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Rage, Bjork, Arcade Fire, LCD, Battles Play Big Day Out

A Pitchfork Media one-question multiple choice exam:

1) Big Day Out is:

A. A marathon.
B. A Madeline book.
C. A music festival that tours Australia and New Zealand in January and February, featuring a lineup this year that boasts quite a few impressive names.
D. Dogstar's new album.

It's "C" of course! (Isn't it always?) As for the aforementioned lineup, every date of the touring fest features the Arcade Fire, Björk, Rage Against the Machine, LCD Soundsystem, Battles, Dizzee Rascal, the Clean, and Billy Bragg, among others. Rage's appearance marks the first time their reunion tour has hit non-American shores.

The BDO schedule is after the jump. [MORE...]

Flaming Lips Plan Christmas in March
Easter Bunny grudgingly accomodates

The Flaming Lips are eyeing next March's South by Southwest film festival for the release of their long-forthcoming feature film, Christmas on Mars, according to a recent interview with frontman Wayne Coyne.

"It is coming. In fact, it's better than ever. Because it's taken so long, we've become better filmmakers. There's better computer effects. I think it will be much better," Coyne said. Come to think of it, it makes sense that the Lips would need to build UFOs before traveling to Mars.

After Christmas on Mars' SXSW premiere, Coyne mentioned that the band plans to take the film on a tour of some sort. "I want the Flaming Lips audience to shape this. It'll be like our live show, which evolves as it goes. We'll show it to the audience and let them talk out there on message boards, and then maybe we'll take that and go back and change it and put it out there again and see what they think. It'll be a different experience than sitting at home and watching a DVD, for sure. I don't know if a lot of bands can do that, but the Flaming Lips sure can."

Currently, Christmas is in the final editing stage. The band is also transferring it to HD and adding "in-depth special effects."

Coyne also referred to the possibility of an At War With the Mystics follow-up coming out next year, but he emphasized that finishing the film is the Flaming Lips' first priority. "I have ideas I think could spur a great new Flaming Lips concept and a new sound and things like that, but I feel like we have to finish Christmas on Mars before we jump into anything else. Hopefully we'll be able to do that [new record] next year, though."

Hey, remember when this movie was coming out around Christmastime 2002? Ah, those were the days.

Recently, the band has also contributed songs to movies in which they don't star. They contributed to The Heartbreak Kid and Good Luck Chuck soundtracks, and, according to the report, they have also recorded the theme song for an upcoming unannounced Disney cartoon.

The Lips have two tour dates left on their schedule: one tonight at Amos' Southend in Charlotte, North Carolina and then at the Echo Project in Fairburn, Georgia on October 12. But be careful-- the Charlotte show comes with a surgeon general's warning.


Photos: The Hives [Chicago, IL; 09/30/07]

Photos by Joseph Mohan

On Sunday night, Sweden's Hives gave the Chicagoans at Metro a chance to get up close and personal, before they shuffle off on Maroon 5 opening duties for most of the remainder of the fall. Fear not, though. Howlin' Pelle and the boys have several more headline gigs tucked into their lengthy itinerary with Adam Levine and his goons. They'll also return to Europe in late November.

The release date of the Hives' forthcoming Pharrell-assisted LP The Black and White Album has been pushed back since we last reported-- it's now coming out October 15 in the UK and November 13 in the U.S.

Dates and more photos ahead.



Photos: Fujiya & Miyagi / Dirty on Purpose [Cambridge, MA; 09/29/07]

Photos by Josh Bean

British Japanophiles Fujiya & Miyagi rocked the Middle East (the venue in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that is, not the region of the world) this past weekend with their New Yorker pals Dirty on Purpose.

The Brighton trio played five songs from their upcoming record, which they're now calling Light Bulb (apparently it's undergone some grammatical changes since we first reported on it almost a year ago). The band also announced that it will have expanded to a quartet for the new LP (still no word on a release date), having added a drummer ("Lee") to their studio-- and, eventually, live-- lineup.

More photos and tour dates below.





Animal Collective Are Corrupting Our Nation's Youth!
Kids, keep your parents away from the indie rock

Danger! Depravity! Experimental pop music! Apparently it's all there in droves at a live performance by the scariest band working today, NicklebackAnimal Collective.

After Animal Collective played Philadelphia's Starlight Ballroom on Friday night, Sean Agnew of Philadelphia concert promoters R5 Productions received an e-mail from an angry mother of an attendee. He was kind enough to share it with us.

It reads:

You should be brought up on charges for what went down Saturday night, is this an underground cult you are running with Animal Collective?

My daughter and her friends were terrified, no security, no police, not even a show, music playing backwards and men trying to lure them away, only one door to exit out and no cab would come pick them up
because the location they gave did not exist, no one ever heard of the Polaris club or the address.

What kind of scheme are you running.....

I will find someone to listen and have your organization investigated, you endangered several young adults on Saturday night.

I hope your child never goes thru what hell you put ours thru,
I hope you rot in hell, or is that were your from!

"Underground cult?" "Music playing backwards"? "Only one door to exit out"? Sounds like every Animal Collective show we've ever been to! What's the problem here again? At least there wasn't any pot smoking!

Agnew's response to the mother informed her that there were 12 R5 staff members, one police officer, and two "uniformed and armed licensed state security officers" stationed at the venue (indie kids can sure get rowdy!), which happens to have three exits, and had plenty of cabs out front.

He ended his e-mail with "We are not a cult and you have horrible grammar. Good luck on your journey with your child."

Animal Collective dates follow the jump. BEWARE. [MORE...]


Prinzhorn Dance School Issue "Space Invader" Single
Remixed by Optimo

Photo by Melanie Klein

I can just picture it now: The meeting in which a single spare, stomping, shout-packed track was culled from a disc of 16 spare, stomping, shout-packed cuts. There's a shrug, perhaps an uncomfortable clearing of a throat. Eventually, 16 song titles are written on a piece of paper at which a dart is thrown. "'You Are the Space Invader'", you are the winner!"

To be fair, the recently Forkcasted "You Are the Space Invader" does put Prinzhorn Dance School's best foot forward (guess that would be the right foot, eh?), but really, it could've been any of those songs. No knock; that record is awesome. It's just, you know, a bit monochrome.

So, then, October 23, DFA will wrangle "You Are the Space Invader" into some kind of digital medium, throw new b-sides "1,2,3,4,5" (take that, Feist) and "Wheat for the Locust" in for laughs, and even get Optimo to craft an "Espacio" remix of the track. (You can hear the Optimo remix on the DFA's MySpace page right now. Surprise, it's spacey!)

The single arrives just in time for Prinzhorn to wrap a trio of dates with LCD Soundsystem, which themselves wrap the School's plans for the month. What a backwards school! I hear they don't even keep any books in their library. [MORE...]


First Look: Sigur Ros Documentary Heima

Last summer, Sigur Rós staged a series of free, mostly unannounced concerts in their native Iceland, untangling cables and setting up gear in abandoned herring factories, small town parks, modest coffee shops, and tiny community halls. The band huddled together to beam epic rock songs into the western fjords, trekking deep into the Asbyrgi canyon to ping tracks off the trunks of birch and willow trees, sheepishly (and literally) offering their music back to the land which spawned it.

Shot by director Dean DeBlois (a Canadian animator best known for co-directing Lilo and Stitch), the film Heima (which translates loosely to "at home") chronicles the entire tour, interspersing live footage with band interviews, acoustic performances, and mesmerizing reaction shots from local families who wandered outside to see what was happening.

Visually, Heima is stupidly gorgeous; DeBlois shoots like a photographer, hovering, still and steady, before Iceland's wet, lunar landscapes, clearly infatuated with the country's strange and violent countryside. Watching, it's hard to believe it's all real: blonde, fair-skinned children sail blood-red kites, everyone is wearing thick wool sweaters, fresh water runs free and fast through unspoiled valleys, and Sigur Rós slam their guitars in unison, while vocalist Jón Por ("Jónsi") Birgisson howls at the heavens, eyes squeezed shut, shoulders high.

It's difficult to describe Sigur Rós's celestial swells without reaching for grand, cinematic descriptors, and the band's music is almost comically well-suited for DeBlois' high-def photography. And while most music documentaries-- tour documentaries, especially-- feel contrived or inconsequential, Heima is a stunning record of an extraordinary endeavor: Don't be surprised if you stumble out of the theater with tear-striped cheeks, dreaming of rotten shark and glaciers.

As previously reported, Heima will be released on DVD on November 6 in the U.S. via XL and the day before in the UK on EMI. It is accompanied by the double CD Hvarf/Heim.


Photos: Boris with Michio Kurihara / Damon & Naomi [Chicago, IL; 09/30/07]

You know a band means business when they bring a fucking gong onstage-- and flank it with two massive, double-column stacks of amps. Yes, Boris are indeed the "Roaring" part of the tour that's being billed as "The Roaring Silence Revue" (scope this sweet poster), which kicked off last night at Chicago's Empty Bottle and brought together the Pink pulverizers, Galaxie 500 descendants Damon & Naomi, and-- playing with both acts-- Ghost's Michio Kurihara.

Quite an unlikely sonic pairing, were it not for the Kurihara connection-- but, as D&N's Damon Krukowski joked between playing songs from the just-released Within These Walls, Kurihara brings the roar to Damon & Naomi's silence, and the silence to Boris' roar. I'll drink to that.

D&N were also joined by Espers' Helena Espvall on cello and one Bhob Rainey on soprano sax for this gig, which also capped off The Wire's 2007 Adventures in Modern Music festival. Oh, and Boris and Kurihara totally had a Rainbow album first, you guys. Dates and more photos ahead.




Photos: Iron & Wine / Arthur & Yu [New York, NY; 09/30/07]

Photos by Kathryn Yu

This past weekend at New York City's Town Hall, Arthur & Yu opened for Iron & Wine in what will surely become the classic matchup of the ampersands (although the latter needs to pick one conjunction format and stick with it already).

In their first major tour outing in support of debut LP In Camera, folky duo A&Y goofed about with a number of musical oddments, including a couple of these twirling wormy noisemakers. Sam Beam and company, meanwhile, showed off Iron &/and Wine's new Pitchfork-approved album, The Shepherd's Dog. More photos and tour dates below.





Kanye West Has a Nerdy-Ass Blog!
And I wonder/ if you know/ about this Bat for Lashes video

Kanye West photo from Rolling Stone

Kanye, Kanye, Kanye! If he's not releasing a totally sweet new album, he's releasing totally sweet videos, doing double time as his own hype man on late-night TV, or losing his shit at awards shows. Oh, and now he's also maintaining a blog over at his nifty new website, KanyeUniverseCity (wah wah).

The blog is about 75% YouTube videos (everything from Feist, Bat for Lashes, and Lupe Fiasco music videos to commercials, a confusing Kate Moss hologram at some sort of art or fashion show, and that still-hilarious "Grape Lady Falls" clip). The other 25% is mostly pictures (fashion shows, shoes, Kanye with his famous pals) and links to his own press.

We're hardly surprised that the rapper who orchestrated a collaboration between himself and Peter Bjorn & John would keep a blog, but it's worth a read for sure, if only for the titles of his posts. For example, "I USED TO WANT TO BE A FREESTYLE BIKER, SO I EXTRA LOVE THIS VIDEO - BAT FOR LASHES 'WHAT'S A GIRL TO DO'".

Mr. West will update from the road this fall on a decent-sized tour that continues October 12 in Nashville. [MORE...]


The Libertines' Best Collected on Time for Heroes

There's a reason people continue to talk about the Libertines several years after their last record, and it's got nothing to do with glass pipes or long-suffering supermodels. They were, for a time, one of the finer things going on in British rock, and even if both Carl Barât and Pete Doherty spent the rest of their lives striving to make good on the promise of Up the Bracket, they'd still be able to say they made two great records-- and a few fine tracks-- together.

So with the band deep in what appears to be a permanent identity crisis if not an official breakup, here comes Time for Heroes - The Best of the Libertines, a 13-track collection due October 29 in the UK and December 4 in the U.S. from Rough Trade. Heroes collects tracks from both Bracket and 2004's self-titled effort, as well as a handful of well loved singles and B-sides.

Though reunion rumors continue to fuel the ever-incendiary British press, both Carl and Pete have their own stuff going on at the moment. Amazingly, the more fucked Libertine is the one with the most going on at the moment; Babyshambles have a new album and a tour, while Carl Barat's Dirty Pretty Things have a new track entitled "Radio Song" (not an R.E.M. cover, apparently) on the soundtrack to the David Schwimmer/Simon Pegg/Michael Ian Black flick Run Fatboy Run.

Warm up that arguing muscle: Time for Heroes' tracklist (as well as those Babyshambles dates) is after the jump. [MORE...]


Photos: Bright Eyes With Los Angeles Philharmonic / Yo La Tengo / M. Ward [Los Angeles, CA; 09/29/07]

Photos by Akmal Naim

Los Angeles got a taste of some more over-the-top indie rock pageantry last night as Bright Eyes performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the historic Hollywood Bowl. In case you haven't been paying attention, this is only one in a series of shows that has matched prominent young songwriters and bands with the orchestra, under the majestic arches of Hollywood's favorite outdoor amphitheater.

Joining Conor Oberst and co. for the night of extravagance were Yo La Tengo and Portland folkie M. Ward. The members of the orchestra itself, meanwhile, were given a rare opportunity to leave the tuxes at home and don hoodies and other casual attire for the occasion. So really, it was an evening of chilled-out extravagance. More photos and tour dates below.




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