January news bites

As in easily digestible news morsels not – wow that sucks!

Although some of it does. Canadian musician, mother of Rufus and Martha, sister of Anna and Jane, ex wife of Loudon Wainwright III, Kate McGarrigle has died after losing a 3 and half year battle with cancer.

Born in 1946 in Quebec, Kate had a long and succesful career releasing 10 albums and was part of an extremely talented family, a great loss to the musical world. 

Her music with sister Anna has been heavily covered by many famous musicians including Maria Muldaur, Nana Mouskouri, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, Billy Bragg, Chloé Sainte-Marie and Anne Sofie von Otter.

The people of Haiti’s struggle to survive after what is now two earthquakes in the space of days has struck a chord with the pop crowd. People in Haiti are short on all food, medical and basic supplies which has lead to fighting and rioting. George Clooney is planning a benefit gig which will see support from Bono, Sting and Timberland.

Glasgow band Mogwai are auctioning off a piano to raise funds for the victims of what this January is the poorest and unluckiest island in the world. They are selling off a Kawai MP8 Mark I piano was used by Barry Burns during the band’s 2006-2007 world tour.

In other news Billy Bragg is refusing to pay tax in protest against Royal Bank of Scotland staff bonuses. G’wan Billy!

The rough and ready Bronx are releasing a DVD of a gig from London in 2009.

Gill Scott Heron is BACK! after 13 years he is releasing a new album, ‘I’m New Here’ this February, lookout for first single ‘Me and the Devil’.

Jail time isn’t enough for prisoners, now they will be deprived of tunes. Seems fair, maybe it’ll inspire more prison written acoustic music. Prisons in Britain say the license is too expensive for recorded music in a communal area so they’re ditching it. They can still watch DVD’s though – but can no longer play Dark Side of the Moon along to the Wizard of Oz.

And finally … Magne F – singer, guitarist, keyboardist and songwriter from Norwegian popsynth band A-ha is having an exhibition at the Edinburgh Printworks. It’s all about language and features works depicting the alphabet. The first 500 prints sold will come with a free copy of music inspired by Magne’s reworking of vocals on A-ha’s new album.

Hella out xxxx

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