Singer David Cassidy Reveals Dementia As Reason for Early Retirement
Former Partridge family singer and actor David Cassidy announced his retirement in early February, citing arthritis and a heavy demand for traveling making it difficult to perform in recent years. Cassidy said he would wrap-up his tour dates and officially retire by year’s end. Then, over the weekend, Cassidy was performing in California when he began to forget the lyrics to his songs and appeared to fall off the stage. A day later David Cassidy was compelled to reveal the true health concern behind his retirement: early on-set dementia, the same disease Cassidy’s mother endured during her late life. With the truth revealed, Cassidy says he wants to enjoy the rest of his life, “I want to focus on what I am, who I am, and how I’ve been, without any distraction.”
Google Introduces A.I. Duet, Your New Piano Partner
Computers can now play the piano, thanks to Google. And not just by music by code, either. Google has created A.I. Duet, and just like the name implies, it’s a computerized partner for tickling the ivories. A.I. Duet is programmed with countless melodies and the ability to keep learning in order to better adapt to your lead. How does it work? Simply play a note, chord, melody, or entire piece, and A.I. Duet will respond a-chord-ingly employing one of the many melodies its been taught. A.I. Duet is the latest in Google’s Project Magenta, tasked with answering the question, “Can we use machine learning to create compelling art and music?” You can play around with A.I. Duet yourself here.
Famously-sampled Drummer Clyde Stubblefield Dies of Kidney Failure at 73
After a decade-long battle with kidney-related issues, famed drummer Clyde Stubblefield passed away on Saturday morning in Madison, Wisconsin. Stubblefield was born in April 1943 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and found early inspiration for rhythms and raucous energy from the industrial soundtrack of the factories and trains surrounding his home. Stubblefield began drumming professionally as a teenager, spending the early 1960s touring and working with artists like Eddie Kirkland and Otis Redding. It was with James Brown that Stubblefield came to public fame, recording a string of songs and hits with Brown and his band in the ‘60s and ‘70s including “Cold Sweat” and “I’ve Got the Feeling,” but it’s that sweet 20 or so seconds on the song “Funky Drummer,” that throttled Stubblefield into music immortality. His beat is one of the most frequently-sampled of all time, employed by artists ranging from Nas, Dr. Dre, and Public Enemy to George Michael and Ed Sheeran. Outside of his infamous sample, Stubblefield was loved and respected by generations of musicians, and upon his death, his wife recanted to AP the time Price footed a $90,000 medical bill for Stubblefield upon hearing the drummer was suffering from bladder cancer. Throughout his life, Stubblefield saw little royalties from any of his work, which is still more than he says he ever expected to make from them, which is nothing. Clyde Stubblefield was 73.
Unconfirmed Mick Jagger Autobiography Surfaces Moves like Jagger
Writer John Blake penned an essay published in UK’s the Spectator over the weekend alleging his ownership of an unpublished autobiography written by Mick Jagger. The Rolling Stones singer has said for many decades that he has no plans to ever write a tell-all, so the news of this 75,000 or so word book is a bit astonishing. Blake says the autobiography was penned decades ago, implying that if in fact this tell-all exists, and if it is written by Mick Jagger, he apparently doesn’t remember writing it. Blake alleges the book came into his possession through a mutual friend three years ago, but the New York Times has been unable to verify the authenticity of the book with Jagger’s manager.
Dominican Radio DJ and Producer Murdered During Facebook Live Broadcast
A radio DJ and his producer were shot and killed during a Facebook Live Broadcast in the Dominican Republic on Tuesday. Luis Manuel Medina was reading the news during his Mileno Caliente program when an unknown gunman shot Medina while in a glass-walled booth at the radio station before turning the gun fatally on Medina’s producer and station manager Leo Martinez. The station’s secretary Dayana garcia was also shot and injured but survived. Three men have been detained.
The Dillinger Escape Plan Involved in Major Accident, Cancel All European Tour Dates
Mathcore band the Dillinger Escape Plan were involved in a major car accident several days ago when their roadside tour bus was hit by a truck in Poland. All of the band’s gear was destroyed, and thirteen people were injured, though none of them critically. The Dillinger Escape Plan have had to cancel all of their remaining European tour dates as the band and crew recover, but will resume in late April when the tour turns back to the US.
The Deer are an Austin original, and an Austin treasure. Since forming in 2012, the group has made a name for itself in these parts, earning two consecutive runner-up Austin Music Awards for Best Performing Folk Group and an Austin Music Industry Finalist award for Best Album Art in 2014. Frontwoman and founder Grace Park spent 2016 as a member of Project ATX6, traveling and performing in France and Canada while being part of coordinator Chris Brecht’s documentary project.
The band is heading out on another tour, and they’re celebrating with a show tonight at the North Door. If you’re unfamiliar with the group, try “Your Right To Waive,” from last year’s Tempest & Rapture. The song is the Deer doing what they do best: double-up on the Americana, spin in some delicate surf-rock, set Grace Park’s vocals to “float,” and feel the Texas transcendentalism.
-Taylor Wallace // host, Saturday 2-6 p.m., producer, SoundCheck and Eklektikos
Don Pitts Resigns as Music and Entertainment Division Manager
Don Pitts has resigned from his post as manager of Austin’s Music and Entertainment Division, effective immediately. The resignation follows about a month after Pitts was put on administrative leave pending an undisclosed internal investigation that the Chronicle has reported is focused on whether Pitts violated city policy when disciplining an employee. The Music and Entertainment Department is in charge of managing policies affecting the city’s music industry, and as Pitts pens it in his resignation letter, “the original vision of the Division was to focus on the economic development of the music industry and community. However, Austin’s growth produced an ever expanding focus around sound complaints, permitting, and various ordinances, which were quickly prioritized to be the Division’s focus.” The resignation comes amidst the host of issues being tackled surrounding Austin’s music industry, and as the Division continues the good fight, they do so while seeking a new leader.
Jerry Lee Lewis and Junior Brown to Be Honored at 4th Annual Ameripolitan Music Awards
Tonight is the 4th Annual Ameripolitan Music Awards down at Austin’s historic Paramount Theatre. Tonight’s special recipients include Jerry Lee Lewis winning the Master Award and Junior Brown being bestowed the Keeper of the Key Award. Hosting tonight’s affair are Dale Watson and Ray Benson. Watson says Lewis’s founding of the Rockabilly piano, Honky Tonk singing and “Outlaw attitude” while always drawing back to Western swing in his shows as the major reasons the Ameripolitan Music Awards have chosen to honor him tonight, and of Junior Brown, Watson says he is the perfect example of the natural progression of a modern artist influenced by major roots artists. Bringing new music with prominent roots influence to new generations is what makes Junior Brown an important and very influential artist worthy of the Ameripolitan award for Keeper of the Key.” Heavily focused on performances, tonight’s show will include a performance by Junior Brown as well as Bonnie Montgomery, Wayne Hancock, Johnny Bush, and the night’s co-hosts, Dale Watson and Ray Benson.