Oh, Caroling They Will Go: Julian Koster Solidifies Dates for December Caroling Excursion

As previously reported, Julian Koster and his Singing Saw are once again accepting invitations from welcoming citizens who would like to receive the former Neutral Milk Hotel-er and his cadre of carolers into their homes for a magical December night of festivities, songs, stories, and good cheer. Well, now those tentative cities and dates are as solid and confirmed as religious icicles.

Koster and his Christmas revelers visited over 100 homes last December and offer up their thanks to all of the towns and neighborhoods that opened their doors to them. Koster expressed his hopes for this year, saying, “I’m so glad that we’re all still here, and that the Universe has arranged for this all to happen again. I can hardly wait.”

To recap: if you want Julian Koster and his Singing Saw to visit your house (and you happen to live in Nashville, Louisville, Indianapolis, Champaign, Cleveland, Providence, Baltimore, D.C., or Chapel Hill/Durham) then check the dates below and send an email over to musictapescaroling@gmail.com expressing your interest. If you just want to watch Julian Koster and his Traveling Christmas Express, then email musictapescaroling@gmail.com and you can receive the address of a home in your area that is hosting the carolers and the general time of performance!

Confirmed caroling path:
12.05.09 – Atlanta / Rome, GA
12.06.09 – Nashville, TN (early) / Louisville, KY
12.07.09 – Indianapolis, IN (early) / Champaign, IL
12.08.09 – Chicago, IL
12.09.09 – Kalamazoo, MI (early) / Detroit, MI (and area)
12.10.09 – Toledo, OH (early) / Cleveland, OH
12.11.09 – Buffalo, NY (early) / Geneseo, NY
12.12.09 – Ithaca, NY (early) / Monterrey, MA / Easthampton & Northampton, MA (late-night)
12.13.09 – Boston, MA (and area)
12.14.09 – Providence, RI (and area)
12.15.09 – Riverside, CT / Purchase, NY / Marlboro, NY
12.16.09 – New York City, NY
12.17.09 – New York City, NY (and area)
12.18.09 – Manalapan, NJ (early) / Philadelphia, PA
12.19.09 – Baltimore, MD (early) / Washington, DC
12.20.09 – Eagle Rock, VA (early) / Lynchburg, VA
12.21.09 – Chapel Hill, NC / Raleigh, NC
12.22.09 – Athens, GA

Family Vineyard Turns 10, Celebrates by Reissuing Darin Gray and Loren Connors’ The Lost Mariner, Debuting Chris Corsano and Heather Leigh’s New Project, Jailbreak

Ten years ago, a small little label, Family Vineyard, started up in Lafayette, Indiana by one Eric Weddle. Weddle started things out in a big way with the release of The Lost Mariner by Darin Gray and Loren Connors, which Connors proclaims to be one of his finest. Since then, Weddle has released records by Alan Licht, Dredd Foole, Paul Flaherty, and many other key players of the avant underground scene.

With Family Vineyard turning 10 years old, it's time to celebrate, and what better way to celebrate than with releases by two of Weddle's obvious favs: Loren Connors and Chris Corsano. Weddle has already released more than ten Loren Connors records and three records that have included Chris Corsano, so why stop there? First up will be a reissue of Darin Gray and Loren Connor's The Lost Mariner with a bonus 7-inch, "At the Old Factory." Second, the label will debut a new group Jailbreak, featuring avant percussion master Chris Corsano and pedal steel fuzz queen Heather Leigh. The group's debut, The Rocker, shows this duo reformulating "rock/roll instants by bringing free jazz fire power to amp-humping sex beats."

Both releases will be in vinyl-only editions of 700 and will show their faces in early 2010. As always, Family Vineyard has more on the horizon, including an Alan Licht/Loren Connors Duo record and the long awaited Human Skab reissue.

Badly Drawn Boy Sketches Goodly Drawn Soundtrack Album

While some acts inadvertently garner comparisons to soundtrack sound, others blatantly churn out the most derivative claptrap possible in order to snag a mega-lucrative inclusion on a hot original soundtrack. Some model their noise after non-existent, imagined films while still others are sought after for their ability to mirror the intent, feel, heart, and guts of a real movie with their accompanying music. It could be said that Damon Gough has faired a bit better with film tunes than commercial releases since his classic Badly Drawn Boy debut album, Year of the Bewilderbeast, in 2000. The wildly popular experience with About a Boy must have struck some the right way and have felt pretty good to the Badly Drawn Boy himself because he has offered his writing abilities to another album of "music taken from and inspired by" a motion picture. Is There Nothing We Could Do? features songs from/inspired by The Fattest Man in Britain, a television movie written by Caroline Aherne ("The Royle Family") and Jeff Pope that is due to air over the Christmas holidays in the U.K. due date for the album is December 14.

The fattest tracklist on Tiny Mix Tapes:

1. Opening Theme
2. Is There Nothing We Could Do?
3. A Gentle Touch
4. All the Trimmings
5. Welcome Me to Your World
6. Guitar Medley
7. Is There Nothing We Could Do? (Reprise)
8. Big Brian Arrives
9. Amy in the Garden
10. Been There, Verified
11. Just Look at Us Now
12. Wider Than a Smile
13. Piano Theme
14. The Letter
15. I'll Carry On

Don’t Say Aloha to Aloha, They Have a New Album Coming Out in 2010

Wistful lyrics? Check! Ethereal harmonies? Check! Poppy hooks? Check! Aloha definitely has what it takes to be a Polyvinyl band, and they’ll continue that trend with the release of their new album, Home Acres, due out on March 9, 2010. According to the press release, “Home Acres pushes the tempos and dials up the guitars, with the band's slow-burn intensity sometimes overflowing into huge moments. But even as the energy surges, Aloha casts an otherworldy glow, serving up ambience and attack with equal measure.” Who can resist a little “slow-burn intensity”?

Home Acres tracklisting:

1. Building a Fire
2. Moonless March
3. Microviolence
4. Searchlight
5. Everything Goes My Way
6. White Wind
7. Cold Storage
8. Blackout
9. Waterwheel
10. I'm in Trouble
11. Ruins

New Arcade Fire Album in May 2010?

According to Billboard, Arcade Fire will release their third, as-yet untitled album in May 2010. This will be preceded by a single, and the band are aiming to play some summer festivals. Reports Billboard:

While details of the new album are scarce, the BBC revealed yesterday that the band has spent the past six months ensconced in the studio with producer Markus Dravs, who has worked with the likes of Coldplay, Bjork and Brian Eno, and served as engineer on "Bible." According to British musician Marcus Mumford, Dravs has called the band's new songs "better."

The hype machine is in overdrive already, but was I the only one who thought Neon Bible (TMT Review) was a huge disappointment?

There are plenty of things to do in Quebec during winter. You could attend an evening of high culture, stay at an ice hotel, beat this bonhomme to a bloody pulp, gorge on poutine, or smoke a carton of "green deaths". It is all good francophone fun, but those with their nose in the snow know that real sport lies with playing some home province shows and releasing your new album south of the border.

French Canadian noisettes We Are Wolves will undoubtedly do all of the above but will focus mainly on the music side of things for the next few months. Although already available in Canada, the spazz rock trio of Vincent Levesque, Antonin Marquis, and Alexander Ortiz will release its third album, Invisible Violence, in the U.S. on February 2 through Dare to Care.

Voici les chansons:

1. Paloma
2. Holding Hands
3. Walking Commotion
4. Dreams
5. Vague
6. Reaching for the Sky
7. Me As Enemy
8. Blue
9. Near Fear
10. La Rue Oblique
11. The Spectacle of Night
12. Bounty Waterfalls

We Are Wolves will play around Europe and on both coasts of North America in 2010, but for now they'll be sticking closer to home with some Quebec dates:
12.03.09 - Alma, QC - La boîte à bleuets
12.04.09 - Chicoutimi, QC - Le Bunker
12.05.09 - Dolbeau, QC - Vox Populi
12.10.09 - Victoriaville, QC - Vieux St-Pierre Resto-Bar
03.06.10 - Shawinigan, QC - Trou du diable