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

beck.jpgBeck returns to Bumbershoot!
photo by Gregory A. Perez

  • Bumbershoot has announced the first few names of the festival’s 2008 lineup. The Memorial Day weekend event at Seattle Center has some big names out of the box, so squirrel away that ticket money now. Beck, the reunited Stone Temple Pilots (Scott Weiland wasn’t unemployed long, was he?), Lucinda Williams, Neko Case, the legendary Wreckless Eric performing with Amy Rigby, Ingrid Michaelson, Del The Funky Homosapien, Jakob Dylan, !!!, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Saul Williams, M.Ward (commence Zooey-watch now), The Walkmen, Asylum Street Spankers, Dan Deacon, Blitzen Trapper, Bedouin Soundclash, Tim Finn, Dale Watson, John Vanderslice, Final Fantasy, The Fall of Troy, Orgone… expect the list of musical performers to increase by leaps and bounds as we head into the summer. As for the Literary Arts participants, dang! Landing the Grand Cyperpunk William Gibson is a pretty slick way to kick that off.
  • “So What Became Of The Space That Was CBGB’s?”, asks Tripwire. Unfortunately, the answer is a bleak one for music fans. The club that made it’s name hosting the Ramones, Televison, and the Talking Heads during the 70’s punk explosion — and had a large part in creating said explosion — closed down in 2006 after losing their lease. Club owner Hilly Kristal passed away due to lung cancer the following year. And who’s taken over the historic Bowery space? The Josh Varvatos Boutique, a clothing emporium. Racked has covered the opening as well, reporting that “the space has been remade in a faux-punk ethic, with walls adorned with vintage concert poster reproductions; a section demonstrating the evolution of what used to be called ‘A/V equipment’ and even bins of vinyl up front for browsing and buying.” You can check out photos of the new storefront on their site. One visitor compares the store to a “high end Hot Topic.” Ouch! Let’s hope an equally depressing fate doesn’t befall Seattle’s own Crocodile Cafe. After all, how many sushi restaurants does Belltown need?

  • The Queen Is Dead: A Classic Under Review, a DVD containing a “visual review” (?) of the 1986 Smiths classic, will be hitting the shops in June. Recording sessions for the LP are documented; also included are as interviews with the various Smiths, late Factory Records head Tony Wilson, too many Smith biographers to count, and the album’s engineer/co-producer Stephen The DVD will also include an “interactive game”; if Morrissey had any input on the project, we can only guess how delightfully skewed that feature will be.
  • And just because we love Colin Meloy here at KEXP (Colin Meloy Sings Live! came out just last week), here’s a video of the Decemberists’ main man covering the Smiths’ “Ask” at Portland’s Jackpot Records last month. Thanks to The Music Slut for the tip!

  • If you’re a music journalist, you probably get many, many unsolicited promo CDs. Most of these CDs, you won’t want to keep, unless you can afford to rent out warehouse space to keep up with the volume. Do some journalists sell these discs to used CD stores? Why yes, they do. Others feel uncomfortable with that, and so CDs they don’t want to own simply get thrown away, to preserve (at the very least) a cleared path the door of their office to the desk. Universal Music Group, however, says throwing those CDs away is illegal. Even if, you know, you didn’t want them in the first place.
  • Previously it was just a good rumor every year, but now it’s true; Prince will play Coachella, his first U.S. festival appearance ever. His Purpleocity will headline on Saturday, April 26. As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, Coachella 2008 also boasts appearances by Portishead, Roger Waters, Jack Johnson, Aphex Twin, My Morning Jacket, The Verve, The Raconteurs, Death Cab for Cutie, Spiritualized, the Breeders… well, you get the idea; pretty much everybody. But do they have Stone Temple Pilots? Score one for Bumbershoot!

  • As for smaller festivals, kudos to The Black Angels for making their upcoming Seattle appearance (June 11) part of the week-long Noise For the Needy benefit. The band is one of the hottest tickets out there, with new album Directions to See a Ghost on the brink of release [John has been debuting the entire album on The Morning Show this week!]; turning their Seattle show into a benefit is just plain cool. Props.
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