Thieves Are Scum...
In early July thieves stole a rental van containing equipment belonging to Sonic Youth while the band was on a mini-tour of the southwest. Among the drums and amplifiers taken were several dozen guitars that band members had hot-rodded to compose much of their music with. Without these specialized guitars, it is virtually impossible for Sonic Youth to play certain numbers, thus leaving these musical gems forever scattered to the winds. As of press time, the investigation continues with no reliable leads.
Click here to read the original email guitarist Lee Ranaldo sent out regarding the theft, the equipment stolen and their serial numbers, and contact information if you should happen to have any information regarding its whereabouts.
In other theft related news, the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion reported on July 23rd that their band's van was broken into while they were in Vancouver, B.C., with the thieves making off with a vintage Moog Theremin, among other items.
Virgin Megastores recently announced in-store kiosk service that will allow customers to select songs off several music web sites and burn them directly onto a CD, costing around $10.00. Starting in the fall, customers will be able to download and burn entire albums off selected sites that have an agreement with Virgin.
Hey...here's a novel idea: How about cut out the middle man and the time and money spent to buy from them and instead go directly to the artist. Most artists with entire albums available for download from the Internet also have the capability of selling you their music directly. Chances are you'll not only save a little money, but you'll also help them at the same time by not letting the middle man take a slice out of their pie. Food for thought...
Have you heard of the Digital Club Network? It is a webcasting company that has crept into a number of clubs around the U.S. and has started to broadcast their shows live over the Internet from places like CBGB's in New York, the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C., and the Showbox in Seattle. They have big ambitions, with plans of getting their webcasting services into clubs around the world. So who in their right mind would want to sit at home and tune into a broadcast of a show sans the PA system and the synergy that comes from actually attending the show? Unless, of course, you're an indie music 'zine editor who is too busy working on his fine magazine to actually get out to shows anymore. Hrmm...
If you missed Pete Townshend's recent appearance with Eddie Vedder on The Tonight Show, you may be happy to know that won't be the last of Townshend or The Who you'll hear in the near future. BBC Radio 3 has plans to broadcast Townshend's forgotten rock opera, Lifehouse, on December 5. Written two years after Tommy and played only once to an unreceptive audience, Lifehouse focuses on a digital network called "The Grid" and takes place on the last day of the millennium, addressing "the spiritual consequences of a move away from physical human congregation to digital networking and the power of music." A bit eerie considering all the pre-millennial tension. Word has it that Lifehouse is also where The Who's "Baba O'Riley," "Won't Get fooled Again" and "The Song Is Over" originated from.
In other Who news, why is it that I've been hearing their songs on car and computer commercials recently? Shouldn't be surprised, but it's still quite the disappointment.
A new European music channel is scheduled to be launched in September. Called NMTV, and beginning only as a Saturday evening broadcast, the channel will supposedly be dedicated to showing videos of new and unsigned bands, as long as they can afford it, and at half the fee charged for signed bands. Sounds interesting in theory.
Best wishes and a speedy recovery to Death's Chuck Schuldiner, who is doing his best to recover from the multiple brain surgeries he's had over the past year for a benign tumor.
Morphine's Mark Sandman, 1953-1999. Last month the bassist and frontman for this Boston band collapsed onstage in Italy from a heart attack and died shortly thereafter while en route to a local hospital. Our sincerest condolences to both family and friends of Sandman. His music touched many.
Howard Young, 1908-1999. Never was there a more chivalrous knight who wore a cowboy hat. His word was his honor and his honor was his life. The stories of his hard work ethic and indomitable character are legendary, having been passed down from father to son by example. Journey in peace and may your memory live on in the deeds of those who follow.