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Pitchfork Curates All Tomorrow's Parties Spring 2008!
Of Montreal, Man Man, Caribou, Los Campesinos! among first bands announced

Pitchfork and All Tomorrow's Parties: Together again! As you probably remember, back in July at the Pitchfork Music Festival, we partnered with our London friends to bring you the North American premiere of the Don't Look Back series. Well, we had such a great time that we're re-teaming with ATP for their festival in England.

The spring 2008 All Tomorrow's Parties will take place over two weekends in May, and for the first weekend, May 9-11, Pitchfork has chosen roughly half of the 35 bands that will be performing. ATP themselves chose the other half, hence the title "ATP vs. Pitchfork".

Here is the initial list of artists:

Chosen by Pitchfork: 

Of Montreal
Man Man
Los Campesinos!
Glass Candy
Dirty Projectors

Chosen by ATP: 

Pissed Jeans
Fuck Buttons

And there's still 24 more to come!

ATP vs. Pitchfork will take place at the original All Tomorrow's Parties site, Camber Sands Holiday Park, near Rye in Sussex. Part of the fun of ATP is living at the festival site for all three days. Included in the ticket price of £140 are accommodations at Camber Sands' chalets, which feature private bathroom suites, bars, a swimming pool, restaurants, a supermarket, go-karting, and mini-golf!

Yes, that's right: nearly three dozen amazing bands, PLUS go-karting and mini-golf. Pretty much the best thing ever. Can you imagine what happens when the members of Man Man hit the go-kart course?

Tickets for the weekend can be purchased through ATP's website in blocks of four, five, six, seven, or eight.

The dates and lineup of ATP 2008's second weekend, which will take place at Butlins Resort at Minehead, are coming soon.

We are extremely honored to be following in the footsteps of such esteemed past ATP curators as Sonic Youth, Modest Mouse, Shellac, Matt Groening, Stephen Malkmus, Slint, Devendra Banhart, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Mogwai, and Sleater-Kinney. We thank All Tomorrow's Parties for this wonderful opportunity.


Thrill Jockey Unveils Anniversary Box Set Details
David Byrne covers the Fiery Furnaces, the Sea and Cake cover Califone, Arbouretum team with Beach House's Victoria Legrand

Without even making us pin the tail on the donkey, the folks over at Thrill Jockey have finally revealed the tracklist and release date of their limited edition, 180-gram-vinyl, 7"-only, 15th anniversary compilation box set. (Don't worry, we're experiencing information overload too.)

The spiffy package of Thrill Jockey artists covering their favorite Thrill Jockey tunes features re-workings from David Byrne, the Fiery Furnaces, Tortoise, Califone, the Sea and Cake, Arbouretum (featuring Victoria Legrand from Beach House!), Pit er Pat, Archer Prewitt, Bobby Conn, Howe Gelb, Adult., Angela Desveaux, Eleventh Dream Day, Sue Garner, John Parish, the Lonesome Organist, the National Trust, Pullman, the Chicago Underground Quartet, Nobukazu Takemura, Giant Sand, Thalia Zedek, Freakwater, and the Zincs.

The box set will be available first at the label's ATP-sponsored anniversary shows at London's Koko on November 11 and 12. Thrill Jockey will then release it in the UK on December 3 and the next day in the U.S. An alphabetical list of the box's tracks-- there are 18 across nine 7"s-- is after the jump.

Finally, the label is planning an anniversary event similar to the London shows to take place in Chicago sometime in December. [MORE...]


Blur Reunite
...for lunch

A message posted yesterday, October 4, on Blur's website (via NME) on the subject of a full-blown reunion with Graham Coxon in tow has brought us from "nothing concrete" to "lunch." The message reads:

"In light of recent press speculation, would like to confirm that Alex, Damon, Dave and Graham met for an enjoyable lunch on Monday, but there are currently no other music plans for Blur."

And that's it. We won't hold our breath for new music anytime soon, but the prospect of these four guys together again is nonetheless pretty exciting. And then again, who knows? Maybe they'll go all Radiohead and spring their In Rainbows on us over the weekend.

Also, the Damon Albarn-scored Monkey: Journey to the West "circus opera" is running at Paris' Théâtre de Chatelet from September 26-October 13. Next year, it will head to Berlin for a week-long run from July 8-15.

Klaxons Put Liars, Wu, Justice on Bugged Out! Mix

Whether it's their rollicking, untethered style, their proclivity for injury, or their devil-may-care hairdos, some might say Klaxons are bugging out. And some would be right: Jamie Reynolds of the recent Mercury Prize recipients has compiled two discs of the band's favorite tracks for the Bugged Out series. The set is out this week in the UK on New State.

The first disc, "A Bugged Out Mix", focuses on club tracks, while the second, "A Bugged In Selection", highlights the group's influences. The first disc ends with the previously unreleased Brodinski remix of "It's Not Over Yet", which features spoken word vocals by Aleister Crowley!

Klaxons are presently bugging out the patrons of a Lawrence, Kansas Wendy's in preparation for tonight's gig. They've got shows from now through the near futures, spanning several continents and pairing them with some fine bands. Not along for the ride as originally planned: Shitdisco, who've canceled their planned dates with the band. In their place? The slightly more PG Apes. [MORE...]


Sunset Rubdown Kick Off Random Tour

We're not really sure what Spencer Krug is singing about most of the time (except when he does that cover of "Nothing Compares 2 U"), but Best New Music knows no language. It also knows few geographical bounds, since Krug and the rest of his Sunset Rubdown crew begin a tour this weekend that will cover a good deal of North America.

So memorize Random Spirit Lover (out October 9 on Jagjaguwar), eat your dinner in a fancy restaurant, and hop on over to one of these shows, starting with the Secretly Canadian/Jagjaguwar Showcase at Pop Montreal in Montreal tomorrow, October 6. Fellow Wolf Parade offshoot Johnny and the Moon opens most of the shows. [MORE...]

Kanye Designs Jewelry With Murakami
But are the diamonds from Sierra Leone?

Below photo from Lorenzo Santini / WireImage

Kanye West's history of contradictions is well documented, so it only makes sense that we'd run a story about how he's designing a collection of jewelry at the end of the same week we reported that he was nerding out over on his new blog.

Kanye revealed the news of his jewelry line to (Women's Wear Daily's website, via Jezebel) at a Givenchy fashion show in Paris on Wednesday, October 3.

He was sitting front row at the show and sporting a "huge gold Manga-style diamond-studded pendant," which he designed with the help of Graduation cover artist Takashi Murakami. The chain is a prototype for the forthcoming collection, but West made sure to mention that the pieces in the actual line will be "more accessible. They won't be all diamonds."

True to his "my flaws are part of my perfection" form, Kanye also revealed that the prototype's "eyes are not perfectly done. Murakami cringes when he sees the eyes."

The jet-setting Chicago MC still starts touring again in Nashville on October 12.

In other Kanye-related news from the same Givenchy show, he apparently <3's Hole 4 life:



Photos: Jose Gonzalez Live on KEXP [Chicago, IL; 10/04/07]

Photos by Sanchez and Kitahara

Because his records are so unadorned, because he is largely disinterested in flourish, because I suspect there is a strong streak of perfectionism running through his every gesture, there's really very little separating a live performance by José González (like the one I caught at Chicago's Engine Studios yesterday afternoon as part of a live radio session for KEXP) and his records. That said, the serene beauty you've heard etched into wax is preserved in concert, as is that nagging feeling that you wish he wasn't so goshdarned straightfaced about it.

Not that José isn't lovely, as a person, singer, and guitarist. That voice, those plucked strings, that gentle hush seems to emit from the core of Mr. Gonzélez, and he (rather admirably, considering) batted KEXP DJ John Richards' overager softballs right back with a genial shrug. His songs seem more delicate on first blush than they truly are, and "How Low" and "Fold", however indebted to Nick Drake, could never be as sweet coming from anyone else.

But whether it was the air conditioning or the forced friendship from Richards or José's gossamer voice and the soft strings of his guitar, I felt a bit sleepy. No complaint: I suspect perhaps this is the idea. These are political songs, some of 'em, and love songs otherwise, and both those things, when done just right, oughta ooze passion. José's passion, I suspect, is closer to perfectionism, and though I'm sure it made for fine radio-- as it makes for fine records-- it wasn't a sight to behold.


Down the Line
How Low
Killing for Love

Hear it HERE. [MORE...]


Lily Allen To Play Lydia Bennet in Austen Spoof Flick
Suddenly, 300-level English TAs all rewrite their syllabi in unison

In a role one suspects won't be too great a stretch for the sassy (and very funny) British songstress, Lily Allen will portray Lydia Bennet, the bratty, class-obsessed younger sister of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice in the forthcoming "parody" flick Jane Austen Handheld, according to

Though it's unclear at this point what kind of liberties will be taken with Austen's beloved narrative, in the book, Lydia Bennet (spoiler alert-- though you should really read more) runs off under false pretenses with a George Wickham, to be portrayed in Handheld by British TV/radio personality Russell Brand. No word on who'll take the other roles in the film or just who's directing this thing, but shooting is set to begin next spring.

Apart from lining up acting gigs, digging on Chrissie, and kicking it with Common, Lily's been keeping fairly quiet lately. Though she's doing Fashion Rocks (hosted by Uma Thurman and Samuel L. Jackson!) at London's Royal Albert Hall on October 18, no proper live dates have been announced for the fall, and no new jams have emerged as yet. A recent MySpace blog mentioned that she'd "spent the past couple of weeks in a twee little cottage in the cotswolds starting on the next album," which has "gone so well." She added that "I won't say much but it's a different musical direction and really quite exciting. Everything just seems to be falling into place." Well, good! Remember, Lils, we fell in love with your music, not your way around a cue card.


Be Your Own Pet Announce Little Tour
Kicks off with awesome Halloween party

Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Be Your Own Pet will come out of the studio to pla-ee-ayy! on a short tour that starts with a Warriors-themed costume party on Halloween. As you can see in the flyer for the event (after the jump), the Bravery will host the D.C. party, which will also feature the DJ talents of Leave the Lights On and Deep Sang.

BYOP are still hard at work readying the follow-up to their self-titled debut for release early next year, though a specific title and release date are still forthcoming.

Those with a completely insatiable appetite for Pet can tide themselves over with two CMJ appearances by guitarist Jonas Stein and drummer John Eatherly's Turbo Fruits side project. The shows are on October 18 and 19. [MORE...]


Photos: Imperial Teen Live on KEXP [Chicago, IL; 10/04/07]

Photos by Sanchez and Kitahara

Roddy Bottum and his Imperial Teen crew kept things rolling at KEXP's remote session from Chicago's Engine Studios yesterday, jamming through a set of their twisted pop tunes, mostly culled from this year's LP, The Hair the TV the Baby and the Band.

Host John Richards' typical fanboy gushing took on a more personal tone at the Teen's appearance than the previous few bands. "I've been a DJ as long as you've been a band," he revealed. "I think I've played you since the first week I was on the air, so it's a particular honor to have you on the show."

"Now that I've buttered you up," he added, "I'm ready for a great show. No pressure." If they did feel any pressure, they certainly didn't show it, and quickly launched into Baby and the Band's "Do It Better". They later revisited their late-1990s hit "Yoo Hoo" to wrap up the set.


Do It Better
One Two
Baby and the Band
Shim Sham
Yoo Hoo

Hear it HERE.


Ratatat Open for Bjork, Soundtrack the Birth of a Child
Baby born doing this: \m/

Björk's infatuation with beatmakers has grown to encompass the lovably scruffy guys of Ratatat, as she has asked them to open for her at shows on December 12 in L.A. and December 15 in Vegas. Being sane, they of course accepted, and those are now the only tour dates on the duo's schedule.

Accepting Björk's invitation isn't, however, the only thing Ratatat have done recently. A few weeks ago, Public Radio International's "Weekend America" ran a story in its "Listening In" series about what women choose to listen to while giving birth. A listener-generated playlist consisted of songs by Neil Young, the Grateful Dead, the Ramones ("I Wanna Be Sedated", har har), and Jimmy Buffet (life is full of disappointments, son). In the story itself, though, one woman revealed that Ratatat's "Wildcat" was her song of choice.

In a follow-up piece prompted by a listener's letter asking for more info about "that song with the cat's reeaaarrrrgh in it," "Weekend America" caught up with Ratatat for an interview on the subject, which you can listen to here. They explained how they recorded the roar, apparently obtained by going outside and capturing the sound from an actual wildcat, though one of the Ratatats pointed out, "I don't think it was giving birth at the time." They also revealed their own cheeky pick for Baby's First Song: "The Happy Birthday Song". Touché, gentlemen.

Also, we're sure that tons of people have noticed this already, but still:



Justice Launch North American Tour
Add dates with CSS

Whether or not Kanye decides to crash their party again and appear on stage saying "Hold up, hold up, this is my crowd. I paid a million dollars for this crowd!", we fully expected Justice to hold it down on their tour of almost-- but not quite-- everywhere in the world.

That tour's North American leg begins tonight, October 5, in Mexico, and, as if their own crunchy beats weren't enough, they've added a handful of UK dates in December with notorious party-starters CSS. Not a bad addition to a tour that just keeps going, and going, and going, until December 15.

Lest any one of us forgets just how giving Justice are, there is also the matter of that "D.A.N.C.E." remix EP, which is out now. [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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