Iranian Music Journalists Arrested; How You Can Help Today

Iranian Music Journalists Arrested; How You Can Help Today

Well, this is no good.

Two Iranian music journalists were arrested in Tehran, Iran’s capital, about a month ago and are currently being detained at an undisclosed location. The official reason: they’re officially not telling. Speculation is rampant that these arrests were part of a larger crackdown on opposition and independent journalists, students, protesters, and human rights activists, put into effect after Iran was shaken by protests following the disputed June 2009 presidential election. Many of the people who were released from custody reported torture and abuse.

Behrang Tonekaboni and Kayvan Farzin of the monthly music journal Farhang va Ahang are in custody, along with Behrang’s mother Lily Farhadpour, a journalist and a member of Iranian NGO Mothers for Peace. Behrang has asthma and a heart condition, so it is vital that he receives proper treatment and medical care.

I’m a big believer in the importance of a community to take care of its own. We’re all music fans, right? Otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this site. And all of us here at Tiny Mix Tapes to one degree or another are involved with journalism. So please, take a minute of your time, sign Amnesty International’s petition for their safe release, and tell your friends that our fellow music lovers in Iran could use their help.

Battles Promise New Album in 2010

Hey there, dude! What are you going to be up to this year? Oh no way, you’re teaching classes at the Y about proper chat room safety? Far out! And whoa, your sister is going to Burning Man and her common-law husband may let you tag along in the back of his Kia Sportage? So jealous! Me? I’m probably just going to play the waiting game in deuce-double-oh-plus-oh until Battles come out with a new record. Remember those fellas? The “math rock” supergroup so righteous that they can divide by zero with a guitar riff? Yep, a new record from them has been a long time coming. Thankfully, Battles just announced that they’ll be releasing a follow-up to 2007’s Mirrored(TMT Review) sometime later this year.

How’s that for neat news, hombre? Anyways, I gotta go start my shift at Wendy’s. Have a super 2010, friend!

• Battles:

Devo Announce Plans to Play 2010 Winter Olympics and Find Themselves Up for Medal Contention with Spectacular Curling Skills

Ah, the Winter Olympics: a wonderful time of year when we all remember our primal love of sliding down snowy things, while moms across the world find themselves delirious with the overwhelming amount of figure skating on television. It’s a time of year when underdog Jamaican bobsled teams and the cranky Germans who harass them can rise above their cultural differences. A time of year when passions run high, athletes’ knees are ripe for attack, and miracles (on ice) are all around us.

The only question that remains is this: Who’s gonna play some great dance music at the afterparty when America wins the gold? Devo, of course!

Devo, who are eager to release a new album in the spring (their first in 20 years), have announced that they will be heading to Vancouver and will be playing as part of the Whistler Victory Ceremonies on February 22 with the concert being broadcast in the US on NBC.

Singer and famous lamp-head Mark Mothersbaugh, excited for the gig, took time to remind fans: “We are back with inspirational tomes of truth and neuro-simpatico sonic nuggets for the entire world, not just our species!”

Devo’s new album, tentatively titled Fresh is set for release on Warner Bros. sometime in the spring of 2010.

• Devo:
• Warner Bros.:

We’ll Shout It from the Mountaintops: High Places to Release High Places vs. Mankind and Tour…’our…’our…’our!

At the risk of upsetting loyal TMT readers, there is yet another must-buy album due to be tickling your aural peripherals in April. We know, times are tight and April is often seen as the cruelest month on your wallet due to the massive demand for seasonal veggies like chiory and chives. Listen, one cannot predict when essential albums will collide with prime produce schedules, so, in the words of the immortal Glenn Frey and Don Henley: “Get Over It.” Robert Barber and Mary Pearson are better known as the extraordinaire eclectronic duo High Places and they will be releasing their second album, entitled High Places vs. Mankind, on April 6 through Thrill Jockey. A 12-inch is due also, collecting a new digital single, the already-issued “I Was Born,” plus some remix goodies.

Eat local, buy focal:

01. The Longest Shadows
02. On Giving Up
03. She’s a Wild Horse
04. The Channon
05. Canada
06. Constant Winter
07. On a Hill in a Bed on a Road in a House
08. Drift Slayer
09. The Most Beautiful Name
10. When It Comes

High Places vs. Mankind, eh? This epic conceptual battle takes a sharp turn in March when we see our dynamic duo shift the game to smaller, physical arenas as Pearson and Barber will combat evil show promoters and drunken moochbags trying to snare free merch and backstage drinks starting in the muddy ploughed fields of LA on the 21st of that month. War talk aside, does anyone else seem it odd that there are song titles listed above like “Constant Winter” and “Canada,” yet High Places are not planning on venturing into the Great White North for one date over two months of shows listed below? Just sayin’…

03.19.10 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echo
03.24.10 - San Francisco, CA - Rickshaw Stop
03.27.10 - Portland, OR - Berbati’s Pan #
03.28.10 - Seattle, WA - The Crocodile $
03.30.10 - Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court
03.31.10 - Denver, CO - Hi Dive
04.01.10 - Omaha, NE - Slowdown Jr.
04.02.10 - Minneapolis, MN - Triple Rock Social Club %
04.03.10 - Chicago, IL - Schubas
04.05.10 - Columbus, OH - The Summit
04.07.10 - Philadelphia, PA - Kung Fu Kecktie
04.16.10 - Madrid, Spain - La Casa Encendida ^
04.17.10 - Barcelona, Spain - LA2
04.18.10 - Valladolid, Spain - Espacio Joven
04.20.10 - Paris, France - Point Ephemere
04.22.10 - Milan, Italy - Amigdala Theatre
04.23.10 - Pisa, Italy - Fosfeni Festival (Citta del Teatro)
04.24.10 - Dudingen, Switzerland - Bad Bonn
04.25.10 - Prague, Czech Republic - Bio Oko
04.26.10 - Zagreb, Croatia - AT
04.27.10 - Graz, Austria - Explosiv
04.28.10 - St. Gallen, Switzerland - Grabenhalle
04.29.10 - Dijon, France - Kill Your Pop Festival (Atheneum)
05.01.10 - Antwerp, Belgium - Trix
05.03.10 - Brighton, England - Freebutt
05.04.10 - London, England - Cargo
05.06.10 - Glasgow, Scotland - Nice & Sleazy
05.07.10 - Sheffield, England - The Harley
05.08.10 - Leeds, England - Brudenell Social Club
05.10.10 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - De Nieuwe Anita
05.12.10 - Berlin, Germany - Spex Festival
05.13.10 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Rust
05.14.10 - Stockholm, Sweden - Debaser
05.15.10 - Malmo, Sweden - Debaser
05.20.10 - Lisbon, Portugal - ZDB
05.21.10 - Porto, Portugal - Plano B

# w/ Bear in Heaven, Cymbals Eat Guitars
$ w/ Bear in Heaven
% w/ Tobacco, Hood Internet
^ w/ Javelin, Sunburned Hand of the Man

• High Places:
• Thrill Jockey:

Todd P Announces MtyMx Fest in Mexico Featuring Dan Deacon, No Age, Neon Indian

Brooklyn promoter Todd P has made a name for himself by hosting all-ages shows in bizarre locales and concordant venues all around New York City. Seeing as I reside in Arizona, I’ve never been to a Todd P event, but his ability to host something exciting in an otherwise unassuming locale is exemplary of the DIY spirit. His latest venture, in a collaboration with Yo Garage, is an especially laudable gesture toward a woefully neglected arts community: the Mtymx Music and Arts Festival, taking place March 20-22 in Monterrey, Mexico.

The all-ages festival will take place at the Autocinema Las Torres, a drive-in movie theatre on the side of a mountain that regularly hosts concerts and raves. The festival will feature a total of 75 bands over three days, and the bands will play in succession without any overlapping sets. All for only $30. A third of the bands performing are from Mexico, including Siltbreeze punks Los Llamarada and synth-pop outfit Quiero Club. Confirmed bands also include Dan Deacon, No Age, Fucked Up, Neon Indian, Washed Out, Thee Oh Sees, Pocahaunted, Best Fwends, Indian Jewelry, Toro y Moi, Small Black, dd/mm/yyyy, Liturgy, Lemonade, Banjo or Freakout, and more.

Speaking to Brooklyn Vegan, Todd P assured the safety of attendees and voiced his effort to quash the stigma surrounding our neighbors to the south:

Monterrey has a lower violent crime rate than NYC, Dallas, or Houston, even accounting for international drug trade violence. A major goal of the festival is to dispel US misconceptions that Mexico is the 3rd world, uneducated, dangerous and backwards. Mexico is a modern country with a surging middle class and a vibrant, plugged in 1st world art and music community. Another major goal is to correct the disenfranchisement of Mexican artists and bands caused by strict US visa restrictions on Mexicans. In short: these bands and fans can’t go to SXSW.

The festival will prevent Todd P from hosting his usual SXSW showcase at Ms. Bea’s this year, but for this southwesterner, the respect paid to Mexican artists and fans is a truly worthwhile exchange.

• Todd P:
• Yo Garage:

We Were Promised Jetpacks Break Free of These Four Walls and Announce US Tour. Was That Joke Too Obvious? Yeah, Yeah It Was.

We Were Promised Jetpacks, who are still gleefully (and rightfully) lapping up all the positive press about last year’s These Four Walls (TMT Review) have finally decided to headline their own US tour, and seriously, they would love it if you came. They’ll totally buy you a jetpack. But just read this excerpt from our review of These Four Walls, and I bet it’ll make you check them out, even if you don’t get a jetpack: “These Four Walls is a consistently exciting album full of memorable songs, and one of maybe five records this year so far that I would recommend unreservedly.”

Here are the dates:

02.11.10 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
02.12 .10 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church
02.13.10 - Washington, DC - Rock And Roll Hotel
02.14.10 - Cambridge, MA - The Middle East
02.15.10 - Brooklyn, NY - Knitting Factory
02.17.10 - Charlotte, NC - The Casbah at Tremont Music Hall
02.18.10 - Atlanta, GA - The Masquerade
02.19.10 - Nashville, TN - The End
02.20.10 - Hot Springs, AR - Maxine’s Pub
02.21.10 - Denton, TX - Hailey’s
02.23.10 - Phoenix, AZ - Rhythm Room
02.24.10 - La Jolla, CA - The Loft (UCSD)
02.26.10 - Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour
02.27.10 - San Francisco, CA - Slim’s
03.01.10 - Vancouver, BC - Biltmore Cabaret
03.02.10 - Seattle, WA - Neumos
03.03.10 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir
03.05.10 - Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court
03.06.10 - Denver, CO - Hi-Dive
03.07.10 - Lawrence, KS - Jackpot Saloon
03.08.10- Omaha, NE - The Waiting Room
03.09.10 - Minneapolis, MN - Varsity Theater
03.11.10 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall
03.12.10 - Buffalo, NY - Mohawk Place
03.13.10 - Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop
03.14.10 - Columbus, OH - The Summit
03.15.10 - Columbia, MO - MOJO

[Photo: Neil Thomas Douglas]

• We Were Promised Jetpacks:
• FatCat: