The Ballerina Rose Gracefully En Pointe and Extended One Slender Leg Behind Her, Like a Dog at a Fire Hydrant. Meh. Eluvium Promises to Do Much Better with His Similes

Everything you expect and desire from Eluvium is coming on February 23, because that is the date upon which the anticipated new album, Similes, will be released. Matthew Cooper, the multifariously talented musician known better by his geologically-sound stage name, will issue his latest record on Temporary Residence and it promises to be a bold step for the electronic ambient composer par excellence. Although the artwork will once again be provided by the wonderful Jeannie Paske, Eluvium has been experimenting with instruments and techniques that may be commonplace for others but rarely used by him. Similes allegedly has Cooper employing more percussion and vocals than longtime listeners are accustomed to hearing and has more verse-chorus-verse song composition than you would ever expect. You can stream two tracks from the album at Stereogum here. In his hands, these olde-timey techniques will surely sound fresher than a sweet Sunday morning.

Similes tracklisting:

01. Leaves Eclipse the Light
02. The Motion Makes Me Last
03. In Culmination
04. Weird Creatures
05. Nightmare 5
06. Making Up Minds
07. Bending Dream
08. Cease to Know

Times New Viking and Yo La Tengo Magical Winter Tour Starts Tonight

Sometimes, magic happens. If you’re a fan of both Yo La Tengo and Times New Viking, that time is now.

When asked during a 2008 interview with Pitchfork, Times New Viking’s Jared Phillips described the best places the band has ever played: “Probably one of those places that we played with Yo La Tengo that we’ll never get to play again [laughs ]. Those were all pretty fun but, you know, if it ever happens we’ll be 40 years old by the time we play in a place that big again.” HOLD ON JARED!!!! You’ll be reunited with Yo La Tengo sooner than you think—tonight, in fact. And really, the most magical thing of all is that, with this tour, we all win.

01.22.10 - Pontiac, MI - Crofoot Ballroom
01.23.10 - Madison, WI - Barrymore Theatre
01.24.10 - St. Louis, MO - The Pageant
o1.26.10 - Lawrence, KS - Granada Theatre
01.27.10 - Tulsa, OK - Cain’s Ballroom
01.28.10 - Houston, TX - Warehouse Live
01.29.10 - Austin, TX - Antone’s
01.30.10 - Dallas, TX - Granada Theatre

After this small trek, Times New Viking and Yo La Tengo will head their separates ways to the same location: Europe. Check out the dates here and here

• Times New Viking: http://www.myspace.com/timesnewviking
• Yo La Tengo: http://www.yolatengo.com

Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt Documentary Coming This Spring, Brooding Pop Enthusiasts Rejoice

Maybe we were a little too quick to crown Morrissey as the Master of Melancholy, cause I’ll be damned if Stephin Merritt doesn’t come in as a VERY close second. The Magnetic Fields are just one of many mopey, dark projects Merritt has been involved with (including the 6ths, the Future Bible Heroes, and the Gothic Archies, to name a few others). But Merritt’s role as the arranger, songwriter, and producer in the Magnetic Fields may represent the best of his talent as a pop musician and overall Sad Sack. Merritt has long been known to expertly punch out moody, confused and jubilant pop song after pop song, but few journalists and/or filmmakers have ever gained access to Merritt’s personal life (though god knows they’d like to).

Well, all that’s about to change. This spring, directors Kerthy Fix and Gail O’Hara plan to release a documentary that chronicles the last 10 years of Merritt’s career and personal life. The film will reportedly gloss over Merritt’s beginnings as a naive copy editor for Spin Magazine and go on to cover his growth as a musician and as a prolific writer for Time Out New York. The film, due sometime in the next few months, will be screened as a part of San Francisco’s SF360 Film+Club series, and will then go on to make the necessary festival rounds. You’ll have to sit tight for the doc’s title though, because that’s not ready yet.

If you’re too ants in the pants to wait for the film’s release, you may satiate yourself in the meantime by checking out the new Magnetic Fields’ release Realism, out on Nonsuch next Tuesday (January 26). That’s in four days!!! And if you can’t wait till THEN, well I feel rather sorry for you—but no really, you can check out all of Realism streaming on the Fields’ MySpace page. Check out a video for “We Are Having a Hootenanny” over at the Chocolate Grinder.

• Magnetic Fields: http://www.houseoftomorrow.com
• Nonesuch: http://www.nonesuch.com

RIP: Apache of hip-hop group Flavor Unit

From AllHipHop:

Flavor Unit emcee Apache, born Anthony Teaks, passed away today (January 22) after a protracted illness.

As an original member of Queen Latifah’s Flavor Unit, Apache first appeared on 45 King Presents The Flavor Unit and his best known single “Gangsta B**ch” peaked at #11 on Billboard’s Hot Rap Singles chart.

Shakim Compere, CEO and Co-Founder of Flavor Unit Records, remembered Apache.

“Without Apache there would have been no Queen Latifah, no Naughty By Nature, no Chill Rob G., no anything” Compere told AllHipHop.com. “Apache was the string that tied all of Flavor Unit together. Without Apache none of this would be.”

Apache was one of the three original rappers in Flavor Unit, which also counted Queen Latifah and Latee as early group members.

• Apache: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apache_(rapper)
• Flavor Unit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flavor_Unit

Best Buy Wants $250 to Stock Your Band’s CD

For those who have been struggling to get their CD heard—even though it is going to totally revolutionize music, man, because it’s totally like if Pavement and Radiohead got together—there is both good and bad news. The good news is that your local Best Buy will be willing to stock that CD. The bad news is that it requires a $250 non-refundable upfront fee. Oh, and your band will have to use Best Buy’s preferred vendor, J Distribution’s RegionalCD.net.

The hits keep coming, too. Every additional release requires another $100 fee, and to set the CD up for iTunes requires an additional $50 per release. But there is pay! An amazing $5.15 per CD sold! Unless it’s an EP, in which case it’s $3.65 per CD sold. So, for the first LP, a band will need to sell 49 CDs to make a profit, and an additional 20 for each CD after that. EPs will require 69 sales for the initial payback and 28 for each subsequent release.

So, if getting into Best Buy is the only thing between your band and greatness, fork over the cash and hope that the record industry isn’t as dead as Brian Eno thinks it is.

Massive Attack Has a New Album and Loves Guest Spots

I’m gonna be honest with you people: I am totally hungover. Not the head-splitting, vom-inducing sorta deal, just a straight-up lack of brain cells. I just sat and stared outside at a house — nothing interesting or extraordinary, just a plain old house — for like an entire minute before I realized, “Oh yeah… I’m writing a story.” So what I’m trying to say here is, don’t expect a lot from me. Fortunately, this isn’t about ME, it’s about Massive Attack and their upcoming album, Heligoland, out February 9 on Virgin Records. It’s the follow-up to their recent Splitting the Atom EP, and it has more guest stars than a crappy holiday special. Except it won’t be crappy at all, because it’s got Horace Andy, Daddy G, and 3D working together again, and guest vocals from Damon Albarn, Hope Sandoval, Martina Topley-Bird, Guy Garvey, and Tunde Adebimpe (TV On The Radio). Plus, Portishead’s Adrian Utley and his guitar show up on “Saturday Come Slow,” Damon contributes keyboards on “Splitting the Atom” and bass on “Flat of the Blade,” and even DFA’s Tim Goldsworthy gets involved on several tracks. There’s also “Rush Minute,” Robert del Naja’s affectionate tribute to the Canadian prog band Rush, in which he culls all his favorite moments from 1975’s Caress of Steel album into a 60-second primer of the band.*

In other news, Massive Attack has several U.K. shows in the works, as well as (yay!) a U.S. tour later this year.

Tracklisting:

01. Pray for Rain
02. Babel
03. Splitting the Atom
04. Girl I Love You
05. Psyche
06. Flat of the Blade
07. Paradise Circus
08. Rush Minute
09. Saturday Come Slow
10. Atlas Air

* I totally made this up.

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