Andrew Bird Whistles While He Works… And Finishes New Album!

Just the other day, I was thinking to myself “Isn’t it about time for a new Andrew Bird album? Because I could really use one.” Turns out, it is that time, which is great! Due January 27, 2009 from Fat Possum Records, Bird will bring us Noble Beast, the follow-up to 2007's Armchair Apocrypha (TMT Review). The new album will consist of 12 tracks, with the new single “Oh No” ready to be heard right here. In typical Bird fashion, this song is very literate and features his signature violin and whistle.

To prepare for the unleashing of Noble Beast, Bird will be making a few live appearances to road-test some of his new material. (The inclusion of Bird’s alter ego Dr. Stringz may or may not rear his head on these dates.) Meanwhile, the Bird man will be appearing on the new Final Fantasy EP, Plays to Please, out October 21.

Noble Beast tracklisting:

Asobi Seksu Announce U.S. Fall Tour, Only If That’s Alright With You, White People!

Asobi Seksu are often compared to My Bloody Valentine, but they've also proven that they do have their own special sound. That's partly why Polyvinyl has signed the band and are set to release the single "Me & Mary," both digitally and on 7-inch vinyl, on November 18.

Now, to be blunt, Asobi Seksu's lead singer Yuki Chikudate is very attractive and Asian. We all know that white guys like Asian girls. This is fine and dandy, of course, but how is it helping Asobi Seksu record sales to non-whites? Well, it's not, which is why they've gotta expand their demographic! I've scribbled a few ideas that Polyvinyl is free to steal if it wants:

- Sell the single at Taco Bell.

- Give a free Seksu digital download to anyone who buys a mahjong set in Chinatown.

- Put up posters in hospitals in the ghetto (Okay, okay -- this was a joke. There are no hospitals in the ghetto).

Early in 2009, the group will release their third LP, produced by Chris Zane (The Walkmen, Les Savy Fav). But for now, go see them play at one of their many U.S. dates.

I'm talking to you, white people!:

Word Is Bond: Wu-Tang Documentary Set For November Premiere on BET Followed by DVD Release

All right, ya’ll! Get your white owls, get your meth, get your skins, don’t forget your 40oz, cuz the stirring saga of the incomparable Wu-Tang Clan is gonna give it to your TV raw-butt-nekkid with Wu: The Story of the Wu Tang Clan. According to Billboard, the Gerald P. Barclay-directed doc will air on BET from November 13 to 16 and drop on DVD November 18, along with an additional CD of greatest hits of the Clan proper and their approximately nine million side projects.

The documentary includes interviews by Wu-Tang insiders, as well as all nine Clanners themselves (or ten depending on your opinion of Cappadona), who will also appear on BET’s 106th and Park on the DVD drop date. In addition to all this Wu news, the Killa Bees have joined forces with The Orchard to re-release their entire discography digitally.

And oh yeah, you can still grab 8 Diagrams (TMT Review) anywhere that totally sweet records are sold. Finally, this is a picture of the Wu-Tang sweatshirt I wore while writing this story.

Wu-Tang is the greatest.

Fucked Up Celebrate New Album By Playing Free 12-Hour Show in New York City

To celebrate the release of The Chemistry of Common Life, out October 7 on Matador, Fucked Up are playing a free TWELVE-HOUR-LONG SHOW at a storefront in New York City. Yes, TWELVE STRAIGHT HOURS of live music FREE. Now, that’s Fucked Up*!

The show, which takes place October 14 from 2 PM - 2 AM at the Rogan store (corner of Bowery and Bond), is free. And, according to Matador, "All ages are welcome to attend, though the free alcohol will be limited to those 21 and over." (Wait, free alcohol?) But, don’t worry, little kids, there’s something in it for you too: Fucked Up are giving away a free limited-edition 7-inch of “Royal Swan” to the first batch of show attendees.

Of course, Fucked Up will need help to make it through 12 hours of live music. So, they're having their buds join them on stage. Guests include:

The Vivian Girls, John Joseph, Matt Sweeney, Chain Gang, Mobb Deep, Ryan Sawyer from Tall Firs, Jeff Jensen, David Cross, John Cale, K-Taro, Chris Doherty, E.K., DJ Chris, DJ Anarki, Michael Gira, members of the Australian Scapa Flow, Jeanne Bovet, Gods & Queens, Akon, The Edge, Ben Blackwell, Russell Simins, the Boogie, and more TBA.

Freshly expanded tourdates:

% Vivian Girls
# Don Caballero

* Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

“Holiday Road Ohohohohohoh”… Oh No! Pelican Robbed in Rome

If this story wasn’t so sad, I could have run with a very lame Vacation plot crammed full of Clark Griswold’s fish-out-of-water hijinks. But because robbery is never funny, and because touring is never relaxing at the best of times (especially when you are far from home and reliant on limited travel possessions for your job and sanity), this news is just plain devastating and depressing. Last week, Chicago noise addixxx Pelican got four bags of belongings stolen from their rental van in Rome while out sightseeing. (The band is currently touring around Europe with Torche.)

I’m pissed when someone steals one of my popsicles from the freezer at work, so I can’t even imagine how shitty it must feel to lose a bunch of personal and professional items. There are always many worthwhile causes vying for your hard-earned money, but if you happen to be particularly flush with extra pocket change this week, donating a few bucks to Pelican would produce a significant karmic rebound. Here’s the statement from the band:

Our otherwise excellent tour of Europe hit a severe stroke of bad luck this week. Two days ago we had a spare half hour to spend in Rome before heading to the venue, so we decided to go see the Coliseum. We parked nearby and went to take a brief twenty minute walk around the area. When we returned to our van we found that it had been broken into, despite being parked on a major street in broad daylight. Four bags were stolen, the contents including computers, passports, wallets, ipods, our soundguy's microphone collection, and, most devastatingly, a number of personal journals and two portable recording devices containing hours of song ideas that are now lost forever.

The calculated loss of this theft is several thousands of dollars. Unfortunately our band only earns us a very meager living and some of us are already in the hole from years of trying to make a living as musicians. This incident therefore poses a devastating loss and puts us in a very compromised financial position. Although we realize that there is a worldwide financial crisis going on, if there are those of you who have the means and desire to help out our gratitude would run deeper than words could express. We've set up a Paypal account at the address pelicanrobbed@gmail.com. Anything you can offer, even simple condolences, would go a long way. Thanks so much for reading.

Remaining dates:

* Torche

HEALTH to Sweep Across U.S. on Fall Tour; U.S. Acts Out in Defiance and Remains Morbidly Obese

L.A. zoothorn enthusiasts and noise-rockers HEALTH are set to, uh, make some noise all across the U.S. this winter as they liven up the Nine Inch Nails “We Need Young Bands To Open For Us So That We Seem Relevant” Tour, which has already brought the likes of Deerhunter and Crystal Castles to Verizon Wireless Arenas and Bi-Lo Amphitheaters near you. And while the urge to attend a NIN concert in the year 2008 just to see what that demographic looks like is compelling, you may find yourself gravitating towards the other dates on the Health itinerary, including several shows with of Montreal.

HEALTH hit the road October 9 at Hollywood’s Knitting Factory with Genghis Tron, Clipd Beaks, and Yip Yip, and look out for the upcoming Live at the Smell DVD directed by Bob Bellerue and featuring performances by HEALTH, The Mae-Shi, Anavan, and Foot Village — all filmed at the eponymous downtown Los Angeles venue.

# Genghis Tron, Clipd Beaks, Yip Yip

* Nine Inch Nails

$ AIDS Wolf, USA Is A Monster

! Special appearance by DanKing!!

Nick Cave to Release Second Novel, Curate/Headline Inaugural ATP Australia with Bad Seeds; You to Talk Bullshit About Starting Your First Novel, Curate/Headline Dinner with Your Parents on Saturday

Sure, Nick Cave may look like a tweaked-out, undependable drifter these days, but let me be the first to assure you that, despite what that garish mustache would have you believe, he’s actually pretty all-about commitment these days. Take, for instance, his second work of fiction, The Death of Bunny Munro, which he will be “committing” to paper in the coming months.

Cave's previous foray into fiction was, of course, 1989's And the Ass Saw the Angel, which, conveniently enough, is currently available in two special editions via Black Spring Press. In rather typical Cave fashion, this new endeavor traces the fortunes of one man and his son on a road trip around the south coast of England following the suicide of his wife. Sure, it sounds rather bleak, but remember that you’re talking about the man who made even “not getting laid” sound completely badass last year.

The world rights for the book have been acquired by publishers Canongate, who have “committed” to a release date of September 2009 for Cave’s creation. Canongate is planning a multimedia launch for Bunny Munro, which will consist of both an audio book (also narrated by Cave himself, kids!) and an e-book, which will both launch simultaneously. In addition, a signed and numbered limited edition will also be available, as well as a special e-book version combining Cave's narration with an original "soundscape."

"Nick is one of the great forces in contemporary culture -- not just an outstanding musician and singer, but also a superb writer, be it of lyrics, screenplays, music scores or novels," says Canongate publisher/managing director Jamie Byng. "This novel is going to shock and amaze a lot of people." See, I told you he was dedicated... how many books have you written, published, narrated, and soundtracked in the past year? Cuz if it’s any less than one, you already look shitty by comparison!

But wait, he’s not even done yet; heck, he’s barely even broken a sweat! Along with his fellow Bad Seeds, Cave is also “committed” to both headline and curate All Tomorrow’s Parties’ inaugural ATP Australia festival, scheduled to take place January 9-18, 2009 in, you guessed it, Australia. Caves ATP Australia will stage shows all across the island/commonwealth/country/continent and will include such indulgences as he and the Seeds see fit, including (and this is just preliminary, mind you):

Spiritualized, Silver Apples, Michael Gira, Fuck Buttons, Afrirampo, Harmonica, James “Blood” Ulmer, the Saints, former Go-Between Robert Foster, Laughing Clowns, Bridezilla, the Necks, Primitive Calculators, Rowland S. Howard, the Stabs, and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

And all of this while you’re struggling to make a simple dinner reservation for your parents this weekend! Maybe you should look into growing one of those mustaches after all.

Back in the Water; Monumental Jam Band Phish Set to Reunite

It’s been talked about for years now. Four years to be exact. However, this week, the prayers of legions of jam fans and ex-Deadheads were answered: Legendary jam pioneers Phish announced plans on their website to play three nights at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, VA. The shows, scheduled to take place March 6-8, would be the band's first since August 2004, after playing their final string of shows at a farewell festival in Coventry, VT.

But, actually, this is sorta routine for them. The band broke up before in 2000, amidst allegations that their operation had just become too big and complex. However, they quickly reformed in 2002 to the delight of fans and critics alike. But only two years later, the group announced their second breakup.

Nonetheless, I, personally, plan to make March a personal health month, dedicated to Phish and am curious when their third breakup will be.

Throbbing Gristle Member’s New Project Threshold HouseBoys Choir Added to Already Stone-Cold Awesome Brainwaves Festival Lineup; Kranky Celebrates 15th Anniversary

Have you been lacking in your daily dose of music with heavy thuds, endless loops of unnerving screams, and loads and loads of discordant tones? Your clock radio alarm going off to Einsturzende Neubauten just not cutting it anymore? Well, you're in luck, because you can get more experimental, avant-garde, and just plain off-the-beaten path GOOD music at this fall's Brainwaves festival in Boston, MA.

Tickets for the entire weekend of November 21-23 are only $75 a pop and guarantee a couple blissful days of forward-thinking music, not all of which would inspire a Sarah Palin-esque anti-witch ceremony, but if that's your thing, hey there's that aplenty! There's also eerie minimalist songsters like Marissa Nadler and Rivulets and oscillator luminaries like Silver Apples. The proverbial cherry on top of the lineup is the recent unveiling of Throbbing Gristle (and Psychic TV, Coil, annnnnd SoiSong) member Peter Christopherson's Threshold HouseBoys Choir to the roster.

Lo and behold -- a complete listing of all participating artists, who will be rocking Boston's Regent Theatre for one magical weekend (including a special day in honor of the Kranky label's 15th anniversary. Happy birthday guys! Let the driver's permit jokes begin!):

Threshold HouseBoys Choir, Silver Apples, JG Thirlwell's Manorexia, Meat Beat Manifesto, Matmos, Stars of the Lid, Marissa Nadler, Little Annie, Windy Weber (of Windy & Carl) & Thomas Meluch (of Benoit Pioulard), Major Stars, Reformed Faction (Mark and Robin of Zoviet France, Rapoon, Dead Voices On Air), Boduf Songs, Andrew Liles and Jonathan Coleclough, Nmperign feat. Jason Lescalleet, Glenn Jones, To Kill A Petty Bourgeoisie, His Name Is Alive, Gary Wilson, Rivulets, Strategy, Nudge, Lichens + DJ Steven Stapleton & a special Greater Than One video presentation.

RIP: Nick Reynolds, Founding Member of Kingston Trio

According to The Kingston Trio's official website:

We have lost one of the finest singers and entertainers the world has ever known. Nick Reynolds passed away Wednesday, Oct. 1st at 10:05 p.m. A dear friend, a wonderful man, father, husband...there will never be another like Nick.

Nick had been in the hospital in the ICU for several weeks, and tonight the family made the decison to take him off life support.

Bob Shane says that from the day he met Nick in college in 1954, they were brothers, and Nick will be with him for the rest of his life.

Our heartfelt feelings go out to all of Nick's family and many friends and fans.

- The Kingston Trio official website
- The Kingston Trio blog
- Nick Reynolds Wikipedia entry
- Nick Reynolds IMDB entry
- Rolling Stone article: "Kingston Trio Founding Member Nick Reynolds Dead at 75"