RIP: Clare Fischer, multi-genre pianist, composer, and arranger

RIP: Clare Fischer, multi-genre pianist, composer, and arranger

From the Los Angeles Times:

Clare Fischer, a Grammy-winning pianist, composer and arranger who crossed freely from jazz to Latin and pop music, working with such names as Dizzy Gillespie, George Shearing and Natalie Cole as well as Paul McCartney, Prince and Michael Jackson, has died. He was 83.

Fischer died Thursday at Providence St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Burbank of complications from a heart attack he had two weeks ago, said family spokeswoman Claris Dodge.


Regardless of genre, Fischer’s arranging and composing invariably possessed a rich harmonic palette, one that attracted and influenced other musicians.

“Clare Fischer was a major influence on my harmonic concept,” Herbie Hancock said in a statement on Fischer’s website. Hancock credited Fischer’s arrangements for the 1950s vocal group the Hi-Lo’s with significantly influencing his 1968 recording “Speak Like a Child.”

• Clare Fischer:

Neptune return from space with a new lineup, album, and tour. Next time, maybe they’ll bring you a personalized keychain.

I remember studying the solar system in elementary school, circa third or fourth grade, maybe. I remember the project — the one where we each chose a planet and researched the hell out of it, then painted a few Styrofoam balls and stuck them in a shadow box. Something along those lines. Of course, for the sake of fairness (I suppose), we couldn’t choose our own planets. We had to draw slips of paper from a bowl. I drew Mars. Fuck Mars. It’s just close to Earth and was maybe at one point inhabitable. Lame.

Neptune’s rad, though. Homemade instruments, drum feedback, interrupted radio broadcasts and the like. I’m talking about the band, not the planet, in case you didn’t catch that abrupt subject switcheroo — but you never know, maybe they play electric collage songs out in space too. Since 1994, Neptune have worked with a variety of lineups — the latest includes Jason Sanford, Mark Pearson, and Kevin Micka — and experimented with discarded materials and found noises to create a surreal sound, perhaps fast-forwarding to the year 2845. On March 13, they’ll release their 10th LP titled msg rcvd via Northern Spy Records. Just a regular release, nothing beamed down from space. They’re touring too, but it looks like they’ll be skipping extraterrestrial venues. Just zooming through Europe. Bummer.

msg rcvd tracklist:

01. luminous skull
02. dark report
03. rpr
04. natural systems
05. negative reversal
06. dstl sgnl


02.24.12 - Brooklyn, NY - 285 Kent #
03.07.12 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Occii
03.08.12 - Utrecht, Netherlands - dB’s Studio Time
03.09.12 - Kortrijk, Belgium - De Kreun
03.10.12 - Lille, France - La Malterie
03.11.12 - Paris, France - Batofar
03.15.12 - Nantes, France - University of Nantes (Pôle Etudiant)
03.16.12 - Allonnes, France - L’excelsior (Péniche Excelsior)
03.17.12 - San Sabastian, Spain - MOGAMBO
03.18.12 - Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain - Ibu Hots
03.19.12 - Madrid, Spain - Rock Palace Time
03.20.12 - Barcelona, Spain - Moog
03.21.12 - Pau, France - La Centrifugeuse studio-scène de la Maison de l’Etudiant
03.23.12 - Marseille, France - L’Embobineuse
03.24.12 - Clermont Ferrand, France - Chez Raymond
03.25.12 - Toulouse, France - Emergence
03.28.12 - Lyon, France - Sonic Lyon
03.29.12 - Torino, Italy - Cripta747
03.30.12 - Lausanne, Switzerland - Le Bourg
03.31.12 - Strasbourg, France - Stimultania
04.03.12 - Berlin, Germany - Marie-Antonette
04.05.12 - Brussels, Belgium - magasin4
04.06.12- Den Haag, Netherlands - 330 Live

#Parts & Labor, Oneida, Noveller

• Neptune:
• Northern Spy:

[Photo: Bill T. Miller]

Shabazz Palaces announce “We Are The Greatest Hip-Hop Group In The World Prove That We’re Not” tour

Shabazz Palaces, the world’s greatest hip-hop group? Probably not, but maybe! Black Up was pretty much the best, so there’s that piece of evidence. Besides, Shabazz Palaces say they’re the best themselves! I mean, I haven’t asked them, but, you know, I bet they would, I guess? I’m really the only one pushing hard for this “Shabazz Palaces, the greatest hip-hop group” thing. Those guys probably don’t really care one way or the other. They’re too cool for that nonsense.

While they don’t care about all that, they are going on tour over the next few months. Some of these dates will be in Europe, while some will be in… not Europe! Specifically, the United States. Does anybody in Europe think Shabazz Palaces aren’t the best? They’ll be proven wrong. What about the naysayers in the United States? Also proven wrong! As for me, I’ll be proven right. All will be justified. But mainly just that one thing.

Shabazz Palaces dates:

02.18.12 - Roubaix, France - La Cave Aux Poetes
02.19.12 - Nantes, France - Stereolux
02.20.12 - Metz, France - Les Trinitaires
02.21.12 - Strasbourg, France - La Laiterie
02.24.12 - St. Gallen, Switzerland - Palace
02.25.12 - Zurich, Switzerland - Stall 6
02.29.12 - Turin, Italy - Astoria
03.01.12 - Rome, Italy - Circolo degli Artisti
03.02.12 - Ravenna, Italy - Bronson
03.03.12 - Vigonovo, Italy - Studio 2
04.03.12 - Minneapolis, MN - The Whole
04.04.12 - Milwaukee, WI - Mad Planet
04.05.12 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall
04.06.12 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick
04.07.12 - Gambier, OH - The Horn Gallery
04.08.12 - East Liberty, PA - The Shadow Lounge
04.10.12 - Toronto, ON - Lee’s Palace
04.11.12 - Montreal, QC - Il Motore
04.12.12 - Northampton, MA - Iron Horse
04.13.12 - New York, NY - SOB’s
04.14.12 - Brooklyn, NY - Brooklyn Bowl

• Shabazz Palaces:
• Sub Pop:

Screaming Females releasing an album in April and touring in February. THIS MEANS I CAN TYPE IN ALL CAPS RIGHT?!!??!?


Alright, enough with the caps — they’re obnoxious. The “It All Means Nothing” 7-inch on Don Giovanni Records will also include a version of “A New Kid” recorded live at WFMU, and you’ll only be able to snag it during this run of shows.


2.11.12 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg
2.12.12 - Manhattan, NY - Generation Records
2.13.12 - Cambridge, MA - Lorem Ipsum Books
2.14.12 - Northampton, MA - Feeding Tube Records
2.15.12 - Philadelphia, PA - Long In The Tooth Records
2.16.12 - Richmond, VA - Steady Sounds
2.17.12 - Asheville, NC - Harvest Records
2.18.12 - Nashville, TN - Grimey’s New and Preloved Music
2.19.12 - Chicago, IL - Permanent Records

Ugly tracklist:

01. It All Means Nothing
02. Rotten Apple
03. Extinction
04. Red Hand
05. 5 High
06. Expire
07. Crow’s Nest
08. Tell Me No
09. Leave It All Up to Me
10. Doom 84
11. Help Me
12. Something Ugly
13. Slow Birth
14. It’s Nice

• Screaming Females:
• Don Giovanni:

Spiritualized announce spring tourdates and all-around affinity for sunglasses

December 08, 2011

Hey readers! So, like I mentioned to you yesterday, J. Spaceman’s latest Spiritualized album, Sweet Heart Sweet Light, is coming out in April via Fat Possum. Like pretty much all Spiritualized endeavors, the thing took… a while. According to his press peeps, J. spent two years in Wales, L.A., and Reykjavik recording his usual be-all-end-all gesamtkunstwerk, then spent another year after that mixing it (over and over and over again, presumably) at home in his trademark sunglasses and footie pajamas. It certainly has taken dudes longer to make records that are presumably much bigger turds than this one is going to be, but I mean, still… that’s kind of a while.

But then, all this foot-dragging got me to thinking: is everything a person does just automatically taken for granted as being amazing when it takes you nine times longer than its supposed to to do things??? I think I could be on to something here, don’t you? So, with that in mind, I’m going try an experiment. I’m going to literally spend the next TWO MONTHS typing out the spring Spiritualized tourdates that coincide with this record’s release. Seriously. I’ll type a date out; go to Starbucks for a bit; come home and take the dog out; maybe write the name of the city and venue before bed; wake up the next day and delete the whole thing in a fit of artistic frustration; and repeat. By the time I’m done, you should be looking the most EPIC list of North American dates you’ve ever seen in your entire fucking life. But I’ll let you be the judge. See you guys in seven or eight weeks!


03.16.12 - Nottingham, UK - Rescue Rooms
03.17.12 - Portsmouth, UK - Wedgewood Rooms
03.19.12 - London, UK - Hackney Empire
03.20.12 - Oxford, UK - O2 Academy
03.21.12 - Bristol, UK - O2 Academy
03.22.12 - Glasgow, UK - ABC
03.23.12 - Belfast, UK - Mandela Hall
03.24.12 - Dublin, Ireland - Vicar Street
03.25.12 - Manchester, UK - Academy
05.02.12 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
05.03.12 - Chicago, IL - Metro
05.04.12 - Detroit, MI - The Majestic Theatre
05.05.12 - Toronto, ON - The Phoenix
05.07.12 - New York, NY - Terminal 5
05.09.12 - Boston, MA - Paradise
05-10.12 - Washington, DC - The 9:30 Club
05-11.12 - Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of Living Arts
05.12.12 - Carrboro, NC - Cat’s Cradle
05.13.12 - Atlanta, GA - The Variety Playhouse
05.15.12 - Dallas, TX - The Granada Theatre
05.16.12 - Austin, TX - Emo’s East
05.18.12 - Tucson AZ - The Rialto Theatre
05.19.12 - Phoenix AZ - The Crescent Ballroom
05.20.12 - San Diego CA - Belly Up Tavern
05.22.12 - Los Angeles CA - The Wiltern
05.23.12 - San Francisco CA - The Fillmore
05.25.12 - Portland, OR - The Wonder Ballroom
05.26.12 - Vancouver, BC - The Rickshaw Theatre

• Spiritualized:
• Fat Possum:

[Photo: Paul Underhill]

Rhapsody moves into Europe via Napster purchase; Spotify is toootally not impressed

Spotify best watch its back! It was announced last week that US-based music service Rhapsody has purchased the international wing of your former favorite dorm room time waster: Napster. The purchase, at an undisclosed sum, effectively injects Rhapsody into the UK and German markets without the hassle of having to introduce themselves to their new neighborhood. Rhapsody previously purchased Napster’s US assets and boasts of being the largest subscription-based music service in the US with over 1 million users. Spotify claimed back in November that it had 2.5 million users internationally, but they’re currently not in the German market.

While it’s unknown what Napster International’s current subscriber base is, Napster is a well-known name in Europe and Rhapsody’s decision to remain under the Napster moniker in the UK and Germany should help them successfully expand into the European market.

Why would a Spotify-loving European want to switch over to Napster? Well, with the power of Rhapsody behind them, Napster subscribers will soon be taking advantage of improved mobile apps and web interfaces, better sound quality, and an expanded library of music. Existing Napster users will also be able to retain their existing libraries even after the infrastructure shift is complete. With the help of Rhapsody, Napster will be an on-par service with Spotify, and could prove to offer better mobile capabilities, as many users claim that Spotify’s existing mobile app is seriously lacking in terms of usability.

Napster’s existing foothold in Germany will also be beneficial to Rhapsody, who don’t currently face direct competition from Spotify in that market (though a roll out of the service in the German market is on the horizon). Regardless of whether Napster blows up or not following the transition to being a Rhapsody-based service, direct competition is always a good thing for users. Bring it!

• Rhapsody:
• Napster:
• Spotify: