Video: Beastie Boys, No Sleep Till Brooklyn

Okay. I promise I’m not going to get mired down in the ’80s, here, but I just had to post one more old one, because MTV is using this song to promote the VMAs and every time I have to sit through one of the ads – i.e. every week during Teen Wolf – I want to yell “I HOPE YOU PAID THROUGH THE NOSE FOR THE RIGHTS, YOU HYPOCRITICAL JACKALS” at the television.

So anyway, here is the video for No Sleep Till Brooklyn, from 1987. Watching it now, I have the following reactions:

1) This is it: this is where popular culture as we knew it underwent a radical, drastic sea change. They politely knock on the door; at about the same time, RUN-DMC was provoking Steven Tyler into punching a hole in the wall between rock and rap.

2) The massive, pure-metal-aggression-fueled riff Kerry King (Slayer) is playing is my favorite part of the song.

3) Oh my god, they are so young. Babies. If I didn’t know they were the Beastie Boys I’d think they were some high school punks clowning on the pretentions of the music industry.

4) . . . on second thought, punks clowning on the pretentions of music industry is exactly what they were. They didn’t know what they would become; they were just mouthy upstarts taking aim at The Man.

5) And the thing is, for all that they became elder statesmen, they never became The Man.

6) This song is never more true than when you are singing the chorus to yourself at 2 AM on the R train platform while waiting to get home to Bay Ridge.


The Beastie Boys - No Sleep Till Brooklyn

Video Grab Bag: The Beastie Boys

I’m pretty sure this was the first video I ever watched on MTV, somewhere around 1986-1987:

The Beastie Boys - (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)

I have to confess, you guys, I was 11 or 12 and had very Victorian sensibilities and had just no idea what to do with what had just happened on my television screen. Actually, my grandmother’s television screen, since I’m also pretty sure I was watching MTV with my somewhat older cousins at the time.

It’s kind of difficult to explain now, when the Beastie Boys are Grammy-winning elder statesmen (!), but then they were like a cold bucket of water in the face.

And every time I hear the opening chords of that song I feel an echo of that heady mixture of bafflement and excitement and quasi-intrigued, quasi-horrified what the hell?? as I did then. This music was a jolt. A wake-up call. I wasn’t totally on-board at the time (see above re: delicate Victorian sensibilities) but, you know, I eventually came around.

And here, if you haven’t seen it yet, is Fight For Your Right (Revisited), a short film directed by MCA, which came out last year. I suggest you read this fantastic New York Magazine article, which is an oral history of the first 25 years of the Beastie Boys, before you watch it.

Beastie Boys - Fight For Your Right (Revisited) Full Length

And then, in closing, Intergalactic, from Hello, Nasty, because I love it, and there are giant dancing robots:
Beastie Boys - Intergalactic

Rest in Peace, Mr. Yauch. We shall miss you very much.

Saturday Matinee: The Beastie Boys

In continued tribute to Adam “MCA” Yauch, who died yesterday after a three-year battle with cancer, I’ve dug up a couple of interviews with the Beastie Boys, one a 1987 appearance with Run-D.M.C., and the other a 2009 interview (separated into two parts), promoting Hot Sauce Committee Part One and a batch of album reissues, including the 20-year reissue of Paul’s Boutique.

If you want more Beastie Boys’ video action, check out the Canal de nutri871’s YouTube channel. It’s a treasure trove of live clips, interview clips, etc., separated into eras, including the Beasties on Yo! MTV Raps in 1989.





Adam “MCA” Yauch, 8.5.64 – 5.4.12


I’ve been listening to the Beastie Boys since I was 13 years old. That’s a startling thought. In junior high, I was one of those kids who could, and did, recite the entirety of “Paul Revere”. I still have my vinyl of License to Ill.

They were kind of goofy and, in retrospect, kind of corny. They could have kept up that image and probably burned out as quickly as they flashed to the top. Instead, over time, they reinvented themselves. As I grew physically (and, to some extent anyway, mentally), I watched the Beastie Boys grow as artists. They went from clown princes with songs like “Brass Monkey” and “Girls” to just plain kings with songs like “Sabotage” and “Intergalactic”. Their image also evolved from that of some jerky, kind of douche-y yobbos to mature, thoughtful and creatively-driven gentlemen who were loved and respected by many.

The announcement of Adam Yauch’s cancer in 2009 (has it really been that long?) shook many. I remember reading the news and adding my own well wishes to the stream of positive thoughts coming from all over. But the outlook at the Beasties camp was positive, and we all believed he would overcome.

When I received the news of Yauch’s death today, it knocked the wind out of me. The Beastie Boys wove themselves in to the cultural fabric of my generation, with their songs, their videos, their rhymes, their activisim. As I noted to my co-blogger, the phrase “no sleep till Brooklyn” has become a part of our vernacular. And Adam Yauch was more than just some guy in a band for us. He was someone we respected and admired.

It’s hard to know what to say now that he’s gone, but I think we’re pretty lucky that Adam Yauch was here.

Also: fuck cancer.



Official Statement @ Beastie Boys Official Website

Bits: Gerard Smith, Poly Styrene, Beastie Boys, Cure for Pain, WMC Fest, No Depression Festival

  • TV on the Radio announced the passing of bass player Gerard Smith on the morning of April 20 after his fight with lung cancer.
  • Punk chanteuse Poly Styrene died of breast cancer on April 25 at the age of 53.
  • Beastie Boys are streaming their forthcoming album Hot Sauce Committee Part Two with this note: “Good people, unfortunately due to circumstances beyond our control, the “clean” version of our new album, The Hot Sauce Committee pt 2 has leaked. So as a hostile and retaliatory measure with great hubris we are making the full explicit aka filthy dirty nasty version available for streaming on our site. We hope this brings much happiness, hugs, and harmony. Enjoy Kikoos for life!”
  • Cure for Pain: The Mark Sandman Story could use your help. Gatling Pictures has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help pay for publishing and master/synch rights so the film can be commercially distributed.
  • Tickets for the Weapons of Mass Creation Fest are now available. The arts festival features 20 designers, 20 speakers and 20 bands, including our friends Shivering Timbers.
  • Our friends at No Depression have announced that they won’t be presenting the No Depression Festival this year, but they will be working with KEXP to present a free show at the Seattle Center Mural Amphitheater on August 26. More information at No Depression.

Bits: Cleveland Confidential, Robert Pollard, Beastie Boys, Jay Reatard, The Dirtbombs, The Due Diligence, Grandfather, Record Store Day

  • While I was too late to alert you to the Cleveland Confidential Book Tour‘s stop at the Rockhall and its attendant webcast (which was great), the tour – which features Cheetah Chrome (Rocket from the Tombs, the Dead Boys), Mike Hudson (The Pagans) and Bob Pfeifer (Human Switchboard) reading from their respective books – stops at the Ann Arbor District Library in Ann Arbor, Michigan, tonight (April 12) at 7 PM. And if you’re in Los Angeles, California, on Thursday (April 14), you can catch the tour with featured guest Dave Thomas (Rocket from the Tombs, Pere Ubu) at the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live at 7:30 PM.
  • Speaking of Ohio, you can download a few mp3s from various projects of human music machine Robert Pollard.
  • If you somehow haven’t heard it yet, you can check out a leaked track, “Make Some Noise”, from the forthcoming Beastie Boys’ album Hotsauce Committee Part Two on their Tumblr.
  • Jay Reatard documentary Better Than Something will debut at the Nashville Film Festival this Friday, April 15 at 7 PM. (You can check out Waiting for Something a short documentary from the same filmmakers here.)
  • The Dirtbombs have announced a handful of tour dates, kicking off in Detroit, Michigan, at the end of May.
  • The Due Diligence will be playing a double record release show with the Shivers on May 29 at the Mercury Lounge in New York.
  • Grandfather will be playing a free show at The Shop in Brooklyn, New York, on April 23. This will be their first show with their rejuvenated lineup of Joshua Hoffman (vocals), Michael Kirsch (guitar), Phil Sangiacomo (drums) and Justin Mantooth (bass).
  • Record Store Day is this Saturday, April 16, and The Numero Group pop up store in Chicago, Illinois, has a unique offer available.

Bits: Beastie Boys gearing up, new Teenage Fanclub album, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy is everywhere, A.V. Club Undercover, Gorillaz + Jones & Simonon

  • The Beastie Boys put everything on hold when Adam Yauch was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor on his salivary glands, but now Yauch is recovering nicely, and the Beasties are planning to get back to it in September with the release of their latest album Hot Sauce Committee, Part One.
  • Also coming back, after a much longer hiatus, are Teenage Fanclub. They’ll be releasing Shadows on June 8th, and Pitchfork has a taste for you
  • The new Bonnie “Prince” Billy (with the Cairo Gang) album drops/is dropping/been done dropped today. Hot Chip celebrate by mixing the bonnie one’s vocals into “I Feel Bonnie”.
  • The A.V. Club have started a great series called “Undercover”. The premise: The A.V. Club has chosen a list of songs they’d like to see covered, and they’ve invited artists to come to their offices to cover a chosen song from the list… but the longer a band waits, the fewer songs they’ll have to choose from. The Fruit Bats’ cover of Hall and Oates’ “One on One” is fucking delightful, and we’re greatly looking forward to seeing who will cover Billy Squier’s “Everybody Wants You” and Guided By Voices’ “Game of Pricks”.
  • The Gorillaz are currently on a fans-only tour as they gear up for a monster Coachella performance. Manning the strings this time around? NTSIB heroes Mick Jones and Paul Simonon. Here’s the gang playing “Dare” with Jones looking goofier than we thought it was possible for him to look: