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The Locust's Van Robbed

It turns out even biblical plagues can be the victims of really lame crimes (as opposed to really cool ones?). After a show in St. Louis on Sunday, November 25, time-efficient thrashers the Locust had their tour van robbed. The band returned to the vehicle to find quite a few valuable personal items stolen.

Here's the list:

three MacBooks (two 12" G4 Titanium Powerbooks, one 15" Macbook Pro)
three passports
$500+ cash
80 GB video iPod
iPod Mini
Western Digital 120 GB external hard drive
Nikon digital camera
Sony and Technics headphones
backpacks, clothes, electric shavers, phone chargers, etc.

The loss of the computers was a particular bummer because member Justin Pearson's laptop had a manuscript for a book he was writing, new Locust mp3s, and files related to his Three One G label.

Three One G has since set up a relief fund for the band, complete with PayPal donation link and contact info for tipsters, here.

Fortunately for westerly residents of the U.S., the Locust's tour, in support of this year's New Erections, continues. Next stop Albuquerque, November 29. [MORE...]

Forrest, Lucky Dragons Do Deathbomb Arc Tape Club
Forrest crafts Birthday Party Berlin mix as DJ Donna Summer

It may be hard to imagine, but there was a time when iPhones, satellite radio, and even good old CDs were all just twinkles in Al Gore's eyes. It was the era of the cassette tape, a magical time full of experimentation, spiritual awakening, and killing music.

But the folks at Deathbomb Arc Tape Club (who also run cassette culture webzine Cassette Gods) aren't content to leave the tape in the past. So they founded the Club, which gives subscribers access to 24 bands each recording a single 9-to-10-minute-long track for a single side of one of 12 tapes.

DBAT Tape Club turns four next year, and the first 2008 tapes (subscribers get one a month) will ship in February. The list of contributors this time around includes Jason Forrest, Lucky Dragons, XBXRX member Hawnay Troof, 16 Bitch Pile-Up, and tons more (all listed after the jump). New to subscribers to the 2008 Club is a large vinyl case to hold all 12 tapes, with art by Andreas Barsleth of Tape Club contributors the White Tiger Prepade.

For more info on the 2008 Deathbomb Arc Tape Club, including how to subscribe, click here.

And speaking of Jason Forrest, the mix-up maestro's own Cock Rock Disco imprint will link with Deathbomb Arc to present a SXSW showcase in March and release some records in 2008. Forrest has also been rolling of late with the Birthday Party Berlin crew, for whom he adopted his DJ Donna Summer moniker and crafted the crew's first mix; check that here. [MORE...]


Hot Chip, Optimo, Studio, Maps Remix Love Is All

Naming your band after an incomplete thought lends itself well to snarky headline writers and remix artists alike, as Love Is All are finding out. Come January 21, tunes from the Swedish indie-poppers' well-loved debut Nine Times That Same Song will be remixed, remade, and in the case of Chicken Lips' take on "Make Out Fall Out Make Up", even made to malfunction.

They're cleverly calling it Love Is All...Mixed Up, and in addition to remixes from the likes of Hot Chip, Maps, Metronomy, and the Optimo crew, there are new versions of familiar tracks from the Bees and Studio. The collection is due as both a CD and a download in the UK from Parlophone. No word yet on a Stateside release.

As of Halloween, Love Is All had nearly finished recording the proper follow-up to Nine Times. They hope to have it out in spring 2008. [MORE...]

Tonight's Sufjan Stevens Literary Event Postponed
Plus: Asthmatic Kitty advent calenders!

Sufjan Stevens and John Wesley Harding might be chewing the fat about their new fave rave softcovers and small presses and the like tonight, but they probably won't be doing it together, and they definitely won't be doing it at Brooklyn's Southpaw. The pair's aforementioned "literary event" hosted by PEN American Center, previously scheduled for this evening, is off until further notice, with the PEN website citing "unforeseeable circumstances" as the cause. Still, it looks as though rescheduling proceedings are in the works at the moment, so don't fret: your nerdlinger hero shall come anew. (Thanks to BrooklynVegan.)

In other Sufjan news (of which there is never a shortage), he did that "BQE" thing, he's providing some warez for a good cause, he's heading out on tour, and he's got a fun little gift exchange on the way.

And in the spirit of generosity, Asthmatic Kitty is giving away advent calendars with the purchase of Suf's Songs for Christmas box set via their website. Designed by illustrator Tom Eaton (who drew them pretty pictures for Sufjan's "Put the Lights on the Tree" clip), the calendars can also be purchased separately through the Asthmatic Kitty store.



Driver Who Killed Silkworm Drummer Sentenced

In the summer of 2005, Jeanette Sliwinski tried to kill herself. She was unsuccessful, but in the process, she killed three Chicago musicians, including Silkworm drummer Michael Dahlquist. According to a Chicago Sun-Times report, a Skokie, Illinois judge has found Sliwinski guilty of reckless homicide and on October 26 sentenced the 25-year-old to eight years in prison. However, the Sun-Times reports that Sliwinski could be free in as few as 19 months.

Sliwisnki was driving 87 mph down Dempster Street in Skokie on July 14, 2005 when she plowed her Mustang into a Honda Civic stopped at a light in an attempt to end her own life, according to prosecutors. Instead, she took the lives of the Civic's occupants: Dahlquist, John Glick (The Returnables), and Douglas Meis (The Dials, EXO).

Prosecutors charged Sliwinski with first-degree murder and pushed to have her jailed for life. Judge Garritt Howard handed down the lesser charge of reckless homicide, however, after agreeing with the defense's assertion that Sliwinski was mentally ill at the time of the crash.

The Sun-Times report cites the two years and four months Sliwinski has already served awaiting trial, along with a law which requires only half a given sentence be served, in determining that Sliwinski may go free in 2009. The decision angered the victims' families, who believe that Sliwinski should serve a longer sentence.

As previously reported, a Silkworm documentary is in the works. Also, Silkworm's remaining members Tim Midgett and Andy Cohen have linked with Chris Manfrin (Seam) and Brian Orchard (.22's) to form Bottomless Pit. The quartet's debut, Hammer of the Gods, is out now on Comedy Minus One.


Gutter Twins Announce Release Date, Shows

Valentine's Day: a time for flowers, candy, snuggles, kisses, hugs, and all that gooey stuff. Who better to spend it with than Greg Dulli, the Afghan Whigs/Twilight Singers master of the depraved psycho-sexual mindfuck?

On February 14, 2008, the Gutter Twins, Dulli's collaboration with Screaming Trees/QOTSA/Soulsavers dude Mark Lanegan, will hit the Bowery Ballroom in New York City. How romantic!

The date is the first of five for the Twins, who will be celebrating the March 4 Sub Pop release of their debut album Saturnalia. In a press release, Dulli says, "I couldn't tell you what Saturnalia's theme is, but there's a seeking of transcendence that's new. I have never written songs like this before. It's a different temple I'm visiting."

Lanegan is on tour with Soulsavers right now. [MORE...]


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?



Editors, Hot Hot Heat Link Up for Winter Tour

Canuck screech-poppers Hot Hot Heat and Birmingham, England's biggest Interpol fans Editors are joining forces for a North American tour of reasonable proportions come early 2008.

The big link-up will go down after both bands wrap up a handful of European dates to close out November, and once Hot Hot Heat rocks Dearborn, Michigan to the ground come New Year's Eve. Louis XIV, who apparently still exist, will open all the joint dates. [MORE...]

Morrissey Signs to Polydor/Decca in UK story reveals Radiohead invented concept of releasing music at all

Photo by Alissa Anderson

The world is a "seek and you shall find" kind of place for Morrissey. Despite not having a label, he started planning his 2008 with the September release of an "absolutely written and completely ready" follow-up to last album Ringleader of the Tormentors, as well as a best-of type compilation. Now, according to an report confirmed by Moz's publicist, both those records have a home, and so does he: Polydor/Decca. The signing is for the UK only so far, with no U.S. deal announced at the moment.

Moz spoke to about the signing, and, of course, his thoughts on Radiohead forever shaking the entire history of vocalized and instrumental sound to its core. With the oversaturation of new angles on the Radiohead situation, it pains us a little to print the following quote from the interview, but the end is pretty funny, so here:

"If [Radiohead] think that can work that, that's a wonderful world. And yes, you can look at record companies, and you can easily assess that they've been ripping people off for years and years and years. The whole process is a gigantic rip off. But then there are people like me who need to be institutionalized... and I don't mean in an asylum!"

Moz's next round of live madness begins in France in January. [MORE...]

Photos: Los Campesinos! / The Most Serene Republic [Los Angeles, CA; 11/27/07]

Photos by Akmal Naim

It was an evening of ecstatic shouts, wailing violins, and economy-sized bands of youngsters spilling over the stage as Los Campesinos! and the Most Serene Republic took their caffeinated wiles to Los Angeles' Echo last night.

Each act had a newish Arts & Crafts release to tout, of course; the exclamatory Welsh outfit still spreading the gospel of its electrifying Sticking Fingers Into Sockets EP, and the Canadian crew administering a dose of Population.

Los Campesinos! will likely give us all something to shout about when they rock ATP vs. Pitchfork (and other dates) and issue their long-awaited debut full-length, titled Hold On Now, Youngster... for the moment, in 2008.




Sufjan, Bjork, Arcade Fire in Rock for Kids Auction
Also stuff from: Stephen Malkmus, Sonic Youth, Wilco, TV on the Radio, Cat Power, Spoon, Feist, Bright Eyes, Decemberists, Modest Mouse, Flaming Lips, Beck

We thought massive summer festivals were the best for bringing all of our favorite artists together, but it turns out charity auctions are even more effective. This Friday, November 30, the 19th Annual Rock for Kids Charity Auction will take place at Chicago's Park West venue, and the list of artists who have contributed autographed swag is plain old exhausting.

On the elder end of the spectrum, there are items from James Brown, Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello, Emmylou Harris, Bruce Springsteen, the Police, the Pretenders, Pink Floyd, Iggy and the Stooges, Lou Reed, Debbie Harry, and the Band. On the non-musical end, there's stuff from Allen Ginsberg, Jack Nicholson, Scarlett Johansson, and Jim Henson.

Then on the meat-and-potatoes-of-Pitchfork-news-coverage end, there are posters, LPs, and other items from Stephen Malkmus, Sonic Youth, the Arcade Fire, Björk, Wilco, Sufjan Stevens, TV on the Radio, Cat Power, Spoon, Neko Case, the New Pornographers, LCD Soundsystem, the Decemberists, Bright Eyes, Ben Gibbard, Rilo Kiley, the National, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, the Killers, the Flaming Lips, Queens of the Stone Age, Andrew Bird, Modest Mouse, Beck, Peter Bjorn & John, Beastie Boys, Cursive, Bloc Party, Scissor Sisters, Foo Fighters, Ryan Adams, Arctic Monkeys, Of Montreal, Feist, and Iron & Wine. And there are tons more donators from all corners of the entertainment world.

The Park West event is both a live and silent auction, but for those who can't make it in person, you can bid by proxy online here.

Rock for Kids is a Chicago-based organization that provides free music lessons for underprivileged children in the area, through programs like Youth Jam. You might be familiar with their presence at the Pitchfork Music Festival, and the custom mix tapes from festival artists that they have commissioned for auction.

Here are a few of the items:

Arcade Fire autographed Funeral LP:

Feist autographed The Reminder album flat:

Ryan Adams autographed guitar, Björk autographed photo:


Evangelicals' New Album Descends on Dead Oceans

Evangelicals, our favorite Oklahoma weirdoes that aren't the Flaming Lips, have plumbed their psych-filled psyches and returned with "Oklahoma's answer to Prince's Around the World in a Day, but from the perspective of someone crashing at Pee-Wee's Playhouse...who happens to have a chainsaw slowly gnawing through his leg," according to a press release. So much for a sophomore slump, then!

Said crazy-ass album, The Evening Descends, will hit stores via Dead Oceans on January 22 (recall that Evangelicals were among the Secretly Canadian/Jagjaguwar-spawned imprint's first four signings). And based on another quote from the same press release describing Evening's "tales of religion and revivalism, plus insanity, drugs, black-outs, zombies, good and evil, car crashes, love, and a mental institution called Bellawood," the album seems every bit the deserving follow-up to the band's demented 2006 debut, So Gone.

Evangelicals currently have one date on the docket: December 1 at Stillwater, Oklahoma's Eskimo Joe's alongside Colourmusic. [MORE...]
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Do you have a news tip for us? Anything crazy happen at a show you attended recently? Do you have inside info on the bands we cover? Is one of your favorite artists (that's not somebody you know personally) releasing a new record you'd like to see covered? You will remain completely anonymous, unless we are given your express permission to reveal your identity. (Please note that publicists, managers, booking agents, and other artist representatives are generally exempt from this rule, but will also be granted anonymity if requested.)


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