In August, the San Francisco-based combo Numbers (Indra Dunis, Dave Broekema, and Eric Landmark) come roaring back with a new record and a slew (slew > 25) of tourdates. Since Numbers have transcended the silly trapping of the dance-punk phenomenon, the future finds them roaming freely, not trapped in by expectations. The group has a new LP, Now You Are This scheduled to come out in the U.S. August 21 on Kill Rock Stars. It seems that marrying rough and rugged electronics with a skewed pop sound will once again be the band's M.O. This will be their second record for the label, fourth overall; the band's first two LPs were put out by Tigerbeat6.
Instant cliché: When a new record is released, a tour will surely follow. So true. The same week that their record is in stores, the band will embark on a trek across North America. This tour finds the band playing some places you don't find on most underground bands' schedules, including Jamaica Plains and Mexicali, Mexico. Not surprising in this instance, as Numbers have been known to defy expectations a time or two.
Now You Are This tracklist:
Jens Lekman To Release Disc, Tour; Then Back to Rehab After Cocaine Cop Caper With The Case of the Missing Pantaloons No Refund Hijicks Poopscapade
I know about Americans. Way too much, in fact. George Washington, Mister Rogers, even Lindsay Lohan. Everything. But what about Swedes? They have great healthcare, and ABBA was alright I suppose. But what else? Their public radio seems to be functioning well (I mean, if it plays dudes like Jens Lekman, it can’t be half bad, right?). You can tell a lot about a country through its radio. I’ve seen American Graffiti, so I know that Mexico pirated the airwaves over North America for many a years.
Now, Swedish radio. Do they syndicate the World Cafe with David Dye on every station? Or do Swedes opt for democratic variety? If I was the King of Sweden, we would know what they play and it’d be settled. (Now that you ask, I’d demand a constant loop of the best two hours of radio I’ve personally ever heard: 30 minutes of a live Elvis Costello concert, 20 minutes of early '90s dance music (Madonna, Ace of Bass, etc.), 40 minutes of David Dye and the World Cafe feat. M. Ward.) In Sweden, someday the government will mandate a station program just that, in perpetuity -- and I can milk free health care while basking alongside the Baltic Sea, Walkman tuned to David Dye.
And somewhere between Lohan, the Kind of Sweden, and an unhealthy obsession with David Dye is Jens Lekman. Swedish, young, beautiful, self-destructively reckless? Perhaps. Public radio savior? Maybe. Vier of affection and disseminator of charm? Possibly. Releaser of Night Falls over Kortedalaand tourer of cities? The world may never know.
New CD takes over Scandinavia, September 5; the rest of the world, October 9:
So Two Gallants walk into this bar, right? The third one ducks. No, come on, but seriously: these Two Gallants walk into a bar, sit down, order a couple drinks, and the bartender -- big guy, by the way, one of those rough n' tumble types, don't ask this guy how his day went, he'll either talk your ear off or bite it off -- so the bartender says to the Two Gallants, he says, "What'll it be?" First Gallant, he's like, "Something hard." Bartender's like, "Something hard?" and the first Gallant, he leans back in his chair and slams his boots up on the bar. "Something hard," he says. So the bartender gets him something hard alright -- he gets him the new Two Gallants EP, The Scenery of Farewell. "How's that for hard," he says, and balances it right on the first Gallant's boot.
So, the second Gallant's gettin' impatient, right? He's like, "I need a drink too, and that's not even a drink. That's our new EP from Saddle Creek, and it came out June 19. You can't drink a CD." So the bartender gets right up in the second Gallant's face, and he says, "I'll bet you $2,000 and the keys to my truck that I could drink your new EP faster than you could drink this bottle of rum." And like that, this bartender pulls out a huge bottle of rum from under the counter.
Second Gallant looks at the first for a second and then turns to the bartender, says, "Well obviously, that would take me forev--" but the bartender was already slamming back The Scenery of Farewell. Everyone else at the bar is looking at these Two Gallants like bartender's outsmarted 'em again, and then they start chanting "Chug! Chug! Chug!" and I swear, the bartender's three-quarters-of-the -way through with this EP, some of it's spilling on the floor, but he's getting most of it, and the bar's going nuts. These Two Gallants can't handle it; they just can't even watch it anymore, so they walk out into a swarm of mutated starving hornets, and they're never heard from again.
And that, Frank, is why your kind isn't welcome at this bar.
All dates supporting Against Me! (except last date)
If history has taught us anything, it is that people will go the extra mile attempting to prove the existence of mythical sea monsters despite conclusive proof to the contrary. Thousands of these legends have been reported throughout time and most have been proven to be hoaxes. But there is still something nagging about the tales. Every dreamer quietly wishes that these mutants actually tread the earth’s waters, living a peaceful but lonely life as (probably) the only type of its species to ever subsist.
Imagine if you will one of these creatures -- so mysterious and so camera shy -- taking the reverse-plunge and actually revealing itself, in front of a paying audience and playing awesome music no less! No longer will we have to rely on grainy, doctored photos of our favorite part marine dweller/part rabid fangster Sea Wolf, because he has announced more dates in the U.S. Shows started last week and continue sporadically into November. Fellow leviathans, coelacanths, and krakens are upset. They have been sending e-mails to Sea Wolf like, “don’t come ‘round here no more for any of that quickie aqua-love, nuh-uh bitch!” and “give me back my lawnmower I lent you... we are no longer friends.” Needless to say, it is harsh times being a freak of nature with high hopes of an easy integration into society at large, too. Meanwhile, cryptozoologists are creaming their Dockers at the prospect of finally seeing the once-mythical Sea Wolf on dry land. These hotshots are more rabid than paparazzi, so let us hope “Wolfie” doesn’t decide to disappear forever after this foray into the hearts and loins of American landlubbers.
No, there’s no real chance Alex Church -- the not-really-mythical Cali song-serpent who goes by the stage name of Sea Wolf -- will disappear too soon. He’s just getting started. After killing 'em softly with his talent on the Get To the River Before It Runs Too Low EP that was released earlier this year, Sea Wolf’s next release is ready to pop and will be a more lengthy exercise. The Sea Wolf debut album, Leaves in the River, will be out September 25 via the lovelies at Dangerbird Records. Heartfelt balladry, mini-epicness and whatever the hell hacks will throw into inevitably gushing reviews is expected. However you describe it, it works; Sea Wolf can warm up the strictest disparager’s black heart over with his wistful choons and chops. As if you won’t go to see this fabled beast playing live!
The Cold, The Dead, and the Tracklisting:
1 Leaves in the River
2 Winter Windows
3 Black Dirt
4 The Rose Curtain
5 Middle Distance Runner
6 You’re a Wolf
7 Song for the Dead
8 Black Leaf Falls
9 The Cold, the Dark & the Silence
10 Neutral Ground
See Sea Wolf:
07.26.07 - Los Angeles, CA - Hammer Museum
07.29.07 - Salt Lake City, UT - In the Venue *
07.30.07 - Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre *
08.01.07 - Omaha, NE - Slowdown *
08.02.07 - Boulder, CO - R&R Convention CHECK
08.04.07 - Lawrence, KS - Gaslight
08.06.07 - Toledo, OH - Frankie’s *
08.07.07 - Cleveland, OH - Agora Ballroom *
08.09.07 - Indianapolis, IN - The Vogue *
08.10.07 - Newport, KY - Southgate House *
08.11.07 - Chicago, IL - Chubas Tavern
08.18.07 - Los Angeles, CA - Sunset Junction
09.13.07 - Santa Barbara, CA - Soho Restaurant and Music Club
10.15.07 - Columbus, OH - The Basement #
10.16.07 - Cincinnati, OH - 20th Century Theatre #
10.17.07 - Louisville, KY - Jim Porter’s Good Time #
10.18.07 - Indianapolis, IN - Birdy’s #
10.20.07 - Chicago, IL - Schubas #
10.22.07 - St. Louis, MO - Gargoyle Club, Washington University #
10.23.07 - Nashville, TN - Exit In #
10.24.07 - Birmingham, AL - Bottletree #
10.26.07 - St. Petersburg, FL - State Theatre #
10.27.07 - St. Augustine Beach, FL - Café Eleven #
10.29.07 - Athens, GA - 40 Watt Club #
10.30.07 - Asheville, NC - Orange Peel #
10.31.07 - Carrboro, NC - Cats Cradle #
11.01.07 - Charlottesville, VA - Satellite Ballroom #
11.02.07 - Baltimore, MD - The 8 x 10 #
* Silversun Pickups
# Nada Surf
Simian Mobile Disco Do The Gorilaz Thing And Hide Their Faces As They Tour; Except They’ve Hired Real Monkeys To Play For Them
Writing really happening dance music is one thing, but getting some prime apes to play your tunes live is another. Everyone knows about those Gorillaz videos with cartoon monkeys, and they were really famous because of them. MTV didn't play those videos non-stop simply because the music was good; they played them because monkeys are fun to watch. James Ellis Ford and James Anthony Shaw have figured out that having monkeys in your band is the secret to success, and now they're taking it one step further.
Scientific evidence reveals that monkeys can already play Nickelback songs and some monkeys can even emulate Chad Kroeger's voice pretty well. So, why can't they be injected with steroids and other vitamins to be able to mix some of the ridiculous beats Simian Mobile Disco are dropping? Well they can, and this Fall they will. Here are some quotes I've been able to dig up on the subject:
"Yeah, we've been experimenting with monkeys, kind of like what the Wicked Witch of the West did in the Wizard of Oz, except we don't want our monkeys to have wings, we want them to have rhythm." -James Ellis Ford
"Most people think it's unethical to do this to the monkeys, but if monkeys are so similar to humans like all those scientists say, then isn't it apparent that their goal in life would be to reach rock stardom?" -James Anthony Shaw
"Our new album focuses on the ethical treatment of monkeys; we believe that we can coexist together in a world full of good music and simian peace." -Chad Kroeger
Obviously the views of "some" people are slightly varied, but James and James seem like caring human beings, and using monkeys to play your set while you sit backstage and pop ex with some groupies isn't really so bad. In fact, it's smart.
See the Simian Mobile Disco monkeys spin some crazy shit at these fine establishments:
Bye Bye Birdie; Pelican Currently On Tour, Proves Instrumental Post-Rock Is Infinitely More Manly Than Fauna-Based Names and Musicals
If you've ever had a day at the seashore ruined by the bloody carnage of a swooping pelican treating itself to an afternoon snack, you know the slaughter these animals leave in their wake. With a mouthful of tattered fish, it becomes clear that this is no Flock of Seagulls. And in a day and age of soft cuddly band names, we need a little bit of ferociousness. Honestly, I mean... Panda Bear!?
Luckily, the band that shares a name with these fearless birds is no different. Leaving a bloodbath in their wake, the audience ripped to shreds from sludgey, bone-crushing post-rock, Pelican is embarking on less of a tour, and more of a quest, playing date after date of their epic rawk in support of their newest full-length, City Of Echoes, out now on Hydra Head Records.
London’s teeming population of amplifier-hire guys and earplug hawkers are all no doubt rubbing their hands in unrestrained glee over the news that Boris and Sunn 0))) are continuing their apparently never-ending love-in with a full live performance -- I’m sorry, LIVE AKTION with guest VOKILLISTS -- of their Altar elpee (TMT Review) in that filthy city in December. You may not be especially surprised to learn that Earth are going to be there too, providing support. Not spiritual support though; I reckon that only Lucifer himself could provide suitably evil guidance to this particularly blackened triumvirate. The whole thing is being put on by All Tomorrow’s Parties.
In related news, ‘The’ Boris, ‘The’ Sunn O))) and ‘The’ Earth have been added to the lineup for ‘The’ ATP Christmas festival. As previously reported, the ATP knees-up is being curated by former yuppie favorites Portishead, yuppies who now ‘keep it real’ by listening to Amy Winehouse, no doubt. Speaking of which, Portishead themselves are playing their first gig in FOREVER at the festival. I’m sure this will bring out more than a few of the aforementioned young and upwardly mobile individuals for a weekend by the seaside and the chance to smoke a couple of spliffs -- just like they used like to do with Julian and Tristan in ’94 and ’95 -- whilst chilling out to some ultra mellow trip-hop beatz. I’m sure they’re going to be totally wowed by the satisfyingly non-festive bands Portishead have so far chosen to play with them:
Crippled Black Phoenix
Fuzz Against Junk
A Hawk And A Hacksaw
Jah Shaka Soundsystem
Glenn Branca Presents New Work For Guitars (with Special Guests)
Glenn Branca with The Paranoid Critical Revolution
Those precious highs are going to be severely compromised by some of those dudes, I reckon. No Amy Crackhouse, either. The ATP gig is at Butlins in Minehead and is on December 7-9. The Altar gig is at the Forum in London December 10. And then, on December 11, why not go and see this guy?
Rough Trade Escapes Capture by Universal Music Group; Our Lives as Consumers Continue Unfettered, Terrorists Officially Lose
Have you ever passed by beggars on the street corner and wondered if they’re really just eccentric billionaires who spend the first few hours of their days making multi-million dollar wheelings and dealings before spending their leisure perpetrating jokes of conscience on us unsuspecting, middle-class sidewalk-trudgers??
Well, if you have, then first of all, you’re a cynical, cold-hearted prick. I mean, come on, man! These people are fucking destitute!
Second of all, you’d actually be on to something, because earlier this week, the hallowed Rough Trade record label (home to The Smiths, Destroyer, Super Furry Animals, The Long Blondes, etc.) was purchased by the independent record group Beggars Group for Â£800,000, which figures to be roughly $1,400,000. And you thought that they all just bought drugs with that pocket change!
The iconic record label was owned by UK record group Sanctuary Group, who, in a pretty darn Old Testament Biblical move, apparently had the good sense to wrap the legendary label in a warm blanket, put it in a basket, and float it on down the metaphorical Nile to the promise of a better life before the struggling music group itself is purchased by power-hungry Universal Music for Â£104.3 million in the coming days.
The Beggars group, already the proud poppa of such iconic indie labels as Beggars Banquet, Matador, XL, and 4AD, seemed happy to take in Sanctuary’s 49% ownership of their erstwhile baby for the aforementioned Â£800,000, despite the not-so-cute Â£3 million loss that the label had racked up. Now that’s love.
Rough Trade owner Geoff Tarvis, who founded the label in 1978, has touted the transition as entirely positive and hopes that the label can now reach “a worldwide level of stability and expertise.” And odds are good that Mr. Tarvis will indeed be saying sooth, as Rough Trade will soon benefit from the Beggars Group’s hefty distribution power, which makes, in addition to making me personally mad as hell that I spent all of that money on that Albert Hammond Jr. import (TMT Review), is sure to make all of the label’s releases easier to find in the U.S. And isn’t our ease of record browsing what’s REALLY important in all of this?!
So, the next time you see a beggar on the street, stop, shake his or her filthy hand, and tell him or her “thankyou” for doing his or her part to help further indie-rock by making that Jarvis Cocker 12-inch a tad bit easier to find. But don’t you DARE give that rich-ass one red cent of your pocket change!
Parts and Labor Part with Drummer After Four Years 3, Looking for New Labor; I, Devastated, Entertain The Posession Of Better Drum Skills As Well As Less Obvious Play-On-Words Tactics For This Article
After four years, drummer Christopher R. Weingarten has left Parts and Labor to further pursue his blossoming writing career and full-time position as editor-in-chief at Paper Thin Walls (purchased by Getty Images in May for $850,000), the popular music website. Meanwhile, Weingarten is currently completing a book about Public Enemy's It Takes A nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back.
His reasons for leaving reportedly stem from the recent explosion of interest in Paper Thin Walls, as well as the band leaving him stretching his efforts too thin. The rest of the band says that the split wasn't unanticipated, there's no bad blood, and they're way psyched to read Weingarten's book once released.
Now that a third of the Parts need to be replaced, the remainder are laboring to fill the full-time position. What does it call for? According to the band, they're looking for a "brilliant and sexy solar-powered drum machine with a clean driving record" Interested? Drop them a line.
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Hip-hop’s earthworm with the mostest Aesop Rock is hitting the road in support of None Shall Pass, for release August 28.
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None Shall Pass Tracklist:
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For Aes of Def Jux, we pray - Dear God, Bless Ian Matthias Bavitz and his wife, Allyson Baker on this tour. Let Ian’s fly earthworm (…demeanor)…eat Allyson’s…dirt, consummating their sweet love to make little earthworms, which Aes will drop rhymes to in the womb, and, once out, challenge to freestyle living room rap battles while Allyson leaves behind any of her own musical aspirations to cook, clean, and read Danielle Steele novels. Amen.
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This was actually written.