Darling, That Handsome Furs Tour Looks Perfectly Divine with Those Diamond Earrings!

I say, is that really you? I would never have expected to find you here at the Imperial Hotel so very late in the season! Ah, but I’m sure the Ambassador keeps very busy working on that simply delightful collection of motorcars you have! When was it I last saw you? That’s right, of course, how could I have forgotten? It was at the Countess d’Orgel’s Christmas ball in Vienna! Such an absolutely charming woman, the Countess, don’t you agree?

Well, I must say you are looking splendid. Do stop by our chateau this Friday! We’ve assembled the most exquisite collection of people; the Duke has really outdone himself this time! You know how we pride ourselves on being patrons of the arts, and we’ve acquired some simply sublime people from America — jazz musicians they’re called. They’re just wild! What’s that you say? You’re already engaged to attend a performance by Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade’s side project, The Handsome Furs? Well, I do enjoy a handsome fur myself, but I’m afraid I don’t quite understand. An indie rock band, you say? On tour? Alright, dear, well, you enjoy yourself with your new motorcar and indie rock band, and don’t hesitate to look up the Duke and myself next time you’re in Carlsbad. Kisses!

New Mountain Album!!! Oh, new Mountain Goats Album? Well, that’s good too.

“Gliddy glub gloopy/ Nibby nabby noopy/ La la la lo lo/ Sabba sibby sabba/ Nooby abba nabba/ Le le lo lo/ tooby ooby walla/ Nooby abba naba/ Early morning singing song.”

Needless to say, to someone accustomed to the bookish, transcendental lyrics like these lovingly displayed above, the generic, low-brow, and downright lifeless words of chief Mountain Goat John Darnielle don’t really rocketh my world with the same poetic intensity of say, Avril or Sir Jon Bon Jovi. You would think with 27 albums to his credit that he would eventually hit some sort of stride and start to produce a few bon mots of quality. But noooooooo.

Nah, I can’t keep up this charade any longer. It is a given that Darnielle has a gift of lyrical gab matched by very few (and peerless songwriting finesse to boot), so whenever word spreads that a new Mountain Goats album is coming down the pike, we get unusually giddy. Assisted by Franklin Bruno, Annie Clark, Erik Friedlander, Peter Hughes, Jon Wurster, and The Bright Mountain Choir, Heretic Pride will be released through 4AD on February 19, just in time to give your postal carrier [Editor's note: awwww yeah!!!] his or her belated Valentine’s Day gift. The album was produced by Scott Solter and John Vanderslice, features art by the godlike Vaughan Oliver, and contains 13 songs, none of which will match the nadir of expressive wizardry, Coldplay’s “Yellow” (“for you I’d bleed myself dry”... [oh no you wouldn’t, you whinging ass-bag!]).

1. Sax Rohmer #1
2. San Bernardino
3. Heretic Pride
4. Autoclave
5. New Zion
6. So Desperate
7. In the Craters on the Moon
8. Lovecraft in Brooklyn
9. Tianchi Lake
10. How to Embrace a Swamp Creature
11. Marduk T-Shirt Men’s Room Incident
12. Sept 15 1983
13. Michael Myers Resplendent

No, no, you're wrong, George Bernard Shaw... a heretic is always better live!
12.08.07 - London, England - Union Chapel
12.09.07 - Manchester, England - Moho Live
12.10.07 - Glasgow, Scotland - Oran Mor

It’s Never Too Late to Show Some Support; Locust Relief Fund Not Meant to Relieve Anyone from Locust

As the story goes, November 25 was playing out like another shitty-as-usual Sunday evening in St. Louis. The Locust were touring in support of their third full-length release (if you can call a 23-minute release a full-length), New Erections, when their van was broken into and things were stolen. Note my use of the un-accusingly passive voice, employed to reserve judgment on the sort of low-life, hell-bound trash who break into tour vans and steal meager amounts of worldly belongings that include but are not limited to: three computers and, as reported by the Three One G: Locust Relief Fund, "phone chargers, money, and anything else you can think of."

"Three One G is all about family, and we consider The Locust nothing less. We are doing what we can to help these guys out, but we are reaching out to you the fans to help bring some resolve to this situation."

So, I wonder what exactly was stolen from The Locust? Four nylon body suits with mesh eye pieces? Perhaps an embarrassingly extensive collection of Detroit-based disco albums circa 1972, thus their failure to be explicitly reported as missing? Maybe the October issue of Musikkpraksis magazine and a Norwegian-to-English dictionary (I have a feeling Justin Pearson is just that sort of hip)?

Monetary donations and literary condolences are being accepted at freedumb@threeoneg.com, so, fans, hop to it. And haters, sit tight.

New Art Brut Tour Dates, Top of the Pops!

There's a bar in NYC's Alphabet City that boasts the best jukebox of them all, by far. If they've got an artist, they've got their entire discography. Be nice and I'll tell you which. The point is, I was sitting on a barstool watching Art Brut's Eddie Argos struggle with the ball mouse on the jukebox (note: having a ball mouse on a jukebox in a bar seems kind of cruel, but I guess that's the price you pay), and I genuinely can't tell you if I helped him or not. That chunk of the memory is gone. But just know that I really, really wanted to.

Coming off a tour of the States with The Hold Steady, Art Brut are picking up some dates seemingly everywhere but the U.S., in continued support of their latest, It's A Bit Complicated. Someone, anyone, please buy me a plane ticket immediately. Nag nag nag.

What's wrong? Scared to commit?:

Who Knew Sunn O))) and Boris Liked Applebee’s That Much

I won a Good Housekeeping Magazine contest earlier this year, in which the winner, randomly chosen, had a chance to hang out with Sunn O))) and Boris for any Saturday of their choosing. Last Saturday was finally the day that worked best for all of us, so I had Sunn O))) and Boris fly over to my apartment in Madison, WI. I was extremely excited.

Too bad Sunn O))) and Boris are extremely boring in person. Most of the time was spent "chillaxing," per Stephen O'Malley's request. We seriously spent most of the day just sitting there watching TV, barely even talking. Sadly enough, the highlight was when we had dinner at Applebee's (almost went to Perkins), if only for the dollar beers. Sunn O))) and Boris kept talking about how the day was "just what they needed" and that "these lazy Saturdays are the best." All I could think about was going home early. And I did, as they wanted to hang out there and "watch the game."

Anyway, Sunn O))) are playing the Portishead-curated All Tomorrow's Parties and will perform the album Altar (TMT Review) with Boris the next day, followed by scattered dates around Europe. I can assure you Sunn O))) and Boris aren't boring live.

$ Earth

* with Boris Presenting Altar

Meanwhile, Boris are releasing a new album on Southern Lord next April with help from Michio Kurihara and boring-ass Stephen O' Malley. They've titled it Smile. But, I ask you Boris, how can you smile when you're not happy? When everything in your life has turned to shit in just three months? When all the people you've ever loved have now turned their backs on you? You'll never experience the pain that I have, Boris. Never.

[Photo: Jenny Mcgee]

Facts: Bears Beets Battlestar Galactica & the RIAA Hates College Students

When is it going to stop? Answer: probably never. The RIAA, in yet another fabulous attempt to sue already debt-ridden college students off their asses, has sent out its tenth wave of litigation letters to places of higher education across the country. The letters ask schools to specifically identify students whose IP addresses the RIAA already has and to forward pre-litigation letters to those students. Wondering if you should be erasing your existence from the internets? Don't hit "delete account" so quickly, unless you go to...

But of course, the fun doesn't stop there, no! The government is against you, too. Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) recently introduced his College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007 to Congress. Buried in the act are provisions which:

- encourage colleges to provide information to students and employees about illegal downloading and its legal consequences;
- require colleges to create alternatives to illegal downloading for students and explore illegal downloading deterrents; and
- authorize the Secretary of Education to donate funds to schools that make advances in discouraging and stopping illegal downloads.

Spokespeople from both the RIAA and the MPAA are hailing the legislation as an important step forward in the war against illegal downloads. What they really mean is that the bill will make it easier for them to invade students' privacy and force colleges to bend to the organizations' wills. Hey, I hear there's a sale on telescreens over at Best Buy this week.