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Photos: Revenge of the Book Eaters [Boston, MA; 09/26/07]

Photos by Josh Bean

You may remember the Big Apple's incarnation of the 826 tutoring program's Revenge of the Book Eaters benefit-- featuring an indie rock all-star cast of Feist, Grizzly Bear, AC Newman, Britt Daniel, Jim James, and Kevin Drew. Well, last night it was Boston's turn, and they had a Kevin, too-- Of Montreal's Kevin Barnes, that is, who played an acoustic set with Of Montreal guitarist Bryan "The Late B.P. Helium" Poole at the Berklee Performance Center event. And it wasn't just the music that was stripped-down-- neither Barnes nor Poole wore their usual outrageous costumes.

Mates of State were there, too, covering Jackson Browne's "These Days", as were Via Audio, alumni of Berklee. Eugene Mirman, Rodney Rothman, and Sarah Vowell brought the yuks, along with author and 826 founder Dave Eggers. FOUND magazine's Davy and Peter Rothbart also performed.

More photos below.








Ex-Deerhoof Dude's Cryptacize Sign to Asthmatic Kitty

Photo by Kate Fruchey

Cryptacize? Is that what this guy does at the gym? Maybe, but it's also the latest indie rock band to take the interwebs by storm!

The baby of Chris Cohen, once the fourth member of Deerhoof and presently of the Curtains, and Nedelle Torrisi, who's recorded for Kill Rock Stars under her first name and with Nedelle and Thom, Cryptacize is rounded out by percussionist Michael Carreira (not to be confused with this guy). The trio recently signed to Asthmatic Kitty, also home to the Curtains and some dude whose name begins with an "S" or something.

Their origin story, as recounted in the press release, is more interesting than most, so let's recount it here, shall we? "Cryptacize began across the street from the C&H Sugar Factory in Crockett, CA, where Nedelle and Chris lived in a tilted apartment. Constant dizziness and the smell of burning sugar became a permanent part of their psyches, and this is their #1 influence. One morning while brushing their teeth, toothpaste running sideways out of their mouths, Nedelle pronounced the word 'Cryptacize' and the house appeared to incline in the opposite direction.

"Soon after this strange incident, they discovered something even stranger on YouTube: a percussionist named Michael Carreira. Having only seen his video, which was a closeup of his hands, they sought him out and miraculously convinced him to join their uncanny crusade."

An album is apparently on the way. For now, catch a whiff of that burning sugar high this fall, as Cryptacize hit the road. [MORE...]

Stooges, CYHSY, Black Keys Lollapalooza Sets on iTunes
Also: Pearl Jam, Sparklehorse, Tokyo Police Club, the Polyphonic Spree

Maybe you went to Lollapalooza. Maybe before that you were trapped in a time capsule from the mid-90s jam scene, and going to Lollapalooza was the first thing you did after buying clothes and maybe getting a bite to eat. That's a big maybe, but if you were, you may very well have left the gig wondering who to contact about how to get some sweet tape-trading action going so you could own an audio document of the sets you'd just seen.

If all of the above is true, welcome to 2007, first of all. Also, we totally have your hook-up. It's this internet music store called iTunes, and you're probably gonna like it because just this week it released digital versions of parts of the 2007 Lollapalooza sets by Iggy & the Stooges, Pearl Jam, Sparklehorse, Son Volt, and more people who were around back in your day.

For the rest of us, there are also sets by more recently formed acts like Tokyo Police Club, the Black Keys, the Polyphonic Spree, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Matt & Kim, White Rabbits, and Heartless Bastards, among others.

To access this new-fangled treasure trove, visit the iTunes store right here.


Black Swans Go Through Change! on New Album, Tour
Band members find feathers in awkward places, experience urges to fly in V formation

Columbus, Ohio's the Black Swans have all sorts of goings on going on across a variety of media and U.S. cities this fall, including the release of an album, a bunch of a shows, an art exhibition, and a lecture on Bob Dylan by singer, songwriter, and guitarist Jerry DeCicca.

Let's start with the record, Change! (mere coincidence that the title combines two Dismemberment Plan LPs?), which comes out on La Société Expéditionnaire on November 6. It's the band's sophomore full-length and the follow-up to last year's Sex Brain EP. The CD's cover artwork is a painting called Untitled by Debbie Porchetti, a member of Arc North Workshop, which is a sheltered art workshop under the umbrella of Columbus' Franklin County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities. The limited edition vinyl version of Change! comes in a run of 500, and each LP features a different cover with art by Arc North members. You can see video of Arc North artists at work on the project here.

The art exhibition is a showing of these covers at Columbus' Yeah, Me Too Coffee Shop, and the Black Swans will play its opening on November 2. But the art opening is only one of a couple handfuls of shows the Swans will play this fall, most of which are in either Columbus or Brooklyn, though the next one is in Nashville on September 29.

Still with us? Good, because maybe the most awesome of the flock of Black Swans-related news is Jerry DeCicca's guest lecture on Bob Dylan at the Ohio State University's Denny Hall on November 14. Unfortunately it's not open to the public, but OSU students should keep an eye out for DeCicca's From Infidels to Time Out of Mind: The Unhinged and Rhymed Mind of Bob Dylan in the 80s and 90s.

Finally, DeCicca recently co-produced recordings by former Monument Records artist Larry Jon Wilson, the latter's first new stuff in 30 years. That music will see a UK release early next year via 1965 Records/Sony. [MORE...]

Photos: Beirut in Central Park [New York, NY; 09/26/07]

Photos by Kathryn Yu

With a full moon looming overhead, Beirut's Zach Condon and band took to the open-air stage at the Delacorte Theatre last night, nestled in New York City's verdant haven Central Park. The performance took place as part of the Joe's Pub in the Park festival, and said stage is no stranger to musical characters, as it also plays host to the famous "Shakespeare in the Park" series.

The Flying Club Cup launches October 9 Stateside via Ba Da Bing!, and a day before in the UK thanks to 4AD. Digital retailers have it now. Play a pining Juliet to Zach's Romeo at any of the remaining Beirut dates, yours-- along with more photos-- below.


Black Mountain Reveal Future Tracklist, Cover Art

The future has arrived! Or, at least, the tracklist to Black Mountain's forthcoming sophomore LP In the Future. And the prog-alicious cover art too! Study up on that so you won't have to look twice while at the record shop January 21, when Jagjaguwar unleashes this beast upon the world in CD and double LP formats.

In addition to nine brand new misty Black Mountain hops mixed by John Congleton of the Paper Chase, In the Future also includes "Stay Free", which first appeared on that Spider-Man 3 soundtrack. And what's this? My stoner rock sense is telling me that Black Mountain are poised to strike in a town near you, starting tonight in Boise, Idaho! Just remember, guys: with great riffs comes great responsibility.

Don't forget to snatch a copy of that previously mentioned tour 12" as well, which provides you access to a secret preview of In the Future on November 13. [MORE...]

Apostle of Hustle Tour With Do Make Say Think

They say the heart of blustery Canadian rock'n'roll is still beatin', and you don't have to tell that to Andrew Whiteman and his Apostle of Hustle.

Following their recent take on Huey Lewis' me-generation signpost "I Want a New Drug", Whiteman and friends are gettin' all hopped up on asphalt and rest stops on a month of North American dates, kicking off October 17 on Prince Edward Island. A few gigs later they'll join up with Do Make Say Think for that run across the continent. [MORE...]

Andrew Bird Adds Shows With Wilco, Bright Eyes

Photo by Joseph Mohan

Sure, this is the first Andrew Bird tour story we've run in a while, but my guess is, it won't be the last we run in the none-too-far-off future. The Chi-town crooner has squeezed quite a few more dates into his previously announced tour schedule (including a buncha gigs with Wilco and two spots opening for that Conor feller), but don't think for a second he's done. Even more shows are promised for January. [MORE...]


Black Francis Set for Fall Tour
Pixies' Lovering does magic!

Pixies frontman with the self-proclaimed broken face Black Francis will saddle up for a little West Coast tour this fall in support of his recently released Bluefinger LP. The tour begins October 1 in Portland and wraps up a couple weeks later.

On October 17, Black Francis has an extra show in San Diego as part of the Miller Genuine Draft/Rock and Roll Hall of Fame sponsored "The Craft" series, which hosts intimate gigs interspersed with conversation and storytelling.

In other Pixies-related news, drummer David Lovering will perform at Long Beach, California's Vault 350 club with his off-kilter magic/comedy trio the Unholy Three on October 3. In addition to Lovering, the Three includes Possum Dixon's Rob Zabrecky and comedian and author Fitzergald. [MORE...]

GZA Reschedules Liquid Swords Date Twice Over
The Wu, coming through, at a theater near you

Photo by Karra McDonald

The Wu are notorious for a lot of things-- bringing the motherfucking ruckus chief among them-- but reliability ain't one. So when GZA's September 15 Liquid Swords show (or, dare to dream, collaboration) with Jamie Lidell at Brooklyn's McCarren Park Pool fell under the axe due to "unforeseen circumstances," it was a stone bummer, sure, but didn't exactly fall into the realms of the shocking.

So cross whatever fingers you have handy into a W and take this tidbit with a grain of salt: GZA's making up for the canceled Liquid Swords date with two performances of the LP at NYC's Knitting Factory on December 13 and 14. (Thanks to BrooklynVegan for the tip.)

Of course, in the spirit of finger-crossing, the Wu will have blessed us with those 8 Diagrams at that point, and as the rest of them don't appear to have too much going on in the weeks and months following its November 13 release date (though Method Man is touring Canada and South America, and Ghost is busy too), could this be a shot at seeing the album with virtually all of its cameos? Can they do Uncontrolled Substance next?

In other Wu news, the Genius-- along with RZA and Q-Bert-- dig chess, while the rest of the clan dig George Harrison.

Phil Spector's Murder Trial Declared Mistrial

Photo by Gabriel Bouys / AP

After about five months of testimony, the trial of legendary "Wall of Sound" producer Phil Spector ended in a mistrial today, September 26, according to an AP report.

Spector is charged with second-degree murder for the gun death of actress Lana Clarkson four-and-a-half years ago, but Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler declared the case a mistrial after each juror told him they were unable to reach a verdict.

Fidler made the decision on the 12th day of deliberations, and the foreman of the nine-man, three-woman jury revealed that there was a 10-2 deadlock without specifying which way they were leaning.

So far, there has been no talk of a retrial.

Also related to the trial-- though apparently not factoring into the decision to declare a mistrial-- is authorities' investigation into a possible threat to Fidler made via a post to a "Team Spector" MySpace page.

The post said, "I love Phil Spector" and "The Evil Judge should DIE!!!!." It was signed "xoxo Chelle"-- a reference to Spector's wife Rachelle-- and later taken down, according to Superior Court spokesman Allan Parachini.

Christopher Plourd, one of Spector's defense attorneys, denied Rachelle Spector's involvement in the incident.

A few weeks ago, Fidler and Rachelle Spector clashed over her communication with the media about the case outside of court, according to a Los Angeles Times report.

MF Doom: Not Dead, Not Lip-Synching, Not an Imposter

If you've been paying attention to underground hip-hop gossip (yes, such a thing exists) lately, you've probably heard a few things about the things you haven't been hearing from MF Doom. Following talk that the masked marvel was lip synching his way through shows (and, perhaps, sending someone else out on stage to don the headgear in his place), the recent chatter concerns Doom's health. Having ducked out of a few recent gigs at the last minute, some postulated that Doom had suffered a heart attack. Others claimed he was dead. Or in the hospital at least.

So what up, Doom?

"What up? I'm dead."

In an effort to put the rumors to bed, Doom's label Stones Throw posted this. It confronts the lip synching rumors "(Listen to the videos on Youtube)", the imposter rumors ("he did lose some pounds") and the hospital rumors ("he's in his studio...or if not there, you can find him in the pub with the grub stain)."

It also gives a recording update: "DOOM was in Los Angeles recently and recorded a few verses at The Bomb Shelter studio, where Madvillain, Quasimoto, YNQ, and Madlib classics have been made. Among the new joints recorded was one with him and Guilty Simpson over J Dilla's 'Mash' and another over Dilla's 'Lightworks'. 'Mash's Revenge' will be released on the album B-Ball Zombie War on October 2."

No word on any of the other dozens of releases-- like another Madvillain record, or the one with Ghostface-- the once fantastically prolific Doom reportedly has in the works. But maybe he'll be working on them once his laundry's done. I hear club soda works wonders on grub.

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