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Photos: Yo La Tengo Hanukkah Show [Hoboken, NJ; 12/04/07]

Photos by William Kirk, words by Amy Phillips

Good yontif, my fellow MOTs! As the resident Jew here at Pitchfork HQ, I take it upon myself to wish you all the happiest of happy Hanukkahs (or Chanukkahs, for those of you who can make that crucial guttural "ch" sound). And what better way to celebrate the second day of our annual Festival of Lights than with photographs of those menschen in Yo La Tengo? (Well, I guess you could listen to that band the Maccabees. But they sound pretty goyishe to me.)

As you know, Ira, Georgia, and James spend pretty much every Hanukkah performing eight nights in a row at Maxwell's in their hometown of Hoboken, New Jersey. And they bring tons of friends along. This year is no different, of course. Last night's kickoff show featured opening sets from recently reactivated indie pop vets Versus and comedians Jon Glaser and Jon Benjamin. Mudhoney's Mark Arm joined Yo La Tengo for a bunch of covers at the end of their set, including Van Halen's "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" and the Clash's "What's My Name".

For the full rundown of what happened at the show-- and for daily updates about all of the YLT holiday fun-- stay tuned to Ira's diary on the Yo La Tengo website.

Every Yo La Tengo Hanukkah show serves as a benefit for a different charity. Last night benefited Community Food Bank of New Jersey. See below for the full list of charities. What a mitzvah!






Atlas Sound Announces North American Tour

Photo by Jason Bergman

With his debut LP as Atlas Sound all wrapped up and waiting for its February 19 release on Kranky-- and with Deerhunter's looming (albeit temporary) hiatus kicking off over the weekend-- Bradford Cox is in possession of virtually the first bit of free time he's had since the release of Cryptograms way back in February.

One might think a few months away to rest, catch up on some records, and maybe throw a few more songs on the blog would be the perfect antidote for a wild 365. But not for Bradford, who'll head out for a full-on Atlas Sound tour as winter draws to a close.

Atlas Sound sets things off in Atlanta on Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel's release date, followed by three weeks around North America. Kranky labelmates White Rainbow and Valet will join Atlas Sound for the trek. Indeed, Bradford's also suggested on the Deerhunter blog that Brian Foote (of Nudge) and folks from the opening acts may partake of the Atlas Sound live thing, although that's not 100% confirmed just yet.

In other news from Camp Cox, Deerhunter's "After Class" will see release February 26 on the Rare Book Room comp. The band will also appear in We Fun, a forthcoming documentary examining Atlanta's underground rock'n'roll scene. Atlas Sound and Deerhunter dates are available after the jump. [MORE...]

Hot Chip Reveal Intimate U.S. Shows
Matthew Dear to open UK shows

Hot Chip have announced a few live dates in the U.S. come February, and, well, that's just it. There are only a few; a couple, in fact. Two. One in New York, and one in Los Angeles, and nary a one in between. True, they're special intimate shows that will find the band giving a few lucky listeners the skinny on just what they Made in the Dark of the studio for their forthcoming LP (due February 5 in the UK and February 6 in the U.S. from Astralwerks/DFA). But, again, that's just it: a few lucky listeners. Do your thing, Hot Chip... just please come back and do some more of it again soon, willya? (We have a good feeling that this is definitely happening.)

The Chipsters have added a few new dates to their European tour as well, and lined up Mr. Matthew Dear as their opening act on all those dates. All but one, that is: The very cool-sounding "Greco Roman Anti-Christmas Party" December 21 at London's Transit. Though the band's contribution to the night will include but a DJ set (and perhaps matching togas), they'll be joined on the ones and twos by Basement Jaxx, as well as their dear friend, notorious DJ-Kicker Grovesnor. Mind your shins, lads.

In other Hot Chip news, the band recently contributed remixes to tracks from Love is All and Caribou, and, of course, they'll appear at May's ATP vs. Pitchfork festival, along with just about every other band you'd fly to England to see. Though I still maintain they should play more shows over here anyhow. Ahem. [MORE...]

Nas, Rihanna, Method Man Rarities on Def Jam Comp
Plus: Redman, Ne-Yo, Fabolous

We're used to collections of rarities coming from indie rockers and singer/songwriters, but rappers usually get their non-album tracks out there with mixtapes. It's not a bad system. The rappers get to release even the most half-formed of tracks on their laptops, and we get to check them out for cheap, or free.

This makes Def Jam Sessions Vol.01-- a compilation of leftovers previously unreleased in the U.S. from recent albums on the label-- a little odd. You could certainly do worse than the comp's list of contributors: MCs like Nas, Method Man, Redman, and Fabolous alongside r&b singers like Rihanna and Ne-Yo. But what will we do without hearing a DJ "host" scream a catchphrase over each track every 30 seconds or so?

Our issues aside, Island/Def Jam/UMe will release the comp on December 18, exactly one week before your loved ones release a bunch of presents to you. [MORE...]

Jason Isbell (ex-Drive-By Truckers) Does Big Tour

It's been a mighty strange 2007 for country rocker Jason Isbell, following his April exit from Drive-By Truckers and the release of his solo debut Sirens of the Ditch in July.

And after a year of big moves and bigger shakeups, Isbell's probably looking for a little consistency as he heads into 2008. What better way to do that than with a truly massive U.S. tour? After all, nothing lends a quality of stability to a feller like driving around in a van for three months straight.

Take special note of Isbell's January 12 date, as he'll perform at the opening night of the New York Guitar Festival's "Royal Albert Hall" event honoring Bob Dylan. [MORE...]

Photos: Kevin Drew with Metric's Jimmy Shaw and Chikita Violenta [Mexico City, Mexico; 12/03/07]

Photos by © Toni Francois

Canada, meet Mexico. Mexico, Canada. Now how about a little jam?

Bridging the continent-spanning void that is the United States of America, Canada's Kevin Drew and Jimmy Shaw (Metric) linked up with Mexico's Chikita Violenta for a collaboration-heavy and supremely intimate gig this past Monday night at Mexico City's tiny Pata Negra.

A capacity crowd of perhaps 200 was treated to short sets from Drew/Shaw-- balancing Spirit If... songs and Broken Social Scene bangers proper-- and the Mexico City-based combo (if this collab and Chikita Violenta's music don't clue you in to these guys' BSS fanhood, know that they recorded their latest album with Dave Newfeld and named it The Stars and Suns Sessions).

To close out the evening, both acts united to premiere five all-new Kevin Drew compositions.

Drew returns to his native Canada tonight. He'll end 2007 with a run of gigs up north, then it's off to Japan for a spell in the new year.




Antony Announces New Album Title, Bjork Video

Photo by Chico De Luigi

The December issue of HARP magazine features an interview with Antony Hegarty about the forthcoming third Antony and the Johnsons album. According to a post today on Antony's website, the album is called The Crying Light, and it'll come out on Secretly Canadian in the spring. Exciting!

In the interview, which can be viewed on Antony's site, he said that "a lot" of the 25 songs he tracked for the record "are just piano songs." He also explained the album is "a little more experimental structurally. But some of [the songs] are really normal... I'm hoping to weave things together so it will be a little more of a collage of songs."

Antony expanded the I Am a Bird Now follow-up's previously reported "ghosts and nature" theme to something a little broader: "It's about landscape and the future. I guess I'm thinking about those things a lot-- about the natural landscape of the world and the landscape inside each person. On my last record, everything was sort of sad and redemptive. And this one, it's more extreme in both directions. Some of the songs are much more joyful, and some of the songs are much less redemptive. And then some of the songs are more thoughtful-- more philosophical. I think this record is just about sitting with things."

HARP reports three of The Crying Light's song titles as "Her Eyes Underneath the Ground", "Give My Name", and "Everglade".

In other Antony news, it turns out he guests on not one but four songs on the forthcoming Hercules and Love Affair album. He also joined Björk in the studio recently to film a music video for their Volta duet "Dull Flame of Desire". And in the December 1 issue of England's The Guardian newspaper, Antony wrote an article appreciating the work of late photographer Peter Hujar, who is the subject of a retrospective currently on view at London's Institute of Contemporary Art. Hujer's photograph "Candy Darling on Her Death Bed" was the image on the cover of I Am a Bird Now.

Thanks to reader Paul Gabrielli for the tip.

Silver Jews Reveal Lookout Tracklist, 2008 Live Plans

From a tentative rundown of song names to a definite (if rulebreaking) title to now a full tracklist, a slightly firmer release date, and some talk of live plans: information about the Silver Jews' forthcoming album Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea just keeps flowing forth, like bon mots from David Berman's brain. Berman recently spoke to about the Drag City release, and now we're all a little closer to getting a good read on Lookout Mountain.

Indeed, some (but not all) of those tracks Berman listed back in July made the cut, supplemented with other tunes written over a seven month period earlier this year. The album was recorded both at Nashville's Lake Fever Productions and Lexington, Virginia's Marble Valley. The Silver Jews touring band, including bassist (and Berman's wife) Cassie, appears on the record, as do Jews alums Peyton Pinkerton, William Tyler, Tony Crow, and Brian Kotzur.

The disc now not only drops in April, but late April at that. (No definite release date yet, though.) And, as Berman told Billboard, Lookout Mountain is "really different" from previous Silver Jews LPs "in that the songs have more epic settings. They are faux-heroic. Or rather foe-heroic." Joker. Berman added, "the music is never hard rock. Every song has a function or meaning that you could sum up in a few words."

Berman also alluded to some concert plans for the once tour-shy band, including stops at All Tomorrow's Parties events in England and Spain. First up is the Explosions in the Sky-curated ATP taking place May 16-18 at Butlins Holiday Centre in Minehead, England.

As reported by Billboard, Berman himself will appear sans Jews at Washington, D.C.'s Corcoran Gallery of Art on February 28 to speak at an exhibition of the work of late visual artist Jeremy Blake. And, lest you forgot, Berman's contribution to the Rare Book Room compilation emerges February 26. [MORE...]


Earth Return With New Album, Live Dates

Sounds as if drone-metal pioneers Earth will take "a harder, more rock and American Gospel-oriented, and improvisational direction" on The Bee Made Honey in the Lion's Skull, their forthcoming LP, due February 26 from Southern Lord.

Joined by guitarist Bill Frisell on three tracks and new bassist Don McGreevy throughout, the band follows up this year's Hibernaculum with a disc that reportedly sports "truly psychedelic production and blazing guitar sounds."

Earth have a smattering of shows through the month of December, highlighted by a stop at Portishead's forthcoming ATP-sponsored Nightmare Before Christmas and a punishing New Year's Eve with Neurosis. [MORE...]

M.A.N.D.Y. Craft Fabric 38 With Boratto, Booka Shade

When they met as German teenagers with a shared affinity for Chicago house, could electronic duo and Get Physical label co-chiefs M.A.N.D.Y. (Patrick Bodmer and Philipp Jung) have dreamed they'd be asked to craft their own mix for London's Fabric club and record concern?

Probably not, since those things weren't around back then. But the London club's famed compilation series has quite a storied history of its own, to which M.A.N.D.Y. are proud to offer the 38th chapter.

The M.A.N.D.Y.-crafted Fabric 38 mix gathers a couple dozen of the group's fave raves, including tracks from Gui Boratto and fellow Get Physical chief Booka Shade, plus a remix from Matthew Dear's Audion and so much more. Keeping with Fabric tradition, the guys slide a new track of their own in the mix, titled "Don't Stop".

The group describes the disc as "subtle" and in posession of a "really nice flow" between its tracks, which should, says M.A.N.D.Y., "make you move your butt." That remains to be seen until the disc emerges in the UK and the rest of the world January 14, though it won't hit the U.S. until February 12.

If these M.A.N.D.Y. mixes seem right up your alley, don't forget about the career-spanning one we reported on late in August. Or, if you're seeking a little facetime with the two gentlemen of M.A.N.D.Y., they have a handful of live dates to close out 2007, both together and apart. First up, fittingly enough: a stop at London's Fabric. [MORE...]

Photos: Deerhoof with Ken Kagami [Miami, FL; 12/04/07]

With their herky-jerky, topsy-turvy take on pop, Deerhoof have been known to make mashed potatoes of listeners' ears. And last night, thanks to artist Ken Kagami, they made gravy of our eyes too.

As previously reported, Deerhoof and Kagami teamed at Miami's Ice Palace Film Studios to present a unique and fruit-ful multimedia collaborative piece based on Kagami's character Milk Man-- cover star of the Deerhoof album of the same name-- to patrons of the NADA (New Art Dealers Alliance) Art Fair. Japan-based Gallery Sora, which arranged this meeting of warped minds, shared these photos from the hyperactive happening. And yes, that's Kagami himself clowning around in the all-white Milk Man getup.

Deerhoof continue their aural assault through two more December gigs, while guitarist John Dieterich joins members of Xiu Xiu and others for an improvised set in Oakland tomorrow night.


Radiohead Freeloading to End December 10
Philosophical proposition: doesn't everything they do count as "doing a Radiohead"?

It seems all good things really must come to an end, even potentially free downloads of albums that change the face of everything everywhere forever and ever, amen. That is, Radiohead will turn the lights out on the pay-what-you-will download option for In Rainbows on December 10, according to a post made on their Dead Air Space blog today. The band has also ended production of In Rainbows discboxes; they will only be available via the band's w.a.s.t.e. online store until the current supply is exhausted.

But don't worry, we can all still get our hands on the physical release of In Rainbows on New Year's Eve (via XL everywhere but the U.S.) or New Year's Day (via TBD/ATO in the U.S.).

And finally (yeah right), according to a report from Radiohead fan site Ateaseweb (and confirmed by the label), it turns out that the Parlophone/EMI-spearheaded box set of the band's first seven records will come with access to a stream of Radiohead's performance at Eurockéennes in Belfort, France from July 4, 2003. Perhaps not coincidentally, the set comes out December 10, the day the downloads die. [MORE...]

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