RIP: Major Harris of The Delfonics

RIP: Major Harris of The Delfonics

From The Huffington Post:

Former Delfonics singer Major Harris died on Friday (Nov. 9) in Richmond. He was 65 years old.

The R&B, soul singer left the Delfonics in 1974 to go solo and record his hit 1975 song “Love Won’t Let Me Wait.” Before making a name for himself with the Delfonics in the early ’70s, Harris was a member of several groups including The Teenagers and Nat Turner’s Rebellion.

• Major Harris:
• The Delfonics:

Kraftwerk perform each of their eight studios albums in their entirety, during eight heavenly Düsseldorfian nights

Sure, when Shakespeare coined the phrase “what dreams may come,” he was talking about the afterlife, not how mindblowingly awesome it would be if Kraftwerk were to perform all eight of their studio albums in their entirety. But surely that’s because Kraftwerk didn’t yet exist. Because afterlife, schmafterlife — surely this is as close as many of us will ever get to heaven, right?

This spring, Kraftwerk was invited to do the residency thing at MoMA in New York, an event with the unGoogleable name 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8. At this time, the group first unveiled the “performing an entire studio album every night for eight nights” concept. Naturally that ish sold out faster than [I was going to insert a joke about wacko politicians here, but nah, everybody’s sick of that crap. You’re welcome.] And for those who missed this Kraftwerkstravaganza the first time around or for those who just can’t get enough of Düsseldorf, Germany, the robots have announced another eight-night journey into MAGIC, hosted by their historic hometown.

The event takes place at the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen Museum from January 11-13 and 16-20. (The break in between is so God has some time to judge sinners. Hey, even in heaven, work doesn’t do itself.) 3D visualizations are promised, as are an additional bonus helping of tracks from the band’s back catalogue at each performance. The schedule is as follows:

Jan 11 Autobahn (1974)
Jan 12 Radio-Aktivität (1975)
Jan 13 Trans-Europe Express (1977)
Jan 16 Die Mensch-Maschine (1978)
Jan 17 Computerwelt (1981)
Jan 18 Techno Pop (1986)
Jan 19 The Mix (1991)
Jan 20 Tour de France Soundtracks (2003)

• Kraftwerk:

Sacred Bones host five-year-anniversary shindig in the Mojave, featuring Zola Jesus, Psychic Ills, and more

Most fifth birthdays follow a formula: piñata, ice cream, and, if you’re wealthy/out of touch, a creepy clown or dude who makes balloon animals. But Sacred Bones ain’t the balloon-animal makin’ kind — hell no. The Brooklyn-based label, home to Zola Jesus, Psychic Ills, Blank Dogs, and many more, are doin’ it up big, their own way. On December 21, the label is taking the whole operation to the desert — specifically, Pappy & Harriet’s in historic Pioneertown, CA — to celebrate its five-year anniversary with a hootenanny on the very same day the Mayans decided the world would end or new consciousness would be born or whatever. Although the always mysterious “special guests” are promised, Zola Jesus, Wymond Miles, Cult of Youth, Psychic Ills, Pop 1280, and Lust for Youth will all be rockin’ the desert.

Tickets, available here, are a mere $30 for the most black-clad shindig to ever hit this former Old West movie set-turned town. Mosey on over to SPIN or clicky-clicky the player below to hear a six-track sampler of the artists who’ll be melting your face off as the new consciousness ascends.

• Sacred Bones:

RZA takes Hollywood: Wu-Tang leader signs on to direct two more films, considers ODB biopic

RZA has gone Hollywood, y’all. With his debut directorial effort The Man with the Iron Fists hitting theaters last Friday and dividing critics faster than a karate chop to the FACE — The Boston Globe calls RZA’s flick “lunatic, slipshod, absurdly violent” (and that’s a negative review) — the once and future Wu-Tang Clan leader is poised to take our sun-kissed, silicone-injected town by storm. The renaissance man has recently agreed to (1) bring John Milius’ (Apocalypse Now, Red Dawn) Genghis Khan biopic to life and (2) direct the thriller No Man’s Land. The Khan biopic focuses on the 13th-century warrior/empire-builder, as seen through the eyes of his son and grandson. It shoots in China next year. Meanwhile, No Man’s Land is the heartwarming tale of a dude who swipes a diamond belonging to a murderous crook and, together with a dancer, tries to not get killed and still cop some $$$$ from said jewel. The Hollywood Reporter describes it “as having echoes of The Warriors.” Reginald Hudlin, ex-prez of BET, is producing the film, and also working with RZA on adapting Grant Morrison’s latest comic, Happy.

And if all that weren’t enough, RZA is also planning on putting together an ODB biopic. Okay, now that’s enough.

• RZA:
• Wu-Tang Corp.:

Pandora, pockets full of lint, sues ASCAP over higher licensing fees

Talk about bittersweet: Pandora radio is one of the most popular online music services out there right now, with its user base growing almost perpetually since its inception. The company is also struggling to implement a model for long-term profitability, as advertising revenue (which comprises ~88% of their total revenue) isn’t enough to reliably cover costs, which include payments to SoundExchange (representing artists and labels) and organizations like the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), who collect licensing fees on behalf of its members.

Even worse, the money that Pandora necessarily has to pay in “compulsory” licensing fees only increases as the number of listener hours increases, so in a sense, the company is digging itself in even more of a hole the more “successful” it becomes — unless they can hire the Gandalf of finances and accounting to come in and figure something out. As Forbes points out, “Pandora, in fact, has never been profitable, with more than $105 million in losses over the five fiscal years ending January of 2012… it has a business model that is fundamentally broken right now.”

Sad news. I know what you’re thinking; time for Pandora to start suing people, right? In a lawsuit filed on Monday, Pandora accused ASCAP of charging fees discordant with what it’s charging other organizations/companies, such as the Radio Music Licensing Committee, who represent competitor iHeartRadio (owned by Clear Channel). In a conversation with Billboard, a Pandora spokesperson said:

ASCAP continues to seek rates higher than the current rates and above the agreement that they reached earlier this year with all of the major radio groups, which covers both broadcast and Internet radio usage for the majority of our competitors. As a result, we are initiating the process that has been in place for decades to resolve royalty disputes with ASCAP.

The interim rate that Pandora is currently paying expires in 2015, at which point the license will have to be renegotiated anyway. Oh, innocent Pandora, you’ll still be around by then, won’t you?

• Pandora:

Now you have a reason to go: ATP confirms first bands for Deerhunter and TV On The Radio weekends

Some people go to shows for the chance to drink, some people go for the chance to socialize, and some people show up with the hope of meeting celebrities, but — and call me crazy — I go to shows because I like watching bands play music. Which is exactly why I’m excited today, because after what felt like years, All Tomorrow’s Parties has confirmed the first handful of bands that will be playing its weekend festivals hosted by Deerhunter and TV On The Radio.

On the weekend of May 10-12, in addition to watching TV On The Radio, you can also see Spank Rock, El-P, Saul Williams, Tinariwen, Shabazz Palaces, Thee Oh Sees, CSS, Daniel Higgs of Lungfish, Celebration, Talibam!, and North America.

For those of you who prefer summer shows, you can head out to the Deerhunter-curated event on the weekend of June 21-23 and see Deerhunter play three separate albums (Cryptograms, Microcastle, and Halcyon Digest) in their entirety, as well as Atlas Sound, Panda Bear, Avey Tare, Animal Collective (doing DJ sets), Pere Ubu, Dan Deacon, Tim Gane, Laetitia Sadier, No Age, and Black Lips.

Each weekend will be located at beautiful Pontins Holiday Camp in Camber Sands, England and will surely be a place where you can enjoy going to shows for the simple pleasure of watching bands play their music.

• ATP: