Thursday, January 31, 2008

Paul Simon Teams Up With David Byrne

Not a whole lot going on this morning, but there is this bit about the world's most interesting man, David Byrne (Live Daily):
Paul Simon will enter a month in residency at Brooklyn's Academy of Music this spring, performing songs from his catalog with help from a number of musical friends.... David Byrne and Hugh Masekela will join Simon for the next installment of the series, "Under African Skies," running April 9-13. The performances will draw from Simon's respectively African- and Brazilian-themed albums, 1986's "Graceland" and 1990's "The Rhythm of the Saints."
For some reason, I can never remember what part of Africa Byrne comes from. But I would imagine that really would be a great show to see.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Queen to Make We Will Rock You Musical Sequel

What could be more Advanced than Queen's musical, "We Will Rock You"? A sequel (NME):
Queen are currently planning a sequel to their West End musical 'We Will Rock You'. The show, based around the band’s songs, has been running at the Domino Theatre in the heart of London since it opened in 2002, and there have been various spin-off performances around the world.

Now Queen's Brian May has announced the band and original scriptwriter Ben Elton are working on a follow-up. “We have been talking about it for a long time,” the guitarist told The Independent. “Now Ben has supplied us with a fabulous script the train is rolling! Watch out!”
I've been sick the last couple of days, but this makes me feel so much better.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Danger Mouse, Van Dyke Parks, and John Cale

Not a whole lot going on in the Advanced World, but there is this, from NME:
Danger Mouse has revealed that he is working with the legendary collaborator Van Dyke Parks. The collaboration came about when Danger Mouse produced the forthcoming second album from The Shortwave Set recently. The album, currently under the working title ’Replica Sun Machine’, will also feature a collaboration with Velvet Underground’s John Cale.

I don't know anything about Danger Mouse. Is he Eek-A's cousin?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Roxy Music Reunion With Brian Eno

From Pitchfork:
Roxy Music members Bryan Ferry, Andy Mackay, Phil Manzanera, and Paul Thompson got together early last year, touring the festival circuit before settling down to record the follow-up to 1982's Avalon, which is slated for release this autumn. Eno, who last appeared on 1973's For Your Pleasure, wrote two songs for the forthcoming album, and worked a bit of keyboard magic on other tracks. "The band hadn't changed one bit in terms of its internal dynamics," he told the Guardian. "Just the same chemistry. It made me wonder if people can ever change the chemistry between them. After all that time, the relationships seemed exactly the same."

As is to be expected, Eno will not take the stage with Roxy Music. "They didn't ask me, I think because they know I wouldn't," he said. "I don't fancy it. I basically don't like playing live and I'm also worried about people saying, 'Oh, right, he's going back to the old band, then.' It was a big decision for me to do those two days in the studio with them. Not that I don't like them. I like them all. They're nice people. But because I thought, 'Oh, fuck, I'm going to have to spend years talking about this, and it was only two days.'"

I'm tied up in knots about this one: It's Advanced to reunite but it's Overt to worry about what people will say. Trying to figure out Brian Eno is probably never going to work out in any case. Too bad he doesn't want to tour. I would have loved to see him in fur again.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Lou Reed Rocks French Bankers

Here's the story (from Reuters):
Rock star Lou Reed took a walk on the not-so-wild-side on Monday when he played a private concert for a group of Parisian financiers. Reed played to an audience of around 500 bankers and business executives at a theatre on the Avenue Montaigne, a street full of haute couture shops off the Champs Elysees.

"I love Paris," said the 65-year old New Yorker, drawing a loud cheer from the mainly middle-aged crowd. The concert, which was not open to members of the public, was organized by French finance company Carmignac Gestion. "We offered him some money and he came," said an executive involved in the organization of the event.
Stories about Advanced Artists almost always have a snarky reference to the "mainly middle-aged crowd" at their concerts, especially for corporate gigs like this one. I'm guessing the wad of cash they get softens the blow.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Where Eagles Dare - Misfits

Nothing is going on today in the Advanced world. But I heard this song this morning and was so moved, I had to find the video. Best chorus ever.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Lou Reed Kicks It With G2

A friend sent me an email to let me know that "Can I Kick It" by A Tribe Called Quest is the theme song for Gatorade's G2 drink. Perhaps you're familiar with the song from its appearance in a Nike ad years back. Or maybe because it samples a certain wild song by a certain Advanced artist.

Klaus Nomi Returns

Here's the story (village voice):
Nomi's two studio albums for RCA (Klaus Nomi, 1981; Simple Man, 1982) do reflect some of his otherworldly glamour, too often his astonishing vocals are lost amid formulaic backing tracks; the few extant live recordings and videos are far better, despite an often primitive sound. But Za Bakdaz, just out on Heliocentric, reveals Nomi in a different light. Part experiment in playful terror, part rough draft of his unfinished glossolalic opera, this suite of home-studio recordings circa 1979—lovingly restored by cohorts Page Wood and George Elliott—is a postcard from a distant land where kitsch and high art meet head-on.
The first (and basically only time) I saw the exquisitely Overt Nomi was on Urgh! A Music War, and I had what I would imagine was the reaction he would have wanted: "What the hell is that?" And, of course, I never forgot it. So I guess that was two wins for him. Anyway, the Village Voice article is in the form of a "dramatic reading" (with an entr'act and everything!) because he shares a birthday with 18th-century Italian castrato Farinelli. So I wouldn't blame you if you didn't read it, as you will only be annoyed.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Trent Reznor: I Want to Tax You Like an Animal

Trent Reznor has an interesting take on how to solve the free-download problem (stereogum):
It kind of gets into the bigger picture that you've had to face as a musician over the last few years, which in my mind was a bitter pill to swallow, but it's pretty far down the hatch with me now: the way things are, I think music should be looked at as free. It basically is. The toothpaste is out of the tube and a whole generation of people is accustomed to music being that way. There's a perception that you don't pay for music when you hear it on the radio or MySpace.
In my mind, I think if there was an ISP tax of some sort, we can say to the consumer, "All music is now available and able to be downloaded and put in your car and put in your iPod and put up your a-- if you want, and it's $5 on your cable bill or ISP bill."
What I like about this is that he embraces technology and pisses off his fans. I don't know if Reznor qualifies for Advancement based on his music, but stuff like this certainly merits attention. Plus, he's totally buff these days.

Monday, January 14, 2008

David J Gets Into Musical Theater

From a friend:
Bauhaus' David J writes and directs the world premiere production of Silver For Gold ( The Odyssey Of Edie Sedgwick ) at The Met Theatre in Hollywood, CA, beginning an exclusive two-week engagement on March 6, 2008. Based on the life of Edie Sedgwick - Andy Warhol's brilliant muse - the stage production explores one of the most charismatic yet misunderstood figures in popular culture. Starring multifaceted performer Monique Jenkinson as Edie, Silver For Gold traces the heroine's dazzling rise and eventual downward spiral in a mythological theatrical experience that is part one-woman show, part rock concert replete with avant-garde minimalist staging and video imagery.

"Writing Silver For Gold, it felt as if I had entered into a subtle psychic relationship with this beautiful dead girl and she was actively encouraging me to write," says David J. "She became a bright light that glowed all the brighter whenever I started to create. It was as if she was feeding on the attention. This might sound highly fanciful but that is how it felt. Edie was enduring in her ultimate role, that of the muse. "

Best known as a founding member of the seminal British bands Bauhaus and Love and Rockets, David J leads the Silver For Gold band, providing vocals and guitar. Accompanying David J is Neel Hammond (performed with Sting, Ringo Starr, Rod Stewart, Gnarls Barkley, Alicia Keyes, Diana Krall, Randy Newman, Macy Gray, Bette Midler, Marina Topley-Bird, Diana Krall) on viola and violin, David Raven (Keith Richards, Norah Jones, T-Bone Burnett, Steve Earle, John Doe, Carole King, Michelle Shocked, Hans Zimmer, Nancy Sinatra) on percussion and Michael de Winter (Stranger Passing) on guitar & backing vocals.
This is a classic example of someone wanting to be Advanced ("I'll direct musical theater!") but not quite getting there ("But it better be about something weird!"). Nice try, though.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Ice Cube's Web Network

As I've said many times before, I don't know enough about rap (except that the Advanced embrace it) to judge whether its artists are Advanced, but Ice Cube seems like he definitely has the qualifications. And now, according to USA Today, he's got a Web network:

Cube and his partner DJ Pooh, a record producer and screenwriter who also is a self-described techie, are the latest entertainers to launch a new website showcasing all sorts of videos, original to music to user-generated.

But Cube and Pooh aren't just looking to promote their own work. They have loftier ambitions: to create a TV-style network with multiple channels and high-quality video that can support everything from short videos to full-length movies.

UVNTV (short for U View Network Television, at, still in rollout mode, now features about a dozen channels, run both by large companies and individual artists. Each channel will be screened for quality but will run its own programming. For example, Snoop Dogg's Snoopadelic channel features his rap videos; Nextreme TV shows clips of extreme sports such as snowboarding jumps.

All videos are shown in a new Microsoft-developed format called Silverlight that promises definition high enough to be played on big screens. Shows can be viewed by time or on demand. And, like most websites launching these days, UVNTV includes community-building features along the lines of MySpace.


"We figured we needed to think about how could we still be part of entertainment in this future that's coming out at full speed," says Cube, whose new movie, First Sunday, opens this weekend. "We didn't just want to be providers of a product. We wanted to be a full-blown network. I think we're going to have programming that's way more interesting than what you can see on your daily television or even YouTube."


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Thuggy Stardust

Boing Boing has a link to something theoretically interesting:
The Rise and Fall of Thuggy Stardust and the Hustlers from Mars is MAN-CAT's mashup album in which all the tracks from David Bowie's classic Ziggy Stardust album are mixed with a wide-ranging variety of gangsta rap. None of these tracks floored me, but they all raised a smile and some of them were positively bumptious.
It's not Advanced of me, but I usually find this sort of project underwhelming. Anyway, if you want to listen, go here. As for me, I'm going to go back to thinking about Chaucer's retraction and whether it was an early sign of Advancement. I'm inclined to think it was.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Stipe for Huckabee

Not much going on these past few days, but just to show you I'm still around, here's something from Reuters. Michael Stipe likes Mick Huckabee:

"I can't think of probably a single issue in which I am even remotely in the same universe as that guy ... and yet, he was kind of charming and ... self-deprecating," Stipe told Jane Radio host Jane Pratt, a day after watching Huckabee's Thursday appearance on CBS' "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson."

"He was actually kind of a good sport, and funny, and I don't know what that means. Maybe it's a good thing that's he's being lauded right now by the right. He's an evangelical. May God bless all living creatures but my god ... how weird."

As always, Stipe nears Advancement but just can't get there. For political Advancement, nobody beats James Brown, by the way.