Weekend Headlines 11/12: Kanye’s Mom, Radiohead webcast, Sufjan giveaway

kanyeanddonda.jpgFirst of all, we send our condolences to Kanye West at the loss of his mother, Dr. Donda West, who died on Saturday night in Los Angeles from what her publicist tells CNN was a “cosmetic procedure.” To say that Dr. West was a formative influence on Kanye’s career would be an understatement -- after raising her son on her own, the former English professor retired and became his manager, wrote a book called Raising Kanye: Life Lessons From the Mother of a Hip-Hop Superstar, and was the subject of Kanye’s song “Hey Mama.”


Kanye West - “Hey Mama” Ahoy, The Netherlands 3/8/06

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Radiohead made headlines again this weekend as they’ve officially announced their much-speculated deal with the Dave Matthews label ATO to release In Rainbows on January 2 in the U.S.

To celebrate completing the album, the band performed a webcast called “thumbs_down” on Friday night on Radiohead TV. Apparently what you saw on Thursday was only a test for the full podcast, which featured DJ sets by the band members, live performances, pre-recorded yet impromptu videos, cover songs, and general wackiness. Comedian and actor Adam Buxton from BBC’s Channel 4 was on hand to provide “technical support” and on his blog provides detailed commentary from the experience. While technical difficulties silenced portions of the webcast (nearly every clip begins with “Is this thing on?”), much of it has become available on the ‘Tube, including these nine excellent clips that you can watch at the Radiohead fan site Atease. Here are a few highlights:

Thom introducing the webcast


Faust Arp


Ceremony (New Order cover)


Helmet Cam video for Jigsaw Falling Into Place

Be sure to check out Garth Jenning’s and Adam Buxton’s reinterpretation of the much parodied climactic scene from David Fincher’s Seven here.

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sufjan_xmas3_dennyrenshaw.jpg
photo by Denny Renshaw

Sufjan Stevens is offering a gift exchange: one of your songs for one of his -- the rights, that is. According to the Asthmatic Kitty website, if your song is chosen from among all of the submissions...
“Sufjan’s song becomes your song. You can hoard it for yourself, sell it to a major soft drink corporation, use it in your daughter’s first Christmas video, or share it for free on your website. No one except Sufjan and you will hear his song, unless you decide otherwise. You get the song and all legal rights to it.” Of course, Sufjan and Asthmatic Kitty get to keep your song and do with it whatever they will. So get to it -- put your pen to paper and enjoy the holiday spirit of licensing!

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