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Photos: The Brunettes / The Lucksmiths [Chicago, IL; 09/26/07]

This past Wednesday night Chicagoans experienced an indie pop invasion from the other side of the equator, as the Brunettes of New Zealand and the Lucksmiths of Australia crossed paths at Schubas.

The Lucksmiths, hopping oceans to support their just-released Spring a Leak double-disc rarities comp, played an all-too-brief opening set, inviting us to trick late-arriving friends into thinking the band had been onstage for a couple hours already. I wish they had gotten two hours to play; one hour of their sly, sweet, jangly tunes and one hour of their tack-sharp banter. Also: accents.

Luckily the Brunettes gave us much to love as well, bolstering tunes from their North American debut, Structure & Cosmetics-- packed with arrangements more complex and lyrics more knotty than most twee kids are probably used to-- with a dance contest, a "Born to Run" cover, and a "Name Game" ("Anna Anna bo-banna...") take on band introductions. With winter's chill well on its way, Chicago could use more of this sunny stuff.

Also, if someone could please tell me why these two aren't touring the continent together, that would be nice.




Coming in 2008: Broken Social Scene, the Book
All BSS, no BS

Come fall 2008, Anne Geddes and her frumpy flower children will have to find a new home. That's because coffee tables across the land must be cleared for the arrival of This Book Is Broken, an oral history of Broken Social Scene penned by members of the band, with help from Toronto Eye Weekly editor/Pitchfork contributor Stuart Berman. A little like this, one suspects, only Joycean in scope.

Kevin Drew (he of the recent Spirit If...), Brendan Canning, and Jason Collett are among the Scenesters sharing their inside perspective, while bandmate Justin Peroff will help make this document as colorful as the band it dissects by compiling, according to Berman, "lots of photos, gig posters, flyers, scrapbook ephemera, etc." Publishing duties fall on Toronto's House of Anansi Press.

(Since Stuart was too modest to tip us off himself about the book at first, thanks to reader Le Skiv for the heads up.)

The Kevin Drew-centered incarnation of Broken Social Scene, as you may have read on these pages just yesterday, has expanded its tour of the land-- determined, no doubt, to procure material for This Book 2: Still Broken. [MORE...]


Something Maybe Possibly Radiohead-Related Possibly Maybe Happening Saturday Morning, Maybe Possibly?
Maybe? Possibly?

Because I have nothing better to do at 10 p.m. on a Thursday night, I'm sitting here refreshing! And guess what? There's some sort of countdown going on. Something--I don't know what--is going to happen Saturday morning at 9 a.m. Chicago time (10 a.m. NYC time).

No clues in the page source either-- all it says there is:


Of course, as far as we know, this site doesn't have anything to do with the band. Radiohead's publicist says, "I know nothing of any official site by that name." So this could still all be a big hoax, and we could wake up Saturday morning to find a LOLcat there or something. But hey, I'm setting my alarm anyway.


Malkmus LP Due in March, Two Jicks Dates Announced

Photo by Jen Reel

With all the difficult-to-decipher doodling going down in Camp Radiohead these days, it's nice to get a little information-- even if it is, in fact, very little information-- from one of indie rock's other pillars. Information that doesn't take a degree in leisure studies or a subscription to Games Magazine to decode, that is. So here goes.

Stephen Malkmus' fourth solo album, the follow-up to 2005's Face the Truth, will be released on Matador in March. I never knew cold, hard facts could be so comforting.

Stephen and his Jicks-- who just became majority shareholders in Quasi-- also have a pair of live dates planned for November. One is December 19 at Frisco's Great American Music Hall, and the next December 21 at Portland's Doug Fir, with support from Blitzen Trapper. Thanks to reader Eric Loeffler for the tip about the shows.

That's all for now, but at least it's something. [MORE...]


Jay Reatard Tears Across North America

Jay Reatard may seem just a little too punk for stuff like "tour schedules" and "blogs" and "doing things in a logical fashion," but when it comes down to it, I may very well have the guy all wrong. Jay-- and/or someone acting on his behalf-- has put quite a bit of planning into his fall tour, which finds the seer of Blood Visions taking the stage nearly every night for two months.

Sure, he's still a lifer, still no foe of chaos, so he's still playing fittingly decadent spots like Lager House and Beerland and Pink Elephant, but the fact that he's playing them one after the other in a directional fashion is pretty darn logical. It all starts tonight at Goner Fest in Memphis.

As for blogs, well, Jay's been pretty good about throwing new jams on his recently inaugurated spot. Get the Reatard-ation practically as it happens by clicking right here. Jay's itinerary, however, can be found by clicking yonder. [MORE...]


New Young Pony Club Hit North America on Tour

With their Fantastic Playroom bopping around on store shelves, the body movers of New Young Pony Club aren't content to sit tight and let their post-disco jams emerge from your speakers alone. So they're packing an extra set of everything and heading out on tour, giving those jams their proper due through the stacks and stacks of your local club's soundsystem.

The horsey bunch is traipsing through the UK right now, a jaunt which will be followed by a brief run through North America after CMJ. You can settle your dues and check out all the accoutrements of club life from now 'til the end of October. [MORE...]


DFA Drops Shit Robot, Still Going, Holy Ghost! Singles

Between emerging as a production powerhouse, helping catapult LCD Soundsystem, the Rapture, and Hot Chip into the indie elite, partnering with EMI, and sparring with that other DFA, the DFA label hasn't forgotten its bread and butter: twelve glorious inches of grooved, circular plastic.

Indeed, the dancefloor deities have three such 12" vinyl platters lined up for release this fall, the first of which dropped this week. Still Going-- a duo comprised of Rub-n-Tug's Eric Duncan and Manthraxx/Mr. Negative gent Olivier Spencer-- hit us with "Still Going Theme" on 45rpm. If the name sounds familiar, perhaps you noticed it among the party jams on James Murphy and Pat Mahoney's forthcoming FABRICLIVE36 mix?

Come October 30, the DFA factories will churn out two more footloose helpings. NYC expat Marcus Lambkin's Shit Robot, practically a veteran DFA act by now, delivers "Chasm" on 45rpm, while Knicks fans Holy Ghost!, born from the ashes of the DFA-produced combo Automato, serve up "Hold On" on 33rpm. Take care not to confuse them with fellow NYC-dwellers the Holy Ghost. Holy Ghost! will DJ at a single release part on October 30 at 205 Club in NYC.

Shit Robot has a few dates lined up too. And all that's to say nothing of the DFA's globe-trotting new subsidiary Death From Abroad. Quick, somebody phone John Donne! This Death has plenty to be proud about. [MORE...]

Those Arctic Monkeys Sure Love to Tour

Much is made-- for good, and sometimes for bad-- of the fluorescent post-adolescence of those Arctic Monkeys. But at age 21, you're full of piss and vinegar and all the right stuff to wind it up 'til all hours, sipping $15 drinks and hanging out with seamy characters. A lifetime of Alka-Seltzer and memories awaits, boys. Revel in it while you can.

And so they shall, having sped up their plans for the rest of 2007 with a mess of dates. After some more time in these parts with the similarly youthful Voxtrot, they'll follow with a trek to South America, a few stops in France just for kicks, and to cap things off, their latest string of "BIGGEST GIGS EVER" in their native UK. Whew. Is that it for 2007? Please? [MORE...]

Quasi Add Jicks' Joanna Bolme to Lineup, Tour

This is just like the time that dude from Redd Kross played bass on all those White Stri-- eh, that's dating myself, to remember that. Nevermind: This is just like when Johnny Marr joined Modest Mouse!

Joanna Bolme-- who's played bass with both Stephen Malkmus and the Minders-- has joined Touch and Go recording artists Quasi. (That's Joanna on the left in the picture over there, next to Sam Coomes and fellow Jick Janet Weiss). They're expanding exponentially! It's quasi-algebraic! They're a triple threat! Two Jicks for every boy!

Joanna, Janet, and Sam will hit the road in October to test out that whole "two's company..." thing. Quite a few of their dates find 'em linking up with labelmate Ted Leo, no stranger to new blood on the low end himself. [MORE...]

Ariel Pink Mines the Vaults for Scared Famous, Tours

It's tough for most of us non-musicians to imagine recording a single album, let alone a double LP set. And it's harder still to imagine that, when done with said opus, we'd all but stuff it in a drawer and let the magnetic material on which it was captured deteriorate. But that sort of behavior seems almost normal when you consider the source: Ariel Pink.

Never one for the editing process, Pink and his Haunted Graffiti will release Scared Famous, plucked from "a self-made double-album in vague circulation a few years ago" apparently resurrected from amongst Pink's "massive bank of half-forgotten cassettes," according to a press release. The single disc Scared Famous emerges in the U.S. October 2 and the UK October 1 from Hall of Records.

Still thinking Pink? You can catch him on a brief November tour, or wait it out 'til next year when his thousandth full length is released. [MORE...]

Dan Deacon Adds Even More Dates
Sickness no match for the restorative powers of thrift store t-shirts

Photos by Jason Bergman

It seems that Daniel "Gunk" Deacon is all better now after a short rest, so he's decided to tempt his central nervous system again with the addition of quite a few European dates to the end of his current tour.

Deacon plans to announce even more Euro dates soon, and he is also planning tours for next year. In January, he'll tour the U.S. with the show from his forthcoming Ultimate Reality DVD, and he hopes to hit Japan and Australia in February. And on MySpace today, he wrote, "in the late year month of November I'll be moving back into a warehouse in Baltimore with rad friends for secret doom lessons. There I will be recording my new record and beginning to transcribe the score." OK then.

Also, he's playing a place called "Spooky Haunted House" in his hometown of Baltimore on Halloween, which could either be some crazy art collective or is an actual, like, Halloween haunted house. [MORE...]


HEALTH Spread the Wellness on Tour

Sure, we're mere weeks before the onset of cold and flu season, but when it comes to matters of HEALTH, things are looking up all the same.

The Los Angeles-based noiseniks just released their self-titled debut LP into the world (with help from Lovepump United), and they just kicked off a sizeable North American tour on which they'll meet up with several of their fellow racketeers. If the curiously Eastern tack these dates seem to take strikes you as off (those L.A. bands tend to stay pretty tethered to the homefront), think nothing of it: they'll kick off next year with a West Coast tour still to be firmed up. [MORE...]
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