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Asobi Seksu, White Rabbits on Gigantic Singles Series
Plus: Dragons of Zynth, O'Death

Oh sure, you could just download the latest entries in Gigantic Music's singles series. In fact, if you were so inclined, you could do so right this instant. But, for the patient, Gigantic is rewarding vinylphiles with a trio of intriguing 7" releases November 20.

The single-mad Asobi Seksu's "Stay Awake" is backed with their take on the Crystals classic "Then He Kissed Me", wrapped in a deluxe gatefold designed by Sean McCabe (Spoon, Interpol). "Xerathyn" arrives courtesy of Dragons of Zynth, and will be backed by "Harlot Blues", produced by TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek (who also helmed the Dragons' Coronation Thieves). As for My Best Fiend, "Acid Happy" finds "Mary's Fits" stuck to its bottom parts. Each is limited to 500 copies apiece, so you'll have to use that cunning of yours to nab one.

If that's not Gigantic enough, get a load of this: February 5, the next installments in the series-- from the likes of White Rabbits, O'Death, and Maison Blanche, no less-- will emerge. Remember, patience pays. [MORE...]

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band Add 2008 Gigs

BRUUUUUUUUCE IS BAAAAAACK, again. Smack in the middle of a generous fall run through North America and, soon, Europe, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band have plotted another U.S. trek for next year. True, it's only half a dozen dates in two months at this point, but that's just sparse enough to fill in ten-night stretches in each city. Right, Boss?

In other Springsteen news, the National's cover of "Mansion on the Hill" is in stores now, as is the pretty darn good Magic LP. And those songs with the Arcade Fire are still awesome. [MORE...]

Spoon Close Out 2007 With More Dates

Spoon, meet Spain. (Writes itself, don't it?) Spoon-- the ones with the pop-rock the kids go Ga Ga over (and then some!)-- have added a handful of Spanish dates to their tour itinerary as part of the traveling Wintercase Festival. Looks as though they'll be joined by their fellow Texans in Explosions in the Sky on those dates.

What's more, Spoon have added a spate of Stateside gigs upon their return, including one to close out the year in Chicago. Along the way they'll butt heads with Modest Mouse, the Shins, Feist, Pinback, and more. [MORE...]

Ramones, Big Star, Mary Weiss on Norton Singles Comp
Also: Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Link Wray, ? and the Mysterians, Sonics,'s

In my book, vinyl's not portable enough, and MP3s are barely there, so the CD is a perfect middle-ground medium. Obviously, a fair portion of the music consuming and producing public doesn't agree, including the folks at 21-year-old label Norton Records, who will release I Hate CDs: Norton Records 45 RPM Singles Collection Vol. 1 on December 4.

I Hate CDs is a digital compilation of 45 45s from Norton's history, including tracks by the Ramones, Big Star, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Link Wray, ? and the Mysterians, Mary Weiss of the Shangri-Las, the's, the Sonics, and the Dictators. Okay, I'm convinced! [MORE...]

Gibbard, Decemberists, McKay Play Aimee Mann Xmas
Nellie McKay plans other dates too, cuts "charity" Xmas single

For the second year in a row, songwriter Aimee Mann has gathered a few of her closest friends for a traveling Christmas variety show. Joining Mann on the musical side will be Ben Gibbard, several indeterminate Decemberists members, Nellie McKay, Josh Ritter, Grant Lee Phillips, Ben Lee, Joe Henry, Chuck Prophet, Patrick Park, Sean Hayes, and the Honeydogs' Adam Levy.

But not all at once. Comedians Paul F. Tompkins and Morgan Murphy will join Mann at every stop on the tour, but the musical lineup changes from night to night, so we've done that thing with all the symbols down there below the cut to help (that's our hope, anyway) sort through the confusion. More guests are expected to be added soon, but we're running dangerously low on punctuation over here.

Thanks to reader Ben Hasler for the tip.

Speaking of Nellie McKay, you gotta admit, gal's got a sense of humor. And now McKay, whose knack for snicker-worthy songwriting is ably demonstrated across her three collections of tunes thus far (including this year's Obligatory Villagers), is taking the laughs all the way to the bank.

McKay recently issued a "charity" Christmas single via her website, the charity in question being "The Nellie McKay Disaster Fund". Ha, say what? "All proceeds," writes the songstress, "will go directly into Nellie McKay's bank account." LOLz.

Before you cry foul, however, know that donations are purely voluntary, and you may download the one-song mp3 single for free if you so choose. The tune's subject matter, however, is no laughing matter. Titled "A Christmas Dirge", it addresses the dark underside of the Yuletide log, including cruelty to plants and animals during this season of supposed merriment.

McKay will also appear on the November 21 episode of NPR's "Fresh Air With Terry Gross" and make her feature film debut in the previously discussed P.S. I Love You, which hits theaters December 21. She's got a few dates sans Mann too, and those are below. [MORE...]

Band of Horses Turn Down Wal-Mart TV Ad
Ben Bridwell: "Once I saw our fans were let down by it, I nixed the TV commercial, and said, 'You know what, this isn't for me. Keep your money.'"

Band of Horses took a bit of flak a couple months back-- on the interwebs, anyway-- for licensing a song to Wal-Mart (and another to Ford) for a net-based ad campaign. "My personal stance," Band-leader Ben Bridwell wrote in response to the haters, "is that once that music is recorded and released to the world then I don't really care where it goes."

But despite this apparent nonchalance, Bridwell has drawn a line. Speaking to Fargo, North Dakota publication The Forum this week (linked via Brooklyn Vegan), Bridwell confirmed that while it could have taken quite a leap forward, Band of Horses' dalliance with the mega department store chain with the questionable ethics has come to an end.

"I called my family, talked to my girlfriend about it, talked to the guys in the band and decided it's no big deal," Bridwell said of the initial decision to license the song. "We tested it with that Web site thing that I figured nobody would really even see. But in the Internet age, you can't do anything without someone catching wind of it.

"Some fans, they don't even give a crap," he continued. "They're like, 'Whatever, bands got to get paid.' But at the same time, I was reluctant to do it in the back of my mind, and some fans reminded me there is a reason to feel that way about it.

"So once I saw our fans were let down by it, I nixed the TV commercial, and said, 'You know what, this isn't for me. Keep your money.'"

The TV commercial Bridwell mentions was an option Wal-Mart put before the band following the success of the web campaign (which has since ended), according to Band of Horses' label, Sub Pop.

So, in summary: Band of Horses could have gone all the way with Wal-Mart, but they didn't. Yay for them. Meanwhile, life goes on, Cease to Begin is out now, and Band of Horses continue their recently upsized tour in Montana this weekend. Go see them, and please people, leave the cameras at home. [MORE...]

Stones Throw Roster Kicks Off B-Ball Tour

Paging all Arcade Fire members basketball fans! The Stones Throw roster launches its B-Ball Zombie War campaign tonight, November 16, in San Francisco. Barring two exceptions, the tour features Madlib, Peanut Butter Wolf, J. Rocc, Percee P, Guilty Simpson, Karriem Riggins, and MED on every date. So brush up on your jump shot, and don't panic!

Of course, Stones Throw wouldn't be Stones Throw without a full court of other activities. Soon, the label will release Percee P's Perseverance: The Madlib Remixes, and Percee will also join MF Doom and Heliocentrics on a 12" called "Distant Star", which is planned for release in January.

Then, there is Peanut Butter Wolf's Badd Santa Christmas mix CD, which is available now exclusively at the following stores: Urban Outfitters & (U.S.), Carhartt Flagship Stores (Europe), Beams Records + Beams T (Japan), and Goodfoot (Canada). For a preview of the mix, check out the video trailer here.

The basketball/zombie tour isn't the only Stones Throw tour on the label's plate, either. Madlib has a handful of December dates, and Aloe Blacc will play London's Cargo on November 20. [MORE...]

White Williams Announces 2008 Tour

Photo by Sanchez and Kitahara

While his well-documented fun with Girl Talk and Dan Deacon may be over (except for one more show this month with the former-- in Atlantic City, bay-bee), the good times will continue to roll for White Williams in 2008. The singer/songwriter/melodica player has announced the dates of a January/February tour in support of his recently released debut, Smoke. It's his first headlining trek.

Among Williams' touring partners are Dirty Projectors, HEALTH, and Ecstatic Sunshine. [MORE...]

My Bloody Valentine Add Reunion Gigs

Who could've guessed it? Just yesterday, My Bloody Valentine announced their first proper gigs in, oh, forever, and it turns out quite a few of you out there showed some interest. So much interest, in fact, that the band has added four dates to its brief comeback tour, bringing the current grand total of ATP-presented MBV reunion gigs to a lean, mean seven.

All the new dates stick to the same venues as the previously announced set; guess the thought of packing up all those effects pedals night after night is a bit too daunting just yet. [MORE...]

Lupe Fiasco Reveals The Cool Tracklist
He can has cheezburger

Lupe Fiasco has descended from the parapets of his mind and found his way out of the maze of all those tongue-twisting extended metaphors to deliver actual concrete info about his sophomore album, The Cool. Thanks to a report from that was confirmed by his publicist, we now know the Food & Liquor follow-up's tracklist.

Due December 18 via 1st & 15th/Atlantic, The Cool features production from Fall Out Boy singer Patrick Stump, UNKLE, Chris & Drop, and Soundtrakk, according to Billboard.

True to form, the report says Lupe has fashioned The Cool as a concept album of sorts, featuring recurring characters such as Michael Young History, the Game ("a male personification of a hustler's damaging influences," not the Compton rapper), and the Streets ("a female embodiment of an urban area's corrupt allure," not Mike Skinner). Billboard also says The Cool features two mentions from Lupe of his plan to quit music after releasing the album's follow-up, titled L.U.P.N.

And yet, out-wtf-ing every other detail related to The Cool in the article is this morsel: "Perhaps the oddest song is 'Gotta Eat', which is apparently written from the perspective of a cheeseburger and is rife with food/life metaphors." [MORE...]

Smashing Pumpkins Extend Tour

Photo by Shervin Lainez

Just a few days before wrapping their run of rescheduled U.S. dates, the Smashing Pumpkins have already made plans to tour European early next year. After a lucrative holiday season for the band, Billy's bunch will leave his beloved America and head to Serbia in late January to set off nearly over a month of gigs. UPDATE: More gigs added! And yes, this means the Smashing Pumpkins reunion tour will have played Budapest before it hits the band's hometown of Chicago.

Meanwhile, uh, did you know there's a post-grunge now? [MORE...]


Daniel Johnston Drops Vinyl, Sends Found to U.S.

Early next year, Daniel Johnston's 2006 UK release Lost and Found will make its way to North America for the first time ever on CD thanks to Johnston's own Eternal Yip Eye Music. The label will also serve up reissues of 2003's Mark Linkous collaboration Fear Yourself and 2004's Johnston tribute album Discovered, Covered, though release dates for those are also TBD at the moment.

But enough about next year, what about this one? Well, two of Daniel Johnston's most beloved albums were recently reissued in North America from Eternal Yip Eye. Both Hi, How Are You and Yip/Jump Music have been pressed into vinyl for the first time in a decade and a half, and both come with a digital download of the disc from Johnston's new digital download site And it's a good thing, too, since people are always looking at me funny when I take my portable turntable on the train.

Following a busy summer of touring, Johnston appears to be taking some time away from the road at the moment. His art, however, is always mobile, and it'll make its way to Philly next month for a show at Space 1026.
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