RIP Levon Helm: 

Death took two of the music world’s finest this week, the honorable American Bandstand icon, a.k.a. the New York Times‘-branded “Man Who Made Rock ’n’ Roll Safe Enough for America,” Dick Clark – RIP Mr. Clark – late yesterday afternoon, and now, as sadly followed earlier this week, The Band‘s Levon Helm just lost a battle to the “final stages of cancer” of which his daughter and wife broke the news of initially on Tuesday. Bandmate Robbie Robertson was able to see Helm before his passing and shared some kind words on his Facebook page yesterday. While the rest of the music world is slowly rolling out homages to Helm’s imprint on rock, being the one-of-a-kind storied drummer-vocalist and true “Southern Ringer” of the Canadian Band he was. RIP Mr. Helm.

The ‘Listen’ Button:

What’s cooler than one music service on Facebook? Several different music services on Facebook. Just rolled out this week, the $75 billion-valued company is playing nice with your music streaming platform of choice – Spotify, Mog, Rhapsody, etc. – and artist’s Facebook pages via the “Listen” button. Why is this cool? Instead of laboriously uploading their catalogues to Facebook servers, they need only be connected to the streaming world. And in turn, listeners of said catalogues can immediately access the tuneage on the landing page of an artist’s Facebook profile. Not a “BandPage,” or any other maze of clicks and apps to get to listening. Instant gratification, people. No monopoly action. Get to discovering (via Wired).

We Salute You:

The now Cali-rock royalty, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, following their recent Rock Hall of Fame nod, are celebrating with a covers album dubbed We Salute You. Most of the six songs on the EP slated for May 1 have been released into the world somehow, i.e. Dion & The Belmonts doo-wop jukebox classic “Teenager In Love,” which made its way to a vinyl b-side from By The Way sessions. Though all except Bowie‘s “Suffragette City” have never been born digitally – the Ramones‘ “Havana Affair,” Iggy & the Stooges‘ “Search & Destroy,” the Beach Boys‘ “I Get Around” – for whatever that’s worth to you. Which should be something as the Peppers seem to be able to do a cover justice, judging from their ode to Neil Young‘s “Everybody Knows This is Nowhere” alone (via Consequence of Sound).


Bears For Lunch:

17th effort Class Clown Spots A UFO not even out yet (May 15), Dayton, OH lo-fi madcap garage rockers Guided By Voices have announced a third record to drop in the 2012 calendar year, dubbed Bears For Lunch, reports exclaim. Citing November as the potential month of arrival, GBV is seeing some prolific classic ’96 lineup revival energy it appears, of which frontman Robert Pollard banded together again for the beginning of the year’s Let’s Go Eat The Factory drop, their first since 2004. Keep on keepin’ on, GBV. Meanwhile, you can fittingly dig into Class Clown… teaser “Keep it in Motion.”


Dropped on this day in 1978, post-punkette icon Patti Smith saw a huge awareness spike in the art she was creating with the release of “Because the Night.” Considering a retirement from the performance end of the biz, the story goes that the BOSS, recording Darkness on the Edge of Town in an adjacent studio in NYC while Smith, likewise, was recording Easter, the BOSS encouraged Smith to do something with the song he was having frustrations with, and Smith put her indelible spin on it, turning a vulnerable ballad into a lovers anthem of the night. Of course with Smith, the poetics run deep:

With love, we sleep
With doubt, the vicious circle
Turn and burls
Without you I cannot live
Forgive the yearning burning
I believe it’s time, too real to feel
So touch me now
Touch me now
Touch me now
Because the night belongs to lovers