Travis’ Two Cents (In Five Parts) #13

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1) What has former LCD Soundsystem front man and DFA Records label head James Murphy been up to lately?

Since you ask, Murphy will be starring alongside Tim Heidecker (who will be on  KCRW’s Guest DJ Project next week) and Eric Wareheim (of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!) in a new film screening in competition at Sundance this year called The Comedy. James Murphy will be flexing his acting chops as an aging Brooklyn hipster in the film.

Quick! Somebody call Kim Masters! I smell an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in the works.

Also screening at Sundance this year, a new documentary called Shut Up And Play The Hits, chronicling the 48 hour period leading up and following LCD Soundsystem‘s triumphant final show this past April at Madison Square Garden. Yesssss!

2) While we’re on the topic of second careers…well, here’s Mike Tyson doing “The Girl From Ipanema” on Brazilian television last week.

3) One of my favorite bands of 2010 is gearing up for a return in 2012. Sleigh Bells are getting ready to follow-up last year’s excellent Treats album with a new album entitled Reign Of Terror.

Judging from what can be culled from the teaser video, don’t expect them to mess with the crunchy distortion-laden formula too much. There’s no word on whether Sleigh BellsDiplo-produced track with Beyonce will appear on the new album. I’m guessing probably not, but we can dream, right?

4) In other exciting news of imminent releases in 2012, ?uestlove from the Roots gave a wide ranging interview on Pitchfork last week and talked up the long-awaited new D’Angelo album, comparing it to the Beach BoysSmile album mixed with Sly & The Family Stone‘s There’s a Riot Going On and Miles DavisOn The Corner.

I would say that qualifies as high praise; good thing ?uest isn’t setting the bar too high. The man dubbed R&B Jesus will be hitting the road in Europe in January. Completely unrelated, but equally anticipated, Digable Planets will be returning in 2012 with a tour and a new album. It will be their first album as a collective since 1994’s Blowout Comb.

5) Big ups once again to the KCRW Events staff and all the volunteers who gave their time to make the “Are Friends Eclectic?” holiday benefit such an amazing night.

I’ve said it before, but there really is no party like a KCRW party. Everyone involved did an amazing job, but the stars of the night IMHO were Jimmy Cliff and Evan Kleiman. I was lucky enough to be able to attend the pre-party before the show and totally went to town on all of Evan’s treats. For the sake of thorough reportage, your intrepid blog poster made it his mission to try at least one of everything and can safely report back that all of the food selections were stellar, especially the coconut pie and the meat pie thing. I probably had (at least) 3 of each and was dreaming of an invite to Evan’s house for Thanksgiving afterwards. That woman is truly the Picasso of the culinary arts.

Onto the music, you’ve probably already heard the thunderous buzz emanating from the Orpheum on Saturday night, but if you haven’t gotten the memo, Jimmy Cliff KILLED IT. The dude is 63 years old and hasn’t lost anything. TRUTH. The thing that struck me, aside from the fact that he’s so spry at his age, is the effortlessness of his performance. “Many Rivers To Cross” is a tough song to try to sing and Jimmy Cliff made it seem easy coming right out of the gates full steam. It was truly an amazing performance and I was glad to have been there to bear witness to it.

— Travis Holcombe