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Various Production Leave XL, Plan Releases

UK dubsteppers Various Production have ended their business relationship with XL and ushered in a wave of typically vague new release news in the process. Various wasn't technically signed to XL to begin with. Instead, the group licensed XL the release of The World Is Gone from its own Various imprint. Despite the seemingly relaxed nature of the arrangement, both parties have reached what a press release calls a "mutual decision" to part ways, and that's about all the juicy insight we have into the split.

This means the ball is in Various' court when it comes to releasing their second album. Might we suggest perhaps "doing a Radiohead"? We hear it's all the rage.

However they release it, the currently untitled album will come out next year, but a bunch of other Various miscellany (redundant?) comes first. There's the remix of Ian Brown's "Sister Rose" that's out now. Then, a Christmas bundle with a 12", USB bracelet, and t-shirt comes to the UK on December 17 via a newly formed imprint called Misc001. Finally, Various' album-length collaboration with Glaswegian poet Gerry Mitchell-- not to be confused with Various' second album-- will see release next year.

Bjork "Declares" New Single Details

We were going to put "Declare Independence" at the top of our list of New Year's resolutions, but with Björk's third Volta single of the same name coming out January 1, 2008 via One Little Indian in the UK, it's like she's done it for us. Now the Icelandic singer has revealed the full details of the single, which will come in CD/DVD, download, and 12" formats.

Jarring remixes from Matthew Herbert, Björk's former Sugarcubes bandmate Einar Örn's Ghostigital, and Mark Stent all appear on each version of the single. The two-disc CD/DVD comes augmented with the song's recently Forkcasted Michel Gondry video, Björk's sixth video collaboration with the French director. The download, exclusive to iTunes, features the same tracklist as the CD/DVD, including the video.

Fans have a few more chances to see Björk live (with Ratatat!) before the resolutions kick in, but her 2008 world tour dates remain intact. [MORE...]

Nick Cave Announces Single, Soundtrack Releases

Photo by Richard Sharman

Nick Cave plans to give us plenty of new music to Dig in the early months of 2008. Not only is there Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!, his 14th studio album with the Bad Seeds (coming to the UK via Mute on March 3-- U.S. release details forthcoming), but there's also the album's first single, as well as Cave and fellow Bad Seed Warren Ellis' soundtrack to The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.

The single is the record's title track, "Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!", and Mute will release it in the UK on CD, download, and limited edition 7" formats on February 18. Another new Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds track, "Accidents Will Happen", will grace the B-side.

In a recent MySpace blog, Cave had a hefty chunk to say about "Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!", and it's a pretty interesting read, so we've reprinted it below:

"Ever since I can remember hearing the Lazarus story, when I was a kid, you know, back in church, I was disturbed and worried by it. Traumatized, actually. We are all, of course, in awe of the greatest of Christ's miracles-- raising a man from the dead-- but I couldn't help but wonder how Lazarus felt about it. As a child it gave me the creeps, to be honest. I've taken Lazarus and stuck him in New York City, in order to give the song, a hip, contemporary feel. I was also thinking about Harry Houdini who spent a lot of his life trying to debunk the spiritualists who were cashing in on the bereaved. He believed there was nothing going on beyond the grave. He was the second greatest escapologist, Harry was, Lazarus, of course, being the greatest. I wanted to create a kind of vehicle, a medium, for Houdini to speak to us if he so desires, you know, from beyond the grave. Sometimes, late at night, if you listen to the song hard enough, you can hear his voice and the sad clanking of his chains. 'I don't know what it is but there is definitely something going on upstairs,' he seems to be saying. It is, most of all, an elegy to the New York City of the 70s."

Then there's the matter of the Cave/Ellis soundtrack to Jesse James, which-- for those who didn't catch its limited release-- stars Brad Pitt as James and also features Robert Duvall, Sam Rockwell, and Casey Affleck. Though the soundtrack is currently available for download, Mute will give it a physical release in the U.S. on the same date the movie hits DVD: February 5. [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.


Devin the Dude + France + Architecture in Helsinki = !?
So, a rapper and some indie rockers walk into a French club...

So, where to begin with this one? Let's start with Devin the Dude. Know the guy? He likes his weed, in case you hadn't heard, and he put out one of 2007's best rap LPs, Waitin' to Inhale. Seems Devin has also been spending some time in France (perhaps en route to Amsterdam?), or at least jamming to some French club fare. That might explain why he's hooked up with Paris-based party starter and TTC member Teki Latex to record a track "presented by" NYC trio 33Hz.

While they were at it, 33Hz also enlisted a regular rogue's gallery of remixers, including Architecture in Helsinki, Curtis Vodka, Gentlemen Drivers, Max Pask, and In Flagranti to rework the track. So, hip-hop act? Check. Dance/electronic act? Check. Indie rock act? With Architecture, checkeroony. As far as genres we at Pitchfork fill our pages with go, this is like hitting for the cycle.

And the track? It's called "Paris, Texas". Yep, like the city and the movie and the pop punk band. It's out now in CD, 12", and 7" formats thanks to Brooklyn's Dither Down imprint. Let the mash-ups begin.

Constantines Issue Limited Edition 7"

Despite their punk ethos (perceived and otherwise) and a mess of vinyl-era sonic touchstones in their back closets, when Toronto's Constantines issue a single for "Hard Feelings" from their forthcoming LP on January 15, it'll be the band's very first 7".

Unlike "Feelings", the limited run single's B-side "Easy Money" won't appear on the as-yet-untitled album the recent Arts & Crafts signees are presently knocking out in Toronto. The disc will reportedly emerge in April, though you can check out the band's progress in a series of "web shorts" the guys are posting on their website. How newfangled!

Klaxons Go Crazy for France on Latest Single

And here you thought the last Klaxons release we reported about was a little bugged out. The latest single from the Mercury Prize-winning Myths of the Near Future is "As Above So Below", and though the single confounds many an expectation, it looks like it's plenty awesome regardless.

The A-side features a remix from Klaxons' pals Justice. And the b-side? It's Klaxons doing "As Above So Below" in French. Zut alors!

Oh, and though the single is out now, don't go running down to the record shop just yet, unless you live in France. Because that's the only place Because is releasing it (though it is available elsewhere on import).

So, to recap: it's a record sung partially in French, with a remix from a French dance act, sold only in France. Mais oui! Erm, rather than continuing to exhaust my single semester of middle school French, I'll just stick the Klaxons' current live schedule after the jump. [MORE...]

The Teenagers Lust for Scarlett Johansson on Single
Indie girls still waiting for someone to pay musical tribute to Michael Cera

Ah, puppy love. Who hasn't felt its pleasurably painful pangs? And who better to communicate those feelings in MySpace-style "melodramatic popular song" than teenagers? No one, that's who, and that's where London/Paris trio the Teenagers come in.

The band's newest single, a follow-up to this year's "Homecoming", is "Starlett Johansson". It's a paean to indie heartthrob/Tom Waits interpreter Scarlett Johansson, and who's to say that when she's done hanging out with Bob Dylan, the Jesus and Mary Chain, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, David Sitek, and Justin Timberlake, these three couldn't be next?

Okay, so it's unlikely the Teenagers will get any alone time with the actress, but at least the rest of us can join the fantasy on December 4, when XL releases the single.

Currently, the Teenagers are recording with producer Gordon Raphael (the Strokes), and they have a couple shows in the UK to close out the year. Then next year, they'll head over to North America for a tour in January/February. [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...]

Growing Sign to the Social Registry for 7", Mini-Album

Brooklyyyyyn zoo! As if the borough needed more music-related goodness inside, Brooklyn duo Growing has signed to Brooklyn label the Social Registry. To start the partnership, Growing have a single and a mini-album planned for the coming months, their first releases since this year's Vision Swim.

The single is "The Social Club Nº 8", Growing's entry in the Social Registry's monthly seven-inch series called, of course, the Social Club. It has two tracks, one of which ("Disconfirm") hit Forkcast quite recently; like the rest of the Social Club singles, it is hand-numbered, features letter-pressed artwork, and is limited to 750 copies.

The four-track mini-album is called Lateral, and comes out February 19. [MORE...]

Vetiver Plan Remix 12", Covers Album, New LP

There's just so darn much afoot in the land of Andy Cabic and Vetiver of late, what with a new 12" remix project, a covers album, and a proper LP on the way. They're set to emerge in roughly that order, so let's begin at the beginning, shall we?

While they were moving the levers at sessions for Vetiver's 2006 LP To Find Me Gone, Cabic and producer Thom Monahan decided to take a couple of the tracks in some very un-Vetivery directions. New drone-heavy, "deconstructive and electronic" visions of "You May Be Blue" and "Been So Long" will appear on a 12" due on Gnomonsong January 29, representing the first Vetiver recordings for the label Cabic himself co-owns (along with Devendra Banhart). Farmer Dave Scher (Beachwood Sparks) provides melodica and pedal steel on the tracks, while flute duties were handed over to Alissa Anderson (who's also contributed photos to this very website in the past).

Vetiver will release an all-covers LP in the coming spring, with takes on Townes Van Zandt's "Standing", Hawkwind's "Hurry on Sundown", Norman Greenbaum's "Hook & Ladder", Elyse Weinberg's "Houses", and Biff Rose's "To Baby" slated to appear.

Meanwhile, Vetiver also have a track on that Natalie Portman charity mix, and Cabic's been writing material for an all-new Vetiver disc, which he's hoping to record this spring.

Photos: Electrelane [Glasgow, Scotland; 11/27/07]

Photos by Shannon McClean

Alas, Brighton four-piece Electrelane will soon go the way of the "indefinite hiatus", but not before treating their fans to a few valedictory gigs.

The fourth-to-last of these went down last night at Glasgow's delightfully-named King Tut's Wah-Wah Hut, with support from Electrelane's viola-toting pal Anni Rossi. Check out some photos from the show below.

"Time to do other things" was one of Electrelane's reasons for taking a break, and it seems at least two members of the quartet have already made good on that. Both Verity Susman (as Vera November) and Ros Murray (as Ray Rumours) have contributed releases to the previously reported Too Pure singles club. Vera's "Red Dream" is out now, while Ray Rumours' offering lands in February. Rossi, too, will serve up a club single; hers arrives in January.

On the release front, Electrelane (whose lineup, we must remind you, includes a former Pitchfork contributor) bowed out this week with a single off the excellent No Shouts, No Calls. "In Berlin" comes backed with new track "Sea of Edge" and is available now in 7" and download formats via Too Pure.

On the gig front, only Manchester, London, and Electrelane's hometown of Brighton remain. See you on the reunion tour, right ladies?


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