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Interpol Add 2008 Dates

Photo by Matt Ziegler

All dressed up with somewhere to go, the restless lot in Interpol have extended their tour into 2008, with a series of shows planned in February Down Under and in March in Brazil. The dates follow what's been quite a 2007 for the band, with the release of Our Love to Admire and an accompanying incessant touring schedule.

Perhaps a February-March trek to the southern hemisphere is their way of getting back the summer they toured straight through up here?

In other Interpol news, they've got that well-stuffed "bonus DVD deluxe" version of their Love coming to the UK next week. And reader Viktor Horst just pointed out yet another spiritual brother shared by the album art for Our Love to Admire: Kosheen's Resist.



Regina Spektor Collapses Before Nashville Gig
Nashville, Atlanta shows rescheduled

According to a report in Tennessee's Dickson Herald passed along by several alert readers, singer-songwriter Regina Spektor collapsed last night (November 14) in Nashville before a stop on her previously announced tour in support of Begin to Hope. Pitchfork contacted Spektor's publicist, who shared the following statement:

"Last night in Nashville, TN, following her sound check at The Ryman Auditorium, Regina Spektor was taken to a local hospital after collapsing due to a severe inner ear infection which caused a sudden case of vertigo. Regina was released late last night and is resting comfortably. Regina is extremely disappointed that she had to cancel on her fans but will return to The Ryman on December 6th, where all tickets will be honored or refunded."

Word on the status of Spektor's remaining tour dates (including tonight's show in Atlanta) is expected later today. Get better, Regina!

UPDATE: Spektor has postponed her Atlanta show tonight (November 15) until December 5. She plans to continue the rest of the tour as scheduled, beginning November 16 in Norfolk, Virginia.

In other Spektor news, she's got that new 7" and a track on the Dan in Real Life soundtrack, plus she'll pop up on TV January 12 as part of "Austin City Limits". [MORE...]

Photos: Kevin Drew with Emily Haines, Scott Kannberg, and Friends [New York, NY; 11/14/07]

Photos by Kathryn Yu

Even when he's not performing under the banner of his Toronto collective Broken Social Scene, Kevin Drew still knows how to draw a crowd. Collecting some of his more prominent collaborators from this year's Spirit If... (but no Tom Cochrane, alas), Drew played New York's Webster Hall last night beside Metric's Emily Haines and James Shaw (sometime BSS members themselves), Pavement's Scott Kannberg, and, predictably, a few more of his own Broken Social Scenesters.

Sadly, J Mascis, scheduled to appear, had family business to attend to and couldn't make it. But they seem to have managed without him. More photos and tour dates below.


My Bloody Valentine Announce Reunion Shows!

People, it's on. Dust off your tremolo pedals, don your best pair of kicks, and get ready to gaze like its 1991. The time has come to announce a return to the live stage for a little band called My Bloody Valentine.

The news comes fresh off Kevin Shields' confirmation that the massively influential shoegazers are indeed back together, and follows months of speculation about a MBV live return.

But you want details, don't you? Well, UK residents, you're in luck. Of the three reunion shows My Bloody Valentine have revealed thus far, precisely 100% of them occur in your fair land. London, Manchester, and Glasgow can look forward to blissing out to the sweet undulations of "To Here Knows When" and getting floored by the noise freakout on "You Made Me Realise" in late spring/early summer 2008. Not on the itinerary right now: Coachella.

The performances are being presented by our pals at All Tomorrow's Parties.

And if Shields wasn't pulling a fast one last week, we have plenty more to look forward to from the Valentines in 2008. Actually, we're supposed to get a new album this year, but seeing as it's mid-November already, we won't be too terribly shocked if that doesn't happen. Apparently another disc is in the works too.

Welcome back, guys. We still love ya. [MORE...]

Battles, Of Montreal Lead PLUG Award Nominees

It's that time of year again-- PLUG Awards! That's right folks, time to look back on 2007, as the best and brightest artists in independent music are once again battling for such honors as Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Live Act of the Year, among many others, and they need your votes.

Battles and Of Montreal look to be the kings and queens of 2007, with seven nominations each. Justice and Arcade Fire follow closely behind with six. Last year's big winners, Band of Horses, are up for five awards.

Here's how it works: From right now through February 8, 2008 head on over to the PLUG website and cast your vote. In addition to the overall categories, PLUG also celebrates the best in various genres (hip-hop, metal, Americana, punk, electronic/dance), extra-musical aspects such as music videos, album packaging, record labels, and concert venues, as well as many media categories, including Record Store of the Year, Radio Station of the Year, and Magazine of the Year.

So who picks the nominees? Why, it's the scary-sounding PLUG Cartel, a not-so-scary group of artists, journalists, label employees, and other music industry insiders (including, yes, myself and several other Pitchfork staffers). But the winners are completely decided by the voters.

The winners will be announced at the PLUG Awards Ceremony and Concert on March 6, 2008 at Terminal 5 in New York City.


Rufus Wainwright's Judy Garland Tribute Hits CD/DVD

Photo by Akmal Naim

On April 23, 1961, Judy Garland took the stage at New York City's Carnegie Hall and, by all accounts, tore the roof off the sucker. The performance is the stuff of legend: Just ask Rufus Wainwright, who's spent the past years performing a tribute to the performance and to the memory of Garland herself. A CD/DVD set collecting a pair of Wainwright's recent performances of Garland's material will be released December 4 from Geffen.

Featuring musical direction by noted Broadway maestro Stephen Oremus, the Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall CD finds Mr. Wainwright taking the same stage as his late muse in an October 2006 performance. The accompanying DVD, Rufus! Rufus! Rufus! Does Judy! Judy! Judy! Live at the London Palladium, captures Wainwright's antics in the UK earlier this year. Both were reportedly inspired by the comfort Wainwright took in Garland's music following the September 11 attacks, a rejection of "this blissful ignorance of the state of America" which Wainwright felt took over in the wake of that tragedy.

Wainwright, currently touring Europe, has quite a few gigs all over the world in the next few months. Those dates after the jump. [MORE...]

Sigur Ros Working on New Album With Flood
Uproot from Sundlaugin studio to record in Reykjavik

When Pitchfork spoke to Sigur Rós frontman Jónsi Þór Birgisson earlier this month, the conversation ended somewhat abruptly. Sure, Birgisson had plenty to say before that point. And while it's useless to speculate, one wonders if, had the discourse continued, he might have elaborated on, say, this new LP they're preparing.

No matter, really. Now, thanks to a report today in Icelandic newspaper Fréttablaðið (translated to English via email by a representative of the paper), we have the initial details on the next Sigur Rós record and follow-up to 2005's Takk. Gotta love the interwebs, erasing oceans with a few clicks and scrolls.

Sigur Rós drummer Orri Páll Dýrason spoke to the paper and revealed that the Icelandic quartet will shack up with veteran producer Mark "Flood" Ellis (U2, Nine Inch Nails, Smashing Pumpkins, PJ Harvey, and so many others) next week to do some preliminary work on the record.

"We're gonna try working with him for two weeks and see where it takes us," said Dýrason.

Where they'll shack up might raise a few eyebrows, as it won't be the band's own beloved swimming pool-turned-studio, Sundlaugin. Instead, they've opted for a more urban locale. "We want to take a break from Sundlaugin, distance [ourselves] a bit," Dýrason explained. "We will be renting a house in downtown Reykjavík and record[ing] the album there."

These guys aren't always keen to discuss their art-- "[It's like] you're erasing the magic of the music or something by talking too much about it," as Birgisson put it last week-- and Dýrason didn't really let on much to Fréttablaðið either. "We really don't know what this new album is going to be like," he said. "Right now we only have ideas for new songs and they always change when we start recording." So, basically, it will probably sound like the other ones. Which is more than fine with us.

As a reminder, live DVD Heima checks in Stateside on November 20 (it's available now elsewhere), while the rarities/acoustic collection Hvarf/Heim is out now all over the place thanks to XL. Heima's screening in quite a few places too; find out where by clicking here.

Lee Ranaldo Pens Poetry Book Based on E-mail Spam
Art by Meat Puppets' Curt Kirkwood

Photo by Kathryn Yu

Spam e-mail: Some block it, some purge it completely, some giggle at its come-ons, and some (very few, we hope) delve right in, seeking the financial solvency only a plea from an ex-leader of a tiny nation can provide. Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo, however, mines his spam folder for fodder for his poetry. Hello From the American Desert, a 40-page collection of Ranaldo's spam-inspired poetry, accompanied by artwork by the Meat Puppets' Curt Kirkwood, is out now on Chicago imprint Silver Wonder Press.

Hello collects verse written between 2004 and the present in a chapbook limited to an edition of 1,000. This isn't Lee's first foray into the literary world, nor is it his first book of poetry, but it is his first to potentially include explicit instructions on how to score deep discounts on overseas prescriptions, so it oughta pay for itself after the second use.

As previously mentioned, Sonic Youth are taking their well-loved tunage Down Under in February for a spate of ATP-aided Don't Look Back shows. Sonic Youth has a handful of other gigs around the official Don't Look Back dates, though each and every show they've got lined up will see them rolling over Daydream Nation. Hey, that's a good album! [MORE...]

Secret Machines Add Member, Work on LP3

Photo by Stephen Lindley

Someone's been tinkerin' with the Secret Machines, making certain they're well-oiled and warmed up for their forthcoming third LP, due next year from Reprise.

The Machines-- now with Phil Karnats properly installed on guitar following the departure of his ex-Tripping Daisy bandmate and School of Seven Bells headmaster Ben Curtis-- are currently grinding away on the new record at New York's Magic Shop studio with producer Brandon Mason, who helmed the Ten Silver Drops sessions. Fans can expect live favorite "Now You're Gone" to show up on the as-yet-untitled disc, as well as a guest appearance by megaproducer/Secret Machines aficionado Tony Visconti.

Bolted down at the moment in the studio, the Machines have nary a plan to tour for now.

Kate Bush Records New Song for Soundtrack

The Golden Compass is an upcoming movie based on a fantasy novel (by Philip Pullman and part of his His Dark Materials trilogy, if you're asking) that explores theological themes with a cast of angels, witches, and talking animals-- so who better to soundtrack it than fantastical English singer Kate Bush?

"Lyra", named after The Golden Compass' main character Lyra Belacqua, is Bush's first new musical offering since 2005's Aerial. It will play over the movie's end credits, according to a BBC report. Bush wrote and produced the song, which features vocals from the University of Oxford's Magdalen College choir.

"Lyra" will also appear on the film's soundtrack, due December 11 Stateside from New Line Records. The film, meanwhile, hits theaters December 7.

Animal Collective 2008 Plans: EP, LP Box, Recording
Special prize at the end if you read this whole story

What a year it's been for Animal Collective! Cue the checklist:

* New label: secured
* Globe-trotting tour: wrapped
* Network television: conquered
* Youth: corrupted
* Person: pitched
* Hair, Eye: pulled and rubbed, respectively
* Strawberry: jammed

Time to hibernate, right guys? Hardly. As revealed in a recent AC message board post from Avey Tare (confirmed by the band's publicist), Animal Collective already have a good part of 2008 mapped out. Surprise, surprise, it'll be plumb full of activity.

Thanks to reader Lee for the heads up.

Among their resolutions: a new EP, that LP box set, a couple extracurricular sessions for web and radio (those should actually appear before 2007 is up), some more touring abroad, and a return to the recording studio. And if this sounds an awful lot like a story we ran last year, well, it is, but all the specifics are different save for the LP box.

Anyhow. The EP will include "Street Flash" and three other Strawberry Jam-era tunes. It's being mixed right now by Nicholas Vernhes at Brooklyn's Rare Book Room, and Avey and the guys hope to have it out by the coming spring.

The LP box set, in the works for some time now, should soon see the light of day. Wrote Avey, "plans to start working on the artwork for the 3 lp box are hopefully it wont be much longer on that." He also asked that folks cease bugging Catsup Plate, the label that will release the box. They'll let you know when that's ready, and you can bet we will too.

The recording studio return happens "early next year," and while we can't yet forecast just what will come out of it, know that Animal Collective "are excited about it and that yes, we are trying to record near the beach!"

As for the radio/web sessions, keep your eyes and ears peeled for a forthcoming "Take Away Show" from the guys, as well as a BBC broadcast featuring "our most recent live versions" of "Doggy" and "Hey Light", plus "two newer jams." UPDATE: The broadcast in question is the Monday, November 19 session of the Rob da Bank show on Radio 1. It will happen at 2:00 GMT, and will be archived here for seven days afterwards.

Hang in there, you've reached the home stretch, patient reader! And it involves touring, naturally. In addition to a forthcoming fest appearance at the Explosions in the Sky ATP, AC have confirmed a few dates in Japan and intend to hit up Europe in the Year of the Rat. Plus they'll "perhaps [play] at least one show in April in the USA," so there's that.

Annnnd if you've made it this far, congrats, here's your prize. [MORE...]


Band of Horses Plan New Year's, 2008 Dates

Some bands are controlled by demons (or would appear to be, anyhow); others, by ghosts. And the ghost in the house and at the reins of Band of Horses, it would seem, has commanded the combo to roam, roam, roam across the wild prairies and rolling knolls of Europe next year.

But not before they party, party, party through a three-night residency at Atlanta's Earl leading up to New Year's Eve. And hold yr Horses-- there are still all those November dates to stampede through! More like Cease to Begin Sleeping Until Next Spring, amirite?

In other exciting news: there's a February 29 next year! Score! [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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