Entries tagged with: Blondie

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photo: Arcade Fire & David Bowie at Summerstage in 2005 (more)
David Bowie Arcade Fire

Yesterday, tons of artists shared tributes to the late David Bowie, and there are more still coming in today.

Arcade Fire, who have collaborated with Bowie more than once, wrote:

David Bowie was one of the band's earliest supporters and champions. He not only created the world that made it possible for our band to exist, he welcomed us into it with grace and warmth. We will take to the grave the moments we shared; talking, playing music and collaborating as some of the most profound and memorable moments of our lives. A true artist even in his passing, the world is more bright and mysterious because of him, and we will continue to shout prayers into the atmosphere he created.
In a statement to Pitchfork, Deerhunter and Atlas Sound frontman Bradford Cox said:
First of all, who cares what I have to say about David Bowie? I've been reading all of these amazing tributes written by people who actually knew him and I feel kind of weird talking about it, but I'm very honored to be asked. Honestly, I got more texts and phone calls about Bowie's death than I did back when I got hit by a car, which is oddly flattering because it just means that people that know me also know how much I loved him.

There's no question. There's nobody that's had a bigger influence on my entire life--not just on the way I make music, but also the way I think and feel about things--than David Bowie. I literally wouldn't do what I do if it weren't for him...and looking back, there's honestly not a part of my life that can't be somehow defined by whatever David Bowie record I was listening to at the time. I can't really say that about any other artist. I mean, if I want to relive my childhood and young adulthood I can basically just listen to the Sound + Vision box set.

Read the rest of Bradford's lengthy tribute here.

We already posted Kim Gordon's, and here's one from her Sonic Youth bandmate Lee Ranaldo (via The Talkhouse):

In 1997, we in Sonic Youth were amazed when we got word from David Bowie, inviting us to perform with him onstage at Madison Square Garden in celebration of his 50th birthday. That he even knew who we were was amazing to us! We had been so inspired and influenced by his music for so long, and it was a huge thrill to join him in performance. Hanging out with him leading up to the concert, it was clear that he was still fully engaged and informed about all kinds of music and art going on around him, curious and open to new influences. Not many of his generation were tuned in to the kind of thing that we were doing, but he certainly was.

A few days before the show, we all trooped up to Connecticut for rehearsal. David had rented the Hartford Civic Center arena for the day so we could rehearse and get comfortable in a venue with a stage the same size as Madison Square Garden! He had asked our friend Tony Oursler to do some of his video projections as the stage set for the concert. Tony was a fellow artist-traveller who had directed our "Tunic" video a few years prior. David impressed us with his focus and his friendly and positive demeanor throughout a long day. He was excited, and certainly we were! We were only halfway thru our thirty-year career as a band at that time, while he was already past that mark, and obviously still going strong. A Radical Adult.

This morning, for some reason I woke unexpectedly at 6:00 AM and couldn't sleep. I reached for my phone to check the New York Times, and was completely shocked -- devastated! -- to read the news. A new album, new theatre production, new musical directions -- he was so active this last year. To realize that he was accomplishing all this while knowing his fate makes his recent accomplishments all the more inspiring.

In a statement to Pitchfork, Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore says:
David Bowie's energy was charged with light. His love and passion for art, in all its intrigue and interplay with nature, was manifest in his smile, his charm. He loved to experiment while honoring the grace of tradition and subsequently informed and inspired anyone lucky enough to be there when Ziggy Stardust took the stage and hit the racks. When punk rode into town and every rock n' roller pre-1976 was denounced as a dinosaur, there were few exceptions. Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Captain Beefheart, Yoko Ono, Neil Young, Marc Bolan, Eno, Bryan Ferry and definitely Bowie.

He was the one gentleman who excitedly applauded Devo and Suicide and in the 80s was rumored to have been checking out Pixies, Sonic Youth, et al. He asked Sonic Youth to play "I'm Afraid of Americans" with his band at his 50th birthday party at Madison Square Garden in 1997. We met and rehearsed a couple of times and played the gig and it was all amazing, another realm of experience from where we traversed, but the one thing I always remember is him coming into the communal dressing room area where all the other artists were to say hello and have some photos taken. As he was leaving he turned and shouted, "Hi Coco, I'm so happy you're here! Have a great time!" to my three-year-old daughter Coco, who I was holding in my arms. She was the only person unaware of any hierarchy of celebrity in the room.

It brings to mind Bowie's early connection with Buddhist philosophy, practice and meditation, studying with Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Lama Chime RInpoche. Legend has it that David had considered a life as a monk but his teachers saw his light was needed beyond the monastery and advised him to follow it. Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, in later years, became the Buddhist teacher to Allen Ginsberg, Anne Waldman and so many others who employ kindness and contemplative thought as activism towards peace. Bowie, fabulous Capricorn, touched each of us in a remarkable and personal way, sharing not only his genuine brilliance for songwriting, but his joy for life, his rock n' roll love. Now we see, the Starman who'd "love to blow our minds" was indeed the man himself, dignified in his devotion to creative bliss, light and love.

Also via The Talkhouse, Tunde Adebimpe of TV on the Radio:
I was coming back to California from France on January 9th, had bought and downloaded Blackstar right before I got on the plane, listened to it a bunch, passed out at home and woke up to all of this very sad news. Still seems like a dream. I was working on some music with a friend the day before I'd left and we talked about how excited we were to hear Blackstar after hearing the singles and how great it was to be alive and able to say, "Hey, the new Bowie's coming out tomorrow." Talked about how many millions of people had said that, had thought that, over the course of four-plus decades, and every time with the sincere question attached, "Well, what is it going to BE?" "What is it going to be LIKE?" "WHO is he now?" Listening to the record, reading the lyrics, it seems like maybe he had the same questions about living and leaving.

I feel insanely lucky that he took an interest and was so incredibly supportive of anything we were doing with TV on the Radio, and the fact that he was kind enough to record a song with us is something I don't think I'll ever be able to fully process. In the very, very little time he spent with the band he was so humble it was eerie. He was incredibly funny, and chatting casually about bands like Lightning Bolt and Black Dice, and how into them he was, pushed me out of the deep shock of "I'm talking to him" and into the even deeper shock of "I love these bands completely, but why would YOU know or care about... oh right... you're... David Bowie. You probably know and care a bit about everything... which maybe no one can, but maybe... you're... no one? Who ARE you?" Then he sang on the song and we, as a band, shat our collective pants. And still, afterwards...Who WAS that? Which one was that? Who was that person who had, and had lived so many ideas that he'd actually become an idea himself?

Huge artist lessons from that idea: Change is the law. Get to it. Get lost. Try it out. Don't get scared of your pain. Sit with it. Maybe it matters so much because it doesn't. Don't get stuck. Freak yourself out. Crack up. Stay interested. Make something. If you recognize it too well, mess up its face, bend it, make it something else. Make THAT something else. Stay on top of it. Drop it. Get magic. Build ways in, build ways out. Be disciplined. Make it count, be kind and stay true to yourself, whichever one you happen to be at the time.

The news, like this beautiful man, this art and artist, fills and empties and refills your heart and just keeps going. I don't know that he ever was, or could be fixed in one place, but now I think he's just everywhere, in a fine mist, every single one of him, all of them love.

Blondie Bowie

Blondie singer Debbie Harry, in a statement to Dazed, said:

In NYC there is a yearly Bowie Ball when local musicians all perform a Bowie song. It happens every year and this next one will be a sad and extremely heartfelt evening for everyone. Who doesn't love Bowie? A visionary artist, musician, actor, a completely renaissance man who has given us a long list of songs like "Heroes", "Rebel Rebel", "Young Americans", "Diamond Dogs", "The Jean Genie" and many, many more, and some memorable film performances like The Man Who Fell to Earth, Basquiat, Labyrinth, The Hunger.

I can't say enough things about David Bowie to show how much I love him. When the Low album was out and Iggy Pop was about to tour, David played keyboards in Iggy's band. They asked Blondie to open for them, and as they say, the rest is history. Without this visionary and his friend Iggy Pop, where would Blondie be today? Silly question and one that can't be answered really, but there is no doubt in my mind that Bowie played a big part in our future successes. As for now, love you David Bowie. Xx

Madonna wrote:
I'm devastated.
David Bowie changed the course of my life forever. I never felt like I fit in growing up in Michigan. Like an oddball or a freak. I went to see him in concert at Cobo Arena in Detroit. It was the first concert I'd ever been too. I snuck out of the house with my girlfriend wearing a cape.
We got caught after and I was grounded for the summer. I didn't care.
I already had many of his records and was so inspired by the way he played with gender confusion .
Was both masculine and feminine.
Funny and serious.
Clever and wise.
His lyrics were witty ironic and mysterious.
At the time he was the thin white Duke and he had mime artists on stage with him and very specific choreography
And I saw how he created a persona and used different art forms within the arena of rock and Roll to create entertainment.
I found him so inspiring and innovative.
Unique and provocative. A real Genius.
his music was always inspiring but seeing him live set me off on a journey that for me I hope will never end.
His photographs are hanging all over my house today.
He was so chic and beautiful and elegant.
So ahead of his time.
Thank you David Bowie.
I owe you a lot. .
The world will miss you.
Love
M
Madonna also covered "Rebel Rebel" at her show on Tuesday in honor of him. Video below.

Ozzy Osbourne said "It knocked the shit out of me." Read his interview with Rolling Stone about it.

Billy Bragg talked about his love of Bowie...

All of the artists that me and my mates at school listened to were reassuringly heterosexual: Slade, Rod Stewart, Status Quo. Bowie was something else. As 14-year-olds in 1972, if we knew anything about him it was that he was a 'bender' - in the spiteful parlance of the playground - and so best avoided. Then I heard 'The Jean Genie'. With no foreknowledge of the Velvet Underground, this just sounded to me like a thumping great dose of bootboy pop that beat Slade at their own game. I was hooked.

When 'Aladdin Sane' came out a few months later, the open gatefold sleeve was displayed in the window of the local record store: Bowie standing, hands on hips, naked except for the red/blue lightening bolt across his face. The fact that he had no discernable genitalia seemed only to confirm that he was not as other men.

Coming out as a Bowie fan would leave me open to jibes about my own sexuality, but I couldn't resist the sock hop pop of 'The Prettiest Star' and the fretful grandeur of 'Drive-In Saturday'. I took the record into school and found that, rather than being called names, it made me more popular with the smart girls in our class who got together in the lunch break to listen to 'Hunky Dory'. Bowie's androgyny - making him popular with both boys and girls - had created a bridge across what had been, for me, an unfathomable chasm.
After he played Romford Odeon on the last leg of the Ziggy Stardust tour in April 1973, the whole of the 4th year seemed to go Bowie mad. My parents wouldn't buy me anything androgynous to wear, but I did take the cover of 'Aladdin Sane' to the local barber's to get the 'Bowie cut'.

I remained a huge fan of his work as he has moved effortlessly forward, engaging with new ideas and media. I ended up spending my life with a girl who saw the Ziggy Stardust tour and we take great delight in the fact that our son has grown up to be a huge Bowie fan.
But whenever I hear his music, I'm a teenager again, taking my first taste of something ungendered, transgressive. At a crucial moment in my adolescence, David Bowie showed me that masculinity wasn't the only way to attract girls and, for that, I thank him.

Britt Daniel of Spoon uploaded a cover of Bowie's "Never Let Me Down" and wrote:
I went to bed early last night. Woke up at 3 and glanced at my phone. It's 515 now and I'm realizing there'll be no more sleep tonight. I was just saying last week isn't it amazing how Bowie is still with us and we get another album from him? No other artist has meant as much to me personally or inspired my own songs as much. What a spirit. What an inspiration. What a shining example of the beauty that humanity can create. Bless him.
Head HERE to read tributes by Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Brian May, Jarvis Cocker, Brian Eno, Devo, Nile Rodgers, J Mascis, Jimmy Page and more. Head here for Iggy Pop.

Listen to Britt's cover and TV on the Radio's (not new) cover of "Heroes" below...

Continue reading "Arcade Fire, Deerhunter, Thurston Moore, Lee Ranaldo, Madonna, Debbie Harry & more write tributes to David Bowie"

photos by P Squared Photography

Morrissey / Blondie @ MSG 6/27/2015
Morrissey
Blondie

"It is a great privilege to be back here in the center of the world with you," Steven Patrick Morrissey said last night at Madison Square Garden as the stinging guitar line from "Suedehead" faded into the background. It was his first show at MSG in 25 years and his first show in New York City since 2012. Moz has been plagued by bad health and bad luck for the better part of the last three years, which has led to tour cancellations and hospital stays galore, but he was finally looking forward again after a particularly memorable week in America: "It's an historic week in the United States. Good times for a change," he said, teasing a classic Smiths song he wouldn't play on this night. - [Gothamist]
Morrissey's tour brought him to New York's Madison Square Garden on Saturday night (6/28) with very special guests Blondie as openers. That it was pouring down rain and was in the midst of Pride Week seemed very appropriate. In good spirits, Morrissey's set included a lot from last year's World Peace is None of Your Business and some classics from The Smiths and his early solo career. Setlist is below.

Blondie's 45-minute opening set was pretty much all-hits, including a cover of Beastie Boys' "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)" and a closing "The Tide is High" featuring a 15-piece brass section. Setlist for their MSG set is also below.

Madison Square Garden was to have gone vegan for the occasion and did so for the general public, with many food stands being closed. However, as noted by Gothamist, folks watching from the corporate suites dined on sushi, sliders, chicken and other very non-vegan items.

More pics from Morrissey and Blondie at MSG, below...

Continue reading "Morrissey and Blondie played Madison Square Garden, which didn't go 100% vegan after all (pics / setlists)"

photo: Morrissey in Austin in 2014 (more by Tim Griffin)
Morrissey

Earlier this year, it was reported that Morrissey cancelled an Iceland show because the venue serves meat. Our fingers are crossed that he doesn't find some reason to cancel his upcoming Madison Square Garden (6/27) show with Blondie, but we can at least be assured it won't be for that.

Consequence of Sound points out that in his recent open letter to Al Gore, he included the following:

Not only is it possible for venues to provide a 100 percent meat-free menu-as is done now at every concert venue in which I perform, including Madison Square Garden, where I have a show at the end of June-it's also a moral duty.
New York Post clarifies that there will also be no dairy products, making the venue 100% vegan for the show. MSG officials declined NY Post's request for comment, but Daily Burger owner Drew Nieporent (who also co-owns Nobu and other big NYC restaurants) told them, "This is the first time I'm hearing about it, but I love my man Morrissey. He's a wonderful artist, so I wouldn't mind. He can do whatever he wants."

photo: Morrissey in Austin, 2014 (more by Tim Griffin)
Morrissey

As you may know Morrissey is giving the North American tour another go and hopefully he'll remain in good health for the duration. Tickets for his June 27 Madison Square Garden show with special guests Blondie go on sale today at noon, but if you'd like to for free we're giving away a pair. Details below.

Continue reading "tickets to Morrissey & Blondie at MSG on sale (win a pair!)"

photo: Morrissey in Austin in 2014 (more by Tim Griffin)
Morrissey

Morrissey announced a tour via True To You that will have him in the US from early June through late July. It includes a Madison Square Garden show on June 27 with Blondie. Tickets should be on sale soon. Let's hope this one doesn't get cancelled.

Meanwhile Blondie singer Deborah Harry is in the midst of a residency at Cafe Carlyle and drummer Clem Burke's other band The Split Squad recently announced a show.

UPDATE: Tickets for the MSG show go on sale Friday, April 10 at noon with AmEx/MSG/Chase presales starting 4/8 at noon, and a Bowery presale starting 4/9 at 10 AM.

All Morrissey dates are listed below...

Continue reading "Morrissey announces 2015 tour, including MSG w/ Blondie"

Fleshtones

Three veterans of '70s-era CBGB will come together for a NYC show on April 25 at Bowery Electric. Headlining is Cheetah Chrome, guitarist of legendary Cleveland punks Dead Boys and Rocket From the Tombs, and before him it's The Split Squad (including Blondie drummer Clem Burke as a member), and Queens garage rockers The Fleshtones. (Fleshtones guitarist Keith Streng also plays in The Split Squad.) Tickets are on sale now. Show flyer above.

Speaking of Bowery Electric shows and legendary NYC punk venues, Max's Kansas City, which was home to many of the same bands as CBGB before closing in 1981, will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a three-night run at Bowery Electric from June 4-7. Lineups and more info TBA.

And speaking of Blondie, singer Deborah Harry is in the midst of a residency at Cafe Carlyle that wraps up this Saturday (4/4).

Listen to some Cheetah Chrome, Split Squad and Fleshtones, below...

Continue reading "Cheetah Chrome, Split Squad (mem Blondie) & Fleshtones schedule show; Max's Kansas City celebrating 50 years"

Buster Poindexter
photo: Buster Poindexter @ Don Hill's (more by Tracy Ketcher)

The lineup for this year's Tibet House US benefit concert keeps getting bigger. Happening March 5th at Carnegie Hall, the NYC show now also includes Blondie's Debbie Harry. She joins the previously announced lineup of Patti Smith and Her Band with Jesse Smith, The Flaming Lips, Laurie Anderson, Sturgill Simpson, Tibetan musician Tenzin Choegyal, Ashley Macisaac, and the night's artistic director Philip Glass. Tickets are still available, and we're giving away a pair.

"Chairs for the evening are Chuck Close, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Peter Sarsgaard, Arden Wohl and Uma Thurman. Proceeds support the work of the Tibet House US, a non-profit educational institution and cultural embassy founded at the request of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to ensure the survival of the unique Tibetan civilization."

It will be Debbie's only performance before she plays a sold out 10-show run at NYC's Café Carlyle (March 24-April 4).

Meanwhile, fellow CBGB legend and singer of the NY Dolls David Johansen will be taking on his Buster Poindexter persona for his own two week residency at Café Carlyle which begins tonight (February 10-21). Tickets for most nights are available at Ticketweb.

Patti Smith, who also plays the Tibet House benefit (again), was in LA last week for two big shows at the Ace Hotel Theatre, and for one intimate one at the Roxy.
LA Weekly reports:

There was the all-star turnout, for starters: Morrissey, Johnny Depp, Tim Robbins, Thurston Moore, Susanna Hoffs, Rosanna Arquette, Rodney Bingenheimer, Diplo, Jimmy Iovine, and gusting through the Roxy's back entrance (nearly knocking us over) to join Iovine just before showtime, Pharrell and his entourage.

The Roxy's VIP section has seen its share of celebrities, of course, but this bizarre mixed bag was hard to miss. Even Patti herself took notice, dedicating one of her first numbers to The Moz and later speaking of Iovine's influence and production on her acclaimed album Easter, a moment which led into a highlight of the evening, a bewitching rendition of "Because the Night."

LA Record has a review and pictures from one of the Ace Hotel shows. Video of her covering "Smells Like Teen Spirit" at one of them, below...

Continue reading "Debbie Harry added to Tibet Concert; Buster Poindexter begins Cafe Carlye residency; Patti Smith played the Roxy"

Debbie Harry

Blondie singer Debbie Harry has an upcoming NYC residency at Cafe Carlyle, and since we last posted, it's been expanded. It now runs from March 24 to April 4 with an 8:45 PM show each night, as well as newly-added 10:45 PM shows on Friday, March 27 and Friday, April 3. You can make reservations by phone at 212.744.1600 for the newly-added late shows. The others are sold out.

Theater Mania reports that Debbie will also appear at Upper West Side theater Stage 72 on March 14 and 16 for the Celebrity Autobiography series, which features "a line-up of rotating performers who read--in both solo and ensemble pieces-- the actual words and stories written by the famous and the infamous in their autobiographies." The 3/14 show also features Pamela Adlon, Rachel Dratch, Janeane Garofalo, Ralph Macchio, Eugene Pack and Dayle Reyfel; and on 3/16 it's Adlon, Dratch, Garofalo, Pack, and Reyfel once again, plus Tate Donovan and Alan Zweibel. Tickets for both are on sale now.

Also, if you were curious, Debbie Harry doesn't shop for clothes anymore.

Watch a 1979 Blondie concert at the Apollo Theater, below...

Continue reading "Debbie Harry expands Cafe Carlyle residency, reading at 'Celebrity Autobiography' series in NYC"

Debbie Harry

Debbie Harry, who recently played a John Lennon tribute in her hometown with fellow New York punk icon David Johansen and others, has six more appearances in NYC coming up. The Blondie singer will do a six-night residency at Upper East Side cabaret supper club Cafe Carlyle in March. She plays five consecutive shows from Tuesday, 3/24 through Saturday, 3/28 and then takes Sunday and Monday off before wrapping up on Tuesday, 3/31. Four of the nights are sold out but you can still get tickets for the March 26 and March 27 performances.

Looks like March 2015 is NYC Punk Legends Month. As mentioned earlier today, Suicide play Webster Hall that month and David Byrne will be honored at Carnegie Hall then too. Get those CBGB t-shirts ready!

Watch a classic Blondie video below...

Continue reading "Debbie Harry playing six nights at Cafe Carlyle in March"

photos by Greg Cristman

The Empty Hearts @ Knitting Factory - 10/18/14
The Empty Hearts

The Empty Hearts, aka the band featuring Blondie's Clem Burke, The Cars' Elliot Easton, The Romantics' Wally Palmer and Chesterfield Kings' Andy Babiuk, brought their current tour to NYC for a show at Knitting Factory on 10/18 with Party Lights. They were introduced by The E Street Band's Steven Van Zandt, which was appropriate since he named their band. In addition to performing their entire new album, they did a few Cars, Romantics and Blondie songs too, and squeezed in some other covers including "I Wanna Be Your Man." Pictures of the show (including one of the setlist) are in this post and continue, with some videos, below...

Continue reading "Blondie/Cars-related band The Empty Hearts played Knitting Factory with Party Lights (pics, setlist, videos)"

photo by Roberta Bayley
Blondie

The Blondie 40th anniversary celebrations continue with a photo exhibit curated by Jeffrey Deitch on display from September 23-29 at Hotel Chelsea's Storefront Gallery ((222 West 23rd Street) from 1-8 PM. They'll be showing photos, like the one above (via Gothamist), from photographers such as Bob Gruen, Annie Leibovitz, Roberta Bayley, Mick Rock, Robert Mapplethorpe, Bobby Grossman, David Godlis, and Blondie's Chris Stein.

A few of Blondie's members are busy with other stuff too. Current and longtime drummer Clem Burke is playing in the supergroup The Empty Hearts who have a new album and upcoming dates, and is also in The Split Squad. Former bassist Nigel Harrison will be backing The Rua on their upcoming album and at CMJ, along with Portishead/Radiohead drummer Clive Deamer.

And Blondie's not the only artist being honored with a photo show in NYC. Stevie Nicks is too.

Blonde also isn't the only veteran CBGB band celebrating a 40th anniversary this year. Ramones are too.

Empty Hearts

The Empty Hearts are a new-ish supergroup featuring Blondie's Clem Burke, The Cars' Elliot Easton, The Romantics' Wally Palmer and Chesterfield Kings' Andy Babiuk. With a lineup like that you may expect late '70s style power pop and that's exactly what you get on their self-titled debut LP that came out this past August. You can stream one of its tracks, "90 Miles An Hour Down A Dead End Street," below.

The band is also going on a short international tour in October which includes a NYC show happening on October 18 at Knitting Factory Brooklyn. Tickets for that show are on sale now. All dates are listed below.

Speaking of Blondie members, you may remember that Clem Burke also plays in another supergroup, The Split Squad. And former bassist Nigel Harrison (who played and wrote during the Parallel Lines - The Hunter era) and Portishead/Radiohead drummer Clive Deamer are backing Irish sibling trio The Rua on their upcoming 2015 album Essence and live including when they make their US debut at NYC's Subculture on October 23, part of CMJ. Tickets for that show are on sale now.

You can watch the video for The Rua's single "Fight For What's Right," with the Empty Hearts song stream and list of dates, below...

Continue reading "The Empty Hearts (mems Blondie, The Cars) released an LP, touring; Blondie/Portishead mems backing The Rua at CMJ"

Solange @ Webster Hall this past weekend (more by Dana [distortion] Yavin)
Jay-Z

By now you've surely seen the leaked video of Solange berating, then getting physical, with Jay Z in an elevator (Beyonce was there too), at NYC's The Standard Hotel as they were leaving an afterparty for the Met Gala on May 5. While there has been no shortage of speculation as to what the tiff was over, the three have issued a joint statement to the AP saying everything's hunky-dory now:

As a result of the public release of the elevator security footage from Monday, May 5th, there has been a great deal of speculation about what triggered the unfortunate incident. But the most important thing is that our family has worked through it. Jay and Solange each assume their share of responsibility for what has occurred. They both acknowledge their role in this private matter that has played out in the public. They both have apologized to each other and we have moved forward as a united family.

The reports of Solange being intoxicated or displaying erratic behavior throughout that evening are simply false. At the end of the day families have problems and we're no different. We love each other and above all we are family. We've put this behind us and hope everyone else will do the same.

Well, glad that is settled. In related news, The Daily Show aired a PSA starring Debbie Harry, warning folks about "the scourge of private elevator violence that affects everyone from the very famous to the incredibly famous." Debbie and her band Blondie just happened to be on the show to play live and plug their new album, Blondie 4(0) Ever. You can watch the PSA segment and their live performance of "Sugar on the Side" and a web-only rendition of classic "One Way or Another," below...

Continue reading "Solange, Beyonce & Jay Z issue joint statement on elevator incident; Debbie Harry stars in fake "elevator violence" PSA"

Buy new album at Rough Trade in Brooklyn to get a wristband to an exclusive show.

Blondie

Blondie are celebrating their 40th anniversary as a band this year and will release a new double-disc set, Blondie 4(0) Ever, this week (5/13). One of the discs is a brand new 12-song studio album titled Ghosts of Download, which features The Gossip's Beth Ditto on one song songs, plus NYC club fixture Miss Guy, and Oakland-based Panamanian rappers Los Rakas. There's also a cover of Frankie Goes to Hollywood's "Relax." You can stream "Sugar on the Side" (featuring Colombian group Systema Solar) below.

The other disc is Deluxe Redux: Greatest Hits which features Blondie doing brand new studio recordings of their biggest songs. Stream "One Way or Another" from that below. There's also a deluxe version of the two-disc set that comes with a DVD of Blondie's 1977 CBGB performance, a replica vintage poster and 5 postcards of Chris Stein photos. More info in the releases below.

Here in their hometown of New York, Brooklyn record store and music venue Rough Trade will be celebrating Blondie's 40th anniversary with an installation in "The Room" with vintage Chris Stein photos, projection of the live at CBGB DVD and postcards fans are encouraged to dedicate and "post" on the wall to the band. The band will also be playing a special, intimate, full-set show at Rough Trade on May 19 (that's one week from today). To go, you need to purchase Blondie 4(0) Ever starting on Tuesday, May 13 at the store and receive a wristband good for access to the show.

The Rough Trade show is the first of four Blondie events happening this month. Debbie Harry and Chris Stein will engage in live conversation with music journalist Anthony DeCurtis at 92Y in NYC on 5/28, and you can catch the band in Atlantic City on 5/24 and in Bethlehem, PA on 5/25. All dates are listed, along with album info and song streams below...

Continue reading "Blondie playing intimate Williamsburg show, celebrating 40 w/ new double LP, Rough Trade exhibit, 92Y event & more"

by Bill Pearis

The Split Squad: Clem, Keith, Michael, Josh & Eddie
seal

The Split Squad formed around singer/bassist Michael Giblin, who is a session musician and producer and has fronted bands like The Paralax Project and Cherry Twister. If that name is unfamiliar, you might know some of the rest of the band: Clem Burke (Blondie), Keith Streng (The Fleshtones), Eddie Munoz (The Plimsouls), and Josh Kantor (The Baseball Project). The band's 2013 album, Now Hear This, was produced by Young Fresh Fellows frontman Scott McCaughey and features appearances from R.E.M.'s Peter Buck and members of upstate NY powerpop trio The Figgs. Given that group of musicians, it might not surprise you that The Split Squad make crunchy, Beatlesque rock pop. The record's a fun listen and you can stream the whole thing below.

The group are on a weekend East Coast tour and play NYC tonight (4/25) at The Bowery Electric. The Figgs are on the bill, plus Los Dudes, and tickets are on sale.

The Split Squad also play New Haven, CT's Cafe Nine on Saturday (4/26) and Long Branch, NJ's Brighton Bar on Monday (4/28). Dates are listed, along with the album stream, below...

Continue reading "The Split Squad (mems of Blondie, Plimsouls & more) made an LP, playing East Coast dates (NYC tonight w/ The Figgs)"

Austin photos by Tim Griffin

Arcade Fire w/ Debbie Harry / mirror man @ Coachella / "Obama" in Austin


Obama

Arcade Fire were introduced by a man wearing a suit made of shattered mirrors and opened up their set with 'Reflektor', with Chassagne shining mirror discs strapped onto her hands into the crowd. "Alright guys, we're gonna give you every ounce of what we've got if you give it back to us," said frontman Butler before 'Rebellion (Lies)'.

Butler later railed against the various VIP areas at the festival to cheers from the crowd, commenting: "I just want to say that there's a lot of fake VIP room bullshit happening at this festival, and sometimes people dream of being there - but it super sucks in there, so don't worry about it." He also made a sly dig about the electronica/EDM heavy aspect of the festival, giving a "shout out to all the bands playing instruments this weekend" at the end of the set. [NME]

Coachella wrapped up its first weekend yesterday (4/13), after kicking off this past Friday (day 1 pics). Among the day 3 performers were Arcade Fire, who have played Coachella before, but this was their first time there as headliners. Among the bobbleheads that Arcade Fire have been featuring in their shows were President Obama and Pope Francis, who both made their debuts at Arcade Fire's recent show in Austin. Also like at that show, they played a cover of Blondie's "Heart of Glass" into the similarly '70s new wave-style "Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)." But this time was more exciting because they were joined by Blondie singer Debbie Harry who was a guest singer at SXSW for the Dum Dum Girls (who also played Coachella). Debbie sang "Heart of Glass" with them, and she stuck around to sing backup on "Sprawl II" too. Watch a full set video of Arcade Fire's Coachella set, along with their setlist, below.

Speaking of Debbie Harry and covers, she's on the cover of the May issue of MOJO which is available now. Pictures of Coachella day 3 are coming soon, but meanwhile you can check out some pics from the recent Austin show (Obama bobblehead included) in this post. More below and many more at BV Austin.

Continue reading "Debbie Harry joined Arcade Fire at Coachella (setlist, video); Obama was introduced in Austin (pics)"

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England's Glastonbury Festival is pretty much the forefather to all crazy worldwide "20,000 people standing in a field" festivals we have today. The 2014 edition goes down June 27 - 29 in Pilton, UK and the lineup was just announced. It includes Arcade Fire, Jack White, Dolly Parton (!), Elbow, Disclosure, Bryan Ferry, Massive Attack, Pixies, M.I.A., Dexys Midnight Runners, Kasabian, Lily Allen and loads more. The festival's already sold-out. A few more acts -- including one more headliner -- is still to be announced but lineup as it stands is below...

Continue reading "Glastonbury 2014 line-up announced: Arcade Fire, Disclosure, Bryan Ferry, Jack White, Dolly Parton, Elbow, Dexys & more"

Craig Leon

[Craig] Leon moved to Manhattan in the early 1970s where he accepted an A&R position at Sire Records in New York under Gottehrer and his partner Seymour Stein. There he was responsible for the discovery and early development of the Ramones and Talking Heads amongst other artists. He produced the first Ramones album and also concentrated on licensing more adventurous European records which the majors were unwilling to release in the U.S. At Sire, Craig learned the skills necessary for the production, as well as manufacture of recorded music.

After producing the 'Live at CBGBs' compilation for Atlantic Records, Craig joined Richard Gottehrer and Marty Thau to set up a production company called Instant Records. Projects included the early Blondie records, Richard Hell & The Voidoids and Suicide.

...He has written and performed on three albums of his own, including "Nommos" (a dance piece based on North African ethnic themes and electronic music, that was used by members of The Twyla Tharp dance troupe which was also used as the opening exhibit for the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art in 1981),and the full length score of the Kosh Dance Theatre piece, "Klub Anima", which deals with alternating classical and modern electronic forms.

Craig Leon, who (as the above bio states) has produced Ramones, Talking Heads, Richard Hell, Blondie, The Fall, Suicide and more, also put out music of his own, including 1981's and 1982's synth albums, Nommos and Visiting, respectively. Those albums are now both getting reissued as Anthology of Interplanetary Folk Music Vol. 1 on June 24 as part of RVNG Intl.'s archival series. (Nommos was reissued in the UK last year via Superior Viaduct.) If you're unfamiliar with Craig's work, preview the new reissue with the track "One Hundred Steps" below. Album artwork and tracklist below too.

Craig will be making the US debut of Nommos at RVNG's Moogfest showcase in Asheville, NC this April, and just after that he'll come to NYC for a show on April 30 at Le Poisson Rouge to perform it with the American Contemporary Music Ensemble. PAN's Bill Kouligas is also on the bill. Tickets will be on sale via LPR's site and the show flyer is below.

Continue reading "Ramones/Blondie producer Craig Leon reissuing solo material on RVNG, playing Moogfest & NYC (stream a track)"

Debbie Harry w/ Dum Dum Girl @ Spotify House (via Transmission)
Debbie Harry

Blondie's Deborah Harry just surprised the audience of a Spotify SXSW event by showing up on stage to play "Dreaming" with Dum Dum Girls! Picture proof above.

Blondie, who also play the Rachael Ray day party while they're in Austin, play their official SXSW showcase at Brazos Hall Thursday night (3/12). Not in Austin? You can stream the whole show live courtesy of the Smithsonian Channel...

Smithsonian Channel is sponsoring Blondie's South By Southwest (SXSW) live performance from Yahoo's Brazos Hall on March 13th to support the upcoming world premiere of BLONDIE'S NEW YORK, a one-hour documentary that explores the rise of the legendary band.

Smithsonian Channel Presents Blondie Powered By Yahoo, a rare live performance by the iconic band, will be available to fans across the country via a LIVE stream on Smithsonianchannel.com and on Yahoo Screen and on mobile via the Yahoo Screen app on Thursday, March 13 beginning at approximately 11:45pm CST.

Blondie also recently played 'Super Bowl Boulevard.'

Speaking of Spotify and SXSW, check out our playlist.

Madonna, Pussy Riot, a crotch, Yoko Ono & Flaming Lips @ Barclays Center - 2/5/14
Amnesty
Amnesty
Amnesty
Photos via Here, Here and Here

What a (long) night! The Amnesty International show at Barclays Center wrapped up around 1am Wednesday night with a concert-ending performance by The Flaming Lips and Yoko Ono. Many more, including Lauryn Hill, Colbie Caillat (I think that's her crotch), Tegan & Sara, Cake, Bob Geldof, Madonna, Susan Sarandon, Blondie and of course Pussy Riot (who were on Colbert one night earlier) also took the stage at the home of the Brooklyn Nets. Those sitting too far away to see could watch what was going on on the big screens, though sometimes that content was a bit questionable. Did you go? What did you think? We'll have more on the whole shebang with pics later.

Meanwhile check out some video below...

Continue reading "Amnesty International @ Barclays Center: Pussy Riot, Madonna, Blondie, Flaming Lips, Yoko, crotch shots & more (video)"

"Walked through the Super Bowl boulevard, or whatever they're calling it. Saw Blondie playing, but not too interesting otherwise. #SuperBowl" - Scott Dolan

"Just saw fucking Blondie live... The only time I give a shit about the Super Bowl." - Shannon

"Walking through Super Bowl Boulevard and just happened stumble upon Blondie performing "Call Me"." - Nicole

"Holy shit!!! Just stumbled upon #Blondie playing in #timessquare #Super Bowl!" - George

Blondie in Times Square
(photo via comicconnie)
Blondie

Blondie, who you'll soon also get to catch at the Barclays Center played a free show in Times Square as part of Super Boulevard on Saturday. Did you check it out? A short video clip is below.

Continue reading "Blondie played Super Bowl Boulevard"

Blondie in NJ in 2012 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Blondie

We just posted an update to the Amnesty International Rights Concert, happening at Brooklyn's Barclays Center on Wednesday (2/5), that Madonna will be introducing the members of Pussy Riot at the event, and there's since been another update.

NYC punk legends Blondie, who also play a free Super Bowl weekend show on Saturday (2/1) and SXSW, have been added as performers to the event. Bob Geldof (lead singer of The Boomtown Rats and Band Aid/Live Aid organizer) has been added as performer as well.

Additionally, Yoko Ono (who like Madonna, was at the Grammys) will be appearing, and there will be pre-taped video messages from Peter Gabriel and Sting.

Previously announced performers include The Flaming Lips, Lauryn Hill, Tegan & Sara, Cold War Kids, Cake, and others. Ticekts are still available.

Blondie in NJ in 2012 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Blondie

This past Sunday's Grammys telecast is behind us, but another televised event that will have a ton of Americans in front of their TVs happens this Sunday (2/2): the Super Bowl. A bunch of NYC-area concerts have been announced for the weekend-wide celebration, and since we last spoke, even more have been added.

NYC punk/new wave legends Blondie will play a FREE show at the Super Bowl Boulevard Concert Stage on Saturday (2/1). The stage is located in downtown Manhattan at Broadway & 40th Street, and Blondie go on at 8:30 PM. Blondie are also set to speak and perform at SXSW this year.

Jay Z (who performed and won an award at the Grammys) is also playing a Super Bowl concert. His happens on Saturday and is an invite-only DirecTV party.

Howard Stern's 60th Birthday Bash happens Friday (1/31) at Hammerstein Ballroom at 6 PM and will stream on SiriusXM. Jimmy Kimmel is hosting the event, and guests include Louis C.K., David Letterman, Sarah Silverman, Jon Bon Jovi, John Fogerty, Steven Tyler and others. Hopefully if you're there you'll get to see Steven Tyler dance again.

Meanwhile, catch Louis CK and the Arctic Monkeys on the Late Show with David Letterman tonight (1/27).

There's also ASPIRE'S Ultimate 70s Soul Party with The O Jays at Time Warner Cable Studios and the 15th Annual NFL SUper Bowl Gospel Celebration with Patti Labelle, Mary Mary, Natalie Grant, Tamela Mann and Donnie McClurkin at MSG, both on Friday.

Other previously announced Super Bowl weekend concerts include Kendrick Lamar, Foo Fighters, Black Keys, Band of Horses, The Roots, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Janelle Monae, TLC, Drake and more.

photos by Adam Nelson | WORKHOUSE

Lou Reed Memorial
Lou Reed Memorial

The late Lou Reed was honored with a last-minute memorial in Harlem at the legendary Apollo Theatre last night (12/17), which was organized by his wife Laurie Anderson. The memorial saw some of Lou's notable friends/collaborators singing the songs of the Velvet Underground and his solo career plus reading or performing tributes to him, including Patti Smith and her bandmate Lenny Kaye, Antony Hegarty, Debbie Harry (of Blondie), Paul Simon, John Zorn, Philip Glass, former VU bandmate Moe Tucker, and others. An excerpt from the NY Times review of the show reads:

Ms. Anderson said that Mr. Reed wrote songs in single bursts. "He would wake up in the middle of the night and just write the song down and it was complete," she said. "He never changed a word. He thought, 'First thought, best thought.' "

Mr. Simon sang the Velvets' "Pale Blue Eyes," marveling at its beauty and admitting there were lines he never understood. Emily Haines, from the Canadian band Metric, sang "All Tomorrow's Parties," and Jenni Muldaur sang the pensive "Jesus." Deborah Harry rocked through "White Light/White Heat."

Ms. Smith chose "Perfect Day" for what she called "Lou's most poignant lyric": "You made me forget myself/I thought I was someone else, someone good." The a cappella doo-wop group the Persuasions reworked Mr. Reed's "Turning Time Around." Antony Hegarty, who appeared in the stage production of Mr. Reed's album "Berlin," performed a slow, poignant, tremulous "Candy Says." Julian Schnabel, who filmed "Berlin," calmly recited the patricidal, carnage-filled "Rock Minuet."

The saxophonist John Zorn represented Mr. Reed's improvisational side with a squealing, scurrying, exultantly perpetual-motion yawp of a solo. And Philip Glass, on piano, accompanied a recitation of the Kaddish prayer.

That review also points out that Laurie Anderson said Lou's last words were "Take me out into the light!"

Pictures of the memorial are in this post. They continue below...

Continue reading "Lou Reed memorial happened at the Apollo w/ Patti Smith, Laurie Anderson, Debbie Harry, Antony, Paul Simon (pics)"

Blondie in NJ in 2012 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Blondie

New Year's Eve is quickly approaching, which means (among other things) that tons of people will stand out in the cold at Times Square for Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest. Musical performers at this year's celebration include NYC legends Blondie, along with Icona Pop, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Miley Cyrus. TV coverage begins at 8 PM on ABC. Full schedule for the night, below.

Also check out concert options for New Year's Eve in NYC.

Times Square NYE schedule below...

Continue reading "Blondie among Times Square New Year's Eve performers"

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