Conor Oberst To Release Outer South In May, Tests Naming Conventions After His Eponymous Album, And Tours With The Mystic Valley Band

Ever since Conor Oberst went out on that album-naming limb and dubbed his 2008 solo album Conor Oberst (TMT Review), he's been traveling and playing and singing his little heart out with The Mystic Valley Band (Taylor Hollingsworth, Nik Freitas, Macey Taylor, Nathaniel Walcott and Jason Boesel). This same, fabulous quintet of talented musicians is again lending a hand to Conor's upcoming album, more adventurously named Outer South. It'll be coming to us May 5 through Merge Records.

Taking a break from the Bright Eyes moniker, Conor gave us sing-songy goodness on the topics of time, heartache, life, and death on his eponymous album. We can only hope Outer South will be more of the lyrical adeptness that we've become accustomed to.

While patiently waiting for the album release, you can view a performance of "Nikorette," one of 16 tracks being released on Outer South, here. Meanwhile, those of you living on the Left Side can catch Conor Oberst and The Mystic Valley Band in the flesh.

Check it out:
04.09.09 - Omaha, NE - Slowdown
04.10.09 - Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre
04.11.09 - Aspen, CO - Belly Up
04.12.09 - El Paso, TX - Barnett Harley Davidson #
04.13.09 - Albuquerque, NM - Sunshine Theatre
04.14.09 - Tempe, AZ - Marquee Theatre
04.15.09 - Pomona, CA - Glass House
04.17.09 - Indio, CA - Coachella Music & Arts Festival
06.18.09 - Telluride, CO Telluride - Bluegrass Festival

# Hands of Love & Hope Benefit

Warner Bros. Pushes Limits of Hyperbolic Use of the Phrase “Musical Revolution” with Compilation Featuring The Flaming Lips, Mastodon, and… Adam Sandler

Back in December, viewers of CBS' Late Show with David Letterman let out a terse but piercing cry as perennial man-child Adam Sandler performed a pedestrian cover of Neil Young's winding guitar epic "Like a Hurricane." It was a chilling performance, if not so much for its mere terribleness then for the spooky revelation that Adam Sandler's annoying baby voice actually sounds a lot like Neil Young.

Well, those of you who saw the performance and still didn't develop a tremor in your remote-flipping hand will be thrilled to know that Warner Bros. is releasing Sandler's cover alongside 11 more contemporary covers of classic WB-owned songs. Covered: A Revolution in Sound, which will be released exclusively on March 10 and in stores everywhere on March 24, begs fan to consider questions such as "What could a band so bereft of melody as Taking Back Sunday possibly do with a Tom Petty song?" and "Is there any way I could dislike The Used more than hearing their what-is-sure-to-be-awful cover of The Talking Heads' ‘Burning Down the House’?" Oh, and, "Are the Flaming Lips really so bored that they need to take part in this?"

Okay, sure, there's a few eye-catching tracks on the list: it'd be near-impossible for Against Me! to screw up The Replacements' classic "Here Comes a Regular"; Mastodon are pretty solid for a ZZ Top cover; and The Black Keys get class points for covering a non-Trout Mask Replica Captain Beefheart tune (though minus points for the fact that it's the only other Beefheart tune most people know because it's on the Big Lebowski soundtrack). But let's be honest: in a year's time, it's a safe bet that, like all covers compilations, the only place Covered will be making any sort of "revolutions" is in the dollar bin.

And now, Adam Sandler's Dec. 15, 2008 performance of Neil Young's "Like a Hurricane" on the CBS Late Show:

Covered: A Revolution in Sound tracklist:

1. Mastodon: "Just Got Paid" (by ZZ Top)
2. The Black Keys: "Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles" (by Captain Beefheart)
3. Michelle Branch: "A Case Of You" (by Joni Mitchell)
4. Against Me!: "Here Comes A Regular" (by The Replacements)
5. Missy Higgins: "More Than This" (by Roxy Music)
6. James Otto: "Into The Mystic" (by Van Morrison)
7. Adam Sandler: "Like A Hurricane" (by Neil Young)
8. Taking Back Sunday: "You Wreck Me" (by Tom Petty)
9. The Used: "Burning Down The House" (by Talking Heads)
10. Disturbed: "Midlife Crisis" (by Faith No More)
11. Avenged Sevenfold: "Paranoid" (by Black Sabbath)
12. The Flaming Lips With Stardeath And White Dwarfs: "Borderline" (by Madonna)

Watch Ticketmaster/Live Nation Senate Hearing TODAY (Provided You Have a Computer and Pinstripe Suit)

Are you interested in following the path that our freshly restored nation chooses to follow? Do you believe major mergers like that between Ticketmaster and Live Nation (TMT News) affect us as consumers and concert attendees? Are you still pissed about your Bruce Springsteen ticket purchase ($350 per ticket or six male legs)? Do you find super managers and CEOs wringing out their neckerchiefs at a steady interval while being filmed strangely intimate?

Well, hurry up and click here because the parade and subsequent proceedings are streaming live today at 2:30 PM (EST), and Ticketmaster CEO Irving Azoff will not repeat his final joke. House hearings will follow on Thursday, and Friday is judicial recess for the i:Scintilla show.

When questioned last year about the possibility of a Faith No More reunion, Mike Patton (Fantômas, Mr. Bungle, etc.) said "I highly doubt it," yet in another interview said that he "wouldn't rule it out." Well, guess what? Last night, Patton's publicist confirmed that a Faith No More reunion is indeed in the works, with a European tour slated for the summer. Faith No More's last show was way back in April 1998.

Details are currently scant, as the news was tacked onto the bottom of a press release about Mike Patton completing his first major motion film score -- for Crank 2: High Voltage -- but we'll be sure to keep you updated. Oh, which reminds me: Patton just completed his first major motion film score for a movie called Crank 2: High Voltage.

Meanwhile, Patton will perform with labelmates Zu (who are awesome) March 19 in San Francisco and at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival April 17 with beatboxing extraordinaire Rahzel.

Wilco to Tour Supporting Ashes of American Flags

Wilco are touring this spring in support of their forthcoming live DVD, Ashes of American Flags. Jeff Tweedy will kick off their tour with a few solo dates in late March, followed by full-band gigs nationally and internationally through August.

Ashes of American Flags, which premiered last Friday at the Big Sky Film Festival (where it won the award for Best Cinematography), will be available in select independent record stores April 18 in celebration of Record Store Day, with a wider release two weeks later. As we reported earlier (TMT News), the DVD will showcase footage from five shows from last February.

03.26.09 - Burlington, VT - Higher Ground (Jeff Tweedy solo) *
03.27.09 - Northampton, MA - Calvin Theatre (Jeff Tweedy solo) *
03.28.09 - Beacon, NY - Beacon High Auditorium (Jeff Tweedy solo) (Benefit for Hudson River Sloop Clearwater)
04.14.09 - Milwaukee, WI - Pabst Theatre
04.15.09 - Milwaukee, WI - Pabst Theatre
04.16.09 - Bloomington, IN - IU Auditorium
04.17.09 - Athens, OH - Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium
04.18.09 - Knoxville, TN - Tennessee Theatre
04.20.09 - Athens, GA - Classic Center
04.21.09 - Asheville, NC - Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
04.22.09 - Birmingham, AL - Sloss Furnaces
04.23.09 - Oxford, MS - Lyric Oxford
04.25.09 - New Orleans, LA - New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
05.23.09 - Tenerife, Spain - Tenerife Auditorium
05.25.09 - Malaga, Spain - Teatro Cervantes**
05.26.09 - Madrid, Spain - Teatro Calderon **
05.29.09 - Seville, Spain - Territorios Festival, La Cartuja
05.30.09 - Oporto-Braga, Portugal - Teatro Circo
05.31.09 - Lisbon, Portugal - Lisbon Coliseu
06.01.09 - Santiago de Compostela-Galicia, Spain - Palacio de Congresos, Sala Braque
06.03.09 - San Sebastian, Spain - Kursaal
06.04.09 - Barcelona, Spain - Auditori Barcelona
07.11.09 - 07.14.09 - Manchester, TN - Bonnaroo Festival
07.22.09 - 07.25.09 - Detroit Lakes, MN - 10,000 Lakes Festival
08.21.09 - Erfurt-Hohenfelden, Denmark - Highfield Festival

* Pronto

** Akron/Family

Black Mountain Tour with The Sadies, Bring Warmth and Friendship of Canada to West Coast

Last year, Black Mountain appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien; toured with Bon Iver as part of the excellently named "Friendship Tour Two Thousand and Great"; rocked crowds at All Tomorrow's Parties, Coachella, SXSW, and Glastonbury; and released In the Future, the much-ballyhooed rock epic that made me think about wizards and stuff when I listened to it, but actually didn't have many mystical references at all when I looked up the lyrics a few minutes ago. So what's next for our Canadian friends? An album with more blatant references to wizardry and winged beasts, perhaps? For this, only time will tell. But as to tourdates, well, we totally have an answer. After rapping up a jaunt into Australia, our intrepid psych rockers will hit the West Coast with their country-styled Northern kindred, The Sadies.

The following dates include both bands, and from their previous touring history, lots and lots of friendship. Ahhh!
02.27.09 - Melbourne, AU - The Corner
02.28.09 - Melbourne, AU - The Corner
03.01.09 - Perth, AU - Beck's International Music Box - Perth Festival
03.03.09 - Brisbane, AU - The Zoo
03.04.09 - Sydney, AU - The Annandale
03.05.09 - Sydney, AU - The Annandale
03.07.09 - Victoria, AU - Golden Plains Festival
03.20.09 - San Francisco, CA - Rickshaw Shop @
03.21.09 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echoplex @
03.22.09 - San Diego, CA - Casbah @
03.23.09 - Santa Cruz, CA - The Crepe Place @
03.25.09 - Portland, OR - Hawthorne Theatre @
03.26.09 - Bellingham, WA - The Wild Buffalo @
03.27.09 - Seattle, WA - Neumos @
04.24.09 - Ottawa, ON - Capital Music Hall

@ The Sadies

Josh Freese (NIN, Devo, The Vandals, GN’R) Shits All Over Variable-Pricing Model, Offers Dinner at PF Chang’s or Cheesecake Factory, Shrooms, and Mini Golf

You know that wonderful Mastercard tagline, “for everything else, there’s mastercard”? Well, Josh Freese, drummer-extraordinaire and all-around whacky guy who has kept time for The Vandals, Devo, A Perfect Circle, Nine Inch Nails, and Guns N’ Roses (all while being a go-to session guy for just about every other rock act), has thought long and hard about what the “everything else” might mean while trying to sell you his sophomore solo effort Since 1972.

The record comes to us a long nine years after his debut, The Notorious One Man Orgy, but damned if he isn’t making up for that wait in a big way. For starters, digital downloads are available starting March 24 exclusively at Freese’s site for a mere $7. But that’s just where the fun begins. Like its predecessor, Since 1972 once again features Freese on just about all the instruments. But unlike its predecessor, which was released in the (combatively) happy-go-lucky days of 2000, this sucker will come in, oh, 11 different incarnations, each of which seems custom-designed to either extol or flout the virtues of this whole label-less, variable-pricing thing.

Hillarious? Yes. Gratuitous?? Definitely. Genius??? You decide! Here’s the rundown, direct from Freese’s manic brain to your soon-to-be-wide eyeballs:

- Digital download of Since 1972, including 3 videos

- CD/DVD double-disc set
- Digital download

- CD/DVD double-disc set
- T-shirt
- “Thank you” phone call from Josh for buying Since 1972. You can tell him what you like about the record that you purchased, or what you thought sucked. Ask whatever you want, like “Is Maynard really THAT weird?” or “Which one of Sting’s mansions has the comfiest beds?” or “Are Devo really suburban robots that monitor reality or just a bunch of dads from Ohio?” or “Why don’t The Vandals play more stuff off the first record?” It’s your five minutes to yack it up. Talk about whatever you want.

$250 (limited edition of 25)
- Signed CD/DVD and digital download
- T-shirt
- Signed drum head and drumsticks
- Go on a lunch date with Josh to PF Chang's or The Cheesecake Factory (whatever you’re into)

$500 (limited edition of 15)
- Signed CD/DVD and digital download
- T-shirt
- Signed cymbal and sticks
- Meet Josh in Venice, Calif., and go floating together in a sensory-deprivation tank (to be filmed and posted on YouTube)
- Dinner at Sizzler (get your $8.99 steak and “all you can eat” shrimp on)

$1,000 (limited edition of 10)
- Signed CD/DVD and digital download
- T-shirt
- Signed cymbal, drum head and drumsticks
- Josh washes your car OR does your laundry … or you can wash his car
- Have dinner with Josh aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, Calif.
- Get drunk and cut each other’s hair in the parking lot of the Long Beach courthouse (filmed and posted on YouTube, of course)

$2,500 (limited edition of 5)
- Signed CD/DVD and digital download
- Get a private drum lesson with Josh, or for all you non-drummers, have him give you a back and foot massage (couples welcome)
- Pick any 1 member of the Vandals or Devo (subject to availability) to accompany you and Josh to either the Hollywood Wax Museum or the lunch buffet at the Spearmint Rhino
- Signed DW snare drum
- Take 3 items of your choice out of his closet (first come, first serve)
- Change diapers and make bottles with him for an afternoon (after hitting the strip club)

$5,000 (limited edition of 3)
- Signed CD/DVD and digital download
- T-shirt
- Josh writes a song about you and makes it available on iTunes
- Co-direct a video with him for the song about you and throw it up on the YouTubes
- Josh gives you and a friend a private tour of Disneyland
- Get drunk together. If you don’t drink, we can go to my dad’s place and hang out under the “Tuba tree”
- Stone Gossard from Pearl Jam will send you a letter telling you about his favorite song on Since 1972

$10,000 (limited edition of 1)
- Signed CD/DVD and digital download
- T-shirt
- Signed DW snare drum from A Perfect Circle’s 2003 tour
- Josh gives you a private drum lesson OR his and hers foot/back massage (couples welcome, discreet parking)
- Twiggy from Marilyn Manson’s band and Josh take you and a guest to Roscoe’s Chicken ‘n’ Waffles in Long Beach for dinner
- Josh takes you and a guest to Club 33 (the super-duper exclusive and private restaurant at Disneyland located above Pirates of the Caribbean) and then hit a couple rides afterward (preferably the Tiki Room, the Haunted Mansion and Tower of Terror)
- At the end of the day at Disneyland, drive away in Josh’s Volvo station wagon. It’s all yours … take it. Just drop him off on your way home, though, please.

$20,000 (limited edition of 1)
- Signed CD/DVD and digital download
- T-shirt
- A signed drum from the 2008 Nine Inch Nails tour
- Maynard James Keenan, Mark Mothersbaugh from Devo and Josh take you miniature golfing and then drop you off on the side of the freeway (all filmed and posted on YouTube)
- Josh gives you a tour of Long Beach. See his first apartment, the coffee shop on 2nd Street where his buddy paid Dave Grohl $40 to rip up tile just weeks before joining Nirvana. See the old Vandals rehearsal spot, the liquor store he got busted at using a Fake ID when he was 17 (it was Dave from the Vandals’ old ID). Go check out Snoop Dogg’s high school. For an extra 50 bucks see where Tom and Adrian from No Doubt live. For another $25 he’ll show ya where Eric from NOFX and Brooks from Bad Religion get their hair cut.
- Spend the night aboard the Queen Mary and take the “Ghosts and Legends” tour. (Separate rooms … no spooning.)
- Josh writes 2 songs about you and both are made available on iTunes and appear on his next record (you can sing back up on ‘em, clap, play the drums, triangle, whatever)
- Drum lesson OR foot and back massage (once again … couples welcome and discreet parking available)
- Pick any 3 items out of Josh’s closet

$75,000 (limited edition of 1)
- Signed CD/DVD and digital download
- T-shirt
- Go on tour with Josh for a few days
- Have Josh write, record and release a 5-song EP about you and your life story
- Take home any of his drum sets (only one, but you can choose which one)
- Take shrooms and cruise Hollywood in Danny from Tool’s Lamborghini OR play quarters and then hop on the Ouija board for a while
- Josh will join your band for a month … play shows, record, party with groupies, etc.
- If you don’t have a band he’ll be your personal assistant for a month (4-day work weeks, 10 am to 4 pm)
- Take a limo down to Tijuana and he’ll show you how it’s done (what that means exactly we can’t legally get into here)
- If you don’t live in Southern California (but are a U.S. resident) he’ll come to you and be your personal assistant/cabana boy for 2 weeks
- Take a flying trapeze lesson with Josh and Robin from NIN, go back to Robins place afterwards and his wife will make you raw lasagna

So there you have it, boys and girls: variable-pricing has made yet another leap forward in 2009. Take that, Thom Yorke! Yes We Can! Etc. Anyway, this is where I usually close my stories with a strong joke. But, ummmm...

Jeffrey Lewis to Release New Album, Tours Oceania, Lectures on Watchmen – Wait a Second, I Thought that Movie Didn’t Come out for Another Month

Okay, let’s ditch this boring stuff: Jeffrey Lewis is an underground comic book artist/anti-folk hero who releases his rekkids on Rough Trade and does cool shit like draw comics and write funny folk songs that sound like Jonathan Richman if he had a sizeable package. He also put out an album of Crass covers (TMT Review) (bad ass!) and is releasing a new album called Em Are I sometime in ’09. Oh yeah and he also blogs occasionally for the NY Times and is setting off on a tour of Australia and the works over the next few months, but fuck it -- I’m too lazy to format and post the dates here, so just jump to his MySpace and save us all the trouble, ya knuckleheads!

Phew! On to the interesting bit! So if you didn’t already notice from all the comic talk in that first ’graph, Jeffrey Lewis is a man who loves himself some visual narrative. So fond is he of the graphic stuff that on February 24 Lewis will be giving a lecture on Alan Moore’s um-yeah-it’s-pretty-good-I-guess graphic novel Watchmen at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts. Now don’t think this will be another one of your Pop Tart-toting, Dragonforce-worshipping buddy’s Mountain Dew-fueled tirades about why Watchmen is one of the most important works of modern fiction and why you should totally read it ASAP before the movie fucking ruins it (even though it is and you should and the movie will almost definitely suck balls). Jeffrey Lewis, on the other hand, knows what the fuck he is talking about. His acclaimed college thesis “The Dual Nature of Apocalypse in Watchmen” serves as the basis of his lecture in addition to his many years of scholarship and study on the book.

So if you happen to be in London town on the 24th, check out his talk and please let this poor Midwesterner know what the hell he talks about. Just make sure you’ve read Watchmen at least once beforehand -- as requested by Lewis -- and I will really appreciate it! Toodles! Denies Providing Users’ Listening Data to RIAA

Many users -- myself included -- were shocked when TechCrunch reported a story Friday evening that and its parent company, CBS, handed over user-specific listening data to the RIAA. According to the unsourced article, the RIAA was interested in users whose profiles showed they had listened to U2’s recently leaked album, No Line On the Horizon. Of course, the story exploded all over the internet -- some users even went so far as to delete their profiles.

But now that the weekend’s over, the team is busy on damage control. A CBS spokesperson said that “to our knowledge, no data has been made available to RIAA,” and systems architect Russ Garrett posted the following on the site’s forum that “never had any request for such data by anyone, and if we did we wouldn’t consent to it. Of course we work with the major labels... but we’d never personally identify our users to a third party.” And according to developer Jonty Wareing, “most of the staff [would] walk out of the office door and never return” if the site had actually shared the data.

So, the whole shebang is still an unsubstantiated rumor, but seeing as the RIAA is always desperate to find new ways to ferret out illegal downloaders, let's just hope this scenario never actually happened or will never happen in the future. Either way, if you were one of those users who deleted your account, says it can reinstate it if you contact their support, which means that is storing all your data anyway.

Thank God (or the Devil): A Proper Daniel Johnston Concert Film

Music docs give you rad backstage footage, fights, bellyhoo, and loads of concert footage, but no music film was as devastatingly candid as 2005's The Devil & Daniel Johnston, which not only framed a warts-and-all portrait of "outsider" music's most intriguing figure, but also exposed his music and prose to the film world. Cultivating an ever-growing fanbase after more than a quarter century output of honest, mind-bending folk and steadying his life for the better, Daniel Johnston emerges victorious over his storied demons, culminating with a new DVD that serves as the ying to the Devil's yang.

Despite Daniel's crippling stage fright and unusually short setlists, The Angel and Daniel Johnston presents an 81-minute, 21-song concert film shot at London's Union Chapel in the summer of 2007. Daniel invited friends James Yorkston, Adem, and early collaborator Brett Hartenbach to join him for a cross-catalog setlist. The DVD itself is getting all the high tech treatment you'd expect from a professional gig, including Dolby 5.1 opportunities, bonus rehearsal footage, interviews, and Daniel's own artwork adorning the jacket and inside booklet, created exclusively for the film.

I don't mean to come off as too much of a sales asshole in this story, but this film is a long time coming. There is nothing quite like the intimacy and ambiance of a Daniel Johnston performance, and although nothing will compare to seeing him live, his mark on music deserves proper documentation. The Devil exposed his troubled life; The Angel exalts his gorgeous music.

[Photo: Tim Broddin]