The Skygreen Leopards' website looks like a third-grader's final thesis: a numbered list of the many exciting things there are to learn about leopards (the big cat), both in general and in specific. For example: "3. Leopards have a very beautiful coat with a tawny background and rosettes, that aids them in camouflage. Their coat is distinct from that of Cheetah and Jaguar." Also: "13. Man-eating leopards always operate at night since unlike tigers they never lose their fear of man and only enter human territories in the cover of darkness. This makes them very difficult to counteract." Unfortunately, due to time constraints, modesty, or faulty encyclopedias, the band, The Skygreen Leopards, missed some key facts about their own -- musical -- variety of the species.
I took it upon myself to continue where they left off:
14. The Skygreen leopard is a very rare species, boasting only two cats; one named Glenn Donaldson and the other Donovan Quinn. Donaldson is not only a big green cat, but is also the co-founder of the Bay-area experimental folk label Jewelled Antler
15. The Skygreen Leopards first release on Jagjaguwar (sixth total if you're keeping track at home) came out in 2006 and was called Disciples of California. It was and is a very dreamy, pastoral folk album that reminds me of wind rushing through long grass on a day in early September
16. The Skygreen Leopards are set to release an album called Gorgeous Johnny on July 21, also on the Jagjaguwar label
17. Jagjaguwars and Skygreen Leopards are third cousins twice removed.
LA Beach Punks Abe Vigoda Go On Tour With Seattle’s Talbot Tagora, But Wouldn’t It Be Cool if It Were Actor Abe Vigoda Going On Tour With His 1982 Talbot Tagora?
Okay, so everyone -- everyone -- mentions the countless number of band names containing words like Wolf, Crystal, Dogs, or Black. Well, what about bands named after movie stars? Or bands named after cars? Let's see: movie star names include Natalie Portman's Shaved Head, Mr. T Experience, Kathleen Turner Overdrive, and Jodie Foster's Army -- car names include Galaxie 500, REO Speedwagon, The Cadillacs, The Rivierras, Chevelle, and probably one hundred more surf rock bands.
Well, if you haven't already, add Abe Vigoda and Talbot Tagora to those lists. Abe released the Reviver EP earlier this year, while Talbot are set to release Lessons in the Woods or a City July 21 on Hardly Art (TMT News), and what do you know: these two groups will be hitting the road, most likely in a van and not in an actual Talbot Tagora and definitely not with the real Abe Vigoda. Nonetheless, you should still go see them if you are lucky enough to have them coming near you.
Coolest part is that the tour started yesterday:
07.06.09 - El Paso, TX - Fellini Film Cafe
07.07.09 - Austin, TX - Emo's
07.08.09 - Dallas, TX - The Cavern
07.09.09 - Hattiesburg, MS - The Belafonte
07.10.09 - Pensacola, FL - Sluggos
07.11.09 - Atlanta, GA - 529
07.12.09 - Chapel Hill, NC - The Nightlight
07.13.09 - Richmond, VA - Plaza Bowl
07.14.09 - Washington, DC - DC9
07.15.09 - Baltimore, MD - Ottobar
07.16.09 - Philadelphia, PA - The Barbary
07.17.09 - New York, NY - Whitney Museum (early)
07.17.09 - New York, NY - Cake Shop
07.18.09 - New York, NY - Monster Island Basement !
07.19.09 - Providence, RI - AS220
07.20.09 - Boston, MA - Harper's Ferry
07.21.09 - Montreal, QC - Divan Orange
07.22.09 - Toronto, ON - El Mocambo
07.23.09 - Mt. Pleasant, MI - Rubble Bar / Midwest Fest
07.24.09 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
07.26.09 - Lawrence, KS - Jackpot
07.27.09 - Denver, CO - Rhinocerpolis
07.29.09 - Boise, ID - Neurolux
07.30.09 - Seattle, WA - Vera Project
07.31.09 - Vancouver, BC - Media Club
08.01.09 - Portland, OR - Worksound
08.03.09 - Santa Cruz, CA - Crepe Place
08.05.09 - Los Angeles, CA - The Smell
! Golden Triangle
If this whole musician thing doesn’t work out for War On Drugs guitarist Kurt Vile, he can always go work in supervillainy. I am sure Vile's a lovely man, but his name seems more suited to creating nuclear monstrosities and doing battle with Iron Man than it is to playing woozy rock. But until Vile grows a robotic crab arm through some experiment gone awry, the songwriter will be sticking with making some songs, which he’ll perform across the East Coast and California these next two months.
Then again, I’m not so sure Vile isn’t organizing an evil Indie Rock Legion of Doom. Aided by the bloodthirsty Violators on the first leg of the tour, Vile -- who recently signed with Matador (TMT News) and released a new album God Is Saying This To You... on Mexican Summer -- will recruit some of the most dreaded names in indie rock on various dates of this tour: Evil masterminds Sonic Youth! The ghostly Espers! International psych-rock bandits Dungen! Deadly falsetto warriors Built to Spill! Frightening times we live in.
The Indie Rock Legion of Doom vs. The Justice Venues of America:
07.02.09 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory *+
07.04.09 - Brooklyn, NY - Woodsist/Captured Tracks Fest *
07.05.09 - Philadelphia, PA - Kung Fu Necktie (KRAAK Fest) *
07.17.09 - Brooklyn, NY - Bruars Falls *^&
07.18.09 - Boston, MA - Church (Homegrown Fest) *^
07.19.09 - Montague, MA - Montague Bookmill *^
07.23.09 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s @&
08.11.09 - Baltimore, MD - Talking Head Club #
08.13.09 - Asheville, NC - Transfigurations * (Harvest Record Fest)
08.14.09 - New York, NY - Cakeshop
08.15.09 - Ridgewood, NY - Silent Barn
08.16.09 - Philadelphia, PA - Vox Populi
08.19.09 - Philadelphia, PA - Rittenhouse Square *
08.25.09 - Santa Ana, CA - Galaxy Theatre %
08.26.09 - Los Angeles, CA - The Troubadour $
08.29.09 - Big Sur, CA - Kemado/Mexican Summer/Folk Yeah Festival $
08.30.09 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill - San Francisco, CA $
09.01.09 - Portland, OR - TBD $
+ Sonic Youth
^ Blues Control
% Built To Spill/Woods
After five record labels, countless lineup changes, hundreds of smashed guitars, and a shitload of drama, it’s sort of shocking that ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead are still together. What’s not really that shocking though is that they still haven’t been able to impress critics since 2002’s Source Tags and Codes. AND WE KNOW ALL.
Still, Trail of Dead forge onward, and this time they’re coming to a city near you, presumably. After a European tour, the pasty-faced Texans will return July 26 to get their pool party on at Jelly NYC’s Summer Pool Party series in Brooklyn, NY at the new Williamsburg Waterfront music venue. Oh god, hipsters in bathing suits? No thanks! Trail of Dead will also play the All Points West festival August 1 and in their hometown of Austin for the Austin City Limits Festival October 3.
07.04.09 - Roskilde, Denmark - Roskilde Festival (Odeon Stage)
07.05.09 - Hannover, Germany - Musikzentrum
07.06.09 - Heidelberg, Germany - Karistorbahnhof
07.07.09 - Salzburg, Austria - Rockhouse
07.08.09 - Innsbruck, Austria - Poolbar Festival
07.10.09 - Haarlem, Holland - Paatronat
07.11.09 - Bochum, Germany - Zeche
07.17.09 - Dour, Belgium - Dourfestival
07.18.09 - Herk de Stad, Beligum - Rock Herd Festival
07.26.09 - Brooklyn, NY – Williamsburg Waterfront
07.27.09 - Milford, CT - Daniel Street
07.29.09 - Baltimore, MD - Ottobar
07.30.09 - Lancaster, PA - Chameleon
07.31.09 - Providence, RI - Jerky’s Live Music Hall
08.01.09 - New York City, NY - All Points West
10.03.09 - Austin, TX - Austin City Limits
Unbelievable News! Violent Femmes Front Man Gordon Gano Is Still Alive! Slightly Less Unbelievable Sub-News: Violent Femmes Front Man Gordon Gano to Release New Album
While Wisconson-based, snarky, smarmy, snarly folk-punk-alterna-blues troupe Violent Femmes impatiently waits their turn in the numbingly long line that currently sprawls outward from the “MID-'80s–MID-'90s BANDS WAITING TO REUNITE, TOUR, PLAY ALBUMS IN THEIR ENTIRETY AT FESTS, AND TALK/NOT TALK ABOUT RECORDING A NEW ALBUM TOGETHER” counter at the DMV or wherever, singer Gordon Gano has chosen to pass the interim time by releasing a new album... for the first time in some seven years (the Femmes must be getting close to the front of that line by now).
Due September 15 on the niche-market-elder-statesmen-loving Yep Roc label, the new album Under the Sun is credited to Gordon Gano & The Ryans and is apparently “a collaboration” between Gano and Bogmen leaders/scorers of tepid films (Fever Pitch, anyone?) Brendan & Billy Ryan. Take it away, glowing press release:
“The music that inspired his collaboration with the Ryan brothers spawned during fertile sessions in the café’s, bars and laundromats of New York City’s West Village [...] Brendan and Billy Ryan bring musicality and new color to Gordon’s visceral lyricism and signature adenoidal drawl. A filled-out next chapter to the music of the Femmes, Under the Sun is the music of a mature band, a band made of men not boys, men who have supplanted wonder for angst, controlled passion for reckless...” blah blah blah, bloop, bleep-bleep blah. You get the idea: it’s the best record ever. It’s for old people. Let’s move on to the details.
The whole shebang was largely recorded at the Carriage House in Stamford, CT and features Gordon “2G” Gano on vocals/guitar/violin. As for the Ryan brothers, Brendan handles keyboards/accordion/horn duties, while Billy tackles guitar/backing vocals. Other must assuredly competent-as-fuck but appositely low-profile contributors include Frank Black... whoops, I mean, Frank Ferrer (sorry to pique your interest like that) of Guns N' Roses and Psychedelic Furs on drums, and Lonnie Hillyer of Maggie’s Dream and Bernie Worrell on bass. Some real unit-movers, huh? Meanwhile, Phil Palazzolo (The New Pornographers, Neko Case) engineered and mixed the project. There is no tracklist as of yet, but rest assured, if we get our hands on one... uh, and if it’s a slow news day, we’ll go ahead and post one for you.
Although it’s barely July, Andrew Bird has already made plans for the fall. Starting in October, The Birdman is taking St. Vincent back to school — the school of touring, that is. The two stalwart indie heroes will join forces on the road together this fall. TMT managed to get a copy of The Birdman’s lesson plan for the fall, featuring a few tips for St. Vincent:
- English 101: How To Write Lyrics On The Road
- Music 305: Building Your Own Recording Studio
- Algebra 202: How To Use Your Fans’ Disposable Income To Your Advantage
- Whistling 338: You Will Never Be As Good As Me, Seriously
09.29.09 - Indianapolis, IN - Murat Theater
09.30.09 - Columbia, MO - The Blue Note
10.02.09 - Austin, TX - Austin City Limits
10.03.09 - New Orleans, LA - Tipitina's Uptown
10.05.09 - Birmingham, AL - Workplay Soundstage
10.07.09 - Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle
10.08.09 - Carrboro, NC - Cat’s Cradle
10.09.09 - Asheville, NC - Orange Peel
10.10.09 - Nashville, TN - Ryman Auditorium
10.12.09 - Charleston, SC - The Music Farm
10.13.09 - Knoxville, TN - Bijou Theater
10.14.09 - Cincinnati OH - Bogarts
10.16.09 - Milwaukee, WI - Pabst Theater
10.17.09 - Milwaukee, WI - Pabst Theater
10.18.09 - Kalamazoo, MI - State Theater
10.19.09 - Columbus, OH - Southern Theater
10.21.09 - Buffalo, NY - Asbury Hall
10.24.09 - South Portland, ME - S. Portland High School Auditorium
10.25.09 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory
10.26.09 - Burlington, VT - Higher Ground
10.27.09 - Providence, RI - Lupo's
10.28.09 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
07.05.09 - London, England - Wireless Festival
07.06.09 - Bristol, England - Thekla
07.08.09 - London, England - ICA
07.11.09 - Naas, Ireland - Oxegen Festival
07.13.09 - Manchester, England - Night & Day
07.14.09 - Glasgow, Scotland - Nice & Sleazy's
08.01.09 - Jersey City, NJ - All Points West Festival
07.10.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Greek Theatre
07.11.09 - Berkeley, CA - Greek Theatre #
07.13.09 - Salt Lake City, UT - Red Butte Garden #
07.14.09 - Morrison, CO - Red Rocks Amphitheatre #
07.16.09 - Jacksonville, OR - Britt Pavilion
07.17.09 - Redmond, WA - Marymoor Amphitheatre *
07.18.09 - Troutdale, OR - McMenamins Edgefield Amphitheater *
07.19.09 - Troutdale, OR - McMenamins Edgefield Amphitheater *
07.26.09 - South Lake Tahoe, CA - Wanderlust Festival
08.07.09 - Chicago, IL - Lollapalooza
09.19.09 - Madison, WI - Forward Music Festival
#Death Cab For Cutie
I imagine The Clientele as some sort of mystery band — the sort of music you hear drifting toward you on a lazy summer breeze in that just slightly magical time as the sun sets, before the moon rises. Dusk, many would say -- although, clearly The Clientele would call it “the gloaming.” It’s hard for me to imagine a few normal-looking dudes and one lady sitting around hashing out what kind of drum beat to play when and who owes how much on the rent money for their practice space. So thank God there are Merge Records press releases to make that vital connection between sordid everyday reality and mystical fan hypothesis for me.
Check this out! Sure, the band formed in suburban Hampshire, England several years ago, and practiced in a thatched cottage. Sure, the singer is named Alasdair (MacLean’s the surname), and rumor has it that early on in their career, the group nailed down their stance on Surrealist poetry (pro), versus their collective stance on blues-style solos and aggro shouting (con). I hear what you’re saying. This band sounds like it’s populated by the lovable pre-war British creatures of The Wind in the Willows. But trust me — they do things that aren’t 100% bucolic and Albion sometimes.
Things like... releasing albums! The Clientele have three full-lengths under their belt so far, as well as their debut collection of early 7-inch singles entitled Suburban Light. They also contributed a track to the Sandra Bullock/Keanu Reeves time travel weepie The Lake House. And now they have a new album due October 6 on Merge, Bonfires on the Heath, which sounds like pretty much the most delightful foray into Wuthering Heights territory this side of Kate Bush.
The band is performing later this summer at Merge’s anniversary showcase in New York.
07.19.09 – Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg
1. I Wonder Who We Are
2. Bonfires On The Heath
3. Harvest Time
4. Never Anyone But You
5. Jennifer & Julia
8. Share the Night
9. I Know I'll See Your Face
10. Never Saw Them Before
11. Graven Wood
12. Walking in the Park
Jack’s Mannequin, The Fray, Pepper, Oh My! Mile High Festival Delivers The Worst Lineup of The Summer Season
They were up against some stiff competition, but it looks like the Mile High Festival, taking place in Colorado’s Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on July 18 and 19, takes the cake for the worst lineup of any 2009 summer festival. Or maybe of all-time?
Let’s examine the recently announced lineup for evidence:
Saturday, July 18: TOOL, Widespread Panic, Incubus, Ben Harper & Relentless7, G. Love and Special Sauce, Big Head Todd & The Monsters, The Black Keys, Ani DiFranco, Matt Nathanson, Galactic, Paolo Nutini, Gomez, The Greyboy Allstars, Railroad Earth, India.Arie, Lyrics Born, Rocco DeLuca and The Burden, needtobreathe, Band of Heathens, Davy Knowles and Back Door Slam, The Northern Way (formerly Set Forth), Lukas Nelson & the Promise of the Real, Early Pearl .
Sunday, July 19: Widespread Panic, The Fray, Thievery Corporation, 3OH!3, Gov’t Mule, Gogol Bordello, John Butler, Devotchka, Buddy Guy, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Pepper, The Wailers, Matisayhu, Jack’s Mannequin, Guster, Mat Kearney, Dead Confederate, Jerry Joseph & The Jackmormons, Erin McCarley, Paper Bird, Honeyhoney, Joe Pug, Electric Touch.
At least The Black Keys, Lyrics Born, and, uh, Tool will balance out some of the hippy favorites.
Tickets for the festival are on sale now, including single-day passes, two-day packages, and VIP ticket options (I hear Brandon Boyd will personally smoke you out if you get a VIP pass). Buy tickets online or at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Park Box Office. Visit the Mile High Festival website for complete details.
Forget the Night Ahead, The Twilight Sad’s sophomore effort, will be out via the Fat Cat label on September 22. The band’s frontman, James Graham, describes the record as “definitely rougher around the edges than the first one. It's not a flat, technically polished album. It's very rough but melodic at the same time. We didn't want to make an album that sounded too produced. This album is more raw than the first one, but again it's still developed.”
On listening to “Reflection of the Television” (download available here) and “I Became a Prostitute,” two tracks from the new LP, Graham’s comments would seem to hold true. Personally I can’t honestly say I’m excited by this change in direction for the Glaswegians, especially since I thought Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters was brilliant, but we’ll see when the album finally comes out.
Tracklisting for Forget the Night Ahead is as follows:
1. Reflection of the Television
2. I Became a Prostitute
3. Seven Years of Letters
4. Made to Disappear
6. The Room
7. That Birthday Present
8. Floorboards Under the Bed
10. The Neighbours Can't Breathe
11. At the Burnside
From his Jens Lekman's blog:
I picked home one last souvenir from South America, it's called the H1N1 virus. Wrongfully known as the Swineflue.
I was crossing the Atlantic when things started getting really bad, the fever was hallucinogenic and shaking me like a leaf and I grabbed the sleeve of the Air France steward. "I'm not feeling well, I should see a doctor" I said and the reply came as a brilliant mix of death anxiety and french rudeness: "Uh, yes... Terminal D... go there maybe... when we land". After that the stewards and stewardesses took long detours. A ring of empty seats formed around me. Peoples eyes were kind but determined, they read "Poor you, I really wish you all the best but if you come near me or my kid I will have to stab you with this plastic fork". I got up and went to the bathroom where I fainted.
Now I'm in quarantine for ten days. I can see the summer through my window and it's just perfect. Summer is always best through a window.
Aw. That's sweet. Get well soon, Jens. We're with you with in interweb spirit.
Just don't cough on me.