News Roundup: R.I.P. Brendan Mullen, Kia Motors Hearts Girl Talk, Daniel Johnston, Chris Taylor


R.I.P. Brendan Mullen, who was one of the first DIY promoters of punk and independent rock and the first regular booker of punk bands in Los Angeles. The Masque, a venue that became home base for all that is first-wave L.A. punk–including the Germs and the Weirdos–was in essence his baby and brainchild. The venue’s Monster Island-like proportions (10k square feet) became famous as a cheap place to have shows and rent out rehearsal space until it was shut down by local authorities in 1978. Mullen, an otherwise completely healthy 60-year old, died of a sudden stroke. “Sometimes, your number is just up,” said one of his neurologists.

–Scion’s recent efforts at lifestyle marketing have clearly served as an inspiration to Kia Motors, a Korean car company with its first North American plant opening in late 2009, and its first “Soul Collective” concert with Girl Talk scheduled for October 25. That Sunday happens to fall just after CMJ. Will the delectable demographic unit of hungover 20-somethings will have it in them to shake open-bar stupors for one more free blowout? Our guess is yes.

–We can now safely say that the aforementioned “psycho-religious version of Frogger” that is the Daniel Johnston iPhone app is real, because we have seen the screenshots.

–Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor has released his first single, “Ghost,” under his solo moniker CANT, and we all now get to draw lines in the sand between his production work here and that on Vecktimist and Yellow House. In truth, the border between these projects is a little vague–this example of his solo work could easily double as the skeletal frame to one of Grizzly Bear’s lush tapestries. Very nice. The flip-side of the soon-to-be-released vinyl 7-inch version sports an unreleased Arthur Russell folk tune, which you can already hear here and here.