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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...]

Pixies Tribute LP Out Digitally, CD Due Soon
Tracklist amended: Mascis out, Mogwai, British Sea Power, Elk City in

You probably awoke this past Tuesday to a barrage of email alerts and Blackberry dispatches and carrier pigeons reminding you that Dig for Fire, that star-studded Pixies tribute LP we told you about many a month ago, is finally coming out. Indeed it is: Dig hit iTunes this week thanks to American Laundromat Records, with a seven-song bonus EP besides.

On November 27, a CD of Dig for Fire will land in stores worldwide, featuring a cover photo by Simon Larbalestier, the guy who contributed the art to Surfer Rosa, Doolittle, and several Pixies EPs. It is not his best work.

A few things have changed in Dig for Fire's lengthy gestation period: the rumored Mogwai contribution has become fact, the participation of J Mascis/Dinosaur Jr. is kaput, and, well, now you know who's playing what. They Might Be Giants, the Rosebuds and OK Go each appear as expected; Elk City, British Sea Power, ex-Blake Baby John P. Strohm, and Joy Zipper have since joined on. [MORE...]

Photos: Rufus Wainwright [Los Angeles, CA; 09/23/07]

Photos by Akmal Naim

Rufus Wainwright wrapped up his Judy Garland tribute tour this weekend at Los Angeles' famed Hollywood Bowl, performing a whole set of the late diva's hits. Wainwright was joined for a number of songs by his sister Martha, their mother Kate McGarrigle, and Garland's daughter Lorna Luft (sadly, no Lizas to be found).

After breezing through a set of Broadway tunes and Wizard of Oz soundtrack selections, Rufus channeled Garland's spirit more directly, strolling out for the encore in stiletto heels, stockings, and lipstick. (Alas, photographers had been ushered out of the photo pit long before that.)

For the rest of the show, the campy crooner slipped into a tiger-stripe bathrobe and slippers, then popped a couple Benzedrine and passed out under the arches of the outdoor amphitheatre.

Okay, just kidding about the drugs, but he seriously did wear a bathrobe.

More photos and tour dates below.



Marc Bolan's Birthday Celebrated With Reissues, More

September 16 will mark the 30th anniversary of the death of Marc Bolan, mastermind behind glam-rock titans T. Rex. Bolan died only a few weeks before what would've been his 30th birthday, and in remembrance of both anniversaries, a number of Bolan projects are underway in the next few weeks.

First up is "Souls We Miss", an exhibition of photographs of Bolan taken by the late Keith Morris. The photos will be exhibited at London's Redferns Music Picture Gallery for the seven weeks following September 14. On September 15, London's Shepherd's Bush Empire will host Marc Bolan: The Celebration, a concert featuring Marc's son Rolan, Marc Almond of Soft Cell, producer Tony Visconti, T. Rex tribute band T. Rextasy, Blondie's Clem Burke, and many more.

There are also several Bolan documentaries in the works, including a BBC 4 special, ITV's "20th Century Boy" airing September 8, and a BBC Radio 2 program on September 15. Apparently, the ITV special contains such revelations as the fact that Bolan lost his virginity at age nine. Whoa.

Then come the records, and there's a lot of 'em. Edsel Records will release a trio of T. Rex vinyl singles with previously unavailable tracks on each B-side. September 17 sees "Metal Guru" backed with an acoustic demo of "The Slider". The next Monday finds "Children of the Revolution" paired with a electric demo of "The Leopards". And October 1 finds "20th Century Boy" matches with "Teenager in Love", an acoustic duet between Marc and his longtime girlfriend, soul singer Gloria Jones.

Following on October 1, also on Edsel, is Live 1977 + In Conversation, a double-disc set consisting of live cuts and an interview. The first disc contains performances from the final T. Rex tour, with punk icons the Damned guesting on the encore of "Get It On". The In Conversation disc is culled from an interview conducted by Steve Wright with Bolan and Gloria Jones. It includes several acoustic on-air performances.

Finally, on October 15, Edsel will release Interstellar Soul, a three-CD set collecting exclusive tracks, home demos, and other rarities. The package will arrive in a numbered edition of 5000. A fantastic amount of tracklist information for these reissues is available after the jump. [MORE...]


Jennifer Gentle, Sean Lennon, Earlies Cover Os Mutantes

Photo by Sanchez and Kitahara

Hey hey! There's a new Os Mutantes tribute album out today! Jardim Elétrico: A Tribute to Os Mutantes features fifteen different artists tackling tracks from all over the catalog of the highly influential, stupendously great Brazilian psych-pop experimentalists.

You'll likely get quite a kick out of contributions by the Earlies, Jennifer Gentle, Residual Echoes, and Sean Lennon and Yuka Honda (Cibo Matto), as well as White Flag's take on "Mysterious White Roses," a Mutantes gem that never made it to a proper album but did show up in a 1968 film. The disc features an insert poster drawn by Mutant Arnaldo Baptista, which we'd wager might look pretty cool under a blacklight. All this can be yours from Italian label Madcap Collective.

There's also a clause in this here press release suggesting this album was made available at all Os Mutantes tour dates. Since those suckers have, for the time being, come and gone, you may already own this album. If not, get to searchin'! [MORE...]

Sir Richard Bishop, Lichens, No Neck on Fahey Tribute
Plus: Badgerlore, Jack Rose, Bird Show's Ben Vida, San Agustin's David Daniell

Table of the Elements will soon contribute another compilation to the posthumous pile of John Fahey tribute albums with the release of The Great Koonaklaster Speaks: A John Fahey Celebration.

Unlike the two laboriously titled Fahey tribute comps released last year, Koonaklaster is neither a covers compilation nor does it consist of Fahey's own music (though he does appear on one track). Instead, artists like Sir Richard Bishop (Sun City Girls), Lichens, No Neck Blues Band, Pumice, Jack Rose, Badgerlore, Ben Vida (Bird Show), and David Daniell (San Agustin) contribute songs inspired by Fahey's life and musical style-- hence the celebration of the title.

Table of the Elements will release Koonaklaster on June 19. [MORE...]

Oasis, Killers Remake Sgt. Pepper's, God Knows Why
Why oh why couldn't it have been Wings' Back to the Egg?

If the Beatles' 1967 chamber-pop masterwork Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band isn't the finest album ever recorded, it's not far from it. For evidence, peep every critic's poll ever, or simply take out your copy (you do own Sgt. Pepper, right?).

On June 1, Sgt. Pepper turns 40. BBC Radio 2, in bizarre, ill-advised tribute to that otherwise momentous occasion, has commissioned thirteen bands to cover the venerable album's songs, with the results being aired June 2. The bands will use the Beatles' original recording equipment and Beatle engineer Geoff Emerick will oversee the project.

Roughly half of the bands have been announced so far: Oasis (no shit!), the Killers (erm, okay), Kaiser Chiefs, Travis (...getting colder), James Morrison, the Fratellis and Razorlight. Durr!

Look, I'm sure these things seem like a good idea in boardrooms or over a few pints; there's money to be made, the source material won't suffer for these fools, and there's a fairly good chance Oasis will pull something worth hearing out of their inevitable take on the title track. But unless they peg Radiohead for "Within You Without You" or Olivia Tremor Control for "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite" or Jesus H. Christ for "Lovely Rita," there's no way the finished product will be anything but a bold experiment in screwing up an otherwise perfect thing. I can't be the only one who remembers the I Am Sam soundtrack.


Hold Steady, M. Ward Pay Tribute to Bruce Springsteen
Plus: Badly Drawn Boy, Steve Earle, Ronnie Spector, Josh Ritter

If you love Bruce Springsteen unabashedly, there's no reason to hide in the closet anymore (and really, was there ever?). Folks nowadays aren't just singing his praises in interviews or invoking his exalted style on record, they're also holding massive benefit tribute concerts.

"The Music of Bruce Springsteen" straps its hands across the engines of New York City's Carnegie Hall on April 5. The Boss-baiting benefit bonanza, produced by Knitting Factory founder Michael Dorf, will feature live Bruce covers from the Hold Steady, M. Ward, Juliana Hatfield, Steve Earle, Ronnie Spector (with Jesse Malin), Badly Drawn Boy, Josh Ritter, Elysian Fields, North Mississippi Allstars, Pete Yorn, and more.

Like last fall's Bob Dylan tribute, proceeds here go to the United Jewish Appeal-Federation's Music for Youth initiative, which aims to fund music education programs for underprivileged youth. That's reason enough to sit through Jewel's Springsteen cover. Get your tickets here.

In summary: Bruuuuuuuuuuuuce!

Stax Reveals Greatest Hits Tracklist, SXSW Party

Following the announcement of their return to actively releasing music, the folks at Stax Records are kick-starting their catalog with the release of the previously reported Stax 50: A 50th Anniversary Celebration compilation. Stax 50 includes contributions from the Staple Singers, Booker T. & the MGs, Otis Redding, and Isaac Hayes. The label will release the two-disc hits collection, featuring liner notes by Stax historian Rob Bowman, on March 13.

In addition to being on the label's roster back in its 60s and 70s heyday, Hayes joins Angie Stone, Soulive, and Leon Ware as the first signings to Stax's 2007 incarnation. He also gets the honors of hosting the Stax Records Revue at South by Southwest on March 15. Booker T. & the MGs, William Bell, Eddie Floyd, and some surprise guests will play the 90-minute revue, which starts at 7:30 p.m. at Antone's.

Another Stax tribute is scheduled to take place at the Porretta Soul Festival in Porretta Terme, Italy from July 19-22. Booker T. & the MGs, Eddie Floyd, and Jimmy McCracklin are among the performers at the festival. [MORE...]


Clientele, Portastatic on Go-Betweens/McLennan Tribute
Exclusive: Contest held to determine final compilation contributor!

When Go-Betweens co-leader Grant McLennan unexpectedly passed away last May, the music world mourned the loss of a dear family member, a friend, and a brilliant, intuitive songwriter. For anyone who had been touched by Grant's music over the last 30 years, it was like losing someone very close.

While never quite a commercial smash, Australia's Go-Betweens nonetheless etched an enduring legacy, charming critics and fans alike with warm, thoughtful pop songwriting. Seeking to pay tribute to Grant and his extraordinary music, Go-Betweens superfans David James Buckner and wife Sherri decided to compile a fitting tribute album.

Love Goes On collects exclusive covers of Go-Betweens favorites and Grant McLennan solo tunes from artists who count Grant and his oeuvre as a profound influence. It should hit shops in early September via David and Sherri's own Rare Victory label and will feature liner notes penned by The Big Takeover's Jack Rabid.

Confirmed contributors include the Clientele, Portastatic, Brookville (aka Ivy's Andy Chase), kiwi rock stalwarts the Bats, Sarah Records graduates the Orchids, Bobby Wratten's post-Field Mice project Trembling Blue Stars, Belle & Sebastian collaborator Future Pilot AKA, and ex-Auteurs/Black Box Recorder gent Luke Haines. Other likely participants include Ivy (re-working their cover of "Streets of Your Town", originally from the Guestroom LP) and Church frontman and McLennan's Jack Frost partner Steve Kilbey (tackling "The Wrong Road").

Hear comp selections from Portastatic, the Orchids, and more at the label's MySpace.

As David told Pitchfork via e-mail, "We have been incredibly pleased and heartened to see the enthusiasm with which this project has been embraced by artists of various cultures and epochs."

But wait-- there's room for one more! Due to a last-minute cancellation, Rare Victory is seeking one final contributor for Love Goes On, to cover title track "Love Goes On!" (originally released on the Go-Betweens' 1988 LP 16 Lovers Lane). Interested parties should shoot an mp3 of their entry to no later than March 29, 2007. The label will choose a winner on the basis of "originality, melodicism, and sound quality."

Bear in mind that all entrants, while retaining ownership of their songs, agree to keep them exclusive to Love Goes On for at least 12 months from the release date. Fair enough, why not give it a whirl? [MORE...]

Pixies Tour Australia, Get Another Tribute Album

Though it's no new record, the Pixies will play a few Australian festival dates beginning March 31 in Sydney and ending April 7 in Tasmania. Pixies in Tasmania! That sounds like a children's book.

Much further down the line, American Laundromat Records has a couple of tribute albums in the works. The first, Dig for Fire: A Tribute to Pixies, is scheduled for a November 13 release. It features Pixies covers by Dinosaur Jr./J Mascis, They Might Be Giants, the Rosebuds, OK Go, and others. Mogwai are also rumored to contribute. We hope it's better than this one.

The second tribute album is dedicated entirely to Kim Deal songs and is scheduled for a Christmas release. [MORE...]


Joni Mitchell Tribute [ft. Sufjan, Bjork] Set for April 24
Mitchell readying new album, ballet

Photo by Jay Blakesberg

Way back in January
(January 3, to be precise), we told you about this craazy Joni Mitchell tribute album featuring Sufjan Stevens, Björk, Prince, and many more. But all we knew then was that it was coming out sometime this spring.

Now, Nonesuch has announced a drop date for A Tribute to Joni Mitchell, and it's April 24. In addition to the aforementioned favorites, Caetano Veloso, Elvis Costello, Emmylou Harris, and Sarah McLachlan all attempt to undo the foul injustice committed upon Joni's legacy by the Counting Crows featuring Michelle Branch, or Vanessa Carlton, or whoever that was.

While a tribute album might suggest Joni has slowed down or something, that's pretty much diametrically opposed to the reality here. "I'm doing the work of four 20-year-olds," Mitchell boasted to the New York Times last week. "I've never worked so hard in my life."

The Times also reports that Joni, after a ten year hiatus, has recorded enough songs for a new album, to be titled either Strange Birds of Appetite or If. And she's got a ballet on the way. A longtime dancer herself, Joni collaborated with Jean Grand-Maître and Canada's Alberta Ballet to create The Fiddle and the Drum. The show opens February 8 in Calgary (as part of the Alberta Ballet's "Dancing Joni" program) and features a bunch of the lady's music, including two brand new songs: "If" and "If I Had a Heart, I'd Cry". Learn more here.

Lord hopes it will be better than that Dylan musical.
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