Park The Van Records, a Philadelphia-based record label, has had increased success over the past couple years. Albums from Dr. Dog, The Capitol Years, and others, not to mention the Fast Food Nation soundtrack, have all served to raise awareness for this up-and-coming label. Now it seems 2007 may be the biggest year yet for the label.
First off, Dr. Dog, who have been around in various forms for about six years (no dog-year jokes, okay?), signed to Rough Trade in Europe. Their new LP will be out February 27 in the U.S. under the title We All Belong. The 11-track record was recorded last spring in Philly by the band, with the help of Bill Moriarty, who also mixed the group's last record, 2005's Easy Beat. Two tracks from the upcoming record -- "Ain't It Strange" and "Die, Die Die" -- were featured on the Dr.'s EP from last year, Takers & Leavers. The band is a touring beast, not just a studio one, with the last year seeing them co-headline a tour with the Spinto Band, as well as opening for Architecture In Helsinki, The Raconteurs, The Black Keys, and many others. Therefore, it goes with out saying that DD will be embarking on a monster-sized tour to promote the new record. They will be playing most of the shows with non-PTV band What Made Milwaukee Famous and labelmates The Teeth. Later in the tour, the band will hook up with Bobby Bare Jr. and his crew for a series of shows.
Speaking of The Teeth, they too have an upcoming record, which was given the rather forward-sounding title You're My Lover Now. The Nick Krill (of the Spinto Band)-produced LP is set to come out on April 24. The band has some pre-release tourdates with Dr. Dog and will also be teaming up with one of PTV's newest signings, Detroit's masters of smart, catchy, time-tested rock, The High Strung.
The High Strung are poised to release the most music this spring of anyone on PTV. The label plans to re-release the group's previous record, Moxie Bravo, on February 13, which was put out first time around in 2005 by Future Farmer. In the LP's new incarnation, MB has been augmented with a new running order and three new tracks that date back to the LP's original sessions. The HS also have a new album, Get the Guests, coming out in May, which was recorded last year by Jim Diamond. The band is promising a coast-to-coast version of their library tour this summer, in which they play for young and old in, yes, a library. Before all that, however, The High Strung will play their own shows and opening slots for the Teeth.
So, figure on all three of these groups being fairly inescapable for the near future.
We All Belong tracklist:
One time a friend of mine heard me listening to The Dismemberment Plan and thought it was The Alkaline Trio. Ha! It is in this spirit that we report to you that V2 has "let go" its staff of 35 or so people (including president Andy Gershon) and, aside from its Gospel artists, has rendered all its newer artists free agents -- yes, even The Alkaline Trio. V2 will instead expand its digital ventures and concentrate on its catalog releases, which includes albums by Moby, Mercury Rev, and The White Stripes. Alright, time to eat some Lean Cuisine. Bye!
Alongside news of Thurston Moore arriving in Saudi Arabia to rally support for the forthcoming troop surge in Iraq, Sonic Youth recently announced tourdates to an excited fanbase that just can't get enough of their love songs ("Flowers With Not One, But Every Smile" debuted at #1 on the singles chart last week!). Beginning with an East Coast trip on Valentine's Day with Wooden Wand, Sonic Youth will eventually make their way to Mexico for two dates to finish off February, which has everyone wondering who the hell February is, and does she have a MySpace with pics?
In April, Sonic Youth will meet up with V∞redoms for a few dates in Japan, which will surely be life-changing if we are to believe the propaganda. But really, what's the deal with putting on sweet shows in Japan? I mean, these shows really don't do anything for me, and even my friend said "yeah, kinda sukcs." So if I don't like them, and my friend (who's super picky, actually) says it "kinda sukcs," then why? Maybe I just don't "get" it, but perhaps I don't want to "get" it when Sonic Youth could just as easily import V∞redoms to the U.S. and play for their fellow Americans.
The Story of How Animal Collective Signed to Domino, Panda Bear Set a Release Date and Tracklist for New Album, and How Slimer from Ghostbusters Joined the Band
I saw Animal Collective live just about a year ago. My friend asked Geologist (that's the name his parents gave him!) to say "Let's turn up the AC!" I'm pretty sure Avey Tare said it at some point during the show, and ever since then, the collective has been turning up the AC like money growing on hypothetical trees.
AC began this year by signing to U.K.'s Domino Records. As previously reported, a four-track EP, titled People, will be released on FatCat on January 23 in the U.S., while The AC's back catalog will still be released via FatCat, and the new Panda Bear (a.k.a. Noah Lennox, member of Animal Collective) solo album, Person Pitch, will see release March 20 on the group's own Paw Tracks.
Lennox's new album focuses on his personal life and the topics of fatherhood, marriage, and living in Lisbon. Four of the tracks from Person Pitch will be released on 12-inch vinyl under FatCat, Paw Tracks, and UUAR. Panda Bear is also planning to tour this coming spring and summer. (Oh, by the way, it is insipid to think Lennox likes panda bears just because that is his stage name. Panda bears are the demons of Asia. They steal the souls and cameras from foolish Americans. Lennox is more like a charming Yogi Bear of sorts with harmonizing feel-good vocals and surreal blips and beeps.)
Furthermore, people will most likely be seeing a whole ass-full more of the white-bred animals of Brooklyn with a spring tour, a follow-up to the 2005 critical success Feels, a live box-set, and a movie. Hopefully, the movie will be full of the typical AC explosive behavior we have all come to expect. And by that I mean masks, guns, drums, lasers, and full-frontal nudity. I just hope that it is somewhere along the lines of the Ghostbusters series.
The bottom line and the 'in conclusion' part of this essay is that I could write a 600-page novel worth of Animal Collective news. And if I were you, I would have stopped reading after the title. It's not even funny. What the hell does Slimer have to do with Animal Collective? I could've also made lame attempts at humor on a Shins article or a more obscure artist, but that'd be equally ridiculous. I still like the AC, but you guys are wearing me out. The morals of all this blatant ranting are that (1) sometimes it's okay to turn down the AC, (2) an Animal Collective movie could be interesting, and (3) Slimer was really an encompassing metaphor for the still remaining prejudices between whites and African Americans in contemporary society.
Person Pitch tracklist:
1. Comfy in Nautica
2. Take Pills
4. I'm Not
5. Good Girl
7. Search for Delicious
If your plans for July 7 (7/7/07) of this year include "getting high" and "being in New York City," you might want to consider attending a special performance by the legendary Japanese outfit Boredoms. Not feeling content with a mere reputation as one of the greatest live acts of our time, they have decided to one-up themselves with "77 DRUM": a Boredoms show featuring 77 drummers. The show will take place in NYC at a location that has not yet been disclosed.
Not since the recent announcement that Sofia Coppola will be directing a sequel to the 2002 classic Drumline have music lovers everywhere been so excited about a drumming performance. Titled "Drumline: Miami Beach," the movie will star Brad Garrett, and in honor of his sure-to-be monolithic performance in the upcoming film, Vice Records has decided to reissue six Boredoms albums in the first two months of this year: January 23 will see the release of Super Roots, Super Roots 3, and Super Roots 5, while Super Roots 6, Super Roots 7, and Super Roots 8 will be released on February 20.
Further details and interesting fun Boredoms tidbits can be found at the Vice website.
Yes, The Talkdemonic Tour Started Already, But We’re Here to Tell You That It’s Eventually Going to End
So, everybody (not literally everybody) is talking about Lisa Molinaro, Talkdemonic's viola whiz, and her touring gig with the mother-scratching Decemberists. They're kind of a big deal right? Not like Paul Wall big deal, but whatever. That is some kick-ass shit that puts me in a "Hell motherfuckin' yeah" kind of mood for Talkdemonic, who will be meandering their way down and then back up the West Coast following shows in Seattle and native Portland. Shit has been going well for the duo who recently found themselves ankle deep in a, thus far, 12-track bucket of an album I have tentatively dubbed, The Bucket Album, the follow-up to 2006's sophomore ARRCO release Beat Romantic (TMT Review). Talkdemonic is also currently in the heavy petting process with One Little Indian, a pretty sweet label in the United to the Kingdom. But before all that, get out while the gettin' is good. And don't be using weather as a reason to not go Eugene, Oregon. You're better than that:
Proving that major labels have their fingers on the pulse of a rotten plank of wood that they've mistaken for a discerning music consumer, EMI said this week that it is "evaluating" its CD copy protection technology but is not planning on disposing of it. Although no new CDs have been manufactured with copy protection software for the last few months, EMI must be worried that consumers will begin to smile again and actually purchase its products I guess.
Digital Rights Management technology has been under fire from consumer groups since its introduction, with side-effects driving more consumers to piracy than was inversely intended:
- Doesn't work with iPod
- Infects computer with debilitating virus
- Changes all .jpg files to .bmp
- Changes all .bmp files to desktop-size photos of Gene Shalit
- Sends slightly discourteous e-mail to Grandma
- Wraps thick arm tightly around your waist in front of Grandma
- Derails a train somewhere in the desert
And this was just with the Sony BMG case. Best of luck in your evaluation, EMI. Make that business strategy hurt.
After three long, quiet years, Blonde Redhead have announced plans to release a new album. You probably read all about it in an exclusive from these dudes a few days ago. I bet you're pretty smug. Think you got the whole story, huh? Well, you're wrong. Dead wrong. Okay, so you know that the album's set for an April 10 release. You may even know that Europeans will have to wait until April 23 for their Kazu fix. And I'm sure you've heard all about their spring tour. Heck, you may have found out that that they're calling the album 23 (4AD)... but do you know why? Huh? Do you? No, I didn't think so.
You see, kids, the album is about me. If this sounds strange to you, crawl out from under that rock. I'm pretty famous, and my life is interesting to lots of people. No small number of cultural luminaries consider me a muse. Rumor has it that [?Dave Eggers] and [?Jonathan Lethem] are currently feuding over the right to document my high school years. [?Damien Hirst] recently pickled a goat and titled the work Judy Ain't No Punk, Age 6 1/2 (it's a compliment, trust me). And now Blonde Redhead have recorded an album inspired by and released to coincide with my 23rd year on this here Earth.
The album will explore the depths of passionate, dramatic pathos that I colloquially refer to as "my quarter-life crisis." While "Silently" describes the existential angst that stalks me on my daily commute to work, "Publisher" delves into the occasional suicidal thoughts I experience while staring deep into manuscripts and wondering whether my job title will always include the words "Assistant to." "Heroine" serves as a sort of testimony to my vital presence in the universe.
Now, aren't you glad I set the record straight?
Like sands through the hourglass, so is the tracklist of my life:
On New Year's Eve, I made a resolution to try and do one thing worth remembering each and every day of this year. The point of the resolution is to have something to say to people who ceaselessly ask, "What have you been doing lately?" when all you seem to remember of the last three months is the distinctly chewy texture of slightly-stale chocolate Teddy Grahams. Last year I attempted this, and though I spent January 1 at a store called Hobo, purchasing a plush horse-head on a stick, I recall nothing of the next 12 months. This year got me a little further, but before I knew it, it was 4 A.M. on January 3 and The Mighty Ducks was blaring in the other room. I am a failure.
Islands, on the other hand, are ready for 2007 in a way that few are. They've been readying new material for their follow-up to last year's Return To The Sea (TMT Review) and are entering the studio in February to crank out tha tunez. While I was buying a gumball from the machine outside of Meijer, Nick Thorburn and his friends were making songs "10 minutes long with innumerable key & tempo changes, modulation, genre-meddling bombastic progressive rock existential death-defying dangerousness." And I'm cool with that.
"Hey!" you might say. "Did you just write Nick Thorburn?? Don'tcha mean Nick Diamonds???" I hope you might say that. Hell, I hope that someone, somewhere is reading this. Regardless, your lukewarm potential concern is touching. Yes, Nick Diamonds has indeed cast off his flashy alias and reverted to his real name, though Thornburn sounds pretty badass if you think about it. I've had a lot of time to think about it in between swigs of Mountain Dew.
Apparently the group has been so productive that it has a slew of shorter, "more subdued" pop songs on hand that they might try to do something with, if they have time. Which they will. Album title and tracklisting are forthcoming (slackers!!), but chances are they'll release that information before I get home from Blockbuster.