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!! OMG, how sad: The Slits’ Ari Up dead at 48 !!


I first heard the music of all-girl punky reggae band the Slits when a friend’s boyfriend gave her a mix CD with their song “Ping Pong Affair”. He might as well have given that mix to me — and all of our friends — because we listened to it non-stop for the better part of three years until we all finally got the chance to see the Slits’ inimitable front woman Ari Up perform with her band The True Warriors at Sneaky Dee’s in Toronto in summer 2005.
There’s always an apprehension when you go to see a veteran punk band or musician that’s touring several decades after their initial success, but Ari Up was still full of fire: she helicoptered her massive dreads around the stage, poured two jugs of water down her underwear to douse her overheated “poom poom” and invited fans to sing back-up on Slits classics and her newer “punky reggae” tunes.
On Wednesday Ari Up’s family announced that she had passed away at age 48. Yesterday Slits bassist Tessa Pollitt confirmed to the NME that her former bandmate died following a battle with cancer. If you’re not familiar with Ari Up’s music, start by listening to the Slits 1979 album Cut and reading this excellent obit published in The Independent, which includes some interesting insight from the Slits’ guitarist Viv Albertine and former manager Don Letts.
“Her vocal stance,” Albertine told the paper, “was almost like channelling sound… Punk was meant to be honest and true, and that was Ari’s voice. It wasn’t about entertainment, but moving the audience or waking them up. But it could be sexy and melodic as well.”

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!! OMG, win tickets to see Rye Rye and Die Antwoord live in Washington, DC !!

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Rapid-fire Baltimore club rapper Rye Rye is hitting the road with South African rave-rap crew Die Antwoord next week and we have two tickets to give away to their show at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC on Wednesday, October 27th. If you live in or around the nation’s capital and want to see Rye Rye rock the mic live in concert, simply email the answer to this Female Rap History 101 question to contest(at)omgblog(dot)com: Name all of the ladies on on Big Kap’s 1995 rap classic “Da Ladies In The House”. The tickets will go to the first reader to respond with the correct answer. Don’t forget to include your full name!
Rye Rye tour dates with Die Antwoord:
Oct 23 – Detroit, MI @ St. Andrews Hall
Oct 24 – Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Concert Theatre
Oct 25 – Montreal, QC @ Metropolis
Oct 26 – Boston, MA @ Royale NightClub
Oct 27 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
Oct 31 – Austin, TX @ La Zona Rosa
Nov 1 – Houston, TX @ Stereo Live
Nov 3 – Nashville, TN @ Cannery Ballroom
Rye Rye’s new album Go! Pop! Bang! comes out via M.I.A.’s N.E.E.T. Recordings label on Jan. 11, 2011. Check out the video for the single “Sunshine” plus a clip of Rye Rye performing “Shake It to the Ground” acapella-style after the jump!

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!! OMG, a Q&A with Perfume Genius !!

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Way back in January we introduced you to the haunting piano music of Perfume Genius in the form of a cryptic Thelma & Louise YouTube video. Since then, we’ve managed to uncover that Perfume Genius is in fact the stage name of Mike Hadreas, a 29-year-old musician from Seattle signed to indie label Matador Records.

Earlier this summer Hadreas released Learning, a collection of lo-fi piano ballads inspired by the painful lessons he learned during a tumultuous, self-destructive period in his life. Thoroughly intrigued, we phoned him at an airport lobby in Philadelphia at the end of his first-ever North American tour, which included a performance at the big Matador 21 bash in Las Vegas, to find out more. The topics of discussion were varied, ranging from his cathartic approach to songwriting and his fascination with amateur fetish videos to his awful art school installations and his musical romance. Read the Q&A after the jump!

(Photos by Angel Ceballos)

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!! OMG, contest: win a Vampire Diaries/Jansport prize pack !!

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I haven’t been big into vampires since I lined up at the mall to get Anne Rice’s autograph in my hardcover copy of Memnoch the Devil. Apparently a lot of people still love the bloodsuckers because the vampire economy is worth roughly $7 billion in Hollywood. CW series Vampire Diaries is looking to take a bite out of this market and to get you interested in it, they’ve given us a prize-pack that includes its soundtrack, albums by a omgblog.com-approved artists Bat For Lashes, Goldfrapp and Gorillaz and an autographed poster of budding young pop star Sky Ferreira (her omgblog.com-approval is still pending). Here is what you could win if you are a resident of the United States of America and are able to answer a skill testing question:
– A Jansport Right Pack Monochrome Backpack
– A Vampire Diaries Poster
– A signed Sky Ferreira Poster
– The following CDs: Vampire Diaries Soundtrack (featuring the single “Obsession” by Sky Ferreira), Gorillaz Plastic Beach, Goldfrapp Head First, Bat For Lashes Two Suns, A Fine Frenzy Bomb in a Birdcage and Placebo Meds
Here is the skill-testing vampire question: Which book in Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles series took place aboard a cruise ship? Hint: it wasn’t Memnoch the Devil.
Email your answer to contest(at)omgblog(dot)com. First correct respondent wins! Check out the video for “Obsession” and a photo of the backpack after the jump.

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