Unplugging: Men at Work are no more, but Blur is back

To give a friendly nod to musical influence worldwide, we want to step outside the States this week to acknowledge people and events from other countries that are making contributions to the music world.

On April 19th, Australian musician and former Men at Worker member Greg Hamm passed away in his Melbourne home at the age of 58. Two of Ham’s friends found him alone and unconscious in his home. Police are working toward determining his cause of death.

Ham was most famous for his contributions to the group Men at Work; his flute solo in “Down Under” is a household riff that surely everyone can recognize. Although his flute riff caused some legal turmoil with claims that is was stolen from the song, “Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree,” it cannot be denied that Ham’s creativity in Men at Work was a beacon of hard work, light-heartedness and good humor.

Iconic Brit-Pop turned Brit-Rock band Blur is a musical legend of recent generations. The work they have done and music they have produced is nothing short of inspiring, as their originality spurred on the Brit-Pop revolution of the nineties that took the world by storm.

Even when Blur reinvented their sound, claiming to have gone “alternative,” they still got the support they needed to keep making music. Post-reinvention hits like “Song 2” or “Beetlebum” showcase the band’s progressive versatility.

Following Blur’s 2003 LP Think Tank, the band split up, front man Damon Albarn moving on create Gorillaz. Since then, Blur has reunited several times to play shows, most notably at England’s Hyde Park. On July 30th, Blur will release a fancy box set featuring their seven LPs with a bonus disc for each album, as well as unseen photos and detailed, expanded booklets. This release will coincide with their upcoming performance at the Summer Olympics in London.

The largest Scandinavian music festival, Roskilde Festival, has released their lineup, and headliner-wise, it’s right up there with America’s hottest festivals like Coachella or Lollapalooza. Roskilde will take place from July 5th to 8th, and will feature almost 200 bands, including headliners like Bruce Springsteen, Bjork, Jack White, The Cure, The Roots, Bon Iver and more. Tickets and the full lineup are currently available on the Roskilde Festival website.

Representing Scotland as a headliner at this year’s Hopscotch Music Festival in Raleigh, North Caroline will be the popular alt rock band, The Jesus and Mary Chain. Taking place September 6th-8th, Hopscotch will feature other great headliners such as The Roots, Built To Spill, Yo La Tengo, Liars and more. Tickets and the full lineup can be viewed on the festival’s lineup.

Berlin’s Modeselektor rocked the second weekend of Coachella with a stellar performance alongside Radiohead’s front man Thom Yorke. Modeselektor was joined onstage by the twitchy English musician Yorke to perform the song, “Shipwreck.”

Pitchfork was able to acquire a pretty awesome video of the performance, and it’s currently available online for your viewing pleasure. This is not the first collaborative performance between Modeselektor and Yorke, as the duo worked together on Modeselektor’s 2007 album Happy Birthday. Yorke also has a bit of a solo career outside of Radiohead, with a 2006 album called The Eraser under his belt.

Unplugging In Brief:

Australian Musician Greg Ham Dies at 58 – Former Men at Work member known for his flute work in “Down Under” has passed away at the age of 58.

Blur Announces Massive 21-Disc Box Set Reissue – Legendary Brit Pop/Rock group Blur is releasing a massive box set to correspond with their performance at this year’s upcoming Summer Olympics.

Roskilde Festival Announces 2012 Lineup Featuring Bjork, The Roots, Jack White and More – The biggest Scandinavian music festival has released their lineup, and it gives Coachella a run for its money.

Hopscotch Music Festival Announces 2012 Lineup Featuring The Roots and The Jesus and Mary Chain – The Jesus and Mary Chain will headline NC’s Hopscotch Fest along with The Roots and more.

Watch: Thom Yorke Performs With Modeselektor at Coachella Weekend 2 – Thom Yorke joined long-time collaborative bud Modeselektor onstage at Coachella.

Lily Angelle, MXDWN