Indie punk/funk/electro collective Mahjongg, one of Chicago's best kept secrets, is touring Europe this spring. The group kicks the tour off in Marseille at the Festival B-Side and winds its way across the continent and the UK from May to the end of June. Mahjongg's second album, Kontpab, was released in 2008 by K Records. Based on our completely stereotypical view of European electro music fans, expect the shows to be full of old, mustachioed Kraftwerk fans, overenthusiastic teen ravers, and guys in gym shorts with creepy names like Franz and Dagmar.

Tour schedule:
05.27.09 Marseille, France - Festival B-Side
05.29.09 Barcelona, Spain - Primavera Festival
05.31.09 Düdingen, Switzerland - Festival Kilbi / Bad Bonn
06.01.09 Geneve, Switzerland - L'Usine
06.02.09 Lyon, France - Sonic
06.03.09 Bordeaux, France - St Ex
06.04.09 Rennes - Mondo Bizarro
06.06.09 Cardiff, UK France - Clwb Ifor bach
06.07.09 Leeds, UK - Chinchillafest / Brudenell Social Club
06.09.09 Manchester, UK - TBA
06.10.09 London, UK - Barden's Boudoir
06.11.09 Paris, France St Ouen - Mains d'Oeuvres
06.16.09 Wuerzburg, Denmark - Cairo
06.17.09 Nuremberg, Denmark - Musikverein / K4
06.22.09 Ljubljana, Slovenia - Channel Zeo / Metelkova

Despite Kurt Cobain’s Continued Reclusiveness, New Nirvana DVD to Be Released in May

It feels like years since Kurt Cobain and Nirvana have headed back into the studio to record any new music, but come May 4 you’ll be able to allay your desire a little longer by purchasing and then watching the new Nirvana live DVD, Life Takes No Prisoners. Despite the unfortunate title, the video stands to be quite satisfactory, as it will finally make available the classic 1992 performance by Nirvana at the Reading Festival in the UK. The show is fondly remembered by those who attended, and by those who didn’t, as one of the all-time, top-five, best-ever Nirvana performances EVER. Yes, I did mean to include two typings of “ever” -- that’s how good the show was.

The explosive set opens with the classic image of Cobain (who had just days before overdosed, on cough syrup I think, and was subsequently admitted to a local hospital) rolling on to the stage with the aid of a wheelchair, dressed in hospital scrubs. The grungy front man then warbled his way through “The Rose” before crumbling to the ground, seemingly bereft of energy. The collapse served to cement fan fears that Cobain’s health would prevent a concert. However, Cobain, suddenly rocketed to life by his remembrance that he HATED Courtney Love, pulled himself together and urged, no, cajoled his band to a stellar display of Rockerocity (Rock + Ferocity). Nirvana proceeded to rip, burn, tear, destroy, and overall absolutely amaze as they played a super-charged 27-song set, including a bitchin’ cover of Boston’s “More Than a Feeling,” finally ending the whole affair with a psyched-up, punktastic (Punk + Fantastic) version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” for the newly christened Alternative Nation. Immediately following the last note, Cobain proceeded to shoot both arms up with such massive doses of heroin that he literally rocketed through the sky, showering the audience with love and spit. At least, that’s how I remember it.

If you’re a fan of the band or if you’re one of the many people who claim to be present at the show, then pick this fucking DVD up. I once saw a bootlegged version, when me and my brother both imagined ourselves as Kurt Cobain Jr., and my mom totally had a crush on Kurdt, and it was amazing. It is amazing. BEST NIRVANA SHOW EVER. Except for that whole Unplugged thing -- that was cool too.

To repeat myself: On May 4, 2009, the DVD, Life Takes No Prisoners, detailing Nirvana’s performance at 1992’s Reading Festival, is being released. Here’s the tracklist for the show:

1. The Rose/Intro
2. Breed
3. Drain You
4. Aneurysm
5. School
6. Sliver
7. In Bloom
8. Come as You Are
9. Lithium
10. About a Girl
11. Tourette's
12. Polly
13. Lounge Act
14. More Than a Feeling/Smells Like Teen Spirit
15. On a Plain
16. Negative Creep
17. Been a Son
18. All Apologies
19. Blew
20. Dumb
21. Stay Away
22. Spank Thru
23. Love Buzz
24. The Money Will Roll Right In
25. D-7
26. Territorial Pissings
27. The Star-Spangled Banner

FOR SALE: Tiny Mix Tapes Vol. 1: Darfur

Hello, dear readers! We are extremely excited to announce the release of our first benefit compilation, Tiny Mix Tapes Vol. 1: Darfur, an 11-track album full of exclusive tracks from some of our favorite artists. 100% of the profits from this comp will be donated to the International Rescue Committee, who are currently working in the Sudan region to aid refugees.

Please visit the order page for more information.

Tiny Mix Tapes Vol. 1: Darfur tracklist:
01. Jim O’Rourke - "Seven Stars"
02. Balroynigress - "Dress the Ship in Black"
03. WHY? - "Eskimo Snow (sock hop version)"
04. Frog Eyes - "Bushels (acoustic version)"
05. Burning Star Core - "Incurable Beauty of the Master’s Demise"
06. Xiu Xiu - "Farther On (Traditional)"
07. Mount Eerie - "Calf In Pasture"
08. Wooden Wand - "No Stranger"
09. The Flying Luttenbachers with Henry Kaiser - "Trapped in Ice"
10. nmperign - "Remote Sensing"
11. Dan Deacon - "I Have So Much to Donald"

Mario Speedwagon’s Under The Radar News Round Up: Deerhunter Tour Other Parts Of The World, Skyscraper Gets Web 2.0, Bowerbirds Play Dates With Bell & La Strada, Torche & Kylesa Tour, Ryko Distribution Merges Into ADA

I’m excited to be writing this round up because it means it's Friday! I’ve had a rough week. Monday I saw Dinosaur Jr, Dead Confederate, and Pride Parade and RAGED and felt like absolute hell the next morning. Tuesday I saw Dengue Fever and Chicha Libre. Wednesday I had to work super late and somehow ended up at a Del The Funky Homosapien show surrounded by frat boys. Last night... last night I didn’t do anything except watch Ghostbusters 1 and 2. Still, it’s been a long week. WOO HOO WEEKEND! On to da news...

- Deerhunter are heading to Europe, Japan, and Australia this summer to play some rock shows. Their tour kicks off at All Tomorrow’s Parties in Minehead, England on May 16 and ends June 16 in Wllington, New Zealand at the San Francisco Bathhouse. All the dates can be found at Deerhunter’s MySpace page. And don't forget about their new five-song EP coming May 18 via Kranky. (TMT News).

- Skyscraper Magazine will be going to an online-only format after 11 years. The final print issue is out now (Spring 2009, issue 30) and will be relaunched this summer on the internetz. Hey, at least it still exists and didn’t go under completely. Skyscraper FTW!

- Bowerbirds are heading on tour this weekend, playing dates with Bell and La Strada. Dates with Bell start tomorrow when they play Washington DC at Rock and Roll Hotel. Dates with La Strada start May 1 in Montreal at Il Motore. They also have some European dates and festivals planned. Check it all out at the Dead Ocean’s site.

- Torche and Kylesa will be tearing it up in Europe this summer. Their tour starts off at Hellfest in Cloisson, France and ends July 7 at Furia Sound Festival in Clergy-pontoise, France. Some of their dates also include performances with Coalesce, Mastodon, and Pig Destroyer. A list of all the dates can be found at Conspiracy Booking’s website.

- Warner Music Group shut down Ryko Distribution and moved distribution for all effected labels to its ADA division. The 25 people who work at Ryko will be laid off; however, they can apply for new jobs at ADA, who will be adding 12 people to their staff.

PS – Happy birthday to TMT-er Annapocalypse!

Pet Shop Boys Release Album, Write Ballet, Tour, Lose True Love to the Undead

Pet Shop Boys -- my favorite drolly cynical synthpop duo and America's fourth (they're behind Madonna, Donna Summer, and Janet Jackson on the Billboard dance charts all time list) -- are back with a new studio album that came out this week on Astralwerks. Entitled Yes, it features production by Xenomania (who has worked with Saint Etienne, Girls Aloud, Sugababes, Cher, and Kylie Minogue), orchestral arrangements by Owen Pallett (Last Shadow Puppets, Final Fantasy), and guitar work from Johnny Marr of The Smiths fame. Previously, the London duo of Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe have worked with heavy hitters like Dusty Springfield, David Bowie, Liza Minnelli, Madonna, Robbie Williams, Electronic, and The Killers, and this year they've remixed a track for Lady GaGa, co-written Girls Aloud's popular U.K. single "The Loving Kind," and produced a #1 U.K. dance hit for Kompakt artist Sam Taylor-Wood. Recently, they were given an Outstanding Contribution to Music award at the Brit Awards and, ya know, they're also working on a ballet. Here's to hoping it's a more fleshed-out version of the video for "Heart," in which Sir Ian McKellen portrays a vampire who steals Tennant's wife.

The ever ironic witticists describe the process -- or what they think might've been the process -- for selecting their 10th album's title: "We can't seem to remember how we came up with the title Yes," says Tennant. "Our official story is that we may have taken it from the famous Yoko Ono exhibition in 1967 where you had to climb up a step ladder -- as John Lennon famously did -- pick up a magnifying glass, look at a tiny word written on the ceiling, and the word was 'yes.' I think it partly came from that."

"We thought No was a bit negative," Lowe adds.


1. Love, etc.
2. All Over the World
3. Beautiful People
4. Did You See Me Coming?
5. Vulnerable
6. More Than a Dream
7. Building a Wall
8. King of Rome
9. Pandemonium
10. The Way It Used to Be
11. Legacy

06.10.09 - St. Petersburg, Russia - Ice Palace
06.11.09 - Moscow, Russia - Luzhniki Palace of Sports
06.13.09 - Luxembourg, Luxembourg - Rockhal
06.14.09 - Stuttgart, Germany - Theaterhaus
06.15.09 - Zurich, Switzerland - Maag Event Hall
06.18.09 - Manchester, United Kingdom - Apollo Manchester
06.19.09 - London, United Kingdom - The O2 - London
06.22.09 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Heineken Music Hall
06.24.09 - Cologne, Germany - Palladium
06.25.09 - Berlin, Germany - Tempodrom GmbH
06.26.09 - Leipzig, Germany - Parkbuhne
06.28.09 - Stockholm, Sweden - Cirkus
07.02.09 - Helsinki, Finland - Ice Hall
07.04.09 - Roskilde, Denmark - Festival Grounds (Roskilde Festival)
07.07.09 - Barcelona, Spain - Pueblo Espanol
07.08.09 - Madrid, Spain - Palacio Vistalegre
07.11.09 - Naas, Ireland - Punchestown Racecourse (Oxegen)
07.12.09 - Kinross, United Kingdom - Balado (T In The Park)
07.13.09 - Liverpool, United Kingdom - Liverpool Echo Arena (Liverpool Summer Pops)
07.17.09 - Suffolk, United Kingdom - Henham Park (Latitude Festival)
07.18.09 - Dour, BelgiumFestival Grounds (Dour Festival)

Bonnaroo 2009; Also, Girl Talk “Experimenting” with Actual Song Structures for Next Record; Will The New Album be as “Experimental” as the Latest Fountains of Wayne, Then? Hey, Stay Tuned!

Gregg Gillis -- a.k.a. mash-up party-monger Girl Talk -- is honing in on what he considers a “new direction” for the follow-up to 2008's party-mongering Feed the Animals (TMT Review).

"I'm experimenting with different structures and different ideas," Gillis told, seemingly oblivious to his complete “novelty act” status. "I'm interested in working on individual songs -- kind of in the style I've been doing, but with actual repetition as opposed to linear structure and stuff like that, some elements with a verse-and-chorus sort of structure as opposed to going through 50 minutes of change-ups the entire time. I want to evolve and keep refining." Watch out, Richard D. James.

"I'm constantly working on material," Gillis added, noting that there’s no set time table for LP #3 as of now. "Every day I cut up music. I try not to be concerned with what will be on an album. I just try to come up with small ideas I introduce into the (live) set, and I'll eventually get to the point where I say, ‘OK, here's this slightly new sound. I feel like there's some evolution.’ I'm interested in putting out music, and it's always nice to give people music." Watch out, DJ/rupture.

Gillis said there's a possibility he'd also consider some live releases from his shows, and after appearing at last weekend's Coachella Music & Arts Festival, he's starting to plot out what he wants to do this year’s upcoming Bonnaroo Festival, which may well include music from other artists on the bill. But "I won't go out of my way to sample an artist because I'm playing (at the same festival) with them," Gillis carefully noted. “There's lots of ideas floating around...I want to be as diverse as possible." Watch out... er, Phish?

Anyway, in actual news, tix for this year's Bonnaroo are on sale now, and the complete lineup (yes, featuring tons of highly-experimental artists that will also play some of those extremely forward-looking verse-chorus-type song structure things) is viewable here. Oh, and it takes place June 11-14 in jolly old Manchester, England. I mean... Tennessee.