Coming To A Venue Near You: The Softer Side of Michael Gira

It's not all songs about anti-consumerism and torturing someone in your basement for Michael Gira anymore! Oh no! After the demise of his abrasive and often disturbing New York rock group Swans, Mr. Gira chose to eschew the heavy rock sound with which his name had become synonymous and focus on crafting more quietly menacing albums both on his own and with his art-folk project The Angels of Light.

Michael Gira currently resides in the Catskill Mountains, where he is much less frightening but busier than ever before. In between writing books I wouldn't want my mom to read, discovering Devendra Banhart, and founding Young God Records, Gira has also managed to book a solo European tour this February. After fleeing the frigid climes of northern New York state, Michael Gira will bring his darkly beautiful brand of Americana to Italy and the Iberian peninsula. Surely there's time for a side trip to Andorra, Mr. Gira?

[Photo: Peter Kondyrev]

The National And Modest Mouse Announce Upcoming Opening Tour For R.E.M.; Michael Stipe Sleeps Soundly Knowing That His Band Is 2% More Relevant Than They Were A Week Ago

Michael Stipe: All right guys, we need to pick some hip openers for this upcoming tour so people realize we’re still a relevant band.

Mike Mills: But, Michael, our last album came out in 2004, and all three of us are in our early-‘50s or late-‘40s. We’re no spring chickens here!

Peter Buck: He’s right, you know.

Stipe: Sigh. Fine, I guess you’re both right. Sometimes it’s just hard for me to admit that we’re not as cool as we were during the ‘90s.

Buck: No worries, man, the fans are still out there.

Mills: I think you’re onto something though, Michael. We need to book some up-and-comers for this tour, if we ever want to land a new generation of fans.

Buck: What about that National band?

Stipe: National? What kind of a band name is that?

Mills: No, they’re pretty good actually. I read about them on one of those blogging websites. Apparently they’re originally from the Midwest, they have self-deprecating lyrics, and they love The Boss.

Stipe: Well, any band that loves Bruce is fine by me. Let’s give ‘em a call!

Buck: Hey, do you guys think we should try and get a cool sponsor for this tour as well? I hear those youngsters really like that PBR drink... what about PBR Presents: R.E.M. Summer 2008?

Stipe: Um...

Mills: Yeah, Peter, you took it a bit too far there. Let's just add Modest Mouse too and call it a day. I need a steam anyway.

See The National live out their boyhood fantasies by opening for R.E.M. at the following dates:
02.22.08 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Brooklyn Next Festival
02.23.08 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM)
05.23.08 – Vancouver, BC – Deer Lake Park &
05.29.08 – Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Bowl &
05.31.08 – Los Angeles, CA – Greek Theater &
06.03.08 – Denver, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre &
06.06.08 – Chicago, IL – United Center &
06.08.08 – Toronto, ON – Molson Amphitheatre &
06.10.08 – Raleigh, NC – Walnut Creek Amphitheatre &
06.11.08 – Columbia, MD – Merriweather Post Pavilion &
06.13.08 – Boston, MA – Tweeter Center &
06.14.06 – Long Island, NY – Jones Beach &
06.18.08 – Philadelphia, PA – Mann Center &
06.21.08 – Atlanta, GA – Lakewood Amphitheatre &

& R.E.M., Modest Mouse

Beck’s Odelay Reissue Comes with Incorrect Lyrics; More on This Uproarious Story Below!

We're living in a post-9/11 world. Anyhoo, Beck's Odelay was reissued this week as a 2CD set, with remixes, B-sides, and much more (TMT News). What we or any other media outlet failed to report, however, was that this "Deluxe Reissue" also came complete with a brand spankin' new, incorrect lyric sheet!

According to Beck's publicity company:

The first pressing of the recent Odelay Deluxe Reissue was found to have gone out with unproofed lyrics that were taken from a lyrics website as place holders for layout purposes.

Beck apologizes for this unfortunate oversight and is making
arrangements for the corrected lyrics to be available gratis via Subsequent pressings of the Odelay Deluxe will also include the corrected lyrics.

Of course, Beck's way too cool to actually apologize himself on his webpage or on his MySpace. But wait -- is it even his fault? Was he doing the layout for the Odelay reissue? Was he supposed to give the final green light or something?

Either way, I like the new lyrics better. "GOT A DEVIL'S HAIRCUT! IN MY MINE!"

Nick Cave Finally Gets Laid, Sews Bad Seeds All Over Europe

Unlike last year, when he just couldn't seem to get laid to save his life, Nick Cave is really digging himself these days.

He must have finally found the right... er, "outlet," because, here in 2008, things are flowing!

And currently feeling refreshed, revalidated, and reforested with his infamously iniquitous Bad Seeds, the uncouth impresario is hitting the autobahn this April for a whirlwind tour in support of his first record with da Seeds since 2004's Abattoir Blues/Lyre of Orpheus! See? Male enhancement can do wonders!

Cave and co.'s manly, exclamation-studded new album DIG, LAZARUS, DIG!!! is scheduled for, uh, "release" on the 3rd of March through Mute Records. Tickets go on sale TODAY (February 1) for all of you beautiful European TMTers. But if you chose to go, lookout, cuz Cave is on the proooowl!

Go Lazarus, Go:

Dirty Projectors Rock, Jump, and Jerk Off on Tour

The Dirty Projectors are going on tour! They've been practicing their performance moves in front of the mirror, so expect to see Dave Longstreth execute some new moves, like....




"They were doing a brand new step that everybody isn't moving to":

Grammy Awards to Include Striking Writers

Shifting away from their peers in the television and film communities, the music industry has decided to include striking writers in its upcoming Grammy Awards show. The ceremony, which will be broadcast live from Los Angeles February 10, is the first such awards show to utilize the work of striking writers. A press release was issued Tuesday, January 22, by The Writers Guild of America stating that it will not protest the upcoming Grammy Awards like it has other award shows in the recent past.

Since there will be no picket line to cross, recording artists with sympathies toward the striking writers are more likely to attend the Grammys. The decision allows the Grammy Awards to sidestep problems fraught throughout the Golden Globe Awards when actors refused to cross picket lines.

There had been growing concerns lately expressed by members of the music industry regarding the writer’s strike and its effect on the Grammy Awards. In a statement with last week, John Silva, manager of The Foo Fighters, articulated his concerns. “We are hopeful that we will see a resolution to the current situation affecting our entire industry.” It appears that John Silva and others in the music industry will not have to be concerned any longer.

The Grammy’s have taken a great step forward with the strikers by including them in the Awards show. Hopefully the strides that the music industry is making will show the television and film community how very important these writers are and will increase the chances that this continuing strike will come to a quicker conclusion.