Faraquet Album Remastered & Reissued

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The long-defunct seminal post-hardcore band Faraquet is receiving much-deserved appreciation from home label Dischord. The label has remastered and re-released the band’s only full-length release during their somewhat brief but impact-full run through the late 90s. The album is The View from This Tower (release in 2000), and it is once again available for purchase at the Dischord website and in hopefully a few lucky record stores around town.

In extremely related news, the band Medications, whose core membership features Devin and Chad from Faraquet, will be releasing Completely Removed on April 20 via Dischord.

• Faraquet: http://www.myspace.com/faraquetband
• Dischord: http://www.dischord.com

April 3rd is “First Avenue Day” in Minneapolis; feel free to bathe in the cool waters of Minnetonka

How old were you the first time you heard Purple Rain? If you’re reading this, you were probably about 30 seconds old. Give or take five to ten minutes, because you were most likely conceived to it. So, let it be known, that Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak has proclaimed April 3 as First Avenue Day in the Twin Cities. First Avenue was made legendary by its appearance in that famed movie, and has been the home and launching pad of numerous acts. Here’s a bunch of stuff Rybak decreed:

WHEREAS; First Avenue is celebrating forty years as an independent music venue; has been committed to fostering art, music and entertainment excellence, from the avant-garde to the mainstream; and

WHEREAS; First Avenue transformed an old bus depot into an international icon and the premier downtown danceteria and music venue in the Twin Cities; and hosted performances by Joe Cocker, R.E.M, Ike & Tina Turner, Motörhead, Modest Mouse, Beck, B.B. King, GWAR, Beastie Boys, Pavement, Wu-Tang Clan, Iggy Pop, U2, Wilco and more; and

WHEREAS; First Avenue is committed to continuing its historical role as a testing ground and launch pad for local artists including Prince, The Replacements, Hüsker Dü, Morris Day and the Time, Soul Asylum, Atmosphere and other Rhymesayers artists, The Hold Steady, Trip Shakespeare, The Jayhawks and many others; and

WHEREAS; First Avenue has held fundraising events benefiting both local and national charities; provided Thanksgiving dinners for those without; and is constantly finding ways to give back to the community; and

WHEREAS; First Avenue holds countless unforgettable memories; has amplified legendary guitars; has been famously featured in Purple Rain; and has continually provided nights of wild dancing on its legendary dance floor; and

WHEREAS; First Avenue has been recognized as one of the best places to see live performances by music fans worldwide; has captivated millions of customers and has welcomed bands in the tens of thousands; and has even made a couple exceptions to its “no stage diving” rule to accommodate yours truly.

Now, therefore, I, R.T. Rybak, Mayor of the City of Minneapolis, do hereby proclaim Saturday, April 3rd, 2010 to be


Now that’s what I call positive community outreach in the Northland.

• First Avenue: http://www.first-avenue.com

Jeff Mangum to play Chris Knox benefit. Also playing: people who aren’t indie rock’s version of Bigfoot.

I’m sure I’m not telling you anything new here, but Jeff Mangum is hardly Bradford Cox or that guy from Wavves or . Aside from rare occasions like the Elephant Six Holiday Surprise Tour or popping up at Elf Power shows, the public has hardly seen hide nor hair of the Neutral Milk Hotel leader in the past decade. So, when the man is scheduled to play honest-to-god music on stage, it’s a big deal. Big deal of the moment: Mangum will play a short acoustic set at the May 6 benefit for Chris Knox taking place at New York City’s Le Poisson Rouge.

Surely you already know who Mangum is (if not, I’d recommend picking up In The Aeroplane Over The Sea real quick like), but who is this Knox fellow and why is there a benefit for him? Well, he would happen to be one of New Zealand’s most respected punk rock musicians of the 70s and 80s, along with also wearing the hats of comic artist, television host, film reviewer, and producer of many releases on the legendary Flying Nun label. Last year, Knox suffered a series of life-changing strokes. To benefit the musician and his family, Merge has put out Stroke, a tribute record featuring covers of the man’s work, and Le Poisson Rouge, Wordless Music, and WFMU are putting on the aforementioned benefit. Aside from the roughly $2,500 in costs for club expenses, all money from the benefit will go to Knox’s family.

Although Mangum’s participation in the event will be the main incentive for many, there’s no lack of major talent involved in the proceedings. Among those playing are Yo La Tengo, Portastatic, TV On The Radio’s Kyp Malone, The Magnetic Fields’ Claudia Gonson, Sharon Van Etten, The Clean (along with solo sets by members Robert Scott and David Kilgour), comedian John Mulaney, and Dimmer, which is fronted by Straitjacket Fits singer Shayne Carter. Tickets are SOLD OUT of course, but the show will be partially broadcast on WFMU (at a later date), along with various New Zealand community radio stations.

Indian Jewelry TOTALED-LY have a new album coming out

Psych-outs, shit-storms, and endless paranoiac-dumpster-scrambling are bound to run parallel with the impending release of the new new Indian Jewelry album, as is with basically any Indian Jewelry release. The Houston freaks are throwing this one out of the sewers on We Are Free come May 11, and regardless of whatever mutant-like form its likely to take, it will be named Totaled. It was recorded in Houston and L.A., probably in the sewers.

Totaled tracklist:

01. Oceans
02. Look Alive
03. Lapis Lazuli
04. Excessive Moonlight
05. Sirens
06. Vison
07. Tono Bungay
08. +++++++
09. Simulation
10. Diamond Things
11. Never Been Better
12. Parlous Siege & Chapel
13. Heaven’s World Destroyer
14. Touching the Roof of the Sun
15. Dog Days

Some shows to fill in the gap:

04.23.10 - Austin, TX The Mohawk / Austin Psych Fest 3
04.24.10 - Norman, OK Norman Fest

• Indian Jewelry: http://www.myspace.com/indianjewelry
• We Are Free: http://www.nowwearefree.com

Broken Bells (Dangermouse/James Mercer) going on tour for the first time ever

Super-duo Broken Bells (made up of Brian “Dangermouse” Burton and The Shins’ James Mercer) released their self-titled, debut-album last week. The new album, Broken Bells, has already shot to the number-one spot on iTunes and the number-seven spot on Billboard, so the guys decided that they would head out on their first-ever North American tour starting May 18, with support by The Morning Benders.

The band has played a number of stand-alone gigs already in Los Angeles, New York, and most recently at SXSW, and if past ticket sales are any indication, then the newly-announced, 15-date tour should shape up to be a pretty hip event! If you need a more “expert”opinion on why you should go, then listen to US Weekly, who described the show as like “being at a cozy, intimate underground basement party somewhere in Northern California with the best art rock band on the coast providing the soundtrack.”

More information is available at Broken Bells’ website.

05.18.10 - San Diego, CA - Humphrey’s Concerts by the Bay
05.19.10 - Los Angeles, CA - Henry Fonda Theatre
05.21.10 - San Francisco, CA - Regency Ballroom
05.24.10 - Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom
05.25.10 - Seattle, WA - Showbox at the Market
05.26.10 - Vancouver, BC - Commodore Ballroom
05.29.10 - Denver, CO - Gothic Theatre
05.31.10 - Chicago, IL - Vic Theater
06.01.10 - Detroit, MI - St. Andrews Hall
06.02.10 - Toronto, ON - Queen Elizabeth Theatre
06.04.10 - Boston, MA - Royale NightClub
06.05.10 - New York City, NY - The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza
06.06.10 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory
06.07.10 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
06.10.10 - Atlanta, GA - Center Stage
06.11.10 - Athens, GA - 40 Watt Club

• Broken Bells: http://www.brokenbells.com

Franz Nicolay announces West Coast tour, new album, new touring gig with Against Me! Take THAT, Hold Steady!

As he’s made abundantly clear already, mustachioed keys-master and former Hold Steady “whoa-whoa-hoa” man Franz Nicolay is a busy, creative, fervent, funny, deep, busy, creative, compassionate, busy genius. He don’t need no flower sniffin’, kitty pettin’, corporate rock whores like The Hold Steady steadily holding him down. He’s got plans. Secret plans. Secret plans and clever tricks. So back off.

Recently, Nicolay climbed the nearest mountain and announced, in a booming voice, all of the shit that he has going on in 2010. Said “shit” includes the recent release of his short story collection, Complicated Gardening Techniques, an upcoming West Coast solo tour backing his recent Major General LP and subsequent St. Sebastian of the Short Stage EP, a summer gig as a touring member of Floridian punky anthem-pop band (yeah, kinda like The Hold Steady) Against Me!, and some plans to begin work on his follow-up record with producer Jim Keller (Muse, Laurie Anderson). The album is scheduled for a fall 2010 release, and you can check out demos of Franz’s new songs over at his MySpace.

Damn that’s a lot of announcements. And, you know, there might have even been a few more that I didn’t catch. It was actually kind of hard to hear his thunderous proclamations, on account of the Hold Steady records that I was furiously rocking out to at the time…

Franz Nicolay:

04.10.10 - Portland, OR - Millenium Music (instore)
04.10.10 - Salem, OR - Cherry City Music Festival, Mission Hill Museum
04.11.10 - Seattle, WA - Sunset Tavern
04.12.10 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
04.14.10 - San Francisco, CA - Rickshaw Stop
04.15.10 - Visalia, CA - The Cellar Door
04.16.10 - Los Angeles, CA - Bootleg
04.17.10 -Silverlake, CA - Home
04.23.10 -Hoboken, NJ - Stevens Institute of Technology
05.14.10 - Brooklyn, NY - WORD Bookstore

Against Me!

06.01.10 - London, UK - Garage
06.02.10 - Manchester, UK - Academy 3
06.03.10 - Birmingham, UK - Academy 2
06.13.10 - Manchester, TN - Bonnaroo
08.13.10 - Oslo, Norway - Oya Festival

• Franz Nicolay: http://www.franznicolay.com

[Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev]