Michael Gira Responds to Swans “Reunion” Claims, Releases Limited-Edition CD/DVD to Raise Money

Yay! The rumored new Swans album/tour which we reported last year is less of a rumor! Details about the legendary post-punk/no wave group’s upcoming new album and “tour(s)” are fairly scant, but the important thing is that THIS SHIT IS ON.

Last week, frontman Michael Gira announced that the band would be reforming on Swans’ MySpace page and posted a new acoustic track, “Jim,” one of several potential songs to be recorded on the new album. In order to raise money for recording costs, Gira is releasing a CD of these potential Swans acoustic tracks that will come with a DVD of two live shows. Entitled I Am Not Insane, the release will be limited to 1,000 copies.

Ordering info and further explanation from Gira can be found here. Just don’t call it a “reunion.”

The new Swans lineup, according to the MySpace post:

• Michael Gira / gtr / voice / mendicant friar act (original Swans)
• Norman Westberg - Guitar (original Swans)
• Christophj Hahn - Guitar (mid period Swans and most Angels of Light)
• Phil Puleo - Drums, percussion, dulcimer etc etc (final Swans tour and
most Angels)
• Chris Pravdica - Bass and gadgets (Flux Information Sciences /
Services / Gunga Din)
• Thor Harris, Drums, percussion, vibes, dulcimer, curios, etc etc…
(Angels, now also with Shearwater)

No word on tourdates yet, but Mr. Gira, if you’re sitting around reading news stories about your band getting back together, just let me ask that you to puuhhlllllllleaaaaaase come to Minneapolis!

Billy Corgan Starts a Label

Oh, Billy Corgan…won’t you just go away and leave Mellon Collie with some sort of dignity? You won’t? Oh, okay… I guess you’re going to start up a label instead… great… yeah, sure… tell me about it.

“Hey kids! This is your resident ‘Bullet With Butterfly Wings’ Billy Corgan checking in again to drop some major news about my awesome career! It’s hot! I’ve decided to do more than just release my own music by signing teenage boys to contracts so that I own them and start releasing other people’s music! That’s right! Billy Corgan’s got his own as-yet-untitled Record Label. I know, great idea, right? I thought so, too!

“So far I’ve got some REALLY cool artists: L.A. punk legends The Germs, 60s psych-rock legends Strawberry Alarm Clock and The Electric Prunes, Fancy Space People, Ya Ho Wa 13, and my own side project Starchildren. A bunch of awesome bands in the prime of their career, right? It’s gonna be great! I can’t wait! This rat is finally leaving his cage!”

Radiohead’s Kid A at #100 on Billboard Charts

Kid A is back on the Billboard 200, at #100. Of course, placing high on all those decade lists (posted before the decade was over) surely helped, but if we’re talking aesthetic posterity, it’s hard to think of a better example than Kid A. Check out this interesting Kid A-era Thom Yorke interview:

By the way, Kid A is also #24 on the digital albums charts, so the significance of the re-entry ain’t so easily attributed to the digital/physical dichotomy. Sorry!

Just like heaven: Kurt Vile joins Dinosaur Jr. for the dreamiest of all tours

Some musical pairings just naturally go together. Sonny and Cher. Morrissey and Marr. U2 and recent tour openers Black-Eyed Peas. (Wait, what?) And now we can add to those elite ranks the legendary Dinosaur Jr. and new tourmates Kurt Vile & The Violators. J.Mascis recently listed Vile’s Childish Prodigy in his top picks of 2009. Mr. Mascis, you’re one of my top picks for 2010… for making this tour happen. Ahhhhh….

01.15.10 - Milford, CT - Daniel Street #
01.16.10 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom #
01.17.10 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg #
01.19.10 - Ithaca, NY - Castaways #
01.20.10 - Kingston, ON - The Ale House #

February shows with Fucked Up:

02.12.10 - Oberlin, OH - The �Sco (Dionysus Disco) @ Oberlin College @
02.13.10 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle @
02.14.10 - Bloomington, IN - Video Saloon @
02.15.10 - Newport, KY - Southgate House @
02.16.10 - Baltimore, MD - Ottobar @
02.18.10 - Hoboken, NJ - Maxwell’s @
02.19.10 - Brooklyn, NY - Europa @
02.20.10 - Boston, MA - Middle East Downstairs @
02.21.10 - Montreal QUE, UE - La Sala Rossa
02.26.10 - Toronto, ON - Opera House @

# with Dinosaur Jr.
@ with Fucked Up

Mos Def, K’naan Play Austin City Limits’ First Hip-Hop Show, Thus Destroying Genre Barriers Forever

Hey kids! You want to know some fun facts about Austin City Limits, everybody’s favorite PBS-broadcast live music program? Well, here we go!

• Fun Fact #1 - Every performer on the show has breathed oxygen.
• Fun Fact #2 - Every performer on the show needs food and water on a fairly regular basis to survive.
• Fun Fact #3 - In the show’s 35-year history, there has never been an all-hip-hop show.

Now, facts #1 and #2 will, barring a robot invasion of the music industry, remain intact in the future. However, the days of fact #3 are numbered. On January 16, Austin City Limits will broadcast their first hip-hop show, featuring up-and-coming Somali-Canadian MC K’naan. Also, some guy named Mos Def, who you may have heard of. I believe he was in Be Kind Rewind.