Archive for the ‘Old, stale news’ Category
That was a shocker.
A musician I hadn’t thought about in 10 years or so, except while briefly remembering high school as I thumbed through my CD collection, died last night of heart failure at age 48.
Even though I lost track of Type O Negative shortly after World Coming Down, hearing about Steele’s death was a little like hearing about one of your favorite countries being bombed, or finding out the college pizza place you spent all your time in closed down. Hearing he was 48 was a little weird, too — I’d always thought that guy had to be immortal or something.
The 6 -foot-7 bass player and lead singer was originally named Petrus T. Ratajczyk, hailed from Brooklyn, was a control freak, and had a baritone voice that could be mistaken for a bus driving by. Rumors of his death circulated in 2005, but it was found to be a publicity stunt related to the band’s signing to a new label. He also apparently posed in Playgirl as another stunt. Fascinating.
Malcolm McLaren, the producer and band manager known for being the brains behind the Sex Pistols and the New York Dolls, died of cancer this morning in New York. He was 64.
McLaren gained notoriety after the Sex Pistols single “God Save the Queen” was banned in 1977 by the BBC and the Independent Broadcasting Authority, yet still managed to reach number 2 in the UK charts. He is also known for projects such as his solo albums Duck Rock and Waltz Darling, as well as his Zombies/Esther Bigeou collage “About Her,” from the soundtrack of Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill 2.
More about his intriguing life story can be found in the links below:
This new video, just released by Chicago natives and current LA transplants OK Go, will put a cinch in the underpants of anyone who likes high-school science experiments, paintball, the game Mousetrap, or this video of a Cadbury Creme Egg getting smashed.
“This Too Shall Pass” is currently making the rounds, astonishing even the most stoic indie kids. Watch and be awed.
P.S.: You might also like this version, filmed live with the Notre Dame Marching Band. Collegiate.
Fans of Hollywood indie outfit Red Arrow Messenger have something else to look forward to besides the band’s melodic folk-pop, tight three-part harmonies and awe-inspiring stage presence. Every Monday in February the band is hosting a free variety show-style concert featuring favorite local bands, comedians, magic, food, and even a much-anticipated laser light show.
The February 1 show featured a magician escaping from a straight jacket (and mystically conjuring a pair of chickens), a stand-up comedy act, a self-photography setup, and the musical stylings of Last American Buffalo along with the dark, velvety croon of All Wrong and the Plans Change. With this Monday’s bill featuring tribal-tronic two-piece Rumspringa and oldies-inspired Jenny O, it’s pretty much guaranteed to meet or exceed the mark, whatever else the band has up its sleeve. (I hear it’s barbecue.)
The audio-visual (and nutritional) smorgasbord takes place at the Bootleg Theater in Echo Park, starting at 8 pm. Everyone gets in the door free, and beer and wine is relatively cheap.
Update: The Feb. 8 show was even more awesome than the last one. It featured two hilarious stand-up comedians (taking on religion and alternative porn), the timeline-spanning music of Jenny O, the two-piece jungle-jamming of Rumspringa, and (finally) the much-hyped laser light show — which consisted of fog, darkness, mirrored surfaces and a bunch of tiny laser pointers distributed to the crowd. Speaking of low-budget ingenuity.
The band was giving away their EP, fans were slurping up Jell-o shots in the back, and I got some video that will find its way online soon.
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If it’s possible for band to be sainted, Radiohead is trying hard.
The band (Namely Phil) announced they’re playing a Haiti benefit show Sunday, January 24, at 7 pm at the Henry Fonda Theater in Los Angeles. Tickets are being auctioned on Ticketmaster in order to raise as much money as possible — which means you’ll be spending a lot. However, all proceeds are going to the Oxfam Haiti relief fund, and since the band is currently in the midst of recording their next album, it also means you could be treated to some new, un-rehearsed material. Radiohead on the raw is a rare thing indeed.
The ticket auction started today (January 21) at 8 pm PST, and will run until Saturday January 23 at 11 pm. Visit Radiohead’s site for details.
To the delight of grunge fans who enjoy off-kilter time signatures, songs about snakes and the pleasant aroma of grilled Barbie dolls, Soundgarden is planning a reunion for the new year, after more than 12 years on the shelf.
Announcing the news through his Twitter account, frontman Chris Cornell directed eager clickers toward a band site where followers can sign up to receive updates. No other info is being offered, though news outlets like Rolling Stone and Billboard are filling paragraphs with delicious background info on the band’s illustrious career.
Though Ticketmaster has yet to add Soundgarden to their alert roster, that’s one place I’d go once they get themselves updated.
More info as it comes.
Forgot to ask Santa for sweet music gear this year? No worries. Guitar Player will deliver.
Eight incredibly lucky subscribers to the gear lover’s magazine can win one of eight very generous gift packages through the GP2 8×8 Giveaway — including eight giant amps, eight gleaming axes, and seven pedals (the acoustic package doesn’t need one) to drown your post X-mas blues.
All subscribers have to do is open the latest edition of the electronic rag, wait for the registration form to pop up, and sign up. Not subscribed? Well, doing that works too … and it’s free, by the way.
So let’s see, some nice reading material and the chance to score some shiny new hardware. I’m already signed up. Check out this info page for instructions to enter yourself, plus some interesting prizes for Twitterheads who follow Guitar Player on Twitter and re-tweet their promos. Contest ends at midnight on January 31. Happy reading…
Dave Grohl. Josh Homme. John. Paul. Jones.
Allow me to spew mindless superlatives like a hyperactive little kid, but Them Crooked Vultures is probably going to be the most mind-bending, capillary-rupturing tsunami of awesomeness to pound the shores of the modern rock scene this decade. Wait, does that sound over the top? Good.
For those of you who hate living in sunlight, Dave Grohl is the accomplished (and slightly self-inflated, from what I hear) ex-drummer of Nirvana and current Foo Fighters champion, Homme is chief asskicker of Queens of the Stone Age and an all-around brilliant songwriter, and John Paul Jones is John Paul Jones. From Led Zeppelin. (Twitch, twitch. Puke.) Them Crooked Vultures is the supergroup they formed in 2005 (joined by live rhythm guitarist Alain Johannes of QOTSA). Their debut album is due out November 16 in the UK, and November 17 in the US, which probably means there are already pirated versions flying around hither and thither.
This is still OK, though, because the entire album is available right now through the band’s YouTube channel. Of course it’s sweet, from the killer drum opening and chomping guitar riff of “New Fang” to the simple jaw-busting power of “No One Loves Me & Neither Do I.” I suggest you void your bowels to make room for the sheer rock infusion that will ensue, grab the first copy you can get your hands on, and devour that ambrosia like it’s green beer on Saint Patty’s Day.
Apparently, Oasis guitarist and absolutely the most arrogant dude in rock history, Noel Gallagher, has left the band after the cancellation of a Paris concert Friday. This sucks big time.
Oasis had planned to play the Paris concert Rock en Seine Friday night, but canceled just before they were due onstage. Event organizers explained, holding back no detail, that the cancellation was caused by an “altercation.” (Further details provided that the altercation occurred “in Paris.”)
Afterward, the hard-headed guitarist, who has also written the bulk of Oasis’ material and provided backup and occasional lead vocals, posted a statement on the band’s Web site saying he was calling it quits.
The statement reads: “It’s with some sadness and great relief to tell you that I quit Oasis tonight. People will write and say what they like, but I simply could not go on working with Liam a day longer. Apologies to all the people who bought tickets for the shows in Paris, Konstanz and Milan.”
If Noel means what he says, and we all know how insistent he can be, then it’s definitely a sad event in music, especially considering the new direction the band had been taking. Now who will bear the brunt of my obnoxious snob analogies? I don’t know.
The story is available at NME.com.
Radiohead has released a composition written in honor of Harry Patch, the last remaining UK veteran of World War I.
Patch died July 25 at age 111, having been one of the world’s last four survivors of the First World War, the third oldest man in the world, and briefly the oldest man in Europe. As Thom Yorke says on Radiohead’s Web site, “I had heard a very emotional interview with him a few years ago on the Today program on Radio4. The way he talked about war had a profound effect on me.”
The song, inspired by Patch’s story, was composed and recorded a few weeks before his death. Johnny Greenwood arranged the strings, Yorke wrote the lyrics, and everything was recorded live in an abbey.
The song’s feel is old-fashioned and awe-struck, the way one would imagine a dirge for every fallen soldier would sound. The lyrics are bleak and dark, evoking an old war documentary or Normandy footage. It is sparse and delicate, and powerful at the same time. The abbey’s echo can be heard in the strings, giving it an ancient, wooden feel.
“Harry Patch (In Memory Of)” is available for download at Radiohead’s site and can be previewed, 30 seconds at a time, through a somewhat irritating flash player. The cost to download is 1 UK pound, or around $1.70. All proceeds are going to the Royal British Legion.
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