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:
• Matador:

IFPI Considers Civil Suit Against Former OiNK Admin

• On a Friday: This one, specifically, January 15, 2010. Allan Ellis, former admin of popular torrent site OiNK, was found not guilty of ‘Conspiracy to Defraud’ the music industry.
* Meaning: Your torrent site = Not cool. Sweet coin you made = Kinda cool.

• The following Thursday: The IFPI is considering levying a civil suit to reclaim some of the £200,000 for ‘artists’ it claims to have been swindled.
* Meaning: We want your monies, Mr. Ellis.

It took him two years to clear his name, and all the man wants now is to get on with his life, but clearly the IFPI has other plans. Saying incendiary things like “This is a hugely disappointing verdict which is out of line with decisions made in similar cases around the world,” and “The defendant made nearly £200,000 by exploiting other people’s work without permission,” the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry spokesman John Kennedy (no relation to you know who) is going to try to get his/theirs.

And just a little forbearance of our egos as smart consumers, here’s some sweet legal mumbo-jumbo about the inner workings of this from a real life lawyer:

I think they may be thinking about filing suit on it’s own behalf – as an association of labels. For example, IFPI vs. Oink and DudefromtheArticle[Ellis]. IFPI’s stated goal is to “safeguard the rights of record producers”. Look at the field of imprints published on its homepage. Those aren’t the corporate logos of “various artists”. They’re giant fucking record labels. After the industry lost the “make you shit in your pants” criminal trial to *gasp* a dude and jury of his peers, record companies are going back to more of the same: civil actions. Civil, as in we will sue your ass into bankruptcy and complacence. We know how that’s going. So far, mostly inneffective at stopping what’s practically a tidal wave. And the lawsuit angle definitely doesn’t play as well in the media, at least not when it’s grandmas and 12 year olds.

Whether or not a particular artist gets x% of the money for every song they have stolen, I don’t know. For sure they don’t get 100% passed straight on to them. At the very least the lawyers will be well paid out of any settlement. The record companies don’t just eat their legal expenses and pass the savings on to the bands. How much the labels/”publishers”/producers have agreed to pass on to the individual artists isn’t at all clear to me.

There’s a reason I pay a retainer, to pay off in ‘sitches like this.

Read: Lawyers win.

Toro Y Moi Plans Spring Tour for Causers of This with The Ruby Suns and Dent May

The debut album from hyped-up chillwaver Toro Y Moi is due for physical release February 2 via Carpark, and so, naturally, he’s leaving the bedroom for an enormous tour of Europe and North America. Causers of This, which includes single “Blessa,” has already been drawing multitudinous comparisons with Beach House and Animal Collective, one only apt for an album full of dreamy synths and summery beats. (Check it out at the Chocolate Grinder.)

According to Carpark, a second (very different) album is due sometime around August of this year, featuring “109” (the B-side to “Blessa”), but in the meantime, Toro Y Moi begins his spring tour in Europe before returning stateside in March to meet up with The Ruby Suns (check Carpark for European dates with Dent May).

02.05.10 - Durham, NC - Duke Coffeehouse
02.25.10 - Brooklyn, NY - The Cameo Gallery
02.26.10 - Haverford, PA - Haverford College
02.27.10 - Frederick, MD - Nola Gallery
03.12.10 - Santa Barbara, CA - Muddy Waters *
03.13.10 - San Diego, CA - The Loft *
03.14.10 - Phoenix, AZ - Rhythm Room *
03.15.10 - Tucson, AZ - Plush *#%
03.17.10 - Austin, TX - SXSW (The Mohawk)
03.22.10 - Atlanta, GA - Drunken Unicorn *
03.23.10 - Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506 *
03.24.10 - Washington, DC - The Black Cat Backstage *
03.25.10 - Philadelphia, PA - Kung Fu Necktie *
03.26.10 - Brooklyn, NY - Brooklyn Bowl *
03.27.10 - Cambridge, MA - Middle East Upstairs *
03.28.10 - Winooski, VT - Monkey House *
03.29.10 - Montreal, Quebec - Il Motore *
03.30.10 - Toronto, Ontario - The Drake *
03.31.10 - Chicago, IL - Schubas *
04.02.10 - Minneapolis, MN - The Turf Club *
04.03.10 - Lawrence, KS - Jackpot Saloon *
04.05.10 - Denver, CO - Hi-Dive *
04.06.10 - Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court *
04.07.10 - Nampa, ID - Flying M Coffee *
04.08.10 - Seattle, WA - Chop Suey *
04.09.10 - Vancouver, British Columbia - Biltmore Cabaret *
04.10.10 - Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios *
04.12.10 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill *
04.13.10 - San Luis Obispo, CA - SLO Art Center *
04.14.10 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echo *

+ Dent May
* The Ruby Suns
# Quasi
% Explode Into Colors

• Toro Y Moi:
• Carpark:

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:

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:
• Hydra Head: