RIP: Art Jenkins, Sun Ra Arkestra vocalist

RIP: Art Jenkins, Sun Ra Arkestra vocalist http://www.tinymixtapes.com/sites/default/files/news-12-04-art-jenkins.jpg

From Weirdo Music:

Art (Arnold) Jenkins, a member of the Sun Ra Arkestra for 36 years, left the planet on April 13, 2012, a mere five days before his 79th birthday. He was a vocalist, lyricist, composer, poet, percussionist, and a deeply valued and respected member of the Sun Ra Arkestra. Art’s vocals ranged from the classic big band variety to the avant-garde outer space offerings that he did using a space megaphone, which Art referred to as his “secret weapon”.

Art Jenkins first joined the Sun Ra Arkestra in 1960 and his first recording as a member of the Arkestra was “Secrets of the Sun” in 1962. He was on 7 more recordings with the Arkestra through 1971. Art then took a break from the rigors of rehearsing and touring with Sun Ra, but he returned to the Arkestra again in 1988 and never looked away again from the creative and omniversal challenges of being an active Sun Ra Arkestra member. He recorded 7 more times with the Arkestra during his second stint, the last two being “A Song for the Sun” and “Music for the 21st Century” (both on the El Ra Records label).

Beyond the Arkestra, Art Jenkins self-produced the “Under the Sun” CD showcasing the quartet that he led between Arkestra engagements. He also demonstrated his lyrical skills with his moving composition on the “King” chart dedicated to the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, which was recorded by the Brooklyn Repretory Ensemble on the “Pragmatic Optimism” CD (on the 360 Music label).

During a lifetime devoted to jazz, Art Jenkins performed at jazz festivals, concert halls, dance halls, night clubs, and on radio and TV shows. His energy and creativity will not be forgotten, but his presence will surely be missed by the legions of Sun Ra Arkestra fans and by the remaining members of the Sun Ra Arkestra.

• Art Jenkins: http://www.elrarecords.com/art.html

[Photo: Gerald Jenkins]

Kraftwerk claim new album is coming “soon,” which is a German unit of time corresponding to the length of exactly one Ring Cycle.

We all know that legendarily non-chatty German electronic musicians Kraftwerk have been in the news lately for dazzling some lucky mofos at New York’s Museum of Modern Art during their recent eight-night residency there, during which the band consecutively performed eight albums from their classic “catalogue” (Autobahn through Tour de France) in full, as well as a bunch of their favorite Bruce Springsteen and Moldy Peaches covers. Furthermore, we’re all aware now that guys that don’t talk much tend to sound really wise and important when they do open their mouths to say something. So it should come as no surprise that, when founding pocket calulator-operator Ralf Hütter told the New York Times (via The Quietus) that the band are currently at work on a new record and that, in his words, would be ready for release “soon,” everybody in the music scene went totally ape shit! James Murphy brought back LCD Soundsystem, Kurt Cobain came forward and admitted that he’s been alive all this time disguised as Taylor Hawkins, and federal governments around the world quickly passed laws mandating that “Happy Birthday to You” be permanently replaced by all eight sobering minutes of Trans-Europe Express’s “Hall of Mirrors.” Hooray?

Anyway, upon its arrival, said new album will mark the band’s first release in almost a decade (the most recent being 2003’s Tour de France Soundtracks), not to mention the first album following the departure of co-founding member Florian Schneider back in 2008. But why has it been taking so long to press down a special key and play a little melody?

“We didn’t fall asleep,” Hütter says. “The 168-hour week is still going on since the beginning, since 1970 […] Music is never finished. It starts again tomorrow. The record is just a record, but for us it’s nearly boring. We like better the programs that we can operate with. So we are operating, we are upgrading, we are updating continuously. There’s continuous reprogramming going on, and composition and new concepts are also coming […] We learn from noise, and we learn from going to clubs.” So, there. I guess the answer is for you to shut up and stop asking questions.

• Kraftwerk: http://www.kraftwerk.com
• Kling Klang: http://www.klingklang.com
• EMI: http://www.emimusic.com

St. Vincent and David Byrne to release collaborative album after bonding over their mutual love of glassy-eyed stares

David Byrne couldn’t have been more thrilled to see St. Vincent’s Annie Clark at the NYC Björk/Dirty Projectors benefit show:

And to be honest, Annie Clark wasn’t doing a very good job hiding her admiration for the former Talking Heads leader, either:

Both approached each other after a few shots and rushes of adrenalin and then burst into laughter seeing the other’s nervous grin, realizing before speaking that they had a musical bond needing exploration and positivity:

The duo quickly developed a freewheeling chemistry and decided (with glee) that a full-length collaboration of songs was in order, trading off vocals and penning melodies together in a burst of joyful inspiration. Visions of a dream tour together played in a loop at the back of both their minds:

Finally, the album was complete and the pair parted ways. A release date for the collab was set for the fall of 2012, and as quickly as it began, it was over. Until then they’d both have to knuckle down and return to the drudgery of their separate lives:

• St. Vincent: http://www.ilovestvincent.com
• David Byrne: http://www.davidbyrne.com

Sic Alps cover Tronics for their fourth 7-inch of the last 9 months; new album arriving in September

Sic Alps were quiet for the first half of 2011 after dropping their Napa Asylum album-plus (TMT Review) at the top of the year and parting ways with longtime band member Matt Hartman, but as of August, Mike Donovan and [Ty Segall + whoever else] have been piling up even more singing tape experiments in as many permutations of the 7-inch format as possible. First there was the Breadhead EP, led by the first Neil Von Harmonson-penned Alps “smash hit” and carried through two other excursions to a straight garage cover of The Wailers’ “Can’t You See.” Then one month passed and a classy single was debuted, “Battery Townsley” b/w “Cambridge Vagina.”

From there, Alps disappeared and reappeared again in January with a big fat 23-song-slice medley called Vedley and pressed onto a third 7-inch. Next Tuesday, April 24, the 7-inch series takes a bow with four covers of UK spiritual forefathers Tronics, via the Pangea Globe EP. Marvel as Donovan and co. do the “Squiddley Diddley”; thrill to their signature stylings on “Shark Fucks”!

And if that ain’t enough, how’s about a new, as-yet-untitled 10-track LP in September? Consider it done. And head here to download a buncha their best shows for free. 1 Love.

Pangea Globe tracklisting:

A1. Baby’s in a Coma
A2. Shark Fucks
B1. Spending Time
B2. Squiddley Diddley

• Sic Alps: http://www.sicalps.com
• Drag City: http://www.dragcity.com

Moe Tucker anthologized, “After Hours” still the best song to round out that killer mix tape in your head

Maureen “Moe” Tucker wasn’t the original drummer for The Velvet Undergound (that honor belonged to the late, great Angus MacLise), but she quickly became a center of attention with her impressive percussive skills, her killer bob haircut, and her transfixing lead vocals on songs like “I’m Sticking with You” and the indispensable “After Hours” off 1969’s classic eponymous Velvet Underground LP. Tucker held her own following VU’s demise, recording and releasing several solo LPs and even bravely weathering the media shit storm that ensued in 2009 when she was “unmasked” at a Tea Party convention near Atlanta. It’s about time someone threw some worthy attention Tucker’s way (Lou Reed can only upload so many pictures of himself on Facebook) and it looks as if someone has decided to do so.

The Wire reports that Tucker’s post-VU solo material has been collected by record label Sundazed for I Feel So Far Away: Anthology 1974-1998. The anthology, which saw release at the end of last month, is a 32-track collection of songs “…released by various independent labels on LPs, EPs, singles and compact discs” that officially finds a home for several of Tucker’s musical wanderings, in one convenient place. I Feel includes versions of VU “hits” like “After Hours,” “Heroin,” “I’m Sticking with You,” and “Pale Blue Eyes,” as well as numerous Tucker originals. The anthology was mastered by Bob Irwin and includes liner notes by Rolling Stone big shot David Fricke and is available now.

I Feel So Far Away: Anthology 1974-1998 tracklist:

01. Bo Diddley
02. Heroin
03. Slippin’ and Slidin’
04. Around and Around
05. Will You Love Me Tomorrow?
06. Ellas
07. I’m Sticking with You
08. Guess I’m Falling in Love
09. Andy
10. Hey Mersh!
11. Pale Blue Eyes
12. Chase
13. Talk So Mean (alternate mix)
14. Do It Right
15. Fired Up (single version)
16. Too Shy (single version)
17. That’s B.A.D.
18. Lazy
19. Blue, All the Way to Canada
20. Then He Kissed Me
21. Fired Up
22. I’m Not
23. I’m Waiting for the Man
24. Spam Again (live)
25. Crackin’ Up
26. I’ve Seen into Your Soul
27. Danny Boy
28. Poor Little Fool
29. I Wanna
30. To Know Him Is to Love Him
31. Last Night I Said Goodbye to My Friend
32. After Hours

• Moe Tucker: http://www.spearedpeanut.com/tajmoehal
• Sundazed: http://www.sundazed.com

Tender Trap ensnare listeners with new album about girls, tour with Magnetic Fields, who sing songs about boys who dress like girls

Goiles! Who doesn’t love ‘em, eh? Well, Stephin Merritt doesn’t love them (he enjoys boys), and given his famously irritable personality, he might not even like them, but he’ll have to deal with a pretty hefty dose of the twee British songstress variety of lady later this month when Tender Trap open for The Magnetic Fields during a short spree of UK dates. Here’s hoping the girls in Tender Trap don’t turn up the volume too loud and make Mr. Merritt scrunch up his face and stick his fingers in his ears — it’s never a pleasant site.

Why Tender Trap, though? Well, they’re something of a cutecore super group, sporting ladies and a lad from bands like Talulah Gosh, Heavenly, and up until recently, Allo Darlin’, but they’re also releasing a new album in July on the Fortuna POP! imprint titled Ten Songs about Girls that they need to promote! Joining existing members Amelia Fletcher, Rob Pursey, Katrina Dixon, and John Stanley for this outing is Betty and the Werewolves singer and guitarist Emily Bennett (replacing outgoing member Elizabeth Morris). Tender Trap recruited Brian O’Shaunghessy to record the album after hearing his production skills on the last Comet Gain album. Ladies just eat that shit up.

For a taste of the new album right now, check out the first single, “Love is Hard”, streaming below. After checking it out, it’s safe to say their live performance won’t be upsetting Stephin’s delicate eardrums, though it could create the urge to sway back and forth politely while smiling widely. You have been warned.

Tourdates:

04.24.12 - Brighton, UK - Komedia *
04.25.12 - London, UK - Royal Festival Hall *
04.27.12 - Manchester, UK - Royal Northern College of Music *
06.06-08.12 - Brighton, UK - Indietracks Festival

* The Magnetic Fields

• Tender Trap: http://listen.to/tendertrap
• Magnetic Fields: http://www.houseoftomorrow.com
• Fortuna POP!: http://www.fortunapop.com

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