RIP: Malcolm McLaren, the former manager of The Sex Pistols and The New York Dolls

RIP: Malcolm McLaren, the former manager of The Sex Pistols and The New York Dolls

From The Independent:

Malcolm McLaren, the former manager of the Sex Pistols and impresario, has died. He was 64.

McLaren had had cancer for some time. His condition recently deteriorated rapidly and he died this morning in New York. His body is expected to be brought home to be buried in Highgate cemetery, north London.

Born in North London, McLaren was best known as the manager of the iconic punk band The Sex Pistols. After attending and dropping out of several art colleges in 1971 he opened a clothes shop on the King’s Road , Let It Rock, with Vivienne Westwood.

• Malcolm McLaren:
• Malcolm McLaren:

RIP: Graciela Perez-Gutierrez, Afro-Cuban jazz singer

From The New York Daily News:

Graciela Perez-Gutierrez, the legendary Afro-Cuban jazz singer who blazed the trail for Hispanic pop stars like Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, died Wednesday after being hospitalized in New York for several weeks. She was 94.

Graciela, or “Gracie” to her friends, “was where it all started,” said Bobby Sanabria, who played on three of her records. “Without her, there is no Celia Cruz or La Lupe or any of the stars today.”

Is Menomena releasing a new album, Mines, this July via Barsuk? Plus: Could there be Record Store Day goodies in the forecast? Full stories and a whole lot more coming up tonight at 11!

Good news for all you doubting-Christians who like to listen to other doubting Christians make music about their doubt in Christianity! Portland-based loop-pop trio Menomena have announced that they’ll be releasing their third full-length record, Mines, July 27 on everyone’s favorite little-label-that-could, Barsuk Records (and in Europe on July 26 via City Slang). I think I speak for us all when I say that this news is truly super-BOSS.

In related news, the band has also teamed-up with like-minded Portlandites and labelmates The Helio Sequence for a special, limited-edition 7-inch in celebration of Record Store Day 2010. The 7-inch features new Menomena track “Pilgrim’s Progress,” as well as Helio Sequence’s “Converter.” And, in keeping with the trend of snazzy Record Store Day packaging, this modest little piece of wax will also come with a digital download code and special letterpress cardboard packaging designed by members of Menomena and The Helio Sequence. Ah, gotta love that sweet siren song of bloated physical media.

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Wilco unveil their own independently curated festival; Wilco fans have reservations about so many things, but not about this

Wilco get accused of being a lot of things: dad rock, an American Radiohead, washed-up, “better when they were called Steely Dan,” etc. The list goes on. But no one ever targets Jeff Tweedy and the gang for what they really are: shameless and megalomaniacal self-promoters of their own brand.

This is a band that named their last album Wilco (The Album) (which, let’s not forget, contained a single called “Wilco: the Song”), a band that released a book in 2004 called nothing more than The Wilco Book. When Sam Jones was putting the finishing touches on his documentary, 2002’s excellent I Am Trying to Break Your Heart, who do you think demanded he add the subtitle A Film About Wilco? Need more proof? What’s Wilco’s website called, you ask? Wilco World. I’m not saying that this name is meant to imply that Wilco believes they exist on some separate plane of reality or that they are intending a merciless overthrow of global government through their pleasant rock. But I’m not not saying that.

The Solid Sound Festival is the latest in this long string of self-promotion. On August 13-15, Wilco will curate their own festival outside at MoCA (the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art). At first glance, this looks like a good thing: Wilco has no East Coast dates planned for this summer, and the country needs more independently produced festivals. But one look at the festival’s lineup and you see it for what it really is. So far, it’s been announced that Wilco will be headlining, supported by drummer Glenn Kotche’s sideproject On Fillmore. Lead guitarist Nels Cline’s Nels Cline Singers and keyboardist Mikael Jorgensen’s Pronto are also on the bill. Add The Autumn Defense, which also contains Wilco members, and you’ll realize that this festival exclusively consists of Wilco sideprojects. Why didn’t they just name it “Wilco: The Festival”?

Entry for the festival is $86.50, and tickets for Solid Sound go on sale Friday, April 9 at the festival’s official website. The band promises it to be a “three-day event of music, art, comedy, interactivity, and more.” But knowing Wilco, this may just mean Jeff Tweedy is going to do a stand-up set, and Glenn Kotche will be making overpriced caricatures out in the parking lot.

Meanwhile, Wilco is on tour. Dates below.

04.09.10 - Hartford, CT - Bushnell Center
04.10.10 - Philadelphia, PA - The Electric Factory
04.11.10 - Pittsburgh, PA - Carnegie Music Hall
04.22.10 - Osaka, Japan - Big Cat
04.23.10 - Tokyo, Japan - Zepp Tokyo
04.27.10 - Auckland, New Zealand - Civic Theatre
04.28.10 - Wellington, New Zealand - Wellington Town Hall
04.30.10 - Brisbane, Australia - The Tivoli
05.01.10 - Sydney, Australia - State Theatre
05.02.10 - Marrickville, Australia - Factory Theatre
05.05.10 - Melbourne, Australia - Forum
05.06.10 - Melbourne, Australia - Forum
05.20.10 - Helsinki, Finland - Kulttuuritalo
05.21.10 - Tampere, Finland - Pakkahuone
05.23.10 - Stockholm, Sweden - Cirkus
05.25.10 - Aarhus, Denmark - Musikhuset
05.28.10 - Barcelona, Spain - Primavera Sound Festival
05.30.10 - Rome, Italy - Auditorium Parco Della Musica
08.13.10 - Boston, MA – Solid Sound Festival
09.03.10 - Snowmass, CO - Jazz Aspen
09.12.10 - Dorset, England - End of the Road Festival
09.14.10 - London, England - Royal Festival Hall
09.15.10 - Newcastle, England- Academy
09.16.10 - Glasgow, Scotland - Barrowland
09.20.10 - Dusseldorf, Germany - Tonhalle
09.21.10 - Offenbach, Germany - Capitol
09.23.10 - Vienna, Austria - Gasometer
09.24.10 - Munich, Germany - Circus Krone
09.26.10 - Hamburg, Germany - Musikhalle
09.27.10 - Berlin, Germany - Admiralspalast

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[Photo: Autumn de Wilde]

Swans announced as first act to play Supersonic Festival 2010

“Supersonic is all about bringing together a like minded community from all corners of the UK and further afield,” says a representative for Capsule, the promoters of Supersonic Festival 2010. “For one weekend we can all enjoy a great selection of music, exhibitions, talks, a film program, and of course cake, in a relatively intimate setting. Oh, yeah and we can also enjoy listening to the motherfucking Swans because they’ll be playing a fucking set at our fucking festival which is fucking awesome because THE MOTHERFUCKING SWANS WILL BE PLAYING A SET.”

That’s right Michael Gira fans, as you undoubtedly already know, Swans were recently reassembled and are the first announced band to play the Supersonic Festival 2010. The eclectic UK festival will be held in and around Birmingham’s Custard Factory, and even though no other performers have been announced, the fest promises to be an exciting one BECAUSE THE MOTHERFUCKING SWANS WILL BE PLAYING.

Supersonic Festival, taking place between October 22-24 (yes, it IS happening in October, not July as usual, presumably because M. Gira hates singing when it’s hot out) is well known as one of the few places “where you can listen to funeral doom, prog, folk, avant jazz and grindcore in one weekend.” It is also the only place, at the moment, where you can hear THE MOTHERFUCKING SWANS PLAY A SHOW.

More information can be found at the Supersonic webpage. You can also head over to The Quietus and read a statement by Michael Gira about the Swans reunification.

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Mates of State confirm covers album about love—what else?

For a while I thought that Mates of State’s “cutest couple” status might have been usurped by the rise of Matt & Kim, but Jason Hammel and Kori Gardner are back on the top of the lovey-dovey pile. They have just confirmed the completion of Crushes (The Covers Mixtape), their newest album and a semi-eclectic covers collection of love (or love-lorn) songs. Just take a look at the tracklisting.

01. Laura (Girls)
02. Son et Lumiere (The Mars Volta)
03. Sleep the Clock Around (Belle & Sebastian)
04. Technicolor Girls (Death Cab for Cutie)
05. Long Way Home (Tom Waits)
06. Love Letter (Nick Cave)
07. Second Hand News (Fleetwood Mac)
08. 17 Pink Sugar Elephants (Vashti Bunyan)
09. Roller Coaster Ride (Dear Nora)
10. True Love Will Find You in the End (Daniel Johnston)

Hammel and Gardner recorded and produced the album, with Peter Katis (The National, Swell Season, Interpol) as the third-wheel help with mixing. According to husband and wife, we can expect another Mates of State album in the not-so-distant future. “When we were finished, we couldn’t wait to write our own songs again,” they said. The Crushes album is out this summer, but in the meantime you can download “Laura” for free here or stream it at the Chocolate Grinder. Jason calls Kori a bitch!

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