Music and Electronic Geeks Rejoice: Annual Circuit-Bending Festival Comes to NYC! Music and Electronic Geeks Despair: You Probably Won’t Be Able to Find a Date For This Thing!

Well, hey there, young man. Taking a break to browse the web while the ol’ soldering iron heats up, huh? Hey, that’s super. Just doing your standard daily Google search for “circuit bending,” “DIY electronics,” and “hardware hacking,” you say? Outstanding. Hey, your parents think that that’s just fantastic, you know? Keep it up, now!

Anyway, get ready for your hard disk to get a little harder, cuz have I got some great news for you today! You (yes, you in the XL “I’m Only Here Because My Server Is Down” t-shirt) are cordially invited to attend this year’s Bent Festival at Manhattan’s Tank Theater! No, this isn’t an online forum, buddy; this is the real thing. And shit, it starts today! You’ll have to slip those Cons on your feet and step out into the sunshine for this one. But dude, it’ll so totally be worth it!

The Bent Fest is an annual art and music festival celebrating DIY electronics, hardware hacking, and circuit-bending, and each year they invite artists from across the country and around the globe to perform music with their homemade and/or circuit-bent instruments, teach workshops to adults and children alike, create beautiful art installations, and showcase the state of the art in DIY electronics and circuit-bending culture in general! Cha-ching, man!

Workshops will include “Dub Siren/Noise Box,” “Analog Sensors,” “Beginning Microcontroller Programming and Circuit Bending,” “Chiptune Marching Band,” “Glitch NES,” and more. It ranges in price from free to around $90.

For a more complete list, why don’t you just click on over to their website? And remember: The 2009 Bent Festival is going on now at The Tank Theater until April 18. And, er, there’s free Beerlao at 7 PM each night for 21+ guests, apparently. Yum.

There’s Ray Charles Gold in Them There Downloads: 28 Post-1960 Albums Available for Download, Awesome Anthology Available Now

When I was a teenager, I saw Ray Charles perform in Philadelphia. Fireworks lit up the sky, the summer breeze whispered through the crowd, and the assembled mass gave off a great cheer as the legendary soul man seated himself behind the piano. It was a magical night -- or it would've been had I any idea of how cool this all was. Instead, I mostly just stood around in my geeky shorts and slapped at mosquitoes, never envisioning how I would grow to admire Charles' ability to transcend genre with classics like "Georgia on My Mind," "Hit the Road Jack," and more. Which is why the recent digital release of 28 albums of Ray Charles' post-1960 output is so damn cool. Maybe you weren't around to buy the albums the first time, or maybe you just want to pimp out your iPod. Whatever your reason, this news can definitely be filed under "smashing."

Here's the skinny. iTunes currently has exclusive access to all the jams, but two weeks after April 7, the albums will be available from an assortment of digital retailers. The digital releases are happening simultaneously with the release of Ray Charles -- Genius: The Ultimate Collection, a 21-song anthology of all the man's most-loved recordings for ABC-Paramount and Atlantic. Concord, the label behind the reissues, is planning on making Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music, Volumes 1 & 2, The Genius Hits the Road, A Message From the People and Genius + Soul = Jazz available within the year.

The Ultimate tracklisting:

1. Hit the Road Jack
2. What'd I Say (Part 1)
3. Busted
4. I Can't Stop Loving You
5. Sticks and Stones
6. Drown in My Own Tears
7. Unchain My Heart
8. Georgia on My Mind
9. I've Got a Woman
10. You Are My Sunshine
11. Take These Chains from My Heart
12. Hide Nor Hair
13. Let's Go Get Stoned
14. You Don't Know Me
15. Hallelujah I Love Her So (Live)
16. Crying Time
17. A Fool for You
18. One Mint Julep
19. Here We Go Again
20. Yesterday
21. America the Beautiful

The Mars Volta Set Release Date For Octahedron, Named After The OctoMom’s New Reality Show on TBS

Well, what do you know; it’s time for another Mars Volta album! The prog-rockers will release Octahedron June 23 on Warner Bros. Records, preceded by first single, “Since We’ve Been Wrong.” The band is also currently scheduled to appear at both this year's Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN and the second annual Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival in San Francisco. Further U.S. dates will be announced soon.

Octahedron tracklisting:

1. Since We've Been Wrong
2. Teflon
3. Halo of Nembutals
4. With Twilight as My Guide
5. Cotopaxi
6. Desperate Graves
7. Copernicus
8. Luciforms

Apostle of Hustle Announce New Album and Tourdates; No, Not That the Dude with the Mustache from Broken Social Scene, the Other Dude with the Mustache from Broken Social Scene

It’s really hard to keep all those Broken Social Scene dudes straight. All you need to know is that Andrew Whitehouse looks like this, probably smokes more weed than your teenage little brother, and has a new album coming out May 19 with his band Apostle of Hustle, titled Eats Darkness. Fans can purchase tickets for their upcoming string of Ontario shows here , which will also include a digital copy of Apostle's new album for an additional $4, before both go on sale to the general public. The album download will be accessible starting at midnight on May 19, with the bonus tracks “Soul Unwind” and “Perfect Fit” available now for download.

Apostle of Hustle is also seeking aspiring bands in the Southern Ontario area for their upcoming spring tour. If you live in the area and are interested (and older than 19), you can submit a brief summary about why your band should support Apostle of Hustle, as well as your contact info and MySpace link to by May 1.

See which bands made the cut in May:
05.20.09 - Guelph, ON - E-Bar
05.21.09 - Hamilton, ON - The Casbah
05.22.09 - Peterborough, ON - Montreal House
05.23.09 - Ottawa, ON - Zaphod Beeblebrox
05.27.09 - Kingston, ON - The Grad Club
05.29.09 - Toronto, ON - The Music Gallery
05.30.09 - Waterloo, ON - Starlight Room

Windy & Carl, Benoit Pioulard, Creepily Named Lamb’s Laughter Creep Up and Down East Coast

Lamb's Laughter kinda sounds like the title of a DVD track in any
given David Lynch film. But no, there's nothing creepy about it.
Lamb's Laughter is a live collaboration between two beautiful
songwriters -- Windy & Carl's Windy Weber and Benoit Pioulard's Tom
Meluch -- and all three are touring like one big happy Kranky family.

The brief tour will hit Canada and the East Coast and should totally
rule, but don't sip any lean before you go. You might pass out on
contact with the first note. Speaking of notes, show your W&C pride by
becoming a FaCeBoOk fan. It'll be refreshing to see Windy and Carl's faces betwixt all the quiz results.

Laugh, Lambs, Laugh:
04.22.09 - London, ON - London Convention Center
04.23.09 - Toronto, ON - Wippersnapper Art Gallery
04.24.09 - Ithaca, NY - The Shop
04.25.09 - Haverford, PA - Lunt Basement
04.26.09 - New Haven, CT - Bar
04.27.09 - Medford, MA - Oxfam
04.28.09 - New York, NY - Le Poisson Rouge
04.30.09 - Richmond, VA - The Triple
05.01.09 - Asheville, NC - Bebe Theater
05.02.09 - Atlanta, GA - 529
05.03.09 - Lexington, KY - The Hop Hop

The Decemberists Return to The Colbert Report; This Time It’s, Uh, You Know, NOT Personal

Hey, Billy Corgan! While you’re out there wailing and gnashing, tearing your shirt open and beating your breast, key stroking (and I do mean “stroking”) your own personal Articles of Confederation and squeezing every last drop of narrative drama out of your forced “Me vs. the Universe” archetype, some of your major-label contemporaries are actually managing to keep their careers fun! Imagine that! Let this be a lesson to you, Mr. Endisthebeginningistheend: a little lighthearted, postmodern cheek-tonguing can go a long way.

Just ask Colin Meloy and his Decemberists, who have just confirmed another performance on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report for Monday, April 27. Fans no doubt recall that this will be the band’s first appearance on the show since 2006’s infamous “ShredDown,” in which [badass] Decemberists guitarist Chris Funk was dubiously “defeated” by a Colbert-devised run-in with the infamous Peter Frampton and his even-more-infamous talk box. There were bribes, there was senseless shredding, there was Rick Neilson... heck, there was even a healthy lampooning of pop music criticism. And while no specific challenges, call-outs, throw-downs, or insults have been volleyed by either side as of yet, you just know that something special has to be going down that’s going to make The Decemberists that much easier for the whole world to love (are you still listening, Billy?).

And what’s this? Not only is one of your peers keeping things light, but they’re also putting out records and touring on them? What a concept! The Decemberists have also announced the majority of dates for Phase Two of their “A Short Fazed Hovel” 2009 tour in support of their nerdily ambitious The Hazards of Love album (TMT Review). Tickets will go on sale to the public for newly announced headline concerts beginning Friday, April 17 at 10 AM ET. Full venue and ticketing information is available at The Decemberists’ website. On tour, The Decemberists will play two sets a night -- the first, a full performance of The Hazards of Love, and the second a melange of their older material. And just as before, Lavender Diamond’s Becky Stark and My Brightest Diamond’s Shara Worden will be joining the band on-stage to reprise their roles as... Margaret and... some sort of queen, I think, and... I don’t know... whoever else. But hey, a band doing stuff instead of talking about doing stuff? We’ll take it.
05.19.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Palladium
05.20.09 - Oakland, CA - Fox Theatre
05.21.09 - Eugene, OR - McDonald Theater
05.23.09 - Quincy, WA - Sasquatch Festiva
05.24.09 - Missoula, MT - Wilma Theatre
05.26.09 - Denver, CO - Fillmore Auditorium
05.27.09 - Kansas City, MO - Uptown Theater
05.29.09 - Milwaukee, WI - Riverside Theater
05.31.09 - St. Louis, MO - The Pageant
06.01.09 - Columbus, OH - Lifestyle Communities Pavilion
06.03.09 - Atlanta, GA - Tabernacle
06.04.09 - Raleigh, NC - Memorial Auditorium
06.05.09 - Richmond, VA - The National
06.06.09 - Upper Darby, PA - Tower Theatre
06.08.09 - Baltimore, MD - Merriweather Post Pavilion
06.09.09 - Boston, MA - Bank of America Pavilion
06.10.09 - New York, NY - Radio City Music Hall
06.11-14.09 - Manchester, TN - Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival
06.20.09 - Minneapolis, MN - Rock the Garden/Walker Art Center

07.17.09 - Seattle, WA - Marymoor Park
07.18-19.09 - Portland, OR - Edgefield Winery
07.21-22.09 - Vancouver, BC - Vogue Theater
08.03.09 - Toronto, ON - Kool Haus
08.05.09 - Madison, WI - Orpheum Theater
08.08.09 - Indianapolis, IN - Murat Egyptian Room
08.10.09 - Louisville, KY - W.L. Lyons Brown Theater
08.11.09 - Detroit, MI - Royal Oak Theater

If You DJ, They Will Come: Stones Throw Throws a Spring DJ Tour

Maybe in response to the sad fact that you can't throw a stone these days without hitting some kid with an iPod and an 1/8"-to-1/4" adapter that calls himself a DJ, revered underground hip-hop label Stones Throw is throwing a DJ tour this spring to show you how it's really done. Peanut Butter Wolf, Dam-Funk, Mayer Hawthorne, and James Pants are currently on tour of the United States and Canada. The show won't be strictly DJ sets; the inimitably bizarre Pants plans to perform with his band The Royal Zodiac, and Hawthorne plans to kick out some live soul jams as well. No word yet on whether Guilty Simpson will show up at the 2-hour mark in a helicopter

04.21.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Echoplex*
04.22.09 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall
04.23.09 - Portland, OR - Holocene
04.24.09 - Seattle, WA - Chop Suey
04.28.09 - Minneapolis, MN - Varsity Theater
04.29.09 - Madison, WI - High Noon Saloon
04.30.09 - Chicago, IL - The Abbey Pub
05.01.09 - Toronto, Ontario - Revival Bar
05.02.09 - Montreal, Quebex - Les Saints
05.03.09 - Princeton, NJ - Terrace Club
05.04.09 - Boston, MA - Paradise
05.05.09 - Baltimore, MD - Sonar
05.06.09 - Philadelphia, PA - North Bowl
05.07.09 - Washington, D.C. - 930 Club
05.08.09 - New York City, NY - Natural History Museum
05.09.09 - New York City, NY - LPR*

* Peanut Butter Wolf replaced w/ Folerio

Apparently Au -- mainly one dude with a rotating cast of musicians -- has lived all over the country. And now Luke Wyland and current bandmate Dana Valatka will get to travel to parts of Europe you probably didn’t even hear about during your time abroad. The experimental psych-folk duo will set out at the end of the month in Norway and wrap it up two months later in France with a few scattered fall dates. Because the tour list is so long, I’ll just shut up and hop to it:
04.24.09 - Bergen, NO - Landmark
04.25.09 - Oslo, NO - Novafest *
04.27.09 - Brighton, UK - The Freebutt
04.28.09 - Cardiff, UK - Buffalo Bar
04.29.09 - Dublin, IE - Upstairs / Whelans
04.30.09 - Cork, IE - The Pavilion
05.01.09 - Bristol, UK - The Cube
05.02.09 - Barrow-in-Furness, UK - The Canteen
05.03.09 - Glasgow, UK - Captains Rest
05.04.09 - Edinburgh, UK - The Bowery
05.05.09 - York, UK - Basement-City Screen
05.06.09 - London, UK - The Lexington
05.07.09 - Paris St Ouen, FR - Mains d'Oeuvres +
05.08.09 - Brussels, BE - Festival Les Nuits du Botanique
05.09.09 - Copenhagen, DK - Lades
05.10.09 - Gothenburg, SE - Röhsska Museet #
05.11.09 - Stockholm, SE - Landet
05.12.09 - Turku, FI - Dynamo
05.13.09 - Helsinki, Fl - Semifinal &
05.16.09 - Riga, LV - Skanu Mezs (Sound Forest) Festival
05.17.09 - Warsaw, PL - Powiekszenie $
05.18.09 - Berlin, DE - NBI +
05.19.09 - Leipzig, DE - Paris Syndrom +
05.21.09 - Schorndorf, DE - Club Manufaktur
05.23.09 - Lyon, FR - Grnd Zero @
05.27.09 - Roma, IT - Init
05.28.09 - Faenza, IT - Clandestino
05.29.09 - Brescia, IT - Morya Alter Bar
05.30.09 - Pisa, IT - Caracol
06.01.09 - Bordeaux, FR - BT59 ^
06.03.09 - Strasbourg, FR - Galerie Simutania
06.04.09 - Paris, FR - Chronicart / Café de la Danse %
06.05.09 - Orleans, FR - L'Astrolabe ^
06.06.09 - Cherbourg, FR - Terra Trema Festival
09.10.09 - Stravanger, NO - Numusic festival
09.19.09 - Utrecht, NL - Theater Kikker

* Chrome Hoof, Smoosh

+ Ora Cogan

# Lexie Moutain Boys

& Avarus

$ Kyst

@ Phosphorescent

% Cryptazice, Berg Sans Nipple

^ Deerhoof

Andrew Bird Tours World, There Will Be No Mention of “Flying,” “Whistling,” “Flitting,” or “Warbling” in This News Brief

I was never in orchestra, but I do know those instruments can cost (hundreds of thousands of) pretty pennies. So, when Andrew Bird recently dropped and cracked his (probably expensive) violin at Chicago’s Civic Opera House, it must have been tragic.

Steadfast and unfazed as his namesake, Bird will power through a worldwide tour until July, hitting Europe first before coming back home for a month’s worth of dates stateside.

The tourdates:

04.24.09 - Bourges, France - Theatre Jacques Coeur
04.25.09 - Rennes, France - Ubu
04.27.09 - Paris, France - La Cigale
04.28.09 - Nancy, France - L’Autre Canal
04.29.09 - Nantes, France - Olympic
04.30.09 - Lyon, France - Epicerie Moderne
05.01.09 - Cologne, Germany - Luxor
05.03.09 - Stockholm, Sweden - Strand
05.04.09 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Lille Vega
05.05.09 - Hamburg, Germany - Uebel & Gefahrlich
05.06.09 - Berlin, Germany - Admiralspalast 101
05.07.09 - Amsterdam, The Netherlands - Pardiso
05.09.09 - Brussels, Belgium - Les Nuit de Botanique Cirque Royal
05.10.09 - Bristol, UK - Thekla
05.11.09 - London, UK - Shepherds Bush Empire
05.13.09 - Manchester, UK - Academy 2/Academy 3
05.14.09 - Glasgow, UK - Oran Mor
05.16.09 - Geneva, Switzerland - PTR-Usine
05.17.09 - Zurich, Switzerland - Rote Fabrik
05.18.09 - Milan, Italy - La Casa
05.20.09 - Nice, France - Theatre Lino Ventura
05.22.09 - Valladolid, Spain - Cafe Espagna
05.23.09 - Madrid, Spain - Neu Club
05.25.09 - Lisbon, Portugal - Cinema Sao Jorge
05.26.09 - Braga, Portugal - Theatro Circo
05.28.09 - Barcelona, Spain - Primavera Festival
06.08.09 - Columbia, MD - Merriweather Post Pavilion*
06.11.09 - 06.14.09 (TBD) - Manchester, TN - Bonnaroo
06.15.09 - Atlanta, GA - Cobb Energy Center
06.17.09 - Philadelphia, PA - Tower Theatre
06.18.09 - New York, NY - Radio City Music Hall
06.19.09 - Boston, MA - Bank of America Pavilion
07.10.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Greek Theatre
07.11.09 - Berkeley, CA - Greek Theatre
07.14.09 - Morrison, CO - Red Rocks Amphitheatre
07.18.09 - Troutdale, OR - McMenamins Edgefield Amphitheater
07.19.09 - Troutdale, OR - McMenamins Edgefield Amphitheater

* The Decemberists

Holy Fuck! Crocodiles Tour!

Despite what my headline might insinuate, I'm talking about a tour. Of rock ‘n’ roll musicians. Across The United States. Crocodiles is a little band made up of big colorful glasses and rock ‘n’ roll intentions that's releasing its first album, Summer of Hate, April 28 on Fat Possum.

And Holy Fuck? Well, you may recall that the Tories up north of the border cited them as the reason for cutting the $4.7 million PromAct program. (The PromAct gave artists grants to go abroad and promote Canadian culture.) Indeed, the Canadian Man made an example of Holy Fuck, pointing at them and saying that the money was going to support "fringe art groups that, in many cases, would be at best, unrepresentative, and at worst, offensive." Do I smell a scapegoat? Holy fuck, they only received $3000 to go on a short tour of the UK! What is that, like 0.06% of the program? And they're hardly fringe. They were nominated for last year's Polaris Prize and a Juno Award, too, which in Canadian terms, means they're practically at the same stature as David Lee Roth is here in The States.

Solo Croc tourdates:
04.14.09 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club*
04.15.09 - Baltimore, MD - Sonar*
04.17.09 - Asheville, NC - Orange Peel*
04.18.09 - Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse*
04.20.09 - Houston, TX - Warehouse Live*
04.21.09 - Austin, TX - Stubb's*
04.22.09 - Dallas, TX - Granada*
04.24.09 - Tuscon, AZ - Rialto Theater *
04.25.09 - Anaheim, CA - The Grove*
04.26.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Henry Fonda Theater*
04.27.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Henry Fonda Theater*
04.29.09 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore*
04.30.09 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore*
05.01.09 - Portland, OR - Roseland*
05.02.09 - Seattle, WA - Showbox*
05.05.09 - Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre*
05.07.09 - Las Vegas, NV - Beauty Bar w/ Old Blood
05.11.09 - San Diego, CA - The Casbah w/ Spectrum

* The Faint & Ladytron

The Holy Fuckin' Cussin' anti-Canadian tourdates with The Crocodiles are as follows:
05.21.09 - Boston, MA - Middle East
05.22.09 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg
05.23.09 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
05.24.09 - Baltimore, MD - Ottobar
05.25.09 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church
05.27.09 - Washington, DC - Rock And Roll Hotel
05.28.09 - Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop
05.29.09 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick
05.30.09 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
05.31.09 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry
06.03.09 - Bellingham, WA - Nightlight Lounge
06.04.09 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir
06.05.09 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill
06.06.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour
06.07.09 - San Diego, CA - Casbah
06.08.09 - Tucson, AZ - Plush
06.10.09 - Dallas, TX - Lounge on Elm
06.11.09 - Austin, TX - Mohawk
06.12.09 - Houston, TX - Walter's
06.13.09 - Baton Rouge, LA - Spanish Moon
06.14.09 - Birmingham, AL - Bottletree
06.15.09 - Atlanta, GA - Drunken Unicorn