The Disappearance of John Lurie

There’s a fascinating and somewhat chilling new article about musician/artist/actor (and one of my former employers) John Lurie in the latest issue of The New Yorker.

It’s a very strange tale regarding his whereabouts over the last couple years.

An excerpt of the article is up here.


Lomax Archive on YouTube

Great news…

And here’s the channel’s homepage.

Ben Keith (1937-2010)

A huge loss for Neil and for American music — Ben Keith made many of our favorite artists better than they would have been. Here is the LA Times’ obit.

Kiss and Tell

I saw the Phil Spector documentary this week, The Agony and Ecstasy of Phil Spector, which opens with the astonishingly creepy, “He Hit Me (And It Felt Like a Kiss),” penned by Carole King and Gerry Goffin.

This seemed fitting, after several days of listening to Cherrelle’s equally jarring 80’s R&B single “I Didn’t Mean to Turn You On.”

Written and produced by Minneapolis duo Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis in 1984, the song doesn’t sound unlike Prince’s “1999” or one of the songs that would have been recorded by their group The Time around then, but instead of a party jam (albeit an occasionally apocalyptic one), we get a narrative of one uncomfortable evening:

“Now you bring me home / and tell me good night’s not enough for you / I’m sorry baby / I didn’t mean to turn you on”

“Why should I feel guilty ’cause I won’t give / guilty ’cause I won’t give in”

We’re definitely edging into sexual harassment (or worse) terrain with this one, which is a departure from the denial of the Spector/King/Goffin song. This also makes it a more intriguing version than Robert Palmer’s stellar but ultimately less-satisfying performance a few years later.

(NOTE: I recall reading a review of Palmer’s Riptide, which also featured the megahit “Addicted to Love,” in Musician Magazine. I’ll never forget how the reviewer said those songs made it seem like Palmer sang about sex “like it gave him hernias.”)


Tacos With Mark

Our buddy and Pavement/SY bassist takes an NY Times food writer on a tour of Chicago’s finest Mexican joints.

Africa ’10 and Our Man Jeremy

We’ve been mighty proud of our good friend and frequent bandmate Jeremy Wilms, who’s holding down the bass chair in the Broadway production of Fela! with some of his Antibalas cohorts. Here’s a great interview w/Jer in Bass Player mag about his role in the show. Sadly I can’t pretend to follow all the musical lingo, but there’s plenty of good grist besides that.

Also, a nice overview of legendary drummer Tony Allen’s contribution of Afrobeat here, and an overview of the relatively slow (but steady) acceptance of African music in the U.S. here.


The Music Biz is Over

Congratulations to Tom Silverman, for proposing as an “innovation” pretty much the exact model that the more honorable indie labels have had in place since the 80s — the 50-50 artist/label profit split.

Alas, Mr. Tommy Boy is still an intelligent guy and has plenty of thought-provoking things to say about Spotify, the Long Tail, 360 deals, and Major Label iTunes scams among other things, in this interview.

[Also: Tunecore responds.]

— CL

The Internet is Over

Or so says Prince in this highly entertaining interview with UK tab the Mirror.

And in case you missed it, here’s one more reason to love the Age of Youtube.

— CL

Belated Birthday

I admit it: I teared up a little at the end of the performance of “Birthday” during Sir Paul McCartney’s surprise appearance at Ringo Starr’s 70th birthday concert at Radio City Music Hall last week.

Ringo’s cursory knowledge of the drum part made me think of John’s famous “He’s not even the best drummer in the Beatles” quip, but that hardly gets in the way of a pretty joyful four minutes. (Steve suggested Ringo might not have even played on that one — anyone got their Mark Lewisohn book handy?)


heavy music

I’ve been a little out of touch lately as I’ve been traveling and recording or playing music when I’m able to – I spent the last week of June in a barn in the Catskill Mountains recording basic tracks with a young singer/songwriter Israel Nash Gripka.

I had infrequent internet connection and recently two musical deaths have passed by me with little acknowledgement. Two extremely different but equally important and influential bass players  passed away in June 2010. Here’s my belated shout of respect to Marvin Isley  who passed on June 7, 2010 and to Pete Quaife of the Kinks who passed on June 23,2010.

Marvin joined the Isley’s in 1973.

Pete Quaife was a founding member of the Kinks from 1963-1969. Dave Davies paid respect to Quaife on his message board.