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:
Q: How many Montreal musicians does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Seven. One to screw in the lightbulb, the rest to form a band, sign to Arts&Crafts, and write an instrumental album about the plight of the light bulb.
...which is kinda sorta what Bell Orchestre did, even going so far as to title their debut album Recording A Tape The Colour Of Light. Dudes, light bulbs are not that interesting. Anyway, I digress. The real story at hand here is that Bell Orchestre are now signed to Arts&Crafts and their follow-up album is due in early 2009. Of course, bands are only allowed to sign to Arts&Crafts if their members are in other super famous indie bands (it’s an official rule, look it up), so when Bell Orchestre inevitably hit the road next year, be on the lookout for Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Perry and Sarah Neufeld.
Serge Gainsbourg Biopic to Begin Filming in January, Will Render Both Music and Pornography Obsolete Upon Its Release
I can’t decide which is the better question: Why has it taken so long to make a biopic about French lothario/songwriter Serge Gainsbourg, or why did Gainsbourg never appear on film as a Bond villain? Gainsbourg’s unfathomable ability to seduce the most beautiful women of his day (Jane Birkin, Anna Karina, Brigitte fuckin’ Bardot), industrial strength charm, and penchant for filthy jokes (his only lyrics that don’t read like letters to Penthouse are his songs about poop and farts) would make him a more than worthy adversary for 007. And who knows what direction the movie could have went with an arch-villain who moonlights as a musician. Think Shoot the Piano Player combined with Moonraker! Oh, the wasted possibilities! But enough with my James Bond/ Serge Gainsbourg fan fiction. On to the here and now.
According to Variety, Universal will start shooting on January 19 its first French-language picture Serge Gainsbourg (vie heroique). Heroic life, indeed! The film, written and helmed by graphic novelist Joann Sfar in his directorial debut, will chronicle Gainsbourg from his early years as a persecuted Jew in Nazi-occupied Paris to his shocking and stellar career as a musician, performer, and sexual dynamo, which ended all too soon with his death in 1991. Eric Elmosino will play the man himself with model Laetitia Casta as the oh-so-very-hot Brigitte Bardot (swoon) and Mylene Jampanoi as Serge’s last lover Bambou. Still no word on who will play Whitney Houston, so let’s just hope she uses the embarrassing Gainsbourg gaff as some sort of weird regressive vehicle for her pending comeback.
In conclusion: who is excited? Me. I’m the guy who’s excited.
Reading articles about new layoffs each week has sadly become too common the past couple months. This week, two more music-related casualties were announced, beginning with the rumored layoffs at Epic Records of Brett Greenberg (Texas/Oklahoma/Arkansas promotion regional) and Jen Dalton (Denver regional). Greenberg was previously employed by Epic in the Sony Music Marketing division from 1990-2001, and Dalton had worked there for three-and-a-half years. Seriously, Epic, if you want to lay someone off, start with this girl right here. Or, instead, concentrate on fixing your slow-moving flash website that froze my computer for two minutes.
Additionally, CBS Interactive (a.k.a. the big boss that bought Last.fm last year for $280 million) is also laying off employees from a few of its companies, starting with Last.fm. Apparently, the number of Last.fm layoffs is less than 20, so hopefully it won’t be too catastrophic.