Nick Cave Sounds Better in 5.1, Right?

Dear Tim,

College is a lot different than I expected. It's hard being away from home, even if the people are nice. It's a lot of work, too. Three-hour classes! Plus there are a lot of distractions. High-speed internet is great -- they haven't blocked BitTorrents yet, thank god. I got Nick Cave's whole library in remastered 5.1 surround sound. The rooms are nice -- cable television, and we've got our own bathroom right in the room. No floor showers like when I visited you at school. All in all, it's not bad. It'll take some getting used to. Some guys, Jordan and Matt I think, down the hall, they're having a party, but I don't know if I'll go. It's good to hear from you, tell the folks I miss them.


Dear Kyle,

I am LOVING college. Yesterday I played Frisbee on the quad, AND made four new best friends: Jordan, Carrie, Matt, and Tommy. Carrie is from California. The West Coast! Tommy is studying poli-sci, just like me, and he sits behind me in this HUGE room -- Tribbey Lecture Hall. The prof is real cool, too. We don't even call him Professor or Mr. Fernald or anything stuffy like that. Just Craig. Or Craiggo, but pronounced like Prego, you know, the spaghetti sauce? College is NOTHING like I expected. Jordan and Matt live together -- they're best friends from the ’burbs -- and they're throwing a party down the hall tonight; it is going to be off the hook. Anyway, it was good to hear from you, and YES I am eating fine. Tell Mom and Meghan I said hi.



First of all, thanks for the package. Mom's cookies were great, as good as Grandma's. The CDs were much appreciated, too. How's home? I'm adjusting to the college life pretty well, I think. It's a lot different than I expected. I'm not used to the whole dorm thing, doors open and all that. I love that I can connect to everyone's iTunes on the network, you know? If they didn't block it. Some kid has Nick Cave's ENTIRE catalog in 5.1 stereo. Jordan has surround sound and we watched The Punisher last night, but I hooked up my PowerBook to it and rocked out. It sounded decent, I suppose; 5.1 is cool I guess, for the novelty and all that. I was just PUMPED to hear No More Shall We Part from all angles. What's really cool is that it isn't even out yet. The first four albums are out next month on Mute, with B-sides and expanded packages. Don't tell the government! Anyway, tell mom and dad I said ‘hey,’ and don't let them mess up my room or anything. I'm still living there. Later.

Ryan Adams Announces Tourdates, Cancels Tourdates to Mope Over Breakup With Mandy Moore, Re-Announces Dates After Record Company Forces Him To

Oh, Ryan Adams, others may find you temperamental and obnoxious, but you’re so hard to resist when you photograph incredibly well and broke up with Mandy Moore just for me. I also hear you make some pretty great music, too. Too bad you’re not coming to Chicago so I can check out your "music," but feel free to message me for my number so we can hang out soon. I know you must be lonely now that you’re single again.

Love Is Hell:

[UPDATED] My Life in the Bush of Whoa! David Byrne and Brian Eno Confirm First Set of Autumn Tourdates; Byrne to Self-Release New Album with Eno!

UPDATE: Despite reports, including ours, Billboard has posted an update to the original story that leaked word of a possible Byrne/Eno tour. According to Byrne's publicist, turns out Brian Eno will not be joining him onstage for these shows, which means Roxy Music songs surely won't be performed live either. Boo! You can read the rest of the details here.

After a 30-year hiatus, the tall, suit-sporting, Oscar-winning Talking Head David Byrne is joining forces yet again with that Roxy Music-quitting, Windows 95-sound-composing baldy Brian Eno. After months of speculation on whether or not the two brothers in strange would reconvene for a 2008 tour, the duo have at last reported three dates for the fall, according to Billboard.

The trio of dates are billed as “The Songs of Talking Heads' David Byrne and Roxy Music founder Brian Eno." This basically guarantees a glut of material from Talking Heads’ glory days (during which Eno was an integral producer of several albums and co-songwriter on the Heads’ classic Remain in Light) and songs from Eno's two-album stint in Roxy Music. Additionally, Byrne and Eno can choose music from their first collaboration, 1981's seminal My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, as well as songs from their slated-for-late-’08 second collaboration, an as-yet untitled album that Byrne has described as “electric gospel” (TMT News). Don’t worry, David; that’s all we needed to hear. Billboard reports that the album will be self-released by Byrne.

Although the cities and dates have been named, the venues, alas, have not. But don’t worry, David and Brian aren’t going to be playing at the Reginald Bullionhauser Hall of Old Money or anything too bank-breaking like that. The most expensive seats for the Atlanta show are listed at $48.50, while the priciest Santa Barbara seats are $65. Sheesh, I’ve already given David Byrne that much cash when I bought Stop Making Sense on CD, vinyl, and DVD. Whoa, let me leave you with this image: remember how much you love Stop Making Sense? Well, picture that, with Brian fucking Eno.

Yeah, I’m excited.

The Great Curve:
09.20.08 – Atlanta, GA
09.26.08 – Austin, TX – Austin City Limits
10.04.08 – Santa Barbara, CA

Photo: [Hugh Brown]

Magnetic Fields to Embark on Second U.S. Tour of 2008 in October

The Magnetic Fields, maestros of sardonic indie synth-pop since 1990, plan to tour the U.S. this fall on the heels of successful European and North American tours earlier this year. The dates will bring the group to a number of midwestern and southern locations that the band missed on their spring jaunt across the U.S. The tour will kick off October 10 in the almighty city of Minneapolis and will come to a close in our nation's markedly less almighty capital a little over two weeks later.

The band's third tour in 2008 comes on the heels of the critically successful LP Distortion (TMT Review), which saw them junking both the synth sounds of their ’90s records and the spare instrumentation of 2004's i. Opting instead "to sound more like the Jesus and Mary Chain than the Jesus and Mary Chain," Fields frontman Stephin Merritt draped his meticulous pop masterpieces in snarling guitar feedback, hence the album title. Because this sound is difficult to duplicate on stage, and possibly due to Merritt's well-documented hearing problems, the singer has said that the songs will be performed "completely differently" live.

While the tradition of lengthy gaps between Magnetic Fields albums makes a new release unlikely anytime soon, Merritt will, as always, find a way to stay busy. According to The Magnetic Fields' official website, Merritt is writing the score and songs for next spring's Off Broadway theatrical adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Coraline.

Pre-sale tickets for The Magnetic Fields' fall tour are available now. Regular advance tickets will go on sale at the end of this week.

Photo: [Mike Yesenosky]

Think You’re Tough? Think You Can Stomach Predictable Headlines? Try Some of This: We’re Happy When it Rains Jesus and Mary Chain Box Sets!

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery the The Jesus and Mary Chain must be close to death from the flattery battery they have endured from similar-sounding counterfeits since the legendary misfits started begetting back in 1984. But, as is often the case, some replicates have been interesting, most embarrassing, and none as charismatically aloof and downright exciting as the original copy. With this genuine pioneering spirit in mind, it is only fitting that the brothers Reid will release a four-disc retrospective of rarities entitled The Power of Negative Thinking: B-Sides & Rarities through masters-of-the-reissue Rhino September 30.

The four-disc set includes a large number of notable rarities: unissued tracks from 1983-1998 (Psychocandy to Munki), a primitive cassette recording of "Up Too High," the previously unreleased "Till I Found You," all the rare booty found on 1988's Barbed Wire Kisses (minus one track), compilation efforts, alternated versions, and a lot of unnecessary acoustic renditions of classic tracks. Seriously, what word besides "distortion" comes to mind when I say "The Jesus and Mary Chain"? Exactly. Is it too much to ask for some recordings of their infamous early gigs that featured the band in all their intense wall-of-sound glory? In my experience, ear-bleeding bubblegum noise mixed with a sense of complete contempt from the band is always a crowd-pleaser.

Disc One:

1. Up Too High
2. Upside Down
3. Vegetable Man
4. Suck
5. Ambition
6. Just Out of Reach
7. Boyfriend's Dead
8. Head
9. Just Like Honey (demo, October 1984)
10. Cracked
11. Taste of Cindy (acoustic)
12. The Hardest Walk
13. Never Understand (alternate)
14. My Little Underground (demo)
15. The Living End (demo)
16. Some Candy Talking
17. Psychocandy
18. Hit
19. Cut Dead (acoustic)
20. You Trip Me Up (acoustic)
21. Walk and Crawl

Disc Two:

1. Kill Surf City
2. Bo Diddley Is Jesus
3. Who Do You Love
4. Everything's Alright When You're Down
5. Shake
6. Happy When it Rains (demo)
7. Happy Place
8. F. Hole
9. Rider
10. On the Wall (demo)
11. Surfin' USA (outtake)
12. Here It Comes Again
13. Don't Ever Change
14. Swing
15. Sidewalking
16. Surfin' USA (summer mix)
17. Shimmer
18. Penetration
19. Break Me Down
20. Subway
21. My Girl

Disc Three:

1. In the Black
2. Terminal Beach
3. Deviant Slice
4. I'm Glad I Never
5. Drop (acoustic remix)
6. Rollercoaster
7. Silverblade
8. Lowlife
9. Tower of Song
10. Heat
11. Guitarman
12. Why'd You Want Me
13. Sometimes,Br>
14. Teenage Lust (acoustic version)
15. Reverberation (Doubt)
16. Don't Come Down
17. Snakedriver
18. Something I Can't Have
19. Write Record Release Blues
20. Little Red Rooster

Disc Four:

1. The Perfect Crime
2. Little Stars
3. Drop (re-recorded version)
4. I'm in With the Out Crowd
5. New York City
6. Taking it Away
7. Ghost of a Smile
8. Alphabet Street
9. Coast to Coast (alternate take)
10. Dirty Water (alternate take)
11. Till I Found You
12. Bleed Me
13. 33 1/3
14. Lost Star
15. Hide Myself
16. Rocket
17. Easylife, Easylove
18. 40,000K
19. Nineteen66

HUSH Records Celebrates 10th Anniversary with a FREE Compilation!

What's better than free music? Sex! But since you're not getting any, you'll be happy to know that HUSH Records is here to distract you from your hornball tendencies (stop touching me there) with a FREE compilation of music (seriously, no means no). Celebrating 10 years of existence, the Portland-based label has compiled 28 tracks spread over two "albums" titled DECA: A HUSH 10th Anniversary Compilation, featuring artists ranging from Colin Meloy, Loch Lomond, and Bobby Birdman to Flash Hawk Parlour Ensemble, Novi Split, and Podington Bear (the project of label head Chad Crouch, for your information).

Like I said, the comp (which includes a 36-page PDF booklet) is free, but if you want a high-quality ZIP version, you can head on over to this page and do a pay-what-you-want sorta thing. According to HUSH, the proceeds will "go to funding a retreat for the artists who participated. Songs are the richness of our community and we enjoy sharing them. It is an increasingly rare and meaningful gesture – which does not go unnoticed – when one is willing to pay for them of their own volition."

So, have your choice: free or donate. Choose to donate.

Album 1:

ACL Fest Hosts Online BOTB; Relive High School, Vote Now, Vote Often

High school was the best. You could figure out someone’s personality just by looking at them; girls with belly rings were easy, guys who did musicals were gay, fat chicks could never make cheerleading, and kids in bands were smelly burnouts. It was a simple, easy time when trans fats were legal and status was ascribed.

And remember your high school’s battle of the bands? Longhaired Cobain-wannabes, sexually confused folkstresses, soccer players in eyeliner, and Zeppelin cover bands all competed for BOTB champion, the rocker’s equivalent of prom queen (minus a tiara and plus a double kick pedal).

You may have graduated from your teenage stereotype, but for those smelly burnouts with guitars, high school really doesn’t ever end. Take, for instance, Austin City Limits Festival’s online band competition, “The Sound and the Jury.” Texan bands and global groups will be vying for votes to play ACL Fest late this September, along with internationally recognized artists like The Mars Volta, David Byrne, Beck, and Foo Fighters.

Sure as hell beats the $100 music store gift certificate that 1st place bands won at my school’s BOTB. Plus, it won’t be in a high school gym; it’ll be on a massive stage. Not to mention that The Sound and the Jury is sponsored by Dell computers instead of the local Boys’ Club. Or that over 600 bands will compete instead of, like, ten. And voting happens online, not by a good ol’ show of hands. But the sentiment’s still there, and maybe if you vote for one of the awesome artists it’ll make up for that time in high school you called me -- er, one of those grungy rockers -- an angst-ridden lesbian.

of Montreal Announce Tourdates; Skeletal Lamping Cover Features a Cartoon of My Hairdresser Naked; Let’s Go Outback Tonight

I’m pretty pumped about of Montreal (yes, we've decided to go with the "official" way of presenting their name) heading out on tour. Not because they are coming to my town, but because they are from my town, and I get a vay-cay from those asses for about two months. Suh-weet! Just kidding, they’re awesome kids.

The band is heading over to Europe in early August for a few festival dates, followed by a small European tour in October and about of month of U.S. dates. The band is doing all this mess to promote their new album Skeletal Lamping, due on Polyvinyl October 7 (TMT News). The cover features some naked people, one of which I recognized as the dude who cuts my hair. I’m pretty sure it’s him. It looks exactly like him, and he’s friends with the band. I don’t know those other nudies.

Skeletal Lamping tracklist:

^ Sinkane


July 17 to July 19 marks the days of the difficult-to-pronounce Slottsfjell Festival in Tønsberg, Norway. I have no idea how to say that name, but I do know how to say the names of most the bands that are playing... except for Ólöf Arnalds, but it doesn’t seem too hard. I can say Fuck Buttons. I say fuck a lot, though.

Slottsfjell Festival features a healthy mix of hype-y bullshit indie rock bands and Scandinavian bands. The lineup includes Stereolab, The Little Ones, Gogol Bordello, Fuck Buttons, Cadence Weapon, Annie, Lukestar, Ida Maria, Woven Hand, The Floor Is Made Of Lava, and tons more. But don’t worry kids... there will also be death metal. I mean, if you’re in fucking Norway, you better hear some metal, right? Hopefully everyone looks like Rob Darken from Graveland (yeah, I know he’s Polish):

The festival is held in the medieval ruins of the city of Tønsberg. I did a Google image search of Tønsberg, and it looks pretty amazing. Information on where to sleep, where to eat lutefisk, and how to get around the city are posted on the festival website, which is available in English -- sorta.



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