SHOCKER: Radiohead's 'Universal Sigh' Leaks
'Newspaper album' to be accompanied by newspaper
Not content with changing the way music is released, Radiohead are to branch out into newspaper publishing. To promote the physical edition of their eighth album, The King of Limbs – which comes out on Monday everywhere bar North America, which must wait until Tuesday – the Oxford band have worked with artist Stanley Donwood to produce a wholly undigital ink-and-paper handout called the Universal Sigh. Their envoys will be at 61 locations worldwide, giving these tabloids away.
This isn't The King of Limbs' first brush with newspapers. While the record's initial release was digital-only, Radiohead are also selling a so-called "newspaper album" version, shipping on 9 May. For £30, fans get a set comprising CD, two 10" vinyl records, and at least "625 tiny pieces of artwork". The Universal Sigh "IS NOT the newspaper that accompanies the newspaper album version of The King of Limbs", Radiohead have advised. "This event WILL NOT be repeated [and it] IS NOT a live performance by Radiohead."
Word of the free newspaper first leaked out via reports from Greece, picked up by a handful of Radiohead fansites. A version of the tabloid was even for sale on eBay before publication. But it was only last night the rumours were confirmed, with the official unveiling of the Universal Sigh website.
Donwood had previously described his work on a mystery project on his blog : "My new project, possibly the most ambitious yet, is taking shape across the digital lines of communication," he wrote. "This new project will, if everything goes to plan, involve many major cities of the world. I feel a little like a Bond villain, hiding from the world in this hilltop fastness, with lists of capital cities taped to the walls of my lair, scrumpled versions of my plans littering the metal floor. I should think up a suitable codename for it, perhaps."
David Lynch directs Duran Duran and Kelis?
With the CD version of their new album All You Need Is Now out this week, iconic New Romantic band Duran Duran did a concert for VEVO’s American Express-sponsored “Unstaged” series yesterday in L.A. As a bonus, one of our fave artists of 2010, Kelis, joined lead singer Simon Le Bon for vocal duties on “The Man Who Stole A Leopard” and “Come Undone.” David Lynch directed live performance clip, which features creepy floating heads and a hovering radio. Watch below.
“I am very excited about this opportunity to experiment with the band, Duran Duran, at the Mayan Theater,” said Lynch, as quoted by MovieLine.com. “The idea is to try and create on the fly, layers of images permeating Duran Duran on the stage. A world of experimentation and hopefully some happy accidents.”
Blues legend dies at 97
Blues musician Joe Willie "Pinetop" Perkins, who this year became the oldest person ever to win a Grammy Award, died at his Austin home yesterday at age 97.
"He went to take a nap and didn't wake up," said his manager, Patricia Morgan.
Perkins won a Grammy, the music world's top award, for best traditional blues album for "Joined at the Hip: Pinetop Perkins & Willie 'Big Eyes' Smith." He also won a 2007 Grammy and a 2005 lifetime achievement Grammy.
Perkins was born in 1913 on a cotton plantation near Belzoni, Mississippi, and became a sideman to blues legends such as Muddy Waters and Sonny Boy Williamson.
Never learning to read - a shortcoming he once said cost him throughout his long career - Perkins picked cotton and was introduced to whiskey as a boy by his mother. He ran away from home after his grandmother smashed a bottle over his head for not chopping firewood.
The lanky Perkins began playing guitar at house parties and ramshackle "juke joints" in the South, and taught himself to play piano.
He was forced to give up the guitar and stick to piano after a woman sliced open his arm in a Helena, Arkansas, nightspot. The doctor who sewed up the gash left the tendons in his left arm too short for him to finger chords on the guitar.
"I can't play piano like I used to either," Perkins told the Chicago Tribune in a 2004 interview. "I used to have bass rolling like thunder. I can't do that no more."
Perkins adopted his nickname after recording "Pinetop's Boogie Woogie," which he composed for one of his mentors, Clarence "Pinetop" Smith.
He appeared on Williamson's King Biscuit Time radio program in the 1950s and recorded and toured with Earl Hooker, Big Joe Williams and Robert Nighthawk.
While with Williamson, Perkins inspired a young Ike Turner whom he taught to play boogie-woogie - a style and tempo that evolved in Turner's hands into the song "Rocket 88," which some music historians regard as the first rock 'n' roll song.
In 1969, Waters picked Perkins to replace Otis Spann on piano in his electrified blues band.
After a dozen years, Perkins and some other bandmates left Waters to form the Legendary Blues Band, and he also performed as a sideman on albums by Chicago blues guitarist Buddy Guy and singer Neil Diamond.
He went out on his own when he was in his 80s and in 1988 released an album of Chicago blues entitled "After Hours."
Perkins won blues music's version of the Grammy, the W.C. Handy Award, for keyboard playing for 11 straight years and the prize for traditional blues man in 2004. He was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2003.
He made appearances in blues clubs alone or in a trio, often sporting a homburg, one foot stomping to the beat - although never on Sundays.
"I ask the Lord, please forgive me for the stuff I done trying to make a nickel," he told the Tribune.
Full SXSW set available now
Punk pioneers to tour with Poison, Motley Crue
Sylvain Sylvain and David Johansen. Photo by Anna Victoria.
The new disc from the New York Dolls is called “Dancing Backward in High Heels,” a take-off on the old line about Ginger Rogers – she had to do everything that Fred Astaire did in their intricate dance numbers, but backward and in high heels.
So what did that title mean to the Dolls? A comment on their days as ‘70s pioneers of punk rock, making it look effortless in retrospect? Pointing out to fans that their gifts are something far more complex than what you see on the surface?
David Johansen just shrugs. “When I sang that lyric, everybody just said ‘That’d be a great title for the record.’ So someone write it at the top of the blackboard and it just stayed there.”
With partner Sylvain Sylvain, Johansen and the latest line-up of the New York Dolls recorded “Dancing Backward” in three weeks, much of it in Newcastle, England. On board was producer/bassist Jason Hill, lead singer of Louis XIV, one of just countless bands influenced by the Dolls’ sound and style over the years. The new disc consists of a dozen catchy, irresistible songs, many tongue-in-cheek such as “I’m So Fabulous.” Before touring this summer with Poison and Motley Crue – more bands influenced by the Dolls – Johansen took a few minutes to talk about new music and the band’s legacy.
MSN: Every time the Dolls record a new album, you sound like you dread it, but once you get in the studio it sounds like you’re having a good time.
Johansen: “Yeah. The reason I say that is because when you’re on the road it’s kind of like the life we’re accustomed to. It’s a cliché, but it’s that Willie Nelson thing – on the road again. When we’re in the midst of that it seems to be like we’re retrievers with a really good Frisbee and everything is fine…. when we have to make a record, it’s like ‘Oh no, we have to stop doing this?’ Then when we get in the studio, like you say, we really enjoy it. It’s all about being in the moment.”
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From Neil Diamond to Alice Cooper and everything in between
NEW YORK — The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's annual induc
tion ceremony is the only place you'd find Bruce Springsteen as just one member of a 21-piece backup band.
The rock hall's latest class brought together Neil Diamond, Alice Cooper, Tom Waits, Darlene Love, Dr. John and Leon Russell, and after all the speeches were done the musicians kept playing until the wee hours.
Springsteen brought his guitar to back Love, who created a modern-day "Wall of Sound" and dueted with Bette Midler on "He's a Rebel" after her induction Monday night. Guitarist John Mayer supported Russell in his ballad "A Song for You." Diamond had the crowd in the glittery ballroom of The Waldorf-Astoria hotel dancing to the 1960s era "Cherry Cherry."
Diamond had seemed a bit loopy in his acceptance speech, after traveling 25 hours from Australia for the ceremony and looking ahead to another trip Down Under to resume a concert tour. He criticized Paul Simon, who inducted him, for giving Simon's upcoming album a difficult-to-remember title ("So Beautiful or So What"), then tried to recover by saying "I dare anybody in this room to make a better album."
Diamond got a cheer from the New York crowd for recognizing his city roots while performing "I Am I Said."
Simon noted that Diamond, who was born in Brooklyn, had first been eligible for the rock hall in 1991 and wondered, "What took so long?"
His theory: Diamond's duet with Barbra Streisand, "You Don't Bring Me Flowers."
"It's Barbra Streisand," he said. "It's not rock 'n' roll. I don't even think they let that DNA near the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame."
Alice Cooper is the stage name for singer Vincent Furnier and his band, known for 1970s era hard rock songs "Eighteen," "No More Mr. Nice Guy" and "School's Out." Their concerts were steeped in horror movie theatrics, and Cooper wrapped a snake around
his neck during his speech accepting induction. He performed a trio of the band's hits in a shirt spattered with fake blood."We've always been a hard-rock band," Cooper said. "We just wanted to decorate it a little differently."
Cooper said he'd like to promise the rock hall that his band wouldn't embarrass it.
"But I can't make that promise," he said. "After all, we are Alice Cooper."
He was inducted by singer Rob Zombie, who recalled how he painted a portrait of Cooper dripping in blood when he was in fourth grade and was asked to make a picture of someone he admired – drawing attention from school authorities.
Songwriter Waits is well-versed in blues, poetry and ballads, with songs rough and romantic. Several of his Hall of Fame predecessors have recorded his work, including Springsteen ("Jersey Girl"), the Ramones ("I Don't Want to Grow Up"), Rod Stewart ("Downtown Train") and Johnny Cash ("Down There By the Train"). Neil Young said Waits is indescribable and "I'm here to describe him." The two later performed together; taped highlights of the rock hall ceremony will be shown on Fuse on March 20.
Waits noted that his rock hall trophy was heavy and wondered if he could have a keychain version "that I can keep with me in case I hear somebody say, `Pete, take the cuffs off him. He's a Hall of Famer.'"
"They say that I have no hits and that I'm difficult to work with," he said, "and they say that like it's a bad thing."
Russell composed "A Song for You" and "Delta Lady," but he said he was in "a ditch
beside the highway of life" when Elton John called a year ago and suggested they record an album together. The result was nominated for a Grammy.
"After that album," John said, "Leon came alive, and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life."
Russell, with a shock of long white hair and beard, walked haltingly onstage with the help of a cane and met John for a warm embrace.
Love, whose voice cut through Phil Spector's heavy production, called her induction into the hall her best 70th birthday present. She praised Spector's work but also tweaked him: "Phil Spector said God made two musical geniuses: Beethoven and Phil Spector," she recalled.
Love lent her powerful voice to several of Spector's hits, in acts such as the Crystals and Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans. Her "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" is a holiday standard: She sang on U2's cover and performs it every December on David Letterman's show.
She was inducted with a comic ramble by Midler, who said she was a goner when she first heard Love's voice on a transistor radio.
"Listening to her songs, you had to dance, you had to move, you had to keep looking for that rebel boy," Midler said. "Suddenly nobody wanted the buttoned-down guy who was a good provider."
New Orleans piano maestro Dr. John, born Malcolm John "Mac" Rebennack Jr., was inducted by singer John Legend, who recalled meeting him at a benefit for Hurricane Katrina relief. Legend said the new Hall of Fame member has been a leading global ambassador for New Orleans and its special musical gumbo.
"He has never stopped flying the flag of funk," Legend said. "Tonight, he is definitely in the right place at the right time."
That was a reference to one of Dr. John's best-known songs, "Right Place, Wrong Time," with Allen Toussaint and the Meters, which he performed as the ceremony slipped past midnight.
Dr. John wore a bright purple suit for his big night and was asked backstage where he had bought his shoes.
"The pimp store," he replied.
Elektra Records founder Jac Holzman and Specialty Records founder Art Rupe also were inducted, in the non-performer category.
The inductees' work will be celebrated in perpetuity at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland.
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