Erykah Badu and Others Remember Prince, Rhett Miller Joins Green Day and John Congleton Talks Cats.
Much has happened in the music world since this time last week, so let's just get right to it.
One of the biggest stories of the year, and certainly one of the most shocking, was the sudden news of Prince's death this past Thursday. As happens whenever the world loses another legend, there was an expected outpouring of tributes, memorials and increased spins of their music to help us through the mourning period.
One such tribute came from current Fader cover girl Erykah Badu, who had a personal history with the purple one. Her remembrance of the musician via Facebook was one of the most poignant we saw. Read it below.
Over in the Fort, a motley crew of musicians banded together to pay their respects by covering His Royal Badness' tunes. Remember that time Prince went on George Lopez Tonight and said he didn't think cover songs should be legal? To recap, his big argument against compulsory licenses went something like: “That doesn't exist in any other art form, be it books, movies. There's only one version of Law & Order. There's several versions of 'Kiss' and 'Purple Rain'.”
Well, now there's one more version of “Kiss” thanks to Wore Partly & the Beautiful Ones (read: members of WarParty, The Fibs, Toy Gun, The Minorz and Andy Pickett). Somehow, we don't think he'd care too much seeing as 1) there is more than one version of Law & Order, 2) Prince's famous Super Bowl half-time show was comprised of 75 percent covers, and 3) he performed a cover of David Bowie's “Heroes” at his final concert last week. So, anyway, the point is, don't feel too guilty if you find yourself for enjoying this one at all.
Finally on the Prince remembrance front, Neon Indian's Alan Palomo penned a lengthy tribute of his own for The Guardian. Writes Palomo: “His passing feels biblically tragic not only for the man, but also for his medium. Prince, to me, represented the last of the self-assembled pop stars. There's a spectrum of things that contribute to pop stardom: the ability to sing, play instruments, write hits, produce albums, dance on stage or in videos, and all the while look great doing it.”
Elsewhere, Mr. Indian participated in Pitchfork's recurring Over/Under series, chiming in on Ted Cruz, Patrick Stewart and designer coffins, among other things.
Since this is 2016, Prince's death isn't the only blow to the music world this week. Closer to home, Urizen bassist Rustin Luther just found out while on a recent tour in New Orleans that he has an inoperable, incurable brain tumor. To put it bluntly: He's dying. Not one to cry about it or ask for help, friends and family of the 30-year-old have set up a Go Fund Me campaign to help shoulder some of his medical costs. Similarly, a handful of benefit shows like this one at The Rail Club have been organized to help raise some additional cash. Like many musicians around town, the hard-rocking bassist and owner of TomCats West doesn't currently have health insurance. We wish him and his family the best.
Moving on to a lighter note, M83 performed “Do It, Try It” on Jimmy Kimmel Live this past Thursday. No idea why frontman Anthony Gonzalez showed up dressed as Teen Wolf, but the band's newest member, one Kaela Sinclair does get a little shine.
Getting some similar national love this week was Leon Bridges, who got his picture taken in a few $3,000 suits for a new GQ spread. In the accompanying article, writer Sam Schube figures out how it's possible to dress old-fashioned while simultaneously owning an iPhone and listening to Drake.
Something else way cool went down in New York over the weekend. At the premiere of his new movie Geezer at the Tribeca Film Festival on Saturday, Billie Joe Armstrong and Joan Jett shared the stage, performing “American Idiot” and “Bad Reputation” together. After that, Armstrong and his Green Day bandmate, drummer Tré Cool, snuck over to New York club Berlin to play a little after-party. There, Rhett Miller joined the boys, fronting the makeshift band during a cover of “American Girl” to close out the night. Check out a brief clip we found on Instagram below.
Moving on, Riverboat Gamblers side project Drakulas premiered a new video for its “OWOWOWOWOWOWOW” single yesterday via Noise Magazine. In an accompanying interview with the site, frontman Mike Weibe breaks down the group's schtick as a fictional '70s-era gang a la The Warriors.
Then there was John Congleton, who did an AMA on Reddit this past Wednesday. The most interesting things we learned from it are as follows:
• He's never seen an episode of Friday Night Lights; he just worked on the music for it.
• The cover art of Until the Horror Goes is from an old German children's book.
• His friend Keith watches his cats when he's out of town.
• His cats are Persians.
• His cats are named Malachi and Epstien.
• He feeds his cats a raw diet, and they seem to like it.
Lastly this week comes the news that producer and ex-Centro-matic keys man Scott Danbom will release a solo album in 2017. That's so far away!
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