Surfer Blood sign to Warner Bros., stand in front of colored backdrops, officially morph into Weezer

Surfer Blood sign to Warner Bros., stand in front of colored backdrops, officially morph into Weezer http://www.tinymixtapes.com/sites/default/files/news-10-09-surfer-blood.jpg

Surfer Blood: they’re the new Weezer! At least, that’s what nearly every positive review of their debut record Astrocoast claims. But you can’t be the new Weezer without a major label deal (or can you?), so, lo and behold, Surfer Blood are signing to Warner Bros. Before they make the jump for real, they’ll be releasing one last EP for current label Kanine, due sometime next year. Granted, that won’t be the last of their partnership with Kanine, as their next full-length will be released by Warner Bros. in conjunction with Surfer Blood’s current label. One can only expect (hope?) that that second record will be a brilliant, commercially unsuccessful record centering around a song detailing singer John Paul Pitts’s infatuation with a, say, Korean fan. Then the band will disappear for several years and, well, let’s not worry about what happens after that. Also, some Spike Jonze videos somewhere in the mix.

• Surfer Blood: http://myspace.com/surferblood
• Warner Bros.: http://www.warnerbrosrecords.com
• Kanine: http://www.kaninerecords.com

Gang of Four to release Content, the band’s first new material in 16 years; album contains vials of band members’ blood (seriously)

GOOD NEWS: Gang of Four are releasing a new album entitled Content, which features the group’s first new material in 16 years. According to Gang of Four singer Jon King:

What I’ve been thrilled by over the years is that our music still seems to make sense to our audiences, however old they are, and these days they’re mostly under 30. They tell us that our music means something, that it makes them want to go start a band. That amazes me. I would never have imagined when we started off that we would have this impact after such a long time.

BAD NEWS: Content isn’t coming out until next year (on Yep Roc Records).

BETTER NEWS: The album’s coming out January 25, so it’s actually not that long of a wait.

BEST NEWS: Not only will the album will be available on CD and vinyl, but it’s also being released as an “Ultimate Content Can,” which contains, according to the press release, “the new album on CD, a book version of an art piece Jon and Andy have done on ceramic tiles depicting the last 40 years of world history, a book of lyrics, a book of Rotoscoped photographs of the band’s emotions, phials [vials] of band members’ blood and a scratch and sniff booklet which reflects the key areas of human activity.”

Every album should be released as an “Ultimate Can.”

• Gang of Four: http://www.gangoffour.co.uk
• Yep Roc: http://www.yeproc.com

Surfer Blood sign to Warner Bros., stand in front of colored backdrops, officially morph into Weezer

Surfer Blood: they’re the new Weezer! At least, that’s what nearly every positive review of their debut record Astrocoast claims. But you can’t be the new Weezer without a major label deal (or can you?), so, lo and behold, Surfer Blood are signing to Warner Bros. Before they make the jump for real, they’ll be releasing one last EP for current label Kanine, due sometime next year. Granted, that won’t be the last of their partnership with Kanine, as their next full-length will be released by Warner Bros. in conjunction with Surfer Blood’s current label. One can only expect (hope?) that that second record will be a brilliant, commercially unsuccessful record centering around a song detailing singer John Paul Pitts’s infatuation with a, say, Korean fan. Then the band will disappear for several years and, well, let’s not worry about what happens after that. Also, some Spike Jonze videos somewhere in the mix.

• Surfer Blood: http://myspace.com/surferblood
• Warner Bros.: http://www.warnerbrosrecords.com
• Kanine: http://www.kaninerecords.com

Swedish man busted for sharing 6,000 audio files — just 6,000?

You’re sitting at your desk, finally positioned with a cup of tea and the episode of Mad Men that took forever to download. It’s dusk, and the glow of the laptop screen casts a bright hue across the dim room. Suddenly, bright halogen lights flood through the windows, the curtains billowing inwards as a violent gust accompanies the unexpected illumination. Wagner blasts from outside (maybe “Carmina Burana,” if those Valkyrie chicks are too cliché). Glass shatters, as men in the unmistakable black uniform of authority drop onto the carpet, their eyes instantly focusing on the laptop in front of you.

Such is what I imagine happened in Sweden recently, when police went on a good ol’ fashioned raid in central Sweden after getting wind of an alleged “pirate network.” I’m not sure how Scandinavian raids work since the decline of the Vikings (especially when the tipoff comes from places like IFPI), but I like to think it’s a variation of the Simpsons scene where Mr. Burns thinks he’s finally tracked down Homer’s mother.

A pirate, you say? Sounds familiar these days. The culprit, a man from outside Österlund, is suspected to have shared a whopping 6,000 audio tracks on the internet (which may pale in comparison to your library of 12,000, but hey, who’s the one getting caught?). While there are plenty of Swedes who actively download and share music — we all know about The Pirate Bay, for example — those, like the man arrested, who use Direct Connect, often end up sharing their entire collections. By doing so, they provide much more hard evidence than people who use BitTorrent.

If convicted, the unfortunate man who presumably helped propagate The Knife and Peter Bjorn and John could be sent to prison at worst, or at least receive fines or a suspended sentence. His “computer media” was confiscated, according to prosecutor Henrik Rasmussen, leaving him without a computer and, worse, without music. Let this be a lesson to you: don’t use Direct Connect, and don’t believe that the Swedish get away with everything.

Iron and Wine announce Kiss Each Other Clean in a soft, feathery, doe-eyed, beard-wispy, heather-grey voice

When last we officially shilled for Sam Beam and his revolving pack of pals that make up the indie-folk pillow fort Iron and Wine, they were sicking The Shepherd’s Dog on us (TMT Review), a relatively rollicking and oh-so-sweetly fucked-up departure from Beam’s earlier solo bedroom folk. Beam’s trademark mouth-full-of-marshmallows was still on full display, but those ‘mallows were nicely toasted by Brian Deck’s earthy, dense, and impeccable studio productions. Then, after making all of the post-album rounds, a couple of years went by, and we all just kind of assumed that Beam had returned to his day job of Bee Husbandry or Light House Keeping or something. There were a few shows and an old rarities collection, but for the most part, our folk hero was nowhere to be found.

But now, hold everything. Someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah, and he looks an awful lot like Sam Beam. That’s right, as Pitchfork reports, he and his cohorts are back with a new album titled Kiss Each Other Clean, which is due in early 2011, presumably for Sub Pop?

Beam is currently in Europe finishing up a few full-band gigs, after which he will return to the US to play a few acoustic shows around the Midwest (where else?). And odds are probably pretty good that he’ll be showing off a few new tunes at these gigs! Finally we can stop wearing out the Nick Drake and suffering through Conor Oberst’s awkward attempt at cool folk. Whew. Thanks, Sam.

Tourdates:

09.10.10 - Mainz, Germany - 3Sat Festival
09.11.10 - Dorset, England - End of the Road Festival
09.12.10 - Leeds, England - Howard Assembly Room
09.14.10 - London, England - Union Chapel
09.15.10 - Düsseldorf, Germany - Zakk
09.16.10 - Zürich, Switzerland - El Lokal
09.17.10 - Luxembourg City, Luxembourg - Kulturfabrik
09.18.10 - Groningen, Netherlands - Take Root Festival
10.12.10 - Iowa City, IA - IMU Main Lounge
10.13.10 - Milwaukee, WI - Pabst Theater
10.14.10 - Columbus, OH - Ohio State University

• Iron and Wine: http://www.ironandwine.com
• Sub Pop: http://www.subpop.com

Let’s get metaphysical, physical: Celebration release Electric Tarot project

Oh man, you guys have no idea what an effort it has taken me to not start this story off with some asinine phrase like “Celebration are laying their cards on the table with this new release” or “Let’s get metaphysical” or some other crap like… oh, too late, I guess. Sorry. Seriously. A commercial took over my body and started typing slogans. Celebration’s Electric Tarot project is one of the cooler things I’ve heard about in recent memory, and it deserves better. (I can’t say coolEST, because those little frogs that live in pitcher plants are pretty amazing, you can’t deny that.)

The thing is, Celebration has left 4AD and hooked up with Baltimore’s Friends Records to release nine free digital tracks over the course of the year that will be compiled near the end of 2010 into a free digital LP and a not-free physical LP entitled Hello Paradise. Each song of this Electric Tarot project represents a different card in the deck. (Every time I read that it blows my mind again. Tarot + Celebration = AMAZING.) Friends Records also plans on releasing cassettes with material from Celebration, although info on tape release dates has not yet been announced.

• Celebration: http://celebrationelectrictarot.com
• Friends: http://www.friendsrecordsbaltimore.com