February 2013

Yesterday, the alt-rock band and recently reunited Stone Temple Pilots announced that they have fired their lead singer, Scott Weiland. Their statement on the news was very brief:

"Stone Temple Pilots have announced they have officially terminated Scott Weiland." The band now consists of bassist Robert DeLeo, guitarist Dean DeLeo and drummer Eric Kretz. This was all news to Weiland, who was quick to respond. According the the Associated Press, Weiland learned of the firing from the news:

"I learned of my supposed 'termination' from Stone Temple Pilots this morning by reading about it in the press. Not sure how I can be 'terminated' from a band that I founded, fronted and co-wrote many of its biggest hits, but that's something for the lawyers to figure out. In the meantime, I'm looking forward to seeing all of my fans on my solo tour which starts this Friday."

Stone Temple Pilots formed in 1986 and found major success in the 1990's with Weiland being one of the more prominent figures in the Alt-Rock music scene. The band broke up in 2003 and reformed in 2008. A trouble figure, Weiland (45) has struggled with drugs and person problems in the past. While the band was broken up, he was also the lead singer for Velvet Revolver. STP's second studio album, Purple, released in June 1994 was a huge success for the band, debuting at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart and remaining there for three weeks, eventually selling over six million copies. It spawned a number of successful singles, including "Vasoline":

Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of Pittsburgh's finest music writers joins me (Cindy Howes) on the Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Scott Tady of The Beaver County Times. In case you missed it here's what he played (with commentary by Scott). Girls Names, “Pittura Infamante” - A slinky bass and drum beat and Johnny Marr-ish guitar groove yields to some shoegazer groovy-ness with a nice, icy keyboard on this single from a sophomore album released last week by the Belfast, Northern Ireland post-punks. They’re serious fellows; hence a song named for a style of Italian Renaissance era art meant to defame scoundrels, criminals and political cheats. Big Scary, “Phil Collins” - You should’ve seen the look on Cindy’s face when I told her I wanted to play “Phil Collins.” Don’t worry: That’s just the song title by this Australian indie-pop, male-female duo who have toured with Florence + the Machine and Gotye. The vocals are chill, but you can’t get too relaxed with those waves of reverb-drenched guitar that keep crashing into the melody.

The Replacements' reunion EP Songs For Slim will be released digitally on March 5th and on 12" vinyl April 16 (released on New West Records). Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson have released their Gordon Lightfoot cover, "I'm Not Saying" and you can hear it now over at Pitchfork.

The Songs for Slim EP is part of a project that will benefit former Replacements' guitarist, Slim Dunlap. Slim suffered a stroke in 2012, which left him partially paralyzed. Track listing for the EP:

Side A: 01 Busted Up (Robert Dunlap) 02 Radio Hook Word Hit (Robert Dunlap) Side B: 01 I'm Not Sayin (Gordon Lightfoot) 02 Lost Highway (Leon Payne) 03 Everything's Coming Up Roses (Stephen Sondheim/Jule Styne)

David Bowie has released another new song and video from his new album The Next Day, which will be released on March 12. The video for "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)" stars Oscar winning actress, Tilda Swinton and Bowie as a married couple that is being harassed by a younger couple played by Andrej Pejic and Saskia de Brauw. Directed by Floria Sigismondi, the video portrays a happily married couple, whose world is disturbed and then re-arranged by the intrusion of a younger/celebrity couple. The goal was to capture “a twenty first century moment in its convergence of age, gender and the normal/celebrity divide.”The song is currently available for download on iTunes. Check out the video and also lyrics to "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)" (via Bowie's Facebook) below.

Rumors of a Rilo Kiley reunion were quickly proven untrue after the L.A. band announced details on RKives, a compilation album of b-sides, demos and rarities to be released on April 2nd. Since the news of the release, we've been patiently waiting for a new single and the wait is over! Head over to Spin to hear "Let Me Back In" from Rilo Kiley's Rkives.

It's been over 32 since the untimely death of Led Zeppelin drummer, John Bonham (at age 32), but that doesn't mean you can't hear him drum on your favorite new song. Introducing "The Bonhamizer" which could be considered very cool or very sacrilegious. "The Bonhamizer" allows visitors to upload any song and add one of four different Bonham beats to the track. It works by cutting up the selected song and aligning it to the beats of Bonham's drum patterns. They have some sample songs uploaded already, we recommend checking out "Some Nights" by fun. It's good for about a minute and then you might start to feel gross about it.

Billy Corgan is a real jokester. That's not something you'd normally say about the Smashing Pumpkins frontman, but he's certainly having some wacky-time fun in a new commercial for Walter E. Smith's furniture company, that doubles as a promotion for his wrestling company, Resistance Pro Wrestling. The ad's storyline is a little weird: a game of musical chairs takes place inside a wrestling ring (makes sense so far, right?). Chaos breaks out and Billy calls in his pro wrestlers for backup. He remains at ringside, egging on the fighters and offering wrestling tips. However, right before someone smashes a chairs, Corgan cries out in protest before the precious (Walter E. Smithe) chair is ruined. Marketing at it's finest. Observe:

A new proposed bill by state Representative Martin “Marty” Walsh may make one of the most iconic punk rock songs ever, the official rock song of Massachusetts. "Roadrunner", originally written and performed by The Modern Lovers in 1972, it's essentially a love song to the native home state of frontman Jonathan Richman. Richman was 19 when he wrote the song and according to former bandmate, John Felice, Richman "used to get in the car and just drive up and down Route 128 and the Turnpike [in Massachusetts]. We'd come up over a hill and he’d see the radio towers, the beacons flashing, and he would get almost teary-eyed. He'd see all this beauty in things where other people just wouldn’t see it."

When asked for comment from The Boston Globe, Richman stated "It's very flattering," he said, "but I don't think the song is good enough to be a Massachusetts song of any kind." Oh, Jonathan. The proposed bill may see a public hearing as early as April. If it all goes well, the bill goes to the state House of Representatives and, if passed, to the Senate. If approved it goes to Governor Deval Patrick for signing. The Modern Lovers "Roadrunner" --

Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of Pittsburgh's finest music writers joins me (Cindy Howes) on the Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Justin Jacobs (talking to us from Israel via Skype!), contributing writer to Billboard & Relix Magazine.
In case you missed it, here is what he played with commentary by Justin: Haim, "Falling" - I played this for my girlfriend today, and she said, "If I wanted to listen to a girl version of Michael Jackson, I'd just listen to any number of Michael Jackson songs." Fair enough. But this breakout all-girl group made waves last year for their mix of indie pop and straight up R&B (with a little gentle folk thrown in). "Falling," I predict will be their breakout single - it's too catchy for you to listen just once. Youth Lagoon, "Dropla" - I played this band early in 2012 as a 'slept-on album of 2011.' A year later, YL is back with the second record, called "Wondrous Bughouse." First single "Dropla" is a beautiful piece of bedroom pop - appropriate for all those music writer-y words that are used for bands like Beach House: gauzy, hazy, dreamy, etc. Give this one a chance, though - some haunting lyrics and a great melody from a could-be indie star.

On what would have been Kurt Cobain's 46th birthday today, we reflect on Nirvana's one and only Pittsburgh appearances. In the fall of 1991, Kurt, Dave and Krist performed at Graffiti in Oakland. It was right before Nirvana became the biggest rock band of the 1990's with Nevermind having only been released six days prior on September 24, 1991. What went down at the Pittsburgh club, however, was one of the more infamous nights in Graffiti history. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Scott Mervis recapped the evening's events in his article: Here's to the Memories, which recounts memories of Graffiti, including Nirvana's historical appearance. After the band got into a confrontation with the club, it was recorded that:

"The band was outnumbered and not up to a fight so Cobain took his frustration out on the couch by sparking it with a pack of matches. The couch either just smoldered or flamed up and caught other things on fire, depending on whom you ask. It was big enough for the fire marshal to arrive and arrest the road manager. DiNardo decided not to press charges, allowing the band to go on to bigger and (temporarily) better things. Unfortunately, the couch, which could probably be sold at auction today, didn't survive."

Nirvana's Kurt Cobain at Graffiti on 9/30/1991:

Show poster:

Check out the rest of the pictures from the night of the show here