Parenthetical Girls Announce Five-EP Project to Begin Release in February

It’s been a little time since Parenthetical Girls’ last full-length album, Entanglements, but they’re doing their best to make up for it. On February 23, the group — having sloughed off the orchestra and returned to the basics (Zac Pennington, Rachael Jensen, and Jherek Bischoff) — will release the first 12-inch of a five-part EP series, entitled Privilege, on Slender Meets Society (vinyl and digital release). A project of this magnitude takes time, and the last 12-inch to complete the set is not slated for release until May 2011. Lest you lose interest in the months in between releases, keep in mind that the final EP will be accompanied by a special LP box designed to store all five in style — packaging more suited to an oeuvre of this size than being couched in your record crate among those Goodwill buys and Logos.

To make the offer even more exciting, these EPs come with the guarantee that you just might be the only indie kid around to have a physical copy. Not available in stores, there will only be 500 copies pressed of each 12-inch, all hand-numbered in the blood of Parenthetical Girls themselves (why is blood in vogue now? “Xiu Xiu for Life” t-shirts, anyone?). In addition to the promise of (((GRRRLS))) DNA, each EP will come with artwork courtesy of illustrator Jenny Mörtsell.

“Evelyn McHale,” the opening track from On Death & Endearments, is online now, and if Entanglements was somehow too cheery for you, McHale’s back story gives a familiar nod to Safe as Houses-era morbidity. According to Stereogum, the song’s namesake was a 23-year-old woman who committed suicide by jumping from the Empire State Building, only to have her corpse photographed immediately after landing in a more or less flattering position. We knew Parenthetical Girls wouldn’t let us down.

• Parenthetical Girls:
• Slender Means Society:

“Hope for Haiti Now” Telethon Raises $61 Million, Recording Becomes First Digital-Only Release To Reach U.S. #1

It’s true what they say: in times of great need, the world joins together in more ways than one could have ever imagined. And of course, the odd celebrity endorsement never hurts. The much-anticipated “Hope for Haiti Now” telethon aired last Friday night, raising over $61 million and garnering an average of 24 million viewers, and that’s not including the 5.8 million viewers streaming the special online. In addition to raising money for victims of the earthquake that struck Haiti about two weeks earlier, the telethon also featured performances by A-list artists including Justin Timberlake, Madonna, Neil Young, Dave Matthews, Matt Morris, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Jay-Z, and Bono from U2.

Collaborations between artists included Timberlake and Morris singing Leonard Cohen’s famed ballad “Hallelujah” and Jay-Z, Rihanna, and Bono’s rendition of “Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour).” Needless to say, these collabs vastly helped the efforts to raise money, while the “Hope for Haiti Now” recording has beat out all current chart-topping artists on Billboard 200 and on iTunes’ albums chart. The recording is set to enter #1 this week on the US charts, with roughly 175,000 units sold, making it the first digital-only release to reach #1. And that’s representing less than three days of only digital sales, as Hypebot reports.

• Hope for Haiti Now:

The Strange Boys Finish New Album, Add Dates with Spoon & Deerhunter, Will Continue to be Boys

I’m gonna go ahead and take an obvious tack with this one. “What’s so strange about The Strange Boys” you ask? ” What’s so unusual about four taut young lads from Texas ripping out uptempo, blues-driven garage rock?” Gotta tell ya, there’s nothing willfully odd about the whole endeavor, but it sure is fun. If you caught their full-length debut released on In The Red last year, The Strange Boys…And Girls Club (TMT Review), or their rowdy live session at Austin’s 91.7 KVRX, you know their influences are familiar, but their jams are exuberant and refreshing. Their sophomore effort, Be Brave, will be released February 22 in the UK by Rough Trade and February 23 in the US by In The Red. (The title track was released earlier this week as a limited-edition 7-inch single.)

In February, the Boys will take a western jaunt with Chain and the Gang before they tag along with fellow Austin-tinians Spoon.

02.19.10 - Austin, TX - Emo’s *#
02.21.10 - Marfa, TX - Padre’s *
02.23.10 - Phoenix, AZ - Trunk Space *
02.24.10 - San Diego, CA - Casbah *
02.25.10 - Isla Vista, CA - Biko Garage *
02.26.10 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echo *
02.27.10 - San Francisco, CA - Elbo Room *$
02.28.10 - Reno, NV - Rainshadow Community Charter High School *
03.02.10 - Salem, OR - The Space *+
03.03.10 - Olympia, WA - Northern *+
03.04.10 - Seattle, WA - Comet Tavern *&
03.05.10 - Vancouver, BC - Media Club *
03.06.10 - Portland, OR - East End *
03.07.10 - Boise, ID - Visual Arts Collective
03.08.10 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
03.09.10 - Denver, CO - Hi Dive
03.10.10 - Boulder, CO - University of Colorado - Club 156
03.12.10 - Lubbock, TX - Bash Riprock’s
03.18.10 - New Orleans, LA - Republic %@
03.19.10 - Birmingham, AL - Workplay Soundstage %@
03.20.10 - Atlanta, GA - Tabernacle %@
03.22.10 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club %@
03.23.10 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club %@
03.24.10 - Richmond, VA - The National %@
03.26.10 - New York, NY - Radio City Music Hall %@
03.27.10 - Boston, MA - House of Blues %@
03.29.10 - Toronto, ON - Sound Academy %@
03.30.10 - Royal Oak, MI - Royal Oak Music Theater %@

* Chain and the Gang
# Yellow Fever
+ The Hive Dwellers
& Lovvers
$ Ty Segall, Nodzzz
@ Spoon
% Deerhunter

• The Strange Boys:
• In The Red:

Titus Andronicus to Release The Monitor in March

Dust off your history books, garden state rockers Titus Andronicus are back. The Monitor, the follow-up to their well-received 2008 debut The Airing of Grievances, is due March 9 via XL Recordings. The release coincides with the 148th anniversary of the Battle of Hampton Roads, in which the U.S.S. Monitor and the C.S.S. Virginia fought off the coast of Virginia.

You might be asking what a Civil War battle has to do with an indie rock record, and those concerns are not unfounded. Patrick Stickles, lead singer/songwriter, describes the album as “sort of” a concept album about the Civil War, clarifying that “Really, it is a record about how the conflicts that led our nation into that great calamity remain unresolved, and the effect that this ongoing division has on our personal relationships and our behavior and how they’re all out to get us (or maybe not?) and yadda yadda yadda.” Sounds light and jaunty.

The Monitor was recorded in August of 2009 by Greg Calbi in New Paltz, NY and includes guest appearances from members of The Hold Steady, Ponytail, Vivian Girls, and Wye Oak.

Expect a tour closer to the album’s release date (some dates are announced at the band’s MySpace), as well as a 7-inch of lead single “Four Score and Seven” (split over the A-side and B-side) on February 9.

The Monitor tracklisting:

01. A More Perfect Union
02. Titus Andronicus Forever
03. No Future Part Three: Escape From No Future
04. Richard II
05. A Pot In Which To Piss
06. Four Score And Seven
07. Theme From “Cheers”
08. To Old Friends And New
09. …And Ever
10. The Battle Of Hampton Roads

• Titus Andronicus:
• XL Recordings:

Panda Bear Announces More 2010 Solo Dates

Noah Lennox, a.k.a. Panda Bear, has announced more solo dates for 2010. Yes, the dates are in Europe, wah wah wah, but that’s why we have technology right? Here’s what we need to do: find a couple Europeans (preferably white), have them bootleg the Panda Bear shows with MD recorders and digital cameras (preferably Japanese), find bloggers (preferably “of color”) to post the audio/video pointing to ZIP files and YouTube, and then HAVE MULTICULTURAL SEX WITH EVERYONE INVOLVED.

After we’re done boning each other, hopefully Panda Bear will announce details for his new solo album, rumored to be titled Tomboy. Here’s what he said about the album in an interview with last year:

The rhythms are really basic and kind of raw and simple and are electronic. It’s not live instrumentation, I’ve been playing guitar but I feed it through the same thing that the sequences are on. It’s a very electronic sound and very voice heavy. A simple arrangement of drums, the guitar and singing. Really there are only two or three elements to every song. It’s pretty raw sounding for better for worse. The tone is a lot darker and it sounds sort of dramatic or romantic to me.

You can check out a couple new songs (made possible by the same bootleg/blog/bone template from above) here (via Gorilla Vs. Bear):

02.12.10 - Lisbon, Portugal - Lux Fragil
03.10.10 - Paris, France - Cabaret Sauvage
03.11.10 - London, UK - Heaven
03.12.10 - Dublin, Ireladn - Vicar Street
04.29.10 - Krems, Austria - Donaufestival
05.07.10 - Minehead, Somerset, UK - Butlin’s Holiday Centre (ATP)
05.27.10 - Barcelona, Spain - Primavera Sound

[Photo: prusakolep]

Live Nation-Ticketmaster Merger Approved (Not By Us)

Before I go to a live music or sporting event, I weigh my ticket options carefully. Sometimes I’ll get my tickets from Ticketmaster, other times times I’ll buy them from Ticketmaster, or to save time and waste money I might purchase tickets online with Ticketmaster. That may all change, however, with the new Live Nation-Ticketmaster merger, which plans to open a world of options for sporting fans and concert-goers (like myself) everywhere.

First, some background. Live Nation owns over 100 venues, promotes and/or produces 22,000 events annually, and sold over 50 million tickets in 2008. Ticketmaster—as if you didn’t know—is the US’s premier ticket sales and distribution company, selling over 142 million tickets in 2007. As a company, Ticketmaster is reviled (by just about everyone) for their notorious service charges and poor-to-non-existent customer service. Combined, these two already-powerful companies will coalesce into the perfect shit storm for ticket buyers, venues, and musicians.

So what do they have to say for themselves? In yesterday’s press release, the new super company assures us that, “Through this merger, the parties believe that the combined company will have the tools to develop new products, expand access, improve transparency and deliver artists and fans more choice. This will drive greater attendance at live events and bringing more value to all major constituents in the industry.”

More choice? More value? Improve transparency? Ticketmaster, please don’t piss on our backs and tell us it’s raining.

The merger was proposed last year in February, finally clearing with approval by the US Department of Justice on Monday, but not without some legal stipulations. According to the DOJ, the new company will be “watched” for 10 years and forced to obey “tough anti-retaliation provisions,” supposedly to prevent abuse to any competition. But then again, who could really compete with Ticketmaster before the merger?

To find out more about what’s being done to combat the merger, and to sign a petition against it, head over to which is directly affiliated with the American Antitrust Institute.



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