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Hot Chip Line Up 2008 Dates
Gigs aimed at boys, girls from school

Your feet could use some schooling in the ways of the dancefloor, and lucky for you, five new headmasters have arrived with a brand new lesson plan. Hot Chip-- whose forthcoming Astralwerks/DFA LP Made in the Dark (subject of a recent class discussion) has a February 5 due date on the U.S. syllabus (February 4 on the UK one)-- have lined up a university-centric tour of the UK in February 2008.

Sure, there's a Corn Exchange in there too, and a spot called 53 Degrees (quite "hot" in Celsius, that)-- not to mention a massive graduation party blowout put on by your Pitchfork pals and the All Tomorrow's Parties crew in May-- but what's a school year without a few field trips?

Following a freshmen orientation date later this month in London, the semester begins February 14 in Leicester, England. [MORE...]

Tokyo Police Club, Vampire Weekend Play Charity Concert in Memory of Ra Ra Riot's John Pike

December 15 at Cambridge, Massachusetts' Middle East Downstairs, Vampire Weekend and Tokyo Police Club will join Ra Ra Riot for "Friends of John", a benefit concert for the memorial foundation set up by the family of late Ra Ra Riot drummer John Pike in the months since his June passing.

The foundation seeks to create a lending library of instruments for underprivileged children, with the eventual goal of founding a rehearsal/recording space. Even if you can't make it to the gig, the foundation is accepting Paypal donations via, or at the mailing address below the jump.

Having recently wrapped a European tour with Editors, Ra Ra Riot have a handful of dates along the East Coast in the weeks leading up to the benefit. [MORE...]

Radiohead Box Set: Label's Idea, Not Band's

The announcement earlier this week that Parlophone/EMI would be issuing a box set of Radiohead's previously released albums took many fans by surprise. Sure, the set looks purdy, but it doesn't come with any bonus tracks or new artwork or liner notes. And that USB stick sure is clunky. Plus, why would Radiohead want to release this thing on December 10, right when everybody will be getting their pre-ordered discboxes of In Rainbows? Seems a little fishy.

On Monday, Boing Boing posted an item about the box set. Yesterday, it was updated with the following:

"A publicity-shy reader writes, 'I think people need to know that the band isn't some greed machine. I can tell you with 100% certainty that EMI is putting out all those reissues without the band's participation, blessing, permission or involvement at all. They are doing it as retribution for the band's decision not to go with them in releasing the new album. Despite their contract being expired, EMI had been counting on the revenue from the forthcoming album. When the band put out the digital version of the album themselves, EMI threatened them with re-releasing their entire catalog on the same day the discbox of IN RAINBOWS was being sent out, Dec 10, unless the band gave EMI the standard physical release of the album. Of course the band/managers told EMI to piss off and were appalled that at such an important point in the band's career that their former partners would do this to them.'"

We checked in with representatives from both the band and the label. According to the Radiohead camp, the box set was indeed not the band's idea. They did not confirm any in-fighting, though. EMI agreed that the box was a label initiative, and said that the band's management was offered the opportunity to participate in the project, but declined. As for the release date, EMI maintained that no maliciousness was intended. Rather, it's simply box set season--who doesn't want to find a nicely packaged multi-CD bundle under the tree on Christmas morning?

As for that other Radiohead release we're all looking forward to, it's maybe possibly coming out January 1, maybe possibly on ATO/Side One in the U.S., the band is maybe possibly doing a webcast about it on Friday and maybe possibly touring behind it next year.


Sub Pop Opens Digital Download Store

How's this one look in that iPhone of yours, Jobs? The fine folks at the Sub Pop recording concern-- label to, oh, a hearty slice of your favorite bands, we're willing to wager-- have "bypassed all middle men for some new fangled technological DIY bullshit" in bringing you, the customer, their own digital music shop.

Currently home to nearly 200 entries in the Sub Pop catalog, the store will eventually house oh-so-many more releases to come, including future Sub Pop classics and past glories alike. (A full, up-to-date list is available here.)

The Pop-sters are looking to throw singles and EPs up as soon as they find a spare moment, and a note on the website proclaims that the label has "every intention of making rare and out-of-print titles available exclusively" in their store. Worry not, gift card recipients the world over: they're still selling most stuff via your traditional digital retailers too.

Maybe the coolest part of all this, though, lies in this little detail: "You can download the files you've purchased from your account page at any time and multiple times-- if we update the download in any way (think bitrate or bonus tracks or whatever), you can just log in, go to your download page, and get the new version of the file." Ever lose a few paychecks worth of digital music files in one fell swoop of a hard drive crash? Sub Pop understands.

In other Sub Pop news, keep an ear to the ground for new releases from No Age, the Helio Sequence, and the Gutter Twins (amongst many others) in the coming months.


Lily Allen, Lingerie Model

Photo by Anoulay Tsai

From clothes, to shoes, to period costumes, to...lingerie? Seems Lily Allen's dabblings in couture culture have indeed taken that route, according to an report and confirmed by the pop starlet's publicist. UPDATE: THIS CONFIRMATION HAS BEEN RESCINDED. This time Allen won't be designing the garments in question-- but she will be modeling them.

And not just any old lingerie either. Allen will don the particularly provocative undergarments sold by UK-based Agent Provocateur (careful with that link there, son), co-founded by the son of Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood. Allen has signed a six-figure deal with the company, and joins the ranks of such past knickers-bearing AP models as Kylie Minogue and Kate Moss.

Here, check out this hot, NSFW video from the photo shoot!




Girl Talk Tours Into 2008

Photo by Jason Bergman

Seems like Girl Talk and wackiness go hand in hand, doesn't it? So how come I'm having such a hard time coming up with a hook for this story about Mr. Gregg Gillis and his ever-inflating tour? Shouldn't he and his friends be getting crunk at jam band shows, hanging out with B-grade (as if there are any other kind) internet celebrities, or, I dunno, mining the catalog of a record label for a remix project?

Let's opt instead for the testimonial angle. The last time I saw Girl Talk, I thought my ribcage was going to collapse from all the dudes pushing up on me, some young lady kept blowing weed smoke in my girlfriend's face, and I was really offended that I was the only one in the place who'd heard Hurricane Chris, and it was still awesome.

Gregg's gonna be blowing up many a spot over the next few months, and, in the gracious manner befitting a dude from the left side of Pennsylvania, is playing some far-flung spots along the way. Care to get caught up in the wackiness as it happens? Make yourself known at one of the spots below. [MORE...]


Hello, Blue Roses [ft. Dan Bejar] Reveal LP Details

Photo by Jen Weih

It was over a year ago when we first greeted Hello, Blue Roses in these here pages. Now the duo-- which includes a man you may know by the name of Dan Bejar and a lady you may not (but should) called Sydney Vermont-- has spilled the beans on its previously mentioned debut full-length release.

A strange flower indeed, Hello Blue Roses (note the absent comma) blooms in January-- the 22nd, to be precise-- thanks to the green thumbs at Chicago's Locust imprint.

The 14-track set apparently finds Bejar and Vermont averting the indie rock status quo. Mused Bejar via press release, "The Hello, Blue Roses songs are completely untethered to any of the bullshit streams coursing through the scene right now...a product of not really caring what people think, but still caring a lot about people." Amen, brother.

Hello Blue Roses' title track will also find its way onto a split 7" due from Locust in early 2008 (with a corresponding digital download expected by the end of the year). Labelmates Starless & Bible Black serve up the release's other half, contributing a tune called "Calico".

Take care not to confuse this with the other Hello, Blue Roses split 7" we recently reported. That one, as a reminder, features Frog Eyes on the flip and arrives via Absolutely Kosher on December 4.

Dan dons his Destroyer guise, meanwhile, to play that Scratch Records anniversary gig at Vancouver's Richard's on Richards November 10. [MORE...]

Wilco Add Bonus Tracks to Sky Blue Sky

Photo by Kathryn Yu

Whatever your take on it (and there are many) Wilco's Sky Blue Sky certainly leaves any listener wanting a bit more. And more is just what European Wilco fans will get soon, when Sky Blue Sky is amended with five new bonus tracks.

The "tour edition" of the album features studio takes on "The Thanks I Get", "Let's Not Get Carried Away", and "One True Vine", plus live renditions of "Impossible Germany" and "Hate It Here" recorded in September at the Fillmore in Denver. It'll be available commercially in stores all throughout the UK and Europe from Nonesuch November 12. But worry not, Sky-gazers-- if you live outside the UK and have already forked over the cash for your piece of the Sky, the band will issue download instructions for the bonus tracks to you shortly. (The UK is an exception due to their laws requiring an encoding of the necessary technology along with the disc to enable free downloads. Yeah, we're a little confused, too.)

As for Wilco, those cancelled UK dates of theirs have come to a close and they're ready to start the un-cancelled European leg tonight in Belgium. And in case you'd prefer an interrupted gaze into the rugged beauty that is Tweedy, you can have at it via Sam Jones' new photo book. [MORE...]


Jon Spencer Blues Explosion Singles Comp Due Soon

It takes a mighty long fuse to delay an explosion for a decade and a half, but Jon Spencer's been dealing in powder-keggery for some time now, and he's learned a thing or two about it.

Jukebox Explosion
collects 18 of the best bits (and a few outtakes besides) from the "Jukebox" single series the howling wolves of Jon Spencer Blues Explosion (now known simply as Blues Explosion) inaugurated way back in 1992. The disc drops November 13 on In the Red.

And, while we're on the subject of Mr. Spencer, we must note that his Heavy Trash-- fresh off a new LP-- will be out on the road for a couple weeks starting tomorrow night, November 7. The tour's expanded a bit since we first mentioned it, so have a look. [MORE...]

Faint Guitarist's Metal Side Project Preps LP for Relapse

Vverevvolf Grehv-- pronounced "Frankenstein Tomb", I assure you-- is the metal side project of Dapose, guitar player for Omaha synth-rockers the Faint.

Dapose said of the Grehv project that he "wanted to hear synthesizers and filters and electronic music beat up on metal music," which is by turns a painful and intriguing notion. Crafted entirely by Dapose on guitar and laptop, Vverevvolf Grehv's debut Zombie Aesthetics is due March 4 in North America, and March 10 elsewhere from Relapse.

Neither Dapose nor the Faint have any tour dates on the way... because they're finally making another Faint record, right? Actually, right! According to the latest posting on the band's website, they've hunkered down into their newly-constructed ENAMEL studio-- the one bassist Joel Peterson told us about this past March-- recording the new one. Ooh, you've got me worked up so anticipatory!

Del the Funky Homosapien Signs to Def Jux for New LP

Photo by Jason Bergman

Because of his involvement in records like Deltron 3030 and the first Gorillaz album, it's easy to think of Del the Funky Homosapien (formerly Del tha Funkee Homosapien) as just a sci-fi rapper. But dig a little further back in his catalog (like back to his killer 1991 debut, I Wish My Brother George Was Here), and you find an MC geeked on making genuinely quirky everyman anthems-- like "Pissin' on Your Steps", "The Wacky World of Rapid Transit", and "Sleepin' on My Couch".

We're not sure which of the two Dels (or maybe an amalgamation of them both?) will appear on his forthcoming full-length, The 11th Hour, but we're psyched that it exists and is coming out via Definitive Jux on February 26.

Produced entirely by Del himself, The 11th Hour is the Hieroglyphics crew member's first solo record since 2000's Both Sides of the Brain. And while February is still a little ways away, Del is currently touring the U.S. in front of the album's release, alongside Devin the Dude and friends. The tour's next stop is November 8, in Portland, Oregon. [MORE...]


Ghostface Doll Finally Available
Matching Raekwon doll still finishing miniature Only Built 4 Cuban Linx sequel

Wu-Tang is for the children, and Ghostface Killah knows his audience. Hence the announcement almost two years ago of a doll fashioned in the MC's likeness. Now that doll is finally available for purchase, and aside from the fact that its face doesn't look all that much like Ghostface's, it's a pretty cool distraction from his mild beef with the rest of the Clan over release dates.

Here's what makes 4CAST's Ghostface Doll great: 14 karat gold jewelry, a velvet robe, and an electronic chip inside of it featuring six original Pretty Toney catchphrases (recorded by the man himself!). The doll comes in a hand-numbered edition of 1000 nine-inch vinyl figures, with different editions for Europe, Japan, North America, and the rest of the world, making four in all. The doll also comes with a mixtape from the Beat Junkies' DJ Rhettmatic called 36 Deadly Darts. And like everybody else in the world, the doll has a blog.

The non-doll Ghostface is currently on the Hip Hop Live! Tour with Rakim and Brother Ali, which continues tomorrow, November 7, in Park City, Utah. His new album, The Big Doe Rehab, comes out via Def Jam on December 4, one week before the Wu's 8 Diagrams. [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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