profile of thawking

News in brief - Spiritualized, Elliott Smith documentary, ATP, Hall of Fame

So you're still logging onto TheVine, which means you're not at Meredith, and you're probably not even remotely interested in hearing about how much fun the people who are there are having. Well, you've come to the right place — here's a a round-up of what's been happening around the world of music while all those bastards lucky, lucky people have been driving up to the festival.

First and foremost, news that makes us very, very happy indeed: all-time TheVine favourites Spiritualized have announced the release of a new album in March next year. The album's to be called Sweet Heart Sweet Light and will be their first since 2008's wryly-titled Songs in A&E. Hopefully there'll be no hospital visits for Jason Pierce between now and the release of this album — in the statement about the release, Pierce described it as "something that encompassed all I love in rock 'n' roll music. It’s got everything from Brötzmann and Berry right through to Dennis and Brian Wilson". We'll look forward to hearing it — if you're similarly excited, you can preview live versions of two new songs here and here.

In news that's perhaps less cheering, although no less welcome, there's a new documentary being made about Elliott Smith. Film-maker Nickolas Rossi has been seeking funding for the project — entitled Heaven Adores You — via Kickstarter, and as of yesterday hit his funding goal (a pretty modest US$12,500). You can have a look at his vision for the project via the Kickstarter page — basically, he lived in Smith's adopted home of Portland, Oregon from 1994-99, and made a tribute video to Smith after the singer's death. 750,000 YouTube views later, he decided to expand the initial video into a full-blown documentary. Smith is definitely an artist whose life is worth exploring — more for the remarkable nature of his music than the tragic manner of his death — and we'll definitely look forward to seeing Rossi's project when it's done.

Back on the subject of "festivals we wish we were going to", the initial announcement for next year's US All Tomorrow's Parties event was made this week. The festival will again be held at the strange New Jersey enclave of Asbury Park — you can read about our visit to this year's event here and here — and will be curated by The Afghan Whigs, who are re-forming for the occasion. No word yet on the rest of the line-up, but no doubt it'll be amazing. Sigh.

And finally, to the ever more ludicrously-named Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame. We mentioned yesterday that Guns N' Roses would be one of the inductees, and yesterday the rest of this year's crop was announced. In fairness, the list isn't quite as ridiculously non rock 'n' roll as years past — there's no-one like Madonna or ABBA — but still, make what you will of the fact that Donovan and The Beastie Boys will be inducted into the halls of alleged rock 'n' roll legend along with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Small Faces/The Faces. Also receiving awards are late blues guitarist Freddie King (as an "Early Influence"), TV host Don Kirshner (the "Non-Performer" award) and producers Cosimo Matassa, Tom Dowd and Glyn Johns.
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