Academy Award-winning composer James Horner died in a plane crash Monday. He was known for the scores to Titanic (the soundtrack for which sold 27 million copies), Braveheart, Apollo 13, and A Beautiful Mind among many others. [more inside]
Ancient musical reconstruction has led to the discovery of the sounds made by Aztec "death whistles".
NOLA bounce artist and rapper Nicky Da B is dead. Nicki was best known for his colorful, aggressively infectious music and videos, including Hot Potato Style (previously), Express Yourself with Diplo (previously), and his collaboration with photographer Clayton Cubitt Go Loko (NSFW, strobe and flashes warning)
Lana Del Rey: Why a Death-Obsessed Pop Siren Is Perfect for Late-Stage Capitalist America (mirrored at Salon.com)
Lana Del Rey is pushing the envelope, and here's her message, delivered with a languid pout: 21st-century America is a rotting corpse, deadlocked culturally, economically, and politically. Since there's nothing we can do about it, let's enjoy ourselves as the body-politic disintegrates, perhaps by savoring some toothsome bites of the past: candy-colored Super 8 films, juicy jazz tunes and clips of sultry screen sirens. The future is a retrospective.
All of this echoes the ancient danse macabre, the dance of death, the motif that sprang out of the medieval horrors of war and the plague. It's a plea for fevered amusement while you've still got time.
Give The Anarchist A Cigarette: Counterculture legend Mick Farren dies with his boots on Mick Farren, rabble rouser, musician, and writer, collapsed last night on stage at the The Borderline, in London. He died soon after. Hmm, sorry, I seem to be crap at this. Here's some more links to the story: From Uncut: Mick Farren 1943 - 2013, From Vintage Vinyl News: Passings: Mick Farren of the Deviants (1943 - 2013), and from Ultimate Calssic Rock: Mick Farren Dies After Collapsing On Stage In London That last has a pretty good version of "Let's Loot The Super Market".
Sadly true, at 74. (JJ Cale previously, and Wikipedia.) Otherwise best to just let the man and his guitar speak for themselves via classic albums such as Troubadour, Grasshopper, Naturally, Okie and Shades.
English singer-songwriter Keaton Henson's video for Small Hands, directed by Joseph Mann. [more inside]
In the sixty-odd years since their composition, the Four Last Songs have acquired in many people’s minds an unassailable status as simply the most beautiful music known to them, to be listened to in a dimly lit room and a state of rapt meditation, surrendering to the extraordinary spell of profound, other-worldly calm that they cast. This is not surprising. They were, indeed, the last things of any significance that Strauss wrote, between May and September 1948, at the age of eighty-four. (previously) [more inside]
200+ Famous Musicians Who Died Too Young. Ordered by age, from 17 to 54, with brief descriptions and links to their last.fm pages.
“Honeyboy” Edwards, the last of the original American delta bluesmen, died last night. [more inside]
"Dead, dead, dead, dead, dead, he’s fucking dead, the guy from Brainiac is fucking dead. I want this to mean something to every fucking one of you."
15 years ago Dayton, Ohio band Brainiac released their third, and final full-length album Hissing Prigs in Static Couture on Touch & Go records. Lead by Tim Taylor on vocals/keyboards the album perfected a brand of short-circuit robot rock that made dance music out of violent shrieks and spasms. The band has been credited by Trent Rezor in 'really inspiring to me from a sonic influence' and eulogized by Jeff Buckley at his last gig. [more inside]
On January 5th, 2011 largely unknown modern composer, and pioneer of long format compositions on early computer systems Roland Kayn "... left this world today from his home". [more inside]
Debbie Friedman passed away today. She was the most well known and influential composer of Jewish music and litergy in the United States. The Jerusalem Post says that "Friedman’s music is performed in synagogues around the world more than that of any other modern composer." Her most well known song is a setting of Mi Shebeirach, a prayer for healing.
The Basics: Metallica Likes Death. Megadeth Likes to Kill! Slayer Likes Satan and Hell... ...and AC/DC Likes Rock 'N' Roll!
mid-70s proto-punk band, Death, have finally gotten a real disc out. unearthed in crates lost for decades, their founder dead before seeing it happen, their children never knowing the shadowy past of their forebears, the sound of black pop-punk-politi-metal-wave is finally here. [more inside]
It's been 50 years (on Tuesday) since Buddy Holly died. He still has some rabid fans who will be celebrating his life and work, but should the rest of us still care? [more inside]
An antidote to the holly jolly malaise: Few Christmas carols contain as much blood and suffering as "Down in yon forest." It was first documented in England by Ralph Vaughan Williams, but John Jacob Niles found an even gorier version in North Carolina (Alfred Deller's rendition). [more inside]
Frank Kerr died on Wednesday, October 15th of throat cancer. The 51-year-old was better known as Frankie Venom, the lead singer of Teenage Head, a punk band from Hamilton, Ontario that some have called Canada's version of The Ramones. The Glasgow native formed the band in 1975 with some high-school friends and they released several popular albums and played at least two shows that ended in riots. After splitting with the group in 1985 due in part to lifestyle issues, Venom later rejoined and began touring again. In 2003, Teenage Head recorded a special cover album with Ramones drummer Marky Ramone that was just released earlier this year. One fan got some video of one of Frankie's last shows in Hamilton.
Hiram Bullock, original guitarist for Paul Shaffer's "Worlds Most Dangerous Band" died on July 25th. He was a fixture in the early days of David Letterman's show. The cause of death was not disclosed but Bullock had been undergoing treatment for cancer and was known to have had drug problems. Bullock was 52. [more inside]
William Burroughs recites from the last words of Dutch Schultz, set to the music of The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy
Death were a proto-punk trio of black Jehovah's Witnesses based out of Detroit back in 1974. They were almost signed to Columbia, but bailed on the label when Columbia wanted them to change their name. Instead, they self-released a 7" which is now quite a collector's item, influenced as it was by, “Iggy and Stooges, Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper and The Who”. But the story doesn't end there. Recently, Bobby Hackney, whose father played in Death along with two of his uncles, learned of the band and, lo and behold, his dad found the master tapes for their unreleased full-length in his attic. Is a new chapter in punk rock history about to be written?
Kevin DuBrow dead at 52. The lead singer of the 80's metal band Quiet Riot found dead at 52 in Las Vegas. Break out your leather and studs...and hockey masks?
Stylus Magazine is closed. Home to some of the best writing about rockism, and Rasputin, slsking and The Stranger. Greatest hits/bluffer's guide here.
Brad Delp 1951-2007 Lead singer for the band Boston , dead at 55. "We've just lost the nicest guy in rock and roll." is all you will find at the band Boston's website
Music for Funerals - 5000 Brits were surveyed about songs they'd like played during their funeral. I'm warning you right now, Bon Jovi made the top 20.
'Pavarotti of the Plains' In 1957, Don Walser stopped recording country music and became a National Guardsman, just as rock 'n' roll took over the airwaves. He stayed with the Guard for 39 years, but around 1990, his performances at Henry's in Austin, Texas developed a following. By the end of the decade, he would sign to Sire Records, open for Ministry and the Butthole Surfers, collaborate with Kronos Quartet and be honored with a National Heritage Award. Walser retired from his music career in 2001 because of ill health. He passed away on Wednesday at age 72.
"The sound was not of this world, it hovered in space like some celestial blessing". He could play the piano ”before he had learned to smile”, his mother said, and he gave his first concert at the age of six. He studied under Alfred Cortot, Charles Munch, Paul Dukas, and Nadia Boulanger. He was an esteemed teacher and critic at 19, an international phenomenon at 24. He escaped from his native Rumania to Switzerland in 1943 with his fiancée, a joint capital of five Swiss francs in their pockets. After the war, just as he had arrived in the pantheon of great performing artists, Dinu Lipatti was diagnosed with leukemia. In September 1950, near death, despite the urgings of his doctors Lipatti insisted upon one last recital at Besançon. As his wife recalled, this was the only way Lipatti could bear to take his leave of the world. Lipatti was so weak he could barely walk to the piano. But once he began playing, he became transformed. After performing 13 waltzes, he could no longer muster the strength necessary to perform the final selection. So he substituted Myra Hess's piano arrangement of Bach's 'Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring".(page with sound). Three months later, Lipatti died at the age of 33. After Lipatti's funeral, his old mentor Cortot wrote: "There was nothing to teach you. One could, in fact, only learn from you."
After a Noel Mewton-Wood performance of Hindemith's (.pdf) Ludus Tonalis, Dame Myra Hess exclaimed: ‘The boy is truly remarkable, and what shall he be like at 40-odd?’. Glowing testimonials to his ‘genius’ (Sir Malcolm Sargent) from Beecham, Schnabel, Bliss, Hindemith and Britten were countered by indifference from the major record labels and concert managements. In 1953, at the age of 31, the pianist, a shy young man susceptible to depression, committed suicide. Now, the Lesbian and Gay Newsmedia Archive of Middlesex University offers a scan of the The London Evening News page with the report of Mewton-Wood's death. And here is a mp3 page with some of his out-of-print work.
Pioneering instrumental-rock guitarist Link Wray - one of the original rockabilly artists, credited with having invented the "power chord", which has become the basis for modern rock and alternative music - died this week at the age of 76. You'd probably know him from his song 'Rumble', used on the 'Pulp Fiction' soundtrack. The English-speaking media hasn't picked up on the story yet, but various blogs, the Spanish and Danish press - translation here - and various music messageboards were all over the story 24 hours ago.
Get the blues. Today, one of the blues' finest musicians, R.L. Burnside died. Go on, take a look, take a listen.
RIP Tommy Vance. For years the voice of BBC Radio 1's 'The Friday Rock Show' and, for TV viewers throughout the UK, the voice of a multitude of adverts, Tommy Vance has died following a stroke. RIP you gravel-throated bringer of rock.
80's singer Robert Palmer has passed away. CNN reports that the British rocker who is famous for his 80's hit "Addicted to Love" died of a heart attack in Paris at the age of 54.
The Dance of Death. Die Totentanz: A German-language site spotlighting, for example, the dance of death in literature, graphic art, music and film. For those, like me, whose German is not so good, this page offers an English-language history of the phenomenon, and the Catholic Encyclopedia has an article too. See also Holbein's Dance-of-Death; Lübeck's Dance-of-Death; and umm, this.
I'm in the middle of a book called Will you miss me when I'm gone?, which chronicles the history of the famous Carter Family, and includes some incredibly charming descriptions of June Carter (later the wife of Johnny Cash; the development of her musical voice, her mountain-tinted wit, and her onstage goofball comedy. Unfortunately, June Carter Cash died yesterday.
Takes the phrase "Get a Life" to a new level. Those masterminds of marketing, those night rocking, day partying satanic minions, KISS, have achieved the ultimate score in product merchandising. That's right, it's your very own KISS coffin, and while you might think "What's the point?", keep in mind that before you shuffle off this mortal coil, it doubles as a beer cooler.
Alice in Chains' lead singer dead at 34. Apparently he died several days ago and was just discovered last night. Identity was confirmed today. No cause of death is known yet.
George Harrison is gone. It's not totally unforseen, but is still a little sad. Here comes the sun has always been one of my favorites. It has a gentle way of making me smile. That's a nice legacy to leave people .
Fuller Up is a "site about dead musicians...and how they got that way". I got to thinking about my favorite late artists, mostly classic rock, from the 60's, 70's & 80's, and which ones would IMO be making good music were they alive today. Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, SRV and Bob Marley top that list, while Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison probably died at the right time, when their stars were shining bright. By the way, if you want to know where the deceased RIP, try Find A Grave.
Q: What's the best thing you can do for your career, if you're a musician?
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