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Report: I'm Not There: In Concert [New York, NY; 11/07/07]

Photos by Kathryn Yu, words by Amanda Petrusich ABOVE: MY MORNING JACKET

Much like the film itself, the soundtrack to I'm Not There, Todd Haynes' already infamous Bob Dylan biopic (featuring an eclectic mess of actors in the lead role, from Cate Blanchett to Richard Gere to 11-year-old Marcus Carl Franklin) is a compelling, occasionally perplexing collection of interpretations of Dylan's work. Last night at New York's Beacon Theatre, a bunch of soundtrack contributors banded together to perform songs from the film, as a benefit for Dave Eggers' 826 National organization.


Mercifully, talk of "the genius of the work" was kept to a dignified minimum, and the acts that stayed playful were the ones that soared. Collaborations abounded: Calexico teamed up with My Morning Jacket's Jim James ("Goin' to Acapulco"), Mark Lanegan ("Man in the Long Black Coat"), and Joe Henry ("Senor [Tales of Yankee Power]"), while Lee Ranaldo's Million Dollar Bashers (named after a track off of The Basement Tapes, and featuring J. Mascis on guitar) ran through four different vocalists (Ranaldo, Mascis, Henry, and Chris Bailey). Ranaldo also performed with White Magic's Mira Billotte.


Gomez delivered a teasing rendition of "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright", and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (introduced by an oddly hirsute, gum-smacking Heath Ledger) embraced Dylan's more absurdist tendencies: Sharpe, wearing no shirt (and, I dare say, no underpants) stared blankly while sound engineers attempted to plug in a guitar, pausing to hug his giggling bandmate, telling jokes ("What do you call a Mexican with a prosthetic toe? Roberto!"), and readjusting his snare drum before launching into a shockingly coherent take on "All I Really Want to Do".


Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks shuffled through "Subterranean Homesick Blues"; Hicks had to slip on his glasses and read lyrics from a print-out, but his choreographed, walking-in-place moves with his backing dancers (two women in sparkly black dresses and sunglasses, one wearing a purse) were stupidly charming. Yo La Tengo rolled out "Fourth Time Around" (with Georgia Hubley singing lead) and "She's Your Lover Now" with Buckwheat Zydeco on organ. Mason Jennings strummed and mewed "The Times They Are A-Changin'".

Notably missing was Cat Power, who was billed as playing the show, but was nowhere to be found. No reason has been given for her absence. UPDATE: She apparently canceled weeks ago. Michelle Shocked also couldn't make the show, due to a missed flight.


Unsurprisingly, the night culminated in a horrifying "all-star" rendition of "All Along the Watchtower", featuring members of Calexico, the Roots, and Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks, as well as Ranaldo, Mascis, John Doe, Joe Henry, Mason Jennings, Al Kooper, and more. There were two drummers, four guitarists, two trumpets, three dancers, tuba, bass, organ, violin, six vocalists, and a couple dudes in the back clapping their hands.

But the ticket price was justified by performances from My Morning Jacket, who did "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You" (I'm Not There director Haynes, who periodically popped out in between songs, could only respond with "Wow") and the Roots, whose "Masters of War" was both chilling and ecstatic. Rapturous Dylan idolatry is not a particularly new or interesting phenomenon, but I'm Not There's pairings were weird enough to keep all eyes focused for twenty-four songs.




Lily Allen to Host TV Show on BBC Three

Photo by Anoulay Tsai

Seems like only yesterday we were bringing you news of Lily Allen's latest not-strictly-musical undertaking. (And if you haven't seen our update to that story, take note: Lily's management company originally confirmed that she would indeed be the new face of Agent Provocateur. However, hours after our story ran, the confirmation was rescinded, with no explanation. Agent Provocateur has not responded to our questions at this time.)

But today's a new day, and Lily's not the type to lay around in her knickers just waiting for the next thing to come along. Starting early next year, she'll be at the helm of a new variety show on BBC Three. According to The Guardian, the show is called "Lily and Friends". BBC News reports that the program is "based on the social networking phenomenon that helped launch her music career." Brits get Lily Allen, and we Yanks are stuck with Tila Tequila? Blast!

The show's audience will apparently consist of Lily's MySpace friends, with viewers presenting some of the show's segments and grilling celebrity guests. Bands both "chart-topping" and "unsigned" will join Lily on the show, and the progress of the lesser known acts-- chosen by the audience-- will be charted at length on a network created specifically for the show. It seems most of the details of the show are still being worked out; in fact, it was just about a month ago that Lily mentioned on her blog that she'd been "having meetings about a potential tv show."

So what else is Lily up to? Well, she's got that Jane Austen movie in the works, and a live track on that WXRT charity comp. And hopefully making a new record.


Vampire Weekend Reveal Debut Album Details

Since Is This It was already taken, NYC's Vampire Weekend-- already the subject of considerable buzz and backlash, a full 18-odd months and zero albums into their career-- have gone the self-titled route for their debut full-length release.

Vampire Weekend sinks its teeth into an eagerly awaiting U.S. populace January 29 (March 3 overseas), via the quartet's coffin of choice, XL Recordings. The 11-song set includes a few jams with which fans of the band will already be familiar, and we can pretty much guarantee that all of the songs, by default, will be better than the band's name.

As previously reported, the boys-- who, full disclosure, count a couple among the Pitchfork ranks as friends-- are vamping it up overseas with the Shins. Beware, as they return to terrorize North American cities in mid-November. Pack plenty of garlic. [MORE...]

Radiohead Reveal UK Rainbows Release Date, Single
Declare comScore's In Rainbows sales analysis "wholly inaccurate"

Before you let auld acquaintance be forgot and all that, UK residents, don't forget to bump the brand new Radiohead album-- on CD and/or vinyl!

XL Recordings announced today that the UK CD/LP version of In Rainbows that the label has the privilege of putting out will drop across the pond just before that big shiny ball drops, on December 31. And that's not all! Make good on your resolution to buy more music from great bands (that is going to be your resolution, right?) and scoop up In Rainbows' first single, "Jigsaw Falling Into Place", in the UK on January 14. Details forthcoming.

This whole December 31 UK release date thing would seem to lend more credence to the theory that the In Rainbows CD/LP will hit U.S. shops on January 1 via ATO/Side One, but that's still unconfirmed as of this moment.

Finally, XL also passed along a message from Radiohead's camp regarding that previously mentioned third-party In Rainbows download analysis, which concluded folks paid an average of $2.26 for the release. Spake the reps: "As the album could only be downloaded from the band's website, it is impossible for outside organisations to have accurate figures on sales."

Furthermore, "the figures quoted by the company comScore Inc are wholly inaccurate and in no way reflect definitive market intelligence or, indeed, the true success of the project." Definitive market intelligence? Sounds like something that would make Thom Yorke very, very afraid.

And, as a reminder, the Radiohead-endorsed discbox arrives "on or before" December 3, while the not-Radiohead-endorsed catalog box set and USB drive land December 10. Plus there may or may not be a webcast this Friday and a tour next year. Speaking of jigsaws falling into place, can we get a little help here guys?

Another Devendra Banhart Art Exhibit
Hardly Banhart, hardly garbage

Photo by Alissa Anderson

Like the Bo Jackson of music and painting, Devendra Banhart keeps expanding his visual art career at the same time he's promoting the release of his latest album, Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon. His tour continues today, November 8, in Dublin, and the very next day, a second exhibition of his artwork will open.

This new exhibition is called "Some Drawings" (one guess as to what's in it), and it takes place at DiverseWorks ArtSpace in Houston, Texas, where it will be on display through December 15.

In other Dev news, according to a post on Devendra's MySpace blog, on Tuesday, November 13, iTunes will post two songs from his performance at the 2006 Bridge School Benefit Concert. They are "At the Hop" and a cover of Neil Young's "Pardon My Heart".

Pictured: Devendra Banhart’s Spirit of Six Point Cloud People 2 [MORE...]


Handsome Furs Revive Touring Plague

Finally, Handsome Furs are seasonally appropriate. After opening the gates of Plague Park this spring and touring in support of the debut this summer, the Canadian duo has scheduled a handful of dates for bundled up audiences in December.

Also fitting is the fact that all five of the freshly minted dates are in the Land of a Thousand Skating Rinks. Hey, maybe hockey fever is the Plague they were referring to all along! [MORE...]


Cat Power Covers Lil Wayne on Updated Jukebox
Well, not Wayne solo. Hot Boys, to be exact.

Here in Newsland, we prefer to deal in certainties if at all possible. But the crew at Matador were right back in mid-October when they issued this warning along with the then-tentative tracklist for Cat Power's hotly anticipated Jukebox LP: "Much like real life, everything's subject to change."

The disc is still due January 22 from the label, still finds Ms. Marshall tackling the back pages of some formidable songwriters (including one Chan Marshall), still sees her recently Forkcasted Dylan tribute "Song to Bobby" making the cut, and still contains her feminine spin on Hank Williams' "Ramblin' Man". It has, however, been shaken up a bit otherwise. As they say, that's life.

Gone are Marshall's takes on Creedence's "Fortunate Son" and Chips Moman and Dan Penn's "Dark End of the Street". In their places (well, sort of, as the running order has moved around a bit, too): Jessie Mae Hemphill's "Lord, Help the Poor and Needy" and Joni Mitchell's "Blue". And it's hard to mourn too hard for a pair of lost tracks when Matador's sweetened the new deal with a five-song bonus disc to be included in a "limited edition silver foil deluxe package." It's like a delicious baked potato, only made out of music!

So what's on the bonus disc? Moby Grape's "Naked If I Want To" (a highlight of the original Covers Record), Nick Cave's "Breathless", Roberta Flack's "Angelitos Negros", Patsy Cline's "She's Got You", and-- wait for it-- a cover of the Hot Boys' "I Feel". Yep, those Hot Boys: Juvenile, B.G., Turk, and Weezy F. Baby (please say the... well, you know). YES!

Chan will play tonight's star-studded I'm Not There concert in New York City, though beyond that, she has no touring plans. [MORE...]


Thurston, Pornos, Liars, Deerhunter Do Barcelona Fest
Plus: No Age, Castanets, Vanderslice, Von Sudenfed, Earth, Bishop Allen, Stars of the Lid

First, the technical stuff: the second edition of the Estrella Damm Primavera Club festival will take place across several Barcelona venues December 3-8. Yawn.

Now comes the fun: Thurston Moore, Liars, the New Pornographers, Deerhunter, No Age, John Vanderslice, Von Südenfed, Earth, Bishop Allen, Stars of the Lid, the Ponys, Castanets, Parts & Labor, Crystal Castles, Kode9 & the Spaceape, Bracken, Joseph Arthur & the Lonely Astronauts, and more will pack the Catalonian capital's clubs with pure rock/folk/noise/dubstep fury. No yawning anymore, is there?

Additional details for Primavera Club-- the indoorsy twin of the Primavera Sound thing they do every summer-- are available at the fest's website.

Franz's Thomson Drums Up Domino 7" With Correcto

Paul Thomson-- again, possessor of the greatest name in rock'n'roll-- drums in a little act called Franz Ferdinand from time to time. It's a good gig, for sure: sometimes Alex whips up a cake just for laughs and lets Paul lick the spoon, and periodically he gets to read all about himself in appealingly alphabetized form. But, despite the perks, all the pressures of keeping the beat in one of those big famous rock bands can get a little trying, even when possessed with the resilience of spirit a name like his affords a person.

That's the point when Paul's especially glad to have Correcto, the slightly lower-profile band for which he also hits the skins. Though that profile may not be so low for so long: Correcto's peppy "Joni" will be released as a single (7" and download, if you're interested) November 12 in the UK from Franz and them's Domino label. Backed with "Wasting Time", the single apparently serves as a harbinger for the LP the band have been recording over the last several months, expected early next year.

Correcto have a smattering of dates surrounding the impending release of "Joni", and-- lucky you-- they're all listed after the jump. Have at it. [MORE...]

Vincent Gallo, Hole's Eric Erlandson Form Improv Act

If my occasional glances at "Dr. Phil" have taught me anything-- and they haven't-- certain personalities are attracted to volatility in others. Given the company he sometimes chooses to keep, former Hole guitarist Eric Erlandson might suffer from that particular affliction. Erlandson has joined with actor, filmmaker, occasional musician, Paris Hilton fan, and creepily intense human-like vessel Vincent Gallo to form RRIICCEE, an all-improv group who will tour North America next month.

So what can a brave attendee expect from a RRIICCEE gig? We're not sure, and we're starting to think Gallo and Erlandson aren't sure, either. According to a press release, "For all appearances, the outfit does not perform pre-written music and is not limited to the boundaries of one specific musical genre." And you thought that dinner scene in Buffalo 66 was awkward. Indeed, Vincent and Eric are quite literally coming to these tables empty-handed, with no recorded music at the moment and no plans for a commercially available release.

Gallo had a few (okay, more than a few) words about RRIICCEE's unorthodox methods, in a press release:

"Improvisation is not a good word for what we're doing. It's more a gesture of composing and performing at the same time, always hoping to avoid musical cliché or jamming. We've chosen not to go into a studio in a traditional way like other bands have done in the past: to make recordings, cut them up, dub on them, fine tune and mix them, and then release them as an album, then later, go on tour, pantomiming those recordings over and over each night as a form of cabaret. Instead, for a long time now, we've chosen to remain open, to grow and change more naturally, and when we play live, the music is often created during the performance. If we choose to record a performance, the recording itself is only evidence of that creative moment. The purpose of recording then, is to listen back for enjoyment."

In other Vincent Gallo news just in time for the gift-giving season, he is still offering his services as both a sperm donor and a sperm dispenser on his website. [MORE...]

New My Bloody Valentine Album Due This Year??

Looks like this Kevin Shields fellow is a man of his word, huh? In the January/February 2007 issue of Magnet magazine, as previously reported, Shields promised that some band he's part of called My Bloody Valentine were "100% going to make another...record unless we die or something."

Today comes word that Shields wasn't just pulling our whammy bars, as the Vice-associated (UPDATE: Not associated, just good friends with Vice Records' Adam Shore) Daily Swarm has revealed bits from a interview with Shields-- set to air on a forthcoming episode of Vice's program "Soft Focus"-- in which the shoegaze godfather and fanclub president* confirms that the new album is being made, and what's more, it's supposed to come out this year.

Speaking to "Soft Focus" host and DC scene mainstay Ian Svenonius, here's Kevin: "We were making a record in the 90s, around when the band broke up in 1995...and I continued with Bilinda [Butcher, guitarist/vocalist]. We kinda made...most of an album...

"[The new album is] going to be this 96/97 half-finished record finished, and then a compilation of stuff we did before that in 1993–94, and a little bit of new stuff.

"I pretty much know what the one that's going to come out this year is going to sound like because it's already pretty much three-quarters done sounds like what we sounded like-- different but not radically different. People will go, 'Yeah, it sounds like My Bloody Valentine.'"

That is, one presumes, after people catch their breath and pick their melted minds up off the floor.

Until the full interview airs on November 12, that's really all we have to go off. So what did we learn today? That My Bloody Valentine are indeed back together in some configuration or another. That they've recorded new material. That they have at least two releases on the way, one of which may very well come out this year. And, last but not least, that Loveless has a follow-up and IT WILL SOON TOUCH THE EARS OF HUMANKIND.


Oh yeah, no word yet on all that reunion tour chatter, but consider this-- along with the reactivated MBV website-- a very good sign.

* this scene celebrates itself, recall

Electrelane Go on “Indefinite Hiatus”

Nooooooo! Once again, the call of the "indefinite hiatus" has claimed one of my favorite bands. Brighton, England's Electrelane announced today on their website that following a string of dates leading up to a December 1 show in their hometown, they will lay down their instruments.

"We have decided that the upcoming gigs will be our last for the foreseeable future," the band wrote. "After ten years of much fun and hard work, we have realised that we all need a break and time to do other things. This was a tough decision for us to make, but ultimately a positive one.

"A big thank you to everyone who has come to our shows, put on our shows, and bought our records over the years. It means a lot to us. We're really grateful to have had the opportunity to play gigs all over the world and to meet so many lovely people. This last year has been especially enjoyable and we feel happy about moving on with all these good memories to look back on. At the moment we haven't made any band plans for the future but we're going to have a break and see what happens.

"Love, Electrelane"

Since forming in 1998, the four-piece released four albums and one odds-and-ends compilation of churning, Kraut-influenced art rock. (They also do the best cover of Bruce Springsteen's "I'm on Fire" ever.) This year's fantastic No Shouts, No Calls (on Too Pure) was perhaps the best distillation of Electrelane's sound, balancing just the right amount of pop with experimental meanderings.

"In Berlin", the next single from that album, will be released on November 26. That same day, the Too Pure Singles Club will release the "Red Dream" / "A Mouthful of Pebbles" single by Vera November, aka Electrelane vocalist/keyboardist Verity Susman.

Full disclosure: guitarist Mia Clarke is also a music journalist who has written for Pitchfork in the past. And though an Electrelane "hiatus" may mean time for more writing from Clarke, we will miss the band greatly. [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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