by Ben Guerechit
About a month back, we found it appropriate to put together the music news roundup in a themed form. This week’s headlines seem to beg the same fate. With that, let’s cut to the chase and get down to it.
Beginning with the local news that seemed to weigh heaviest on this writer’s head, there’s news, according to this blurb in The Seattle Times, attained via Three Imaginary Girls, that the beloved Crocodile Café might be back in business sometime soon, having possibly been purchased by local software company Groupee.
On the down side of the same coin, Fremont neighborhood staple Sonic Boom Records will closing. Don’t worry, Ballard -- it’s just the Fremont location that will close. Phew! Co-owner Nabil Ayers spoke with The Stranger and wrote a heartfelt Dear John note, here.
In not-so-local-but-still kinda-local news, Eddie Vedder won a un-televised Golden Globe for best original song last night for his tune “Guaranteed.” We got the scoop over here.
Recently, major music label EMI is finding its name all over the blogosphere. Idolater gave us a story about the heavyweight “cost-cutting” here. Meanwhile, according to The Tripwire, Robbie Williams is holding onto his forthcoming album in protest of EMI’s policies, and Billboard pointed to a larger story involving other musicians and their managers, here.
Finally, you can find the UK Register’s touted piece on the intertwining relationship between EMI and the IFPI (International Federation of Phonographic Industry) and what it could mean to the fall of the RIAA over here.
This seems to be the heartiest section this week. It looks as though some of KEXP’s favorites are stirring up news with new albums. M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel, actress (and vocalist -- what, didn’t you see Elf?), are teaming up for a full-length set to be released this spring, about which you can learn more at Pitchfork. View photos of their KEXP in-studio from June here.
A track list for the upcoming and 5th release from The Black Keys was brought to our attention via Billboard.com. EXTRA, EXTRA, Read All About It!!! Danger Mouse produced the album. Get your anticipation pants on, boys and girls (or off if you live in NYC).
In other unexpected combination news, Al Green has recruited The Root’s drummer ?uestlove to produce his newest. According to Idolater, it will take you back to the bedroom, just as Green brought happy couples there some 35 odd years ago.
Stereogum gave a somewhat discouraging review of the Drive-By Truckers new album, Brighter Than Creation’s Dark. Read the review here, but make up your own mind when it officially releases on January 22nd. [editor's note: Ben tends to agree with Stereogum, but I really love it! -- Jim]
Another to-be-released album getting internet attention is Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds‘ announcement of the title and release date for their latest, Dig Lazarus, Dig! Aversion has the details.
Next week, Matador Records and Chan Marshall will have a little surprise, as they release the latest from Cat Power, Jukebox in a deluxe “silver” package which includes bonus tracks. Aquarium Drunkard has the track listing for the bonus disc here.
Gorilla vs. Bear seemed quite fired up about the possible release of two, count that, two upcoming releases from Del Tha Funky Homosapien. Check, check it out.
California’s low-fi son Kelley Stoltz‘ new album, Circular Sounds isn’t out until Feb. 5, but Muzzle of Bees has their hands on a fascinating track from the album, “Your Reverie.” Cop that shiz here.
THE BIZ NEWS
Moving onto more important business, Omaha Indie label, Saddle Creek has deemed it important to work with the devil rather than reject him, teaming up with Bittorrent to release sampler tracks for free.
Largehearted Boy pointed to a piece from Tech Blorge reviewing the Top 5 MP3 retailers on the market, over here. In defense of the analog world, we would also like to point you to a story written in Time Magazine on the comeback of vinyl, although we knew it was going down for years.
On to something we can all agree on, why major labels are the Evil Empire and must be brought to Rebel justice (one Star Wars reference for a Monday afternoon never hurts). The Economist lays it out for you here.
Brought to our attention by Spinner, the long haired friends of Jesus will have to leave their microbus on the shore this time as the jam band scene heads to the open waters. Set to take place on a cruise ship, many of the jam band greats will be paying tribute to the one and only Goblin King of the Labyrinth, David Bowie. Look over here for more info.
On the debate front two unlikely politico’s are having it out all over their chosen web outlets. Pitchfork gave us an analyzed version of the heated Obama vs. Hilary argument being waged by Chicago hip-hopsters Lupe Fiasco and Rhymefest.
And the last note goes to Ryan Adams, who has handed out some enlightening home videos from New York City. Aquarium Drunkard has a link to each and everyone here.
Till we meet again…