This week in entertainment news: 2016, sick of resting on its terrible hat-trick of taking David Bowie, Lemmy Kilmister and Glenn Frey in one month, has sharpened its blades again. In happier news, we also take a look at the newly-announced Afropunk Brooklyn lineup, Kid Cudi’s new TV pilot, more Game of Thrones and more!
The big news is, of course, that the legend Prince Rogers Nelson passed away yesterday. It comes as a shock, as he’s been battling the flu for the past few weeks. Seriously, the flu? Who would have thought that something seemingly so minor could fall a giant.
But 2016 is just like my mother — she’s never satisfied. On April 19th, Richard Lyons of seminal noise music/sound collage band Negativland passed away from cancer. Lyons, responsible for the characters Pastor Dick, Dick Goodbody, Jack Diekobisc, and Dick Vaughn, host of Moribund Music of the 70s. Lyons also found the central sample to Negativland’s famous song “Christianity Is Stupid”, the center of a media hoax that later formed the basis of their album Helter Stupid. He, like Prince, was 57.
Not only that, but WWE wrestler Chyna, Joan Marie Laurer has also died this week — her body was found Wednesday evening, but she was reportedly dead for at least a day. Foul play is not expected — nor is suicide. The Los Angeles Coroner’s Department is currently investigating. She was 46.
Likewise, British comedian Victoria Wood died this Wednesday, from cancer. She was a beloved standup, and starred in the shows Dinnerladies and Housewife, 49. She was 62.
2016: WE’VE HAD ENOUGH, YOU HEAR US. WE GET IT, YOU’RE BIG AND SCARY AND EVERYONE’S AFRAID OF YOU. KNOCK IT OFF NOW, OKAY????
Ugh, after all that death, let’s focus on good things for the rest of this edition of Now Hear This, huh? AfroPunk Fest: Brooklyn just announced their lineup — and it’s pretty amazing! The headliners are Ice Cube, Tyler the Creator, Janelle Monáe, Angel Haze and the Internet — but that’s not all. Brilliant poet and musician Saul Williams is playing, as is the phenomenal bassist Thundercat, funk legend George Clinton, musical genius Flying Lotus, and many many more. Prior to the announcement, Waddie G. over at The G-List Society put together a list of the 29 acts he’d love to see — and it’s a great list, too… not to mention, that he got his wish on a few of the artists! (That said, we agree with Waddie: We’d love to see Kendrick Lamar and Estelle added, too.)
Kid Cudi’s already conquered the pop charts with “Day ‘N’ Nite” and was the bandleader on Comedy Bang! Bang! — but now he’s moving behind the camera. Cudi’s written a TV Pilot he wants Paul “Pee-Wee Herman” Reubens to star in. Kid Cudi and Pee-Wee? Sign us the hell up.
In perhaps the most unsurprising news of the week, HBO has announced it’s renewing Game Of Thrones, thus delaying Hodor’s inevitable music stardom another year. HBO is also renewing Veep and Silicon Valley, because, you know, they’re not dummies.
Netflix’s series The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt just dropped its long-awaited second season last week — and it’s even better than the first season. Good news: A third season is coming! (Netflix aren’t dummies, either.) The bad news is: Due to Ellie Kemper’s pregnancy it’ll be delayed a bit. The other bit of good news: Tina Fey is taking the Kimmy down-time to focus on bringing Mean Girls: The Musical to Broadway!
New Music This Week: Soulwax have a brand new album, Belgica, the soundtrack for the film about the rise and eventual downfall of the influential Belgian night club. On the album, Soulwax put on the guise of fifteen different fake bands, each with their own style.
R&B singer Keke Wyatt is putting out her newest, Rated Love.
Electronica act Big Black Delta’s sophomore album, Trágame Tierra is out today.
Rock band Blue October is putting out their twelfth album, Home.
Long-running experimental pop band The Legendary Pink Dots are releasing their… oh, let’s just say 5,000th album, Pages of Aquarius.