Sheffield, England quintet The Long Blondes came on all fast and enticing last time with their much-loved LP from 2006, Someone To Drive You Home (Rough Trade), which was chocked full of advice for women, a little admonishment for men, and hooks for everyone. If you can think of three better bands than Pulp, Blondie, and New Order to combine, you let me know. Actually, let The LBs know; it was their idea.
With their new record Couples (TMT Review), the deck is now slightly reshuffled. They now play the part of the cool cucumbers (particularly singer/audience focal point Kate Jackson), who possible suitors shouldn't even try to pin down, a whirlwind that might include you one minute and not the next. One element that definitely is included in these possibly autobiographical songs is the synthesizer, which vies with the guitar for attention on Couples.
To find out if the band can walk the effortlessly cool walk in person, let me direct you to their North American tour, which will be comin' atcha about a week after that hot platter drops (Warning: if the way you talk resembles that last sentence, you are nether effortless nor cool, just so you know. Do you hear me, Gary?). You can brave the throngs of style-mavens and admirers when the tour starts May 14 in Philly, with support from two-piece twang-rock cuties Drug Rug.
* Drug Rug
Confession time: I am a local news JUNKIE. I love their low-budget advertising campaigns. I love their cheesy news anchor banter. And I especially love to reminisce about hard-hitting, in-depth investigations. One of my personal favorites was a shocking story concerning Red Bull and Jagermeister, and how downing a ton of the shit can be bad for you. But how bad? The consensus of the story was "we don't really know how bad, but let's just say pretty bad, because you wouldn't really think it'd be good for you, would you?"
That's kind of the verdict of a recent Billboard report on America's new favorite holiday, Record Store Day. Except the consensus of this story is more along the lines of "we don't really know how good, but let's just say pretty good, because you wouldn't really think it'd be bad, would you?" Evidence points toward Record Store Day charting somewhere around "kick ass" on the "good" scale, but opinions differ. Nielsen SoundScan results for the inaugural Record Store Day, held April, 19, 2008, reveal that sales for indie stores rose 1.6% from the previous year while chain stores' sales dropped 20.8% from 2007. Sounds good right? Well, album sales dropped 8.1% for the week.
Store owners held varying opinions as to the effectiveness of Record Store Day. In Philadelphia, overall indie record store sales were up 13% from the previous week, and in the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose area sales were up 12%. Special events such as the Metallica in-store at Mountain View, CA's Rasputin's drew 400 people and added significantly to the figures. Statistics varied across the country, with the Boston area reporting a 4% increase in sales and Nashville-based Grimey's experiencing a 400% increase. At the same time, however, some stores reported no surges in business whatsoever, and some, such as Atlanta's Criminal Records, reported an 18% decrease from the week before. Indie store managers in some locations were uncertain whether sales were up due to nice weather, amazing Record Store Day tie-ins, or Boston area creeps' desire to watch Dresden Doll Amanda Collins paint her underwear.
Bill Callahan to Tour, Me to Not Make Fun of Him, Find Happiness, Appreciate Life, Subsequently Appreciate High Art
The truth is, dear gents: There’s nothing us ladies love more than an elusive, ever-smoggy dude repping deep commitment to, um, sound. Ah, sweet instrumental sincerity!
Callahan's tourin' with Swell Season and Alasdair Roberts.
Stealing hearts (abroad!), taking names:
* Swell Season
# Alasdair Roberts
Monday, May 5, Tom Waits held a press conference:
Yes, you heard right, Waits’ 13-date tour forgetfully bypasses 42 of the U.S.’ 50 largest cities. What bad luck. Maybe the whole thing is just an excuse for Tom to stop by that really great diner in Tulsa or to visit Aunt Bea in Mobile.
Now, instead of making the drive you’re thinking of making, I have a few suggestions for you. Get your money, go to a bank, put your money in that bank, use your plastic card to get that money in small usable increments to spend on things like groceries and beer, try to use another bank’s ATM and get charged $4 for the convenience, put your elbow through the glass of the ATM’s screen, DON’T YOU KNOW IT’S A RECESSION PEOPLE. ITS ABOUT DRUGS NOT TRAINS WAKE UP!!! PAECE BABY OLIVER BABY OLIVER THANKX GOD. F*CK IPOD TRY SOME WAX WAKE UP! 1972 NYC BORN AND RAISED.
Tom Waits Glitter and Doom Tour:
Living in North America just got a little sweeter. My Bloody Valentine announced today that their country club set in upstate New York for All Tomorrow’s Parties won't be an isolated appearance (TMT News), as The Roseland Ballroom receives the honor of being the second stop on My Bloody Valentine’s first North American tour in 16 flippin’ years! I’m so excited I stopped doing actual work, closed Gawker.com, and jammed on my headphones to listen to Loveless. (BTW, headphones are totes against the rules at the Real Job.)
Tickets aren’t listed yet, but I would advise keeping a close watch on the MBV website and doing a ceremonial chant or five. And this might be pushing it, but our luck seems to be on the up-and-up, so maybe Patti Smith will decide to relive her two onstage experiences with Kevin Shields in ’05 and ’06, documented on The Coral Sea (TMT News). Eh?
My Bloody Valentine tourdates:
David Letterman appearances, MTV's Artist of the Week... just who the blue fuck does Beth Ditto think she is? Brilliant and bodacious, you say? I'd be inclined to agree. The Gossip just released a full-length live album on Kill Rock Stars, aptly titled Live in Liverpool, and it can be yours and yours alone if you click here.
What's more, The Gossip have done something totally weird and booked a tour in support of the live licks. Freaks. I mean, what do you expect from people who wanted Daisy to win Rock of Love 2? COME ON!
I bet Ambre would listen to The Gossip:
Free Yr Radio Concert Series with No Age, White Williams, and Mudhoney, Funded by a Certain Automobile Company and a Certain Clothing Company
After its SXSW shenanigans (TMT News), "Go For a Walk" concert series will be hosting ten more free concerts in support of independent radio and, of course, its sponsors. Look for shows to spring up around participating radio stations, which include KEXP (Seattle, WA), KVRX (Austin, TX), The Current (Minneapolis, MN), KUSF (San Francisco, CA), WPRB (Princeton, NJ), WERS (Boston, MA), KRCL (Salt Lake City, UT), WVKR (Poughkeepsie, NY), WVUM (Miami, FL), and OHIO.FM (Columbus, OH).
Free shows are indeed cool, even when part of a comprehensive promotional scheme designed to inundate yr consumer brain with positive brand associations. While attendees must ultimately submit to the marketing tactics of the "Wear Used Clothes" campaign -- if only because most of the shows will be held at trendy clothing outlets -- we at Tiny Mix Tapes don't have to enjoy the idea. Then again, free concerts do get me itching for some tight new fashion-ripped jeans.
Here's the schedule so far:
05.21.08 - Cambridge, MA - Urban Outfitters &
06.14.08 - Columbus, OH - TBA !
07.23.08 - Seattle, WA - TBA %
08.30.08 - Minneapolis, MN - Urban Outfitters *
& White Williams / WERS
! !!! / Ohio-FM
% Mudhoney & No Age / KEXP
* Yeasayer / The Current
First time posters... we’ve been wanting to try this for a long time but haven’t found the right one(s). Looking for anyone who knows how to have a good time. Not interested in any drama or relationships, just laughing and having a good time and we’ll see where it goes from there. ;-)
Serious replies only plz. Age/race not a factor; must be disease-free. Ur pic gets ours.
Let us know if you’re looking for some fun before/after any of the following gigs:
05.09.08 - London, UK - Proud Gallery (Vice Calling)
05.11.08 - Camber Sands, UK - All Tomorrow’s Parites
05.12.08 - Bristol, UK - Lousiana
05.14.08 - London, UK - Cafe Otto
05.15.08 - London, UK - Old Blue Last (Stag and Dagger)
05.16.08 - Brighton, UK - Great Escape Festival
05.17.08 - Brighton, UK - Great Escape Festival
05.19.08 - Cardiff, UK - Club IforBach
05.20.08 - Liverpool, UK - Korova Bar
05.21.08 - London, UK - Corsica Studios
05.22.08 - Leeds, UK - The Common Place
05.23.08 - Edinburgh, UK - Studio 24
05.24.08 - Glasgow, UK - Captain’s Rest
05.26.08 - Dublin, UK - Andrew’s Lane Theatre
05.28.08 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Paradiso
05.31.08 - Barcelona, Spain - Primavera Sound
06.04.08 - Bloomington, IN - Waldron Art Center
06.05.08 - Omaha, NE - Waiting Room
06.06.08 - Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge
06.07.08 - Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court
06.09.08 - Missoula, MT - The Badlander
06.10.08 - Seattle, WA - Neumo’s
06.11.08 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir
06.13.08 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill
06.14.08 - Visalia, CA - Howie & Sons Pizza
06.15.08 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echo
06.17.08 - San Diego, CA - Casbah
06.18.08 - Tempe, AZ - Modified
06.19.08 - El Paso, TX - Hush Gallery
06.20.08 - Austin, TX - Emo’s
06.21.08 - Dallas, TX - Club Dada
06.22.08 - Memphis, TN - Hi Tone
06.23.08 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl
06.25.08 - Washington, DC - Rock N Roll
06.26.08 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s
06.27.08 - New York, NY - Whitney Museum
06.28.08 - Providence, RI - The Living Room
06.29.08 - Boston, MA - Great Scott
06.30.08 - Montreal, QUE - Divan Orange
07.01.08 - Toronto, ONT - Horseshoe Tavern
07.20.08 - Chicago, IL - Pitchfork Festival
Without the invigorating threat of a miserly major record label breathing down their necks, Radiohead have apparently found themselves lonely for the good ol' days of being behind the 8 ball. But since they're like the biggest non-U2 band on the whole damn planet and have, well, pretty much fired everyone who might have been inclined to give them shit about their careers, Thom Yorke and the boys have turned to the only logical remaining option: they've decided to let their fans hassle them instead.
According to a recent post on their website, the environmentally mental Radiohead have developed "a new section of the site that gig-goers can visit" from which we, the lowly fans, can "try out [their] carbon calculator and compare different methods for getting to and from the venue." The list of tourdates will also arm environmentally conscious fans with public transportation information relating to each venue as well as "incentives for car sharing." Incentives? What, like free internet downloads or something??
But the good, clean fun doesn't stop there! Each week, Radiohead's production team will deliver a new progress report on how the band has or hasn't been addressing their own touring carbon footprint, as well as whether or not they've been making it easier for the "gig goers" to reduce theirs. Fans can log on and gloat about the band's successes and, even better, climb atop the virtual soapbox about their failings at w.a.s.t.e.-central. From there, eager environmentalists can also post their own local travel information for cities where the band is touring, hook up with potential car-poolers, and, you know, shake their mother earth-loving finger at Thom Yorke. Sounds pretty good, huh?
Anyway, this new, green web page is called "the most gigantic flying mouth for some time" (a much cooler title than In Rainbows if you ask me) and comes on the heels of their post from December last year assessing their carbon footprint for an average overseas tour and the commissioned report on touring and CO2 generation. So what are you waiting for?? Get on there and scrutinize Radiohead! God knows you don't get the chance to do that very often.
Uh, oh yeah, and in case you forgot or have been living under a rock or something, Radiohead's huge fucking WORLD TOUR is currently in full-swing:
05.06.08 - Tampa, FL - Ford Amphitheatre *
05.08.08 - Atlanta, GA - Lakewood Amphitheatre *
05.09.08 - Charlotte, NC - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre *
05.11.08 - Bristow, VA - Nissan Pavilion at Stone Ridge *
05.14.08 - St. Louis, MO - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre *
05.17.08 - Houston, TX - Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion *
05.18.08 - Dallas, TX - Superpages.com Center *
06.06.08 - Dublin, Ireland - Malahide #
06.07.08 - Dublin, Ireland - Malahide #
06.09.08 - Paris, France - Bercy #
06.10.08 - Paris, France - Bercy #
06.12.08 - Barcelona, Spain - Parc del Fòrum (Daydream Festival) *#$
06.14.08 - Nimes, France - Arenes #
06.15.08 - Nimes, France - Arenes #
06.17.08 - Milan, Italy - Civica Arena #
06.18.08 - Milan, Italy - Civica Arena #
06.20.08 - Neuhausen ob Eck, Germany - Southside Festival
06.22.08 - Scheeßel, Germany - Hurricane Festival
06.24.08 - London, England - Victoria Park #
06.25.08 - London, England - Victoria Park #
06.27.08 - Glasgow, Scotland - Glasgow Green #
06.29.08 - Manchester, England - Lancashire County Cricket Club #
07.01.08 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Westerpark #
07.03.08 - Roskilde, Denmark - Roskilde Festival
07.05.08 - Werchter, Belgium - Rock Werchter Festival
07.06.08 - Arras, France - Main Square Festival
07.08.08 - Berlin, Germany - Wuhlheide
08.01.08 - Chicago, IL - Grant Park (Lollapalooza)
08.03.08 - Indianapolis, IN - Verizon Wireless Music Center %
08.04.08 - Cleveland, OH - Blossom Music Center %
08.06.08 - Montreal, Quebec - Parc Jean-Drapeau %
08.08.08 - Jersey City, NJ - Liberty State Park (All Points West Festival)
08.09.08 - Jersey City, NJ - Liberty State Park (All Points West Festival)
08.12.08 - Camden, NJ - Susquehanna Bank Center %
08.13.08 - Mansfield, MA - Tweeter Center %
08.15.08 - Toronto, Ontario - Molson Amphitheatre %
08.19.08 - Vancouver, British Columbia - Thunderbird Stadium *
08.20.08 - Auburn, WA - White River Amphitheatre *
08.22.08 - San Francisco, CA - Golden Gate Park (Outside Lands Festival)
08.24.08 - Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Bowl *
08.25.08 - Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Bowl *
08.27.08 - Chula Vista, CA - Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre *
08.28.08 - Santa Barbara, CA - Santa Barbara Bowl *
10.01.08 - Osaka, Japan - Municipal Central Gymnasium
10.02.08 - Osaka, Japan - Municipal Central Gymnasium
10.04.08 - Tokyo, Japan - Saitama Super Arena
10.05.08 - Tokyo, Japan - Saitama Super Arena
% Grizzly Bear
# Bat for Lashes
$ Ensemble Nacional de España de Müsica Contemporánea (Jonny Greenwood compositions)
So, Bon Iver, I saw your postcard flier thing in the record store a few weeks ago. It was on the counter by the register, placed their nonchalantly, advertising your little April stint around the Midwest like I was supposed to know about it all along, like some marketing ploy to guys like me who aren't in-the-know but want to be. "Hey, there's a show at the Lakeshore Theater. Oh, but wait, it's tonight." I couldn't help but imagine (as you probably intended) a snooty voice saying "sorry" with a disinterested laugh for the full effect. I was glad I didn't imagine a "sucks to be me," as often happens with you. In hindsight, I'm glad it was the snooty voice; I didn't want to go anyway.
But whatever, I didn't buy your album. Oh I saw it there; it was right in front. Kind of pricey though, someone thinks pretty highly of themselves... It looked nice, presentable at least. I suppose you have to attract someone. Personally, I don't go for that look anymore. Dolled up in flashy black, and that cursive writing... a little too desperate if you ask me. I saw it at some other stores, too -- boy, you get around. But I hear the record is doing well. That's wonderful, really. I mean, I have heard it, wasn't impressed though. Not my thing, you know? It isn't bad, if you like that sort of thing. No, I need something a little more, a little less about them, someone who calls when they're in town.
Don't take it personally, though. I didn't when I saw those postcard ads. There were a bunch; guess a lot of people didn't want to go to your show. April 10, hmm... where was I? Oh that's right, I was super totally busy probably. I was at a bar with some people from work, and no, they aren't work friends -- they're just friends I happen to work with. Mark did that thing with his elbows and... you had to be there. I would've taken them to your show, had I known about it, but we all had better things to do that night anyway.
A band played at the bar, too. That's right, and they were just as good, maybe even way good. They were pretty solid, a little blues/jam/bar rock. You wouldn't be into that though; you're sensitive. Jealous? Don't act like it doesn't bother you, I've heard your songs. Ev-uh-ree thing bothers you. Why don't you go bother up a tree? And who's Emma, anyway?
Come to Chicago, see if I care:
*with Iron & Wine