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: http://www.titusandronicus.net
• XL Recordings: http://www.xlrecordings.com

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 Pedestrian.tv 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 TicketDisaster.org which is directly affiliated with the American Antitrust Institute.

Alec Ounsworth Announces First Headlining Tour; Vows To Not Be Forgotten Like Whats-His-Name From Tapes ‘N Tapes

Desperate to not end up like whats-his-name from Tapes ‘N Tapes, Alec Ounsworth is hitting the road without his Clap Your Hands Say Yeah band mates for his first headlining tour ever, in support of his new album, Mo Beauty and his side project band Flashy Python’s Skin and Bones, both out on ANTI- Records.

01.28.10 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg &
01.29.10 - New York, NY - Terminal 5 &
01.30.10 - Chicago, IL - The Vic Theatre &
02.02.10 - Birmingham, AL - Bottletree
02.03.10 - New Orleans, LA - One Eyed Jacks
02.05.10 - Austin, TX - Emo’s Alternative Lounge
02.06.10 - Denton, TX - Hailey’s
02.09.10 - Tucson, AZ - Solar Culture
02.10.10 - San Diego, CA - The Casbah
02.11.10 - Los Angeles, CA - Bootleg Theater
02.12.10 - San Francisco, CA - Café du Nord
02.13.10 - Brookdale, CA - The Brookdale Lodge
02.15.10 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
02.16.10 - Seattle, WA - Neumo’s
02.18.10 - Boise, ID - The Neurolux
02.19.10 - Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court Gallery
02.20.10 - Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge
02.22.10 - Omaha, NE - The Waiting Room
02.23.10 - Minneapolis, MN - 400 Bar
02.24.10 - Madison, WI - High Noon Saloon
02.25.10 - Chicago, IL - Schuba’s

& Cold War Kids

• Alec Ounsworth: http://www.myspace.com/alecounsworth
• ANTI- Records: http://www.anti.com

There Isn’t Much That They Feel They Need, But Animal Collective Are Nominated For BRIT Awards Anyway

FACEBOOK UPDATE: This one band I know The Animal Collectives have been nominated for this, like, totally underground awards thing that you’ve probably never heard called the BRITs Awards. They’ve been nominated in two of those categories that never even air on TV because they’re so DIY—best international album and best international breakthrough act.

The show will take place on Tuesday February 16 at some warehouse space somewhere in one of London’s bad neighborhoods called Earls Court Arena, and some buddies I know from art school will be stop-motion filming the thing for this indie cable access channel called ITV and airing it live somehow (they’re just that fucking good at stop-motion, man. It’s SICK). Anyway, if you need to know the address of this place, then you’re not invited. Sorry bro.

The Animal Collectives will be up against the following jerkwater Philistines :

International Breakthrough Act
- Animal Collective
- Daniel Merriweather
- Empire Of The Sun
- Lady Gaga
- Taylor Swift

International Album
- Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
- Black Eyed Peas - The E.N.D.
- Empire Of The Sun - Walking On Dream
- Jay-Z - The Blueprint 3
- Lady Gaga - The Fame

By the way, you can check out the trailer for AC’s ODDSAC movie over at the Chocolate Grinder.

• Animal Collective: http://www.myanimalhome.net
• Domino: http://www.dominorecordco.com

[Photo: prusakolep]

Joanna Newsom Triple Album, Have One On Me, Out on February 23 – Yeah, You Read that Right: TRIPLE

NME revealed late last week that Joanna Newsom’s forthcoming LP Have One On Me will be a triple album. Well, I guess this makes up for the lack of any Newsom harp action in 2007, 2008, or 2009. Now she just needs to release another album later this year so 2010 won’t be a complete disappointment.

Have One On Me is out on February 23 via Drag City Records. There’s a stream of a track called “‘81” on Drag City’s website (upper-right corner).

• Drag City: http://www.dragcity.com