Comedian Joan Rivers Dead at Age 81

Joan Rivers

Comedian Joan Rivers died on Thursday, September 4, 2014 in New York City. She was 81. Her daughter, Melissa, confirmed her death.

Rivers died at Mount Sinai Hospital, where she was taken last Thursday after reportedly losing consciousness while undergoing a procedure on her vocal cords at a doctor’s office on the Upper East Side. She was placed in a medically induced coma, and on Tuesday, her daughter said she was on life support. However, on Wednesday, she said she had been moved out of intensive care.

For more info on the life of one of America’s most successful comics, visit The New York Times.

Joan Rivers on “The Carol Burnett Show,” 1974

Faith No More to Release First Album in 18 Years, Tour US

Faith No More

In April 2015, Mike Patton‘s Faith No More are set to release their seventh album, their first in 18 year. The record will be recorded in their Oakland rehearsal space and released on their own imprint, Reclamation Records, with distribution by Patton’s Ipecac Recordings.

Though no dates have been booked, the band is planning a full US tour around the album’s release. Since their return to the stage in 2009, they’ve only played five American cities.

(via RS)

Suicidal Tendencies Bassist Tim “Rawbiz” Williams Has Died


Tim "Rawbiz" Williams - photo by Brandon Mizar

Tim “Rawbiz” Williams – photo by Brandon Mizar

California-based Suicidal Tendencies has released the following statement:

“It’s with complete sadness that we have to announce the passing of bassist Tim ‘Rawbiz’ Williams.

“Tim played bass for Suicidal Tendencies for almost four years until recently.

“Tim was a monster on bass, running around on stage in the pit, giving his all, even when his body wasn’t at its best. We will always remember him and appreciate all the kind words by those that were touched by his bass playing and him personally.”

Williams is credited with playing bass on one song on Suicidal Tendencies’ latest album, 13, which came out in March 2013. It was the band’s first album in 13 years.

No cause of death has been revealed. (via Blabbermouth)

Morrissey to Curate a Ramones “Greatest Hits” Album

Morrissey with his good friend Johnny Ramone

Morrissey, who as a teenager once wrote that the “Ramones are rubbish,” now dubs himself a major fan and is curating a new greatest hits album by the influential punk band.

“My love for the Ramones would out-live time itself,” he has stated. In addition to the track list, he has also chosen the cover art, below. A statement on True to You said the compilation would soon be released through Sire/Rhino Records, and added, “Morrissey is thankful to the Ramones management for this invitation.” (via Spin, CoS)

"Best of Ramones" cover art, curated by Morrissey

Click here for 10 Covers of Ramones “Blitzkrieg Bop”

MTV Video Music Awards 2014 Winners List

MTV Video Music Awards 2014

The 2014 MTV Video Music Awards were held on August 24, 2014. In case you missed them — whether because you only get Netflix or because you just don’t have the patience to sit through it — here is a handy list of award winners that should condense the essence of the entire hours-long show down to less than five minutes of your time.

Of course, if none of this appeals to you, be sure to check out 12 MTV Video Music Awards performances worth rewatching.

Best Lyric Video
5 Seconds Of Summer – “Don’t Stop”

Best Female Video
Katy Perry – “Dark Horse” (Feat. Juicy J)

Best Male Video
Ed Sheeran – “Sing”

Best Pop Video
Ariana Grande – “Problem” (Feat. Iggy Azalea)

Best Hip-Hop Video
Drake – “Hold On We’re Going Home”

Best Rock Video
Lorde – “Royals”

Artist To Watch
Fifth Harmony

Video Of The Year
Miley Cyrus – “Wrecking Ball”

Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award


Best Collaboration
Beyoncé – “Drunk In Love” (Feat. Jay Z)

MTV Clubland Award
Zedd – “Stay The Night” (Feat. Hayley Williams)

Best Video With a Social Message
Beyoncé – “Pretty Hurts”

Best Choreography
Sia – “Chandelier”

Best Cinematography
Beyoncé – “Pretty Hurts”

Best Editing
Eminem – “Rap God”

Best Direction
DJ Snake & Lil Jon – “Turn Down For What”

Best Art Direction
Arcade Fire – “Reflektor”

Best Visual Effects
OK Go – “The Writing’s On The Wall”

12 MTV Video Music Awards Performances Worth Rewatching


Top 10 Richest Bassists in Music

Krist Novoselic, bassist of Nirvana

The Richest has published a list of the 10 wealthiest bassist in music. There are very few surprises here, including numerous bassists who also act as front men in their respective groups. Paul McCartney (worth $1.2 billion), Sting, and Gene Simmons are joined by the likes of Tony Kanal of No Doubt and Krist Novoselic of Nirvana, who hasn’t been terribly active in some time. The full list is below.

01. Paul McCartney – $1.2 billion
02. Sting – $300 million
02. Gene Simmons (KISS) – $300 million
04. Roger Waters – $270 million
05. Adam Clayton (U2) – $150 million
06. Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers) – $115 million
07. John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) – $80 million
08. Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath) – $65 million
09. Tony Kanal (No Doubt) – $45 million
10. Krist Novoselic (Nirvana) – $40 million

(via CoS)

Ani DiFranco to Release “Allergic to Water” October 14, 2014 – Listen to “Woe Be Gone”

Ani DiFranco, photo by Patti Perret

On October 14, 2014, Ani DiFranco will release her 20th full-length studio album, Allergic to Water, on her own label, Righteous Babe Records. DiFranco announced the new album by stating, “Got a new wreckord and I don’t hate it.” Allergic to Water was recorded at her Victorian home in New Orleans and at a larger studio in an old church, “in two 4-day sessions, one while I was six and a half months pregnant,” she explains.

Below, watch the lyric video for “Woe Be Gone,” which premiered on USA Today.

Six Fiction Writing Tips From Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway

Unlike writers such as Kurt Vonnegut and John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway never actually wrote or disclosed an organized list of writing tips. However, many tips can be cobbled together from the great amount of text he left behind, much of which was compiled by Larry W. Phillips in his 1984 book, Ernest Hemingway on Writing. Here are seven notable tips below.

1. To get started, write one true sentence.

Sometimes when I was starting a new story and I could not get it going, I would sit in front of the fire and squeeze the peel of the little oranges into the edge of the flame and watch the sputter of blue that they made. I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, “Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” So finally I would write one true sentence, and then go on from there. It was easy then because there was always one true sentence that I knew or had seen or had heard someone say. If I started to write elaborately, or like someone introducing or presenting something, I found that I could cut that scrollwork or ornament out and throw it away and start with the first true simple declarative sentence I had written.

-From A Moveable Feast

2: Always stop for the day while you still know what will happen next.

The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day when you are writing a novel you will never be stuck. That is the most valuable thing I can tell you so try to remember it.

-From October 1935 issue of Esquire “Monologue to the Maestro: A High Seas Letter”)

3: Never think about the story when you’re not working.

When I was writing, it was necessary for me to read after I had written. If you kept thinking about it, you would lose the thing you were writing before you could go on with it the next day. It was necessary to get exercise, to be tired in the body, and it was very good to make love with whom you loved. That was better than anything. But afterwards, when you were empty, it was necessary to read in order not to think or worry about your work until you could do it again. I had learned already never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when there was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night.

-From A Moveable Feast

4: When it’s time to work again, always start by reading what you’ve written so far.

The best way is to read it all every day from the start, correcting as you go along, then go on from where you stopped the day before. When it gets so long that you can’t do this every day read back two or three chapters each day; then each week read it all from the start. That’s how you make it all of one piece.

-From October 1935 issue of Esquire “Monologue to the Maestro: A High Seas Letter”)

5: Don’t describe an emotion — make it.

I was trying to write then and I found the greatest difficulty, aside from knowing truly what you really felt, rather than what you were supposed to feel, and had been taught to feel, was to put down what really happened in action; what the actual things were which produced the emotion that you experienced. In writing for a newspaper you told what happened and, with one trick and another, you communicated the emotion aided by the element of timeliness which gives a certain emotion to any account of something that has happened on that day; but the real thing, the sequence of motion and fact which made the emotion and which would be as valid in a year or in ten years or, with luck and if you stated it purely enough, always, was beyond me and I was working very hard to get it.

-From Death in the Afternoon

6: Be Brief.

It wasn’t by accident that the Gettysburg address was so short. The laws of prose writing are as immutable as those of flight, of mathematics, of physics.

-From a 1945 letter to editor Maxwell Perkins

“Saturday Night Live” Announcer Don Pardo Dies at 96

Don Pardo

Don Pardo, the longtime announcer for “Saturday Night Live,” died Monday, August 18, 2014 in Tucson, Arizona. He was 96.

Pardo was with “SNL” from the show’s first episode in October 1975, and performed the introductions for 38 seasons, missing only the seventh season. His run on the show went right through the end of the last season in May, when he performed the introductions on the finale, hosted by Andy Samberg.

Additionally, Pardo was NBC’s staff announcer for more than 60 years. In November 1963, he announced to the country the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. He also worked on the original version of Jeopardy! with host Art Fleming, as well as “The Price Is Right,” “Jackpot,” and ”Three On A Match.”

(via NYT, Deadline Hollywood)

Producer Rick Parashar, Who Worked With Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, Blind Melon, and More, Dies at Age 50

Rick Parashar

Famed producer Rick Parashar has died away at the age of 50. Northwest Music Scene reports that Parashar died Thursday, August 14, 2014 due to a pulmonary embolism during which a blood clot moved from his leg to his heart.

Parasher was the co-founder of Seattle’s London Bridge Studio and produced classic albums including Pearl Jam‘s Ten, Temple of the Dog’s self-titled album, Alice In ChainsSap EP, and Blind Melon‘s self-titled debut album. Parashar also performed multiple instruments on the Pearl Jam tracks “Black” and “Jeremy,” as well as several Temple of the Dog songs. Following his success with grunge-era mega-stars, Parashar produced Nickelback’s Silver Side Up and 3 Doors Down’s Away From the Sun.

(via Loudwire)

Listen: CJ Ramone “Understand Me?”

CJ Ramone "Understand Me?"

CJ Ramone has signed to Fat Wreck Chords who will release the seven-inch single “Understand Me?” on September 30, 2014.

Backing Ramone on the single (and the upcoming full-length Last Chance To Dance) are the same players who appeared on his 2012 solo debut: Dan Root and Steve Soto from The Adolescents, and David Hidalgo Jr. of Social Distortion. The single’s B-side is a cover of Black Flag‘s “Rise Above,” featuring guitar and background vocals by Dez Cadena of Black Flag and the Misfits.

Stream “Understand Me?” below.

Click here for 10 Covers of Ramones “Blitzkrieg Bop”

Robin Williams Dead at Age 63

Robin Wiliams

From Gawker:

Actor Robin Williams, 63, was found dead from an apparent suicide in his Tiburon, California home earlier today.

From the Marin County Sheriff’s Department:

On August 11, 2014, at approximately 11:55 am, Marin County Communicationsreceived a 9-1-1 telephone call reporting a male adult had been located unconscious and not breathing inside his residence in unincorporated Tiburon, CA. The Sheriff’s Office, as well as the Tiburon Fire Department and Southern Marin Fire Protection District were dispatched to the incident with emergency personnel arriving on scene at 12:00 pm. The male subject, pronounced deceased at 12:02 pm has been identified as Robin McLaurin Williams, a 63 year old resident of unincorporated Tiburon, CA.

An investigation into the cause, manner, and circumstances of the death is currentlyunderway by the Investigations and Coroner Divisions of the Sheriff’s Office.Preliminary information developed during the investigation indicates Mr. Williams waslast seen alive at his residence, where he resides with his wife, at approximately 10:00pm on August 10, 2014. Mr. Williams was located this morning shortly before the 9-1-1call was placed to Marin County Communications. At this time, the Sheriff’s Office Coroner Division suspects the death to be a suicide due to asphyxia, but a comprehensive investigation must be completed before a final determination is made. A forensic examination is currently scheduled for August 12, 2014 with subsequent toxicology testing to be conducted.

Williams battled depression and substance abuse throughout his career; last month, he checked into rehab facility.

Williams’ publicist released a statement this afternoon:

“Robin Williams passed away this morning. He has been battling severe depression of late. This is a tragic and sudden loss. The family respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time.”

His wife, Susan Schneider, also confirmed the news:

“This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken. On behalf of Robin’s family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin’s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.”

Dischord Records to Release First Fugazi Demo Record

Fugazi ca. 1988, courtesy of Dischord Records

Dischord Records will be releasing Fugazi’s first demo, simply entitled First Demo. After playing only 10 shows, the band recorded the 11 demo tracks in January 1988 at Inner Ear Studios. The tracks include the unreleased “Turn Off Your Guns” and the cut “In Defense Of Humans,” which appeared on the State of the Union compilation in 1989, the only track from the sessions to ever be released officially.

The release, due later in 2014, will end the first phase of the Fugazi Live Series, in which the band has uploaded recordings of more than 900 of the shows they played when they were still active band. First Demo will be available in CD, vinyl, and MP3 formats. (via DischordStereogum)

Click here for 10 Covers of Fugazi’s “Waiting Room”

“Arrested Development” Is Coming Back for Season Five, According to Netflix

Arrested Development

After coming back for a fourth season in 2013 on Netflix to mixed reviews, the hit comedy show “Arrested Development” is now slated for a fifth season.

Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos is “positive” a fifth season will happen. Though the timing of the show is unclear, “It’s just a matter of when,” reports USA Today.

Sarandos added that getting a schedule that works for everyone may be the biggest challenge, and criticism over the amount of time the cast spent on screen together in the latest season was “fair.”

Will Arnett later confirmed reports.

“We are going to do more ‘Arrested Development’,” Arnett said. “Ted Sarandos and Netflix kind of let the cat out of the bag on that one. It’s something we all want to do so we’re excited.”

(via HuffPo, Mashable)

Marilyn Burns, Star of “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre,” Dies at Age 64

Marilyn Burns in "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre" (1974)

Actress and “scream queen” Marilyn Burns, who starred as Sally Hardesty in the original The Texas Chain Saw Massacre film, died Tuesday, August 5, 2014, her manager said. She was 64.

Burns was found unresponsive by a family member” in her Houston-area home, and her representative tells TMZ.com that an autopsy will be conducted to determine the official cause of death.

Her other horror movie roles include Tobe Hooper’s Eaten Alive (1977), Caution: Children at Play (1981), Kiss Daddy Goodbye (1981), and Future-Kill (1985).

Though she had a few cameo roles in recent years — primarily in Texas Chain Saw Massacre sequels and remakes — her later career focused on stage productions in Texas.

Click here for 10 Horror Movies Based on True Stories

(via Toronto Sun, CNN)