Thursday Music News

photo by Robert Toren

  • With great sadness the music world learned today of songwriter Scott Miller‘s passing. The brilliance of his pop sensibility and songwriting were the hallmarks of his work with his power pop group Game Theory, which despite plenty of adoration from critics and loyal fans remained a cult favorite and never quite broke through to the level of widespread recognition that a talent like Miller warranted. Game Theory called it quits after four albums, and Miller went on to form The Loud Family. The Loud Family family went on to release five studio albums and a live album over their 13-year career. Ater the group disbanded in 2006 Scott made another big mark in the music community with is 2010 book Music: What Happened. The book is a collection of essays about the past 53 years of music, were Miller picks a favorite song from each year starting in 1957 and writes about the song and the context in which it was recorded and released.

    Sue Trowbridge has made all of the Game Theory recordings available for free online at his website, thereby protecting the delicacy of Miller’s passing from being marred by prospectors looking to capitalize on the chance to sell the out-of-print Game Theory albums for exorbitant prices. While on the website, you can also read the poignant announcement of Miller’s passing:

    I wish it weren’t true, but as much as it pains me to write these words, Scott passed away on April 15, 2013. He was a wonderful, loyal friend as well as a brilliant musician, and I will miss him for the rest of my life.

    Scott had been planning to start recording a new Game Theory album, Supercalifragile, this summer, and was looking forward to getting back into the studio and reuniting with some of his former collaborators.

    If listening to Scott’s own music is too painful for you right now, as it is for me, I can tell you that he absolutely loved David Bowie’s new album, The Next Day. He found Bowie’s late-career resurgence to be hugely inspirational. I’m sure that if there had been a 2013 chapter of Music: What Happened?, one of the songs from that album would have been right at the top.

  • John Cusack is currently in negotiations to play Brian Wilson in the upcoming biopic Love and Mercy from Bill Pohlad. The project has already signed on actor Paul Dano to play the younger version of Wilson, and the Atticus Ross/Trent Reznor team will provide the soundtrack. Cusack as the Wilson of the indoor tent/indoor sandbox with piano/”Vegetables” and “Surf’s Up” period should be interesting to see. Brian Wilson gives the project his full backing, adding: “I still can’t believe how cool it is that my life will be portrayed on the big screen … It just makes me feel so humble. I can’t wait to see it with a full tub of buttered popcorn.” [Guardian]

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  • British all-girl post-punk group Savages have released a ambitious video for “Shut Up”, the opener for their upcoming May 7 release Silence Yourself on Matador. The gritty performance is prefaced with an existential monologue from singer Jenny Beth. Among the many thoughts she puts forth, before the band rips into the song, she says: “We live in an age of many stimulations. If you’re focused, you’re harder to reach. If you’re distracted, you’re available… And yet, if the world would shut up, even for a while, perhaps we would hear the distant rhythm of an angry young tune, and re-compose ourselves… Perhaps, having deconstructed everything, we should be thinking about putting everything back together.” This band kicks ass and has something to say. Be sure to get yourself a copy of that LP in May. [CoS]

  • With that Savages video, and with the performance video below from HAIM on Jools Holland, it’s clear women are taking over rock and roll and it’s such a good thing. The trio of sisters played their single “Forever” from the album of the same name. Check out the band rip through the glammy, funky single below to the crowd’s delight. [CoS]

  • “When [Parquet Courts] bassist Sean Yeaton left his job and the safety of a desk job for the wild life of a performing minstrel, I decided to get a camera and follow him on the first three weeks of his new life,” says documentarian Andy Capper. The result is Light Up Gold Road Trip, which premiered today on Noisey.

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