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Hersh, Donelly on All-Female Neil Young Tribute CD
Along with the Watson Twins, Britta Phillips, Elk City, Veruca Salt

The title of the forthcoming Cinnamon Girl - Women Artists Cover Neil Young for Charity pretty much hits all the bullet points: over two discs and 21 tracks, female artists and lady-fronted acts like Tanya Donelly, Britta Phillips, the Watson Twins, Elk City, and Kristin Hersh tackle classic tunes from Neil Young's 1969-1979 recordings.

It bears mentioning that tribute contributor Jill Sobule (who, with this piece, somehow makes her second appearance in Pitchfork News today) cheats a bit by joining John Doe of X/Knitters fame for a take on "Down by the River". (Phillips, however, appears sans frequent partner in crime Dean Wareham.)

The disc will be available worldwide from American Laundromat Recordings starting February 12, though for a limited time, it can be purchased on the ALR website; U.S. fans can also grab the set on iTunes right now. Proceeds from the disc go to Casting for Recovery, a program for women afflicted with breast cancer that offers support, education, and fly fishing retreats (no joke!).

American Laundromat are all about the tribute these days, with last month's release of Dig for Fire, their Pixies set. In other dispatches from the weird world of Neil, he's currently out on tour in support of his new LP, Chrome Dreams II. [MORE...]

New Autechre Album Due in March

Pioneering British electronic duo Autechre will release Quaristice, their ninth LP together, March 3 on Warp. The disc is Rob Brown and Sean Booth's first since 2005's Untilted, and, though we haven't heard the disc yet, we're pretty sure one gander at their gloriously fucked MySpace oughta give first time Autechre listeners some visual cues as to what they've been missing. That's just about all we're getting from Autechre for now, who have nothing in the way of live engagements at the moment. Just relax your eyes, gaze into the void and await further instruction...

Merge Bundles Big Dipper Albums Into Remastered Set

It seems like the late 80s and early 90s are littered with great indie/college rock bands awaiting rediscovery in the aughts.

Just last year, Matador rescued Chavez from semi-obscurity by reissuing the band's entire catalog with a few bonus tracks and videos. Next year, Merge will do much the same for Big Dipper, the Boston band that released two albums (Heavens and Craps) and an EP (Boo-Boo) on the respected Homestead label.

The Merge release is a three-CD set of remastered tunes called called Supercluster: The Big Dipper Anthology, and it comes out on March 18. It includes all three of the band's Homestead releases, nine bonus tracks, a video, and an entire previously unreleased album of recordings from Big Dipper's latter days titled A Very Loud Array.

All of the songs on Supercluster were remastered from the original tapes, and the set also includes liner notes with historical/biographical info from the members of Big Dipper themselves. In fact, just about the only thing that the anthology doesn't cover is the band's 1990 Epic/CBS album Slam.

To celebrate their re-entry into the indie public's consciousness, Big Dipper's original lineup will reunite for some East Coast shows in April (exact dates TBA), with the potential for Midwest gigs to follow. [MORE...]

Morrissey Brings the Pain to NME Via Blog
"I had no reason whatsoever to assume that they could be anything other than devious, truculent and unreliable. In the event, they have proven to be all three."

Photo by Alissa Anderson

Last week, an interview with Morrissey appeared in the British music magazine NME. In it, a quote was printed that suggested that Morrissey believed that England had lost some of its national character due to the influx of non-English-speaking immigrants. But according to the mope-rock legend, his words were twisted and presented out of context by the publication. Moz demanded a printed apology, but wasn't given one. So he and his lawyers are suing the NME and its editor, Conor McNicholas, for defamation.

Today, Morrissey released a rather lengthy statement to the UK's Guardian, the full text of which is available here (via True to You.) To begin, Morrissey offers this denouncement: "I believe they have deliberately tried to characterise me as a racist in a recent interview I gave them in order to boost their dwindling circulation. Racism is beyond common sense and I believe it has no place in our society." He then offers his take on the events surrounding the interview and the fallout, castigating the NME for their journalistic practices. And oh man, can he bring it.

On interviewer Tim Jonze: "I do not mean to be rude to Tim Jonze, but when I first caught sight of him I assumed that someone had brought their child along to the interview. The runny nose told the whole story. Conor had assured that Tim was their best writer. Talking behind his hands and in endless fidget, Tim accepted every answer I gave him with a schoolgirl giggle, and repeatedly asked me if I was shocked at how little he actually knew about music. I told him that, yes, I was shocked."

On NME: "I had no reason whatsoever to assume that they could be anything other than devious, truculent and unreliable. In the event, they have proven to be all three... Readers have been driven away by a magazine with no insides. The narrow cast of repeated subjects sets off the agony, a mesmerizing mess of very brief and dispassionate articles unable to make thought evolve...

On McNicholas: "A marooned editor who holds the divine right to censor any views that clash with his own... It is true that the magazine is ailing badly in the marketplace, but Conor doesn't understand how the relentless stream of 'cheers mate, got pissed last night, ha ha' interviews that clutter every single issue of the 'new' NME are simply not interesting to those of us who have no trouble standing upright... Conor has accidentally exposed himself as deceitful, malicious, intolerant and Morrissey-ist - all the ists and isms that he claims to oppose... The magazine's publishers, IPC have appointed Conor as the editor of the 'new' NME, and there he remains, ready to drag them into expensive legal battles such as the one they now face with me due to Conor's personal need to mis-state, misreport, misquote, misinterpret, falsify, and incite the bloodthirsty. Here is proof that the 'new' NME will twist and pervert the views of any singer or musician who'd dare step into the interview ring. To such artists, I wish them well, but I would advise you to bring your lawyer along to the interview."

Morrissey also reveals that he has partnered with the Love Music Hate Racism campaign for his forthcoming tour.

In slightly less tumultuous Morrissey news, he recently signed a deal with Polydor/Decca for his forthcoming album and greatest hits collection, and he'll step out for a handful of tour stops early next year. A few new dates have been added to the itinerary since we reported them last, thanks to True to You. [MORE...]


Jeff Tweedy, Cool Kids Rock for Obama
The Cool Kids forced to choose between '88 and 2008

It takes all kinds for a presidential hopeful to get elected, and that fact is certainly on display in the lineup for "Change Rocks", Barack Obama's campaign fundraiser at the Riviera Theatre in Chicago on December 7.

Jeff Tweedy and the Cool Kids feature on a bill that also includes performances from fellow locals Canasta and the Changes. The lineup gets weirdest, however, when it ventures outside of Obama's hometown with its last two spots. They go to Stephan Jenkins, lead singer and songwriter for Third Eye Blind, and Jill Sobule, who gave us "I Kissed a Girl" and also "Supermodel", from the Clueless soundtrack.

Odd choices, but we have to admit, the thought of Senator Obama having a dance party in his room to "Supermodel" is pretty great.

Regina Spektor Further Postpones Shows

It turns out the vertigo Regina Spektor suffered recently while on tour in Nashville will take longer than expected to pass. "Unfortunately, according to her doctor, the infection may take many more weeks to clear, and the vertigo episodes will randomly continue to occur throughout her healing process," explains an update on the singer's site. Spektor has responded by once again postponing her remaining shows.

Those four shows (in Nashville, Atlanta, Norfolk, and Richmond) will now take place next year, though when exactly remains to be revealed.

Thanks to Lance Conzett for the tip, and get well soon, Regina. [MORE...]

Radiohead Further Flesh Out European Tour Itinerary
Other bands take note, plan tours of their own

It's morning in the U.S. again, which means it's time for yet another Radiohead tour update. This time, the band has finalized the previously up-in-the-air dates and venues of its European tour next spring and summer. The newly confirmed shows go down in Dublin, Barcelona, London, Glasgow, and Manchester.

Still pending: details of that pesky North American tour. [MORE...]

Aesop Rock Plots 2008 European Tour

Photo by Sanchez and Kitahara

Ian Bavitz-- Aesop Rock to you and me-- will head out on a round of European dates next month, right around the time January turns to February.

Having recently wrapped a huge North American fall tour in support of this summer's None Shall Pass LP, the longtime Def Jux associate will take his rapid-fire fables to nine stages in the next year. These remain the MC's only confirmed touring plans at the moment, although there's talk of Australian dates to come as well. [MORE...]

Yo La Tengo Freewheel Into 2008 on Tour
Lambchop's Kurt Wagner along for the ride

Yo La Tengo are all set to begin their usually-annual hometown Hanukkah shows tomorrow, December 4, but not before they sneak out news of even more dates next year. 'Tis the season of giving, after all.

The new shows all take place in the U.S., and they constitute the latest leg of the Freewheeling Yo La Tengo tour. The mostly acoustic sets of stories and songs start January 9 in Charlottesville, Virginia, and Lambchop's Kurt Wagner opens them all. [MORE...]

Photos: The Clean / Times New Viking [New York, NY; 12/01/07]

Words: Matt LeMay, Photos: Christine Tadler
Pictured above: The Clean

New York City's Cake Shop was an ideal setting for three intimate shows by seminal New Zealand rockers the Clean. The venue's small size and minimal sound system highlighted the band's understated charms, most notably David Kilgour's nuanced, feedback-laden guitar playing and brother Hamish Kilgour's skittery, insistent drumming.

Openers Times New Viking and the Mad Scene (fronted by Hamish and joined by Yo La Tengo's Georgia Hubley on guitar) perfectly rounded out the evening, respectively reinforcing the Clean's ramshackle energy and Velvet Underground-esque emphasis on texture.

At Saturday's show (the last of the three), the Clean played a career-spanning smattering of songs, augmented at one point by guitar from Richard Davies (formerly of the criminally underrated Moles). At a time when so many bands of the Clean's stature are cashing in on outsized reunion tours, the whole evening was nothing short of inspiring.

Both the Clean and David Kilgour have finished their current spate of dates, but Times New Viking have a pair of shows scheduled in late January, in support of their forthcoming Matador debut.





Super Furry Animals Tour, Do Gigs With Fiery Furnaces

Following a weird and beast-y New Year's Eve alongside Deerhoof, Welsh psych-pop wackos Super Furry Animals will take to North America for a month of shows kicking off in Hoboken in late January.

Perhaps it's mere coincidence, but one can't help but notice these dates appear to line up with the North American CD release of Hey Venus!, which finally hits shelves here on January 22 from Rough Trade following a digital/vinyl release this past August.

Or maybe the trip's allure came from the chance to pal around with chunky Toronto combo Holy Fuck and the Widow-making Fiery Furnaces, who each join the Super Furries on a smattering of their dates. Or, perhaps, these guys know something about New Jersey in mid-January that we don't. No matter what's on their minds, prepare to get yours blown at any one of the dates listed below the jump. [MORE...]

Witch, RTX, Turbonegro Kickstart Volcom Singles Club
Plus: Earthless, Dark Meat

The extreme-sports-friendly Volcom Entertainment label has chosen vinyl purists as its next target of endearment. Starting next year, the label will launch a subscription-based series of six split seven-inches per year, released every other month.

The name of the series is the Volcom Ent. Vinyl Club (VEVC), and the first seven-inch, featuring Turbonegro and Year Long Disaster, will ship in February. The other 10 contributors to the 2008 series are RTX, Dark Meat, Earthless, Birds of Avalon, Monotonix, Red Fang, Totimoshi, Tweak Bird, Valient Thorr, and Witch (featuring J Mascis on drums).

As a bonus, subscribers will get three free seven-inches, one each from Riverboat Gamblers, Totimoshi, and Year Long Disaster, plus a Volcom Entertainment slipmat. VEVC subscription details may be found here.

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