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Photos: Pylon [Atlanta, GA; 11/01/07]

Photos by Ashley Williamson

As previously reported, recently reactivated Athens quartet Pylon set out last week to play a small string of dates, supporting their DFA-reissued LP Gyrate. As it turns out, Pylon is more than just a name: the influential new wave pioneers also decorated the stage at Atlanta's Earl club with their namesake traffic cones-- and even made them glow like jack-o'-lanterns! Halloweeny! More photos and tour dates below.



Radiohead Rainbows CD Due Via ATO New Year's Day?
Band to play webcast? Downloads to land band mad cash? Story to include periods?

You can already expect a hefty Radiohead box set and/or the clunkiest-looking USB drive ever under your pan-religious holiday tree this season, but what to do with all those gift cards and store return credits? Looks like you just might be able to use them to complete your box set, as the unconfirmed word is that In Rainbows will indeed hit U.S. shops in CD form via ATO/Side One-- and what's more, it may well do so January 1.

Reports have come in from several Pitchfork readers working in retail that this is the release date and label indicated on their order sheets; but, again, this info has not yet been confirmed by Radiohead's camp. More official-like: Radiohead's previously reported deal with XL Recordings, who'll handle In Rainbows CDs outside North America.

And while we're visiting the Radiohead rumor mill, we'd be remiss not to point out this juicy one. As BBC 6 Music radio host Adam Buxton disclosed in a recent broadcast (thanks ateaseweb!), Radiohead will purportedly take part in a BBC webcast set to air live November 9 from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. UK time. According to Buxton, who'll head to Oxford to assist in the recording, Radiohead will talk and play some songs, and the vibe will be "fairly fast and loose."

Finally, on the ever-contested topic of In Rainbows sales numbers, Idolator points us to an interesting report from comScore, a service that specializes in measuring web traffic and the like. comScore tracked the traffic to during the first 29 days of October and discovered that 1.2 million web-users worldwide visited the site (which, barring a 100% download rate-- and everybody visiting on the first day-- would debunk previous reports of Radiohead moving 1.2 million digital units in one day).

The company also found that while a "significant percentage" of website visitors chose to download, only 38% worldwide chose to pay. Still, those who did pay paid an average of $6.00 for the album-- which brings the average earnings per album, in comScore's estimate, to $2.26. Of course, this doesn't include the discbox sales, nor sales of the forthcoming CD. And camp Radiohead has yet to issue any official numbers.

So it's still too early, really, to declare Radiohead's experiment in price-naming a runaway success, an utter failure, or something in between. One thing I think we can safely declare: Radiohead kick ass live. Do yourself a favor and see them next year.

Raveonettes Sign to Vice, Overload on Lust for New LP

Photo by Soren Solkaer Starbird

Danish girl group/garage duo the Raveonettes have announced that new album Lust Lust Lust, the follow-up to 2005's Pretty in Black, will mark the band's debut for their new U.S. label, Vice Records. (They were previously signed to Columbia.) The record is due out on these shores in 2008. In the UK, Lust Lust Lust comes out on Fierce Panda on November 12.

The band will embark on a few weeks of European shows starting November 13 in London, with a U.S. tour reportedly to follow in 2008. [MORE...]


Hold Steady, Black Lips, Deerhunter Join ATP vs. P4k
Plus: Wooden Shjips

The stakes just keep getting higher. As Pitchfork and All Tomorrow's Parties continue sizing each other up, staring each other down, and talkin' trash, we're thrilled to announce the addition of four new players into the ATP vs. Pitchfork festival arena.

Batting for team Pitchfork and providing the soundtrack to our beautifully besotted lives: Brooklyn warhorses the Hold Steady and Atlanta rabble-rousers Black Lips! And giving ATP's already formidable squad a boost: spacey noise-mongers Deerhunter and Sub Pop-aligned creative spellers Wooden Shjips!

These four join the previously announced 17 acts-- with many more to come-- for one massive throwdown May 9-11 at Camber Sands Holiday Centre, near Rye in Sussex county, England.

Here's what the lineup looks like as of this moment:

Chosen by Pitchfork:

The Hold Steady
Black Lips
Hot Chip
Les Savy Fav
No Age
Of Montreal
Man Man
Los Campesinos!
Glass Candy
Dirty Projectors

Chosen by ATP:

Wooden Shjips
Meat Puppets
The Black Angels
Shit and Shine
Pissed Jeans
Fuck Buttons

As mentioned previously, tickets for this shindig to end all shindigs are on sale now. The £140 pass includes accommodations at Camber Sands' chalets, which feature private bathroom suites, bars, a swimming pool, restaurants, a supermarket, go-karting, and mini-golf! Tickets for the weekend can be purchased through ATP's website in blocks of four, five, six, seven, or eight.

Stay tuned for more announcements, and we hope to see you there in May!

Finally, that's hardly the only thing ATP's cooking up in the coming months: there's also the Portishead ATP (December 7-9), the Explosions in the Sky ATP (May 16-18), and a number of Don't Look Back events.

LSF's Harrington Plays Mosquito in Commercial
Hairest. Insect. Ever.

Les Savy Fav frontman Tim Harrington is one of the most charismatic live performers we've ever seen. He's a natural actor, sacrificing his body and dignity to his craft. And now, he's utilizing that same Method technique to play a mosquito in a PSA for the Nothing But Nets campaign.

Nothing But Nets is an organization dedicated to fighting malaria in Africa by raising money to buy insecticide-treated bed nets that protect against malaria-carrying mosquitoes. This VH1-sponsored spot is both an opportunity to raise awareness and a chance to see one of our favorite dudes literally bug the crap out of people.

(Note: This clip was edited by our friend William Kirk, whose photos you're probably familiar with.)

In more musical LSF matters, the band has a series of scattered tour dates both at the end of this year and the beginning of next in support of latest album Let's Stay Friends. The shows come before LSF's appearance in May at our own ATP vs. Pitchfork festival. Their next show is November 16 in Durham, North Carolina. [MORE...]


White Stripes Ready New Mystery Songs, Collab, Video

Photo by Thom Johnston

From illness to intrigue, photography to perplexity, those White Stripes sure do love to keep us guessing. Just peep this curious message posted on their website just yesterday:

"The White Stripes have just filmed an exciting new video and recorded three never before heard original songs (with a special collaboration) and one unique new version of a song from their latest album Icky Thump.

Stay tuned for more details about release dates of the songs and the premiere of the video!"

A rock band, recording new songs and making a music video? How intriguing! Next you'll tell me you've worked out some sort of characteristic color scheme for yourselves.

J/K J/K. In fact, new White Stripes jams? New video? Special collaboration? Yeah, we'll stay tuned. You know us too damn well, Whites.

As for a remedy for that scratched run of tour dates (which would've just wrapped a few days back), well, the band's website has two penguins squawking at each other and eventually snacking on an ape. So... they're playing colleges? Your guess is as good as ours.

Sufjan Stevens Tours Australia, Japan in January

Photo by Kathryn Yu

The U.S.: Fifty states, one Puerto Rico, and roughly 300 million stories to tell. Australia: Six states, a coupla territories, 20 million people, and enough koalas and kangaroos to inspire several string-and-horn arrangements. Time for another Sufjan Stevens concept project, eh?

While the thought of an orchestral ode to the homeland of Yahoo Serious and Kylie Minogue is enticing, no such thing is planned at the moment (at least that we know of). Sufjan is, however, headed to Australia for his first-ever Down Under tour, which includes a pair of shows surrounding a three-peat at the recently reported Sydney Festival.

Sufjan will follow his Aussie dates with a quick stopover in Japan. Whoa, nearly two dozen wards in Tokyo alone? Too much!

In other Sufjan news, well, with the BQE thing done, he's got relatively little on the horizon between now and Australia: Just a little chat in Brooklyn, maybe a screening of that film he helped soundtrack, and a few well-earned yuletide zzz's. Plenty of time to get cracking on another LP... right? [MORE...]


Photos: SunnO))) / Jesu [Portland, OR; 11/03/07]

Photos by Nilina Mason-Campbell

The music at a show featuring both doom lords Sunn O))) and metal god Justin Broadrick's Jesu is plenty dark and spooky on its own, but add Sunn O)))'s trademark fog machine and you've got air as think as the drones. On Saturday night, Portland, Oregon's Hawthorne Theatre was transformed into a lair of pure eeevil thanks to both acts, leaving audience members woozy in the head and in the stomach.

More photos and tour dates below.





Carrie Brownstein Blogs for NPR
Stephin Merritt, Georgie James take part in songwriting challenge

With Janet Weiss (wo-)manning the skins in the Jicks full-time and Corin Tucker maybe writing but mostly chilling away from the world of indie celebrity right now, most of the post-breakup news coming out of the Sleater-Kinney camp is focused on the day-to-day of Carrie Brownstein. Fortunately, between her ThunderAnt comedic collaboration with Fred Armisen and other miscellany, her day-to-day is plenty newsworthy.

Brownstein's latest endeavor comes in the form of a blog for the newly launched NPR Music. The site is a multimedia resource for music information in the form of news, reviews, interviews, concert and studio performance footage, podcasts, and more.

Brownstein's blog, Monitor Mix, is one of two initial NPR Music blogs. (The other is the "All Songs Considered" blog, written by that show's producers.) In her introductory Monitor Mix post, Brownstein lays out her goals quite straightforwardly: "Though I might occasionally review a piece of music, I would rather explore the contexts and the ways in which we enjoy or maybe even despise it... I'll post daily or almost daily, so please check back." Look out, Kanye!

She also posted the following query:

"The other day I was driving home and saw a boy in his early twenties walking along the sidewalk. He was wearing a gray trench coat, combat boots, and a backpack, and he had a medium-haired black cat on his shoulder. It always worries me when people carry their cats around in public. It's not as bad as the woman in North Portland who brings a mini pony with her to the coffee shop, but it still makes me uneasy; it's attention-seeking, and I am forced to spend the next few hours wondering how someone trains a cat to do that. But what kind of music does a young man who is a human scratching post listen to? I might guess Peter Murphy or Tool or My Chemical Romance, but I have no idea. These are some of the questions I want to answer. I want to find out why people are drawn to certain songs, genres, voices, or instruments.

Let's start with this question: If you carry a cat around on your shoulder when you go out, or a bird, or a lizard, what music do you listen to? Or, if you're not any of those people, ask someone who is."

Readers are encouraged to answer in the comments section.

Another noteworthy feature on NPR Music is "Project Song", a challenge filmed at the NPR studios in which songwriters are asked to write and record an original song in 48 hours. The Magnetic Fields' Stephin Merritt was the first participant, and following him will be Georgie James.


Weller, Coxon, Rourke, Ditto Do Wacky Charity Collab
Plus: New Young Pony Club, Supergrass, Ed Harcourt, Babyshambles bassist

Consequences (thanks Wikipedia!) is a Mad Libs-like parlor game in which folks contribute parts to a story without knowing their companions' contributions. When Consequences is done in the right company, one supposes, hilarity may ensue.

Crisis is, according to its website, a London-based charity organization that "fights homelessness and empowers people to fulfil their potential and transform their lives." The charity was founded in 1967, inspired by the grim 1966 UK television documentary Cathy Come Home, which depicts the trials of an impoverished couple.

Crisis Consequences, then, is a bid to raise money toward the organization's cause by enlisting a bunch of UK music press darlings to collaborate on a single recording-- and later, a live gig-- in a Consequences-like fashion. If you think this sounds like a train wreck waiting to happen, you're probably right-- but hey, it's for charity. And besides, you don't even know who's involved yet!

Here's who: Paul Weller (The Jam, The Style Council), Graham Coxon (Blur), Andy Rourke (The Smiths), Beth Ditto (The Gossip), Drew McConnell (Babyshambles), New Young Pony Club, Supergrass, Ed Harcourt, Pearl Lowe (Powder), and the Enemy.

Members of this unlikely "supergroup" began recording the charity track today (November 5)-- has the skinny, if you feel so inclined-- and the finished product is expected to be available in early 2008.

2008-- March 2, to be exact-- will also see all these beautiful people sharing a single stage at London's Roundhouse. It's sure to be a [adjective], [adjective], [noun], [interjection]!

PJ Harvey Preps "Piano" Single, Plays Shows

Photo by Kathryn Yu

The piano: not just the instrument PJ Harvey has embraced in earnest on her latest opus-- the haunting White Chalk-- but also the upcoming second single from said album.

"The Piano"-- which, amusingly, is a song played on guitar and zither-- drops on UK audiences November 26 via Island/Universal in digital and limited edition 7" formats. Polly's past and present collide on this release, which comes backed with "Heaven", a tune she wrote and recorded way back in 1988.

That's a solid 20 years before 2008, the year in which Harvey will head Down Under for a spate of February shows. She'll first, however, close out 2007 with a pair of upcoming gigs in Paris and Dublin.

And if you haven't already done so, do check out Harvey's musings on the 88 keys-- which she calls "enormously freeing"-- and many other matters in her interview with Pitchfork's Amanda Petrusich. [MORE...]

Photos: Modest Mouse / Man Man [Edmonton, Alberta; 11/03/07]

Photos by Aaron Vanimere

The freakiest joint tour of the year kicked off its reprise this past Halloween weekend, once again pairing the wacky stylings of Philly's Man Man with the skewed rock of Modest Mouse.

Brock, Marr, and company continue taking their Man-ly pals on a short string of Canadian shows before winding back through the continental States over the next month. More photos and a schedule of all your opportunities to catch the four M's below.



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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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