Rocky Votolato Tours, Demands Free Hugs and Alcohol To Make Himself Feel Better About His Unfortunate Name

You have to feel sorry for singer/songwriter, Rocky Votolato. Not only does 90% of his discography consist of himself, an acoustic guitar, and sorrowful lyrics that reference love and whiskey, but his real name is actually ROCKY VOTOLATO. Then again, it must take a real bad-ass to avoid playground beatings and continue through to adulthood with such an unfortunate name. So, maybe Rocky isn’t such a poor sap after all? The only way to find out for sure is to catch him on one of the dates listed below. Make sure you give the dude a hug and buy him a drink when you see him, because there are some things that require a double-shot of Jameson instead of therapy.

Rocky <3’s Whiskey and Touring:

^ Owen

% Mark Rogers

& Michael Dean Damron

Guy Hands Needs £180 Million By September to Save EMI Says Citigroup, But Won’t Change His Wonderful Name For All the Money In the World

British financial gadabout Guy Hands might have to reconsider some of the pies he’s got his fingers in this week, after it was revealed that Terra Firma, the “private equity vehicle” he runs, has had to renegotiate its agreement with Citigroup regarding the £2.5 billion (106,996,937,463,139.50 Drachma) Hands had to borrow in order to buyout EMI.

Under the new agreement, Terra Firma/EMI “must generate underlying earnings of £180m by September.” I don’t know. Honestly, there’s a bunch of predictions and figures regarding equity and publishing assets, but the fact of the matter is that Guy Hands needs you to buy the new Coldplay record, Viva la Vida, due June 16 on EMI. If you don’t, he may have to sell or refinance his beloved record company, a purchase that was probably an enormous mistake to begin with. At worst, Mr. Hands, it looks like you’ll be back in the lucrative world's waste management and outsourcing, where people treat each other right.

In related news, Mike Allen has left EMI.

With a knowing wink and a sapient grin, the rock gods (Lemmy, Thor, Keef, and their receptionist, Ðävé Ñâvårrò), have provided us a rare glimpse into the very near future, and the thing is simply dominated by new music ensemble Au. The much-discussed and even-more-loved (especially on this site) collective, centered around Portland's adopted prodigal son Luke Wyland, will be meandering around and playing live shows which will hopefully feature songs from its self-titled album and their forthcoming release Verbs. Verbs is out June 26 on Aagoo Records and is preceded May 20 by the claptastic carnival-like single “RR vs. D.”

Who gives a fuck about an “Oxford Comma”? Not us, we want Verbs instead!

1. All My Friends
2. Are Animals
3. Summerheat
4. RR vs. D
5. All Myself
6. Two Seasons
7. Prelude
8. The Waltz
9. Sleep

Wyland is hellbent on converting conventional music listeners one by one through his albums or by the dozens and hundreds and thousands and kazillions when playing live. Dissenters have no choice, so don’t rally against Au: you can’t win, and if you try, then you hate freedom and have no taste. We hope to announce widespread dates after Verbs takes a firm hold, but for now Wyland and cohorts will tour this beaten path on the West Coast of the U.S. of A. All dates are with like-minded manglers Parenthetical Girls and PWRFL Power.

Conjugate this:
05.23.08 - Seattle, WA - Happy Times Fun Club #
05.24.08 - Portland, OR - Backspace #
05.25.08 - Davis, CA - The Firehouse #
05.26.08 - Irvine, CA - UC Irvine #
05.27.08 - San Diego, CA - The Che #
05.28.08 - Los Angeles, CA - The Smell $
05.29.08 - San Luis Obispo, CA - Retrospect #
05.30.08 - San Francisco, CA - The Cushionworks #

# Parenthetical Girls & PWRFL Power

$ Parenthetical Girls, PWRFL Power & Abe Vigoda

Fact: The Don't Look Back concert series is influencing the music community outside of the ATP world. How do I know this? Well, word just got in that Liz Phair will perform Exile In Guyville in its entirety June 25 in New York!

The performance will take place at the Hiro Ballroom and is expected to be Phair alone on acoustic guitar, à la MTV Unplugged, the show that may very well have invented the acoustic guitar. Coincidentally, the event is just a day after the release of the Exile In Guyville reissue, which contains three unreleased B-sides ("Ant in Alaska," "Say You," and an untitled instrumental), as well as a DVD titled Guyville Redux. The ultra, mega, super deluxe reissue will be released digitally, physically, and vinyl-ly through ATO Records.

Tickets for the NY performance go on sale Wednesday, with Chicago and San Francisco events planned for the very near future. Pretty cool stuff, but it'd be much cooler to me if it were "Liz Phair to Perform Exile In Guyville In Wisconsin!"

High Places and Pontiak to Monkey Around with Thrill Jockey


- High Places' 03/07 - 09/07 is getting a physical release July 22 via Thrill Jockey. A new, as-yet untitled full-length is coming in September.
- Pontiak's Thrill Jockey debut, Sun on Sun, is being released September 9.
- More info on both bands and releases here.
- More monkey jokes here.

High Places tourdates:

# Wye Oak (hell, why not?)

Stephen Malkmus Will Not Be Appearing on the Kim Deal Tribute Album

Yyyeah. Anyway! American Laundromat Records announced that it will be releasing Gigantic - A Tribute to Kim Deal right about... uh, now, actually! That is, if you buy it directly from the label or on iTunes. For the brick-and-mortar set, the tribute album will drop June 3. You won't recognize too many of the artists appearing on this compilation, and that was done on purpose.

“This project was a pure labor of love for the label," says founder and president Joe Spadaro. "We wanted to get back to working with lesser-known indie arists. We started to produce Gigantic in the middle of producing the Pixies and Neil Young tributes. It was fun to work directly with the bands and hear their reinterpretations of Kim’s impressive body of work."

Tanya Donnelly of the Breeders/Belly/Throwing Muses penned the liner notes for Gigantic, so this is sure to be a Deal-approved tribute to her own art. Wise, I say. If there's anything we learned last month, it's that Kim Deal doesn't like it when people talk shit. Or allegedly talk shit. Either way...


Unwed Sailor Tour States With Syphilis, I Mean, Sybris

Unwed Sailor, of the Seattle, ambient-rock persuasion, are moving to infiltrate dozens of bars, taverns, and lounges across America with Sybris, in an effort to share their instrumental love with as many anonymous partners as possible, in what will be an epic act of unprotected rock ‘n’ roll.

Their latest album Little Wars was released in 2007 and is touted in the group's MySpace blog post, "Little Wars Release Date Announced," to be the "most ambitious and complex release yet," which they're probably contractually obligated to say about every new album. The post goes on: "The songs are energetic and highly melodic, but gently colored and focused by layered keyboards and percussion with a delicate ambience [sic]."

But as interesting is what blog commentators had to say: "Congratulations, guys. I'm really looking forward to giving the whole thing a listen," "cant wait for this," and "AHHHHHH!!!!!!!" The post garnered a total of six kudos, which I would say certainly warrants your attendance at one of their shows.

See you in Reno:

* Sybris

^ State Radio

Firewater Tour Begins In About One Week, So Start Researching Who They Are Right Now

Hurry up! Don't miss the next voyage of this vessel called Firewater. The New York group, led by Tod A. (who was also in the excellent Cop Shoot Cop), has been taking multicultural elements and making (non-traditionally) beautiful, humorous, pissed off, and thoroughly great tunes for about 13 years. Go look through your older brother's Magnet or CMJ magazines if you want to know the score.

The band released possibly their best LP just a couple weeks ago, The Golden Hour (Bloodshot). The record was greatly influenced by Tod's three-year trek through India, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Turkey, which was apparently brought on by his divorce and the reelection of W. Well, one good trek deserves another, so in that spirit, the band is set to depart on a three-week tour all over this failure pile in a sadness bowl know as the USA. Check them out, beginning May 23 in Boston, before they (rightfully?) give up on the U.S. for good.


Condoleezza Rice Will Be Performing At Aspen Music Festival

Why is the headline above so simplified? Because no amount of sass on my part could've made it any weirder. No, "Condoleezza Rice" isn't the name of some smart-ass indie band; it's the name of that super sexy smart U.S. Secretary of State that we've all come to know and love. Indeed, the Secretary of State will be attending and playing at the Aspen Music Festival. She'll be giving a talk and playing some tunes at 3 PM August 2 in the Benedict Music Tent.

Condie is a former student at the Aspen Music School and supposedly she's a mean pianist. At age 15, Condie played some Mozart with the Denver Symphony and she's been playin' music ever since. She currently plays with a chamber group in Washington, DC. Seems like something you readers would be interested in knowing about.

Here's her musical background, in full detail:

In the early ’70s, our hott little teenage Rice cake was a student at the school for one summer, while her family was parked in Denver. She fell in love there with another young politician and musician by the name of Sonny Bono. Sonny and Condie fell deeply in love but had to keep it a secret from Sonny's second wife, the famous Cher, who eventually divorced Bono because of Sonny/Condie sex tapes that she found in 1975. After Condie and Sonny's summer of love, the two ended up never seeing each other again, per Sonny's request, and Condie never returned to the music school. The following summer, Condie decided that she didn't want to go to music school, because she wanted to study witchcraft instead. It's said that, while listening to "I Got You Babe," she conjured a spell that would cause Sonny Bono to die on January 5, 1998. Surely such prophetic madness couldn't come true, but it did. Sonny Bono died in a tragic skiing accident on the very day.