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Photos: The Walkmen [San Diego, CA; 11/10/07]

Photos by Natalie Kardos

Hamilton Leithauser and his Walkmen strolled into San Diego this past weekend to, yes, rock the Casbah. The Saturday night gig was but one of several engagements the NYC five-piece has lined up in the days to come. Tonight finds them in Santa Barbara, and apart from one lone date in Mexico next month, December is wide open for all the "Sex in the City" DVD-viewing slumber parties these guys could ever want.


Major Stars Join Drag City Roster for New LP, Tour

Almost 10 years into their recording career, Major Stars' pummeling psych attack doesn't look to let up any time soon. And for their sixth album, Mirror/Messenger, Massachusetts natives Wayne Rogers and Kate Village have found a new label, Drag City, and four additional members, giving them a three-headed hydra in the guitar department.

Drag City will release Mirror/Messenger on November 20, and the band will follow the album's release with a rare tour of East Coast and Midwest dates. Their first show is November 27 in Pittsburgh. [MORE...]

Los Campesinos! Name Album, Add 2008 Dates

Things seem to be going swimmingly on the current Los Campesinos! world tour. Except for "the twat in Newcastle who tried to steal the Melody Horn, the smegga in Southampton who DID steal a microphone and the dickstick in Cambridge that tried to cause a fight after 'coming on' to Ellen," the enthusiasm radiating from the band's latest MySpace bulletin/outpost from the road is contagious. And while you seek out a real live British person to tell you the meaning of smegga (...icky!) and furiously Google in hope of helping Gareth in his quest to find a "decent Bis t-shirt," feast your eyes on the title of the forthcoming debut LP from the LC!:

Hold On Now, Youngster...

"This is the title of our album," Gareth writes on behalf of the band and their new ellipsis-laden thesis statement, "because it is the best title for any album ever." Debatable, but that'll do. You kids sure do like punctuation! The band has "a tracklisting and stuff too" for Hold On Now, "but that's all secret for the time being."

The disc is set to drop around the time Los Campesinos! embark on a fresh new run of tour dates in February. "We promise we'll have some amazing bands playing with us, because we know no other way." Indeed: just check out the ever-expanding lineup for next May's Pitchfork vs. ATP festival if you don't believe 'em. [MORE...]


Travis Morrison Rounds Up Hellfighters for Fall Tour
Call him T-Mobile

Photo by David Holloway

When I found out Travis Morrison and his Hellfighters are about to go on tour, I immediately pictured one of the Orcs-gearing-up-for-battle scenes from the Lord of the Rings movies. Fortunately for the audiences at these shows, Morrison is easier on the eyes than that.

But even without Hellfighter accompaniment, Morrison's Prince-like live antics are not to be missed. So get on down to these shows, which start November 15 in NYC, and watch TM and band tear into some All Y'all tunes. [MORE...]

Un-T.V. Eye: November 12-18, 2007

As the Writers Guild of America strike goes into its second week, we've got even more reruns for ya here at T.V. Eye. The two exceptions: Fuel TV and Fearless TV.

Monday, November 12:

CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Ryan Adams (rerun)
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Thurston Moore, Common (rerun)

Tuesday, November 13:

NBC: The Tonight Show With Jay Leno: Cold War Kids (rerun)
NBC: Late Night With Conan O'Brien: Modest Mouse (rerun)
CBS: Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson: They Might Be Giants (rerun)

Wednesday, November 14:

FUEL TV: The Daily Habit: Ra Ra Riot
CBS: Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson: Ben Lee (rerun)

Saturday, November 17:

FOX: Fearless TV: Heavy Trash, Clare & the Reasons
NBC: Saturday Night Live: Foo Fighters (rerun)


Art Brut's Argos, Black Box Recorder Cut Xmas Single
Help them take it to number one!

"Top of the Pops" may be off the air, but that clearly hasn't quashed the ambitions of Art Brut's Eddie Argos one bit. If this year is anything like last year, there will be a "TOTP" Christmas special, and Argos hopes to crash it with a bona fide Christmas number one.

To do so, Eddie has teamed with another UK act fond of the speak-singing, lovable cynics Black Box Recorder, and a pal who goes by the name of Keith Top of the Pops. Together as the Black Arts, this upstanding bunch has recorded a holiday heatseeker, conveniently titled "Christmas Number One", about-- get this-- a Christmas single that takes on a life of its own. This "One" has it all: jingle bells, children singing, some tacky rhymes, a bridge in waltz time, the delirious barks of Argos, and the authoritative coo of BBR's Sarah Nixey.

Meanwhile, B-side "Glam Casual" has Argos reminding us that "the internet is full of mean and evil people." Errr...

Fantastic Plastic offers up "Christmas Number One" as a limited edition (1,000 copies) slab of green 7" vinyl on December 10, and as a digital download on December 3. But it's up to you, the record-buying public, to take it to number one. And if you don't, THERE WILL BE NO CHRISTMAS THIS YEAR. (Haha, kidding, but Christmas won't be nearly as funny.)

This isn't the first time Argos has comingled with the Black Box Recorder camp. BBR's John Moore and Luke Haines joined Eddie and Keith to form the English Travelling Wilburys (nevermind that George Harrison and Jeff Lynne are English, and the original spells it "Traveling"), who recorded a BBC radio session, while Moore played on both Art Brut records. World, watch out: the crew may try its hand at a Eurovision entry next.

Black Box Recorder have no immediate plans for the moment, while Argos and Art Brut are on the road now. [MORE...]

Kanye, Bowie, Cat Power Design Charity Lunchboxes
Also: Bright Eyes, Beastie Boys, TV on the Radio, Interpol, Lily Allen, Michael Stipe

Superman, move over. There's a new batch of lunchbox designs in town. Kanye West, David Bowie, Cat Power, Interpol, the Beastie Boys, Bright Eyes, Coldplay's Chris Martin, Yoko Ono, Michael Stipe, Rufus Wainwright, Lily Allen, TV on the Radio, Courtney Love, Patti Smith, and Scissor Sisters among many others (including lots of famous Hollywood types), have all decorated pails for this year's Lunchbox Auction, an online charity auction for hunger relief in New York City and South Africa.

Bidding on the celeb-designed lunchboxes will begin at on December 6, and the proceeds from the auctions will go to two charities: The Food Bank for New York City and the Lunchbox Fund.

Check out some lunchboxes from the 2005 auction. Here's Conor Oberst's:

And Interpol drummer Sam Fogarino's:

And a collaborative effort between David Bowie, wife Iman, and daughter Lexi:


Photos: Menomena / Illinois [Boston, MA; 11/09/07]

Photos by Jason Bergman

Touring in tandem: a great way to make both Friend and Foe. Luckily, a few weeks on the road together seem to have made tourmates Menomena and Illinois very much the former-- they even swapped members for a spell this past weekend at Boston's Paradise. Menomena's Justin Harris aided Illinois with his trusty sax, while Illinois frontman Chris Archibald ditched his shirt and joined Menomena to, well, you'll see.

The boys have but a few more dates together; then comes the sweet sorrow of parting and a few scattered shows for each beyond.

And since you're here, don't forget Menomena's Danny Seim has a new Lackthereof album due this December.




Roots Curate Fest, Do Entire Things Fall Apart LP Live

The 2008 POPPED! Music Festival pops off at Philadelphia's Drexel University June 20-22, and based on the first act alone, we can tell you this thing will be a doozy.

Not only will Philly's favorite sons the Roots curate the first night of next year's fest, they will also perform catalog hallmark Things Fall Apart in its entirety, Don't Look Back-stylee. Hot dang.

Black Thought, ?uestlove, and the guys will join some 40 more performers to rock POPPED! 2008, and if all goes according to plan the Roots won't be the only ones performing a modern day classic from start to finish.

While we wait with baited breath for lineup updates, know this: POPPED! has taken initiatives to help make its 2008 bash green-friendly. So you can rock out with a clean conscience. What's more, fest organizers plan to hold several satellite events in the months leading up to POPPED! 2008.

Kelley Stoltz Serves Up Sounds for Sub Pop
Plays shows with Blitzen Trapper, Two Gallants

Kelley Stoltz is on a roll. The San Francisco-based home-recording craftsman shared an album just last year, his third overall and first full-length for Sub Pop, Below the Branches. Now he's got another one primed to blow up in early 2008, and a tour popping off right now.

Circular Sounds is set to arrive February 5 via Sub Pop, packing 14 more examples of that signature Stoltz sunshine onto one thin plastic disc. As Stoltz describes it, he's no longer "lo-fi", having embraced what he calls a "mid-hi" aesthetic on the new offering.

"I work in a second-hand record store and that's made me more of a hi-fi advocate," Stoltz explained via press release. "It's hard for me to listen to stuff that was recorded on a cassette player nowadays. By the last record I was mid-fi. I think I'm mid-hi now!"

Get mid-hi yourself and catch Stoltz on tour overseas now, playing quite a few shows with Two Gallants and labelmates Blitzen Trapper and hawking copies of his just-released "Your Reverie" / "Owl Service" 7" on Sub Pop. [MORE...]

Donda West, Mother of Kanye, Dead at 58

Dr. Donda West, mother of Kanye and an educator, author, and businesswoman, died Saturday night, November 10, in Los Angeles, according to an AP report. She was 58 years old.

A BBC report quotes Dr. West's publicist as saying her death was "the result of complications from a cosmetic surgical procedure."

Dr. West was the former chairwoman of the English department at Chicago State University, where she had worked since 1980, according to the AP report.

In 2004, she left academia to help manage Kanye's career. She was the chief executive of West Brands LLC, the company that handles Kanye's various business ventures, and she also served as the chairwoman of the board for education-oriented nonprofit the Kanye West Foundation, where she helped her son create its first initiative, "Loop Dreams".

On a more personal note, Dr. West raised Kanye herself after his father left when he was three years old, according to the AP report. Earlier this year, she published a book titled Raising Kanye: Life Lessons From the Mother of a Hip-Hop Star. The two Wests' relationship was also touchingly documented in Kanye's "Hey Mama", a song from 2005's Late Registration.

According to the BBC, "West's spokesman said the family 'asks for privacy during this time of grief.'"

Kanye has a run of shows scheduled to begin November 17 in Paris; no word yet on whether or not they are canceled. [MORE...]


Weezer Announce Release Date for New Album

Mark your calendars, boys and girls. The new Weezer album, which the boys are affectionately referring to as "Album Six" for the moment, has a release date. I bet you want to know what that release date is, don't you? Here, just have it: April 22, 2008. Hey, that's Jack Nicholson's birthday! Coincidence?? Er, probably.

"Weezer fans truly have something to look forward to," gushed Weezer bassist Scott Shriner about the new Weezer album on the Weezer website. "The entire band has accomplished some of its most challenging goals as a group and as individuals. It's all coming together on this album." Throw your Weezer signs in the sky, guys!

Of course, that's hardly the only thing cooking in camp Weezer of late. As previously reported, Alone: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo-- the one with the Ice Cube cover-- lands December 11 via Geffen. You know, I listen to a lot of Ice Cube when I'm all by myself too.
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