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: 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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Bits: TV on the Radio, Booker T. Jones, J Mascis, Mark Lanegan, Royal Bangs, Patrick Sweany, CXCW, etc.

  • TV on the Radio’s Gerard Smith was diagnosed with lung cancer at the conclusion of recording for the new TVoTR album Nine Types of Light and will be unable to accompany the band on their current tour. A statement on the band’s website throws a hopeful light on Smith’s recovery, and we are sending good thoughts Smith’s way.
  • Head over to the Rolling Stone website to get a taste of the new Booker T. Jones album as he and the Roots cover Lauryn Hill’s “Everything is Everything”.
  • NYC’s Bowery Ballroom will play host to a show celebrating the 10th anniversary of one of my favorite books, Michael Azerrad’s Our Band Could Be Your Life, on May 22.
  • The 2nd installment of Oxford American’s ABALABIP! concert series celebrating Alabama music and music makers will take place on June 4 in Florence, Alabama, and will feature Dexateens, G-Side and Candi Staton.
  • J Mascis’ new acoustic album, Several Shades of Why, is streaming at Spin.
  • A new Mark Lanegan track, “Burning Jacob’s Ladder”, is free to download on the Rage website.
  • And a new Royal Bangs track, “Fireball”, is … Continue reading

Bits: Eddie Kirkland, TV on the Radio, Conrad Plymouth, Chip Tha Ripper, Jessica Lea Mayfield

  • Bluesman Eddie Kirkland was killed in a road accident this passed Sunday. Our hearts go out to his family, friends and fans. I’m glad I had the pleasure to see him live this past autumn when he opened for the Gories.
  • The first track to be revealed off of TV on the Radio’s forthcoming album, Nine Types of Light, can be heard on the 107.7 blog.
  • Our friends Conrad Plymouth, accompanied by Strand of Oaks, did a set for Folkadelphia. It will air tonight between 6 and 8 PM ET.
  • Cleveland’s Chip Tha Ripper has a new mixtape, Gift Raps, at Rap Radar. Digging it as I type…
  • Kent, Ohio’s Jessica Lea Mayfield made her Letterman debut (with brother David Mayfield, formerly of Cadillac Sky, currently of the David Mayfield Parade, accompanying her) last Friday. Check it out below.

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Bits: TV on the Radio, Over the Rhine, Jessica Lea Mayfield, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Royal Bangs

  • Yay yay yay! TV on the Radio will be releasing a new album, Nine Types of Light, this spring. And April 13 will be TV on the Radio City Music Hall day as they play a gig at the famed New York venue to kick off a national tour. I’m a little excited.
  • Over the Rhine’s new album, The Long Surrender, drops today, and you can listen to it Spinner. (Nicole Atkins’ Mondo Amore is up there, too.)
  • It’s the day of streaming (for a given value of “streaming”), as Jessica Lea Mayfield’s latest, Tell Me, is up at Rolling Stone.
  • In sad news, Justin Robinson will be leaving the Carolina Chocolate Drops. But CCDs will continue on with two new members, multi-instrumentalist Hubby Jenkins and beatboxer Adam Matta.
  • Our friends at Citizen Dick have a track for you from the upcoming Royal Bands album, Flux Outside. The album is set for release on March 29.

To close out a live video of Over the Rhine performing “The Laugh of Recognition”.

The Laugh of Recognition from Sneak Attack on Vimeo.

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Rebirth of the Cool: Wolf Like Me

Moving forward in time for this edition of Rebirth of the Cool, our origin song of the day is “Wolf Like Me” by the incredible TV on the Radio. This was one of the first TVOTR songs I heard (along with “Providence” and “Dry Drunk Emperor”) when a savvy friend recommended them to me back in 2007. It was love at first listen.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apAqPlcQVqo]

(Sidenote: Kudos to Jimmy Kimmel for bringing the feel of an intimate concert hall into the studio, thus encouraging better performances.)

Local H – whose cover of Britney Spears’ “Toxic” helps me feel less guilty about liking that song – took a crack at “Wolf”. They imbue the song with their characteristic immediacy and bring the emotional center of the song from the hips up to the chest.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aBl3bnRv3g]

Then along came Dulli. Greg Dulli has long been a purveyor of fascinating, gorgeous, twisted covers, from Paul K. and the Weathermen’s “Amphetamines and Coffee” to “The Temple” from Jesus Christ Superstar to Al Green’s “Beware” to Prince’s “When Doves Cry” to all sorts of others in between. His take, with the Twilight Singers, of “Wolf” strips it down to its raw core.

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