Thursday News Threads


  • Ron Asheton, the guitarist for the Stooges, has passed away unexpectedly, from what appear to be natural causes. He was 60. Asheton’s raw, driving sound helped to define the protopunk band, and the bold precedent he set helped to spawn — in the words of Pitchfork’s Stuart Berman — “every guitar-based subgenre you’ll find in a reputable record store: glam, metal, punk, goth, hardcore, indie rock, shoegazer, stoner-rock and noise.” Rolling Stone, which has declared Asheton to be one of rock’s 100 greatest guitarists, described him as “the Detroit punk who made the Stooges’ music reek like a puddle of week-old biker sweat.” And, as if the accolades need further confirmation, the Stooges may be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year. Asheton was found in his home in Ann Arbor, the city in which he helped to found the Stooges over 40 years ago. In a statement released Tuesday lead singer Iggy Pop, expressed surprise and dismay, referring to Asheton as “my best friend.” Along with Scott Asheton, Mike Watt and Steve MacKay, Iggy Pop has posted a joint message addressing Asheton’s passing.


  • You’d think he’d be more into acoustic guitar, but Davis Guggenheim, Oscar-winning director of An Inconvenient Truth, apparently likes him some high-voltage ’lectric action. Guggenheim’s new documentary, It Might Get Loud, will feature three big names — U2‘s The Edge, Led Zeppelin‘s Jimmy Page and The White Stripes‘ Jack White — at its U.S. premiere at Sundance later this month. So what happens when all this talent comes crashing together? Per Guggenheim, “[s]et on an empty soundstage, the musicians come together, crank up the amps and play.”
  • Apple has announced that it will be selling music free of digital rights management. In other words, Justin Long won’t block your ability to transfer a song after it claims you’ve already assigned it to five devices. (For those of us with fewer than five devices but still, apparently, the ability to run out that five-device limit, this is big news.) But all is not rainbows and sunshine in the land of Steve Jobs; iTunes has also announced that it will adopt a three-tiered pricing policy for its songs: 69 cents, 99 cents, and $1.29. What happened to retailers slashing their prices?
  • Hillary Clinton owes a buncha cash — estimates top $6 million — from her failed presidential bid, and Jon Bon Jovi’s set to help her out. He’s participating in a debt-oriented Clinton fundraiser at Town Hall in New York. Perhaps she’ll reward him with a sweet position in the State Department? Maybe not. In any event, if Clinton were to blast “Blaze of Glory” at strategic diplomatic moments next year, well, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra may be able to rebook. We’re just saying.
  • Happy birthday, David Bowie!

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