News Roundup: Tom Waits, Jay Bennett, Indigo Girls, Thomas Dolby

Several Tom Waits songs have made their way into a Dutch production of Shakespeare’s Richard III. Orkater, an award-winning theatrical company, will stage the play in Amsterdam in September, where a band called the Sadists will perform versions of Waits classics like “Misery Is The River Of The World”, “God’s Away On Business”, “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up”, “I’ll Shoot The Moon”, “Underground,” “The Part You Throw Away.” Interestingly, some of these songs have appeared in plays before; “I’ll Shoot The Moon” is from The Black Rider, and “God’s Away On Business” is from Blood Money.)

“Just like Shakespeare did,” says Richard III’s musical director Van Warmerdam, “Waits and [co-lyricist Kathleen] Brennan incorporate poetry, provocation, seduction and irony in their songs. Their music illustrates, mirrors and strengthens Richard’s character.”

Jay Bennett’s final album, Kicking At The Perfumed Air, will be released for free online on May 24 through Jaybennett.com. The former Wilco guitarist and co-writer was finishing the album when he died of an overdose of prescription pain killers last May. Fans who download the album are encouraged to make a contribution to the charitable organization the Jay Bennett Foundation, which will benefit music and education.

“Those of us who loved Jay lost a son, a brother, a collaborator and a loyal friend,” says brother Jeff Bennett, co-founder of the Foundation. “This album is part of a larger effort to honor Jay’s memory and enhance his legacy by exposing more people to his music and by supporting charitable efforts to make the world a better place.”

The CD version of Kicking At The Perfumed Air, Bennett’s sixth solo album, comes out July 10. Preview two tracks here.

Mark Knopfler and Regina Spektor will guest on “Blinded Me With Science” singer Thomas Dolby’s A Map of the Floating City, his first album in nearly 20 years. The record is split into three sides: Amerikana, Urbanoia, and Amerikana, and was recorded on a 1930s-era solar-powered boat. “What I think I always did best was write songs that told a story,” says Dolby, “beyond the usual pop relationship songs.” Dolby then broke into the safety dance.

Spektor appears on the track “Evil Twin Brother,” channeling the role of a European waitress. Knopfler guests on “17 Hills.” According to Billboard, the album will be released on Thomasdolby.com in June.

On June 29, IG Recordings/Vanguard Records will release Staring Down The Brilliant Dream, a new double-disc live album from the Indigo Girls. Culled from the band’s 2006-2009 live shows, the album is a follow-up of sorts to their memorable 1995 concert compilation 1200 Curfews.

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