Google Assembles 90+ Orchestra Through YouTube Auditions

It was inevitable really. Google has appointed the first-ever YouTube orchestra, with over 90 musicians being selected based on video auditions uploaded to the video-sharing website. Over 3,000 people submitted applications, with selections based on online votes and the opinions of classical specialists from renowned orchestras. The winning contestants, representing nearly 30 countries, will come together April 12 in New York City to take master classes from a variety of music experts. They will then perform at the Carnegie Hall on April 15 under the tutelage of Michael Tilson Thomas.

In many ways, this is merely the next step from the likes of American Idol and The X-Factor in the U.K. Classical music has always had a higher barrier to entry, mainly because of the sophistication required to play a cello, violin, trumpet, etc. But Calvin Lee, one of the lucky few to be selected for the YouTube orchestra, admitted that he had “barely played his violin for the last 15 years.” This is compared with the months of preparation typical classical music auditions entail.

The winners are clearly adept at their instruments and undoubtedly have much more talent than the Kelly Clarksons and Leona Lewises of this world. But when you have Timothy Lee, Google’s product marketing manager (ah, now we understand), arguing that "classical music is hungry for innovation,” is this really what we should be expecting? Music has become so dull for us we need big corporate marketing gimmicks to reinvigorate our interest? That’s not innovation! That’s making a quick buck!

San Franciscoites Unite! Papercuts And Vetiver Team Up For Tour

Several things popped into my head while writing this news story:

- Is San Franciscoites even a real word? San Franciscoeons? San Franeons?
- Vetiver are finally touring North America in support of their latest album, Tight Knit (TMT Review), out now on Sub Pop.
- What’s the deal with Papercuts? Do they have a new album or somethi—oh snap, they do. You Can Have What You Want will be released April 14 via Gnomonsong.

Papercuts' You Can Have What You Want tracklisting:

1. Once We Walked In The Sunlight
2. A Dictator's Lament
3. The Machine Will Tell Us So
4. A Peculiar Hallelujah
5. Jet Plane
6. Dead Love
7. Future Primitive
8. You Can Have What You Want
9. The Void
10. The Wolf

San Franciscoites In Your City:
04.24.09 - San Francisco, CA - Cafe Du Nord *
05.02.09 - Arlington, VA - Lota #
05.03.09 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom #
05.04.09 - Petersborough, NH - Glass Museum #
05.05.09 - Winooski, VT - Monkey House #
05.06.09 - Allston, MA - Harper's Ferry #
05.07.09 - Brooklyn, NY - The Bell House #
05.10.09 - Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop #
05.11.09 - Athens, OH - Union Bar and Grill #
05.12.09 - Chicago, IL - AV-aerie #
05.13.09 - Pontiac, MI - The Pike Room at The Crofoot #
05.14.09 - London, ON - Call The Office #
05.15.09 - Toronto, ON - Horseshoe Tavern #
05.16.09 - Buffalo, NY - Big Orbit's Soundlab #
05.17.09 - Pittsfield, MA - Copperworks #

* Cryptacize, The Finches

# Vetiver


Damien Jurado Begins Tour April 1; Don’t Be A Fool, It Ain’t No Joke

Surprise! Damien Jurado's tour starts on April 1, the day for pranks, hoaxes, and shenanigans. But this is no joke. The Seattle-based indie folk rocker will be promoting his latest album, Caught In Trees (TMT Review), released on the Secretly Canadian label. With a solo career that's lasted more than a decade, Jurado's willingness to experiment with recording techniques and his intense, Raymond Carver-like lyrics have kept him on a veritable Who's Who list of indie rockers.

Check out the still frame to his "Caskets" video here. This guy's serious, even in suspenders. Damn, Damien!

Tourdates:
04.01.09 - Spokane, WA - Empyrean Coffee House
04.03.09 - Boise, ID - Neurolux*
04.04.09 - Provo, UT - Velour*
04.05.09 - Denver, CO - Hi-Dive*
04.07.09 - Omaha, NE - The Waiting Room*
04.08.09 - Iowa City, IA - The Picador*
04.09.09 - St. Paul, MN - Turf Club*
04.10.09 - Chicago, IL - Schubas*
04.11.09 - Bloomington, IN - Russian Recording*
04.12.09 - Ann Arbor, MI - The Blind Pig*
04.14.09 - Toronto, ON - The Drake Hotel*
04.15.09 - Montreal, QC - Il Motore*
04.16.09 - Cambridge, MA - TT The Bear's Place*
04.17.09 - Brooklyn, NY - The Bell House*
04.18.09 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Chapel*
04.19.09 - Vienna, VA - Jammin' Java*
04.21.09 - Asheville, NC - Grey Eagle*
04.22.09 - Birmingham, AL - The Bottletree*
04.23.09 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl*
04.24.09 - Memphis, TN - Hi-Tone Cafe*
04.25.09 - Nashville, TN - The Basement*
04.27.09 - Norman, OK - The Opolis*
04.28.09 - Denton, TX - Dan's Silverleaf*
04.29.09 - Austin, TX - Cactus Cafe*
05.01.09 - Tucson, AZ - Club Congress*
05.02.09 - San Diego, CA - Casbah*
05.03.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Spaceland*
05.04.09 - Santa Barbara, CA - Muddy Waters*
05.05.09 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill*
05.07.09 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge*
05.08.09 - Seattle, WA - Crocodile Cafe*

* Laura Gibson

Grab Your Doobies and Twist Your Baseball Caps Backwards – Cypress Hill Are Back!

Upon hearing that early-’90s THC-laced hip-hop quartet Cypress Hill are coming back with their first new album in five years, I took a mad bong rip. How else can a person possibly celebrate such news? I asked my dealer, Little Mike (he's actually quite large), and he started telling me how he saw them live once in ’98 on their IV tour, "...and there was this, like, giant inflatable raft man. No, it was a monkey, man, but inflatable, and sitting on a large, like, golden throne, man. Haha, it was totally, like real gold, too. And the monkey was smoking this phat joint, man! It was awesome! And they had a big gong on stage that they hit sometimes."

The new album is slated to be released this fall on Suburban Noize Records. It hasn't been named yet, presumably because they keep forgetting the title they had settled on the previous night.

Fleet Foxes Can’t Stop Touring, Or People Might Stop Talking About Them

Ah, the sophomore year of the buzz band! Why, I remember waaaay back in aught eight, back during the days of the Bush Administration and all of its economic prosperity, when the world was first introduced to the young, fresh, clean-cut, short-haired stylings Fleet Foxes. Yes sir, those were the salad days for frontman Robin Pecknold and his proud folk-rock combo, taking the public by storm with the stirring one-two punch of the Sun Giant EP and its interrelated Fleet Foxes (TMT Review) LP last spring. All glory was theirs in the ensuing summer (and fall and winter) of love, their cups overflowing with festival dates, media coverage, women, and year-end-list-mania. Mark my words: 2008 was the year of Fleet Foxes!

But now its 2009. The honeymoon is over, and Robin’s rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle has aged severely, causing many to look away. Hard times have hit the U.S. and world economies, and what are Fleet Foxes doing with themselves now, you ask? Why, they’re playing a handful of spring dates around the west coast of the U.S., just like how your band is. Ain’t that showbiz for you? Oh well; I wonder when that Pains of Being Pure at Heart band is coming to town?

“Handful of dates” Tour 2K9:
04.12.09 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom
04.13.09 - Arcata, CA - Arcata Community Center
04.14.09 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore
04.15.09 - San Francisco, CA - Palace of Fine Arts Theatre
04.16.09 - Santa Cruz, CA - Rio Theatre
04.18.09 - Indio, CA - Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
04.21.09 - Oakland, CA - Fox Theater
05.25.09 - George, WA - Sasquatch Music Festival

Remaining Beatles Reunite for David Lynch’s New Age Benefit; Rumors Finally Squelched Regarding What Paul McCartney Sounds Like Backwards

On April 4, at the Radio City Music Hall, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr -- former members of obscure pop group, The Beatles -- will be reuniting for the first time since 2002 for David Lynch's "Change Begins Within" concert, which benefits his foundation for "Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace."

David Lynch, presumed ghostwriter for such sites as timecube.com as well as numerous Dr. Bronner's soap bottles, has also started his own foundation based on Sting's body movements and transcendental meditation. Turns out David Lynch doesn't only enjoy midget dream sequences, hate the iPhone, make really bizarre commercials full of floating blue lips, but is also a leading promoter of transcendental meditation being taught in elementary schools.

The show also features performances by Donovan, Eddie Vedder, Moby, Sheryl Crow, Ben Harper, Bettye LaVette, Paul Horn, and My Morning Jacket's Jim James. My only hope is that Donovan and Sheryl Crow dress up as John and George and get into a fist fight/make-out session with Paul and Ringo while David Lynch's oversized head hovers 10-feet above the stage, green and holographic, singing "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" to itself in reverse while Moby and Eddie Vedder waltz across the stage complementing each other profusely. Then Bettye LaVette will crawl on stage, smell a bottle of perfume, scream, laugh, cry, and fully climax, before she flies off, stage right, at which point Ben Harper wakes up in a cold sweat, relieved it was all just a dream. "Or was it?" he asks himself as he looks around to find that Paul Horn and Jim James are lying next to him, scandalously, in his California King.

Come on. It's entirely possible that this could happen, and you know it.

J Dilla’s Work Subjected To Posthumous Collection, Features Tracks By Artists He Made Sick Beats For

Honestly, I really can’t stand nine-out-of-ten tribute albums. Most of them feel less like a genuine tribute and much more like a chance to cash in on the loss of a talented artist. But for those of you unfamiliar with the production work of Jay Dee -- who passed away in 2006 -- Dillanthology, Volume 1 might be a neat collection to check out.

The album will feature some of J Dilla’s finer production with musicians such as Common, Erykah Badu, and De La Soul to name a few. It will be the first of several marketed as “a tribute to his memory and spirit.” Meanwhile, future volumes will include Dilla’s remix work and production on his own musical efforts.

Dillanthology, Volume 1 will hit shelves March 31, thanks to Rapster. However, for a more fitting tribute to the late master, please check out Madlib's Beat Konducta Vol. 5-6.

Telepathe Dance Their Way into Our Hearts with North American Tour in Support of Debut LP

Sometimes a band comes along with a sound that just bowls you over and you think, "Wow, I wish I would've thought of that. I can't believe no one did before! This is -- groundbreaking, sort of." And then sometimes the band members have better haircuts than you and are more nonchalantly "cool." Perhaps right now, that band is Telepathe. Busy Gangnes and Melissa Livaudais, the Brooklyn duo behind the music, are releasing their electro/hip-hop/post-punk/dance debut full-length Dance Mother (TMT Review) on IAMSOUND on April 14 (it's already been released in the UK via V2). The album features guest appearances from TV on the Radio's Kyp Malone and !!!'s Shannon Funchess and was produced by Dave Sitek (TV on the Radio).

To celebrate, Telepathe is taking it to the streets and joining up with The Faint and Ladytron for their upcoming spring tour. They're also playing more than a few SXSW showcases

03.18.09 - Austin, TX - Mrs. Beas*
03.19.09 - Austin, TX - Malverde**
03.19.09 - Austin, TX - Red 7***
03.20.09 - Austin, TX - Waterloo Records
03.21.09 - Austin, TX - Urban Outfitters****
04.01.09 - Milwaukee, WI - Turner Hall*****
04.02.09 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue*****
04.03.09 - Chicago, IL - Metro*****
04.04.09 - Chicago, IL - Metro*****
04.06.09 - Toronto, ON - Phoenix Theatre*****
04.07.09 - Montreal, QC - Theatre Telus*****
04.08.09 - Boston, MA - House of Blues*****
04.10.09 - New York, NY - Webster Hall*****
04.11.09 - New York, NY - Webster Hall*****
04.13.09 - Philadelphia, PA - The Trocadero*****
04.14.09 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club*****
04.15.09 - New York, NY - The Annex

* NY Noise Party

** IAMSOUND/'Sup Magazine & This Is Music day party with Little Boots, Suckers, The Mae Shi, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Micachu & The Shapes, Glasser, and a Sebastien Grainger DJ set

*** Other Music/Heeb Party with Chairlift, Harlem Snakes, Suckers, Nite Jewel, andCrystal Stilts

**** Lemonade, The Chap, Rye Rye, Max Tundra and School of Seven Bells

***** Ladytron and The Faint

Elvis Perkins, With New Tourdates and An Upcoming Release, Will Also Help Dress You

Among the list of notable musicians with the first name Elvis, we have Presley, Costello... and now, Perkins. With his debut release, 2007's Ash Wednesday, Elvis Perkins shared with his listeners a certain contemplative melancholy (his lyrics emoting the tragedy of losing both his parents). After touring with a trio of bandmates -- Brigham Brough, Wyndham Boylan-Garnett, and Nick Kinsey -- Perkins started recording with the group in 2008. Now, ready with a new release on XL Recordings, Elvis Perkins In Dearland comes to us today (March 10), and the tour is going on strong now and ending, triumphantly, at Bonnaroo. According to the Beggars Group website, Elvis describes the album as "faster and younger than Ash Wednesday."

Elvis Perkins is also the newest musician to contribute to Yellow Bird Project, a philanthropic organization that links musicians to charitable groups by way of t-shirt design. Check out Elvis' tee here. Not only will the guy share his feelings, but he'll also offer a pretty sweet addition to your t-shirt collection!

Elvis Perkins In Dearland tracklist:

1. Shampoo
2. Hey
3. Hours Last Stand
4. I Heard Your Voice In Dresden
5. Send My Fond Regards To Lonelyville
6. I'll Be Arriving
7. Chains, Chains, Chains
8. Doomsday
9. 123 Goodbye
10. How's Forever Been Baby

Tourdates:
03.11.09 - San Francisco, CA - Amoeba Records #
03.11.09 - San Francisco, CA - Café du Nord *
03.12.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour *
03.15.09 - San Diego, CA - M-Theory #
03.16.09 - Tucson, AZ - Club Congress %
03.19.09 - Austin TX - Auditorium Shores Stage @
03.19.09 - Austin TX - Central Presbyterian Church
03.25.09 - New York - Bowery Ballroom

Mid-tour European romp:
04.02.09 - Paris, FR - La Maroquinerie
04.03.09 - Amsterdam, NL - Paradiso
04.04.09 - Brussels, BE - AB Club
04.06.09 - London, UK - ICA
04.07.09 - Madridc ES - Sala Sol

Back in the states and Canada:
04.22.09 - Cambridge, MA - Brattle Theatre
04.23.09 - Northampton, MA - Iron Horse Music Hall
04.24.09 - Providence, RI - Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel ^
04.25.09 - Burlington, VT - Higher Ground
04.27.09 - Il Motore, Montreal QC
04.29.09 - Toronto, ONT - Horseshoe Tavern
04.30.09 - Chicago, IL - Schubas Tavern
05.01.09 - Madison, WI - Memorial Union Terrace
05.02.09 - Minneapolis, MN - 400 Bar
05.03.09 - Davenport, IA - The Redstone Room
05.05.09 - Lawrence, KS - Jackpot Music Hall
05.06.09 - Omaha, NE - The Waiting Room
05.08.09 - Denver, CO - Hi-Dive
05.09.09 - Boulder, CO - B Side Lounge
05.11.09 - Austin, TX - The Parish
05.12.09 - Dallas, TX - Pontiac Garage at HOB
05.13.09 - Houston, TX - Walters on Washington
05.14.09 - Hattiesburg, MS - Thirsty Hippo
05.15.09 - Birmingham, AL - Bottletree
05.19.09 - Arlington, VA - IOTA Club & Cafe
05.20.09 - Brooklyn, NY - Bell House
06.11.09 - Manchester, TN - 2009 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival

% Delta Spirit

@ M. Ward and Cold War Kids (SXSW Concert Series)

^ Deer Tick

Full of Tears, Longing, and Billie Holiday, Antony and The Johnsons Expand Tour

Antony, the most haunting and second most famous post-sexual cabaret singer in the world, has expanded his tour with The Johnsons for their most recent release The Crying Light (TMT Review) out on Rough Trade. This information won't matter to you in the slightest unless you live in Europe, though, because that's where the tour's been expanded to. If you do live in Europe, then this tour should be the only thing that really matters to you, if Europe is anything like I think it is.

Tourdates:
03.15.09 - Bergen, Norway - Griedhallen
03.17.09 - Oslo, Norway - Sentrum Scene
03.19.09 - Stockholm, Sweden - Cirkus
03.21.09 - Helsinki, Finland - House of Culture
03.26.09 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Falkoner
03.28.09 - Ancona, Italy - Teatore delle Muse
03.29.09 - Rome, Italy - Auditorium il parco della Musica
03.31.09 - Prato, Italy - Teatro Politearna Pratese
04.01.09 - Milan, Italy - Sala Verdi Conservatorio
04.04.09 - Zurich, Switzerland - Kongresshaus
04.06.09 - Strasbourg, France - La Laiterie
04.09.09 - Paris, France - Le Grand Rex
04.13.09 - Brussels, Belgium - Bozar
04.15.09 - Barcelona, Spain - Palau de la Musica
04.23.09 - Munich, Germany - Postpalast
04.24.09 - Berlin, Germany - Admiralpalast
04.27.09 - Frankfuhrt, Germany - Alte Oper
04.29.09 - Warsaw, Poland - National Theatre
05.01.09 - Krems, Austria - Donaufesival
05.03.09 - Eindhoven, Netherlands - MC FritsPhilips
05.05.09 - San Sebastian, Spain - Kursaal Auditorium
05.07.09 - Murcia, Spain - Auditorio de Murcia
05.11.09 - Madrid, Spain - Palacio de Congresos
05.14.09 - Lisbon, Portugal - Coliseum
05.16.09 - Braga, Portugal - Teatro Circo
05.18.09 - Porto, Portugal - Coliseum
05.21.09 - Brighton, UK - Brighton Dome Concert Hall
05.22.09 - Brimingham, UK - Symphony Hall
05.24.09 - Bristol UK - Colston Hall
05.27.09 - London, UK - Hammersmith Apollo
05.29.09 - Gateshead, UK - The Sage
05.31.09 - Dublin, Ireland - Vicar St
06.01.09 - Belfast, UK - Waterfront
06.04.09 - Edinburgh, UK @ Playhouse

  

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