To Here Knows Now! “My Bloody Valentine” Album Out TODAY! (…by Japancakes)

Unless you are of a certain age or a rather excitable cinephile, the title Road House will mean very little to you. For those that know, you are probably wiping up messies from the inside crotchal region of your pants after reading that movie buzz word. The original Road House was the tender story of a head bar bouncer named Dalton, played methodically by one Patrick Swayze (I think he’s described in the flick along the lines of “the best cooler in the biz,” if that helps at all). There are fights galore, a little lovin’, a blind guitar hero, a grizzled old fart (played -- you guessed it -- by grizzled old fart Sam Elliott. In short, my friends, it has it all.

What Road House did for bar brawling cornball cinema, My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless set the high water mark for, well, indie rock in general. All true pioneer art gets reinterpreted as a sequel; it happened to Road House, and it has now happened with Loveless. Just like 2006’s Road House 2: Last Call had difficulty harnessing the same magic that once swirled around the Double Deuce Saloon like so much of Swayze’s testosterone and hair gel, it’s doubtful that a Japancakes version of the seminal MBV album will equal the wow factor of the original Loveless. Or have I spoken too soon? It is Loveless -- an album of remarkable effects-piling sound and gorgeous tunes that not even Nickleback could fuck up by covering -- a different take on the record is always worth a shot. And given it is done in full, Loveless-length glory, using pedal steel/cello in place of vocals and lead melodies by Eric Berg’s lonesome Georgia wranglers, it is absolutely worth your time and hard-earned cash. If you want a taste before digging in heartily, you can sample the Japancakes versions of “To Hear Knows When” and “Loomer” on the band’s MySpace page.

It’s been a long time since a new Japancakes album graced our ears (although not as long as a My Bloody Valentine album, of course), but it does seem like the band is making up for lost time. A new Japancakes album, Giving Machines, flew under the radar October 9 through Darla Records, and their Loveless interpretation is actually out today (again courtesy of Darla).

As for the real My Bloody Valentine, there has been a lot of speculation and talk of a beating pulse found in Kevin Shields, a band reunion in the works, a new album nearing completion, and a forthcoming tour, but for that story you should read this TMT MBV story. And no, I’m not taking back that Nickleback comment, because they are an easy target and everyone picks on them.... they deserve every single verbal shit-storm directed at them.

Loveless:

1. Only Shallow
2. Loomer
3. Touched
4. To Here Knows When
5. When You Sleep
6. I Only Said
7. Come in Alone
8. Sometimes
9. Blown a Wish
10. What You Want
11. Soon

Friends Of John: Tokyo Police Club and Vampire Weekend To Play a Benefit Concert For Ra Ra Riot’s Late Drummer

When Ra Ra Riot's John Pike was found dead only 24 hours after being reported missing, the entire music community's thoughts went out to his family and friends. Now, in his memory, Pike's bandmates have teamed up with two of his favorite bands for an unbelievably charitable cause. Titled "Friends of John," Tokyo Police Club and Vampire Weekend are scheduled to headline a benefit concert December 15 at Boston's Middle East.

Organized by Syracuse's Ra Ra Riot, all of the proceeds from the event will go to a memorial fund in Pike's name, which aims to lend musical instruments to underprivileged children. According to CMJ, the band's violinist Rebecca Zeller noted, "Because we are musicians and because John loved music, we thought a benefit concert would be the most appropriate way to raise [that] money."

If you cannot attend the show but wish to show your support, donations are accepted by mail (c/o Citizens Bank, 37 Enon Street, Beverly, MA 01915) or through PayPal at johnryanpikememorialfund@gmail.com. Meanwhile, tickets for the event can be purchased here.

"The show this year will mainly focus on getting money to help the family get the library started, and hopefully in the years to follow, we will be able to do more and more with the money raised," said Ra Ra Riot's manager, Josh Roth.

The Magnetic Fields Tour; Spread Way More than 69 Love Songs Across America

The last time Stephin Merritt and co. hit the road, it was 2004, and critics and fans alike were murmuring “i. i? i?!” in an attempt to find deeper meaning in the title of that year’s Magnetic Fields album, which was of course, named i. The title of each track began with an “i” word or the pronoun “I.” What WILL they think of next? 2008 brings us the answer in the form of a new record entitled Distortion, and you know what that means!

Tour (readers’ input as to what Chicago did to get so lucky are welcome):
02.11.07 - Northampton, MA - Iron Horse Music Hall
02.12.07 - Northampton, MA - Iron Horse Music Hall
02.14.07 - Somerville, MA - Somerville Theater
02.15.07 - Somerville, MA - Somerville Theater
02.22.07 - New York, NY - Town Hall Theatre
02.23.07 - New York, NY - Town Hall Theatre
02.28.07 - San Francisco, CA - The Herbst Theatre
02.29.07 - San Francisco, CA - The Herbst Theatre
03.02.07 - Los Angeles, CA - The Henry Fonda Theatre
03.03.07 - Los Angeles, CA - The Henry Fonda Theatre
03.06.07 - Seattle, WA - Town Hall
03.07.07 - Seattle, WA - Town Hall
03.14.07 - Chicago, IL - Old Town School of Folk Music $
03.15.07 - Chicago, IL - Old Town School of Folk Music $
03.16.07 - Chicago, IL - Old Town School of Folk Music #

$ two shows, 6:30 PM and 10:00 PM

# two shows, 6:30 PM and 9:30 PM

Secret Machines Set Record for Least Newsworthy Story Ever, Prepare New Album… I Guess

I don't know about any of you, but New York spaceout psychsmiths Secret Machines aren't fooling me with any of their "cool band name shit."

These boys may play like a pack of ‘roided-up alien kill bots set to "freakout" at their live shows, but from the looks of things, they ain't got no "secrets," clandestine or otherwise.

Seriously. There's nothing up their sleeves whatsoever.

"What about the news of recently departed (uh, from the band, not from the earth) bandmate and/or sibling Benjamin Curtis," you say??

Nope. That's old news at this point. Dude was only holding ‘em back anyway, if you ask me.

"But did you know that they recently did a four-week residency at The Annex in Manhattan, where they debuted a bunch of epic new songs like ‘The Fire is Waiting,’ ‘Atomic Hell,’ and the more free-form epic ‘Have I Run Out,’ which bass/keys/vocalist Brandon Curtis describes as a ‘long section of instrumental music,’'' you persist??

Yeah. I knew that too. And besides, they did that residency like two months ago. Hardly worth reporting, man. Sorry...

"Well, okay, okay," you continue. "But there must at LEAST be some big news about their forthcoming third album for Warner Bros, the follow-up to 2006's Ten Silver Drops that they're currently working on completing, right? Maybe something about Brandon Mason handling the production duties? Some juicy studio details? A tracklist? Some cover art? A drop date??"

Man, I WISH. Well, actually, Brandon Mason IS producing, but i don't even know who that dude IS (probably not this guy, huh? ). And other than that, no, no, no, and NO.

No tracklists.

No release dates.

No nothing.

They're not even playing any goddamn shows until next year! What the hell is THAT?!?

Get with it, Secret Machines. If you guys scare up some details about your next LP, feel free to e-mail me. In the mean time, I'm going to go watch Food Network...

Fiery Furnaces to Tour U.S., You to No Longer Need Coats, Mittens, Blankets, or Those Warming Inserts for Snow Boots or Gloves

Warming up never felt so warmed-up, ladies and gents.

Matthew and Eleanor Friedberger are hitting the road this holiday to spread the gospel o’ Widow City (TMT Review), their recent debut LP on Thrill Jockey.

And according to a recent press release, your favorite bacon ‘bergers are shifting their style a bit. Known for rearranging their work as medleys in live performances, this string of dates marks a significant cherry-pop for FF. As in, they’re going to play songs normally. Apparently.

Maybe. Don’t hold them to it.

For... posterity:

Del The Funky Homosapien Goes Nerdcore!

Hip-hop is dead. Nas said so. So where does that leave the vets still cranking out good tunes? It's tempting to overfetishize early ‘90s boom bap and turn Enter The 36 Chambers into a religion, keeping hip-hop alive in the same way Elvis impersonators imitate his behavior and insist he was really abducted by aliens and is living fat and happy in outer space, an approach that's worked wonders for the likes of Jedi Mind Tricks, Army Of The Pharohs, The Demigodz, etc. Others, like the Def Jux crew (who had a fabulous diss war with JMT n' Co. a few years back), leave it all behind in a mess of incomprehensible abstractions about martians and comic books, along with a sense of production reaching more toward industrial music and The Mary Anne Hobbes show.

It's not much of a surprise, then, seeing Del team up with Def Jux. Last century's Deltron 3030 laid Del's sci-fi nerd roots bare over Dan The Automator's Big Money Sound, and Hieroglyphics has always indulged in fantasies involving extraterrestrials. So, let's get excited already -- more self-consciously intellectual babbling over broken synths and found sounds! Awesome!

Seriously, though, this is an exciting development for the "independent as fuck" crowd, whether you think Celph Titled is the second coming of Christ or Aseop Rock is a mouthpiece for the Godhead. Del's produced the entirety of his new LP, The 11th Hour, on his own, so we won't have to worry about El-Producto getting his grubby little hands all over his sound. Who knows, maybe Del can bring a little of that early ‘90s sound he had on I Wish My brother George Was Here and No Need For Alarm to Def Jux's relatively stagnant "experimentation." You can do some detective work on your own and see Del perform his new material live with that Devin The Dude guy, or alternatively pick up Del's new DVD, also titled The 11th Hour, shot during the early stages of production for Del's first solo work in eight years. Let's just hope we can figure out what the hell Del's going on about once the album's released on February 26, 2008.

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