Shearwater to Traverse The Golden Archipelago, North America

Jonathan Meiburg sure isn’t shy about reminding you about his day job. The sometime-Okkervil River collaborator and ornithologist won’t stop with naming his band after a sea bird: no, now he’s getting set to release the final album of a triptych — the second of which was called Rook, by the by — about the gradual destruction of nature at humankind’s hands. It’s like the UN Climate Change Report, with more pianos and ghostly vocals.

The Golden Archipelago, inspired by Meiburg’s student trips to such far-flung islands as the Falklands, Tierra Del Fuego, and the Galapagos — I mean see, geez, man, we get it, you care about nature — is due February 23 on Matador, with Meiburg and the shifting groups of musicians he calls Shearwater also heading out for a supporting tour in March. No word yet on whether they’ll be bringing a field guide and a pair of binoculars.

Keeping with the whole diligence-of-a-scientist thing, though, Archipelago will also feature a “dossier” full of related materials compiled by Meiburg himself, though you’ll only get it if you’re willing to help the band out.

The Golden Archipelago tracklist:

01. Meridian
02. Black Eyes
03. Landscape at Speed
04. Hidden Lakes
05. Corridors
06. God Made Me
07. Runners of the Sun
08. Castaways
09. An Insular Life
10. Uniforms
11. Missing Islands

North American Tour dates
03.13.10 - Austin, TX - Red 7 #
03.24.10 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl *
03.25.10 - Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506 *
03.26.10 - Washington, DC - Rock N Roll Hotel *
03.27.10 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom *
03.28.10 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s *
03.30.10 - Boston, MA - T.T. the Bears *
03.31.10 - Montreal, QC - La Sala Rosa *
04.01.10 - Toronto, ON - Lee’s Palace *
04.02.10 - Ithaca, NY - Castaways *
04.04.10 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall *
04.06.10 - Minneapolis, MN - 400 Bar *
04.07.10 - Grinnell, IA - Gardner Lounge at Grinnell College *
04.09.10 - Norman, OK - The Opolis *
04.22.10 - Phoenix, AZ - Rhythm Room
04.23.10 - Tuscon, AZ - Club Congress
04.24.10 - Los Angeles, CA - Spaceland
04.25.10 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill
04.27.10 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
04.28.10 - Vancouver, BC - The Biltmore Cabaret
04.29.10 - Seattle, WA - Triple Door
04.30.10 - Pullman, WA - The BellTower
05.01.10 - Boise, ID - Nuerolux
05.04.10 - Denver, CO - The Walnut Room
05.07.10 - Austin, TX - The Parish=

# Jonathan Meiburg solo, backed by Xiu Xiu
* Wye Oak

• Shearwater: http://www.shearwatermusic.com
• Matador: http://www.matadorrecords.com

Pioneer of the MP3, Bach, Launches New ‘Deluxe’ File – No, Not That Bach, Idiot!

The original inventors of the MP3 have recently announced the launch of a new ‘deluxe’ file-type. ‘MusicDNA’ can “include things like lyrics, videos, artwork and blog posts, which will continually be updated, as well as the music.” The creator is Norwegian developer Dagfinn Bach (appropriate name, huh?), and the file’s investors include Karlheinz Brandenburg, “credited with inventing the MP3.” Bach pioneered the very first (probably brick-sized) MP3 player.

Discerning TMTers will no doubt have two questions:

1. Will this finally kill the physical album for good (MusicDNA refreshes itself automatically — who needs this crappy plastic?)
2. Might this kill file-sharing if MusicDNA becomes the default music file-type?

I guess music has now embraced Web 2.0 itself. As Brandenburg says, “I remember 10 years ago, a lot of people were saying that we need to enrich the user experience, that legal access to music has to give the customers more than just music, and this is certainly one very nice way to do it.”

First Iceland Has an Economic Meltdown and Now Sigur Rós Are Taking An Indefinite Hiatus. What’s Next For Iceland? Björk Explodes?

Despite nearly a decade together and a handful of (awesome) albums, it appears that Sigur Rós will be taking an indefinite hiatus in light of both lead singer Jónsi Birgisson’s current tour/promotional event in support of his new solo disc, Go, and pro-creation. The band, despite rumors of an already completed and, most likely, “beautiful, hopeful, other-worldly” album, also tossed out recordings from 2009 that were made as the first steps toward a new album.

Birgisson made the message that new Sigur Rós material would be a loooooooooong time coming pretty clear in an interview with Spinner:

We haven’t got another album ready. It was just a rumour. We started to record something, but then we chucked it all away. So I think we are going to have to start it all again. […] [We] are on a break at the moment. Everybody in the band is having babies.

I’m betting for a new album in 2011, because I rarely have faith in lead singers breaking off from a band and finding success. I mean, what did the cute, little lead singer of Jackson 5 ever amount to once Jackson 5 broke up?

Birgisson’s new album is set for release March 22 via XL Recordings.

• Sigur Rós: http://www.sigur-ros.co.uk

Harvey Milk to Tour with Coalesce, Eyes Bleed, Glaciers Move

Sloth-like riffage and overpowering ear-piercing bombast abound! Southern metal dudes Harvey Milk will be spreadin their sludge over the road this spring with fellow metal dudes Coalesce.

The Athens, GA natives are out to spread the word to US and Canadian fans alike about their soon-to-be released re-remastered self-titled album. You internet dwellers might know this album better as “The Bob Weston Sessions,” an unreleased debut full-length that has been lurking around “blogosphere” for some time. Word/Hydra Head pressed an unfortunate 300 copies of the tour edition 2xLPs this summer, but released it just yesterday in proper form. My temples are already pulsing.

Live! with Coalesce:

03.05.10 - Pittsburgh, PA - Rex Theatre
03.08.10 - New York, NY - Le Poisson Rouge
03.09.10 - Boston, MA - Middle East Downstairs
03.10.10 - Montreal, QC - Il Motore
03.11.10 - Toronto, ON - Wreckroom
03.12.10 - Hamtramck, MI - Smalls Bar
03.13.10 - Chicago, IL - Subterranean

Harvey Milk tracklist:

01. Blueberry Dookie
02. Plastic Eggs
03. Merlin Is Magic
04. Dating Pressures
05. My Father’s Life’s Work
06. Probölkoc
07. Smile
08. Jim’s Polish
09. F.S.T.P.
10. Anthem

• Harvey Milk: http://www.myspace.com/harveymilk
• Hydra Head: http://www.hydrahead.com

Big Ears Fest 2010: Dirty Projectors + Bang on a Can, Terry Riley, Joanna Newsom, The Books

Holy shit: now this is a fest to get excited about! On March 26-28, Knoxville, TN will play host to the Big Ears Festival. From what’s confirmed so far, this ain’t your typical fest. Yes, it’ll feature Dirty Projectors, but they’ll be performing with the Bang on a Can All-Stars. Yes, it’ll have Andrew W.K., but he’ll be performing with the Calder Quartet. Yes, it’ll feature Joanna Newsom, St. Vincent, and The National, but they’re all performing with “special guests” too.

Elsewhere, we have the seminal Terry Riley (I fucking love him), performing with Gyan Riley, Tracey Silverman, and Ches Smith one night, as well as a solo set sometime around a Bang on a Can performance of Riley’s “In C.” Another interesting collaboration? The xx, jj, and Nosaj Thing. Yep. And did I mention Brian Eno’s Music for Airports being performed by Bang on a Can and The Books??

Like I said: holy shit.

A limited number of individual show tickets go on sale Friday, January 29. Keep an eye on Big Ear’s website for more announcements, including performances/collaborations from Tim Hecker, DJ /rupture, Gang Gang Dance, Javelin, and many more.

Initial schedule:

• Bijou Theatre

Friday, March 26:
7:00 pm - Terry Riley Quartet featuring Gyan Riley, Tracy Silverman and Ches
Smith
10:30 pm - The xx + jj + Nosaj Thing

Saturday, March 27:
1:00 pm -Clogs with very special guests + My Brightest Diamond
7:00 pm - Andrew W.K. performing with the Calder Quartet
10:00 pm - Joanna Newsom + special guests

Sunday, March 28:
7:00 pm - St. Vincent + special guests

• Tennessee Theatre

Saturday, March 27:
2:30 pm - Dirty Projectors + Bang on a Can All-Stars
8:00 pm - Vampire Weekend
12 midnight - Terry Riley’s In C, performed by Bang on a Can and special guests + Terry Riley solo

Sunday, March 28:
2:00 pm - Brian Eno’s Music for Airports,
performed by Bang on a Can + the Books + special guests
9:00 pm - The National + special guests

• Big Ears Festival: http://www.bigearsfestival.com

Saddle Creek Signs The Mynabirds (ex-Georgie James)

Saddle Creek has signed The Mynabirds, the new project from Georgie James vocalist Laura Burhenn. Remember Georgie James? They were ex-Q and Not U, and Q and Not U was totally your favorite band for a little while. By the transitive property, The Mynabirds are totally your favorite band now.

The group’s first release on the label will be their debut record, What We Lose In The Fire We Gain In The Flood, out April 27. A free download of “Numbers Don’t Lie,” the record’s first single, is available here.

• The Mynabirds: http://www.myspace.com/themynabirds
• Saddle Creek: http://www.saddle-creek.com

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