Radiohead’s Thom Yorke Steps Out With Side Project Atoms For Peace

It’s been a little over a year since Radiohead released their latest record, The King of Limbs, uniting indie rockers and frat boys as only a band as widely adored as Radiohead can. Sure, the band just played a pair of shows at Coachella, but otherwise things have been quiet on the Radiohead front — or have they?

As fans might remember, the group’s frontman, Thom Yorke, played a short tour in 2010 with a group called Atoms for Peace, featuring the talents of Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich. And while that group has supposedly been working on an album, a more interesting nugget come in the form of a DJ set that Yorke and Godrich put on Friday night at a party Beastie Boy Mike D. threw in Los Angeles, according to At Ease

The duo played five new songs with Yorke on vocals, which the blog notes could be “tracks from the highly anticipated Atoms For Peace album.”

We’re not sure about that, but you can check out the cuts for yourself below.

Is This Leaked Lollapalooza Lineup on the Level?

Is the 2012 Lollapalooza lineup set in stone? If this grainy snapshot of a piece of paper is to be believed, then the annual music festival will be headlined by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Black Keys, Black Sabbath, Jack White and Florence + The Machine, with The Shins, At the Drive-In, Justice, The Weeknd, Sigur Ros, and more swooping in for the supporting time slots. It could be completely b.s. — again, it’s a grainy snapshot of a piece of paper — but the lineup seems very appropriate to Lollapalooza’s big tent appeal, and some of the acts have already been hinted at through promotion on Chicago’s transportation system. Check out the full (rumored) lineup over at Pretty Much Amazing

There may be one fly in the ointment: Black Sabbath previously cancelled a summer tour due to guitarist Tony Iommi’s lymphona treatment, and because drummer Bill Ward had previously expressed reluctance to do the reunion without being fairly compensated. But as this Rolling Stone report notes, Sharon Osbourne said that the band would be playing one American show in August — and, as it turns out, Lollapalooza happens to be American, a show, and in August. There’s your smoking gun if there ever was one. At any rate, we’ll know by Wednesday when the lineup is officially announced. There will be all sorts of fun to had at the festival regardless of who’s playing, as you can see below.

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Announces 2012 Inductees

The 2012 inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame were announced this morning and, unsurprisingly, the list of five performers encompasses a wide variety of dudes, and just one lady. The five inductees in the performer category are as follows: Guns N’ Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Donovan, Laura Nyro, the collected bands The Small Faces / The Faces, and Beastie Boys. Blues guitarist Freddie King will also be inducted as an early influencer of rock and roll. This is the first year that Guns N’ Roses were on the ballot, whereas the rest of the performers had been nominated in previous years. 

Curious as to how the nomination process works? Let’s take it a look at the official rules:

Artists become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first record. Criteria include the influence and significance of the artists’ contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll.

The Foundation’s nominating committee, composed of rock and roll historians, selects nominees each year in the Performer category. Ballots are then sent to an international voting body of more than 500 rock experts. Those performers who receive the highest number of votes – and more than 50 percent of the vote – are inducted. The Foundation generally inducts five to seven performers each year.

This year, there were just fifteen nominees in the performer category (you can check out the ballot over at the Village Voice, where critic Maura Johnston reveals her five picks), and the shortlist was a bit more diverse, including The Cure, Eric B. & Rakim, Heart, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Rufus with Chaka Khan, Donna Summer, and War. Writes Johnston: 

Of the people I voted for, Heart, Rufus and Chaka, and Eric B. and Rakim were the first-time nominees who didn’t get in. (Donna Summer has been on the ballot before; the "disco sucks" sentiment is still holding over from the ’70s, apparently. It’s kept seven-time nominee Chic out, too, which, sigh.) Given that so many of this year’s inductees were return trippers to the ballot, maybe it’s a wait ’til next year sort of thing?

In the meantime, it’s a good excuse as any to listen to the somewhat underappreciated Laura Nyro all day. Nyro, who’s kinda like a bluesy, psychedelic Carole King, is perhaps more known for her songwriting, having penned many pop hits recorded by other artists like Three Dog Night and the Fifth Dimension. Here’s a video of her performing the latter’s hit "Wedding Bell Blues" as well as "Poverty Train" at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967:



Mr. Brainwash Hired to Promote New Red Hot Chili Peppers Album

Mr. Brainwash, in case you don’t remember, is the videographer-turned-street “artist” in Exit Through the Gift Shop who was believed to be an elaborate hoax or performance art piece or something for a while. Turns out he must be officially “real” because the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who have already recruited Damien Hirst for their new cover art, have hired Mr. Brainwash to do a series of street art installations in L.A. promoting the new album.

Let me take this moment to commend RHCP for showing such a strong interest in contemporary art and using their platform as famous rock stars to bring it to a wide audience. But let me also take this moment to chastise them for choosing Mr. Brainwash (real name: Thierry Guetta) of all people, when there are plenty of kickass street artists out there. Did everyone here see Exit Through the Gift Shop? Brainwash’s M.O. is to mass-produce relentlessly empty and un-original pieces to the point of being sued for copyright infringement, all the while raking in large amounts of money. He’s kind of infuriating.

Then again, street art has to be monetized somehow and this is a creative way to accomplish that – maybe this will lead to artists with more cred getting this kind of opportunity. An example of Mr. Brainwash’s RHCP stuff:


Damien Hirst Does Cover Art for Red Hot Chili Peppers’ New Album

Aging SoCal rock pioneers the Red Hot Chili Peppers have teamed up with British artist Damien Hirst for the cover of their new album, I’m With You. Yes, RHCP are coming out with a new album despite being officially middle-aged. It’s coming August 30.

Hirst, the most important of the 1990s-era “YBAs” (Young British Artists), is famous for semi-shocking works like a dead tiger shark embalmed in fluid and glitter-encrusted human skulls. He seems to have toned it down a bit for this effort. It looks like an amalgamation of the medicine cabinet sculptures from Hirst’s early career and the later dead fly paintings. Compared to other RHCP album covers, it’s quite clinical and minimalist. Will it have the same teenage bedroom adornment potential as By the Way or Blood Sugar Sex Magik? Only time — and possibly the art market — will tell.

Morning Links: Justin Bieber & Kanye West Make Beats, Red Hot Chili Pepper’s Friend Did Drugs

● Apple products appeared in 30% of last year’s top movies, beating out Nike and Ford for Most Placed Product. That means that if you watched a movie last year, you probably caught a glimpse of an iPod. If you went outside, you probably also saw an iPod. [AppleInsider] ● For Justin Timberlake, the hardest part about acting is reminding people you are not, in fact, a total jerk: “What’s been more of a battle for me throughout the process of moving into acting is that I feel like I have to keep reassuring people that I’m not an asshole.” [Interview] ● When people ask, Justin, just tell them Yeezy taught you. The kind of moment TwitPic was invented for: [Twitter]

● Now that we know that the blond woman being pushed around in a white coffin-like box before the Grammys was just Lady Gaga, we totally get what was happening. [TMZ] ● The Red Hot Chili Peppers named their new album after their, ahem, friend’s acid trip. They’re calling it ‘Dr Johnny Skinz’s Disproportionately Rambunctious Polar Express Machine-head,’ at least until they come up with something better, they say. [PopEater] ● Academy president Tom Sherak “get’s it.” He says that if Banksy decides to run across the stage at the Oscars, he probably won’t stop him: “It’s spontaneous! I’m looking at what Banksy’s done, and that’s fun.” [HR]

Links: Lindsay Lohan’s Accent, Johnn Knoxville’s Offspring

● Now that Britney Spears is all productive and successful again, Lindsay Lohan has taken over for her on the meltdown train. First sign of impending doom: Lohan spoke in a British accent to the paps. [TMZ] ● Nicole Kidman will bring her fashion icon experience to the “All-Star Challenge” episode of Project Runway. [People] ● Twilight fans have nothing to fear; the fourth novel in the series, Breaking Dawn, will indeed be made into a film. [E!

● Want some beauty advice from Dolly Parton? Leave your make-up ON when in major cities like New York and L.A. because “anything could happen.” [CNN] ● Johnny Knoxville proves his testicles still work even after numerous attacks on them in his Jackass years by fathering a child with girlfriend Naomi Nelson. [Us] ● Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith says the group will come together after a two-year sabbatical to record the follow-up to Stadium Arcadium in October. [Spin]