Piano Man: Billy Joel now has his own franchise performing once a month at Madison Square Garden as long as there is breath in his lungs and mobility in those magic piano-slaying hands. Five dates have been announced so far, beginning January 27 and ending never.
Haven't They Seen Mannequin?: Horrifyingly, a Japanese company that primarily manufactures synthetic "love dolls" has released the prototype of life-sized Lady Gaga dolls inspired by her Artpop album. Let's hope they'll be available in time for Christmas, for the sicko Gaga fanatic in your life.
??!!: France (more specifically the Council of Croats) has charged Bob Dylan with inciting racial hatred, stemming from comments he made in an interview with the French version of Rolling Stone last year, allegedly likening Croatians to Nazis. In other news, up is down and down is up now.
R.I.P.: RZA has written and recorded a heartfelt tribute to the late great Paul Walker fittingly titled "Destiny Bends" (it totally does), featuring Will Wells. You never realize what you have until it's ripped from you in a fiery car accident—steeped in tragic irony, right?
Indie Flags at Half Mast: The supergroup Wild Flag has apparently disbanded. A moment of silence, please, for the sophomore album that could have been.
Pause Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Chistmas is You" long enough to listen to Natural Child's knee-slapping, piano-fueled "Saturday Night Blues" off of their upcoming album, Dancin' With Wolves, out in February! Then immediately continue listening to MC on repeat.
*I don’t really have a beef with this; I just think this headline’s a real eye-grabber.
Hiphop mogul/rapper Jay Z announced on his blog Dec. 3 that he and his wife/R&B superstar Beyoncé will eat a vegan diet for 22 days. Challenged by a friend to consume only plant-based meals, the veteran rapper—who just turned 44—decided to accept it and will eat no meat or dairy products until Christmas. After that they will consider whether to continue to live on the higher evolutionary plane where vegans exist.
I wish both musicians the best of luck and hope they find veganism to be beneficial to their physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. If nothing else, it will reduce the amount of mucus in their noses and throats, and that can only improve Jay and Bey’s vocal capabilities. Plus, if going vegan is good enough for André 3000, Morrissey, Moby, N.O.R.E., Robin Pecknold, Russell Simmons, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Geezer Butler, Berry Gordy, Chrissie Hynde, Jónsi (Sigur Rós), and Ian MacKaye, it should be good enough for the Roc-A-Fella Records/Brooklyn Nets boss and Sasha Fierce.
Let us hope that these vastly influential celebrities’ example spurs their millions of fans to follow suit, thereby setting humanity on a path to a more sustainable, eco-friendly, and potentially less obesity-plagued future. Let us hope they're not just doing this for the publicity.
I know I'm a couple days late on this, but I don't read the Pitchfork or care much about the Pixies. HOWEVER, I do care about Kim Shattuck and the Muffs! Shattuck had a real short run; she'd only been playing with the Pixies, live, since September.
It looks like Pixies have lost two bass-playing Kims in one year. As Slicing Up Eyeballs points out, Kim Shattuck of the Muffs took to Twitter and Facebook to share the news that she's no longer a member of the band. Shattuck stood in for Kim Deal, who quit the band earlier this year.
Hmmm, I wonder if they have Kim Warnick's number? I don't think she's currently playing full time with anyone.
h/t: Mr. Geoff Cox!
While we were all watching the Seahawks embarrass the Saints in a game of American football last night, we got a surprise visit from local heavy-hitters Sandrider—who's ear drum pummeling at Neumos was compared to the earthquake-causing crowd down at CenturyLink Field. Unsurprisingly, the battle between Sandrider and the 12th Man was much closer than the actual game on the field, with 'Hawks fans edging out 'Rider 137.6 dB to 126.2 dB (though they did have about a 70,000 person advantage). Sandrider is LOUD, guys, and this is a good look for them. So let's have a poll! If Sandrider's sound was a football player, which would it be? Weigh in below!
Of course, there'll be tons of music for sale, as well, including releases from Harry Nilsson (Rarities Collection), Pink Floyd (Zabriskie Point soundtrack), and Stiff Records (Ten Big Stiffs). Check out the info-packed trailer for the Stiff collection below.
OutKast is Reuniting, They Are For Real, Probably: OutKast will definitely maybe be performing as headliners at Coachella 2014. Totally loosely set in stone.
Technology vs Elvish Magic: Bjork explains how television works AKA circuit boards are actually little magical cities. And the internet proceeds to dissolve into an "awww!" puddle.
It's Hard Out Here For An Oscar Winner's Son: Against all odds, Daniel Day-Lewis' son is apparently an aspiring rapper! Gabe Day (Gabriel-Kane Day-Lewis, because decisions are hard to make) recently released a video for his song "Green Auras"; a lyrical highlight: "Judging someone for their dad is just as bad as being racist."
Still Livin' on a Prayer: Due to the resurgence of a 2009 video of a very lively basketball patron performing a practically choreographed lip-sync routine of Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer" at a Boston Celtics game, the song is back on the charts at number 25 on Billboard's Hot 100.
Plastic Surgery Not Taken Into Account: Here's some upsetting artist-rendered images of what dead celebrities would look like in 2013, had they survived.
In honor of the dead rat my housemate found in our kitchen last night, please enjoy this new Shannon and the Clams video for "Rat House" featuring a drumming gorilla, fried chicken, and glitter of course.
Elbows Off the Suicide Table!: The kitchen table from the kitchen that Ian Curtis took his own life in is for sale on eBay and his family members and band mates are appropriately repulsed.
Without Irony: You oughta know that Alanis Morisettes' Jagged Little Pill is at long last being adapted into a Broadway musical!
'Tis the Season: Party peddler Andrew W.K. has announced the details of his "Party Hard Solo Holiday Tour" in which, I'm assuming, he will be ceremoniously partying.
Witchy Woman: Stevie Nicks will be appearing on an upcoming episode of American Horror Story: Coven.
New Kids on a Boat: The New Kids on the Block Cruise will be featured in the premiere episode of the Donnie Wahlberg-produced Rock the Boat, that will potentially cover other super hot bands on their respective cruises.
Spinal Injury, Shminal Shinjury: Beck reveals that the 6 year gap between his last record and his new album Morning Phase, to be released in February, was due to a debilitating spinal injury but also because the music industry totally sucks.
Now Nerdier Than Ever!: In an attempt to resurrect Google Glasses from the depths of ultimate lameness, Google is launching some music-related accessories and applications that will be compatible with the glasses.
Don't Let The Man Man Get You Down: Check out Ty Segall's spooky and relevant new music video for "The Man Man" off of Sleeper, featuring a noir-ish setting complete with gun-slinging monsters.
So Begins Space Race Part 2: Super dependable, never-wrong news source, US Weekly, has reported that Lady Gaga will be the first artist to sing a song in space!
Nothing to See Here, Folks!: Don't worry, the Russian authorities responsible for Pussy Riot's Nadezhda Tolokonnikova's imprisonment have assured her family that she was only transferred to a different penal colony and is not actually missing or being subjected to inhumane prison conditions.
Endlessly Bummed: Morrissey was hospitalized earlier this week due to a concussion. He has since been released and will live to begrudgingly trudge through yet another day.
Check out this new, delightfully tender, folksy song from Juan Wauters' solo debut N.A.P. North American Poetry out on February 4th.
BIG NEWS: Your favorite Scottish instrumental band Mogwai is releasing a new record! Rave Tapes will be out on Sub Pop early next year (January 21), and the label has posted a new song, "Remurdered," to tide us over.
I love, love, LOVE Rock Action, and this song is much more electro and Kraftwerky, so I'm gonna have to listen to it several more times before I can conclude whether or not I really like it. But for now I'm just glad Mogwai is still at it.
In related news, Mogwai has announced a bunch of tour dates, but they weirdly don't include a Seattle date—they're in Salt Lake City May 21st, then they skip over to Portland and Vancouver, BC May 24th and 25th, respectively. How odd! But! Seeing as how Sasquatch will take place May 23-25th (and then again July 4-6th 'cause it'll be two weekends next year, remember), it wouldn't be too far off to conclude that the band could be making a Sasquatch! appearance on May 23rd, right?
I'm a good detective!
See the full list of tour dates after the jump.
Holla Holla Ham Hock: Ja Rule has expressed interest in publishing a cookbook of microwaveable entrees, skills that he acquired in prison while serving 2 years for tax evasion.
Fever Dream?: It's been confirmed that Tom Hardy will play Elton John in the upcoming "musical spectacle" Rocketman.
After Conquering All Earthly Topics...: The Flaming Lips will be releasing a 6 song EP, Peace Sword, on October 29th inspired by the dystopian space epic Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, whose film adaption is opening November 1st.
Down But Not Out: Michael Jackson was named the highest earning dead celebrity raking in $160 million this past year surpassing Madonna (arguably less dead) at $125 million.
Seattle shredders Ubu Roi just released their Nice Dude 7", chock full of (head) bangerz with one of the cheekiest, most alarming album covers I've seen in awhile. Out on Help Yourself Records. The release show is tonight at Therapy Lounge at 9pm with So Pitted and Acapulco Lips!
Finally, a Valid Reason to Reschedule: Delorean has postponed their upcoming US tour due to KIDNAPPING TRAUMA. Earlier this month the group was taken hostage in a hotel in Mexico City for 30 hours. Alright boys, take a break.
A Tribe Calls it Quits: A Tribe Called Quest has revealed that their two upcoming performances with Kanye ("Quit? What is "quit"?") West in New York, where it all began, will be their last.
From Dog to Dinosaur: Snoop Lion, formerly Snoop Dogg, has made yet another transformation, this time into Snoopzilla. He's steadily approaching the end of the line, food chain-wise.
Without Love: Brian Wilson with Jeff Beck and friends performed 'Pet Sounds' in its entirety on Tuesday night. Mike Love and his showboat were noticeably absent.
Why Does it Have to Be A Contest?: Nirvana and The Replacements have been nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Some other contenders include Kiss, Hall & Oates, N.W.A., Peter Gabriel, LL Cool J, Cat Stevens, Link Wray, and The Zombies. Vote here if you feel inclined, otherwise continue to be contented with these bands coexisting in the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame of your heart.
Here's a new NOBUNNY song off of their album 'Secret Songs,' released on October 15th on Goner Records. Sounds like he's sticking to his wild, beer-soaked, garage rocky guns.
A School Assembly That Didn't Suck: Yesterday Sir Paul McCartney played a surprise show for 400 students at a performing arts high school in Astoria, Queens. Condolences to all the bad kids that skipped the assembly to get high off campus.
Young Prince: A 16 year old Prince can be heard laying down some wildly funky guitar on a few tracks with his one of his first bands 94 East in the upcoming Numero Group compilation Purple Snow: Forecasting the Minneapolis Sound. Due out November 12th.
Metal vs The Happiest Place on Earth: Unfathomably, metal thrashers Skeletonwitch have been banned from performing in January at the House of Blues in Downtown Disney because think of the children! Enslaved and Amon Amarth are still on the bill though, having been approved by Disneyland officials, which must be kind of insulting.
For the Dark Artist/Vinyl Enthusiast in Your Life: Recordings of spooky guy and renowned occultist Aleister Crowley's songs, spoken words, and incantations from the 1990's have been reissued on vinyl.
Something About the Comet Being Closed: The Comet is closed. Now where are we supposed to get ignored by bartenders, observe Hate City in their natural habitat, and see delightfully raucous live music?
Parquet Courts (Parkay Quarts) just released their new 5 track EP Tally All the Things That You Broke. Cheekily laid back garage punk with some well timed curve balls thrown in for the sake of irreverence.
Ziggy Played Guitar and Read Loads of Books: David Bowie released a list of his top 100 must-read books and it's a treasure trove of worthwhile suggestions.
Penny (Pinching) Lane: John Lennon's childhood home in Liverpool (near Penny Lane! Oh my god!) is set to be auctioned off later in October.
Barn, Barn, Baby?: In a bizarre cry for help Vanilla Ice Goes Amish will premiere on the DIY Network Saturday, October 12th.
Alleviate Your Post-Breaking Bad Withdrawals, Bitch: Aaron Paul (Jessie Pinkman) appears on the formulaic, club-drivel song Dance, Bitch by Tom Neville & Zen Freeman and makes it relevant, supplementing fat drum beats and jumbled synthes with "dance, bitch" and "come on, dance".
Wolf Pack: Snoop Dogg (Lion?) has joined forces with with his two sons (Pups? Cubs?) to form The Broadus Boyz on their debut mixtape Royal Fam. Despite Snoop's usual propensity towards naughty language, references to bitches and hoes have been substituted for the more family friendly "old lady".
Compelling: Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine said in an interview that Britpop was a government conspiracy and that he, unrelatedly, took a lot of recreational drugs during that time.
New York's The Babies will be playing their particularly earnest blend of warm, fuzzy garage rock tinged with country inklings this Saturday. They're joined by true blue Seattle heartthrobs Wimps, Chastity Belt, and Pony Time!
Sentimental Overload: Kurt Cobain's childhood home in Aberdeen, WA is for sale, complete with his dusty old mattress tucked away in the attic and thumb tack holes from posters he once pinned to the wall. Prove your fanaticism by purchasing it for half a million dollars.
Punk Without All The DIY Hassle: Urban Outfitters is selling the freaking toughest leather jackets ever - because nothing's punker than consumerism.
RIP Sweet Punk Prince: A forerunner of Californian 80's punk, Pat Fear (William "Bill" Bartell) of White Flag, died Tuesday of natural causes.
Blonde is the New Orange is The New Black (?): Madonna covered (read: struggled through) 'Between The Bars' by Elliot Smith to protest the flawed prison system (get it, "bars"?).
Prison Sucks in Russia, Too: Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, one of the two remaining incarcerated members of Pussy Riot, is on a hunger strike to combat inhumane prison conditions.
Cue the Wedding Harps and Kitten Voices: Andy Samberg and Joanna Newsome got married the other day - just trying to lighten the mood.
Our Party Messiah, Who Art in Heaven: Andrew W.K. is finally preaching what he practices and publishing "The Party Bible". The bible will be supplemented by an audio book so you can party all the time, unencumbered by books.
Baseball Becomes (Momentarily) Entertaining!: The organist at Fenway Park graced the Red Sox vs Blue Jays game with a musical interlude of Superchunk's 'Me & You & Jackie Mittoo'. Way to have a sense of humor, someone involved in baseball!
Uh... could y'all just imagine Gwar playing the fucking Superbowl halftime?!?!
A petition to see US heavy metal veterans Gwar play at the NFL Super Bowl in 2015 has been launched after fans of the band slammed next year's scheduled performer Bruno Mars as "boring".
I can't be arsed to give two shits about FOOTBALL or the Superbowl, however... I'd prolly tune in to watch the crass carnage Gwar undoubtably would provide; as well as the ensuing shit storm which would invariably hit afterwards. Together we can make it happen - sign the petition, you guys!
ICP is a POS: Insane Clown Posse is being sued for sexual harassment by their ex-publicist because, in an accusation that would only surprise patrons of the International Center of Photography, they are misogynistic dirt bags.
Busy B: Britney Spears, despite her hectic schedule perfecting that British accent and trying not to evaporate from pop culture entirely, confirmed that she's accepted a two year long residency in the city of dreams, Las Vegas.
Beefy: The Melvins have released a staggering, moody song "American Cow" from their upcoming album Tres Cabrones featuring their original drummer, Mike Dillard. Due out November 5th.
Love Will Find A Way: Courtney Love is tangled up in yet another defamation lawsuit for misconduct on Twitter and Pintrest against fashion designer and delicate-feelings-have-r, Dawn Simorangkir.
Declaring GWAR on the NFL: Already backed with a compelling 18,000 signatures, some steadfast fans and Bruno Mars oppositionists have started a petition demanding GWAR play the Superbowl half time show. Sign it here, I guess.
Getting What He Wants This Time: Morrissey's autobiography, after a brief spot of disagreement with Penguin three days before its intended release, will be on the shelves in the next few weeks.
• 86'd: Mumford and Sons (who?) were kicked out of an Atlanta strip club Tuesday night for taking pictures, followed by a downpour of Do-You-Know-Who-I-Ams (no).
• In Utero, On You Forever: If you've always wanted a Nirvana tattoo but didn't want to pay for/commit to a Kurt Cobain portrait or the baby from Nevermind on your bod you can get a free tat of that wonky smiley-face, free with purchase of the 20th-anniversary reissue of In Utero, out September 24th!
• "Pray For the Bruh Bruh Y'all": Despite his hilariously farcical upcoming album art, Danny Brown was denied entry into Canada last night, en route to perform in Calgary on his 2 High 2 Die tour. Funny tweets naturally ensued.
• Bah Bah Back Beat, Have You Any Wool?: Teaching babies to DJ is no longer just a parents' pipe dream. Natalie Weiss, a DJ who has worked with LCD Soundsystem and Das Racist, offers an eight-week class out of Brooklyn for vinyl-inclined babies. Because hey, your baby isn't getting any younger.
• Complimentary Bonus Documentary: "Flower punkers," Black Lips, have announced their US tour dates for this November. They will also be screening their documentary at every show, Kids Like You & Me, about their experience touring in the Middle East.
“I’ve heard a lot of good country music lately” is a statement I don’t make often, but I’m making it now.
From Nashville via LA Brian Wright released Rattle Their Chains today. On it he’s captured the LA troubadour what-caught-the-holy-spirit sound he’s been beating around the last few years that Sugar Hill Records has been kind enough to record for us.
The SwampFox, old Tony Joe White hisself, the author of "Polk Salad Annie" of Elvis “was a hero to most but never meant shit to me” Presley fame, and an artist so underrated that he makes JJ Cale seem like a man who got the praise he deserved releases his 33rd(!) album in the last 50(!) years this month and so far it sounds pretty good…
Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers finally got it together on their latest, after a series of YouTube covers they made in their tiny tour van that got the band to gel but also went viral as your college booty call.
Country/gospel game changer Valerie June has been plowing through a world tour playing her "organic moonshine roots music" with acts like Jake Bugg in places like the Montreux Jazz Festival, and David Letterman, and will grace our little country town (aka Ballard) with her Tennessee wail on Sunday at the Tractor Tavern. Y'all should show up.
I bring all this up because I got an email the other day from Levi Fuller (yeah, Ball Of Wax dude) and he'll be releasing a new solo EP this month as well. Now, I’ve been running from "John the Revelator" remakes since Blind Willie Johnson was knee-high to a small fry, but I’m glad I didn’t in this case and you shouldn’t neither.
On the four-song EP called Social Music, Levi Fuller and the Library chose three traditionals and a Foghorns song (the blissfully pickled "80 Proof") to get in tune to and ended up with a decent recording. It'd be nice to hear some more original material from Levi with this backing band consisting of Christopher Williams on drums and Johnathan Wooster on bass, but this EP is so fun that it'll do for now. Their electric version of "John The Revelator" clocks in at ¾ time and comes across like DJ Screw got a hold of a box of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds records. Word is they do plan on putting a full album together soon.
Levi Fuller and the Library play their EP release party with Yucca Mountain and The Foghorns (also releasing a new EP) at Conor Byrne Sept. 28.
They've been hinting at it on social media for awhile now, but Fall of Troy just confirmed the rumors—a couple hours ago defunct Northwest noisemakers announced that they're reuniting! For three shows. In Texas.
If you feel like taking a trip (both literally and down memory lane) the band will be playing Red 7 in Austin December 27-29th. On the 27th they'll play their self-titled album, on the 28th they'll play (their best record) Doppelgänger, and on the 29th they'll play Manipulator.
Get more info on the band's Facebook page.