Tuesday News Catchup

We here at KEXP hope that our listeners had a fun but safe Fourth of July -- the fewer limbs blown off, the better in our book. Now that everything’s mostly back to normal, here’s a look into what music news you may have missed while lighting fuses and running in the opposite direction.

  • Wondering how your favorite bands spent their 4th of July? Stereogum has a collection of the best tweets from indie rockstars across the map, collected for your enjoyment right here. Some of the highlights include:
    • Black Keys: “But seriously, we had a planking incident go horribly wrong today. Hope the bone isn’t broken. In waiting room for diagnosis”

      Wavves: “someone tell this cat to get off the playstation”

      Wye Oak: “Uh... were they just spelling out WWJD in fireworks?”

  • It appears that obsolete social network Myspace is refusing to kick the bucket, as a deal with Specific Media went through to the sum of $35 million. With the number of bands that used to use Myspace (and are now making the switch to Facebook’s Pages or Bandcamp), this is no small news. In a stranger turn, pop-star-turned-actor Justin Timberlake has been made a minority shareholder in the company, and plans to work with Specific Media to turn the ailing site into a thriving hub again. From his press statement:

    There’s a need for a place where fans can go to interact with their favorite entertainers, listen to music, watch videos, share and discover cool stuff and just connect. Myspace has the potential to be that place. Art is inspired by people and vice versa, so there’s a natural social component to entertainment. I’m excited to help revitalize Myspace by using its social media platform to bring artists and fans together in one community.

  • Radiohead continues to make news by dipping its toe into Chinese social networking. According the Associated Press, the band, which has previously been vocal about China’s human rights violations, just created a “microblog” page on the Chinese Internet portal Sina.com, with a single “testing” message. While this could be a big step toward Western bands getting more exposure in China, it also might be short-lived since any politically sensitive material is subject for immediate censorship... and Radiohead isn’t a band that likes to stay quiet! It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
  • The Roskilde Festival has been the largest North European culture and music festival since its inception in 1971, but with that mantle comes the burden of inevitable accidents. This year saw the death of a 35-year-old woman, who passed away following a 100-foot fall from an aerial cable run by festival sponsors. According to the festival’s site, police are ruling the death a suicide. This is the first death at Roskilde since 2000, when nine people were killed and 43 injured by a crowd crush during Pearl Jam.
  • Dead Weather bandmates Jack White and Alison Mosshart recently teamed up with Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones and three-string guitarist Seasick Steve for a performance of Steve’s song “Write Me A Few of Your Lines.” The show took place at London’s iTunes Festival on Saturday. Check out the video on Youtube.
  • Pandora not enough for you? Turntable.fm too local? Maybe it’s time to try out Radio Soulwax, a multimedia-based, mix-oriented Internet radio station launched July 4. Started by the electronic producers Soulwax, the service will include 24 hour-long mixes, updated with a new mix weekly and culminating in a continuous loop of all mixes. The mixes will be available for stream on the site, or via apps for mobile devices. Adding a visual element will be art taken from album covers and expanded upon. Because of legality issues, none of the mixes will ever be sold. Head on over to the Radio Soulwax website to check the thing out.
  • This year’s Polaris Prize Long List has been announced, and while not exactly groundbreaking, it’s still a good peek into which Canadian acts have a shot at making the Short List, and finally who’s taking the prize home themselves. The ten-album Short List will be revealed July 6, and artists selected for the list will receive $2,000 each, plus a performing spot at September’s prize gala. The grand prize is a hefty $30,000. This year’s Long List nominees include Arcade Fire, Austra, Braids, PS I Love You, Sloan, Stars, The Weeknd, and Neil Young. Check out the full list here.
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