Odds & Ends: Public Enemy, Treasure Island, George Strait

Public Enemy surprises fans with a new – free! – album … Treasure Island Music Festival assures fans the event is returning … George Strait is planning a new setlist for his Las Vegas residency.

Public Enemy’s new studio album, Nothing Is Quick In The Desert (except Death), is free – but just for a limited time. Fans have until midnight EDT on July 4 to get their copy at PublicEnemy.Bandcamp.com.

Public Enemy
Scott Legato / RockStarProPhotography.com
– Public Enemy
Freedom Hill Amphitheatre, Sterling Heights, Mich.

“After 30 years, 106 tours across 105 countries and countless records, thank you,” frontman Chuck D said in a statement. “This one is on Public Enemy. Get it while it’s free.”

He added, “‘Nothing Is Quick In The Desert’ is a saying I use when the average person looks at the record industry. It looks dead like a desert. But there’s plenty of life in the desert when one is educated on what they see and hear. There, a cactus absorbs and stores water deep in its root, taken from the air itself and certain creatures thrive in that dry heat whereas the average cannot. It pays to be above average (or well below it) in the desert for survival. The music industry is similar in that analogy. It’s still in motion, it just needs redefinition.”

Public Enemy worked on the album with Spitburg Pirates, a songwriting collective from Chuck D’s SpitSlam record label including Jahi of PE 2.0, CDOC, Marcus J of The Impossebulls and Retina MC. The project was produced by David “CDOC” Snyder, with Stetsasonic’s Daddy-O, DJ Pain 1, Mike Redman, Dejuan Boyd, JP Hesser and Public Enemy’s Professor Griff and DJ Lord also contributing production work.

The album features guest appearances by Ice-T, PMD of EPMD, Easy Mo Bee, Sammy Vegas and Solé.

Treasure Island Music Festival is taking a year off in 2017 but organizers say it will be “back better than ever” in 2018.  

Fans will have to stay tuned for details. The festival hasn’t yet announced dates or a new location. All we know is that while it will no longer be held on Treasure Island, the fest will still take place in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Treasure Island Festival 2007
Josh Withers
– Treasure Island Festival 2007
The festival featured 14 performances per day with no overlapping sets on the site’s two stages.

Organizers promise that “much of the energy, format and attractions” will remain the same.

The festival debuted in 2007 with a lineup featuring Modest Mouse, Spoon, Built To Spill, Thievery Corporation, M.I.A. and DJ Shadow.

George Strait says his July gigs at T-Mobile Arena will be the last chance to see “Two Nights Of Number Ones.”

The legendary country singer delighted fans in April by playing all 60 of his No. 1 hits in chronological order, with 30 songs on April 7 and the rest on April 8. He also performed several fan favorites like “Troubadour.”

George Strait
Ethan Miller / Getty Images for Essential Broadcast Media
– George Strait
T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nev.

He’ll be showing off all of his hits once again July 28-29. And then what? You’ll have to wait and see.

“After the April shows we decided we will do one more weekend in July with all the No. 1 hits and those crowd favorites I can’t not play,” Strait said. “After that I’m going to change things up for the last four of the year … not sure what’s in store, but I’m thinking about it.”

Strait’s remaining 2017 Vegas dates are scheduled Sept. 1-2 and Dec. 8-9.

He began the residency in 2016, following his final tour, “The Cowboy Rides Away” which wrapped up in June 2014 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.