Travels Return with a Sweetheart of an Album, Despite Pat Benatar Warning That “Love Is a Battlefield”

It doesn’t take a degree in Obamanomics (didn’t take long, did it?) to realize that we could potentially be in store for a new era rife with personal freedom and consideration. A more caring would would be wonderful, wouldn't it? Unfortunately, it’s hard to be optimistic for a liberating life in a “nice” place. In fact, it would probably take a mandate to reanimate the corpse of Mr. Rogers just to guilt everyone into showing an ounce of respect to their fellow beings. Oh well, maybe you just gotta take niceties when they are offered, like when the duo of Mona Elliott and Anar Badalov, a.k.a. Travels, will self-issue their latest album called The Hot Summer.

Hackily described on this very website by this very same hack as "a safe house in a world of confusion," the debut Travels disc caught many unaware with its unassuming, fragile beauty. This time around, Travels give us more tender tracks, a few curveballs, and a variation of one of their previously recorded songs: “Olivia Hurt.” If you couldn’t feel enough of the love, here is a mellooooow cover version of [“My Funny Valentine,”->
http://www.bradleysalmanac.com/songs/misc/Travels-MyFunnyValentine.mp3] recorded by the duo to celebrate the release of “The Hot Summer” on Valentine’s Day (that’s February 14, for you unattached apathetics). Ah, the things some do for love. I’m as romantic as the next person, and I have as healthy a relationship with my right hand as other well-adjusteds have with actual, separate human beings, but I never felt the need to perform a duet with my “Mighty Righty.” Call me an olde-fashioned romantic...

Hit me with your best shots:

1. The Forgotten
2. Favorite People
3. Olivia Hurt
4. Happiness (you woke up)
5. Buzzards Bay
6. Severed
7. Dogs
8. Fairy Tales
9. Animal
10. A New Year

Travels abroad (but really at home):
02.14.09 - Somerville, MA - PA’s Lounge #
02.20.09 - Baltimore, MD - Talking Head Club $

# Animal Hospital, Arms & Sleepers, Mary Page

$ Mr. Moccasin, Ari Schenck, The Owls Go

From the BBC:

Buena Vista Social Club founding member Orlando "Cachaito" Lopez has died in Cuba aged 76.

The double bass player died in a Havana hospital from complications after having prostate surgery.

Lopez became a worldwide sensation as part of the group of elderly musicians who were living quietly in Cuba before being brought together in 1996.

He was considered to be Buena Vista's "heartbeat" in the band's mix of traditional Cuban rhythms.

- Orlando López MySpace
- Orlando López Wikipedia entry

Death Cab for Cutie Speak Out Against Auto-Tune, Accidentally Raise Male Breast Cancer Awareness

While Twitter kept you informed about the Grammy Awards against your will, you probably didn't see Death Cab for Cutie sauntering around wearing light-blue ribbons. The cause: an anti-Auto-Tune campaign.

The digital manipulation of people's voices is affecting thousands of singers, Ben Gibbard told MSN UK, "So we just want to raise awareness while we're here and try to bring back the blue note... The note that's not so perfectly in pitch and just gives the recording some soul and some kind of real character."

It was only a matter of time before some sort of Auto-Tune backlash emerged. Let's look at its pros and cons:

Pros:
- Makes people "sound good"
- Can be used as an instrument
- Ribbons bring out your eyes

Cons:
- Not what "real people" sound like
- Nation looks to American Idol for talent
- Sounding like T-Pain

No word yet on the 5K run against Auto-Tune

03.07.09 - Miami, FL - Langerado Festival
04.07.09 - Upper Darby, PA - Tower Theatre #!
04.08.09 - Washington, DC - DAR Constitution Hall #!
04.09.09 - Davidson, NC - John Belk Arena/Davidson College #!
04.10.09 - Louisville, KY - Louisville Palace #!
04.11.09 - Memphis, TN - Orpheum Theatre #!
04.12.09 - Tulsa, OK - The Brady Theater #!
04.13.09 - Omaha, NE - Holland Theatre #!
04.15.09 - St. Paul, MN - Roy Wilkings Auditorium #
04.17.09 - Chicago, IL - Aragon Ballroom #!
04.18.09 - East Lansing, MI - Breslin Events Center/Michigan State University #
04.19.09 - Waukesha, WI - Van Male Fieldhouse/Carroll College #!
04.24.09 - Spokane, WA - McCarthey Athletic Center/Gonzaga University #!
04.25.09 - Boise, ID - The Morrison Center #!
04.27.09 - Sacramento, CA - Memorial Auditorium #!
04.29.09 - San Diego, CA - RIMAC Arena/UC San Diego #!
05.01.09 - Austin, TX - Austin Music Hall #$
05.02.09 - New Orleans, LA - Contemporary Arts Center #$
05.04.09 - Nashville, TN - Ryman Auditorium #$
05.05.09 - Birmingham, AL - BJCC Concert Hall #$
05.06.09 - Atlanta, GA - Fox Theatre #$

# Ra Ra Riot

! Cold War Kids

$ Matt Costa

Earth to Tour Selected Parts of Actual Earth (Namely Europe)

Legendary drone band Earth, better known to you as both the band that destroyed most of your inner ear during freshman year of college and the band that released its well-received seventh album The Bees Made Honey in the Lion's Skull (TMT Review/TMT Feature) last year, is packing up the Sunn amps and heading to Europe this spring. In addition to promoting last year's album and split LP with experimental guitarist and Sun City Girls member Richard Bishop, the band will be spreading awareness about Wikipedia's terrible disctinction between its pages for Earth (the band) and Manfred Mann's Earth Band

03.26.09 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Paradiso
03.27.09 - Leuven, Belgium - Stuk
03.28.09 - Nantes, France - L'olympic
03.29.09 - Poitiers, France - Le Confort Moderne
03.30.09 - Bilbao, Spain - El Balcon De La Lola
03.31.09 - Porto, Portugal - Passos Manuel
04.01.09 - Madrid, Spain - Caracol
04.02.09 - Barcelona, Spain - La[2]
04.03.09 - Lyon, France - L'epicerie
04.04.09 - Paris, France - Glaz'art Moderne
04.05.09 - Kortrijk, Belgium - Sonic City Festival
04.06.09 - Hamburg, Germany - Molotow Club
04.08.09 - Oslo, Norway - Inferno Festival
04.09.09 - Stockholm, Sweden - Strand
04.11.09 - Berlin, Germany - Prater
04.12.09 - Leipzig, Germany - Ut Connewitz
04.13.09 - Munich, Germany - Feierwerk
04.14.09 - Stuttgart, Germany - Club Schocken
04.15.09 - Koln, Germany - Gebaeude9
04.16.09 - Brighton, UK - St Andrews Church
04.17.09 - Birmingham, UK - Hare and Mound
04.18.09 - Manchester, UK - Islington Mill
04.19.09 - Glasgow, Scotland - Stereo
04.21.09 - Dublin, Ireland - Whelans
04.22.09 - Leeds, UK - Brudenell Social Club
04.23.09 - Bristol, UK - The Croft
04.24.09 - London, UK - The Borderline
04.25.09 - Tilburg, Net - Roadburn Festival

Ratatat Tour North America; If Ratatat Isn’t Your Cup Of Tea, This Article Also Talks About Animal Collective!

Ratatat seem pretty cool to me; their signature guitar-electro sound evoke ecstatic feelings that tingle throughout my body. That is why I recently slapped on LP3 (TMT Review) and proceeded to do a “happy dance,” which was not a pretty site but certainly worth it for the band. Then I realized the band would not be touring anywhere near me, so I began to sulk. But I suppose that is another story for another time... Anyway, according to The Beggars Group, Ratatat will take their show to the masses this March and April, which must be exciting for those of you who can actually attend.

One thing that has always made Ratatat that “extra” kind of special are their mixes, where they remake rap songs to fit their own personal aesthetic (Ratatat, if you are reading this, please send us a sign that Volume 3 is in the works). However, it looks like another pretty popular act, Animal Collective (TMT Review) have stepped up to give Ratatat the remix treatment, turning the track "Mirando" into a 10-minute techno ear-orgy. The track has been available since February 3, so if you haven’t scooped it up yet, get over to your iTunes store and get downloading!

Ratatat tourdates:
03.21.09 - Cincinnati OH - Bogart
03.22.09 - Pontiac MI - The Crofoot
03.23.09 - Chicago IL - Metro
03.24.09 - Columbia MO - Blue Note
03.25.09 - Omaha NE - Slowdown
03.27.09 - Aspen CO - Aspen Gondola Plaza
03.28.09 - Boise ID - Knitting Factory Boise
03.29.09 - Seattle WA - Showbox SoDo
03.30.09 - Portland OR - Crystal Ballroom
04.01.09 - San Francisco CA - The Fillmore
04.02.09 - San Francisco CA - The Fillmore
04.04.09 - Los Angeles CA - Hollywood Palladium
04.08.09 - Houston, TX - Meridian
04.16.09 - Washington, DC - 930 Club
04.20.09 - Boston, MA - House of Blues
04.21.09 - New York, NY - Terminal 5

Live Nation and Ticketmaster Announce $2.5 Billion Merger Deal

By the second half of 2009, Live Nation (LYV) and Ticketmaster (TKTM) hope to merge into one giant entity called Live Nation Entertainment, "the world's premier live entertainment company." The deal would be a tax-free, all stock merger, totaling roughly $2.5 billion. According to the official press release, Live Nation Entertainment hopes to:

- Improve Access and Transparency
- Improve Ticket Pricing Options
- Invest in Better Ticketing Technology
- Increase Event Attendance

Sounds pretty good right? WRONG. If the merger goes through, don't be too surprised if you have to start fighting with your concert buddies for those tickets ("ticket-moshing"?): among the many fears is that the new company would bypass the primary ticketing market and begin auctioning tickets (through the Ticketmaster-owned TicketsNow) in the secondary market. Not only would this system favor the tech savvy who have the cash to pony up, but it'll also create a ridiculously overwhelming presence in both the primary and secondary markets for a single company. Hell, even if the company chooses to focus on the primary ticketing market, there would be significantly less competition for venues and tours after the merger. And those much-hated "convenience" fees? They'll probably be rolled into the face charge.

Of course, the actual merger hasn't taken place yet, as the companies still need to go through the usual legal process -- namely, the regulatory review -- and I'd expect to hear some loud antitrust cries resonate throughout the industry (there are already plenty, including this one from LiveStub CEO Michael Hershfield). Hopefully the cries will be loud enough to reach the smellholes of the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission. Obama, where are you?

Meanwhile, TMT's rebranding experts hail the possible enterprise a great idea, as the word "Ticketmaster" itself is already among the chief causes of high blood pressure in music lovers between the ages of 15 to 28. TMT's in-house critics, however, are puking as I type this.

You Care About This: Bonnie “Prince” Billy Announces Spring Tour to Coincide with New Album, Beware

Since you're reading Tiny Mix Tapes, you are obviously excited to learn that Bonnie "Prince" Billy has announced dates for his upcoming spring tour, which will coincide with the release of his new album, Beware, on March 17 via Drag City. Following up on a bunch of stuff that you already know about, Billy will play a show nearly every day until April 11 starting in mid-March. He will then take a break for over a month to do that eclectic and charismatic stuff that you have read about him doing in his free time before returning to touring on May 21. If he chooses to add tourdates to this gap in time, they will be posted to this website, and you will definitely read him.

Bonnie "Prince" Billy, whose real name you already know, first affected your life in the early ’90s with an album that you quickly came to identify with and find comfort in. In the intervening years, he has released several albums, all of which you own, under several different monikers, all of which you have memorized. While you have appreciated the evolution of his music and enjoy his recent creative direction, his early work still holds a special place in your heart, having provided emotional solace during a difficult and formative period in your life. You will definitely purchase tickets for one of the following shows:
03.12.08 - Bloomington, IN - Buskirk-Chumley Theatre
03.13.08 - Urbana, IL - Independent Media Center
03.14.08 - Chicago, IL - Vic Theatre
03.16.08 - Des Moines, IA - Vaudeville Mews
03.17.08 - Iowa City, IA - The Picador
03.18.08 - Milwaukee, WI - Turner Hall
03.19.08 - Minneapolis, MN - The McGuire Theater (Walker)
03.21.08 - Winnipeg, MB, Canada - Pyramid Cabaret
03.22.08 - Saskatoon, SK, Canada - Broadway Theatre
03.23.08 - Edmonton, AB, Canada - McDougall United Church
03.24.08 - Calgary, AB, Canada - MacEwan Hall
03.25.08 - Vancouver, BC, Canada - The Vogue Theatre
03.26.08 - Seattle, WA - Moore Theatre
03.27.08 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom
03.29.08 - Sonoma, CA - Sonoma County Historic Church
03.30.08 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore
04.02.08 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey Theatre
04.04.08 - Santa Fe, NM - Santa Fe Brewing Co

04.05.08 - Denver, CO - The Bluebird Theater
04.07.08 - Lawrence, KS - The Granada
04.09.08 - Omaha, NE - The Waiting Room
04.10.08 - St. Louis, MO - The Pageant
04.11.08 - Indianapolis, IN - The Vogue
05.21.08 - New York, NY - Apollo Theater
05.23.08 - Alexandria, VA - The Birchmere
05.24.08 - Charlottesville, VA - Fry's Spring Beach Club

RIP: Blossom Dearie, jazz-cabaret singer

From the LA Times' music blog:

Somewhat lost in the flurry of Grammy activity was the news that Blossom Dearie, the jazz-cabaret singer with a voice as sweet and precious as her name, died of natural causes in her Greenwich Village apartment Saturday.

With a breezy, gentle vocal style that echoed a little girl's innocence, Dearie's appeal as a vocalist lies beyond genre classifications. In fact, many Pop&Hiss readers may have unknowingly first become familiar with Dearie as the voice for a few "Schoolhouse Rock" cartoons in the 1970s, including the gorgeous "Figure Eight" and "Unpack Your Adjectives."

- Blossom Dearie Wikipedia entry
- Blossom Dearie IMDB entry

A Place to Bury Strangers Prep New LP, Tour, Get in Touch with their Collective Inner Trekkie

New York's blog-appointed "loudest band" is back in the studio and getting ready to hit the road. No, not Swans. I'm talking about this generation's "loudest band" and indie media darling, A Place to Bury Strangers. Although the Brooklyn trio may not actually make you puke from their sound levels in the grand tradition of "loudness" started by their predecessors, (and who really wants that anyway?), they do deliver on the drone, so earplugs are definitely required. The band is currently working on the follow-up to their self-titled debut and recently finished shooting the video for that album's third single, "My Weakness." And get this: according to a press release, "The desert portions of the video were shot in Vasquez Rocks where Star Trek was frequently filmed." STAR TREK PEOPLE, STAR TREK!! And also, according to Wikipedia, episodes of Lassie and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, in which, "due to a life support malfunction, Buck is accidentally frozen for 504 years before the derelict spacecraft is discovered in the year 2491." Surely this video will be magical.

A Place to Bury Strangers will also be making their first-ever Coachella appearance in April and touring the UK and the EU in support of their single "Missing You," available on Rocket Girl

03.05.09 - New York, NY - Kimmel Center at NYU*
03.31.09 - Dublin, Ireland - Whelans
04.01.09 - Glasgow, UK - Stereo
04.02.09 - Manchester, UK - Ruby Lounge
04.03.09 - Leeds, UK - Cockpit
04.05.09 - Birmingham, UK - Barfly
04.06.09 - London, UK - Kings College
04.10.09 - Rotterdam, Netherlands - Motel Mozaique Festival
04.11.09 - Cologne, Germany - Wekstatt
04.12.09 - Stuttgart, Germany - Universum
04.13.09 - Zurich, Switzerland - Abart
04.14.09 - Munich, Germany - 59:1
04.15.09 - Berlin, Germany - Knaack Klub
04.17.09 - Indio, CA - Coachella Festival

* Ra Ra Riot, Marnie Stern & Apache Beat

Serge Gainsbourg’s Lolita-Esque Classic Histoire De Melody Nelson Released for the First Time in the U.S.

On March 24, Histoire De Melody Nelson, Serge Gainsbourg's classic collaboration with chic lover Jane Birkin and composer Jean-Claude Vannier, will be released in the United States on Light in the Attic, 38 years after it was originally released. Often considered the psychedelic pillow-talker's greatest work and clocking in at a little under 30 minutes, Melody Nelson is a compact, semi-autobiographical, Nabokovian concept album that follows the story of Serge hitting a young nymph named Melody (Birkin) with his car and getting lost in a deeply passionate French love affair with her, much like the love affair (and later marriage) he had with Birkin, 20 years his junior.

The reissue includes deluxe packaging inspired by the original release, as well as extensive liner notes, translations of interviews, and lyric sheets that you'll still be reading long after the needle has started spinning itself in silent circles.

For a preview, I highly recommend checking out Melody, the 1972 musical of the album filmed. In it, you follow Serge driving and hitting Jane; strutting around before rotating red hearts; walking with her in and out of hallways filled with two-dimensional stills of nudes from the 1600s; then minutes of Birkin hypnotizing you with a repetitive hippie-mating-dance movements in white thigh-highs on top of wicked guitar solos. Hot.

Histoire De Melody Nelson tracklisting

1. Melody
2. LA Ballade de Melody Nelson
3. La Valse do Melody
4. Ah! Melody
5. L' Hotel Particulier
6. En Melody
7. Cargo Culte