RIP: Jack Hardy, folk singer and playwright

RIP: Jack Hardy, folk singer and playwright

From The New York Times:

Jack Hardy, a folk singer and folk music promoter whose Greenwich Village recordings and songwriting workshops kept alive the neighborhood tradition of counterculture troubadours, died on Friday in Manhattan. He was 63.

The cause was complications of lung cancer, his son, Malcolm, said.

Mr. Hardy wrote hundreds of songs — protest songs, political talking songs and romantic ballads — his lyrics often consciously literary, his music tinged with a Celtic sound. With a singing voice raspy and yearning, he performed in clubs and coffeehouses in New York and elsewhere and recorded more than a dozen albums, many of them self-produced, though two boxed sets of his work were released by a small, independent label in 2000.

“I’m undoubtedly the least famous person with a boxed set,” he boasted in an interview that year.

• Jack Hardy:

[Photo: Laura Pietra]

Earth take over Mexico, followed by Europe and North America… just like Salma Hayek did

Earth, everyone’s favorite drone-metal band, have taken over the entire country of Mexico, and in between imposing sweeping changes in both agriculture and trade, have also announced that they will be making their first appearance as rulers of Mexico at this year’s Aural Festival, held at the country’s Festival de Mexico. Earth will appear alongside their musical and political allies, The Melvins, as they play a headlining set to the citizens of their newly captured country.

Political scholars around the world are predicting that Mexico is merely the first step for a global domination plan that will begin in April and doggedly attempt to add both Europe and North America to Earth’s growing political, governmental, and religious power. The band has also announced that they will be celebrating their growing realm this October as they will be playing at All Tomorrow’s Party’s “I’ll Be Your Mirror” event.

This growing wave of political power-grabbing was first witnessed by the band when they released their newest album on Southern Lord, Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light 1 TMT Review), promptly claiming every remaining record store as their property, and declaring that said stores are now under the political sovereignty of Earth. Resistance is futile, Earth is your master.

The Path to Political Dominance:

03.19.11 - Mexico City, Mexico - Aural Fest at Lunario Paseo de la Reforma
04.01.11 - Leeds, UK - Brudenell Social Club
04.02.11 - Manchester, UK - Islington Mill
04.03.11 - Birmingham, UK - Hare & Hounds
04.04.11 - Newcastle, UK - The Cluny
04.05.11 - Glasgow, Scotland - Stereo
04.07.11 - Belfast, Ireland - Auntie Annies Porterhouse
04.08.11 - Dublin, Ireland - Button Factory/Crawdaddy
04.09.11 - Cork, Ireland - Cyprus Avenue
04.11.11 - Cardiff, UK - Millennium Music Hall 2
04.12.11 - London, UK - Scala
04.13.11 - Paris, France - La Maroquinerie
04.14.11 - Amsterdam, Holland - Sugar Factory
04.15.11 - Tilburg, Holland - Roadburn Festival
04.17.11 - Malmo, Sweden - Inkonst
04.18.11 - Gothenburg, Sweden - Nefertiti
04.19.11 - Oslo, Norway - Bla/John Dee
04.20.11 - Stockholm, Sweden - Strand
04.21.11 - Helsinki, Finland - Tavastia
04.22.11 - Berlin, Germany - Friction Festival
04.23.11 - Karlsruhe, Germany - Dude Fest
04.24.11 - Lausanne, Switzerland - Impetus Festival
04.26.11 - Torino, Italy - Spazio 211
04.27.11 - Rome, Italy - Init Club
04.28.11 - Bologna, Italy - Locomotiv
04.29.11 - Padova, Italy - Unwound
04.30.11 - Velenje Slovenia - MC Velenje
05.01.11 - Vienna, Austria - Arena
05.02.11 - Munich, Germany - Feierwerk
05.03.11 - Dresden, Germany - Beatpol
05.04.11 - Koln, Germany - Gebaeude9
05.05.11 - Brugge, Holland - Stadsschouwburg
06.08.11 - Chicago, IL - Mayne Stage
06.09.11 - Milwaukee, WI - Mad Planet
06.10.11 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick
06.11.11 - Kalamazoo, MI - The Strut
06.12.11 - Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop
06.13.11 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brendas
06.14.11 - New Haven, CT - Wadsworth Theatre
06.15.11 - Boston, MA - Middle East Downstairs
06.16.11 - New York City, NY - Le Poisson Rouge
06.17.11 - Baltimore, MD - Ottobar
06.18.11 - Pittsburgh, PA - *TBA
06.19.11 - Newport, KY - Southgate House
10.02.11 - Asbury Park, NJ - ATP: I’ll Be Your Mirror

• Earth:
• Southern Lord:

RIP: Hugh Martin, musical theater and film composer

From the Los Angeles Times:

Hugh Martin Jr., a composer, lyricist and arranger who created the enduring standards “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “The Trolley Song” sung by Judy Garland in the 1944 MGM musical “Meet Me in St. Louis,” has died. He was 96.

Martin, who collaborated in an unusual partnership with Ralph Blane on Broadway and in film, died of natural causes Friday at home in Encinitas, north of San Diego, said his niece Suzanne Hanners.

The two men shared songwriting credits for “Meet Me in St. Louis,” which is set at the turn of the 20th century and follows a Midwestern family on the verge of moving to New York City. Garland lit up the screen with her renditions of “The Boy Next Door,” “The Trolley Song” (which was nominated for an Academy Award for best original song) and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”

• Hugh Martin:

Woods hold secret meetings deep within Woodsist HQ, conspire to unleash Sun & Shade on an unsuspecting public

Last year, Brooklyn lo-fi folkies Woods put out the refreshingly brief, refreshingly awesome At Echo Lake (TMT Review). Normal folks would have taken a bit of a break and given the public time to prep themselves for some more crisp, Neil Young-ish folk rock, but Woods — evil geniuses that they are — have no regard for the public’s needs relating to their music. As they see it, the world needs more Woods records (and I’m not inclined to say they’re wrong), so they’ve got another one, Sun & Shade, coming out via their own Woodsist label on June 14.

Strange things are afoot at that very Woodsist label, though. Strange things that aren’t actually that strange, namely the creation of a Woodsist Headquarters in the small town of Warwick, NY. To christen their sturdy ship, the folks at Woodsist went and recorded an album. That album? Sun & Shade. See, it all comes back around. Did you think I was getting off track, telling you a tangential anecdote about Woodsist Headquarters? Well, I wasn’t.

More tales from Woodsist HQ: Woods had some help making Sun & Shade. That help came in the form of Glenn Donaldson, who you may know from his work with The Skygreen Leopards and The Art Museums. What exactly was the help that Donaldson provided? Production work? Extra instrumentation? Catering? Could be anything, as the press release doesn’t say. Donaldson, however, had some fine words of his own about Woods on this new record: “These guys veer into West Coast & Kraut explorations when they get bored of structure, but you won’t mind indulging them.” Oh man, just like me! I’m always eschewing the structure of my office job for krautrock indulgences. My co-workers aren’t that permissive, though.

Before letting the world into all that Sun & Shade, Woods will be taking a trip to Europe. That’s where they’ll play their live dates! I mean, they’ll probably play more after that in other places. But right now, they’re playing shows in Europe. That’s the Woods way.


03.14.11 - Birmingham, UK - Hare & Hounds
03.15.11 - Manchester, UK - The Deaf Institute
03.16.11 - London, UK - Bush Hall
03.17.11 - Brussels, Belgium - La Maison des Musiques
03.18.11 - Paris, France - Cafe de la Danse
03.19.11 - Utrecht, Netherlands - Klub Radar @ Tivoli
03.20.11 - Groningen, Netherlands - Vera
03.21.11 - Berlin, Germany - Comet Club
03.22.11 - Hamburg, Germany - Molotow
03.23.11 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Loppen
03.24.11 - Gothenburg, Sweden - Pusterviksbaren
03.25.11 - Oslo, Norway - Revolver
03.26.11 - Stockholm, Sweden - Club What We Do Is Secret @ Strand
03.27.11 - Helsinki, Finland - Kuudes Linja

• Woods:
• Woodsist:

Julee Cruise (Twin Peaks, etc.) releases new album with DJ Dmitry (of Deee-lite), tours with Kid Congo Powers & Khan

Julee Cruise — she of the enchanting, ethereal vocal cords, she of the David Lynch collaborations, she of the B-52s (she was the replacement singer for Cindy Wilson for several years) — has a new album. And a snazzy new European tour with Kid Congo Powers and electronic artist Khan! Indeed, Ms. Cruise’s life story is full of interesting facts and exciting acquaintances, one of whom is Ukrainian-born Deee-lite member Supa DJ Dmitry, with whom she just released My Secret Life, a new album on Purley Sounds.

Some fun facts about Julee Cruise: Moby, David Bowie, and David Foster Wallace are all fans! She’s the voice of “Falling,” the theme song from Twin Peaks! She has worked with Handsome Boy Modeling School! She debuted as a performance artist to be reckoned with as part of David Lynch’s “Industrial Symphony #1” at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival whilst wearing a prom dress and suspended 80 feet above the stage!

If you’re in Europe, she’s currently on the aforementioned tour with Kid Congo Powers and Khan, collaborating on a project called “Burn, Baby, Burn.” No details yet on this summer’s tour with Dmitry, but it’s on its way.

My Secret Life tracklisting:

01. My Secret Life
02. I’m Crazy
03. I Luv U 2 Death
04. A Fatal Beating
05. Your Girl
06. Mine
07. Orbiting Planet Fear
08. Season of the Witch
09. Cloudy Days
10. Bright Shiny Way
11. Only Us
12. I’m Wishing

“Burn, Baby, Burn” tour w/ Kid Congo Powers and Khan:

03.15.11 - Ljubljana, Serbia - Kino Siska
03.16.11 - Munich, Germany - Ampere@Muffat Werk
03.17.11 - Bologna, Italy- Locomotiv Club
03.18.11 - Torino, Italy - Teatro Astra Torino
03.19.11 - Verona, Italy - Interzona
03.20.11 - Basel, Switzerland - Kaserne
03.21.11 - Vienna, Austria - Fluc
03.22.11 - Budapest, Hungary - A38
03.23.11 - Timisoara, Romania - Daos Club
03.24.11 - Bucarest, Romania - Dalles Hall
03.25.11 - Istanbul, Turkey - Ghetto
03.27.11 - Berlin, Germany - Hau

• Julee Cruise:

Neil Hamburger and Tim Heidecker offer rare recordings in exchange for donations to Japan tsunami relief

The news is still coming in on the exact magnitude of devastation caused by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan, but it’s been clear for days now that help is desperately needed and will be for an untold length of time. Organizations such as Doctors Without Borders have already sent teams of medical and logistical staff into Japan’s Miyagi prefecture and other areas most affected by the disaster, and they’re relying on donations from the public to fund their efforts.

As an incentive to get more people donating, America’s $1 funnyman Neil Hamburger is taking a break from insulting teenagers on Twitter to offer a rare recording from early in his career. “Live in Tokyo” features a greasy-behind-the-ears Hamburger stumbling through material in 1994, and is free for the taking, provided you give at least $5 to tsunami relief. Simply donate to a worthy organization like the above mentioned or the Red Cross, and then email your donation receipt to Tara Dunphy at You’ll get an Mp3 of “Live in Tokyo” sent back to you shortly after.

What’s that? You demand more prizes for being a decent human being? Okay… Neil is also teaming up with our good friend Tim Heidecker to record a brand new 10-minute comedy bit, but the track won’t be released until they’ve raised $10K. Heidecker says to send your donation receipt to, so I guess it won’t hurt to send it to both email addresses. Give what you can to help, and you’ll reap rewards both mental and physical.

• Red Cross:
• Doctors Without Borders:
• Neil Hamburger:
• Tim Heidecker: