Happy Friday, readers! In today’s brief, but beefy, Music Dispatch, we have a new track from the B-52’s Kate Pierson, another jaw-dropping performance from FKA Twigs, some musical diplomacy from James Taylor and John Kerry, and a super bummed Rivers Cuomo. Let’s get to it with a news item 50 years in the making…
If your Deadhead parents or Phish-fan siblings seem to be in an an unusually cheerful mood, it’s not just because their old Volkswagon van is back in commission (though that might be related). The surviving members of the Grateful Dead have announced they will be celebrating their 50th anniversary by reuniting for a series of performances with Phish frontman Trey Anastasio stepping in for the late Jerry Garcia. “Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of Grateful Dead” will happen at Chicago’s Soldier Field on July 3rd, 4th and 5th. Tickets will be available via a first come first serve mail order system starting on January 20th, followed by an online pre-sale through Dead Online Ticketing beginning on February 12, and then online to the general public on February 14, via Ticketmaster. More info at dead50.net. [Stereogum]
Rookie-of-the-year FKA Twigs got some double-jointed backup dancers, painted them like snakes, and gave yet another entrancing performance. This time, she was at the 2015 BRIT Awards Nomination Ceremony (which, we gather, are basically the Grammys but with an accent), to perform a medley of her songs “Hide” and “Pendulum”. [Pigeons & Planes]
The Strokes’ Nick Valensi provided some gnarly lo-fi guitar to Kate Pierson’s (of the B-52s) addictively saccharine “Bottom’s Up”. Pierson’s first solo album, Guitars and Microphones, comes out February 17. [Brooklyn Vegan]
Google has announced that, beginning this week, tour dates and ticketing information will be listed directly in search results, eliminating one more exhausting click between you and those Taylor Swift floor seats. By working with Ticketmaster, TicketWeb, AXS, Ticketfly, ShowClix, BandPage, BandsInTown, Gigpress and Songkick, among others, Google has been developing widgets and coding to streamline the search engine’s access to concert information. The project is still in the early stages of rolling out, so only a handful of headlining acts have tour dates and ticketing info readily embedded in the search results. Hopefully that extra click for all the others won’t give anyone carpal tunnel syndrome. [Rolling Stone]
Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo was the guest on Larry King’s online talk show, Larry King Now. When asked about crazy fan encounters, a perturbed Cuomo revealed that he continues to receive care packages meant for Incubus‘ frontman Brandon Boyd. Even when he moves, the packages keep coming to his unlisted address. The full episode is embedded above, but you can visit Stereogum to watch just the highlights.
Here’s some good news for UK concert goers with little patience (and bad news for those with little self-awareness or respect). The hilariously obnoxious “selfie-stick” has been banned by a number of larger UK music venues “on health and safety grounds,” according to NME. A spokesperson for one of the venues, Wembley SSE Arena, told NME, “The sticks might mean you are refused entry to the venue, so our advice is don’t bring them and stick with the tried and tested use of an arm.”
Secretary of State John Kerry visited France to share his condolences and show America’s support following the last week’s tragic Charlie Hebdo shooting. Kerry said, “I represent a nation grateful each day that France is our oldest ally,” and then brought out James Taylor to perform “You’ve Got a Friend”! More diplomacy like this, please. [Billboard]
Let’s do a mini round-up of the latest Nerdist Music posts, shall we? Leslie’s eagle-eye zeroed in on some of the nerdier details of the star-studded, homemade Sleater-Kinney “No Cities To Love” music vid. Editor Matt gave us our first listen of Ty Segall’s psychedelic Mr. Face EP. Alicia took us to Broadway with Jimmy Fallon and Gwyneth Paltrow’s lounge-versions of hip hop tracks. And Katie brought us the latest episode of Nerdist’s own Jonah Raydio.
Music Dispatch won’t be here Monday, so enjoy your long weekend, free of music news interruptions!