Musician and artist Don Van Vliet, who performed a complex brand of experimental rock under the name Captain Beefheart, died Friday (Dec. 17, 2010). He was 69. The Michael Werner Gallery in New York, which exhibits his paintings, confirmed Mr. Van Vliet's death in California due to complications stemming from multiple sclerosis.
Mr. Van Vliet was probably best known for the album Trout Mask Replica, which was released in 1969 by Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band. The album's angular, dissonant take on blues rock and Mr. Van Vliet's growling, surreal lyrics put him outside the mainstream, but staked his place in rock history.
Rolling Stone magazine ranked Trout Mask Replica number 58 on its list of greatest albums of all time. The album was produced by fellow experimental rock pioneer Frank Zappa.
In the 1980s, Mr. Van Vliet turned to art, painting in a raw, expressionistic style and showing his acclaimed work even as he withdrew from the public eye.
He is survived by his wife of more than 40 years.
Bank of America halts WikiLeaks payments
WikiLeaks asked customers to close accounts with Bank of America after the Charlotte, N.C., bank said it wouldn't process payments intended for the organization. The Charlotte Observer reported Friday night that Bank of America is joining other financial institutions in declining to process payments intended for WikiLeaks. Soon after, WikiLeaks tweeted a link to the story and encouraged supporters to make donations. In a later tweet, WikiLeaks asked that "all people who love freedom close out their accounts at Bank of America." A Bank of America spokesman on Saturday declined comment about WikiLeaks.
Ivory Coast: Laurent Gbagbo, who claims to be the winner of last month's presidential runoff, ordered U.N. and French peacekeepers to leave the country immediately Saturday, hours after men in military uniforms fired on a U.N. patrol. A U.N. spokesman in Abidjan did not immediately respond to the order to leave, which was read on state television.
South Korea: The military waited for better weather to hold live-fire drills on Yeonpyeong Island on the tense sea border with North Korea. The North warned the drills would cause it to retaliate, and the tension prompted the U.N. Security Council to call an emergency session today at Russia's request.
CROWLEY, La.: The Federal Aviation Administration said a single-engine plane crashed Saturday, killing three and injuring two other people aboard.