Ben Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie / photo by Dave Lichterman
Quite possibly invigorated after his recent split with Zooey Deschanel, Death Cab For Cutie front man Ben Gibbard has rallied the troops and will be playing a slew of dates around the globe beginning in February. The North Amercian leg of the tour will kick off in April and feature Youth Lagoon opening a number of performances, including their May 13 stop at The Paramount in Seattle. Not only that, but the US and Canadian dates will feature the Magik*Magik Orchestra, an eight-piece string ensemble from the Bay Area...so there’s that. Visit Pitchfork for more details...And if you’re looking for something to do TONIGHT, Youth Lagoon will be playing at Neumos at 8 pm. He had to cancel his KEXP in-studio performance due to due the fact that the entire city is covered in fucking snow, but hopefully the show at Neumos will proceed as scheduled.
This year, Santigold, also known as Santi White, will finally release a new album to follow up her 2008 self-titled debut. The album is titled Master of My Make-Believe and despite calling the recording process “very lonely,” she worked with Major Lazer’s Switch, TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek, Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and producer Greg Kurstin while cutting the record. She recently played two sold-out shows in New York to drum up some buzz, following the performances up with the release of this video for “Big Mouth”:
Oft off beat rockers Dr. Dog will be releasing a new LP in February called Be The Void. Click here for a colorful new video for the song “That Old Black Hole,” courtesy of Rolling Stone. Dr. Dog will begin touring in support of the upcoming release on February 1, and will be playing at the Neptune Theater in Seattle on the 14th. Valentine’s Day doesn’t come any easier.
Music icon Merle Haggardwas recently hospitalized due to an respiratory illness. Haggard, 74, was about to take the stage when he was deemed too sick to perform. Hopefully, the California country legend will pull through so he can get back on the road.
The music community has lost an influential figure, though, as composer, performer and producer Johnny Otis has passed away at age 90. Perhaps best known for the R&B classic “Willie and the Hand Jive,” Otis also wrote Gladys Knight & the Pips’ “Every Beat of My Heart,” produced Big Mama Thornton’s “Hound Dog,” and discovered artists like Etta James, Hank Ballard and Jackie Wilson. Read more about his lifetime of musical achievement here.