Donald Ayler Heads For The Great Gig In The Sky, Dead At 65

Respected free-jazz trumpeter Donald Ayler died October 24 of a heart attack. The 65-year old was the brother of alto/tenor saxophonist impresario Albert, the subject of the recent documentary My Name Is Albert Ayler, which opened in Athens, Austin, Cleveland, and Winnipeg this week and is slated for DVD release sometime next year. Don Ayler performed regularly with his wily older brother and appeared on such releases as Bells (Calibre), In Greenwich Village (Impulse!), and the essential Spirits Rejoice (ESP-Disk). Don was an essential cog of his brother's group from 1965-1968 and also performed in a group with John Coltrane in 1966.

Albert's mysterious death in 1970 forced Don out of the spotlight and he popped up occasionally for features and interviews but nothing substantial. A 1981 recording from a Florence gig with a septet does exist but has been out-of-print for several years. A couple of Don's compositions were included with Albert's die-hards-only 2004 Holy Ghost: Rare & Unissued Recordings 1962-1970 box set.

[Photo: Larry Fink/ICA]

The White Stripes Tengo Un Mes Estudiando Español Beck

When I was in grade school, baseball cards were all the rage. My friends would peel back the wrapper, pop a stick of petrified gum into their mouths, and thumb through the glossy cardboard hoping for one that would offset their subscriptions to Beckett. I never got it. My heroes didn't swing pine, they swung steel. They didn't wear cleats, they wore capes as red as the blood they spilled. That's right, I idolized not the ball player, but the toreador!

Strong, agile, mustachioed, bronzed, and dapper, the toreador is the Spanish prizefighter who out-classes all athletes. Any man can challenge another, but it takes a steadied slayer to best an agitated beast bent on goring anyone in its path.

Now, finally, I'll be able to relive those heady days spent Indian-style on my bedroom floor sorting my matador trading cards. All the greats are here: El Sloth, El Bianca Rosa, El Perdador! Unfortunately, my mother disposed of my cherished collection. Perra!

Those with less of a thirst for beauty, machismo, and tight pants than I will no doubt be more interested in the limited-edition 7-inch The White Stripes/Beck singles, with which the matador trading cards are included.

For the release of The White Stripes Spanish-tinged new single, "Conquest," the band is issuing three 7-inch records.

- On black vinyl: Side A "Conquest" Side B "It's My Fault For Being Famous"

- On white vinyl: Side A "Conquest" Side B "Honey, We Can't Afford To Look This Cheap"

- On red vinyl: Side A "Conquest (Acoustic Mariachi Version)" Side B "Cash Grab Complications On The Matter"

The White Stripes collaborated on these B-sides with Beck, who, judging by his Guerro release, also has a taste for the spicier things in life. That funky little gringo added vocals and piano to "It's Not My Fault For Being Famous," slide guitar to "Honey, We Can't Afford To Look This Cheap," and he is listed as co-producer of all three new tunes, which were recorded in his living room over sangria and a sack of gorditas.

Your matador trading cards (which happen to come with the records) will be released in the U.S. December 18.

The songs will also be available for download via iTunes.

Acid Mothers Temple Tour, Bring Families Together

Dear Annie,

I am a recently-divorced father of two living in beautiful Cleveland Heights, Ohio. The break-up was hard, but I am beginning to heal, and I now feel ready to introduce my fraternal twins Eleanor and Jacob to experimental music. I’m taking small steps: going to the record stop, chatting with college radio DJs, and reading avant-garde music magazines. But there are so many new bands out there that I just don’t know what to do! I have just bought an especially ironic sweatshirt and would like to wear it for a family evening on the town. What do you suggest?

--Confused in Cleveland Heights

----

Dear Confused,

You are in luck! Classic noise-mongers Acid Mothers Temple are back on the road, tearing up the clubs and sound systems of America on a tour this spring. And they have TONS of new releases. This could be just the event you need to get your groove back, and what do you know, they are even stopping in your town! A night with the group would be a great opportunity to teach the kids about proper earplug usage and the wild world of Japanese rock. Good luck and keep your chin up!

Donovan to Release Live DVD, Riki Tiki Tavi Mongoose Still Gone

Donovan has a concert DVD, cleverly titled Concert: Live in L.A., coming out January 22. Guests include David Lynch, Mike Love (who I refuse to consider a member of The Beach Boys), and Astrella Celeste, better known as Donovan’s own daughter. It is 60 minutes long, will be released through Raven, and has a SKU# of MVDV4592.

In celebration, I performed a series of Wikipedia searches while listening to Donovan. Here are just some of the things I learned:

- “Donovan” is also a city in east Illinois. It is 96.30% white.

- Mello Yello was introduced with the slogan "Mello Yello - The World's Fastest Soft Drink.”

- The Garden of Earthly Delights by Heironymus Bosch depicts the first known instance of a buzzing bridge on a Hurdy Gurdy (a weird kind of mechanical violin).

- “Barabajagal” doesn’t mean anything.

- Atlantis lies beyond the pillars of Heracles.

- Regular Superman gains his power from the earth’s yellow sun and is therefore more or less indistinguishable from Sunshine Superman.

- “Elevator in the brain hotel” is the most perfect possible series of five words in the English language.

- The titular “Season of the Witch” is Spring.

My Bloody Valentine Confirm Three Live Shows

You savvy motherfuckers knew this was coming a mile away, didn't you? Well, start booking those flights because My Bloody Valentine have confirmed that they'll be playing three live gigs in the summer of next year. Presented by ATP Concerts, the shows will take place in London (June 20), Manchester (June 28), and Glasgow (July 2). Tickets go on-sale 9 AM tomorrow at venue box offices and here. How do we know all this? THE ONLINE FLYER WITH A SUPER OLD PICTURE OF MBV DOESN'T LIE.

The news comes hot off the announcement that there will be indeed new My Bloody Valentine material released in the future (TMT News). It's still somewhat unclear as to what and when and how many, but, according to an interview on VBS.tv's Soft Focus series, there is an album that's three-fourths finished of music from 1996, a "compilation of stuff" recorded a couple years after 1991's Loveless, and "a little bit of new stuff." A release could come out as early as this year.

Now, kids, it's been roughly 16 years since the release of Loveless. Some of you reading this are probably that old. Just something to keep under your hat on these judgment dates:

Now excuse me while I do my morning tug.

Comcast In Trouble for BitTorrent Blocking, Gets a Time-Out

Remember when we told you two months ago that Comcast is blatantly violating net neutrality? Someone else noticed, too! The Associated Press accused the cable provider of blocking certain BitTorrent uploads, which Comcast of course denied. This got the attention of several groups, among them net neutrality advocates from fancy colleges (Harvard, etc.) and Save the Internet. The advocates have requested an investigation by the FCC into Comcast's activities. Here's hoping they find something incriminating.

Of course, these investigations take time. In the meantime, the FCC has notified Comcast that, until the issue is resolved, it officially gets a time-out. "We feel that Comcast's actions are no-nos and that the only appropriate consequence is to have it sit in the corner without its friends. Verizon, Earthlink, and AOL will just have to wait to play," said FCC spokesman Bill Redgely (not a real FCC spokesman). "Comcast will also not be getting dessert tonight and can't play with its new trucks until it learns to behave."

Sounds like fair punishment to me, though the FCC should also consider revoking Comcast's gold stars on the class chart.

  

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