Forget resolutions. January is all about the wait. In most places, the landscape has performed its annual sad disrobing and is as bare and immobile as a patient sitting through a diagnosis. And though this mostly gray, mostly quiet month is always punctuated with a few great new releases, the music world also rests a bit. Spring will bring festivals and blockbuster releases; for now, there’s time to recover from holiday splurging and debate what might come of the year ahead. We critics, already in list mode, pass the time picking new racehorses. However, too many lists of “ones to watch” simply point out the obvious. Who needs to be reminded about the imminent ubiquity of upcoming albums by Beyonce, U2,Eminem, and — okay, I’m really thrilled about this one! — David Bowie? Then there’s the sound equivalent of bacon-flavored everything: young artists, buzzy at first, then rapidly over-saturating our taste buds. Hip-hop’s super-hyped kid Earl Sweatshirt, chic cosmopolitans Rhye and L.A. sister act Haim in that category in 2013.
Don’t mistake my blasé attitude for lack of interest in the actual music involved. I’m excited about every new release I just mentioned. Here I’ve focused here on lesser-lauded artists: voices just starting to be heard beyond small circles, or returning favorites whose fine new efforts could be overlooked amid the clamor and distraction of the pop scene. Release dates aren’t solid for every one of these albums. A few are being recorded as I write. Will every one make my next year-end Top Ten? Doubtful. But this is a bunch of contenders. CHECK OUT THE LIST
As we get closer and closer to the official release of A$AP Rocky’s debut album, Love.Live.ASAP, the Life + Times presents their latest Decoded webisode. Rocky took his turn and carefully explained the lyrics behind the album’s intro. He drew inspiration from early No Limit and Cash Monery records for this track.
Watch the clip, ASAP’s interview with Fuse and listening session in Harlem after the jump…
Iman Shumpert unveiled this wildly bright colorway of the adidas Top Ten 2000 last season before going down with an injury against the Miami Heat. While adidas might be campaigning #thereturn with Derrick Rose, Knicks fans are anticipating a return of their future All-Star anytime now as well. Meanwhile, Shumpert’s bright orange retros will help fans celebrate his return to the hardwood. Releasing at 21:21 on January 21 is the “2WO 1NE” (Iman’s jersey number) edition of the adidas Top Ten 2000. These special edition adidas are limited to just 500 pairs worldwide and individually numbered. They will retail for $140 and be available at Packer Shoes.
It seems like every year we witness a host of tech companies initiate million- and billion-dollar bids to snatch up their biggest competitors or the next major start-up. Predicting the aftermath of any corporate buyout is impossible. Some might have the potential to become success stories such as Apple’s acquisition of NeXT. Others are doomed to crash and burn like the AOL and Time Warner merger. Whatever the outcome, only a number of mergers and acquisitions have gone on to be remembered for changing to landscape of the tech industry. From the evolution of Microsoft to Facebook’s unprecedented mobile move, these are the 15 Most Important Tech Acquisitions of All Time. CHECK OUT THE ACQUISITIONS
In the most resounding referendum yet on the legacy of steroids in baseball, voters for the Hall of Fame emphatically rejected the candidacies of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens in balloting results announced on Wednesday. In their first year on the ballot, Bonds and Clemens, perhaps the most decorated hitter and pitcher in the game’s history, fell far short of receiving the necessary 75 percent of votes from baseball writers. Bonds, the career home runs leader, received only 36.2 percent, while Clemens, who won a record seven Cy Young Awards, did slightly better, with 37.6. It was the first election since 1996 in which the writers chose no new members. “It takes time for history to sort itself out,” said Jeff Idelson, the Hall of Fame’s president. “I’m not surprised we had a shutout today. I wish we had an electee, but I’m not surprised given how volatile this era has been.” For a sport whose links to performance-enhancing drugs have forced it to endure Congressional hearings, public apologies from players, tell-all books and federal trials, Wednesday offered a profound moment. Writers decreed that two of baseball’s greatest players would not be officially recognized with the game’s highest honor, at least for now and perhaps forever. The Hall of Fame will still have its annual induction ceremony in Cooperstown, N.Y., this summer. But the three who will be honored — the umpire Hank O’Day, the owner Jacob Ruppert and a catcher, Deacon White — all died in the 1930s and were voted in by the veterans’ committee in December rather than through the more prestigious route of being selected by the members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. (The New York Times does not permit its reporters to vote for awards.) As a result, it will be the first time since 1960 that the induction ceremony will include no new, living honorees, underscoring the lingering damage that the issue of drugs is inflicting on the sport. Clemens, in a message posted to his Twitter account, said that “after what has been written and said over the last few years I’m not overly surprised.” Bonds did not immediately comment, but lamented in an interview with MLB.com in November that “it’s tough when you have so many people out there who don’t want to turn the page and want to be angry at you forever.” Every player on the 2013 ballot was active in the years before steroid testing, which began, with penalties, in 2004. Some have escaped suspicion, like the top two finishers in this election. Craig Biggio of the Houston Astros, who amassed 3,060 hits, made his debut on the ballot at 68.2 percent, followed by the former pitcher Jack Morris, who got 67.7 percent in his 14th year as a candidate. CONTINUE READING