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Hot Hot Heat's Bays Talks Happiness, Sadness
"All of a sudden I went from not even knowing if I wanted to make music to actually only wanting to do that 24/7."

Breakdowns, makeups, megaproducers, and a few stray synthesizer bleats later, Victoria, British Columbia's Hot Hot Heat have made their way to Happiness LTD., their follow-up to 2005's Elevator. Laden with left-field instrumental turns and layered with production work by, among others, modern rock hitmakers Rob Cavallo and Butch Walker, Happiness LTD.-- out now on Warner Brothers/Sire-- marks the former Sub Poppers' second album for a major label.

According to HHH vocalist Steve Bays, the Happiness sessions were the first time the band struck a truly comfortable balance between ambition and execution. "The first record we did, it was literally documenting what was done at our jam-spot and it was recorded at Mushroom Studios in six days. The second record, we wanted to do a full-on, big, whole 'L.A. thing' and go into an L.A. studio. We wanted to do [Happiness] in our hometown for most of it and have our friends there and it was almost-- I don't want to say a big party because that kind of trivializes it-- but it was definitely a lot of people hanging out and exchanging ideas and it was like a giant experiment. And in the end, we just had a ton of songs and we picked the eleven songs that seemed to fit the theme that started to emerge by the end of it." [MORE...]


Queens of the Stone Age Extend Tour
Holiday sweater photo slowly edging toward seasonal appropriateness

Photo by Aliya Naumoff

Seemingly unaffected by all the tryptophan in their recent holiday meal with Anthony Bourdain, Queens of the Stone Age have extended their previously reported tour to include some stops in the UK after they finish up in Germany. The tour now ends in Reading, England on December 4.

The band keeps up its Energizer Bunny pace tonight, September 20, with a show in Tallahassee, Florida. [MORE...]

Jens Lekman Adds Some Dates

Photo by Sigurd Fandango

Quiz time, Texans, Georgians, and Floridians: what's the opposite of the opposite of hallelujah? Stumped, are ya? Prepare thy exhortations and behold: Jens Lekman is coming!

Yes, the sweet-as-pie Swede is throwing dates on his currently-in-progress fall tour in much the same lovingly haphazard fashion as he does samples of old records on his LPs. The four recently added gigs are all, according to Jens' website, "soloshows," which we're guessing means a ukelele-wielding Jens and not much else. Mister, toss in a little whistling and you got yourself a deal.

And, just in case you miss Jens on his generous but all-too-rare North American appearances, you can buy Night Falls Over Kortedala October 9 from Secretly Canadian, and maybe snag the bonus disc while you're at it. [MORE...]

Lee Perry Working With Andrew W.K. on New Album
Black Ark...floating on an ocean of beer

Abbott and Costello, Laverne and Shirley, the Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem, and...Lee "Scratch" Perry and Andrew W.K.? Actually, yes. The hard-partying, motivational-speaking rocker and the herbally-inclined studio wizard have extended their work together on the former's still forthcoming "Smokeshow" TV show to more musical territory.

The two, who first hit it off at SXSW, are collaborating on Perry's new album, which should come out on Narnack sometime in the middle of next year. W.K.'s role in the project is as co-producer, arranger, and all-around collaborator. So far, he and Perry have worked on the album's instrumentation, lyrics, and general sound.

While a title and tracklist is still forthcoming, the record is a mixture of collaborations with other artists and new Perry originals. So far, the guest list includes the Slits' Ari Up and singer/songwriter Aimee Allen.

Perry has no tour dates at this time, but a North American tour is in the works.

This isn't the first time Andrew W.K. has hooked up with someone unexpected, as you know. Other collaborators include Sightings, Current 93, To Live and Shave in LA, Will Oldham, Boredoms, Hanson, and Kelly Osbourne.


Dan Deacon Coughs Up Gunk, Cancels Tonight's Gig

Photo by Jason Bergman

Be warned: What follows is a lot more than you ever cared to know about Dan Deacon's insides:


im way to sick to play the show tonight. im coughing up weird chunks of yellow+blood. its really hard to speak, let alone sing. im really sorry. i promise i'll be back super soon.


And smack dab in the middle of prime post-lunch digestion time, too! As the MySpace bulletin quoted above indicates, it seems our boy Deacon ran afoul of the old autumn nasty, causing him to miss out on tonight's gig with Girl Talk and White Williams.

One thing's for sure: no more eating hot dogs out of Gregg Gillis' butt. WAIT DAN WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOOOOOO [MORE...]


The Ponys, Chin Up Chin Up Join Forces for Tour

Not unlike those times when your auntie in Ravenswood overnights a freeze-dried deep-dish out to you in Bangor, a little taste of Chicago is heading your way. Two fine acts from the City of Big Shoulders-- The Ponys and Chin Up Chin Up, if you must know-- are taking it on the road in tandem this November.

The Ponys, of course, are still reverberating from this spring's release of Turn the Lights Out, while Chin Up Chin Up plan to hit us with a new disc late next year. Both bands have other dates besides, including the Ponys' forthcoming dish-like run with the Spoon. [MORE...]

Photos: The New Pornographers / Lavender Diamond [Los Angeles, CA; 09/19/07]

Photos by Akmal Naim

Hey, it's the old pornographers! Longtime studio collaborators Neko Case and Destroyer's Dan Bejar joined Carl Newman and company at Los Angeles' Henry Fonda Theatre last night in a rare live appearance. The Canadian pop maestros-- restored to full supergroup status-- treated the crowd to a set of tunes from their newest LP, Challengers.

(Speaking of challenges and those who accept them, don't forget about the Pornographers' viral video challenge: invent a new dance craze to the tune of a Newman number or a Bejar ballad, and win some prizes!)

The eagle-eyed in attendance might have noticed that usual drummer Kurt Dahle was missing in action. According to the New Pornographers' email newsletter, Dahle just had a baby, so Jon Wurster of Superchunk/Scharpling & Wurster has been filling in. Dahle will be back in action starting September 20 in Paris.

More photos of the Pornographers and openers Lavender Diamond, plus all their remaining tour dates (including a bunch of newly added European ones), below.

And one last item, for all you obsessives: The digital music store Zunior has made a treasure trove of rare Canadian indie rock vinyl available for download, including music by Thee Crusaders, an early band featuring Newman and keyboardist Blaine Thurier.





Beirut Toasts Cup With Tonight's Tour Launch

Front page photo by Danelle Manthay

Raise your glasses and down a few in honor of Beirut's Zach Condon. The guy's barely old enough to drink himself, and yet he and his roving entourage of spirited horn-blowers and string-pullers have a second album, The Flying Club Cup, on the way and a continent-spanning tour kicking off tonight (September 20) in Brooklyn.

Kicking off publicly, that is. Beirut and band actually dusted off their gear last night for a secret warm-up gig in Brooklyn's Greenpoint neighborhood. Blog Thepunkguy has photos from this intimate-looking gathering.

The Flying Club Cup, as you know, lands October 9 Stateside via Ba Da Bing! and the day before UK-ways via 4AD. Digital retailers, however, not bound by geography, have the album available for download sale right now.

And if you thought La Blogothèque and Beirut couldn't get any friendlier, think again. As you may have read in Forkcast, the website-- fond of filming your favorite performers working their magic in unconventional spaces-- has revealed plans to post live "Take Away Show" videos for every single song on The Flying Club Cup. We may never leave our spinny chairs again. [MORE...]

Modest Mouse Add Even More Fall Dates
Photo fun continues

Photos by Pat Graham

Our last installment of the story of Mice and Men (touring together) concluded with the announcement of a whole bunch of new joint tour dates with Love as Laughter. This time, the quantity of new dates is fewer, but the spirit of boundless love between good bands remains.

That is, Modest Mouse have extended their fall tour into December, and some of the new dates are with Man Man and Love as Laughter. In fact, it seems entirely possible that both openers will appear with Modest Mouse on all of the new dates. (According to the Man Man camp, the band hasn't been confirmed for all of the shows "as of yet".)

The tour's first stop is in Spokane, Washington on October 31. On Halloween, does it become Spookane? Um, right...

And as you can see from the images above and below, Modest Mouse have continued updating the photo blog on their website with all sorts of shenanigans. The photos are by Pat Graham, who, as we mentioned, has a photo book out now.



Tussle Remix EP (With Hot Chip, JD Twitch) Finally Due

Photo by Andrew Paynter

Tussle are releasing an EP with remixes from Hot Chip, Optimo's JD Twitch, and Liquid Liquid's Dennis Young. Hey, wait just one second; that sounds strikingly familiar to a story we wrote last year!

It's true, and while those who remember all 80,000 of our Arcade Fire/LCD Soundsystem tour stories can attest to the fact that Pitchfork News is not above the occasional rehash, this Tussle EP, Warning (hey, that also sounds familiar), has actually taken the year+ since that first report to come out.

But it's not here just yet. Warning will see a European release via Smalltown Supersound on October 15. In addition to the Telescope Mind version of the title track, the EP features the aforementioned remixes by Hot Chip (a 10-minute beast), JD Twitch (a seven-minute mix of various different parts of Telescope Mind), and Dennis Young, as well as a Kango and Torkill remix.

Tussle will go on a still-unrevealed tour of Europe later this year. In the meantime, they have one date in their hometown of San Francisco, where they are preparing their third full-length for release in the spring.

Finally, don't forget that Tussle appear on that Worried Noodles compilation we reported a little while back. It comes out October 23 on Tomlab. [MORE...]

TVOTR, GBV, Beirut Members on Ten Soundtrack
Scored by Shudder to Think's Craig Wedren

A Decalogue for the Garden State generation, The Ten, directed by David Wain of "The State", "Stella", and Wet Hot American Summer fame, hit select theaters early last month. Those who weren't turned off by a rather unfunny trailer and saw the film witnessed a cast of familiar faces-- Winona Ryder, Adam Brody, Jessica Alba, and others-- but may have missed some of the special musical guests. Indeed, members of TV on the Radio, Guided by Voices, Beirut, Shudder to Think, Vampire Weekend, and OK Go grace the film's soundtrack, composed by (sorta) ex-Shudder frontman Craig Wedren.

TVOTR's Tunde Adebimpe and Kyp Malone lend vocals to a pair of tracks, while Guided by Voices/Shudder to Think guy Kevin March plays some drums, Beirut's Jon Natchez rocks the sax, and Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij supplies keyboards, guitar, and arrangements. Other notable contributors include OK Go's Damian Kulash, Rashida Jones of "The Office" (U.S. version), and Steven Bernstein of Sex Mob/the Lounge Lizards.

The Ten soundtrack actually hit shops (via Commotion Records) back on August 28, but many of the special guest details came to light only recently. So impress your date this weekend at the cinema by telling him/her that the "Oooooos" on "Steven Montgomery" were indeed generated by actual living members of TV on the Radio. Hot dang. [MORE...]

Jay-Z Records Sorta Soundtrack for American Gangster

So maybe Kingdom Come didn't exactly see Jigga coming "back like Jordan wearing the 4-5." But, cobwebs adequately shaken out over the last few months, you can raise those hopes again for a new Jay-Z album. According to The New York Times, Jay has been working on a record inspired by American Gangster, the forthcoming Ridley Scott film starring Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Common, T.I., and RZA. The disc drops November 6 via (duh) Def Jam, according to, and the movie is out November 2.

If you've seen the trailer for the film (which, if you've been to a theater in the last three months, or have clicked on the link below, you almost certainly have), you've caught the strains of The Blueprint's "Heart of the City (Ain't No Love)" rolling through the background. But that's old news, as Jay told the Times he's got nine new songs done for the disc already.

There's no tracklist yet, though it's supposed to include "Pray", "No Hook" (sounds like an outtake from his last record, LOL) and "Blue Magic", reported by to have been produced by that cutie Pharrell Williams. Jay-Z's American Gangster apparently isn't the film's official soundtrack, which will be released separately.

In other Jay-Z news, that new "I Get Money" remix is pretty good.

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