- Canadian folk singer Kate McGarrigle has died at age 63 after a battle with clear cell sarcoma, a rare form of cancer. Rufus Wainwright, her son with musician Loudon Wainwright wrote on his website, “There is never enough time and she, my amazing mother with whom everyone fell in love, went out there and bloody did it.” R.I.P.
- Billboard reports that Vampire Weekend‘s new album Contra has sold 124,000 copies in its first week, making it the highest selling album in the country. Contra debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. Released by XL, is only the 12th independently distributed title to hit number one since 1991.
- There’s a new project with a Seattle connection on the not-so-distant horizon. It’s called Mt. Desolation and apparently features members of Keane, Mumford & Sons, Noah and the Whale, and The Long Winters. But when’s the new record coming out, Mr. Roderick?
- Conan O’Brien seems to have his pick of guests [musical and otherwise] in what will likely be his last week or two hosting The Tonight Show. Check out the video, below, of KEXP faves Spoon performing their song, “Written In Reverse,” off their new record:
- Fans of space rock and aficionados of the theremin, hang on to your helmets because Man or Astro-Man? are blasting out of their Alabamian home and reuniting for SXSW this year, playing for the first time (excepting a one-shot reunion in ’06 for Touch & Go’s 25th anniversary) since 2001. Just before hitting Austin for a handful of shows, they’ll play Birmingham’s The Bottletree on March 6th. Strap in, everybody!
- Shearwater just released North American tour dates for this Spring, after they get back from Europe. They’re going to be at the Triple Door on April 29th and Pullman the next night [!] Pitchfork‘s got the scoop and a new mp3 from their upcoming album [The Golden Archipelago, out February 23rd on Matador.]
- A number of local and otherwise KEXP artists are featured on a new compilation being offered through Starbucks called Sweetheart 2010 where artist cover love songs for Valentine’s Day. Here’s the tracklist:
01 Jose Gonzalez: “Hand on Your Heart” (Kylie Minogue cover)
02 Grand Archives: “Cupid” (Sam Cooke cover)
03 James Mercer & Robert Mercer: “Spanish Harlem Incident” (Bob Dylan cover)
04 Spoon: “Love Song” (The Damned cover)
05 Elvis Perkins: “Teneme en Tu Corazon (Keep Me in Your Heart)” (traditional)
06 The Long Winters: “Give Me All Your Lovin'” (ZZ Top cover)
07 Yo La Tengo: “You Make Me Feel Good” (The Zombies cover)
08 Céu: “Eu Amo Você (I Love You)” (Tim Maia cover)
09 Diane Birch: “I Go Crazy” (Paul Davis cover)
10 Jason Collett and Zeus: “Every Night” (Paul McCartney cover)
11 The Avett Brothers: “I Love” (Tom T. Hall cover)
12 Mates of State: “Long Way Home” (Tom Waits cover)
13 Angelique Kidjo: “Ne Me Quitte Pas (If You Go Away)” (Jacques Brel cover)
14 Hey Marseilles: “True Love Will Find You in the End” (Daniel Johnston cover)
- The Coachella lineup has been released and, naturally, features a million acts you probably want to see. The headliners: Thom Yorke, Jay-Z, Pavement, Gorillaz, Faith No More, Sly and the Family Stone, MGMT, LCD Soundsystem, Phoenix, Them Crooked Vultures, etc. etc.
- New Joanna Newsom! There are a number of YouTube videos from her tour in Australia as she plays stuff from her upcoming record. Check out “Jack Rabbits” below or plenty more at the YouTube user page.