Mango Starr’s Tour Roundup: Mahjongg, Don Caballero, Extra Life

- Mahjongg started a tour yesterday, but I'm not reporting about it until today because, really, who lives in Dekalb, IL? Thankfully, Mahjongg are all set to get back on track, touring reputable places, such as Grinnell, IA tonight. Their latest release, Kontpab, was released last year on K.

- Don Caballero, best known for inventing the 4/4 time signature, are embarking on a Western U.S. tour this February 3 in support of last year's Punkgasm. A bunch of the dates are with sBACH, the kinda sorta solo project of Spencer Seim (Hella and The Advantage). And a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 -- rest -- drop an eighth-note, 6, down-beat, GO!

- Extra Life is led by Charlie Looker, who has played with Zs, Dirty Projectors, John Zorn, Glenn Branca, Christian Wolff, and many more. In other words, I'm trying to legitimize his current NY-based band through related projects -- you know, to create the illusion of authenticity and shit. Anyway, it's working, because you really love this band now. Tour starts at Wesleyan University on February 5.

Peter Bjorn And John Announce First U.S. Tour In Forever; Opening Act Chairlift Praying for Another iPod Commercial Because Leo Needs New Shoes

Now that they’ve finally manned-up and set a release date for their REAL follow-up album to Writer’s Block (TMT News), Peter Bjorn And John have taken the next logical step and announced their first U.S. tour in roughly 75 (okay, fine, 2) years. Chairlift, your mom’s favorite iPod commercial band, will be supporting the entire tour.

Don’t forget to check out Peter Bjorn And John’s new album Living Thing when it comes out March 31. If you pre-order the album now, you'll receive a unique ticket code for an exclusive ticket pre-sale (while supplies last), and you will also be given an instant download of their new single, “Nothing To Worry About.” Hmm, nothing to worry about? Don’t get too cocky yet, you crazy Swedes; the album hasn’t even been released yet!
04.21.09 - Minneapolis, MN - Fine Line Music Café &
04.22.09 - Milwaukee, WI - Pabst Theatre &
04.23.09 - Chicago, IL – Metro &
04.24.09 - Newport, KY - Southgate House &
04.25.09 - Toronto, ON - Phoenix Theatre &
04.26.09 - Ottawa, ON - Capital Music Hall &
04.27.09 - Montreal, QC - Le National &
04.28.09 - Boston, MA - Paradise &
04.29.09 - New York, NY - Webster Hall &
04.30.09 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg &
05.01.09 - Philadelphia, PA - World Café &
05.02.09 - Washington DC - 9:30 Club &

& Chairlift

In an Interstellar Oberst, Conor and The Mystic Valley Band Are Back to Play a Few More Shows

In news having almost nothing to do with Radiohead recently being announced as performers at this year’s Grammy’s (so excited!), Conor Oberst and his Mystic Valley Band have decided to really put themselves out there this spring with a one-week vision quest — uh, I mean, “tour” — of the American Southwest.

You might recall that, ever since Oberst decided to reinvent himself as a solo artist (instead of a solo artist using a moniker like Bright Eyes was), old boy’s been downright obsessed with the mythology of the Southwest and the healing power of its cache of wide-open blue highways. He even made a self-titled record about it last spring for Merge Records, and, according to this here press release, many critics consider it to be “one of the best albums of 2008.”

Anyway, to be fair, this sparse offering of spring dates is coming after an entire world tour, so I guess he and the band deserve to stay off their wheels and take it just a little easy this spring. Still, if you’re gonna go around praising asphalt that much in song, you gotta man-up and waste that gasoline. You’re never gonna get to neo-Neil Young status at this rate, Conor.

Oberst Rx Meds Vision Quest 2K9:
04.09.09 - Omaha, NE - Slowdown
04.10.09 - Denver, CO - The Ogden Theater
04.11.09 - Aspen, CO - Belly Up
04.12.09 - El Paso, TX - Barnett Harley Davidson
04.13.09 - Albuquerque, NM - Sunshine Theater
04.14.09 - Tempe, AZ - Marquee Theater

Asobi Seksu Announce New Album And Tour, Vow To Not Use “7,000 Reverb Guitars” On New Album

Shoegaze and Asobi Seksu go together like Malia and Sasha Obama and the word “cute,” so how come Asobi Seksu have decided to ditch their shoegaze sound for their new album? According to guitarist James Hanna, “We knew we didn't want to do 7,000 reverb guitars this time, so we stripped the sound down and built it back up from there. Every shoegaze song is the same rhythmically.” Come on, James! Malia and Sasha would never ditch their adorable smiles and J. Crew coats!

Asobi Seksu’s new album, Hush, is due February 17 on Polyvinyl.

Hush tracklisting:

1. Layers
2. Familiar Light
3. Sing Tomorrow's Praise
4. Gliss
5. Transparence
6. Risky and Pretty
7. In The Sky
8. Meh No Mae
9. Glacially
10. I Can't See
11. Me & Mary
12. Blind Little Rain

Don’t forget to catch Asobi Seksu on the road as well:
02.08.09 - Southampton, UK - The Talking Heads
02.09.09 - London, UK - Islington Academy (NME Awards w/Howling Bells)
02.10.09 - Manchester, UK - Roadhouse
02.11.09 - Dublin, IE - Crawdaddy
02.13.09 - Belfast, UK - Speakeasy
02.14.09 - Glasgow, UK - ABC2
02.15.09 - Newcastle, UK - The Cluny
02.16.09 - Leeds, UK - Faversham
02.18.09 - Birmingham, UK - Barfly (Dragon)
02.19.09 - London, UK - ICA
02.20.09 - Amsterdam, NL - Paradiso
02.21.09 - Paris, FR - Fleche d'Or
02.22.09 - Brussels, BE - Rotonde
02.24.09 - Muenster, DE - Gleiss 22
02.25.09 - Berlin, DE - Magnet
03.02.09 - Montreal, QC - La Sala Rossa
03.03.09 - Toronto, ON - El Mocambo
03.04.09 - Pontiac, MI - The Pike Room at Crofoot Ballroom
03.05.09 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
03.06.09 - Bloomington, IL - Illinois Wesleyan U.-Young
03.07.09 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry
03.10.09 - Seattle, WA - Chop Suey
03.11.09 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
03.13.09 - San Francisco, CA - The Independent
03.14.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Troubador
03.15.09 - San Diego, CA - The Casbah
03.19.09 - Austin, TX - SXSW
03.22.09 - Denton, TX - Rubber Gloves
03.23.09 - Baton Rouge, LA - Spanish Moon
03.24.09 - Memphis, TN - Young Avenue Deli
03.25.09 - Atlanta, GA - Eyedrum
03.26.09 - Chapel HIll, NC - Local 506
03.28.09 - Washington, DC - Rock and Roll Hotel
03.29.09 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s
04.02.09 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom

RIP: John Martyn, British Musician

From The Guardian:

The singer-songwriter John Martyn has died aged 60.

Known for musical marriage of folk and jazz, Martyn was one of the most distinctive and prolific artists of his generation. His most successful album was 1973's Solid Air, the title song of which was said to be in tribute to singer-songwriter Nick Drake, with whom Martyn was often compared.

His career spanned four decades and he worked with numerous high-profile musicians, including Eric Clapton, David Gilmour and Phil Collins. He also worked extensively with his former wife Beverley Martyn.

- John Martyn official website
- John Martyn Wikipedia entry

Muxtape Relaunches For Bands Only, Now With 100% Less Hideous Flash Ads Than MySpace Music!

Last fall, Muxtape, everyone’s favorite minimalist mixtape sharing site, announced that it was being reborn for bands-only after tangling with the RIAA (TMT News). This week, the new version of Muxtape officially launched, with help from Dan Deacon, of Montreal, and Girl Talk, among others.

Basically, Muxtape is a lot like MySpace’s music section, except with a filter. Instead of every sensitive jackass with an acoustic guitar and a penchant for covering Maroon 5 songs trying to friend you, Muxtape CEO and Founder Justin Ouellette has made the following promise:

Muxtape strives for simplicity and believes that music needs a clean, unobstrusive context. Artist pages will never be forced to display ads. The functionality of Muxtape will expand over time; in addition to streaming music, we will enable bands to easily sell downloads, issue tickets, create and sell merchandise, network with other bands and listeners, and track the way their music is being heard across the system. An API will be available to expand the platform even further.

Take that, MySpace Tom!