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The Fiery Furnaces Add Dates, Surprise Surprise

A prediction: The Fiery Furnaces will win a Guinness World Record for being the first band to find a way to make more than 24 hours' worth of music in a single day. Between crafting sprawling album after sprawling album (with the odd solo sprawler in the mix), the Fiery Furnaces tour. And tour. And tour. And, though they've apparently located some extra hours in the day to craft a third video from October's Widow City, they've planned another tour, kicking off January 17 in Hoboken. Where do they find the time?

Other Fiery Furnaces news? Yep, you guessed it, yet another album is apparently in the works called Back to Begamo. And that's just the one we know about. [MORE...]

Casiotone Drops a Few Singles, Plays a Few Gigs
Also creates cover versions of songs by Mr. Bruce Springsteen

Photo by Laurel Nakadate

There are the My Bloody Valentines and Portisheads of the world, who slave over a single recorded artifact for years on end. And then there are the Casiotone for the Painfully Alones, who relentlessly toss out singles, EPs, and compilation tracks like so much confetti. That isn't to say what Owen Ashworth puts out under the Casiotone moniker is disposable-- just that we're pretty much blinded by this guy's prolificacy.

Case and point: not one, but two new slabs of Casiotone vinyl are blowing up turntables this month. The first, which pairs Owen with his brother Gordon (aka Concern), has the siblings covering a couple of Bruce Springsteen standouts (as if the Boss recorded anything but): "Born in the U.S.A." and "Streets of Philadelphia".

People in a Position to Know Recordings has pressed the Casiotone/Concern covers onto vinyl. Not 7" vinyl, not 10" vinyl, but 8 3/8" vinyl. No joke. A mere 1,000 copies exist, in two colors, and they're available for purchase now via the label. Please note that this single was originally intended as part of the previously reported PIAPTK singles club, but that said club is now "sadly in a state of indefinite hibernation." PIAPTK hope to give some other intended club singles a regular ol' release in the near future as well.

The second Casiotone single, meanwhile, finds Ashworth enlisting a couple guest vocalists for an Aagoo Records 7" picture disc. Nick Krgovich (P:ano, No Kids) lends his pipes to a tune called "Old Panda Days", while one Jenny Herbinson sings on "Lesley Gore on the TAMI Show (version)". Look for this one, limited to 500 copies, later this month. Oh, and did we mention the disc was designed by Xiu Xiu associate David Horvitz?

Alternately, you can score both singles at the merch booth as Casiotone for the Painfully Alone sulks around the Northwest and the Windy City this month, with brother Concern in tow for most of the trek.

Or avoid human contact altogether by downloading a special version of "New Year's Kiss" that Casiotone has made available gratis on his website. Shucks, you'd think a guy this generous would have friends by now. [MORE...]

Fennesz Releases Two New Singles

Laptop soundscape designer Christian Fennesz has gone emo! Okay, not really, but in title at least, his new single "On a desolate shore a shadow passes by" is definitely more Fall Out Boy than anything off of Venice or Endless Summer.

The digital-only "On a desolate shore a shadow passes by" is out now thanks to Touch, and it's the first of two singles Fennesz has planned on the label. The other is an entry in the Touch Sevens series of (what else?) vinyl-only 7" singles.

The 7" is called "Transition", and it collects two tracks. The A-side features "On a desolate shore", while the B-side boasts "A shadow passes by". Both are different tracks than the current single, though all three were recorded during the same sessions.

Touch will release "Transition" later this month, followed by Fennesz's full-length collaboration with Panic! at the Disco. Kidding again.

No Age, Mae Shi, Cline Play Smell Anniversary Shows
Also: the Mae Shi, Abe Vigoda, Mika Miko

For most folks, "the smell" around New Year's could refer to the aroma of perfume, the stench of alcohol, or the, ahem, "after effects" of over-celebration. But for the good people of Los Angeles, the Smell around New Year's is the site of a whole heap of sweet and noisy shows. The shows are taking place to celebrate the club's 10th anniversary, and various upcoming bills feature sets from No Age, Mika Miko, John Wiese, the Mae Shi, Abe Vigoda, Lucky Dragons, Nels Cline and Carla Bozulich's band Scarnella, and more. (You might recognize the Smell from the cover of No Age's Weirdo Rippers.)

Seven of these anniversary shows have already happened, featuring the musical stylings of Xiu Xiu's Jamie Stewart and DJ Dean Spunt (of No Age), among others. But four are left, going straight from tonight, January 3, through Sunday, January 6. Full lineups of each night are below, so sniff away! [MORE...]

Man Man Adopt Rabbit Habits, Tour U.S.

As you saw in that nifty video we posted last summer, Man Man have spent quite a few months burrowing down and hopping from one wild activity to the next. That, plus a fair bit of digging in on their follow-up to 2006's howlin' Six Demon Bag. When amassed, all that wackiness arrives in the form of Rabbit Habits, the band's much-anticipated third LP, due April 8 from their new label, Anti-.

Armed with a mess of new songs sporting awesome Manmanesque titles like "The Ballad of Butter Beans" and "Harpoon Fever (Queequeg's Playhouse)", the men men have scheduled a U.S. tour in the run up to Rabbit Habits' release. Between periods of proper travel, the fellas will spend a little time tooling around Austin in those handsome tennis shorts of theirs at South by Southwest. And one can expect a fine time-- if not necessarily a wardrobe change-- when, come May, they take the stage at the ATP vs. Pitchfork festival over there in England. [MORE...]


Yo La Tengo's Ira Kaplan DJs on WFMU
Dude, I bet they'd give you your own regular show if you quit threatening them with ass beatings

With their penchant for yanking obscure covers out of the ether, Yo La Tengo aren't just a great band-- they're a great band with bottomless knowledge of rock'n'roll's fringes. And the band has been known to flex their music nerd chops on the much-loved New Jersey radio station WFMU, playing cover requests from listeners. But recently, Yo La frontman Ira Kaplan has been spending a little time on the other side of the boards over at WFMU, showing off that well-defined taste of his as a guest DJ.

Ira's averaging about one show a month, filling in for absent DJs. While he doesn't have a regularly scheduled show, you could do a lot worse than sitting around all day listening to WFMU waiting for Ira to pop up in place of your regular DJ. Or, you could use this handy dandy little gizmo on the Yo La Tengo website that will e-mail you whenever Ira is set to reach out to radioland.

The WFMU website sports playlists and streams for Ira's past shows, and an MP3 of a full Christmas Eve set. Turns out he likes the Black Lips and Amon Tobin!

However, don't expect much Ira DJ action between January 9 and 19, as Yo La Tengo are heading out on the southern leg of their Freewheeling Yo La Tengo tour. Lambchop's Kurt Wagner, no stranger to freewheeling himself, will open all dates. [MORE...]


Beyonce PWNS Kanye in Connect Four
Connect Four : Kanye West :: Chess : Wu-Tang Clan?

Kanye West returned to the blogosphere January 2 with his first post since the death of his mother, Dr. Donda West, in November. It's a fun post full of details about pal-ing around with his famous friends, the specs of Jay-Z's new 40/40 club in Vegas, and epic sessions of... Connect Four... against Beyoncé!

Kanye is apparently an avid Connect Four player, and he chronicles his road to grand champion Beyoncé in the post, which we've reprinted below in its unedited entirety:


When I was in Europe I would play this game for hours and hours... it helped me zone out. Everybody would get envolved... Derrick Dudley (Common's manager) and Consequence were the best other than me... I beat Lexi... Don C beat Jay... Tony Williams beat Common... but every now and then people would speak of this legendary connect 4 champion........... BEYONCE!!! I had 2 play her! last night at Jay's new 40/40 club in Las Vegas (which is sidebar, crazy big w/ 24krt gold flooring, Black Jack tables, $500 slot machines,the biggest projection screen in the universe and the best turkey burgers I've ever had in my life) she beat me 9 times in a row! (and I didn't even spaz lol) here's a photo of the only game I won!"

Kanye's winning photo is the one above, and below the jump are two more pics from the battle, with both superstars deep in strategic thought. Also after the jump are Kanye's remaining live dates, which all take place at the previously reported Good Vibrations Festival.

In other Kanye news, that book of his should ship soon, and the reissue of Thriller that comes with his remix of "Billie Jean" hits stores February 11. [MORE...]


Hot Chip Reveal Made Tracklist, Single, New Dates
"Ready for the Floor" single features Diplo, Soulwax remixes

We don't ordinarily fancy ourselves prognosticators of any particular skill, but that "good feeling" we had last time about Hot Chip returning to the U.S.? Turns out it was smack on the money for once.

Today comes the announcement that Hot Chip will indeed rekindle their romance with U.S. fans following those previously reported intimate gigs on the coasts, that February-long UK jaunt with Matthew Dear, and a recently added spate of EU gigs in March. The new Stateside dates all fall within the cruelest month (April, yo) and find London's finest increasing the temperature of salty, potato-derived snacks from Philly to San Fran.

By April, of course, you'll have perfected your palette of moves based on Made in the Dark, which we'd be remiss not to remind you lands February 5 in the UK and February 6 in the U.S. via Astralwerks/DFA. Said album now has a tracklist (see below), while first single "Ready for the Floor" is set to land January 28 overseas, boasting remixes from Diplo and Soulwax. What's more, Made will also be, er, made available with a limited edition bonus DVD. Plenty of fodder there for your rug-cutting exercises.

And by the time the whole party comes home to roost at May's ATP vs. Pitchfork hootenanny, you'll be a regular dancefloor demon. Or something.

Finally, Hot Chip recently assembled a smokin' mix for BBC Radio 1 that includes some new tunes off Made. Check that here. [MORE...]

M83 Reveals Full Album Details

Now that he's gotten his ambient kicks with this past fall's Digital Shades Vol. 1, Anthony Gonzalez is ready to release his fifth album as M83, titled Saturdays = Youth. The album is apparently focused on more structured songs than the Digital Shades material, though "Couleurs", available for streaming now, doesn't seem too reliant on traditional pop song structure.

As previously reported, Gonzalez recorded Saturdays with producers Ken Thomas (Sigur Rós, Suede, Cocteau Twins, the Sugarcubes) and Ewan Pearson (the Rapture, Ladytron). Mute will release the album on April 15.

"Graveyard Girl" will be the album's first single. [MORE...]

Grand Archives Reveal Sub Pop Debut Details, Dates

What do the founder of the Canadian province of Manitoba, a world record-holding collector of four-leaf clovers, and cheap furniture have in common? They all pop up on the tracklist to the forthcoming debut from Seattle's Grand Archives, naturally.

The almost self-titled The Grand Archives arrives February 19 on some upstart hometown imprint known as Sub Pop. It collects 11 tracks, at least three of which Forkcast fiends may already know well: "Torn Blue Foam Couch", "Sleepdriving", and our aforementioned mutant shamrock collector, "George Kaminski", all of which also appeared in demo form on the self-released Grand Archives tour EP. A pair of tunes from the debut LP-- "Miniature Birds" and "A Setting Sun"-- may be streamed from the boys' MySpace as well.

Recently expanded to a quintet, Grand Archives will take to the road the day after their debut's release and four-part harmonize their way into early March. [MORE...]

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks Tour for Trash

As we mark off the days until Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks sully our earholes with their Real Emotional Trash, we're happy to have another scrap of Malky news to tide us over. Filthmongers and germaphobes alike will be able to pick up and file through their Trash March 4 thanks to Matador, and Malkmus and company will take their rubbish on the road in late March and early April. And, unlike those dudes in the big trucks who wake you up every morning, this trashy bunch make a racket you'll be pleased to hear.

This current spate of Malkmus dates is awfully generous to the eastern half of the country, but more Jicks live garbage is promised in April. [MORE...]

Boredoms to Invade America This Spring

For the first time in way too long, Boredoms are coming to America for a full-out assault. From mid-March to early April, the Japanese beauty-and-noise machine will conquer the U.S. with the brute force of their meticulously scattered psych-rock, heading slowly but surely towards our nation's capital, spreading their potent message of apathy and the superness of roots to many of our major cities. Will boredom reign over these United States in the wake of a Boredoms invasion? It might be best to start watching VH1 reality programming to build up an immunity to the stuff just in case.

Take note: The shows in San Francisco, Minneapolis, and New York will be "in the round," placing the Boredoms right in the middle of things. Plan accordingly, but remember not to have too much fun: No matter where you are in the room at a Boredoms show, there's always gonna be at least one Eye on you. [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.)


File-icon Fri: 01-04-08: 07:00 AM CST
Antony Designs Dress for Charity

File-icon Thu: 01-03-08: 04:30 PM CST
Amplive Nixes Radiohead Remixes at Warner's Demand

File-icon Thu: 01-03-08: 04:13 PM CST
The Fiery Furnaces Add Dates, Surprise Surprise

File-icon Thu: 01-03-08: 02:27 PM CST
Man Man Adopt Rabbit Habits, Tour U.S.

File-icon Thu: 01-03-08: 01:43 PM CST
Yo La Tengo's Ira Kaplan DJs on WFMU

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