Ponytail officially call it quits

Ponytail officially call it quits http://www.tinymixtapes.com/sites/default/files/news-11-09-ponytail.jpg

The future of Baltimore art-rock band Ponytail has been uncertain for the past year, and now it seems the worst has finally come. Due to difficulties touring with band members geographically dispersed across the country, Ponytail announced in a statement that they are officially splitting up:

We regret to inform you that the wonder group known as Ponytail have officially called it a day. After releasing their amazing album “Do Whatever You Want To All the Time” they were unable to make the touring portion come to life as the members have dispersed across the country in search of other life experiences. It’s a bummer the world will never see Ponytail live again because it was truly honest music that filled you with extreme joy. An experience like that is rare these days and if you did see Ponytail live consider yourself lucky. Hopefully more bands will come along like Ponytail and shed light on the fakers.

Much love to the future.

Xoxo. Sir james winnie

As a final parting gift, the band debuted the music video for “Easy Peasy,” off this year’s Do Whatever You Want to All the Time (TMT Review), on Stereogum. Directed by Willy Siegel, the six-minute video pieces together scraps of (mostly) underwater animal-themed footage from Disney’s The Little Mermaid to insane close-up shots of a giant hippo. Farewell, sweet Ponytail. At least there’s still hope for your solo projects.

• Ponytail: http://www.myspace.com/ponytailtunes

Guided by Voices announce new album Let’s Go Eat the Factory! Have two spoonfuls of nostalgia and awesomeness!

Original fans of Guided by Voices are probably mostly male and in their 40s by now, but hold on to your skirts, fellas, because you’re about to jump up and down like little school girls. After reuniting to tour with their “classic” lineup last year, GBV just announced that they will release a new album called Let’s Go Eat the Factory on January 1, 2012. This will be the “classic” lineup’s first studio recording since 1996’s Under the Bushes, Under the Stars, or if you’re not too technical about it, the band’s first album since 2004’s Half Smiles of the Decomposed (TMT Review).

GBV just wrapped up a year-long reunion tour that started last October at the Matador Records 21st Anniversary celebration in Las Vegas. The line-up, originally together from 1993-1996, includes front man Robert Pollard (the group’s only constant), Tobin Sprout, Greg Demos, Mitch Mitchell and Kevin Fennel. Pollard first talked about the possibility of new album last December in an interview with Spinner: “I’ve thought about it sometimes but it’s a very long shot. We all kind of do our own thing. I’m not completely eliminating the possibility…” And aren’t we glad he didn’t!

Let’s Go Eat the Factory tracklisting:

01. Laundry and Lasers
02. The Head
03. Doughnut for a Snowman
04. Spiderfighter
05. Hang Mr. Kite
06. God Loves Us
07. The Unsinkable Fats Domino
08. Who Invented the Sun
09. The Big Hat and Toy Show
10. Imperial Racehorsing
11. How I Met My Mother
12. Waves
13. My Europa
14. Chocolate Boy
15. The Things That Never Need
16. Either Nelson
17. Cyclone Utilities (Remember Your Birthday)
18. Old Bones
19. Go Rolling Home
20. The Room Taking Shape
21. We Won’t Apologize for the Human Race

• Guided by Voices: http://www.gbv.com
• Matador: http://www.matadorrecords.com

R.E.M. politely say goodbye

R.E.M. have decided to say farewell to their 31-year-old namesake and move on to other ventures, according to a statement on their official website. The band released their 15th album, Collapse into Now, earlier this year, and though it may not have thrilled as many listeners as Murmur did back in 1983, their influence on “alternative rock” of all stripes has been huge, and they’ll be missed by many.

Front man Michael Stipe had this to say about the split:

A wise man once said—‘the skill in attending a party is knowing when it’s time to leave. We built something extraordinary together. We did this thing. And now we’re going to walk away from it.

I hope our fans realize this wasn’t an easy decision; but all things must end, and we wanted to do it right, to do it our way.

We have to thank all the people who helped us be R.E.M. for these 31 years; our deepest gratitude to those who allowed us to do this. It’s been amazing.

Statements from Mike Mills and Peter Buck have also been posted on the site.

• R.E.M.: http://remhq.com

Sacred Bones takes Psychic Ills under its thin, skeletal arm, sends new album into the world

NYC’s Psychic Ills are the latest darkly experimental addition to the cloak-wearing, virgin blood-drinking family at Sacred Bones Records. Hazed Dream will be the band’s fifth album, and their first bonafied full-length in three long, Psychic-Ills-full-length-less years (2009’s Mirror Eye, though there have been a few 12-inches in the interim). Tres Warren (guitar/vocals/synth), Elizabeth Hart (bass), and Brian Tamborello (drums) return with a slightly more accessible psych rock kinda sound after a few years delving into the more avant garde side of things, and if the phrase “new Psychic Ills album” isn’t enough to make drool start pooling in a mini Lake Tahoe on your face, well consider the phrase “recorded by Mitch Rackin of Gang Gang Dance and Black Dice.” So, this shit better be good, right? Right? DON’T FUCK IT UP, GUYS. NO PRESSURE.

And if the leaked album track “Mind Daze” is any indication, Psychic Ills’ latest looks poised to be an early fall favorite. It’s currently blowin’ up the blogosphere, setting alight the shriveled, nerdy hearts of music writers across these 50 states and beyond. Tres Warren gets all poetic on us, explaining that “this album lives in a sunny place. A half memory. A hazed dream.” Gosh, that just sounds nice, doesn’t it? It sounds like a cat. This album is the sonic equivalent of a five-year-old calico cat curled up in a spot of early autumn sunshine, snoozing his way into a funny little dream about chasing a mouse and eating your leftover dinner scraps… ALL WHILE ON OPIUM. Yeah, Hazed Dream is like that, the fuzziest imaginable cat just totally, you know, feelin’ it, maaaan. It’s out October 18, and you can watch a little video preview below.

• Psychic Ills: http://psychicills.com
• Sacred Bones: http://www.sacredbonesrecords.com

Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm misses appeals court appearance for second time, found in Cambodian hospital

Gottfrid Svartholm, one of four co-founding members of the now-defunct Pirate Bay filesharing service, failed to show up in court today to appeal the 2009 ruling of criminal copyright infringement against him and his three co-founders. Separate appeals trials for the other three founders (Fredrik Neij, Peter Sunde, and Carl Lundström) ended in guilty verdicts in November 2010, but at the start of those trials, Svartholm also failed to show and the court decided to postpone his particular appeal. Neij, Sunde, and Lundström have vowed to appeal to Sweden’s Supreme Court, but without Svartholm, they can’t move forward. Svartholm has three more weeks to file for appeal again before the 2009 ruling will become final, resulting in $905,000 in damages due and a year’s worth of jail.

Though much mystery has swirled around the whereabouts of Mr. Svartholm, it turns out he’s been in a hospital in Cambodia. Based on his facial hair choices alone, one presumes he’s infiltrated the oft-overlooked Cambodian metal scene and was laying low before getting hurt while headbanging too aggressively at a show. Svartholm’s mother was supposed to travel to Southeast Asia to take care of and presumably oversee the safe transfer of her son back to Sweden for his hearing but failed to do so.

Meanwhile, Sunde and Neij recently launched Bayfiles.com, most likely to try and get some cash flowing via ‘legal’ channels in case their appeals continue to not go as planned.

Trash Talk to put out new Awake EP on True Panther, all labels to one day become hardcore labels

Do all indie rock labels really want to be hardcore labels? Would Merge be happier if they were actually Bridge Nine? What about Secretly Canadian, do they dream in their deepest dreams that they had Trustkill’s roster? Is Sub Pop sending subtle messages suggesting that Fleet Foxes just add a dang breakdown or two? Lord, I hope so. Sadly, if they truly house these glorious secret desires, they’re hiding it well. Matador Records, however, has no shame about such things, what with their signings of Fucked Up and Ceremony. Now, Matador-associated label True Panther is getting in on that sweet, sweet pit action by putting out an EP from Sacramento’s Trash Talk. That EP is called Awake and it will be out in 7-inch form on October 11 and will rip hard. I’m going out on a limb with that ripping hard business, but if it doesn’t actually rip hard, contact me and I will apologize a little bit.

That said, here is proof that at least 1/5 of the EP rips: the video for the release’s title track. The clip features a bounty of peaceful nature footage and space photos. It also features a lot of skateboarding and a guy breaking stuff. And it doesn’t feature any nature footage or space photos. Sorry for the confusion. Let me make it up to you by telling you about Trash Talk’s upcoming tourdates. There are two of those.

Awake EP tracklisting:

01. Awake
02. Slander
03. Blind Evolution
04. Burn Alive
05. Gimme Shelter

Trash Talk dates:

10.08.11 - Portland, OR - Branx *
10.11.11 - Lawrence, KS - Jackpot Music Hall

* Japanther

• Trash Talk: http://trashtalkhc.com
• True Panther: http://www.truepanther.com