Dweezil Zappa tours 50 Years Of Frank

Frank Zappa certainly out did other fathers – nothing as simple as a Boy named Sue for Frank. Moon Unit, Dweezil, these are names of distinction. Well, they’re distinctive. So Dweezil got an interesting start – he also got to hang around with a lot of guitar players and got to be a master of the guitar himself, releasing his first single at the age of 12. Eddie Van Halen produced that. As a tribute to his father who died in 1993, Dweezil has been touring Zappa senior’s music for a decade
– and this has led to another strange family moment. He is no longer allowed to use his touring name – Zappa plays Zappa – despite this being unarguably true. Continue reading “Dweezil Zappa tours 50 Years Of Frank”

New Fleet Foxes album picks up where previous ended

Like exactly where it left off.  Pitchfork reports: “On June 16, Fleet Foxes release Crack-Up, their first new album in six years. According to frontman Robin Pecknold, they pick up literally where they left off on Helplessness Blues. On the Fleet Foxes subreddit, a fan suggested that Helplessness Blues’ closer “Grown Ocean” seemed “slightly incomplete,” and that the lyrics “feel like they end too soon, that a final chord or line is missing that would tie things up.” For those reasons, the fan theorized that the new record will begin on an F note “so that Helplessness Blues blends seamlessly into it” and “bridges two albums made six years apart.” Pecknold has confirmed the theory: “First note on new album is F for exactly this reason, first main song chord is Bb / F for this reason too, never thought anyone would think about it besides me but you nailed it!”  Continue reading “New Fleet Foxes album picks up where previous ended”

Jason Isbell previews new country music exhibit

If you ever get a chance to go to Nashville (a kind of Mecca for americana fans) then the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is still an essential.  RS Country reports: “If the thought of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum conjures images of black-and-white photos or relics of a bygone musical era, think again. A new exhibit titled “American Currents (The Music of 2016)” aims to highlight the trends and achievements of country music in the present tense. Running through 2017, the exhibit offers memory-jogging totems from the previous year’s significant moments and faces, because as museum director Kyle Young points out, Elvis Presley didn’t make old time rock & roll – he was a man of his times.  Continue reading “Jason Isbell previews new country music exhibit”

Sufjan Stevens and Patti Smith Band perform Star Spangled Banner

News from Pitchfork this morning: “Last night, Sufjan Stevens performed at Tibet House’s 30th annual benefit concert, which doubled as a celebration of Philip Glass’s 80th birthday. He joined the Patti Smith Band to perform his version of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” “My prayer is that we begin to move our hearts, our minds, our bodies in the direction of love, wisdom, and common sense,” he said, by way of introduction. “Until then, we’d like to sing a theme song for this present darkness.” Watch video below. Stevens also performed “Happy Birthday Song,” and joined Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Tibetan monks, and many more for “People Have the Power”—watch that here.  Continue reading “Sufjan Stevens and Patti Smith Band perform Star Spangled Banner”

The Stands main man strikes out on his own

Howie Payne, formerly of Liverpool band The Stands has announced his first solo tour with his live outfit The Band of The Sun and the release of ‘The Stands, Recordings 2003-2005’, a boxset collection of rarities, B sides and demos, gathered on heavyweight coloured vinyl in June. With fans including Noel Gallagher and Bill Ryder-Jones The Stands burnt brightly but briefly during their 2002-2005 lifespan, spawning a string of five UK top 40 singles. After splitting the band, Howie Payne began his solo career, recording acclaimed debut ‘Bright Light Ballads’ with Ethan Johns.  Howie also released a new version of rare early Stands track, ‘She Speaks of These Things’as a precursor to the retrospective.  Continue reading “The Stands main man strikes out on his own”

Hear track from new Dylan album – Listen

Which never ceases to be an exciting thing! Paste report: “Bob Dylan  has just released “Stardust,” the third track from his forthcoming triple album Triplicate, a continuation of his grizzled take on popular jazz standards. The single has just the right amount of swing and country shuffle, and it might be the best that Dylan has sounded in the recent jazz releases. “Stardust” follows previous singles “My One and Only Love” and “I Could Have Told You” leading up to the release of the full album. Continue reading “Hear track from new Dylan album – Listen”

Wilco post their gear for sale to general public

And that means you if you have a spare few grand lying around (or why not treat yourself to a used pass for the more modest devotee). Pitchfork report: “In the past, Wilco have used the online musicians’ marketplace Reverb to sell off some of their instruments and gear, kept in the Chicago headquarters dubbed the Wilco Loft. Now, the official Wilco Loft store has gotten an update, with new guitars, pedals, instruments, and memorabilia from the band up for sale to the public. While much of the inventory has already sold out, there are some pieces left; check out the offerings here. Last year, Sam Beam of Iron & Wine also listed several of his guitars on the website.”  Continue reading “Wilco post their gear for sale to general public”

Willie Nelson jams with the Avett Bros at birthday bash – Watch

Not his own mind you – who wants to work on their own birthday? Rolling Stone reports: “Asleep at the Wheel bandleader Ray Benson’s annual birthday bash kept the special surprise guests coming until late in the evening Tuesday night, getting the legendary Willie Nelson on the road again after he was briefly sidelined by illness last month.  Continue reading “Willie Nelson jams with the Avett Bros at birthday bash – Watch”

Barbican announces Mercury Rev, with Royal Northern Sinfonia.

Time, it seems, has done its usual trick and flown by – can it really be a whole ten years since musically eclectic label Bella Union’s tenth birthday celebration at the RFH? It would appear so, as this July will see events at the Barbican to celebrate a full twenty years of the label founded by Simon Raymonde. And what a way to celebrate – Mercury Rev (Jonathan Donahue and Grasshopper) will take to the stage for an evening of lush and magical music made just that bit more magical and lush by being accompanied by the Royal Northern Sinfonia. Continue reading “Barbican announces Mercury Rev, with Royal Northern Sinfonia.”

Margo Price wins US music prize

Some more news we’re spectacularly late with – honesty comes before a fall, or whatever the saying is. News from Pitchfork who report: “Margo Price has won the second annual American Music Prize for Best Debut Album. Her debut album Midwest Farmer’s Daughter was released last year by Jack White’s Third Man Records. Other finalists for the prize included Whitney, Julien Baker, EL VY, Big Thief, Gallant, Empress Of, case/lang/veirs, and Julien Baker. Price received $25,000 as part of the award. Watch her get surprised with the award at Third Man’s Nashville headquarters below (via The Tennessean). She said of the win in a statement:  Continue reading “Margo Price wins US music prize”