RIP: Tony Sheridan, Beatles collaborator

RIP: Tony Sheridan, Beatles collaborator

From Rolling Stone:

Tony Sheridan, the singer and guitarist who collaborated with the Beatles during the band’s early days in Hamburg, died on Saturday at the age of 72, the UK’s Telegraph reports.

Sheridan met John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Pete Best in Hamburg’s red-light district in the early 1960s when the young group came to see his act every night after their own shows at a neighboring club. Sheridan took the band under his wing, advising them on their look (which at the time included black leather bomber jackets and cowboy boots) and introducing them to American R&B acts like Little Richard. The Beatles eventually served as Sheridan’s backing band at the Top Ten Club and cut their earliest recordings accompanying him as the Beat Boys on recordings of “My Bonnie” and “When the Saints Go Marching In.” (The album they recorded was later released outside Germany as Tony Sheridan and The Beatles.)

• Tony Sheridan:

RIP: Mindy McCready, country music singer

From CNN:

Country music star Mindy McCready was found dead Sunday at her home in Arkansas from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, the local sheriff’s office said in a statement. She was 37.

Deputies from the Cleburne County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to a report of gunshots fired Sunday afternoon and found McCready’s body on the front porch, the statement read.

McCready leaves behind two boys, one of whom is 10 months old. The infant’s father, record producer David Wilson, killed himself last month.

• Mindy McCready:

RIP: Shadow Morton, writer/producer famous for his work with The Shangri-Las

From The New York Times:

Shadow Morton, a songwriter and producer who for a brief, luminous period in the 1960s poured the discontents of adolescence into original hit songs, including “Leader of the Pack” and “Remember (Walking in the Sand),” died on Thursday in Laguna Beach, Calif. He was 71.

The cause was cancer, said Amy Krakow, a family friend.

By all accounts possessed of a brazen, naïve genius — he played no instrument, could not read music and wrote his songs in his head — Mr. Morton was almost single-handedly responsible for the wild success of the Shangri-Las, the Queens girl group he introduced and propelled to international stardom.

Ceramic Dog announce new LP on Northern Spy; listen closely and you can hear Marc Ribot make fun of your guitar solos

Well, I just looked up “ceramic” and “dog” on Wikipedia, and full disclosure, I am no closer to understanding what a “Ceramic Dog” is. Apparently it’s got something to do with the French phrase “chien de faïence,” but, seriously, who even speaks French? I can tell you one thing though: whatever it means, it’s got layers, man.

What I do understand is that Ceramic Dog is a band consisting of guitarist Marc Ribot, bassist and electronics guru Shahzad Ismaily, and drummer Ches Smith. They’ve described themselves as a “free/punk/funk/experimental/psychedelic/post electronica collective” (layers!) and unlike all the fake rock bands he’s been in over the years, Ribot says Ceramic Dog “is the first time since high school I’ve been in a real rock band.” Ceramic Dog has got a new album, a follow-up to their 2008 debut Party Intellectuals (TMT Review), coming out on Northern Spy Records on April 30; it’s called Your Turn.

There’s obviously a lot going on here. According to Ribot, the band spent nearly two years trying to get the album just right. He says:

If you listen closely, you can hear the rage, hope, disappointment, ritual excess, love and anarchy that were in our personal and collective airspace during those years.

For those of you who did better in school than I did, there’s even more to hear:

The astute listener will note our wry comment on the contradictions of producing a recording during the collapse of the industry which once paid for recordings to be produced (“We are the Professionals,” “Masters of the Internet” and the attached manifesto).

That’s right! The album comes with a manifesto! But wait, there’s more:

The very astute listener with really expensive headphones may hear the water pipes in the basement on Rivington and Allen where we recorded about half the tracks (the guitar amp isolation booth looked a lot like a bathroom).

And, apparently, if you have just the right kind of stereo and stand just close enough to the speakers in your living room, you can hear Marc Ribot’s soft voice whispering things like, “You think that’s a guitar solo? That’s pathetic. Check this out.” Bose store here I come!

Your Turn tracklist:

01. Lies My Body Told Me
02. Your Turn
03. Masters of the Internet
04. Ritual Slaughter
05. Avanti Popolo
06. Ain’t Gonna Let Them Turn Us Round
07. Bread and Roses
08. Prayer
09. Mr. Pants Goes to Hollywood
10. The Kid is Back!
11. Take 5
12. We are the Professionals
13. Special Snowflake

• Ceramic Dog:
• Marc Ribot:
• Northern Spy:

Ducktails announces tour in support of The Flower Lane, makes use of the carpool lane

Listening to Ducktails’ newest album The Flower Lane, you might notice a couple of standout characteristics. One: the lo-fi aesthetic typical of Matthew Mondanile’s previous work under the moniker has essentially been abandoned, and two: unless he has a surprising talent for altering his voice so that it sounds undeniably feminine, Mondanile seems to have found a few cohorts to contribute to his previously, almost strictly, solo project. The female voice might be Madeline Follin or Jessa Farkas, depending on which track you’re listening to, and the album itself offers all kinds of extra-Mondanile credits, including Joel Ford, Daniel Lopatin, and a few multi-instrumentalists. It’s all for the better, I say; The Flower Lane is easily my favorite Ducktails album.

Assuming I’m not alone in my thinking, you may be interested to know that Ducktails (meaning Mondanile and several of his creative companions) are set to tour the US at the beginning of March. Along the way, the band will play shows with Alex Bleeker and the Freaks, Merchandise, Mark McGuire, and more. Check out the dates below, just after the seemingly deity-sent DJ Sprinkles remix (barely, it seems) of “Letter of Intent.”

03.06.13 - Richmond, VA - Strange Matter
03.07.13 - Raleigh, NC - King’s Barcade *
03.08.13 - Savannah, GA - Savannah Stopover Festival *
03.09.13 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl *
03.10.13 - Oxford, MS - Lamar Lounge
03.12.13 - Houston, TX - Walter’s on Washington
03.17.13 - Dallas, TX - Spillover Fest
03.20.13 - San Diego, CA - The Void @
03.21.13 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echo @ #
03.22.13 - San Francisco, CA - The Chapel @
03.24.13 - Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios @
03.26.13 - Vancouver, BC - Electric Owl @ %
03.27.13 - Seattle, WA - Barboza @ %
03.30.13 - St. Paul, MN - Turf Club %
03.31.13 - Madison, WI - University of Wisconsin %
04.01.13 - Iowa City, IA - Mission Creek Festival, The Mill %
04.02.13 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle %
04.03.13 - Toronto, ON - Garrison %
04.04.13 - Montreal, QC - II Motore %
04.05.13 - Boston, MA - Brandeis University %

* Alex Bleeker and the Freaks
@ Mark McGuire
# Merchandise, Wet Hair
% Monopoly Child Star Searchers

• Ducktails:

[Photo: Madalyn Baldanzi]