RIP: Mike Kelley, artist and founding member of Destroy All Monsters

RIP: Mike Kelley, artist and founding member of Destroy All Monsters

From Artinfo:

Artist Mike Kelley has passed away at his home in Los Angeles, having apparently taken his own life. The tragic news was confirmed to BLOUIN ARTINFO by Helene Winer, of New York’s Metro Pictures gallery, a long-time associate of the artist.

“It is totally shocking that someone would decide to do this, someone who has success and renown and has options,” said Winer. “It’s extremely sad.” She added that the artist had been depressed.

Kelley was born in 1954 in a suburb of Detroit, Michigan. He became involved in the city’s music scene as a teen, and while a student at the University of Michigan, formed the influential proto-punk band Destroy All Monsters with fellow artists Jim Shaw, Niagara, and Cary Loren (a retrospective devoted to Destroy All Monsters was held at L.A.’s Prism gallery last year). Together, the band hatched a style of performance that skirted the edge of performance art.

After graduating college in 1976, he moved to Los Angeles to attend the California Institute of the Arts, studying alongside teachers like John Baldessari and Laurie Anderson. Music continued to be a constant passion: he formed another band, “Poetics,” with fellow CalArts students John Miller and Tony Oursler.

Kelley’s career took off in the early 1990s, with solo shows at the Whitney, LACMA, and other international venues. He and Oursler organized a well-recived installation — a kind of monument to punk — at Documenta X in 1997. In the early 2000s, he began exhibiting with Gagosian Gallery after 20 years with Metro Pictures. For his 2005 exhibition “Day is Done,” Kelley filled Gagosian with found yearbook photos, video footage, and automated furniture, prompting New York Magazine critic Jerry Saltz to describe the show as an example of “clusterfuck aesthetics.”

• Mike Kelley:

[Photo: Cameron Wittig]

Diamond Terrifier readies Shrine Flu tape for March, the latest in ZS’ ongoing 1000-piece puzzle

How about you take a break from listening to your sappy heartbreak love songs and get fucking CEREBRAL by checking out my main squeeze <>T’s hot new tape, Shrine Flu. That’s right, close that tab with NPR streaming the new Sharon Van Etten record and head over to Noisey, where you can hear Sam Hilmer, ZS main man and Diamond Terrifier himself, layout on his sax “the part of the Venn diagram representing our collective psyche where spiritual paranoia & materialism overlap with political and economic paranoia & materialism.” Then make your way to the Chocolate Grinder, because we’re streaming the B-side of Shrine Flu exclusively. And once all that shit blows your mind, get out your calendar and circle March 9, because that’s when Shrine Flu will officially be released on Words+Dreams Records (their eighth cassette!).

The 22-minute “sax-and-reverb meditation” is a precursor to DT’s upcoming LP due out in September on Northern Spy. The tape will prepare you to not be too overwhelmed by the LP’s attack on your senses, you sensitive little fuck.

• Diamond Terrifier:
• Words+Dreams:
• Northern Spy:

Mute gets electronic-ier with launch of new Liberation Technologies label and first release by King Felix a.k.a. Laurel Halo

There’s a new record label in town, born of a sexxxy late night romp between the illustrious and ever-dreamy Mute Records and The Genre of Electronic Music. Mute, home to Nick Cave, Erasure, Depeche Mode, Moby, Liars, and a good 85% of modern music’s greatest artists, recently announced the launch of said new label, Liberation Technologies. Headed by Patrick O’Neill and distributed worldwide through S T Holdings, the label will focus on electronic acts.

Before signing up with Mute and Liberation Technologies, label boss O’Neill worked at Honest Jon’s, the venerable West London record shop/record label. He also worked in A&R, threw parties at Berlin’s Berghain club, and worked with the likes of Joy Orbison, Actress, T++, Moritz Von Oswald, Darkstar, and Zomby. According to Mute founder Daniel Miller, “Electronic music is part of Mute’s DNA and history, and this label is the latest expression of that.”

As 2012 progresses, Liberation Technologies plans to branch out into “live happenings” (as the hippies over at Billboard put it). Until then, the fledgling label has already got a lot on its plate, in the form of their first-ever release, Brooklyn-based producer King Felix (a.k.a. Laurel Halo)’s Spring EP. The EP will be available on vinyl and as a download come March 19.

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• Liberation Technologies:
• Laurel Halo:

J. Tillman reborn as Father John Misty, releases brooding new album Fear Fun on Sub Pop

In a much less shitty epilogue than the Lost series finale, the departure of Fleet Foxes drummer J. Tillman is starting to make some sense… and that sense is AWESOME. “Back into the gaping maw of obscurity I go,” Tillman wrote a few mere weeks ago. “Tokyo is my last show with the Foxes. Sorry if I was distant and obtuse if we ever met. Have fun.” If his statement hints that Tillman was ready to pack in the ol’ drum kit and go on a vision quest in the desert, where he’d later assume a paternal, mystical-sounding name and then go on to lead an isolated sex cult that also records country rock-tinged, dark-hearted LPs, well, that statement would be in part right. Because lo! J. Tillman has been reborn as the Sub Pop recording artist Father John Misty.

Perhaps you’ve already seen the video for the haunting track, “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings,” starring dour-faced awesome person Aubrey Plaza from TV’s Parks and Rec? That track will be on the upcoming Father John Misty album Fear Fun, out May 1. Tillman has been recording and releasing solo albums since 2003. The ideas behind Fear Fun started brewing during an especially tough period of depression for Tillman.

“I lost all interest in writing music, or identifying as a ‘songwriter,’” Tillman/Father John said. “I got into my van with enough mushrooms to choke a horse and started driving down the coast with nowhere to go. After a few weeks, I was writing a novel, which is where I finally found my narrative voice…. It was a while before that voice started manifesting in a musical way, but once I settled in the Laurel Canyon spider-shack where I’m living now, I spent months demoing all these weird-ass songs about weird-ass experiences almost in real-time, and kind of had this musical ‘Oh-there-I-am’ moment, identical to how I felt when I was writing the book.”

So, a long, strange journey for Tillman, and a long, strange journey for this album. It’s a distance from the sweetly yearning folk harmonies of Fleet Foxes, but that same melancholy undercurrent floats through the new Father John Misty jams. If “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings” is any indication of the new Tillman direction, fans will be more than willing to follow the man down any spidery path.

Fear Fun tracklisting:

01. Funtimes in Babylon
02. Nancy From Now On
03. Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings
04. I’m Writing a Novel
05. O I Long to Feel Your Arms Around Me
06. Misty’s Nightmares 1 & 2
07. Only Son of the Ladiesman
08. This Is Sally Hatchet
09. Well, You Can Do It Without Me
10. Now I’m Learning to Love the War
11. Tee Pees 1-12
12. Everyman Needs a Companion

• Father John Misty:
• Sub Pop:

RIP: Don Cornelius, creator of Soul Train

From TIME: reports that Don Cornelius, creator of the syndicated hit dance show “Soul Train” committed suicide in his Sherman Oaks, Calif. home.

The website said police found Cornelius about 4 a.m. with a gunshot wound to the head, that they believe was self-inflicted. He was taken to a hospital where he was later pronounced dead. He was 75.

• Don Cornelius:

RIP: King Stitt, rap reggae pioneer

From The Washington Post:

King Stitt, a pioneer in rap reggae, died Tuesday in his Caribbean homeland of Jamaica. He was 72.

Stitt died at his home in the capital of Kingston after a long fight with prostate cancer and diabetes, said Jamaican musicologist Bunny Goodison, who was a close friend to the performer for more than 50 years. Stitt had recently been discharged from a public hospital.

The entertainer known offstage as Winston Sparks started his musical career in the late 1950s on Kingston’s circuit of sound systems, a sort of portable disco.

Stitt is credited as one of the earliest performers of “toasting,” a vibrant form of Jamaican deejaying that directly inspired hip-hop music.

He is best known for songs like “Paradise Plum” and “Fire Corner.” He was a close collaborator of the late music producer Clement “Sir Coxsone” Dodd, who ran the celebrated Studio One and guided Stitt’s career for years.

Born with disfigured facial features, Stitt, who was also missing numerous teeth, dubbed himself “The Ugly One.”

“Without being disrespectful, Stitt made a mark vocally and visually. Because of his image everyone knew him,” Goodison said Tuesday.

• King Stitt:



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