News Roundup: R.E.M., The Who, Neko Case, Dan Zanes, Velvet Underground

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R.E.M. are hard at work on their latest studio album, the followup to 2008’s Accelerate. Fans can tune in to the their new video blog to join the band in the studio, where they’re working with producer Jacknife Lee, and hear clips of their new songs. Don’t mind spoilers? Head to REM HQ.

Neko Case tore through “Red Tide,” from Middle Cyclone,’s pick for album of the decade, on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon last night. If you missed it the first time, watch the video below.

Who’s on first? According to Rolling Stone, British stadium rockers The Who have confirmed that they’ll play the half time show at next year’s Super Bowl. They’ll have to work extra hard to outrock last year’s performance by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

Oi! Long-running British tastemakers NME have picked their contenders for the top 100 albums of the decade. Topping the list? New York City’s own, The Strokes, with their 2001 debut album, Is This It, followed by albums from the Libertines, Primal Scream, The Arctic Monkeys, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Curious about the rest?  Break out the tea and crumpets and read the full list here. It’s a safe bet you’ll find the Kings of Leon in there somewhere.

On December 8th, rock critic David Fricke will sit down with Velvet Underground members Lou Reed, Maureen Tucker and Doug Yule at the New York Public Library, where they’ll discuss the band’s music and legacy. The event is part of the Library’s “LIVE from the NYPL” series.  The band are the subject of the new book “The Velvet Underground: New York Art,” which compiles previously unseen photographs, posters and flyers (some designed by Andy Warhol), art work, and Lou Reed’s handwritten music and lyrics.

Former Del Fuegos frontman and children’s music expert Dan Zanes has a new album out called 76 Trombones, a collection of broadway tunes that fall under the purview of Paul McCartney’s MLP Music Publishing house. Zane was originally unfamiliar with much of the material (including songs from Annie, Hello Dolly, and A Chorus Line) and learned to play the songs by reading the sheet music, as opposed to tracking down the records. While actors Matthew Broderick and Brian Stokes Mitchell guest on the album, Paul McCartney does not. Zanes tells that the Beatle “had listened to the CD and told me that he loved it and he loved that we put a twist on the songs, and that felt great to hear. He was very gracious and encouraging and excited about the CD. I couldn’t have asked for more.” Zanes hopes to turn the album into a stage show in 2010. The album is available via Festival Five Recordings.


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