RIP: Willie Mitchell

From The New York Times:

Willie Mitchell, who shaped the elegant yet gritty sound of Al Green, Ann Peebles and other stars of soul music as the house producer at Hi Records in the 1960s and ’70s, died Tuesday in Memphis, where he lived. He was 81. The cause was cardiac arrest, his son Lawrence said.

RIP: Lhasa de Sela

From Lhasa de Sela’s official website:

The singer Lhasa de Sela passed away in her Montreal home on the night of January 1st 2010, just before midnight.

She succumbed to breast cancer after a twenty-one month long struggle, which she faced with courage and determination.

Throughout this difficult period, she continued to touch the lives of those around her with her characteristic grace, beauty and humor. The strength of her will carried her once again into the recording studio, where she completed her latest album, followed by successful record launches in Montreal at the Théatre Corona and in Paris at the Théatre des Bouffes du Nord. Two concerts in Iceland in May were to be her last.

She was forced to cancel a long international tour scheduled for autumn 2009. A projected album of the songs of Victor Jara and Violeta Parra would also remain unrealized.

Lhasa de Sela was born on September 27, 1972, in Big Indian, New York.

• Lhasa de Sela: http://lhasadesela.com

RIP: Rowland S. Howard, Birthday Party Guitarist

From Billboard:

Rowland S. Howard, an important figure in Australia’s underground rock scene who played guitar for the Boys Next Door and the Birthday Party, has lost his battle with liver cancer. He passed away this morning (Dec. 30) at the age of 50.

Howard is best remembered for his distinctive distorted guitar sounds and audio feedback, and for the alternative hit “Shivers” which he penned for the Boys Next Door, a Melbourne punk/goth band which he had formed in 1973 with Nick Cave.

RIP: Vic Chesnutt

• Vic Chesnutt: http://vicchesnutt.com/home
• Constellation Records: http://cstrecords.com
• Donations: http://kristinhersh.cashmusic.org/vic

Torrent Provider Mininova Loses Court Battle, Deletes All Copyright Infringing Torrents

The idea of a "legal" torrent website sounds ridiculous. There, I said it. I mean, WHAT would be the point. Forcing a torrent website to go legal is a teeny little stab at the internet and all of its bounty, but let's face it: tackling one downloading service is like a particuarly hellish game of Whack-a-Mole. Or like plucking gray hairs. Or... you get the idea. But yes, you heard it right here: Dutch torrent provider Mininova has removed all of its torrents save for the few that had been uploaded through its content distribution service, making them officially a legal service.

Mininova's drastic decision resulted in their legal battle with Dutch anti-piracy program BREIN, who needless to say, won. Up until this point, Mininova was the web's largest torrent website, but in court BREIN made it more than clear that they wanted Mininova to start filtering their torrents to protect artists' copyrighted material. After the case went to court in June, the judge ruled in BREIN's favor, stating that the owners of Mininova were not themselves guilty of copyright infringement, but that they should remove torrents containing copyrighted material within three months or be fined five million Euros.

But like Wilco's digital strategist Ken Waagner says in Greg Kot's book Ripped: How the Wired Generation Revolutionized Music, "The record industry suing file sharers is like the railroad industry trying to shoot down airplanes." And I think it's time for a resounding chorus of "enough said."

Sic Alps Do Double Time: Tour with Magik Markers and Then Tour with Sonic Youth

Sic Alps have been a pretty busy band these last couple years, releasing a double-LP comp on Drag City, a 7-inch on Slumberland, an LP on Siltbreeze, and 7-inches on Woodsist and Important. The prolificacy doesn't end with the physical releases, as they've been touring the U.S. and Europe constantly. So is it in any way doubtful that they are doing two tours in the next two months? No way!! West Coast only though, so yeah, too bad for us Midwesterners, East Coasters, and Southerners (and the rest of the world). Even worse for all of us non-West Coasters is the fact that they'll be hitting the road with none other than the Magik Markers and Sonic Youth.

Starting on December 9, the Alps and the Markers will destroy San Jose and then work their way north until they get to Olympia, WA on December 19. Then, in the year 2010, a.k.a. next year, they will hit the road with Sonic Youth, starting on January 4 in Tucson, AZ and ending things off in San Francisco on January 10. In fact, San Fran and LA will be getting a double dose of Sic Alps since they will be hitting them up on both tours, adding insult to injury.

Sic Alps and Magik Markers tour:
12.09.09 - San Jose, CA - The Blank Club
12.10.09 - Santa Cruz, CA - The Crepe Place
12.11.09 - Los Angeles, CA - The Smell *
12.12.09 - Oakland, CA - The Continental Club $
12.13.09 - San Francisco, CA - The Hemlock
12.15.09 - Sacramento, CA - The Hub
12.16.09 - Portland, OR - Eagles Lounge ^
12.17.09 - Seattle, WA - Chop Suey
12.18.09 - Vancouver, BC - Rickshaw Theatre ~
12.19.09 - Olympia, WA - Northern

* Foot Village

$ Gowns

^ Eat Skull

~ Shearing Pinx

Sic Alps and Sonic Youth:
01.04.10 - Tucson, AZ - The Rialto Theatre
01.05.10 - Phoenix, AZ - The Marquee Theatre
01.07.10 - San Diego, CA - The House of Blues
01.08.10 - Pomona, CA - The Fox Theatre
01.09.10 - Los Angeles, CA - The Wiltern
01.10.10 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore

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