My little brother just discovered that Art Brut have a new album coming out in May

My little brother just discovered that Art Brut have a new album coming out in May

Art Brut haven’t exactly been “outsider art” for a while now, ever since the shift that came after the group issued a split with Jandek and were highlighted on the first volume of Songs in the Key of Z (…just kidding). In addition to unabashed false advertising, frontman Eddie Argos has been subject to some raised eyebrows since our lukewarm review of Art Brut vs. Satan, not to mention Argos’ 2010 side project under the preposterously verbose moniker, Everybody Was in the French Resistance…Now. As if to combat these doubts about Art Brut’s supposed genius, the newly announced album is entitled Brilliant! Tragic! — and they really want you to believe it.

Their fourth studio album Brilliant! Tragic! is out May 24 from Cooking Vinyl and will hopefully quell all talk of the French resistance outside of Le Chagrin et la pitié. Like 2009’s Art Brut vs. Satan, the new record was produced by Pixies’ Black Francis, though — according to Argos — it won’t be as ceaselessly punk rock as the last one. “This time there are a few songs to let you catch your breath so when we do rock the fuck out again it hits home harder,” he says. Whew… we were really afraid of Art Brut going the 80s hardcore route, but I guess that answers that.

Until the album comes out, you can get your fill of Art Brut via a free download from PledgeMusic, who will also sell the album and contribute part of the proceeds to Shelter, a charity benefiting the homeless (to clarify, PledgeMusic is not the exclusive distributor of the album, but just one of the many ways you can purchase it). PledgeMusic is also offering the chance to purchase t-shirts, a karaoke extravaganza with Eddie Argos, signed album art, and at £1,500 (about $2,411), a house party where Art Brut perform for your friends (plus more for a lot cheaper; check ‘em out here). Brilliant!

Brilliant! Tragic! tracklisting:

01. Clever Clever Jazz
02. Lost Weekend
03. Bad Comedian
04. Sexy Sometimes
05. Is Dog Eared
06. Martin Kemp Welch Five A-Side Football Rules!
07. Axel Rose
08. I Am the Psychic
09. Ice Hockey
10. Sealand

• Art Brut:
• Cooking Vinyl:

Clinic will never rest and they will never die, but they will tour the UK this spring

Let’s give a hand for Clinic. They will never die, for this is scientific fact. After a decade, they’re still at it, cranking out new records of distinctive post-punk every few years. Do they still wear those surgical masks? Who cares, it’s about as relevant in 2010 as whether or not Thom Yorke likes them. And, yes, I sort of want to know if he still does, too.

An issue more relevant than surgical masks or the musical tastes of Radiohead members might be the fact that Clinic released Bubblegum, their sixth record, last year on Domino. Even more relevant than that is the news that Clinic will be playing a handful of UK dates this spring. There you shall hear material from the aforementioned Bubblegum, along with the sound of men who will outlive you and laugh over your grave when they day is done. You will also probably hear “Distortions.”

Clinic UK tour:

04.22.11 - London, UK - Barfly (Time Out London Sessions)
05.14.11 - Nottingham, UK - The Bodega
05.20.11 - Liverpool, UK - The Bombed Out Church
05.21.11 - Glasgow, UK - Stag and Dagger Festival
05.27.11 - Manchester, UK - The Deaf Institute
05.28.11 - Leeds, UK - The Cockpit

• Clinic:
• Domino:

[Photo: Leslie Kalohi]

TV on the Radio bass/keys man Gerard Smith diagnosed with lung cancer

In a recent post on their website, Brooklyn art-funk mainstays TV on the Radio announced that bassist and keyboardist Gerard Smith was diagnosed with lung cancer following the completion of their upcoming album Nine Types of Light. Smith has been a member since 2005, contributing to 2006’s primal, wrenching, holy-shit-fuck, TMT-approved masterstroke Return to Cookie Mountain, as well as 2008’s slightly more funky-with-the-Cheez Whiz Dear Science.

“As a result [of the diagnosis, Gerard] has been undergoing treatment and will be unable to participate in the upcoming tour,” the band’s statement reads. Light is still due out on April 12 via Interscope (check out the new track “Caffeinated Consciousness” over at the Chocolate Grinder), and the band will still be hitting SXSW (which I believe is some sort of airport somewhere?) this week in preparation for a fairly large-scale tour of North America and Europe. “Gerard is fortunate enough to have health insurance and is receiving excellent medical care. Already we have seen dramatic results. Combine that with Gerard’s legendarily willful disposition and it might just be cancer that has the problem. We appreciate your concern and support for Gerard and his family.” Hang tough, Gerard!

TV on the Radio dates:

03.17-19.11 - Austin, TX - SXSW
04.08.11 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory
04.09.11 - Charlottesville, VA - Jefferson Theatre
04.10.11 - Baltimore, MD - Ram’s Head Live
04.13.11 - New York, NY - Radio City Music Hall
04.15.11 - Providence, RI - Brown University
04.16.11 - Boston, MA - House of Blues
04.17.11 - Montreal, QC - Metropolis
04.18.11 - Toronto, ON - Sound Academy
04.20.11 - Detroit, MI - St. Andrew’s Hall
04.22.11 - Chicago, IL - Metro
04.23-24.11 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
04.26.11 - Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre
05.02.11 - San Diego, CA - 4th and B
06.22.11 - Zagreb, Croatia - T-Mobile Inmusic Festival
06.23.11 - Munich, Germany - Muffathalle
06.24.11 - Berlin, Germany - Astra
06.30.11 - Werchter, Belgium - Rock Werchter
07.01.11 - St. Gallen, Switzerland - St. Gallen Festival
07.03.11 - London, UK - Wireless Festival
07.04.11 - Amsterdam, Holland - Paradiso
07.05.11 - Cologne, Germany - Live Music Hall
07.08.11 - Bilbao, Spain - BBK Live Festival
07.09.11 - Lisbon, Portugal - Alive Festival
07.17.11 - Chicago, IL - Pitchfork Music Festival

• TV on the Radio:
• Interscope:

[Photo: Pooneh Ghana]

Maritime to release Human Hearts in April; many fans concerned over band-led heart theft in recent months

Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s own Maritime (which includes former Promise Ring members) have announced that they will be releasing Human Hearts, their fourth album, through Dangerbird Records on April 5. The new album will be available on vinyl, CD, digital download, and in a glass jar with cork stopper and preservative brine.

In other Maritime news, a rash of fans have been using the band’s own message boards to illuminate a growing trend in the band’s fanbase: the complete and total loss of their hearts. Victims of the crime report, surprisingly, that they are still capable of ordinary activity but in the place where their heart should be is only empty space. Fans were already suspicious of this alarming trend and have only grown more intrigued now that the band have announced the title for their new album and the accompanying statement about being available “in a glass jar with cork stopper and preservative brine.”

Despite the obvious violent crimes being committed, the band has not released a statement addressing the issue, which has only made their fans more terrified since they DID release a statement announcing a handful of tourdates and promising to be in YOUR town soon! If you must attend one of these shows, keep your heart on your person at all times.

Human Hearts tracklisting:

01. It’s Casual
02. Paraphernalia
03. Black Bones
04. Peopling of London
05. Air Arizona
06. Faint of Hearts
07. Annihilation Eyes
08. Out Numbering
09. C’mon Sense
10. Apple of My Irony

Maritime tourdates:

03.18.11 - Austin, TX - SXSW, Mohawk
03.18.11 - Austin, TX - SXSW, Mellow Johnny’s
04.09.11 - Milwaukee, WI - Turner Hall Ballroom
04.22.11 - Chicago, IL - The Empty Bottle

• Maritime:
• Dangerbird:


That Cass McCombs, he is one stressed-out fella. Dig this: I was walking into the Moon Saloon Cafe (my favorite haunt!) and saw Cass sitting at the bar. All the signs of one strung-out indie-folk songwriter were in full effect: sweaty forehead, hastily loosened tie, and that simultaneously vacant and determined stare out into the void. “Cass, what’s wrong, my friend? You look an awful mess,” I said. “Well, Eric, I’ve got a hundred things on my mind and by a hundred, I mean about one,” he responded. “I got this new record Wit’s End, but, heck, you already know about that. What’s really weighing on my mind is this tour I’ve got coming, the one where I hit the SXSW and the West Coast and the Europe. All this business, it’s just got me a bit on the nervous side.”

After hearing Cass’s sob story, I really only had one thing to say. “Shucks, Cass, that does sound like quite the heaping of work and it all sounds kind of great, but you really do seem like you’re at your… wit’s end!” Ha haaaaa! It is the name of his new record! That is the joke! Cass McCombs, he is going on tour!

Cass McCombs dates:

03.17.11 - Austin, TX - Other Music @ Frence Legation (SXSW)
03.17.11 - Austin, TX - Domino Showcase @ Emo’s Main Room (SXSW)
03.18.11 - Austin, TX - Gorilla vs. Bear Party @ Klub Krucial (SXSW)
03.18.11 - Austin, TX - Pitchfork Day Party @ East Side Drive In (SXSW)
03.19.11 - Austin, TX - The Fader Fort (SXSW)
05.04.11 - Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour *
05.05.11 - San Francisco, CA - Swedish American Hall *
05.07.11 - Vancouver, BC - Waldorf Hotel *
05.08.11 - Seattle, WA - Tractor Tavern *
05.09.11 - Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios *
05.12.11 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom &
05.16.11 - Barcelona, Spain - Razz3
05.17.11 - Elche, Spain - L’Escorxador
05.18.11 - Madrid, Spain - Nasti
05.19.11 - Vigo, Spain - Marco
05.20.11 - Lisbon, Portugal - ZDB
05.21.11 - Paris, France - Cafe de la Danse
05.22.11 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Paradiso
05.23.11 - London, UK - Old St. Marys Church
05.31.11 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Loppen
06.01.11 - Stockholm, Sweden - Sodra Teatern
06.02.11 - Malmo, Sweden - Inkonst Malmo

* Frank Fairfield
& Lower Dens

• Cass McCombs:
• Domino:

Junior Boys to release It’s All True in June… but is it?

Ah, those Junior Boys, how delicately they place their wispy Canadian voices atop those smoothly pulsating bass grooves. Their music is understated in nature, yet never fails to leave something underneath the skin of the listener, something warm… calming, even. And this is coming from someone who last listened to Junior Boys in 2007 and whose interest in the band has significantly waned since. Yet there’s no denying it, Junior Boys have a sexy nostalgia about them, and anything these boys (men?) have in the works is worth noting.

Recently, head Junior Boy Jeremy Greenspan took a sojourn in Shanghai, China to begin preliminary work on what has now become It’s All True, the follow-up to 2009’s Begone Dull Care (TMT Review). While there, Greenspan decided to capitalize (which is what us North Americans do naturally) on the local musical talent by enlisting musicians to play on the album. After returning to his native Canada, he gathered up co-Junior Boy Matthew Didemus to polish up the album, and now it will see the light of day on June 14 (20 in the UK) thanks to Domino. The album was produced and mixed with tender ease, and then mastered by Bob Weston, who is neither tender nor easy.

Its All True tracklisting:

01. Itchy Fingers
02. Playtime
03. You’ll Improve Me
04. A Truly Happy Ending
05. The Reservoir
06. Second Chance
07. Kick The Can
08. ep
09. Banana Ripple

• Junior Boys:
• Domino:


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