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Archive for November, 2007

Friday, November 30, 2007

Evel Knievel, legendary daredevil, dies

Evel Knievel, the motorcycle daredevil whose stunts — including an attempted leap over Idaho’s Snake River Canyon — made him a popular cultural figure, is dead, according to his Web site, He was 69.

Evel Knievel was known for his daredevil stunts.

Over his career, Knievel was said to have broken practically every bone in his body — some multiple times. With his red-white-and-blue jumpsuits, shock of hair and stone-faced mein, he was a fixture on ABC’s program “Wide World of Sports” in the 1970s, his stunts perennial ratings-grabbers.

Knievel’s most famous stunt was probably an attempt to jump the quarter-mile wide Snake River Canyon in 1974 on his rocket-powered “Sky-Cycle.” (He had hoped to jump the Grand Canyon, but couldn’t get permission.) The attempt failed, but the publicity was priceless.

His fame even spawned a movie, “Viva Knievel!” in 1977.

Robert Craig Knievel was born October 17, 1938, in Butte, Montana.
(via cnn)

Band of Horses adds dates in December and beyond

Ben Bridwell and his Band of Horses will gallop on into 2008 with continued U.S. touring. The band will close out this year with a three-night run in Atlanta that includes a New Year’s Eve gig. Then Band of Horses fires up the road tripping again in January in the band’s home state of South Carolina. All of this of course comes in support of second album Cease to Begin, which has already garnered some year-end love.

12/28, 29, 31 Atlanta, GA – Earl
1/20 Charleston, SC – Music Farm
1/21 Norfolk, VA – NorVa
1/22 Philadelphia, PA – Fillmore at TLA
1/23 Boston, MA – Paradise
1/24 State College, PA – State Theatre
1/25 Cleveland, OH – Beachland Ballroom
1/26 Louisville, KY – Headliners
1/27 Newport, KY – Southgate House
1/29 Nashville, TN – Exit/In
1/30 Memphis, TN – Hi-Tone
1/31 St. Louis, MO – Gargoyle at Washington University
2/1 Norman, OK – Meecham Auditorium
2/2 Dallas, TX – Palladium
2/3 Austin, TX – La Zona Rosa
2/4 Baton Rouge, LA – Spanish Moon
2/6 Birmingham, AL – Bottletree
2/7 Tallahassee, FL – Beta Bar
2/9-10 Orlando, FL – Social
2/12 Mt. Pleasant, SC – Village Tavern

Thursday, November 29, 2007

EMI to cut RIAA funding

Back before the RIAA was an acronym to be feared, the big four (Warner, Sony BMG, Universal, and EMI) would give the organization approximately $132.48 million a year. In earlier days, the RIAA was friend to the major label, as they, alongside IFPI, provided valuable data about industry and consumer trends, and served to make sure labels and artists received money owed to them. Funny how suing a 12 year old girl from the projects will ruin your rep. Now Reuters and Slashdot are reporting that EMI has plans to significantly cut funding to the RIAA. It’s not such a bad idea; the RIAA and their strong arm tactics have made the already dislikable 4-headed behemoth even less appetizing. Sony and Universal haven’t had much to say on the subject, but Time Warner’s CEO has already apparently vocalized displeasure with the RIAA and their litigious crew. Time may reveal this to be the first in a series of debilitating blows to the RIAA, and perhaps the beginning of their end.

Gorillaz: ‘D-Sides’ (Album Review)

Crazy as a second Gorillaz B-sides album might sound, this rummage through the ‘Demon Days’ cutting room floor is totally justified. ‘We Are Happy Landfill’ veers between organ-driven ’70s rock and giddy punk rock on a jaw-clenching prozac high, while ‘The Rockit’ doffs a cheeky cap to Damon’s roots; with its deadpan delivery and taut, funky bass riff it sounds almost like an old Blockheads single… until the far-out synths that resemble bonking robots make their appearance, that is. But the highlight is ‘Hong Kong’ – the seven-minute epic recorded for War Child. Over a pulsating backing of acoustic guitars, pianos and a load of instruments whose arse you probably wouldn’t know from their elbow, Damon ponders “The rising of an eastern sun” and a DJ with “well conditioned hair”. It’s a reminder that he’s one of our finest-ever songwriters, whether hiding behind a dead-eyed anime avatar or not.
(Barry Nicolson)

Radiohead Sketches Out European Tour Dates

Radiohead has revealed a wealth of information on its Web site about its summer European tour, but in typically cryptic fashion, has withheld most specific dates and venues.

The only shows with complete date, city and venue information are Milan (June 18, Civica Arena) and appearances at Germany’s Hurricane (June 20) and Southside Festivals (June 22). Radiohead will also play Barcelona’s Daydream festival in June and Denmark’s Roskilde festival in early July.

Beyond that, there are plans to play the following cities in June: Dublin (two dates), Paris (two dates), Nimes, France (two dates), London (two dates), Glasgow and Manchester, England.

In July, Radiohead will visit Amsterdam, Germany’s Werchter Festival and Berlin. The group will be touring in support of “In Rainbows,” which will see physical release Dec. 31 in England via XL Recordings and Jan. 1 in North America via TBD Records/ATO Music Group.

New Earth album to land in February

Loud and noisy trio Earth is all done with a new album with the lengthy, odd name of The Bee Made Honey in the Lion’s Skull. It’s scheduled for a February release via Southern Lord and features all new material, after this year’s Hibernaculum found the band reworking some old material. The Bee features legendary guitarist Bill Frisell, who has worked with everyone from John Zorn to Elvis Costello, on three tracks. Earth expected tour extensively across…yes…Planet Earth when the album comes out, starting overseas before coming back to the states. For now, the band has a handful of West Coast shows planned for late December. Details on those after the jump…

12/27 Portland, OR – Dante’s
12/29 Sacramento, CA – The Blue Lamp w/ Giant Squid
12/30 Santa Cruz, CA – Brookdale Lodge
12/31 San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall w/ Neurosis

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Morrissey signs new record deal, needs to be institutionalized

In a very exclusive interview in the current issue of the NME, Morrissey announced that he will release his new album through Polydor/Decca. The label will be putting out a “best of” compilation of his solo work in 2008 and Morrissey revealed that he is working on a new album. Just don’t expect the album to have a theme (in the event that you were):

“I don’t think there’s ever been a theme to any of my records, I don’t need the chameleon element of trying to entice people with new costumes. I like to think I’m complicated and interesting enough as a human being.”

And no, the never short on self-esteem (and David Bowie hating) Morrissey will not “do a the-phrase-that-shall-not-be-mentioned” and release the album on his own because it does not “suit” him:

“If they (Radiohead) think that can work that that’s a wonderful world. And yes, you can look at record companies and you can easily assess that they’ve been ripping people off for years and years and years. The whole process is a gigantic rip off. But then there are people like me who need to be institutionalised… and I don’t mean in an asylum!”

The RIAA has left alone Harvard in its file-sharing campaign, but why?

In its war against file sharing, the RIAA continues to fire off prelitigation settlement letters to a wide range of college campuses throughout the country, but one storied Ivy League institution has inexplicably been left alone. Yes, it seems the recording industry is reluctant to go after students at a little school in Cambridge, Massachusetts known as Harvard, and Ars Technica theorizes that the RIAA may fear the possibility that it might actually have to fight for once. And let’s face it. It would be a legal battle against really, really, really smart people.

Ars Technica notes that the RIAA may be trembling at the thought of targeting Harvard students because of “hostility towards the RIAA’s campaign on the part of Harvard Law School professors Charles Nesson and John Palfrey, who run the law school’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society. Responding to the RIAA’s claim that its litigation strategy has ‘invigorated a meaningful conversation on college campuses about music theft, its consequences and the numerous ways to enjoy legal music,’ the profs called on Harvard to not betray the ‘trust and privacy’ of its students.

You gotta love the idea that the RIAA could be running scared. Especially after it’s been engaging in a classic bully tactic by sending these letters to college students who essentially are clueless to the nature of litigation, thus scaring them into settling at a lower cost before actual lawsuits are filed.

Ars Technica goes on to say, “Should the RIAA decide to send prelitigation settlement letters to Harvard, chances are good that 1) the letters will not be passed on, and 2) some of the best and brightest at Harvard Law School will get involved in a big way.”

Bring it on.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Joe Strummer tribute night announced

Stars gather for five-year anniversary of the Clash man’s death
56 minutes ago

A tribute night to The Clash’s frontman Joe Strummer on the fifth anniversary of his death has been announced.

Taking place at London’s Brixton JAMM on December 22, ‘London Calling – Remembering Joe Strummer’ will feature musicians including Jamie T, Primal Scream bassist Mani, former Oasis member Bonehead and The Smiths’ Andy Rourke.

Organiser Geoff Martin said: “Myself and the guys who run the JAMM venue down in Brixton had been talking about doing an event to mark the fifth anniversary of Joe’s death. It’s really come together over the last few days; there’s just huge support for the initiative from right the way across the industry – a lot of artists want to get involved.”

Speaking to BBC 6Music, Martin explained that some special guests may turn up on the night: “The problem we’ve got is that it’s right on top of Christmas – there’s gonna be quite a few people who will be out of town, quite a few people who’ve made arrangements. But all I can say to people is ‘Watch this space’.”

Proceeds from the gig will go towards causes including the Strummerville Foundation and Rock Against Racism.

The Hard Sell UK details

DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist, about to begin touring as The Hard Sell, have announced a one-off gig at The Roundhouse in the UK. For €20 you can see an all 45 set, played via eight turntables and two loop pedals. Previous DJ Shadow/Cut Chemist 7″ orgies (Brainfreeze, Product Placement) have been nothing short of brilliant; maybe after this one we can forgive Shadow for The Outsider.

Monday, November 26, 2007

iPod commercials are the new music television

Before it became the destination for The Hills marathons, MTV was the main tastemaker and hype machine for new music. As purely video programming has proved unprofitable, commercials have become the new music videos. Instead of tuning in to hear the new sounds, consumers hear the new sounds on commercials. The San Francisco Chronicle has traced the impact of these music heavy ads, focusing on the impact that iPod commercials have had on breaking bands of late.

In addition to the iPod ads, countless other artists have found that licensing their music has had a positive impact on their album sales. Moby probably started the ball rolling when he made every track on Play available for commercial sales. In a few short years, the industry has arrived at point where bands like Wilco have sold every track to a single sponsor. That Apple would follow this trend is elementary. It has a vested interest in creating buzz around new bands, rather than the standbys of previous ad campaigns. Whereas it’s cool to think that Dylan has an iPod, there’s no reason to rush out and purchase his song from the ad; most people already have it on CD. Totally different, though, is hearing Feist or CSS on a commercial and then plunking down the ninety-nine cents without a second thought. It’s almost hard to believe Apple took this long to come up with the strategy.
(via SF Chronicle)

The White Stripes “Conquest” (Music Video)

Amy Winehouse- Frank (Album Review)

Imagine fusing Minnie Riperton with the Beastie Boys, or Ray Charles with Salt N Pepper. Imagine a voice as distinctive as Dinah Washington or Billie Holiday. Imagine personal lyrics which paint images of a young woman’s life in London. Got that? That’s pretty much 19-year-old Amy Winehouse’s debut LP: classic jazz crooning dirtied with her other influences – Ben Folds Five, Stevie Wonder and Miss Dynamite. Frank is an honest, refreshingly personal record which, though very occasionally strays into easy jazz, has Gucci bags of personality. And she ain’t half got a pair of lungs.

The Zombies to revisit Odessey & Oracle

The Zombies will play their album, Odessey & Oracle, in its entirety at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Theatre in honor of its 40th anniversary. This psychedelic classic was recorded at Abbey Road studios in the wake of the Sgt Pepper sessions with the Beatles’ chief engineer, Geoff Emerick during the Summer of Love. When released in April of 1968, it shot all the way to 95 on the British charts but Rolling Stone ranked Odessey at 80 on their list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. The famously misspelled album was re-released several times and was most recently re-mastered in 2004

The original line up—Colin Blunstone, Rod Argent, Chris White and Hugh Grundy –will regroup to play the three dates in March. The Zombies’ founding guitarist, Paul Atkinson, passed away in 2004 and Keith Airey will play in his stead.

My Bloody Valentine going self-release route for new album

Apparently the term “do a Radiohead” has now entered the English language, meaning a band releasing a new album by itself. That’s how billboard describes plans for My Bloody Valentine to handle the release of its long-anticipated new album on its own. The industry insider publication quotes band manager Vinita Joshi as saying, “The plan is that they will release the album themselves via the Internet, but there will also probably be a vinyl release.” Cheapskates beware, though. Joshi says that MBV probably won’t follow in Radiohead’s footsteps with a pay-as-you-please plan.