Nearly Two Dozen Recordings to be Added to Library Of Congress’s Registry
The Library of Congress has announced roughly two dozen recordings that are being inducted into its national Recording Registry. These recordings are a bit of a motley crew, with Judy Garland’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” N.W.A.’s Straight Outta Compton album in its entirety, and the inaugural episode of the NPR program All Things Considered making-up part of this year’s list. That particular episode is dated May 3, 1971, and focused on May Day protests against the Vietnam War. Susan Stamberg, original member of the NPR team and 14-year host for All Things Considered called the inclusion an honor and a privilege. Sound recordings added to the National Recording Registry are noted for being, “culturally, history, or aesthetically important, and/or inform or reflect like in the United States,” and are at least ten years old. The registry was established by the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000, and members of its board are appointed by the Library of Congress. Since it’s beginning, the registry has archived 475 recordings of American history.
Bob Dylan to Receive Nobel Prize (Finally!)
Bob Dylan is playing a series of concerts in Stockholm over the weekend, and while he’s there, he’ll be accepting his Nobel Prize of Literature. He will still not be delivering his lecture mandated by the Academy of all of its winners on this trip, but will tape one at a later point. According to the Academy, the ceremony will be small and include an intimate performance for the 50 members of the Academy, with no media allowed.
Burning Questions Answered: What’s Michael Stipe Up To?
Michael Stipe has been in the news recently discussing his upcoming projects. In addition producing and co-writing the next Fischerspooner album, he and long-time collaborator Jonathan Berger have two big projects on the horizon. One is an audio project for New York City’s High Line park, composing pieces of music the will play from a bell tower to be constructed on the park’s northern end. The duo’s second project involves a series of autobiographical photo books on Stipe’s life, the first of which will cover Stipe’s time with R.E.M., due out later this year.
Remembering Clem Curtis
Clem Curtis, the original lead singer of the U.K. soul outfit the Foundations, passed away yesterday. Born in Trinidad in 1940, Curtis moved England at the age of fifteen, finding jobs as an interior decorator and boxer. With singing experience limited to his household, Curtis took a tip from his uncle that the Ramong Sound was seeking back-up singers. The group lost their original singer, took on Arthur Brown temporarily, and reemerged in January 1967 as the Foundations with Clem Curtis as their lead. After the group scored two hits and released two albums with Curtis as their lead, he felt the morale of the Foundations’ shift towards resting on their laurels, leading him to break-off from the group in 1968 to pursue a solo career in the United States. While the Foundations bore on with new singer Colin Young, finding continued chart success with hits like “Build Me Up Buttercup,” Clem Curtis was unable to find reliable work in the states, compelling him to return to the U.K. in the early 1970s, and eventually founding a reformed version of the Foundations, not unlike several incarnations from other former members. Clem Curtis continued to perform until his double cancer diagnosis earlier this year, choosing to spend his remaining time amongst friends and family. Clem Curtis was 76.
Photo: Ivan Ward Photography
The Annual Grateful Dead Meet-Up Has a Couple of Bonus Terrapins This Year
Well fellow Dead Heads, it’s almost that time of year again: the annual Grateful Dead Meet-Up at the Movies. For it’s 7th year, Fathom Events are going back to the beginning, choosing to screen the 1977 concert film The Grateful Dead Movie to commemorate the film’s 40th anniversary. This year, though, Fathom Events has a couple of bonuses up their sleeve. Moviegoers will get to experience a never-before-seen mini-documentary centered around the Dead’s legendary Cornell University concert on May 8th, 1977. Also screening during the Meet-Up is an exclusive excerpt from the upcoming six-part film Long Strange Trip, due out this May on Amazon. There are three Austin-area theaters participating in the Meet-Up on April 20th: the Cinemark in Southpark Meadows, the Metropolitan off Little Texas Lane and I-35, and Arbor @ Great Hill 8 off of 183 and N Capital of Texas Highway. Tickets go on sale this Friday.
Discogs to Turn Audio Gear Database Into Marketplace
Discogs, the website behind one of the most relied-upon crowdsourced databases for information regarding audio recordings is expanding into the production gear market with the launch of its new marketplace Gearogs. Gearogs is already an up-and-running database, but the option to buy and sell production gear will be available starting next month. Discogs CEO Kevin Lewandowski says his vision for the marketplace is to be “the largest database of audio equipment on the planet.” Lewandoski says this is just the first step in his vision for what he calls Discogs’s “meta-projects.” Next: marketplaces for films, books, and comics.
Record Store Day Announces Full List of Releases
Record Store Day is around the corner, April 22nd in fact, and the full list of releases has been announced. Highlights this year include a Smiths 7” featuring two previously unreleased recordings of old songs, singles and collections from Prince and David Bowie, a live EP from Animal Collective, a live full album from The Flaming Lips, reissues of the Cure’s greatest hits (and its acoustic twin) both featuring double-LP picture discs, and alternate version of Fleetwood Mac’s Mirage, Drive-By Truckers Electric Lady Sessions, a reissue of the Space Jam soundtrack, George Carlin’s famous Grammy-winning comedy album Jammin’ in New York, and new singles from the War on Drugs and The The. You can put all of your Record Store Day purchases in the exclusive Run the Jewels RSD tote bag made specifically for your vinyl haul. Check out the full list here.
Laura Mvula Dropped From Her Label Via Email
After five years with the Sony subsidiary RCA Victor, Laura Mvula has been dropped from the label, a bit of news that the artist had to read about in an email. To add to the disrespect, Mvula’s former manager was told her contract would not be renewed in a face-to-face meeting with the label back in January. Mvula was not privy to the information. Already onto the next project, Laura Mvula has spent the last year or so marrying soul and Shakespeare, composing the score to a new production of Antony and Cleopatra, staged by the Royal Shakespeare company, a feat, Mvula says, is a dream come true. As for her journey finding a new label, she says, “Let what I do be in better hands. Let me better understood and taken care of.”
Gucci Mane Announces Memoir, Out in September
Since his release from prison last May, Gucci Mane has been busy. He was releasing music within a week and hasn’t stopped, he proposed to his long-time girlfriend, he performed multiple shows during SXSW this last week before kicking off his a tour next month that ends at JMBLYA fest here in Austin, and as of yesterday, he’s announced the release of his memoir. Co-authored by Neil Martinez-Belkin, the memoir, simply called The Autobiography of Gucci Mane, explores the rappers life from “the roots of Alabama to the streets of East Atlanta, and the trap house, and the studio where he found his voice as a peerless rapper.” The 288-page book is due for release on September 19th via Simon and Schuster.
Chuck Berry Final Album Will Be Released Posthumously
As the world remembers the life and legacy of Chuck Berry in their own perspective, his family announced yesterday that his final album, and his first in 38 years Chuck, is still coming out. The family said further details will be released throughout the week, but stated, “while our hearts are very heavy at this time…we know that Chuck had no greater wish than to see this album released to the world.”