- The legendary Queen of the Blues, Koko Taylor, died yesterday at age 80 due to complications resulting from her recent surgery to correct a gastrointestinal bleed. Last month Taylor received her 29th award as a blues musician, making her the most honored artist in the genre and has shared the state with just about every other great blues musician during her long career. Read more about her life here.
- Tour dates have been announced for the Dan Deacon/ Deerhunter/ No Age extravaganza this summer. In addition to being an amazing billing, the shows will feature members of all three bands collaborating on stage throughout the set. As if they needed a gimmick to sell this one. Pitchfork has the full story and complete list of dates.
- Ten years ago this month Sean Fanning launched Napster and the ensuing P2P craze that has had the music industry on its head ever since. Billboard just sat down with Hilary Rosen who resided over the RIAA when Napster launched up until her resignation in ’03. The Q&A session brings to light a lot of complexities involving the industries’ possible adoption of online music and is well worth a read and may give pause to anyone with blind anger towards the industries’ actions over the past decade.
- After merging with Atlantic five years ago and getting a time out, Elektra Records is back. Known mostly for housing staple rock acts like The Doors, The Stooges and The Eagles, Elektra is poised to make a comeback with an initial lineup that includes Justice, Little Boots and Cee-Lo. Since next year also marks the 60th anniversary of Elektra’s founding, expect to see some hefty reissues in the near future.
- In festival news, Calgary’s Sled Island Fest, set for June 24-27 (with some spillover), now has a complete lineup. Taking place at dozens of venues across the city, Sled Island consists of an overwhelming array of music, art, film and other media. The varied batch of bands includes HEALTH, Biz Markie, The Breeders, Final Fantasy, Seattle’s lost boys Japanther and a ton of others. Get thee to Calgary!
- On a sadder note, Exene Cervenka of the band X has revealed she’s been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Regarding her illness, Cervenka had this to say:
My focus will certainly be on maintaining my health,” Cervenka, 53, said. “Many people remain strong and continue to live their lives as productively as they had before an MS diagnosis, and I plan to be one of those people.
Regarding her near-future plans with X, Cervenka says,
While this diagnosis will most certainly mean some changes for me, personally, it will not affect my commitments to the current X U.S. tour, nor will it affect my solo album that is slated for release this fall.
- It appears Roger Waters has his own Road Map to peace in the Middle East. According to NME, Waters has offered to play Pink Floyd’s ’79 album The Wall, in its entirety and on location, if the wall in the West Bank comes down. The performance would be a repeat of Waters’ show in Berlin following the 1990 bringing down of the Berlin Wall.
- Who says traumatizing little kids can’t be fun? Check out the brand new video for MGMT‘s “Kids”: