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The Cure Lend Guitar to West Memphis Three Auction
Add European leg to 2008 tour

Is it me, or are charity swag auctions the new childrens' indie rock comps? Remember when you couldn't do a cartwheel without landing on one of those things? No complaining though-- while the merits of the latter are debatable, you can never have enough good deeds. And all that's to say that the Cure are the latest act to contribute to a charity auction.

Robert Smith and his gloom patrol have lent an extra special guitar to a cause of a different sort. They join Henry Rollins, Metallica, Eddie Vedder, Steve Earle, and other outspoken supporters of the men believed wrongfully accused in the hotly-contested West Memphis Three murder case. Proceeds from the auction will go the West Memphis Three's defense fund.

The six-string up on the auction block is a Schecter RS-1000 acoustic (pictured), custom designed according to Smith's specifications, put to use in the studio this year, and signed by Smith and the other three present members of the band. Place your bids beginning tomorrow (December 11) via Skeleton Key Auctions or the Cure's website. The auction closes Christmas Day.

The Cure embark on that rescheduled North American tour in May, and they've added a run of European dates in the months between then and now. And speaking of causes, the Cure also appear on Waxploitations's recently issued Causes 1 compilation. [MORE...]
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RZA Sets out on Solo Tour, Wu-Tang Clan Add Dates

As you may know, popular rapping group Wu-Tang Clan have a new album called 8 Diagrams coming out tomorrow, December 11. And while the whole crew will kick off their winter tour (now with more dates!) this weekend, Wu sonic mastermind RZA will play a few solo shows even sooner.

RZA's tour starts tomorrow in San Francisco, with four stops in California and one in New York City. He'll be backed by the live band Stone Mecca on all dates.

And hey, it looks like someone's going to miss the first stop of the Wu tour... [MORE...]

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Un-T.V. Eye: December 10-16, 2007

Thanks to the strike, tonight we get to take a time machine back to 2004, when Liz Phair played "Leno".

Monday, December 10:

NBC: Tonight Show With Jay Leno: Liz Phair (rerun)
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Rilo Kiley (rerun)

Tuesday, December 11:

CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Kings of Leon (rerun)

Wednesday, December 12:

NBC: The Today Show: Feist
FUEL TV: The Daily Habit: The Bravery
NBC: Tonight Show With Jay Leno: Kings of Leon (rerun)

Thursday, December 13:

FUEL TV: The Daily Habit: Dust Galaxy

Saturday, December 15:

FOX: Fearless TV: Hot Chip

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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.
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Clark Sneaks Out New EP, Preps Album, Tours

Surprise! Warp knob twiddler Clark has a new album coming out January 28 in the UK called Turning Dragon, and he's already released an EP to promote it. The EP is called Throttle Promoter, and you can pay for the download (alas, no doing of any Radioheads with this one) here. There's a vinyl version available now as well.

As for the sound of the new album, Clark says, "Alongside Body Riddle I'd written a lot of full energy dancefloor tracks, and Turning Dragon just came from honing and building on these." IDM dance party, anyone?

Clark has a handful of European tour dates scattered throughout next year and the remains of this one, starting with two December shows. [MORE...]
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Wilco to Play "The Complete Wilco" in Chicago

Photo by Kathryn Yu

With all the solo love Jeff Tweedy's been giving his hometown recently, Wilco's recently announced 2008 U.S. tour looked a little strange without a single date in Chicago. The band has remedied that situation, however, with a five-show residency at Chicago's Rivera Theatre, which will kick off the tour in mid-February.

According to a press release, the residency is "five shows exploring the band's complete recorded works," and Tweedy had this to say about it: "Over the five nights we will attempt the 'complete Wilco' and try to clear out the dusty corners of the catalog that we haven't attended to in a while."

What better way for Wilco to celebrate Sky Blue Sky's Grammy nomination for Best Rock Album (the band's fourth Grammy nod)? [MORE...]
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Silver Mt. Zion Overcome Triskaidekaphobia on 13 Blues

Photo by Mark Slutsky

Allow me, if I may, to blow your mind just a smidge: 13 Blues for Thirteen Moons, the forthcoming LP from Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band, doesn't start with Track 1 like, uh, every other album ever. No, 13 Blues begins at Track 13, fittingly. (The first 12 tracks are brief continuous drones.) An unlucky omen from the post-rockers, or just a way to confuse the heck out of your iPod? You'll find out March 25, when Constellation Records releases the album on CD and 180- gram double-LP.

13 Blues was recorded at Montreal's Hotel2Tango studios and co-engineered by ex-Arcade Fire drummer Howard Bilerman and Silver Mt. Zion's live soundman Radwan Moumneh. It's also the band's first LP to feature former Hangedup drummer Eric Craven behind the kit, and the first to include a lyric sheet. Guess Efrim Menuck doesn't mind us knowing what he's singing about this time out. The band also has plans to tour in 2008.

For more Silver Mt. Zion, check out Vic Chesnutt's latest LP, North Star Deserter, which features contributions from all of the band members. [MORE...]

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David Pajo's Dead Child Plan Attack on Quarterstick

It seems that Dead Child has gone from being "kind of a midlife crisis thing" to more of a full-time band thing for (ex?) Slint guitarist David Pajo. (The band also includes Michael McMahan and Todd Cook, who played with Slint on their reunion tours.)

The morbidly named, Louisville-based metal fivesome has signed to Touch and Go subsidiary Quarterstick for the release of its debut full-length next year. Titled Attack, the record will come out on April 8.

Dead Child are still recording in Louisville with producer Brad Wood, but once everything's in the bag, they will embark on a U.S. tour in the spring. [MORE...]

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Cat Power Plans Charity Mission Abroad
Jukebox tour in the works

The past year or so has been quite kind to Chan Marshall. Since releasing The Greatest in 2006, the artist better known as Cat Power has seen her act get cleaned up, her star rise considerably, her fanbase swell, and her record receive accolades left and right. So now, guess what? It's time to give back.

As Marshall revealed in a recent MySpace bulletin (we take it her caps lock key done broke), her charitable endeavors have been a long time coming:

WHEN I WAS IN AFRICA 10 YEARS AGO, I FELT I HAD NO "POWER" TO HELP THE PEOPLE AND DEFINITELY "NO FINANCIAL SECURITY" TO TAKE A TRIP LIKE THIS...
SO, AFTER ALL THESE YEARS, I CAN FINALLY RETURN, EXACTLY THE WAY I ALWAYS WISHED I COULD...


And return to Africa she will this coming January, on a trip sponsored by NYC-based organization charity: that also includes stops in Bangladesh and India. As she puts it,

GONNA VISIT A FEW HOSPITALS WITH NO WATER
AND THEN GONNA DIG A WELL A FEW SCHOOLS AND
JUST DO BASIC TRAVELING TO 'FIND' NEW PLACES FOR WELLS.
DRIVING IN A 4X4 TRUCK....
WEARING MY HOODIE, JEANS, AND ADIDAS'S FOR 3 WEEKS........
DUDE.
WHERE'S MY EYELINER?
NOPE.


Charity: lists among its goals "stimulating greater global awareness about extreme poverty, educating the public, and provoking compassionate and intelligent giving," and its the awareness in particular that Marshall hopes to bolster. She plans to have her trip filmed, and she'll also journal about her experiences and share photos; internet pending, she may even release a few dispatches directly from the road.

Cat Power will return in time for her birthday, January 21, which doubles as the first night of an in-the-works tour in support of Jukebox. The disc, Chan's second collection of covers, arrives (as you know) the next day via Matador-- now with 100% more Hot Boys! The tour, still coming together, begins in Paris and will whisk Marshall hither and thither worldwide over the ensuing months.

As for charity:, you can do your part as well. Marshall points us to the organization's second annual gala benefit, charity: ball, going down December 17 at New York City's Metropolitan Pavilion. A "special live music performance" is promised; gather from that what you will.
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Bonde do Role Cancel Remaining Tour Dates

Once again the three feisty Brazilians known as Bonde do Role have canceled tour dates. The shows that have been nixed were a string of Australian dates in late December and early January.

No reason for the cancellations was given, but we imagine the old "exhaustion and illness" could still apply, considering the band's frenzied pace that continued even as they were canceling dates the first time around. Guys, really, it's okay! You can relax for a bit. We don't mind!

Rumors are also making their way around the internet that there might be a bit of ill will festering in camp Bonde. Sounds like everybody needs a break. [MORE...]

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Photos: Primavera Club Festival [Barcelona, Spain; 12/03-12/08/07]

Photos by Daniel Cantó; Above: Crystal Castles

Just because the Northern Hemisphere is bracing for winter doesn't mean an end to festivals. Some clubs have climate control and roofs, after all, and a bunch of bands we like gathered under such roofs in Barcelona (not exactly known for frigid temperatures, anyway) this past week and weekend for the celebration they call Primavera Club.

A companion fest of sorts to the other solstice's Primavera Sound gathering, Club packed in the likes of Liars, the New Pornographers, Thurston Moore, No Age, Crystal Castles, the Ponys, Mouse on Mars (who were to perform with Mark E. Smith as Von Südenfed until Smith fell ill), Stars of the Lid, Earth, Castanets, Bishop Allen, and, playing their final gig before that so-called "hiatus", Deerhunter. A number of Spain's finer acts turned out as well, including Nisei and El Guincho.

LIARS






THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS




DEERHUNTER




THURSTON MOORE




CRYSTAL CASTLES




NO AGE

[MORE...]
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Mirah, the Blow Team Up for West Coast Tour

The Blow photo by Sarah Cass

After a merry winter holiday of their choosing, and a happy New Year as well, fellow Pacific Northwestern staples Mirah and Khaela Maricich's the Blow will join forces to take the Golden State by storm. They've got a handful of co-headlining gigs scheduled at the end of January, all in California.

Before the two women hit the road together, they each have shows of their own scheduled. Maricich plays a show in Portland this weekend, and Mirah tours with her Share This Place collaborators Spectratone International in January. [MORE...]

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