This Week in Alternative Music: Weezer's back in the studio, Joy Division reissues an EP, the xx's intimate concerts and a Kurt Cobain museum

By Terri-Lee Taylor,

This week in Alternative music, Joy Division will reissue their debut EP; the xx will perform small shows in NYC; Weezer returns to the recording studio; and a journalist starts a fund for a museum honoring Kurt Cobain.

Earlier this week, Weezer released a video on their YouTube channel to let fans know that they are recording again. At first the video seems like a grainy, '90s recording but still manages to share snippets of two unknown songs by Weezer. At the end, the camera captures lead-singer River Cuomo's face before displaying the message, "in the studio now." If the band is working on an album, then this will be the first one since Hurley was released in 2010.

On Record Store Day 2014, Joy Division will reissue their debut EP, An Ideal for Living. According to their official Facebook page, the EP was re-mastered earlier this year by the band's former engineer, Frank Arkwright. The artwork on the re-issue will pay tribute to the original scaffolding that graced the cover 35 years ago. An Ideal for Living will be released as a limited edition record on April 19, 2014, at select record stores.

Joy Division's EP is one of many re-issues that are set to be released on Record Store Day. According to Rolling Stone, Soundgarden, R.E.M., Green Day and the Flaming Lips will also release some records and singles. Regina Specktor and Foals will add their new releases on that day. Click here to find participating stores in your city.

On March 19, the xx started performing shows for an incredibly close audience at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City. The English band will play to an audience of only 40 for each one of the shows. Rolling Stone reports that the shows start with a group of people meeting in a room, then they're led into a giant hall where the band plays. During the 50-minute performance, lights are projected onto sheets that surround the band and the audience and the large drill hall suddenly becomes a close, personal space.

These concerts got attention for both the artistic displays and the music. The New York Times called it a "...mesmerizing performance at the Park Avenue Armory … that often seemed as much like an art installation as a concert, and felt at every moment like a dynamic, self-aware commentary on the issue of scale.” The shows are now sold out but you can find more information about the performances at the venue's website.

Jamie Dunkle, a journalist and Nirvana fan from Portland, Oregon has started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to turn Kurt Cobain's childhood home into a museum. According to Rolling Stone, Cobain's mother put the house up for sale for $500,000. Dunkle then decided to raise $700,000 to buy and repair the house.

Donating to Dunkle's fund comes with many rewards. For example, for $15, a person can get a one year membership to the museum. For $1,000, a person gets a lifetime membership, a t-shirt and a sleepover in the house. This follows the news of two towns in Washington dedicating days to honoring the Nirvana front man.

image: Wikimedia Commons



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