Stephen Malkmus to Release Beck-Produced Album in August

Also: Stephin Merritt plans 'Obscurities' compilation; Robert Plant nominated for Americana Award

May 24, 2011 10:30 AM ET
Stephen Malkmus to Release Beck-Produced Album in August

Stephen Malkmus and Beck Team Up For 'Mirror Traffic'
Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks are set to release their fifth album, Mirror Traffic, on August 23rd. The record, which was produced by Beck, will be the band's last to feature Sleater-Kinney and Wild Flag drummer Janet Weiss. When the band head out on tour later this year, Weiss will be replaced by Joggers drummer Jakes Morris. [Matablog]

Stephin Merritt Plans 'Obscurities' Album
Magnetic Fields songwriter Stephin Merritt will release Obscurities, a compilation of 14 non-album tracks, on August 23rd. The set includes material recorded for his various band projects including the Magnetic Fields, Buffalo Rome, the 6ths and the Gothic Archies. Five of the cuts will have been previously unreleased. [Pitchfork]

Robert Plant Up For Americana Award
Robert Plant, Buddy Miller and Hayes Carll are among the top nominees for the 2011 Americana Music Awards. Plant is up for three awards, including Album of the Year for his debut album with Band of Joy. [Billboard]

Gayngs Win Lawsuit Against Bus Company
Indie music collective Gayngs has won a lawsuit against C.J. Starbuses, Inc. over an incident last year in which their bus suddenly disappeared in the middle of the night along with their equipment and personal affects, forcing them to miss their set at the Austin City Limits festival. The band were awarded more than $100,000 in compensatory and punitive damages. [Spinner]

Cee Lo and Janelle Monáe Headline Afro-Punk Festival
Cee Lo Green, Janelle Monáe and Santigold will headline the Afro-Punk Festival at Commodore Barry Park in Brooklyn on August 27th and 28th. The bill will also include performances by Fishbone, Jay Electronica, Toro Y Moi, Reggie Watts and Ninjasonik. In addition to music, the festival will also include a wide variety of food trucks and a BMX bike competition. [Village Voice]

MORE: Bono and the Edge Will Perform on 'American Idol' Finale

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Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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