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.