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Mum Spread Poison Ivy on Tour
Dismayed audiences still recovering from M.I.A.'s "Bird Flu"

Múm will go smear Go Go Smear the Poison Ivy across the world on a tour that kicks off tomorrow, October 24, in Los Angeles. The trek was originally supposed to start today, October 23, in Solana Beach, California, but that date was canceled due to visa issues.

The trek includes the band's previously reported pair of appearances at the Wordless Music series in NYC, and it ends with almost a month of shows in the UK and Europe.

In fact, aside from a short break in November, the Icelandic post-rockers will go non-stop until mid-December. That's a lot of calamine lotion. [MORE...]


Vanderhoof Leaves Akron/Family for Buddhist Center

The sheer number of bearded dudes holding guitars onstage at any given Akron/Family event being what it is, you'll have to forgive the absence of one (even one as notable as occasional lead vocalist and original member Ryan Vanderhoof) for escaping notice until now.

Turns out Vanderhoof departed the group "amicably sometime between the completion of [2007 release] Love Is Simple and the start of the band's U.S. tour [which just wrapped up this past weekend]," according to Akron/Family's publicist. This leaves Seth Olinsky, Miles Seaton, and Dana Janssen as the core members of A/F, although the band is often supplemented by their recent tour buddies, namely Greg Davis and members of Megafaun.

As for Vanderhoof? Seems "he went to live in a Buddhist Dharma center in the Midwest." So there you go.

Though they're down a dude-- and short some stuff, still-- Akron/Family will soldier on with a European tour in a month or so. Those dates after the jump. [MORE...]

Portishead Album One Day From Completion
Challenge Madlib to soccer match?

Photo by Grumpy Man DJs

From close, to, well, closer: in fact, as Geoff Barrow of Portishead tells it, the band's third proper LP is just one day away from completion. Barrow, checking in on the band’s blog, says Portishead spent a few days in London finishing things up, but are back in Bristol making executive decisions regarding album art and plotting their return to the stage. "i think one more day messing about with it and it will be done," Barrow writes. "then into the wonderful world of mastering.. [joke]" He doesn't actually like mastering all that much, see.

Barrow then mentions that megaproducer Madlib will join the band at the ATP Nightmare Before Christmas event they're curating. He adds "im putting a footy team together for a little 6 a side comp for a laugh." Does that mean he's challenging Madlib to a soccer match? Ooh, we hope so!

The three-day Nightmare begins December 7 at Butlins Holiday Centre in Minehead, England.


Jens Lekman Kicks Off U.S. Tour Tonight

Photo by Sigurd Fandango

Here's a new one: Jens Lekman's kicking off his U.S. tour tonight in Bloomington, Indiana with a 21-minus show. Yep, you've gotta be illegal to ride this ride, as Jens warms himself up with a special set for the kiddies at the John Waldron Arts Center before taking the stage later that evening at Jake's (a 21+ affair). Nice guy, that Jens.

Stateside fans of sample-heavy Swedish pop both young and old can have at Jens for the next three weeks or so as young Mr. Lekman croons his way across the country. He'll skip out in mid-November before embarking on a UK trek later in the month. And, just in case you don't meet Jens' stringent age requirements, you can catch him on that Arthur Russell tribute EP, or (finally) pick up the nifty Night Falls Over Kortedala in the U.S. from Secretly Canadian. [MORE...]

Merge Preps New American Music Club, Radar Bros. LPs

Merge Records is a trusty source for things musical in nature, and this spring, they're got a couple discs lined up from a pair of veteran acts practically guaranteed not to disappoint.

First up is Auditorium, the fifth LP (and third for Merge) from the Radar Bros. Out January 29, Auditorium was recorded entirely at vocalist Jim Putnam's home studio. Jim and the lads will step out in public every Monday night in January at Los Angeles' Echo, where they'll play for the low low admission fee of zero dollars. Can't beat that price!

The ninth LP from veteran sadsack Mark Eitzel and his kinda-recently-rejuvenated American Music Club, entitled The Golden Age, is due from the label February 18. Eitzel and longtime partner Mark "Vudi" Pankler are joined by "new guys" Sean Hoffman and Steve Didelot on the disc. In The Golden Age, expect a wealth of longing, heartbreak, and songs about the city by the bay (the band's former home). In spring of 2008, expect a full-bore American Music Club tour, though in the meantime, you'll have to catch 'em in Cali. Or wait until February and head to Europe. [MORE...]

The Cool Kids Sign to Chocolate Industries
Their raps melt in your ears, not in your stereo

The bike-obsessed, retro-not-retro dudes known as Chuck Inglish and Mikey Rocks, aka Chicago rap duo the Cool Kids, have made the switch from the Fool's Gold label (run by buddies A-Trak and Nick Catchdubs) to Chocolate Industries for a flurry of forthcoming releases.

UPDATE: While Fool's Gold loves the Cool Kids, they were only signed to the label for a single. So there wasn't any kind of "switch" involved, as implied here.

First, in late November, comes the single for BMX anthem "Black Mags". Then, their long-awaited EP The Bake Sale will follow in late January. Finally, Chocolate Industries-- the former home of Lady Sovereign-- will release their debut full-length in the middle of next year. If previous reports stand, that record's title is Totally Flossed Out.

The Cool Kids are about to kick their kickstands and pedal in high gear across North America on their previously reported tour with M.I.A. The first non-CMJ date of the tour is October 29 in Miami. [MORE...]


Mars Volta Head to Bedlam in January, Plan NYE Show
New Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Quintet LP on the way, too

Might wanna think about warming up that blacklight now, kiddies: The Bedlam in Goliath, the latest blueprint from those engineers of enormity in the Mars Volta, will be released January 29 on GSL/Universal. Produced by Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and featuring guest noodles from John Frusciante, the disc sports a tidy dozen tracks. Man, some of 'em must be, like, not all that long!

To toast Bedlam and ring in '08, the band has booked a New Year's Eve gig at San Francisco's Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. For the special show, they promise "una serata con amici e sorprese presentata in un modo straordinario", which roughly translated, means "free bagels for everybody" "one evening with friends and surprise introduced in an extraordinary way". According to a press release, "costumes are required."

January 29 being some three-odd months away, fans will need something to tide them over in the interim. Lucky thing Omar's got all those records he did in Amsterdam way back when, and another one's on the way. The Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Quintet's The Apocalypse Inside an Orange drops November 20 on Infrasonic Sound Recordings. A 60-minute double LP, Orange squeezes in seven brand new tracks and a previously unheard take on "Jacob Van Lennepkade" from Omar's self-titled album. The Quintet features three Mars Volta members: bassist Juan Alderete de la Pena, drummer/percussionist Marcel Rodriguez-Lopez, and horn player/percussionist Adrian Terrazas Gonzales, as well as keyboardist "Money" Mark Ramos-Nishita, who has worked with the Beastie Boys. [MORE...]


Photos: Glass Candy / Bunny Rabbit / High Places / Partyline [Chicago, IL; 10/20/07]

LadyFest Chicago would have been hard-pressed to assemble a more eclectic lineup for this, the penultimate show of its week-or-so long festival of gigs, panels, film screenings, workshops, and the like, which wrapped up this past weekend.

Each act that took the stage at AV-aerie (before a crowd that was sometimes frustratingly listless) took a decided detour from the one before it. Glass Candy-- set to play ATP vs. Pitchfork next spring-- topped the bill, marrying witching hour synth sorcery with the stage acrobatics of vocalist Ida No, possibly the most fit and flexible person I've seen outside of a circus.

Glass Candy's fine-tuned tunes were a far cry from Bunny Rabbit's goofy, gritty, raunchy raps about sex, killing dolphins, and sex. Joined by DJ/hype-lady Black Cracker, CocoRosie pal Bunny did what she could to give the evening's proceedings a jolt, but the pair probably suffered the most from this generally blank-faced crowd. Interaction is key with hip-hop, after all, and despite their efforts these two weren't getting nearly enough of it.

Also a duo, but on another stylistic tip altogether, High Places preceded Bunny Rabbit with perhaps the night's most eye-opening set, full of delirious rhythms and jumprope song vocals, part Animal Collective, part gamelan, part "Iko Iko", and all fun. (Full disclosure: High Places includes the sister of a former Pitchfork staffer.)

Partyline, featuring Allison Wolfe of Bratmobile fame, charged through a rapid-fire set of spunky punk tunes (augmented by Wolfe's frequent cheerleader kicks), and chatted excitedly through every spare second in between. And that had precisely nothing to do with the sprawling, slowburn country of Lady Lucille, the evening's first performer. Something for everyone, indeed.

Glass Candy are on the road now with Architecture in Helsinki.






Daniel A.I.U. Higgs Exhibits Art, Tours

One can't put a stopper on the veritable hose of artistic creation: that thing's gonna spurt no matter what you do, and it's gonna get everywhere. Lungfish vocalist gone solo musician and part-time dabbler in the visual arts Daniel A.I.U. Higgs knows about the many forms expression can take, and two of his outlets will feature prominently over the next few months.

Since early October, Higgs' visual art has been on display at London's 96 Gillespie Gallery. Containing work in pen and ink, paintings, and water colors from his newish Atomic Yggdrasil Tarot book, the exhibition will run through November 4.

Higgs also snuck out another musical offering last week, a four-song CD titled Metempsychotic Melodies. It's available now through Portland's Holy Mountain imprint.

Finally, Higgs will soon make his way to London to play Thrill Jockey's previously reported anniversary show alongside other members of that venerable label's stellar stable of talent. He's got one show with labelmates Extra Golden this week in Austria, and a few following the TJ throwdown around the UK. [MORE...]

Radiohead Eyeing Unique Label Deals for Rainbows CD
Would work with XL, Side One, and Dave Matthews' label, retain ownership

Well, at least it ain't Starbucks. As rumored for a little while-- and reported this morning in The New York Times-- Radiohead are, in the Times' words, "close to signing a series of deals to release [In Rainbows] independently and leave the major record companies behind."

The proposed deals would have Thom Yorke and the boys working with Coran Capshaw-- Dave Matthews Band manager and co-owner, along with Matthews himself and others, of ATO Records-- in the United States. Radiohead would release In Rainbows on CD next year through ATO in tandem with another Capshaw venture, Side One Recordings.

Meanwhile, XL Recordings-- which put out Thom Yorke's The Eraser last year-- would "market the album internationally."

What's more, the unique deals would allow Radiohead to retain ownership of their recording while licensing the album "for a specific period of time."

Radiohead's publicist could neither confirm nor deny this report.

In Rainbows, as if you needed reminding, is out now digitally; Radiohead will also independently issue a discbox version in December, and they plan to tour next year.

Illegal Torrent Site OiNK Busted by Police

Bad news for people who like illegal free music has come this morning, as the popular torrent-sharing network OiNK has been shut down by British and Dutch police, according to a BBC report. The home of a 24-year-old IT worker from Middlesbrough, England, was raided, as was his place of employment ("a large multi-national company") and his father's home. OiNK's servers, located in Amsterdam, were also seized. The IT worker, allegedly the mastermind of the operation, "is being questioned on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and infringement of copyright law," the BBC says.

OiNK was an invitation-only service in which membership was maintained by the consistent sharing of new music torrents. The more tunes you uploaded, the better your standing. Monetary donations were also encouraged.

According to The Northern Echo, OiNK boasted up to 180,000 members. The BBC reports that the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) claims that OiNK was responsible for leaking "60 major pre-release albums this year alone."

Blitzen Trapper Saddle Up for More Live Dates
On Blitzen!

Photo by Jade Harris

With Wild Mountain Nation coming to vinyl on November 6 and a truckload of Taco Bell to keep them going until then, Blitzen Trapper will play a heap of shows in non-U.S. nations this fall.

First, though, they'll treat San Francisco to two gigs later this week. Then those UK and European dates begin in earnest in November. Buddies Two Gallants will be headlining the shows, just like on the current U.S. tour. [MORE...]
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