Unplugging: RIP Gerard Smith, goodbye The Stills, and hello The Decemberists

Posted by Angelique Robinson, MXDWN

What’s hot in the music world? MXDWN has the Unplugging update all right here.

There is some heartrending news in the music world. The multi-genre American band, TV on the Radio, lost its 34-yeear-old bassist Gerard Smith to lung cancer April 20, 2011.

Unplugging: RIP Gerard Smith, goodbye The Stills, and hello The DecemberistsThe 10-year-old band announced last month that Smith was diagnosed with lung cancer, but were hopeful for his condition to improve.

The band plans to rock on, but to honor the loss of their friend and band-mate, TV on the Radio cancelled 5 of its scheduled shows on the following dates in April: the 20, 22, 23, 24 and 26. Messages of condolence can be sent to sandwichpaw@gmail.com.

 
Cochella sent a Facebook message to fans announcing a show filled with a mean rockaholic fix. Muse and Rise Against will be joined by Rage Against the Machine July 30 in Los Angeles, Calif.

The one-off supershow will be nothing short of spectacular, considering its Rage Against the Machine’s first performance since 2008, with the exception of a benefit concert in Los Angeles last July. It’s time to rise up, rage against and get ready for some hard rock muse-ic.

 
Canadian rock band, The Stills, announced April 15 they officially disbanded. The Stills explained in a letter addressed to “Friends of The Stills” their choice to “part ways [was] … the best decision for each one” of the band members. The touching letter posted on their website detailed the band’s faith in their decision and their humbling gratitude towards all the fans – better labeled friends – of the group.
 
Tom Vek, the self-taught alternative/experimental rock musician from the UK, has announced the release his second album Leisure Seizure on June 6. But that’s not all the news Vek has had 6 years coming. A stellar music video of the new album’s song “A Chore” has also been released, and gives listeners even more motivation to check out Vek’s latest work. While the album will be released in the UK this June, the American release is still frustratingly unknown, so stay tuned.
 
Award-winning actor Jeff Bridges is converting to the world of music. Bridges, most recently notorious for his roles in True Grit, The Big Lebowski and Iron Man, has signed a recording deal with Blue Note Records. The 62-year-old artist will be collaborating with his old friend, T-Bone Burnette, and the anticipated album will be released late this summer.
 
The Decemberists’ newest album, The King is Dead, saw its first music video premiered this week for “This is Why We Fight,” and the band announced its tour schedule to begin this fall. The multi-layered music video features children and teens in a seemingly war-torn world, and is just the inspirational work expected from The Decemberists. The tour schedule, which commenced April 16 and will run through August 13, extends throughout the continental US with over 25 shows. Too hot this summer? Cool down with the Decemberists.
 
Unplugging In Brief:
 
TV on the Radiolost its beloved bassist Gerard Smith who had been battling with lung cancer. The band cancelled 5 shows from April 20 through April 26, a symbol of their sorrow. TV on the radio is left touched by Smith’s life and “will miss him terribly.”
 
Rage Against the Machine with Muse and Rise Against will come together for a one-off supershow July 30. The only thing bigger than the show in Los Angeles will be the battle to get tickets, against all odds (or just all the Coachella fans who got the memo first).
 
The Stills – announced their decision to disband in an eloquent letter written to the “Dearest Friends of The Stills” on their website, April 15. While the band is more than grateful for the support of their “friends,” they found that the best choice for each band member was to embark on separate paths.
 
Tom Vek– has officially announced the June 6 release of his second album, Leisure Seizure, and has further enticed listeners with a music video styled like a talk show from the 1960s. The video for the new album’s song, “The Chore,” is all that American listeners can get for now, because the June 6 release is exclusive to the UK.
 
Jeff Bridges – is expanding his artistic endeavors from acting to music making. Bridges signed a record deal with Blue Note Records and will collaborate with T-Bone Burnette. The 62-year-old’s 60-year acting career will hopefully fuel a loyal fan following.
 
The Decemberists– premiered a new music video, “This is Why We Fight,” from the album, The King is Dead. The Oregon based band will be touring this summer now through mid-August.

Angelique Robinson, MXDWN