popular alternative radio. The song depends on a bit of subtle word play that gets lost in translation. “Du hast,” means “You have,” but the pronunciation is indistinguishable from “Du hasst,” meaning “You hate.” It’s a recollection of a conversation at the end of a romantic relationship. The partner asks, “You have me?” As in, will you have me — will you keep me, will you marry me? But also the second meaning — do you hate me? Till Lindermann sings his response, “And I did not answer.” 

The guitar is relentless, and the drums keep up a quick military march. A choir adds a touch of the epic, and the synthesizers deployed by Christian “Flake” Lorenz wouldn’t sound out of place in dance halls from Kingston to Kiev.

For the live show, Lindermann wielded a flaming bow and arrow like a cupid from hell.

That performance was taken from their 1998 American tour, which I attended when it stopped in Madison, Wisconsin. I was in middle school, and at the time I had a friendly relationship with my German teacher, a diminutive German immigrant with a thick accent, glasses, and short-cropped, gray hair, whose last name I’ve forgotten, but who encouraged us to skip it altogether and just call her Frau. The day of the Rammstein show, I was excited to tell Frau that I was going to see a German band.

She smiled up at me, eyes sparkling. “Oh?” she said in her accented English, “And what band is that?”

“Rammstein,” I replied.

Her smile slipped and was replaced with a look of horror. “Rammstein?” she said. “But they are Nazis! They like Adolf Hitler!” And she eyed me warily, afraid that I supported Hitler, too. 

That night at the show, as Lindermann fired flaming arrows over the crowd, I watched with a mixture of awe and discomfort. Was Frau right? Were they really Nazis?

In retrospect, the trouble started with Rammstein’s album cover for Herzeleid. The six band members are presented shirtless, with hair that is closely cropped or shaved. Frankly, they look a bit like skinheads, and many people wondered if they were.

front 6002x Sehnsucht at 20: How Rammstein Stood up Against Hate

White nationalists were often in the headlines in Germany at that time. A few years earlier in 1992, the German Ministry of the Interior banned half a dozen far-right and neo-Nazi political parties (freedom of speech is much more restricted in Germany than America) with names such as “German Alternative,” “National Front,” and “National Opposition.” In 1995, the same year that Herzeleid became a sensation, Germany’s Constitutional Court banned another far-right group, the Free German Worker’s Partywhose platform was anti-immigrant and pro-white. 

Rumors began linking Rammstein to far-right politics, Nazism, and white nationalism. A 1998 Wall Street Journal article collected some of the harshest criticism: If there was still a Third Reich, would a band like Rammstein appear at the 35th Nazi Party congress?” asked a Dresden entertainment magazine before a recent concert there. The Schweriner Volkszeitung, a German newspaper, observed that Mr. Lindemann rolls his “R”s like Hitler.” 

Rammstein called this stuff “nonsense.” But the accusations followed the band through their second album, Sehnsucht, and reached America at the same time they did. 

Rammstein denied these rumors to the American press, and complained about the Herzeleid cover controversy. “It’s all been so silly,” Lorenz told Hit Parader“That was just a photo of us — not a political statement!” Lorenz blamed the hubbub on the German media. “We’ve never written a political song in our lives,” Flake said, “and we probably never will.”

This is not to say that Rammstein shied away from controversy; on Sehnsuchtthey violate many taboos within intimate character studies. Not one, but two songs are devoted to incest: “Tier” (“Animal”)  and “Spiel mit mir” (“Play with me”). “Tier” tells the tale of a father raping his daughter. The song is upbeat and anxious, with a guitar riff like a thumping heartbeat.

The album version of “Spiel mit mir” starts with a kind of creepy nursery rhyme about two brothers who “share a room and a bed.” One urges the other, “Play with me!” Slow and sour, it works by combining a child’s innocence with an adult’s gag reflex. 

In the video below, Lindermann rises out of the stage dressed like a cross between the Terminator robot and King Kong. This isn’t Metallica in a t-shirt and jeans; this is a lavish German opera. 

The outfits and the incest bring me to a theory about Rammstein — a theory I can’t prove. From the beginning, I think Rammstein wanted to be controversial, but I think they wanted to be controversial in a more traditional way. I think they wanted to follow in the footsteps of Kiss or Marilyn Manson — to dress up in fun costumes and shock some parents. 

Rammstein were able to do a bit of this on their 1998 American tour. “Buch dich” (“Bend down”) features familiar metal tropes of domination and humiliation. Rammstein places it in the context of man-on-man anal sex. “Your face means nothing to me/ Bend down!” During live performances, keyboardist “Flake” Lorenz puts on a mask and ball-gag while Lindermann graphically simulates having sex with him. The act even involves a squirting dildo, and in 1999, it got Lindermann and Lorenz arrested and thrown in jail for a night in Worcester, Massachusetts. (When it comes to sex and freedom of expression, Germany is more free than the United States.)

This is a band that, for its whole career, had appeared in newspaper articles next to labels like “neo-Nazi.” It must’ve been a relief to appear next to friendlier words, like “outrageous antics” and “anal sex.” Rammstein were closer than ever to achieving their dream of being an apolitical rock band. And they might have succeeded, too, if not for one of their fans.

Eric Harris liked Rammstein enough to wear their shirt for his 11th grade photo. An admirer of German culture, Harris often started his journal entries with “Wie Gehts,” which translates as “How are you?” or “How’s it going?” He listened to other German industrial bands, especially KMFDM, and tried to get his friend Dylan Klebold into the music, too; he scribbled “Rammstein” in one of Klebold’s journals.

Harris wrote admiring school papers about Hitler, calling him evil but also saying, “Hitler was the best leader Germany had.” In his own journal, he wrote the name of a song by Rammstein, “Weisses Feisch”. Beneath that, he wrote “perfect / song / for / me.” The entry that follows: “Well folks, today was a very important day … we went downtown and purchased the following; a double barrel 12ga. shotgun, a pump action 12ga. shotgun, a 9mm carbine, 250 9mm rounds…” the list goes on. Here are the first few lyrics of “Weisses Fleisch” in English: “You, in the schoolyard/ I am ready to kill/ And no one here knows/ Of my loneliness.”

On April 20th (Hitler’s birthday) of 1991, Harris and Klebold entered the Columbine High School cafeteria and started shooting. They massacred 13 people — 11 students and two teachers — and injured an additional 24, before turning their weapons on themselves.

As America attempted to understand what had happened and why, the name Rammstein kept popping up.

Briefly: no, Rammstein didn’t incite the Columbine shooting. Rammstein have millions of fans who have never shot up a school, and if the band had never existed, Harris would surely have been listening to somebody else. I want to get that out of the way and focus on Rammstein, because I think what happens next is instructive. The Columbine massacre is an unofficial bookend in their career — the end of the Sehnsucht era, the start of something new.

Rammstein never wanted to be political. Perhaps it didn’t interest them. Perhaps they were afraid of alienating some of their fans. But after years of refusing to define their own politics, they kept getting defined by othersWe’re now coming to a key moment: Offstage, where fans can’t see, Rammstein is going to make a choice. 

The next period begins with a song that fans knows well: A single off third album Mutter, “Links 2 3 4”. 

“They want my heart on the right place,” Lindermann sings, in reference to right-wing extremism. “But if I look down on me/ Then it beats left!” The music video makes it even more explicit: communist ants working together to defend themselves from Nazi beetles. At the end of the video, ants crawl over a dead right hand, symbolizing triumph over the far right.

Now, what Germany considers left and right on the political spectrum is undoubtedly different than how we talk about it in the US. The point isn’t that it’s somehow heroic to announce how you like to vote; in fact, you could make the case that Rammstein were cowardly for not disassociating from extremists earlier. But they did it, and it presaged a broadening of their sound; fewer intimate character studies, more big ideas, the philosophies of “Amerika” and “Dalai Lama”. That comes later; right now we’re interested in the moment before.

Before all that, right after the Columbine shooting, when they were still struggling to keep out of politics, they released a woefully bland public statement: “The members of Rammstein express their condolences and sympathy to all affected by the recent tragic events in Denver. They wish to make it clear that they have no lyrical content or political beliefs that could have possibly influenced such behavior. Additionally, members of Rammstein have children of their own, in whom they continually strive to instill healthy and non-violent values.”

I am particularly fascinated by that second sentence, where they “wish to make it clear” that their lyrics and their politics had nothing to do with the ideas behind Columbine. But how would Harris and Klebold have known that? What had Rammstein ever done to make it clear? 

Who knows what the band thought about afterwards, offstage, outside the public eye. We know the end result: Rammstein decided to write a song so that it would be clear in the future. 

There are many lessons here for us, as America grapples with a resurgence of right-wing white nationalism of our own. We see how a well-intentioned media can get a story wrong; the importance of defining yourself before others define you; and how easy it is to send a message you don’t mean. There’s also hope, because Rammstein came out of the experience as a better all-around rock band. Sehnsucht is a great record. It took Rammstein out of Germany and onto the world stage. But the experience of promoting Sehnsucht changed Rammstein, so that afterwards they couldn’t just write another Sehnsucht; they had to make something new.

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Kanye West and Kid Cudi working on collaborative project in Japan: Report

Kanye West and Kid Cudi have buried the hatchet and are hard at work on a secret collaborative project together. That’s according Page Six, citing an anonymous source close to the two musicians.

“They’re going to drop some crazy collaboration out of the blue. They’re going to drop some surprise project on everybody. They’re recording it now,” the source, who apparently loves ruining surprises, told Page Six, before continuing, “Nobody knows what it is — or what it sounds like . . . There are no professionals in the room. It’s just Cudi, Kanye and an engineer. They’re recording together in Japan.”

At the very least, the part about hanging in Japan is true, as artist Takashi Murakami, who created Kanye’s Graduation cover artwork, recently posted a pic to Instagram showing the two musicians hanging in his studio.

Long time no see @kidcudi and #kanyewest. Thank you for coming to my studio. It was fire 🔥🔥🔥

A post shared by Takashi Murakami (@takashipom) on Aug 11, 2017 at 3:41am PDT

Beyond the fact that a Cudi/Ye album is an incredibly exciting prospect, it’s good to see West and his former protege friends again after last year’s feuding—a debacle which saw both men clowning each other publicly on their way to rehab. West went for “exhaustion” after canceling several dates on his Saint Pablo tour, and Cudi sought treatment for depression and suicidal urges. Music aside, self care is a real and serious thing, and as the recent suicides of Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington have reminded us, no one is immune to overwhelming feelings of hopelessness. It’s great to see two of Chicago’s favorite sons feeling well and creating again. Cheers gentlemen.

Revisit Kanye’s Kid Cudi-featuring “All of the Lights” below:

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