<p>Daft Punk</p>

Daft Punk

Watch: Daft Punk joins Phoenix at MSG in a French connection

'Tron' dance duo added an extra step on three tracks

After seeing three relatively mild Phoenix shows over the past year -- and with the wtf-inducing sniff I give Wavves -- I decided to bypass the free CMJ show at Madison Square Garden in New York last night (Oct. 20).

Boy, am I kicking myself this morning.

The French quartet Phoenix was joined by a pair of very special guests and countrymen: twosome Daft Punk.

The robotic dance duo jumped up, surprising the crowd, with "Harder Better Faster Stronger" swelling into "Around the World." They even added some extra crazy to Phoenix's hit "1901."

Could this be indicative of things to come? As in, another Daft Punk tour? With Phoenix, even? The band crafted the score to "Tron: Legacy," out this fall, and they've been active in promoting their role.

Rumor had it at Comic-Con this year that Disney wanted them playing a party, but it'd set them back a cool mil. I'm curious what went into this rare appearance...

Get Instant Alerts - Music News
By subscribing to this e-alert, you agree to HitFix Terms of Service, Privacy Policy and to occasionally receive promotional emails from HitFix.

Follow Melinda Newman and The Beat Goes On on

RSS Facebook Twitter

Follow Katie Hasty and Immaculate Noise on

RSS Facebook Twitter
<p>Ari Up</p>

Ari Up

Credit: Angel Cebellos

Ari Up, frontwoman of The Slits, dies at 48

Watch: 'Lazy Slam' music video, released at the late singer's behest

Ari Up, the frontwoman and founder of the '70s and '80s all-girl punk group The Slits, has died at 48 after a bout with an undisclosed illness.

The news was spread by John Lydon of the Sex Pistols, who was married to Up's mother Nora Forster and was the singer's stepfather. Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten, had the news posted to his website.

"John and Nora have asked us to let everyone know that Nora's daughter Arianna (aka Ari-Up) died today (Wednesday, October 20th) after a serious illness. She will be sadly missed. Everyone at JohnLydon.com and PiLofficial.Com would like to pass on their heartfelt condolences to John , Nora and family. Rest in Peace."

According to The Slits' MySpace, "[Up's] immediate family has asked for privacy at this time and no public service is planned." She is survived by three sons.

Ari Up, born Arianna Forster, started The Slits in Britain with friend and drummer Palmolive (Paloma Romero) when she was only 14 years old, in 1976. The band was a challenging all-female voice in a burgeoning, predominantly male punk rock scene during that period and opened for the Clash on their first tour outing. Integrating reggae into their bouncing rock noise, their live shows were boisterous and notoriously wild, even after Up reunited with bassist Tessa Pollitt and added new members in 2006. Thus, they laid down the trackwork for other women in punk and the riot grrrl movement in the years to come.

The Slits released two albums in its early years: 1979's "Cut" featured the band topless and caked with mud on its cover while 1981's "Return of the Giant Slits" was darker, quirkier and more experimental. In 2006, the modified band released "Revenge of the Killer Slits" and in 2009 unleashed their last full-length "Trapped Animal."

Ari Up requested that The Slits' music video for "Lazy Slam" be released posthumously, which we've posted below. The song was culled from that latter album.

In a statement from Jeff Jacquin, her manager: "In my 20 years as a manager I have never seen or felt such inspiration and unyielding passion for music and life as I had with my dear friend and client Ari Up. She was truly one of a kind, and there will never be another like her. She influenced generations of women and created some of the most memorable music of our time, but Ari’s true magic was how she affected people on the street, face to face, every day. She ate life up and spit it out. She lived it on her own terms and never gave an inch! The Slits will live on."

For me, personally, I remember a friend putting the Slits' "Typical Girls" on a mix in high school. It was decidedly atypical; I was and have been enthralled with them since. Rest in peace, Ari.

Get Instant Alerts - Music News
By subscribing to this e-alert, you agree to HitFix Terms of Service, Privacy Policy and to occasionally receive promotional emails from HitFix.

Follow Melinda Newman and The Beat Goes On on

RSS Facebook Twitter

Follow Katie Hasty and Immaculate Noise on

RSS Facebook Twitter


2010 CMJ Music Marathon: The echo chamber and the dying breed

Discovery or time thievery?

It’s CMJ Music Marathon week: User beware. 

This week, 1,200 artists will be playing at a few dozen New York venues. Over 100,000 music fans – many of them college-aged – will throw a lanyard around their necks and drink all of our alcohol. Many may invest in a good pair of walking shoes after attempting a night out with those cool hoofs and vast majority have a Tumblr primed for use.
Publicity and agency people are checking out potential new clients, maybe a few L.A. label folks already have checked into their hotels or friends’ couches (they all already know the rules on footwear). Indie, metal, hip-hop, folk, twee, electronic, etc. bands have scraped together the money so that all their members could come this weekend to play for pennies.
This would be my eighth Marathon, if I picked up a badge this week, and I know I’m not the only New Yorker proceeding with caution.
For CMJ and South By Southwest, every year, there’s the crop of articles and posts from music journos declaring that these business-consumer destination conferences don’t serve a purpose anymore. This may even be one of them. But I’m parsing particularly why 2010 should be any different for CMJ naysayers, and I think it’s a matter of numbers.
[More after the jump...]
Read Full Post
<p>Kings of Leon &quot;Come Around Sundown&quot;</p>

Kings of Leon "Come Around Sundown"

Album Review: Kings of Leon return with 'Come Around'

Is this an answer to 2008's breakthrough?

While Kings of Leon enjoyed massive success overseas prior to 2008, the rock act only made its dent in America with the release of their last “Only by the Night.” And it was then, by the strength of “Use Somebody” and “Sex on Fire,” that they were propelled to arena and festival headliner status, a macho stomp that took them all the way to the Grammy podium in early 2009. 

Now in 2010, all eyes are on the Kings, and what their answer to their success would be. The result, on “Come Around Sundown” is an audible “thanks” and an inaudible shrug “what?”.
See, before “Only by the Night,” there was 2007’s excellent “Because of the Times,” chock-full of rock experiments, non-solos, Caleb Followill’s sonorous bark sometimes whittled to a delicate deliverer. And way-way before that there was “Youth & Young Manhood,” with its garage rock meeting the South, the result of this family band’s Tennessee upbringing.
“Sundown” has a combination of all those, but it’s not the straight-forward rock record that “Only by the Night” was.
It begins with “The End,” with a forlorn ride cymbal heralding Followill the Singer’s musing, “This could be the end.” Its chorus is shoegaze gone mainstream, a motif that occurs, too, in “Mary,” combining with ‘50s girl group feel and a structure that probably never intended for the song to be as loud as it is.
Addictive first single “Radioactive” is the closest this set gets to the rock radio, though not in the same way “Use Somebody” ever did. Southern and gospel music reiterate where exactly this group “came from,” as emphasized by the band’s curious video. The pilgrimage continues in “Pyro,” with some Christ-like imagery that our lead singer won’t be anyone’s “cornerstone.”
The four-piece tinkers with various sonic devices on “The Immortals” and “Beach Side,” the former coupling Followill’s siren wail with a couple of seventh chords and the latter with the lighter touch of – could it be? – Sea and Cake-y guitar patterns.
They go right back to their general rockers like on “The Face” and “No Money,” lacking a bit in ingenuity and a solid hook or handle. Still, the ears perk up with a dark Southwestern swirl in “Mi Amigo,” surprisingly one of the strongest tracks on the set. In an abundance of otherwise abstract lyrics, Followill attempts to make a linear narrative out of a drunken and stoned night out, his drug of choice acting like his lady love. Hilariously, the band dollops sweet harmonies over crude lyrics like “[She] showers me in boozes / tells me I got a big ol’ d*ck / and she wants my ass home / to sing a song,” heavy-lidded and giggling.
KOL closes the lid by bringing in the ‘90s, which appear in that chunky, guitar-faced bass in “Pickup Truck.” They take a minimalist approach to accompaniment letting the voice crack in a happy accident, restrained until those last choruses in an expected instrumental pile-on, the high hats and snare openening up and a hoarse piano getting the underwater reverb treatment.
As implied by its title, “Sundown” gets dark and hints at getting darker, barely ending the way it started. Recorded in New York but boasting of those serene palms on its cover, the album seems to thrive on the unexpected, which may satisfy some and not others. Its variety is appreciated, consciously thwarting the kind of Big Rock that finally put the band on the albums chart -- not that it can do anything can stop from success now.

"Come Around Sundown" is out today (Oct. 19).

<p>Bryan Ferry's &quot;Olympia&quot;</p>

Bryan Ferry's "Olympia"

Credit: Astralwerks

Song Of The Day: Bryan Ferry taps Jonny Greenwood, David Gilmour for 'Siren' song

From 'Olympia,' out later this month

If Paul Weller was a close-favorite and token vet for the Mercury Prize this year, Bryan Ferry will most certainly be it next.

The former Roxy Music member is promoting his forthcoming solo effort "Olympia," due Oct. 26, and has released a new track, "Song to the Siren."

Stereogum premiered the track, listen to it here.

Just like Slash's album released earlier this year, Ferry obviously pulled out all the stops to feature his friends on this "solo" set. This particular "Siren" song includes contributions from his former bandmates (including Brian Eno), Radiohead noisemaker Jonny Greenwood, Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, Nile Rodgers and frequent Ferry collaborator Colin Good, among others.

That being said, I'd love to be at this year's Christmas party at the Ferry household.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>Cold War Kids: Smile, you guys</p>

Cold War Kids: Smile, you guys

Credit: Downtown

Cold War Kids announce new album for you and 'Yours,' plus tour dates

Can engineer Jacquire King turn this boat around?

This morning I've been listening to the new album from Kings of Leon, in preparation for reviewing "Come Around Sundown" for Monday.

I also wrote a little bit about Tom Waits this morning. And Mike Doughty, bless his heart, came up in the mix at the bar last night and Third Eye Blind was nearly vetoed from a '90s radio rock-themed road mixtape my friends and I blasted this past weekend.

I still feel a little bad about how much I didn't like Norah Jones' contribution to Belle & Sebastian, reviewed earlier this week.

What do all these artists have in common? Jacquire King, who ha engineered, mixed and/or produced all of the above.

Like Brian Deck, he's worked with Modest Mouse and Josh Ritter, too, but now he's got his sites set on Cold War Kids. (Still no word back from the company men if Deck is helping out on Iron & Wine.)

And these Kids could use a good -- if not totally new -- mix.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>Tom Waits with Patti Smith, Lenny Kaye and Steve Earle</p>

Tom Waits with Patti Smith, Lenny Kaye and Steve Earle

Credit: Cynthia Wood Photography

Tom Waits releasing new 78 vinyl with Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Plus: Listen to the singer-songwriter tackle Lawrence Ferlinghetti poem

News on Tom Waits gets a little rare these days, considering the singer-songwriters has been quietly working on new material with wife Kathleen Brennan.

But for fans, there's two little reasons to celebrate: the veteran songsmith is releasing a limited edition, two-song 78 rpm vinyl record and he performed a piece by poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti for our benefit last week.

First, “Tootie Ma Was A Big Fine Thing” b/w “Corrine Died On The Battlefield” was recorded last year with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band for the "Preservation: An Album To Benefit Preservation Hall & The Preservation Hall Music Outreach Program" compilation. The set featured other artists like Ani DiFranco, Del McCoury, Yim Yames (Jim James), Pete Seeger and others, but Waits chose his tracks for being "the earliest known recorded examples of Mardi Gras Indian chants."

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>Doug Paisley</p>

Doug Paisley

EXCLUSIVE Song Of The Day: Doug Paisley's 'No One But You'

Folk and alt-country combine for a solid second outing

Last night at New York's Living Room, Doug Paisley oscillated between the folksy modesty of someone raised right and the bold knowledge of his own unstoppable, subtle songwriting. One moment, he refrained from describing a vivid dream he had 'cause "nobody likes hearing about other people's dreams"; the next, he mentions he got his left-handed guitar from fellow Canadian and living legend Garth Hudson of The Band (oh, yeah, we may have heard of him). He willingly admitted that his tuner never thinks he's good enough, but then whipped those six strings and his tenor around a melody that sticks. He shaved the 'stache (at left), otherwise, he'd have another thing to brag about.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>Kid Cudi in &quot;Erase Me&quot;</p>

Kid Cudi in "Erase Me"

Watch: Kanye West, McLovin cameo in Kid Cudi's rocker 'Erase Me'

Jimi Hendrix is strong with this one

As busy as he is , Kanye West took out some time this year to shoot a cameo with his protégé Kid Cudi in the vid for the latter's track "Erase Me."

Shot by Jason Goldwatch -- who's helmed for Linkin Park, Jay-Z, Ludacris and other Cudi clips -- the video takes the viewer backstage and on the tour bus with Cudi and his crew, who blab out silly things in British accents. Cudder dons the bell bottoms and big hair as Jimi Hendrix, while sidekick McLovin Christopher Mintz-Plasse spouts wisdom and truth from underneath a blonde wig. They drink, shenanigans ensue.

The only women to appear, of course, are model-ly groupies and a Rolling Stone music journalist (why do women rock writers on film always ask bad interview questions?). Kanye shows up for a verse with a crown of gold instead of thorns (as he's prone to, lately); he uses some clever word play involving the word "diarrhea."

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>Daft Punk in a new &quot;Tron: Legacy&quot; image</p>

Daft Punk in a new "Tron: Legacy" image

Credit: Disney

First Look: Daft Punk reveal 'Tron' image, snippet of new track

'The Game Has Changed,' indeed: French duo steps into the Grid

I don't blame anybody for getting excited about the "Tron" sequel, "Tron: Legacy," but equally exhilarating is Daft Punk's appearance in the film, and the promise of new material from French dance music duo.

Disney has now revealed its Daft Punk "Tron" teaser poster, on the heels of the news that the robotic pair are, indeed, will be in the film as well as providing its score and soundtrack. In the flick, it may surprise you to learn that they'll play helmet-wearing DJs.

However, the release date has now been pushed back from its original, Thanksgiving-ish drop, to Dec. 7. There is still the guarantee that those who pre-order the CD version will get a poster of Daft Punk in the Grid from "Tron" with their package. Christmas: still coming early.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post