The Week In News (17-02-2010): Berlinale; Primavera; ATP New York; Prince; The Knack…


Although winter is still causing havoc, the festival season is getting closer and some of the big players are wrapping up their bills. The biggest news of the week came from Barcelona, where the Primavera Sound festival has announced the last batch of artists completing a superb line up for its tenth anniversary. To the already confirmed headliners Pavement; Pixies; Wilco and Orbital, the organizers have added eighties electro-pop favorites The Pet Shop Boys; Gary Numan and Marc Almond; current British sensations Florence + The Machine and The XX; Low and The Charlatans will perform their respective classic albums “The Great Destroyer” and “Some Friendly”. All of it balanced with the best new music around: Beach House; Surfer Blood; Sleigh Bells; The Drums; Owen Pallett, etc. have also been added. More details are available at the festival’s website.

Meanwhile, ATP – which also curates one of the stages at Primavera – has announced that Jim Jarmusch will be choosing the artists to perform in one the days of the festival’s New York branch. The independent filmmaker is no stranger to pop music. Many rock and hip-hop artists have featured on his movies. Among his first confirmed choices: the live return of Wu-Tang member Chief Raekwon.

The obituary of the week is for The Knack’s singer Doug Fieger, who died from cancer at the age of 57. He will always be remembered for the all-time favourite “My Sharona.” More sad news of a completely different kind, Google’s war on blogs has been quite pro-active, taking a number of notorious victims during the past weeks. In what looks rather like another pathetic industry attempt to control freedom in new media.

Some internet archeology led to some precious findings in the shape of some amazing homemade videos of Prince & The Revolution’s rehearsals for their 1984 tour. We also discovered the clues for an unsolved mistery, a viral video named iamamiwhoami that’s supposed to hint at a high profile new release from a well known female artist. Cristina Aguilera? Amy Winehouse? Goldfrapp?

In the nostalgia department, the Dirty Projectors have announced they will perform their 2005 album “The Getty Address” live; in the meantime, a recent gig got them together with Beyoncé’s sister Solange, who made an impressive cover of the band’s single “Stillness is the move”. Meanwhile, The Bird & The Bee, the quirky pop-duo signed by Blue Note, has given details of a new album full of Hall & Oates covers.

Nick Cave & Bad Seeds herald a second batch of remasters, including those for “Tender Prey” and “The Good Son”. The cavernous singer, next to Rober award nominee actor Andy Serkis, is also involved on a motion capture of Bertol Bretch anti-capitalist opus “Threepenny Opera”; and last, but not least, Cave is one of the guests in Shane McGowan’s charity cover of “I put the spell on you”, whose proceeds will be destined to Haiti. Johnny Depp and other rock icons are also meant to feature.

Movie wise, The Berlin Film Festival has been monopolizing the headlines, with the returns of Scorsese and his adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s novel “Shutter Island” and Polanski with “The Ghost Writer”; plus films by Yimou; Vinterberg and Chlodenko enjoying a warm reception. Follow the daily reviews here.

The mind-blowing imagination of Spike Jonze has produced a new fruit, a 30 min short film called “I’m here” whose trailer has just seen the light of day. In the notorious soundtracks wagon, James Murphy will provide the music for the next Noah Baumbach opus “Greenberg”. As he did with Jack Black, the director is giving Ben Stiller a chance to shine in a complete different register, away from his usual comic roles. We hope the results are better than the ones achieved with Black. In the Meantime, Murphy’s longtime music partner Tim Goldsworthy has announced his departure from their co-created DFA label.

Our weekly date with free stuff was on hiatus last week, but one more time we’ve found plenty of free material worthy of your time, including this new single by promising indie-pop band from Berkeley, California, The Morning Benders; a first taster from forthcoming second album “Echo Sky” that is been offered as a free download. German electronica masters To Rococo Rot are back and they are also giving away the track “Working against time” from their new album “Speculation”.

More returns with single giveaway. Archie Bronson’s Outfit launch “Coconut” – their third album after a four-year gap – with “Shark’s teeth”.

In the mixtapes department, Ngunzunguzu offered their 80-looking “Moments In Love”, named after the Art of Noise track of the same title. Autechre is the latest act to join Fact magazine series of “Fact mixes” and British drone master Forest Swords has done the same for the highly regarded blog Gorilla Vs. Bear.

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