(Photo: Justin Hollar)
RIP Benjamin Curtis of School of Seven Bells, Secret Machines

Songwriter and guitarist Benjamin Curtis died on December 29 following a long battle with T-cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma, a form of cancer. Curtis was a member of indie rock band School of Seven Bells and a former member of Secret Machines, Tripping Daisy, and UFOFU. Following his diagnosis with the disease in February of 2013, many fellow musicians, including Devendra Banhart and members of the Polyphonic Spree and The Strokes, participated in fundraising events on Curtis’ behalf. He was 35 years old. [via The Dallas Observer]

(Photo: CPR / OpenAir)
Macon Terry leaves Paper Bird

Bassist Macon Terry has left Paper Bird after six years with the Denver-based folk band. Terry played his very last show with the band at Denver’s Hi-Dive on New Year’s Eve. In an interview with Reverb, Terry claims he will focus his post-Paper Bird efforts on his new record label, Collectible Records. Meanwhile, Paper Bird vocalist Esme Patterson maintains that the band will continue on “with a renewed excitement and passion.”

(Photo: courtesy of the artist)
Kinks reunion “as close as it’s ever been to happening” 

In an interview with Uncut published this week, the three surviving original members of The Kinks – brothers Ray and Dave Davies and drummer Mick Avory – hinted at the renewed possibility of the band reuniting to record new material. In the magazine’s cover story this month, Ray Davies claimed “it’s as close as it’s ever been to happening,” while Dave stated “I said to Ray I thought that it’d be a great shame if we don’t try and do something.” 

(Photo: courtesy of the artist)
Morrissey working on new album, writing novel

Following the success of his Autobiography last year, Morrissey has announced plans to record a new album, the follow-up to 2009’s Years of Refusal. He also hinted that fans of his prose may see a work of fiction from the former Smiths frontman in the future, stating: "In 2013 I published my Autobiography and it has been more successful than any record I have ever released, so, yes, I am mid-way through my novel." [via Pitchfork]

(Photo: courtesy of the BBC)
PJ Harvey debuts as guest editor on BBC 4

British singer-songwriter PJ Harvey made her debut as a guest editor for BBC 4’s current events program “Today” on January 2. Harvey commissioned and introduced several pieces throughout the three-hour broadcast, including a statement from Julian Assange and a reading of the lyrics to Woody Guthrie’s “Ticky Tock” by actor Ralph Fiennes. During the show, she stated her intentions were to present individuals who "challenge us and move us to examine our deepest beliefs and feelings." Stream the entire program here

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