RIP: Annette Funicello, singer and actress

RIP: Annette Funicello, singer and actress

From NPR:

Annette Funicello, who was one of the first child stars to emerge out of The Mickey Mouse Club, has died, the official Disney Fan Club reports.

Funicello was known as “America’s Sweetheart.” Her acting career started in 1955 when Walt Disney recruited her at 12 years old. She went on to become a successful film star, starring with Frankie Avalon in the Beach Party films.

Funicello had been battling multiple sclerosis for years. By the end of her life, she was unable to walk or talk. The Canadian broadcaster CTV ran a series of reports about Funicello’s struggle.

• Annette Funicello:

Damien Jurado announces house show tour, is wandering around in your basement right now

With Nobodaddy out of the picture, there’s been a lot of chatter cutting through the cigar smoke in the TMT newsroom about how things are going to shake out going forward. The big guys upstairs have made it pretty clear that they don’t want any drop off in content production, so in order to keep up with the news, our quotas have been increased, our rations slashed. As a fulfillment of the requirements put forth in the latest site-wide memo, this post will include not one, but two jokes about Damien Jurado’s new house tour thingy.

1. Damien Jurado is a vampire. He wants to tour your house, but because of the logistics of vampire-dom, he can’t do so until you invite him in. Whether or not you invite him in is totally up to you, reader, but look, all those young girls that disappeared near his castle were total coincidences. Damien Jurado is a nice guy. You should invite him in. His tour will start in May and will find him mournfully knocking on front doors offering “intimate” renditions of all the hits from your favorite vampire-talk-titled album on Secretly Canadian, Maraqopa (TMT Review) (“Maraqopa” is Vampire for “easy with the breadsticks there, big guy”). If you’re still unsure about letting him into your house, you can buy tickets for the already-slated house shows at Undertow Tickets. Each show will be limited to 30-50 victims… um, I mean guests, so lap them up quickly, like blood from the neck of a virgin!

2. Taking a page out of the books of Amanda Palmer and mice everywhere, Damien Jurado would totally be willing to let you let him stay at your house. He just wants to do a date or two of his May tour, that’s all. He’ll even let you listen to his most recent album, Maraqopa with him. Oh, and he might also let you loan him five bucks, since he hasn’t tried those new Cool Ranch tacos from Taco Bell yet, and he’s got a craving. He’s also totally happy to let you watch him get all intimate and candlelit with a bunch of other folks up in Tacoma, Washington in this video right here:

Thanks, Damien really appreciates it, he’s so grateful he’s totally willing to let you pay him for coming to your house and sleeping in your bed. You can just visit the Undertow Tickets website right there. No friendo, it doesn’t work that way, I’m afraid you can’t let Damien replace that vase he broke last night.


05.01.13 - Bellingham, WA - The Roost
05.02.13 - Moscow, ID - Mikey’s Gyros
05.03.13 - Boise, ID - Neurolux
05.04.13 - Billings, MT - House Show
05.06.13 - Fargo, ND - The Aquarium
05.07.13 - Le Sueur, MN - House Show
05.08.13 - St. Paul, MN - Turf Club
05.09.13 - Iowa City, IA - House Show
05.10.13 - Des Moines, IA - Vaudeville, Mews
05.11.13 - Beaver Lake, NE - House Show
05.12.13 - Colorado Springs, CO - House Show
05.13.13 - Denver, CO - Hi-Dive
05.14.13 - Salt Lake City, UT - House Show
05.16.13 - Tucson, AZ - Club Congress
05.17.13 - Phoenix, AZ - Pub Rock
05.18.13 - San Diego, CA - Soda Bar
05.19.13 - Pioneertown, CA - Pappy and Harriet’s
05.20.13 - Fillmore, CA - House Show
05.21.13 - Santa Cruz, CA - House Show
05.22.13 - Davis, CA - Sophia’s
05.24.13 - Portland, OR - Holocene

• Damien Jurado:
• Secretly Canadian:

[Photo: Pappi Swarner]

RIP: Les Blank, filmmaker best known for his intimate documentations of musicians

From The New York Times:

Les Blank, whose sly, sensuous and lyrical documentaries about regional music and a host of other idiosyncratic subjects, including Mardi Gras, gaptoothed women, garlic and the filmmaker Werner Herzog, were widely admired by critics and other filmmakers if not widely known by moviegoers, died on Sunday at his home in Berkeley, Calif. He was 77.

The cause was bladder cancer, said his son Harrod.

Mr. Blank, who received lifetime achievement awards from the American Film Institute and the International Documentary Association, did not think of himself as a documentarian, his former wife Chris Simon said, but rather as a filmmaker whose work happened to be about real people.

And his films are hardly standard documentary fare, dominated by archival footage and interviews with talking heads; nor are they of the Frederick Wiseman-D. A. Pennebaker fly-on-the-wall exposé school. Rather, the films, most of them less than an hour long, are “brilliantly sympathetic, well-crafted essays,” as John Rockwell wrote in The New York Times in 1979, rife with deftly framed portraiture, cunningly observed social scenes, beautiful nature photography and the poetic juxtaposition of imagery and sound. […]

• Les Blank:

RIP: Andy Johns, rock producer (Exile on Main Street, Physical Grafitti, Marquee Moon, etc.)

From Billboard:

Andy Johns, the veteran producer and engineer who worked on classic albums by Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Van Halen and many others, has died at the age of 61. The news was confirmed to by guitarist Stacy Blades, who was working on an untitled project with Johns until the producer was hospitalized last week.


Born in Surrey and a student at the King’s School in Gloucester, Johns put aside an early ambition “to be the next greatest bass player of all time” to follow his brother into the studio world. “It looked a lot better than working,” Johns told Universal Audio. He began his career as a tape operator at London’s famed Olympic Studios, helping Eddie Kramer on sessions for the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s “Axis Bold as Love.”

“In those days you could go into one studio and Joe Cocker was working, and then you’re working with Jimi Hendrix in Studio One, or down the corridor Eric Clapton is doing something,” Johns recalled. “It was a serious center. A lot of talent was there.” Johns produced early albums by Blodwyn Pig (“Ahead Rings Out”), Humble Pie (“As Safe As Yesterday Is,” “Town and Country”) and Free (“Free,” “Free Live!,” “Heartbreaker”), as well as Television’s landmark “Marquee Moon” in 1977.

Johns’ engineering resume, meanwhile, was dotted with landmark sets by the Stones – including “Sticky Fingers,” “Exile On Main Street,” “Goats Head Soup” and “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll” – Led Zeppelin’s “II” through “Physical Graffiti” as well as albums by Mott the Hoople, Jethro Tull and many more. Johns relocated to Los Angeles during the 1970s, where he worked with Van Halen, Joni Michell, Ozzy Osbourne, Cinderella and Eddie Money. Over the past dozen years he worked on albums by Hughes, Godsmack, Taylor Hawkins & the Coattail Riders and others.

• Andy Johns:

Wham City Comedy Tour hits the road again this week! (sorry, there’s still no stop in Wham City)

Okay, so, here’s the deal, folks: I want you guys to know all about the upcoming Wham City Comedy Tour that’s starting this Wednesday, and I want to give you the necessary background information that you might need, including the fact that the Wham City Comedy Tour “is a two-hour cross-genre variety show, showcasing the very best from Baltimore’s award-winning artist collective and fabled party starters” and that attendees can “expect stand-up sets, videos, dramatic monologues, and ensemble sketches in a tightly-run, visionary performance” and that Dina Kelberman is involved…

And, I totally want you to remember that they did this before a few years ago, back before dudes like Dan Deacon and Ben O’Brien were as popular as they are today (in the intervening years, the Wham City guys have “performed on stage with Chicago’s Second City, shared festival bills with Donald Glover, Neil Brennan, and Henry Rollins; O’Brien has opened for Parks and Recreation’s Nick Offerman; and Mason Ross won Best Comedic Performance in the City Paper’s Best of Baltimore issue”)…

Yeah, yeah, I want you to know all of that stuff and get excited for it and go to a show in a town near you and laugh yourself incontinent and all of that great stuff… but the thing is, I don’t want to have to embed or link to or even talk about “Drinking Out of Cups.” What do you say? Does that sound like a fair deal?

Wham City Comedy Tour 2013:

4.10.13 - Pittsburgh, PA - Arcade Comedy Theater
4.11.13 - Cleveland, OH - Mahalls 20 Lanes
4.12.13 - Chicago, IL - The Hideout
4.13.13 - Detroit, MI - Jam Handy
4.14.13 - Toronto, ON - Double Double Land
4.15.13 - Buffalo, NY - The Vault
4.16.13 - Rochester, NY - Meddlesome Lab
4.17.13 - Troy, NY - 51 3rd St
4.18.13 - Williamstown, MA - Williams College
4.19.13 - Annondale on Hudson, NY - Bard College
4.20.13 - Purchase, NY - Purchase College
4.21.13 - Rosendale, NY - Market Market Cafe
4.22.13 - Worcester, MA - The Firehouse
4.23.13 - Torrington, CT - Snapper Magee’s
4.24.13 - Brooklyn, NY - Union Hall
4.25.13 - Baltimore, MD - Area 405
4.27.13 - Philadelphia, PA - Goldilocks Gallery
4.28.13 - Washington, DC - Sixth & I

• Wham City:

Ashley Eriksson (LAKE) and Mount Eerie to go on tour together, like a bunch of fancy people

Scientists theorize that the world is fancier now than the world has ever been before. I’m inclined to believe it. Only the fancy will survive, while the un-fancy will have their flesh picked off their bones, albeit very delicately. These are the times for the fancy people, the fancy people like Ashley Eriksson of Olympia’s LAKE. Ashley “Fancy” Eriksson is going on tour with fellow Washingtonians Mount Eerie, who also happen to be very, very, very fancy. Really, just the fanciest. The tour will be very Oregon- and California-centric, because all the dates are in Oregon and California. Afterwards, Mount Eerie will be heading to Europe, arguably the fanciest continent.

While I’ve got your ear, I’d like to mention one more thing to you, the possibly fancy. Eriksson has a new solo record titled Colours coming out July 16 through K Records. If you’d like to hear a preview of some of the record’s songs, go to one of her aforementioned shows with Mount Eerie. That is, of course, if you’re fancy enough. If you’re not, well, pity.

Ashley Eriksson + Mount Eerie dates:

04.11.13 - Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios
04.12.13 - Eugene, OR - Old Whiteaker Firehouse
04.13.13 - San Francisco, CA - The Chapel
04.14.13 - Oakland, CA - LoBot
04.15.13 - Santa Cruz, CA - The Crepe Place
04.16.13 - Los Angeles, CA - MiMoDa Studios
04.17.13 - Los Angeles, CA - The Smell

• Ashley Eriksson:
• Mount Eerie:

[Photo: Louisa Crowe]