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Archive for September, 2008

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Foo Fighters, Raconteurs Rock Austin City Limits

Rock’n’roll was the order of the day for the close of Austin City Limits on Sunday (Sept. 28), as Foo Fighters, the Raconteurs, Against Me! and Band Of Horses delivered powerful sets. Foo Fighters lead singer Dave Grohl marveled in the band’s first appearance at the event, telling the audience, “You’ve got something really cool here.”

Grohl and company’s set spanned its 13-year career, from the early favorite “Monkey Wrench” to the new single “Long Road To Ruin.” The group also covered the Mose Allison-penned/the Who-popularized “Young Man Blues” and turned the stage over to drummer Taylor Hawkins for a five-minute solo.

A potential disaster was averted midway through the set while Grohl was introducing his bandmates. A young man darted across the stage, but was abruptly tackled before he could do anything. “He’s just a drunken college dork,” Grohl quipped. “I’ve been there.”

Earlier in the evening, the Raconteurs were in fine spirits despite Jack White complaining about a back problem. “Steady As She Goes,” “Level” and “Hold Up” heated things up quickly, with White and Brendan Benson trading off vocal duties throughout.

Pop-punkers Against Me! drew one the largest afternoon crowds and tore through a blistering 16-song set, raging through quick but powerful versions of “Don’t Lose Touch,” “Sink, Florida, Sink” and “Thrash Unreal.” Meanwhile, Band Of Horses turned what on record sound like serious songs (“The Funeral,” “Is There a Ghost”) into uplifting guitar anthems, and also excelled on “The Great Salt Lake” and “Ode to LRC.”

Fans who weren’t in the mood for loud guitars got a dose of more laidback folk with Gillian Welch’s set. Alison Krauss joined Welch and guitarist David Rawlings for an a cappella version of “Didn’t Leave Nobody But the Baby,” which they performed on the “O Brother Where Art Thou?” soundtrack. Welch also shined on “Revelator” and “Look At Miss Ohio,” while new tunes “Knuckleball Catcher” (inspired by Welch’s time living in Boston) and “Sweet Tooth” hinted at her next album.

Meanwhile, the television series that serves as the inspiration for Austin City Limits begins its 34th season next month, and over the weekend, episodes were taped with Gnarls Barkley, Drive-By Truckers, the Swell Season, Erykah Badu and Foo Fighters. R.E.M. gets things rolling on Oct. 4 with an episode taped during South by Southwest.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Fleet Foxes: He Doesn’t Know Why (Video)

Fleet Foxes – He Doesn t Know Why

Web Radio Darling Pandora Breathes Easier, For Now

Who says our elected officials can’t get anything done? In addition to hammering out a $700 billion Wall Street bailout deal over the weekend, lawmakers extended a lifeline to Internet radio companies like Pandora, who are trying to lower the fees they’re supposed to pay for streaming music rights.

Last night the House passed a bill that essentially gives Pandora and other Webcasters the ability to negotiate with the music business over royalty rates (see press release below). It’s expected to clear the Senate in the next few days. Webcasters, led by Pandora’s Tim Westergren, have warned that if the bill didn’t pass, many of them would end up pulling the plug.

But the bill itself doesn’t ensure that Internet radio will survive. Assuming it goes forward, it will simply give Webcasters the ability to continue haggling with the music industry over “performance royalties” — the fees they’re required to music owners each they stream a song. Tim and other Webcasters won’t actually tell us what they’re willing to pay, except that it’s less than what Congress signed off on last year.

And the Internet radio business also has to resolve something that can’t get fixed in Washington: How to generate real revenue from their services, since advertisers have so far shied away. If that doesn’t happen, it won’t matter what how much Internet radio pays the music business: The costs are always going to exceed the revenues.

UPDATE: We’re stuck in 2005, says Tim. His full response:

We’re going to generate over $20M of revenue in just our 3rd year. I think it’s fair to say that we’re rapidly solving the monetization issue. Advertisers love the medium, it just takes some time
to break through when you’re still growing your comscore numbers.

————–

Webcasters and Recording Industry Welcome
Passage of H.R. 7084

Bill Would Enable Implementation of Negotiated Agreements

Washington, DC – The House of Representatives last night approved by voice vote must-pass legislation that would benefit all webcasters — large, small, non-commercial and simulcasters. The Digital Media Association (DiMA), SoundExchange, National Public Radio (NPR) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) all applauded the swift action taken by the House. It now moves to the Senate where supporters are hoping for quick passage.

The legislation (H.R. 7084) sponsored by Reps. Inslee, Berman, Smith, Conyers and Manzullo authorizes SoundExchange, on behalf of copyright owners and performers, to negotiate new royalty agreements for Internet radio through February 15, 2009 with Digital Media Association (DiMA), National Public Radio (NPR) and any other Internet radio service. It will benefit all webcasters, including broadcast simulcasters. This modification to existing law was introduced because Congress will be out of session as discussions between the parties continue, and it enables implementation of an agreement in the event the parties can reach an accord.

“Everyone is grateful to the sponsors of the bill and to Chairman Berman for getting this through the House last night,” said John Simson, Executive Director of SoundExchange. “This bill favors all webcasters and simulcasters – large and small. It paves the way for SoundExchange to use the coming months to pursue helpful solutions that allow all services to focus on business development. And, although there are no agreements yet, I am hopeful.”

Jonathan Potter, Executive Director of DiMA was also encouraged. “This is an important step. Hopefully the Senate will follow suit and we can return, energized, to negotiations.”

“This legislation benefits all music webcasters and excludes none,” said Michael Riksen, NPR VP of Policy & Representation. “Passage will facilitate closure of an agreement to enable all public radio stations to continue their public service through the webcasting of music.”

Nothing in this bill affects the scope of sound recording performance rights or any underlying copyright law.

Supporters are hopeful the Senate will take up the bill prior to adjournment and it will be sent to President Bush for his signature. The parties expect negotiations to resume upon enactment of the bill.

Nick Cave To Pen Second Novel

Nearly 20 years since his debut novel, Nick Cave will put pen to paper for a second work of fiction, “The Death of Bunny Munro.” Canongate has acquired world rights for the book, due in September 2009.

The book traces the fortunes of one man and his son on a road trip around the south coast of England following the suicide of his wife.

“Nick is one of the great forces in contemporary culture — not just an outstanding musician and singer, but also a superb writer, be it of lyrics, screenplays, music scores or novels,” says Canongate publisher/managing director Jamie Byng. “This novel is going to shock and amaze a lot of people.”

Canongate is planning a multimedia launch, with an audiobook narrated by Cave and an e-book launching simultaneously. A signed and numbered limited edition will also be available, as will a special e-book version combining Cave’s narration with an original “soundscape”.

Cave’s previous foray into fiction was 1989′s “And the Ass Saw the Angel,” which is available in two special editions via Black Spring Press.

In other Cave news, the artist is working with longtime collaborator John Hillcoat on the soundtrack for a forthcoming film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road,” which is due out in November.

TV on the Radio: Dancing Choose (Live on the Late Show with David Letterman) (Video)
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hroPFDYsEdE&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&fs=1]

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Hollywood legend Paul Newman has died of cancer at the age of 83

Hollywood legend Paul Newman has died of cancer at the age of 83, his spokeswoman has confirmed.

The blue-eyed star of films like Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid had died at home on Friday surrounded by family and close friends, said Jeff Sanderson.

Newman was nominated for an Oscar 10 times, winning the best actor award in 1987 for The Color Of Money.

His Butch Cassidy co-star Robert Redford led tributes, saying: “I have lost a real friend.”

“There is a point where feelings go beyond words,” he added.

“My life – and this country – is better for his being in it.”

Retired

In May 2007, Newman said he was giving up acting because he could no longer perform to the best of his ability.

“I’m not able to work any more… at the level that I would want to,” he told US broadcaster ABC.

“You start to lose your memory, you start to lose your confidence, you start to lose your invention.

“So I think that’s pretty much a closed book for me.”

Earlier this year, he pulled out of directing a stage production of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men in Connecticut because of unspecified health problems.

Sam Mendes, who directed Newman in 2002′s Road To Perdition, said the actor was “an extraordinary man in every respect”.

“The thing I remember the most about him is his total lack of ego and his lack of entourage and his lack of hangers-on.

“He demanded to be seen as a working actor and not a movie star.”

Broadcaster Sir Michael Parkinson, who interviewed Newman for a documentary, said the star had been “a real giant of the cinema”.

“He was the link between the great time of Hollywood, the Cary Grant and people like that, and Tom Cruise,” he told BBC News.

“He fills the gap between the two, and fills it in a most extraordinary, dominant manner.”

Hit films

SELECT FILMOGRAPHY
Cool Hand Luke
The Silver Chalice, 1955
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, 1958
The Hustler, 1961
Hud, 1963
Cool Hand Luke, 1967
Rachel Rachel (director), 1968
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, 1969
The Sting, 1973
The Towering Inferno, 1974
Absence of Malice, 1981
The Verdict, 1982
The Color of Money, 1986
Nobody’s Fool, 1994
Road to Perdition, 2002
Cars (voice), 2006

Although his handsome looks and piercing blue eyes made him an ideal romantic lead, Newman often played rebels, tough guys and losers.

“I was always a character actor,” he once said. “I just looked like Little Red Riding Hood.”

He appeared in some 60 movies, including Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, The Hustler, The Sting and Hud.

Along the way, he worked with some of the biggest names in Hollywood – including Alfred Hitchcock, Robert Altman, Martin Scorsese, Elizabeth Taylor, Lauren Bacall and Tom Hanks.

He also appeared with his wife, Joanne Woodward, in several films including Long Hot Summer and Paris Blues. The star later directed his wife in movies such as Rachel, Rachel and The Glass Menagerie.

But his most famous screen partner was undoubtedly Robert Redford, his sidekick in both Butch Cassidy and The Sting.

He is survived by his wife, five children, two grandsons and his older brother Arthur. He will truly be missed.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GT-Bgz1-HQE&hl=en&fs=1]

Mission of Burma news and Seattle ticket giveaway!

Mission of Burma are finally hitting the WEST COAST with some VERY special dates celebrating the Definitive Edition reissues of “Signals, Calls, and Marches” and “Vs.” out now on Matador Records

Mission Of Burma TOUR DATES:
Here is a detailed list of which albums will be played at which show:

9/27 – SF at Independent – Vs.
9/29 – Portland at Doug Fir – Signals, Calls & Marches
9/30 – Vancouver at Plaza Nightclub – Signals, Calls & Marches
10/1 – Seattle at Neumo’s – Vs.

Mission Of Burma’s three records for Ace Of Hearts, released in 1981, 1983 and (posthumously) 1985, are landmarks of American underground guitar rock. They are now finally re-released the way they were intended to be heard, meticulously remastered from the original analog tapes by producer and record label honcho Rick Harte. All 3 are available on vinyl for the first time since the 1980s. Both vinyl and CD come with lavish booklets full of interviews and never-before seen photos and ephemera. In addition, ‘Signals’ includes 2 unreleased tracks from the “Academy Fight Song” single, the original studio version of “Execution” and a completely unheard song called “Devotion.” Both vinyl and CD come with bonus DVDs of original concert footage.

Ok, you wanna see Misson of Burma? You live in Seattle, WA?? Well Kingblind and Matador Records have a pair of tickets to giveaway!!! How do you win? EASY.

Just send an email to kingblind(at)gmail.com with MISSION OF BURMA SEATTLE in the subject line and your name and address in the body of the message and we will randomly pick a winner! GOOD LUCK!!!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

TV On The Radio- “Dancing Choose” (Video)
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7mMoc-x_v0&hl=en&fs=1]

Morrissey and Marr collaborate for Smiths hits and rarities compilation

The pair have both worked on the new release

Former Smiths singer and guitarist Morrissey and Johnny Marr are set to release a compilation of their old band’s rarities in November.

Morrissey came up with the title of the compilation – ‘The Sound Of The Smiths’ – while Marr supervised the mastering of the album.

The album will be available as either a one-disc or two-disc version. The one-disc version contains 23 of the band’s singles or would-be singles – including songs such as ‘Still Ill’ and ‘You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet, Baby’, which were originally intended to be singles but didn’t end up getting released as such.

The second disc will contain 22 songs, including rare B-sides and live recordings. Included on the disc are the Troy Tate-produced ‘Pretty Girls Make Graves’, a cover of James’ ‘What’s The World’, and a live version of ‘Meat Is Murder’, the title track of The Smiths’ 1985 UK Number One album.

Both discs will be available to download as well as being released on physical formats.

The full tracklisting of ‘The Sound Of The Smiths’ will be:

Disc One:

‘Hand In Glove’
‘This Charming Man’
‘What Difference Does It Make? (John Peel Session)’
‘Still Ill’
‘Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now’
‘William, It Was Really Nothing’
‘How Soon Is Now? (12-inch vinyl version)’
‘Nowhere Fast’
‘Shakespeare’s Sister’
‘Barbarism Begins At Home (seven-inch vinyl version)’
‘That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore’
‘The Headmaster Ritual’
‘The Boy With The Thorn In His Side’
‘Bigmouth Strikes Again’
‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’
‘Panic’
‘Ask’
‘You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet, Baby’
‘Shoplifters of the World Unite’
‘Sheila Take a Bow’
‘Girlfriend in a Coma’
‘I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish’
‘Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me’

Disc Two:

‘Jeane’
‘Handsome Devil (Live)’
‘This Charming Man (New York Vocal)’
‘Wonderful Woman’
‘Back To The Old House’
‘These Things Take Time’
‘Girl Afraid’
‘Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want’
‘Stretch Out And Wait’
‘Oscillate Wildly’
‘Meat Is Murder (Live)’
‘Asleep’
‘Money Changes Everything’
‘The Queen Is Dead’
‘Vicar In A Tutu’
‘Cemetry Gates’
‘Half A Person’
‘Sweet And Tender Hooligan’
‘Pretty Girls Make Graves (Troy Tate Demo)’
‘Stop me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before’
‘What’s The World? (Live)’
‘London (Live)’

Girl Talk- Feed the Animals (Album Review)

Girl Talk’s iTunes playlist must be a thing of beauty. In 2006, the Pittsburgh DJ – government name Gregg Gillis – released “Night Ripper,” a compendious jumble of samples past and present that reawakened the slumbering mash-up technique.

“Feed the Animals,” Girl Talk’s fourth and latest full-length, out now digitally, is no less all-inclusive. It would take this entire review, plus another one just like it, to list all the artists sampled. Trainspotters, and critics, may feel the need to obsessively catalog every sample here -was that Big Country? – but “Feed the Animals” is better appreciated as a single, cohesive experience.

The album is divided into 12 tracks, but there are no breaks or pauses between songs. “Feed the Animals” is a one-stop party-music shop, dynamic enough for the ravers and familiar enough to serve as comfort food for the rockers.

Summarizing an album that shifts gears approximately every 30 seconds is a unique challenge, but “Feed the Animals” is best described as an attempt to build a solid foundation of ’70s hard rock, ’80s New Romantics pop, and ’90s alt-rock, and to layer choice bits of hip-hop atop it.

Some couplings are brilliant: Dropping a chunk of Jay-Z’s “Roc Boys” on Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android” is particularly inspired. Others, like Pras’s “Ghetto Superstar” and Yo La Tengo’s “Autumn Sweater” sound about as good together as you might expect.

Too often, though, the sheer familiarity of Girl Talk’s building blocks detracts from his particular accomplishment. Various superstars peddle their wares here, even if only briefly, but the album’s DNA is both greater and lesser than its constituent elements.

After mashing the Police, Busta Rhymes, Tag Team, Dexy’s Midnight Runners, and a cast of thousands together, “Feed the Animals” emerges from the blender as a solid slab of Baltimore-style electro-rap, mindless booty-based lyrics definitely included.

If you only buy one album this year, you might as well buy this one – it seems to have all the others on it.

“Feed the Animals” is available for download under a “pay what you will” plan at illegalart.net. A CD version of the album was released on Sept. 23

Obits Settle In At Sub Pop

Obits, a new New York band led by Drive Like Jehu/Hot Snakes principal Rick Froberg, has signed with Sub Pop and will release its label debut early next spring.

The group is working with Girls Against Boys’ Eli Janney and Geoff Sanoff at Brooklyn’s Seaside Lounge studio on the as-yet-untitled effort. Live versions of the songs “Talking to the Dog” and “Widow of My Dreams” can be sampled on Obits’ MySpace site.

Froberg is flanked in the group by guitarist/vocalist Sohrab Habibion, bassist Greg Simpson and drummer Scott Gursky. Fans of Jehu and Hot Snakes should feel right at home with the new music, which is powered by dark, garage-y riffs, sturdy grooves and Froberg’s unhinged vocals.

“A lot of what we have in this band is what we were kind of looking for,” says Froberg, who began playing with the other members after Hot Snakes disbanded in 2006. “I don’t know if we really knew it. We wanted a situation where we had the freedom to do whatever we wanted.”

Sub Pop signed Obits after it had only played a handful of shows, with Sub Pop GM/A&R Chris Jacobs basing his decision on nothing more than a live bootleg of the first-ever gig. “His previous bands are amongst my very favorite bands ever,” he says of Froberg.

To tide fans over before the album, Obits will self-release a 7-inch single, “One Cross Apiece,” this fall. The group is also planning some East Coast shows with the Night Marchers, featuring Froberg’s longtime collaborator John Reis.

In other Sub Pop news, the label has signed “freak folk” outfit Vetiver, whose label debut is due early next year.

Robert Plant reportedly agrees to Led Zeppelin reunion tour

ROCK legends LED ZEPPELIN are set for a reunion tour after singer ROBERT PLANT finally caved in and agreed to join them.

Guitarist JIMMY PAGE, 64, bassist JOHN PAUL JONES, 62, and drummer JASON BONHAM, 42, had resigned themselves to touring without Plant.

They even rehearsed with stand-in singers — and one American was so impressive they were confident they could hit the road next year without Plant.

That was what finally persuaded him to return.

A source revealed: “The rest of the band had all but given up on Robert joining them, but they were determined to go ahead so had started to seriously explore other avenues.

“When Robert realised the band were serious about doing it without him, it made him think long and hard.

“He realised he couldn’t face the thought of not being involved.

“The band were over the moon when he told them the news.

“They are now forging ahead with the tour plans and they can’t wait to get on the road.”

The tour, set for next summer, follows the massive success of their one-off reunion show at London’s O2 Arena in December.

Led Zep, who have sold more than 300 million albums worldwide, formed in 1968 and split up in 1980 when drummer John Bonham — father of Jason — died aged 32.

Rolling Stone magazine dubbed them the biggest band of the ’70s.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Mark Ryden’s Art for Obama

Mark Ryden and Merry Karnowsky are pleased to be offering a new limited edition lithographic poster in honor of the Art For Hope exhibition being held on Wednesday October 1, 2008 from 7 – 10 pm. Reservations will take place between September 23 – September 30, 2008, and are first come, first serve. There will only be 500 posters available.

All proceeds from the Poster will go to the Barack Obama Presidential Campaign.

Poster Description: The Pumpkin President
The poster is printed on heavy weight paper, signed and numbered, and is embossed with the Porterhouse seal in the lower right hand corner. This poster comes with a certificate of authenticity.

Edition Quantity – 500
Poster size – 25″ x 33″
Price – $500 + Shipping and Handling

Please click the thumbnails above for a larger view of the poster.

Posters will be limited to one per person and/or address.
The posters will be available exclusively through Merry Karnowsky Gallery’s Art for Hope Exhibition, Los Angeles, CA 323.933.4408

Instructions for reserving a Pumpkin President lithographic poster:
1.) Please email artforhope@att.net
2.) Put ‘Mark Ryden’ in the ‘Subject’ field of your email.
3.) Put your full name, email address(s), and best phone number(s) to reach you. (A piece will not be reserved for you without this information).
4.) A gallery representative will then contact you regarding payment/donation details.

If you have questions, please call 323.933.4408. Reservations will close on September 30, 2008. Payment/donation must be received by the end of the day October 1, 2008.

The Pumpkin President Poster will be shipped, or available for pick up in 6 to 8 weeks.

Thank you!
Mark Ryden and Merry Karnowsky

AC/DC slam Apple iTunes

AC/DC have slammed the iTunes music download service.

AC/DC frontman Angus Young, whose band refuse to make their songs available on iTunes, said the boycott was because they didn’t want fans simply downloading a few tracks of theirs.

“We don’t make singles, we make albums,” he told the Telegraph.

“We believe the songs on any of our albums belong together. If we were on iTunes, we know a certain percentage of people would only download two or three songs from the album. We don’t think that represents us musically.”

Young added that despite pressure from industry figures to make AC/DC’s songs available on iTunes, he didn’t believe that being part of the site was crucial to success.

“Since iTunes came into existence, we’ve actually increased our back catalogue sales without being on the site,” he said. “We were sternly warned by our management team and our record label that the complete opposite would be the case.”

AC/DC are set to release a new album, ‘Black Ice’, on October 20. It won’t be available on iTunes.

Calling brass players: The Walkmen need you!

The Walkmen are advertising for trumpet and trombone players to come forward for their London ULU concert on October 28th.

The New York-based band, who release their fourth album ‘You and Me’ through Fierce Panda on Monday, need numerous paid musicians to play on 5 songs during their set. Those chosen will be provided with sheet music and MP3s of the songs, and should be available for sound check at 12:30pm on the day of the gig, as well as for the show itself.

If you’re interested in applying, email pete@marcata.net with your contact details, including where you’re from and which instrument you are able to play and someone will get in touch.

The gig is part of a 5-date tour of the UK and Ireland as follows:

October
28th London ULU
29th Manchester Academy 3
30th Bristol Thekla
31st Leeds Cockpit

November
1st Glasgow Stereo
2nd Dublin Button Factory