Craig Finn announces release date of new solo LP, dispels rumors of his “secret illiteracy”

Craig Finn announces release date of new solo LP, dispels rumors of his "secret illiteracy"

Good news, hoodrat, meth-addict, sexually-excited-by-Jesus assholes! Craig Finn, the hyper-literate-but-not-in-that-cloying-Decemberists-way talk-singer of The Hold Steady, has just confirmed a release date for his debut solo album. Due January 24 on Vagrant, the album’s called Clear Heart Full Eyes. I know, seems lame right? But it’s cool; it’s probably some next-level reference from Dante or Kerouac or something. Let’s go to the press release: “It’s a juxtaposed reference to ‘Friday Night Lights,’ a TV show that excited and moved me and also happened in Texas.” D’oh!

But wait, there’s more. The album consists of songs Finn wrote in his Brooklyn apartment earlier this year. See? Brooklyn. This shit’s probably experimental as hell! Hook me up, press release: “I had written a bunch of songs that were outside of the norm for The Hold Steady, a little quieter and perhaps more narrative.” DAMNIT.

Okay, okay. But still, the studio lore behind this has to be cool, right? I mean, Finn’s a pretty infamous partier. Let’s consult his first-hand account of the recording porcess. Let’s see… looks like he recorded the album in Austin with Spoon and …Trail of Dead producer Mike McCarthy this past July because he wanted to “gain some experience and insight into the process of making a record by working with new people.” Aw, come on, man! At least give me something about reciting Pound’s Cantos while sniffing coke off of some college girl’s Chi Rho-tatooed tits! It’s not like being a 40-year-old man who still pretends like he’s 18 for the sake of keeping up appearances in a cool rock band is too much to ask, Craig.

Clear Heart Full Eyes tracklisting:

01. Apollo Bay
02. When No One’s Watching
03. No Future
04. New Friend Jesus
05. Jackson
06. Terrified Eyes
07. Western Pier
08. Honolulu Blues
09. Rented Room
10. Balcony
11. Not Much Left of Us

• Craig Finn:
• Vagrant:
• The Hold Steady:

Common announces release date for The Dreamer, The Believer while acting like a slave for AMC

While Common’s upcoming The Dreamer, The Believer has been pushed back from its original November 22 date, it’s not like the multitalented workhorse hasn’t stayed busy. He stopped through West Michigan’s 1045 SNX to promote the Confederate flag waving AMC drama Hell on Wheels on Monday. As a freed slave, Common’s character no doubt must function as both a dreamer and a believer in order to readjust to life as a free man. What a handy tie-in, that is!

You can watch the trailer for the original series, which premieres on Sunday, if you’re here for the television news, but what’s really G.O.O.D. is Common also took the time to let us all in on the new release date for his next full-length. December 20 is the new date, and so long as he doesn’t get run out of town by Confederates we’re thinking this will stick. It should be noted that the album art of his first single, “Blue Sky,” is very Causers of This-era Toro Y Moi. So big ups for such a nice touch; some might call it Common sense.

Oh, and if you don’t believe us, go here to listen to the clips from Common’s radio appearance, in which he also confirms his Nas collabo and a spring 2012 release for the Yeezy-owned G.O.O.D. label’s album-length effort. Maybach Music, look out.

• Common:
• G.O.O.D. Music:

The Black Heart Procession join up with Chelsea Wolfe for a tour made in sad heaven

From the murkiest depths of sunny California, comes the winter season’s darkest West Coast tour! Long-running sad band The Black Heart Procession are shaking out their gloomiest monk robes and blazing a trail of melancholic indie pop all the way from San Diego on up to Vancouver. Along the way, they’ll be picking up much-buzzed-about Los Angeles-based doomfolk songstress Chelsea Wolfe, and then together these two critical darlings will hit clubs along the West Coast and into the Southwest. It’s the ultimate in summer fun!!!!! But like, if you put summer fun in a freezer alone with just a skeletal tree and a Bauhaus record for company.

So basically this is like a match made in Sad Heaven. (I know, I know — while both group’s aesthetic sensibilities lean toward the spooky, neither one produces particularly gothtacular music.) Wolfe’s Apokalypsis has been lighting music journalists’ hearts afire since it was released late this summer on Pendu Sound Recordings. The boys in Black Heart Procession toured earlier this year with J. Mascis, but haven’t had a studio release out since last year’s Blood Bunny/Black Rabbit EP (TMT Review) for Temporary Residence. So what kind of wacky hijinks will these crazy kids get up to once they all get on the bus? The only thing we can say for sure is MAGICK. MAGICK for all.


12.02.11 - San Diego, CA - Casbah
12.03.11 - Los Angeles, CA - Satellite Club
12.04.11 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill
12.06.11 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
12.07.11 - Vancouver, BC - Rickshaw Theatre
12.08.11 - Seattle, WA - Tractor Tavern
12.10.11 - Boise, ID - Neurolux
12.11.11 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
12.12.11 - Denver, CO - Hi Dive
12.13.11 - Albuquerque, NM - Low Spirits
12.14.11 - Phoenix, AZ - The Crescent Ballroom

• The Black Heart Procession:
• Temporary Residence Ltd.:

Wu-Tang Clan bring (the motherfucking) ruckus in December and January

L.A., stand up! You better protect yo’ neck ‘cause come January 21, Wu-Tang Clan is in the muthafuckin’ buildin’! The RZA, the GZA, (Ol’ Dirty Bastard, RIP), Inspectah Deck, Raekwon the Chef, U-God, Ghostface Killah, and the Method Man are all slated to appear at Club Nokia… which apparently means the shows before might not feature the full Clan?

RZA is notorious for being a no-show, particularly at last year’s Club Nokia gig, and if he’s to go all Shaolin chess master on us, he might try to teach us that history repeats itself. So y’all looking to see the full lineup, better go rub yo’ ass in the moonshine (for good luck?), or hope that they’re still the kind of men who about they C.R.E.A.M. The Los Angeles date is the final show on a short string of dates that takes them through Anaheim, Las Vegas, Boston, and New York, among other stops.

Tickets for all shows are on sale now via Ticketmaster.


12.15.11 - Sayreville, NJ - Starland Ballroom
12.17.11 - Clifton Park, NY - Northern Lights
12.18.11 - New York, NY - Best Buy Theater
12.28.11 - Boston, MA - Wilbur Theatre
12.29.11 - Stroudsburg, PA - Sherman Theater
01.18.12 - Anaheim, CA - City National Grove of Anaheim
01.19.12 - Las Vegas, NV - House of Blues
01.21.12 - Los Angeles, CA - Club Nokia

• Wu-Tang Clan:

Jeff Mangum announces 2012 US tour

Jeff Mangum, whose ATP fest was recently cancelled due to “unforeseen circumstances,” has not only rescheduled the event and the surrounding shows for March 2012, but he’s also gone ahead and scheduled — without permission from us, mind you — a US tour for late January/early February 2012. This announcement definitely gets a 5/5 from me (10/10 on the Pitchfork scale).

Tickets are on sale this Friday. Check Merge for more details, or you will die by sundown.

01.18.12 - New Haven, CT - Shubert Theater
01.20.12 - Brooklyn, NY - Gilman Opera House at Brooklyn Academy of Music
01.25.12 - Philadelphia, PA - Irvine Auditorium at University of Pennsylvania
01.27.12 - Washington, DC - Lincoln Theatre
01.30.12 - Chapel Hill, NC - Memorial Hall at University of North Carolina
02.01.12 - Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse
02.04.12 - Minneapolis, MN - Pantages Theatre
02.06.12 - Chicago, IL - Athenaeum Theater
02.07.12 - Chicago, IL - Athenaeum Theater
02.08.12 - Milwaukee, WI - Pabst Theater
02.10.12 - Athens, GA - 40 Watt Club
02.11.12 - Athens, GA - 40 Watt Club
03.07.12 - Dublin, IRE - Vicar Street
03.09.12 - Minehead, UK - All Tomorrow’s Parties Curated By Jeff Mangum
03.13.12 - London, UK - Union Chapel
03.14.12 - London, UK - Union Chapel

• Neutral Milk Hotel:
• Merge:
• All Tomorrow’s Parties:

TuneCore: “We’re launching a new music publishing service!” Major labels: “Why didn’t WE think of that?”

TuneCore, the leading digital distributor for independent artists, has launched a complementary service for administering music publishing rights. Not intended to replace music publishers themselves, the new service will simply aid artists in working with publishers to help them collect royalties from the use of their work.

The new division is being led by Jamie Purpora, former EVP of Bug Music, and already has the support of one high-profile TuneCore artist, noted trendsetter Trent Reznor (from the Facebook movie), who signed up for the publishing assistance service during the beta trial. The service is currently only available to artists who use TuneCore’s distribution services, but is expected to be made available to all rights holders in the future. The cost for the service is a flat, one time fee of $49.99, plus 10% of any royalties collected.

TuneCore isn’t the first provider of independent publishing services, though. SongTrust, which launched in March 2011, offers similar services and returns all royalties to artists after they pay an upfront fee. While the lack of a commission is an appealing draw, TuneCore’s integrated distribution services may prove to be a better package deal for artists looking to increase their revenues. Regardless, Tunecore’s expanding services are a boon for independent artists looking for help in managing their careers and is another example of why major labels just aren’t important anymore.

• TuneCore:
• SongTrust: