From an article on World Music Central:

French composer and renowned world music producer Hector Zazou died [yesterday] morning in a French hospital. He had fallen seriously ill earlier this year and had to cancel several performances during the summer. Zazou was 60 years old.

Zazou was a legendary figure in contemporary French music. He was born in Algeria, the son of a French father and a Spanish mother. Zazou was an open minded musician who was comfortable working with classical, ambient electronic, pop, and world music. Some of the musicians he collaborated with include Björk, Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno, Laurie Anderson, John Hassell, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Carlos Nüñez, Khaled, Lisa Gerrard, John Cale, Siouxsie, Bill Rieflin, Manu Dibango, David Sylvian, Suzanne Vega, Peter Buck, Jane Birkin, and Lisa Germano.

- Hector Zazou (Music Operator) official website
- Hector Zazou MySpace page
- Music Operator MySpace page
- Hector Zazou Wikipedia entry
- YouTube video: "Hector Zazou & Björk - Vísur Vatnsenda Rósu"

Deerhoof Let Fans Choose a Charity for Offend Maggie Sales – Charity Schmarity, I Want A Hover Bike!

I'm as excited about the new Deerhoof album -- Offend Maggie, due October 7 on Kill Rock Stars -- as anyone else, but now I have some gripes. First, the title track, "Offend Maggie," has premiered on AOL's Spinner site for free download. Pshh! Big whoop! What happened to waiting for the actual album to come out, huh?

Even more maddening, and I guess to counteract this uncertain offensiveness directed towards "Maggie," Deerhoof will donate a percentage of the royalties from Offend Maggie's digital sales to a charitable organization. The catch? They can't decide which one! So, they want the "fans" to pick one. Sucks though, because more than one member of Deerhoof has promised me they'd buy me a hover bike!

The five charities of choice include: Why Tuesday?, FAIR, Peace Action West, Z Magazine, Doctors Without Borders, and Greg's Hover Bike Foundation*. You can vote by sending an email with your choice to deerhoofcharityvote@gmail.com anytime before October 1. The chosen organization will be announced October 7.

* Not a real choice or organization

Tourdates:

Stars Are Free To Do What They Want, Any Old Time – In This Case, to Tour and Release EP

Contrary to popular belief, Tiny Mix Tapes is not the inclusive American men’s club that people think. Not only does it employ women to write and edit its spectacularly professional writing editor's note: my emphasis], but it also employs people from some great foreign countries. And Canadians. TMT's history of smuggling otherwise dorky goofuses into the realm of cooldom is not unlike Canada itself freeing slaves north of the 49th parallel by means of the underground railroad in the early-to-mid 1800s (yeah... it's exactly like that!). Our staff writers, whether of the [hoser persuasion or not, do feel a certain sense of empathy toward our northern friends, and, in turn, we tend to give their chilly hearts some love by reporting news of their forthcoming albums and tours.

Not that some of them particularly need the attention. Stars, for example, (caution: old-style, politically incorrect, Canadian grandfather quip approaching...) could sell ice cubes to the Eskimos -- such is their persuasive popularity, not only in their home and native land, but Stateside as well. The Quebecois quintet -- who may or may not have been named after this -- have announced both dates for their next North American tour and details of their latest release. Sad Robots EP is available to download now exclusively here with actual limited CDEPs available for purchase at the shows listed below. A live version of “Going, Going, Gone,” originally from their debut album Nightsongs, is available as a free download from this same site.

Sad Robots:

1. Maintenance Hall, 4am
2. A Thread Cut with a Carving Knife
3. Undertow
4. Going, Going, Gone (live version)
5. 14 Forever
6. Sad Robot

Sad Robots go on tour (in 3-D!):
09.17.08 - Northampton, MA - Pearl Street #
09.18.08 - Providence, RI - Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel#
09.19.08 - Philadelphia, PA - Trocadero Theatre#
09.20.08 - New York, NY - Terminal 5 #
09.23.08 - Newport, Kentucky - Southgate House #
09.24.08 - Chicago, IL - The Vic Theatre #
09.25.08 - St. Louis, MO - The Pageant #
09.26.08 - Lawrence, KS - The Granada #
09.28.08 - Austin, TX - Austin City Limits Music Festival
10.01.08 - Los Angeles, CA - Avalon $
10.02.08 - Anaheim, CA - House of Blues $
10.03.08 - Santa Barbara, CA - UC of Santa Barbara $
10.04.08 - Santa Cruz, CA - The Rio Theatre $
10.06.08 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore $
10.07.08 - Eugene, OR - WOW Hall $
10.08.08 - Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom $
10.09.08 - Seattle, WA - The Showbox $
10.10.08 - Bellingham, WA - Viking Union/Western WA University $
10.29.08 - Fredericton, New Brunswick - SUB Ballroom/University of N.B. %
10.30.08 - Moncton, New Brunswick - The Manhattan Club %
10.31.08 - Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island - The Wave/University of P.E.I. %
11.01.08 - Halifax, Nova Scotia - The Marquee Club %
11.03.08 - St. John’s, Newfoundland - Club One %

# Bell X1

$ Think About Life

% Hey! Rosetta

DOOM to Release Long-Awaited Follow-Up, Born Into This, October 21 on Lex Records

According to a one-sheet from Fontana distribution, DOOM (no longer MF Doom) is set to release a new album, Born Into This, October 21 on Lex Records. The album will be DOOM's "first full-length solo project in four years and is filled with superstar guests including production from J Dilla, Dangermouse and guests MC's Ghostface and Raekwon." In true PR fashion, the writer of this particular one-sheet goes on to say that "this is DOOM's definitive album, encapsulating but surpassing all of his previous work and influences under various monikers."

However, the one-sheet's validity has been put into question the past several days, because (1) there is no information on DOOM or Lex's websites about the release, (2) DOOM has been accused of having stand-in MCs perform for him at live gigs the past year or so, and (3) no press release has been issued yet. In fact, the information stems from a little post last Saturday on Sypder's Random Things -- a blog about vinyl and DJing -- that included an upcoming release schedule with the following entry:

Doom - Born Into This [LP] (Lex Records - LEX069LP0 / 878390001286) $17.98

In response to debates over its legtimacy, Spyder posted a follow-up the next day, in which he explains that he's the "General Manager of a music one-stop (distributor)" URP Music Distributors] and has "access to official release information directly from the label and/or their exclusive distributors." He also posted the actual [one-sheet issued to vendors.

Vendors do occasionally get word from distributors about releases before the press, and hip-hop record store Fifth Element (founded by Rhymesayers) has confirmed the album's existence.

Meanwhile, Operation: Doomsday is being reissued for the millionth time October 7.

Domino Secedes from iTunes, Opens Own Digital Download Store

Sure, iTunes is revolutionary, gives everyone totally crucial Bono adverts, and is generally nice to have around. But when you want to score some choice tracks from, say, Pram's Dark Island, it just doesn't cut the mustard.

Thankfully, Domino, one of the more consistent labels in the indie world, has their entire catalog now digitized for your consumption at Domino Digital. With unruly, CD-quality 320 Kpbs downloads, multiple formats, and every single Domino release at your disposal, you may not have to visit a record store for awhile (but please, support local business anyway). The site itself is well-crafted, allowing you to search music in a way that music dorks tend to think, offering search categories such as "Classics, "Reissues," etc., as well as the ability to toggle between a list and tile view. You can even preview before you buy. Technology is keen.

Most full albums are only $7-9 (about the same as iTunes), but high-quality access to tons of Movietone and Ulrich Schnauss is priceless (sorry to steal your thunder, Mastercard's PR Firm). Don't spend all your allowance in one place.

Sonic Youth Sign to Matador for Their 16th Studio Album!

Wow, wow, wow! After a tip from Mr. Thurston himself late August (TMT News), it looks like Sonic Youth have officially signed with Matador Records. According to a post on the label's Matablog:

After rampant speculation, Matador Records can confirm the label will be releasing a new studio album from Sonic Youth sometime in 2009. Having fulfilled their contractual obligations to the Universal Music Group, Sonic Youth recently reached an agreement with Matador to release the band’s 16th album of new material in all worldwide territories, save for Japan.

The band will head to the studio this fall to record the album, the follow-up to 2006's Rather Ripped. Read the rest of the post here, our recent story about the label change here, and how and why major labels and independent labels work together here.

Yes! Another reason to regret not being rich, apart from my usual desire to look as eerily ageless and perfectly WASP-y as Cindy McCain. The Melvins/Mike Patton-curated Nightmare Before Christmas ATP event (a.k.a. another festival with an awesome roster that I cannot afford to attend) is adding Mastodon, The Damned, Boss Hog, Rahzel, Double Negative, Tweak Bird, and -- wait for it... wait for it -- the legendary, recently reunited no-wave group Teenage Jesus and The Jerks.

Led by Lydia Lunch, Teenage Jesus never released a full studio album and were known for their aggressive, abrasive live shows. They played their first show in years as part of the book release festivities associated with Thurston Moore and Byron Coley's book No Wave: Post-Punk. Underground. New York. 1976-1980 this past June (which also partly inspired James Chance's recent show in New York). And now you have the chance to see them December 5-7, at the oh-so-cold, oh-so-English Butlins Holiday Camp in Minehead. More acts are set to be announced, but for now, let me entice you with the so-far complete listing:

Melvins / Isis / Mastodon / Butthole Surfers / The Damned / Fantômas perform The Director's Cut / Squarepusher / Soulsavers feat. Mark Lanegan / Teenage Jesus And The Jerks / Boss Hog / Neil Hamburger / Dälek / Big Business / Black Heart Procession / Rahzel / Torche / Kill Me Tomorrow / J.G. Thirlwell's Manorexia / The Dirtbombs / The Locust / Zu / Bohren And Der Club of Gore / Farmers Market / White Noise / Stockhausen's KONTAKTE with Steinberg & Winant / MadLove / Tweak Bird / Double Negative

Still Punk Rockin’ at Age 50, Bill Bragg Set to Go on Lengthy Tour

Punk rock folkster Billy Bragg has announced a 32-date tour set to kick off September 25 in Paris that'll eventually venture into the United States mid-October and finally back to Europe in November for another leg. Bragg released his 12th studio album, Mr. Love & Justice, in March of this year and has been on the road ever since, migrating back and forth from Europe to the United States. A friend’s father once told me he saw Bragg in the early ’80s, and it was one of the only concerts he can clearly remember in the past 30 years. Hopefully, Bragg’s live performance is still a memorable one. More importantly, I hope my friend’s father has overcome his drinking problem.

Billy Bragg tourdates:

John Darnielle Reveals Two New Mountain Goats EPs and, Coincidentally, The Path to My Heart

John Darnielle, you coy wordsmith, you nimble-tongued tormentor of my soul. You thought that you were simply informing your admiring public of two new slammin’ EPs and an upcoming tour with guitar virtuoso Kaki King, but John, you revealed so much more. For one instant in time, our interwebbed e-souls were one.

The ostensible reason for Darnielle’s recent post on Pitchfork was to announce two new Mountain Goats EPs arriving on Horse & Buggy Press — (1) the limited-edition (666 copies!) double 7-inch Satanic Messiah available only at Mountain Goats shows or digitally through the trendy pay-what-you-want model (TMT News) and (2) the Scott Solter-produced Black Pear Tree split with tourmate Kaki King — but the true motivation for the posting was, of course, the disclosure of Darnielle’s Flickr account and the disclosure of my heart’s fondest desires.

John Darnielle, after perusing your photostream a couple (of dozen) times, I saw through your feeble charade of “selling albums” and “gaining publicity,” and I saw into your delicate, Satan-obsessed soul. John, I too love inscrutable tofu dishes. And as a matter of fact, I also have quite the soft spot for sleepy cats and cheese-covered extruded snacks. And if you would only come through Georgia on your Last Happy Night of Your Life tour, we could indulge our twin passions together, as God intended.

Satanic Messiah tracklist:

* Kaki King

New Monuments – Noise Supergroup – Kick Off U.S. Tour

Minimalist psych overlord, violin ripper, darling of The Wire magazine,
and owner of Tony Conrad's entire catalog C Spencer Yeh (of Cincinnati's Burning Star Core) is teaming up with Borbetomagus-founder/Wolf Eyes-buddy Don Dietrich and snare-shredder Ben Hall of Graveyards for a scalp-scalding noise supergroup called New Monuments. For the group, Dietrich provides the gnarly sax textures, while Hall brings the rhythm tip -- Yeh, as always, comes correct with his mighty orchestral strings fed through myriad effects processors.

New Monuments kick off their inaugural tour this week in Brooklyn for a brief but nonetheless, um, monumental tour. As with most noise tours, the majority of the venues are untraditional (yet intimate) stops -- book shops, community centers, et al. -- and colleges. Unlike noise's most popular acts right now, New Monuments dabble more in improv and free jazz than straight power electronics, challenging your conception of music more than challenging your tympanic fortitude.

% Oa, Carlos Giffoni-Okkyung Lee, Nancy Garcia-Biba Bell, DJ Steve Loewenthal

@ Howie Stelzer, Heathen Shame, Jason Lescalleet/Bhob Rainey

^ Joe McPhee, Paul Flaherty, Chris Corsano Trio

* Herons

! John Wiese, Kudler/Fraser Duo, Morally Gray

$ Emeralds

( Chris Riggs

& Spykes, Uneven Universe