Unplugging: Post-rapture blues

Didn’t make the cut for this past Saturday’s long-awaited Rapture? Drown your existential sorrows in a tall glass of what’s hot in the world of music with your friendly barback, MXDWN. If it were up to us, we’d have picked you first.

Following the failure of preacher Harold Camping’s calculated Rapture date of May 21, New York City dance-punk outfit The Rapture announced their return with In the Grace of Your Love—their first release since 2006’s Pieces of the People We Love.

Out September 6 via DFA records, In the Grace of Your Love was produced by Philippe Zdar (Phoenix, Beastie Boys) and is the group’s fourth full-length album. Additionally, it is their first release since the departure of former Rapture vocalist/bassist Mattie Safer in 2009. Safer’s departure was reportedly amicable, with an official statement from the band saying that “we are sad to see him go but it seems it is the best for all of us.”

With a September release date, you still have a month to enjoy In the Grace of Your Love before October 21—Camping’s newly confirmed date for the End of Days. Though this is exciting news, perhaps of religious proportions for some readers, it is unlikely that many fans of the band will react in a similar fashion as some followers of Camping did to the preacher’s most recent failed attempt at predicting doomsday.

In news that might aid in proving Camping’s new prediction true, the guys in legendary metal outfit Judas Priest have announced dates for their final world tour. Known as the Epitaph Tour, Priest’s upcoming tour will kick off October 12 in San Antonio TX. At it for almost 40 years now, the band has gone through extensive lineup changes and the same is true for this tour. The newest addition is Richie Faulker, successor to the celebrated KK Downing in Priest’s guitarist slot.  Rob Halford will be there, though. So it’s all good.

If all goes according to God’s (Camping’s?) plan, the band will play the Apocalypse in on October 21 in Phoenix, AZ at the Arizona State Fair—a rather quaint proposition. If not, they’ll wrap up their final tour on November 18 in East Rutherford, NJ. If you want to wave goodbye to Priest’s particular brand of studs, leather and chrome, grab some tickets, which will go on sale in the next few weeks. Maybe if you’re lucky, Halford will let you shave his head.

How’s this for more Rapture inducing news? Gayngs, the Minneapolis, MN-based musician’s collective consisting of members from acts like Bon Iver and Doomtree, have effectively damned The Man by besting CJ Starbuses, Inc. (yes, a bus rental company—we’re trying to be positive, here) in a recent court dispute.

Stemming from a contractual dispute that caused the band to cancel their performance at last year’s Austin City Limits festival, the lawsuit resulted in Gayngs receiving over $100,000 in punitive and compensatory damages. Sound like a lot? Well, here’s what happened. Essentially, the band had rented a tour bus from CJ Starbuses, Inc. that they agreed to return on October 10. Starbuses got it wrong and tacked on an extra week at a cost of $2,500—Gayngs never signed the contract, which led to a dispute about payments.

Long story short, Starbuses repo’ed the bus with the band’s equipment and personal belongings inside it and took it back to Nashville, TN just 12 hours before the group was scheduled to hit the stage. Forced to cancel their show, the band argued that they underwent substantial pain and suffering. Nothing like a hundred grand to make it all better, huh?

“I am extremely relieved that the jury understood the turmoil, both emotionally and financially, the band has gone through as a result being forced to cancel our ACL performance,” said Gayngs manager Nate Vernon.

With bands beating companies in court, Judas Priest retiring and the Rapture returning, it looks like Camping might be right. But as if to bitch slap up back into reality, the RIAA defeated peer-to-peer client Limewire in the conclusion to a yearlong court battle that could have cost the defendant $75 trillion in damages—slightly more than the GDP of the entire planet. Some would say that this proves that we are not moving towards a transcendental post-Rapture phase, as it is firmly rooted in the depressive realism of modern western society. 

Too Freudian, let’s reel it back in a bit.

The case essentially stipulated that the RIAA could have been awarded money for each download of the 9,715 tracks that they claimed had been infringed upon by Limewire. Though the RIAA’s initial claim of $75 trillion was denied, the jury did have the ability to award the recording industry giant up to $1.5 billion in damages. So the out of court settlement, at $105 million, was really a pretty good deal. That’s just about $10,800 a track.

It is difficult to say what this means to music downloading or peer-to-peer networks as a whole, but RIAA chairman Mitch Bainwol said in a recent interview that the defeat of Limewire is a “milestone in the continuing evolution of online music to a legitimate marketplace that appropriately rewards creators.”

Not so sure about that one, Mitch. We’ll see how it plays out. But even it Harold Camping is right and we’ll all die in a fiery inferno or whatever in October, you’ll still be able to catch this year’s Rock the Bells festival—which recently announced its current lineup—in August and September.

Toke up and welcome your impending doom with this year’s Rock the Bells headliners Cypress Hill, Nas, Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu. How could you care that you’ve only got two months to live while watching Cypress perform “Hits from the Bong?”

It’s all going down in Los Angeles and San Francisco on August and New York and Boston in September. Other performers include Black Star, Wu Tang’s GZA, PA native Mac Miller and underground favorite Immortal Technique.

That’s all for this week folks. In the meantime, stay safe, stay cool, and in the event of an actual Rapture, keep your zombie killing kit at the ready. But rest assured, Harold Camping will never, ever be able to tell you the actual date.

Unplugging in Brief:

The Rapture Return with New Album in September- The Rapture is returning, but not to recruit you into a demon fighting army of pure-souled warriors. They just wanna see you dance.

Judas Priest Announces Final World Tour– Say goodbye to the long-running metal act, at it for nearly 40 years. The Halford has hung up his studded gauntlets and assless chaps.

Gayngs Sues CJ Starbuses Inc., and Wins– Twin Cities musicians’ collective Gayngs sued CJ Starbuses for $100,000 due to a dispute between the two parties that resulted in the cancelation of the band’s Austin City Limits set.

Limewire Pays $105 Million to RIAA– Peer-to-peer client Limewire agreed to pay the RIAA $105 in an out of court settlement. At least it was only in the millions.

Rock the Bells Announces 2011 Lineup– Hip hop festival announced the lineup and dates for this year’s festivities. Actsinclude Cypress Hill, Nas, GZA and Mac Miller. You’re high just from reading that description.

Nick Vadala, MXDWN