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Under Byen Enlist Symphonic Help on New EP

Of all the nifty little hooks you can use to unload an EP, Under Byen's Siamesisk EP employs perhaps the perfect trifecta. It's live, it's symphonic, and it casts a new light on a few old favorites from the Danish octet's back catalog.

Set to tape at an April 2007 concert in Under Byen's native Copenhagen and featuring the 42-piece Danish Radio Orchestra Sinfonietta, the Siamesisk EP strings along four tracks from UB's fine Samme Stof Som Stof LP and one old favorite besides. The disc emerges in Denmark February 18 on Morningside, though it'll hit North America March 27 from Paper Bag Records. Both issues are strictly limited to 2,000 copies.

And heck, why not, here are a few photos from the gig, taken by Hans Hauge:


[MORE...]
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Black Mountain Add Dates With Bon Iver
Plus: Blood on the Wall, Ladyhawk

Black Mountain photo by Jessica Miller

If joint tours were breakfast cereals, the upcoming Bon Iver/Black Mountain jag would be (an actually good) granola to Girl Talk and Dan Deacon's mixture of Trix and Count Chocula.

The Jagjaguwar labelmates' stars will align for a run of North American dates together beginning February 19, the same day the label releases Bon Iver's For Emma, Forever Ago to a wider audience. In the more immediate future, Black Mountain's In the Future comes out January 22 on Jagjaguwar.

Both bands have dates apart as well, with Black Mountain's trek with Bon Iver bookended by runs with Blood on the Wall, Ladyhawk, and, as previously reported, Howlin Rain. Black Mountain kick the whole thing off January 31 in Seattle. [MORE...]

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Nick Cave's Lazarus Gets Tracklist, U.S. Release Date

Photo by Richard Sharman

Nick Cave fans, here's a little news you're likely to dig. Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!, the forthcoming platter from Cave and his perennial partners in crime the Bad Seeds, now has itself both a tracklist and a precise U.S. release date.

Lazarus
was already set to grace UK shelves March 3 from Mute, and Anti-, we've learned, will resurrect the disc for Stateside spelunkers April 8. The tracklist follows the jump, and, wow, I simply cannot wait to hear "Jesus of the Moon".

As you know, a single for the album's title track hits UK stores February 18 from Mute, and a physical version of the Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford soundtrack Cave crafted with fellow Seedy character Warren Ellis is due in the U.S. February 5. Nick and company have yet to emerge from the Cave to lay any tour plans on us, but that, we're told, can be expected soon. [MORE...]
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The Long Blondes Set Up Couples, UK Tour

Looks like romantic entanglements-- and all the wrench-ups that go hand-in-hand with 'em-- are once again at the forefront of the beautiful minds who make up Sheffield, England's great, glammy Long Blondes. Yup, so much so that they've dubbed their forthcoming sophomore album Couples.

Kate Jackson and her lot will precede Rough Trade's April 7 UK release of the LP with a single for "Guilt" (perhaps it's about relationships?), due March 24. Couples hits the States April 8, also via Rough Trade. Both "Guilt" and the whole of Couples were produced by electro whiz Erol Alkan, who's worked with the band before.

Having found that special someone to drive them home in the wake of their last disc, the Blondes are ready to hit the road anew on a brief UK tour in March. [MORE...]

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Antony Designs Dress for Charity

Nothing shouts "Antony Hegarty" like fashion and gender expression, and the singer's most recent project combines both. Antony has partnered with online boutique YOOX.com to design a dress for auction on eBay starting February 14. Proceeds from the sale will go to the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, a U.S. grassroots organization specializing in legal aid to help people "self-determine gender identity and expression, regardless of income or race, and without facing harassment, discrimination or violence," according to its mission statement.

The dress Antony designed was made by hand from white silk jersey and signed by Antony himself. Though it's pictured above, we quite enjoy the press release's description of the dress:

"Evoking a kimono, the sleeves are short, the hems are unfinished, and the front is adorned with an elegant abstract design. Following the lines of a tunic, the opening is at the rear and can be tied on both sides, which makes it suitable for all body shapes and silhouettes.

With its essential and refined lines, exalted by an immaculate whiteness, the piece expresses the same qualities found in its creator's poetic musicality."

Side note: How kickass would it be to see Antony get catty on a season of "Project Runway"?

Antony's dress is the first in a series of YOOX.com collaborations with musicians.

Finally, since our last report on Antony and the Johnsons' new album, The Crying Light, its release on Secretly Canadian was pushed from the spring of this year to the fall. Boo! But we've still got the video for the Björk duet "Dull Flame of Desire" to look forward to. Get the scoop on that clip in our Björk interview from earlier this week.
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Amplive Nixes Radiohead Remixes at Warner's Demand
Amplive to Radiohead: "Thom, holler at me, man."

Recall wayyyy back in 2007 when we told you about Rainydayz Remixes, the record of Radiohead In Rainbows reworkings put together by Oakland DJ and producer Amplive? The one with Too $hort on it? Sounded pretty cool, and cooler still, Amplive was all set to release it next week using a revolutionary pricing model we like to call FREE.

Was, because one faux-polite cease-and-desist letter later, Amplive won't be able to put this thing out without unleashing the legal wrath of Warner/Chappell, Radiohead's longtime publisher.

On December 18, Amplive received a missive from Warner/Chappell informing him that he had "created musical arrangements / remixes" without proper "approval" and must cease distribution of them at once. Rather than tangle with these suits and their armies of lawyers, Amplive has agreed to suspend the project for the time being.

He did, however, express hope that members of Radiohead would hear his remixes and help him gain approval. Radiohead themselves, of course, most likely had nothing to do with the cease-and-desist letter. Check out what Amplive had to say in both a video message and a written statement (reprinted in full below).

"I really feel if Radiohead's team was able to hear these...remixed songs," writes Amplive, "they would feel differently." Amplive also calls upon others who have posted his remixes-- which he acknowledges as "illegal"-- to remove them for now.

Amplive maintains that his remix project is intended as a "celebration" of one of his favorite records, and that would seem consistent with the fact that 1.) it's free, and 2.) he was only going to share it with folks who had supported Radiohead in the past in some fashion via W.A.S.T.E. or donated to Radiohead-approved organization Friends of the Earth.

No word yet what the producer will have to do to gain this elusive "approval" (something tells me it involves $$$), but here's hoping all parties involved can reach some kind of agreement where art-- not profit or bureaucratic malarkey-- prevails. [MORE...]
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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...]
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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...]
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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.
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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...]
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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...]

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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...]

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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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File-icon Fri: 01-04-08: 12:45 PM CST
Robyn Announces U.S. Tour Dates!

File-icon Fri: 01-04-08: 11:55 AM CST
Jose Gonzalez Goes Green for North American Tour

File-icon Fri: 01-04-08: 11:05 AM CST
Black Mountain Add Dates With Bon Iver

File-icon Fri: 01-04-08: 10:00 AM CST
Nick Cave's Lazarus Gets Tracklist, U.S. Release Date

File-icon Fri: 01-04-08: 09:00 AM CST
The Long Blondes Set Up Couples, UK Tour

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