RIP: Jimmy Ellis, frontman of the Trammps

RIP: Jimmy Ellis, frontman of the Trammps http://www.tinymixtapes.com/sites/default/files/news-12-03-trammps.jpg

From Rolling Stone:

Jimmy Ellis, frontman of the Trammps, has died at the age of 74. He passed away yesterday in Rock Hill, South Carolina from complications of Alzheimer’s disease.

Ellis was best known as the singer of the band’s 1976 song “Disco Inferno,” which became a smash hit in the United States in 1978 after it was included on the soundtrack for Saturday Night Fever. The Trammps also scored hits on the R&B charts with their cover of Judy Garland’s signature tune “Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart,” “Hold Back the Night” and “The Night the Lights Went Out,” which was inspired by the New York City blackout of 1977.

• The Trammps: http://www.thetrammps.net

Woodsist Fest announces initial lineup for two days of festival magic on the Left Coast

According to an old family legend passed down to me from my bohemian grandfather, a former racehorse jockey, pot smuggler, and all-around-California gadabout,* a traveler once knocked on the door of author Henry Miller’s Big Sur residence, searching for the “cult of sex and anarchy.” The unfortunate vagabond wandered away unsatisfied, never to quench his saucy fire. Perhaps that man is still out there somewhere, wandering the hills like a sexy Rip Van Winkle, searching for the cure. Perhaps he slumbered all the way through the storied Big Sur Festivals of 1964-1971 — when luminaries like Joan Baez, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and Joni Mitchell lighting up the stage — and is just now preparing to emerge from his slumber. AND THEN HOLY SHIT THAT DUDE’S GONNA WAKE UP ON AUGUST 4-5, 2012 AND STUMBLE UPON WOODSIST FEST AND BE LIKE, “WHOOOOOA IT TOOK A FEW DECADES BUT I FOUND IT MAAAAAAN.” And then he’ll disintegrate into a pile of tie-dyed fedora rags, or whatever people wore back then.

But at least he’ll have experienced the wonder and joy that is Woodsist Fest. Taking place at Big Sur’s Henry Miller Library during one very special weekend in August, (((folkYEAH!))) and Warwick, NY-based Woodsist Records are throwing another shindig featuring label artists and friends. The initial lineup includes Real Estate, Pierced Arrows, Woods, White Fence, and The Mantles on Saturday and Thee Oh Sees, Fresh and Onlys, Michael Hurley, Peaking Lights, and Ducktails on Sunday, with more to be announced. Recommended lodging options include the evocatively-named (all) Fernwood Resort, Bottchers Gap Campground, Andrew Molera State Park, and Kirk Creek Campground. Tickets go on sale March 9 at 12 PM PST via (((folkYEAH!))). Sex not included. (((folkYEAH!))) provides no guarantee that Anarchy will ensue, although Awesome Tunes/Times are factored into the ticket price.

* Actually I got it from Wikipedia, America’s Most Reliable News Source. Yep, Grandpa Wikipedia.

• Woodsist: http://www.woodsist.com
• (((folkYEAH!))): http://folkyeah.com

Brian Miller of Foot Village goes solo as True Neutral, scores audiobook and high-fives

Books on tape need soundtracks. If more audiobooks had featured marvelous, moving scores, then Kindles would never have started outselling walkmans. Brian Miller (Foot Village, Back to the Future The Ride) gets my drift. His latest solo project, True Neutral, finds Miller in more song-y territory and scoring a new audiobook to be released via his own Deathbomb Arc Records. The audiobook is for the latest novel by absurdist writer Patrick Wensink, entitled Broken Piano for President, which is out now from bizarro publisher Lazy Fascist Press. The story involves a “noise band that gets caught up in a conspiracy involving fast food moguls, international space programs, and, of course, their music.”

Miller’s soundtrack is accompanied with contributions from Brian Chippendale (Lightning Bolt/Black Pus) on drums, Ezra Buchla (ex-Gowns/EMA contributor) on viola, and Christina Gubala on voice.

You can also get a feel for True Neutral’s new sound on the track “Call on the Herd,” available to stream here. Preorder the audiobook now!

• True Neutral: http://deathbombarc.com/trueneutral
• Patrick Wensink: http://www.patrickwensink.com
• Deathbomb Arc: http://deathbombarc.com

Audiogalaxy announces Mixes, may have found the sweet spot between exciting illegal file sharing and boring old Spotify

Remember Audiogalaxy, the P2P service that lurked in Napster’s shadow back in the day and eventually suffered a demise similar to the robocat-icon’d behemoth? Well, they’ve been back in the picture (as has Napster) in a millennial-approved format for a while now, offering a free cloud-based service that allows you to upload your music collection and access it anywhere, keeping themselves in business by selling mobile application upgrades and plug-ins.

Bringing something different to the table, though, the service just announced a new feature called Mixes that allows users to create intuitive playlists that draw from Audiogalaxy’s larger pool of music. You add the ‘ingredients’ (time, place, key artists) and select from a few variables, like how ‘popular’ the selections should be, and Audiogalaxy scans its vast collection to create a playlist. The more you use the service, the better Mixes is supposed to become at creating playlists that you’ll enjoy.

What is unique about Mixes is that Audiogalaxy, instead of trying to broker deals with the actual rights holders of the majority of the music in its system (a.k.a. Major Labels), has instead partnered with the organizations that are responsible for collecting and paying out royalties to rights holders (SoundExchange, ASCAP, BMI and SESAC). Because Mixes is an online radio-like feature (it just uses its customers’ music as a catalog), it uses a model similar to radio stations to determine what royalties are owed. Mixes also presents the user with the opportunity to purchase any given track that they don’t already own and have in their cloud from Amazon, thus providing the rights holders an additional opportunity to get paid directly.

While no one would be surprised if the lawsuits start lining up to take this new feature down, one would hope that the major labels would see the benefit in allowing users to access a service that intuitively introduces them to new artists they might like, while at the same time ensuring royalties are paid. Reason isn’t their forte, so we’ll just have to wait and see…

• Audiogalaxy: http://www.audiogalaxy.com

E.D. Sedgwick release new single, go on new tour, are still named after a dead person

E.D. Sedgwick, the band, are alive. Edie Sedgwick, the person? Totally dead! Like, not even close! She is locked in an unbreakable tie for most dead person, along with all the other people who have ever died. Since she’s dead, she’s probably not going to put out any new singles. E.D. Sedgwick, the band, absolutely have that privilege. And they are taking so much advantage of it. Their new single, “Heat Wave,” is out now on a 45 rpm 12-inch through Dischord. Along with the A-side, the record features remixes from Greg Saunier (of Deerhoof fame), Triobelisk (Shelby Cinca of Frodus and the Cassettes fame), Pink Skull (of Pink Skull fame), Gold Corner (Mike Andre of Antelope fame), Davis White, Lenorable (whose singer I went to college with, hey!), John Moon (of The Cornel West Theory fame), and Third Channel (Jason Hutto of Aquarium fame). Lots of people and lots of fame.

Now that “Heat Wave” is out (see the video for the title track below), E.D. Sedgwick will continue proving that they are very alive by going on tour. Much of their time touring will be spent at SXSW, where they will hold hands with every other band in the entire world. I’ll be there, too. Aside from that enormous festival madness, they’ll play handfuls of dates on each side of SXSW, primarily on the East Coast and in the Midwest. Look at that band, just flaunting their breathing and walking, like they own the place. The place of living.

E.D. Sedgwick dates:

03.08.12 - Pittsburgh, PA - Howler’s Coyote Cafe
03.09.12 - Cleveland, OH - The Happy Dog
03.10.12 - Chicago, IL - Pancho’s
03.11.12 - Louisville, KY - Chestnut House
03.12.12 - Springfield, MO - The Danger Zone
03.13.12 - Fayetteville, AR - Lightbulb Club
03.14.12 - Austin, TX - SXSW Day Party @ Lovejoy’s
03.14.12 - Austin, TX - SXSW The Iron Bear
03.15.12 - Austin, TX - Slip + Lovitt SXSW Day Party @ Club 1808
03.16.12 - Austin, TX - Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie SXSW Day Party @ The Crow Bar
03.17.12 - New Orleans, LA - Siberia
03.18.12 - Knoxville, TN - The Pilot Light
03.19.12 - Harrisonburg, VA - The Blue Nile

• E.D. Sedgwick: http://www.ediesedgwick.biz
• Dischord: http://www.dischord.com

Beach House jump the gun on summer and start playing surf rock. Not really, but they have posted a track from their new album

Thanks to our pals over at FACT and NME, we have a pretty good idea of what Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand might have been up to since they released Teen Dream (TMT Review) back in 2010. A typical day probably consisted of watching The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth (on VHS, of course), skulking around eBay looking for rare Star Wars action figures, arranging battles between those action figures and their old Power Rangers, exploring caves and painting skulls on the walls, making Lite-Brite portraits of each member of The Beach Boys, getting tattoos of owls and foxes, choreographing tap dances to Rihanna songs, and holding seances to contact the spirit of J.D. Salinger.

On rainy days, they likely set up camp in a blanket fort to work on the fourth Beach House album, Bloom, which is slated for release sometime in May on Sub Pop. Until then, we’ve got a dreamy little track called “Myth” floating to us from a galaxy of neon glow-in-the-dark stars:

• Beach House: http://beachhousebaltimore.com
• Sub Pop: http://www.subpop.com

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