RIP: Lux Interior, founder and singer of The Cramps

From YouTube:

From a press release (via The Daily Swarm):

Lux Interior, lead singer of The Cramps, passed away this morning due to an existing heart condition at Glendale Memorial Hospital in Glendale, California at 4:30 AM PST today. Lux has been an inspiration and influence to millions of artists and fans around the world. He and wife Poison Ivy’s contributions with The Cramps have had an immeasurable impact on modern music.

The Cramps emerged from the original New York punk scene of CBGB and Max’s Kansas City, with a singular sound and iconography. Their distinct take on rockabilly and surf along with their midnight movie imagery reminded us all just how exciting, dangerous, vital and sexy rock and roll should be and has spawned entire subcultures. Lux was a fearless frontman who transformed every stage he stepped on into a place of passion, abandon, and true freedom. He is a rare icon who will be missed dearly.

The family requests that you respect their privacy during this difficult time.

- The Cramps official website
- The Cramps Wikipedia entry
- Lux Interior Wikipedia entry

Mango Starr’s Tour Roundup: The Helio Sequence, The Handsome Furs, P.O.S.

- The Helio Sequence will begin a mini-tour on February 12 in Eugene, OR. The 7-date tour will begin on February 12 in Eugene, OR. A full U.S. tour and international festival dates are TBA, but first: a small tour that begins February 12 in Eugene, OR! This tour will actually coincide with the band's tiny tour of the U.S., which begins February 12 in Eugene, OR.

- The Handsome Furs are set to bring their GROUNDBREAKING music to Europe February 9 for a bunch of shows. Then they'll return to North America in March. Then they'll return to Europe in April. It's, like, make up your mind!

- P.O.S., who society defines by his hip-hop-edness, has released his new album, Never Better, yesterday on Rhymesayers, producing more than half of the album's beats. His tour starts tomorrow in MISSOULA, MONTANAAAAAA!!! [Smashes Maddy's head into picture frame]

Black Moth Super Rainbow To Release New Album Eating Us; BMSR FYI: Massive Amounts Of Cannibalism Can Lead To Bad Digestion

After taking a year off to vacation on Mars, Black Moth Super Rainbow are coming back to Earth to release Eating Us May 26 via Graveface Records. Since 2007’s Dandelion Gum (TMT Review), it seems the band has left its happy-go-lucky snacks at the door for a much more sinister morsel: us!

Eating Us is considered the first fully hi-fi record by BSMR, now a proper six-piece band. Dave Fridmann, who has worked with pretty much everyone, produced the album. Can't wait to see how Mr. Fridmann dealt with this batch of synths and vocoders (probably pretty well).

The deluxe version of the new album will come with a 16-page art book and "hairy summer" (what?!?) jewel case jacket. The rest of the specifics are shrouded in mystery. Though, one extra thing has been confirmed: this album is NOT about witches and woods -- so there's that...

Eating Us tracklisting:

1. Born On A Day The Sun Didn't Rise
2. Dark Bubbles
3. Twin Of Myself
4. Gold Splatter
5. Iron Lemonade
6. Tooth Decay
7. Fields Are Breathing
8. Smile The Day After Today
9. The Sticky
10. Bubblegum Animals
11. American Face Dust

John Vanderslice Signs to Dead Oceans, Where the Dead Float Face Down in the Ocean with a Knife in Their Back And Their Brains Blown Out, Turning the Ocean Blood Red

John Vanderslice, Heidi Vanderslice's long-lost father/lover/muse/brother, has recently said goodbye to Barsuk and hello to Dead Oceans for his follow-up to 2007's Emerald City (TMT Review). Titled Romanian Names, the new set of tunes is scheduled for release May 19. According to Vanderslice:

In the fall of 2007 I played shows with Bishop Allen and Bowerbirds. I was already in love with both bands. By the end of the tour I had fallen hard for their label, Dead Oceans. I had known Phil for a few years and I deeply respected his taste in music. When he joined the Secretly Canadian / Jagjaguwar family, I started to pay close attention. I am honored to be in the game with these people! They are passionate, aware, loyal and SERIOUS.

As we reported last week (TMT News), John Vanderslice is heading out on tour with John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats, which is sure to be the most lovable tour EVER. C'mon, who doesn't love these guys? They're so adorable I could just chew off their faces.

John Vanderslice & John Darnielle tourdates:
03.18.09 - Asheville, NC - the Grey Eagle
03.20.09 - Norfolk, VA - the Atticus Theatre
03.21.09 - Washington, DC - Sixth and I Synagogue
03.24.09 - Northampton, MA - Pearl Street
03.25.09 - Somerville, MA - the Sommerville Theatre
03.27.09 - New York, NY - Society for Ethical Culture (Wordless Music series)
03.29.09 - Gambier, OH - Kenyon College
03.30.09 - Oberlin, OH - Oberlin College
04.01.09 - Chicago, IL - Epiphany Episcopal
04.02.09 - Champaign, IL - Courtyard Café at University of Illinois
04.03.09 - Iowa City, IA - the Mill (Mission Creek Music Festival)
04.04.09 - Richmond, IN - Earlham College
04.06.09 - Bloomington IN - Buskirk-Chumley Theater

For Sale: A $64,000 Turntable, To Be Marketed Toward Low-Income Families

There are expensive turntables... and here is another one. This record player is called The Gabriel, and it could be yours for $64,000. As you can see, this model has four arms, making constant changing of pickup cartridges a thing of the past (finally!). The one-armed model will run you a mere $27,000.

Why would a pile of aluminum, bronze, and stainless steel cost you a couple of years tuition at your finest community college? Well, it bills itself as a shining example of magnetic suspension, which lifts vinyl mere millimeters above bearings by means of calibrated magnets which dampen vibrations, as if the record was nestled upon feathers plucked from the sublime wings of the angel Gabriel himself. As any seasoned audiophile will tell you, that makes for “good lissnin’!” It takes half a day for maker Angelis Labor to calibrate The Gabriel and set up the turntable. As Placido Pappalardo, co-owner of Angelis Labor, claims, “When I look at it the only word that comes to mind is love.” We hope so, and at that price it better swallow too!

Very high-end record players are not that rare, and they are fun to look at. For example, this. These. Or this nutty thing! A quick stroll on the web will yield you plenty of (I hate to go over your heads and get real technical here) mumbo-jumbo justifying these pricey units, and if discerning between low bass string gauges is important to you, then these may make your listening conundrums easier. Regardless of the extravagance, all of us have some sort of stereo setup and love music, so it never hurts to take a few moments during your day and daydream about owning a sweet piece of stereo art normally scooped up in pairs by billionaire bumpkins who want to hear that stupid “bawitdabaabangadangdiggydiggyboobysandwich” Kid Rock song in its purest form (one for the den, one for the outhouse).

If you do somehow have the funds to buy The Gabriel, you will have to contact the company directly; Angelis Labor will never allow anybody to sell their products on the internet. Said Pappalardo: “We will never allow anybody to sell our products on the Internet.” Maybe they are willing to do radio ads?

Want to be the envy of your friends and have them stripped-searched upon entry to your home? Then The Gabriel is for you. The Gabriel is one of the small few contestants to ever beat BioHazard on Battlebots. The Gabriel doesn’t use electricity, but it does need to be fed crickets, mice, and rattlesnakes to function. The U.S. Government used The Gabriel to develop its stealth aircraft technology. The Gabriel has been its own UN designation, out of respect. Don’t make eye contact with The Gabriel; it can turn on you like a bipolar nympho possessed by a feral parrot off its meds. Girls, don’t expect a call from The Gabriel the morning after a hot date; do expect to be pregnant. Always bring The Gabriel on road trips; it can change a tire and hunt and cook you survival vittles...

Ariel Pink and Vivian Girls Announce 13-Date Tour, Culminating with Coachella Performances

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti (who are now in the studio recording a new full-length, who have just released a limited-edition 7-inch on Mexican Summer Records, and who will be touring with Duchess Says and Animal Collective throughout March) and Vivian Girls (whose self-titled debut was re-released by In the Red, whose "sweetly angelic vocals is practically a can't-miss concoction," who have some scattered dates in Feburary with M. Ward, and who will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers) have announced a joint 13-date tour, which will lead up to their first appearances at Coachella.

- Test Ariel Pink
- Test Vivian Girls

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti & Vivian Girls:
04.02.09 - New York, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg
04.03.09 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's
04.04.09 - Baltimore, MD - Ottobar
04.05.09 - Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506
04.06.09 - Knoxville, TN - Pilot Light
04.07.09 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl
04.08.09 - New Orleans, LA - The Parish
04.09.09 - Houston, TX - Walter's on Washington
04.10.09 - Austin, TX - The Mohawk
04.11.09 - Dallas, TX - Hailey's
04.13.09 - Phoenix, AZ - Modified
04.14.09 - Tucson, AZ - Plush
04.15.09 - San Diego, CA - Casbah
04.19.09 - Indio, CA - Coachella Music & Arts Festival

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti:
02.26.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Henry Fonda $
03.17.09 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom Of the Hill #
03.19.09 - Portland, OR - Holocene #
03.20.09 - Seattle, WA - El Corazon #
03.21.09 - Vancouver, BC - Media Club #
03.22.09 - Missoula, MT - Palace #
03.24.09 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge #
03.25.09 - Denver, CO - Hi Dive #
03.27.09 - Minneapolis, MN - Triple Rock #
03.28.09 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle #
03.30.09 - Toronto, ONT - El Mocambo #
03.31.09 - Montreal, PQ - Zoobizarre #
03.01.09 - Boston, MA - TT the Bears #

$ Animal Collective

# Duchess Says

Vivian Girls:
02.19.09 - New York, NY - The Apollo %
02.20.09 - Philadelphia, PA - Trocadero %
02.21.09 - Washington, DC - Sixth & I Historic Synagogue %
03.18.09 - Austin, TX - SXSW

% M. Ward

Tricky Plans Totally Epic, Bitchin’ Tour of the U.S. This Spring

Massive Attack has plans for a new album. Portishead has reunited. Kingdom have risen and fallen, and over 10 years have passed since the birth of trip-hop. For too long, the lords of the downbeat had been silent. But now something is stirring. It comes'a rumblin' from the West, a steady hum from the concert venues of America. It could only mean one thing: Tricky has been roused from his slumber to complete an extensive tour of the United States and resume his position in the sacred trip-hop trifecta.

Tricky will be hitting the road for a five-week U.S. tour in support of his most recent album Knowle West Boy, a fresh mix of hip-hop, punk, and electronica that proves the Kid is still an innovative and inspiring presence in the scene. If you missed Tricky when he was last stateside in September, this list of tourdates is his most extensive yet, with stops at the Langerado Festival in Miami and at SXSW, where he's billed alongside Devo.

To celebrate, Domino Records is digitally releasing the "Puppy Boy" single with remixes, unreleased B-sides, and videos for "Council Estate" and "Puppy Boy." Performances promise songs from throughout the man's career, and he's been selling out shows all across Europe -- so don't sleep on this

03.02.09 - Farmingdale, NY - Crazy Donkey
03.03.09 - New York, NY - The Fillmore at Irving Plaza
03.06.09 - Miami, FL - Langerado Festival
03.07.09 - St. Petersburg, FL - State Theatre
03.09.09 - Charlotte, NC - Neighborhood Theatre
03.10.09 - Baltimore, MD - Ram's Head Live
03.11.09 - Boston, MA - The Roxy
03.13.09 - Chicago, IL - Epiphany
03.14.09 - Minneapolis, MN - Fine Line Music Hall
03.18.09 - San Antonio, TX - The Scout Bar
03.20.09 - Austin, TX - Austin Music Hall*
03.23.09 - San Diego, CA - Belly Up
03.24.09 - Anaheim, CA - House of Blues
03.25.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Henry Fonda Theater
03.26.09 - San Francisco, CA - Mezzanine
03.27.09 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir
03.28.09 - Seattle, WA - Showbox


Ryland Bouchard Embarks on a Whole New World; Don’t You Dare Close Your Eyes

Ryland Bouchard (ex-Robot Ate Me) will wrap up his European tour tonight in Brussels, before embarking on a "whole new world" (North America) tomorrow in Chicago. He'll be supporting his latest 7-inch box set, Seeds (TMT News), which is absolutely beautiful.

Tour-related things to check out:

- I Need Sleep, who are opening a bunch of the dates and have some music coming out on Swim Slowly later this year.
- Emperor X, who is also playing a bunch of dates with Ryland.
- Drew Danburry, who's only playing a handful of dates but also has his own tour going on.

Things to check out in any context:

- Indian River High School Talent Show (performance of "A Whole New World"):


- "A Whole New World" by Nick Pitera (check out this dude's "Jasmine"):

02.04.09 - Chicago, IL - Go Go Town: 3117 S. Morgan Ave

02.05.09 - Toronto, ON - Rancho Relaxo #
02.06.09 - Montreal, QC - The Green Room # & !
02.07.09 - Ottawa, ON - 443 Kent Street #
02.12.09 - Burlington, VT - Monkey House
02.13.09 - Willimantic, CT - Wrench in the Works
02.15.09 - New York City, NY - Cake Shop #
02.16.09 - Jamestown, NY - Labyrinth Press Company #
02.17.09 - Meadville, PE - Allegheny College #
02.18.09 - Gambier, OH - Kenyon College # &
02.19.09 - Kalamazoo, MI - 1809 Douglas Ave

02.20.09 - Rock Island, IL - Daytrotter
02.21.09 - Dekalb, IL - The House Cafe # &&
02.22.09 - Chicago, IL - The Empty Bottle &#
02.23.09 - East Moline, IL - Mixtapes!
02.25.09 - Urbana, IL - 107 N Coler Ave # &&
02.26.09 - Madison, WI - TBA
02.27.09 - Northfield, MN - Carleton College # &&
02.28.09 - Minneapolis, MN - TBA
03.03.09 - Kansas City, MO - The Pistol Social Club #
03.06.09 - Denton, TX - Rubber Gloves $ & #
03.07.09 - Santa Fe, NM - Meow Wolf $ & #
03.09.09 - Phoenix, AZ - The Trunk Space # & $
03.10.09 - Tucson, AZ - The Living Room
03.12.09 - Irvine, CA - UC Irvine $ & #
03.13.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Ports O Call
03.20.09 - Portland, OR - The Artistery

# Emperor X

& I Need Sleep

$ Drew Danburry

! The Winks

The Hold Steady to Release DVD Documentary + Live Album in April

On April 7, Vagrant will release The Hold Steady's A Positive Rage, a double-disc set that includes a 53-minute documentary of the band in London and a live disc from Halloween 2007. According to their publicist: "A Positive Rage captures the excitement and high spirits of both the band and their fans in the days surrounding the release of their third full-length, Boys and Girls in America, (Vagrant) and ensuing world tour in 2006."

The live disc will also feature five bonus tracks, "Ask Her For Adderall," "Cheyenne Sunrise," "Two Handed Handshake," and unreleased tracks "Spectres" and "40 Bucks."

The band's currently on tour, which will culminate with the band opening for Counting Crows in May.

There, I wrote the story. Can you let me out of this room now, Mr P? Fuckin' jerk.

A Positive Rage tracklisting:

1. Intro
2. Stuck Between Stations
3. The Swish
4. Chips Ahoy!
5. Massive Nights
6. Ask Her For Adderall
7. Barfruit Blues
8. Same Kooks
9. You Gotta Dance (With Who You Came With)
10. Lord, I'm Discouraged
11. You Can Make Him Like You
12. Your Little Hoodrat Friend
13. Southtown Girls
14. Citrus
15. First Night
16. Girls Like Status
17. Killer Parities

02.04.09 - Sydney, AUS - The Metro Theatre
02.06.09 - Perth, AUS - Laneway Festival
02.07.09 - Adelaide, AUS - Laneway Festival
02.08.09 - Sydney, AUS - Laneway Festival
03.31.09 - Albany, NY - Valentine's
04.01.09 - Buffalo, NY - Tralf Music Hall
04.02.09 - Grand Rapids, MI - Calvin College Fine Arts Center
04.03.09 - Urbana, IL - Illini Courtyard Café
04.04.09 - Bloomington, IN - Jake's Nightclub
04.06.09 - St. Louis, MO - Gargoyle
04.07.09 - Iowa City, IA - The Picador
04.08.09 - Omaha, NE - Slowdown
04.10.09 - Boulder, CO - Fox Theatre
04.11.09 - Salt Lake City, UT - The Urban Lounge
04.13.09 - Las Vegas, NV - Beauty Bar
04.14.09 - Stateline, NV - Harrah's Tahoe South Shore Room
04.17.09 - Indio, CA - Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
04.15.09 - Sacramento, CA - Harlow's
05.10.09 - Glasgow, UK - SECC #
05.11.09 - Manchester, UK - Manchester Evening News Arena #
05.13.09 - Birmingham, UK - NIA #
05.14.09 - London, UK - Wembley Arena #
05.16.09 - Cardiff, UK - Cardiff Arena #
05.18.09 - Bournemouth, UK - BIC #
05.19.09 - Nottingham, UK - Royal Centre #
05.21.09 - Brixton, UK - Academy #
05.30.09 - Hunter Mountain, NY - Mountain Jam

# Counting Crows

Zappa Family Loses Zappa Festival Court Battle, Sets About Suing Spanish Zapaterias Instead

You know something? Before Frank Zappa died in 1993, he was a lot of things: a tireless tinkerer, a musical adventurer, a trail-blazing perfectionist, an outlandishly innovative band leader, and a caring and, shall we say, ”highly original” husband and father. But you know what? There’s one thing he wasn’t: a good-looking man.

Such trivial physicalities were clearly of no great importance to the German Frank Zappa Fan Club, however, as they have seemingly had no problem using Frank’s name and image in logos and other merchandize products relating to their annual Zappanale Festival since its inception back in 1990. (Umm, now might be a good time to take a moment to remind everyone here just what that hallowed image looks like, probably huh? Yeah. Here you go.)

Recently, however, Frank’s widow Gail and her family trust launched a lawsuit against the German Fan Club over its little annual shindig (which attracted some 6,800 visitors last year), demanding, in particular, the removal of a (get this!) bronze sculpture of Zappa that serves as the centerpiece of the festival site (yeah, let’s go to those visual aids one more time, shall we?) and damages of €250,000 (that’s $325,000) if the festival continues to use the “Zappanale” name.

Unfortunately for, er, everyone, the higher court in Dusseldorf ruled on January 21 that festival organizers may continue to use Zappa's name and his image on the festival logo, as well as on related merchandise products such as t-shirts and baseball caps (I could do this all day!).

It further ruled that Gail Zappa's rights were not violated and that she could not prove she uses the Zappa brand in Germany herself, finding she has had knowledge of the festival since its inception back in the day. Several thousand (presumably blind?) Zappa fans had previously demanded the withdrawal of the lawsuit, which was first launched in April 2008. Thomas Dippel, festival speaker and head of that crazy little bronze-statue-errecting fan club, welcomed the ruling. "We have always been certain that we have the older rights," he said. "We have also patented the name of the festival with the German patent office. Gail Zappa only applied for the patent of her own rights in 2002." So I guess all’s well that ends well, right Frank? Yeeeek... uh, right.

Oh, and FYI: The 2009 edition is scheduled August 12-16. And I bet they serve burnt weenie sandwiches there!



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