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Lavender Diamond Join Traveling John Waters Xmas
Becky Stark lands role in Tom Hanks-produced film

Lavender Diamond photo by Akmal Naim

It's just one of those things that must be seen to be believed: L.A.'s gossamer folk act Lavender Diamond will join professional filmmaker/amateur goofball genius John Waters on a series of traveling Christmas variety shows he'll put on this holiday season. We're not so sure what these gigs will entail-- nor are we sure we'd want to ruin the surprise even if we did-- but if they're anything like that Christmas compilation John put out a couple years back, expect kitsch enough to last well into Easter.

And that's hardly the only forthcoming mingling of Diamond and celluloid. Lavender leading lady Becky Stark will, according to a report in recent Condé Nast Publications supplement "Movies Rock" (via The Playlist), appear in the Tom Hanks-produced, Bill Murray-starring film City of Ember. Stark will portray-- get this-- a member of "a singing troupe that brings hope to a town that's literally underground." Typecasting, anyone? The flick is being directed by one Gil Kenan, the man who brought you, um, Monster House. Look for it in late 2008. [MORE...]

Arcade Fire Add More 2008 Dates

Photo by Ryan Muir

Come February, the Arcade Fire will burn brightest in the land of the rising sun, as Bruce Springsteen's new best friends follow their stint on the traveling Big Day Out festival with a trio of Japanese dates. These gigs represent just about the furthest gaze into the band's future we've got at the moment. After a few days' recuperation from the jet lag, will the band be returning to the studio to craft LP3? Or could yet more revelatory live shows be in the cards? Eh, I hear the real money these days is in web design.

Thanks to Tiny Mix Tapes for the tip. [MORE...]

Coil Issue Naples as Vinyl Box Set With Bonus LP

The Ape of Naples, the 2005 Coil album assembled partially from late co-founder Jhonn Balance's final recordings, will see a vinyl box set release via Important Records on December 11.

The four LP set spreads the album out over three discs, each featuring laser etchings on their B-sides. The last disc is an exclusive full-length called The New Backwards, which consists of-- Avey Tare & Kria Brekkan style-- backward mixes of Coil tunes.

The set is limited to a run of 1500, and a poster is included in the package. [MORE...]

Weezer LP6 Site Declared Hoax, Alone Pushed Back

Hey, remember that new Weezer album that's coming out April 22? Well, it's not. A Weezer representative took to the Weezer website late last week-- on Thanksgiving, no less-- to debunk, the source of said release date and widely-reported album title Tout Ensemble.

"Weezer and Geffen Records have no affiliation with," the November 22 posting reads. "The new Weezer record is not called Tout Ensemble and there is no official release date yet for the album."

The folks behind have since updated their website with a message revealing the hoax; they've also used the publicity as an opportunity to launch a new Weezer fan forum. What, no RickRoll, guys? I'm disappointed.

Meanwhile, Alone, the collection of Rivers Cuomo's solo recordings, has been pushed back a week to December 18.

Simian Mobile Disco Hustle Into 2008 With More Shows
"Hustler" single due in U.S.

Photo by Nilina Mason-Campbell

"Hustler", the Simian Mobile Disco track with the creepy food-filled gross-out of a video, was released as a single yesterday in the UK via Wichita. To celebrate, the two Jameses have announced their first headlining shows of 2008, though they have plenty of dates with Klaxons and the Chemical Brothers to help them finish out this year.

None of the duo's current dates are in the U.S., but the "Hustler" single will make its way over on December 4 via Interscope. The Attack Decay Sustain Release single will come as both a CD and a 12", and the tracklists are slightly different than their UK counterparts, with remixes from A-Trak and Jesse Rose complimenting the previously available one by Armand Van Helden. [MORE...]

R.E.M.'s Mills Plays New Orleans Charity Event in D.C.

Drinks, dancing, Eddie Vedder's name scrawled everywhere: yep, sounds like a party to us. December 1, the Future of Music Coalition will host a house party to benefit New Orleans musician Al "Carnival Time" Johnson and Sweet Home New Orleans, an organization that seeks to bring musicians back to the city in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Along with Johnson, R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills will make the trek up to Washington, D.C. to perform at the event, dubbed "Hope for Home". Also on the docket: an auction, wherein attendees can bid on exclusive autographed merchandise from R.E.M. and Pearl Jam. The event is semi-private and comes with a hefty admission fee; but, hey, it's for a good cause, right? Interested parties can shoot an e-mail to this address in hopes of scoring a spot on the RSVP list.

While we're on the subject of R.E.M., the guys are set to play Florida's Langerado Festival in March. "Could it be the first of other shows on something like a tour?", their website inquires, positing "probably." Good enough for us. Oh, and they're putting the "finishing touches" on the follow up to 2004's Around the Sun. Maybe if we all start crossing our fingers now, expectations will be met!

Herbert Seeks Phoned-In Vocals for New Big Band LP

Master auditory junk merchant Matthew Herbert is looking for a little help for his forthcoming project. No, for reals, a little: Matthew quite literally only needs you for a second. According to a recent MySpace bulletin, the one they call Herbert is seeking 100 people to sing a single word apiece on his forthcoming LP under the Matthew Herbert Big Band guise. He would like very much if all interested parties would e-mail this address with "I'LL SING FOR MY DINNER" as the subject. Ooh, I hope my word is "steak."

Herbert makes it clear that "you don't have to be a professional" to be considered, just "someone with enthusiasm." This, I'm told, is exactly how Spencer Krug got his start.

Of course, this isn't Herbert's first foray into trolling the fanbase for help; recall this item from last February, where Matthew discusses the 175+ folks whose pipes he mined telephonically for Scale's "Just Once". Still, with only 99 other voices to compete with here, you've got a much better shot at hearing yourself amongst the cacophony of broken typewriters this time around.

Still on the way from Mr. Herbert: those Björk remixes of his, and, apparently, a new Matthew Herbert Big Band LP, due out next fall. Exciting!

Herbert's also lending his production touch to a couple projects, including London-based Micachu and the Invisible, a band comprised of members of Gramme, Bugz in the Attic, Zongamin, and Polar Bear; expect the debut LP from the former in May and a single from the latter in July, both via Herbert's Accidental Records.

Un-T.V. Eye: November 26-December 3, 2007

Slim pickings this week, folks. Maybe the strike will end soon?

Monday, November 26:

CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Jay-Z (rerun)

Tuesday, November 27:

NBC: Late Night With Conan O'Brien: Devendra Banhart, Patton Oswalt (rerun)

Saturday, December 1:

FOX: Fearless Music TV: Dillinger Escape Plan
PBS: Austin City Limits: Miranda Lambert, Gretchen Wilson (rerun)


Richard Hawley Steps Out on Stage and Screen

Former Pulp and Longpigs guitarist Richard Hawley has already constructed a Bridge. Now all he's got to do is use it to cross between North America and the UK (and Ireland) on two upcoming tours in support of new album Lady's Bridge, where he'll play in cities ranging from Los Angeles to Leicester.

The Sheffield native's shows begin December 1 in New York City.

On an interesting side note, keep your eyes peeled for Hawley in his first movie appearance. According to a press release, the crooner acts in "British rockabilly horror movie Flick" as part of a cast that includes Faye Dunaway. [MORE...]

The Clean Plan Some Shows

Having just wrapped several weeks' worth of U.S. tour dates alongside former Gorky's Zygotic Mynci frontman Euros Childs, The Clean's David Kilgour must've been stumped as to just what to do with the extra weeks on his work visa or something.

It's the only way we can think to explain this awesomely inexplicable tidbit: zippy New Zealand act the Clean have lined up five gigs on the East Coast, beginning tomorrow night (November 27) and running through early December. Following an in-store performance at New York City's Other Music, the Clean will take the stage at the Cake Shop for three consecutive nights before heading to Philly to close out the weekend. [MORE...]

James Murphy, Nelly Furtado on Fucked Up Holiday 7"
Plus: Matt Sweeney, Jay Reatard, members of Black Lips, Faint, Chromeo, Rites of Spring, AFI

Photo by Jason Bergman

Generally, where gift giving is concerned, you want to reach as deep into your heart as you do your wallet and come up with something nice and thoughtful. But sometimes, when you know the person on the receiving end will be into it, you wanna give something a little fucked up.

Well, the capital-F Canuck punks of Fucked Up have the perfect idea for that special someone on your list: a star-studded, limited edition, hand-wrapped, self-released, multi-denominational holiday 7" single. 1,000 copies of "David Christmas" will arrive just in time for the holiday season, but it's the B-side that's filled us with a warm seasonal glow.

The track, a "Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa song" called "Stars on 45", finds Fucked Up joined by a retinue of guest stars that must be read to be believed. Ready? OK: LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy, Black Lips' Cole Alexander, Matt Sweeney, the Faint's Jacob Thiele, Jay Reatard, the Horrors' Faris Rotter, Rites of Spring's Mike Fellows, Chromeo's Dave One, Shenae Grimes of "Degrassi: The Next Generation", AFI's Davey Havok, What's Your Rupture? label guy Kevin Peterson, Panthers'/Orchid's Jayson Green, Poison Idea's Jerry A., Terror's Scott Vogel, Attack in Black's Dan Romano, Face to Face's Trever Keith, and-- as if this thing could get any stranger-- Nelly Furtado.

They made the list, and checked it twice: "This is not a joke," the band claims, and wild as this thing reads on paper, it's the real deal. People, this is our "We Are the World". Or, at least, our "Do They Know It's Christmas?" Either way, wow.

All done up in special Fucked Up paper, this season's most perfect present goes on sale December 15 at a special Christmas themed gig at Toronto's Sonic Boom Records. The band will perform a number of yuletide covers, and they're hinting all over the place that somebody's gonna be donning a Santa suit and letting the kiddies sit on his lap.

The band may also test out some tunes from its forthcoming album, The Chemistry of Common Life, due next year.

Oh, and here's something not the least bit fucked up: all proceeds for the single (and, should you be feelin' it, any donations at the otherwise free Sonic Boom event) will go to the George Herman House, which gives support to mentally ill women in the Toronto area. The band also asks that those who attend the Sonic Boom gig bring nonperishable edibles for the local food bank. Nice folks, that Fucked Up lot.

Wu-Tang Clan Reveal 8 Diagrams Tracklist, Add Dates

Now that Thanksgiving is over, the mad rush to whatever winter holiday you may celebrate has begun. Yet, in the midst of it all, Wu-Tang Clan are making it pretty hard to forget that their new album, 8 Diagrams, comes out December 11 via Loud/Universal/SRC/Wu Music Group.

The album now has an official tracklist on which our eyes can feast, so mind the jump and check it out. Guests include Erykah Badu, George Harrison spawn Dhani Harrison, and John Frusciante (as you know), plus George Clinton and others. There's also the December 4 release of Ghostface's The Big Doe Rehab to tide you over for the week before 8 Diagrams.

What's more, the Clan have added dates to their previously reported winter tour, and GZA has his four solo shows in December. [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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