RIP: Corey McGriff a.k.a. DJ Megatron, BET 106 & Park host

RIP: Corey McGriff a.k.a. DJ Megatron, BET 106 & Park host

From The Wall Street Journal:

A hip-hop disc jockey and television personality, known for his energetic presence at clubs and on the airwaves, was shot and killed early Sunday near his home on Staten Island.

Corey McGriff, who went by the stage name DJ Megatron, was pronounced dead at the scene of the shooting on Osgood Avenue in the Clifton section at about 2 a.m., police said. Mr. McGriff, 32 years old, was a member of the popular Black Entertainment Television show 106 & Park and had gained popularity spinning hip-hop and top 40 on radio stations in Philadelphia, Boston and New York’s Hot 97. He was also a father of three children, his family said.

• DJ Megatron:

Radiohead release 12-inch on Record Store Day featuring two new songs

According to At Ease, Radiohead are releasing a vinyl 12-inch in the UK on Record Store Day, April 16, that features two new tracks: “The Butcher” and “Supercollider.” Critics ensure that the release will change how we think about consumption in a post-Kid A society. I believe it. Other vitally important Radiohead stuff that will alter how we think about the everyday:

The Universal Sigh, a newspaper created by Radiohead, is being released today and tomorrow all over the world (TMT News), will forever change how we think about literacy, fetishism, and distribution.
Rip It Up is offering a download of the newspaper here, changes how we think about PDF downloads, digitization of the tangible, and linkbaiting.
• Fan photos are being posted at The Universal Sigh’s official website, changes our thoughts on social networking, privacy, and the future landscape of point-and-shoot cameras.
• TMT is streaming The King of Limbs at the Chocolate Grinder, changes how we think about copyright, the viability of music in the cloud, and TMT’s credibility.

• Radiohead:
The Universal Sigh:
• Record Store Day:

Music sales increase for fifth week in a row; record industry slump over? Yes.

Rejoice, my record store and band-fan brethren! The end of the dry spell has finally come, as I can happily announce that music sales have increased 4.5% (31.95 million units in 2011, up from 30.56 million in 2010) for an astounding fifth week in a row! This is, according to a report on Billboard, the first time since 2004 that US music sales have enjoyed a positive gain for this length of time.

“This is the fifth week of year over year sales increases,” explains National Association of Recording Merchandisers president Jim Donio, “underscoring both the strong new release schedule and impressive catalog and digital sales.”

Close inspection of the sales data released by Nielsen SoundScan reveals that sales have increased in multiple areas, including back-catalog and digital downloads, as well as internet and mail-order retailers; however, when it comes to actual brick-and-mortar stores and new albums, sales have merely slowed their abysmal decline, and in general, executives don’t even know why the increase is taking place.

But fuck all that bad news, because I think the wound has totally healed and that we’re on the path to continual, increased growth in all areas of music sales, and Jim Donio agrees: “The last time we’ve seen this kind of positive movement over consecutive weeks was nearly seven years ago, and with more key titles coming out in the coming weeks, we remain optimistic.”

Optimistic and happy to start spending too much money on too little product once again!

Six Organs of Admittance tour California as David Lee Roth’s “California Girls” video loops infinitely

Somewhere in California, a man looks back at a colorful cast of characters. The fat lady, the donut-eating child, and the Freddie Mercury greaser, among others. Their guide — this mystery man — is David Lee Roth. This is his California, the land of cartoonish buxom women and an even more cartoonish, washed-up 70s rock frontman. This is the California that Six Organs of Admittance will tour.

If the relation between David Lee Roth and Ben Chasny’s psychedelic folk project doesn’t seem clear, think about it for a second. What modern folk visionary embodies the endless confidence of Diamond Dave more than Chasny? Devendra Banhart? Well, yeah, probably Devendra Banhart. That actually makes more sense. But, look, Ben Chasny is nothing like Sammy “The Red Rocker” Hagar! That we can agree on. Chasny’s Six Organs of Admittance definitely just put out Asleep on the Floodplain (TMT Review) on Drag City, a record that has been scientifically proven to not be a Sammy Hagar record. Additionally, Sammy Hagar is not doing a short tour of California in April. Six Organs of Admittance is. Chasny 1, Hagar 0.

Six Organs of Admittance tour:

04.02.11 - Oakland, CA - The New Parish
04.03.11 - Grass Valley, CA - St. Joseph’s Cultural Center
04.04.11 - Santa Cruz, CA - The Crepe Place
04.08.11 - Pioneertown, CA - Pappy and Harriets Pioneertown Palace
04.09.11 - Santa Monica, CA - McCabes

• Six Organs of Admittance:
• Drag City:

RIP: Ralph Mooney, influential steel guitarist

From The New York Times:

Ralph Mooney, who played pedal steel guitar on hit recordings by Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings and who was a writer of “Crazy Arms,” one of the most enduring shuffles in country music, died at his home in Kennedale, Tex., on Sunday. He was 82.

The cause was complications of cancer, said Wanda Mooney, his wife of 62 years.

Working as a staff musician at Capitol Records in Hollywood during the 1950s and ’60s, Mr. Mooney appeared on hit singles by the likes of the rockabilly star Wanda Jackson and the West Coast country singer Wynn Stewart. His bluesy introduction and slurring instrumental commentary lent a tragicomic note to Mr. Haggard’s boozy 1966 smash, “The Bottle Let Me Down.”

Mr. Mooney’s cascading steel guitar runs also galvanized several of Buck Owens’s early signature hits, including “Above and Beyond” and “Under Your Spell Again.” The epitome of the ebullient Bakersfield sound that took root in California in the late 1950s, these recordings influenced not only future country singers like Dwight Yoakam and Jim Lauderdale but also rock ‘n’ roll bands like the Beatles, the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers.

[Photo: Michael Manning]

RIP: Lula Côrtes, Brazilian psych-rock musician

From the Now-Again label:

We’re sad to announce the passing of the mythic Brazilian singer, songwriter, guitarist, artist and visionary Luis Augusto Martins Côrtes. Côrtes died today after a long fought battle with throat cancer. He was 61 years old.

Best known by his nom de plume Lula Côrtes, he was one of the driving forces behind the late 60s to late 70s psychedelic rock scene in Recife and the artistic godfather of the likes of Nação Zumbi and, by extension, our own Seu Jorge and Almaz. The albums he produced and recorded — from the dueling guitars of Satwa to Marconi Notaro’s groundbreaking No Sub Reino dos Metazoários to his own Rosa de Sangue — put forth a revolutionary bent with a striking originality during Brazil’s military dictatorship. That his albums were almost all self-released (many on Solar, the imprint he helped found) only furthered to his legend.


In 2008, the photographer B+ put us in touch with Côrtes, and we were able to purchase some of his original artwork and strike up a conversation with him about Paebiru and his artistic trajectory. A humble, spiritual and perplexing man, Côrtes wrote us:

“Acho que o objetivo primordial de todo artista é fazer com que sua obra fale por si mesma, dessa forma a pessoa que existe em cada um transparece e se dá a conhecer.”

“I think that the primordial objective of every artist is to make it so that his work speaks for itself, so that the person that exists within him transpires to come out so that we know him.”

With that said, we can say that we hope that we know Lula Côrtes.