In these tough economic times, you’ve got to look for those ever-elusive alternate streams of income. Especially when you’ve got a family to support. Just ask the coolest Dads on the planet: Jeff Tweedy and co. Do you think that they’re just sitting around and resigning themselves to the fact that, you know, Spencer Tweedy isn’t going to be able to go to a good University?
Hell no. Instead they’re just cranking out some more merchandise.
First on the docket is a lovely and long-due Wilco concert DVD, titled Ashes of American Flags, which chronicles a couple of February 2008 visits to Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium and Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Cain Ballroom. (Auditorium?? Ballroom?!? Classy!) The footage was assembled by longtime collaborators Brendan Canty (of Fugazi fame) and Christoph Green of Trixie Films, who previously worked on Tweedy’s solo DVD Sunken Treasure and the behind-the-scenes film that accompanied certain editions of Wilco's 2007 dad-rock opus Sky Blue Sky (TMT Review).
The whole shebang is due in February or March from Nonesuch, cleverly in advance of another fine consumer product: namely, the next Wilco studio album, which currently boasts little more detail than the band’s assurance that they are hitting it hard in the studio at the moment. Still, it never hurts to start the hype early. Will the synths and laptops return? Will Glenn Kotche do that thing where he blows into his drums? Stay tuned!
According to a recent fan newsletter, Wilco will play "a handful of gigs" in the southern U.S. in April, to be followed by an extensive tour of Spain in May and then "the usual summer hijinks with a new record and gigs everywhere imaginable." Meanwhile, Tweedy also has three solo shows on tap in Michigan and Illinois later this month. And while he’s there, you can be sure that he’ll be checking out those Colleges.
01.29.09 - Kalamazoo, MI - State Theatre
01.30.09 - Ann Arbor, MI - Hill Auditorium
01.31.09 - Champaign, IL - Foellinger Auditorium
04.25.09 – New Orleans, LA – New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival
Ron Asheton, the guitarist and bassist with The Stooges, has been found dead today (January 6). He was 60. Asheton was found at his home in Ann Arbor this morning, according to police. A cause of death is yet to be confirmed, although initial reports suggest that Asheton died of a heart attack.
You guys remember The Darkness, right? Well, according to the same hype machine that caught wind of their meager talent and ridiculous personalities and blew them way out of proportion before their first album dropped (NME), there has been talk of a Darkness reunion. However, relationships within the band have never recovered since Justin's retreat into Betty Ford: Justin and brother/guitarist Dan Hawkins are not in good standing with each other, and the fact that Dan and drummer Ed Graham are suing the band's management over missing cash makes this all the more crippling. There are also no known attempts to contact Frankie Poullain, their original bassist, who walked away during the recording of One Way Ticket To Hell... And Back. In fact, the only reason it's even being mentioned is because some rich festival guy has an offer on the table.
Regardless of how flimsy this "news" is, allow me to go ahead and join the massive preemptive wave of "please gawd, no." Don't even think about it, guys. Cheeseball cock rock with Quiet Riot guitars, inappropriate hair, and a nasally douchebag lead singer is on the outs, and the irony that fueled the adoration of gold-crusted one-pieces and piercing falsettos is nowhere near recharged. Even the Kings Of Leon got haircuts, followed by their first record in the Billboard Top 10, and their music isn't even accidentally humorous (or amusing at all, for that matter). Give it at least another lifetime. Besides, the remains of The Darkness already reformed as Stone Gods, and Justin is currently pimping a comical new band called Hot Leg. It's best for everyone if you just admit your five minutes is up.
From the New York Times:
Eartha Kitt, who purred and pounced her way across Broadway stages, recording studios and movie and television screens in a show-business career that lasted more than six decades, died on Thursday. She was 81 and lived in Connecticut.
The cause was colon cancer, said her longtime publicist, Andrew E. Freedman.
From Davy Graham's official website:
It is with great sadness that we have to announce that Davy passed away on the 15 December 2008 from a seizure at home after a short battle with lung cancer. Davy will be missed by those of us who loved him. The many fans who came to see his last concerts gave him much joy and satisfaction and was something he drew great strength from.
Now, bear in mind that this time of the year is historically a “down” time for tour news. So, please don’t write in to complain about the coverage we will be doling out to the likes of Buddy Dunker and the Rox (hosting a blues jam residency down at The Alligator Stomp Swamp) or Double Exposure at Slippery Nips (their cover version of Mr. Big’s “To Be With You” brings the house down three times a night). We don’t enjoy this stooping either, but we have to keep busy and keep our fingertips in fresh form and poised at the ready for the time when the mega tour announcements come a-knockin’. That time might be coming faster than we think because arguably the biggest and most favorite band in the world, Radiohead, has released details of its first shows of 2009.
Radiohead shows are rare. Radiohead shows in Mexico and South America are rarer. Radiohead shows in Mexico and South America with electronic pioneers Kraftwerk opening for them are like tripping over a nest of dodo eggs and discovering plutonium or a funny sitcom script; it’s just too unique and unlikely. But it’s true! Fans of cabeza del radio or cabeça o radia (a little help?) and Kraftwerk (I’m not even going to try) will get to see these two larger-than-life bands together for the March concerts in Mexico, Brazil, Argentine, and Chile listed below. If traveling from far, make sure to use your carbon calculators, ya green weenies!
Radiohead + Kraftwerk = True computer love waits:
03.15.09 - Mexico City, Mexico - Foro Sol
03.16.09 - Mexico City, Mexico - Foro Sol
03.20.09 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Praça Da Apoteose
03.22.09 - São Paolo, Brazil - Chácara Do Jockey
03.24.09 - Buenos Aires, Argentina - Club Ciudad
03.26.09 - Santiago, Chile - San Carlos de Apoquindo Stadium
03.27.09 - Santiago, Chile - San Carlos de Apoquindo Stadium
Like most print publications right now, Rolling Stone has been hurt by the recession. Late last year, RS made some layoffs at its New York City staff -- which included Kyle Anderson, Melissa Maerz, an assistant, and a fact-checker -- and it also closed its Detroit and San Francisco offices. Lester Bang wanna-bes beware: cross your fingers with the hopes that post-graduation jobs will exist in the magazine world.
Meanwhile, Wenner Media plans on re-vamping Rollingstone.com with the chief digital officer from Reader's Digest. Can't wait to see how that turns out.
From Rolling Stone:
Famed jazz trumpeter Freddie Hubbard died yesterday in Los Angeles, more than a month after suffering a heart attack. He was 70. In a career in jazz that spanned 50 years and more than 300 recordings, Hubbard collaborated with musicians like Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman, just to name a few. “He influenced all the trumpet players that came after him,” said Wynton Marsalis.
When you think about it, Bill S. Preston, Esq. and Ted “Theodore” Logan probably would have been pretty geeked about Kevin Barnes and his merry crew in of Montreal if that movie franchise had been set here in the early 21st century instead. After all, throughout all of their travails, lowly Bill and Ted had, more or less, one simple aim: they wanted to ACT like they were in the biggest band on the face of planet earth (and, later, in the solar system??), regardless of whether or not they had the chops to back it up.
And here at the dawn of 2009, who is thownin’ down a more studded-up gauntlet of self-aggrandized artistic supremacy than Kevin Barnes? (Certainly not Kanye, now that he’s been properly humbled and all...) Case in point: Even as I write this, Barnes and his raunchy crew are packing their makeup and dry-cleaning their costumes for a winter tour of, yup, The Entire World. From New Zealand, Australia, the American South, and Hawaii and California, to the U.K., mainland Europe, and Japan; of Montreal will be livin’ that loca kind of vida that’s usually only reserved for the likes of key Stallyns influences like KISS and Aerosmith. And just you try to tell Barnes to his face that his band isn’t “big enough” to make rounds around the globe like that, brother! I bet you a slushie from the Circle K that he air-guitars in your face and then drops a big-ass garbage can on your ass!
Either way, Barnes will be in Brooklyn on Wednesday by way of a “List Christee” DJ set to celebrate the release party for that fancy "Cause We Were Virgins to Your Kisses" 7-inch/DVD single, followed by a Thursday stop at the Late Show With David Letterman. Also, recall that producer Jon Brion's remixes of some key Skeletal Lamping (TMT Review) cuts are due digitally January 6 and January 27 on CD and LP from Polyvinyl. And as for Wyld Stallyns? Well, they’ll probably be in San Dimas for awhile still, trying to build up that crucial hometown fanbase. But between you and me, they’ll never get that triumphant video made until they’ve got Kevin Barnes on lead guitar.
Scattered Remaining U.S. dates:
12.17.08 - Brooklyn, NY - The Bell House (DJ List Christee a.k.a. Kevin Barnes)
12.30.08 - Athens, GA - 40 Watt Club
12.31.08 - Athens, GA - 40 Watt Club
01.03.09 - Nashville, TN - Cannery Ballroom
01.04.09 - Asheville, NC - Grey Eagle
Most-Triumphant World Tour:
Finally the months spent preparing my annual Christmas wishlist, splurging on the special holiday stamps I put on my letters addressed to the North Pole, and generally denying myself of everything fun in order to be "good" have paid off: One of my greatest Christmas wishes has come true! No, the McDonald's commercial -- where the two women reveal that they actually HATE the alleged elitism of coffeeshops and revel in their ignorance of the geography of South America -- is still sadly airing. But perhaps this wish will bring more good to a smaller, more musically-aware amount of people, which I, as a non-McDonalds latte-drinking, Paraguay-aware elitist, would clearly prefer. I am referring, of course, to the upcoming Morrissey album release and tour.
In a debatable improvement on 2004's You are the Quarry album cover, which depicts Morrissey staring ponderously at a gun, his latest, Years of Refusal, features the man toting a baby. The single "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris" is set for release February 9, 2009, with the full-length to follow on February 17 via Lost Highway.
Years of Refusal tracklist: