Upset The Rhythm Knows How to Party: Gets Drunk, Wakes Up in the U.S. in Time to Host Three Shows

Upset The Rhythm, a U.K. record label and pretty much nightly organizer of the best shows in town, has been filling up my Facebook inbox almost daily ever since I made the mistake of joining the Facebook frenzy. Even though I would never decide to hop on a plane to London just to see one of their shows, I still get an invite to every show that they put on. Almost every time, I get a little upset that I've yet again been fooled into thinking maybe that show was actually happening in my town.

Well, if you're one of the lucky ones who has the chance to go to every other good show, then maybe Upset the Rhythm is coming to your town. Yep, they will be partying it up in New York, L.A., and San Francisco during the first half of July. Each party will feature many of the bands on Upset the Rhythm's roster, including Lucky Dragons, Death Sentence: PANDA!, Bird Names, Future Islands, Wet Hair, and the reason this is all happening: Foot Village. As recently reported, Foot Village's Anti-Magic is coming out on UTR, and instead of just having a record release party, they decided to have UTR showcases in these three lucky cities. Upset The Rhythm's Chris and Claire are going to be flying over and joining in on the festivities.

I'm sure any day now I will get invites on Facebook to all three of these shows, and just as quickly I will hit the "No I Will Not Attend This Event" button. I will continue doing so until one fine day when I get a relevant invite from UTR. Highly unlikely!

The lineups for these shows are as follows:


Friday, July 3 @ Monster Island Basement

Ambergris / Lucky Dragons / Silk Flowers / Bird Names / Soft Circle / John Maus / Future Islands / Wet Hair (Shawn from Racoo-oo-oon)


Saturday, July 11 @ The Smell

Foot Village / Lucky Dragons / Gowns / Death Sentence: PANDA! / KIT / Softboiled Eggies / Former Ghosts / The Urxed (Rob from High Places) / BARR / No Age (DJ set)


Sunday, July 12 @ The LAB

Foot Village / Gowns / Lucky Dragons / Death Sentence: PANDA! / T.I.T.S. / KIT / The Urxed / Former Ghosts

Today’s Pavement Vinyl Reissue to Brighten the Corners of Your Mouth, Frighten the Corners of Your Ears, and Enlighten the Corners of Your Mind

Things couldn't get worse for wax cylinder collectors, but vinyl buyers haven't been rendered obsolete old hags just yet. There has and will always be smart little labels providing gold soundz to those who refuse to give up the vinyl ghost and, for now, bigger independent labels and even some majors still issue actual spinning records. Following the reissue of Pavement's Brighten the Corners: Nicene Credence Edition (CD Version) comes Brighten the Corners: Nicene Credence Edition (LP Version), released today by the "venerable mega-indie" Matador Records.

Of course, the original album, first released in February of 1997, is included, as are a lot of tasty unreleased, live, and rare goodies, all on four glorious vinyl records. Whether you rate it as a classic in their arsenal or not, a set that looks as good as this might even be worth whatever extravagant sum Matador will ultimately be charging. It's worth owning regardless. (Although Brighten the Corners came out a long time ago, it was not really all that long ago. It never came out on Edison Records, for instance.)

Record 1:

1. Stereo
2. Shady Lane / J Vs. S
3. Transport Is Arranged
4. Date w/IKEA
5. Old To Begin
6. Type Slowly
7. Embassy Row
8. Blue Hawaiian
9. We Are Underused
10. Passat Dream
11. Starlings of the Slipstream
12. Fin

Record 2:

1. And Then (The Hexx) [7" Version, originally released as the B-side to "Spit On A Stranger," May 1999]
2. Beautiful As A Butterfly
3. Cataracts
4. Embassy Row Psych Intro
5. Nigel
6. Chevy (Old To Begin) [previously unreleased mix of a session song featuring different vocal overdubs]
7. Roll With The Wind (Roxy) [previously unreleased mix of a session song featuring different vocal overdubs]
8. Westie Can Drum (Elastica) [reviously unreleased mix of a session track]
9. Stereo (Remix) [remixed by Steve Fisk]
10. Birds in the Majic Industry (previously unreleased full length vocal version)
11. And Then (The Hexx) [unedited full version of the "Spit on Stranger" 7" B-side, previously unreleased; originally was supposed to be opening track of Brighten the Corners]

Record 3:

1. Agony of the Stars (from the film Sweethearts)
2. Westie Can Drum
3. Winner of The
4. Birds in the Majic Industry (originally released as the B-side to "Stereo," January 1997)
5. Harness Your Hopes
6. Roll With The Wind (originally released as the B-side to "Spit On A Stranger," May 1999)
7. Slowly Typed
8. Cherry Area (originally released as the B-side to "Shady Lane," June 1997)
9. Wanna Mess You Around
10. No Tan Lines (originally released as the B-side to "Shady Lane" June 1997)
11. Oddity (Originally appeared on the God Save The Clean - A Tribute To The Clean album, 1997)
12. Date w/IKEA
13. Fin
14. Grave Architecture
15. The Classical (recorded for Radio 1's John Peel Show at BBC's Maida Vale Studio 4, 1997)

Record 4:

1. And Then (The Hexx)
2. Harness Your Hopes
3. The Killing Moon
4. Winner of The (recorded for Radio 1's Evening Session at BBC's Maida Vale Studios)
5. Type Slowly (Live) [originally appeared on the compilation album Tibetan Freedom Concert 1997]
6. Neil Haggerty Meets Jon Spencer in a Non-Alcoholic Bar
7. Painted Soldiers
8. Destroy Mater Dei
9. What Goes On
10. Kris Kraft
11. It's a Rainy Day Sunshine Girl
12. Maybe Maybe (recorded live at KCRW's "Morning Becomes Eclectic" program, 1997)
13. Space Ghost Theme I (unreleased song recorded live at WFNX, 1997)
14. Space Ghost Theme II (unreleased song recorded live at WFNX, 1997)

Transfigurations 2009: Mount Eerie, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Kurt Vile, Akron/Family, and Others Show Up for Best 5th Birthday Party Ever

Confession: I have never been to the South. For years, I have dreamed of roadtripping to Savannah, GA, or The Kentucky Derby, or this weird tourist attraction I read about as a kid called Fairyland Caverns at Tennessee’s Rock City Gardens. Alas: money, or a working vehicle, or friends who wanted to spend a week or two “enjoying” my deliriously tired conversation and disco-heavy roadtrip playlist always seemed to be lacking. And here I am now with another stop to add to my itinerary: Asheville, North Carolina’s Transfigurations festival. Sure, there might not be any eerily grinning gnomes hanging out in the silent depths of a sinisterly enchanted cave at this event, but I’ll tell you what there is: three solid days of solid tunes.

Transfigurations 2009 was put together to celebrate the five-year anniversary of Asheville’s Harvest Records record store. Putting on a festival in honor of your record store’s birthday is pretty boss in my book, and so is the planned entertainment. The lineup includes Mount Eerie, Kurt Vile, Circulatory System, The Books, Budos Band, Akron/Family, Jonathan Kane, Ice Cream, Espers, Villages, The War on Drugs, The Coathangers, Steve Gunn, Brightblack Morning Light, and the recently confirmed Bonnie "Prince" Billy. Plus there are discussions with Eric Isaacson from the Mississippi Records label, Lance Ledbetter of rare recording specialists Dust-to-Digital, and Nathan Salsburg, producer/archivist for the Alan Lomax Archive and curator of the Twos & Fews imprint on Drag City. The three-day event takes place across several Asheville venues.
08.13–15.09 – Asheville, NC – Transfigurations Festival

RIP: Ali Akbar Khan, Indian classical musician

From the Los Angeles Times:

Maestro Ali Akbar Khan, the master Indian musician and composer who was a pivotal figure in introducing the music of his homeland to the West, has died. He was 87.

The legendary sarod player and teacher died of kidney failure Thursday night at his home in the Bay Area city of San Anselmo, according to an announcement on the website of the Ali Akbar College of Music, Khan's teaching facility in northern California. The announcement said Khan had been a dialysis patient since 2004 but was still teaching at the college until just two weeks ago.

- Ali Akbar Khan Wikipedia entry
- Ali Akbar College of Music

Modest Mouse Announce Tour Dates; Isaac Brock Promises to Tone Down His Crazy Side This Summer, But Will Still Likely Knife You (or Himself) If Given the Chance

Whenever Modest Mouse go out on tour, frontman Isaac Brock always seems to do a bunch of crazy shit that gets the internet buzzing again with rumors of his mental unrest. Personally, I don’t hold it against the dude. Being on a tour bus for weeks is bound to do some unraveling to your mental state, no matter how stable you may be. Still, taking a knife to yourself is a little too Sid Vicious for me. Perhaps Brock will be calmer on this tour though; after all, he wouldn’t want to scare away Modest Mouse’s new touring guitarist, Grandaddy’s Jim Fairchild.

In news that’s not related to self-mutilation, last month Modest Mouse released a limited-edition seven-inch vinyl single featuring the song “Satellite Skin.” On June 23, tomorrow, they plan on releasing another limited seven-inch, featuring “Autumn Beds” as the A-side and “Whale Song” as the B-side. Both records contain unreleased tracks.

Tour Like God's Shoeshine:
08.17.09 - Halifax, NS - Forum Mulipurpose Room
08.19.09 - Montreal, QC - Metropolis
08.20.09 - Kingston, ON - Ale House
08.21.09 - Toronto, ON - Sound Academy
08.24.09 - Columbus, OH - Lifestyle Communities Pavilion
08.25.09 - Chicago, IL - Aragon Ballroom
08.28.09 - San Diego, CA - Street Scene
08.30.09 - San Francisco, CA - Outside Lands
10.01.09 - Salt Lake City, UT - In The Venue
10.02.09 - Denver, CO - Fillmore Auditorium
10.03.09 - Billings, MT - Alberta Bair Theater
10.04.09 - Missoula, MT - Wilma Theater
10.05.09 - Spokane, WA - Knitting Factory Concert House
10.07.09 - Seattle, WA - Bumbershoot

Precedent Set: Judge Instructs $1.92 Million Payment to RIAA in P2P Downloading Case

Jammie Thomas-Rasset, a 32-year-old mother of four from Brainerd, Minnesota, was instructed by a Minnesota jury to pay $1.92 million in damages to four major labels after she supposedly downloaded and shared 24 songs on the Kazaa P2P network. This equates to $80,000 per track. (Holy mother-****ing ****!! That is an absolute ****-load of mother****ing cash! Those mother****ing monopolistic ******* mother****ers!) "We appreciate the jury's service and that they take this as seriously as we do," RIAA puppet Cara Duckworth said in a statement. (I’m glad you enjoy destroying other people’s lives for a few innocuous Sheryl Crow and Green Day tracks, you mother****ing, ****-filled, *******ized sons of ****!).

Thomas-Rasset argued in the trial that it was her ex-boyfriend or sons who were most likely to have committed this, err, multi-million dollar fraud. In fairness to the labels, they have said they do not intend to claim the full amount and are still happy to settle. (But they’re still mother****ing, ****-eating ****-suckers!!)

The case may lead to legislative reform with many feeling uncomfortable that individuals can be penalized so highly for what are fairly minor offenses. Currently, the Copyright Act allows for “statutory damages of up to $150,000 per infringed work, in the case of willful infringement.” Nevertheless, the recording industry still has strong support in Congress, with Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee John Conyers and his fellow in the Senate, Patrick Leahy (both dirty stinking Democrats), both powerful defenders of the major labels. (Those mother****ing, climate change-humping, terrorist ****-sucking liberals!)

Mario Speedwagon’s Under The Radar News Round Up: Conor Oberst, Jim James, and M. Ward = Monsters of Folk, A Bunch of Bitches Go On Tour to Support Their Newly Released or Soon to Be Released Albums: AA Bondy, These United States, Magnolia Electric Co.

- Remember how Conor Oberst, Jim James, and M. Ward were going to make a record together? Well they did, and it comes out September 22, and it's called Monsters of Folk. Seriously. The band also features Oberst’s Bright Eyes bandmate Mike Mogis.

- AA Bondy are currently on tour supporting their second album, When The Devil’s Loose, which comes out September 1 via Fat Possum. "Fresh" from Bonnaroo, they'll continue trekking it until July 7 where shit ends at the Spanish Moon in Red Stick, LA. You can check out the dates by scrolling around in here.

- These United States are also releasing an album on September 1 -- their third, entitled Everything Touches Everything, out via United Interests. And guess fucking what? They’re going to go on tour. Their dates include shows with Dr. Dog, Phosphorescent, Deer Tick, Dusty Rhodes, and Red Cortez. They start in mid-June in Chicago and continue to the end of July where it all winds down in New York City. Dates on the MySpace, yo.

- Magnolia Electric Co. is releasing a record and going on tour (with The Donkeys!) First things first: the record comes out July 21 on Secretly Canadian and is called Josephine. The tour kicks off July 10 in Bloomington, IN at Russian Recordings and ends August 8 in Dubuque, IA at Busted Lift. Dates on the MySpace, yo.

Vinyl Sales Numbers Are In! 1’s and 0’s Are Out! Sorta. Not Really. Maybe? Nevermind.

Yes, yes, yes. The lovely little vinyl resurgence that has vindicated so many of us High Fidelity-watching (reading?), 160kbps-abhorring, laser-loathing lunatics feels pretty good, doesn’t it? But not so fast; before you go running around at 33 1/3 rpm declaring victory, you need, as Kafka cruelly puts it, “only to change your direction.”

The numbers still show a niche market for the medium of kings, for the time being. In fact, vinyl accounts for less than one percent of broader album sales in the U.S., according to Nielsen Soundscan. Ouch. Seriously? Yes. But the good news is that sales are expected to grow another 50% this year to 2.8-million units, up from 1.9 million in 2008, according to figures shared at the NARM Conference in San Diego last week. And while, yes, this still ain’t even close to the lifeboat that the major labels are pushing their own wives and children out of in order to claim their spot in, it's still encouraging news for indie labels and discriminatin’ record stores everywhere. Indeed, last year independent retailers accounted for 70% of total vinyl sales, but they already account for a hefty 67% halfway through this year.

And while percentage increases are beginning to cool year to year, absolute gains are steadily increasing. In 2008, the format added just under 887,000 units, a 90% gain. By the end of 2009, another 938,000 are projected to sell - a milder 50% gain. See?? Weird. But weirder still may be the market feedback on just who the heck is buying all of this wax. In April, at the MUSEXPO in Los Angeles, a number of executives pointed to fans purchasing vinyl without owning a turntable -- merely for the memento, which they probably need to go with their vintage Rolling Stones t-shirts from Target. Also, check this: one of the best-selling vinyl albums is Guns N' Roses' Chinese Democracy (TMT Review), which MUST be getting snatched up by collectors, because it surely isn’t being listened to by fans of actual music. Anyway, a more detailed ranking can be found on slide 25 of this Nielsen Soundscan presentation.

And then there’s the other question that mankind can’t help but ask: what happens next? What happens after 2009? Well, check this nonsense. According to one veteran executive with expertise in the format, future growth will be challenged by limited manufacturing capacity. "All plants are producing as fast as they can, and are still behind on fulfilling orders," the executive shared. So why not ramp capacities upward, and meet the blossoming demand? Not in Obama’s America! Turns out that manufacturers are hesitant to pour capital into something that could end up being a fad. Retailers may also shy away from paying for new racks or reconfiguring floorspace. "No one knows if this rally will sustain, so no one wants to invest money in new equipment to ramp up production capacity to meet increasing demand," the source continued. "Therefore, we're probably stuck where we are for the foreseeable future as far as market share."

Yeeek. Yeah, we wouldn’t wanna go around putting our faith in something as tainted and stained as Capitalism, I guess.

Athens’ Georgia Theatre On Fire

From the Associated Press:

Police say a major fire has erupted at the landmark Georgia Theatre in Athens that has been a venue for Georgia bands including REM, Widespread Panic and the B-52s.

Witnesses said the fire began around 7 a.m. Friday and was a major blaze. They said the converted movie theater would likely suffer major damage.

Former Athens Mayor Doc Eldridge said he saw a huge plume of black smoke when he arrived at his nearby office in the downtown business district.

- Georgia Theatre official website
- Athens Banner-Herald
- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

[Photo: Mario Speedwagon]

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart Team Up With Cymbals Eat Guitars For Fall Tour; Bloggers Seek Out Change of Underwear

What happens when an indie buzz band from Brooklyn (The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart) and one from Staten Island (Cymbals Eat Guitars) team up for a joint fall tour together? I don’t know about you, but I smell a sitcom! Will they argue about which borough is better? Will the guitarist from Pains borrow the guitarist from Cymbals’ last pair of skinny jeans and accidentally rip the crotch? Will they have a masturbating contest? And who will draw the bigger crowd at their shows? You can find out the answers to all these questions (and so much more!) by tuning in this fall — err, I mean purchasing a ticket to one of the following shows:

07.10.09 - New York, NY – South Street Seaport
07.18.09 - Chicago, IL – Pitchfork Music Festival
07.20.09 - Los Angeles, CA – The Echo
07.21.09 - San Francisco, CA – The Rickshaw Stop
07.23.09 - Portland, OR - Backspace
07.24.09 - Vancouver, BC - Biltmore Cabaret
07.25.09 - Seattle, Washington - Capitol Hill Block Party

06.29.09 – Allston, MA – Great Scott
07.02.09 – Indianapolis, IN – Vollrath Tavern
07.04.09 – Des Moines, IA – 80/35 Festival
07.07.09 – London, England – Rough Trade Shops Night @ ICA
07.08.09 – London, England – Barfly
07.09.09 – London, England – The Windmill
07.11.09 – London, England – BE @ Proud Galleries
07.18.09 – Chicago, IL – Pitchfork Music Festival

Pains and Cymbals:
09.05.09 - Boston, MA – Middle East Downstairs&
09.06.09 - Montreal, Quebec – La Sala Rossa &
09.07.09 - Toronto, ON – Horseshoe Tavern &
09.08.09 - Chicago, IL – Logan Square Auditorium &
09.09.09 - Madison, WI – Stage Door at the Orpheum &
09.10.09 - Omaha, NE – The Slowdown &
09.12.09 - Morrison, CO – Monolith Festival
09.13.09 - Salt Lake City, UT – Kilby Court &
09.14.09 - Boise, ID - Neurolux &
09.17.09 - Portland, OR – Doug Fir &
09.21.09 - San Diego, CA - Casbah &
09.22.09 - Tucson, AZ – Club Congress&
09.24.09 - Fort Worth, TX – Lola’s &
09.25.09 - Austin, TX – The Mohawk &
09.26.09 - New Orleans, LA – One Eyed Jacks &
09.27.09 - Tallahassee, FL – Club Downunder &
09.28.09 - Atlanta, GA – The Earl &
09.29.09 - Chapel Hill, NC – Local 506 &
09.30.09 - Washington, DC – Black Cat &
10.01.09 - Baltimore, MD - Ottobar &
10.05.09 - Philadelphia, PA – First Unitarian Church &

& The Depreciation Guild