Times New Viking and Yo La Tengo Magical Winter Tour Starts Tonight

Sometimes, magic happens. If you’re a fan of both Yo La Tengo and Times New Viking, that time is now.

When asked during a 2008 interview with Pitchfork, Times New Viking’s Jared Phillips described the best places the band has ever played: “Probably one of those places that we played with Yo La Tengo that we’ll never get to play again [laughs ]. Those were all pretty fun but, you know, if it ever happens we’ll be 40 years old by the time we play in a place that big again.” HOLD ON JARED!!!! You’ll be reunited with Yo La Tengo sooner than you think—tonight, in fact. And really, the most magical thing of all is that, with this tour, we all win.

01.22.10 - Pontiac, MI - Crofoot Ballroom
01.23.10 - Madison, WI - Barrymore Theatre
01.24.10 - St. Louis, MO - The Pageant
o1.26.10 - Lawrence, KS - Granada Theatre
01.27.10 - Tulsa, OK - Cain’s Ballroom
01.28.10 - Houston, TX - Warehouse Live
01.29.10 - Austin, TX - Antone’s
01.30.10 - Dallas, TX - Granada Theatre

After this small trek, Times New Viking and Yo La Tengo will head their separates ways to the same location: Europe. Check out the dates here and here

• Times New Viking: http://www.myspace.com/timesnewviking
• Yo La Tengo: http://www.yolatengo.com

Gang Gang Dance Sign to 4AD

New York’s Gang Gang Dance have signed to 4AD for their fifth album, the as-yet untitled follow-up to Saint Dymphna (TMT Review). Details on the new album are scant, but it’s expected for release this year. Not excited? Check out these quotes from the press!

“Yes, yes, I’ll take me some more of them Gang Gang Dance trax!” -Village Voice

“Seriously, they’re really fucking good, man. No, seriously.” -The Guardian

“Amazing. ‘Nuff said.” -Pitchfork

“Oh my GOSH — this is game-changing music.” -Tiny Mix Tapes

The group has booked four dates for late March, hugging their performance at this year’s Big Ears Festival.

03.25.10 - Baltimore, MD - Ottobar
03.26.10 - Morgantown, WV - 123 Pleasant St.
03.27.10 - Knoxville, TN - Big Ears Festival
03.29.10 - Charlottesville, VA - Southern

• Gang Gang Dance: http://www.myspace.com/ganggangdance
• 4AD: http://www.4ad.com

Dr. Dog to Release New LP on ANTI- This April, Tour for Ten Weeks

Shame, Shame is the name of the new album coming out on ANTI- Records this spring; April 6 to be exact. Dr. Dog is often touted as sounding “generic” or like (insert pop band name here) by the people who hate fun. It’s a ‘Shame, Shame’ that these guys don’t get more love from the “cool” critics, but in any case their fans don’t seem to be paying any mind. They’ve built their reputation playing shows, and for those of you hungry for more of that, their latest tourdates are posted below.

Rob Schnapf will be producing Shame, Shame in a professional studio, even — a first for the band who are used to recording in basements and home studios. ANTI- is claiming the album has a “darker tone” and also says it’s “an album whose themes of doubt, confusion and unanswered questions are soothed by bright harmonies, taut guitar riffs and soaring melodies.” All the change (and progression?) should be welcomed by the fans, and is a necessary change if they ever want be lauded by the hipper critics. We’ll see, won’t we?

P.S. Dr. Dog will be releasing the first track digitally when they reach 20,000 fans on Facebook, so if you’re into that kind of thing, click here.

Tourdates are as follows…

01.27.10 - Troy, NY - Revolution Hall *
01.28.10 - Burlington, VT - Higher Ground *
01.29.10 - Providence, RI - Lupo’s *
01.30.10 - Syracuse, NY- Westcott Theatre *
02.01.10 - Buffalo, NY - Mohawk Place *
02.03.10 - Pontiac, MI - The Pike Room *
02.04.10 - Milwaukee, WI - Turner Hall *
02.05.10 - Madison, WI - High Noon Saloon *
02.06.10 - Iowa City, IA - The Mill *
02.08.10 - Omaha, NE - Waiting Room *
02.09.10 - Rock Island, IL - Rock Island Brewing Co. *
02.10.10 - Cleveland, OH - Case Western University *
02.11.10 - Bloomington, IN - Video Saloon
02.12.10 - Columbus, OH - Newport Music Hall *
02.13.10 - State College, PA - State Theatre *
04.14.10 - Toronto, ON - Lee’s Place
04.15.10 - Ann Arbor, MI - Blind Pig
04.16.10 - Chicago, IL - Metro
04.17.10 - Minneapolis, MN - Fine Line
04.19.10 - Aspen, CO - Belly Up
04.20.10 - Denver, CO - Gothic Theatre
04.22.10 - Boise, ID - Neuroluz
04.23.10 - Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom
04.24.10 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall
04.25.10 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall ^
04.27.10 - Los Angeles, CA - Henry Fonda ^
04.29.10 - Santa Fe, NM - Santa Fe Brewing Company ^
04.30.10 - Dallas, TX - The Loft ^
05.01.10 - Austin, TX - Emo’s Outside ^
05.02.10 - Houston, TX - Warehouse Live Studio ^
05.03.10 - Fayetteville, AR - Majestic ^
05.05.10 - Birmingham, AL - Workplay ^
05.06.10 - Nashville, TN - Cannery Ballroom ^
05.07.10 - Louisville, KY - Headliners ^
05.11.10 - Boston, MA - Paradise ^
05.12.10 - Boston, MA - Paradise ^
05.13.10 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory ^
05.14.10 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club ^
05.15.10 - New York, NY - Terminal 5 ^

* The Growlers
^ Deer Tick

International tourdates:

05.23.10 - Berlin, Germany - Magnet
05.24.10 - Koln, Germany - Blue Shell
05.25.10 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Paradiso
05.26.10 - London, UK - Tabernacle
05.27.10 - Paris, France - Nouveau Casino
05.29.10 - Barcelona, Spain - Primavera Sound

Radiohead to Play Haiti Benefit Show in LA This Sunday

Stop counting your cash, rich Radiohead fans, and listen up. This Sunday, the group is playing a last-minute benefit show at The Music Box Theatre in LA, with the tickets being auctioned to raise money for Haiti. According to a post by drummer Phil Selway on Radiohead’s Dead Air Space blog:

We’re doing a show this Sunday (24th January) to raise funds for the relief effort in Haiti. The venue is The Music Box Theatre at The Fonda in Los Angeles, doors at 7pm. All proceeds are going to the Oxfam Haiti relief fund. We’re trying to raise as much money as possible, so tickets will be sold by auction at this site from 8pm tonight until 11am Saturday (PST):

http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/09004434FC1C86AC

We’re in the middle of recording at the moment, so you’ll be catching us on the fly…. but if you’re up for it, then we are too.

The auction starts today (January 21) at 8:00 PM PST and ends Saturday (January 23) at 11:00 AM PST. If you don’t live near the venue, don’t worry: you can donate to Oxfam’s Haiti relief fund page here.

Franz Nicolay Leaves The Hold Steady; Scene Seems Noticeably Less Sunny

Mustachioed Hold Steady multi-instrumentalist Franz Nicolay has announced he’s left the band. Nicolay, who has served as the group’s keyboardist/accordionist/yelping handclapper since 2005’s Separation Sunday, wrote on his website Wednesday:

You should know: I’ve left The Hold Steady. I told the band I’d be leaving in early September, played my last show with them in Minneapolis around Thanksgiving, and dotted the t’s and crossed the i’s this week. Five years seemed like a nice round number. Thanks to everyone who was a part of the experience, especially the Unified Scene, who are nice folks. I’ll see you all soon in any case.

Many Hold Steady fans, myself included, have come to rely on Nicolay for his disjointed, “Piano Man”-drunk keyboards and regular ‘whoa oh-oh’s on staple songs like “Stay Positive” and “Chips Ahoy!” With his unique talents and stage presence, Nicolay will no doubt be difficult to replace. Though, as The Hold Steady moves forward as a post-Nicolay band, there will be one element glaringly missing: fashion.

Nicolay really raised the style bar for the band, with his aforementioned moustache, newsboy cap, and nicely pressed vest and slacks combo. Without him, The Hold Steady are just five grungy middle-aged dudes with stained pants, ironic t-shirts, and original pressings of Let It Be; not exactly rock stars. But I have faith that Craig Finn and co. can recover this loss by following a few simple tips:

1. Craig Finn needs to buy an ascot, and never be seen without it.
2. Lead guitarist Tad Kubler should bleach his hair, begin wearing muscle t-shirts, and refer to himself exclusively as “T.K.”
3. Hire Daniel Radcliffe as Nicolay’s replacement. The kid is hyper-fashionable, isn’t averse to doing shocking things on stage, and already loves the band.
4. Introduce a new character to the long-running Holly/Charlemagne/Gideon narrative based on Gossip Girl’s Chuck Bass. ‘Chuck Crass’ is probably an appropriate name.

Franz Nicolay’s first short story collection, Complicated Garden Techniques, is out in February, and he is currently producing an LP for Brooklyn’s The Debutante Hour. Let’s hope he has many more massive nights down the road.

[Photo: Tad Kubler]

WHY?’s Josiah Wolf Preps Solo Debut, Potentially Reignites Sibling Rivalry

Yoni, Yoni, Yoni! That’s all anyone ever talks about! Yes, yes, being the sibling of avant-rap’s most neurotic straddler of genre lines must be tough. Actually, it’s probably not that tough. While Josiah Wolf doesn’t quite get the attention his brother Yoni does for WHY?, the man has had a pretty nice role as a multi-instrumentalist for the group over the past few years. Still, it may be about time for Josiah to get a bit of that sweet spotlight, so he’s releasing Jet Lag, his debut solo LP, through Anticon on March 2.

Afraid (or hoping?) that Josiah is simply the sunnier counterpart to Yoni’s depressed abstractionist? The following quote should assuage your fears:

Jet Lag came together following the dissolution of an 11-year relationship, and over the course of a move from California back to the Midwest, where Wolf grew up. It’s no surprise then, that the album contains such deeply moving works as the spooky, Cohen-esque “Is the Body Hung” and the warm, grand tribute to past love, “In The Seam.” But Jet Lag’s final two songs only look back long enough to prepare their author for newness. The stormy “Gravity Defied” conveys that knowing resignation that eventually comes, while on album-ender “The One Sign,” the breeze that Wolf was waiting on becomes a gale threatening to crash a loaded airplane.

If you’re preemptively looking for summer jams, something tells me you won’t find them here.

Jet Lag tracklist:

01. The Trailer and the Truck
02. Master Cleanse (California)
03. The Opposite of Breathing
04. The New Car
05. Skull in the Ice
06. The Apart Meant
07. That Kind of Man
08. Ohioho
09. Is the Body Hung
10. In the Seam
11. Gravity Defied
12. The One Sign

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