In between her work on a forthcoming album and the recent Bloodshot Records reissues of Furnace Room Lullaby, Blacklisted, and the super special totally amazing new bonus version of 2006's Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, it has been a busy year for Neko Case*. And things don't look to be slowing down. In a move that will thrill alt-country fans, New Englanders, and the lovelorn man who stood next to me and repeatedly shouted "I love you, Neko! Oh yeeeeeah!!" the last time she played my hometown, Neko Case has announced a string of concert dates in the eastern part of these fine United States. Case just put the finishing touches on some new tracks, and she and her band will be testing them out on unsuspecting (until now!) New England audiences this winter. Case will be joined in her systematic track-testing endeavors by Eric Bachmann of Crooked Fingers, who will be providing both musical and scientific support. Better fire up those Bunsen burners, Eastern seaboard, and don't forget your safety goggles -- the winter months just got a little hotter!
* Well, sort of. I mean, those reissues were kind of already written, but you know what I mean.
I don't know if you've heard of Flywheel -- I haven't, considering I'm on the other side of the country -- but it's a non-profit arts collective/venue in Easthampton, MA. Playing host to everyone from Ted Leo and Deerhoof to Magik Markers and Fat Worm of Error (as well as many other totally amazing weirdo and non-weirdo bands), the collective is associated with the totally gnarly label Ecstatic Peace, who are of course home to a slew of Thurston-approved artists. Anyway, Flywheel is currently gearing up to move into a bigger, nicer venue, where it can more readily reach its full potential. So, what do they need from you?
Go here to learn more about how to help out some like-minded, art-damaged nerds.
Want to here it straight from the dudes? Check it:
As many of you know, Flywheel, in Easthampton, MA is a non-profit multi-use art space that has hosted some of the country's most innovative and unsung performers. Artists such as Ted Leo, Fugazi, Deerhoof, Lightning Bolt, Sonic Youth not to mention dozens of Ecstatic Peace artists, have played Flywheel along the way. Flywheel has also hosted film screenings, cabaret, spoken word, art openings, children's programs and even a traveling circus over it's storied nine year history.
Earlier this year Flywheel was given the opportunity to move into a beautiful new space twice the size of it's previous one. The new centralized location will significantly raise the public profile of Flywheel and allow them to finally live up to their original vision of serving a wider portion of the community. The increased size of the new performance hall will also allow Flywheel to book shows and put on performances that were impossible in the old space.
They've been busy raising the funds necessary to renovate and maintain this new space and would like to reopen in early 2008. Ecstatic Peace has made a commitment to help Flywheel and we hope you'll also consider doing what you can.
How You Can Help
1) Make a donation via PayPal to support Flywheel's general expenses.
2) You can also donate by mail. Make checks payable to Flywheel and mail to:
43 Main Street
Easthampton, MA 01027
3) Sign up to be a monthly supporter via your credit or debit card. Simply email email@example.com for details.
4) If you live near Easthampton, you might also consider volunteering for Flywheel.
For more information about Flywheel, go to their website:
That's it for now. On behalf of Ecstatic Peace and Flywheel, thanks for the help and support.
Thom Yorke Lets His LOLcat Blog, To Release A Remix by Burial Today And More This Week, 12-Inches Later
4 sum reason raadiohead frunTman tHom york really enjoyz beIn cryptik nd typng liek a child or a Stoopid talkin kat. But p3r thIS announcment, he will b bearing giftz toodaye nd this weeek for uS all TOO enjoy and siP eggnog or sIng "Dekk the halls" to, incluDing REmIXES by BURIAL, MODESELEKTOR, AND MORE.
YayAyaYayAyayA~!!~1`!! chekk it out:
please excuse this addiTion to YouR pile of email.
ThIs is not stricTly junk.
is a quick notE to Let YoU know thAT there will be shorttlY be a bunch of rmxs
of some of the songs from the ERAser album made available to download from boomkat.com.
on the 17th of Dec a BURIAL rmx of anditrainedallNight
a ModeSeleKtOR rmx of skipdivideD
& a VAriouS rmx of aNaLYse
on the 18th of Dec a FoURtet rmx of AtoMS for PEace
& two Christian Vogel rmxs of 'Black sWAn'
on the 19th of Dec the SuRGEon rmx of the CLock
a rmx of HarrOWdown HiLL by THE buG
& a rmx of Cymbal RUsh by The FIEld
that's it. apoloGIes for the disturbanCE. check themm out if you get amoment.
i Hope yours is a pEaceful CHRistmas.
It has also been reported that XL Recordings will issue three vinyls of remixes (including the above) from Yorke's solo album The Eraser in the UK. The first 12-inch is due January 21 and includes "And It Rained All Night (Burial Remix)," "Skip Divided (Modeselektor Remix)," and "Analyse (Various Remix)"; the second is due January 28, featuring “Atoms for Peace (Four Tet Remix)," "Black Swan (Christian Vogel Remix 1)," and "Black Swan (Christian Vogel Remix 2)"; and since we've gone this far, the final 12-inch is due February 4 and includes "Harrowdown Hill (The Bug Remix)," "The Clock (Surgeon Remix)," and "Cymbal Rush (The Field Remix)."
And for those wondering, Thom's secret message through CAPS amounts to: TYRTITELYUATIYERA BURIALNMSKORDVASNLYDFVRA MSPECVBWADSRGECL HOWHLLTHEGCRUTFIEGICEHCHR
Maybe you watched a lot of Ghostwriter or played a lot of Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? growing up and can crack this code, but I'm fucking stumped. All I can make out is something about "trying to tell you I... Burial score divas... MySpace... how the hell... chair." First person to send me the content of the message gets my love and affection.
Nothing says holiday cheer like a severed, snarling deer head, which is why The New Pornographers chose such an image to grace the cover of their new Christmas EP, The Spirit of Giving, available now on iTunes.
The three-song EP kicks off with the Dan Bejar-helmed Challengers track, "The Spirit of Giving." In typical Bejar fashion, the lyrics are cryptic and only hint at any Christmasyness. And besides the title, the only overtly seasonal line is "Overcome with the holiday spirit/ Mark says the herald angels won't hear it."
Next up is the unreleased "Joseph, Who Understood," which opens with the great line, "Rumors are flyin' all over Galilee these days/ And Mary I'm tryin' to be cool." An A.C. Newman and Neko Case duet, the second song tells the story of the Immaculate Conception from Joseph's point of view. As the story goes, Joseph does turn out to be cool about the whole thing, but The New Pornographers have him telling his mysteriously pregnant bride, "You're asking me to believe too many things."
The final track is actually two cover songs, "Arms of Mary" by Iain Sutherland of The Sutherland Brothers and "Looking At A Baby" by The Collectors. As "Arms of Mary" gives way to "Looking At A Baby," the Pornos crank it up into one of their soaring closings à la "The Bleeding Heart Show." But without Case echoing A.C.'s lines during the climax, it's not nearly as powerful.
All in all, The Spirit of Giving is far from a Christmas miracle, but it's better than a lump of coal.
And there you go, readers. A review embedded in a news story.
I like to picture Lucifer as a hybrid of Charles Nelson Reilly and Ann Coulter ruling over a sticky, wet-hot Floridian summer, constantly holding a frothy chocolate milkshake just beyond arm's length. The soundtrack is Saliva's 2001 album, Every Six Seconds. Vocally, the Devil is likely stuck between the cadence and intonation of Gilbert Gottfried and Fran Drescher, so when the Dark Lord called out to his soldiers in the brooding electro-pop twosome Underworld, they wisely obeyed. Initially, we were told that the group would be postponing their European tour in support of this year's Oblivion With Bells (TMT Review) due to "severe illness" within the band, just months after band member Rick Smith was injured by 30 anarchists armed with baseball bats and tear gas during a festival set by The Beastie Boys. I say, Satan's minions come in all forms.
As a result, the band's tourdates spanning Germany, The Netherlands, and Belgium throughout October and November were canceled to allow time to "heal." Sure, dudes. But can you really blame them? If anyone wields enough power to get a tour canceled, it's the Big Bad Guy. But being the loyal servants they are, Underworld completed whatever dark tasks they were assigned and are back to treating their own faithful across the Atlantic. Don't forget to sacrifice that virgin blood or they might not show.
I Know Literally Nothing About Exploding Star Orchestra But: They Are Touring And The Two Songs On Their MySpace Are Excellent
Sorry about this one guys. I really got nothing here. I’ve never heard of this band. I picked the news item from a list because I like their name. I’m not trying to be cute about my own laziness to write a story like how Joe B. or Scout Leader Kyle would, I genuinely can’t find much about them on the internet (they don’t even have a Wikipedia page!). Now it might seem like I’m stooping to insulting my fellow writers out of desperation, but the truth is that cranking out stories is fine for them. Joe lives in Boston, where nothing fun ever happens. And as for Kyle, I also wrote a lot of silly stories before I got pubes. Keep that imagination going, kid.
If you are a person who’s into any kind of thing, you should check out the two songs, “Stingray Part 2” and “Cosmic Tomes Part 2,” that are up on Exploding Star Orchestra’s MySpace. Apparently, they’re from an album these guys released in January called We Are All from Somewhere Else. The album consists of three parts that form a story, and the liner notes feature an impressive cast from the Chicago post-rock scene. Early next year, Thrill Jockey will be releasing Bill Dixon with Exploding Star Orchestra, an album featuring, uh... Bill Dixon with Exploding Star Orchestra.
Hey look! I do know something about them. I guess my headline contains a gross misuse of the word “literally.” Sorry, David Cross. Sorry, English.
Exploding Star Orchestra tourdates:
[Editor's note: Exploding Star Orchestra is an ensemble created by jazz musician Rob Mazurek (Tigersmilk, Isotope 217, Chicago Underground, Mandarin Movie). Bill Dixon is a trumpeter who co-founded the Jazz Composers Guild. Thanks for trying, Nat.]
Yo La Tengo han sido magnifico siempre y continuarán a ser en el futuro, no importa que ellos ponen en circulacion. En preparando para este cuento, yo escuchaba a sus octavo disco I can hear the heart beating as one lo cual he olvidado es tan bueno.
Se recomendo que lo escuchen si no lo eschuchan ya. Pero no van hacerlo, Â¿no? Porque en general, Americanos no se hablan el Español, entonces, ustedes no comprenden ninguno de esto. Bueno, de todas maneras, Yo La Tengo van a ser en gira pronto.
Debajo son los fechas:
"Lo siento, no hablo español." Ahhhhh.
For the purely monolingual, here's something you can understand: Yo La Tengo have consistently been one of the most amazing husband-and-wife-based indie-rock bands since 1984, and yes, I say that keeping Viva Voce (which is Italian, not Spanish) well in mind. Fact is, the very name Yo La Tengo was inspired by baseball, and baseball embodies all that is the honest essence of America: junk food, drunk fat guys, and sports. Right?
So for those of you who missed the annual Yo La Tengo Hanukkah revelry, you best be prepared for another Freewheeling Yo La Tengo Tour.
"A little bit ‘Storytellers,’ a little bit ‘Unplugged’... it will feature the band playing an almost-acoustic set of songs from their entire catalog, with stories about their life as a band, and an encouraged back-and-forth with the audience," or so a good source says.
It all begins January 9 in a city near or, in my case, far from you. All dates with Kurt Wagner:
The Mars Volta Tour; Call For Tickets in the Next Five Minutes And We’ll Double The Length of Your Solos!
I get songs stuck in my head all the time. Most of the time I don't even know the words, and I just end up mumbling along, probably sounding somewhat like Helen Keller in the middle of a giant tsunami. I concede that this is, in some respects, bad. But a major advantage of never truly knowing the words to a song is that I can mumble my way through just about any song, regardless of language.
Dungen - "Panda":
Vie yun batyn looooooon
langyun botyn heemmmm
shaneeen mi et om meeee
fo ault et cheen mae siiiiiner
P-Model - "ArtMania":
Oomp a da ya gutcha
atakya baka toyya
yomo kama tooma
The Mars Volta - "L'Via L'Viaquez":
L'via! Y commin my en da!
Twa peyido si cambo!
L'via! Si noco mi ensqure dar!
Una histerea di sime madre!
Sorry, I got carried away there. What was I getting at? Oh, yeah, The Mars Volta are touring next month to support their upcoming release The Bedroom of Goliath, which they promise will be "a thematically linked hole into which no self-indulgence will escape."
The album is actually called The Bedlam in Goliath, they didn't say that, and here are the dates:
Columbia Records Lays Off MORE People; Columbia to TMT: “Don’t Worry, Everything’s Fine. I Wouldn’t Even Even Waste Time Writing About This if I Were You”
This just in, planet Earth: the record industry is not doing too well these days.
Case in point: Columbia has undergone another round of layoffs, according to inside sources. (And I'm sure that those "inside sources" were then promptly laid off.)
On the chopping block this week? Several poor, formerly rich suckers in the publicity, promotion, and marketing departments, including Vice President of Marketing Stephanie Gayle and Head of Video Promotion Gary Fisher. And while it seems kind of embarrassing to have their names put in print like this, at least they're making headlines, right?
But don't worry. They won't be the only unemployable bastards hopelessly posting their doomed resumes on Monster.com come Monday. joining good ol' Gary and Steph in the "oh why oh why did I go to that Junior College for Music Business?!?" camp are publicists Maggie Wang and Tom Muzquiz, who have also been let go, according to those same, pesky inside sources. I know, I know: we all KNEW that Maggie Wang had it coming, but I can't believe my boy T-bone Muzquiz got the ax, can you? But don't worry, Columbia's "online department" emerged unscathed. Because, after all, someone's got to maintain the Slayer and WWE RAW's Greatest Hits links on their website.
Oh boy. Anyway, the recent round of cuts follows last week's departures by piddly little title-holders like "Senior VP of Urban and Rhythmic Promotion" (sounds made up to me too) CeCe McClendon and "Executive VP and Chief Business and Legal Affairs Officer of Sony BMG Music Entertainment" Ron Wilcox. Wait a minute! WilCOX? WANG?? I see what's going on here! Very funny, Columbia; you almost had us going here for a minute!
Oh, and incidentally, if you work for Columbia and you happen to be reading this right now, they told me to tell you that you're fired...
Kentucky, home to most of the world’s bourbon, is also home to loads of DIY experimental musicians. And in the spirit of responsible journalism, I will relate to you the entirety of my own Kentucky experience:
1. Summer of 2003. I’m perusing garage sales in my neighborhood and come across a massive vinyl Kentucky state flag. The woman selling it tells me how she ‘used to be all into Kentucky’ but now finds the Bluegrass state repellent for an unnamed reason. (Bonus: my lawn is covered with Kentucky Bluegrass.) I buy the flag for 10 cents and leave wondering what ‘being all into Kentucky’ entails. Though the flag was absconded with after a long and fruitful stint on my front porch, now, thanks to the miracle of Wikipedia, you too can be ‘all into Kentucky.’ Click Here for Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Kentucky.
2. A Red Roof Inn in Frankfort, KY on the way to Biloxi, MS. After sneaking a car load of people into a room for two, the hotel ultimately gets the upper hand as what looked to be a night of restful sleep turns to an evening of furtive glances out the first-floor window, as menacing silhouettes transact predawn business ‘til sunrise. Also, cigarette burns in the sheets. (Bonus: I buy Elvis’ The Sun Sessions (TMT Review) in New Orleans, which features "Blue Moon of Kentucky." The 26-hour drive home flies by.)
3. Kentucky Tavern -- a fine spirit and tremendous bargain. Recommended.
4. Locale of a blog I’ve heard of but never read (My Old Kentucky Blog), and a blog I used to check up on (You Aint No Picasso).
That said, Three Legged Race and Caboladies, Mountaain labelmates, are leaving the fair state of Kentucky to play, with any luck, for you. Note, Three Legged Race is Robert Beatty of Hair Police/sometimes Burning Star Core/Eyes and Arms of Smoke fame. And while he’s on tour now, Hair Police are, according to their website, “working on booking a tour for March of 2008. More details soon.”
# Clifton Keller, Wes Meek
% Wzt Hearts, Michael Johnsen, Tusk Lord
$ Pengo, Harvest City Black
^ Barkhausen, Video screening by Takeshi Murata
* Flaherty/Moore/Corsano/Nace/Hartford, Emeralds, Sam Goldberg, Krefting/Shaw Duo
( Keith Fullerton Whitman, Ernst Karel, Astronaut
& Emeralds, Sam Goldberg
) Zaimph, Mudboy
@ Wzt Hearts, DJ Dog Dick
! Spiral Joy Band