20 March 2010

Headline News

The Teletype's been clattering away here at TNOP World Headquarters, so we bring you this news . . .

Iranians Ash Koshanejad and Negar Shaghaghi are the twin songwriters of Take It Easy Hospital. They star in a new documentary called No One Knows About Persian Cats, which takes the viewer on a fictionalized account of the underground music scene in and around Tehran. The Guardian profiles the duo - who have since sought asylum in the UK - and previews the film, whose director has been arrested and jailed.

Jack White's a one-man PR machine. This week, he gave a lengthy interview to the New York Post and vigorously defended detractors of Meg White. "Her femininity and extreme minimalism are too much to take for some metalheads and reverse-contrarian hipsters," White told the paper. "She can do what those with 'technical prowess' can't. She inspires people to bash on pots and pans. For that, they repay her with gossip and judgement." He continued by saying that Meg has the last laugh over her critics. "In the end she's laughing all the way to the Prada handbag store," he said. "She wins every time." Then reported that The Dead Weather's second LP will be released on May 7. Oh, and he's done a record with Shawn Carter, better known in music circles as Jay-Z, according to GQ.

Neil Young has teamed with Jonathan Demme again, this time resulting in Neil Young Trunk Show: Scenes From A Concert. Randy Lewis of the Los Angeles Times and Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune offer their separate perspectives.

Smokey Bill Robinson was the deserved keynote speaker at SXSW Festival in Austin. Then he headlined a bill with this killer line-up: Raphael Saadiq, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, and Mayer Hawthorne. Phew. If you were there, leave us a comment!

And speaking of soul, The Times of London share the curious story of UK group Mama's Gun, sensations in . . . Japan. Give 'em a listen.

Uncut talks to Big Star bassist Ken Stringfellow, who says that he's trying to put together a tribute to Alex Chilton to conclude SXSW. Looks like Chuck Prophet, M. Ward and Cheap Trick are in, with others to follow.

Dirty Projectors stopped by a radio station in Australia and pulled out a cover of Bob Dylan's "Dark Eyes," the fairly obscure closer on Empire Burlesque. It's a beautiful arrangement and performance.

Here's some cool news: one of the more revered rock films - but up till now seen by only a handful of fans - has been refurbished and will be released this Tuesday. The T.A.M.I. Show from 1964 featured Marvin Gaye, The Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry, The Supremes, The Beach Boys and Smokey Robinson - all Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees. But the most memorable performance is by The Godfather of Soul, The Hardest Working Man In Show Business, Mr. Please, Please, Please: James Brown. USA Today gives us an inside preview.

In coordination with the release of their new album The Big To-Do, The Drive-By Truckers are profiled in The Village Voice.

The A.V. Club presents a fine seminar on Pub Rock.

David Byrne & Fatboy Slim's project centering on former Philippines first lady Imelda Marcos, Here Lies Love, comes out 6 April. Check out the track listing, snippets of the songs and a promotional video here. Guests include Santogold, St. Vincent, Nellie McKay, Sharon Jones and Roisin Murphy.

Beck has formed his latest "Record Club" group of musicians. This time they are tackling the INXS album Kick. Their first effort will be "Guns In The Sky." Let's watch INXS' original live in
1991 at Wembley Stadium.

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