The Day The Music Died
Reader Allyson sent me this rather touching sentiment on the passing of Les Paul, a man responsible not just for amazing advancements in guitar, but in music and music technology advancements more far-reaching that many of us realize. But I'll let Alyson say it, for she manages to eulogize him far better than I am able:
Much to my dismay Les Paul passed away last week. He doesn't have the same cachet as John Hughes, but he should because he invented the goddamn electric guitar! He was 94 years old and was still playing once a week at the Iridium in NYC, where most of the modern guitar gods stopped by to pay homage. My Dad was a huge fan, and when I moved here he was thrilled because I was close to Les. I saw him about 10 times at the Iridium and he was just fantastic, like a cheeky, raunchy grandpa, with embarrassing stories about everyone in the business that he was just thrilled to share. And if that isn't enough, when he shattered his arm in a terrible car accident, he instructed the doctors to set his arm in the guitar playing position, because he planned on doing nothing else with his life. In short, he was awesome, and I wish his passing was getting more attention.
In crazy music chick news, M.I.A. and Santigold are apparently collaborating on a couple of tracks for the new album by... Christina Aguilera. Wait... what? You know what though? It kind of works in my head -- Aguilera may not be the most inspired songwriter ever, but girl has a hell of a voice, far moreso that her other, more bubblegum contemporaries. I'm not saying I'm gonna race out and buy the album, but I'm definitely curious. Hell, other guests on her forthcoming album include Goldfrapp, Ladytron, Sia, and Le Tigre. That's some serious pedigree there. (h/t to Pitchfork)
Mary J. Blige is releasing her ninth album titled Stronger on November 24th. The first single off the album is "The One" featuring Drake, who also starred as Jimmy in Degrassi: The Next Generation. Dear Lord, why do I know that?? Ok, it's because I was obsessed with the original show in the 80's and that kind of bled over into my adulthood. So yes, I've watched the damn show ok!! The second single will be "Stronger," which will be featured in the new LeBron James documentary More Than a Game. Blige also has a BET reality show in the works the will feature makeovers given to underprivileged women. What's the 411? is still my shit, but Mary continues to release quality music after 17 years.
Aerosmith is apparently canceling their summer tour because Steven Tyler
broke his hip fell off stage during a performance in South Dakota and broke his shoulder and busted his head open, requiring 20 stitches. What's that? No one gives a monkey-pissing fuck about Aerosmith anymore? Oh, right. Moving on then.
How about this instead: anyone heard the new mystery Radiohead track? Apparently, it's been wandering around the internet for the past few days, with absolutely no information about where it came from, when it was recorded, or anything else. So far, Radiohead's been mum, but the song is unquestionably them. It's also unquestionably awesome, and it also seems like a quintessential Radiohead kind of stunt. Here it is, for your listening pleasure.
And here's your Monday Afternoon Playlist. Enjoy.
Sean: Nate Ruess, formerly of The Format, has a new band called fun. Their debut record, Aim & Ignite comes out on August 25th, and is currently streaming in its entirety on their myspace page. My glowing review is forthcoming, but for now, it will suffice to say that it's excellent. It's got even more lush retro-pop stylings than Dog Problems, and Nate's voice sounds smoother and better than ever. Please, you enjoy "All the Pretty Girls."
Caspar: Bahamadia: "Unknowhowwedo." Taken from her excellent debut album Kollage, from 1996, this is a really swell, slow number, which finds the awesome female MC laying down a customarily gentle, soulful flow to a lo-fi jazzy backing track. I dug out some old Bahamadia after someone online compared her to Speech Debelle (who I'm reviewing later this week). Really, they're not very alike, I find - but boy oh boy, this is some smart, Rawkus-sounding rap.
TK: Sometimes you gotta just say, "what the hell." This week's "What The Hell" moment features "Te Quiero Puta!" by Rammstein. Because what could possibly be better than a German industrial metal band singing in Spanish (complete with horns) singing a song that translates into "I love you, whore!" Them's good times right there.