Spiral Stairs of Pavement Announces Solo Album; Panders to The Rulebook for Musicians

- Musician Rule #547: If you have a cool nickname, you need to release a solo album to show it off. This is precisely what Pavement co-founder Spiral Stairs (a.k.a. Scott Kannberg) has decided to do. Although he has released albums under the name Preston School of Industry, Kannberg is striking out on his own this time around with his first solo album, The Real Feel, due October 20 from Matador.

- Musician Rule #723: You must recruit your famous musician buddies to help out on your debut solo album. In Kannberg’s case, he enlisted some old friends from Preston School of Industry, members of The Posies (Jon Auer mixed the album), guitarist Ian Moore, and Broken Social Scene’s Kevin Drew.

- Musician Rule #288: Package the vinyl edition of your debut with goodies and make sure you tour to support it. The Real Feel vinyl will feature a different tracklisting and a limited-edition 7-inch. Kannberg is also planning a North American tour this fall.

- Musician Rule #45: Preview a song to drum up attention for your debut. You can listen to a track from The Real Feel entitled “Maltese Terrier” right here.

- Musician Rule #72: Ridiculous album artwork always helps. No seriously, it does.

Devendra Banhart, that one dude, has finished his sixth full-length release. Recorded in a house in Bolinas, CA, the album features Banhart alongside Noah Georgeson (guitar, vocals), Luckey Remington (bass, vocals), and Rodrigo Amarante (guitar, vocals) -- all of them weighing in on the song arrangements. The album is currently untitled, which is why I've decided to call it Wake Up, Friend: I'm Airing Out the Wild Side (For You).

The album is expected sometime in the fall, but since he left the awesome Young God after 2004's Niño Rojo and has since departed with XL Recordings after two releases (Cripple Crow and Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon), "that one dude" is now label-less. We'll keep you updated on a firm release date and label. As for the title? We'll just go with mine.

Big Star Box Set to Be Released; Most People to Still Not Notice

Eternal cult favorites Big Star are attempting to make one last splash for widespread listener appeal by giving you everything they ever recorded (except for the official albums!) in one nice, neat little package. The band announced plans to release a four-disc box set containing a motherload of record store employee-approved demos, live material, alternate takes, and other rarities.

The band have been cult favorites almost from the get-go, persevering through listener apathy, horrible distribution, and multiple personnel changes. However, despite the challenges, Big Star have cemented a place in history as a “Great Band That No One Listens To,” inspiring a wealth of musicians throughout the years to aspire to the same thing. Indeed, the sad truth is that, when the collection, Keep an Eye on the Sky, drops on September 15 via Rhino, it will most likely go unnoticed by the majority of music listeners. Though clearly a damn shame, most Big Star fans have come to grips with the fact that their questions of “Have you ever listened to Big Star?” are generally answered with a confused look and a “...huh? who?”

The box set will consist of 98 tracks spanning the years 1968-'75 and will include songs from pre-Big Star bands Rock City and Icewater, as well as solo work from band founders Alex Chilton and Chris Bell. Also included in the deal will be plenty of unreleased work from the sessions for all three Big Star albums. “Just when you're thinking everything has been released, apparently it hasn't," Big Star drummer Jody Stephens told Billboard, brilliantly.

The fourth disc of the set serves as an audio document of the band playing live in January 1973; it contains a collection of tracks from three nights when Big Star opened for soul legends Archie Bell and the Drells. Stephens recalls the experience: “Not exactly our crowd. After our performances, you can hear one person clap. Not a lot of energy coming back from the audience. The good thing about that particular recording is that there were mics set up in the room. It wasn't a board feed, where those can be kind of dry."

So, what’s the lesson here? Should you spend your time with a band that most people don’t even know about? Yes. To make a long story short, I recommend checking out the box set or, perhaps more appropriately, checking out Big Star. Break the cycle and help yourself. Discover “Rock’s Lost Band.” You won’t regret it.

Best Thing to Come Out of Seattle Since Flannel: Coconut Coolouts Tour the States

Ready to party your behinds off? Ready to see a grown man in a dirty banana costume play some killer licks while one of two stand-up drummers sings songs about Pizza and Party Jail? Ready to have some friggin' fun? No standing around and crying to melancholia at a Coconut Coolouts show, no way. Just pure, bona-fide, shaking your booty good times. These guys blow my mind out of my head. Seeing them is so much fun, in fact, that strangers who I saw once at their show still yell at me when they pass on the street, just to ask if I know when and where they are coming back. No shit. But don't trust me. Trust the 'Nuts:

"Hey Boy, wanna laugh so hard the dust shoots out both nostrils? Wanna carve the bowls of hell on a cheese pizza? Can't skate? Guess you can van surf with Styles then, unless the vikes are too strong. Hidin' from the pigs in Dike Dale's Ponytail fingerpaintin' anarchy signs on your big brother's Elvis Costello record (the good one). The present sucks but no more than the future's gonna, so stuff everybody in that PARTY TIME MACHINE while flippin' the bird to the flux capacitor and setting the controls for LAST NIGHT. What!? We're outta whip cream cannisters? Then pass out some stand-up drums or just pass out, but you're gonna get some fully detailed Converse sharpied on yer feets and curlie pirate moustaches to match. (It matches). If you don't know who the COCONUT COOLOUTS are get an Orbitz ticket up to Seattle and watch them flush the other bands down the toilet of the FUNhouse, if only to realize what a miserable time you've been having show in and show out. Kinda like when that one babysitter (that only got to babysit once) let you stay up till your parents climbed up the driveway to mull over all the Whoppers (not the burger) and Suicides (Pepsi/Sprite/Dr. Pepper/Orange) and hot dogs ampin' up your brain while trippin' out on how awesome the F-word was in the Breakfast Club."

These guys are nuts. Crazyawesomefuntimesalwayshighfive nuts. I'd even go so far as to bet you $15 million dollars that you will have fun if you go see them on this tour. Fif-teen-million-bucks.

07.09.09 - Seattle, WA - The Funhouse
07.10.09 - Portland, OR - Slabtown
07.11.09 - Davis/Sacramento, CA - TBA
07.12.09 - Oakland, CA - The Cereal Factory (afternoon)
07.12.09 - San Francisco, CA - The Hemlock
07.13.09 - Los Angeles, CA - The Smell
07.14.09 - Phoenix, AZ - Monitor House
07.15.09 - Las Cruces, NM - Bacon House
07.16.09 - Austin, TX - Red 7
07.17.09 - New Orleans, LA - TBA
07.18.09 - Orlando, FL - Will’s Pub (FLA IS DYING DANCE PARTY)
07.19.09 - Orlando, FL - Rich’s Backyard BBQ and SHOTGUN PARTY!!!
07.20.09 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl
07.21.09 - Raleigh/Chapel Hill/Durham, NC - TBA
07.22.09 - Baltimore, MA or Washington, DC - TBA
07.23.09 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's
07.24.09 - Brooklyn, NY - TBA
07.25.09 - New York, NY - TBA
07.26.09 - Pittsburgh, PA - Gooski’s
07.27.09 - Detroit, MI - TBA
07.28.09 - Chicago, IL - Cobra... PIZZAFEST '09
07.29.09 - Milwaukee, WI - TBA
07.30.09 - Minneapolis, MI - TBA
12.31.10 - The Grand Canyon, USA

Kinski Tours Japan with Acid Mothers Temple Out of Lust, Not Love

At the end of June, Kinski will trek out to Japan for a two-week tour, and who better for them to tour with than Japan's own psych troop Acid Mothers Temple? They will be starting things off June 27 in Tokyo and will come full circle to finish it off on July 11, again in Tokyo, with a very special performance by Acid Mothers Kaidan, the name given to a collaboration between Acid Mothers Temple and legendary Japanese noise group Hijokaidan. I would give my right testicle to see that one! Well, no, probably not. Anyway, check out these dates:
06.27.09 - Tokyo, Japan - Club Goodman *
06.29.09 - Kyoto , Japan - Takutaku +
06.30.09 - Kobe, Japan - Helluva Lounge +
07.01.09 - Yamaguchi, Japan - Indoyu ^
07.03.09 - Fukuoka, Japan - Decatant Deluxe *
07.04.09 - Oita, Japan - At Hall *
07.05.09 - Kochi, Japan - Chaotic Noise *
07.07.09 - Okayama, Japan - Pepper Land *
07.09.09 - Osaka, Japan - Sunsui *
07.10.09 - Osaka, Japan - Sunsui *
07.11.09 - Tokyo, Japan - Club Goodman #

* Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.

+ Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Cosmic Blues Band

^ Acid Mothers Temple w/ guest Ichiraku Yoshimitsu

# Acid Mothers Kaidan (Acid Mothers Temple & Hijokaidan)

Oxford Collapses! By Which I Mean, Oxford Collapse Disband; University of Oxford is Just Brilliant, Thanks.

And just like that, another hardworking indie rock band slowly goes the way of the buffalo. This is nothing new: touring is hard and often-unrewarding work, relationships get strained, you get older, the house beer (PBR cans) start tasting increasingly less delicious, making some actual money becomes sort of important, and poof, you’re issuing a statement via your independent record label Sub Pop’s website in no time. This time around, the victims happen to be Brooklyn trio Oxford Collapse.

After releasing two albums on Kanine (Some Wilderness in 2004 and A Good Ground in 2005), the boys from Brooklyn released their first album on Sub Pop, Remember The Night Parties, in 2006 and followed it up in 2008 with Bits. The erstwhile band has announced that it will meet up to kick shit old-school at two farewell shows on July 17 and 18 in Hoboken and New York City, respectively. The details of those final shows and band’s official statement follow below. And as break-up letters go, this one’s pretty good. If you see any of these guys at the shows, you might want to give them a heads up that TMT is always looking for interns. We probably pay just about as well as the road does.

Official band statement:

After eight years, 450 shows, and four albums, we’ve decided that we’ve reached the end of the line. To paraphrase the Grateful Dead, “what a long, strange, eye-opening, stomach-bursting, heart-breaking, bittersweet, educational, enlightening, mind-numbing, ‘why-are-we-doing-this-shit?’ / ‘who-gets-to-do-this-shit?,’ absurd, amazing trip it’s been.” To paraphrase another sage poet, “you gotta know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em.”

Thanks go out to a million friends—all the awesome, talented people who helped us make records and put them out, everyone who put together tours for us, our families (who are still wondering when we will get real jobs), all the other wonderful and terrible bands we’ve loved touring, playing, hanging and eating with over the years. And of course a heartfelt thanks to everyone who ever came to see us play, bought something we were selling, said something nice, or let us sleep on their diarrhea-encrusted floors. (Except you, Branson, Missouri!)

To have one final go of it, the three of us are meeting up for a pair of shows in and around the city we called home in our time. Come out and party with us! Seriously, do not miss!!! Friday July 17th we are very psyched to be playing with old and dear friends Frightened Rabbit at Maxwell’s, and Saturday July 18th, for our last show ever, we’ll share the stage with best buds CaUSE Co-MOTION!, under-age phenoms The Beets, and our beloved Rape Excape, freshly reformed from the rubble of Princeton ‘04; plus a bunch of special guests! If you missed the original Last Waltz in ‘76, now’s your chance!

07.17.09 – Hoboken, NJ – Maxwell’s (SOLD OUT)
07.18.09 – New York, NY – Under the Tracks

Dirty Projectors Cancel Two Shows Due to Van Accident, Members Okay

According to Dirty Projectors' promoter, the band was involved in a van accident and has consequenltly cancelled this week's shows in Toronto and Montreal. Contrary to early reports, no member is "in serious condition." According to their publicist:

Dirty Projectors' van flipped outside of Detroit, MI on their way up to Toronto. Although the crash was serious, we're happy to report that all members of the band have been safely discharged from the hospital. The band will be flying home to New York in the morning to regroup and rest. Unfortunately, the band will have to cancel Toronto and Montreal.

Phew. We'll keep you updated if any more information comes in.

06.24.09 - Toronto, Ontario - Lee's Palace
06.25.09 - Montreal, Quebec - Theatre Plaza

07.02.09 - Vancouver, British Columbia - Richard's on Richards
07.03.09 - Seattle, WA - Chop Suey
07.04.09 - Portland, OR - Holocene
07.07.09 - San Francisco, CA - The Independent
07.08.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour
07.09.09 - San Diego, CA - Casbah
07.19.09 - Brooklyn, NY - Williamsburg Waterfront
08.15.09 - Oslo, Norway - Oya Festival
09.09.09 - Paris, France - Maroquinerie
09.11.09 - Dorset, England - End Of The Road Festival
09.12.09 - Isle Of Wight, England - Bestival
09.13.09 - London, England - Scala
09.16.09 - Dublin, Ireland - Whelans
09.19.09 - Brussels, Belgium - Botanique
09.20.09 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Melkweg
09.21.09 - Berlin, Germany - Kreuzberg Festival
09.25.09 - Toulouse, France - Le Printemps de Septembre Festival

RIP: Andy Hughes, producer for The Orb, Basement Jaxx, and Kovak

According to a press release:

Andy Hughes, electronic music producer/DJ who was born 11th November 1965 and, and who lived and grew up in Harrow, Middlesex, tragically passed away on Friday 12th June 2009 after a short illness.

Andy was a genius who gave so much inspiration and passion to all with his incredible work. He was loved by many aficionados of the trance/ambient genre, but will be especially remembered for his work with Alex Paterson and The Orb, most notably the album Orblivion and single Toxygene, which reached number 4 in the UK charts in 1997. Together with his musical partners Alex Patterson and former members Kris Weston, Simon Phillips and Thomas Fehlmann together with Nick Burton of Westworld fame. Andy created electronic and ambient/techno/house/dub masterpieces. These took him across the globe where he played to masses of fans in countries including the USA, Japan and Canada as well as a sell out concert at the Royal Albert Hall in 1998.

- Andy Hughes Wikipedia entry
- Andy Hughes MySpace

TV on the Radio’s Kyp Malone’s Heart-Melting Quota Down; Must Improve Public Service with Solo Project Rain Machine on ANTI-

Either he's stinging from Triumph the Insult Comic Dog's PWN at Bonnaroo or he's just not satisfied with the amount of panties he receives in the mail, but either way, TV On the Radio frontman Kyp Malone has decided to strike out on his own with solo venture Rain Machine. Malone has hit the stage under this moniker, but the lucky ducks he chose for the first record are none other than ANTI-, home of Tom Waits, Nick Cave, and Neko Case. Apparently, Malone's been waiting for the right moment, saying, "I've been writing and recording songs alone since I moved to NYC in 2000, at first alone because I didn't know anyone, then through the years by choice because of a particular freedom that going it alone afforded... I didn't like how ‘Kyp Malone’ looked on mock ups of t-shirts and fliers, thus Rain Machine."

The debut album will be produced by Ian Brennan (Lucinda Williams, Jonathan Richman) and drop sometime this fall. Rain Machine promises the density and luxury of TVOTR and then some, as Malone describes the sound "a nearly full spectrum of frequencies audible to the human ear -- a reflection of a variety of emotions and situations real and imagined, some rhythm and some rhyme." Okay... you got me. I didn't like this pair much anyway. Too much lace. Where are the stamps?

[Updated] Sunny Day Real Estate Reunite to Fix the Housing Crisis!

According to the US Census Bureau, the median value of an American home in 2000 – the last year Sunny Day Real Estate were active – was $119, 600. That’s $174,200 in today’s dollars. The current median home value is $180,100, hardly a healthy increase. If you believe the government, it’s because we had a bad loan system, corrupt banks, yadda yadda, whatever. If you believe your heart, though, it's because Sunny Day Real Estate’s breakup put a cloud over the mortgage industry.

But there is hope, and this hope is more than a campaign slogan. That’s right, recently foreclosed homeowners, Sunny Day Real Estate are reuniting!

Singer Jeremy Enigk confirmed in an interview with a radio station in Seattle that the band got together in March and decided to tour again. And now, according to a Sub Pop press release:

Following a more than 10 year hiatus, all four original members of pioneering Seattle rock band Sunny Day Real Estate will regroup for a 20-date US tour starting Sept. 17th, 2009. In addition, Sub Pop Records will re-issue both Diary and the band’s second full-length album, commonly known as LP2 (or “The Pink Album” for its entirely pink cover). Both re-mastered albums will include rare bonus tracks as well as newly written liner notes and will be released on both CD and LP Sept. 15, 2009, just prior to the start of the tour.

If these shows go well enough and the boys work their magic, we may be out of this financial mess faster than you can say “sub-prime lending”!

The waiting could crush my heart:
09.17.09 - Vancouver, BC - Commodore Ballroom
09.18.09 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom
09.20.09 - Murray, UT - Murray Theater
09.21.09 - Denver, CO - Ogden Theater
09.23.09 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
09.24.09 - Chicago, IL - Metro
09.25.09 - Detroit, MI - St. Andrew's Hall
09.27.09 - New York, NY - Terminal Five
09.28.09 - Boston, MA - House of Blues
09.30.09 - Washington, D.C. - 930 Club
10.01.09 - Philadelphia, PA - Trocadero
10.03.09 - Atlanta, GA - CW Center Stage
10.05.09 - Dallas, TX - Granada Theater
10.06.09 - Houston, TX - Warehouse Live - Ballroom
10.07.09 - Austin, TX - La Zona Rosa
10.09.09 - Tempe, AZ - Marquee
10.10.09 - Anaheim, CA - House of Blues
10.11.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Henry Fonda Theater
10.13.09 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore
10.15.09 - Spokane, WA - Knitting Factory
10.16.09 - Seattle, WA - Paramount Theater

Meanwhile, Jeremy Enigk released his latest solo album, OK Bear, last month via Lewis Hollow.

[Photo: Mark Swanson]