SMiLE, BRIAN: Brian Wilson’s Below the Radio,” is a mix CD compiled by front man Jason Lytle and featuring some of his favorite songs by the likes of Beck, Beulah, Snow Patrol, Pavement and the Handsome Family.
While the album is in stores now on Ultra Records, Grandaddy’s official Web site is featuring a contest around the compilation. Fans who buy “Below the Radio” via the site will be entered to win a “real mix tape” version, hand-recorded and notated by Lytle.
PHISH ART AUCTION: Jam-band juggernaut Phish has met its demise, but part of the group’s legacy is its multi-day festivals, which drew upwards of 70,000 fans apiece to such faraway locales as Limestone, Maine, and Coventry, Vt.
Now the defunct group is auctioning off eight pieces of concert art from two of its best-attended festivals, to benefit two Burlington, Vt.-based non-profit organizations. Burlington City Arts and the South End Business and Arts Association are hosting the auctions online through next Thursday (Nov. 18).
Lots up for bidding include six signs created for art installations at Phish’s IT festival, held Aug. 2-3, 2003, in Limestone, Maine. The other two items are sculptures made for the band’s final show, the two-day Coventry festival held in August in Vermont: the “Chicken Bike” moving sculpture and the “Pimped Out Portalet.”
RARE RAY: The firestorm of publicity surrounding the late piano legend Ray Charles continues with a quartet of rare early recordings now being digitally distributed for the first time. The Orchard, through a partnership deal with label The Legendary Henry Stone Presents, released the tracks yesterday (Nov. 8) exclusively through the iTunes Music Store for four weeks, after which they will be available on Napster, eMusic, Musicmatch, Rhapsody and other digital services.
The cuts in question — “Why Did You Go?” “Walkin’ and Talkin’ to Myself,” “I’m Wonderin’ and Wonderin’,” and “St. Pete Florida Blues” — were recorded in Miami in 1951 when Charles was attending a school for the blind in nearby St. Augustine. Producer Henry Stone saw Charles playing the music and took him to Miami to record the songs, effectively launching the young prodigy’s career.