Hot on the heels of an apparent collaboration on Björk's collaboration-crazy upcoming record, Konono N°1, the artists behind 2004's excessively brilliant afro-pop record Congotronics (TMT Review), are out on the road, circulating the U.S. for a smattering of concert appearances. And if that wasn't a long enough and difficult sentence for you, then get a load of this adjective-laced ridiculousness called a sentence that doesn't have any purpose whatsoever!

The group, who hail from Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (that's in Africa, geography fans), have been making music with their salvaged instruments (constructed mostly from materials found in junkyards) since at least 1978. Their track "Mungua-Muanga" was recorded back in 1978 and appeared on a compilation called Zaire: Musiques Urbaines a Kinshasa in 1987. The afrobeat collective most recently played their masikilu music on the Congotronics 2 compilation.

It should also be noted they are playing the Coachella festival on the same day as Björk, as well as playing the Reykjavik Arts Festival (at which Björk has appeared in the past.) Does this mean that we will get to see a live collaboration, perhaps?

Daughters Tour, and If You Think They’re Gay it Says More About You Than it Does Them

I interviewed Lex from Daughters once. He wouldn’t give me his last name at the time, but it’s Marshall. He wouldn’t tell me his last name ’cause he’s a liar. A GODDAMNED LIAR. Er, wait, he’s not a liar per se, he’s just sick of all the harassment from Spin and Rolling Stone, always asking him to be on the cover of their respective magazine, always on his balls about some Fan-tabulous pictorial or some photo op with the kids from Real World Santiago or that bitch from Garden State. You know, that darth vader chick. Lex, which is short for Alexis, HATES that shit, and he spreads his buttcheeks for NO ONE.

He also loves microphones. I saw him live once and he deep-throated his mic like Jenna J taking down a floppy dinosaur cock. Early the next week an associate said the show was “too gay,” referring to this and other stunts, but I tend to disagree. If we want our frontment of today to truly blow our minds, pun intended, they need to have the freedom to suck, shuck, jerk, milk, fondle, stroke, slurp, gargle, and flat-out KNOB the mic all they want. Well, except for the gurgling, that’d be pretty tough to do unless you got one of ‘dem new Shure mics. Those things melt in your mouth, not your hand and are better than Liquid Paper!

But back to biznass: While Alexis shields his face from the cameras and avoids the titties of teenyboppers and smitten reviewers, his heavy-as-metal band Daughters will be on tour with the likes of Chinese Stars, Pelican, Russian Circles, The Locust, and Cattle Decapitation, the latter of whom will be passing out ‘Axe Grant’ leaflets due to my news article last week about pushy vegetarians. Well, they would be if they gave a shit, anyway... they never return my letters!

Ask Lex Diamonds his REAL last name at the following tourdates:

You Put Your Dancing Xius On and I’ll Bring My Casiotone. It’s Tourin’ Time!

O, Casiotone For The Painfully Alone! How I once laughed at your band
name and assumed that you were some emo wuss unworthy of my
hard-hearted attentions!

That all changed one day in college, when I heard your song "I Have
Mice" and realized your life and mine were inextricably intertwined. Truly, we are fellow travelers in this world of scummy kitchens and renegade rodents.

As I lay awake in my crumbling, infested Baltimore rowhouse, I took
solace in your song, heartily identifying with those wrenching
lyrics: "Sometimes at night I watch the mice across the kitchen floor/
I used to think that they came from the fireplace/ But they come in
under the pantry door/ They get so close I could touch them all."

Amen, man. A-FUCKING-MEN. We used to think that they came in from
the pantry, but they came in from behind the oven.

Slowly, all of my roommates grew obsessed with the song. One of us
went so far as to make a mouse's eye view music video for the
song and turn it in for a film class. I should mention that I really
wanted to include that video in this article, but the auteur has
decided that it's not up to his high standards of excellence and will
not allow me to post it. He got what the kids called "a gentleman's
C" in that class. I'm sure Casiotone himself, reportedly a film-school dropout, would understand.

These days, I'm more into "Don't They Have Payphones Wherever You Were Last Night" (can I get another AMEN????) from 2006's Etiquette (Tomlab), but "We Have Mice" earned Mr. Casiotone a permanent place in my heart.

I would tell you all about how I also identify with certain songs by
tour headliners Xiu Xiu (who will continue to play shows after the Casiotone stint), but I'm afraid that would scare the shit out of you.

I used to think that they were touring in Europe, but they're actually
touring in the United States:

A Ponys Listening Party? You Bring the Whips, I’ll Bring the Chains and Leather.

Barbaro is dead. Multiple fractures in his right hind leg meant multiple operations over the past eight months and resulted in multiple broken hearts from wannabe horse whisperers and shifty bookies throughout the land. Before you think the 2006 Kentucky Derby winner was put down by a cruel ownership conglomerate (Barbaro: "Oh c'mon bosses, you can't do this!" / Owners: "Well, what have you done for me, Barbaro?" / Barbaro: "Uh, I won the fucking Kentucky Derby, ass-wads." / Owners: "Well, what have you done for me lately???"), this sort of thing unfortunately happens all too often with suffering horses. The three-year-old colt whinnied for the last time on January 29 after continually failing to recuperate from shattering his leg at the Preakness Stakes last year. Not all lame horses have to be put down (one even went on to win a Best Actress Oscar for her role in Erin Brockovich), but given Barbaro's devastating injury and subsequent ailments resulting from the broken leg, there was no choice in the matter.

But just as "every time a door closes, another opens," every time a horse gets euthanized another four take its place. Or something like that. Stunned into action by the recent news of its fellow equine's demise, Chicago's quartet of strong studs and fiery mare, The Ponys, have announced the imminent arrival of a new album called Turn the Lights Out on March 20. It is the band's third album and first for Matador Records, who wisely signed the skuzz-rock muckers back in September. Turn the Lights Out was recorded by John Agnello (The Hold Steady, Sonic Youth) at Steve Albini's Electrical Audio.

It's all in the breeding:

Bonnie “Prince” Billy Upset About Super Bowl Halftime Show Snubbing; Goes on Retaliatory Tour

It was a grim scene at Drag City headquarters on Sunday night. Rather than the usual Super Bowl festivities, which have been known to include free barbecue, festive door prizes, and the occasional Bill Callahan keg stand, the group simply stared awkwardly at the TV, not knowing quite what to say. Not even Ben Chasny's book of football-themed Mad Libs could lighten the mood.

You see, since childhood, Will Oldham has harbored dreams of performing live at the Super Bowl Halftime show. In years past, there has always been something to prevent him from really having a go at it -- a tour here, a new album there -- but this year was his big chance. And when the Super Bowl Halftime Selection Committee announced it would be seeking an artist with the name "Prince," he knew it was 2007 or never. He fought valiantly, practicing for hours a day and trying to choreograph his show with a full marching band and pyrotechnics display -- even exposing his tasseled breast to an worldwide audience -- but in the end it just wasn't enough. As many of you know, the slot eventually went to Prince (although Prince Paul put up an impressive attempt as well).

Oldham was left with two choices: give up and let this setback get the better of him, or take all of that pent-up Super Bowl energy and unleash it throughout a series of European shows. Thankfully for the rest of us, he chose the latter. And don't quote me on this, but you might look for The BPB to sing the Star-Spangled Banner at this year's NBA Finals.

Cheer up, Will:

The Second Coming of Jarvis Cocker: Immaculate Conception on the Rise

And when he should return across the pond, all will be aware of his presence. Housewives shall shirk all duties in favor tawdry sexual affairs with tall boys in glasses. The working class shall revolt against the voyeuristic upper class. The lanky shall triumph over the muscular. The evils of matching furniture sets will be exposed. More books shall be read. Skeletons will rise and terrorize the Wild West. The common man is forewarned that the fat children will take to the streets, going on violent rampages of theft and mastication.

Jarvis will be released in America on April 3; a brief American tour will follow. Repent, ye sinners! Or perhaps those who have not yet sinned enough.