Renowned Bassist, Producer George Reiff Diagnosed with Cancer
Austin bassist and producer George Reiff’s stage 4 cancer diagnosis became public yesterday when a crowdfunding page appeared announcing that Reiff was scheduled to have a brain tumor removed in the next couple of weeks. In the 24 hours or so that the page has been up, the Austin community has rallied around Reiff, who is known as a pillar of the Austin music community, and raised over $47,000 from over 500 donations towards the $200k goal. George Reiff began forging a name for himself in the Austin music scene as a member new-wave Tex-Mex star Joe “King” Carrasco’s band in the 1980s. Since then, he’s toured and recorded with dozens of prominent of musicians of local, national, and international fame, including Ringo Starr, Joe Walsh, the Dixie Chicks, and Charlie Sexton, gaining notoriety as one of the world’s best bass players along the way. Reiff’s family is asking for privacy through this difficult time, asking those who love and care about George to stay updated through their crowdfunding page.
John Darnielle Announces Sophomore Novel
John Darnielle, the primary (and sometimes solitary) member of popular group the Mountain Goats, announced his second novel, Universal Harvester, yesterday. The announcement has been long anticipated by Mountain Goats and literary enthusiast alike and for good reason; Darnielle’s debut novel, Wolf in the White Van, was one of ten nominated for the prestigious National Book Award in Fiction in 2014. Darnielle has also contributed to the popular 33 1/3 series, penning the volume on Black Sabbath and served as a guest editor for a creative writing anthology coming out of the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford. Universal Harvester is set to be released on February 7, 2017.
–Taylor Wallace // host, Saturdays 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.; Producer, Eklektikos with John Aielli
SoundCloud is Looking to Sell, but No One’s Looking to Buy
The founders and investors at SoundCloud are looking towards their next venture, and are therefore looking to sell the popular streaming site. The price tag? $1 billion. The problem? No one’s biting. Apparently they’ve been trying to sell SoundCloud for sometime, and came very close in 2014 when Twitter showed serious interest, but instead decided to invest $70 million into their own platform. Despite adding a paid subscription service and improving some of its features for subscribers, SoundCloud has struggled to stay afloat the last few years. Having yet to turn a profit, the company remains heavily reliant on outside investors to keep the SoundCloud up in the air.
Smokey Robinson to Executive Produce a Netflix Kid’s Show Based on Motown Records
Smokey Robinson is executive producing a new children’s television show on Netflix inspired by the hits of Motown Records. The show will be set in the imaginary city of Motown, a town based on Detroit and its musical heritage, and feature an eighteen-year-old boy bent on bringing his street art to life. Show creator Josh Wakely is also the creative force behind the Netflix show Beat Bugs, and animated kid’s series featuring contemporary artists singing the songs of the Beatles with supporting “love yourself, others, and the world” story lines. The Motown Records show will also feature contemporary artists, this time covering artists like Marvin Gaye, the Jackson 5, the Supremes, and Stevie Wonder. The point of these shows is to connect young kids with songs their parents know and like, educate, and spark a conversation about music and inspire an early love for the classics.
-Taylor Wallace // host, Saturdays 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.; Producer, Eklektikos with John Aielli
Marni Nixon, “the Invisible Voice” Dies at 86
Hollywood voice double Marni Nixon passed away Sunday at 86 after battling breast cancer. Nixon, known as “the invisible voice” wasn’t known in Hollywood for her physical acting, but for her dubbed-in singing in some of Hollywood’s most famous musicals. Marni Nixon was the long uncredited singing voice heard in place of the leading actresses in musicals like West Side Story, The King and I, and My Fair Lady. Nixon’s contracts with each of these musicals included a clause compelling her to silence about her involvement in the picture under threat of being blacklisted in Hollywood entirely, and only after a couple of hard-learned lessons did she begin to reap royalties for her film work. Eventually Nixon’s roles began to leak out, followed by Deborah Kerr’s public praising of Nixon’s work as the “ghosted” singing voice of Ana in 1956’s The King and I.
Jack White and Third Man Records To Play First Vinyl in Space
Yesterday Jack White confirmed Third Man Records’s next vinyl-specific venture. Historically, the label has made triple-decker records, broken world records, literally dropped vinyl from the sky, and built a mobile record store. Now, they’re seeking to play the first vinyl in space. Called “the Icarus Craft,” the space-proof phonograph will launch attached to a high altitude balloon armed with a gold pressing of Carl Sagan’s “A Glorious Dawn,” which Third Man Records originally pressed during their first year of operation in 2009; the copy going into space is the label’s 3 millionth pressing. Literal launch parties will be held at Third Man’s locations in Detroit and Nashville this Saturday, July 30th featuring live bands, copies of the record, and live streams of the launch, which takes off at 11am CST.
Details Unravel from Shooting Outside of Music Festival in Ansbach, Germany
12 people were injured, 3 critically, last night at a music festival in Ansbach, Germany, a small city with a population of just over 40,000. Sources are clear that the 27-year-old Syrian man detonated the bomb after being denied entry to the festival for not having a ticket. Only the bomber was killed, but reports say that his rucksack held enough screws, nails, and other metal splinters to have injured many more festivals goers than the 12 victims. The suicide bomber’s motive for the attack was unknown, but sources have confirmed that he had been denied asylum in Germany (but wasn’t sent back to Syria, as Germany’s policy does not allowed rejected applicants to return to war zones), and was slated to be deported to Bulgaria. The attack was the fourth in a string of violent attacks in Southern Germany in a week.
Sly Stone to be Rewarded $5 Million in Damages Over 20 Years of Unpaid Royalties
70s funk icon and front man of Sly and the family Stone, Sly Stone has been awarded $5 million in damages over a suit concerning his former manager Gerald Goldstein, attorney Glenn Stone, and 20 years of unpaid/stolen royalties. Stone’s former execs apparently made him sign a number of convoluted and tainted contracts he couldn’t understand, allowing Goldstein and Glenn Stone to effectively steal money from Sly for 2 decades. The Los Angeles jury assessed Stone’s damages at just over $5 million between Even St Productions, Goldstein, and Glenn Stone. Sly Stone has been living in an RV and barely making ends meet for years due to the lack of income from his royalties. His former manager and attorney of course deny the charges and plan to appeal.
Artem Vaulin, Alleged Kickass Torrents Founder, Arrested in Poland
Ukranian Artem Vaulin, the alleged founder and operator of Kickass Torrents, was arrested yesterday in Poland after police investigators cross-referenced an IP address used to log-in to the site’s Facebook page with an address used to make a very legal iTunes purchase. Vaulin is being detained on behalf of the US Justice Department, which has requested his extradition for copyright infringement and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Essentially, Vaulin is being charged with running today’s most trafficked site for illegal file-sharing, somewhere in the ballpark of $1 billion of copyrighted materials. Kickass Torrents launched in 2008, and has been a major player in the torrenting world for years, especially after sites like the Pirate Bay and others were shut down in the recent years. Right now, however, it seems that all of the domains are being seized, but as of this morning, the site itself had returned online.
Conor Oberst to Release Bright Eyes Box Set
Conor Oberst has announced his work on a box set of six albums from what could be argued are his most beloved years. That’s right all you thirty and late-twenty somethings, he’s creating a Bright Eyes box set. Oberst is working with legendary Grammy-winning engineer Bob Ludwig, whose past credits include mastering albums for Led Zeppelin, the Police, Nirvana, and Beyonce, to master the box set, collectively called The Studio Albums 2000-2011. The set, available both in vinyl and CD formats, comes out September 14th.