Indie guitar legend Marnie Stern is now able to throw herself into her own guitar work for the first time in a decade. She has a new album out. She is also working with old buddies, such as her old 8G bandmate from their days in the house band for Late Night with Seth Meyers, Fred Armisen. Stern has previously produced an excellent cover of an ‘80s rock classic and this time she and Armisen tackle a ’70s special, “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper”. It is part of a Halloween compilation in support of a good cause.
Eddie Vedder – Long Shadow (Joe Strummer cover)
This month, Joe Strummer would have turned 70. In a few weeks, Dark Horse Records will release the compilation Joe Strummer 002: The Mescaleros Years. To promote it, director Lance Bangs filmed a video of Eddie Vedder covering the posthumously-released Mescaleros track “Long Shadow.” It’s a simple fireside performance, similar to Vedder buddy Neil Young’s lockdown videos, and hopefully will bring more attention to a lesser known non-Clash track from the Strummer catalog.
Back in May 2021, Fountains of Wayne guitarist Jody Porter organized a tribute to his late bandmate Adam Schlesinger. Adam Schlesinger, A Music Celebration featured, among many others, Courtney Love, R.E.M.’s Peter Buck, Squeeze’s Glenn Tilbrook, Dashboard Confessional’s Chris Carrabba, Sean Ono Lennon, and a reunion of Schlesinger’s supergroup Tinted Windows. At the time, it was a paid livestream to raise money for musician charity MusiCares and then-closed NYC venue Bowery Electric, but now the full thing is up on YouTube. It’s a tribute to the depth of Schlesinger’s catalog that it’s two hours long and no one even covered “Stacy’s Mom”!
Indie rock greats Yo La Tengo recently wrapped up their eight-night Hanukkah run of live shows — a tradition that’s lasted multiple decades — at New York City’s Bowery Ballroom. Whether you’re a new or longtime acolyte of the trio, Yo La Tengo’s Hanukkah shows are an ideal entry point into the group’s ouevre. From even just one of the eight nights, which each have a unique setlist and special guest openers, you can grab a pretty good sense of Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley and James McNew’s creative spectrum, not to mention the vast web of influences and collaborators, old and new, that fuel them. Still, the band’s Hanukkah sets are most exciting to consider as one epic and comprehensive experience — some kind of combo between endurance exercise and heady jigsaw puzzle.
The second season of IFC’s sketch series Portlandia premiered earlier this month. For all the comedic acclaim stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein receive, they garner equal acclaim for their musicianship. We recently covered the duo playing “Push It” on their Portlandia tour, and now they have covered Devo’s “Beautiful World” during a Rolling Stone interview that turned into an informal session.
The second season of Portlandia premieres on IFC tomorrow (watch the first episode here) and last month, stars Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen toured a music/video/chat variety show around the country to promote it. At their San Francisco performance, local duo Thao + Mirah joined for the finale: a cover of Salt-N-Pepa’s 1986 smash “Push It.” Telekinesis’ Michael Benjamin Lerner plays drums.