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Spiritualized Finish Album, Schedule Euro, U.S. Shows

Those Spiritualized blokes are the last people you'd need to remind that just one hit just ain't gonna cut it. In between a number of Spanish, Danish and British gigs, Spiritualized have snuck a mid-November show at New York's famed Apollo Theater, which promises to be the "first of several" U.S. shows for the veteran psych-rockers. That show-- like many of Spiritualized's recent engagements-- is being characterized as "acoustic mainlines," which means pretty much exactly what it sounds like.

UPDATE: They have since added San Francisco and Los Angeles shows.

While you sit fiending for more, this bit of news won't quell that jones deep down in those bones: That long-promised new Spiritualized LP is coming, but not 'til early next year. According to, the band has wrapped recording sessions, and frontman Jason Pierce describes the follow-up to 2003's Amazing Grace as "the work of the Devil... with a little guidance from me." Sure you won't consider pushing it up to Halloween? My "Spooky Sound Effects" record is scratched. [MORE...]


Photos: Black Mountain / Cave Singers [Omaha, NE; 10/01/07]

Photos by Paparazzi by Appointment

Canadian bloozy indie rock collective Black Mountain brought their jams of the future to Omaha's Waiting Room Lounge last night, offering selections from their upcoming sophomore release, available in January from Jagjaguwar. (For those who aren't willing to wait for the full-length, the Canadian collective are also peddling an exclusive 12" on this tour.

Joining in the fun WAS former PGMG-ers the Cave Singers, who just released their debut on Matador. The Singers will join the Mountain for all the American dates on their lengthy fall tour, continuing tonight in Chicago. All their dates and more photos below.





A Place to Bury Strangers Open for BRMC

"Unwitting" "Sex and the City" fans A Place to Bury Strangers are planning to spend a lot of live time in their NYC homebase this month supporting their self-titled debut, if only because they seem scheduled to play about half a million (read: four or five) shows at CMJ.

Nonetheless, there are plenty of perfectly acceptable places for stranger burial outside the New York metropolitan area, and the band is clued into this fact enough to also place a handful of other dates on the calendar. Most of these shows find them supporting Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, so bring your reverb helmets.

APTBS' next show is in Washington, D.C. on October 11. [MORE...]


Menomena Collaborate With Friend Artist Live
Foe artist shafted for obvious reasons

Photos by Pierre-Yves Arnoux

Menomena are serious about their art. Their Friend and Foe LP from this year had interactive artwork that allowed for a variety of different permutations. The sweet posters for their first-ever European tour featured drummer Danny Seim's pug/Menomena's manager, Ms. Geddy Lee, in a pair of movie roles. And now, on five dates of their already scheduled second tour of Europe, the band is collaborating onstage with Friend and Foe visual artist Craig Thompson (also known as the guy behind the sweet graphic novel Blankets.)

Seim explains the collaboration like so: "[Thompson]'s stretching a giant (approx. 3'x9') piece of butcher paper horizontally across the back of the stages and visually interpreting our set behind us with a brush & ink as we play. Pretentious? Maybe. But super fun all the same."

The first of these five, non-consecutive collaborations took place September 29 at the Nouveau Casino club in Paris. After the encore, Thompson tore his creation from the wall and, with the help of the band, tore it into pieces and passed the pieces out to the crowd. "He's ten times the rock star that we are over here," says Seim. For proof, there is YouTube documentation here. For more photos of the show itself, see the post-jump.

The next Menomena show is a collaboration with Thompson, and it takes place tonight, October 3, in Amsterdam. The next two collaborations are in Milan and Barcelona over the next week and a half. [MORE...]


Pop Montreal Kicks Off Tonight

Kicking off tonight in the Real City and running through the weekend is the 2007 Pop Montreal Festival, celebrating film, art, crafts, and several dozen of the best bands in, oh, the whole entire universe. Who are we talking about? Let's roll those credits once again:

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, the National, Sunset Rubdown, Grizzly Bear, Caribou, Man Man, Patrick Wolf, Bun B, Islands, Silver Mt. Zion, Magnolia Electric Co., Fujiya & Miyagi, Black Mountain, Final Fantasy, Patti Smith, Half Japanese, Pere Ubu, Oakley Hall, A-Trak, Kid Sister, the Cool Kids, Kavinsky, Qui, Eric's Trip, A-Trak, MSTRKRFT, Buck 65, Chromeo, DJ Krush, Hot Hot Heat, Sebastien Grainger, Yeasayer, Cadence Weapon, Think About Life, Julie Doiron, Born Ruffians, Bobby Conn, DJ/Rupture, HEALTH, Aa, Chad VanGaalen, Earlimart, Daedalus, Lightning Dust, Fucked Up, the Stills, Shapes and Sizes, Young Galaxy, Miracle Fortress, Johnny and the Moon, the Narrator, Georgie James, Most Serene Republic, Old Podrida, the Watson Twins, Tiga, DJ Mehdi, Cody ChesnuTT, Cause Co-motion, AIDS Wolf, Jay Reatard, a Jamaica to Toronto: Soul, Funk, and Reggae showcase featuring the Mighty Pope, Jay Douglas, and Everton "Pablo" Paul... and MORE.

Alas, the Federation (yes, the hyphy Federation) seem to have disappeared from the bill since we last reported about the festival. Of some consolation to hip-hop fans: Bun B has been added to the lineup.

The Pop and Policy conference at McGill University runs concurrently with Pop Montreal; it features four days of panels about the music business, with the likes of Patti Smith, Nick Thorburn of Islands, Murray Lightburn of the Dears, and Buck 65 conversing with industry people on a series of panels.

Pipettes Reschedule Those Postponed Dates

Well, that didn't take long! Just two days after we announced the Pipettes had run into some visa issues forcing the postponement of a big chunk of their North American tour, all seems well in the consulates office, and the gals have got themselves a brand new run of dates. All but the Philly show have been replaced on the new slate, with that date expected to be announced soon. So, whether you fancy Rosay, Gwenno or RiotBecki (or Monster Bobby, growl), you'll be pullin' shapes and wastin' kisses and all that soon enough.

Just a reminder, North America: The expanded domestic version of We Are the Pipettes with the fancy new ochre cover has finally arrived. As in right now. For real this time. [MORE...]

Photos: Bonde Do Role [Portland, OR; 09/27/07]

Photos by Nilina Mason-Campbell

Despite axing a run of gigs that were to occupy the next two weeks-- citing illness and exhaustion-- Bonde do Role looked neither terribly ill nor exhausted at Portland's Holocene this past weekend. Instead they were all smiles, fancy-footed antics, and Laser-guided fun-- although apparently somebody's panties got set on fire.

After a couple weeks' respite, Bonde do Role return to the road October 20 in Iceland. They might want to arrive a few days early: I hear the spas over there are second to none.


Jay-Z Reveals American Gangster Tracklist

Kingdom came and went, and most of us are pretty unaffected by it at this point, either psyched at the time to have new Jay-Z jams no matter the quality or bummed that the comeback was closer to Michael Jordan's minor league baseball career than his return to the Bulls for a second three-peat.

Thus, the prospect of hearing a gritty, hungry-again Jay-Z on his forthcoming new album, American Gangster (inspired by but not the official soundtrack to the Ridley Scott film of the same name), is an exciting one.

While not quite at Radiohead levels of spontaneity, the album nonetheless comes out soon, November 6 via Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam. What's more, it even has a tracklist, thanks to the wonders of iTunes. As previously reported, it includes "Blue Magic" produced by Pharrell, "The Return" featuring Nas, "American Gangster" featuring American Gangster movie actor T.I., and "Vietnam War" featuring Kanye West. And that great "I Get Money" remix!

Also, Jay-Z is trying to rename the Meadowlands Arena in New Jersey after Rocawear, his clothing label. Now THAT's gangster.

Check it out after the jump. [MORE...]


Did "Saturday Night Live" Rip Off Aphex Twin?

On Monday morning, as it made the rounds on the AIM and the blogs and that, "Iran So Far" was yet another mildly amusing Andy Samberg-helmed "Saturday Night Live" digital short. In case you missed it, it's a slow jam featuring some hushed rapping about Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, buoyed mostly by Fred Armisen's Ahmadinejad impression and a surprise guest appearance by the actually-OK-in-miniscule-doses Adam Levine. As these things go, it did the trick, but it's no "Roy Rules".

But it's Tuesday now, and the internet's still abuzz about "Iran So Far". As our postmillenial attention spans don't permit mere amusement to retain mere chuckle fodder for more than maybe a day and a half, that can only mean one thing: CONTROVERSY.

Turns out, the Silk-style backing track of "Iran So Far" was lifted from an unlikely source: Mr. Richard D. James, better known to you and me as Aphex Twin. Samberg (or whoever) lifted the piano track for "Iran" straight offa "Avril 14th", a tune from Aphex Twin's 2001 double LP Drukqs.

Mr. James' publisher, Chrysalis Music, was apparently less than amused by the uncleared sample, which-- according to, prompted NBC to take the video off the show's website (replaced, it seems, by "COMING SOON") and their official YouTube channel.

It's at this point that the plot-- never the show's strong suit-- thickens. According to The Daily Swarm (who first reported all this nuttiness), an "SNL" source confirmed that the sample was, indeed, Richard D. James' work, and that a clearance procedure is currently in progress. In addition, Daily Swarm reports that Chrysalis Music has confirmed that NBC didn't actually need permission to use the song for "ephemeral use," and won't, until they plan to air the show again. The internet being roughly as ephemeral as a stone tablet, the video remains yanked from all official NBC sites until, presumably, some clearance agreement is made.

Will Mr. James and the brass at NBC ever settle their differences? Will "Iran So Far" ever flash across our TV screens again? What will Andy Samberg Jodeci up next?

In the meantime, check out Aphex on a few dates this winter, or watch Spoon and Seth Rogen on "SNL" this Saturday night. [MORE...]


Wu-Tang Clear First Legal Beatles Sample!!
30 years of sampling culture spontaneously combusts

Photo by William Kirk

We knew RZA could be persuasive, but convincing the Harrison Estate and the Beatles to allow Wu-Tang Clan to be the very first group ever to legally sample the Beatles (!!?!) would be an impressive feat for a Supreme Court attorney. Nonetheless, the Clan accomplished this mission somehow (we imagine RZA and GZA bugging the Beatles in their Coffee & Cigarettes voices: "Hey Paul McCartney!" "Hey Ringo Starr!").

The sample comes from the George Harrison-penned "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and is featured on the Wu's "Gently Weeps", from their forthcoming new album, 8 Diagrams. The song was originally thought to be just a partial cover of the Beatles track, albeit one featuring both Harrison's son Dhani and the Red Hot Chili Peppers' John Frusciante playing guitar. Now, it's obviously something more.

Also, the group thanks Erykah Badu "for helping bring this song to life" in its website missive about the sample clearance. Might the wrap-wearing soul singer also appear on the track?

The Wu-Tang charm appears to have not worked as well on their record company, SRC, though, who will now release 8 Diagrams on December 4 instead of the original November 13 release date.

The Wu have announced the states and most of the cities of their upcoming fall tour, though the venues remain unrevealed. Their first show is in Miami on October 20. Exactly one week earlier, RZA and GZA will appear at that previously reported San Francisco chess festival/tournament, and in December, GZA will make up for his canceled Liquid Swords performance in Brooklyn with two rescheduled dates in NYC. [MORE...]

Voxtrot Reschedule Dates
In Texas, word is bond

Ever true to their indie popping word, Voxtrot have rescheduled a good portion of the shows they were forced to cancel to join Arctic Monkeys last month.

The Austinites will finish their October North American shows with 1990s and the Little Ones and then pick back up again on the West Coast in late November/early December. There's still no word on make-up dates for those postponed UK gigs, though. [MORE...]

Extra Golden's New Album Gives Thanks to Obama
That dude is so handy... he should be President or something!

The press materials for Hera Ma Nono, the forthcoming sophomore LP from the bi-continental benga-makers in Extra Golden, sport a line too inarguable not to quote: "POTENTIAL FUTURE PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA IS A FAN! ARE YOU?" Gosh, how are you supposed to argue with that?

Surely you've heard the tale of Senator Obama and his expert (some might say downright executive) employment of diplomacy in helping the Kenyan half of Extra Golden (Opiyo Bilongo and Onyango Wuod Omari) make their way to the States last fall. Knowing their time in the same room would be brief, since the other half of the band (Ian Eagleson and Alex Minoff) is American, the Extra Golden gentlemen headed up to the Poconos and, over five days, crafted what would become Hera Ma Nono-- Luo for "love in vain"-- out October 8 in the UK and the day after in the U.S. on Thrill Jockey in both CD and LP formats.

The eight-track album features a previously Forkcasted tune paying tribute to the helpful presidential hopeful. If we may be so bold as to suggest, "Obama" might make a pretty awesome campaign song. Though "Party Like a Rock Star" would suffice, too. Totally dude!

Right now, Extra Golden only have one show scheduled, and it takes place at the Stop Spot festival in Linz, Austria on October 26. [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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