Awesomely noisy Lexington, KY rockers Hair Police are planning a North American tour as well as a new album release on the heels of a short hiatus, according to their official website. The group, whose roughly five-releases-per-year agenda (including LPs, singles, splits, CD-Rs, and more) slowed in the last 18 months, is bouncing back from this relative hiatus with a new LP entitled Certainty of Swarms on No Fun Productions. Out August 11, the new LP features what the band calls "a heterogeneous concoction that is carefully matured" as well as "a blistering onslaught of metallic-fused noise-murk." Hmm, sounds kinda like the "deluges of terror tones and an onslaught of untamed musical evil" hailed by the 5-star TMT review of the band's 2005 LP Constantly Terrified.
Leading up to the album release, Hair Police have scheduled dates across North America, starting today at Chicago's Empty Bottle. Their first U.S. outing in years, the two-week jaunt follows a canceled tour earlier this year (TMT News).
Certainty of Swarms tracklist:
* Hive Mind, Oakeater, Bruce Lamont, Bloodyminded
^ Wretched Worst, Wasteland Jazz Unit
% Mike Shiflet, Envenomist, Lambsbread, Vodka Soap
# Aaron Dilloway, Emeralds, Tusco Terror
& Ryan Jewell, Cock Scene Investigator
$ Rise Set Twilight, Century Plants
< Sunburned, Thurson Moore/Kate Village duo, Paul Flaherty/Jeff Hartford Duo
> Carlos Giffoni, Sixes, FFH
Heathen Shame (oh c'mon, Hair Police, I am seriously running out of symbols here)
; Disgues, Bottom Feeder, Flatline Construct
| Awkward Squad, Uneven Universe, Regression (Nate Young solo)
Yes! This fall Calexico will be embarking on a tour so lengthy, so worldwide that this story practically writes itself! Which is great news to me, because I am pretty sure I am getting carpal tunnel from obsessively applying to jobs on craigslist all day, and also because I had a really bad dream last night about forgetting to clean my house for several months and all the gross things that happened as a result, and now I sort of think I should go home and clean my house before dust zombies actually form and begin terrorizing me and the cat.
But back to the matter at hand. The Spaghetti Western-loving collective is hitting the road in support of their soon-to-be-released full-length, Carried to Dust, due September 9 on Quarterstick Records. And they're wasting no time about it: with a handful of dates as a sexy summer teaser, they'll be jetsetting in earnest the day after the album hits stores. (Take note: this date is also my birthday. September 10. No e-cards, please, unless they are those sassy ones that say stuff like "Congrats on your herpes!" or whatever. Those are funny. But FYI, I do not have herpes, so please don't send me that one.) So why not join me in celebrating another year of Calexico, the band that will do more fun traveling activities in a few months than you or I will ever do in a lifetime!
There’s a part of me that sometimes feels bad for Johnny Rotten. I try to assume he must have some kind of mental illness that’s gone undiagnosed for all these years, that one day he’ll be convinced by caring friends and kin to get the help he needs, that he must be some kind of Michael Jackson man-child who has retreated to a shell of blissful oblivion in the mind of an adolescent. Right? No normal human being can consciously be such a living joke.
So what happened? Apparently, during Barcelona’s Summercase Festival this past weekend, Bloc Party singer Kele Okereke tried to talk to Rotten (who still thinks himself relevant to modern music for some reason) about Public Image Ltd. but was instead greeted with racial slurs and a beating from Rotten's associates. Okereke says members of Foals and Kaiser Chiefs came to his aid and were also treated with violence.
Rotten says the account is untrue. According to him, the “trouble” was instigated by Okereke, who needs to “grow up and learn to be a true man.”
However, Foals’ tour manager Nick Jenkin's account seems to give credibility to the original allegations. He claims he saw Okereke getting punched by Rotten’s entourage, as Kaiser Chief’s Ricky Wilson was taunted for trying to help. Foals’ singer Yannis Philippakis was knocked unconscious by security and handcuffed as he tried to intervene, Jenkin said. Meanwhile Walter Gervers, bassist of Foals, was given a black eye and guitarist Jimmy Smith was thrown through a barrier.
Okereke has filed a report with police.
Just in case you’d forgotten what a joke former first lady of Grunge Courtney Love is, let me just take you through this latest debacle slowly and carefully. Okay?
So, in 2006, after controlling most of the rights to late husband Kurt Cobain and Nirvana’s publishing catalog since Cobain’s death in 1994, the Hole frontwoman up and sold a 25% portion of those rights in 2006, citing (drunkenly?) that she would “take Nirvana to places it’s never been before.” Apparently, Nirvana had never been to a baseball game before, as all of those sweet, subsequent “Breed” cameos in video games and Adult Swim commercials for those video games soon proved. But hey, let’s give her a break. Love probably needed that $19.5 million to support a wide variety of living habits... you know: yoga, organic veggies, and that kinda stuff.
So anyway, time passes, Nirvana fans’ annoyance finally dies down a bit, but then, this past Tuesday, in a suit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Los Angeles-based business management and accounting firm London & Co. sued Courtney Love for nearly $1 million, claiming that she failed to pay them a share of profits from the sale of Nirvana's publishing catalog. It’s not really like her to space-out like that, you know?
Nevermind (ha!) the fact that these cats didn’t really notice themselves that $975,000 was missing from their books for well over a year, because London & Co. is all business now, alleging that Love broke an oral contract to share 5% of any of her earnings or those from her company, The End of Music. This company, according to the lawsuit, was created to manage Cobain's intellectual property, including his career with Nirvana. London & Co. claims its share from the sale would have been $975,000.
But wait! The slacking doesn’t end with Love and London & Co. Courtney’s attorney (the poor man) has also apparently been in quite the daze lately. When he finally responded, stating only that his client was aware of the allegations, he offered no further comment, saying: “I’m aware there’s an issue between London Co. and Courtney, but I have not seen the lawsuit.” Come on, now, people! Doesn’t anyone do any work out there in L.A.? Oh well, stay tuned folks. At this rate, this should all be ironed out in five more years or so.
Courtney Love tourdates:
The Mountain Goats and Kaki King Go on Leisurely Autumnal Jaunt Across Whole Country; Does Anyone Have $5 I Can Borrow to Do Laundry?
Perennial indie rock superhero John Darnielle is taking his Mountain Goats on the road yet again this fall. Tagging along this time is Kaki King, who is very, very good at playing the guitar. You people like guitars, right? Led Zeppelin played guitars. No Age play guitars. Good.
If you ask me, the best part of this tour is going to be spending Halloween at a place called the "Tequila Jungle" in Lubbock, TX (Halloween being the clear winner for second most tequila-conducive holiday after Cinco de Mayo). All Hail West Texas, then, unless the Tequila Jungle is one of those places where it's just a name and not actually a giant concert hall completely full of deadly animals and exotic, beautiful plants with bottles of tequila hidden under them like Easter eggs.
# John Darnielle solo
[Photo: Steven Dewall]
Chicago rock dudes Shellac are playing, like, four shows leading up to their appearance at the totally badass All Tomorrow's Parties in New York and then a few more to surround ATP's Release the Bats in October. I can hardly call this a tour.
They’re making their trip to the Catskills worth their time by playing some shows on the way, in Canada, which is way cooler than the United States. (I know. I’ve been there. Montreal? Way cool.) Then in October, they're simply playing some more shows in Ireland and Scotland to make their other ATP event worth the effort. Ho-ly shit. Stop the presses.
Todd Trainer of Shellac. Lock up your daughters.
I’m pretty sure they have no album coming out; Excellent Italian Greyhound (TMT Review) came out last summer. The end.
[Photo: Luca Soffici]
Cancer Has Been Cured, Atlantis Has Been Discovered, Dr. Dre Announces that Detox Will Come Out This Winter
Pop quiz, hotshot: Two of the news items mentioned in the headline are false -- can you guess which one? I’ll give you a few seconds to deliberate.
Yes, this week, scientists performing deep-sea sonar imaging happened upon a grouping of structures that resemble ancient but intact buildings that seem to date earlier than Classic Greek culture. Although scientists may never know if this is the long fabled Atlantis, it at least stands as some form of ancient human civilization.
BUT WHO CARES! Dr. Dre has stated Detox will finally hit shelves later this year! The long-awaited, much-anticipated album (the follow-up to 1999's Chronic 2001) has been promised and whispered about for many a year now, and though this announcement may prove to be just another disappointment, this West Coast supporter is at least pleased that a quasi date has been set.
“In a perfect world I'm shooting for a November or December release," told Dr. Dre to USA Today. “I'm going to put this record out, promote it, tour and then become a hermit. I'm going to stay in the studio and produce.”
I want Dr. Dre to know, on a personal level, that I am already waiting in front of my local record shop to buy the first copy. Please don’t be bluffing, please.
In related news, the newest and most-anticipated release by Guns N’ Roses Chinese Democracy has also apparently been given a "release date" of sorts. Axl Rose had this to say: “Fuck you, it’s never coming out; it’s too good for everyone. It’s been done for years, but no one in this century could possibly understand its level of genius, except perhaps the genius-level of that one track I gave to the upcoming Rock Band 2.”
Imagine if you could tour with one of your favorite bands of all-time; sounds pretty cool, right? If your name is Bradford Cox, then you’re in luck, because you’ll be headed out on the road with Stereolab this September (TMT News)! OMGZ! Eternal birthday wish granted!
To further underscore just how much of a boner Bradford has for Stereolab, I’ve taken to analyzing statements he’s made about the band in his blog, and I’ve reproduced several below for you:
- December 13, 2007: “Also... check out this fucking rad video of Stereolab playing my favorite song "Blue Milk" live. It's the song I wrote the whole worship post about a while back, where I described watching them play it live and getting the chills...”
- December 13, 2007: “Stereolab changed my entire musical life as a kid. They were and continue to be my favorite band of all time.”
- September 2, 2007: “When I was in high-school I idolized [Stereolab] and saw them every time they came to Atlanta. I would show up at the venue three or four hours before doors to make sure I got to be front and center (right in front of Mary Hansen.) I saw them play [“Blue Milk”] three times and each time stimulated and reinforced the part of my brain that wanted to make music - on a stage - live. I could watch a band perform this song for three hours and be ecstatic.”
Note to Stereolab: Do not play “Blue Milk” live! Bradford may just collapse and die from happiness.
# Richard Swift
After collaborating with several backing bands under the Wooden Wand moniker, most notably with The Vanishing Voice, James Jackson Toth is set to release Waiting In Vain, his first album under his own name. The official announcement, posted on Toth’s MySpace page, describes the album as “layered, almost-dreamlike” with “touches of blues, country and soul; the occasional flash of punk swagger; and even some sweet Fleetwood Mac-inspired pop.” You can hear for yourself by visiting the link above.
Waiting In Vain will be released July 29 through Rykodisc, but the day before Toth will play a free record-release show at Grimey’s in Nashville, TN. He then heads west on August 13 to begin a four-week national tour in San Francisco. Interestingly, the tour will pair him with an as-yet unspecified Duchess and Duke. Obvious possibilities include Prince Richard Alexander Walter George, Duke of Gloucester, or Prince Charles Philip Arthur George, Duke of Cornwall (except for when he visits Scotland, where he is referred to as the Duke of Rothesay, technically making him two dukes). Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh seems unlikely, because, let’s be honest, he’s pretty old. I don’t see him fitting in with Toth’s reckless rockstar lifestyle. Prince Edward George Nicholas Patrick Paul, Duke of Kent, also seems like a bad match. I mean, look at this guy. Nobody is taking him on tour anywhere.
It seems Toth will be keeping this shrouded in secrecy until the tour begins. With any luck some San Fran bloggers will let us know August 14.
Waiting In Vain tracklist:
All dates with The Duchess & The Duke except noted*
Q: How Many Guitarists Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb? A: None, They Just Steal Someone Else’s Light. Billy Corgan Gets the Signature Fender Treatment.
If the ego wasn't big enough already, Fender has helped to expand the size of Billy Corgan's melon by green-lighting the release of his own Stratocaster model. Corgan is the latest guitarist to be immortalized with a signature Fender guitar, joining the ranks of Eric Clapton, J Mascis, and Yngwie Malmsteen, all of whom have worked with the venerable instrument maker to produce axes according to their exacting preferences. The Smashing Pumpkins leader is not often recognized for his guitar prowess, partly because he is not overly flashy, but he is underrated and has a distinctive sound (“buzz-saw tone,” say some folk). Fender claims that Corgan emerged in the grunge period and “stepped forward with lengthy and unconventionally next-level instrumental breaks that could go from shredding, screaming incendiary intensity in one song to delicate, whispering beauty in the next.” They then mentioned something about his time spent as a shepherd, freeing Hebrew slaves, receiving commandments, and parting seas with an apathetic shrug, a few teen angst-fueled words, and oodles of fierce distortion and dramatic shifts in song tempo.
Guitarists are a serious species, so for spec lovers (I am specifically thinking of a high school acquaintance who had his walls covered with guitar layouts and configurations... he also got his hair permed to play in a Ratt tribute band), the Corgan strat features: alder body, satin lacquer finish, maple neck, 9.5' radius maple fingerboard, 22 jumbo frets, 25.5' scale length, chrome hardware, Fender standard cast/sealed tuning machines, modern hard tail bridge, 3-ply pickguard, special design Dimarzio 'Billy Corgan' single spaced humbucking bridge pickup, Dimarzio ‘Chopper’ Middle Pickup, special design Dimarzio ‘Billy Corgan’ single-spaced humbucking bridge pickup, 5-position pickup switching blade (full humbucking bridge, inside coil of bridge and full humbucking middle, full humbucking middle, full humbucking middle and outside coil of neck, full humbucking neck), 2-tone master control (neck and bridge), choice of Fat Black or Olympic White satin nitrocellulose lacquer finishes, and an exhaust, because it's so smoking hot! Hisssss.... rock... on...