Down-arrow 12 Recent Items
Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | More... Next>

Okkervil River Drop Free Covers Mixtape, Add Gigs
Tackle Serge Gainsbourg, John Cale, Joni Mitchell, Sandy Denny, the Fugs

Sometimes you love a song so much you just have to cover it, and sometimes you're pleased enough with the results to share them with the world. So it went for Will Sheff and his Okkervil River, who have pieced together a handful of choice live covers and readied them for your downloading pleasure, free of charge.

Golden Opportunities Mixtape is what they're calling it, and apart from one Okkervil original, the other eight tunes here come courtesy of folks like Serge Gainsbourg (translated to English by Sheff), John Cale, Joni Mitchell, Sandy Denny, the Fugs, and Jimmy Webb (by way of Nina Simone). All were recorded by Okkervil "at various radio stations, concerts, and empty hotel stairwells" in 2006 and 2007.

You can nab the whole thing right now-- complete with digital artwork, liner notes, and your choice of audio quality-- on Okkervil's website.


What's more, Sheff has made it known that he wants feedback. Golden is no random smattering of other people's songcraft; indeed, the collection boasts "loose thematic ties" to Okkervil's latest, The Stage Names. Perhaps you'd like to ask Mr. Sheff himself for more insight? Send questions to and they just might be answered. Or inquire via the Okkervil message board, your call. Then swing over to the Okkervil website Friday (December 14) morning, where all will be revealed.

Finally, that tiny 2008 Okkervil jaunt we brought to your attention a little while back has since grown five-fold. Among the new stops are quite a few in Europe and a handful Down Under to coincide with the band's previously mentioned Laneway Festival appearances. Okkervil River live: hey, I'd watch it! [MORE...]


Ghostface, Raekwon, Kweli Guest on New Hi-Tek Disc

Cincinnati beat maker Hi-Tek has returned with his third Hi-Teknology solo album, and while it doesn't have a nifty subtitle like last year's Hi-Teknology 2: The Chip, it does have a similarly respectable list of guest contributors. Obviously, all the production on Hi-Teknology 3 comes from Hi-Tek himself, but the album features lyrical contributions from Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, Talib Kweli, Estelle, Little Brother, Young Buck, Sean Kingston, and Tek protégé Dion (a lot).

Babygrande releases Hi-Teknology 3 on December 11, which is today. [MORE...]

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.

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...]

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...]


Too $hort(!) Contributes to In Rainbows Remix Record

Oakland DJ and producer Amplive (of Zion I) is a big Radiohead fan, which is odd considering the band hasn't released anything since 2003's Hail to the Thief. Psych! They totally put out this record called In Rainbows that basically invented God, made time travel possible, and brought the Orange Julius back to previously unimaginable heights of popularity.

Anyway, Amplive was such a fan of In Rainbows that, unlike most of us, he actually did something about it. He created an eight-track (but not like that) remix record called Rainydayz Remixes, featuring collaborations with Too $hort, his Zion I partner Zion, and others. Yep: Radiohead and Too $hort, together at last.

On January 10, Amplive will release the online-only album for free as a .zip file with 320 kbps mp3s and high-resolution artwork, but to get your digital hands on it, there's a bit of a catch. You need to forward any email from Radiohead's W.A.S.T.E. online store (like but not at all limited to the ones confirming the purchase of In Rainbows) to It's fairly simple, but a little tricky, especially considering that the In Rainbows download option ends December 10. Better hop on the free train while you still can, folks!

Dead Meadow Herald New LP With Show, Pre-Release

Dead Meadow will return to the world of non-reissue releases with Old Growth, their new album coming February 5 on Matador.

The band will celebrate the album's release with a show at New York City's Bowery Ballroom on January 16, their only currently scheduled show. But this isn't just any show; it's also a chance for eager beavers to purchase the new record early.

Here's how: Go to Matador's online store, the Bowery Ballroom, or Other Music, and plop down some bills for a ticket to the show and the Old Growth CD. Then bring your receipt to the show's merch table and cash in. Ah, simplicity. [MORE...]

Malkmus/Jicks Reveal Emotional Trash Tracklist

Photo by Jen Reel

Are you ready for Real Emotional Trash? If not, you have until March 4 to prepare yourself for the arrival of the previously reported new disc from Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks. To aid in your preparations, here, just have the freakin' tracklist. No really, just scroll down and take it, free of charge.

Real Emotional Trash gets dumped all over us thanks to Matador, and marks the second release under the Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks banner (technically the follow-up to 2003's Pig Lib) and the fourth to bear the words "Stephen Malkmus" on the cover (first since 2005's Face the Truth).

It's also the first Jicks disc to include latest recruit Janet Weiss, who takes over drum duties from John Moen (now in the Decemberists). Trash was recorded by TJ Doherty (Sonic Youth, the Hold Steady, etc.) at SnowGhost Studios in Montana.

For the moment Mr. Malkmus has but two dates, but recall that he did promise a U.S. tour and possibly some dates in Europe and Asia as well. Let's hope he makes good on that in the '08. [MORE...]

DeVotchKa Sign to Anti-, Ready New Album

March 18, Denver's daring DeVotchKa will return with A Mad and Faithful Telling, their proper LP-length follow-up (epilogue?) to 2004's How It Ends. The disc, their first for the Anti- imprint, spices up its ten tracks with the band's trademark Eastern European folk-inflected flavor and, reportedly, "improved production." Isn't that somethin'?

DeVotchKa have a trio of Spanish tour dates in the run up to Telling's release, and frontman Nick Urata will play a solo gig in his hometown December 14 at Lannie's Clocktower Cabaret. [MORE...]

Bauhaus Mark Final Breakup With Final Album

Goth godfathers Bauhaus have once again called it quits after a second reunion that started in 2005 and culminated in a 2006 tour with Nine Inch Nails. A interview quotes drummer Kevin Haskins on the reason for breakup: "We were getting along really well, but there was an incident that occurred. Some of us just felt that we didn't want to carry on as a working unit."

Mysterious indeed, but why tell us now, a good year since the band was active in reunion 2.0 mode? That answer is much more straightforward: Bauhaus are marking their official disbandment with the release of a final studio album, Going Away White. The title seems like a cheeky subversion of the all-black goth stereotype, so at least they have a sense of humor about the whole thing.

Bauhaus will release Going Away White on March 4 via their own Bauhaus Music (via Redeye Distribution). [MORE...]

Antony Announces New Album Title, Bjork Video

Photo by Chico De Luigi

The December issue of HARP magazine features an interview with Antony Hegarty about the forthcoming third Antony and the Johnsons album. According to a post today on Antony's website, the album is called The Crying Light, and it'll come out on Secretly Canadian in the spring. Exciting!

In the interview, which can be viewed on Antony's site, he said that "a lot" of the 25 songs he tracked for the record "are just piano songs." He also explained the album is "a little more experimental structurally. But some of [the songs] are really normal... I'm hoping to weave things together so it will be a little more of a collage of songs."

Antony expanded the I Am a Bird Now follow-up's previously reported "ghosts and nature" theme to something a little broader: "It's about landscape and the future. I guess I'm thinking about those things a lot-- about the natural landscape of the world and the landscape inside each person. On my last record, everything was sort of sad and redemptive. And this one, it's more extreme in both directions. Some of the songs are much more joyful, and some of the songs are much less redemptive. And then some of the songs are more thoughtful-- more philosophical. I think this record is just about sitting with things."

HARP reports three of The Crying Light's song titles as "Her Eyes Underneath the Ground", "Give My Name", and "Everglade".

In other Antony news, it turns out he guests on not one but four songs on the forthcoming Hercules and Love Affair album. He also joined Björk in the studio recently to film a music video for their Volta duet "Dull Flame of Desire". And in the December 1 issue of England's The Guardian newspaper, Antony wrote an article appreciating the work of late photographer Peter Hujar, who is the subject of a retrospective currently on view at London's Institute of Contemporary Art. Hujer's photograph "Candy Darling on Her Death Bed" was the image on the cover of I Am a Bird Now.

Thanks to reader Paul Gabrielli for the tip.

Silver Jews Reveal Lookout Tracklist, 2008 Live Plans

From a tentative rundown of song names to a definite (if rulebreaking) title to now a full tracklist, a slightly firmer release date, and some talk of live plans: information about the Silver Jews' forthcoming album Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea just keeps flowing forth, like bon mots from David Berman's brain. Berman recently spoke to about the Drag City release, and now we're all a little closer to getting a good read on Lookout Mountain.

Indeed, some (but not all) of those tracks Berman listed back in July made the cut, supplemented with other tunes written over a seven month period earlier this year. The album was recorded both at Nashville's Lake Fever Productions and Lexington, Virginia's Marble Valley. The Silver Jews touring band, including bassist (and Berman's wife) Cassie, appears on the record, as do Jews alums Peyton Pinkerton, William Tyler, Tony Crow, and Brian Kotzur.

The disc now not only drops in April, but late April at that. (No definite release date yet, though.) And, as Berman told Billboard, Lookout Mountain is "really different" from previous Silver Jews LPs "in that the songs have more epic settings. They are faux-heroic. Or rather foe-heroic." Joker. Berman added, "the music is never hard rock. Every song has a function or meaning that you could sum up in a few words."

Berman also alluded to some concert plans for the once tour-shy band, including stops at All Tomorrow's Parties events in England and Spain. First up is the Explosions in the Sky-curated ATP taking place May 16-18 at Butlins Holiday Centre in Minehead, England.

As reported by Billboard, Berman himself will appear sans Jews at Washington, D.C.'s Corcoran Gallery of Art on February 28 to speak at an exhibition of the work of late visual artist Jeremy Blake. And, lest you forgot, Berman's contribution to the Rare Book Room compilation emerges February 26. [MORE...]

Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | More... Next>

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.)

File-icon-gray Mon: 12-10-07 File-icon-gray Fri: 12-07-07 File-icon-gray Thu: 12-06-07 File-icon-gray Wed: 12-05-07 File-icon-gray Tue: 12-04-07 File-icon-gray Mon: 12-03-07 File-icon-gray Fri: 11-30-07 File-icon-gray Thu: 11-29-07 File-icon-gray Wed: 11-28-07 File-icon-gray Tue: 11-27-07 File-icon-gray Mon: 11-26-07 File-icon-gray Wed: 11-21-07 File-icon-gray Tue: 11-20-07 File-icon-gray Mon: 11-19-07 File-icon-gray Fri: 11-16-07 File-icon-gray Thu: 11-15-07 File-icon-gray Wed: 11-14-07 File-icon-gray Tue: 11-13-07 File-icon-gray Mon: 11-12-07