Marc Hogan

writer

Biography

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    Rapper Mac Lethal Stumbles Into Internet Fame With Hilarious Pancake Freestyle

    Kansas-raised battle champ and Rhymesayers spitter Mac Lethal (profiled in SPIN's infamous 2004 "emo-rap" feature) may not have hits like Black Eyed Peas, but he at least has one like Rebecca Black. Uploaded only on Wednesday, white-and-nerdy rapper Mac Lethal's pancake-themed cover parody of Chris Brown's tongue-twisting hit "Look at Me Now" has already racked up more than 1 million views on YouTube. As well it should — it's impressive! Shit, Kreayshawn had about that much when she was signed! Unlikely enough, this is not Lethal's only current viral success. Gawker points out that he's also the author of a Tumblr called Texts From Bennett, a compendium of accidentally ingenious messages from Lethal's 17-year-old cousin —a Tumblr that also gained renown among internet obsessives in the past 24 hours with a prominent placement on social news website Reddit.

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    D'Angelo Might Finally Actually Be Returning

    Recording as D'Angelo, the Richmond, Virginia-born singer born Michael Eugene Archer released two classic neo-soul albums, 1995's Brown Sugar and 2000's Voodoo. And then, as SPIN documented in an August 2008 cover story, he vanished into drunken oblivion. Despite occasional comeback reports over the years, D'Angelo has made headlines more for his rap sheet than for any new R&B recordings. But this time, that could finally, actually be about to change. Maybe. According to booking agency Elements of Life, D'Angelo will be performing at least six headlining shows in Europe in 2012: Stockholm on January 26, Copenhagen on January 27, Paris on January 29, a two-night stand at the Paradiso in Amsterdam on January 30-31, and London on February 3.

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    Van Halen's Promised Grammy Gig: An Epic Fail

    You really (don't) got me: Van Halen's promised appearance at the Grammy Awards nomination concert on Wednesday night failed to take place. Way back in early November, Grammy organizers not-so-subtly revealed the veteran rockers would be "the reuniting band" at the show, where they were supposed to make "a special live announcement" (read our full recap of the event). Well, they weren't, and they didn't. While Recording Academy President Neil Portnow told Reuters he couldn't confirm that Van Halen had indeed been the scheduled band, it's hard to misinterpret a tweet like this one, from November 3: "Who do u predict the reuniting band will be @ #GRAMMYnoms?

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    Iron and Wine, My Morning Jacket Lead Late Night's Beardo Takeover

    Bon Iver kicked off a good evening for bearded guys by picking up four Grammy nominations last night, then a pair of sweet-voiced beardos took over the talk shows: Iron and Wine hit The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, while My Morning Jacket graced Jimmy Kimmel Live!. Supremely hirsute singer-songwriter Sam Beam has continually expanded Iron and Wine's folk-based sound from its home-recorded origins, most recently landing a song on the soundtrack to The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Pt. 1. Titled "Flightless Bird, American Mouth (Wedding Version)," that stately ballad is the song Beam took to The Tonight Show stage, backed by swaying strings, lush vocal harmonies, contemplative piano chords, gentle drumming, and lots of bird chirps. It's all so pretty and delicate, you might not even notice Beam murmuring about "pissing on magazine photos ...

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    Depeche Mode Co-Founders Drop Techno Track 'Spock' as VCMG

    Two synth-pop pioneers are working together again, although this time with a whole lot less of the "pop." Martin Gore and Vince Clarke formed half of the original lineup of Depeche Mode, but Clarke departed after 1981 debut album Speak & Spell — and ultimately finding his own success with the groups Yaz (Yazoo in their native Britain) and Erasure. The pair's current project, VCMG, released debut single "Spock" on Beatport.com today, along with an EP of remixes. It's probably not for casual fans of those other groups: This is a minimal, repetitive track, focused more on a four-on-the-floor pulse and occasional flickers of synth than traditional hooks. The combined EP 1/Spock release will be available digitally worldwide on December 13, followed by a 12" vinyl release on December 20.

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    Stanley from 'The Office' Stars in Surreal Music Video

    What a confusing week for fans of NBC's The Office. First, it was announced that the show's troubled paper company, Dunder Mifflin, is becoming a real brand of high-priced paper. As if the reverse product placement wasn't meta enough, Leslie David Baker, better known as the series' famously nonplussed salesman Stanley, has a new video in which he trades in his character's favored crosswords for cavorting with scantily clad young women. The Auto-Tuned electro banger "2 Be Simple" finds Baker bragging, "I want it to be simple / I want it to be free/ I want it to be simple/ Put your hands all over me" while shimming around in a robe and jammies. Basically, this is one of the more surreal viewing experiences you'll have all day. Has the mockumentary concept reached some bizarre new evolutionary state, A.V. Club)?

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    Watch Cymbals Eat Guitars' '90s-Tinged 'Keep Me Waiting' Video

    Ah, kids these days. Or should we say "kids those days"? The new video (via Consequence of Sound) from Cymbals Eat Guitars' gorgeously grandiose 2011 album Lenses Alien does little to dispel the SPIN Breaking Out band's image as '90s indie-rock revivalists. Backed by wiry guitar freakouts, the clip for "Keep Me Waiting" opens with idyllic slacker scenes of the type of aimless juvenile delinquency that might, in a more recent deadbeat summer, just as easily be tinged with economic dread. But building on your inspirations isn't a bad thing, and Cymbals' raucous skree rages against an ennui all the New York-born band's own: "I couldn't ever feel the same," comes Joseph D'Agostino lofty cry, just as stuff is getting murderously weird.

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    Hear Charlotte Gainsbourg's New Beck Team-Up 'Paradisco'

    Beck "completes" Charlotte Gainsbourg, according to our 6-of-10 review for the French actress's new double album of live and unreleased material, Stage Whisper. A case in point is "Paradisco," which just premiered over at Pitchfork. Gainsbourg's whisper flits alluringly across Beck's ornately funky stage (he wrote the song and produces). Former Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti member Cole M.G.N., currently of warped popsters the Samps, contributes nicely twitchy drum programming. Of course, Beck and Gainsbourg have worked together before on, most notably on 2009's critically acclaimed I.R.M., but it's refreshing to hear their collaboration continuing to go moody, elegant places. (Hear more Stage Whisper over at the airline Air France's Facebook page -- shout-out to the Swedish fantasy-pop duo Air France.)

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    Feistodon Lives! Feist, Mastodon Prepping Split 7" Single

    In October, Feist and Mastodon both performed on an episode of the BBC's chat show Later.... With Jools Holland, part of a pretty remarkable bill of American music that also included Bon Iver. Now, the Canadian singer-songwriter and the Atlanta metal dudes are planning to cover each others' songs for a split 7" single single, Mastodon bassist-singer Troy Sanders has revealed to MTV Canada (via Pitchfork). It's something of a musical case of beauty and the beast: "The idea is for Mastodon to cover a Feist song and throw some hair and dirt on it, [and Feist will] take a Mastodon song and pretty it up a little bit," Sanders says. There's isn't much time, he acknowledges, but the release would be for the next international Record Store Day. Let's all mark our calendars for April 21, 2012, then! Feistodon will have to be better than Loutallica, right?

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    Kanye, Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj Have Their Bob Dylan Moment for Victoria's Secret

    Seven years ago, when Bob Dylan appeared in a TV commercial for Victoria's Secret, the punditocracy was shocked — shocked. One actual real-time reaction: "Am I hallucinating?" Last night, when Jay-Z and Kanye West performed Watch the Throne's "Niggas in Paris" on an hour-long Victoria's Secret TV commercial, with a typically radiant Beyoncé nodding along, the move looked more like an immaculate example of corporate synergy (music to Victoria's ears: her shares are up!). West also went solo, with his Daft Punk-sampling 2007 hit allegedly inspired by a certain syphilitic German philosopher.

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