Mario Speedwagon’s Under The Radar News Roundup: Pitchfork Announces Some Festival Deetz, The Chap Tour The U.S., Eminem To Drop Two Albums In 2009, Wye Oak Are Coming To Your Town, Passion Pit Release Debut LP In May

So, sorry about the lack of “Round Up” last week. It was my birthday, and I didn’t give a FUCK. I’m pretty excited, because it’s like, 70°F outside today, and there are plans for it to be warmer. That being said, Sunday it snowed eigh inches in Athens, Georgia. That shit NEVER happens. Now, I’m from Baltimore so, like, I know what snow looks like, but people here freaked the fuck out. It was hilarious. Weather is so weird. Anyway, on to the news...

- Pitchfork Music Festival announced a few bands slated to play the mid-July festival, held in Chicago’s Union Park. Bands planned for Friday include Built To Spill, The Jesus Lizard (fuck yeah), Yo La Tengo, and Tortoise -- and instead of doing “Don’t Look Back,” fans will get the chance to vote on which songs the bands get to play. Saturday’s lineup includes The National, Pharoahe Monch, and The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, while Sunday’s lineup includes Grizzly Bear, The Walkmen, and Vivian Girls. The festival runs July 17-19, and tickets go on sale March 13. You can find more information at the event’s official website. Solid.

- London pop quartet The Chap are hitting the road for the first time in the U.S. They kick off their tour March 12 in Lexington, KY at The University of Kentucky, hitting a few other cities before ending up at SXSW in Austin, and then end their U.S. tour in New York at Cake Shop March 28. You can view all of The Chap’s tourdates on their website.

- Don’t worry, everyone: Eminem is releasing another album. I know ya’ll were worried that his “hiatus” would be permanent, but like most rappers who “retire,” he didn’t... so yeah, expect not just one Eminem record, but TWO records this year. Ugh. Relapse, the first of the two records, releases on May 19, while Relapse 2 is slated to come out by the end of the year. Shit comes out on Interscope.

- On a more pleasant note, Baltimore hoodlums Wye Oak are hitting the road! They kick off their tour April 14 in Brooklyn, NY at Bell House (with Crooked Fingers) and finish up in Baltimore, MD at the Metro Gallery. They are just so cute; I just want to put them in my pocket.

- Boston dudes Passion Pit are set to release their debut LP Manners on Frenchkiss Records May 26. I dug the Chunk Of Change EP and went to see them at CMJ. Lemme tell ya, falsetto IN THE HOUSE. Dude is LOUD. It was fun though. They’ll announce tourdates soon, and they are playing SXSW.

Aight, have a good weekend, suckers.

The Jesus Lizard Bring the Greatest Gift of All to This Year’s Record Store Day: A Box Set of Out-of-Print 7-inches, No Egg Nog

Thank god Christmas, Valentine's Day, Thanksgiving, and all those sham holidays are over, and we can now prepare for the greatest holiday ever to grace modern-day calendars! No, I am not talking about St. Patrick's Day, that celebratory evening full of green beer and sexy lady leprechauns. I am speaking, of course, about Record Store Day. Last year at the store I work at, we got free commemorative t-shirts! WOW! But this year, there's even more. This year, there is The Jesus Lizard 7-inch box set.

Yes, you can only get it on Record Store Day. Yes, it contains every 7-inch single Touch and Go ever released by The Jesus Lizard, all of which have been out of print for at least half a decade. This is like finding a unicorn that leads you to a special treasure that only appears for a brief moment in time -- in this particular case, April 18 at your local independent Record Store Day-participating store. For, you see, this boxset not only contains all these singles, but also super rare stuff like the track "Puss," originally found on a split with Nirvana, and "Gladiator," which was given out at a 1992 show at London's Brixton Academy and NOWHERE ELSE.

They're calling the boxset INCH, and it's gonna go fast. And in case you've been living in a noiseless, nonabrasive cave, The Jesus Lizard are reuniting this year for a handful of shows and playing the upcoming ATP: The Fans Strike Back in England this May 8-10.

INCH tracklisting:

- "Chrome" b/w "7 vs 8"
- "Mouthbreather" b/w "Sunday You Need Love"
- "Wheelchair Epidemic" b/w "Dancing Naked Ladies"
- "Gladiator" (live) b/w "Seasick" (live)
- "Puss"

Lash 3x7" containing:

- "Glamorous" b/w "Deaf as a Bat"
- "Lady Shoes" (live) b/w "Killer McHann" (live)
- "Bloody Mary" (live) b/w "Monkey Trick" (live)
- "(Fly) On (the Wall)" b/w "White Hole"
05.08.09 - Minehead, England - ATP: The Fans Strike Back
05.11.09 - London, England - The Forum

Neil Young to Release Electric Car Themed Album in April; Wait, Didn’t He Already Do That in 1983?

Alrighty, lemme try to get this straight. 1983’s Trans was Neil Young’s vocoder heavy, faux-Luddite electro-flop with a cover that implied the future’s cars would be pancake-thin DeLoreans piloted by grid-lined human holograms. Neil’s new record, on the other hand, is a concept album about electric-cars. Oooookay, so while Trans is an electric car album, Fork in the Road is an electric-car album. Ah! Now I get it! Damn, I was kinda hoping that Neil had sank his ass back into his Kraftwerk pants and was gonna bring the synthesizer out of mothballs. Oh well! I hear from Rick Wakeman that synthesizers tend to get all wonky after you leave them covered in mothballs for 26 years anyway.

Neil’s new record goes hand-in-hand with his electric-car creation experiment, LincVolt. In collaboration with so-called “motorhead messiah” Jonathan Goodwin, Neil Young plans to inspire a whole goddamn generation “by creating a clean automobile propulsion technology that serves the needs of the 21st Century and delivers performance that is a reflection of the driver's spirit.” Oh hell yes, people: first he’s gonna inspire your sorry ass with song when Fork in the Road drops April 7, then he’s gonna launch some dynadope technological innovation all up your rump and smack you straight in the cranium with some weapons-grade inspiration. Get ready for change, America!

Oh yeah, and get ready Canada, too, because your favorite son/green-minded gearhead is gonna do a wee bit of touring come April. He’s technically still touring in support of Chrome Dreams II, but apparently he’s been playing the hell out of Fork in the Road stuff live too, so who knows. You may get a mixture of both records or you may just have to watch Neil and this Jon Goodwin character work on a car for two hours. Either way, Neil Young’s gonna be there, and that ain’t never been a bad thing.

Fork in the Road tracklist:

1. When Worlds Collide
2. Fuel Line
3. Just Singing A Song
4. Johnny Magic
5. Cough Up The Bucks
6. Get Behind The Wheel
7. Off The Road
8. Hit The Road
9. Light A Candle
10. Fork In The Road

04.06.08 - St John’s, NF - Mile One Centre
04.10.08 - Halifax, NS - Metro Centre
04.11.08 - Saint John, NB - Harbour Station
04.13.08 - Kingston, ON - K-Rock Centre
04.15.08 - London, ON - John Labatt Centre
04.17.08 - Sault Ste Marie, ON - Essar Centre
04.20.08 - Saskatoon, SK - Credit Union Centre
04.22.08 - Kelowna, BC - Prospera Place
04.23.08 - Edmonton, AB - Rexall Place
04.25.08 - Lethbridge, AB - Enmax Centre

Prince to Wal-Mart: “Fuck You, I’m a Target Man!”

Following in my series of Minnesota-related info-bits (TMT News), I now bring tidings of joy: Prince has signed an exclusive deal with Target, the massive, blood-stained retailer with locations near you, and plans to release a 3CD set for the low, low price of $11.98.

This latest move by The Short One has pleased suburbanite-funksters the world over, reavealing Prince as the newest in the line of big-name, past-their-prime artists signing exclusive deals with outlets like Target, Wal-Mart, and Best Buy. Other “artists” include AC/DC, The Eagles, Guns N’ Roses, and Garth Brooks, who have all sold millions of bad albums through exclusive deals with big-box retailers, making it even easier for fat-assed morons, who can’t find the energy to go to more than one store, to get the music they love.

Of course, Target is quite pleased with the deal ($$$$!), and Mark Schindele, Target’s Senior Vice President of Merchandising, called me up to talk. He had this to say: “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to share [Prince’s] most recent work with our Target guests." I then asked Mark how he felt about Prince, personally, and he practically chortled as he gave me his response in a sing-song voice, very reminiscent of pre-teen girls talking about those lovely Jonas Brothers: "Prince has long been renowned as one of the world's most original and iconic musical artists [plus, I love those ass-less chaps he wears!]" Okay, he didn’t say anything about the ass-less chaps. But I do love Prince’s most controversial leg-wear.

Interested consumers, confused soccer moms, and Prince fanatics can pick up the 3CD box-set -- which consists of two new albums, LOtUSFLOW3R and MPLSoUND, as well as a third by his new artist, Bria Valente -- on March 29.

TR2N, the Sequel to TRON, Will Be Scored by Fucking Daft Punk

Keep your eyes on the left side and your ears on the right side. This is all you need to know.

Oh yeah, TR2N is coming out in 2011.

Obama Nominates Pro-Net Neutrality Dude as FCC Chief, HUZZAH!

President Obama has nominated lawyer/techie Julius Genachowski as FCC Chief this past Tuesday, March 3rd. Genachowski was a fellow Harvard Law classmate, and perhaps former beer pong partner, of President Obama and served as Obama’s lead tech advisor during the campaign.

Genachowski's nomination has made supporters of net neutrality quite pleased, and there are high hopes for telecoms to get the smack down laid upon them as to what they can and cannot do. Thus, those big wigs at Comcast (TMT News) may be a little grumpy, as it would seem that the nomination of Genachowski might hinder their dream of a world where peers are throttled to dial-up speeds on their transfers.

Gigi Sohn, president of net neutrality organization Public Knowledge, seems pretty stoked about the nomination. "As the architect of President-elect Obama’s Technology and Innovation Plan, it is clear that he understands the importance of open networks and a regulatory environment that promotes innovation and competition to a robust democracy and a health economy."

Of course, senior ranks in the much more powerful Justice Department are being filled by pro-copyright lawyers, so things are sorta up in the air -- but once the Senate confirms Genachowski, the sun might start to shine at least a little brighter on the internet.

I Need a Fix Cuz I’m Going Down… Oh, The Beatles: Rock Band?? That’ll Do Nicely.

Okay nerds, you win: The music of the Beatles will arrive as a painfully nostalgic, interactive video game for the first time on September 9, 2009, when The Beatles: Rock Band hits stores all over North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. The game, which will be available for Xbox, PlayStation 3, and Wii, “takes players on a journey through the legacy and evolution of the band’s legendary career.” Or, at least, it does according to the hippy-dippy press release distractedly issued by the title’s cash-high creators, Apple Corps, Harmonix, and MTV Games. Somewhat oddly, no playlist has been announced, nor has any word about specific venues and avatars (whatever those are, right?). There will, however be a limited number of instruments issued that are modeled after guitars, basses, and drums used by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and... uh, who was that fourth guy? Regular Rock Band peripherals will be compatible, too. Once again, to that I say: whatever those are.

But wait, there’s more! Three separate offerings will be released on the dawn of this new British Invasion: the straight-up software for The Beatles: Rock Band; assuredly cheesed-out standalone guitars; and a limited-edition premium bundle that will presumably include the game and, presumably, some array of instruments and garish memorabilia. Additionally, if you are the kind of lonely, ’60s-culture-adopting, kinda-chubby-because-you-haven’t-quite-blossomed-yet-but-you-will-and-once-you-do-you-won’t-care-about-this-hippie-stuff-anymore-because-you-won’t-need-that-kind-of-instant-cool-crutch type of high school kid who is into pre-ordering now, the game’s makers claim that there’s some mysterious exclusive content reserved for those who reserve the game in advance through major retailers over the next few months. The game’s official Website is active and, unlike the real Beatles organization, promises updates.

And speaking of those darned Beatles, McCartney, Starr, Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison are all backing the game, which is being overseen by Love co-producer Giles “Under-achiever and Proud of it” Martin.

Rumors that Beatles music would finally be transformed into its ultimate incarnation of digitized nostalgic-kitsch first fired up in June 2008, after insiders speculated that the appearance of the Fab Four’s music in American Idol, the [worst] film [in recent history besides Lady In the Water] Across the Universe, and the Cirque du Soleil Love production indicated Apple Corps might be willing to loosen their famously tight grip on the band’s catalog. In October 2008, the game’s makers made it official, announcing, “This game will take you on a journey from the Beatles first album Please Please Me until the last album at Abbey Road.” Well, hot damn. The only difference? The Beatles really knew how to play those guitars. But no, it’s cool. This is cool. You’re gonna be famous some day if you buy this thing. Really.

As previously reported (TMT News), David Bryne is yet again extending his transcontinental reign of electro-gospel all over Europe’s concert halls this spring. He will be playing a variety of material, including songs from his newest album Everything that Happens will Happen Today (TMT Review), the nearly 30-year-old collaboration with Brian Eno on three Talking Heads albums, and My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. Eno won't join Byrne, as he's too busy producing, twittering, and protesting

03.09.09 - Düsseldorf, Germany - Tonhalle
03.10.09 - Antwerp, Belgium - Koningin Elisabethzaal (QEH)
03.12.09 - Hamburg, Germany CCH2 - Congress Centrum
03.14.09 - Frankfurt, Germany Alte Oper
03.16.09 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Falkoner Theatre
03.17.09 - Stockholm, Sweden - Cirkus
03.19.09 - Oslo, Norway - Sentrum Scene
03.20.09 - Malmo, Sweden - Concert House
03.22.09 - Hannover, Germany - Theater am Aegi
03.23.09 - Berlin, Germany - Tempodrom
03.24.09 - Utrecht, Netherlands - MC Vredenburg
03.25.09 - Paris, France - L'Olympia
03.27.09 - Bristol, England - Colston Hall
03.29.09 - Birmingham, England - Symphony Hall Birmingham
03.30.09 - Manchester, England - Bridgewater Hall
03.31.09 - Glasgow, Scotland - Royal Concert Hall
04.01.09 - Gateshead, England - The Sage
04.03.09 - Liverpool, England - Philharmonic Hall
04.04.09 - Sheffield, England - City Hall
04.06.09 - Dublin, Eire - National Concert Hall
04.07.09 - Belfast, N. Ireland - Belfast Waterfront
04.09.09 - Oxford, England - New Theatre Oxford
04.11.09 - Nottingham, England - Royal Centre
04.12.09 - London, England - Royal Festival Hall
04.13.09 - London, England - Royal Festival Hall
04.14.09 - Brighton, England - Brighton Dome
04.16.09 - Stuttgart, Germany - Hegelsaal
04.17.09 - Zürich, Switzerland - Volkshaus Zürich
04.19.09 - Senigallia, Italy - La Fenice
04.20.09 - Verona, Italy - Teatro Filarmonico
04.21.09 - Milan, Italy - Auditorium Dal Verme
04.22.09 - Modena, Italy - Teatro Comunale
04.24.09 - Barcelona, Spain - Palau de la Müsica Catalana
04.26.09 - Oviedo, Spain - Auditorio Príncipe Felipe
04.27.09 - Madrid, Spain - Teatro Lope de Vega
04.28.09 - Lisbon, Portugal - Coliseo

Your Mission, Should You Choose to Accept it: To Hightail Your Caboose to Iowa City’s Mission Creek Festival to See The Mountain Goats, GZA, No Age, and Beach House. This Faceless Headline Writer Will Self-Destruct in Five Seconds.

April Fool’s Day: a time for merry pranksters to wreak havoc on unsuspecting targets using such simpleton tricks like placing plastic wrap under a toilet seat or black paint on a telephone’s earpiece and proving that the main requirement to executing a flawless April Fool’s joke is having hands. Hell, even we pulled a fast one a couple of years ago, much to the delight of all who read it then angrily wrote about it on their blahgs like a bunch of suckhole babies when it was revealed a prank. Yes, good fun can be had on April 1, but the day can be a cruel mistress -- one minute you could be laughing uncontrollably at a friend chewing on dirt flavored gum, the next it could be you who is the April Fool, lying naked in a pool of asbestos fiber with your buttocks duct-taped together.

Why not avoid this possibility and load up your IROC-Z with cases of Rockstar, change your road music (I suggest “Easy Lover” by Phil Collins and Phillip Bailey... that CD, even when dangling from your rearview mirror as an ornament, just eats up the open road!) and head to a little place people refer to as “the nation’s neckfold” on April 1 for a music festival! Years from now, when you are warming your hands over a flaming oil drum beside your cardboard shantytown under a concrete overpass, you don’t want to admit that you passed on the opportunity to see The Mountain Goats, Beach House, No Age, and The Wu-Tang Clan’s resident Genius, GZA, all of whom will be playing the Mission Creek Festival in Iowa City!

Yes, Iowa City (never once referred to as “the nation’s neckfold”) knows how good it’s got it, and from April 1-4 it will host and boast during a celebration of its cultural prowess with an impressive lineup of musical and literary acts. I pity the fool who dismisses this latest confirmed Mission Creek music lineup, which unlike clock radio speakers, is anything but weak:

GZA/Genius (performing Liquid Swords), The Mountain Goats, Beach House, No Age, John Vanderslice, Fruit Bats, Headlights, Bowerbirds, The Tallest Man on Earth, Simon Joyner, Diplomats of Solid Sound, El Paso Hot Button, These United States, Caleb Engstrom, Porno Galactica, Fulton Lights, Golden Birds, Anavan, Cartright, Pieta Brown, The Hood Internet, The Western Front, Escape the Floodwater Jug Band, Roommate, The Brown Note, Birth Rites, Mannix!, School of Flyentology, Joe Pug, Ill Ease, The Pack A.D., David Zollo and The Body Electric, The Gglitch, Shame Train, Dead Larry, and Petit Mal.

Writers are just like musicians, except without music or personalities. Hey, I’m talking about myself only here! My deficiencies aside, nothing should not dissuade you from catching some REAL lit heroes at Mission Creek, who are all wonderful and charismatic and talented: Edmund White, Charlie D’Ambrosio, Steven Kuusisto, Andrew Milward, Mark Leidner, Steve Hanson, and folks representing Forklift: Ohio, whose publication subtitle is “A Journal of Poetry, Cooking & Light Industrial Safety.” See? I told you there are going to be good times had by all!

The Boy Least Likely To Release New Album, Tour UK

English indie pop duo The Boy Least Likely To released their latest album, The Law of the Playground this week on iTunes, with physical versions expected in the UK March 9 and in U.S. April 14. If you act quickly and pre-order the album from the Rough Trade Shop, you’ll receive a bonus disc, in which the band joins the illustrious tradition of Limp Bizkit and cover George Michael’s “Faith.” And hell, they’ll also throw in a collection of B-sides and rarities.

The band launches a Tour of The Playground across the UK this month in support of their album.

03.16.09 - Leeds, UK - The Cockpit
03.17.09 -Manchester, UK - Night and Day Cafe
03.18.09 - Glasgow, UK - King Tuts
03.19.09 - Newcastle, UK - The Cluny
03.20.09 - Nottingham, UK - The Bodega Social Club
03.23.09 - Brighton, UK - Audio
03.24.09 - Bristol, UK - Louisiana
03.25.09 - Southampton, UK - The Joiners
03.26.09 - London, UK - Cargo

The Law of the Playground tracklisting:

1. Saddle Up
2. Balloon on a Broken String
3. When Life Gives Me Lemons I Make Lemonade
4. I Box Up All the Butterflies
5. The Boy With Two Hearts
6. Stringing Up Conkers
7. The Boy Least Likely To Is a Machine
8. Whiskers
9. Every Goliath Has Its David
10. The Nature of the Boy Least Likely To
11. I Keep Myself to Myself
12. The Worm Forgives the Plough
13. A Fairytale Ending



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