Lambchop Tour, And I Finally Discover That Lamb Chop, The Puppet is Spelled Differently than Lambchop, The Band

Lamb Chop, Hush Puppy, and the genuine smile of Shari Lewis. My childhood was full of those three things, and as a young boy, I was inspired to be a puppeteer. I grew up in an area consumed by urban sprawl and Wal-Mart, so my only chance of getting out of a small town like St. Paris, OH was to either be a sports sensation or enter show business. I tried to convince my parents that being a puppeteer was being part of show business, but my father ended up crucifying my sock puppets while blaring AC/DC from our wood shed. I learned quickly that AC/DC and whisky made my dad to do some strange things. So, I was essentially forced by my parents to give up my dreams of show business as a crossroads approached quickly: either attempt the high school thing (assuming I can play sports) or start working.

I started working.

I began work at an automotive parts factory that I could ride my four-wheeler to. I had a Polaris Trailblazer; it was two-stroke, and you had to mix the gas with oil. Easy upkeep and I lost my virginity on/in/under it. That ATV was my best friend. Eventually, I had forgotten completely about the dream of being a puppeteer, and I was working overtime at the factory. I didn't have time to think about cute sheep made out of socks, and instead it was booze and "bitches" for me. It was all I had time for. I had a good friend who had some radical taste in music, and he introduced me to a lot of good tunes. One particular band he introduced me to ultimately changed my life: Lambchop. I couldn't believe the name of this band, and then he let me hear my first Lambchop song, "I Will Drive Slowly."

The lyrics went like this:

No Age Announce Release Date of Sub Pop Debut; Frere-Jones Is A Baby

"No Age’s music is not instantly inviting," says Sasha Frere-Jones, writer for The New Yorker. And by that, Frere-Jones means to say that, literally, No Age's music hasn't sent out invitations. In a way, I understand what he means. It's a little upsetting that all the blog hype and zine cream amounted to, you know, no invitations. You'd think we'd get a little something something. On the other hand, I feel like Frere-Jones is simply expecting too much from No Age's music. I ask: how can one expect invitations from something that doesn't even have sentience?!?

Ha, thanks! Comedy comes easy to me!

Anyway, No Age are set to debut their debut Sub Pop full-length. The album, titled Nouns, is due May 6 and will not -- I repeat -- WILL NOT be a collection of tracks, like last year's Weirdo Rippers. As we've already reported (remember the mashup?), the dudes are going on tour with Liars, so check ‘em out as they play some new tunes. BUT DON'T EXPECT AN INVITATION, TEE HEE.

% WITHOUT Liars

Caribou Plan Further Into The Future Than Most Of You, Will Reportedly Be Releasing Their 1, 5, 10 & 25 Year Plans Very Soon

What are you doing for the next four months? Do you know where your life will be in, say, late March or May 2? Sure, 2008 is little more than a week old, but Dan Snaith and his touring buds already know exactly what will be going on in their world for the next four months: one big-ass tour, stretching from the four corners of the globe to the nether regions of the soul.

Starting with Japan, Caribou will travel to about 19 more countries (sorry countries in Africa and South America) to promote last year's excellent Andorra (TMT Review) on Merge. About the time of blooming flowers, the band will be wrapping things up with a return trip to England for something called ATP Vs. Pitchfork, which, from my research, seems to be a festival celebrating the convergence of electronics and farming. Well, maybe the organizers of this extremely under-promoted and under-reported festival think the band is made up of actual North American wild Reindeer. Then this would make perfect sense.

See you in May, Dan.

Tourdates:

Former Q and Not U Member Named Executive Editor for The FADER

Apparently, dreams do come true, as former Q and Not U member, Chris Richards is well aware of. The FADER publisher, Andy Cohn, announced recently that Richards would take over the position of Executive Editor for the music publication.

But wait, we know Richards can play music damn well, but can he write about it?

Well, my friend, unless you live in the Washington D.C. area, you were probably unaware of the fact that Richards has been a longtime columnist for The Washington Post, covering music, arts,, and culture for the Style and Sunday Source sections for the past six years. And the dude has a B.A. in Fine Arts from George Washington University, so, you know, that’s got to count for something.

Richards released the following statement about his new position: “I feel like The FADER has just hired its biggest fan. [They’ve] been turning me on to new sounds for years and I'm thrilled to be joining a team of journalists as enthusiastic about the future of music as I am.”

Cohn sounded equally as excited about his new hire: “After meeting with Chris we knew he was the perfect person for the position. His incredible background combined with his passion for music blew me away and I'm really excited to be working with him as we continue to grow The FADER and explore new terrain for the brand.”

The New Mahjongg Album Is Called Kontpab; My Girlfriend’s Yoga Instructor Is Called Ichi Wang

It is a long-standing joke among my friends (3) and acquaintances (5) that I myself am a joke when it comes to seeing movies. It is not that I don’t like movies -- I really do enjoy most that I happen to see. I just don't happen to make the effort to see many. I guess I am just more of an old-fashioned book guy or a “squatting-in-the-bushes-outside-your-house-for-hours” kind of guy. Regardless, any excuses I can muster would be lame because there really is no justification for the fact that the last time I stepped into a movie theater, it was either to see a young “MJ” Fox time-travel back to 1955 to resist the very real urge that every young man has to bang his mother or to witness Ralph Macchio's stringy crane-foot connect with the windpipe of a nasty Cobra Kai.

Music-wise, I’ve seen almost every act I have wanted to see, with few exceptions. For our purposes here, despite recommendations and near misses, and although they are not a movie, Mahjongg are on my “haven’t seen” list (which incidentally includes four of the six Star Wars movies, any Matrix, Lord of the Rings, or Harry Potter flick, most old “classics” like Gone With the Wind or Casablanca, anything directed by Todd Solondz, P.T. Anderson, Lars von Trier, Walter Salles, Spike Jonze, Todd Haynes, the Coen brothers, David Lynch [!!!...yep, can you believe that?], any of the Godfathers, anything voiced-overed by Bruce Willis or Roseanne Barr... the travesties go on forever!). It just hasn't worked out yet, but I know my quality time with Mahjongg will come, and it will come soon, because the rhythmic agitators are starting to gain momentum and notoriety, and some of the following winter dates are within hitchhiking distance from my hovel.

Here are the nights on the tiles:
01.22.08 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Tavern
01.23.08 - Buffalo, NY - Soundlab
01.24.08 - Cambridge, MA - TT the Bears
01.25.08 - Providence, RI - AS 220
01.26.08 - Brooklyn, NY - Southpaw
01.27.08 - Baltimore, MD - The Depot
01.28.08 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's
01.30.08 - Columbus, OH - Skully's Music Diner
01.31.08 - Chicago, IL - Subterranean
02.21.08 - Milwaukee, WI - Mad Planet
02.22.08 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry
02.23.08 - Grinnell, IA - Grinnell College-Gardner Lounge
02.24.08 - Omaha, NE - The Waiting Room
02.26.08 - Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge
02.27.08 - Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court
02.28.08 - Boise, ID - Neurolux
03.06.08 - San Francisco, CA - Rickshaw Stop
03.08.08 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echo
03.09.08 - San Diego, CA - Casbah
03.13.08 - Denton, TX - Rubber Gloves
03.15.08 - Lawrence, KS - Jackpot Saloon

Next month, Mahjongg will bestow upon the public the greatest gift short of a syphilis and Q-Ray bracelet: a new album! Kontpab, their first release for K Records, will be out February 12. In the words of Sensei Kreese: “Strike first. Strike hard. No mercy.”

1. Pontiac
2. Problems
3. Kottbusser Torr
4. Tell the Police the Truth
5. Those Bords Are Bats
6. Wipe Out
7. Teardrops
8. Mercury
9. Rise Rice

The Shins’ Marty Crandall Abuse Case Dismissed

"Caring Is Creepy" lyrics:

I think i'll go home and mull this over

Before i cram it down my throat

At long last it's crashed, it's colossal mass

Has broken up into bits in my moat.

Lift the mattress off the floor

Walk the cramps off

Go meander in the cold

Hail to your dark skin

Hiding the fact you're dead again

Undeneath the power lines seeking shade

Far above our heads are the icy heights that contain all reason

It's a luscious mix of words and tricks

That let us bet when you know we should fold

On rocks i dreamt of where we'd stepped

And the whole mess of roads we're now on.

Hold your glass up, hold it in

Never betray the way you've always known it is.

One day i'll be wondering how

I got so old just wondering how

I never got cold wearing nothing in the snow.

This is way beyond my remote concern

Of being condescending

All these squawking birds won't quit.

Building nothing, laying bricks.

How Los Campesinos! Are Like Linux. A Short Essay with Bullet Points.

Wales' sexy indie pop band Los Campesinos! are a lot like those crazy open-source Linux users. First off, "los campesinos" is Spanish for "the peasants," which could also be used to describe Linux users. You see, these people get little-to-no compensation for what they do, but still love helping each other out. It's actually pretty cute. Which brings me to my next point: Have you seen the Linux mascot, Tux? He's like the cutest penguin ever! And Los Campesinos! are pretty damn cute as well (especially Harriett... oh I love it when she plays the violin).

That's just surface-level shit. Check it:

- Los Campesinos!'s new album is called Hold on Now Youngster..., and it opens up with a track called "Death to Los Campesinos!" The title convinces me of the group's assuredly Linux roots, what with Steve Jobs and Bill Gates continually screaming "Death to Linux Users!" from atop their closed kingdoms. Okay, that's kinda dubious. But there's more.

- Track three "Don't Tell Me to Do the Maths" (probably) focuses on how Linux users are total fuggin' nerds and don't like to be told what to do. (Word to the wise: these motherfuckers are stubborn; just ask them to fix your computer, and they'll just offer to install Ubuntu instead. No questions asked; they hate questions, but they have all the answers.)

- "We Are All Accelerated Readers" sums up how much smarter these crazy technophiles are than you. But they've always stood out intellectually -- that's why they're Linux users. They love bashing Apple users for their jackassedness when it comes to brand loyalty, but you better be damn sure the Linux users love being in with the "out crowd," and they want you to know it.

- Despite their elitist behavior, the Linux doods are nice. Yeah, that's right. That's why on track nine, "You! Me! Dancing!," Los Campesinos! sing about how Linux lovers want everyone to be living harmoniously in some kind of pseudo-communist society, where everyone lives underneath the GNU license. Yeah, it'd be weird, but somehow I think we'd all be happy. Plus, our computers would at least work. (Fuck you Vista.)

So, check out Los Campesinos!'s debut album, Hold on Now Youngster..., and find out whether or not it's truly about the magical world of Linux when it's released February 25 in the UK and April 1 here in the states. You can download the digital album from Arts&Crafts February 25 as well. But whatever you do, don't play the trax in iTunes because that shit is closed source. Get another program like Totem or some shit.

I hope you are viewing this tracklisting on your open source Firefox browser:

1. Death to Los Campesinos!
2. Broken Heartbeats Sound Like Breakbeats
3. Don't Tell Me to Do the Math(s)
4. Drop It Doe Eyes
5. My Year in Lists
6. Knee Deep at ATP
7. This Is How You Spell. "HAHAHA, We Destroyed the Hopes and Dreams of a Generation of Faux-Romantics"
8. We Are All Accelerated Readers
9. You! Me! Dancing!
10. ...And We Exhale and Roll Our Eyes in Unison
11. Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks

Be sure to put these awesome tour dates in your open-source calendar program:

# ATP vs. Pitchfork

* with Les Savy Fav, Future of the Left, Cut Off Your Hands

Stars to Tour Europe, In Order to Tour Must Leave Their Bedroom After the War

Get ready, my galactic-a-go-go guys and gals. Hell, even mark up your Belle and Sebastian calendar*. Stars is touring Europe, starting January 22 in Ireland.

What better way to ring in 2008? Especially since you OBVIOUSLY have a Belle and Sebastian calendar to mark up.

Did I also mention, reader baby, that I really love Nesquik, Red Bull, Ray Bans, Google, and American Express?

Tour dates probably inadvertently supported by Nesquik, Red Bull, Ray Bans, Google and American Express (I mean, isn’t everything?):

* Indie product placement-a-go-go

Le Loup Tours WITHOUT Bodies of Water Bodies of Water Tour with Le Loup in 960,375-Part Vocal Harmony

UPDATE (1/9): We originally reported that Bodies of Water and Le Loup are going on tour together. Turns out, Bodies of Water are instead going on tour with Sons & Daughters. Updated tourdates below, but we kept the same story, because, shit, why not keep things a little confusing? We're living in confusing times, my friends. -Editor

So, my theory is that some merry tricksters at Secretly Canadian called up Nick and Sarah over at Hardly Art and the conversation went something like this:

SC: So you have that band, Le Loup.

HA: Uh... yeah.

SC: It has about 75 people in it playing 84 different instruments.

HA: Truth.

SC: We have a band that does that too. We think they're pretty good.

HA: Yeah? Well, ours likes to bust a move on stage once in a while. Collectively.

SC: My band does too. I bet they'd kick your band's lily asses in that department.

HA: I bet not.

SC: I'll bet you a U.S. tour.

HA: You're on.

SC: Great! The first date is in Dallas, Texas. Don't be late! (hangs up)

HA: Uh... I think we just booked a tour for Le Loup. Oh well. Cool. Except they're not going to fucking Texas; I'll say that right now!

I mean, you can take this or leave it. Just throwing it out there. Either way, this'll be a rager of a tour. A very well-orchestrated rager, I might add.

The French horn is cool again (THESE DATES ARE LE LOUP DATES, NO BODIES OF WATER):

Rings Announce Tour, Have Not Yet Considered Switching Back to “First Nation” Moniker

New York City triad Rings (formerly First Nation) will begin touring the South with White Williams at the beginning of February, in support of the release of Black Habit (due January 15 on Paw Tracks), their first album under the new moniker.

As previously reported (TMT News), the name change reflects the band's new lineup; original members Nina Mehta and Kate Rosko added Abby Portner (sister of Animal Collective's Dave Portner) after Melissa Livaudais left the band. Rosko says the name change was also in part politically motivated, as Native Canadians identify themselves as citizens of the First Nation, and the band no longer felt the use of the name was culturally sensitive. In an e-mail message, Rosko also said, "The songs on the Rings album reflect a really different -- more personal and poppy -- feeling than the songs on the First Nation record, which I think are a little more political and socially oriented and harder sounding."

Rings are also planning a West Coast tour at the end of February, as well as a few more East Coast dates, including a record release show in NYC. For more information, visit the Paw Tracks website.

* White Williams