Unplugging: The Body and Soul of Amy Winehouse

This week, MXDWN honors musicians, both late and living, that have pushed musical boundaries and tried new things.

On September 14th, the highly anticipated duet “Body and Soul,” between Amy Winehouse and Tony Bennett was released in commemoration of the late Winehouse’s 28th birthday.

Recorded in London’s Abbey Road Studios, Winehouse’s final recording features the late singer smiling and crooning in her deep, jazzy timbre alongside Bennett. Filmed by the Oscar-winning cinematographer Dion Beebe, Bennett and Winehouse’s duet will be part of an upcoming documentary film featuring Bennett.

The proceeds from “Body and Soul” will go to The Amy Winehouse Foundation, founded by Winehouse’s parents, Mitch and Janis. The aim of the foundation is to offer support to young people with addiction, illness, disabilities and financial struggles. “Body and Soul” will be available on Bennett’s upcoming album, Tony Bennett: Duets II, out September 20th.

DJ Mehdi, a popular French-Tunisian hip-hop DJ, passed away this past Tuesday. While celebrating his 34th birthday, the roof of his Paris home reportedly collapsed, fatally injuring Mehdi. Since then, fans and friends have taken to Twitter to express their utter shock over the young DJ’s untimely death.

Mehdi was well known in the Parisian underground hip-hop scene, and has worked with many popular artists such as Daft Punk, Miike Snow, Chromeo and MC Solaar. Mehdi is known for pushing the boundaries by mixing electro, hip-hop and indie music, defying genre limitations. Mehdi is survived by his wife, Fafi, a graffiti artist.

The future of Odd Future (OFWGKTA) looks bright, as they have been picked up by Adult Swim to star in Loiter Squad, a fifteen-minute show that will showcase the group’s deranged uniqueness through sketches, pranks and music. The show is expected to have a Jackass-style feel to it, as it will be produced by Dickhouse Entertainment. Adult Swim’s Nick Weidenfeld and Jeff Tremaine will be the show’s executive producers. Loiter Squad will premiere in 2012, on Adult Swim.

Last June the Austin-based group Explosions in the Sky released their very first video for “Last Known Surroundings.” Now they are back with another interesting video for “Be Comfortable, Creature,” off their latest album, Take Care, Take Care, Take Care.

This will also be the group’s second single dropped from their sixth album. It seems the transcendental rockers are trying their hand at new techniques, as their latest album showcases their first attempts with vocals and electronic drums.

Also trying new things is The Dead Weather’s front woman, Alison Mosshart. FX’s Sons of Anarchy recently closed out a violent episode with Mosshart’s cover of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World.”

The track features Mosshart’s vocals in a way that we’ve never heard before. Quite unlike her deep, raucous tone in The Dead Weather, her cover is sweetly emotionally while still keeping her trademark gruffness, to a certain extent. SOA’s music supervisor Bob Thiele backed up the tracked with acoustic accompaniment, which was special because his father co-wrote “What a Wonderful World.”

Unplugging in Brief:

Worldwide Release: Amy Winehouse/Tony Bennett “Body and Soul” Duet Birthday Commemoration – Released on the late Amy Winehouse’s 28th birthday, “Body and Soul” is Winehouse’s last recording and will be featured on Tony Bennett’s upcoming release.

DJ Mehdi Passes Away at 34 – While celebrating his 34th birthday, the roof of DJ Mehdi’s Paris home collapsed, tragically killing the popular DJ.

Adult Swim Picks Up Series Starring Odd Future – Odd Future will extend their crazed talents to television, as they have been hired by Adult Swim to star in the upcoming show, Loiter Squad.

Explosions In The Sky Debut Video for “Be Comfortable, Creature” – Shortly after releasing their first-ever video, Explosions In The Sky have released yet another, showing that they are trying new things with their latest album release.

Alison Mosshart Covers Louis Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World” for Sons of AnarchyAlison Mosshart shows a sweet side we’ve never seen before in her cover of “What a Wonderful World.” 

* Lily Angelle, MXDWN