Musician and Drum-Maker Dies After Contracting Anthrax from Animal Skins

File under bizarre and tragic: a Hackney, England drum-maker man has died following the inhalation of anthrax spores after handling animal skins. Fernando Gomez, a 35-year-old Spanish folk musician, died in Homerton University Hospital November 2, surrounded by his wife and family.

While this story is a rare one, it is not the first instance of a drum-maker dying of anthrax spore inhalation. In 2006, Christopher Norris, an artist and drum-maker from Scotland, died after inhaling anthrax from touching West African animal skins at a drumming workshop. Since 1974, there have been only four known cases worldwide of drum-makers dying from anthrax apart from Gomez and Norris. While many drum skins are created using man-made materials, other traditional drums like djembes and bodhrans will always use the skin of cows, goat, and deer. Some drum-makers prefer the more exotic skins of bison, yak, and llamas.

Anthrax cannot be passed between persons, and Health Protection Agency (HPA) officers have sealed Gomez’ apartment and workshop for testing and cleansing. Eight other people who had been in the room where the spores were inhaled have been given precautionary antibiotics, but are not thought to be in danger of contracting anthrax, nor are the nearby neighbors of Gomez’ east London flat. Professor Nigel Lightfoot, chief advisor to the HPA, said in a statement, “We have stressed to all residents throughout this incident that there is no risk to their health as a result of the case of anthrax, or the testing.”

Lightfoot added, and in turn, eased the high-strung nature of skin-thumpers throughout our world, “It is important to stress that it is the making of the animal skin drums that is the risk from coming into contact with anthrax rather than playing or handling drums.”

An inquest has been opened to determine the source of the spores and the HPA began carrying out tests in Gomez’ apartment this week. Gomez taught music to local children on the Morningside Estate in Hackney and was a member of an alternative folk group called alasVALS.

Ohmygod You Guys! Cutie Chad VanGaalen Just Announced Tourdates!

Seriously, guys, how cute is Chad VanGaalen?! He's like Zac Efron mixed with the older Jonas Brother, plus sort of like Penn Badgley from Gossip Girl! And hey, did you know he’s touring this fall!? It’s in Europe, but maybe if you ask your parents for an early Christmas present, and I ask my parents for an early present too, we can both get plane tickets and go! I’ve been listening to his newest album, Soft Airplane (TMT Review), soooo much that the other day my little brother walked by my room and was like “Ew, you’re still listening to Chad VanGAYlen?!” And I was like “SHUT THE FUCK UP, I LOVE HIM! Re-open Proposition 8 for California!” For realz.

Typing like a teenage girl is exhausting:

Ticketmaster To Drop Service Charges; The Economic Collapse Pretty Much Rocks

I am LOVING this economic collapse. I mean, I don’t want to rejoice over the pain and suffering of millions of Americans, because that would be horrible, but in all honesty, it’s brought us a lot of good: My mother just called me yesterday to tell me she paid under $2 per gallon of gas for the first time in forever; Barack Obama and his jolly gang of socialist/terrorist pals defeated the evil Sarah Palin and her 400-year-old, out-of-touch running mate; and, most importantly, everybody’s favorite super-evil-behemoth-man-got-you-down-corporate-ripoff-machine Ticketmaster is doing away with service charges! Rejoice! Collapse!

Okay, it's not totally doing away with the charges. According to new CEO Irving Azoff, Ticketmaster is “experimenting” with dropping convenience charges at certain events. Still, it’s progress. Ticketmaster is pretty famous with the plebes for tacking on all kinds of ridiculous surcharges and fees on top of every ticket sold. For years now, your $88.50 Bruce Springsteen ticket has magically jumped to $105, mainly because Ticketmaster is chock full of greedy bastards. The crazy thing is Ticketmaster KNEW everyone thought that, yet it CONTINUED with its crappy policies. But now, everything has collapsed. People can’t afford to pay an arm and a leg to see Neil Young, and if nobody buys tickets, that’s bad for Ticketmaster’s bottom line.

Just remember, it is not that Ticketmaster has suddenly decided that it wanted to be nice, it’s just that its stocks are down. And if the stocks are down, investors are unhappy. And then even Ticketmaster is sad. And we don’t want that, do we?

_Oxford Collapse’s_ Tour Is Beginning _today_, And It’s Going to be _immense_!

Yes, it's true! _Oxford Collapse_'s tour begins _today_! Hitting up cities like _Hamburg_ and _Bologna_, this tour should be _immense_. But despite how _immense_ it'll be, it's expected to be _uproarious_ too, because _hum-a-nuh-hum-a-nuh-hum-a-nuh!!!_.

_Oxford Collapse's_ latest album is _BITS_, which was released or is set to be released _August 5, 2008_ via _Sub Pop_. The funny part? Well, did you know that _your face looks weird_?? HAHA!

Anyway, here are the tourdates for _Oxford Collapse_, which again, starts _today_ and hits up cities like _Hamburg_ and _Bologna_. Just don't be surprised if _your face looks weird_, like I said in the second paragraph!

* The Spinto Band

KCRW’S Nic Harcourt Steps Down From Music Director Position; Oh No, Who Will Introduce Bands Like Coldplay To The Airwaves now?!

Although Nic Harcourt is an important, well-respected guy -- he was once called “The most influential DJ in America” by music writer Mark Weingarten -- he’s also famous for bringing some less-than-stellar artists to the KCRW airwaves, such as Coldplay, Damien Rice, Dido, and Norah Jones. Regardless of Harcourt’s questionable taste in music, though, it was announced via press release that he would be stepping down November 30 from the Music Director position he has held for the past 10 years with the Santa Monica, CA-based station. However, Harcourt will continue to be a KCRW DJ, hosting a three-hour show on Sundays from 6-9 PM.

“I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to come to work every day and be surrounded by creative and passionate people and I want to keep the connection alive on my Sunday show,” said Harcourt. “As a parent of two young children, I believe it’s time for me to explore new career opportunities and expand upon my other activities in movie, television, voice over work, advertising and the Internet.”

He then turned away, put his headphones on, and as Chris Martin’s croon brought him back to simpler times, Harcourt sighed, crying softly to himself.

RIP: Mitch Mitchell, Drummer for The Jimi Hendrix Experience

From YouTube:

From KGW.com:

The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s drummer Mitch Mitchell was found dead in a downtown Portland hotel Wednesday.

The Multnomah County Medical Examiner’s office said 62-year-old Mitch Mitchell likely died of natural causes. His body was found just after 3 a.m. at the Benson Hotel. [...]

Mitchell had been playing with the Experience Hendrix tour that just made a stop in Portland at the Schnitz last Friday.

Mitchell along with bass players Noel Redding and Billy Cox backed Hendrix for the generation defining sounds of his electrified psychedelic blues. The Experience played behind Hendrix at Woodstock and the Isle of Wight festivals in the late 1960s.

- Mitch Mitchell Wikipedia entry
- Mitch Mitchell MySpace

  

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