Throwing the books, Pitney passes, Jew know what I mean?

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Give a brother a book, won't you? Xiu Xiu's Jamie Stewart performs solo and Guardian contributor Devin Hoff brings his Platform (his catchall name for solo projects) to a benefit for the Prisoners Literature Project. Hoff tells me he has friends who work at the project who say they're in dire need of cash, and as luck would have it, his sometime collaborator Stewart also volunteers there when he's in town.

Tuesday, April 11, 8 p.m., at the AK Press warehouse, 674-A 23rd St., Oakl., between MLK and San Pablo. It's $8 or $7 if you bring a book in good condition. All proceeds go to PLP.

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It's all about words and action with Xiu Xiu.

A TOWN WITHOUT PITNEY

Crooner Gene Pitney was a kind of Roy Orbison, only with more tears and more of that insurance-salesman style.

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Billboard/Reuters
reports that Pitney died Wednesday, April 5, of natural causes:

An autopsy on singer Gene Pitney, who was found dead in a hotel room in the Welsh capital Cardiff on Wednesday morning, showed he died of natural causes, police said.

Pitney, 65, who shot to fame in the 1960s with hits including "Town Without Pity" and "Only Love Can Break a Heart," died after having given a concert the previous night that had won him a standing ovation.

"The post mortem results show Gene Pitney died of natural causes and there will not be a police investigation," a spokesperson for South Wales police said. He added the body of the singer had been released to relatives and will be flown to the United States.

Pitney was in the middle of a 23-show tour of Britain when he died.


MOST HILARIOUS DISC IN THE CD SLUSH PILE

Rob Tannenbaum wields an iron editorial hand at Blender but apparently he's been spending his off hours productively, waxing wittily as part of the musical comedy duo What I Like About Jew. Tannenbaum and Sean Altman have been dubbed "the Bart Simpsons of the Yeshiva" by Time Out New York and hyped with a cover story on "The New Super Jews." Astonishingly, this CD, chock full of ethnic humor [sample song titles: "Hot Jewish Chicks," "They Tried to Kill Us (We Survived, Let's Eat)," "JDate"], is actually funny.

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They play two HEEB Magazine-sponsored shows at 7:30 and 10 p.m., Tuesday, April 18, at Cafe Du Nord, 2170 Market, SF. $15. (415) 861-5016.