Bits: Booker T. Jones, Buddy Holly, Willie Nelson’s Country Throwdown, The Kills, Strand of Oaks, The Imperial Rooster,

  • Booker T. Jones’ new album The Road from Memphis is out today. You can see and hear his recent Tiny Desk Concert for NPR here.
  • Fantasy Records will be putting out a Buddy Holly tribute album, Rave On Buddy Holly, on June 28, and the contributor list is wild. You can hear the Black Keys’ contribution, a cover of “Dearest”, here. And if you visit Liza Richardson’s May 7 KCRW show, you can hear Modest Mouse’s take on “That’ll Be the Day” (at the 6:00 mark) and Cee-Lo doing “(You’re So Square) Baby, I Don’t Care” (around 36:35).
  • A free 8-song sampler from artists on Willie Nelson’s Country Throwdown Tour, including Austin Lucas, is available from iTunes.
  • Take a trip over to Vinyl Hounds to see a cool mini documentary about the Kills.
  • KDHX has a live in-studio set from the always beautiful Strand of Oaks.
  • A reminder that our friends The Imperial Rooster will be playing at El Farol in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on May 10 at 6 PM MST and the set will be broadcast live on Radio Free Santa … Continue reading

Bits: The Imperial Rooster, Bang Bang Boogaloo, Modest Mouse & Big Boi, Craig Wedren, The Twilight Singers, Wolfgang’s Vault

  • The Imperial Rooster will be playing at El Farol in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on May 10 at 6 PM MST and the set will be broadcast live on Radio Free Santa Fe. Tune in locally at 98.1 or via the Radio Free Santa Fe website.
  • New York label Bang Bang Boogaloo has put together a killer compilation of unsigned New York bands called New York Rock & Roll 1. You can listen to and download it for free on their website.
  • Big Boi revealed, via Twitter, that he’s working on an album with Modest Mouse. “Been camped out in the Lab with Modest Mouse all week, workin on the new mouse LP, coolest cats ever. Long Live The Funk.” Cannot wait to hear the results of that collaboration.
  • Both Craig Wedren and the Twilight Singers are offering new songs for free download. Wedren’s “Cupid” is a Shudder to Think-era tune re-purposed for his upcoming solo album, WAND. The Twilight Singers’ “Don’t Call” is a non-album track, as well as being a Desire cover.
  • Wolfgang’s Vault has added a video section to their mammoth live … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

Bits: Strand of Oaks, Murder by Death/The Builders and the Butchers, Rome, The Due Diligence, Hell and Half of Georgia

  • Strand of Oaks has made the demos to Pope Killdragon available as a free download on Bandcamp.
  • Murder by Death and the Builders and the Butchers are releasing a split 7″ on which MBD will cover TBATB and vice versa (and Ray Rude will cover both with his Mission Operation project). Murder by Death is having a contest wherein two artists can win all 5 MBD albums on vinyl, all 3 TBATB albums on vinyl, and 5 copies of the split 7″ for producing cover art for the split 7″. Details at Murder by Death’s website.
  • Tracks from Rome, the project by Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi – which also features Jack White and Norah Jones – have been made available. You can hear “Two Against One” at Pitchfork, and “The Rose with the Broken Neck” is streaming at NPR.
  • The Due Diligence have made the mp3 version of their album I Will Wreck Your Life available if you just can’t wait for the record release on May 29.
  • If you’re in Long Beach, California, this Thursday, April 21, check out NTSIB friends Hell and Half of Georgia at … Continue reading

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 Continue reading

Update On: Blake Mills

All of you who are currently carefully poring over your vinyl “to buy” lists and/or budgets for the spring: take a moment and set aside $8 for the new 7″ from Blake Mills. He is releasing “Hey Lover” and “Winter Song” from Break Mirrors via start-up record company Analog Edition. It’s a limited release, North American orders only, and totally unrelated to Record Store Day. You can listen to both tracks here.

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Bits: Ray Charles, Barnstormer 4, Dinosaur Jr, Robert Johnson, Justin Townes Earle, Americana Rock Mix

  • A to Z: The Riverfront Times Music Blog has exclusive streams of some never-heard-before recordings of Ray Charles, recorded by Charles’ cohort Marci Soto.
  • Tickets are on sale for Daytrotter‘s Barnstormer 4 concert series. This years line-up includes Sondre Lerche, Guards, The Romany Rye, Hellogoodbye, Keegan DeWitt and the ever popular “special guests”.
  • Dinosaur Jr will be playing their album Bug in its entirety on tour this summer. Additionally, different dates will have different friends along, including OFF!, Thurston Moore and Henry Rollins.
  • The city of Greenwood, Mississippi, will be celebrating 100 years of Robert Johnson May 5-8. The celebration will include exhibits, tours, panels and, of course, music. The musical roster includes Bobby Rush, Honeyboy Edwards, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Keb’ Mo’ and more.
  • Justin Townes Earle guested on A Prairie Home Companion, and you can listen to the show here.
  • Our new friends at Americana Rock Mix are raising funds for surgery for their canine companion, Boris. If you donate to help Boris, you’ll get some goodies like a download grab bag, an exclusive podcast and a thank you in the next podcast.

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Bits: Cure for Pain, Rockhall Spring Benefit, SXSW, Record Store Day, Spinner

  • Cure for Pain, the documentary about the much-missed Mark Sandman will see it’s U.S. debut on April 15 at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham, North Carolina.
  • Tickets for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame and Museum annual spring benefit go on sale today. The May 14 concert will feature Mavis Staples, Wanda Jackson, Darlene Love and Cyndi Lauper, as well as Curt Smith (Tears for Fears) and Chuck Jackson.
  • Just because you’re sick of hearing about SXSW and its aftermath, that’s no reason to miss out on the good stuff. You can hear and/or see a TV on the Radio performance here, a Jessica Lea Mayfield performance here and a Felice Brothers performance here.
  • Record Store Day approacheth (April 16) and now the official RSD release list is available to help decide if you’ll have to go without food or gas for the next couple of months.
  • Lots of good shit on Spinner’s Listening Party, including Radiohead, Dirty Beaches, Royal Bangs and Willie Nelson with Wynton Marsalis. Check it out.

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Update On: Empires

Empires, still the scrappy little band of my heart, has progressed to ROUND TWO of the Rolling Stone cover contest. That means it’s time to vote them into round three, which you can do here. Voting on this round lasts until APRIL 14. They’ve also uploaded two new songs created special for the contest, Night is Young and Hard Times, which you can also listen to at that link.

Meanwhile, here they are talking about how they became a band, “home video” style:


Watch this video on YouTube
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