Sad news just arrived via Telefon Tel Aviv’s MySpace blog: Charlie Cooper, one half of the duo whose new album I wrote about in my January 15 column, was found dead yesterday at 2306 N. Lawndale.

His musical partner, Joshua Eustis, writes:

It breaks my heart to inform you all that Charlie Cooper, my better half in Telefon Tel Aviv, passed away on January 22nd.

We have been friends since high school, and began making records together a decade ago.  We have been so fortunate to tour the world together, while at the same time having a massive amount of laughs at one another’s expense.

Aside from Charlie’s singular genius and musical gifts, I can tell you that he was a total sweetheart of a guy, and a loving friend and confidant to people everywhere.  His musicianship was surpassed only by his greater gift to the world – his warmth, his generosity, his unquenchable humor, and his undying loyalty to those whom he loved.  In the spirit of honorable mention, however, I should mention that he had a shoe collection that was marvelous, knowledge of hip-hop that was profound, and knowledge of wine that was subtle.

He is survived by a sister, a neice, a nephew, his mother, his stepfather, me, and more adoring friends than the Universe has dark matter.  As such, his family and I ask for your discretion and consideration of our privacy during these extremely turbulent waters.

CBS2 reports a few more details: that Cooper had gone missing after an argument with his girlfriend last week, that he had cut off communication with his family and friends, and that he’d threatened suicide in the past, although not before he left. An autopsy was scheduled for today.

Cooper will be sorely missed: TTA’s new album, Immolate Yourself, is a powerful, moving, and fearless work of art, and marked the beginning of a promising new phase for the duo. When I intereviewed Cooper and Eustis a few weeks ago he seemed positive and optimistic and excited to start work on their next album in the same way little kids are excited for their birthday.