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.

The Kinks’ Ray Davies Sick of Wes Anderson Paying His Bills, To Release Solo LP in February

"Did you check the post today, darling?" former Kinks singer/songwriting Ray Davies asked between sips of his early afternoon latte.

"Oh, it's just a bunch of AARP pamphlets, as usual," replied an aging blonde, whose twinkling eyes were the last vestige of the 1960s knockout she once was.

"Wait, here you go. It's another one of those royalties checks from that Anderson chap. I guess he made another one of his quirky motion pictures this year," the woman chirped.

"Ah, fuck!" said Davies, grabbing the check begrudgingly. "Have I no shame?" he muttered under his breath. "Have I no shame..."

----

Former Kinks frontman Ray Davies, the force behind such classic albums as Arthur and The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society, will finally see his new solo record arrive Stateside February 19. Working Man's Cafe, Davies' supposed "American record," was initially released October 22 in the UK, appearing for free a day earlier in the Sunday Times newspaper in a strategy also employed by Prince with the release of this year's Planet Earth.

The LP is only Davies' second official solo release after 2006's Other People's Lives, in addition to the 1985 film-and-album combo featuring Return to Waterloo and the partly spoken-word autobiographical live album, The Storyteller. Unfortunately, Working Man's Cafe is not a concept album about Davies getting shot in the leg while chasing down muggers in New Orleans. It does, however, include these tracks:

Noise Pop 2008

By going to the Noise Pop Festival official website, you're setting yourself up for disappointment. I know this because, if you're anything like me (which you are), you'll go straight to the schedule link and shit your pants over the slated acts, before realizing that you've messed yourself in public over what in fact is last year's lineup. Spare yourself the humiliation and read on.

A select few acts of 2008 have been disclosed to the media, and I'm telling you now, they are indeed shit-worthy: our lord, Stephin Merritt's very own Magnetic Fields will headline two shows at The Herbst Theatre in support of their justly anticipated album, Distortions. The Mountain Goats will play three separate shows at three separate venues soon to be announced. Then there's Gutter Twins, the collaboration between Greg Dulli of Afghan Whigs and Mark Lanegan, performing in support of their debut album Saturnalia, which is set for an early 2008 release through Sub Pop.

Want more? How about Cursive, Kelly Stoltz, Tilly & The Wall, Capgun Coup, and Blitzen Trapper -- and that's just the start of a soon-to-be-fully-unveiled roster of 100+ bands to appear from February 26 - March 2 at a dozen or so close-to-our-heart San Francisco venues, like The Great American Music Hall, The Independent, Mezzanine, 12 Galaxies, and Bottom of The Hill.

As you can see, it's shaping up to be a damn good hoopla, with 2008 marking the sweet 16 of a festival that's been bringing bay area rockers the dope-est (I've heard a lot of people saying that again, "doooooope") in indie, punk, and electronic music since its establishment in 1993. At its advent, Noise Pop was a one-night hoo-ha, but that hoo-ha has evolved into the week long, hip-hop-happenin hoodang it is today, shooting above and beyond your average West Coast gala. Some would go as far to call it a veritable cultural shin-dig, its sticky fingers now involving gallery art shows, a music-themed film festival, a discussion panel led by musicians and minimally sordid music industry professionals, and a number of planned and spontaneous events, of which there's nothing more exciting.

Unlike the overwhelming nature of CMJ or SXSW, Noise Pop has forever been unique in its dedication to bridging the gap between fans and bands, keeping the venues intimate and ticket prices low. Year after year, show-goers revel in performances by the not-unknown-for-long, who add themselves to a roster that's showcased acts the likes of Modest Mouse, The White Stripes, Devendra Banhart, Bright Eyes, The Decemberists, Frank Black, Jeff Tweedy, and Spoon.

Dooooooope.

  

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