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Thrill Jockey Reveals Chicago Anniversary Bash Details
With: Califone, Sea & Cake, Fiery Furnaces, Trans Am, Arbouretum, Freakwater, ADULT.

It's a Quinceañera for Thrill Jockey! And, in the spirit of this fifteen year milestone, the beloved and venerated Chicago record-releasing institution has-- as promised-- planned a massive hometown fiesta.

With barely a month to recover from their upcoming London gala-- which goes down November 11 and 12, in conjunction with All Tomorrow's Parties-- Thrill Jockey will host a homecoming shindig at the Windy City's Logan Square Auditorium December 14 and 15.

Who's invited? You, of course, plus a hearty portion of the Thrill Jockey roster: The Sea and Cake, Califone, the Fiery Furnaces, Trans Am, Arbouretum, Freakwater, ADULT., the Zincs, Bobby Conn, Brokeback, Eleventh Dream Day, Archer Prewitt, Pit Er Pat, Field Music offshoot and new signing School of Language, Thalia Zedek, Angela Desveaux, Fred Anderson Trio, and Frequency.

Conspicuously absent: Chicago's own Tortoise (who will, however, perform at the London event). But members of Tortoise do play in the Sea and Cake and Brokeback as well-- and "surprise guests" are promised-- so let's not rule them out quite yet. They're slow creatures, after all.

Also making an appearance: the previously mentioned and recently Forkcasted Super Epic Thrill Jockey Mega Massive Mix put together by Gregg "Girl Talk" Gillis and Frank Musarra under the Trey Told 'Em banner. Folks who attend the Chitown or LDN parties will receive a copy of the mix, which mashes every last doggone Thrill Jockey artist ever into one 70-minute mindfuck. Super epic mega massive, indeed.

If a trip to Chicago or London isn't in the cards for you, you can still score the Mega Massive Mix-- in very limited quantities, we must warn-- through Trey Told 'Em or Thrill Jockey's mail order. And let's not forget the cover-swapping 7" box set, Plum, packed with hot Thrill Jockey artist-on-artist action and available at the anniversary shows. Plum hits UK shops December 3 and U.S. ones the day after.

Finally, just to keep you on your toes, Thrill Jockey is not revealing when each of the aforementioned acts will play in Chicago. So, you know, best to arrive early and take it all in, no? When jockeying for thrills, after all, is it not best to embrace the unknown?

PB&J;'s Peter Moren Reveals More Solo Album Details

Photo by Johan Bergmark

It's been a crazy busy year for Peter Bjorn and John, yet somehow the peanut in PB&J, Peter Morén, has found time to ditch the butter and jelly and put together a solo album. Salty!

As previously reported, Morén will give NYC audiences a taste of his solo self at Joe's Pub on November 19. Since that report, more details on Peter's opus have come to light-- not to mention that swank photograph up there-- so turn down "Young Folks" for a sec and tune in.

The Last Tycoon, as the album's known for the moment (title subject to change), finds Mr. Morén in home-recording mode-- honing his craft in apartments and rehearsal spaces, and calling in some friends when he'd reached the limits of his own musical prowess (pals played vibraphone and musical saw, for instance). Collaborators include Concretes guitar-slinger Daniel Värjö, singer-songwriter Tobias Fröberg, and string arranger Leo Svensson (of the Tiny).

Morén's still mixing the LP-- which draws inspiration from F. Scott Fitzgerald's unfinished final novel The Love of the Last Tycoon and On the Waterfront director Elia Kazan's filmic adaptation The Last Tycoon-- and he's yet to find a label for it. He did, however, part with some of the song titles. If you're feeling saucy at Joe's later this month, go ahead and request "Social Competence", "This Is What I Came For", "Le Petite Coeur", and/or "I Don't Gaze at the Sky for Long".

And if you're feeling really saucy, bark out those song titles during one of Peter Bjorn and John's many upcoming gigs with the Besnard Lakes and others. Butter and jelly will love you for it, I'm sure. [MORE...]

The Shins Cover Magnetic Fields on New Single

Photo by Akmal Naim

Their eerie hold over fictional Jersey gals and the record-buying public being rather well documented at this point, the Shins are turning their strange powers on yet another unlikely target: "Strange Powers", the Magnetic Fields song from Holiday.

According to Uncut, James Mercer and his Shins will take on the track for a B-side on a new UK-only single for Wincing the Night Away's "Sea Legs", appearing on 7" and digital download December 3 from Transgressive.

As for the vinyl pressing of "Sea Legs", well, the Shins aren't gonna press up too many more of those than they need, which makes it one of those "limited" editions. To drum up even more interest in those "Legs", the first 500 seven-inchers will be signed by the band. I hear Jesse Sandoval draws hearts where his "o" should be.

The Shins are off to Europe, with a little help along the way from the well-dressed young men of Vampire Weekend. They'll make their way to Japan mid-month for a brief run of shows there. [MORE...]


Black Lips = Movie Stars
Paparazzi = so dead

Photo by Daniel Arnold

2007 has been a banner year for the Black Lips. They came, they saw, and now they're making their move to the silver screen as the stars of the forthcoming film Let It Be. According to its website, the movie is "the story of the movement in underground American music that was known as D.I.Y." as told through the narrative of a fictional band called the Renegades, played by the Black Lips.

Springboard Films is working in collaboration with the Lips' label, Vice, on Let It Be, which will be produced by The Breakfast Club/Fried Green Tomatoes producer Andrew Meyer and Winn Coslick. It will be directed by Roger Rawlings.

Given the mid-late 80s setting of the movie and the name of the fictional band it takes as its subject, its title seems more an homage to the Replacements than the Beatles. According to a press release, "the movie will be filmed throughout the Southeast and will include notable music of the period and new music written by the band [Black Lips]."

The Lips have a month-and-a-half of dates scheduled for this year to keep them busy for at least a little while longer until production on Let It Be begins in May 2008. [MORE...]

Trail of Dead's Keely Tears Interscope a New One
"They really helped us to grow. They've taught us about the worthlessness of A&R people, how to yell at idiots running an art department, and how to shake hands with smiling retailers who have no idea who you are."

Photo by © Rachael Warner

An amicable split this was not. As reported earlier this month, ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead have parted ways with Interscope Records after releasing three albums via the major label, including last year's So Divided. Never one to hold his tongue (nor pen), frontman Conrad Keely spoke out about the label shakeup this week on the band's website. The gist of Mr. Keely's words? Burrrrrrn.


Interscope, naturally, took the brunt of Keely's barbs. Label chief Jimmy Iovine in particular: his work with John Lennon and Phil Spector was called into question by Keely, as were his alleged relationships with Stevie Nicks and "the lead singer guy of the Pussycat Dolls."

"He's had a great dating record," wrote Keely, "he just won't have the next TOD record." OK then.

As for the label itself? "At the expense of a massive debt to them of half a million dollars, they really helped us to grow. They've taught us about the worthlessness of A&R people, how to yell at idiots running an art department, and how to shake hands with smiling retailers who have no idea who you are." Furthermore, "their idea of marketing [was] keeping it a secret that we'd released a record."

Also caught up in the bilious crossfire: a recent set of interview questions ("I was asked a bunch of dumb questions so I gave a bunch of what I thought were even less relevant answers."), Ratatat ("like a great band where they accidentally erased all the vocal tracks"), and an unnamed basketball video game ("which I hate").

Amidst all the animus and enmity, Keely did find at least one potential friend: "fictional guitarist Skwisgaar Skwigelf" of Trail of Dead's present tourmates, cartoon band Dethklok (dates below). "He and I will no doubt have many things to talk about."

Thoroughly amusing-- if a mite frightening (Happy Halloween, yo)-- the entirety of Mr. Keely's diatribe may be found here.

And speaking of outlets for pent-up aggression, how about roller derby? All girl roller derby, to be precise. Hell on Wheels is a documentary that explores the phenomenon, and it features original music from, you guessed it, ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead. The film has been playing at festivals from SXSW to CMJ this year; seek it out next time you yearn to burn someone or something. [MORE...]


Arthur & Yu Tour With Kevin Drew, Iron & Wine (Again)

Photo by Greg Lutze

Arthur & Yu: In Camera and on stages across the nation this autumn. The fresh-faced, folksy Seattle duo will soon saddle up for another round of dates in support of their afore-linked debut for Sub Pop's lil' cousin label Hardly Art, and we're at least as excited about it as this guy.

This time around they'll be warming stages for Broken Social Scenester Kevin Drew and his Spirit If... crew. Arthur & Yu & Drew's travels in tandem commence tomorrow evening (November 1) in Boulder, Colorado.

What's more, the romance of the ampersands has been rekindled, as A&Y will reunite with recent tourmates Iron & Wine for a week's worth of December gigs in the Wild Wild West.

In between all that: a lone Seattle date, but one of cosmic proportions, at which Arthur & Yu collide with the very inspiration for their label's name: The Thermals. Who knows what will remain of the Pacific Northwest after that dust settles. [MORE...]

Radiohead/XL Deal: Signed, Sealed, Delivered

And the rumors have proven true. As suggested for weeks now and confirmed in a report today, Radiohead have traded their free-agent-hood-- outside North America, anyway-- for a deal with XL Recordings.

Old friends XL will treat territories outside the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to the physical version of In Rainbows, that Best New Music-worthy record that's blowing up all over your hard drive right now. It's still unclear when this will happen; the early word from Radiohead's PR was 2008, but some folks have suggested the physical release may coincide with that of the In Rainbows discbox, due December 3.

As for North America? It's still not confirmed whether Dave Matthews' ATO imprint and Coran Capshaw's Side One will indeed handle In Rainbows over here, but don't be surprised if that's precisely what happens.

And however it happens, at least we'll have something tangible for the guys to autograph when we stalk them outside their tour bus next year.

Okkervil River Extend Tour Into 2008

Whether they've amassed enough frequent flyer miles to earn them a complimentary trek across the pond whenever they feel like it, or they've just grown fond of the chicken piccata on British Airways' transcontinental flights, Okkervil River are filling up those passports awful quick, as they've added yet another run of UK shows in February 2008. Those dates come after a lengthy European tour set to close out this banner year. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the in-flight movie, fellas.

Before they head to Europe, the band will delight a hometown crowd over the weekend at Austin's Fun Fun Fun Fest.

Oh, and for those of us stuck at home watching Soul Plane and drinking those tiny bottles of scotch, you can flip to NPR's World Café November 10 and 12 to hear a rebroadcast of the band's recent recording session and interview. [MORE...]


Cryptacize Hope You'll Dig That Treasure in February

Photo by Kate Fruchey

Dig That Treasure
is the debut full-length from the newly minted trio Cryptacize, featuring ex-Deerhoofer/current Curtain Chris Cohen, occasional Kill Rock Stars roster-maker Nedelle Torrisi, and percussionist Michael Carriera. Awash in influences from movie musicals to free jazz, the disc emerges February 19 from Asthmatic Kitty.

And what's a new band and a new LP without a new tour to go along with them? Cryptacize's fall jaunt isn't exactly new, though their tour-capping San Francisco date is. Hoosier types ought to supplement their Halloween hayride and apple-bob with a stop tonight (October 31) at Indianapolis' Harrison Center, where Cryptacize-- along with Castanets and Deer Tick-- will help inaugurate the Unusual Animals Project Space/"specialized gallery" with a performance. [MORE...]

Modest Mouse/Man Man Tour Kicks Off Tonight

They're no strangers, of course, but there won't be any shortage of strangeness each and every night of the Modest Mouse/Man Man tour, which kicks off tonight, appropriately enough on Halloween. From the Brockster's native Washington State most of the way to Man Man's East Coast digs, the shows cover much of November, with a little time apart around Turkey Day.

Following the split, Modest Mouse have a handful of shows of their own in December, before Professor Marr heads back to the ivy to administer final exams. Man Man, too, have a date far off in the distance we feel bears mentioning: their set at next May's ATP vs. Pitchfork Fest. [MORE...]


Tweedy, Strummer in Wilco Documentarian Jones' Book

Chances are, you've come across Sam Jones' work somewhere: in magazines, perhaps, or-- since you're here, after all-- in the 2002 Wilco documentary that he directed, I Am Trying to Break Your Heart. The occasional filmmaker is really a photographer at heart; those haunting, skeletal black and white shots of Chicago in Trying were evidence enough of that. Now Jones' print work has been anthologized in The Here and Now: The Photography of Sam Jones, out this week from Harper Entertainment.

The Here and Now collects over 100 of Jones' images of famous faces, some starkly captured in black and white, and many gussied up in uncharacteristic, borderline wacky wardrobes. Thespians abound, though a few tunesmiths made the cut: Jeff Tweedy of course, Johnny Ramone and Joe Strummer perched next to each other, a very preggers Tori Amos, a grinning Willie Nelson, Ice Cube at the movies, Aimee Mann and Michael Penn re-doing Dylan's famed Freewheelin' cover... oh, and barenaked Barenaked Ladies with their manparts tucked between their thighs. :-(

On the actor tip, there's some Cusacks, Seth Rogen, and a mustachioed Will Ferrell playing ping-pong, among others. George Clooney not only provides the book's foreword, but stares back at you with those mysterious, knowing eyes from the cover.

Jones is also lined up to direct a screen adaptation of David Foster Wallace's 1,000+ page novel Infinite Jest. How does one go about making a film with footnotes?

Malajube Kick Off Tour

It's easy to lose Canadian bands in the shuffle these days, there are so damn many of them (not that we're complaining). That's especially true of Malajube, who don't have a blog or a million side projects, and who sing in their native québécois. But Malajube's excellent second album, Trompe-l'Oeil, came out just last year, and come on, our attention spans are longer than that, right?

Hoping the answer to that question is "Yes!", the band will head out on a North American tour that will keep them going all the way into December. The tour begins tonight, October 31, in Ottawa, and its tail end finds Malajube exploring the overlooked corners of their native province: Lavaltrie! Rimouski! Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu! Sounds like a Sufjan song title. [MORE...]
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