Tomorrow, it'll be a year to the day that Adam Yauch passed away. This morning, at a park in Brooklyn just blocks from where Yauch grew up, his family and friends honored him in a very special way. The former Palmetto Playground — a tiny little slice of green tucked away from the honking trucks and screeching traffic of the BQE — will now, and forevermore, be known as Adam Yauch Park.
The ceremony took place at 11 a.m. this morning, with Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz and Yauch's parents in attendance. A program was handed out, which explained that Yauch "grew up in Brooklyn Heights, on State Street, and learned to ride a bicycle in this park that will now bear his name."
After MCA passed away last year, it was hard to guess what Ad-Rock and Mike D would do next. Both had creative pursuits outside of the band: Adam Horovitz has acted in flicks with Donald Sutherland and made music with his side project, BS 2000; Mike Diamond has been known to blog about wine. But the thought of a pair of solo albums, or even a continued music collaboration without Yauch, seemed, for anyone invested in the Beasties as a singular unit, really unlikely. Well, credit's now due to the two for figuring out a perfect next project. They're writing a book.
Boozin', rockin', flirtin', fist pumpin', makin' out, grillin', shootin' guns, drivin' on metaphorically weighted highways — this is exactly what a goddamn Japandroids video should look like. Warning: Will make you want to do Fourth of July all over again because, you know, God bless America. Also, I cannot tell you how proud I am of my native Massachusetts to see that the girl trying not to die from alcohol poisoning at the end of this video is wasted outside of the fine Allston establishment Tavern on the Square. I think I've puked right where she's lying!
The Beastie Boys are taking legal action to protect their music, via two separate but simultaneous courtroom developments.
On Tuesday, Adam Yauch's will was filed in Manhattan Surrogate Court. While also leaving his estate to his wife and daughter, it makes clear that "Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, in no event may my image or name or any music or any artistic property created by me be used for advertising purposes," according to Rolling Stone. Yes, that is awesome. Also on Tuesday, attorneys for the band filed a copyright claim in a New York U.S. District court against Monster Energy Drink. According to Variety, the claim declares that the company "used their music in promos including a video for an event called Ruckus in the Rockies, where their compositions and recordings were used for more than three minutes. They also claim Beastie Boys were used in a video posted on Monster's website and in social media, and that Monster linked to an MP3 with a 23-minute medley of the group's music. The video and MP3 were in turn posted to other sites, like Snowboardmag.com." The band is asking for a "preliminary and permanent injunction, as well as statutory damages of $150,000 for each infringement of their works."
Goddamn right! How dare Monster try to hijack the music like that? Certainly, this reveal will bring great shame to Monster throughout the entire alternative energy drink community. At the next party, even Four Loko won't make eye contact.
It would have been completely understandable if, in the days following Adam Yauch's death, his Beastie Boys bandmates Adam Horovitz and Mike Diamond had chosen to stay silent. Instead, graciously, they each released short statements online that let their fans know just a tiny bit about what it was they were going through. On BeastieBoys.com, Ad-Rock wrote, "as you can imagine, shit is just fkd up right now. but i wanna say thank you to all our friends and family (which are kinda one in the same) for all the love and support. i’m glad to know that all the love that Yauch has put out into the world is coming right back at him. thank you." Diamond followed up with a post on the band's Facebook page, writing in part, "I miss Adam so much. He really served as a great example for myself and so many of what determination, faith, focus, and humility coupled with a sense of humor can accomplish. The world is in need of many more like him. We love you Adam." He also posted this photo and explained that it's "just one awesome example of how NYC is such a unique place that amidst it's huge size and frenetic pace it really opens up it's heart in so many ways and on on so many levels in times like these. And though it makes me cry sometimes, it has been really amazing and moving to see."
Alex Pappademas: "This is our traditional clothing. You may joke about it — but I may joke about you walking around in a business suit someplace, and maybe that's silly to me, OK? Maybe I'm laughing at you right now!" RIP Nathaniel Hornblower, who had all the ideas for Star Wars and everything. Yodel at your boy.
We began this week’s podcast on a somber note, remembering the life, music, and influence of Adam Yauch (1:00), a man whose eclectic taste, in my partner Chris Ryan’s words, basically was the Internet for a generation of ‘90s teens. Then it was back to the present day to consider the wild success of The Avengers (9:40) and the unexpected pleasures of The New Girl (18:45), which ends its first season tonight. We also did our regular roundup of Game of Thrones (26:25) and Mad Men (34:15), focusing on how the characters are knocked around violently on both shows, though it's by generational shifts in the latter and giant, neck-hacking broadswords on the former. What was meant to be a shout-out to Meek Mill’s new mixtape (42:45) quickly devolved into a dissertation on last week's bizarre Rick Ross press conference (and his even more bizarre promotion of the eminently forgettable Walé), but we got it together long enough for the next entry in our Double Down Book Club: Papa Bear himself, James Crumley (48:44). We talked up his masterpiece, The Last Good Kiss, as well as his nuttiest fever dream, Bordersnakes. All told, we learned some very important lessons this week. For instance, two nostrils full of illegal drugs won’t necessarily treat a broken nose — at least not medically — and when in doubt, never (never!) ask Walé a question. Class dismissed!
We lost Adam "MCA" Yauch of the Beastie Boys on Friday to cancer. While this has pained fans of the man and his music, it's been wonderful to witness the various tributes across the cultural landscape. From great writers penning great words about Yauch to Coldplay performing a hauntingly Coldplay-ish version of "Fight for Your Right" at their Friday-night Hollywood Bowl show to the entire New York Mets lineup walking out to Beastie Boys tracks in their Friday matchup against the Arizona Diamondbacks, people seemed to using the tragic moment to do the right thing, over and over again.
Adam Yauch died today. It wasn’t completely unexpected. He’d been first diagnosed with cancer, in his parotid gland and a lymph node, in 2009, and underwent surgery and radiation at the time. The then-upcoming Beastie Boys album Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 1 was pushed back, and a bunch of tour dates were canceled. A few months before it was eventually released, under the title Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, in April of 2011, Yauch released a statement denying reports he was back to full health, explaining that he was still undergoing treatment and saying that he was optimistic he would be “cancer free in the near future." When that album was released I attended a press event for it, and from the back of the room saw a frail Yauch, rocking a giant cowboy hat, proudly introducing the awesome “Make Some Noise” video he’d directed. I guess that ever since seeing him in person, looking unwell, I’ve had the thought, somewhere in the back of my mind, that Adam Yauch — of the Beastie Boys, my favorite band — might die young.
Hey, guess what? America still likes watching people party in movies. In its first weekend out, Project X — the Todd Phillips-produced epic party/found footage flick — made over $20 million, good for second place in the box office wars. It also got us thinking about the rich tradition of parties as depicted by movies. It turns out, after some heavy-duty analysis, that almost any cinematic depiction of revelry can be categorized into one of five primary movie-party groupings. These are generalizations, of course, which means not every movie party is a perfect fit for its chosen category. Some movie parties might easily fit into two or more categories; others may truly feel like sui generis creations. But as long as we don't get too bogged down in those pesky details, our five-category taxonomy is unimpeachable. So: Consult Grantland's Rough Guide to Partying in Movies, and never feel uninformed while living vicariously through fictional characters again! As a great man once said, “It's a party it's a party it's a party it's a parttty.”