Last summer Robert Smith curated the Meltdown festival in the UK with handpicked acts ranging from My Bloody Valentine to Nine In Nails to The Church. The Cure, of course, headlined but were billed as CURÆTION-25 so as not to violate a contract for its massive headlining slot a few weeks later in London’s Hyde Park. Both shows are being combined for a DVD/Blu-Ray release this October to celebrate the band’s 40th anniversary. The setlists are expectedly massive, showcasing every idiosyncratic incarnation of the band.
Smith recently revealed an update for the band’s progress on its first new album in 11 years in an interview at the Fuji Rock Festival, claiming that the record will be delayed until next year. He had originally claimed it would be out close to Halloween this year. Even casual Cure fans know not to trust anything the man says with regard to release timelines.
Prince’s estate has just released an animated video to accompany “Holly Rock”- the latest single off the posthumously released Originals compilation. It’s a song Prince originally wrote for Sheila E. back in 1985. He recorded it at Sunset Sound in Los Angeles the same week he recorded “Kiss” for his own Parade album. Sheila E.’s version ended up on the soundtrack for the film, Krush Groove. It’s fascinating to hear how he wrote for Sheila E.’s perspective, even don’t to the rapping shout-outs. She was given writing credit on the original single.
David Bowie’s estate has just released an official video to accompany the 2019 mix by longtime producer Tony Visconti of “Space Oddity,” which was Bowie’s first big hit released 50 years ago this month. To the chagrin of some fans, the footage mixes eras of Bowie’s career. This was a song that he kept in sets throughout all of his chameleonic musical and artistic shifts so to complain of the blended eras seems a bit short-sighted.
To further capitalize on the semicentennial anniversary of Bowie’s career launch, a 7″ box set has recently been issued, featuring the original mono release as well as the new 2019 mixes housed in new picture sleeves complete with a double-sided poster.
Bowie’s estate has released a glut of small-scale rarities this year but still no word on the next catalog box set, covering his musical rebound in the 1990s.
The Replacements have announced a new box set of alternate versions of the songs that comprised its penultimate album, Don’t Tell A Soul. Across four discs, an LP, and a cassette, the new set, entitled Dead Man’s Pop, presents Don’t Tell A Soul as it was originally intended, according to the press release over at Rhino.
Some of the alternate takes include the notoriously debauched and drunken sessions with producer Tony Berg at Bearsville Studios from 1988, as well as the infamous sessions later that same year mutual fan with Tom Waits!?!
Despite refusing to perform its breakout album for the 25th anniversary of Parklife, Blur is acknowledging the occasion by re-releasing a vintage line of merchandise, as well as a 10″ record of a previously unreleased live BBC session. No word yet on a special edition of the album itself.
The show refusal dates back to April of this year, where lead singer Damon Albarn voiced his concern over the Brexit situation, saying: “Say we got to the point of having a second referendum, then I would be happy to play that record as a celebration and as a way of reminding ourselves of a time when we had an idea of Britishness that wasn’t political.”
Maybe the band will soften on the idea as these releases roll out. That record deserves to be celebrated.
Janet Weiss announced today that she is leaving Sleater-Kinney because the band is heading in a “new direction.” This will no doubt be devastating news for many, as Sleater-Kinney won’t be the same without her. Weiss’s drumming style helped define the band’s raucous sound, as it evolved from wailing indie-punk to an explosive power trio.
Weiss’ statement reads diplomatically enough, but one can’t help but wonder what precipitated such a decision. There is speculation that the band’s radical new sound with producer St. Vincent at the helm has colored her attitude towards the music- her bored expression in recent publicity photos, notwithstanding.
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the release of Joy Division’s unimpeachable debut, Unknown Pleasures, the band has commissioned a visual campaign whereby a new video will accompany each track- all with different directors. The latest addition is the reimagining of “Insight” directed by Makato Nagahisa, best known for this year’s We Are Little Zombies.
Creating a visual companion to music that fans have internalized for decades is no small task. Anton Corbijn carried a similar burden in 1988 when he directed the post-humous video for “Atmosphere” to coincide with the release of Substance. Corbijn didn’t stray far from the band’s gloomy image, whereas these latest videos seem to play fast and loose with visual poetic license.