4 May

Pick a Day

4 MAY

In Music History

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2020 Grimes has a baby boy she names X Æ A-12. The father is entrepreneur Elon Musk.

2019 A section of Staten Island is renamed "Wu-Tang Clan District" in honor of the group.More

2018 Soul singer Leon Bridges releases his sophomore album, Good Thing. Its single "Bet Ain't Worth The Hand" takes the Grammy Award for Best Traditional R&B Performance.

2017 Implying that they will soon be voted out of office, Democrats sing "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" to taunt Republicans in the House of Representatives after a Republican-sponsored bill replacing the Affordable Care Act passes.

2016 After Donald Trump's campaign plays "Start Me Up" following his victory speech celebrating his path to the Republican nomination, The Rolling Stones ask him to stop, joining several other artists in decrying his use of their songs.More

2013 James Righton of Klaxons marries the actress Keira Knightley. He proves useful when he gives ger guitar lessons for her role as a musician in the 2014 movie Begin Again.

2010 Olivia Newton-John gets "Physical" in a duet with Jane Lynch on the Glee episode "Bad Reputation."

2008 Martha Reeves' (of Martha & the Vandellas) home in Detroit is burglarized and one million dollars' worth of recording equipment is stolen. In just a few hours, the perpetrator is caught while attempting to hock the merchandise for $400.

2000 Letters to Cleo play their last concert in Boston; they disband the following month.

1992 Dudu Mntowaziwayo Ndlovu (percussionist for Johnny Clegg & Juluka) is killed in a hail of gunfire in South Africa at age 33.

1991 Punk rocker Simon Wilde (bassist for D.O.A.) dies of a brain tumor at age 33.

1991 Governor Ann Richards declares "ZZ Top Day" in Texas, honoring the group for "bringing the powerful beat of Texas boogie to enthusiastic audiences across the globe."

1987 Paul Butterfield (of The Paul Butterfield Blues Band) dies of a heroin overdose at age 44.

1979 Lance Bass of 'N Sync is born James Lance Bass in Laurel, Mississippi.

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PJ Harvey Releases Rid Of Me

1993

PJ Harvey, fronted by British alt rocker Polly Jean Harvey, release their second and last album as a trio, Rid Of Me. The album is later hailed as one of the defining albums of the decade, but at the time, critics are split over Steve Albini's aggressive production.


Polly Jean Harvey first unleashed her wrath on the trio's acclaimed debut, Dry, a year earlier, which incited a bidding war among the major record labels looking to capitalize on Harvey's marketable brand of pain. Island Records secured the rights to the woman scorned, who comes out in full force on Rid Of Me. Harvey, who wrote the title track in the midst of a nervous breakdown, alternately whispers and howls her way through the vengeful breakup song, setting the tone for the raw collection of tracks. Elsewhere, she's found chopping off her lover's limbs in "Legs," and asserting her dominance over the male-oriented rock scene in "50ft Queenie." Albini's equally aggressive treatment has Harvey screaming through walls of noise that threaten to drown her. "Obviously, some of the words were pretty strong, visceral, so the music had to be something that matched that," Rob Ellis, the band's drummer, told Spin. "It had to be quite aggressive in places because the lyrical tone was very aggressive. 'Rid of Me' is a classic example of that. It needed to be as aggressive as the words were." Albini recorded the band at Pachyderm Studio in Cannon Falls, Minnesota, during a snowy December that kept the band isolated in a nearby house. Tensions within the trio mounted in close quarters as Harvey dealt with her fragile mental health and the pressure to produce a stellar sophomore release. The friction only adds to the intensity of the album, which is too intense for some listeners. One Melody Maker writer is listening to "Rid Of Me" in her car when Harvey's unexpected screams cause her to crash. Another critic calls the production so rough it's a "trial to endure." But Albini, whose work with the Pixies impressed Harvey with its "very bare, very real sound," dismisses his detractors and recommends the studio space to bands wanting to achieve a sound similar to Rid Of Me. He sends a demo to Kurt Cobain, who decides to record at Pachyderm with Albini at the helm for Nirvana's In Utero. The band breaks down while touring in support of the album, leaving Harvey to embark on a successful solo career. Meanwhile, Rid Of Me doesn't garner any big hits, but the album goes down as one of the definitive alt rock albums of the decade and is named one of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

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