Thursday News Threads

  • Seattle’s School of Rock kicks off its seventh season this weekend with five upcoming shows on the next four Saturdays: The female rebel anthems of Women Who Rule, the stylistic and eccentric songwriting of Syd Barrett’s Pink Floyd, the intricate and challenging music of Radiohead, and the energetic, overdriven fast-paced songs of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. For information and tickets, go here.

  • Apparently the jury’s still out on whether Joaquin Phoenix is a supreme prankster or a supreme nutcase. The former actor announced last year that he was trading his craft to become a musician and would be the subject of pal and brother-in-law Casey Afflect’s new documentary. This week, I’m Still Here: The Lost Year of Joaquin Phoenix screened for a private audience in L.A. and baffled would-be buyers. In the (mock?) doc, Phoenix acts the part of an abusive, drug-fueled, sex-driven rapper, and has apparently proved that there is a limit to how much male frontal nudity an audience can handle.
  • It’s hard to hate a movie that could bring millions of new listeners to a band like Fanfarlo. The third in the Twilight series continues the indie-friendly trend of featuring good music. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse soundtrack, to be released on June 8, will feature Beck with Bat for Lashes, The Dead Weather, Metric, Vampire Weekend, The Black Keys, Band of Horses, and more.
  • After MGMT‘s appearance on Late Night with David Letterman this week, the band performed a full, 10-song set for the studio audience, and thanks to the internet, you can watch all of it right here:

  • 100% user-controlled radio the wave of the future? The folks behind Jelli sure think so. The site turns “radio programming into a community-powered game” and listeners can help determine what comes next by approving or disapproving songs in the upcoming playlist. Several “stations” are available online and San Francisco’s Live 105 even broadcasts on evenings and weekends a user-defined playlist. The site is off to a strong start, having just closed a $7 million first round of funding.
  • One of the last surviving peer-to-peer networks, LimeWire, suffered a legal blow this week. A summary judgment by U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood stated that the company is “guilty of inducing copyright infringement, committed copyright infringement and practiced unfair competition.” RIAA chairman & CEO, Mitch Bainwol, called the victory “an important milestone in the creative community’s fight to reclaim the Internet as a platform for legitimate commerce.”
  • Interpol has announced its summer tour dates with pre-sale links on their website. No West Coast dates have been announced yet.
  • Is a morning radio show with Public Image Ltd.‘s Johnny Lydon “worth getting up for”? NPR thought so and brought in Lydon to host a segment “All Songs Considered,” for which he chose Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid,” Jimi Hendrix’s “All Along the Watchtower,” Peter Cook and Dudley Moore’s “Bedazzled,” and Irish folk band Planxty’s “Well Below the Valley,” while host Bob Boilen played several “hits” from PiL. Check out this very amusing show here.
  • “Birdsong, crashing waves and wind breezing through a country garden” is hardly what you’d expect from a new album by Jarvis Cocker, but for a special project with National Trust, a UK charity organization that takes care of castles, gardens, buildings and other national treasures of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the Pulp frontman has recorded the atmospheric sounds of 11 locations. All “songs” on National Trust: The Album are available for free here.
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