Stars to Tour Without Coldplay, Talk About How They Miss Opening for Coldplay And How Awesome Coldplay Are

It was October 20. Ottawa, Ontario. It was a dark, windy night. And a little chilly. The kind of weather best suited for a nice cashmere sweater and a scarf, perhaps a late-afternoon hot chocolate. Not a star was in sight, unless of course you count music act Stars at the Scotiabank Place arena.

Having released the Sad Robots EP back in September, Stars were clearly excited to be performing live again. This show would mark their first of a 12-date tour of their home country Canada.

But, as excited as they were to perform, Stars were in fact more excited to be sharing the stage with the Best Band in the World, Coldplay. The show was a one-off before both bands would say their goodbyes and head on their respective Canadian tours, so Stars knew this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Eager to watch Coldplay perform, Stars quickly ran through their set, playing most of their songs at least 25% faster than normal. Coldplay's fans cheered loudly, but it was clear to everyone -- including Stars -- that the Real Deal was about to perform and that any warm-up act is but a slight breath of fleeting hot air.

After their set, Stars quickly found a comfortable spot from which to watch Coldplay's set.

At 8:30 PM, Coldplay finally hit the stage. Like Gods. One minute into their opening song "Yellow," the members of Stars fell to their knees and started weeping. "This is the best thing that's ever happened to me!" yelled vocalist Torquil Campbell, in between weeps. "Yeah I know. I will never forget this moment for as long as I live," replied keyboardist Chris Seligman, hands pointed toward the ceiling, as if reaching for the heavens. Judging by how things were going so far, it wouldn't have surprised anyone if he did find himself in heaven by the end of the night.

Two hours later, Coldplay finished their third encore and were preparing their goodbyes. The audience, exhausted from crying throughout the set due to the ineffable beauty of Coldplay's music, started cheering so loudly, in such a deafening manner, that Coldplay began to cry too. The members of Stars looked at each other in excited approval. They knew too that this was The Moment, the kind of experience that would forever shape their lives.

When everyone thought things couldn't get any better, Coldplay did what everyone knew had to happen: they launched into "Yellow" again. The crowd went nuts; Coldplay looked as energetic as ever; and each member of Stars closed their eyes and sang along: "Look at the stars/ Look how they shine for you!" The night felt like it could last forever.

It's a shame these dates are without Coldplay:

New New Pornographers LP in the Works, New (AC) Newman Too

According to Rolling Stone, A.C. Newman and Neko Case are assembling demos for the next ensemble record as The New Pornographers. Obviously, no release date is set, and there's not much else we know about the release, but it's still exciting news!

The story doesn't end here though. In addition to a new LP from Case (TMT News), Newman is also set to release a new solo album, Get Guilty, expected for release January 20 via Matador. Featuring appearances by Jon Wurster (The Mountain Goats) and Nicole Atkins, the album acts as the follow-up to Newman's debut solo effort, The Slow Wonder, which was released way back in 2004.

Get Guilty tracklisting:

Hot Hot Hot Heat! Fire On Fire Ignite Today with Debut Album

Rumor has it when hairy hard-dancers Pop Will Eat Itself declared This Is the Day…This Is the Hour…This Is This! back in 1989, they were actually speaking of a future date. Today, actually. (Well, they sure as hell weren’t talking about the day “Seinfeld” premiered, were they?) Accordingly, it makes perfect sense to take a moment, open your windows, and shout PWEI’s declaration of enthusiasm, because today is indeed the day when Young God Records finally releases the debut album by TMT’s favourite bluegrass mowin’ stars, Fire On Fire.

Drum machines, ripped-off riffs, and blatant sloganeering will not play any part in the Fire on Fire revolution; the band takes a much more relaxed stance in their music: making old-time, backporch pickin’ and grinnin’ folk fashionable again hasn’t any need for technology or tricks. After the five-song tease of their autonomous EP, Fire On Fire’s first full-length, The Orchard, is available today exclusively through the YGR website. The first CD edition of The Orchard is limited and numbered to 1000, with cover art by chief firestarter Colleen Kinsella.

Acoustic riffs... yeah! Can you dig it?

The Orchard tracklisting:

1. Sirocco
2. Heavy D
3. Assanine Race
4. The Orchard
5. Flordinese
6. Hartford Blues
7. Toknight
8. Squeeze Box
9. Flight Song
10. Grin
11. Tsunami
12. Haystack

Radiohead Artist Stanley Donwood Launches Six Inch Records, Presumably Named After Thom Yorke’s Chubby

Okay, so Thom Yorke's chubby really has nothing to do with this story, unless of course you want to picture it while reading this story. Actually, I encourage you to do just that. I DEMAND IT.

I'll give you a second...

Picturing it? Good. VERY good.

Alright, now for the other "meat" of the story: Stanley Donwood, frequent artist for Radiohead (and whose real name is Dan Rickwood), has started his own label, Six Inch Records. The idea is to release only three albums on CDs housed in a unique handmade package. Only 333 copies of each release will be made, and then the label is, as they say in America and other English-speaking countries, DONE. (FYI: Donwood was drunk when he decided to start it.)

Here's Donwood's explanation of the packaging:

Six Inch Records are released in compact disc format. However, as we believe that compact discs are too small, we package our releases by hand into sleeves that are six inches square. This is done using a design process that we believe to be unique, a process that we made up as we went along. First, we cut beermat board into 6" x 6" squares. Then we cut a hole into the beermat board the size of a compact disc. The CD is then pressed into the hole. We then letterpress the details of the release onto 'printaboard', the stuff used by cereal-box manufacturers, using moveable lead type and woodblock type. The printaboard is then scored and cut into shape. We then fold, glue and stick the sleeves together. Following this, the CD/beermat board square is carefully inserted into the completed sleeve. The entire caboodle is then placed within a letterpress printed envelope, just in case.

All mechanised operations - printing, cutting and scoring are carried out using a 1965 Heidelberg platen press. Everything else is done by hand.

Obviously, Six Inch Records is an "art project" and not a label proper. It's also not-for-profit. Which means, you should help support it.

So Many Dynamos Deliver A Label/LP One-Two Punch

Vagrant Records is a mixed bag. It's home to quite a few bands born out of the early 2000s emo-boom like Thrice, Senses Fail, and Saves the Day. But it's also the label of indie successes like The Hold Steady and Murder by Death. So, the addition of St. Louis's So Many Dynamos to Vagrant's roster isn't that surprising: the band's spazzy rock sound is punky enough to fuel a noisy high school party, but thoughtful enough to follow you to college.

So Many Dynamos bring the big news of their new Vagrant home at a convenient time, as they are also able to spread word about their forthcoming LP. On April 7, the band will be releasing their third full-length album, The Loud Wars. The foursome worked on the album with Chris Walla of Death Cab fame and are currently making their rounds with Syracuse's Ra Ra Riot.

Remaining dates:

Idlewild Promises To Gratify Fans Quicker With Early Direct Release – Hey, No Snickering

You think Radiohead or David Byrne or Trent Reznor or Girl Talk had unique distribution models? Well, Scottish outfit Idlewild are taking distribution to new heights with the announcement that fans can now pre-order the band's new album BEFORE IT IS EVEN RECORDED.

According to the album's website, the group is offering a chance to buy (for £15, or about $22) a limited-edition CD and free download of the to-be-recorded album, plus at least one bonus track, which will all come within weeks of the LP's completion. The album will be the band's sixth, following 2007's Make Another World (Sanctuary Records).

Your £15 also gets you:

- 15 download tracks of your choosing from live recordings of the band's series of "album by album" shows (where the band plays an entire album each night for five nights) in Glasgow this December
- your name in an album booklet and on a roll-call on the website, and
- exclusive access to a members-only area of the Idlewild website.

If you are wondering who is going to buy into this, then you probably don't live in the United Kingdom. Since forming in late 1995, Idlewild have had much success across the pond, placing 17 singles on the UK Singles Chart, with 4 of them reaching the Top 20. Meanwhile, American fans keep confusing the band with "that Outkast movie [they] heard was shitty."

The group is hoping, not guaranteeing, that the record will be available for consumption in April, although they do say with more certainty, and generality, that it will be "way before any general release," which would likely occur some time in the summer of next year.


@ - playing Hope Is Important & more

# - playing 100 Broken Windows

% - playing The Remote Part

^ - playing Warnings/Promises & acoustic set

& - playing Captain & Make Another World

President Bush Pardons John Forté, Shyne Still Lacking Necessary Political Clout

What would you do if you were President for two months and nothing you did mattered? I would probably do exactly what President Bush is currently doing, which is pardon the shit out of a bunch of people for no reason. On November 24, he pardoned former Fugees producer John Forté, during the eighth year of his 14-year prison sentence. In 2000, Forté was caught at Newark International Airport with over $1.4 million in liquid cocaine. He was found guilty on charges of intent to distribute and conspiracy to distribute, and was sentenced to 14 years in low-security federal prison. When asked to comment on his pardon of Forté, President Bush responded, "Who?"

In the years since his arrest, Forté has received support from Carly Simon (for whom he has sung backup vocals and who posted his $250,000 bail) and her son Ben Taylor, who believe that Forté did not receive a fair trial. Also chief among their beliefs is that (contrary to the implication of several tapped phone calls) Forté did not realize that the briefcase he was carrying contained cocaine. Taylor originally met Forté through a cousin who was Forté's classmate at Phillips Exeter. Remy Ma, still in prison, probably wishes she had gone to college right about now, as fiancé Papoose's form of advocacy seems to have failed.

President-Elect Obama has declared that one of his first acts as President will be to shoot John Forté with a tranquilizer dart and drag him back to prison so that he may serve out the rest of his sentence, demanding, "Did anyone else read the part about 1.4 million dollars worth of coke?"

Akron/Family Sign to Dead Oceans; Green Day Mentioned in This Story

Akron/Family have left their home at Young God to sign with Dead Oceans. The label will release the group's fourth, currently untitled album in April 2009, which will act as both their follow-up to Love Is Simple (TMT Review) and their first recording as a three-piece (like Green Day!). Recording began in Farham, Quebec back in early October.

"There were other record labels that we liked, but Dead Oceans/Secretly Canadian/Jagjaguwar was our number one first choice," Miles Seaton tells Billboard. "It was really exciting that they were interested in us."

He goes on to explain more about the new record:

I wouldn't say out of the box we sound like a whole new band, but there's a couple of extreme elements on this record. There's one track that emphasizes our fondness for extreme noise and painful, almost guttural sounds -- raw, primal noise. We've alluded to those things, but I think there are a few moments that are mashing all those sounds together, into hopefully, one seven-minute prog masterpiece.

Dead Oceans also signed These Are Powers and White Hinterland earlier this year. I have yet to get a deal.

RIP: Dennis Yost of Classics IV

From Classics IV's official website:

Dennis Yost, lead singer of The Classics IV, the 1960's soft rock group responsible for hit records such as "Spooky," "Stormy," "Everyday With You Girl," and most notably the group's highest charting record, "Traces of Love," passed away suddenly early Sunday morning, December 7th, in a hospital on the outskirts of Cincinnati, OH with his wife Linda at his side. Dennis was 65 years of age.

Yost, who had been hospitalized in 2005 for a traumatic brain injury sustained after a fall, never fully recovered from the incident, however the cause of death is not believed to be related. A benefit concert, hosted by Jon "Bowzer" Bauman of Sha Na Na fame, was held last year to help raise money for increasing medical costs the Yosts were incurring. Several of Dennis' musical peers showed up to perform, including Mark "Flo" Volman of The Turtles, The Skyliners, Chuck Negron, formerly of Three Dog Night, and many others.

The Classics IV originally hailed from Jacksonville, Florida, where Yost was raised by his mother Marie Lupato, but recorded all of their hit recordings in Atlanta, GA under the supervision of producer Buddy Buie and Bill Lowery, founder of Lowery Music, Inc. In 1993, Dennis Yost & The Classics IV were inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.

In the mid 90's, Dennis received a letter of cease and desist, ordering him to stop using the name "The Classics IV" from a lawyer representing a bogus band who had acquired the trademark through other means. Yost sank into a depression as he continued to tour, hopeless that he would ever get the name he helped make famous back, while another group with no original members reaped the profits. Fortunately, in the latter part of 2000, Yost regained ownership of the trademark to "The Classics IV" as part of an out-of-court settlement. A documentary on Yost's struggles is currently in post-production.

Dennis was the last touring member of the original Classics IV.

- Classics IV official website