Entries tagged with: RIP

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Sly and the Family Stone

She was the voice that commanded us to "get up and dance to the music," and the woman who Sly Stone put "on the throne" in the Family Stone hit "Dance to the Music."

But that voice has been quieted with the death of Sly and the Family Stone trumpeter, vocalist and co-founder Cynthia Robinson on Monday (Nov. 23) at the age of 69, according to her Facebook page.

...Robinson joined Stone -- who dubbed her "one of the best trumpeters in the world" -- in his Sly and the Stoners band in 1966 and stayed on board as he crafted the pop/rock/R&B synthesis that became the Family Stone. After the group's dissolution in 1975 she went on to play with bassist Larry Graham's Graham Central Station and also worked with George Clinton, Prince and as part of Sinbad's Aruba Summer Soul Festival. Since 2006 she's been part of the Family Stone with Martini and drummer Gregg Errico. The group also features her daughter with Sly Stone, Sylvette Phunne Stone, a singer and multi-instrumentalist in her own right. (Robinson had one other daughter, Laura Marie). [Billboard]

Sad news today: Cynthia Robinson of legendary soul/funk band Sly & the Family Stone has passed away. She was 69, and the cause was cancer.

Rest in peace Cynthia. You'll be missed.

Continue reading "Cynthia Robinson (of Sly & the Family Stone), RIP"

Caveman / Juan Maclean / the stage (via @daniellesteger / @robnyc75 / @boy_version)
Cameo Gallery
Cameo Gallery
Cameo Gallery

Williamsburg said goodbye to another long-running music venue over the weekend, with N. 6th St. club Cameo Gallery closing its doors for good at some point late Saturday night / Sunday morning. They packed in a lot of music over the last two days with early rock shows and late night dance parties on both Friday (11/20) and Saturday (11/21). Friday had Eternal Summers and more for the early show and Juan Maclean live for the late show. For their last night, Caveman headlined the early show, and they closed down the place with Plastic Plates and DJs St. Lucia. To underline things a little, this came, basically, one year (minus a day) to Death by Audio's farewell. Did you stop by this weekend to say goodbye to Cameo?

Other shows from the final week, included Chairlift who played twice -- first as the secret guests at Wednesday's Mr. Twin Sister show (11/18) and then their own show at Cameo on Thursday (11/19) with Wet.

Williamsburg is less fun without you here, Cameo. You will be missed. More Instagrams below...

Continue reading "Cameo Gallery, RIP"

photo: Peasant @ BV-CMJ 2008 @ Pianos (more by Kyle Dean Reinford)

It breaks my heart to hear this news today. Damien DeRose, aka Peasant, has passed away. Schnitzel Records posted the following message around 3am Wednesday night:

It is with a very heavy heart to announce that we have lost a member of the Schnitzel family. Damien DeRose, aka Peasant, passed away last night. He touched us all with his beautiful music and we will miss him tremendously. R.I.P
Philly station WXPN has a longer obituary for the 30 year old Pennsylvania artist:
DeRose addressed difficult topics in his music very vividly, but it was not an act - he wrestled with drugs and drinking in his own life, and spent time in a Maryland prison following a 2013 arrest for burglary and possession of heroin. He kept in occasional touch with his fans, occasionally sharing tidbits about music he would eventually release - the new album he recorded with Joe Ugg in Point Pleasant.

After his release, DeRose refocused on his music and his recovery. He also dabbled in photography through colorful nature scenes on his Instagram page, which often incorporated light and shadow to stunning effect. In September, he shared new song lyrics touching on the experience of the last two years - "someday I know I'll be free / all the bad will be worth it to me" - and excitedly talked of proceeding through "three years of new and unreleased material."

He was even scheduled to play MilkBoy this Saturday, November 21st with Illinois, circulating flyers that read "Onstage for the 1st time in a very Long time." But he was reportedly admitted to Temple hospital on November 6th where he spent two weeks in a coma.

Damien's beautiful songs first came to my attention in 2008, the same year he then played a BrooklynVegan ROFL show downstairs at Pianos (with Bear in Heaven, The Forms, Dave Hill, Pete Holmes, Kristen Schaal & more) and a BrooklynVegan CMJ show upstairs at Pianos (with Phosphorescent, Wye Oak, Sharon Van Etten & more). It's been a few years since I've seen or heard Peasant, but listening again now reminds me why I loved him in the first place. Rest in Peace, Damien...

Continue reading "RIP Damien DeRose of Peasant"

PF SLoan

P.F Sloan, who wrote hits for Barry McGuire ("Eve of Destruction"), Johnny Rivers ("Secret Agent Man") and others, died Sunday (11/15), after having been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer only a few weeks ago. From Rolling Stone

"Phil was a key element on the music that became the sound of the Sunset Strip. Phil was a true prodigy, signing his first record deal with Aladdin Records when he was thirteen," Sloan's reps said in a statement. "P.F. Sloan's 'Eve Of Destruction' was an anthem for a generation. It is as relevant now as it ever has been."

After recording his debut single "All I Want Is Loving" / "Little Girl in the Cabin" for the Aladdin Records label, the still-teenaged Sloan got a job with music publisher Screen Gems, who hired Sloan to work with surf rock duo Jan & Dean; Sloan is heard on that group's 1964 hit, "The Little Old Lady From Pasadena." Sloan then moved to Dunhill Records, where he penned hits for artists like Herman's Hermits, the Turtles, the Searchers, the Grass Roots and Barry McGuire.

Rest in peace, Phil. Your songs live on. Listen to some of P.F. Sloan's best-known songs, below...

Continue reading ""Eve of Destruction" songwriter P.F. Sloan, RIP"


Friday at noon, Lemmy took to Motorhead's Facebook to remember Philthy Animal

"Hello this is Lemmy from Motörhead. I'm feeling very sad at the moment, in fact devastated because one of my best friends died yesterday. I miss him already. His name was Phil Taylor, or Philthy Animal, and he was our drummer twice in our career. Now he's died and it really pisses me off that they take somebody like him and leave George Bush alive. So muse on that. We're still going, we're still going strong, it's just first Würzel and now Philthy, it's a shame man. I think this rock n roll business might be bad for the human life. Oh well."
Eight hours later, this to the same Facebook page:
First of all, what can we say? Our hearts go out to all who have suffered in Paris tonight, we are so sorry, it is so utterly horrific. Thank you to everyone who has asked about us all, everyone in the Motörcamp is safe although as you have probably heard, Paris and, indeed, France, is understandably on lockdown until local authorities can gauge the full extent of what has occurred. When we have further news, we will let you know. We just hope everyone can heal.
Motorhead were scheduled to play The Zenith in Paris on Sunday night, 11/15. The show is nos officially off. The band posted this update tonight along with the above photo:
Due to the serious situation that our brothers and sisters are facing in Paris we have to postpone our gig until January. We are working on locking a date and will give details as soon as we can.
Motorhead's next scheduled gig is at Mitsubishi Electric Halle in Düsseldorf, Germany on 11/17.

Nick Alexander

Nick Alexander was one of the many senselessly murdered at the Eagles of Death Metal show at Bataclan in Paris Friday night. He was their merch manager. He also worked with Best Coast, The Black Keys, MGMT and many other bands. A memorial fund, which has already raised over $35,000 in 10 hours, has been set up in his honor. Rest in Peace, Nick.

A message from the fund's creator Miguel Benavides can be read below...

Continue reading "Nick Alexander was Eagles of Death Metal's merch manager, worked for many bands; Memorial fund set up"

Philthy Animal

Sad news today in the rock world: Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor, longtime drummer for Motorhead who was with them from their 1975 debut recording On Parole through 1992's March ör Die, has passed away. The news was broke by another former Motorhead member, "Fast" Eddie Clarke, on Facebook:

My dear friend and brother passed away last night.
He had been ill for sometime but that does not make it any easier when the time finally comes. I have known Phil since he was 21 and he was one hell of a character. Fortunately we made some fantastic music together and I have many many fond memories of our time together. Rest in Peace, Phil!
Rest in peace, Phil. You'll be missed but not forgotten.

Listen to "Overkill," home of Philthy Animal's timelessly powerful drum intro, below...

Continue reading "Motorhead drummer Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor, RIP"

Allen Toussaint

Very sad news: New Orleans music legend Allen Toussaint died on Monday night (11/9) after a concert in Madrid, Spain. He was 77.

Though always soft-spoken, humble and most often preferring to stay behind the scenes, the list of those who benefited from Toussaint's touch as a producer and arranger is staggering. It ranges from the 1950s to the present day: from Irma Thomas, Aaron Neville, Art Neville, Dr. John, the Meters, Paul McCartney, Joe Cocker and Glen Campbell to the late Ernie K-Doe, Chris Kenner, Lee Dorsey, Jessie Hill, Benny Spellman and Al Hirt, to name but a few.

"His greatest contribution was in not allowing the city's old-school R&B traditions to die out but by keeping pace with developments in the rapidly evolving worlds of soul and funk. In addition, he brought the New Orleans sound to the national stage, and it remains a vital and ongoing part of our musical heritage to this day," proclaimed the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which inducted Toussaint as a member in 1998.

Many of Toussaint's songs became familiar not just for their original versions,s but by cover versions as well, including "Ruler of My Heart," "Working in the Coal Mine," "Ride Your Pony," "Fortune Teller," "Southern Nights," "Get Out of My Life, Woman," "Sneaking Sally Through the Alley" and "Mother-in-Law." The diverse list of artists who covered Toussaint songs, all the while holding him in high regard, runs the gamut from The Rolling Stones, The Who, Jerry Garcia, Robert Palmer and Warren Zevon to The Doors, Ringo Starr, The Pointer Sisters and Little Feat. - [WWLTV]

Allen, you will be missed but your music and influence live on. Rest in peace.

photo: Allen Toussaint @ Joe's Pub in 2014 (more by Greg Cristman)
Allen Toussaint

Allen still played live often. He was even scheduled to play City Winery in NYC later this month (on 11/29).

You can watch a BBC documentary about Toussaint, and listen to some of his most well-known recordings, below...

Continue reading "Allen Toussaint, RIP"

Teenage Bottlerocket

Today we received the sad news that Brandon Carlisle, drummer of Wyoming punk band Teenage Bottlerocket, has passed away after having been hospitalized. The band writes:

It is with the heaviest hearts that we have to report our beloved drummer Brandon didn't make it. The doctors did everything they could to save him, but the MRI showed he is no longer with us. His family and loved ones are with him as they prepare to take him off life support and let him gently move on.

Seeing so many people from all over the world come together in support has been amazing and we know Brandon could feel how much he was really loved. Brandon lived his life with his whole heart. He loved music, and he loved people. He always made it a point to let everyone know how much they meant to him, and to take time to make new friends. Anyone who was lucky enough to spend even a minute with the guy knows what a blessing he was to this earth. So with that love in our hearts, we carry him with us as we say goodbye. To the best drummer, the kindest soul and our brother and best friend, you will be in our hearts always.

Rest in Peace Brandon, we all love you so much

Brandon and his twin brother Ray formed the band in 2001, and the lineup eventually came to include Kody Templeman of the then-defunct (but recently reunited) Lillingtons. They most recently released Tales from Wyoming earlier this year.

If you'd like to help out Brandon's family with medical costs and funeral expenses, there's a Go Fund Me campaign set up. Rest in peace Brandon, you'll be missed.

Continue reading "Teenage Bottlerocket drummer Brandon Carlisle, RIP"

photo: Dickie Hammond w/ Leatherface at Knitting Factory in 2010 (more by Chloe Rice)
Dickie Hammond

Mush, however, is a knockout. Led by a ferocious guitar attack (Stubbs and co-writer Dickie Hammond) at more manageable fast tempos -- the rhythm section's work is much improved -- the fifteen-song fireball has awesome throat-grabbing drive and thoughtful lyrics. Following such great tracks as "Dead Industrial Atmosphere" and the anthemic "I Want the Moon," the album ends with an eye-opening detonation of "Message in a Bottle" as if it were written by the Give 'Em Enough Rope Clash instead of the Police. Mush is a shake-you-up, make-you-angry, get-your-ya-ya's-out experience. [Jack Rabid & Jay Pattyn for Trouser Press]
Richard "Dickie" Hammond, singer, backup vocalist and co-songwriter of the great English punk band Leatherface (and of pre-Leatherface band HDQ, an eventual member of Angelic Upstarts, and more) has reportedly passed away. Louder Than War posted, "Sad news reached us here at Louder Than War overnight; the premature death of Sunderland born guitarist Dickie Hammond. [...] We are trying to establish the circumstances of his death, though at this time details are very sketchy. He had been in ill-health and had been admitted to hospital in mid August 2014."

Dickie had been a member of Leatherface since their earliest days when, especially on 1991's classic Mush (and thanks in huge part to Frankie Stubbs' gravelly voice), they helped pioneer a type of punk that influenced a handful of bands like their splitmates Hot Water Music and remains influential today. He didn't immediately return upon their 1998 reunion, but did eventually get back with them for their final album, 2010's The Stormy Petrel, and he toured with them that year (as pictured above).

Rest in peace Dickie. You'll be missed.

Stream Mush and check out some tweets posted in honor of Dickie, below...

Continue reading "Dickie Hammond (of Leatherface) has reportedly passed away"

Carey Lander

Camera Obscura's Carey Lander had been fighting cancer, and she sadly passed away earlier today. The band posted:

It is with the greatest sadness, that we must share the news that Carey passed away peacefully this morning after her illness with cancer. We have lost our friend and band mate, and our deepest sympathy goes out to her partner Kenny, and to all her family and friends.

She was touched by the way you all got behind her campaign for Sarcoma UK and you can still donate here: https://www.justgiving.com/Carey-Lander

We shall be continuing to help promote the campaign on her behalf.

She was left in no doubt how much you all loved and appreciated her, and we'd like to thank you all for the support and kind words you have been sending to us and her. The band, our music, and all of you who have enjoyed it over the years, meant so much to her.

Thank you all, Tracyanne, Gavin, Kenny and Lee x

So sad to hear. Rest in peace Carey.

Watch a few Camera Obscura videos below...

Continue reading "Camera Obscura's Carey Lander, RIP"

Steve Mackay

The Stooges/Violent Femmes saxophone player Steve Mackay has passed away at age 66 after a battle with sepsis. Iggy Pop shared the following statement:

Steve was a classic '60s American guy, full of generosity and love for anyone he met. Every time he put his sax to his lips and honked, he lightened my road and brightened the whole world. He was a credit to his group and his generation. To know him was to love him.
He first played with The Stooges on their 1970 album Fun House and toured with them that year too, and he has also been a member of the band since their 2003 reunion. He had been playing live with them, and appeared on recent albums The Weirdness (2007) and Ready to Die (2013).

He also played live as a member of The Violent Femmes' horn section for several years, and appeared on 1986's The Blind Leading the Naked. Other work over the years includes solo material, his band Carnal Kitchen, and collaborations with R. Stevie Moore, the Radon ensemble, and more.

This is sadly the third Stooges-related death in the past few years after Scott Asheton and Ron Asheton. Rest in peace Steve. You'll be missed.

Listen to Fun House below...

Continue reading "Steve Mackay (The Stooges, Violent Femmes), RIP"

Koopsta Knicca

Founding Three 6 Mafia member Koopsta Knicca (real name Robert Cooper Phillips) passed away last night after suffering a stroke. He was 40 years old. The Commercial Appeal was given a statement and they write:

The news of Mr. Phillips death was confirmed by Da Mafia 6ix publicist Dove Clark, and his group mate and producer "DJ Paul" Beauregard (the official word followed premature reports of his passing online on Thursday).

In a statement, DJ Paul referred to Mr. Phillips as "my group member and brother for over 20 years," noting that the he "went in peace...Everyone who knew Koop knew he was very funny and the coolest guy ever. He will be missed. We made classics together that'll live on."

That makes him the second Three 6 Mafia member to pass away in the past two years, following Lord Infamous's death in 2013.

Rest in peace Koopsta Knicca. Listen Da Devil's Playground below...

Continue reading "Koopsta Knicca (Three 6 Mafia), RIP"

photo: Jim Konya with Nunslaughter at the Acheron in 2011 (more by Fred Pessaro)
Negative Approach

Sad news out of Cleveland today, as Jim Konya, (aka Jim Sadist, Jim Satanic, Lord Mazillion, other wonderful alter egos), drummer of numerous Cleveland metal acts like Nunslaughter and Schnauzer has passed away following a stroke suffered three weeks ago:

"A lot of people think of him as some crazy heavy-metal badass in satanic rock band T-shirts," says Bill Peters, a heavy-metal DJ at WJCU 88.7/FM who befriended Konya when he would call in to the radio station to make song requests. "But the Jim I know is the kind of person who would offer rides to strangers at the end of the night - a good person and very giving." - [cleveland.com]
The Cleveland music community had rallied together to try and raise money to help support Jim in the wake of his medical problems. The memorial page on Facebook where friends and fans are posting memories of Jim is a great testament to the impact he had on the Cleveland scene and heavy music in general.

Rest in Peace Jim. Watch a video of Nunslaughter playing at Obscene Extreme Fest last year below.

Continue reading "Nunslaughter drummer Jim Konya, RIP"


We were sad to just learn that DC saxophonist Doc Night passed away earlier this month at the age of 52. He was a member of Scream (before Dave Grohl was, and three decades later appeared with Scream vocalist Pete Stahl in Grohl's one-off supergroup Don't Need Its), played in Body Count, and with HR of Bad Brains, who is helping spread the word that money is being collected for Doc's family. Rest in peace, Doc.

Speaking of Bad Brains and Dave Grohl, the Foo Fighters just brought out Darryl Jennifer and Dr. Know at their second of two Citi Field shows to cover Bad Brains classics "How Low Can A Punk Get" and "The Regulator." Videos of both covers are below.

HR wasn't at that those shows, and he isn't a current Bad Brains member, but he is playing some of his own shows. He'll be on a West Coast tour in October, and then his band HR & Dubb Agents plays NYC on December 18 at Bowery Electric. Opening that show is the Bandroidz, who recently toured with Desaparecidos. Tickets for NYC are on sale now.

All HR dates are listed below...

Continue reading "HR pays tribute to Doc Night (RIP), playing shows (but not with Bad Brains or Foo Fighters)"


Grabbing a falafel at Bereket after a show at Mercury Lounge, Pianos or another East Village or Lower East Side venue was a tradition cut short last year when the Turkish kebab house suddenly closed to make room for a bigger building at its Orchard and Houston location. I don't make it over that way as much as I used to, so it hasn't even fully sunk in that Bereket and the surrounding businesses are now completely gone and DEMOLISHED. Photographer Gabi Porter posted the above depressing photo to Instagram yesterday. We miss Bereket. Do you?

NYC POP artist Marco was the man resposible for painiting the funky octopus/ATM art above the door. He stopped by the shuttered business to make sure he had some video footage before it was gone. Watch his video and other older ones below....

Continue reading "We miss Bereket (which was totally demolished in July)"


Veteran Park Slope, Brooklyn rapper Pumpkinhead (real name Robert Diaz) sadly passed away this past June in a Somerville, NJ hospital (the Rock Steady Crew threw a tribute to him in Central Park in July), and now his home neighborhood is taking steps to immortalize him, and the news is positive so far.. Park Slope Stoop reports that the first hurdle is cleared to have a street in Park Slope named after the rapper...

A request to rename a street for Robert "PH" Diaz -- a rapper who also went by the name Pumpkinhead -- passed handily in a vote by the Community Board 6 Transportation/Public Safety Committee on Thursday, September 17. The vote was almost unanimous; one committee member abstained because she came late to the discussion.

The committee will now bring the request to the general CB6 meeting that involves renaming Degraw Street between 4th and 5th Avenues to Robert "PH" Diaz Way. The City Council will have final approval.

Listen to Pumpkinhead's song "Park Slope" below...

Continue reading "Park Slope rapper Pumpkinhead passed away in June; a Park Slope street may soon be named after him"

photo: Bolt Thrower at MDF 2013 (more by Fred Pessaro)
Bolt Thrower

Sad news in the metal community today: drummer Martin 'Kiddie' Kearns of long-running English death metal band Bolt Thrower passed away in his sleep at age 38. The band's statement (via Black Conjuration Fest) reads:

With the heaviest of hearts, and still numb from shock, we have to share the very sad news that on Monday 14th September Bolt Thrower lost our powerhouse drummer, Martin 'Kiddie' Kearns.

After the first rehearsal for our upcoming tour of Australia, Kiddie suddenly felt unwell which continued throughout the night, and the next day he passed away peacefully in his sleep.

He was a fantastic Dad, husband, son, friend, but to us he was always 'Kiddie', the same 17 year old Coventry kid whose drumming style and personality blew us away when he first walked into our rehearsal room 20+ years ago.

Kiddie enriched our lives, and the Bolt Thrower sound. He leaves a massive hole in the lives of everyone who knew him and will be very sorely missed by many.

Karl, Jo, Baz, Gav & the loyal BT crew

So sad to hear. Black Conjuration Fest also reports that the band's upcoming Australian tour will be cancelled.

Rest in peace Martin. Watch a video of Bolt Thrower playing Vienna last year, below...

Continue reading "Bolt Thrower drummer Martin 'Kiddie' Kearns, RIP"

I wonder what Zune tattoo guy thinks about this...

Zune tattoo

Did you realize Zune was still a thing?

Microsoft has announced it will retire the last of its Zune services on 15 November.

The company's Zune players and digital music service were launched in 2006 to rival Apple's iPod and iTunes.

But they never made a considerable impact and Zune hardware was discontinued in 2011.

The devices still have a small cult following who subscribe to the remaining Zune streaming music service.

On Wednesday, Microsoft said that service would be switched off on 15 November, with remaining users being migrated to its new Groove service.

Any remaining Zune players will still work as an MP3 player, but will no longer be able to stream online music. [BBC]

PREVIOSULY: Queens of the Stone Age played Zune launch party at The Box (pics)

Rico Rodriguez RIP

Sad News: Emmanuel "Rico" Rodriguez who played with the original lineup of The Specials and The Special AKA, died on Friday (9/4) at age 80. Born of a Cuban father and Jamaican mother in Kingston, Jamaica, Rodriguez played on dozens of reggae records in the late'-60s and '70s before hooking up with the Two Tone ska revivalists where his trombone style became a signature component The Specials' sound. He also cut a couple singles for Two Tone, "Jungle Music" with The Specials and a cover of "Sea Cruise" which was released just as Rico, as well as two early-'80s solo albums.

Rico, you'll be missed. Rest in peace. For those in London, there's a special Rico tribute happening this Friday (9/11). From Bim Skala Bim's Facebook page:

Rico's children and wonderful close friend, Rasta Larry, will be attending the special honorary show next Friday 11th Sept (planned since last year), at the 229 Club in London, where Rico was due to attend and receive an award accolade, from the Jamaican High Commissioner (along with Owen Gray and Prince Buster). The family will receive the award on Rico's behalf. The night will include a speech by Jerry Dammers and performance by The Neville Staple Band, plus other special guests.
Bless you Rico. Your legendary name and music will live forever.
Flyer for the tribute show, plus a few of Rico's songs with The Specials and his solo singles, below...

Continue reading "The Specials' trombonist "Rico" Rodriguez, RIP"

Sean Price (left) w/ Pharoahe Monch at Pete Rock's release party in Brooklyn in June
Sean Price

The Source reports that according to his friends and family, Brooklyn rapper Sean Price passed away in his sleep this morning. He was 43. Cause of death is currently unknown.

Sean left his mark on New York rap as one half of the influential duo Heltah Skeltah and a member of the supergroup Boot Camp Clik. Even as new trends entered the genre, Sean stayed true to his '90s-style roots, delivering uncompromising lyricism on his solo albums and as a member of the trio Random Axe. Duck Down had announced earlier this month that they'd release his next mixtape, Songs in the Key of Price, on August 21.

Rest in peace Sean P. Your music will definitely not be forgotten.

Listen to two singles from Songs in the Key of Price, with some of Sean's classic videos and tweets from fellow musicians about his passing, below...

Continue reading "Sean Price, RIP"

Lynn Anderson

Lynn Anderson, whose version of the song "(I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden" was one of the biggest country hits of the 1970s, has died. She was 67.

Anderson died Thursday of a heart attack at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville after being admitted for pneumonia, publicist Mark Logsdon told CNN.

Anderson was born in Grand Forks, North Dakota, in 1947, and grew up in Sacramento, California. Born to the music business -- both her parents were songwriters -- she got her start as a professional singer while still in her teens, releasing her first record, "For Better or for Worse," when she was 19.

...All told, Anderson had 18 country Top 10 hits, including five No. 1 songs. Among her other hits: "Rocky Top," the Felice and Boudleaux Bryant tune that's one of Tennessee's state songs. Anderson's version hit No. 17 on the country charts in 1970. [CNN]

Country singer Lynn Anderson passed away on Thursday, almost two months after releasing her latest album, Bridges. Other musicians have paid tribute to her. Dolly Parton said "she's blooming in God's rose garden now" and Morrissey posted a tribute on his website too. The post mentioned that last month in Nashville, Morrissey covered her biggest hit. You can watch a video of that (via Stereogum) below.

Rest in peace Lynn.

Continue reading "Lynn Anderson passed away; Morrissey paid tribute"

Rowdy Roddy Piper

Sad news from the world of wrestling -- WWE star "Rowdy" Roddy Piper died in his sleep on Thursday night from cardiac arrest. From ESPN:

"Roddy Piper was one of the most entertaining, controversial and bombastic performers ever in WWE, beloved by millions of fans around the world," said WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon. "I extend my deepest condolences to his family."

Roddy Piper was added to the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005. John Shearer/WireImage for BWR Public Relations
Piper, born Roderick Toombs, joined WWE in 1984. He teamed with Paul Orndorff on March 31, 1985, to take on Hulk Hogan and Mr. T at Madison Square Garden in Wrestlemania's first main event.

Inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005, Piper was well-known for his microphone skills and often hosted the Piper's Pit segment during WWE shows. He is the second Hall of Famer to die this summer following the June death of Dusty Rhodes.

In addition to pro wrestling, Piper also acted, most notably in John Carpenter's great 1988 darkly comic, highly subversive thriller They Live. You can watch Piper's "I came here to chew bubblegum" and famously epic fight scene with Keith David below.

Roddy, you will be missed. Rest in peace.

Continue reading ""Rowdy" Roddy Piper, RIP"

Vic Firth

Everett "Vic" Firth, founder of drumstick company Vic Firth, has passed away. A post on Vic Firth's Facebook reads:

To our dear friends around the world:

We are heartbroken to share the news with you that Vic has passed away.

Vic was an inspiration to all of us. He was a visionary, a mentor, a leader and a friend. He always said he surrounded himself with the best people, but the truth is he brought out the best in all of us. His boundless passion for music and musicians drove every decision he made.

Vic's spirit and legacy will continue to live at the core of the Vic Firth Company. He will be missed beyond words.

Rest in peace, Vic.

Don Joyce (second from left) with Negativland around the time of the "U2" single
Negativland Don Joyce

Don Joyce of electronic innovators and culture satirists/critics Negativland died Wedensday at his home in Oakland, CA. He was 71. A DJ at Berkley's KPFA, he coined the term "culture jamming" and hosted his midnight sound collage show "Over the Edge" since 1981 and continued to broadcast. Negativland shared the sad news on their website:

Negativland had found its "lead vocalist" without even realizing they were looking for one. It was Don who took the idea of reshaping previously recorded words - in a pre-sampling age - and ran with it to an extent and depth never before heard, and never equalled. "Recontextualization" became his weapon, with the 1/4" tape machine and razor blade his ammunition, and the radio "cart player" - an entirely forgotten piece of broadcast history using endless-loop tape cartridges, which he used until he death - his delivery system.

When he and Negativland discovered their mutual love for "found" sounds, an intensely collaborative creative partnership was cemented. It continued non-stop for the ensuing decades, with Don endlessly scanning the airwaves of radio and television, along with his massive LP collection, for new material, day by day, week by week. There was often a TV and a radio on in his room simultaneously, cassette recorders always at the ready. And as an extremely shy and often quite reclusive person, radio was a perfect medium for Don. He could reach thousands of people each week without having to deal with very many actual humans, just as he preferred it. Creating art was not only Don's full-time pursuit, it was literally his life's work. He had made it clear to the group as recently as a few weeks ago that he was happy and satisfied with what he had been able to achieve in his life, and were he not able to continue to work, his life would feel as good as over.

You can read the entirety of Negativland's tribute to Joyce here. This is the second Negativland death this year: '80-era member Ian Allen died in January from a heart attack.

Joyce was an integral part to Negativland's most acclaimed work, namely 1987's Escape from Noise and 1989's Helter Stupid. Their most famous work, though was 1991's "U2" single which set a expletive-laden blooper reel of America's Top 40 host Casey Kasem trying to read the intro to U2's first appearance on the show ("These guys are from England and who gives a shit!") over a sample the Irish band's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" and other found sounds. U2's label Island Records sued Negativland, saying that the cover art mislead U2 fans into buying the record, and over copyright infringement of the sample. It made the news and the whole debacle later got turned into the 1995 album Fair Use: The Story of the Letter U and the Numeral 2. You can stream the "U2" single below -- it's still funny.

Negativland also announced that all of Don's "Over the Edge" radio shows will be available later this year via the Internet Archive. Rest in peace, Don. You'll be missed but your work lives on.

Continue reading "Negativland's Don Joyce, RIP"