Guitar Wolf announce US dates; don’t get too excited, there’s only two of them

Guitar Wolf announce US dates; don't get too excited, there's only two of them

Yow! Guitar Wolf are so crazy and cool and Japanese that they can make ridiculous things look awesome. Like lightning bolt guitar straps. Or weird Tarantino-esque promo shots. Or even wifebeater tanktops. Be sure to check out their raucous live show if you find yourself in Japan this spring. Or in Brooklyn. Or Chicago.

US dates:

04.13.11 - Brooklyn, NY - Knitting Factory
04.19.11 - Chicago, IL - Bottom Lounge

Japan dates:

03.17.11 - Nagoya, Japan - Club Quatrro
03.18.11 - Shinsaibashi, Japan - Sun Hall
03.27.11 - Niigata, Japan - Club Riverst
04.07.11 - Sendai, Japan - MA.CA.NA
04.10.11 - Fukuoka, Japan - Live House CB
04.17.11 - Sapporo, Japan - Bessie Hall
04.24.11 - Ebisu, Japan - Liquidroom

• Guitar Wolf:

Jim “Ol’ Reliable” O’Rourke slings out another collab (with Merzbow and Mats Gustafsson) for Editions Mego

Regardless of his intentions when making the migration from the states to Japan a few years back (apparently to learn the art of filmmaking) Jim O’Rourke just can’t seem to keep his little musical fingers still. Just in the past year the man has released collaborations with Oren Ambarchi & Keiji Haino, Lee Ranaldo & Christoph Heemann, and The Thing, and he’s got another collaboration with Heemann coming out this Tuesday called Plastic Palace People Vol. 1. As evidenced, O’Rourke possesses all the qualities of a childhood pet — he’s loyal, consistent, lovable, and plays well with others. Apologies if you didn’t have a childhood and can’t relate.

But those weren’t enough! Clear the “recent arrivals” bin, record store folks, because One Bird Two Bird will be released on March 11 via the always excellent, increasingly popular Editions Mego label. The disc features a 2009 Tokyo studio session between Masami Akita (a.k.a. Merzbow), Mats Gustafsson, and O’Rourke. If you’re not familiar with these dudes, I’m gonna go ahead and tell you to expect somethin’ brutal, cause that’s exactly what it’s gonna be.

• Jim O’Rourke:
• Editions Mego:

Alela Diane now computer-literate enough to announce news of a third LP

Back in the early 2000s, when the terms freak folk, anti-folk, and psych folk actually kind of signified something, Alela Diane emerged from Nevada City with a friend like Joanna Newsom and a voice like a toned-down Diane Cluck singing Townes Van Zandt (evidenced most brazenly by the first track on her Myspace). Last June, we mused about her technological deficiencies, but we also hinted at a 2011 album. As will happen with the passage of time, the year is now 2011 and we have confirmation of said album, entitled Alela Diane & Wild Divine.

A real family affair, Diane’s third studio endeavor consists of herself (naturally, the “Alela Diane” half), plus her husband and father, both guitarists named Tom, and friends Jonas and Jason on bass and drums, respectively (together, Wild Divine). To sweeten the deal, Scott Litt (ahem — R.E.M. and Nirvana) produced the whole thing. Alela Diane & Wild Divine is out April 5 from Rough Trade. Just to assuage your fears about the craziness of this album, no animals were harmed during the production of this album.

• Alela Diane:
• Rough Trade:

Oh hai guyz, our bad! US government shuts down 84,000 websites “by mistake”

In accordance with “Operation Save Our Children,” ICE’s Cyber Crimes Center seized thousands of domain names last week that they thought were questionable. “Thought” being the operative word here. Last Friday, thousands of site owners were surprised to find the following banner in place of their sites:

Advertisement, distribution, transportation, receipt, and possession of child pornography constitute federal crimes that carry penalties for first time offenders of up to 30 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine, forfeiture and restitution.

Pretty intense! Unfortunately, ICE didn’t pay close enough attention when they convinced a district court judge to sign a seizure warrant that prompted the domains in question to show the warning message instead of their usual content. Somewhere along the way, the domain — which belongs to FreeDNS, a large DNS service provider — was seized and 84,000 subdomains were wrongfully seized as well. The owner of FreeDNS commented on the situation: “ has never allowed this type of abuse of its DNS service. We are working to get the issue sorted as quickly as possible.” Several days after the seizure, the non-offending sites were reverted from the warning banners back to their old content. Hmm. Hey Department of Homeland Security, maybe double-check yourself the next time you try to flip the “off” switch on the internet, okay?

The Fresh & Onlys go on tour when the ice thaws — if nature cooperates

We all know The Fresh & Onlys are catchy, mostly-upbeat garage pop, and we unanimously agreed that last year’s Play It Strange was pretty great. These are the reasons for which you should prepare yourself, now, for the excitement about to brim over as you read: The Fresh & Onlys are going on tour this spring.

There, I said it! These guys are packing up and leaving San Francisco in March, with an inaugural date at Austin’s SXSW. And — get ready for this — they’re doing it to promote a mysterious new EP from Sacred Bones. There’s no information to be found anywhere about the EP, but maybe you can ask Tim Cohen in person when March and April come. Assuming there are no more major ice storms, political upheaval, natural disasters, or celebrity deaths, does spring get any better?


02.27.11 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill ^
03.16-19.11 - Austin, TX - SXSW
03.21.11 - San Diego, CA - Tin Can Alehouse
03.22.11 - Los Angeles, CA - Echo
04.12.11 - Denver, CO - Hi Dive *&
04.13.11 - Lawrence, KS - The Jackpot Saloon *&
04.15.11 - Pittsburgh, PA - Brillobox *&
04.18.11 - Cincinnati, OH - MOTR Pub &
04.19.11 - Saint Louis, MO - The Billiken Club *
04.20.11 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall *&
04.21.11 - Toronto, ON - Parts & Labour *&
04.22.11 - Montreal, QC - Il Motore *&
04.23.11 - Brookln, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg *&
04.24.11 - Philadelphia, PA - Kung Fu Necktie *&
04.25.11 - Washington, DC - Red Palace *&
04.27.11 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl *&
04.28.11 - Birmingham, AL - Bottletree *&

^ with Growlers, Pleasure Kills, Wrong Words
* with Crocodiles
& with Young Prisms

• The Fresh & Onlys:
• Sacred Bones:

Borders finally goes under; files Chapter 11 and closes 200 stores

We’ve heard of rumors and hard times for a while, but today it’s official: Borders is filing for bankruptcy. Over the coming weeks, the store will close 200 of its locations (roughly 30% of stores nationwide), meaning… going-out-of-business sales on R. Kelly and Criterion DVDs? According to, GE Capital and other corporations are giving $505 million to Borders in debtor-in-possession financing.

It’s easy to bash the supposed “big guys” in support of independent shops (both for books and music), but when you get down to it, that’s a lot of unemployed workers — not to mention the important question: where will small-town kids buy CDs now that their one local media outlet has closed? (Let’s face it, not everyone lives near an Amoeba.) The moral of the story: down with Kindle and Amazon!

• Borders: