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Mountain Goats, Magnetic Fields, Cursive Do Noise Pop

Like those bratty girls with the rich daddies on the MTV, Noise Pop is getting what it wants for its 16th birthday. Lucky for us, the annual San Francisco festival possesses far better taste in tunes than most of those young ladies, and for its 16th edition-- popping off February 26-March 2 at a bevy of Bay Area venues-- organizers have already lined up a winner.

The Mountain Goats, the Magnetic Fields, Cursive, and the relatively new Gutter Twins (aka Greg Dulli and Mark Lanegan) will be joined by several dozen unnamed others over the festival's nearly week-long run, along with music-themed films, art, panels, vendors, and the like. You'll know more when we do.

Un-T.V. Eye: November 19-25, 2007

Writers: still striking. Network television: still full of reruns. Also, apparently some kind of big U.S. holiday is happening this week. Conclusion: turn off the TV and spend some quality time with friends and family, people.

Monday, November 19:

ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live!: Hot Hot Heat (rerun)
NBC: The Tonight Show With Jay Leno: Glen Hansard (of the Frames) and Marketa Irglova (rerun)

Wednesday, November 21:

NBC: Last Call With Carson Daly: Peter Bjorn and John (rerun)

Thursday, November 22:

NBC: The Tonight Show With Jay Leno: Nelly Furtado (rerun)
NBC: Late Night With Conan O'Brien: Rogue Wave (rerun)
Fuel TV: The Daily Habit: Architecture in Helsinki

Friday, November 23:

CBS: Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson: Ice-T (rerun)
Fuel TV: The Daily Habit: She Wants Revenge

Saturday, November 24:

FOX: Fearless Music TV: Datarock
PBS: Austin City Limits: Van Morrison (rerun)

Bjork Adds More 2008 Dates, Plots New Single
Does another video with Michel Gondry

Photo by Ashley Williamson

January 1, while the rest of us are still sleeping off the last Shirley Temples we downed in 2007, Björk will be busy filling out her new "Cuddly Kittens" planner with schemes for '08.

First up: a brand new single for Volta's terrifically incendiary "Declare Independence", which hits overseas stores New Year's Day via One Little Indian (details forthcoming). A Michel Gondry-directed clip for the track should be emerging sometime soon, though clicking here and shaking your head back and forth ought to do for the time being.

Also in the works from Björk: a whole bunch of new dates in the UK and Japan (plus one in South Korea) throughout the late winter and early spring to follow her previously announced time in Australia. And after that? Only the kittens know for sure. [MORE...]

Deerhunter "Going on Hiatus"

Deerhunter, we hardly knew thee! And yet, with a whirlwind year about to wrap up that was chock full of touring, multiple releases, and a fair share of controversy, frontman Bradford Cox revealed via the band's blog this past weekend that Deerhunter will soon be taking a much-deserved break.

"I would like to announce that the show we are playing at Primavera in Barcelona [December 8]...will be our last for quite some time," wrote Cox. "It will also be the last time we are ever playing the Cryptograms set we have been playing for the last two years. After that the band are going on hiatus. We all need some time to organize our lives.

"Thanks to everyone who has helped us out. This has been a crazy year that I will always remember."

Cox goes on to promise that the Deerhunter blog will continue to be updated from time to time, but with the focus shifted to band members' extracurricular endeavors. Speaking of which, Cox will no doubt use this time off to drum up support for his forthcoming debut under the Atlas Sound moniker, due February 19 from Kranky.

Thankfully, however, this is all looking more like a Patrick Wolf hiatus than a Sleater-Kinney hiatus. "Quite some time" can't be too terribly long, as Deerhunter are scheduled to play ATP vs. Pitchfork in May 2008. Enjoy your vacations, guys. [MORE...]

Kanye, Rapture, Pharoahe Monch Play Good Vibrations
With Kid Sister and A-Trak, Cypress Hill, Thievery Corporation, Lyrics Born, K-Os

Someone dwelling Down Under must like the colorful clothes Kanye wears. Or maybe it's the way the sunlight plays upon his hair? Either way, Kanye West has picked up three of the four headlining spots on next February's traveling Good Vibrations festival, going down over a pair of weekends around several of the biggest cities the littlest continent has to offer.

Joining Big K for all them good vibes are the Rapture, Pharoahe Monch, A-Trak and Kid Sister, Cypress Hill, Thievery Corporation, K-Os, Sinden, that Calvin Harris clod, Pigeon John, Radioclit, and oh so many others.

At the moment, Kanye's the only one not signed up for all four gigs, as he's opted to duck out of the Brisbane date in favor of some Grammy thing or something. Good Vibrations hits Melbourne February 9, with Brisbane to follow the next day. It's to Sydney with this lot February 16, and Perth closes things out the 17th. Each stop on the tour will be hosted by Lyrics Born.

Bodies of Water Sign to Secretly Canadian
Band's debut reissued soon, new LP also on the way

Photo by Laura Heffington

Ears Will Pop & Eyes Will Blink the world over in the next couple months, as the debut LP from Los Angeles' Jesus Christ Superstars Bodies of Water is re-released on their new label, Secretly Canadian.

The excellent Ears, previously only available online or at Bodies of Water gigs via the band's Thousand Tongues imprint, will hit shelves for the very first time Stateside December 4, with a worldwide release set for January 22. What's more, the band is apparently already eyeing a follow-up, to be released in the spring. I guess they forgot to sleep, I guess, I guess.

Sian Alice Group Prep Debut LP for Social Registry

The word "epic" is thrown around quite a bit when speaking of London's Sian Alice Group, and with good reason. The band, which uses Arthur Russell, Detroit techno, and, yes, a little shoegaze as jump-offs, knows how to fill the space between those disparate elements.

Sian Alice Group's debut LP, 59.59, should stretch those epic tendencies to newly ginormous proportions; heck, it will, seeing as John Coxon of Spiritualized and Spring Heel Jack appears (along with Gang Gang Dance's Brian DeGraw) on the disc's closer. The Jesus and Mary Chain's Douglas Hart also partakes. The album, recorded at the band's central London studio, is due February 19 from the Social Registry.

And if you recall seeing Social Registry and Sian Alice Group together in a story before, that's probably because you read this one, which makes mention of SAG's participation in the SR 7" series. Sian Alice Group's "Nightsong" 7" is out now. [MORE...]

Obscure French Synth-Wave Collected on Comp

The folks at Everloving Records are hoping B.I.P.P.P.: French Synth-Wave 1979-1985 does just a little bit better in the marketplace than the original singles it's comprised of.

Originally curated by Parisian label Born Bad, the disc is culled entirely from lo-fi 7" singles from a quarter century ago. These things barely even qualify as obscure; to give you some idea, comp artist Ruth's album famously (well, as famously as an underperformer of this magnitude can be) only sold 50 copies.

Which means, despite their age, these tracks are a goldmine in need of a pick axe. In fact, Ed Banger label head Busy P recently mined Comix's "Touche Pas Mon Sexe" for the recent electro house stomper "Rainbow Man". If anybody knows French dance music, it's probably that dude. The disc drops February 12. [MORE...]

Photos: Spiritualized [New York, NY; 11/16/07]

Photos by William Kirk

The elusive J. Spaceman touched down at New York City's famed Apollo Theater this past weekend to treat eager Earthlings to some typically transcendent Spiritualized fare. To help escort us into his world, the being known down here as Jason Pierce enlisted strings, keys, and choir to join in performing stripped down, acoustic versions of many of his finest tunes.

The "Acoustic Mainlines" tour hits Boston tonight and rolls into London next month. Meanwhile, all signs point toward a new Spiritualized record in 2008.



Of Montreal Do New Ad, Barnes Talks Selling Out
"To me, the TV is the world's asshole boss and if anyone can earn some extra bucks from it and they're not Bill O'Reilly, it's a good thing."

Photo by Jason Bergman

you know, indie rockers and corporate America can make for awfully strange bedfellows. Of Montreal's Kevin Barnes seems to be more accustomed to snuggling up with commercial interests than most, what with his now-infamous Outback Steakhouse ad and at least one other foray into the world of selling stuff.

And he's done it again, with a T-Mobile advert that debuted during last night's American Music Awards. The ad features two lines of Barnes dialogue, the band all gussied up, and just a bit of "Gronlandic Edit"; it will be airing regularly throughout the next several months (Art Brut have apparently filmed a similar spot). Check out the clip over at Idolator.

Stereogum caught wind of Kevin's plans to peddle phones on the telly and asked Kevin just what the deal was. He responded with a rather lengthy thinkpiece entitled "Selling Out Isn't Possible", printed in full on

The gist of Barnes' statement is simple: he may be providing these companies his goods and services in exchange for money, but in so doing, he's not actually compromising his art. That in mind, he can't really be characterized as a sellout. This isn't entirely true-- Outback Steakhouse did compromise the lyrics of your song to better move bloomin' onions or whatever-- but it's close: though the popularity of Of Montreal has ballooned of late, it's mostly due to their latest, weirdest record and most elaborate, well-conceived stage show to date.

Apropos of the article's title, Barnes then rails against the very notion of selling out itself. "The pseudo-nihilistic punk rockers of the 70's created an impossible code which no one can actually live by," he writes, adding, "it's such garbage. The idea that anyone who attempts to do anything commercial is a sellout is completely out of touch with reality."

Barnes mentions that those crying sellout are generally gainfully employed and, therefore, oughta think about zippin' that lip. And he closes with this: "Next time you see a commercial with one of your favorite band's songs in it, just tell yourself, 'Cool, a band I really like made some money and now I can probably look forward to a few more records from them.' It's as simple as that. We all have to do certain things, from time to time, that we might not be completely psyched about, in order to pay the bills. To me, the TV is the world's asshole boss and if anyone can earn some extra bucks from it and they're not Bill O'Reilly, it's a good thing." Also worth mentioning: better to have Of Montreal records on the telly than, uh, Hinder.

The full text of Barnes' statement is available here. The PLUG Award nominated Of Montreal have a couple of U.S. dates left before they head to Europe to close out 2007. Oh, and while we're all on the same page, check out Pitchfork's interview with Mr. Barnes right here. [MORE...]

Photos: Black Kids [Athens, GA; 11/16/07]

Photos by Mike White

"It's great to be back in Athens," exclaimed Black Kids' frontman Reggie Youngblood at the Flicker Theatre and Bar this Friday, "the scene of the crime." Youngblood was of course referring to the young band's performance at this year's Athens Popfest, which drew them lots of buzz from websites such as this one.

Well, now the DIY rockers are touring this year's Best New Music'd EP, The Wizard of Ahhhs, through their native Florida before heading off to the UK. More photos and tour dates below.


Blood Meridian Seek to Liquidate Paris on New Disc

A handy refresher course: Blood Meridian is the Black Mountain side project featuring the latter's Josh Wells and Matt Camirand. They've already got a pair of fine releases to their name, sure, but why stop there? Blood Meridian have crafted Liquidate Paris-- either a hefty EP or a fit'n'trim LP depending on who you ask-- which they'll release on CD and LP November 20 via Elevation Recordings. Actually, funny story about that label...

Anywho, Liquidate Paris. The disc began its life "in a moldy basement beneath a crack infested street in Vancouver," not unlike Nardwuar. Following Blood Meridian's tradition of naming stuff after books, the disc's title was lifted from the WWII novel of the same name by Danish author Sven Hassel. Both the CD and the vinyl (Elevation's first foray into analog) are limited to 1,000 copies apiece, so you'll want to get on that one.

Wells and Camirand are over in Europe for a mess of Black Mountain dates, which run up to the release of that band's In the Future LP. Those dates-- and the Liquidate Paris tracklist-- after the jump. [MORE...]
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