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New Portishead Album Due in April

Photo by Grumpy Man DJs

We knew they were working on it, and then wrapping it up, and now we know they're actually going to release it this time. We even know approximately when! According to an Island Records rep, the as-yet-untitled new studio album from Portishead will arrive in April in the UK, a mere 10-odd years after the one before it. Patience pays, people!

The long-overdue full-length will be the Bristol trio's third. No word yet on a U.S. release, nor all those friendly details we like to pepper these pages with. Here's hoping they give it a better name than Alien, the rumored Portishead album title that was all the rage circa 2003.

Portishead will, of course, play two gigs at the upcoming Nightmare Before Christmas ATP event that they've also curated. Those visions of sugarplums turn deadly from December 7-9. Guitarist Adrian Utley is also set to join Goldfrapp's Will Gregory and others in Bristol and London over the next couple days to premiere Gregory's score for the silent film He Who Gets Slapped. [MORE...]

Radiohead's "Jigsaw" Single Details Fall Into Place

Most bands put out an album's first single well in advance of the album in question, but as we've learned over the last few weeks (and, I guess, the last fifteen years), Radiohead get away with stuff most-- though not all-- bands only talk about.

As previously reported, "Jigsaw Falling Into Place" is the first single plucked from Radiohead's stellar In Rainbows. It drops in a plethora of formats (CD, 7", and one-track digital download) January 14 in the UK from XL Recordings. The single's B-sides, which vary whether you opt for the CD or 7", were culled from the Nigel Godrich show "From the Basement" and are otherwise unavailable in audio format. The single will be available some two weeks after the album emerges in tangible form on XL December 31. No word yet if "Jigsaw" is headed to the States.

Keep an eye peeled for your mail carrier: your discbox is on its way. Patient sorts have a little more than a month to wait for In Rainbows' release in North America, or a week and a half for that other box set that the band isn't too keen on. And all those nonspecific tour dates we reported yesterday remain that way, after the jump. [MORE...]

Dean & Britta, Keren Ann Link Up for Spring Tour

Through much of the month of February, jet-setting chanteuse Keren Ann and the ongoing testament to marital bliss that is Dean & Britta will make their way through the wilds of North America together on a joint tour.

It makes sense, really, and not just because both play lovely, languid music. Both acts also put out new albums in 2007, and both have dates of their own in the meantime, giving them plenty of time to road test each other's songs for any potential set-closing, stage-clearing collaborative jam sessions. Because, after all, nobody jams out like, uh, Keren Ann. [MORE...]

Stars Extend Tour Even More

Photo by Michael Alan Goldberg

Though they've only got a few dates left before this year's up, Stars are really packing it in come 2008. The dukes and duchess of melodrama have added to their previously reported list of gigs in the new year with a number of new European dates, as well as a trip Down Under in late February and early March. A couple of the Aussie dates find the band linking up with the second weekend of the traveling Laneway Festival, at which their fellow Broken Social Scene associates Feist and Kevin Drew are also scheduled to appear. Can our boy K.D. resist a chance to play with people he actually knows?

Need your Stars fix a little sooner than that? A remix of their "First 5 Times" also pops up on the recently released benefit album At the Barricades Volume 1 (a compilation in support of Lake Ontario's water quality), along with Broken Social Scene, Pete Seeger, Chris Brown, and others. No, not that Chris Brown. [MORE...]

Shia LaBeouf Working on Cage Biopic
Plus: Cage album update

As the star of '07 summer blockbuster Transformers, Shia LaBeouf has quite a few options when it comes to future projects. Already, he snagged a role in fourth Indiana Jones flick Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull alongside Harrison Ford and Cate Blanchett, so what could be next? A movie with Martin Scorsese, George Clooney, or Hilary Swank? Maybe a stint on Broadway? Alas, no. Instead, it seems LaBeouf will travel down the tricky, so often indulgent road of the "pet project." And his pet project is... a Cage biopic.

Yep, you read right. LaBeouf is looking to play Def Jux rapper Cage, aka Chris Palko, in a forthcoming film about the MC's life, according to an article in the December issue of SPIN. "I have been listening to Cage since I got into hip-hop when I was 12," LaBeouf said. "I grew up on the West Coast listening to a lot of 2Pac and Eazy-E, so when I found out that Cage was white, it was incredible. I'd never heard anything like that."

After having gained a measure of fame due to his roles in tween hits Holes and Disney Channel show "Even Stevens", LaBeouf contacted Cage about making a documentary about the rapper, and Cage allowed him to film his tour in 2006. (Whoa... could Shia LaBeouf have been at the Pitchfork Music Festival last year?) According to SPIN, at some point along the way, the prospect of drawing from Cage's history of drug abuse and psychiatric problems for a biopic became more enticing than a straight documentary. And thus, the idea was born.

As Tom Breihan wrote in the Pitchfork review of Cage's 2005 album Hell's Winter, "Cage has the kind of life story most aspiring new-schoolers just lie and make up. He was abused by his dishonorably-discharged junky father and his stepfather, kicked out of high school, overmedicated in a mental hospital, became a white-rap wunderkind in the early 90s, almost put out an album on Columbia, kicked around the major label system, got hooked on drugs, had a kid, got dissed on the first Eminem album, and found himself a home in underground rap." Sounds like a promising story arc to us.

Talking to SPIN, LaBeouf made it clear that this will be a chance for him to subvert Hollywood's expectations of him as a squeaky clean boy next door, saying, "It's kind of like how no matter what film De Niro was making, he was always ready to pull Raging Bull out of his back pocket. Cage is my Jake LaMotta." It seems the movie will also allow LaBeouf to explore themes of delusion and overstatement.

Despite all the talk, the movie is still very much in its beginning stages. LaBeouf is producing it (probably under the umbrella of his own Grassy Slope production company), according to a recent Cage interview with, but the two are still looking for a writer and a director.

As for the specific content of the movie, Cage claims in the interview that "it [covers] from birth to about '98 or so, after I dropped 'Agent Orange'." He also didn't rule out the possibility of making a cameo.

Today, Cage posted the following message on his MySpace page, referring to the SPIN article:

"By the way it's not.... Plus I be disturbed it's Plus happy disturbed in that Agent Orange quote no matter how many websites tell you different.That's right people I was an angry misogynistic angel dust smoking suicidal high school drop out former mental patient lashing out in music and stumbled into everything including the movie being made about it.
We are in development we can't get a writer until the strike is over and that is where we are.
I hope this answers some of your questions."

Cage is currently working on the follow-up to Hell's Winter, which he first talked to us about over a year ago. It's still titled Depart From Me, and it's due out summer 2008 on Def Jux. Daryl Palumbo of Glassjaw/Head Automatica is serving as executive producer, Sean Martin of Hatebreed contributes production, and Phil Caivano of Monster Magnet is recording the album. According to Cage's publicist, "it's a very progressive record that is mostly sample-free and guitar-heavy, with beats ranging from 88 to 200 BPMs-- not a typical rap record by any means."

Finally, as photographic proof of Cage and LaBeouf's BFF-ness, below is a photo of the former on the set of Transformers. Awww.


Child Ballads (ex-Jonathan Fire*Eater) Send EP to U.S.

By the time Child Ballads' (aka the Childballads) Cheekbone Hollows (Pop. 1/2 Life) EP hits U.S. shops on April 15, some 18 months will have transpired since Pitchfork initially reported its existence. For head Balladeer Stewart Lupton, the wait must seem a lot longer, considering 2008 also marks the ten year anniversary of the end of his stint as the lead singer of Jonathan Fire*Eater.

To support the Gypsy Eyes Records Stateside release of the EP-- which hit UK shops earlier this year via Loog-- Child Ballads are planning to tour next year. But for now, Lupton's hometown fans can hop over to Brooklyn's Luna Lounge on December 7 for the band's only currently scheduled show. [MORE...]

Morrissey to Sue NME Over Immigration Remarks
Update: Morrissey's Polydor/Decca deal includes U.S.

Photo by Alissa Anderson

Morrissey is certainly no stranger to controversy. And the latest little shitstorm he's found himself the center of involves some comments he made to the NME, the NME's presentation of said comments, and, you guessed it, lawyers.

The Moz is sittin' pretty on the cover of the current NME (requisite tagline: "Bigmouth Strikes Again"), but some words he shares within aren't looking so pretty to some people. According to a BBC report, Morrissey purportedly told the NME the following when asked if he, presently residing in Rome, would return to live in England:

"Although I don't have anything against people from other countries, the higher the influx into England the more the British identity disappears. So the price is enormous. If you travel to Germany, it's still absolutely Germany. If you travel to Sweden, it still has a Swedish identity.

"But travel to England and you have no idea where you are."

Morrissey then gave a follow-up interview in which he clarified his remarks: "It could be construed that the reason I wouldn't wish to live in England is the immigration explosion. And that's not true at all."

Yet the original quote appeared in the magazine, prompting Morrissey to demand that the magazine print an apology. The NME did not do so. Thus, Morrissey's lawyers are planning to sue the publication and its editor, Conor McNicholas, for defamation, according to the BBC.

The issue is further compounded by the fact that the article's author, freelance journalist Tim Jonze, asked to have his name removed after NME editors severely reworked his words, according to Moz fansite True to You.

On to slightly less sensational news: just yesterday we reported that everybody's favorite puppy-eyed mope had signed a UK record deal with Polydor/Decca. Today we've learned that said deal extends well beyond the British Isles, encompassing the 50 states that comprise the U.S.A. as well.

And so it would seem Polydor/Decca will have the pleasure of delivering the latest two Moz offerings unto English-speaking lands on both sides of the Atlantic. Yes, two: recall that the one-time Smith has both a new LP proper (the follow-up to 2006's Ringmaster of the Tormentors) and a greatest hits collection of sorts (nevermind that he already sorta has one of those) cued up for 2008.

According to Morrissey's publicist, the greatest hits collection will boast two additional all new Moz cuts. And, we can only hope, better cover art than the other one.

Denizens of France, Scotland, and London: Make a date with Moz in the months to come. [MORE...]

Boris Smile for New Album
Boris/Merzbow split out now

Typically, April showers bring May flowers, but blooming could be harder after the downpour of arrows, tanks, napalm, and other destructively bad-ass things that comes when Boris release a new album next April via Southern Lord.

The official studio follow-up to the killer Pink is called Smile, and it features contributions from previous collaborators such as Michio Kurihara and Sunn O)))'s Stephen O'Malley.

There's not much other info about Smile available, but we have high hopes that Boris can stick to a release timetable better than Brian Wilson. In fact, the band will precede the album's release with a single on CD and seven-inch as well as a new video.

And remember that Boris/Merzbow live split we mentioned a while back? It's out now on Southern Lord. This latest collaboration between Boris and Merzbow spreads 13 tracks across two discs and comes on CD in groovy die-cut gatefold packaging designed by Southern Lord/Sunn O)))'s O'Malley.

Boris have three tour dates left this year, starting with a show in Tokyo tomorrow, November 30. [MORE...]

U.S. Gets Hey Willpower [ft. Imperial Teen, Tussle] LP
Imperial Teen, Tussle play December dates

Though it's been revamped with a fresh tracklist and brand new artwork not found on its previously released European issue, Hey Willpower's full-length debut P.D.A. ought to still pack a potent poppy punch when it drops in the U.S. January 22 via Tomlab.

Hey Willpower, as you may be aware, is the catchy side project featuring Imperial Teen's Will Schwartz, Tussle's Tomo Yasuda, and a rotating cast of characters. The disc comes at a bit of a lull for the band, with no live dates planned at the moment. Instead, Schwartz will focus his efforts on a trio of upcoming Imperial Teen shows, while Tomo and Tussle rock three of their own upcoming gigs, including that Worried Noodles happening. Wait... Will Schwartz... Hey Willpower... I get it now! [MORE...]

St. Vincent Extends Tour

Photo by Tod Seelie

Annie Clark, the current patron saint of solo shredding not named Marnie Stern, is finishing out her year with another round of Marry Me live proposals, this time featuring a full band incarnation of her St. Vincent moniker.

Though the current dates are in Europe, Clark has also padded her schedule with a handful of shows in the U.S. next year. [MORE...]


Merge Auctions Arcade Fire, Spoon Posters for Charity
And Superchunk, Portastatic, Robert Pollard, M. Ward, Destroyer, Rosebuds, Oakley Hall, too!

Throughout the holiday season, the folks at Merge Records are once again offering up on eBay rare, silkscreened, autographed gig posters from a good portion of their mighty stable of artists. Wall decor bearing the marks of the Arcade Fire, Spoon, Superchunk (and, while Mac was in a signing mood, Portastatic), the Clean's David Kilgour, Robert Pollard, M. Ward, Destroyer, the Rosebuds, Oakley Hall, and some hardworking printmakers will be up for auction over the coming weeks.

The Arcade Fire (pictured above) and Kilgour posters are up for auction right this instant, with more to be added soon, so keep checking back here for new swag. The Arcade Fire one is up to $493 right now!

Proceeds from the sales will be split between Oxfam America and the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina.


Weird Weeds, Future Rapper Play Chris Schlarb Events

Photo by Adriana Lucero-Schlarb

Chris Schlarb
couldn't make room on the spine of his forthcoming Asthmatic Kitty album Twilight & Ghost Stories for the gaggle of guests who pop up on the disc. So as consolation of sorts, he's holding a series of listening parties across the country where several of Twilight's featured players will serve as the guests of honor.

The parties pop off over the weekend of December 7-8. Future Rapper's Michael Kaufmann, Weird Weeds, Languis, the::armor::class, and Inlets (aka Sebastian Krueger of My Brightest Diamond) will each perform at the scattered events; a schedule follows the jump. Attendees will be treated to a special quadraphonic mix of Twilight & Ghost Stories, a live performance from the bands, food and drink, and free admission.

Schlarb himself can't make it when the bulk of these go down: he'll be in Georgia with labelmate Liz Janes and the rest of the previously reported bunch at the Next to Last Fest December 8.

Also, a person could stream Twilight & Ghost Stories by clicking right here, were a person so inclined. [MORE...]
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Do you have a news tip for us? Anything crazy happen at a show you attended recently? Do you have inside info on the bands we cover? Is one of your favorite artists (that's not somebody you know personally) releasing a new record you'd like to see covered? You will remain completely anonymous, unless we are given your express permission to reveal your identity. (Please note that publicists, managers, booking agents, and other artist representatives are generally exempt from this rule, but will also be granted anonymity if requested.)

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