Borders finally goes under; files Chapter 11 and closes 200 stores

Borders finally goes under; files Chapter 11 and closes 200 stores

We’ve heard of rumors and hard times for a while, but today it’s official: Borders is filing for bankruptcy. Over the coming weeks, the store will close 200 of its locations (roughly 30% of stores nationwide), meaning… going-out-of-business sales on R. Kelly and Criterion DVDs? According to, GE Capital and other corporations are giving $505 million to Borders in debtor-in-possession financing.

It’s easy to bash the supposed “big guys” in support of independent shops (both for books and music), but when you get down to it, that’s a lot of unemployed workers — not to mention the important question: where will small-town kids buy CDs now that their one local media outlet has closed? (Let’s face it, not everyone lives near an Amoeba.) The moral of the story: down with Kindle and Amazon!

• Borders:

New Beach Fossils EP invites your ears to the most bodacious beach party ever

Like the robin that signals the beginning of spring, Beach Fossils’ announcement of their upcoming EP for Captured Tracks must surely be one of this crazy world’s best harbingers of summer fun. Technically, said new EP comes out in March, which isn’t really summer unless you live in some magical, perpetually warm place like say, the Bahamas or Mexico, or maybe if you’re one of those weird sophomore dudes who wears shorts even in December and seem to infest college campuses across the Midwest. Whatever. Because, come March 8, when Captured Tracks releases What a Pleasure, it won’t matter that summer is like three months away. Tossing a beach ball! Roastin’ weenies! Being grossed out at dead fish on the beach! Those are the sights you’ll envision once Beach Fossils have their way with your ears.

You can catch Beach Fossils main dudes Dustin Payseur and John Peña at SXSW this spring. Fun fact: the CD EP contains one more track than the fancy vinyl EP.

What a Pleasure 12-inch tracklisting:

01. Moments
02. What a Pleasure
03. Fall Right In
04. Out in the Way (feat. Jack Tatum)
05. Distance
06. Calyer
07. Adversity

What a Pleasure CD tracklisting:

01. Moments
02. What a Pleasure
03. Fall Right In
04. Out in the Way (feat. Jack Tatum)
05. Face It
06. Distance
07. Calyer
08. Adversity

02.18.11 - Brooklyn, NY - 285 Kent *
03.16-19.11 - Austin, TX - SXSW

* Crystal Stilts, Widowspeak

• Beach Fossils:
• Captured Tracks:

Franz Nicolay keeps on trucking in his worldwide quest to collect accolades

America’s favorite former member of The Hold Steady, Franz Nicolay, has been amassing a scrapbook full of accolades, and he’s now announced a seven-week tour where he will gather further accolades and congratulatory blurbs, as his gigs will be written up in free-alternative-weekly newspapers the country over.

Franz, who is involved in so many side projects and collaborations that he has officially become too popular for his own good, is also traveling the country to remind fans about his old band’s Luck and Courage album from last year, one of the many albums that has been garnering Mr. Nicolay growing levels of acclaim and critical devotion.

The tour, which visits all of the cool states in the US, includes two days worth of shows at South by Southwest and will see Franz joined by David Dondero for every gig, with plenty of other opening acts already tuning up their guitars in anticipation and plenty more dates to be announced.


02.25.10 - Brooklyn NY - Union Pool
02.26.10 - Philadelphia, PA - Kung Fu Necktie
02.27.10 - Washington, DC - Black Cat
02.28.10 - Charlottesville, VA - The Southern
03.01.10 - Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506
03.02.10 - Charlotte, NC - The Milestone
03.03.10 - Columbia SC - New Brookland Tavern
03.04.10 - Athens, GA - Caledonia
03.05.10 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl
03.06.10 - Macon, GA - The Rookery
03.07.10 - Orlando, FL - Will’s Pub
03.08.10 - Ybor City, FL - New World Brewery
03.09.10 - Pensacola, FL - Sluggo’s
03.10.10 - Birmingham, AL - Bottle Tree
03.11.10 - Jackson, MS - Ole Tavern
03.12.10 - Shreveport, LA - Mediastar Lounge
03.13.10 - Denton, TX - Conferette Festival
03.15.10 - Houston, TX - Cactus Records Instore
03.16.10 - Houston, TX - The Mink
03.17.10 - Austin, TX - SXSW
03.18.10 - Austin, TX - SXSW
03.20.10 - Tucson, AZ - Club Congress
03.21.10 - Tempe, AZ - Sail Inn
03.22.10 - San Diego, CA - Tin Can Alehouse %
03.23.10- Los Angeles, CA - Echo %
03.24.10 - Santa Barbara, CA - Muddy Waters
03.25.10 - Merced, CA - Black Box Theater
03.26.10 - Sacramento, CA - Beatnik Studios
03.27.10 - San Francisco, CA - Hemlock Tavern
03.30.10 - Eugene, OR - Sam Bond’s
03.31.10 - Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios
04.01.10 - Kennewick, WA - Red Room
04.02.10 - Tacoma, WA - O’Malley’s
04.03.10 - Seattle, WA - Sunset Tavern
04.05.10 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
04.06.10 - Denver, CO - Hi-Dive
04.07.10 - Omaha, NE - Slowdown
04.08.10 - Normal, IL - Firehouse
04.09.10 - St. Louis, MO - The Firebird
04.10.10 - Chicago, IL - Schuba’s
04.12.10 - Rochester, NY - Bug Jar
04.13.10 - Pittsburgh, PA - The Smiling Moose
04.14.10 - Harrisburg, PA - Abbey Bar
04.15.10 - New York City, NY - Cakeshop

% O’Death

• Franz Nicolay:

Jeff Mangum to curate Xmas ATP, solo shows announced (UPDATE: East Coast dates announced)

Jeff Mangum has been announced as The Chosen One the curator for a December installment of All Tomorrow’s Parties. The event will be held December 2-4 at a venue of my choosing Butlins Holiday Centre, Minehead. Here are the acts announced so far:

Jeff Mangum (Neutral Milk Hotel)
The Olivia Tremor Control
Young Marble Giants
The Magic Band
The Raincoats (performing The Raincoats)
A Hawk and as Hacksaw
The Apples in Stereo

New York’s Wordless Music Series has also announced a couple Mangum solo shows for the fall. The first is on September 9 at “an historic 1,150-capacity venue to be announced next week”; the second is on September 10 at Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory. He’ll then finish off the month with a couple performances at ATP’s I’ll Be Your Mirror festival on September 30, which is curated by Portishead.

UPDATE: Merge just announced more East Coast dates!

08.12.11 - Toronto, Ontario - Trinity St. Paul’s United Church
08.13.11 - Toronto, Ontario - Trinity St. Paul’s United Church
09.09.11 - Cambridge, MA - TBA
09.10.11 - Boston, MA - Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory
09.30.11 - Asbury Park, NJ - Paramount Theatre (ATP)
10.03.11 - Asbury Park, NJ - Paramount Theatre (ATP)
10.29.11 - New York, NY - Town Hall
11.06.11 - Jersey City, NJ - Loew’s Theatre
12.02.11 - Somerset, England - All Tomorrow’s Parties

• ATP:
• Wordless Music Series:

Bonnaroo 2011: Were The Strokes and Arcade Fire ever good?

Let the games begin, motherfuckers. Bonnaroo, the annual four-day music, comedy, camping, drug-taking, fucking, and shower-avoiding festival that takes place on some rural Tennessee farm owned by T. Boone Pickens has announced its 10th annual wild and wacky lineup of non-Radiohead acts. This year’s hootenanny is taking place June 9-12, and tickets go on sale this saturday at 12:00 PM Eastern Standard Time exclusively at this Radiohead fan site.

Now, in case you’re on the fence about this, let me just type out the names of each confirmed participant in this giant festival in a single, unbroken, serial list, even though no one would ever want to read them this way. This ought to convince you: Arcade Fire, Lil Wayne, The Strokes, My Morning Jacket, Robyn, Deerhunter, Big Boi, The Decemberists, Iron & Wine, The Black Keys, Girl Talk, Eminem, the reunited Buffalo Springfield, Sleigh Bells, Best Coast, Wavves, The Walkmen, Florence and the Machine, Explosions in the Sky, Beirut, Gogol Bordello, Scissor Sisters, Atmosphere, Opeth, Twin Shadow, Smith Westerns, Phosphorescent, Matt & Kim, !!!, Junip, Wiz Khalifa, Loretta Lynn, Wanda Jackson, Dam-Funk and Master Blazter, The Drums, School of Seven Bells, Kylesa, Man Man, The Black Angels, J. Cole, Sharon Van Etten, Omar Souleyman, Ratatat, and “many more” (Radiohead?).

Wow, did you actually make it through all of that? Not me. I don’t know who’s playing.

• Bonnaroo:
• T. Boone Pickens:

Too much of a baby to see Mastodon live? Now you can pretend you were there with a new live album!

If you were lucky enough to be at Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom on October 19, 2009 to watch Mastodon, then you were lucky enough to be included on the recording for Mastodon’s new live CD/DVD album, Live at the Aragon. The new album, set for release on March 15 through Reprise, includes audio and video recordings of the show that saw Mastodon play their latest album, Crack the Skye (TMT Review), in its entirety; the performance also includes plenty of Mastodon’s classic hits and a Melvins cover.

Besides the entire concert, the CD/DVD hybrid album also includes a tour documentary, titled Crack the Skye: The Movie, which details Mastodon’s epic skills at sky-cracking, more commonly known as pole-vaulting. Also included are the fantastic visuals that the band projected on screens behind them while performing.

If you have a lot of money, or a desperate need to prove that you were at the show, you can also buy a “limited-edition bundle” that includes a “custom pick tin” that includes six Mastodon guitar picks and reproduction of an all-access pass from the show that is only available from the band’s website. The new live album will also be available on 180-gram vinyl, but that’s being released on Record Store Day, in tandem with their already announced split single with ZZ Top where both artists perform their version of “Just Got Paid.”

Live at the Aragon tracklisting:

01. Oblivion
02. Divinations
03. Quintessence
04. The Czar
05. Ghost of Karelia
06. Crack the Skye
07. The Last Baron
08. Circle of Cysquatch
09. Aqua Dementia
10. Where Strides the Behemoth
11. Mother Puncher
12. The Bit

• Mastodon: