Conan O’Brien’s Last Show Friday, Neil Young Guests

This morning, NBC announced that Friday will indeed be Conan O’Brien’s last show before Jay Leno returns to host The Tonight Show on March 1. (Fuck NBC! Fuck Leno! Fuck three late-night shows on one station!) According to the Associated Press, O’Brien will walk away with $33 million, and his reportedly disgruntled staff of 200 will split the remaining $12 million of the $45 million settlement, which amounts to roughly $60,000 per person. O’Brien reportedly plans to supplement the staff’s severance out of his own pocket.

The terms, the details of which have yet to be formally announced, allow O’Brien to work for another network for the fall season, but he can’t “disparage” NBC for a specified amount of time. More significantly, “intellectual properties” like Triumph, The Insult Comic Dog and Masturbating Bear are no longer his. (I suggest he symbolically kills them both on Friday.)

But it’s not over yet for the Cone-Zone: The lineup for O’Brien’s last show this Friday has already been announced, and to echo nearly every reporter in the nation, “he’s pulling out the big guns.” In addition to the affable Tom Hanks (Bosom Buddies, Ned on Family Ties) and the incorrigible Will Ferrell (Elf, Mugatu, made-for-TV movie Bucket of Blood), O’Brien has booked Neil Young as the final musical act, who performed a full week on O’Brien’s former Late Night show back in 2005.

I think Barry Manilow is performing tonight. Hm. Anyway, expect some expensive gags for O’Brien’s last two shows.

Beach House Tour, Motorhome Feels Replaced

Ahoy! Beach House have emerged from their upstate New York recording lair and are ready to bliss out on the road this winter and spring in support of their January 26 Sub Pop debut, Teen Dream. Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand describe this album as one that’s thrown them for a loop: “We were forced to let go of people and things we were holding onto as individuals: normalcy, daily rituals, the ability to take care of ourselves. We were dropped into a wilderness, but we had more clarity than we’ve ever had before.” So what’s it going to do to audiences? Be a perv, apparently: “Rhythmically, there’s new motion. This record touches you. On your chest.”

Alto-voiced Bachelorette, a one-woman dance band from New Zealand, lends tour support for the first jaunt, and lo-fi roller disco aficionado Washed Out brings up the rear. It’s the Minimal Personnel Tour!

Everyone will fit in an Airstream trailer:

03.26.10 - Washington, DC - Black Cat #
03.27.10 - Middletown, CT - Wesleyan University
03.28.10 - Boston, MA - Paradise #
03.29.10 - Montreal, Quebec - La Sala Rosa #
03.30.10 - Toronto, Ontario - Opera House #
04.01.10 - Pontiac, MI - Pike Room #
04.02.10 - Chicago, IL - Metro #
04.03.10 - Milwaukee, WI - Pabst Theater #
04.04.10 - Minneapolis, MN - Cedar Cultural Center #
04.05.10 - Omaha, NE - Waiting Room #
04.06.10 - Lawrence, KS - Jackpot Saloon #
04.07.10 - Denver, CO - Bluebird Theater #
04.09.10 - Boise, ID - Neurolux #
04.10.10 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge #
04.11.10 - Vancouver, British Columbia - Rickshaw Theater #
04.12.10 - Seattle, WA - Neumos #
04.14.10 - San Francisco, CA - Bimbos #
04.15.10 - San Luis Obispo, CA - Downtown Brewing Co. #
04.19.10 - Phoenix, AZ - Rhythm Room *
04.21.10 - Dallas, TX - Granada Theater %
04.22.10 - Austin, TX - Emo’s %
04.23.10 - Houston, TX - Walter’s %
04.24.10 - Baton Rouge, LA - Spanish Moon %
04.25.10 - Tallahassee, FL - Engine Room %
04.27.10 - Birmingham, AL - Bottletree %
04.28.10 - Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge %
04.29.10 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl %
04.30.10 - Asheville, NC - Grey Eagle Tavern %
05.01.10 - Chapel Hill, NC - Cat’s Cradle %
05.06.10 - New York, NY - Webster Hall
05.07.10 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church
05.08.10 - Baltimore, MD - 2640 Space

But first:

01.22.10 - New York, NY - Late Night With Jimmy Falllon
01.24.10 - Park City, UT - Sundance Festival
01.26.10 - Brooklyn, NY - The Bell House
02.10.10 - Glasgow, Scotland - King Tuts
02.11.10 - Manchester, England - Islington Mill
02.12.10 - Leeds, England - Brudenell Social Club
02.13.10 - Dublin, Ireland - Whelans
02.14.10 - Belfast, Northern Ireland - Speakeasy
02.16.10 - Cardiff, Wales - Arts Centre
02.17.10 - London, England - Bush Hall
02.18.10 - Lille, France - L’Aéronef Club
02.18.10 - Saint-Malo, France - La Route du Rock
02.20.10 - Paris, France - La Maroquinerie
02.21.10 - Ghent, Belgium - Vooruit
02.22.10 - Brussels, Belgium - Botanique
02.23.10 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Paradiso
02.24.10 - Groningen, Netherlands - Vera
02.25.10 - Berlin, Germany - Roter Salon
02.26.10 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Loppen
02.27.10 - Stockholm, Sweden - Debaser
02.28.10 - Oslo, Norway - Parkteatret
03.02.10 - Gothenburg, Sweden - Pusterviksbaren (Club Woody West)
03.03.10 - Hamburg, Germany - Molotov
03.04.10 - Leipzig, Germany - UT Connwitz
03.05.10 - Munich, Germany - Feierwerk
03.06.10 - Zurich, Switzerland - Abart
03.08.10 - Newcastle, England - The Sage *
03.09.10 - Edinburgh, Scotland - The Queens Hall *
03.11.10 - Brighton, England - The Corn Exchange *
03.12.10 - Coventry, England - Warwick Arts Centre *
03.13.10 - London, England - Roundhouse *
03.14.10 - London, England - Roundhouse *
03.17.10 - Lisbon, Portugal - Lux Fragil
03.18.10 - Guimareas, Portugal - Centro Cultural Vila Flor

* Grizzly Bear
# Bachelorette
% Washed Out

[Photo: Jason Nocito]

Liars Bring Thom Yorke, Tunde Adebimpe, and Bradford Cox On Board For Sisterworld Bonus Disc

What could be better than a new Liars album in 2010? How about a new Liars album with a bonus disc included? Liars’ fifth album, Sisterworld, which is due March 9 on Mute, is now set to feature a bonus disc with “remixes and reinterpretations” from Thom Yorke, TV On The Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe, Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox, the Melvins, Suicide’s Alan Vega, and Blonde Redhead.

Liars are also hitting the road this spring to spread the good word about Sisterworld to the masses.

04.10.10 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey Theatre *
04.14.10 - Washington, DC - Rock & Roll Hotel *
04.15.10 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom *
04.16.10 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church *
04.17.10 - Boston, MA - Paradise *
04.18.10 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg *
04.27.10 - San Francisco, CA - Slim’s *
04.29.10 - Portland, OR - Hawthorne Theatre *
04.30.10 - Vancouver, British Columbia - TBA *
05.01.10 - Seattle, WA - Neumos *

* Fol Chen

RIAA Asks FCC Not to Block Anti-Piracy Measures; Court Questions Whether FCC Is Legally Entitled to Set Net Neutrality Rules

On January 14, the RIAA wrote to the FCC arguing that they must allow anti-piracy efforts to proceed without obstruction. The FCC is currently consulting on the issue of net neutrality, with January 15 being the deadline for public comments. This would regulate how ISPs should manage their network traffic.

In the RIAA’s submission, they say, “huge amounts of the Internet’s bandwidth are tied up in unlawful traffic.” They also add, “we have a particularly strong interest in ensuring an Internet in which media applications – which, unlike file-sharing applications, have a low tolerance for network delay – can function smoothly and without the network congestion caused by piracy-inflated traffic.” And all at fair prices, right RIAA?

This, of course, all depends on whether the FCC is legally entitled to set rules governing net neutrality anyway. A D.C. appeals court questioned this very matter recently. The FCC proposed net neutrality rules in October 2009, but some reckon “there isn’t anything in the Communications Act, or any other statute, actually giving them power to regulate such things.” The Commission believe they can get around this by citing “ancillary jurisdiction” – where the FCC can take on powers “necessary to ensure the achievement of the Commission’s statutory responsibilities.” Comcast actually took the FCC to court over the fact that the ISP had throttled BitTorrent and the Commission censured them.

Spoon, The Shins’ James Mercer, Yo La Tengo Cover Love Songs for Starbucks Valentine’s Comp; Are You Listening, Rachael Ray’s Husband?

In 2005 (a.k.a. the Golden Age of music sales), Starbucks’ then cutting-edge Hear Music label poured millions and millions of marketing dollars into thinking up a fantastic name for their first Valentine’s Day compilation CD of Indie LITE artists covering classic love songs… then they looked down at some of those candy hearts or something and decided to just call the damn thing Sweetheart instead… then they realized that they had no business trying to sell their own new music in their stores and kinda stopped doing a lot of that… then last year, they released a sequel to the series anyway… and now, with the economy doing better than it ever has in history, Starbucks has dropped yet another Sweetheart album.

This time around, they’re really hoping that your lady is totally INTO covers of songs she’s never heard before unless she’s a music person and owns the songs already. Killer strategy, right? The Shins’ James Mercer collaborates with his brother Robert on a version of Bob Dylan’s “Spanish Harlem Incident,” Spoon take on The Damned’s “Love Song,” Yo La Tengo try out The Zombies’ “You Make Me Feel Good,” (okay, that actually sounds awesome) and José González contributes his version of Kylie Minogue’s “Hand on Your Heart” (yeah, man, digging deep here). Elvis Perkins, Grand Archives, Mates of State, The Long Winters, and The Avett Brothers also make some Starbuxianly (I just made that up) non-offensive appearances.

But the best part? Dude, the comp’s for sale on iTunes RIGHT THE HELL NOW. Valentine’s Day shopping = all done, man. Now we can hit up the In-N-Out Burger, get some burgers, some beers, have a few laughs or whatever…. Your former troubles are over, dude.

Sweetheart 2010:

01. José González: “Hand on Your Heart” (Kylie Minogue)
02. Grand Archives: “Cupid” (Sam Cooke)
03. James Mercer & Robert Mercer: “Spanish Harlem Incident” (Bob Dylan)
04. Spoon: “Love Song” (The Damned)
05. Elvis Perkins: “Teneme en Tu Corazon (Keep Me in Your Heart)” (traditional)
06. The Long Winters: “Give Me All Your Lovin’” (ZZ Top)
07. Yo La Tengo: “You Make Me Feel Good” (The Zombies)
08. Céu: “Eu Amo Você (I Love You)” (Tim Maia)
09. Diane Birch: “I Go Crazy” (Paul Davis)
10. Jason Collett and Zeus: “Every Night” (Paul McCartney)
11. The Avett Brothers: “I Love” (Tom T. Hall)
12. Mates of State: “Long Way Home” (Tom Waits)
13. Angelique Kidjo: “Ne Me Quitte Pas (If You Go Away)” (Jacques Brel)
14. Hey Marseilles: “True Love Will Find You in the End” (Daniel Johnston)

Raekwon Promises via Twitter Two New Solo LPs in 2010

And so, let it be known that the Wu’s own Raekwon rang in two-oh-ten twitting a very tall tweet. How tall of a twat was the tweet, you ask? Well, son, I’d be lyin’ if I didn’t tells ya that it’s just about the tallest tweet I ever did done see betweeted upon the twitterverse. Here’s the Chef in his own words:

O I forgot my announcement on jan 1st to give yall so ima tell ya now! “I WILL BE DROPPIN 2 ALBUMS THIS YEAR!” Rt this crack….

Hmm… I want to believe you, Rae. Don’t get me wrong, I very much want to listen to those new records. I really do. But it’s just that, well, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Pt. II (TMT Review) took like 10 years to see the light of day, and you promised us that new joint with you, Meth, and Ghostface would drop in February, and… well. Whatever. I’m sure all those things are gonna come out eventually and they’ll be great and everything, but man, I just want to hear them soon. Like you’ve promised. Okay, enough grumpy grumbles. Let’s all just lose our inhibitions in a glass of red wine and a bubble bath and watch the Wu-Massacre series all over again (check out a leaked track from the upcoming album over at the Chocolate Grinder).

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