Big Ears Fest 2010: Dirty Projectors + Bang on a Can, Terry Riley, Joanna Newsom, The Books

Holy shit: now this is a fest to get excited about! On March 26-28, Knoxville, TN will play host to the Big Ears Festival. From what’s confirmed so far, this ain’t your typical fest. Yes, it’ll feature Dirty Projectors, but they’ll be performing with the Bang on a Can All-Stars. Yes, it’ll have Andrew W.K., but he’ll be performing with the Calder Quartet. Yes, it’ll feature Joanna Newsom, St. Vincent, and The National, but they’re all performing with “special guests” too.

Elsewhere, we have the seminal Terry Riley (I fucking love him), performing with Gyan Riley, Tracey Silverman, and Ches Smith one night, as well as a solo set sometime around a Bang on a Can performance of Riley’s “In C.” Another interesting collaboration? The xx, jj, and Nosaj Thing. Yep. And did I mention Brian Eno’s Music for Airports being performed by Bang on a Can and The Books??

Like I said: holy shit.

A limited number of individual show tickets go on sale Friday, January 29. Keep an eye on Big Ear’s website for more announcements, including performances/collaborations from Tim Hecker, DJ /rupture, Gang Gang Dance, Javelin, and many more.

Initial schedule:

• Bijou Theatre

Friday, March 26:
7:00 pm - Terry Riley Quartet featuring Gyan Riley, Tracy Silverman and Ches
10:30 pm - The xx + jj + Nosaj Thing

Saturday, March 27:
1:00 pm -Clogs with very special guests + My Brightest Diamond
7:00 pm - Andrew W.K. performing with the Calder Quartet
10:00 pm - Joanna Newsom + special guests

Sunday, March 28:
7:00 pm - St. Vincent + special guests

• Tennessee Theatre

Saturday, March 27:
2:30 pm - Dirty Projectors + Bang on a Can All-Stars
8:00 pm - Vampire Weekend
12 midnight - Terry Riley’s In C, performed by Bang on a Can and special guests + Terry Riley solo

Sunday, March 28:
2:00 pm - Brian Eno’s Music for Airports,
performed by Bang on a Can + the Books + special guests
9:00 pm - The National + special guests

• Big Ears Festival:

Saddle Creek Signs The Mynabirds (ex-Georgie James)

Saddle Creek has signed The Mynabirds, the new project from Georgie James vocalist Laura Burhenn. Remember Georgie James? They were ex-Q and Not U, and Q and Not U was totally your favorite band for a little while. By the transitive property, The Mynabirds are totally your favorite band now.

The group’s first release on the label will be their debut record, What We Lose In The Fire We Gain In The Flood, out April 27. A free download of “Numbers Don’t Lie,” the record’s first single, is available here.

• The Mynabirds:
• Saddle Creek:

Parenthetical Girls Announce Five-EP Project to Begin Release in February

It’s been a little time since Parenthetical Girls’ last full-length album, Entanglements, but they’re doing their best to make up for it. On February 23, the group — having sloughed off the orchestra and returned to the basics (Zac Pennington, Rachael Jensen, and Jherek Bischoff) — will release the first 12-inch of a five-part EP series, entitled Privilege, on Slender Meets Society (vinyl and digital release). A project of this magnitude takes time, and the last 12-inch to complete the set is not slated for release until May 2011. Lest you lose interest in the months in between releases, keep in mind that the final EP will be accompanied by a special LP box designed to store all five in style — packaging more suited to an oeuvre of this size than being couched in your record crate among those Goodwill buys and Logos.

To make the offer even more exciting, these EPs come with the guarantee that you just might be the only indie kid around to have a physical copy. Not available in stores, there will only be 500 copies pressed of each 12-inch, all hand-numbered in the blood of Parenthetical Girls themselves (why is blood in vogue now? “Xiu Xiu for Life” t-shirts, anyone?). In addition to the promise of (((GRRRLS))) DNA, each EP will come with artwork courtesy of illustrator Jenny Mörtsell.

“Evelyn McHale,” the opening track from On Death & Endearments, is online now, and if Entanglements was somehow too cheery for you, McHale’s back story gives a familiar nod to Safe as Houses-era morbidity. According to Stereogum, the song’s namesake was a 23-year-old woman who committed suicide by jumping from the Empire State Building, only to have her corpse photographed immediately after landing in a more or less flattering position. We knew Parenthetical Girls wouldn’t let us down.

• Parenthetical Girls:
• Slender Means Society:

Let’s Get Griping, Ya’ll: Matador Announces Tracklist for Pavement’s Best-Of Comp

Buckle up your behinds, America, because the time is now. The best and most greatest band ever to commit notes to wax has compiled its finest tracks onto one compilation, entitled Quarantine the Past: Greatest Hits 1989-1999. It’s due out on March 9, and it’s just gonna be the best thing in the world, ain’t it? And now, the starting tracklist for your Chicago Bulls of indie rock, Paaaaavement!

01. Gold Soundz
02. In the Mouth a Desert
03. You’re Killing Me
04. Heaven Is a Truck
05. AT&T
06. Shady Lane / J Vs. S
07. Major Leagues
08. Date w/ IKEA
09. Frontwards
10. Painted Soldiers
11. The Hexx
12. Cut Your Hair
13. Range Life
14. Grounded
15. Debris Slide
16. Spit on a Stranger
17. Here
18. We Dance
19. Summer Babe (Winter Version)
20. Box Elder
21. Trigger Cut/Wounded-Kite at :17
22. Stereo
23. Fight This Generation

…GRRRRRR blah blah blah Pavement released way too much quality material to be pigeonholed with a greatest hits compilation, and this comp doesn’t even fucking have “Rattled by the Rush” on it and yada yada yurp Terror Twilight got the shaft etc. etc. etc. Best-of collections are by nature hotbeds of contention among “purists” and “fan boys” and “basic assholes” alike, and given the breadth of Pavement’s legacy among the indie community, I’d imagine this tracklist pissed off more than a few people. But what else could it have done, really? At least “Painted Soldiers” from the Brain Candy soundtrack made the cut, if only so I could link to this classic Kids in the Hall sketch about the pitfalls of obsessive pop music fandom and greatest hits collections to boot. “She’s a rider on the storm, but she ain’t never heard the sounds.”

“Hope for Haiti Now” Telethon Raises $61 Million, Recording Becomes First Digital-Only Release To Reach U.S. #1

It’s true what they say: in times of great need, the world joins together in more ways than one could have ever imagined. And of course, the odd celebrity endorsement never hurts. The much-anticipated “Hope for Haiti Now” telethon aired last Friday night, raising over $61 million and garnering an average of 24 million viewers, and that’s not including the 5.8 million viewers streaming the special online. In addition to raising money for victims of the earthquake that struck Haiti about two weeks earlier, the telethon also featured performances by A-list artists including Justin Timberlake, Madonna, Neil Young, Dave Matthews, Matt Morris, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Jay-Z, and Bono from U2.

Collaborations between artists included Timberlake and Morris singing Leonard Cohen’s famed ballad “Hallelujah” and Jay-Z, Rihanna, and Bono’s rendition of “Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour).” Needless to say, these collabs vastly helped the efforts to raise money, while the “Hope for Haiti Now” recording has beat out all current chart-topping artists on Billboard 200 and on iTunes’ albums chart. The recording is set to enter #1 this week on the US charts, with roughly 175,000 units sold, making it the first digital-only release to reach #1. And that’s representing less than three days of only digital sales, as Hypebot reports.

• Hope for Haiti Now:

The Strange Boys Finish New Album, Add Dates with Spoon & Deerhunter, Will Continue to be Boys

I’m gonna go ahead and take an obvious tack with this one. “What’s so strange about The Strange Boys” you ask? ” What’s so unusual about four taut young lads from Texas ripping out uptempo, blues-driven garage rock?” Gotta tell ya, there’s nothing willfully odd about the whole endeavor, but it sure is fun. If you caught their full-length debut released on In The Red last year, The Strange Boys…And Girls Club (TMT Review), or their rowdy live session at Austin’s 91.7 KVRX, you know their influences are familiar, but their jams are exuberant and refreshing. Their sophomore effort, Be Brave, will be released February 22 in the UK by Rough Trade and February 23 in the US by In The Red. (The title track was released earlier this week as a limited-edition 7-inch single.)

In February, the Boys will take a western jaunt with Chain and the Gang before they tag along with fellow Austin-tinians Spoon.

02.19.10 - Austin, TX - Emo’s *#
02.21.10 - Marfa, TX - Padre’s *
02.23.10 - Phoenix, AZ - Trunk Space *
02.24.10 - San Diego, CA - Casbah *
02.25.10 - Isla Vista, CA - Biko Garage *
02.26.10 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echo *
02.27.10 - San Francisco, CA - Elbo Room *$
02.28.10 - Reno, NV - Rainshadow Community Charter High School *
03.02.10 - Salem, OR - The Space *+
03.03.10 - Olympia, WA - Northern *+
03.04.10 - Seattle, WA - Comet Tavern *&
03.05.10 - Vancouver, BC - Media Club *
03.06.10 - Portland, OR - East End *
03.07.10 - Boise, ID - Visual Arts Collective
03.08.10 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
03.09.10 - Denver, CO - Hi Dive
03.10.10 - Boulder, CO - University of Colorado - Club 156
03.12.10 - Lubbock, TX - Bash Riprock’s
03.18.10 - New Orleans, LA - Republic %@
03.19.10 - Birmingham, AL - Workplay Soundstage %@
03.20.10 - Atlanta, GA - Tabernacle %@
03.22.10 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club %@
03.23.10 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club %@
03.24.10 - Richmond, VA - The National %@
03.26.10 - New York, NY - Radio City Music Hall %@
03.27.10 - Boston, MA - House of Blues %@
03.29.10 - Toronto, ON - Sound Academy %@
03.30.10 - Royal Oak, MI - Royal Oak Music Theater %@

* Chain and the Gang
# Yellow Fever
+ The Hive Dwellers
& Lovvers
$ Ty Segall, Nodzzz
@ Spoon
% Deerhunter

• The Strange Boys:
• In The Red: