Music News: Thursday’s Things You Should Know About. Really.

  • Brilliant Jamaican DJ/producer Mikey Dread passed away at his Connecticut home on Saturday at the age of 54, as a result of a brain tumor. Folks who don’t listen to much dub or dancehall best know him for appearances on Sandinista! by the Clash; he also produced “Bankrobber” for the band. Collaborations with artists such as King Tubby are must-haves, and KEXP pays respects to him as a pioneer on the airwaves as well: his radio program Dread At The Controls was huge all over Jamaica. He influenced many, and he will be missed.


  • Likely not resting in quite as much peace as Mikey Dread this week is Kurt Cobain; the Converse “Cobain” sneaker (to our U.K. readers, “trainer”) is already kicking up quite a controversy as to just how tastefully his work and likeness are being used. These kicks are decorated with sketches and handwritten lyrics from his journals, as well as his signature.
  • We’re big My Morning Jacket fans at KEXP, and if you are as well, check out who MMJ are fans of. You Ain’t No Picasso has assembled a collection of MMJ covering other artists’ songs live. There are 54 cover songs in all (dang, these guys could do weddings for extra dough!), available in a big folder of MP3s for your downloading pleasure. If you’d rather just sample a few, the site has a small selection streaming, including the band rocking the Misfits, Nick Drake, and Prince (“I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man”). Check out those crazy popsicle-hued tuxedos while you’re there – MMJ got a makeover!

My Morning Jacket – I Could Never Take The Place of Your Man (live) (MP3)

  • Even more nifty covers! Here’s Riley Kiley covering Pete Townshend, from the same YANP blog that gave us the gaggle of My Morning Jacket tracks. M.Ward pretty much aced this very same song on popular Starbucks compilation not long ago, but hey — why not? As we all know, there just aren’t that many good Townshend-penned songs to choose from… right?
  • Aimee Mann has a new album, @#%&! Smilers (nice!) coming in June. Mann has been telling folks it’s heavy on the Moog synth; in fact, there’s “no electric guitar at all,” she says, “which you weirdly don’t miss. It’s kind of this all-keyboard situation.” If anyone was wondering how she could possibly top her Christmas album, apparently this is how. Could this be Aimee’s Kid A?
  • How do you defeat early leaks of your album? Here’s how The Raconteurs pulled a fast one: they didn’t tell a soul Consolers of the Lonely was even finished until this week — and it’s coming out next week! Yep, the band finished it up earlier this month, rushed it to mastering, and then off to the pressing plant. The purpose of Operation Consoler’s convert action? Let’s scan that press release. Ahh, here it is: “We wanted to get this record to fans, the press, radio, etc., all at the EXACT SAME TIME, so that no one has an upper hand on anyone else regarding its availability, reception or perception.” Aversion has the full tracklist. When you pick it up next week, whatever you do, keep your perceptions to yourself. Really, it’s the Ranconteur way.
  • The Futureheads are the lastest big name (well, we think they’re big!) to choose self-releasing their music over working with a label. This Is Not The World will be out in May on their own NUL Recordings imprint. Check out the video for the first single “The Beginning Of A Twist”…

  • To keep himself occupied once he’s written his mandatory ten great songs per day, Ryan Adams is blogging! His blog is titled TOTALLY BORED – The Musical, and it’s calling you now. Go on — we’ll wait right here ’til you get back.
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