10 February 2010

Press Room Briefing

News update with The Night Owl . . .

TNOP Patron Saint Bob Dylan showed up at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue last night - a day early. Seems as though all the snow you folks out East have been putting up with moved the Civil Rights music celebration at the White House up one calendar date. Jon Pareles of The New York Times reports he sang "The Times They Are A-Changin'" in waltz time. TwentyFourBit adds that "[a]ccompanied by stand-up bass and piano, Dylan sang his 1964 anthem loud and clear, highlighting the song's many apropos lyrical moments (Come senators, congressmen/Please heed the call/Don't stand in the doorway/Don't block up the hall). Then he stepped from the stage, shook President Obama's hand and left.

Bonnaroo has announced the bulk of its summertime festival lineup, to be held 10-13 June on a 700 acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee. Notables (as far as we're concerned) include: Stevie Wonder, The Flaming Lips, Tenacious D, Jay-Z, Phoenix, John Fogerty, LCD Soundsystem, The National, John Prine, The Black Keys, Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers, The xx, Miike Snow, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Calexico, Blitzen Trapper, Dave Rawlings Machine, and Mumford & Sons.

Our own Celtic Ray reports that Irishman Damien Rice introduced a stunning new tune the other night in Santa Monica, California at the opening of the Tibet documentary When The Dragon Swallowed The Sun. Contributors to the movie soundtrack also include Thom Yorke and Philip Glass. Give "What If I'm Wrong" a listen:

Aquarium Drunkard remembers Doug Sahm and The Sir Douglas Quintet on the occasion of the publication of Texas Tornado: The Times and Music of Doug Sahm, by Jan Reed (University of Texas Press).

No Depression gives us a nice sneak preview of some of the acts that will be appearing at their SXSW Showcase. Bands include Vandaveer, The Maldives and The Deadstring Brothers.

Jim Carroll of The Irish Times stirs the pot by taking on the album reviewers at Pitchfork. While that in of itself is (really) nothing new, alot of readers take the bait anyway. And if it adds to the discussion among bloggers as to the merits of various album releases, why not?

Josh Ritter's new album, titled So Runs The World Away, is to be released in Ireland on 23 April and in the States and the rest of the world on 4 May. He's also offering a free mp3 download of one of the songs, "Change of Time." Tours dates for April (Ireland) and May (United States) have been announced as well.

The Peter Gabriel covers project Scratch My Back that we previously reported on is available for free streaming at The Guardian. You can also download for free his version of Bon Iver's "Flume."

In the "we kid you not" category, The Grateful Dead Archive will soon be open to the public at the University of California at Santa Cruz. The Atlantic tells us about it and manages to proselytize that business students can learn from the band's management style.

Eric Clapton brings his guitar hero Crossroads Festival back to Chicago this summer on 26 June. Tickets - sales benefit his center in Antigua that helps the chemically dependent - are a cool $100, but check out some of the lineup confirmed so far: Albert King, The Allman Brothers Band, B. B. King, Buddy Guy, James Burton, Jeff Beck, Robert Cray, Joao Gilberto, Jimmie Vaughn, John Mayer and Vince Gill. Serious guitar slingers, all.

Speaking of B. B. King, next time you are in Las Vegas, TNOP says check out his new Blues Club at The Mirage. It's a refreshing change of pace - live music anchored by a fantastic house band, The B. B. King All-Stars, a rollicking 13-piece soul revue complete with three lead vocalists and a dynamite horn section. Highly recommended.

Rolling Stone reports on Wilco's Portland show last night, with special guest Peter Buck. And our friends at Muzzle of Bees bring us the boys' cover of Neil Young's "Broken Arrow" from the concert.

That's it from the news desk. TNOP has still got the new Spoon record on heavy rotation, so we'll leave you with their appearnce on Conan O'Brien singing "Written In Reverse":

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