Yellow Swans Disbanding After Tour, Finishing Final Studio Album

Sadly, after roughly seven years of touring and recording, Pete Swanson and Gabriel Mindel Saloman have decided to end Yellow Swans. "There are no specific reasons why we've come to this point," says Pete Swanson. "But both Gabriel and I have decided that it's in our best interest to move on from the project." Thankfully, Yellow Swans are finishing up a final studio album (expected for release in 2009) and have a "handful" of under-the-radar releases coming up. And if you're geographically lucky (I am!), you can still catch them on the remaining tourdates -- I've seen them live many times, and they are amazing performers. But after June, say goodbye to Yellow Swans.

As one of the more well-known noise groups, it comes as bit of a surprise the two have ended things now, especially given the widespread acclaim of At All Ends (TMT Review), which was released last year on Load. What's not surprising is that Pete and Gabriel will continue to work on other projects. In fact, Pete has just started a new label called Freedom To Spend, and the first release is Light Ships by Bulbs. So, don't fret. Yellow Swans will be over soon, but Pete and Gabriel will still be around.

You'll see me at one of these remaining Yellow Swans dates:

* Sissy Spacek

Yellow Swans Disbanding After Tour, Finishing Final Studio Album

Sadly, after roughly seven years of touring and recording, Pete Swanson and Gabriel Mindel Saloman have decided to end Yellow Swans. "There are no specific reasons why we've come to this point," says Pete Swanson. "But both Gabriel and I have decided that it's in our best interest to move on from the project." Thankfully, Yellow Swans are finishing up a final studio album (expected for release in 2009) and have a "handful" of under-the-radar releases coming up. And if you're geographically lucky (I am!), you can still catch them on the remaining tourdates -- I've seen them live many times, and they are amazing performers. But after June, say goodbye to Yellow Swans.

As one of the more well-known noise groups, it comes as bit of a surprise the two have ended things now, especially given the widespread acclaim of At All Ends (TMT Review), which was released last year on Load. What's not surprising is that Pete and Gabriel will continue to work on other projects. In fact, Pete has just started a new label called Freedom To Spend, and the first release is Light Ships by Bulbs. So, don't fret. Yellow Swans will be over soon, but Pete and Gabriel will still be around.

You'll see me at one of these remaining Yellow Swans dates:

* Sissy Spacek

Damien Jurado Tours with Jeremy Enigk, Finishes New LP

Way back, like, waaaaaaayyyyy fucking back in July 2007, Secretly Canadian reported that Damien Jurado entered the Avast! Studio in Seattle to record a follow-up to 2006's And Now That I'm In Your Shadow with producer Casey Foubert (Pedro the Lion, Richard Swift). Times were certainly different back then, but I'm sure glad we live in the here and now, as Jurado's new album is now complete and set for release sometime in September on Secretly Canadian -- terrific! Full details are being guarded like a wrestler's nuts in a tournament, but we'll keep you updated.

In other news, Jurado has a bunch of dates set (where I bet he'll play new tunes!) with the one, the only Jeremy Enigk (Sunny Day Real Estate, The Fire Theft). Enigk's latest album is the live release The Missing Link, which was released on 567 Records last year. His last studio album was World Waits, released way back, like, waaaaaayyyyyyy fucking back in October of 2006.

Damien Jurado and Jeremy Enigk tourdates:

Damien Jurado and David Bazan tourdate:
04.10.08 Wenham, MA - Gordon College

Vintage Beat Happening Guitar Stolen from Karl Blau!

Having just released AM on Whistler Records to acclaim (TMT Review), you'd think Karl Blau would be walking on clouds. Well, he might be anyway, but I'd be pissing on those clouds if some idiot stole my vintage Silvertone guitar! That's right, some jerk from New Jersey stole Karl Blau's guitar off a Greyhound bus -- classy. But this ain't just any ol' guitar. This is the same guitar Bret Lunsford used in Beat Happening!

Here's a picture of Karl with the guitar:

New Jersey/East Coast readers: keep your eyes peeled. There are many identifying characteristics on this mighty axe, so it shouldn't be hard to spot hanging in a pawn shop window or strapped around some dude trying to play the intro to "Today" by The Smashing Pumpkins (tab below). Contact us if you have any leads, and we can put you in contact with Mr. Blau. Trust me, you don't want to see him without that guitar.

In more (dance) positive news, Karl recently finished recording/mastering his next album, Nature's Got Away, at Dub Narcotic. The album features the band Lake backing him and is set for release on K Records sometime either this year or early next. Meanwhile, pickup AM and get you some KELP!

Intro tab for "Today" by The Smashing Pumpkins:

---11----13----11----15p11----- play this cutesy little riff

------11----11----11-------11--- 4x solo, then 8x with band

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Photo: [Derek Vincent]

SoundExchange Audits Last.fm, Raises Questions About the Value of Music

Leave it to those bigwigs at the Copyright Royalty Board and SoundExchange to get all existential on our asses about the true value of that new Mariah Carey jam. The Daily Swarm is reporting (via Digital Media Wire) that SoundExchange has honed in on Last.fm, the internet radio/social networking website, alleging that the site may not be in compliance with royalty requirements for the songs it uses. An audit will assess the "only a couple of thousand dollars a year" that Last.fm paid under the Small Webcasters Settlement Act, despite selling out to CBS for more than $200 million shortly thereafter. It is this Small Webcasters act that has kept much of internet radio functioning due to pressures from the Copyright Royalty Board. If Last.fm is indeed found to be ducking charges, the real loser will be the truly "small" webcasters for whom the act is designed to protect.

However, more questions sit at the center of the debate, as examined in detail by DC attorney David Oxenford. In plain English, Oxenford argues that the copyright holders (record companies) assume that the success of sites like Last.fm are based solely on the music they provide, and they should be compensated as such. What they fail to realize, he notes, is that, if this were true, internet radio would be thriving and anyone could do it. Really, it is the "community aspects" of sites like Last.fm or iMeem that serve as the main draw. When these success stories are eventually bought out for unreal amounts of money (in an effort to expand the service), the record companies will eventually be paid their share if the successes continue.

And so the question remains: is there an "intrinsic value" to music or should it be judged only as a tool that leads to "revenue"? It all might seem like a load of industry mumbo-jumbo, but as a fan and a listener, it is quite terrifying that when these court precedents about who owns what and how much it is "worth" finally come down, they will dictate how and when we hear music.

Foot Village’s “Friendship Nation” Tour Will Fudge You Up (It Will Also Fuck You Up)

What's the deal with Foot Village? Well, according to their MySpace:

Our national language is drumming.

Our national pass-time is screaming.

Founded in the barren ruins of Hades, after the millenialist event evaporated the seas, Foot Village is both redemption and punishment for mankind. It is a nation unlike any other and only by visiting there can you really know.

Indeed, these crazy motherfuckers make noise without electric instruments (the gall!), and guess what? They're going on tour! Their latest album, the drum-heavily awesome Friendship Nation, was released on TOME back in March. It has nude cover art, too. Society is crumbling y'all, and you can help it crumble faster by participating in the insanity at one of these dates:

* Thanks Taylor

P.S. Bring drumsticks and/or drumkeys to any of the shows, and you'll receive a free, tour-only CD-R called Before They Were Foot Village, which I'm sure you can guess what that's all about.