Sic Alps Do Double Time: Tour with Magik Markers and Then Tour with Sonic Youth

Sic Alps have been a pretty busy band these last couple years, releasing a double-LP comp on Drag City, a 7-inch on Slumberland, an LP on Siltbreeze, and 7-inches on Woodsist and Important. The prolificacy doesn't end with the physical releases, as they've been touring the U.S. and Europe constantly. So is it in any way doubtful that they are doing two tours in the next two months? No way!! West Coast only though, so yeah, too bad for us Midwesterners, East Coasters, and Southerners (and the rest of the world). Even worse for all of us non-West Coasters is the fact that they'll be hitting the road with none other than the Magik Markers and Sonic Youth.

Starting on December 9, the Alps and the Markers will destroy San Jose and then work their way north until they get to Olympia, WA on December 19. Then, in the year 2010, a.k.a. next year, they will hit the road with Sonic Youth, starting on January 4 in Tucson, AZ and ending things off in San Francisco on January 10. In fact, San Fran and LA will be getting a double dose of Sic Alps since they will be hitting them up on both tours, adding insult to injury.

Sic Alps and Magik Markers tour:
12.09.09 - San Jose, CA - The Blank Club
12.10.09 - Santa Cruz, CA - The Crepe Place
12.11.09 - Los Angeles, CA - The Smell *
12.12.09 - Oakland, CA - The Continental Club $
12.13.09 - San Francisco, CA - The Hemlock
12.15.09 - Sacramento, CA - The Hub
12.16.09 - Portland, OR - Eagles Lounge ^
12.17.09 - Seattle, WA - Chop Suey
12.18.09 - Vancouver, BC - Rickshaw Theatre ~
12.19.09 - Olympia, WA - Northern

* Foot Village

$ Gowns

^ Eat Skull

~ Shearing Pinx

Sic Alps and Sonic Youth:
01.04.10 - Tucson, AZ - The Rialto Theatre
01.05.10 - Phoenix, AZ - The Marquee Theatre
01.07.10 - San Diego, CA - The House of Blues
01.08.10 - Pomona, CA - The Fox Theatre
01.09.10 - Los Angeles, CA - The Wiltern
01.10.10 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore

Jay-Z Looks Ahead to the Future, Announces Second Leg of BP3 Tour for 2010

Not one to sit idly by and start his new year off lounging on a beach somewhere with his boo, Jay-Z has already announced a tour for early 2010. This announcement should come as no surprise, since Jay-Z isn’t capable of sitting still for more than a few minutes (who else celebrates their self-imposed “retirement” by, uh, going back into the studio and releasing more albums?). Jay-Z will be promoting his new album, The Blueprint 3 (TMT Review), out now on Atlantic Records, and his recently released video game, DJ Hero: Renegade Edition. Presale tickets will be made available to Citi card members starting November 10 at 10 AM local time through Citi’s Private Pass Program. Hurry, go get a Citi card!

Touring State of Mind:

02.22.10 - Houston, TX - Toyota Center
02.23.10 - Dallas, TX - American Airlines Center
02.25.10 - New Orleans, LA - New Orleans Arena
02.27.10 - Atlanta, GA - Philips Arena
02.28.10 - Greensboro, NC - Greensboro Coliseum Complex
03.03.10 - Washington, DC - Verizon Center
03.07.10 - Norfolk, VA - Scope Arena
03.11.10 - Boston, MA - TD Garden
03.16.10 - Pittsburgh, PA - Mellon Arena
03.19.10 - St. Louis, MO - Scottrade Center
03.20.10 - Indianapolis, IN - Conseco Fieldhouse
03.22.10 - Denver, CO - Pepsi Center
03.24.10 - San Jose, CA - HP Pavilion
03.26.10 - Los Angeles, CA - Staples Center

All dates w/ Young Jeezy

Ex-Grandaddy Jason Lytle Gives Away Free Christmas Online Album, Reveals LP2 Details, Maintains His “Hi-Tech Backwater Hermit Chic” Nicely

Ex-Grandaddy frontman Jason Lytle probably has some time on his hands ever since he decided to move into the mountains and recast himself as some sort of precocious, thin-skinned, sad-sack, indie-rock version of Ted Nugent. From his decidedly-isolated home in rural Montana, Lytle has already graced us with a decidedly homespun solo debut for Anti- earlier this year, Yours Truly, The Commuter (TMT Review). Now, he’s apparently decided to leave the mics on while he sips of the ‘Nog and doodles around on the old upright piano to entertain his pets or whatever and then give the results away online as an “improv” Christmas album. Hmm... touché, Jason. I’m sort of intrigued. The resulting freestyle album, which is comprised of seven improvisational pieces (that means “songs,” for all you Motor City Madman fans who googled this article by accident) for solo acoustic piano and aptly-if-not-sort-of-piteously titled Merry X-Mas 2009, is available to download from his website as we speak. "It just so happens that playing my piano at home is one of my favorite things to do (in terms of music),” Lytle explained on his site, “so it was nice to be able to capture some of these moments of me playing aimlessly and relaxed.” So, there you have it. No robots, no synths, no static, no Neil Young warble. Just one man... in a room... betraying his apparent fanboy love for melodic demigods like Schubert, Chopin, and Satie.

And while he was at it, The Nuge Jr. also dropped the casual bomb that he is currently working on his second full-length solo record. "I am currently at work on a new album," he explained. "And although I'm quite sure none of the songs will end up on the radio I'm guaranteeing that this will be the weirdest, most wonderful mayhem I have made yet." Right on, Uncle Ted. Right on.

Merry X-Mas 2009 tracklisting:

1. Last Conversation in Waltz Time
2. Wild Animals Slowly Approaching the Lovely Country Funeral
3. Out Cold on Indian Ambien
4. Meeshell
5. Good Chord Song for LP Two
6. Bird Feeder Soap Opera Plot
7. SepDecember Song

Signing Round Up: Ariel Pink Unites with 4AD, Art Museums Joins with Woodsist, Freelance Whales Ties with Frenchkiss/Mom+Pop, Sally Seltmann Marries Arts & Crafts… and All Four Book Jadakiss for Their Wedding Ceremonies? Awk-waaaard…

The economy is tough and December ain't the best of months to put a smile on a miser's wintery face. But if anything can turn those hangdog faces right-side up is a Christmastime shopping spree! Some of our favorite labels have bucked the trend of holiday scrooging and have been splashing out the green by signing acts to their respective rosters lately. Here be cheer:

- First up is Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti who have jumped from Paw Tracks to stylish and venerable U.K. legend 4AD. Pink and company are working on new material for a springtime release but until then you will have to whet your appetities with back catalogue nibbles. Likewise, North American dates will be announced closer to when new stuff hits the stores/web but if you want to experience the lo-fi greatness in person, the ensemble will play over the next few days in France, Belgium, Germany, and England

12.11.09 - Aalst, Belgium - Network
12.12.09 - Cologne, Germany - King Georg
12.13.09 - London, England - Lexington

- The San Francisco duo of Josh Alper and Glenn Donaldson make music as The Art Museums and have recently inked a deal with hot property Woodsist. The debut album will be called Rough Frame but as far as a release date is concerned, we have nothing more than the ominous portent of "TBA, 2010" to report. We do have the song titles, yip yip!

Rough Frame:

Side A:

1. We Can't Handle It
2. Sculpture Gardens
3. So Your Baby Doesn't Love You Anymore
4. Paris Cafés
5. When Amber Melts

Side B:

1. Oh Modern Girls
2. Rough Frame
3. Sing a Song of Stacie
4. 30 Seconds

- The eclectic Queens quintet Freelance Whales have signed on the dotted line with Frenchkiss and Mom+Pop to issue their debut album in the spring too. Le savy NY label will join forces with Mom+Pop to release Freelance Whales' Weathervanes "in the spring" and we couldn't be happier for this three-way union! The band is on tour now with Fanfarlo

12.11.09 - Arlington, VA - Iota Cafe #
12.12.09 - Pittsburgh, PA - Brillobox #
12.14.09 - Detroit, MI - Majestic Cafe #
12.17.09 - Cambridge, MA - TT the Bears #
12.18.09 - New York, NY - Webster Hall #
01.13.10 - Cleveland, OH - The Spot, Case Western Reserve University
01.14.10 - Chicago, IL - Schuba's Tavern $
01.15.10 - Bloomington, IN - The Bishop

# Fanfarlo

$ Surfer Blood

- Now we suspect that Sarah Seltmann was already under contract to Arts & Crafts when details of her upcoming album were announced given the fact that the label has already put out her two albums (The Last Beautiful Day and Somewhere, Anywhere) and one EP (er, EP) that she produced under the moniker New Buffalo. But for the integrity and theme of this news story we will include her among the other new signees. The Australian songbird always makes lovely and interesting music but is probably best known as the co-writer of the popular Feist track "1234." Whether you adored that song or wanted to take a gatling gun to your TV every time it played in a Nano ad, the prospect of Seltmann releasing an album's worth of tunes is exciting news. Now, if her husband would get around to recording his band's loooong-awaited sophomore album, then we could sleep easier at night. Seltmann's Heart That's Pounding will come, yes, in the spring of 2010. The lovely first single "Harmony to My Heartbeat" is available free o' charge until December 15 here.

Mario Speedwagon’s New Year's Eve Round Up: It’s 2010 Y’all

Hey, party people. I know I’ve been off the radar for a while (I’ve been stupid-busy,) but I come back to you with a round up of shit to do this New Year’s Eve, if you haven’t made plans already. Where are you going to party?

In New York, Fischerspooner will be playing Irving Plaza. Patti Smith’s annual multi-night run at Bowery Ballroom is sold out already, but who knows, maybe someone has an extra ticket. The Felice Brothers are at Southpaw, Roky Erikson is at Maxwell’s, and Titus Andronicus is at Mercury Lounge. Oh yeah, and Mariah Carey is at Madison Square Garden. In Philadelphia, you got Lotus and MSTRKRFT at the Electric Factory. J Roddy Walston and the Business will play the Ottobar in Baltimore. In Washington DC, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings will play the 930 Club and TMT-er Mike McHugh’s favorite, Third Eye Blind, will play Grand Hyatt Washington.

In Athens, Georgia, Atlas Sound and guests will play at the 40 Watt Club and Washed Out is at the Chase Street Warehouse with DJs Kevin Barnes and Dottie Alexander from of Montreal. In Atlanta, Black Lips are at the Earl, Band of Horses do two nights at the Tabernacle, and Gentleman Jesse And His Men play 529. In Chapel Hill, The Love Language will play the Local 506. The Avett Brothers will play the Asheville Civic Center in Asheville, North Carolina.

Los Angeles has Chromeo at Club Nokia and Dengue Fever at The Mint. San Diego has Delta Spirit at Birch North Park Theatre. Seattle has Minus The Bear at the Showbox At The Market.

In Chicago, The Black Keys and Kurt Vile will play at The Riviera and The Jesus Lizard is playing The Metro. Also in Chicago, Jens Lekman is doing three nights at the Empty Bottle, Girl Talk is doing a show at The Congress Theater (sold out), and Crystal Castles are at Logan Square Auditorium (whatever). The Flaming Lips are performing Dark Side of the Moon at Oklahoma City’s Cox Center. Miami has Lady Gaga at the James L. Knight Center and Phish doing four nights (really? four?) at the American Airlines Arena. Spoon and Jay Reatard will play the Riverside Theater in Milwaukee.

…And that’s all I got. I know there are more out there, so feel free to hit me up. I’d like to collect more. As for links of where to buy tickets for these parties and shows, it’s almost 2010; you chumps should know how to use Google. Happy Holidays!

Portishead Releases “Chase the Tear” Single as Benefit for Human Rights

"Chase the Tear" -- a new Portishead
single, features their usual dark-electronica sound, perhaps sounding a
little more like Geoff Barrow's Beak> project than Portishead's
latest album, Third (TMT Review). Released December 10, the track is available in digital format here from 7digital. It's not free, but at 99 cents -- with all earnings going to Amnesty in support of the UN's "Universal Declaration of Human Rights," it's not a bad deal either, at least if you support human rights.
"Chase the Tear"'s release coincides with the 61st anniversary of the
adoption of the document expressing basic human rights on a global (rather than national) level.

Not sure if you want to fork over a buck? Well, you can view the black-and-white music video here.