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Of Montreal Reissue Rarities, Release Acoustic EP
Launch tour tonight

While the (romantic, indie) world waits with hungry, uh, ears for the release of the Babs'n'GG Allin-inspired follow-up to Of Montreal's fantastic Hissing Fauna LP (and Icons, Abstract Thee EP), the Kevin Barnes camp has whipped up a pair of tasty apéritifs: a live, acoustic EP and a reissue of a rarities collection.

For our first course, there's Sony Connect Set, four unplugged tracks recorded in Los Angeles back in January by Barnes and bandmate Bryan "The Late B.P. Helium" Poole. In addition to a pair of Hissing cuts, the digital-only set for the doomed digital music store sports covers of Neil Young and Love Is All tunes. You can tuck that away on the hard drive of your choice starting October 2 from Sony Connect/Polyvinyl.

Up next is the commendably titled If He Is Protecting Our Nation Then Who Will Protect Big Oil??? Previously released in 2003 on Track & Field outside America, it gathers a baker's dozen deep cuts and such from the Of Montre-vault. Polyvinyl reissues it October 23.

For now, our dessert comes in the form of a tour, kicking off tonight at the Book Eaters benefit in Boston and wrapping at a newly added Atlanta date. Dig in to the full spread after the jump. [MORE...]

Radiohead Continue Cryptic Cryptograms, Make LP Site?

The latest buzz from the Radiohead faithful surrounds the launch of a mysterious website-- which may be the work of the band, known for their mystery-mongering, or simply the work of a sly and mischievous fanboy/fangirl.

The site, which has undergone a few cosmetic changes since first turning web-heads yesterday, features a username/password function, the words "Radiohead" and "LP7", some vaguely threatening chatter hidden in the coding, and not much else.

At present discussion on the fan boards tends toward cries of "Hoax!", with dissidents citing as evidence everything from cheap programming to "LP7" sounding clumsy to the font on the page being beneath Radiohead designer-guy Stanley Donwood (co-sign!).

As of press time, no one's cracked the password. Good luck, guys; I hear it's the same as what the dude says at the end of the "Just" video. :-P

A previous incarnation of the site also included those little dudes with the hands-- deemed Worm Buffet by fans after this t-shirt-- that Radiohead, as you're likely aware, have been posting on their blog Dead Air Space since late last week.

Most of the recent Worm Buffet dispatches translate to typical Yorkean paranoia-speak ("xendless" crops up frequently), while a few may hold clues concerning the new album, new songs, label courtship, and the like.

A post today in plain English points to the possibility of the tune "Up on a Ladder"-- tossed around since the Hail to the Thief sessions-- appearing on the new disc. Said post consists of "im stuck in the tardis", the song's opening line, and a blurry picture-- tagged "upontheladder.jpg"-- of what appears to be Thom Yorke before a microphone.

Well then, that clears that up. Tea, anyone?

Sufjan, Death Cab, Killers on Kids Xmas Lullaby Disc

It's only two months until December... just in time for the Rockabye Baby series to wrap up a nifty little package full of meta with their Lullabye Renditions of Christmas Rock Classics CD. Featuring soothing, toddler-friendly takes on such otherwise-punishing holiday classics as Death Cab's "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" and Sufjan's "Hey Guys! It's Christmas Time!" (from that big box o' Suffy Xmas jams) and tracks by the Killers, the Smashing Pumpkins, the Ramones, and more, the disc collects 13 tracks sure to beam visions of sugarplum fairies directly down to your tiny tot come Tannenbaum time.

(And here I thought every Sufjan song was the lullaby rendition of itself!)

The disc is out now on Baby Rock Records, the folks who brought you Lullaby Renditions of Radiohead, Björk, Pixies, Queens of the Stone Age, et al. Prediction: A race of superadvanced, supercool humanoids to take over the planet in about 15 years. [MORE...]


Spoon Cancel Three Dates to Do "Saturday Night Live"

Spoon have canceled a trio of dates surrounding the weekend of October 6, due to the fact that they're performing on "Saturday Night Live" that night. (With Seth Rogen hosting! Dork-chic extravaganza!) Maybe they really wanna meet those "Laser Cats"? The sacrificed shows were to have taken place October 3 at Liberty Hall in Lawrence, Kansas, October 4 at Rhodes College in Memphis, and October 5 at Bogart's in Cincinnati.

This is the second time in a little over a month that Spoon have shuffled their schedule, having canceled a pair of Washington, DC headlining gigs in order to open for the Shins. (However, one of those shows was later reinstated.)

But, hey, the Britt giveth, and the Britt taketh away. The band apologized to their fans via posts on their site and on MySpace, and vowed, "we'll be back to see you in the spring for sure." Spoon have also added a few more dates to their tour.

Thanks to several readers for the tip. [MORE...]


Sex Pistols Redo "Anarchy" for Guitar Hero, Add Dates

Anarchy in yr PS3! The reunited, reissued Sex Pistols have re-recorded their sneering, seminal anti-hit "Anarchy in the U.K." for use in the forthcoming Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. Awesome! I mean...uh, what?

The first new Sex Pistols studio recording in three decades is going in a bloomin' video game?

Johnny "Rotten" Lydon, Steve Jones, and Paul Cook ducked into London's Air Studios with original Bollocks producer Chris Thomas, employing vintage equipment to replicate the sound of the original track. You know, for use in the video game with the black plastic guitar and the buttons. These guys wouldn't even accept induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but they'll let you tap along with them alongside "Slow Ride" and "Barracuda"? Who ever said there's no future? Oh, yeah, those dudes.

Guitar Hero III is out October 28, just in time for the Pistols' string of reunion shows (expanded from the single one announced previously.) And those reissues. [MORE...]

Fan Dies at Smashing Pumpkins Show

Photos by Shervin Lainez

A 20-year-old man from Richmond, British Columbia died after he was dragged unconscious from the mosh pit at a Smashing Pumpkins show on Monday, September 24, in Vancouver, according to a report in The Vancouver Sun.

Citing an interview with Vancouver police spokesman Constable Howard Chow, the report said three or four other young men at the Pacific National Exhibition Forum concert pulled the man to security just after 9 p.m. He was then taken to St. Paul's Hospital, where he eventually died.

A coroner is investigating the death, but Chow said, "There was nothing to indicate there was any foul play or anything suspicious about his death." Instead, he pointed the finger at the generally unsafe nature of mosh pits and crowd-surfing.

The Sun
mentioned unconfirmed radio reports claiming the man had crowd-surfed, but PNE spokeswoman Laura Ballance (not the Superchunk bassist, as far as we know) said that was not the point: "Regardless of how it happened, a 20-year-old who came to enjoy a night of music is gone. It's extremely sad and very tragic."

Chow asked that anyone who witnessed the incident, including the men who were responsible for bringing the victim to security, contact the police.

Unfortunately, this is not the first death at a Smashing Pumpkins show. There was a similar incident in which a woman was crushed to death at a 1996 performance in Dublin, Ireland.

The next date of Smashing Pumpkins' tour is in Salt Lake City on September 28. [MORE...]


Photos: White Williams Meets Big Boi
aka White Williams Tour Diary Part 3

As the Girl Talk/Dan Deacon/White Williams tour winds down, it seems things keep heating up. While in Atlanta this past weekend, a surprise guest turned up during Girl Talk's set at the MJQ Concourse. His name is Big Boi, and he's part of a rap/hip-hop duo known as Outkast. Perhaps you've heard of them?

Sensing a golden opportunity, Joe "White" Williams and the tour's resident visual artiste Andrew Strasser invited the man born Antwan Patton to try his hand at running the visuals for a few moments. Big Boi happily obliged. Williams also posed for the charming photo you see above. White Williams, indeed.

Catch more of the Williams crew's photos and captions below. For part one of the tour diary, click here. For part two, here. And stay tuned for more shenanigans.

Day 9: Charlottesville, VA, September 20, 2007

Hayes has been extremely quiet on the tour-- we wonder if everything is ok.

This guy went nuts for the camera as Joe from White Williams snapped away at an audience unaware of their participation in the visuals for Girl Talk.

Sometimes Joe likes to lay in bed and browse the internet-- other times you see him nervously minimizing windows as you approach him.

Day 10: Asheville, NC, September 21, 2007

Another orb appears during the show-- stage right.

On the road objects begin to morph-- for example, this banana peel that began to reveal itself as a dead parrot. In coming to terms with our road psyche, Joe flicks it off as we bury it in the wilderness. "We gave the dead parrot the bird."

Photos: Craig Finn at Boston College [Boston, MA; 09/25/07]

Photos by Alex Burack

Boston College's "Master Class: Alumni in Residence" speaker series typically introduces students of the historic Jesuit school to alumni with whose work they may not be too familiar. That was certainly not the case last night, as the Hold Steady's Craig Finn, darling of college radio stations around the country, sat down with English Professor Carlo Rotella to discuss his music, writing, and experiences as a student at BC.

Although there were a couple lighthearted moments (one student prodded Finn about the "penetration park" lyric in the song "Your Little Hoodrat Friend"), the evening, according to the organizers, was intended to have an "Inside the Actors' Studio" feel. In which case, for future events, Professor Rotella should probably work on that beard.


Kim Gordon: Starbucks "Less Evil Than Universal"

Selling out just ain't what it used to be. The concept is as ambiguous and potentially moot as ever, but now it usually comes with handy explanatory quotes. Just ask Kim Gordon, who, along with the rest of Sonic Youth, has taken some flak for choosing to release the band's forthcoming celebrity-studded tribute compilation, Hits Are for Squares, via Starbucks.

Or rather, let videographer Liz Glover ask Gordon for you. During New York City's recent Fashion Week, Glover approached Gordon to ask exactly why the band chose to go with Starbucks. The result is the short clip below, featuring Gordon's pithy, pretty awesome reply:

"They're less evil than Universal."

(Universal being Universal Music Group, parent company of Sonic Youth's label, Geffen Records.)

Last we heard, the compilation's release was "technically a joint effort between Starbucks Entertainment and Universal Special Markets," so the logistics are still complex. Nonetheless, Kim Gordon: 1, Universal: 0.

Just a reminder: Sonic Youth have a trio of Texas tour dates this fall starting with an October 5 appearance in Austin. And Kim's hubby is on the road now.

Also, Glover has a few other interesting musician interviews over at her Vimeo profile, including some typically scandalous stories from Deerhunter. [MORE...]


The Shins Announce More Fall Dates
The Shins fall, announce bruises

Favorite Pacific Northwestern sons-- aside from Nirvana, Jimi Hendrix, Built to Spill, Sleater-Kinney (using "sons" symbolically), Sunny Day Real Estate, Death Cab for Cutie, and...well, whatever-- the Shins have added even more dates to their previously reported fall tour in support of this year's Wincing the Night Away.

The tour will now take the band outside of the U.S. for shows in the UK, France, and Japan. Their next show is in Berkeley, California on October 5.

Oh yeah, the Shins are up for a bunch of these Woodie Award thingys, including the "Viral Woodie", which sounds like something you can catch from the town hussy. [MORE...]


!!! Cancel Several Euro Dates, Launch Tour
This is a tragedy!!!

When you name your band after a trifold exclamation, you run the risk of constant overstatement. !!! play that well, but I don't always. So, that in mind, forgive me my melodrama: For a week or so around the end of October, !!! have axed their previously reported European dates!!! Dancing days are over!!! Sadness abounds!!! Must be the moon!!!

Fret not, gentle continent: Not all of the !!! dates are off, leaving you more than enough time to pump up those bike tires and get ridin'. Or, as a consolation of sorts, Warp Records will release the "Yadnus" digital single on October 9. It features "Yadnus", the Emperor Machine dub mix of "Must Be the Moon", and "Yadnus" remixes by Still Going, DJ Kaos, and Scottie B. Not quite the same, but it'll do in a pinch.

Thanks to reader Damien Thouvenel for the tip. [MORE...]

Comedians of Comedy Release DVD, Tour
Audiences of comedy rejoice

Minus the whole "being Canadian" thing, the Comedians of Comedy may be the closest thing the comedy world has to a Broken Social Scene. Both operate as (sometimes very large) groups of exceptionally talented individuals who come together all Voltron-like for tours and releases in their respective mediums. Both choose rock clubs as their preferred stomping grounds (no matter that it's expected of BSS). And both have founders/de facto leaders who have just released pretty great solo albums, those being Patton Oswalt's Werewolves and Lollipops and Kevin Drew's Spirit If...

For the unconvinced, look no further than the Comedians' upcoming fall tour, on which Eugene Mirman (their Feist?) will join the lineup of Oswalt, Brian Posehn, and Maria Bamford (sadly, it seems Zach Galifianakis will be absent, though he has dates of his own). The tour begins in Seattle on October 3, and you should hear their cover of "Stars and Sons"*.

The tour is in support of the group's Comedians of Comedy: Live at the Troubadour DVD, which features live and backstage footage of the Comedians at the L.A. club and comes out via Image Entertainment on October 2. In addition to the group itself (and Mirman), there are appearances by David Cross, Sarah Silverman, and Galifianakis' "twin brother"/alter ego Seth.

Even better, the whole Troubadour concert will air completely uncut and uncensored on Comedy Central's "Secret Stash" on September 29.

* So should we. It doesn't our knowledge. [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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