Thursday News Threads

 

photo by Ron Henry

photo by Ron Henry

 

  • Ryan Adams, characteristically resistant to capital letters, has announced on his blog three things he’s cutting back: (1) smoking; (2) blogging; and (3) making music. In a long testimonial, he explains his decisions and discusses some of the recent difficulties he’s faced. On a more positive note, he describes himself as happy “for the first time in [his] life.” Adams concludes: “maybe we will play again sometime and maybe i will work my way back into some kind of music situation but this is the time for me to step back now, to reel it in and i wish everyone peace and happiness and if music is your dream, or if just dreaming is your dream, may you find your way through the rough patch with ease and i hope you let go and it takes you all the way there -- loving kindness to all.” Apparently, some of this has been taken out of context by other news outlets, causing Adams to reiterate today, “i did not say i was quitting i said i was taking a step back...” Don’t worry, Ryan -- the thought you not putting out at least one album a year seems unbelievable.

 

 

  • The Decemberists, though, are still going strong. After releasing a series of EPs, they’re set to release their fifth full-length, The Hazards of Love, on March 24. Right now you can download for free “The Rake’s Song” from the album, beginning today, at the band’s website.
  • Just a few months after good ol’ Times Square saw Kathy Griffin mortify poor Anderson Cooper, it will be witnessing the exit of an icon (and no, we’re not talking about TRL): The Times Square Virgin Megastore, which has proudly served as the highest volume music store in the United States, will shut down in April. It seems the store is still profitable -- it’s just not paying the rent it could be. (Apparently Virgin pays only $54 per square-foot while the market rent in the area is over 10 times that figure.) Rents, shments; it still seems appropriate to blame the Stupid Recession. Oh, and it’s being replaced with a Forever 21. Here’s to capitalism.
  • Support a good cause, hear some good tracks, what’s not to like: War Child International (a network of organizations helping children affected by -- you guessed it -- war) has released another tribute album, and there are some ringers in there: Beck covering Dylan, The Hold Steady covering Springsteen, TV On The Radio covering Bowie, Hot Chip covering Joy Division, you name it. Check out the full list.
  • Could 2009 be the year of The Wrens? Celebrating 20 years together, the hardest working band in New Jersey is offering up a brand new single, “Pulled Fences,” recorded live at Abbey Road Studios. Does this mean the band is ready to record a follow up to their sensational Meadowlands? Seems so. They report on their newly updated website, where you can also find out how to get the new single, that on this coming Monday they will “reconvene in the basement and start recording music.”
  • MySpace now sports an 18-minute documentary that follows Oasis and “a group of street musicians” as they debut songs off Oasis’s new album (Dig Out Your Soul In The Streets) in New York. The documentary, free and available for your viewing pleasure, purports to be the first “to debut in high definition in the history of MySpace.” Further kudos to them Internets.
  • Speaking of videos, Weezer just released a new one for “Pork and Beans,” featuring an array of YouTube personalities and other characters (like Kathy Lee Gifford): 

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