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Photos: Patrick Wolf [New York, NY; 10/03/07]

Photos by Kathryn Yu

Patrick Wolf loves to play dress-up, as we know well. So when he donned a Mozart wig last night at New York's Webster Hall, it came as little surprise-- but it was still pretty sweet.

Of course, Mr. Wolf's eccentricities seem to know no bounds, and indeed the wig was possibly not the strangest site of the evening: there was a forest backdrop, a shirt that looks like it's made out of blue draperies, and even a somersault! Wolf's sometimes-girlfriend (and current opening act) Bishi was also on hand to lend her talents to one of the set's songs.

Catch the rest of P-Wolf's odd manners and his remaining tour dates below.



Sigur Ros Push Back Heima DVD, Add Shows

Crack wise about how slowly they always do things if it helps, but turn that frown rightside up anyhow: Sigur Rós have pushed the release of their "stupidly gorgeous" Heima DVD back two weeks to November 20 (UPDATE: this is only true for North America. The DVD will be released everywhere else November 5.). No reason was given, but as a consolation of sorts, fans in the general vicinity of our nation's capital can check out the recently added theatrical screenings of the film October 6 at Baltimore's Rotunda Cinematheque or the following day at D.C.'s E Street Cinema. (We hear Clarence Clemons likes to hang out there.)

A bunch of other screenings at various cities around the world have also been added, many also including brief acoustic performances by the band themselves.

Sigur Rós themselves will be on hand at the New Yorker festival for brief acoustic performances, a conversation with John Seabrook, and two screenings of Heima October 6 at New York's French Institute on October 6. They'll pull this screening/show trick (sans Seabrook, natch) a couple more times throughout the fall in various locales, but still, if you're stuck in Sheboygan with nothing to watch on November 6, you're just gonna have to settle on Mandroid for the time being.

However, the Hvarf / Heim CD still drops as planned November 5 in the UK from EMI and the day after in the U.S. from their new Stateside imprint, XL. [MORE...]


Sufjan Song Chosen As Franciscan Theme for October
November's Theme: "Shout at the Devil" by Motley Crue

The dozen rules of the Franciscan order are put in place to help guide Franciscans-- a subset of sorts within several Christian churches-- through leading a moral life. (Kind of like the ten commandments.) Franciscans the world over are a tight-knit bunch, ever tighter since the internet provided them with opportunities for large-scale fellowship heretofore impossible.

Each month, the Franciscans participate in something called "Franciscanized World vocation," to which there is a kind of meditative theme song. This month, that song is Sufjan Stevens' "All the Trees of the Field Will Clap Their Hands", from the Seven Swans LP. (Thanks to the Sufjan fan site All Good Naysayers for the tip!)

Of course, Seven Swans lays the Christian imagery on pretty thick, but it's in a generally nondenominational way. According to Sister Mary Carol Kopecky of Manitowoc, Wisconsin's Holy Family Conservatory, "On October 4th the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, patron of ecology, is celebrated throughout the world. Francis could easily have spoken the words, 'And I heard from the trees a great parade.' All nature, even the smallest creature spoke to Francis and he was in awe of all of God's creation. The lyrics read as a litany or stream of consciousness. Reflection on each idea is up to the individual. Each of us, with our varied experiences, will relate differently to the message. The ostinato (repeated) instrumental and later background vocalists are conducive to meditation. Pray Psalms 147, 148 and 150 to praise God for all creation. Yes, you will 'be invited to the sound'." Neat! Can I get a plus one?

Anyhow, if you're feeling the hand of St. Francis on your shoulder or just want a free download of a pretty good old Sufjan cut, you can head here. May the grace and peace of a beloved indie rock singer-songwriter be with you.

In other Sufjan news, he's paused work on his forthcoming Delaware: Hi! We're in...Delaware! (or whatever) to pop up on a couple new discs from Marla Hansen and Chris Schlarb, and an even more docile version of one of his Christmas cuts is on that lullaby comp.


Parlophone NOT Releasing Radiohead Album...For Now

HMV, the ginormous British-based chain of media shops, must take some pleasure in the jumping of the gun. They famously suggested that Chinese Democracy might actually be coming out (on a specific date, no less) by offering preorders for the album through their website, leading an awful lot of people far less pessimistic than I to throw their money into the cosmos.

And, much to the chagrin of Radiohead fans who enjoy touching things (but not too many things), they recently bumped Radiohead's In Rainbows to preorder availability status, suggesting the record was coming out in physical, non-discbox form from the Parlophone imprint on December 3.

It's not.

According to Radiohead's publicity camp, negotiations for the standard release of In Rainbows are still underway, and nothing has been decided yet. Of course, In Rainbows actually is coming out in six days (OMG OMG OMG) for free-99, and you're gonna get that big box in early December should you shell out for it. But for those of you who absolutely cannot wait for the regular-ass in-store version, don't believe everything you read on the subject.

Chinese Democracy! LOL


New Bloc Party Single Due Next Month

"Flux", the new single from Bloc Party, finds the band's gaze reaching beyond the City and into new, as-yet-uncharted territory. The track was put to tape with the help of A Weekend in the City producer Jacknife Lee, and according to, it will be released as a single in the UK on Wichita as both a CD and 7". The CD gets "Emma Kate's Accident" on the B-side, and "The Once and Future King" is carved into the vinyl.

Americans can flip to "Conan" tonight, where the band will play "Flux". How convenient! However, we have to wait until November 20 to buy the track, when Vice will release it digitally both on a "new, improved digital re-release" of A Weekend in the City and on its own digital EP. The EP will feature additional material still to be confirmed.

Having just wrapped that brief tour with Deerhoof, the band have one more U.S. date on their plate before they make their next move. All those remaining shows after the jump. [MORE...]


Photos: Beirut Live on KEXP [Chicago, IL; 10/03/07]

Photos by Sanchez and Kitahara

With all the tours we report on a daily basis, it's easy to forget they're actual events that involve real people losing sleep and spending days in vans just to play their music for an hour or so before doing it all over again.

When Beirut arrived at Chicago's Engine Studios yesterday for a live radio session on KEXP, they inadvertently reminded me of the reality of touring with their mussed hair, dirty clothes, and general grogginess. But they didn't need to look rested to play their six-song set like pros. All they needed was a little warm-up (which, due mostly to the band's instrumentation, looked and felt like a high school band rehearsal) and the presence of bandleader Zach Condon's strong vibrato.

That voice would probably sound good over rush hour traffic, and I feel bad for the bandmate that has to harmonize with him. But the whole ensemble gave five songs from The Flying Club Cup and one traditional ("Cocek") a casual feel that suited the music well, allowing those of us present to drift in and out of Condon's already dream-like world.

The set was a prelude to Beirut's show tonight at the Portage Theater, and when the session's host asked Condon if the band plans to ease up on the touring any time soon, he responded, "You go until you collapse, basically." That's great, guys, but please don't actually collapse.

More photos and tour dates below.


A Sunday Smile
Forks and Knives (La Fête)
The Penalty

Hear the whole thing HERE.


Fujiya & Miyagi, Busdriver Do Shows for Autistic Kids

Camelot for Kids is a nationwide organization that offers assistance and therapy for children and teens with mental and behavioral problems, such as autism. They help kids via outreach programs, schools, and residential treatment centers, and music plays a big role in therapy.

Josh Scholl, Director of Community Relations for Camelot's Des Plaines, Illinois treatment center, used to work in the music business, and he understands the value of rocking out to live bands, no matter who you are. Scholl has helped line up a pair of private shows for the Camelot kids taking place over the next two months at Chicago's Empty Bottle.

Tomorrow evening, October 5, Fujiya & Miyagi will perform a short set for the Camelot folks before taking the stage that night for a regular show. They will also participate in a question and answer session. Busdriver will follow suit November 16 before his own show at the Bottle.


Malkmus, Albini, Molina in Silkworm Documentary
Former Silkworm members form new band, Bottomless Pit

Following the death of drummer Michael Dahlquist in a 2005 car accident, unassuming indie rock mainstays Silkworm were gone-- but not forgotten by the loyal cult of fans who kept them going for so long (since 1987!). Among those fans are director Seth Pomeroy and producer Shawn Girvan, who have decided to use their love for the band to document its history in a documentary called Couldn't You Wait?

So far, the film features interviews with Stephen Malkmus, Steve Albini, and Jason Molina (hilariously featured in the trailer below asking, "Are you saying that a Henry James novel is inaccessible just because you don't want to read all those pages?"), but it's not yet completed. The filmmakers still have over two dozen interviews with musicians and label owners to do, but they created the trailer to help raise the money they need to finish shooting. They are accepting donations to the project via this PayPal link.

Couldn't You Wait? trailer:

However, Couldn't You Wait? isn't the only way fans can expect a taste of new Silkworm-related material. There's also Bottomless Pit, the new band featuring Silkworm members Tim Midgett and Andy Cohen collaborating with Seam's Chris Manfrin and .22's Brian Orchard. The Chicago-based foursome will release their debut album, Hammer of the Gods, via Comedy Minus One on November 6. (No, you're not crazy-- we have indeed mentioned Bottomless Pit before.)

BP also have a handful of tour dates scheduled for this fall. The first is in Milwaukee on October 19.

Finally, apropos of very little, here is a screenshot of Stephen Malkmus in Couldn't You Wait?'s trailer sporting a Spencer Krug porn 'stache. Also, that shirt sure looks familiar. It's laundry time, Malkatraz!



Photos: !!! / The Field [Austin, TX; 10/02/07]

Photos by Zach Vowell

The Field's Axel Willner joined Chk-Chk-Nic Offer and his punctuation-minded pals !!! in Austin, Texas Tuesday night for a show show at La Zona Rosa. The warehouse was shaking all night as the Field manned the ones and twos (or the "one" and "two" keys on his Vaio, anyway) for a set of his discombobulated dance tunes. !!!, meanwhile, got hips shaking and feet moving with a set of tunes mostly culled from their recent album, Myth Takes. Willner plays a few more dates with !!! this month; see more photos and their schedule below.





Robyn Issues "Handle Me" Single, Tours Europe
Album coming out in the U.S. this winter, maybe?

When you make an album comprised entirely of potential singles, it would be foolish not to try to make every track a hit, right? That seems to be the thinking behind Robyn's recent campaign to chop Robyn into a tiny pieces and serve it up in bite-sized portions.

"Handle Me" is the latest in a string of fabulous singles by the Swedish pop maverick. Her own Konichiwa imprint will release the diss track in the UK as a digital download on October 22, with the CD, 7" and 12" coming a week later on October 29. "Handle Me" will be remixed by the likes of Björn Yttling (of Peter, himself, and John), Williams, OrtzRocka, and Soul Seekerz. There's also an acoustic version of her last single, the Kleerup-assisted "With Every Heartbeat" on the CD, too, which oughta slay.

We just figure she's gotta get these singles out of her system before she starts work on that follow-up, right?

Hey, and speaking of the Robyn LP, Entertainment Weekly recently reported that the disc will hit U.S. shelves December 4. (FREAKIN' FINALLY, ahem) This info hasn't been confirmed yet, but, boy, if it does, a whole lotta people I know will be having a sassy Swede-pop kinda holiday. Sounds a little more merry than a sleepy Sufjan Christmas, no?

In other Robyn news, she's got quite a few live dates to her name in October and November in Europe. The Trentemøller remix of "Konichiwa Bitches" pops up on his new thing, and "Bum Like You" is in some soccer video game or something. Is Robyn's ubiquity threatening to overtake that of T-Pain? Could it, please? [MORE...]


Drones Release 7", Tour With Band of Horses

The Drones are taking a break from drinking Foster's, shooting dingos, riding kangaroos, and all the other stuff we're sure totally happens all the time in Australia to release a new single and tour both their native continent and North America alongside Band of Horses.

The single is the first in ATP/Recordings' Custom Made series of limited edition gatefold seven inch/digital download releases, in which contributing artists are asked to include something old, something new, something borrowed (a cover), and something blue (open to interpretation). No word on whether or not they are also asked to exchange vows with their singles.

Each entry in the series will come in a run of 1,000, 100 of which will have silk-screened covers numbered and signed by the sleeve designer. The Drones single features artwork by Michael Motorcycle.

The Drones' Custom Made comes out in the UK on November 5, and here's how the single's four tracks meet the requirements: Their "something old" is a new recording of old song "Cockeyed Lowlife of the Highlands". "Something new": Gala Mill's "I Don't Ever Want to Change". "Something borrowed": a cover of Charles Aznavour's "I Drink". "Something blue": Wait Long by the River's "Shark Fin Blues".

The Drones are currently on the road in Australia, and will head to North America at the end of October for their tour with Band of Horses. [MORE...]


Feist Extends Tour Into 2008
Tour in support of popular television commercial continues

Photo by Rich Orris

Reminder: Feist is on tour right now! And to those of you for whom a simple statement of fact just will not cut it, the Canadian crooner offers a gift in the form of added dates.

Granted, a few new shows isn't as exciting as a new iPod nano, but we'll bet the residents of places like Louisville, Madison, and St. John's, Newfoundland (!) appreciate it.

Feist's next show is in Hamburg tonight, October 4. [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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