Musician Isaiah Randolph "Ikey" Owens has died at the age of 38.
It is with great sadness that we tell the world of the passing of the incredible musician Isaiah "Ikey" Owens. He will be missed and loved forever by his family, friends, bandmates and fans.
Ikey Owens was an astounding keyboard player in Jack White's backing band. He also played with Mars Volta, Free Moral Agents, and many other projects.
Out of respect for Ikey, the remaining shows of the Jack White Tour in Mexico have been cancelled.
We will all miss you Ikey. You were and are an incredible artist.
Owens has played with many L.A. and Long Beach bands over the years, first coming to prominence mainly as a keyboardist for such bands as Crystal Antlers, Long Beach Dub Allstars, El-P, Mastodon, Saul Williams and The Mars Volta, bringing explosive energy to the live shows of whatever band he was playing with at the time as well as on records like The Mars Volta's De-Loused in the Comatorium and White's latest record, Lazaretto. Owens also had his own bands, Free Moral Agents and Look Daggers.
Whereas earlier this year, Neil Young released A Letter Home, an album of lo-fi covers that was recorded in Jack White’s recording booth studio, Storyone could have an altogether different feel. Young talked to Billboard about wanting to record an album with an orchestra on mono using one mic:
“I want to do something like that where we really record what happened, with one point of view and the musicians moved closer and farther away, the way it was done in the past. To me that's a challenge and it's a sound that's unbelievable, and you can't get it any other way. So I'm into doing that.”
He’s already released “Who’s Gonna Stand Up?,” a pro-environment rally song with a 92-piece orchestra and choir. You can hear that and check out the lyrics below:
Photos via Capitol Records
Ever the iconoclast, Beck’s last “album” was something called Song Reader, which consisted only of sheet music written by the musician. Though it has been performed publicly since its 2012 release, there’s never been a proper physical release until now.
The album, called Warby Parker Presents Beck Song Reader (the glasses maker is producing the album and will release Beck-created, limited-edition “black cherry” Carmichael eyeglass at the same time, according to Rollingstone), will have tracks written by Beck and performed by Jack White, Jack Black, Jeff Tweedy, Jarvis Cocker, Norah Jones and Beck himself. It’s out July 29 on Capitol. You can preorder it now.
Warby Parker also will release a new version of the Song Reader book, with some new prints from artist Marcel Dzama. Warby Parker also put on the Song Reader show in L.A. last year. Lest you think they’re some BS corporate company getting their name on an ostensibly cool album, Warby Parker wil donate a pair of glasses to someone in need for every pair of the Beck glasses they sell as part of their "Buy a Pair, Give a Pair" program. And they’re donating the proceeds of the album to nonprofit 826 National, which helps kids ages 6 to 18 with creative and expository writing. Co-founded by writer Dave Eggers, they're a great organization with eight locations around the United States, including right here with 826 LA; I highly suggest checking out all the cool things they do.
Jack White, he of many a blues-rock band, broke records this week when it was announced his second solo album, Lazaretto, sold 40,000 copies in its first week—on vinyl alone. That’s the biggest week ever for a single vinyl album since Soundcan began recording vinyl sales in 1991, according to Rollingstone. (Lazaretto also sold 41,000 CDs and nearly 57,000 downloads in its first week.)
To celebrate that achievement, both for White and for vinyl as a medium, which White has publically championed, we’re counting down the best albums written or co-written by Jack White. We’re leaving off those he produced, since there are so damn many of them, as well as Loretta Lynn’s excellent Van Lear Rose, which White produced and played on but only co-wrote one song of, and live releases. Let us know if you agree!
The first album made by White and his friends in The Greenhornes and Brendan Benson is a blast, albeit a green one, sounding like a record quickly made by friends that nonetheless had some gems, including the catchy “Steady As She Goes.”