• Miles Seaton (Akron/Family, Angels of Light) Dead at 41

    Multi-instrumentalist and experimental rocker Miles Seaton of Akron/Family and the former Angels of Light backing band, has died at the age of 41, as reported by Rolling Stone.

    Akron/Family, founded in 2002, released six full length studio albums as well as one split album with Angels of Light, the folk group formed by Michael Gira of Swans after he initially retired the boundary-pushing avant-garde group in 1997. Seaton, alongside the band’s three other members, played various instruments and all sang, which led to their concert performances hinging on a somewhat improvisational nature.

    Seaton’s playing can also be heard on two Angels of Light albums — 2005’s The Angels of Light Sing ‘Other People’ and 2007’s We Are Him, the latter of which is the group’s final record. Both of those releases came out on Gira’s Young God Records, as did Akron/Family’s first four records before the band released their last three albums on Dead Oceans.

    In recent years, Seaton had recorded and released music as a solo artist, his latest album being 2017’s Phases in Exile.

    Phil Waldorf, co-founder of Dead Oceans, reflected on the loss in a Twitter thread, where he shared some of his favorite memories of Seaton and praised his kind spirit.

    “It’s listening and learning from someone you feel lucky to be in the presence of, and even luckier they trust you to put out such important records in the world. Miles was a one of a kind person, in a one of a kind band. It’s a rush of emotions,” he wrote, in part.

    Justin Vernon of folk group Bon Iver commented on Seaton’s death on Twitter as well, offering, “I cannot believe Miles Seaton is gone. He is an integral part of so many musical histories. I am in shock and grieving for those who knew and loved him the most. Hearts out to all of you. His music will live on forever.”

    View the tributes below.

    Loudwire extends our condolences to the Seaton family, Miles’ bandmates and all who were close with him.

    Rockers We Lost in 2020

  • Takeshi Osumi, Designer of Mistergentleman, is Dead at 47 – WWD

    TOKYO — Takeshi Osumi, one half of the design duo behind the Japanese men’s wear brand Mistergentleman, died late last month at the age of 47. His brand announced the news Wednesday via an Instagram post.

    Osumi was admitted to the hospital on Jan. 24 and passed away of sepsis on the same day. The brand plans to present its fall 2021 collection during Tokyo Fashion Week in March, saying that the designer was working on it even from his hospital room. The collection will be dedicated to Osumi’s memory, and a farewell party is being planned for a few days after the collection launches.

    Osumi started Mistergentleman in 2012 together with his co-designer Yuichi Yoshii. It has frequently been a highlight of Tokyo Fashion Week, and is currently carried by stores across Japan and elsewhere in Asia, including Hong Kong, China, South Korea, Taiwan and Indonesia.

    Prior to launching Mistergentleman, Osumi helmed the brand Phenomenon, which also began as a men’s brand. It eventually grew to include a women’s line before filing for bankruptcy in 2013. Earlier in his career his also designed a brand called Swagger.

    Osumi was known for his imaginative collections marrying expert tailoring with street style and outdoorsy influences, often incorporating pops of bright color and bold prints. He blurred gender lines, and even though he designed mainly for men, he attracted many female fans of his collections. One of his chief sources of inspiration was music, particularly hip-hop.

  • New York Dolls guitarist Sylvain Sylvain dead at 69 after cancer battle

    Sylvain Sylvain, guitarist of proto-punk band New York Dolls, has died. He was 69 years old.

    The news was confirmed on January 15 (Friday) via a statement on Sylvain’s official Facebook page, where it was revealed that he had passed from the cancer he’d been living with for over two years.

    “Though he fought it valiantly, yesterday he passed away from this disease,” the statement reads. “While we grieve his loss, we know that he is finally at peace and out of pain. Please crank up his music, light a candle, say a prayer and let’s send this beautiful doll on his way.”

    The statement also included a tribute from fellow New York Dolls member Lenny Kaye.

    “Syl loved rock and roll,” Kaye wrote.

    “His onstage joy, his radiant smile as he chopped at his guitar, revealed the sense of wonder he must have felt at the age of 10, emigrating from his native Cairo with his family in 1961, the ship pulling into New York Harbor and seeing the Statue of Liberty for the first time.”

    “His role in the band was as lynchpin, keeping the revolving satellites of his bandmates in precision,” Kaye continued.

    “Though he tried valiantly to keep the band going, in the end the Dolls’ moral fable overwhelmed them, not before seeding an influence that would engender many rock generations yet to come.”

    Kaye signed his tribute off with, “Thank you Sylvain x 2, for your heart, belief, and the way you whacked that E chord. Sleep Baby Doll.” Read it in full below.

    Sylvain Sylvain MizrahiRest In PeaceFebruary 14, 1951 ~ January 13, 2021As most of you know, Sylvain battled cancer…

    Posted by Sylvain Sylvain Mizrahi on Thursday, January 14, 2021

    Sylvain was a part of New York Dolls from 1971 until their second dissolution in 2012. The band’s most recent album, ‘Dancing Backwards In High Heels’, was released in 2011.

    Read tributes to Sylvain from members of Pearl Jam, The Waterboys and more below: