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Kindercore Serves Up Xmas Charity Comp/Comic Book
Featuring Bunnygrunt, Headlights, Venice Is Sinking, King of Prussia, the Observatory

Kindercore Records is back and here to stay, and so is the label's beloved series of Christmas compilations. Third holiday offering Xmas-3: The War on Christmas! came careening down chimneys this week, its trusty sack packed with choice cuts from psych-tinged indie pop faves, all bundled with a compendium comic book and wrapped in that Stan Lee-inspired cover you see over there.

Bunnygrunt, Headlights, Venice Is Sinking, Elephant Six affiliates the Observatory, Je Suis France, and Kindercore's own King of Prussia and Ruby Isle are among those contributing festive fare to the 19-song suite. The doodles, meanwhile, come courtesy of Travis Fox, Ryan Lewis, Jesse Lockwood, Nethie Lockwood, Mat Lewis, Maya Livio, Rama Hughes, Lauren Gregg, and Craig Sheldon.

If you actually want to physically touch this thing, however, you'd best act fast. Only 100 hard copies have been pressed/printed; stall and you'll have to settle for the digital retailer version-- which does, let it be known, still include complete scans of the comic.

Best of all, all proceeds from sales of Xmas-3 go to Oxfam. So score a copy for you and/or your mother-in-law this Christmas. I mean, does she really need that Josh Groban CD? Does he do a holiday jingle called "Baby, Please Don't Get Stoned (It's Christmas)"? Didn't think so.

Kindercore's rebirth continues January 29 with the release of King of Prussia's debut mini-album Save the Scene. [MORE...]

Black Lips Release Very Limited Edition Single
Single available at one Atlanta store, also serves as ticket to show

Following in the footsteps of their pals and fellow Atlanta residents Deerhunter, Black Lips have contributed an exclusive tune to the second Chunklet "WhirlyBall" single. The Lips track is a cover of a song from the Ethiopiques compilation series. Atlanta bands Gentleman Jesse & His Men, the Baby Shakes, and Coffin Bound contribute the single's other three tracks.

Just like the last one, this single is only available at Atlanta's Criminal Records, and the 7" also serves as the only way to get a ticket to a show featuring all four bands. The gig goes down at WhirlyBall Atlanta in Roswell, Georgia on January 19. The ticket is physically attached to the record's sleeve by a perforated edge.

Chunklet plans to continue the WhirlyBall single and show series throughout 2008.

In other Black Lips news, have you heard they're touring? They're also playing ATP vs. Pitchfork.



Portastatic, Annuals, Rosebuds Rock Trekky Recs Xmas
Them, and just about every other band in North Carolina

Chapel Hill, North Carolina's Trekky Records favors keeping things close to home; after all, the imprint got its start as a forum for the music of friends of founders (and, of course, North Carolinians) Martin Anderson and Will Hackney.

So you'll be expected to don your tar-iest heels for the label's annual Christmas party, an all-NC affair that brings Portastatic, Annuals, the Rosebuds, the Moaners, Schooner, Sweater Weather, and more of their fellow Old North State residents than you can shake a candycane at to Carrboro's Cat's Cradle December 19. "Christmas at the Cradle", they're calling it.

As with last year, the headliners here aren't a name non-locals will recognize right off. They're the Trekky Yuletide Orchestra, they only play original and traditional Christmas music, they number at least 20, and they're comprised of members of the Trekky Records roster. All proceeds from the gig go to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Beach House Team With Papercuts for 2008 Tour
Papercuts preferable to sand in shorts?

Hey, it's the newest episode of "2 bands, 1 tour"*: Baltimore's Beach House and San Francisco's Papercuts are pairing up for a 2008 tour that will bring them not only to their respective coasts but pretty much everywhere in between as well. Principal Papercut Jason Quever will serve double duty on the tour, as he'll sit in on drums for Beach House.

Beach House will be touring in support of their sophomore album, Devotion, out February 26 on Carpark.

* Don't worry, it's not that video. [MORE...]


Labels Seek Apology From Rolling Stone for Camel Ad
Kill Rock Stars, Touch and Go, Skin Graft, others send angry letter to magazine

Pour bad journalism, shady advertising, and the music you love into the media cauldron, let simmer for a few weeks, and you get that ugly mess we reported about last week. Camelstonegate, let's call it. In summary: In a recent issue, Rolling Stone tucked an editorial section name-checking heaps of indie bands into a big ol' advertorial promoting a Camel cigarettes campaign targeting indie rockers. A huge no-no for a number of reasons.

Nine states have already sued Camel over the fact that the "Indie Rock Universe" section was basically one big cartoon. (Using cartoons to sell cigarettes violates the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement of 1997.) Now, not surprisingly, a bunch of labels representing bands unwittingly lumped into this whole scheme have stepped forward to demand an apology from Rolling Stone.

Today, an open letter to Rolling Stone signed by Kill Rock Stars, Touch and Go, Skin Graft, Lovepump United, Lucky Madison, the defunct 5RC, Audio Dregs, and Fryk Beat, was sent out by Kill Rock Stars' Maggie Vail. It begins, "We, the undersigned independent record labels wish to share our indignation regarding Rolling Stone's November 15th pull out editorial, which featured the names of our artists in conjunction with an ad for Camel cigarettes."

The full text of the letter is available after the jump, but basically, these people are pissed that their artists' names were used without their consent to push product, and rightfully so.

As previously mentioned, Rolling Stone has insisted the ad and editorial content came together by mere coincidence, but KRS and the others are calling the publication's bluff. Ultimately, the labels "ask that Rolling Stone apologize for blurring the line between editorial and advertisement, and in doing so, implying that the bands named support the product being advertised."

Individual artists have also begun expressing their displeasure as well. The Daily Swarm points us to a Toronto Star report that suggests post-hardcore maniacs Fucked Up-- one of the many stars of Rolling Stone's "Indie Rock Universe"-- are planning to pursue legal action. They also weighed in on the issue in humorous fashion on their blog.

Fucked Up's litigious ire, however, appears to be directed toward music service Rhapsody, which allegedly licensed bands' music without their consent to the online version of the Rolling Stone piece.

UPDATE: Rhapsody was not involved in the Camel advertisement at all. The online version of the piece contains no links or references to Camel. [MORE...]


Electrelane Organize Anti-Trafficking Benefit
Alex Paterson from the Orb, Charlotte Hatherley, Adrian Sherwood perform

Kicking around London on a Friday night waiting for the ink to dry on that paycheck? This particular Friday night-- meaning tomorrow, December 14-- you could do a lot worse than to head over to The Fly, where you'll be treated to an evening of fine, fine music of both the live and prerecorded varieties. And it's for a good cause!

The recently disbanded but still chummy Electrelane have organized a benefit show for the Anti-Trafficking Alliance, which works in the UK and abroad to end forced abduction and trafficking into sexual slavery. Alas, Electrelane themselves won't be playing live, but they will be DJing, as will Alex Paterson of the Orb, Anjali, the Early Years, Sinqueso Sisters, and the Broken Hearts. Live, you'll get Charlotte Hatherley, Dot Allison, Adrian Sherwood, It Hugs Back, and Freddie Stevenson rocking and rolling and carrying on.


Donations Sought for Ailing Country Singer Cast King

Two years after issuing his very first album, Saw Mill Man, 81-year-old country singer-songwriter Cast King has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. According to a press release from King's label, Locust Music, it is apparently unlikely he'll live to see 2008.

After spending some time in the hospital, King is currently at home in Alabama with Helen, his wife of 59 years. Due to King's hospital bills and the funeral expenses to come, Helen has amassed quite a bit of debt. To help her out, Locust has made a new song, "Saved", available for download. (It was to be a part of his second record, a gospel album.) They hope that in exchange for the download, people will make donations to a PayPal account, which you can access right on the front page of the label's website. All of the proceeds will go to King's family, and any messages sent along will make their way to him as well.

In addition, a benefit concert will take place December 29 at JJ's Bohemia in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Citico Stringband, the Bohannons, and Matt Downer are scheduled to perform.


Madonna, Leonard Cohen Inducted Into Rock Hall
Plus: John Mellencamp, Dave Clark Five, the Ventures

The results are in and, wowee zowee, some people you've perhaps heard of will soon join the ranks of some other people you've heard of in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Madonna, Leonard Cohen, John Mellencamp, Dave Clark Five, and the Ventures make up the 2008 class. According to the Associated Press, Little Walter will also be honored for his work as a sideman, and Gamble & Huff will be honored for their production work.

Smile, clap, and give them a nice, gentle pat on the back as they stroll the red carpet that leads to the March 10 induction ceremony at New York City's Waldorf Hotel.

The folks above were handed the perhaps-dubious distinction by an "international voting body of more than 500 rock experts" that has consistently ignored many of your favorite bands over the years. Better luck next year, Beastie Boys, Donna Summer, Chic, and Afrika Bambaataa! And everybody else who doesn't make music that's super white.


Harry Potter Bands Rock Against Media Consolidation
Or, if you will, "Voldemedia"

Ah, well that explains a lot: Media consolidation-- that unfortunate trend that has humongous corporations snatching up their tiny competition right and left-- is actually all the work of the nefarious, nose-less, all powerful half-blood wizard hellbent on killing Harry Potter!

And we have the legions of Harry Potter fanatics the world over to thank for this alarming discovery. Best of all, these Potter-philes sure as hell aren't going to let Lord Voldemort get away with it. They've launched an all-out war against the perils of "Voldemedia", complete with an informative website and a free mp3 compilation packed with bands indirectly born of the pen of J.K. Rowling.

Our dear friends Harry and the Potters join acts like the Remus Lupins, Roonil Wazlib, and the Whomping Willows on Rocking Out Against Voldemedia, available for free right now on the Harry Potter Alliance-helmed, Stop Big Media-allied campaign's website. You should also swing over to said site to learn what you can do to fight media consolidation. Even if you're just a muggle.

Just a hunch, but maybe this atrocity is the work of Voldemort as well?

And hey! Speaking of Harry and the Potters, those funny dudes have a New Year's Eve gig planned at Boston's Hynes Convention Center. Sure beats another lonely night with Dick Clark. [MORE...]

My Bloody Valentine Headline Benicassim Festival
Also playing: the Rumble Strips, Babyshambles

The 14th annual Festival Internacional de Benicàssim in Benicàssim, Spain has announced the first three names in its 2008 lineup, and the reunited My Bloody Valentine is one of them. (Via AngryApe.) Holy OMG, Batman!

The other two bands in the Benicàssim lineup right now are Babyshambles and the Rumble Strips.

The festival takes place July 17-20, which places it at the end of MBV's currently scheduled reunion shows, but we have a feeling there are quite a few more of these puppies to come. [MORE...]

Sambassadeur Let Migration Free in the States
Shh, don't tell the border guards

Their melding of the delicately wispy and the heavily orchestrated may be strictly Swedish, but Sambassadeur's Migration is headed all over. Already out in the homeland, the disc will migrate to the States January 22 thanks to Labrador/Darla, with a UK release planned for April on Creeping Bent.

The band has also crafted a Sweden-only single for Migration's "Final Say", followed on its CD by "Crooked Spine", laced with vocals from bandmember and infrequent crooner Daniel Permbo. Look for that one come February 6.

As for other domestic concerns, the indie-poppers have a couple of tour dates over the weekend in their native Sweden. However, with their minds set on Migration, tours of both the UK and Spain can be expected in 2008 from these goodwill Sambassadeurs. [MORE...]

Kevin Barnes, Jeff Mangum in Wacky Elephant 6 Movie
Plus: Olivia Tremor Control's Hart, Elf Power's Rieger

Of Montreal's Kevin Barnes as a bumbling constable! Neutral Milk Hotel's Jeff Mangum in a lobster suit! It's something only those crazies in Athens, Georgia could dream up, and now they've snatched that dream out of the ether and committed it to celluloid.

Major Organ and the Adding Machine, the filmic companion to the mysterious Elephant Six Collective omnibus album of the same name-- long a subject of intrigue among E6 maniacs-- will finally find its way to screens in 2008. And boy does it look bonkers!

The city's own Orange Twin imprint, which released the original album back in 2001, plans to unleash a Major Organ DVD/expanded CD set in spring of next year. The short film should also soon be invading select theaters and various festivals.

Directed by Joey Foreman and Eric Harris, Major Organ counts among its cast members the aforementioned Barnes and Mangum, along with William Cullen Hart (The Olivia Tremor Control, Circulatory System), Julian Koster (OTC, NMH), Andrew Rieger (Elf Power), and the ladies of Dixie Blood Mustache. These folks also contributed to the making of the Major Organ album, but shhhh, you're not supposed to know about that.
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