Entries tagged with: RIP
Folk legend John Renbourn sadly passed away at his home in Hawick, Scotland, The Guardian reports. He was 70.
In addition to releasing a large amount of solo albums from 1965 through 2011, John was a founding member of the great British folk-jazz band Pentangle, along with Jacqui McShee, Danny Thompson, Terry Cox, and Bert Jansch (who we lost in 2011). John contributed guitar and vocals to the band, as well as other stringed instruments including sitar and banjo.
Rest in peace, John. You'll be missed and your contributions to music won't be forgotten.
Listen to Pentangle's arrangement of the traditional "Cruel Sister," the title track to their 1970 epic, below...
Today I lost a brother. Anthony Jude Pero passed away. A.J. was the final piece in a band that would become an international sensation and one of the greatest live rock acts to ever hit the stage. His sledgehammer assault on the drums helped drive Twisted Sister and I to greatness and inspired me to rock every single show. My heart breaks knowing I will never feel the power of his beat behind me, or turn to see his face smiling broadly from the sheer joy he got from doing what he loved. I will always remember that smile. RIP my friend.Twisted Sister drummer and Staten Island native AJ Pero died Friday, March 20 of an apparent heart attack. He was on tour with Adrenaline Mob when his bandmates unsuccessfully tried to awaken him. He was then taken to a hospital in Poughkeepsie, New York, where he was declared dead just after 11 AM. He was 55.
Rest in peace, AJ, you'll be missed. Watch a few Twisted Sister videos and read tributes from the rest of the band, below...
Brown, center top, with The Left Banke
Michael Brown, keyboardist for '60s-era baroque pop band The Left Banke, died Thursday morning (3/19) at age 65 -- the news was posted by bassist Tom Finn on The Left Banke's official Facebook fan page. Cause of death has not been shared. Born Michael Lookofsky, he was one of The Left Banke's founding members and wrote or co-wrote most of their best-known songs, including "Walk Away Renee," "Pretty Ballerina," "She May Call You Up Tonight," and "There's Something on My Mind" (which Jens Lekman sampled for "Black Cab"). His use of harpsichord and clavinet was also key to the band's signature sound.
Rest in peace, Michael. Your music lives on. Stream some of The Left Banke's songs below.
Like Stereogum who is reporting the sad news, BrooklynVegan has a long history with and affection for Brooklyn-based, online music seller Insound (who became part of Warner Music Group in 2008). Really sorry to hear they're leaving us. We don't see an official announcement yet, but Stereogum says:
After 16 years of serving independent music fans and obsessives, the online music and merch retailer and venerable indie institution Insound will be shutting down at the end of the month. Founded in 1999, Insound was around for the rise of the internet and the vinyl revival, and they had a hand in distributing and promoting some of the biggest indie acts of the 2000s (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Interpol, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, etc.). They also had a lot of interesting ideas and promotions -- a record of the month club, limited edition Insound-funded Tour Support EPs...It was a good run.
UPDATE (3/19): Insound confirmed the news today:
And so dada Ali, bert camembert, the dingo Virgin, divided alien and his other 12 selves prepare to pass up the oily way and back to the planet of love. And I rejoice and give thanks," he wrote. "Thanks to you dear dear daevid for introducing me to my family of magick brothers and mystic sisters, for revealing the mysteries, you were the master builder but now have made us all the master builders. As the eternal wheel turns we will continue your message of love and pass it around. We are all one, we are all gong. Rest well my friend, float off on our ocean of love. The gong vibration will forever sound and its vibration will always lift and enhance. You have left such a beautiful legacy and we will make sure it forever shines in our children and their children. Now is the happiest time of yr life. Blessed be.Prog/psych legend Daevid Allen has passed away at 77 years old, as confirmed by the above message posted to his son Orlando's Facebook page (via Guardian). He announced in February that he had six months to live, after the cancer he was previously treated for spread to his lungs.
Daevid formed the Canterbury Scene prog pioneers Soft Machine in 1966 with Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayers (who died in 2013) and Mike Ratledge, though he left before the release of their first album. Following his departure, he formed the more psych/space-leaning band Gong, which he fronted (besides intermittent breakups) up through his death. Their last album was 2014's I See You. Throughout this career he also put out numerous solo albums, and was a member of other groups including University of Errors, an early incarnation of Bill Laswell's band Material (known as New York Gong when Daevid was in it), and more.
Rest in peace Daevid. You'll be missed and your contributions to music won't be forgotten.
Listen to some Gong classics below...
by Bill Pearis
Albert Maysles, second right, with brother David, Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts, 1969
Mr. Maysles (pronounced MAY-zuls) departed from documentary conventions by not interviewing his films' subjects. As he explained in an interview with The New York Times in 1994, "Making a film isn't finding the answer to a question; it's trying to capture life as it is."Filmmaker and verite pioneer Albert Maysles died Thursday night (3/5) at his home in Manhattan. He was 88. With his brother David, Maysles has made some of the best and best-known documentaries of the 50 years. If you've never seen Gimme Shelter or Grey Gardens you should rectify that immediately. Those and the Maysles Brothers' Salesman are available through the Criterion Collection and can be streamed on Hulu Plus. You can also watch Albert's documentary about "The Gates," the art project that turned much of Central Park orange in February 2005, which one of many films the Maysles made about the works of famed artists Christo & Jean-Claude.
The Maysles brothers made several well-regarded documentaries in the 1960s, but it was "Gimme Shelter" (1970), about the Rolling Stones' 1969 American tour, that brought them widespread attention. It included a scene of a fan being stabbed to death at the group's concert in Altamont, Calif., and the critical admiration for the film was at least partly countered by concerns that it was exploiting that violence.
But the film captured and held the public's attention for decades; it was the basis of a musical of the same title, for which both Christine Ebersole and Mary Louise Wilson won Tony Awards in 2007 after it had transferred to Broadway from Playwrights Horizons. A 2009 HBO film version won six Emmy Awards, including those for best television movie and best lead actress (Jessica Lange). - [New York Times]
Albert was currently finishing up work on his latest film, In Transit. David Maysles died in 1987. Rest in peace, Albert. You will be missed.
Leonard Nimoy, the sonorous, gaunt-faced actor who won a worshipful global following as Mr. Spock, the resolutely logical human-alien first officer of the Starship Enterprise in the television and movie juggernaut "Star Trek," died on Friday morning at his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles. He was 83.Well that is sad news for Trekkies, Trekkers, Federation members, Klingons, Romulans and just about everyone else. In addition to his role on Star Trek (which he reprised for JJ Abrams' reboot), Leonard Nimoy was also a castmember of Mission: Impossible, and was a memorable murderer on the 1973 Columbo episode, "A Stitch in Crime." He was also a director, having helmed Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, as well as 3 Men and a Baby. He also, like his pal William Shatner, made a few albums in the late '60s, like 1967's groovy Mr. Spock's Music From Outer Space, which you can stream -- along with a few other songs and the "video" for his song "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins," below.
His wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, confirmed his death, saying the cause was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Mr. Nimoy announced last year that he had the disease, which he attributed to years of smoking, a habit he had given up three decades earlier. He had been hospitalized earlier in the week.
His artistic pursuits -- poetry, photography and music in addition to acting -- ranged far beyond the United Federation of Planets, but it was as Mr. Spock that Mr. Nimoy became a folk hero, bringing to life one of the most indelible characters of the last half century: a cerebral, unflappable, pointy-eared Vulcan with a signature salute and blessing: "Live long and prosper" (from the Vulcan "Dif-tor heh smusma"). [NY Times]
He lived long and prospered. Leonard Nimoy, you will be missed. RIP.
Oscar-nominated filmmaker Bruce Sinofsky, whose series on the "West Memphis Three" cast doubt on the murder convictions of three Arkansas teenagers, catalyzing a movement that led to their release, died Saturday, longtime collaborator Joe Berlinger said. [CNN]---
Metallica recently celebrated the 10-year anniversary of their groundbreaking documentary Some Kind of Monster and sadly, not long after, they are now mourning the death of one of the movie's directors -- Bruce Sinofsky. [LoudWire]---
Bruce Sinofsky, the Montclair-based filmmaker, died at home on Saturday from complications of diabates. He was 58.Rest in Peace Bruce.
He was a very good filmmaker. He was also, much more importantly, a good guy, one I interviewed a number of times over the last 20 years or so, and - although I can't pretend to close friendship - one I am still very sad to lose.
Sinofsky, who was born in Boston, studied filmmaking at NYU, then got a job working for the revered documentarians Albert and David Maysles. [NJ.com}
Watch/listen to some interviews with Bruce, below...
Harris Wittels on 'Parks & Rec'
Sad news from the comedy world. Harris Wittels, who was a writer, producer and occasional actor on Parks and Recreation, was found dead Thursday (2/19) in his Los Angeles apartment of a suspected drug overdose. Wittels, who also worked on East Bound & Down, Comedy Bang Bang, The Sarah Silverman Show and coined the term "humblebrag," was open about his struggles with addiction. Parks and Recreation star Amy Pohler said a few words last night while at a Variety-sponsored charity event:
Today, I lost a friend. I lost a dear, young friend in my life who was struggling with addiction. I'm sharing it with you because life and death live so close together, and we walk that fine line everyday. So, I don't really feel like telling any jokes. I'm kind of sad, and it's really great to be here tonight and listen to all of you, and listen to the great work that you do and be reminded why we live in this bizarre planet called 'Hollywood.' It's very strange.Harris, you'll be missed. Rest in peace.
Sixties pop star Lesley Gore died this morning (2/16) at age 68 after a battle with lung cancer. Discovered by Quincy Jones, the Brooklyn-born singer scored a #1 hit with her first single "It's My Party," and made it into the Top 10 with her next three singles. Lesley, you'll be missed. Rest in peace.
Watch Gore's performance on classic '60s concert film The T.A.M.I Show, below...
New Romantic icon and former Visage singer Steve Strange died Thursday (2/12), suffering a heart attack while on holiday in Egypt. He was 55. In addition to Visage, Strange was known for running the door at late-'70s/early-'80s London clubs Billy's, Blitz and the Camden Palace:
"Steve's door policy was fantastic," recalls Midge Ure, who played alongside Strange in Visage. "He wouldn't let in anyone he didn't like the look of.Midge Ure, who was in Visage with Strange, offered his sympathies:
"So he famously turned away Mick Jagger because he thought he was too rock and roll. But when David Bowie turned up, all these cool kids suddenly went into turmoil and meltdown because the king had appeared."
Strange told The Independent in 2000: "I remember David Bowie coming to the club because he had heard how bizarre it was. I would stand on the door and I was so strict.
"If people turned up in a wetsuit with their face painted black and white I would say: 'Sorry you can't come in.' It wasn't about that.
"It was about showing your creative side, and about showing that you'd taken time and effort in what you had created. It was about classic style and being outrageous, but done with an element of taste.'' - [BBC]
As co founders of electronic band Visage, Rusty Egan and I are devastated to hear of Steve's untimely passing. He epitomised the vibrancy and flair of the eighties and will always be remembered for being one of the instigators of the Blitz Club and figurehead of the Blitz Kids.One of the most famous "Blitz Kids" was Boy George who ran the coat check and would go on to form Culture Club. He tweeted, "Heartbroken about the death of my friend Steve Strange. So bloody sad. Such a big part of my life!." Meanwhile, onetime Soft Cell singer Marc Almond had this to say:
Steve Strange was a person who made the World a more colourful and wonderfully mad place, was always so sweet to me from way back in 81 at Molly Parkin's parties, The Camden Palace, Club for Heroes to recent '80s-related appearances. He WAS the New Romantic! Sad loss. And even when I was a provincial Northerner with all the wrong clothes he was such a nice Guy. A light goes out.You can read more about him and the days of the Blitz club in a nice peice at The Guardian. Steve, you'll be missed. Rest in peace.
Check out a few Visage videos below.
Joseph Grado, founder of Brooklyn's high fidelity Grado Labs, died on Saturday at age 90. Grado, who was a master watchmaker, started the company in 1953 in the space that once housed the family fruit store in Sunset Park. Grado Labs began by making phono cartridges, and when Joseph's nephew John took over the company in 1990 the focus shifted to their great headphones. (They still make cartridges, though.) The Grado family offered up these words on their website:
The Grado family holds Uncle Joe in the highest regard, and without him, not only would we still be working in a fruit store, but we would have never started making headphones.Joseph Grado, you made music sound better. Rest in peace.
Watch a video tour of Grado's Brooklyn labs, plus a 2003 Girlmore Girls clip where Dave Rygalski (Adam Brody) talks Grados, below...
photo: Petal at Golden Tea House in 2014 (via Ryan Balduuin)
hey lovelies,A handful of bands and other venue regulars have posted tributes on Twitter:
golden tea house is no more. everything we've got booked right now will be moving elsewhere, and we won't be doing any more shows. the why and how aren't really important but suffice it to say it was one of the more predictable inevitable causes. this whole thing has been an absolute pleasure, and we've done so much more than i ever would have predicted. so many absurd, beautiful, brilliant, fun, stupid stupid shows. i can't help but get sappy and sentimental about something that's consumed most of my free time for so long, but we want to most of all say thank you to everyone who ever lived here, booked shows here, played here, helped out, or just came out to support what we were doing. I don't think we did anything that great, and we fucked up more times than i can count, but it was fucking magical nonetheless, and hopefully some of you feel the same. we love you all. keep in touch, we'll be around.
RIP Golden Tea House. Glad we got to rock in you. 😭— Chumped (@ChumpedBand) February 4, 2015
RIP GOLDEN TEA HOUSE, you were the realest.— cynthia ann schemmer (@caschemmer) February 4, 2015
Rest in peace Golden Tea House. Just one of the very best parts of Philadelphia. Thanks to Jake and everyone else. It was a real dream.— Lame-O Records (@LameORecords) February 4, 2015
Seen/played some of our favorite shows at Golden Tea House. RIP 💕 #tearsinmyminze— Restorations (@Restorations) February 4, 2015
Mad respect to Jake and Golden Tea House for the 3.5 years of it's existence. Most of us wouldn't open their house as much as they did. RIP— Ma Jolie (@Ow_MaJolies) February 4, 2015
The Golden Tea House not doing shows anymore is a huge bummer. End of an era.— Bryne Yancey (@howtobepunk) February 4, 2015
Golden Tea House was my favorite place. Thankful for all the incredible shows, the people, and the minze <3— eric osman (@ericosman) February 4, 2015
Watch The Menzingers, Frankie Cosmos, Tenement, Radiator Hospital, and Diarrhea Planet play Golden Tea House, below...
photo: Dust La Rock in Brooklyn in 2011 (more by Brook Bobbins)
Sad news from Fool's Gold Records. They write:
It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of original Fool's Gold co-founder and art director Joshua Prince, aka Dust La Rock. His singular talent and uncompromising vision set a foundation for our label as a beacon for artists. He will be missed dearly by the Fool's Gold family and the creative community at large.He was 38. Cause of death is currently unknown.
Dust La Rock founded the label along with DJs A-Trak and Nick Catchdubs, and has created album artwork for A-Trak, as well as Danny Brown, Action Bronson and others.
A-Trak wrote, "Lost one of my dearest friends today. RIP Joshua Prince aka Dust La Rock, original Fool's Gold co-founder... Art director for myself, Fool's Gold and Duck Sauce. You helped define so much of what I stand for. Love you man. Still can't believe this." Danny Brown also added, "You inspired me so much!!! .. So shocked at this news .. Can't fucking believe this!!!!"
Rest in peace, Dust. You'll be missed.
Dear Friends,The above message was sadly posted to ambient/prog/electronic legends Tangerine Dream's Facebook page, announcing the death of founder Edgar Froese. He was 70.
This is a message to you we are very sorry for...
On January 20th, Tuesday afternoon, Edgar Froese suddenly and unexpectedly passed away from the effects of a pulmonary embolism in Vienna.
The sadness in our hearts is immensely.
Edgar once said: "There is no death, there is just a change of our cosmic address."
Edgar, this is a little comfort to us.
TANGERINE DREAM TEAM
Rest in peace Edgar. Your contributions to music won't be forgotten.
Listen to their classic 1975 album, Rubycon, below...
photo via Karasu Killer Records
Japanese grindcore band posted this sad news this morning (NY time):
Tonight,UG drummer "HEE-CHUNG"(HIRONORI SUZUKI) passed away....No other details.
We are deeply sorry to hear about the death of our brother....
We will never forgret your smile,passion,and your spiritual DRUMMING !!
Thank you for being UG drummer,Hee-Chung !!
It was an honor to play with one of the greatest blast-drummer.
Your fighting spirit will always stay with us..forever !!
THANK YOU,HEE-CHUNG !
Rest in peace HEE-CHUNG.
You can watch a video of Unholy Grave from Maryland Deathfest 2014, below..
Dallas Taylor, drummer for Crosby, Stills and Nash on their 1969 debut album and for CSNY on 1970's Deja Vu, has passed away. He was 66. Dallas's wife Patti Mcgovern-Taylor broke the news on Facebook, writing:
This morning at 2:30 am I lost the love of my life Dallas W Taylor, he came into my life almost 18 yrs ago and saved me as much as i may have saved him, To me he was just a Good Man, a Good Friend, a Good Father, a Good Grandfather or Pop Pop, a Great Drummer and much beloved by many. I cannot even find the words to put down to say how grateful I am for the many friends and family who have been there for both of us these many days he has spent in the hospital, especially last night. I know he is a peace. He will be missed beyond words, it is so very hard to imagine my life without him by my side, but i feel his love even as i write these words. Much Love to you all ...PattiIn addition to CSN and CSNY, he collaborated with Stephen Stills once again on Stills' 1970 solo album and in the band Manassas. He also played with Van Morrison and Paul Butterfield in the mid-'70s.
Rest in peace Dallas. Those classic CSN/CSNY albums wouldn't be the same without you.
Listen to a few CSN/CSNY songs with Dallas below...
A$AP Yams, founder of A$AP Mob (which Rocky, Ferg and other rappers joined later on), has passed away. He was 26. Cause of death is unknown, but multiple people on Twitter suspect it was a codeine and Xanax overdose.
RCA Records offered the following statement:
All of us at RCA Records are shocked and saddened to hear of the death of A$AP Yams. As one of the creative forces behind A$AP Worldwide, Yams' vision, humor and dedication to the members of A$AP Mob will always be remembered. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.And Polo Grounds Music also released one:
We are deeply saddened by the loss of our friend A$AP Yams. A true visionary, Yams was a driving force in A$AP Mob. Our condolences go out to his family. He will be truly missed.Several musicians have also tweeted their condolences, including Drake, A$AP Ferg, Danny Brown, Action Bronson, Azealia Banks, Chance the Rapper, Pictureplane and many more. A$AP Rocky posted the above Instagram with the caption, "R.I.P YAMS, I LOVE YOU BROTHER."
Rest in peace Yams.
Rolling Stone reports the sad news:
Runaways producer and notorious L.A. music legend Kim Fowley has died. In recent months, he had been undergoing cancer treatments, though no cause of death has been announced. He was 75.It's been 40 years since the Runaways formed and Fowley never stopped creating, as you can see on his Wikipedia page, at his official website and the Rolling Stone obituary.
Charismatic and eccentric, Fowley is best remembered as the record producer for the all-female rock group the Runaways. He introduced Joan Jett, who was 15 at the time, to teenage drummer Sandy West and helped them find frontwoman Cherie Currie, lead guitarist Lita Ford and bassist Jackie Fox. He produced the band's 1976 self-titled debut and co-wrote the band's biggest hit, the punkish "Cherry Bomb," with Jett. He also co-produced the following year's Queens of Noise and helmed the same year's Waitin' for the Night.
Maybe you listened to his SiriusXM show on Underground Garage, noticed him in Beyonce's 2014 video for "Haunted", or read the beginning of his autobiography series. Keep an eye out for the final chapter to still be released.
Rest in Peace Kim.
Watch and listen to a selection of videos and songs below...
by Bill Pearis
Sky / DIIV @ Glasslands' final show
New Year's Eve was the last-ever show for Glasslands on Kent Ave in Williamsburg. The night's secret lineup turned out to be DIIV, Sky Ferreira, Smith Westerns, and openers Beverly. Right before midnight, Glasslands/Popgun owners Rami Haykal and Jake Rosenthal took the stage to thank everyone, bring a few other staffmembers up and ring in 2015, right after which Sky and her band came out, kicking of their set with "Everything's Embarrassing."
Beverly's opening set finished with a cover of The Smiths' "I Know It's Over," which they worked up especially for the night. For the Smith Westerns, who flew in from Chicago just for this show, it was not only their last show at Glasslands, it was their final show ever. (The band decided to break up when guitarist Max Kakacek quit; frontman Cullen Omori is going solo.) DIIV played a handful of new songs alongside favorites like "How Long Have You Known" and "Sometime." Once the live music ended, the danceparty with DJs Discovery began and continued to late into the night.
With that, the once busy block has now gone quiet, musically, as Vice moves into the spaces that once were Glasslands, Death by Audio, Indiescreen, etc. RIP Kent / S. 2nd. Glasslands have said, it's "not forever," so maybe we'll see a new location (or a new club from the same folks)?
A few more cameraphone/instagrams from Glasslands' final night, below...
Singer Joe Cocker, best known for his cover of the Beatles' With A Little Help From My Friends, has died aged 70.Rest in peace to the great Joe Cocker. You'll be missed.
The singer song-writer from Sheffield had a career lasting more than 40 years with hits including You Are So Beautiful and Up Where We Belong.
His agent Barrie Marshall confirmed that he had died of an undisclosed illness. [BBC]
Watch him play "With A Little Help From My Friends" at Woodstock below...
Producer and engineer John Fry, who founded Memphis' Ardent Studios and Ardent Records and worked on all three Big Star albums, died yesterday (12/18). Fry had been diagnosed with cancer earlier this year and suffered a "cardiac event." He was 69:
It was Fry who once said that, "Your moods are affected by your surroundings. I think there is something that operates in Memphis...and at Ardent. I can't explain what it is. You come record here, something good happens to you."Rest in peace, John.
That indeed happened for scores of artists over the 40-plus years since Fry -- who died on Thursday in Memphis -- opened his doors. Ardent hosted sessions by the likes of Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, James Taylor, ZZ Top, R.E.M., Stevie Ray Vaughan, Al Green, the Allman Brothers Band, B.B. King, the White Stripes, the Replacements, Three 6 Mafia, scores of Stax Records artists, Cat Power, M.I.A. and, of course, Big Star, who Fry mentored and made three albums with, and whose members used Ardent "kind of like a school" according to the group's drummer Jody Stephens, who's now general manager of Ardent Music LLC. -[Billboard]
A motorcyclist was killed Thursday in a crash with another vehicle in downtown Los Angeles.We're very sad to learn that the victim referenced in that news story is Michael Hodges who performed and recorded power pop under the name Pop Zeus. While he'd moved to LA, he was a familiar face in the NYC/Brooklyn indie rock scene and in addition to Pop Zeus (who had records out on Burger), he also drummed on and off for The Memories and played in Boom! Burger Records posted a tribute on their Facebook today:
The crash occurred about 2:50 p.m. at the intersection of Cesar Chavez Avenue and Broadway, said Sgt. S. Bailey of the Los Angeles Police Department's Central Traffic Division.
The victim, a 29-year-old Los Angeles man, was riding on Broadway when a 78-year-old Los Angeles woman attempting to turn her vehicle left onto Cesar Chavez Avenue drove into the path of the motorcycle, Bailey said.
The man was thrown onto the street and died after being taken to a hospital, he said.
The woman stayed at the scene and cooperated investigators, Bailey said.
She was not immediately cited or arrested, but the case is under active investigation and the findings will be referred to prosecutors, he said.
- [My News LA]
So unbelievably sad to say we lost the talented and amazing Mikey Hodges aka Pop Zeus yesterday. He really and truly was one of the nicest, raddest and most welcoming dudes we've ever had the pleasure to call a friend. We released Mikey's debut cassette, Pop Zeus, a few years back after I discovered his demos while riding on a train for the holidays. I couldn't get the songs out of my head so I made a note in my book to follow up on it when I got home. So very glad I did because it gave us a reason to let this giant puppy dog of a man into our lives. He was one of a kind.You may also know Hodges from working behind the bar at both Knitting Factory and The Commodore, and for a while at record labels Partisan Records and Secretly Canadian. Rest in peace, Mikey, you'll be missed.
"Rip to the greatest hip hop producer of all times.... Larry Smith. Produced my biggest and most significant hits." - Rev Run
Hip hop producer / musician Larry Smith, the man behind the sound of Run DMC's "It's Like That" and "Sucker MCs" as well as early singles by Whodini, Kurtis Blow (he co-wrote and played bass on "The Breaks" and "Hard Times") and others, has died at age 63. He suffered a dibilitating stroke in 2007 which left him voiceless, partially paralyzed and bedridden since. Last month, Ebony published an "unsung legend" feature on Smith, interviewing Run-DMC's Darryl "D.M.C." McDaniels and Kurtis "Kurtis Blow" Walker and others. Said McDaniels:
He was a musician. Even today, you have beat makers and producers who are musicians. The best producers are musicians and DJs. Anybody can make a beat. I could make a beat and then put lyrics on it and it could become a record, but I'm not a musician. Larry knew music. What separated Larry way back then and what allowed him to make all those hits was the fact he was a musician. Run and I used to tease him because he talked like a musician. The jazz, blues, and rock musicians all call each other "cats." We would use our hip-hop slang, and he would always use his musician slang. Run and I were irresponsible little kids. We would giggle when he would say "other cats." We were like, "What the hell is he talking about?" But he was a musician. He could produce blues, rock, gospel, R&B, and hip-hop.Read the rest of the feature here. Rest in peace, Larry.
Maybe Run DMC will have some sort of tribute for him at their Barclays Center show tonight (12/19). A few of Larry Smith's productions can be streamed below...
Nick Talbot, who recorded under the name Gravenhurst, has died. Both his label, Warp, and his manager gave statements:
"We are shocked and saddened to share the news that Nick Talbot aka Gravenhurst has passed away aged 37. An immensely talented singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and journalist, he will be hugely missed. Nick's family and friends request privacy at this difficult time"Gravenhurst's music was a mix of folk, electronica and shoegaze and his most recent album was 2012's Ghost in the Daylight. Warp did just release a compilation of rare Gravenhurst recordings. Stream some of that below.
- Warp Records
"I am utterly devastated to confirm that Nick Talbot, also known under the performing name Gravenhurst, has passed away aged 37. The finest, most extraordinary and inspirational songwriter, singer and performer, and a remarkable producer and journalist, Nick's work has deeply affected so many people all over the world. Outstandingly intelligent, compassionate, fascinating and witty, Nick was the dearest friend and his absence brings indescribable sorrow"
- Michelle Hilborne, Manager
Rest in peace, Nick.