The Handsome Family Is Releasing a New Album and Will Be Touring. Honestly? That’s Fantastic! Paul McCartney’s New Firemen Album Is Called Electric Arguments. Seriously? That’s Terrible.

For 15 years now, The Handsome Family's Brett and Rennie Sparks have perfected the functional family dynamic model, making music side-by-side in commingled bliss. They’re the ideal, what the rest of us strive to achieve with our actual bloodline families, or with our music website news families, but ultimately fail to emulate. It is not always easy to stand up to your dad when he grills you about homework, where you left the car, where you lefts your pants, etc. Likewise, it is never easy to put up with “Dad the TMT Editor” when he constantly assigns you endless Interpol news stories, even after you have insisted how much you can’t stand the sight of those talent-less dinkuses -- and, I mean, c’mon, why am I still getting snookered with these hand-me-down scraps of stories when I not only cleaned and polished your beloved 1989 Dodge Shadow last week (inside and out!), but also offered to spiff up your own undercarriage too. You didn’t have to meet my offer with a blank stare and barely-restrained rage! Okay, okay, I won’t explode when I can quietly seethe, bottle up my emotions, and work out some demons as I write a curt complaint via the dysfunctional family letter generator. I won’t waste space here with my results, but let’s just say that the phrases “beastly dark matter,” “pooh-pooh head,” and “bravely dislodged the toothpaste cap from the toilet bowl” were peppered throughout!

Ah, feels good to get that out. Who knows, maybe The Handsome Family have these types of unwarranted venting shitstorms from time to time too, although I doubt it. I’m guessing they are too mature to let little things like imaginary tiffs about covering wildly overrated NYC acts on TMT or about who ate the last Rolo get to them. Besides, who has time to argue when there are new musical ventures to seek out and new people for whom to play. First up, on April 14 we will see the release of the new Handsome Family album, entitled Honey Moon. Released by Carrot Top, Honey Moon is a change of record for the family Sparks in that it is an unabashed album about love, sans the usual dark detours the duo tend to explore. Also, the album decidedly takes in a greater variety of styles than we are used to: “tin-pan alley songs, country songs, r&b songs, a bluegrass song, pop songs, jazz songs, and even rock ballads,” states Brett. So, basically everything but grime polka, and two-step thrash then? Behold... titles!

1. Linger, Let Me Linger
2. Little Sparrows
3. My Friend
4. When You Whispered
5. The Loneliness of Magnets
6. Junebugs
7. A Thousand Diamond Rings
8. Love Is Like
9. The Petrified Forest
10. Wild Wood
11. Darling, My Darling
12. The Winding Corn Maze

Rennie and Brett will pump out the Honey jams on the road too, when they play a number of North American shows before jetting off to the UK for some more. Additionally, like every red-blooded musical act in the world, The Handsomes will certainly be in Austin for the annual SXSW festivities in March, but the date is yet to be confirmed. These, however, are:
04.16.09 - Minneapolis, MN - 400 Bar
04.17.09 - Madison, WI - High Noon Saloon
04.18.09 - Chicago, IL - Schubas
04.19.09 - Chicago, IL - Schubas
04.21.09 - Toronto, Ontario - El Mocambo
04.22.09 - Wakefield, Quebec - Black Sheep Inn
04.24.09 - Cambridge, MA - Lizard Lounge
04.25.09 - New York, NY - Highline Ballroom
04.26.09 - Arlington, VA - Iota
05.14.09 - Brighton, England - The Great Escape, Mojo Night
05.15.09 - Leeds, England - Brudenell Club
05.16.09 - Farndale, England - The Band Room
05.17.09 - Glasgow, Scotland - The Tron Theatre, Americana Festival
05.18.09 - Sheffield, England - Memorial Hall
05.19.09 - Manchester, England - The Ruby Lounge
05.20.09 - Gateshead, England - The Sage
05.21.09 - London, England - Islington Academy
05.23.09 - Bedford, England - The Ent Shed
05.25.09 - Birmingham, England - The Glee Club
05.26.09 - Cardiff, Wales - St. Davids
05.27.09 - Swansea, England - The Garage
05.28.09 - Bath, England - Spiegel Tent
05.29.09 - Bexhill, England - De La Warr Pavilion
05.30.09 - Reading, England - South Street
05.31.09 - Exeter, England - Arts Centre

Mario Speedwagon’s Under The Radar News Roundup: MF Doom Pulls A Diddy, Mono Release Fifth Studio Album, Nada Surf Reissue LPs On Vinyl, Vetiver Tour For New LP

Happy Friday, everyone! So, I got tagged in one of those Facebook “Notes” where you make some sort of list or fuck with your iTunes and then tag another 25 people, etc. Anyway, this one was kinda hilarious. It was a three-step process involving Wikipedia, Quotations Page, and Flickr to find your band name, album name, and album cover. Mine was…

Dude, I love SHARK WEEK! Anyway, on to the roundup...

- So, MF Doom is now just DOOM. Whatever. His album BORN LIKE THIS (previously titled Born Into This) comes out March 24. Look for it on Lex Records.

- Mono are dropping their fifth album, Hymn To The Immortal Wind, March 24 via Temporary Residence Limited. You can catch them May 8 at The Society For Ethical Culture in New York performing with the Wordless Music Orchestra. Far out.

- On April 14, Nada Surf are reissuing three of their studio albums -- The Proximity Effect, Let Go, and The Weight Is A Gift -- on vinyl. These albums have been individually out of print for a while now, but were available in the fall as a box set (which is now sold-out) with High/Low and their latest, Lucky. It was a pretty heavy box set. Oh, and if you happen to live in New York, you can catch them at the Bell House on April 15.

- Vetiver are hitting the road in support of their first full-length album, Tight Knit (TMT Review). They're currently in Europe, but by the beginning of March, they’ll kick things off in Philadelphia with Sian Alice. Their tour continues until mid-April and includes dates with Larkin Grimm and Richard Swift.

L8R.

King Khan and The Shrines Tour the Warm States; Originally EU-Only Album Reissued by Vice Records

Finally! King Khan and the Shrines, the garage rock band everyone can agree on -- from your kid sister to that co-worker who you think might be cool, but can't really tell -- is getting the ol' reissue treatment for their (presumably) bitchin' 2007 album What Is?!. Originally released on the German label Hazlewood and previously unavailable in the United States, our friends at Vice have given the album a "do" and will be releasing the new domestic version April 21.

But that's not all! King Khan and the Shrines will also be the honorary guest judges at Pollywog, Alabama's annual All-You-Can-Eat pie contest! Winners get their names inscribed on the town's bronze tadpole statue and get a $500 gift certificate to Baker's Square, where legions of old ladies drinking coffee after church will idolize them and pinch their cheeks. DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT AT ALL TRUE I MADE IT UP TO ADD MORE CONTENT TO THIS STORY. What is true is that King Khan and his crew of merry garage rockers will be touring throughout the southern states, with a final stop at the Vice Records SXSW showcase.

What Is?! tracklisting

1. (How Can I Keep You) Outta Harms Way
2. I Wanna Be A Girl
3. Welfare Bread
4. Land of the Freak
5. I See Lights
6. 69 Faces of Love
7. No Regrets
8. Cosmic Serenade
9. Le Fils Du Jaques Dutronc
10. Let Me Holler
11. In Your Grave
12. Take A Little Bit
13. Fear & Love
14. The Ballad Of Lady Godiva
03.06.09 - Elkton, FL - Harvest of Hope
03.07.09 - Miami, FL - The Vagabond
03.10.09 - Atlanta, GA - Masquerade
03.12.09 - Asheville, NC - Orange Peel
03.13.09 - Nashville, TN - Exit In
03.14.09 - Memphis, TN - Hi-Tone Cafe
03.15.09 - New Orleans, LA - One Eyed Jacks
03.16.09 - Dallas, TX - Palladium Loft
03.17.09 - San Antonio, TX - The Warhol
03.20.09 - Austin, TX - Emo's Vice Records SXSW Showcase to Shame all Other Showcases

Superchunk Blowin’ Some Chunks for the First Time in Eight Years, EP Due in April

Here's to slacking, motherfuckers. Legendary indie rock band Superchunk, who we last heard from in the studio in 2001 with Here's to Shutting Up!, have announced plans to release a new EP entitled Leaves in the Gutter to coincide with their upcoming performance at Coachella. The release is a way to "clear the decks" of nearly a decade of gestating material in order to prep an upcoming full-length album, says singer Mac McCaughan.

"A couple of (the songs) I really like, but they already feel like they're from another era and wouldn't fit on a new album anyway," he says, "and the newer ones are from the new era but we've recorded them and they sound good so here they are."

Wow, eight years. Really guys? Nothing doing for the entire Bush Administration? Not a single obligatory post-9/11 song or anti-war ballad? Okay, okay -- we'll take what we can get. Leaves in the Gutter comes out April 7; Superchunk play Coachella April 18.

Leaves in the Gutter tracklisting:

1. Learned to Surf
2. Misfits & Mistakes
3. Screw It Up
4. Knock Knock Knock
5. Learned to Surf (acoustic demo)

Riddle: What do you get when you cast Parts & Labor’s Sarah Lipstate, GHQ’s Steve Gunn, Paul Duncan, Tom Gerke, and both members of Talibam! in a dance performance?

Hint: The answer does NOT involve a live appearance by the above parties in tutus and fitted bodices.

Answer: Think Punk!, an evening of music and dance by world-renowned choreographer Karole Armitage, whose dismantling of classical technique and ties to the New York No Wave scene earned her a reputation as “the punk ballerina” in the early ’80s.

On show at The Kitchen next month, Think Punk! casts a younger generation of New York noisemakers in a remake of Drastic Classicism, a hybrid of choreographed movement and rock ‘n’ roll à la Mudd Club, born out of a 1981 collaboration between Armitage and composer Rhys Chatham. Additional selections include The Watteau Duets (1985), a leather-clad deconstruction of the ballet pas de deux set to music by David Linton; Wild Thing (1987), featuring music by Jimi Hendrix and décor by artist Jeff Koons; and Mashup (2009), whose score ambitiously crosses Mozart’s “Sinfonia Concertante” and X-Ray Spex’s “Oh Bondage, Up Yours!”

Picture Robert Longo’s “Men in the Cities” series come to life.
03.04.09 - 03.07.09 – New York, NY – The Kitchen
03.11.09 - 03.14.09 – New York, NY – The Kitchen

Mogwai Schedule Spring Tour, Make Up For Lost Time

Hey, remember last year when Mogwai canceled all those North American tourdates? Well, they’ve finally decided to live up to their New Year’s resolution to not cancel anymore shows by booking an entire U.S. tour this spring. Now, if only Mogwai could give me back the 63 minutes I spent listening to their most recent album, The Hawk Is Howling (TMT Review), last year, then all would be forgiven. (JK.)

Making up for lost time:
04.20.09 - Houst​on,​ TX - Numbe​rs
04.​21.09 - New Orlea​ns,​ LA - Repub​lic
04.​22.09 - Birmi​ngham​,​ AL - Workp​lay Theat​re
04.​23.09 - Ashev​ille,​ NC - Orang​e Peel
04.​24.09 - Carrb​oro,​ NC - Cats Cradl​e
04.​25.09 - Phila​delph​ia,​ PA - Troca​dero
04.​27.09 - Brook​lyn,​ NY - Music​ Hall Of Willi​amsbu​rg
04.​28.09 - Brook​lyn,​ NY - Music​ Hall Of Willi​amsbu​rg
04.​29.09 - Brook​lyn,​ NY - Music​ Hall Of Willi​amsbu​rg
05.​01.09 - Bosto​n,​ MA - Wilbu​r Theat​re
05.​02.09 - North​ampto​n,​ MA - Pearl​ Stree​t
05.​03.09 - Montr​eal,​ QUE - Metro​polis​
05.​04.09 - Toron​to,​ ON - Phoen​ix
05.​05.09 - Buffa​lo,​ NY - Tralf​ Music​ Hall
05.​06.09 - Ponti​ac,​ MI - Crofo​ot Ballr​oom
05.​08.09 - Chica​go,​ IL - Congr​ess Theat​re
05.​09.09 - Milwa​ukee,​ WI - Turne​r Hall
05.​10.09 - Minne​apoli​s,​ MN - First​ Avenu​e
05.​11.09 - Omaha​,​ NE - The Slowd​own
05.​12.09 - Denve​r,​ CO - Blueb​ird Theat​re
05.​13.09 - Salt Lake City,​ UT - In The Venue​
05.​15.09 - San Diego​,​ CA - Belly​ Up Taver​n
05.​16.09 - Los Angel​es,​ CA - Orphe​um Theat​re

St. Vincent’s New LP Actor Set for Spring, Clinches 2009 as Year with Better Music Than 2008

In the recent slew of releases to actually look forward to glares at 2008], [St. Vincent -- also known as Annie Clark -- will release Actor, the follow-up to her 2007 debut Marry Me. Clark herself stepped behind the boards alongside John Congleton (who has worked with Modest Mouse and The Polyphonic Spree) and enlisted a few handfuls of musicians (who have also worked with famous people like Sufjan Stevens and Philip Glass). The album drops May 5 via 4AD.

Since I have a massive girl crush on St. Vincent, this exciting news has already influenced me to start happily waving in merging cars left and right. 2009 is indeed looking up so far.

Actor tracklisting:

1. The Strangers
2. Save Me From What I Want
3. Neighbours
4. Actor Out Of Work
5. Black Rainbow
6. Laughing With A Mouth Of Blood
7. Marrow
8. The Bed
9. The Party
10. Just The Same But Brand New
11. The Sequel
02.27.09 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall (Noise Pop Festival)
03.18.09 - Austin, TX - Central Presbytarian Church (SXSW)
03.20.09 - Austin, TX - Antone's (SXSW)

Critically Acclaimed TV on the Radio Set out on a (Presumably) Critically Acclaimed Tour of Hit-And-Miss Canada and Critically Derided USA

Although sensible publications like The Guardian and Consequence of Sound normally share little in common with bottom-feeding taste-lechers like MTV and Rolling Stone, at the end of 2008 they all agreed on one thing: TV on the Radio’s Dear Science (TMT Review) was the best album of the year. How TVOTR finally managed to shift the media’s focus from Kyp Malone’s almost entirely hair-consumed face to their music will forever remain a mystery. Regardless of how they pulled it off, TVOTR are taking a victory lap around the USA and Canada beginning in May, sandwiched by an April performance at Coachella and a June show at Bonnaroo. But remember: Staring too long into Malone’s beard has the same affect on your eyes as a solar eclipse, so either bring your own safety goggles to the show or prepare to be gouged at the merch table.
04.18.09 - Indio, CA - Coachella
05.12.09 - Louisville, KY - Headliners Music Hall
05.16.09 - Austin, TX - Stubbs
05.18.09 - Oklahoma City, OK - Diamond Ballroom
05.22.09 - Oakland, CA - Fox Oakland Theatre
05.23.09 - Portland, OR - Roseland Theatre
05.25.09 - Vancouver, British Columbia - Malkin Bowl
05.27.09 - Edmonton, Alberta - Edmonton Events Center
05.28.09 - Calgary, Alberta - Macewan Hall
05.29.09 - Saskatoon, Saskatchewan - Louis' Pub
06.02.09 - Toronto, Ontario - Sound Academy
06.03.09 - Montreal, Quebec - Metropolis
06.04.09 - Boston, MA - House of Blues
06.05.09 - New York, NY - Central Park Summer Stage
06.08.09 - Washington, D.C. - 9:30 Club
06.11-09 - Manchester, TN - Bonnaroo

RIP: Kelly Groucutt, bass player of Electric Light Orchestra

From Kelly Groucutt's official website:

It is with great sadness that I have to inform the fans that Kelly Groucutt died on the afternoon of 19th February 2009 of a heart attack. Our hearts and thoughts go out to Anna and Kelly's family. He touched all of our lives with his love, kindness and generosity as well as his talent for music and song. He was a true and wonderful friend who loved every second of life and he will be greatly missed by us all.

- Kelly Groucutt official website
- Kelly Groucutt Wikipedia entry
- Electric Light Orchestra official website

Legendary L.A. Rockers X Wanna Spend AT LEAST One Night with You

This spring, seminal L.A. punk band X are bringing all the sunshine, ocean breezes, and, um, publicity photos of a bunch of pals hanging out in an exhumed grave that one typically associates with southern California to their fans in more tanning and grave-digging challenged areas of the United States (and England!). X may have formed over 30 years ago, but they still bring a blistering, high-energy show, and it features all original members of the band, including Exene Cervenka, John Doe, D.J. Bonebrake, and Billy Zoom.

But sometimes one night just isn't enough. I mean, how can you go back to your workaday routine when you've just had the raw power of rock ‘n’ roll unleashed in front of your very eyes? Well, if you are a resident of Seattle, Denver, or New York (so, pretty much half the tour), you don't have to! You can celebrate not one, but TWO, maybe even THREE (if you live in NY) nights of X-cess. There are also a couple of promising festival dates, such as the Breeders-curated All Tomorrow's Parties in England and the Cure/Paul McCartney/The Killers Coachella.

In other X-related news, co-frontman John Doe is embarking on a tour in support of his upcoming covers album with The Sadies, Country Club, just before X hits the road.

X dates:
04.09.09 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom
04.10.09 - Seattle, WA - The Showbox
04.11.09 - Seattle, WA - The Showbox
04.14.09 - Denver, CO - Bluebird Theatre
04.15.09 - Denver, CO - Bluebird Theatre
04.19.09 - Indio, CA - Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
05.15.09 - Minehead, England - All Tomorrow's Parties
05.29.09 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
05.30.09 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
05.31.09 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom

John Doe solo dates:
02.28.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Largo
03.05.09 - Brisbane, AUS - The Troubadour
03.06.09 - Sydney, AUS - Manning Bar at Sydney University
03.07.09 - Melbourne AUS - The Corner Hotel
03.08.09 - Melbourne, AUS - Golden Plains Festival

  

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