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HR 4210, the Loft & Danger Mouse

Remember when U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney introduced HR 4210, or the Tupac Amaru Shakur Records Act, and called for the release of all government records on the legendary rapper?

Well, shortly after the bill was introduced, it was referred to two House subcommittees, the Committee on Government Reform and the Committee on Rules, for further consultation. It has since languished. But John Judge, McKinney's special projects coordinator, says that McKinney is still "serious about the bill."

Judge says public perception is partly to blame for the Tupac bill's lack of support. "A lot of people thought it was a boutique bill," or some kind of PR stunt, says Judge. But its real goal is to uncover federal surveillance of Shakur and other hip-hop artists. For McKinney, it represents an ongoing battle to reveal the U.S. government's attempts to disrupt "radical" (both real and perceived) movements, a controversial tactic that is once again under public scrutiny because of the Bush administration's domestic wiretapping program.

McKinney plans to pursue co-sponsors for HR 4210 over the next several months. She may also revise and reintroduce the bill so that its intent is clearer, says Judge.

This week, the Loft celebrates its first year in business with a series of "first anniversary" events. On Thurs., Feb. 16, Supergrass and Pilotdrift perform; Sat., Feb. 18, brings the Fray, Cary Brothers and Tim Brantley; and Fri., Feb. 24, is SolFusion, an urban club night that will be headlined by R&B singer Res.

Congrats to Danger Mouse, his Dangerdoom project with MF Doom, and Paste magazine. Each picked up a trophy during the PLUG Independent Music Awards at New York City's Webster Hall on Feb. 2. ... Unfortunately, most of the Atlanta artists in contention at the 2006 Grammy Awards walked away empty-handed. Jermaine Dupri (for his work on Mariah Carey's "We Belong Together") and, once again, Danger Mouse (for his work with Gorillaz), however, were the exceptions.

This week's CD parties include a performance by singer/songwriter Shawn Mullins for his new disc, 9th Ward Pickin' Parlor. The show takes place Thurs., Feb. 16, at Criminal Records. ... Emo-punk contender Scarlet celebrates its new album, This Was Always Meant to Fall Apart, with a concert Sat., Feb. 18, in Masquerade's Hell. Opening acts include Calico System, the Esoteric, Fight Paris, and Head Check.

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