Sony bums people out by allegedly price-gouging Whitney Houston’s greatest hits album after her death, which sucks to hear because Sony was my hero

Sony bums people out by allegedly price-gouging Whitney Houston's greatest hits album after her death, which sucks to hear because Sony was my hero http://www.tinymixtapes.com/sites/default/files/news-12-02-whitney-houston-sony.jpg

I know this is a contentious position to hold right now, but I think major labels might be… kinda shitty??? See, pretty much immediately following the death of singer Whitney Houston, the price of Ultimate Collection, her (you guessed it) ultimate collection of greatest hits, kinda-sorta-maybe, um, went up. Like significantly. Like from £4.99 to £7.99 (sayeth The Guardian), or roughly $8 to $12.

Yikes. Okay, so then, Whitney’s fans did what all civic-minded people do in 2012 and (you guessed it again!) complained on the internet. And on Sunday afternoon, the adults that run Sony responded, presumably by texting their nine-year-old children from the golf course and asking them to issue a statement because their parents were too drunk. The idea that these kids cooked up is that the price set on Ultimate Collection before Houston’s death was actually cheaper than it was s’possda be this whole time and that they were just finally (coincidentally) fixing it now. Yeesh. They also suggested that maybe when the record ascended iTunes’ sales chart in the hours following Houston’s death, the evil, fascist, artificially intelligent mainframe computer that runs iTunes raised the price itself automatically because of its popularity.

Yeah… uh, but then after that, I guess the parents came home, because Sony just admitted they raised the price. And then, after that, the price went back down to where it was because of spooky action at a distance. The end. OR IS IT???

• Sony: http://www.sony.com
• Whitney Houston: http://remembering.whitneyhouston.com

Jon Porras (1/2 of Barn Owl) to release Black Mesa on April 17 from within a smeary smoke cloud in the woods

Jon Porras’ dark minimalism unearths intersections between ambient and Americana. According to Thrill Jockey, his forthcoming LP Black Mesa “follows an outlaw wanderer who ventures deep into the desert only to discover the Black Mesa, a bridge between worlds.” For a minute or two, I’m going to imagine that you (yes, you) are that outlaw:

You are wandering through tall grass, following a path cut by a snake and listening to the sound of distant static. You approach a burned barn, and you notice a face floating in a high window. You squint, but the face disappears. Color drains from the land around you until only shades of gray remain. The tall grass dries and shrivels, and a heavy breeze carries the shreds away. You watch the barn for signs of life. The barn bursts into thousands of tiny pieces. The distant static has faded, but now you hear rumbling thunder and the drone of subterranean rock n’ roll. Do you know where you are?

Black Mesa tracklist:

01. Into Midnight
02. Blue Crescent Vision
03. Candlelight Mirage
04. Desert Flight
05. Embers at Dusk
06. Into the Black Mesa
07. Beyond the Veil

• Jon Porras: http://www.myspace.com/jonporras
• Thrill Jockey: http://www.thrilljockey.com

RIP: Whitney Houston

From MSNBC:

Whitney Houston, who ruled as pop music’s queen until her majestic voice and regal image were ravaged by drug use, erratic behavior and a tumultuous marriage to singer Bobby Brown, has died. She was 48.

Houston’s publicist, Kristen Foster, said Saturday that the singer had died, but the cause and the location of her death were unknown.

News of Houston’s death came on the eve of music’s biggest night — the Grammy Awards. It’s a showcase where she once reigned, and her death was sure to case a heavy pall on Sunday’s ceremony. Houston’s longtime mentor Clive Davis was to hold his annual concert and dinner Saturday; it was unclear if it was going to go forward.

At her peak, Houston the golden girl of the music industry. From the middle 1980s to the late 1990s, she was one of the world’s best-selling artists. She wowed audiences with effortless, powerful, and peerless vocals that were rooted in the black church but made palatable to the masses with a pop sheen.

Her success carried her beyond music to movies, where she starred in hits like “The Bodyguard” and “Waiting to Exhale.”

She had the he perfect voice, and the perfect image: a gorgeous singer who had sex appeal but was never overtly sexual, who maintained perfect poise.

She influenced a generation of younger singers, from Christina Aguilera to Mariah Carey, who when she first came out sounded so much like Houston that many thought it was Houston.

• Whitney Houston: http://www.whitneyhouston.com

Throbbing Gristle to perform selections from unfinished final album next month; read my unfinished narrative of the process

The Tale of Desertshore

Chapter One: The Recording

In 2007, avant-industrial legends Throbbing Gristle worked to record an album based on their interpretation of Nico’s album Desertshore. After having recorded three days of public sessions at London’s ICA, the band released the entirety of the sessions as a limited-edition 12 x CD-R box set, entitled The Desertshore Installation. Founding member Peter Christopherson continued work on the fully realized Desertshore up until his death in 2010. At that point, surviving members Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti worked to finish the record. Other founding member Genesis P-Orridge was not involved with Gristle at that time.

Chapter Two: AV Remembers Sleazy

Before Christopherson’s death, AV Festival had commissioned Christopherson to compose a work for the 2012 spring Equinox, to be staged at Durham Cathedral, where his father was University Vice-Chancellor from 1960–1979. After his death, it was instead decided that three “performance sketches” of the work would be presented by Christopherson’s original collaborators for the commission: artist Alex Rose, sound recordist Chris Watson, and vocalist Attila Csihar (sunn 0))), Burial Chamber Trio).

In addition to this performance, AV asked Carter and Tutti to perform a selection of live remixes from Desertshore, scheduled a screening of Philippe Garrel’s The Inner Scar (the film for which Desertshore was the soundtrack and inspiration) and Derek Jarman’s The Angelic Conversation, for which Coil created the soundtrack, and wrapped it all up in a bow and called the event Wishful Thinking: In Remembrance of Peter Christopherson.

Epilogue

The event will take place at the AV Festival in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK, on Saturday March 17, 8 PM–12 AM, and will be the premiere performance of Desertshore. Grab tickets here.

• Throbbing Gristle: http://www.throbbing-gristle.com

RIP: Luis Alberto Spinetta of Argentine rock group Almendra

From BBC News:

Argentine rock star Luis Alberto Spinetta has died in Buenos Aires aged 62, after suffering lung cancer.

The songwriter and guitarist was considered a pioneer of Argentine rock music, and his songs often touched on social themes.

Fellow musicians hailed Spinetta, nicknamed El Flaco or Skinny, as “one of the greatest poets of Argentine music”.

He died at home surrounded by his four children.

Fans and fellow musicians, including Argentina’s Charly Garcia and Cuba’s Silvio Rodriguez, posted tributes to Spinetta on social media websites.

The Argentine culture ministry, in a statement on its website, described him as “an exquisite poet” and a “complete autodidact in his musical training, deep reader of poetry and philosophy, jazz lover”.

• Luis Alberto Spinetta: http://www.spinettacual.com.ar

The Jesus and Mary Chain gettin’ the old gang together to play select dates in the US of A

Just think: they could’ve been called The Poppy Seeds. Or even worse (much worse): Death of Joey. You could be on the phone right now, in a Parallel Shitty Universe, telling your best friend, “Guess what, dude???? I just got tickets to the Death of Joey reunion!!!!” And then your friend would be like, “Oh, the little known movie The Accidental Death of Joey by Sue? Yeah, that didn’t get very good reviews and I had no idea what it was till I Googled it. Also it has a stupid name, although the concept sounds kind of cool.” Or more likely, “What the hell is that? Are you hanging out at suburban sports bars, dude? WTF.” But fortunately, at some magical point in the early 1980s, the band decided to go with The Jesus and Mary Chain. So now, if you’re one of the lucky few in Denton, New Orleans, Houston, or the greatest town ever SXSW, er… I mean… Austin, you can say “I am going to see The Jesus and Mary Chain reunion tour, good friend! Judge not!” And you can say it with pride. Because The Jesus and Mary Chain have just announced their first US dates since a faraway time known as 2008.

This 2012 incarnation of the brothers Reid includes guitarist and old school JAMC member John Moore, bassist Phil King and an as-yet-unnamed drummer. Who could it be???? So much mystery. What’s not a mystery is how bitchin’ the addition of Moore and King to this lineup is. After all, Moore is a noted saw player (seriously, he played the saw on an Art Brut track or two), a founding member of Black Box Recorder, and a dude “at the forefront of the revival of interest in Absinthe,” according to the wormwood heads over at Wikipedia.* King has also put in his time with JAMC, back in the 90s. He’s best known for playing with Lush and currently works as a picture researcher for Uncut Magazine. King is known to be at the forefront of a revival of interest in awesomeness.

* I someday hope to have a Wikipedia page where someone describes me as being “at the forefront of the revival of interest in Quaaludes.”

Dates:

03.11.11 - Denton, TX - 35 Denton Festival
03.12.11 - New Orleans, LA - House of Blues
03.13.11 - Houston, TX - House of Blues
03.14-18.11 - Austin, TX - SXSW

• The Jesus and Mary Chain: http://thejesusandmarychain.co.uk

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