Unplugging: RIP Amy Winehouse & Dan Peek

It’s been a pretty gloomy week in music – but let MXDWN offer you condolence in these troubled times.

This week encompassed the death of 2 noteworthy musicians, which always comes as an unpleasant blow to fans. Soulful British musician Amy Winehouse, notorious for her struggles with drugs and alcohol was found dead in her Camden Square flat Saturday afternoon.

She was 27 years old, sharing her age of demise with other music legends such as Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix. Her death followed one month after an incomprehensible performance in Serbia, thus signaling the cancel of her European tour.

Although it was assumed by practically all that her death was at the hand of her drug addiction, no drugs were found in her apartment upon investigation. Her doctor reportedly saw her only days before her tragic death and gave her a clean bill of health. An autopsy is currently underway to determine her cause of death.

Since Saturday, Winehouse’s Grammy winning 2006 album Back to Black has climbed to the top of iTunes charts in the U.S. and U.K., and it has been rumored that there could be a release of some songs-in-the-making that were on deck for her next album, although none were completely finished.

On Sunday, Dan Peek, a founding member of the folk-rock band America died in his sleep at age 60. Before taking his place in the world of contemporary Christian music, Peek was a member of America from 1970-1977, best known for his signature song, “Lonely People.”

Although he left America to pursue a career in gospel music, his band mates showed no resentment over his leaving. In fact, Peek and former band mates Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell had supposedly been discussing a reunion performance to accompany their star indoctrination into the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

We extend our deepest sympathies to the friends and families of these two talented people.

In other gloomy news, the Kaskade Hollywood Block Party, organized by DJ Kaskade through Twitter, turned riotous and violent Wednesday afternoon, and had LAPD dusting off their riot gear.

What was intended to be a friendly block party at Grauman’s Chinese Theater on Hollywood Boulevard, hosted by DJ Kaskade, turned into a colossal flooding of humans in the street. Proving to be quite a road hazard, police were called to shut down the party, which intended to follow the premiere of the Electric Daisy Carnival documentary. DJ Kaskade turned to Twitter to encourage the crowd to stay, despite the approaching authorities. Once he got word that the crowd was becoming unruly, his tweets turned the other cheek.

As Kaskade began utilizing his Caps Lock to emphasize via tweets that everyone should go home and that the party was cancelled, police showed up to break up the crowd. A few people tossed beverages and even rocks at authorities, and fights began to break out throughout the crowd.

The crowd finally responded when the LAPD brought forth riot-clad officers to continue regulating the ravers. As people began to move out, several people who just couldn’t quit were arrested for felony vandalism. A few dozen people were detained within a police barricade until nightfall. This marked one more thing on a growing rap sheet for Insomnia, the company behind the Electric Daisy Carnival, as previous events of theirs has harbored many drug arrests, injuries, and death.

With regards to the recent deaths of talented musicians, remembrance is important to fans and honors the music world’s fallen heroes. No matter what, music lives on, carrying legacy, memory and honor. That is why tributes have so much involvement – it’s more than just covering a song; it’s a way of honoring the memory of someone.

Charles Bradley & the Menahan Street Band have released a cover of Nirvana’s “Stay Away,” which is part of Spin’s tribute to Nevermind. August marks the 20th anniversary of Nevermind, and other contemporary artists such as the Meat Puppets, the Vaselines , and Titus Andronicus have jumped onboard to honor the legendary album. The tribute is being released by Spin for free, and features all 13 songs off Nevermind in their original order.

In other tribute news, to coincide with his 75th birthday, Listen to Me: Buddy Holly will be available September 6th in honor of the late, great rock legend Buddy Holly. Produced by Peter Asher, the tribute album features Holly’s biggest hits, covered by well-known musicians like Stevie Nicks, Ringo Starr, Lyle Lovett, Brian Wilson and Jackson Browne.

With Rave On Buddy Holly released only about a month ago, Holly’s timeless hits have resurfaced and are thriving in the limelight. He will be commemorated September 7th with his long-awaited induction onto the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Although Listen to Me is yet another tribute album, being released soon after Rave On Buddy Holly, it’s quite an affair. Launched by Songmasters, Listen to Me is a multi-media manifesto created to celebrate and honor influential musicians that have made tremendous impacts. Buddy Holly is the first legend to be honored by Songmasters.

No matter what trouble or tragedy arises in the music world, memories can always be kindled with music left behind. As we say goodbye to some noteworthy talents, we’ll remember the sweet music they made, and that will be enough to know that they made an impact.

Unplugging in Brief:

RIP Amy Winehouse, Found Dead in North London Home – Winehouse, 27, was found dead in her Camden Square flat Saturday afternoon.

America Founding Member Dan Peek Dies at 60 – Former America member and gospel musician Dan Peek died Sunday in his sleep.

Kaskade Hollywood Block Party Turns Violent, Ravers Riot – An event organized through Twitter turned chaotic Wednesday, as ravers crowded the street by request of DJ Kaskade.

Charles Bradley & the Menahan Street Band Cover Nirvana – Spin is to release a free tribute to Nirvana’s Nevermind, in celebration of its 20th anniversary. Contemporary artists have covered all 13 songs off the legendary album.

Listen to Me: Buddy Holly’ New Tribute to Feature Zooey Deschanel, Brian Wilson, Jackson Browne and More – Powered by Songmasters, the release of this new tribute album coincides with Holly’s 75th birthday and his induction onto the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Lily Angelle, MXDWN

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