Yoko Lips:

The Yoko Ono PLastic Ono Band/Flaming Lips NYE collaboration bared its psychedelic fruit today, with all four tracks from the resulting EP the two camps were distributing in limited numbers at the respective NYE show making their way to the intranets (via Consequence of Sound). Prepare yourself for mass amounts of Yoko wail freakouts.

Songs To Woody:

Coinciding with the centennial of Woody Guthrie‘s birth and the massive archive readying its doors in the late artist’s native state of Oklahoma, literati indie rockers Jay Ferrar (Sun Volt) Will Johnson (Centro-matic), Anders Parker (Vamaline) and Yim Yames (My Morning Jacket) are collaborating on New Mulititudes (February 28th; Rounder), a take on a body of previously unrecorded Guthrie lyrics. Taken from a period that Guthrie’s daughter, Nora, is describing as “two distinctly emotional periods” in Woody’s life, “from [his] experiences on LA’s skid row to his later years in Topanga Canyon” (via JamBase).

Satan Is Real:

Legendary country duo the Louvin Brothers racked up 13 Billboard hits and Grand Ole Opry roles from 1947-1962 as a recording dynamic, with discordant twangers like “When I Stop Dreaming” and “Knoxville Girl.” But the high marks came with a price. “Charlie Louvin was a good, god-fearing, churchgoing singer, but his brother Ira had the devil in him, and was known for smashing his mandolin to splinters onstage, cussing out Elvis Presley, and trying to strangle his third wife with a telephone cord,” quotes the back cover of Charlie’s autobiography Satan Is Real that hit shelves yesterday. Randy Lewis from the L.A. Times has a telling review of the drama that spawned the magic.

Follow The Abbey Road:

Curious to see where Ringo whipped his drum sticks across the room after the 18th take of “Helter Skelter” aping “I’ve got blisters on my fingers?” Or where countless genius albums have since been cut, from The Zombies Odessey & Oracle to bits of Elliott Smith‘s Figure 8? London’s studio mecca is opening to the public for a pair of rare tours this spring, celebrating its 80th anniversary. With Beatles ephemera back-boning the gala, authors of Recording The Beatles, Brian Kehew and Kevin Ryan will be presenting 80 Years of Recording at Abbey Road Studios, additionally featuring segments on artists from Pink Floyd to Kate Bush, among others. Not the firs time the public has had access to the studio, the opportunity follows a string of pushes to solve mounting financial woes from a recording industry that is migrating from studios into artists’ bedroom DIY efforts, i.e. an “online mastering” and “online mixing” program.


R.E.M. poster boy Michael Stipe turns 52 today. His iconic band, one of the greats in the progression of modes rock would’ve been 32 with him this year, but they called it quits in September. No more corners, no more spotlights, fun with lyrics from Out Of Time gem, “Losing My Religion.”