Hello, Bruce? This Is London Calling. Do You Accept the Request?; Dylan Gets a No. 1 for the Thumb; Yoko Ono + Acorns = Oh, Who Knows?


(Programming Note: Freedom is on vacation for a few days, so I'll be taking over Morning Mix duties, FYI.)

Headlines: "Working on a Dream" is kind of a clunker but that doesn't mean the accompanying tour has to be. One way to make sure -- skimp on the new songs and play a Clash cover. That's what Bruce and the E Streeters did Wednesday night in Philadelphia, playing "London Calling" after spotting signs requesting the song in Tuesday's crowd. It's a bar band after all ... Bob Dylan looks to be well on his way to the fifth No. 1 album of his career. The others are "Planet Waves," ('74), "Desire" ('75 '76), "Blood on the Tracks" ('76 '75) and "Modern Times" ('06). Only one of those is even in the debate for one of his top five albums. And nope, not "Blood on the Tracks" ... Swine flu -- er, H1N1 virus -- is starting to mess with the music industry, as concert cancellations are starting to trickle in. Sorry, University of Delaware, no Young Jeezy for you. ... Jeff Mangum and Julian Koster of Neutral Milk Hotel are working together again -- to help save a carousel in Massachusetts. Baby steps, right? In sort-of related news, Merge Records announced more bands that will play at its 20th anniversary festival. No, Neutral Milk Hotel is not among them. No, Neutral Milk Hotel will not be among them. Give it up. There's still Superchunk, Magnetic Fields, Spoon, Polvo, Portastatic, Destroyer, Guv'ner (!!) and many more. Yes, I'll be there. Duh ... Ol' Dirty Bastard -- or Dirt McGirt, as I like to call him, perhaps you go with Big Baby Jesus, or maybe Osiris -- will be the subject of multiple tribute albums and a how-can-it-not-be-hilarious? documentary. His cousin Raison Allah Iceman is behind the projects. The first tribute disc, "All in Together Now," features the RZA, 4th Disciple, Brooklyn Zu and will be out in May ... NSFW album-cover and post-punk-dub pioneers the Slits will have a new album out, possibly as soon as this summer. It will be their first in almost 30 years. "Apparently we're still a revolution and we're still a threat to society. So now we got the album finally, which we've been wanting to do for a long time, but we didn't have the money to do it," singer Ari Up said ... Yoko Ono will send two acorns each to 123 different world leaders in an attempt to bring about world peace. I'm sure it makes plenty of sense to her. It's actually a recreation of a stunt her and John Lennon pulled in 1969 ... Poor Beyonce. Everybody's trying to prank her. This time some Austrian radio station sent an almost-lookalike to an art museum to get a private tour. I guess the humor is lost in translation ... Asher Roth attempts to explain some controversial comments he made on Twitter. Man, I feel like I lost a little part of what's left of my soul just from typing that. I give this one the ol' TLDR. Whereas his album gets the ol' TSDL ... Remember that lists of songs interrogators would use to try to break prisoners? Well, now we know what songs to use for the impending Cricket Wars of the mid-21st century -- Zeppelin and the Stones. We have a small Nevada town to thank for this discovery, which will surely save us from would-be insect overlords ... Country up-and-comer Jake Owen got gyrated on by Britney Spears ... Eminem's new video, "3 A.M.," will debut on Cinemax Saturday evening, so I guess that means the plot involves a sexy cop who must go undercover to find out who's murdering all those prostitutes ...

Today in TWP

MusicMakers: Local power-pop stalwart Tommy Keene, still going strong after two decades. Catch him tonight at Iota.

Album reviews: Noah and the Whale and Anni Rossi (Saturday at the Black Cat), Big Business (Thursday at Rock and Roll Hotel), Tommy Lepson (Wednesday at Blues Alley), Stephanie Schneiderman (Saturday at Night Cat).

Also: J. Freedom reviews "JONAS," the new TV series starring Harry Anderson and Susan Dey. No, it stars the Jonas Brothers. And, get this -- it kinda sucks. Shocking!

Video of the Day
In which Pitchfork goes behind the scenes with the lo-fi stoner superstar Nathan Williams aka Wavves at SXSW. The best moment comes early on, backstage at the Fader Fort when Williams is collecting swag and someone offers him some jeans. "I have skinny, super-skinny and slim," the swag-giver tells Williams. Ladies and gentlemen, indie rock in 2009!


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By David Malitz |  May 1, 2009; 7:52 AM ET Morning Mix
Previous: Tony Bennett Puts Up His Duke in D.C.; British Music Biz Singing Tear-in-BYOBeer Ballad | Next: The Kills: Live Last Night


Please email us to report offensive comments.

Blood on the Tracks was from '75, Desire from '76. And yes, I'd love to hear you explain why Blood on the Tracks is not in Dylan's top five, and why one of the other #1 albums is. You've given yourself a nearly impossible task.

Posted by: SSMD1 | May 1, 2009 9:31 AM

My favorite Ol' Dirty name: Old Dirty Chinese Restaurant

Posted by: DanCorbin | May 1, 2009 9:46 AM

Thanks for taking the bait, SSMD1. Maybe I should actually use this as a launching point for a new series (surely to be abandoned after two entires) "The Unpopular Argument." I admit I have a somewhat odd infatuation with "Desire," but here's the short version of why I prefer it to "BOTT."

1) I like Dylan as excitable storyteller better than busted romance reflector, 2) The sound of "Desire" is so vibrant and lively -- love all the fiddle and backing vocals, 3) The production of "BOTT" really irks me. A lot. The "Blood on the Tapes" bootleg is so much better, there's really no comparison.

Posted by: PostRockDavid | May 1, 2009 10:19 AM

I'm just going to assume that either a) You've never actually listened to Blood on the Tracks b) You have no human emotions, or c) This is another one of your all-too-predictable cooler than thou moments in which you make an utterly ridiculous statement. Because those are the only situations in which it's possible to decide that BOTT is not even in consideration for Dylan's top 5 albums.

Posted by: agl132 | May 4, 2009 12:36 PM

Oh, and Wavves, in addition to making pretty mediocre music, is also a poser a**hole.

Posted by: agl132 | May 4, 2009 12:37 PM

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