Pop & Hiss
The L.A. Times music blog
Method Man doesn't have nice things to say about Wu-Tang's secret album

Not every member of Wu-Tang Clan is excited about the group’s secret album that’s up for private sale.

For nearly a year, Wu-Tang’s “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” has intrigued fans and music writers. The album was recorded in secret over six years and the group initially said it would be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

The album is now up for private sale through online auctioneer Paddle8 -- with a major stipulation: Whoever purchases it can’t release it commercially for 88 years.

WuTang’s extensive contractual restriction voids previously reported plans for the album, which would have allowed the highest bidder to do whatever he or she wanted with the album.

And that doesn’t sit well with Clan member Method Man -- at all.

In an interview with hip-hop mag XXL, the rapper didn’t have kind words for the nearly-century-long agreement.

“I’m tired of this … and I know everybody else is tired of it too,” he said in an interview Wednesday, more profanely of course. “Straight up. I’m just...

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Shania Twain's first tour in 11 years also billed as her last

Having wrapped up a two-year Las Vegas residency in December, pop-country superstar Shania Twain is undertaking her first full-fledged tour in more than a decade, a North America run she’s also describing as her final tour.

“This is a very, very important time on the road for me,” she told Robin Roberts on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Wednesday in announcing one last round of shows. “I just feel like I'm ready to hang my hat up in that regard. I just really want to go out with a bang.”

Her Rock This Country tour is set to open June 5 in Seattle and cover 48 dates that will extend the run into August. Twain is scheduled to hit Southern California with an Aug. 19 stop at the Honda Center in Anaheim, followed by appearances Aug. 20 in Los Angeles at Staples Center and Aug. 22 at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego on Aug. 22.

Following the tour opener in Seattle, Twain is to spend quality time in front of fans in her native Canada with a string of stops in British Columbia, Alberta...

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Big Sean, EDM acts added to Rock in Rio USA lineup

Big Sean, Smallpools and Gaslamp Killer are among the latest additions to the first Rock in Rio USA festival, organizers announced on Wednesday.

Sean, who just scored his first No. 1 album with his well-received effort “Dark Sky Paradise," becomes the festival’s first hip-hop act. The rapper is slated to perform during the second weekend of the festival.

Set for consecutive weekends in May at a newly constructed site on the Las Vegas Strip, the festival splits its lineup between rock and pop and will boast more than 100 acts. 

Emerging Los Angeles indie-pop band Smallpools will play during the first weekend and Low End Theory founder Gaslamp Killer leads the slew of DJs booked for the electronic stage.

The first weekend of electronic acts is focused on EDM, bass and trap music. Gaslamp Killer, Las Vegas duo Caked Up and AN21 are among those performing.

Weekend 2 will be split into two themes. Night 1 will showcase female DJs from L.A. (Whitney Fierce, Jeniluv, Valid and Heidi Lawden)...

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Erykah Badu, Schoolboy Q, Ne-Yo added to BET Experience lineup

The bill for the 2015 BET Experience just keeps growing. Erykah Badu, Schoolboy Q and Ne-Yo are among the latest additions to the four-day festival in Los Angeles built around the network’s awards show.

R&B statesmen Ne-Yo will join headliner Nicki Minaj at Staples Center. “No Flex Zone” rappers Rae Sremmurd have also been added.

Schoolboy Q joins Top Dawg Entertainment labelmates Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock and Ab-Soul on the rap-focused night headlined by venerable West Coast emcees Snoop and Cube and reminiscent of a highlight of BET’s inaugural year in 2013 when a handful of acts from the same bill played.

Badu, who played the 2013 BET Experience, is also making a return.

The revered neo-soul singer joins a late-night Club Nokia gig with the Roots. More guests are expected to join the hip-hop band’s jam session, and with the theme being a tribute to late producer and rapper J Dilla, it will probably be a highlight of the weekend -- especially for hip-hop purists.

Set for June 25-28,...

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Kelly Clarkson duets with Jimmy Fallon, reveals 2015 tour dates

Kelly Clarkson kicked off release week for her new “Piece by Piece” album with an appearance Monday on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” where she and the show’s host dived into a medley of hit pop duets spanning the last half century.

From Sonny & Cher’s 1965 breakthrough “I Got You Babe” on up through Pink and Nate Ruess’ 2013 smash “Just Give Me a Reason,” Clarkson and Fallon touched romantic pairings through the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s and ‘00s.

Those included James Taylor and Carly Simon’s version of “Mockingbird,” Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton’s “Islands in the Stream,” Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks’ “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville’s “Don’t Know Much,” Paula Abdul and MC Skat Kat’s “Opposites Attract” and Diana Ross and Lionel Riche’s “Just Give Me a Reason.”

Pop & Hiss’ favorite moment: Fallon donning Neville’s signature leather cap, gold earring and large birthmark and uttering a nearly intelligible string of syllabic nonsense against...

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Herbie Hancock, Aloe Blacc tapped for Playboy Jazz Festival

Herbie Hancock will appear with Wayne Shorter, and Ledisi, Aloe Blacc, Terence Blanchard, Tower of Power and Ozomatli are among the other acts tapped for the Playboy Jazz Festival.

The festival, now in its 37th year, will be June 13-14 at the Hollywood Bowl, the Los Angeles Philharmonic unveiled on Tuesday.

Headliners Hancock and Shorter will perform with the Monk Institute of Jazz Performance Ensemble and Blanchard will use his slot to debut his new band, the E-Collective.

This year’s lineup also includes Eddie Palmieri Afro-Caribbean Jazz Band, Snarky Puppy, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and Blue Note’s supergroup Our Point of View (Robert Glasper, Derrick Hodge, Kendrick Scott, Lionel Loueke, Marcus Strickland and Ambrose Akinmusire).

Late L.A. jazz great Gerald Wilson will be feted during the festival, with his son Anthony leading his father’s big band.

Comedian George Lopez will return to host.

Single tickets are now on sale. More information, including full lineup and ticket sales...

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